“You are more than a resume.”
— Tamela Rich, Author of Live Full Throttle
Tamela Rich & I first met when she spoke on a Business Marketing Association panel a few years ago. I was on the Board, and in a constant search for programs and speakers. At the time, I was unfamiliar with Tamela’s work or her story, but she was highly recommended by a trusted friend.
To be honest, I can’t remember the exact topic or who else was on the panel. All I remember is Tamela Rich.
And you will too.
Tamela Rich has the type of story that must be chronicled, shared, and learned from. She is the kind of woman you can’t forget. The type that sticks in your mental rolodex as instant inspiration. Tamela Rich is fearlessness, strength, and courage in a woman’s body.
After losing her business during the recession, she took up motorcycle riding and took off on a cross-country trip that changed her life and the lives of those battling cancer.
But don’t just take it from me. Listen below as Tamela shares the incredible sequence of chance encounters that inspired her to strap a pink bra on her bike and head west.
Or read about it here: “Live Full Throttle”.
I, once again, had the great fortune to learn from Tamela when she reflected on her career as an author and ghostwriter. She never ceases to inspire me. Her wisdom and insight are too important to not share.
So here, my friends, is a treasured gift in the form of Tamela Rich.
Tamela, with all you have accomplished, what would say is your actual job now?
I think of myself first as a writer—of my own work and client work—and also as a road trip expert.
My own work centers on life lessons learned from the people and places I encounter on my travels, then sharing these stories with various audiences in print, speaking engagements, and monthly TV interviews.
This year I started leading motorcycle tours that combine great roads with cultural immersion. One thing tends to lead to another in life, including business.
Incredible. I love how you have combined two passions, writing and riding, into a dream job. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
If you want to be a writer, write.
Don’t worry about “getting published” or even showing your work. Write.
Read a lot of different genres and authors. And write.
Go to workshops, take classes, and get a mentor. And write.
After a couple of decades in business, topped off by the spectacular failure of a company that I once owned, I decided to give up on work that didn’t satisfy me. Enough was enough. Armed with decades of business experience and an MBA, I started my writing career as a business ghostwriter. It made sense for me to write about business because I can read financial statements and I understand economic cycles, management theory, and so on.
This explains why I recommend that aspiring writers get some depth in a couple of fields besides composition and creative writing. Writers need to know about the world in addition writing beautiful, well-punctuated prose. Follow your interests and you’ll find a way to combine them in your writing work. Read and write.
Read and write.
You are obviously a brilliant storyteller and writer. What advice do you have for those of us who still hold on to the “dream” of a “dream job”?
Economic cycles were a major factor in each misfit choice, along with the belief that I couldn’t succeed in a creative field.
I think Millennials and Xers are better prepared than Boomers for riding and adjusting to the tides of change. Take a position when it makes sense for as long as it makes sense, keep your overhead low so you can jump on the next opportunity, and don’t invest too much of your self esteem in job titles and other externals. You are more than a resume.
“More than a resume” … I LOVE that!! What is your best piece of advice for women to be opportunistic with their own careers? How do women, who may not be happy in their current roles, prepare themselves for the next one?
I didn’t realize until I had loaded up a lot of financial responsibility that I am not cut out for standard employment. I always thought my dissatisfaction was the company, the position, or the boss, when in reality, it was me all along. I know myself much better now and part of that self-awareness is my absolute need for independence in choosing my projects and clients. This sometimes means I don’t make as much as I did when I had a salary. Life is full of tradeoffs.
It is always a good idea to keep your financial overhead low as you try different paths—this helps to preserve your flexibility. If you’re not familiar with the concept of “golden handcuffs” look it up and think about it. I wore a set for many years—in misery. On that note, this article may be helpful.
Finally, from all that you have experienced, what are your closing words of wisdom for the women reading this interview?
Always be true to yourself.
This includes being true to yourself when you make sub-optimal choices, which we all do from time to time. When you know who you are and are true to yourself, you’ll right your course more quickly.
Did I tell you this woman is fearlessness, inspiration, and courage personified?! Tamela Rich is indeed “rich” with all these qualities and more. Thank you for sharing them with us, Tamela.
Tamela will be sharing more in-person with the ladies of “Women Who Are More Than Their Day Jobs” on Thursday, August 31 at Park Road Books at 4139 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC 28209. Registration for the event can be found here.