While the other girls scurried to the playgrounds on their bicycles and skateboards, young Jo Ann Fore was often found inside playing “Office.” With mounds of blank deposit tickets gifted to her by a neighborhood mom, Jo Ann scribbled in figures to complete make-believe bank deposits for her business. The business of writing.
Jo Ann’s young hands crafted narrative essays, poetry, and secret journals as she reveled in the thoughts of becoming a professional writer.
Many years later (she doesn’t like to count exactly how many), Jo Ann is a successful freelance writer, inspirational author and Life Coach.
We caught up with Jo Ann to ask her a few questions.
How did you pursue your dream and how has it evolved since then?
I worked for 20+ years in marketing and development, with writing always an integral part of my responsibilities. I worked with various corporations crafting compelling newsletters, web content, and marketing materials. Interestingly, I had to get sick—very sick—before I allowed myself the freedom to fully pursue my dream.
About six years ago, while working for a faith-based organization as their Director of Development, I fell chronically ill. I battled the illness for the next twelve months, through unrelenting physical exams and multiple surgeries until I was forced to face the fact that I could no longer work at a regular job. One which required me to maintain a regular schedule.
Upon leaving that job, as my health allowed I wrote articles. Slowly, I queried magazines and landed placements in various publications. Over the past five years, I’ve published hundreds of articles and columns both nationally and internationally. And just this year, completed my first book.
What do you love about being a female entrepreneur?
Women are unique. We are multi-taskers, driven to succeed. I love the entrepreneurial freedom which allows me the opportunity to both pursue my dream and maintain a family life. I also love the natural connection with other like-minded women.
How does your faith play out in your business?
It’s important to assess your values early on. For me, a God-awareness is one of my defining values. I want my written words to point people to the same redemption and healing I discovered through a loving, merciful God. As opportunities present, it’s important for me to assess what I stand for. My faith allows me the luxury to contemplate this on a regular basis. It gives me the God-confidence I need to remain focused and move forward.
What are the biggest challenges you have overcome as a female entrepreneur?
A perfectionist drive. I’m still breaking my way into an industry that changes daily. As of late, the publishing world constantly evolves. As soon as I master an area, all the rules seem to change. For now, I am focusing on the craft itself and leaving publication to God.
Overall, the biggest challenge for me is balance. How to balance the passionate entrepreneurial-drive with other responsibilities.
Why do you believe Inspired Women succeed?
I believe success is an intentional choice, laden with sacrifices. I believe that inspired women muster the motivation to make right choices—that we learn to live intentionally and line up our lives in the manner it takes to become who it is we want to become. Inspiration is the propelling force, the fuel we need to continue.
What is your “Big Dream” for your business?
As an abuse survivor, my heart belongs to soul-wounded women. I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of other women.
It amazes me how pain often serves as a catalyst for a greater purpose. My first book, Write Where It Hurts, teaches women how to use expressive writing and biblical truth to reconcile a painful past with God’s purpose for their lives.
I dream about having Write Where It Hurts conferences and training where women uncover the redemptive hand of God.
I’m also passionate about coaching other writers. Many women have a desire to write, to share their stories, and don’t know where to begin. I’ve recently compiled a coaching program to help women break into print. I would love to do this on a daily basis, too.
My biggest dream is to help equip an army of brave-hearted women willing to move past their pain into purposeful lives.
Visit Jo Ann: