A Fan recently wrote to me about starting college and asked for my recommendation about what she should study in order to be a successful writer. She heard me speak a few years ago and remembered that I had studied business and entrepreneurship. She wanted to know if it would be a good path for her to follow. I’m honored to be asked this question, especially by such an exceptional young woman who happens to be a very talented writer.
When I responded, I found myself writing advice about college that was also super-helpful to me for life in general. It’s taken me 20 years, including an undergrad degree, a masters degree, a business program, 12 years in the corporate world, and 5 years as an entrepreneur to develop into the person I am today professionally. Looking back, I’ve learned a lot during that time of exploration and personal development.
So, I’m sharing my advice to her in hopes that it will also help you wherever you are in your life’s journey. Here’s my blueprint for a happy and successful college career and beyond:
- Learn marketing – This is the #1 skill that’s helped me successfully spread the word about my books. Not scam tactics, but real strategies to connect with your readers and build relationships. Not icky manipulation, but heartfelt marketing that communicates meaning about what you’re doing and shares how it benefits people. Discover ways to authentically connect with people and to share your books, message, and ideas with heart. Learn how to package your ideas and products in ways that people can instantly understand their value. These entrepreneurial skills are the best ones you can possibly have for designing a successful creative life.
- Hone your craft & create lots of art – Keep writing things that you love to write. Create stories, books, and experiences that set your soul on fire. Share them with people so you can cultivate your art. Challenge yourself to write beyond your comfort zone as well.
- Meet a lot of people – Take opportunities to go to different types of events where you’ll meet lots of new people. Have a business card (even if you don’t have a business) with your phone number, email, website, Facebook professional page (if you don’t have one, create one), and other social media handles that you’re active with. When you return from events, send connection requests to the people you most enjoyed via LinkedIn and Facebook. You never know who is going to become your new best friend, your business partner, or change your life in some magical way (and, there’s a very high likelihood that you will change the lives of each person you meet … but only if you have the courage to meet them).
- Only accept advice from people who are happy and successful at what you want to accomplish – Whether it’s writing a best-selling book, managing your finances, having a healthy relationship, or building your business empire, always seek people who are both happy and successful at it. Otherwise, their advice/opinion is typically irrelevant … if it’s not working for them, it probably won’t work for you either. 🙂 Example: follow people who are doing social media well and watch them and learn how they’re connecting with their Fans.
- Make it up as you go along – Remember to have fun! When I started my undergrad program, I was a Psychology major. I switched to Communication mid-way through. But, the knowledge I gained through my Psych classes still benefits me today when I use it for marketing and helping people. You are the author of your personal hero’s journey, make it a good one! 😉
- Take extraordinary care of yourself – You are so precious and deserve the best in life. Work hard and stay true to yourself and your vision. If someone enters your life and tries to tear down what you’ve created or hold you back (even unintentionally), lovingly let them go. Respect your body, mind, heart, and soul. Your energy is precious … don’t waste it with people who are on a different trajectory.
You are meant for greatness and it’s okay to be extraordinary and use your gifts, even if others can’t always relate. When making a decision, ask yourself, “Is this the most loving choice for me in this moment?” and let the answer guide your actions. If the choice is in alignment with your values and your vision for your life, it’s probably a good one even if it seems scary.
So much of life is about learning through experience. Look for the good in every situation and know that everyone struggles from time to time. Don’t dwell … just learn and grow. Choose to make it your success story and you’ll always move forward to greater levels of fulfillment.
Please share your dream with me so I can help hold the intention and celebrate you when you achieve it! If you’d like more strategies for creating magic, passion, and aliveness while achieving your wildest dreams, join my VIP Fan Club and receive inspiration delivered to your email inbox each month.
About Whimsical World Co-Founders Sheri Fink and Derek Taylor Kent
Whimsical World is an empowering brand created by #1 best-selling authors and inspirational speakers, Sheri Fink and Derek Taylor Kent. Whimsical World’s mission is to inspire, delight, and educate children of all ages while planting seeds of self-esteem and high achievement. We aim to make positive change through the power of whimsy and imagination.
Our catalog of award-winning, fun-to-read children’s books suit the needs of every child and parent. Themes include anti-bullying, being brave, asking for help, adapting to change, being authentic, and being a true friend. Our books expand children’s imaginations with whimsy and wonder from the depths of the ocean to the heights of the galaxy.
Whimsical World brings joy, positivity, and wonder. We create magical live experiences and merchandise with a message that every child and young adult is thrilled to own and every parent is proud to purchase.