It took me 38 years to figure out that I need to be working with my hands every day.
I studied journalism at Northwestern and pursued a career in magazine editing in New York, but I never felt I was truly myself all those years. I’d always had creative hobbies—painting, interior design, knitting—but they were always just hobbies. And I’d always felt an enormous, guilt-driven responsibility to continue with my journalism career. It was my job, after all. I had gone to an expensive college to pursue it. How could I waste my professional contacts?
Then one Christmas I decided to make jewelry for gifts, and I couldn’t believe how much fun it was. I was thrilled to get positive feedback from my friends and family members, who told me that I had a knack for it, and that I should consider selling my designs online. Of course, my first instinct was to say, “I can’t do that.” There’s such a glut of jewelry in the market. What could I possibly contribute? But the more I thought about it, the more excited I became.
Once I decided to officially pursue my own jewelry business, friends bent over backwards to help me. My friend Kathleen’s husband, David Maloney (www.ocomolo.com), generously offered to design and manage my web site. Through David I met a fabulous local photographer, Catherine Kiernan, who offered to barter with me. (Thank you for your support, Catherine!) Another friend, Jen Hurley, also takes fabulous pictures for me. And I’m grateful to all my delightful, good-natured friends who have agreed time and again to be my models, devoting big parts of their day to smiling for the camera. Some of these dear people have even offered to host jewelry parties to get the word out. Thank you!
I feel lucky that it only took me 38 years to figure out that true joy—for me—comes from working with my hands. What a simple thing that is! It’s not rocket science! And yet for so many years I had ignored this creative compulsion in myself and tossed it aside to the relegated “hobby” pile. I thank God that I had the courage to look at myself and re-evaluate my goals. I thank God that I felt brave enough to pursue this dream, despite the fact that it’s a “long shot.”
When wise people say it’s the journey, not the destination, I finally get it! Every day I feel such joy as I sit at my dining room table and create jewelry. There is joy in every step of the process! I’m not sure where it will lead. I do have a few long-term goals. I’d love to be able to donate a portion of my profits to a special need. (I’m still working on the profit part!) But I truly believe that by pursuing something you love, and infusing everything you do with love, you will bring out the best in yourself and others, and ultimately bring good to the world.
Listen: Jen Conroy on Bloom Talk
Jen’s Website: www.JenConroyDesign.com
Two women following their hearts against the odds.
Guests: Jen Conroy creator of Jen Conroy Designs and Pam Davies.
LISTEN on Bloom Talk
Podcast: Recorded Jan. 26, 2011 (24 min)
Magazine editor turned jewelry designer, Jen Conroy claims, “A weight lifted when I decided to pursue this creative side of myself ~ it felt like a whole new world opened up.” Find out how she decided to make the switch and be able to say, “It’s such a joy to get up and look forward to going to work….I feel I’m more myself living authentically for the first time in my life!”
Her close friend, Pam Davies, is on a similar yet different journey. Leaving her graphic design business and going back to school to become a therapist, Pam warns, “As you get older, you realize life is short and if you don’t do what’s making you happy, it’s going to be gone.” Not an easy process, Pam took time to examine her
life, her values and her fears and is finally finding joy. “When you walk through the fear and experience it then there’s the joy. I’m opening my heart…taking risks…and doors keep opening for me. It does feel joyful!”
Who’s Blooming? More on Jen’s Story
Guest Website: www.jenconroydesigns.com
Can you really love what you do for work? Nancy Anderson, the author of her groundbreaking book, Work with Passion, says, “Yes!”
Guest: Nancy Anderson author of Work with Passion
LISTEN on Bloom Talk
Podcast: Recorded April 1, 2010 (43 min)
I’m often asked if anyone can really love what they do. To set the record straight, Nancy Anderson joins me with her new book Work with Passion at Midlife and Beyond and asks:
- Are you as happy on Monday morning as you are on Friday afternoon?
- Do you work with or for people who have the same values?
- Do you wake up in the morning looking forward to a new day of challenge and growth?
- Does your work give your life meaning and purpose?
- Do you make the money you need?
If you can answer “no” to any of these questions, then you’ll want to join Nancy and I as we explore working with passion. We’ll talk about Nancy’s intuitive and practical approach to create the life you were born to live and how you can find work you love.
Guest Website: www.WorkWithPassion.com
Ever wanted to write a book? Here’s everything you need to know to get started.
Guests: Novelist Maddie Dawson, children’s author Jennifer Covello, executive editor Marry Norris, and author & publisher Stacey Kannenberg
Podcast: Recorded August 19, 2010
There’s a book in all of us. Find out what it takes to go from writing your thoughts on paper to proposal, publisher and promotion. Let’s talk with the experts: successful authors in the self-help, children’s and fiction categories and savvy publishers who know what sells in the bookstores.
Should you go the traditional route and find an agent? How to get the attention of a publisher? What are e-books? When to consider self publishing? What are publishers looking for? How to keep on going and deal with rejection? What needs to be in a book proposal? How to choose a title?
What every entrepreneur wants to know about starting her own business.
Guests: Entrepreneurial experts Karin Abarbanel, author of Birthing the Elephant, and Mary Cantando, author of The Women’s Advantage: 20 Women Entrepreneurs Show You What it Takes to Grow Your Business
Bloom Talk: LISTEN NOW
Podcast recorded May 27, 2010
You’ve got a great idea, there’s a need for your product or service … you’ve even penned your business plan. Now it’s time to launch your new venture.
We’ll ask the questions that every budding entrepreneur wants to know. What should I think about before I launch? How can I afford to do this? Can I balance all the demands a new business requires? What does it take to make a business successful in today’s economy?
Mary’s Website: www.womansadvantage.biz
Karin’s Website: www.birthingtheelephant.com
Best known as Donald Trump’s right-hand woman on The Apprentice, Carolyn and her team of experts have answers for women everywhere.
Guest: Carolyn Kepcher of WorkHerWay.com
LISTEN on Bloom Talk Radio (pre-recorded)
Aired: Thursday, March 25th at 3pm EST
Carolyn heads WorkHerWay.com to provide answers and resources to working women everywhere about new career directions, surviving a layoff, changes needed in the workplace, launching a new business when money is tight and more.
“So much of what we read today seems out of touch with the times. While it’s lovely to pick up a magazine and view a nicely-painted rosy picture of the working world (“Re-invent Yourself With a Makeover and Get That Raise!”), sometimes that just doesn’t resonate when you’re up against a wall after a tough day.”
Carolyn is a straight shooter and doesn’t like to sugar-coat a thing. We’ll talk about what women are really encountering in the work place, the good and the bad, and action steps that work toward having a successful job and career in today’s working world.