Welcome to my Second Acts Series!
Today, we have Tracy Noble sharing her entrepreneurial journey.
Briefly describe your first act
Throughout university and after I graduated, I worked in media coordination as well as in print advertising at a major daily newspaper, and then at a magazine, for nearly ten years combined. I loved the hustle and bustle of these jobs, and particularly enjoyed exercising my writing muscles when given the opportunity — which unfortunately, wasn’t very often.
What triggered the need for change?
When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, the shock forever altered how I looked at life. My husband and I had been told we couldn’t have children, so when we found out we were pregnant, everything changed. I couldn’t help but think there was more to my working life than just settling for what I was doing simply because it paid well and fit in with what I had studied in school. I decided to take some time off and spend my daughter’s younger years at home with her and really think about what I wanted to do with my life.
At one point I went back to school and took some library technician courses, but upon realizing that the glory days of working in a library are gone and that the reality would be only part-time hours, including nights and weekends, I decided that was not where I wanted to be.
After that I decided to look more seriously at freelance writing. I found myself writing for pennies for an American writing farm (4oo words for 25 cents!), but from there I built up my portfolio and started ghostwriting for various blogs, websites and fellow writers.
Where are you now?
I now call myself a virtual assistant, but unlike traditional administrative virtual assistants, my main focus is content creation, ghostwriting and writing. I work from home, which allows me to be there for my daughter before and after school. It also means I can walk my dog in the middle of the afternoon if I want to. But perhaps the best part is that I get to exercise my writing muscles every day. I love writing and I had forgotten just how much until I started this entrepreneurial journey. Now writing is all I want to do!
I am also in the process of writing a book. I love writing for other people, but it’s about time I write something (big) for myself.
Do you have advice for anyone planning to pursue a second act?
Just do it. Life is too short to not follow your passion – even if that means starting out part time or on a casual basis. I realize that people have different situations and not everyone can just quit their job to pursue their passion, but do take the time to think about it, write it down, and plan it out. Don’t just dream it. Also, surround yourself with supportive people and ignore the naysayers. You only live once – you might as well live doing what you love.
Any affirmations or quotations you wish to share?
It’s a bit crass, but Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, which is from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. It means, “don’t let the bastards grind you down.” Whenever I am faced with a challenging person or situation I repeat this in my head. It reminds me that each and every person has faced adversity and challenges. It’s how each person chooses to deal with a particular situation that determines their overall success and happiness. It’s important to always have a positive outlook; without that, you cannot be happy. There is no room for self-pity in happiness.
Where to find Tracy
Tracy, thanks for sharing your inspiring journey. I look forward to the release of your book and would love to feature it on this blog. Please keep me posted.