We’re continuing to share a different story each week of how a past student has been able to significantly grow their freelance business by applying the concepts they learned from Double Your Freelancing (check out last week’s with William Durkin).
If you feel your story would be a good fit, share why.
Judy Helm Wright owns a publishing company, Artichoke Press and recently launched Death of My Pet, which is in the “pet grief” niche. Judy’s also been a speaker and trainer on family relationships for the last 25 years.
What got you into freelancing? Was it what you expected?
I am a creative, intuitive wise woman who likes to learn and earn in various ways.
We have owned a number of small businesses and found that I really did not like to boss people around. I expected them to have the same work ethic and drive I did. I wanted them to be as committed to my ideas as I was.
However, when I was working in Corporate America, I found that I really hated being bossed around. I was a lousy employee and was much like the ones who had worked for me.
“It didn’t take long for me to see that I needed to be my own boss and be my only employee.”
The defining factor was walking to the mailbox with our son one day after dealing with irate customers for a company who was paying me big bucks but not dealing ethically with the customers. Andy was telling me a story of the unfairness of a soccer coach and I said “Andy, I have been dealing with problems all day, why can’t we just walk?” He said, “Okay Mom, who do you want your son to tell his problems to, the lunch lady?”
“I went in to work the next day and resigned. It was very clear that what I gained in salary I was losing in spirit and soul.”
What’s been most challenging thus far?
Building my websites, blogs and landing pages to attract customers. I have more authority, ideas and experience than cash, so it is difficult to find talented people who will do the techy stuff on a consistent part-time basis.
I have found using interns from the University of Montana to be good in some instances. Some of them come ready to learn and be mentored. Some need to be re-parented.
Two years ago a group of interns were in my office whining about not being able to get jobs and that they would have to stay in college forever, or until they could teach. They were afraid if they got out of college, they would have to start paying for college student loans and they were unable to land exciting jobs in their fields of training.
I said, “Oh, you never ‘get a job.’ You need to ‘create a job’. They were dumbfounded and we spent the rest of the afternoon doing a brainstorming session on how to ‘create money.”
The result is a great book called, How To Make Fast Cash—Fun And Legal Ways To Earn More Money In A Weekend. It is available at Amazon and also on Welcome Abundance.
Did you ever want to quit or give up?
Of course, but I have a “calling,” not just a career. My calling is to be an “Auntie Artichoke” (an honorary title given to me in Hawaii—it means wise woman who loves unconditionally).
“I want to help people who are hungry for encouragement and a safe place to land.”
What were you struggling the most with when you ran into Double Your Freelancing Rate?
I was trying to decide if I wanted to keep marketing parenting and family relationship books or switch emphasis to pet bereavement.
While my other books and classes were changing lives, I was not supporting or growing my own business. I knew there had to be a way to monetize my wisdom.
What are some big successes you’ve had recently?
“I am on track to make $10,00 a month!”
I also had a marketing brochure made that describes what I do. It forced me to really focus and drill down on what I do best.
What are some specific strategies, tactics or pieces of advice that helped you grow?
After working with low income and court appointed families for 25 years, I had to recognize and realize that not everyone is broke.
I have moved my mindset and customer base to high-end consumers who want and need tribute books written about their pets and coaching for their grief process.
What are you most excited about for your business in 2015?
An unbelievable opportunity to expand my reach and focus, and make some serious bank for my talents and skills.
I did a deep evaluation of my business in January of 2015. I have over 20 books on Amazon and have published four books for other clients. However, the best selling of all my books is one called, I Lost My Best Friend Today- Dealing With The Loss of a Beloved Pet.
It was selling two to one of any of my parenting and relationship books. So I meditated, prayed, pondered and prepared to shift my niche to being a Pet Grief Coach and writing pet memoirs and coaching grieving pet parents.
I am excited to do a number of online classes, webinars and teleclasses on this subject and perhaps even start a Pet Coaching Academy, giving certification to those who undergo training.
“I will be able to serve others who do not fit the employe role, but are eager to use entrepreneurship to make a good living and a good life.”
Judy H. Wright has owned Artichoke Press for the last 20 years and has been a speaker/trainer on family relationships for 25 years. Recently, she launched a passion project, Death of My Pet, which offers grief recovery support for pet lovers.
Judy also offers personal coaching and guidance, pet loss support groups, pet tributes and memorials, therapeutic resources, podcasts, and books. Feel free to connect with Judy via her website or by emailing her directly.