Always aim to have sufficient for your needs and enough left over to share with others.
Judy is a life educator, family coach, and keynote speaker who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family, parenting and relationship issues, including communication, encouragement, and end of life. She also focuses on personal issues like anxiety, depression, confidence, and self-esteem and works with many small and large organizations–from Head Start to child care resource centers.
Judy is a certified Pet Grief Coach who takes pride in her work with Animal Human Connection. She has written extensively on the topic of grieving and offers guidance, counseling, and communal sharing for many grief clients.
The symbol of the artichoke has great meaning for Judy in her teaching and writing. As she works with families, she sees that frequently only the outer edges are exposed, which can be prickly and sometimes bitter to the taste. But, as you expose the artichoke and people to warmth, caring, and time, gradually the leaves begin to open and expose the real treasure–the heart.
The artichoke also became a teaching lesson when Judy, as a young military mother, moved her family into military housing in California to find a surprising collection of artichokes planted in their yard. Knowing it takes two years for the vegetable to grow, Judy realized the original gardener never saw the fruits of their labor, but planted the artichokes anyway.
Judy was reminded by this experience that many times in life our actions toward others are felt by people we will never meet, but we plant the seeds of kindness anyway.
Artichoke Press is not Judy’s only self-starter project. Judy has owned and managed numerous small businesses. She and her husband Dwain, alongside their six children and foster kids, worked family businesses in order to teach them Responsibility, Respect & Resiliency.
Where did the idea for Artichoke Press come from?
As a Parent Educator and Motivational Speaker, many of the people I met were like the prickly and closed off edges of the artichoke. Because I was also an author, my daughter Debra suggested we name the company Artichoke Press.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I am 73 years old and still work a pretty full day. After yoga and meditation, I do a 17 minute connection on social media. Then, depending on what project (s) we are working on, I try to put in at least three hours before lunch. After lunch, if an intern is here, we really focus on what is on the front plate and brainstorm about how to bring our ideas into fruit
How do you bring ideas to life?
I have always considered it part of my spiritual callings to work with young adults to mentor them into the world of work. I use interns from the University of Montana who come here to learn about small business and also about the publishing process.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Of course, I am excited about a global economy. At least a third of “my list” is from people where English is their second language.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Recognizing that done is better than perfect. Sometimes it is a struggle to teach the interns the concept of ROI. They want to copy-edit an article or blog post until it is perfect and would get them an A in college. However, to a businesswoman, it is overkill. I won’t live long enough to re-coup what I paid them by the income derived from an article or blog post.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I have led a blessed life. Grew up in a family that loved me and married a man that loves me. I would tell myself what I tell my grandkids “Don’t waste time thinking what others are thinking or saying about you. They are too busy worrying about their own problems to even be concerned with yours. And…if they do talk about you or sabotage your efforts, just be grateful it is you and not some other poor slob who would not be able to cope with it.”
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
It doesn’t take much money to be happy. If your soul is full and your table is filled with kind people around it and you have good food on the top, then sometimes that is more than enough. Always aim to have sufficient for your needs and enough left over to share with others.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Turn off the tv and put your butt in the chair and write. The more you write, the better writer you become.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I think it would have to be to soar with my strengths and hire out the rest. I am never going to put my papers in a file cabinet. It just won’t happen. I am creative and talented in seeing trends and getting things done, but I can’t remember what I titled that last great book I was working on.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
See above. My biggest downfall is not using a system and remembering what the system is. I also tend to get books, articles, blog posts etc. 87% done and then see some bright shiny object or course that looks more fun. Not sure I have overcome it, but I have stopped apologizing for it.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I started a blog called www.cyberbullyinghelp.com because that was in the news a lot and I was a Parent Educator. I wrote lots of great advice but I was too far removed from the problem. Please feel free to take it over. It needs someone who actually understands and appreciates what the current population needs and wants.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
It was more than $100 but it was for an accountability group called Miracle Manifesters. We meet on Zoom every week and it is powerful. Want a good book on groups? Read Lynn McTagart’s “The Power of Eight”.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
My beloved I Mac. By the way, I manifested getting it on a great sale and saved about $600. The web service that I love is allowing the young interns to do the social media stuff and I just get to create.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommended Lynn’s book above, but you can never do better than “How To Win Friends and Influence People” It is a classic for a reason.
What is your favorite quote?
Done is better than perfect.
• Write fast and edit later. The more you write, the better writer you will become.
• Done is better than perfect. Do your best; let it rest for a day. If you can make it better quickly, do it, if not let it go to press.
• Soar with your strengths. Don’t apologize that you don’t do all things perfectly.
• Strive to earn enough to provide for your needs with enough left over to share with others.
• Be willing to give other people credit if they have contributed to your success.
• Develop your intuition and follow the promptings of your spirit.
• Learn to set boundaries. It makes it easier if everyone knows what to expect from you and what you expect from them.
• You are never too old, too fat, too short, too uneducated to make a difference in the world.
• If you write a blog, combine ten blog posts and you have a book.
• Always look for the positive. It is there. Every single time.
• Don’t waste time with networking meetings if they aren’t working.
Artichoke Press on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/AuntieArtichoke
Judy Helm Wright on Google Plus: plus.google.com/+JudyHelmWright
Judy Helm Wright on Instagram: Instagram.com/judyhelmwright
Judy Helm Wright on Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/judyhwright
Artichoke Press on Pinterst: pinterest.com/artichokep
Judy Helm Wright on Tumbler:judywright.tumbler.com
Judy Helm Wright on Twitter: Twitter.com/judyhwright
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.