This second edition offers new content added to each and every chapter - personal author reflections from behind the scenes.
Get inspired to step out of your box and embrace your potential. From the corporate world, to the arts, to working with the disenfranchised, the message is clear: there is no such thing as a normal way to live your life and no one right solution to any problem. Selected from over a hundred interviews, the stories shared here open a window on the journeys of seven women and three men who have charted their own paths, including Ruthie Davis--top US luxury shoe designer and the winner of the 2014 AAFA Footwear Designer of the Year award; and Geir Ness whose perfume is a staple in Nordstrom, Disney World, and on Disney Cruise Lines. Enjoy a glimpse behind the scenes into the unique ways these individuals have chosen to deal with life's challenges and how they define success in their careers.
Marilyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer and speaker with a passion for interviewing. Her career as a writer began in an unusual way, by answering a Craigslist ad. It was while conducting her first interview the world shifted - she had found her passion. Since 2006, she has interviewed over 150 people from as near as her hometown of Vancouver, Canada, and as far away as South Africa.
Whether through a random encounter on the New York subway or via a one-on-one interview with an internationally recognized artist, the goal is the same-to give wings to the unique journeys of inspiring individuals. This goal first led the author to co-launch a successful, innovative magazine focused on professionals working in the fashion industry paired with photography and illustrations by local artists. Then in 2015, Wilson took her passion to a new audience with the release of her first book, the first in a series featuring the lives of real people living real lives.
Interviewing a Force Of Nature
by Marilyn R. Wilson
Over a decade of interviewing, I've had the privilege to connect with a wide range of people from as far away as South Africa. While their stories are unique, the interview process for each is very similar. We meet in a relatively quiet setting. I turn on my digital recorder, ask my first question and they share their journey. There has only one been exception and the memory still puts a smile on my face.
Mutual friends know I am always looking for unique stories, so when their friend Geir Ness came to town for a visit, they asked if I'd like to pop by and chat with him. Ness is the founder of Laila, the Essence of Norway, a perfume and skin care line. My travel budget is small, so the chance to connect with an international story like his was a gift. I quickly said YES!
On arrival, Ness met me with a smile that spread from ear to ear and instantly put me at ease. I was charmed. My friends offered us a private room for our interview. We took seats facing each other as the door quietly closed. I then asked my first question totally unprepared for what lay ahead.
It's very hard to describe the effect Ness has on people. He is full of boundless energy, endless passion, and has tremendous focus when his eye is on the prize. His presence fills the room and his positive aura rolls over you like a force of nature. This is a man living his passion, who gives 110 percent to every single aspect of his life. All I could do was hold on tight and enjoy the ride. By the end of the interview I was sure my hair had been blown straight back from the sheer force of his personality.
Ness shared his life story with joy and humour – from humble beginnings in Norway, to working in Majorca and then to Los Angeles where he developed his first scent while working as an actor and perfume model. It quickly became clear that the word CAN'T doesn't exist his life. He believes he can achieve, so he does. Better yet, he believes everyone can achieve what they set their minds to. It just takes time, focus and hard work.
When I began to write Life Outside the Box, I knew his story was a prefect fit. All through the long writing process, Ness sent notes of encouragement, telling me he knew I would succeed and reminding me I was a super star. When I ran my book launch, he flew into town for 36 hours to be a part. As he walked into the venue you could literally see people being drawn to him from across the room. It happens to Ness at every personal appearance.
I'd like to leave you with an except from his chapter. It's about how he launched his new perfume in Nordstrom with absolutely no money. Enjoy!
“First, he called in favours from other acting friends. One had a camera and agreed to come, but neither had money to purchase film. Remember, this was the pre-digital era. What he could do was be there and pretend to take photos...Others agreed to act as fans to create a buzz of chatter at the opening. The plans were sure to attract the attention of shoppers. A garage sale yielded up a red carpet and a decent suit for the whopping price of five dollars.
When Nordstrom opened its doors, the first thing shoppers saw in the corner was a red carpet. At the end, Ness stood dressed in a suit with bottles of perfume arranged behind him and one of his acting head shots as a backdrop. A flash photographer was busily snapping away. His classmates were talking loudly and offering up comments like, 'I can't believe he's here.' People quickly began to come over and Ness was ready to work his magic.
'This is Los Angeles; everyone wants to see a star. Before I knew it, I had a line of people coming up and buying....I sold out in one hour and had people on the waiting list. I remember walking out the door and there was this homeless person sitting holding his hat. He asked if I had some change. I looked in his hat and said, you have more money than I do.'”
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