Creative Careerist: Sundi Jo Graham

About the Creative
Sundi Jo loves Jesus. She’s an author, speaker and small business owner.

Everyone has a story of redemption. She is extremely blessed that God allows her to use communication in sharing her faith walk. Through her blog, her goal is to offer hope, lead others to experience a transforming relationship with Jesus, and provide a dose of laughter along the way.

Oh, and she just wrote a really cool eBook called Step Away from that Diet: Ten Steps to Losing Weight and Gaining the Confidence You’ve Been Searching For and you can get it for FREE. Click here for details. Connect with Sundi Jo on Facebook and Twitter.

What does an average day look like for you in your creative career?
Starting the day in my pajamas. I’m very blessed to be able to work from home. I start each day out by reading blog posts, scanning them for useful information that I may need or can share with others. Sometimes there are over 50 posts. My eyes usually cross around number 30. I spend time writing, networking with other writers, looking for new ways to market my upcoming book. I try to take care of all the “personal” side of work first.

But then I have to switch my focus to the job that actually pays the bills–social media. Since I represent clients in various industries, I do a lot of shifting throughout the day, answering emails, connecting with customers/fans on various social networks, etc.

Since I own my own business, that means I have to be in charge of everything. Working in my pajamas can be fun, but keeping track of where money goes, making sure bills are paid on time, and even getting clients to pay on time can add some stress to the mix. But it’s worth it.

I have about three different coffee shops that I make my “office,” so I try to keep things from getting boring. I’m very blessed to be doing what I’m doing.

How did you get to where you are now in your career? What key moments, decisions or circumstances brought you here?
In May of 2010 I started having some health problems. I was losing my energy quickly and I didn’t have a lot of strength. One minute I would be talking and the next I could barely hold my head up and would have to take a nap. It was exhausting, but a blessing in disguise. A lot of my life in 2011 was spent in bed, trying to figure out what was happening health-wise.

Through that, I kept writing. I wrote most of my book, Dear Dad, Did You Know I Was a Princess? in bed. Then I started doing some consulting, which led to more clients, and here I am today.

I’m truly grateful that despite my circumstances I was able to still write and do something fun, like social media, to make ends meet.

What excites you most about your work?
Making a difference. Seeing my clients get results makes me happy. Connecting with current customers and introducing new fans to the companies I represent is fun. I get to build relationships with a variety of different people and get paid for it. It’s been a great experience for me.

What is its greatest challenge for you?
Getting people to see the need for social media and the positive impact it can make for businesses. Though it’s becoming increasingly popular, many people still don’t understand how social media can help their companies. Sometimes when trying to explain the benefits of Twitter, I see a potential clients eyes glaze over and I know I have my work cut out for me.

I have to build trust with my clients, especially when I’m representing the companies they’ve worked hard to build. That takes time and can sometimes be frustrating.

Because I work from home, sometimes people tend to think I have tons of free time. I have to work on setting boundaries regarding that. Sometimes that means turning my phone off or letting people know with a hint of crankiness that “I’m working.” I’m a work in progress here too.

How do you get your best ideas?
Everywhere. I brainstorm with other marketing peeps, read books, blogs, network with other professionals and every now and again, God provides me with a really great idea that I get to share with others.

What do you do when you get stuck?
Walk away. Take some time to do something else and think. Taking a nap always helps. 🙂 Ask for guidance from someone else who may see things from another angle.

How do you make sure you make time for creativity in your life?
Make time for it. I try to set margin in my life just for that, whether it’s reading, writing or just talking a walk to be inspired. I’m still a work in progress here. Sometimes I start the morning off writing. Other times, thanks to my arch enemy insomnia, I’ll be writing at 3 a.m. I’ve done some of my best work in the middle of the night.

What advice do you have for other aspiring creatives who want to follow in your footsteps?
If you have a dream, go for it. I realize not everyone can work from home, but don’t let that be an excuse not to pursue your passion. Make time for you. Do what you love to do.

I squandered my gifts and calling for so many years. I’m blessed that God has given me a second chance to pursue my passion of writing. The fact that he has given me the support to do it is beyond anything I could have imagined. I don’t want to mess that up.

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