Cat Wagman, President, Working Words, Inc.
Tell us about your business.
I am the writer, editor, and consultant that takes the work out of writing for busy professionals, companies, and organizations that need to outsource their writing projects.
I bring to the table an eclectic portfolio that runs from creative to technical, including but not limited to: advertising, marketing, procedure documentation, quality control manuals, press releases, articles, interviews, collateral, and especially, scriptwriting.
My experience reflects the work I have done in television, radio, newspapers, magazines, publishing, as well as other niche industries, such as aviation, marine, automotive, non-profits, chambers of commerce, funeral homes, as well as residential and commercial real estate.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
In 1986, I became a freelance writer after my second son, Bernie, was born. Later in 1989, I incorporated my business as Working Words, Inc. My primary reason for becoming an entrepreneur at that time was to have the flexibility to be available for both my sons, Devin and Bernie, during the day. I didn’t want them to be latch-key kids or come home to an empty house. I wrote and went to appointments and meetings while they were in school. It also gave me an opportunity to share my passion for writing with their classmates and students at other schools during various Career Days, in-class presentations, etc., throughout the year.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My mom is a neurologist (retired) and my dad was a dentist, and each had their own private practice in Morristown, NJ. While their professions were demanding of their time, they were doing something they LOVED to do.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
That accomplishment would be the publicity and marketing adventures that I have experienced after I published my book, “Why … THANK YOU! — How to Have FUN Writing Fantastic Notes and More.” The top one was to have my book selected annually for the New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age List, from 1999 through 2006!
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Be passionate and love what you do, become an expert at what you do, keep learning and share your knowledge with others, and ask for help when you need it.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
I have found that Courage and Chutzpah balanced with Patience, Courtesy and Kindness while focusing on what I can do to help others, both personally and professionally, has helped me stay centered as I buckle in for the wild ride on Life’s rollercoaster … and yes, there are times, where briefly closing my eyes and just “letting go” gets me through the scarier moments.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you succeed?
I would like to recommend Cathie Black’s book, “Basic Black – The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life).” After reading it I thought to myself, I wish I had a class in high school based on this book! Two more resources I recently discovered are: Marsha Friedman’s website, http://www.celebritizeyourself.com/ and Copyblogger at http://www.copyblogger.com/
What is the Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
I am expanding my business to include motivational speaking engagements and creative writing workshops at schools and libraries, as well as social and business organization meetings. I am passionate about writing and the art of communicating through written and spoken words. The passion I bring to each of my programs inspires others to explore their own talents, so they are able to further develop their writing skills, both personally and professionally.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Make yourself your top priority. For too long I didn’t even include myself on my priority list, putting everyone and everything else ahead of myself.
Be willing to ask for help and be specific about it is that you need. You’re not alone in any adventure you want to pursue. If someone isn’t willing to help you or circumstances make it impossible for them to do so right now, don’t get angry … thank them, and ask them if they can point you to someone else who can.
How can our readers find you online?
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1205747968&ref=mf (Find me under Catherine Cat Wagman on Facebook)
Note from the editor: Why Thank You is another great book I recommend. It is one of those evergreen books (info is always relevant) and will serve you well.