What is a pink gazelle?
Maryanne Pope, a writer, author and entrepreneur is for sure! Although I haven’t personally met her yet, from emails back and forth I can tell she truly has a caring personality that shines. Don’t miss a word of her inspiring story:
Q: Why did you choose to create Pink Gazelle and what gave you the idea to make it happen?
A: I chose to create my company, Pink Gazelle Productions, in 2002, as a means to handle my expenses as a writer. But I soon realized that I wanted my company to be more than a business…I wanted it to be a means by which I could encourage and inspire people, through my writing, to bring about positive change – both in their own lives and in the world around them.
The name Pink Gazelle came from a wild experience I had with a friend in the Sahara desert in Morocco. I was in an unhealthy emotional state as my husband had died 6 months before. I learned some difficult lessons about how to stand on my own two feet and take proper care of myself. Mostly, however, I realized I had to learn how to love myself again…how to perceive myself not just as a gazelle (a term of endearment for a woman) but as a pink gazelle – a woman of self-worth with or without a husband.
Q: What are some of the obstacles you have faced
A: 99% of the obstacles that I have faced as a woman, as a writer and as an entrepreneur have been in my own mind: excuses, procrastination, denial, lack of confidence, etc. Unfortunately, however, these obstacles are often the toughest to remove…but one by one, I have done so. And what I’m finding is that when I get out of my own way, all sorts of wonderful personal and professional opportunities arise.
One of the roadblocks I have encountered is the challenge of earning significant income as a writer. This is a challenge I continue to face but I’m finding that by doing what I love each and every day and writing pieces that I love – be that a blog, a book, a screenplay or a play script – the closer I get to making the shift to a more financially viable business strategy. However, the market will only pay for what it values…so in retrospect, my job for many years was to focus on getting my skill as a writer up to a professional level.
Q: What achievement have kept you motivated?
A: The successes that have kept me motivated are first and foremost internal. I love the process of writing. But it wasn’t always that way, especially with some of the extremely difficult and highly personal subject matters that I’ve written about. But somewhere along the way, I found I actually loved the writing process and the magic that happens on the page.
The other side of the coin, of course, is the motivation that comes from hearing positive feedback from readers who have read my book or other works.
When it comes to writing, my philosophy is simple: I write to understand – and I publish/post/produce, etc to share what I’ve learned with others.
Q: What words of wisdom would you like to share with others who are focused on living a life of purpose?
A: The words of wisdom that I would like to share with others who are keen to live a life of purpose is simple: figure out what you really want to do with your life – professionally and personally – and then take steps each and every day that get you closer to your dream. And be very careful who you choose to spend your time with. It is imperative to surround yourself with positive, supportive people who will encourage you on your path versus reminding you how likely it is that you’ll fail…because that’s probably their fear about their own life path and has nothing to do with you. One final piece of advice: failure is your friend…it’s the only way you’re going to be able to figure out what does work.
Q: What is one action individuals should take today towards living a purposeful life?
A: Regarding getting started and what is one action individuals should take towards living a purposeful life? The answer is in the question: GET STARTED ☺ Today is the first day of the rest of your life and if there is one thing you can do today that will give your life purpose, do it. It is amazing how we often know what we need and want to do – but for whatever reason, we don’t do it. The best way to get around this is to do it first thing in the day. Whether it is writing a book, volunteering at an animal shelter, starting a business or going back to school, all big goals are comprised of many small tasks. The trick is to figure out what needs to be done – then have the courage to take that first step and the commitment to take the second.
One other thing I would like to add is this piece of advice, which is particularly relevant to women: know yourself…and protect yourself. We all have strengths and weaknesses but if you don’t know what yours are, then it is very difficult to live a life of purpose because you end up sabotaging yourself. For example, if you know you have a habit of procrastinating, then figure out a way to trick yourself into not procrastinating, such as procrastinating on one important task by getting another equally important task completed! Or if you know you have a tendency to overspend on borrowed money/credit and then get frustrated because you are spending valuable money servicing debt – and valuable time and energy worrying about debt – then cut off your access to borrowed money.
I think we are often so determined to try and change ourselves and our habits that we lose sight of the fact that we may just need to learn how to work around our weaknesses.
Want more? Checkout Maryanne’s book, A Widow’s Awakening and subscribe to one (or both) of her weekly newsletters: