I traveled the world, opened and closed businesses, earned a college degree, bought and sold a little personal real estate, participated in a Congressional internship and did not have one single clue what to do when family members and other close friends died unexpectedly. I was perplexed at my lack of knowledge regarding the reality of death.
Why did you choose this business?
After a series of traumatic events, I decided to combine my life experience with a paralegal certification specifically because I wanted to create a workbook for others that cut through the crap and the mystery of some of the complexities related to end-of-life issues and provide basic information in a user-friendly format for people who are smart but don't necessarily have access to the information. No one talks about it! I wanted to break down a barrier or three.
What is your business philosophy?
To be of service to others in a simple, straightforward and honest way.
What is your educational background?
Fifty years of hard livin’ .... college degree, paralegal certification, life experience and a desire to help others through potentially difficult times.
What is your or your greatest asset?
Humor and humility.
What motivates you to succeed besides the desire to make money?
Sounds corny but I believe in the old adage: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I learned a lot and wanted to share the information. Most people I know want to do better but don't always know how.
How is operating your own business different from what you expected?
My book is a tougher sale than I thought! When folks "get-it" it's a no brainer but I have discovered that many people prefer to live in denial or are so attached to trauma/drama that they'd almost prefer being able to freak out in a crisis rather than actually being a little prepared with information and other tools.
What significant changes have you implemented recently?
I am self-published so I just did an entire clean up and editing of the whole book, front to back, before I had 500 more copies printed. That's the beauty of paying attention to updates in social mores as they occur and listening to customer feedback so I can offer the best and most current information.
What successes in the past year are you most proud of accomplishing?
Again, corny, but I have found much pride in really being of service to others. No one really wants to do this kind of work and I discovered that by offering assistance in getting the paperwork done, witnessed and notarized, I have tons more clients. They tell me they sleep better at night. LOL.
What was your best business decision?
Asking for help when I needed it. And allowing the process to be as creative as possible. Sure, it's about the money but the honey is cool too.
What are your growth goals?
I'd love to find a school environment where the teaching staff and curriculum are progressive enough to understand how valuable my book would be in a classroom environment for age-appropriate folks. Or for that matter, for anyone who employs 10 or more people—give them the book through the HR department.
Don't take yourself too seriously. Laugh a little. Trust your instincts.
What's your favorite saying or quotation?
Keep on truckin’.
What book are you currently reading or what's your favorite book?
I just finished Bill Whaley's Gringo Lessons— a fun Northern New Mexico romp but generally I am a sucker for funny stuff from David or Amy Sedaris or a good bio about some guy or gal that done good and did it right. I dig Richard Blanco's work too.
What inspires you?
Happy, smart, funny people who don't try too hard, they just iz.
Three passions outside of work?
Water, travel and education.
Anything else you would like to add?
It's the best 20 bucks you'll ever spend. You'll sleep better! You'll be smarter and better! Available at the UNM bookstore on main campus and online.