“The day I first thought about starting this company, it was a total surprise. I never imagined starting a publishing company. As a young girl, I imagined getting published one day and even looked many times into the journey of self-publishing, but it never seemed enough. I didn’t enjoy the lengths to which a person had to go to get their manuscripts read by the people working for publishing companies. It was often anxious and overwhelming. Many times, for so many, it leads to this feeling of not being good enough - like we need to feel this any more than the world already insinuates, right?
The day I first imagined this company I was sitting in grad-school feeling overwhelmed with life. You see, I was not, and will never be your average lady. At the time I was a 26-year-old, single mommy going to graduate school because she LOVED academics. But that is not the only reason I was going to graduate school… I went back to school because this was my only option anymore in life.
When I was 20-years-old I was in a three-car, car accident. From the outside, I look completely normal (totally not the first person who has ever said THAT before), but on the inside, I was broken. I was told I would never work again...but I was only 20...with a child...and we were all alone because we are also PROUD survivors of Domestic Violence. I went back to school because my son deserves a life of infinite possibilities. I went back to school because he deserves a fighting chance to never have to live the intergenerational cycle of poverty and violence he is a part of. The only way to have something different than you’ve always had is to DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN YOU’VE ALWAYS DONE. So I decided that if my body couldn’t be my moneymaker, then my brain had to be.
So there I was at 26. I just got my bachelor's degree and had been back in school for a few years now after also getting my associate's degree. I was learning about Creative Problem Solving (CPS) at Buffalo State College in the Creative Studies program through the International Center of Studies in Creativity. Creativity was the answer. We were working through the CPS process and the question I was working on was, and quote:
“What might be all the ways that I can pay off my student loans while utilizing my passions, talents, hobbies, and this actual education that I want to pay off in the first place?”
After working the process to completion, my intuition (I’m an ENTP via Myers Briggs) told me there was something about starting a business, and the convergence of start writing again, that just felt *IT*. But I stopped writing in 2013 when my neck degenerated further and it now caused C5 flare-ups down my arms and through my fingers turning my right hand’s palm, black-and-blue with excruciating spasms and surges of pain. I was always a writer as you remember from the beginning of this blog. It was my emotional anchor and the thing that made life bearable when I was a hormone-filled depressed teenager. I wrote my first children’s book, Skipping Stones, when I was in 3rd grade (Fun-fact, this is the FIRST book my company published), and I wrote myself out of my depression through a book about it when I was 16. Writing was my refuge...and it was gone now. I fought with this concept for the rest of the class. How could the very thing that feels *right* also be the thing that brings me so much mental and physical pain because I can’t do it anymore? How can the answer also be so wrong?
I talked to another student about this, and she talked to me about dictation. And the rest is history! As soon as it all clicked, I skyrocketed forward with my hyper-fixation and uber-focus. I wrote the business plan on my way to pick up my son, in my head, picked him up, came home, and those next three days are kind of a blur. I was so intuitively connected that time seized to exist, and the creation of this business manifested itself, each step of the way. This company is my heart on the screen. It is my everything that I ever wanted here for you to see. Over the last four years, it has changed, improved, expanded, and it is still expanding and growing. The progress from day one is amazing, and I am so very excited to move in a direction that continues feeling *right*.”
If you are just now hopping onto the ImagineWe train, the CEO’s story is one you might not have heard before. She has been featured in many newspapers, TV news, college news, and more over the last few years. With a very long, and sometimes tough road behind her, we’d love to share with you the amazing day the company was born!
We hope you enjoyed today’s blog! Check back for the next one on Monday at 11:00 a.m. to read
“Chronic Pain & Me” - a more detailed explanation of the car accident that changed everything, but led to the creation of ImagineWe Publishers, and the unwavering connection to the #spoonie community.