What is your “Next Thing?”


My husband and I coined an acronym during a particularly bad period in our business history (we found out that our office manager had embezzled a ton of money, cooked the books, screwed up the accounts on purpose, we were broke, and in the process of figuring out what we wanted to do to reinvent the company in a way we could live with). It’s TNT – The Next Thing.

Since that time, we’ve had two other periods where we were constantly talking about TNT. One of those is now. We’re in a period of happy transition, and honestly, a lot of things are still up in the air. Like where we’re moving later this year. Some things aren’t. We’re transitioning completely out of the aforementioned business, which will be wonderful. Right now it’s very part-time, thanks to the restructuring we did after the “recent unpleasantness” of 2008, but if you own a business you have business pressures, even if you’re not very involved. Being done with it will be a huge relief after more than twenty years.

We’re writing like crazy people, as I’ve mentioned several times in this blog, and have started the publishing company to better organize and structure those efforts. Our days are spent writing, editing, and thinking about writing and editing. After being in the business world and dealing with employees, equipment and ever more stressed clients, it’s a glorious thing!

I’ve also decided to get into the freelance world a bit. We’ll see how that goes. I’ve done ad copy before, along with business writing, and what I’ll be doing will basically combine those two things into a (theoretically) reasonably well paid career. I’m also good at dialogue and voices, two things you use to craft good copy. The cool thing about this is that literally everyone in my family has the ability to do it. My husband used to work in advertising and is very persuasive with things he believes in. My daughter who is graduating from college in May and marrying in June has won competitions using similar styles of writing. And my teenage son, who is graduating from high school in May, has enough natural ability to be taught. So… We may have another family business on our hands!

Obviously, you’ve all been impacted by this “new” economy. Many have lost their jobs or lost part of their income. You’re in the same boat as we are, having to reinvent yourself and figure out how to make a living in 2013. We’re 47 (me) and 53 (my husband); we certainly didn’t expect to be doing this at our age. But as it’s turned out, we’re more excited and more passionate about our Act II than we ever were about what we were doing for a living in Act I. (Okay, I may have these acts wrong… Let’s say Act 1 is early career, Act II is mid, and Act III is – hopefully – fabulous retirement in some lovely warm place with long, desolate beaches and many days of sunshine.)

It’s a little scary. We’re purposefully taking a pay cut to get out of our business, and right now that might seem crazy. But our kids are at a place where we can do it, our lives are at a place where we’re willing to try it, and, even at our “advanced” ages, adventure still calls. If nothing else, it won’t be boring!

What about you? Where are you in this journey? Act I? Act II? Maybe even Act III? We only get this one life – don’t forget to live it!



Filed under Publishing, Writing

2 responses to “What is your “Next Thing?”

  1. jjtoner

    Great post. Very honest and up-front. I’m in Act III. Definitely. Unless there’s an Act IV. And still trying to re-invent myself. Good luck with the new company.

    • My grandmother just turned 99 last month. She still lives alone, cooks, walks her dog… She just gave up driving last year because a car someone else was driving was in an accident. (She’s never had an accident in her life!) So there is definitely an Act IV, or an epilogue, or something!

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