You wanted the long version so grab a cup of coffee, because this could take a while. Let’s start with the childhood stuff. I was born in California and I am a fourth generation Californian. I don’t tan well, but I do drive a convertible. As for my childhood, it was fun. I had a horse in my backyard.
I graduated high school and went to UC Santa Cruz – go slugs. I had some fun and transferred to Cal State Fullerton where I graduated. During my college years I got a job at a copy/print shop. It was great but I was not going to be making copies for a living, so after graduation I started looking for another job. The owner didn’t want me to go, so he gave me more money to stay. I did. However, I took the opportunity to continue to learn by reading books on sales, business, and management. Eventually another job offer came my way, but again, I was offered more money to stay at the print shop.
I figured, if I was going to be making copies for a bit longer, I might as well learn about a new technology called desktop publishing. That lead to a deal with the owner where I worked part time for him in the morning, and start my own graphics business in the afternoons. I found some other printers and began designing business forms for them. This lasted as long as anything in the computer world does, so eventually the owner asked me back full time. He needed someone to run his graphics department. So I received a big raise this time, because I was now a “graphic artist.” Then one day the owner said, “I’m retiring, buy me out.” What? Well, okay. Suddenly I was a business owner making copies for a living.
All right, I read all the books, so I should be ready to own my own business. Payroll taxes? What’s that? And how much did you say for worker’s comp! I had better hope that all that reading did me some good. Now what did they say about marketing. Oh yeah, a newsletter! Every business needs a newsletter…. except who wants to read about printing. Not me. So in 1999 I wrote my first issue of Simply Amusing, a newsletter of absolutely no importance. It was cute and humorous enough, plus I threw in a few original corny jokes. I figured why not. The newsletter was handed out to clients, put in with the statements, and set on the counter for customers who came in. People seemed to like it so, I wrote another issue. Then another one, and another one – and each issue included a few more original corny jokes. Oh and did I mention that was about the same time I became a “real” published author? I sold 4,000 copies of a 28 page humorous book I wrote about how to short sheeting a bed.
Anyway, back to the newsletter. One day I read a book about Gorilla Marketing, and decided I needed to increase my circulation. I had just finished writing an issue about the value of the postage stamp, and the fact that you can send three pieces of paper for the same price as one sheet. From that article on, every single time I send anything out with a stamp on it, I include a copy of my newsless newsletter or a promotion for my book. Yes, even the IRS gets a copy when I pay my taxes. To this day is still include a newsletter with every bill, but it’s getting harder and harder because I have had to resist paying bills online. But, hey, least I don’t have to lick the stamps anymore.
Next came this thing called email, so I started sending out Simply Amusing email blasts. But times changes so quickly and before long there was a thing called a blog. Blog, what in the heck is a blog? People told me I should start blogging, but I was running a business so there wasn’t much time to learn about this internet stuff. Besides I own a printing company and people will always need paper.
Eventually I gave in and taught myself WordPress and became a blogger. Next came FaceBook, Twitter, and my book Grown-ups Don’t Skip. Now I’m spending so darn much time on the computer, that I kind of miss the days of binding books and carrying heavy paper boxes. Not really but at least back then I was getting exercise. Now with the world of computers, all I do is sit in front of a screen all day, and if you have taken the time to read this all the way to the end, then I’d say you had better plan on joining me at the gym.
Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear from you.
Genuinely, Susan Sherbert