I always wanted to write. My mother would say it is because I could not shut up! Admittedly, I’ve always had a glut of words tumbling out of me.
I’ve told this story before but many years ago I spoke at a business event. My mom had been invited and was sitting at the head table with me and the leaders of the organization I’d presented for.
The woman who had hired me to speak , alluding to both the release of my book and a well-received presentation, said “You must be very proud of him.”
Without skipping a beat my mom replied, “I spent eighteen years trying to shut that kid up and now you pay him to speak.” I loved my mom’s quick sarcasm and the work she did to try to keep me reasonably grounded. No easy task.
Getting Paid as a Writer
I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been recognized for my writing, been published in places like, The Wall Street Journal, Windows Professional Magazine, and had my books published by Pearson – a major publisher.
And believe me, I am honored that my words had enough merit and impact to reach a lot of eyes.
But more important than publications and publishers recognizing and paying me for a talent is when readers reach out to tell me about the impact my writing has had in their life.
Payment After the Check
This morning I was greeted with a message on LinkedIn. An IT professional who first reached out to me in 2014 to thank me for my book sent me this update. I’ve removed his name from the message but he gave me permission to publish his note.
It’s been a couple of years, and I’m not sure if you remember me.
-I used to sale nails and staples
-I wanted to change careers and get into IT
-Your book was instrumental in getting me there.
That journey began in 2013. Year one I got my A+ cert, got small temp jobs, got noticed and hired on full time as a help desk analyst.
Year two and three I moved into a position of field tech and eventually by years end an SCCM admin.
Year four I joined a Microsoft vendor and became a Microsoft Primer Field Engineer for SCCM. I received several internal MSFT accreditations and have worked with clients like Bloomberg Financial in Manhattan, MIT, Walmart, research institutions like Howard Hughes Medical and local state and federal government. Traveling from Florida to Arizona, Massachusetts to Seattle, and 31 other states in between.
I am now beginning year five since reading your book, and I’ve taken a new position with another company. My income went from supporting a family of four on $24k a year, to over six figures.
I’ve experienced things I could never have imagined in 5 short years. I am reminded from time to time that I need to reach out to you, encourage you for the work you have done, and thank you for being a positive instrument of change in my life.
His work and my small part
The truth is, make no mistake, his hard work, focus, and talent plays the biggest part of his success.
His earlier message to me, from 2014, talked about how, as he learned and during times when he was frustrated or felt a lack of progress, he would read my book and walk away encouraged. It helped him believe he could do it.
And so, I’m grateful for the part I got to play in helping him pursue a career that he has found personally, professionally, and financially satisfying.
That is the best payment I can get as a writer.