Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Spotlight on Mommy -- Diana Taylor of Pug at the Beach

Due to the 4th of July holiday, the Spotlight of Mommy Mondays will be moved to today only for this week.  

This week's Spotlight Mommy is Diana Taylor of Pug at the Beach.  I had the opportunity to read Jackson's book and will providing my review of her book here on Friday, so don't forget to stop back.  Also, one lucky Inspired by Savannah reader will win an autographed copy of their own to add to their summer reading.

In the meantime, please enjoy my interview with Diana Taylor.

Name: Diana Taylor/Jackson Dunes    
Company Name/Product/Service: Pug At The Beach/ Books to soothe the heart, mind, and soul./ We provide hope.
Company Location: Delray Beach, Florida (also know by many of the locals as paradise.
The first is a more extensive site and includes my CV. The second is more lighthearted and fun.
Twitter Handle: @pugatthebeach
Age of Company: 6 yrs old
Favorite Inspirational Quotes:
There is a story. It goes like this: an angel was bent over a blade of grass and whispered GROW! I like the quotes and sayings that offer the kind of "you can do it!" inspiration. I read Science of Mind magazine (think the movie The Secret) and each month they offer a really nice photo with a quote. I like to frame them and put them on my desk. Pug quotes are really good too! :D
Favorite Book:
Any of the Pug At The Beach books. :D I also recently re-read my Navigating By The Stars book of short stories and I really liked that as well. I know that sounds a bit narcissistic but I believed I've been given a gift to share which means that sometimes I can step back and appreciate the stories I tell. I love Guy de Maupassant. He was a 19th century French writer and student of Flaubert. Maupassant's short stories are all exquisitely written and because they're so concise and sparing with their words they read like poetry...but better. Beginner writers are told to get a mentor but the task of taking on a student is great and time consuming, so when I couldn't find a living mentor I turned to Maupassant.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
I have 2 daughters. They are 25 and 21  years old. The eldest just graduated from Sterling College in Vermont and starts her new job at an organic farm just outside of Boston. The youngest is a student at Bennington College. She's a gifted artist and musician. She co-designed the Pug Lady website with me.
My hobbies are writing & drawing the Pug Adventures, playing ukulele (I have a Risa concert stick, a concert Flea, and I just restored my father-in-laws 1950's soprano Harmony. That's in case you're a uker, because if you are, your follow-up email would start with that question.) I also incorporate my painting and photography into work/play. I also putter in the garden, feed the birds, and generally follow whatever interests me. 
Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?
 Leaving a bad marriage, I took a job as a phlebotomist (the person who takes your blood) in a local hospital thinking that a career in the health care industry would mean I'd always have a job. Things took a different turn when I found a lump. The lab that I worked in processed my biopsy incorrectly and gave me a terminal diagnosis. Things went from bad to worse when the mistake was discovered. I was pushed out because I had become a huge liability. 
My daughter (the farmer) suggested I take all the Pug Adventures I'd been writing for my own pleasure and put them into a book. "Throw it out there. If it flies you'll know you're on to something." Fly it did. People loved Pug right from the beginning. Ever since then people have been asking for more books, more products, more Pug. 
What is a typical work day like?
I start each day with joy. I set my intentions before I get out of bed. Thank the creator and ask to be shown what's the best course of action to take Pug to a larger audience. My little dog, Buddy, and I usually ride my bike down to the beach for some walking meditation. Then I take it from there, following what needs to be done, and honoring the muse as necessary. 
What has been a struggle while starting up your company
Listening to people who didn't know what was best for me. We each have to listen to our heart, our intuition. It's been said that intuition is God whispering to us. I like that. 
What did you do in your past work life?
Mostly I was a stay at home mom. But I was also an arts promoter, art teacher, phlebotomist, pharmacy technician, shuttle car driver for a local car dealership and housecleaner to a rock star and children's book author.
What have been some of your major successes?
 My personal evolution - the development of my faith. I grew up in a very small family with no role models or mentors. Without that guidance life was negative and bitter. Inherently I knew there was a better way, I just didn't know how to find it. About 6 or 7 years ago I found a path which helped me to change my life. It started with the movie The Secret and grew from there. Now I'm considered a New Thought writer (think Wayne Dyer or Louise Hay.)
What have been some of your major challenges?
 Getting out of a really bad, abusive marriage. It took me years but in 2002 I finally was granted a divorce. I guess that could be one of my successes as well. :-) Without guidance from a family of origin, it was almost impossible to break free. Almost. I've been working with a friend to develop an online resource for women who need a place to turn but don't know where to go. People had given me some really great advice and suggestions. I'd like to pay that forward and do the same.
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
 I go back to joy. Always. I stop and do something that brings me joy. Lately that's been playing the ukulele. Did I mention that the Risa is an electric uke? There's nothing quite as delightful as being a middle aged woman who can play an electric instrument. 
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
 This doesn't really apply to me anymore, but on some days the dishes are climbing out of the sink and the floor is an inch deep with sand from the beach. In the end, housework doesn't really count for much.
What is next for your business?
More books. I've shortened the next one. Instead of 28 adventures this new book has 12. I'm focusing on ebooks now. Print... print is a whole different email. My goal is to become a best selling author on the digital platform (Kindle, iBook, Nook.)  
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
Do what you love. Don't listen to the naysayers. And remember, you're showing your kids how to live a fulfilled, abundant life. My youngest daughter told me once that I was her hero because I followed my heart, got divorced, wrote a book and moved to the beach. Start each day with a joyful thing for yourself and work from there. And remember, anyone can get a terminal diagnosis either false or otherwise. So live in the present. And contribute to the dreams of others. Start by buying one of my books on Amazon or at my website. LOL. Had to include that!

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