Personal Growth and Exploration

I have been writing in the business context for many years. I help companies: position their products, create growth strategies, write pitch decks for equity financing, create stories that make companies more valuable for M&A processes and written countless marketing and sales-related content. I thoroughly enjoy helping my clients grow, scale and exit and positioning is part of my value-add.

personal growth and exploration

I have recently launched a fiction short story series, ‘Stirring Stories from around the kitchen table’. The short stories are sometimes happy, sad or funny but always emotionally stirring. Each story has a component that revolves around the kitchen table, the nucleus of the family unit. You may ask yourself why someone who spends a lot of time in her work writing would take on such an endeavor. Well, it is part of my personal growth and exploration that I want to encourage all entrepreneurs to consider adding to your regime. Let me explain.

For many years, I was the co-founder of an enterprise work management platform. I was the epitome of the ‘always on’ business owner. I rarely took breaks during the day, traveled extensively, brought work home most nights and experienced way too much stress. I put everyone else’s needs before my own. I learned that such high, sustained levels of cortisol wear out your body. And, to make matters worse, the longer that your body is conditioned to high levels of stress hormones, the harder it is to break that pattern and allow your brain to relax.

I realized that I had to relax my brain. I always loved to cook, so I started making dinner most nights with my husband. The act of doing something from start to finish in a short period of time also helped me more than I expected. In software, the joke is ‘it’s never finished’ which is true. Even when you push hard to release a new version, you immediately start on the next. So, being able to start and complete something on cooking nights helped me a lot.

After we exited the company, I created a food blog which allowed me to exercise a new muscle – photography and video creation. I enjoy it and still keep up with it, but have always been drawn to fiction as a means of escape. Recently, I found a poem that I wrote twenty-six years ago. It was handwritten on lined paper and dated with my name as the author. I remembered writing it and reading it to my Dad when he was visiting us. I can still see his face and hear his reaction that was so positive and encouraging, “Honey, this is really good”. I recently entered the Montreal Poetry Competition with that poem.

Business writing is (hopefully!) non-fiction, so I want to explore writing to have fun developing fictional characters and story lines. I am blending my unique angle of incorporating cooking, family and life experiences into my short stories. I hope these stories accomplish two things:

  1. Provide busy people with a good break in their day by reading my stories and providing a mental break that improves their well-being; and
  2. Allows me to grow personally and explore the world of fiction writing that is new and challenging.

As I embark on this path, I realize that I risk criticism and rejection from those who may not like my stories. However, since I also know that I learned the most in business from failures rather than successes, I am ready. I am writing for myself and hope that others smile, cry or laugh while enjoying it with me.

You can read my stories on Medium https://medium.com/@sandra.k.richardson

I would appreciate if you subscribe (I have many new stories being published over the upcoming weeks) and clap if you enjoy the story and it resonates with you.

And, to all the entrepreneurs and busy people reading this, I encourage you to find your path of personal growth and exploration. Even if you only find a few minutes every day to create a space for yourself that evokes quiet, pleasure or fun, it will help you more than you can imagine. Yes, it will have the benefit of making you more productive with your work, but it will also make YOU happy and there is no monetary equivalent to peaceful moments of quiet calm.