Tell us about your professional journey:
While at UNC-Chapel Hill, I studied broadcast journalism in the Radio, TV and Motion Pictures Department. For the following six years, I worked as a radio and newspaper journalist, which included hosting a daily call-in talk show and serving as a columnist and managing editor among other activities.
You recently retired to focus on just writing. What career did you retire from?
After working at a PR firm and advertising agency for several years, I started my own in 2001. Then in 2007, I started My Creative Team with Brant Waldeck. At the end of 2015, I stepped away when I was called back to my first love: writing.
Where have you focused your daily writing?
I started my own blog called You, Improved. It is a blog designed to help readers improve their bodies, minds, spirits, and lives. I have been a blogger since 2001, writing for commercial sites, so the blogging world is very familiar territory. Blogging helps me collect my ideas in one place, while allowing my readers to interact with my thoughts. I often write about being a grandparent, tourism, creativity, marketing, and personal branding. The process helps me organize my thoughts that eventually find their way into a book.
Why is You, Improved so important to you?
I started 2016 with a new outlook, a new focus. 2016 was the start of my reinvention with a greater focus on my blog. When I left the agency, I went through a lot of self-reflection, asking what my purpose is going forward. I want to be a catalyst to help people improve themselves. Through my website, I share motivational tips, exercises, weekly hacks to improve your life, and other inspirational/mindful ideas to help people improve their level of happiness.
Are you working on a book now?
Yes! I am the author of two books, and I am now working on a third (possibly) titled: Get Glad: A Simple Guide to Happiness.
The last six chapters of Get Glad will include a plan to help readers live more fulfilling lives. The plan will include the following strategies:
Establish a purpose statement each day and work through your purpose.
A happiness audit: what makes you happy vs. unhappy?
Journaling daily thoughts and ideas while committing to happiness.
How can I be more mindful?
At the end of each day ask: what are you grateful for today?
Weekly goals: what can you do to take yourself out of your comfort zone?
Tell us about your two published books:
Moving to Charlotte: The Un-Tourist Guide is a guide book designed to help newcomers settle quickly and easily into Charlotte living. The book includes places “locals” frequent, places that are not obvious to newcomers, as well as facts and other entertaining insights about the Queen City. If you know anyone moving to Charlotte, this book is a great resource!
Born Creative; Free Your Mind, Free Yourself: The misconception about creativity is that it is all about being artistic. Creativity is much more than that, creativity is problem solving. We all exhibit creativity in our daily lives without even knowing it. Born Creative helps readers tap into their own brand of creativity, their inner gifts. We can use creativity to design the life we want and get out of what we often become trapped in. I like to think about what you can change today that will have the most impact on your life. Da Vinci has some great quotes that reference this mindset.
What’s your writing process?
It took me three months to write Moving to Charlotte and 61 years of research! I am very disciplined and focused on getting a book done. I had an outline, utilized the Chamber of Commerce, and incorporated my experiences in Charlotte to get it done quickly. When I set my mind to writing, I write!
How do you take care of yourself on the outside?
I exercise by running, lifting weights/kettleballs, and yoga. Men can be intimidated by the word “yoga,” so sometimes I just refer to it as stretching.
Any mottos you lives by?
We are all brothers- treat one another with respect.
I believe that it’s easier to get happier than to go straight to happiness. I have a checklist on my site that will help readers get started on the road to happiness.
How are you inspired spiritually?
I have always liked helping others, helping people do better and having a positive impact.
How long has your family been in the Carolinas?
My family has been in West Mecklenburg since 1751. I was raised on what was left of the family farm. At that point, it was mostly land and much of it had been sold off and developed into housing. Every now and then, I drive through the development to see the streets named after family members. It makes me happy to see the land still connected to my family.
Can you share a little about your family with our readers?
I am married to an author, Terry. She and I met while working at the Weekly Newspaper, married, moved to Lake Norman, and had a daughter, Erin, and a son, Harry III. While Terry was staying at home with the kids, she began to write. Her book titled Double Dead, published by Five Star Mysteries, is a murder mystery set in Charlotte in the early 1960’s. Terry is now working on her second novel, a prequel to her first book.
What have you learned from your own parents?
My dad passed away when I was 11 on Christmas Day. A year later, my mom suffered a heart attack but lived. I realized my dad worried a lot and decided to be happy to be healthy. We judge ourselves by the wrong things, like how well we do at work instead of focusing on being a good dad. Business is business and will always be there. I learned that I wanted to always improve myself, in a non-comparative way.