Am I in need of a Branding Expert, Marketing Expert, PR Specialist, Life Coach, Editor, or perhaps… Just a Whiskey Scotch on the Rocks?

February 1, 2016


So, I have all the pieces to this wonderful jigsaw puzzle, I just don’t know how to put it all together, and perhaps that’s because I’m not sure of what the final masterpiece (picture) is supposed to look like. While the process seems amazingly complicated, my gut says that the outcome is rather simple, making it more beautiful than I can even imagine.

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!

*This is the only time I plan on writing a post like this.

Often times, people who hold positions within the federal government, military and law enforcement arenas possess very specific skill sets. While this is excellent for the field, it can make the transition to regular civilian life very difficult. This might be hard to understand unless your actually in such a position yourself, but I’ll tell you what ~ I’m a big supporter of programs who help make the process easier for us when the time comes!

So, I’m an author, speaker and photographer now but to be honest, I still feel too spread out and all over the place. I’ve always been a ‘Jill of all Trades’ type, which just seems to be a prerequisite for any single mom and also served me well while working undercover, but… While its neat to be great at a lot of different things, it keeps you from mastering just one. I’m at a point in life where I’d really like to master something instead, besides just surviving (literally.) Then again, what is it they say…?

That very thing you hate the most about yourself
and are always trying to change ~
THAT is who you are, it is your strength and your gift;
and to deny it, is to deny yourself.

To Write or Not To Write

It feels like I’ve got all these pieces, a wonderful 41 year old collection of treasures, but don’t know what the hell to do with them now.

Take the example of writing a book if you will… I’ve got a timeline, broken down chapters, too many stories to even fit and all kinds of lessons learned, but I don’t know how to piece it all together… Or how much, if any, that I even want to tell anymore.

Also, a lot of research helped me create a couple different outlines and great ideas from a business perspective, but… I don’t know which way to go or which one to choose. Should it be one book or two? Maybe a .99 series instead? Or I could use the stories literally just to draw traffic and have an online storybook? Certainly I’ve been responsible for making much bigger decisions than this! I’ve got so much stuff written out and ready to go… I just don’t know how to put it all together or what to do with it now. Know what I mean? 

Or maybe I’m tired of telling my story, making it time to just focus on something else like photography instead ~ I’ve got a library of photographs just waiting to be published! It’s what I wanted to start with originally, but had fears, thinking it’d be much harder to make a living that way. Also, if I have a sick day due to rare diseases that I’ve not yet come public with, I might end up having to cancel a shoot or even worse, a speaking engagement, which means no income then. Where as, if I can develop a way to make residual income instead by say, writing and doing something online (wink, wink) then hell, I could do that from bed even if I’d have to!

The time has finally come…

How the Hell Does One Know How to Package Themselves?

Can someone please help me bring these things together more? Or maybe they’re not supposed to and I just need to pick one to focus on (hence, the thoughts of possibly focusing just on photography now.) I’ve always thought the best idea was to have a website where everything could be rolled into one ~ My faith, poetry (mostly Christian based), photography (including erotica), travel, life stories (which are pretty horrible), blessings and lessons learned (encouraging, edifying, positive, and helpful), book sales, individual sponsorships/fundraising, speaking videos, etc. But, then again, perhaps not…    

The Dilemma

It just doesn’t seem to all flow together yet. It feels like I’ve lived these separate lives and in ways, I have. Yet, whenever I speak, it all seems to come together perfectly. I’m much more effective and helpful to people in person too it seems. But once again, even within the speaking arena, I don’t have any set speech or anything either like most speakers do ~ They will tell a story with a beginning, middle and end like a presentation, but I don’t. It’s the same with writing the book ~ I just don’t know how to put a story together that way. I also speak with so many different types of groups that I never know what I’m going to say until we get started (hence, the nerves!) Instead, I get a feeling for who I’m with and what they’re needs are, then I’m able to find things which will be relatable and appropriate for whatever it is we need to deal with. So many people keep saying what a gift it is to be able to do that, but it feels more like a curse at times and can be rather frustrating.

Basically, I just don’t know how to make the transition from beginning, to middle, to end. It isn’t my strength. Also, the longer I blog or try to self promote, the more it feels like whining about our problems online and that’s not how this is supposed to go. I think that happens just because of trying to keep up content flow, but I still don’t like it. And I probably do make for a better content specialist than a PR specialist, as I obviously love to write and ramble on, lol!

This is where the web guy is waiting for my call now. What do I want with the new sites? I know what kind of platform I’m after and what I hope to achieve, but I don’t know how to pull it all together. That’s why I tried separating everything into different websites too, but that didn’t work well either. Or maybe I create and manage an online magazine of sorts which includes not only my stuff, but invites others to join as well (now that sounds interesting!)

*I need someone who can help look at all my strengths and weaknesses
and figure out how to make the best use of where I’m at now.

What it’s Like

Imagine, if you will… Suddenly losing your family (in essence, an empty-nester), you have no spouse, your physically unable to maintain a 15 year career due to health issues (for the 2nd time, no less, due to a rare eye and neurological disease), PLUS you lose (or gave up) your home, life’s belongings and even your pets! That’s a whole lot of loss in a very short time and what I’ve been going through these last couple of years. Not surprisingly, I experienced the denial, grief and anger stages, but it’s time to move on. For as much as one can try to prepare, I’ve had to learn how to embrace all these changes at once. It’s as if I lost my entire life… One positive part about it all is that once I gain some direction and focus again, I’m all in and go nuts!

whiskey scotchMakes me want to order a stiff one… And I don’t even drink!

*I’d absolutely appreciate and love hearing your ideas, advice, or direction you may have!
Please feel free to
email as well, if you rather keep things private.

The time is finally here where new websites are being sponsored and built-in which, I couldn’t be more grateful, but now I have to figure out how to put it all together or exactly what it is that I want to do. It seems funny to have waited so long, only to have lost(?) or not be able to answer people’s questions regarding what I need now.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?
With appreciation and gratitude,
I look forward to hearing from you!

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32 Comments on “Am I in need of a Branding Expert, Marketing Expert, PR Specialist, Life Coach, Editor, or perhaps… Just a Whiskey Scotch on the Rocks?”

  1. Naphtali Says:

    Jessie, as one who can relate in many areas it sounds to me you need a break from it all and simply get alone with God and His word. By that I mean more than a few hours or days. Life gets jumbled and we can’t hear ourselves think much less hear God speak. Reading your words I can sense a need for u to find peace in all you want to accomplish but God wants us all to get close to Him, quietly and simply. Allow God to sort this all out.


  2. Rasma R Says:

    For reasons that often my thoughts get all jumbled and sometimes I have so many ideas and other times so little I chose to create my blogs with themes. So I have a poetry blog, an armchair travel blog, an animal blog and a music blog. With these I post at least twice a week and I know exactly what I am going to post. Post things that might amaze people or give them different ideas and add photos and videos. Lots you can do.


    • Jessie Jeanine Says:

      That’s really cool and a great way to help sort through all the chaos we sometimes have inside our heads! I’ve seen where lots of people have multiple sights like that, but never understood how they could self maintain them all without having other writers contributing as well. It would be much easier for me to post photography on a regular basis I think just because it takes me SO long to write a post. I love writing, but it can take me awhile to get things formulated, so it has seemed impossible to keep up more than one site at a time, especially after including all the networking and social media too. I do wish I were quicker and more fluent at it though. Or perhaps I’m just too much of a perfectionist, lol! Actually, it’s one of the things that’s making me consider collaborating with other people more ~ That I might try to recruit other contributors to the new site once we switch over. That would help shift the focus too!


  3. MJF Images Says:

    I’m in the same place really. I think we all experience losses as we get older, and for many of us they seem to just pile on all at once. I’m crappy at p.r. too, and not a great organizer. It seems you should focus on what you’re already good at and just get better at those. You obviously relate well in person to people. Good luck!


    • Jessie Jeanine Says:

      Yes… Often times, when it rains it pours! And it seems funny to be so great at PR for everyone else, but not for myself (probably has something to do with that self-esteem thing though.) I agree with focusing on the things we’re already great at and just getting better at them ~ It’s all about how to make money and earn a living while doing that though. I appreciate your comment!


  4. Carol Balawyder Says:

    You’ve certainly been through a lot, Jessie Jeanine.All these losses can certainly make a girl stronger!

    It seems that you have a real passion for photography:
    “I’ve got a library of photographs just waiting to be published! It’s what I wanted to start with originally…”
    Take one step at a time and keep going.XX


    • Jessie Jeanine Says:

      They say, He never gives us more than we can handle… Sometimes, I just wish He didn’t think I could handle so much. I’m sure there’s plenty of people who can relate to that one though, lol!

      Yes, a passion for photography is something I didn’t even know existed until I was a teenager and it’s been there ever since. Much more than ‘writing a book’ ever was (although, not more than freelance writing or poetry.) Writing a book just came about after hearing so many people request and encourage it after speaking engagements. It’s also something talk shows and movie directors want you to have in place, but now that the offers for TV have come this year (even without the book yet) I’m not sure it’s a direction I’m passionate about. My love for the truth, writing, being creative, and taking pictures has always made me think of journalism in a way though and it’s how I describe my shooting style as well. Just never had the opportunity to go back to school for that or anything, but thanks to the world wide web and digital media, it doesn’t seem one has to hold a degree to become accomplished or successful in this field either. I love to encourage and give hope through creative means too!

      So, these things have finally led to choosing a new webdesign template this week that I’m super excited about switching over to in the near future :) It’s going to require a lot more content (magazine style) but feels like something I’m supposed to do and how I envisioned approaching this from the beginning, so it’s time to just go for it and see what happens! If I wait any longer to have all the pieces in place or try to figure things out, I’m afraid it’s never going to happen, lol!
      ♥ Warm hugs Carol and thanks!


      • Carol Balawyder Says:

        Oh, this is such good news, Jessie Jeanine. You’re so right about not waiting to have all the pieces in place because that is unrealistic and is never going to happen. The pieces will fall into place one step at a time.
        I also don’t think that you need to go back to school…so many people who have done such great accomplishments didn’t have degrees. And very often a formal education can stifle your creativity.
        Follow your heart and where your passion lies.
        And if it feels like something you’re supposed to do..then listen to it.
        Remember also that there are all kinds of books…even books on photography and inspiration.
        Good luck and I’m looking forward to seeing your new webdesign. <3


  5. Lilka Raphael Says:

    I can relate to so much in your head, all the things you want to do and how to place each in its proper space. I wish I had an answer for you. But sometimes when I am very still, God will give me that “next step” so at least I know I’m headed in the right direction even if I don’t know exactly where I’m going. I’m confident you’ll figure it out!


  6. Joe Says:

    Sometimes if you have either a servant or artist soul it is difficult to make it all work financially all at once. Sometimes you do something else that is not your passion to pay the bills but it allows you to do what is important as you make time and gradually build the life you’re led to. The trick is not getting trapped in the drudgery of it all .

    As Jackson Browne said:

    “Gotta do what you can just to keep your love alive
    Trying not to confuse it with what you do to survive…”

    Not much help I’m sure but we all work through this mystery, and unfortunately many if not most, let their dreams die along the way.


    • Jessie Jeanine Says:

      This is exactly the type of advice and discussion I hoped writing this post would bring, so thank you!

      My soul is definitely that of a creative servant; and doing what you’ve said is how I’ve always approached this. Perhaps that’s why I”m not too picky about which path gets me to the goal, as long as it’s something I can believe in and support. I’ve instilled in my daughter throughout her life that we must do what we to in order to get where we want to go.

      I’m afraid being trapped in the drudgery of it all is where I’ve been for awhile, and I’ve certainly come close to giving up my dreams along the way, but those things are slowly beginning to change now (this has been a 4 year process so, ya-hoo!) Therefore, if opportunities seem to be opening up and things are finally coming together, why do I feel like everything’s so out of control? Things are growing/changing/moving up yet, I feel like they’re spread out all over the place and I don’t know which direction to take them in now. Does that make sense? BTW, I absolutely LOVE your quote!! Not sure I’ve heard that one before.


  7. silentlyheardonce Says:

    You covered a lot in this one post. Why not try focusing on one point at one time and feel it out and see where it leads you. Or like so many other bloggers devote different days to your various intrests. I lost my old life twice. House and all possessions, pet, man (my choice) this included old writing and family pictures that still stings after 10 years. The 8 years ago my health and that has its own set of loss. All the best and I hope you figure it out.


    • Jessie Jeanine Says:

      Devoting a different day to varied interests is a neat idea, so thank you. When I want to, I”m able to find enough time to put into all those interest and share them here, but the main probably has seemed to be that they don’t all go together. The website doesn’t seem to flow well (perhaps it’s only a design thing) when I’ve jumped around from one interest to the other like that (from poetry, to religion, to photography, to travel, to advice for victims of abuse, to writing stories of abuse, to creating inspirational posts, etc… See what I mean?)

      Having to reinvent ourselves can be tough! I’m sorry for all you’ve endured as well and can understand the sting you speak of. In reality, I’ve had to do it so many times, but having to start over was always so easy and not really a big deal ~ I got really good at it actually! But, perhaps the point has come when ‘the older you are, the hard it gets’ is finally in play. Thanks for visiting and I hope things come together more for you as well!


      • silentlyheardonce Says:

        Thanks for your well wishes. I understand. We are multi dimensional and want to express all those parts of us. For me, like you say is an age thing. I don’t know how much time I have left and want to complete several projects. Wishing you the best.


  8. Jude Says:

    Lots of varied and interesting thoughts on this blog. It will all come together for you!


  9. Doraz Says:

    You have a great blog. You can see that you have FUN! Keep blogging and have a great year! :)


  10. Patrick Says:

    Moving on is no doubt the most difficult task on your list. I know because I am there. I’ve decided to view the end as an opportunity to start fresh. As for thoughts, declutter first than decide what you really want to be. The rest should fall into place. That may sound glib, but it has worked for me in my first career (just shy of 35 years) and my moving forward in my new journey.


    • Jessie Jeanine Says:

      Hmmmm… I had to laugh when I read your first sentence, because that certainly nails it! At least I’m not crying anymore (well, not on most days anyways, lol!)

      So, ‘deciding’ what I want to be when I grow up is the real stumbling block. I have to find something to really feel passionate about again. Once I had my girl, the only thing I ever really cared about or that made me feel truly worthwhile was being a mom. That was my purpose and the greatest responsibility I’ll ever have, and I’ve got the same feelings about being a wife someday too, but outside of that I’m not sure I really care too much. Everything else that’s happened in life has just been a blessing or a lesson along the way, but nothing else (besides being an evangelist) has really felt like a ‘purpose’ or like I was born to do it. Know what I mean? I’m much better at knowing what I don’t want to do, lol! The most I seem to be able to come up with is wanting to help people and make a difference, but I’m not too picky about which path gets me there anymore… Or at least, not at the moment. I seem to know when the right kind of opportunity presents itself though, because I don’t hesitate to jump at that point.

      *On second thought… Having survived everything, so God can use my story to help others has definitely felt purposeful. For, if those things aren’t being used to help others, then what was the point of surviving them? So, that path definitely seems to be core in my life ~ I just struggle with how else to package it and use it. I’ve also always thought I’d be sharing the stage by now with a significant other too, there by, making the journey easier and more complete in a lot of ways. But… perhaps my spirit has always been off where that details concerned, lol!

      And forgive me for rambling… Just trying to process and unclutter what used to seem so simple :) I sure appreciate your comments and visits Patrick, so thank you! It’s good to get the wheels turning again!!


      • Patrick Says:

        I have the gift of listening so I do not see you as rambling. You have many good thoughts. I especially like your idea of using your story to help others. As a Christian, divorce was not even on the radar. It not only took me by surprise but also my family and friends. I was unable to find anything to prepare me for what was ahead. I have been sharing what I have learned through my very limited posts on key points. I have also discovered the disconnect between Family Law and the church. God may dislike divorce but he also says to obey the governing authorities. The proverbial rock and a hard place. I have found that there is also no grace in many denominations for divorced people, even if one is the respondent. Just my experience and thoughts.


        • Jessie Jeanine Says:

          Thanks Patrick and I hear ya. Divorce has always been my greatest shame. I’m sorry for what you’ve had to go through as well ~ Sounds like it’s been tough. I agree with the lack of grace amongst many denominations for divorcee’s too… Unfortunately, it’s that way with so many real life issues we often struggle with. It’s not right. Too many have it all backwards, for it’s not our place to judge, and too many good souls have left the church (and God) because of it. One of my stories is about being married to a pastor who was diagnosed with NPD, abandoned us to live in our 2nd house, became physically aggressive, and he wanted a divorce yet, the congregation shunned me and my daughter after giving them 5 years of service as an evangelist, because I granted his wish (I even refused a pretty sweet ‘offer’ by the church if I just wouldn’t sign the papers, even though they agreed where the issues lay and that it would only continue to get worse.) It’s ok though, because while I don’t believe God likes divorce, I also know he doesn’t want us to be subject to abuse in any way either. And is it really any worse to divorce than it is to remain living a lie by staying in an unhealthy or unfulfilling relationship? God loves us and wants us to be happy, so while we are to be long suffering and slow to anger, that doesn’t mean we’re supposed to tolerate being mistreated or are doomed to a life of misery either. After getting so caught up in all the legalities for so long, I’m strictly non-denominational now, but even then, finding another congregation seems to be tough. Most times I can feel the condemnation for being a single mom come before the introductions are even over. You’re struggle sounds rather recent, but good to hear you’ve been trying to help others with it too.


          • Patrick Says:

            Your story sounds very familiar yet different, Jessie Jeanine. I agree that God does not want us to stay in a abusive relationship, whether it be physical or emotional. My ex-wife (still not use to the term) went through breast cancer and did not emerge very happy. All of her anger (at God; the doctors; the medical system; how she felt after the whole process) was directed at me and continues even as I journey into year three after her walking out. My doctors advised me that I was in a emotionally abusive marriage. But I could not go against my vows of “for better or worse, sickness and in health”. My ex-wife was/is emotionally unstable due to her treatment for breast cancer and unwillingness to accept help. One of my doctors summed it up the best (she also happens to be the most knowledgeable person on this planet who fully understands the dynamic): “Knowing your character, if you had filed for divorce you would have carried the guilt of divorcing your sick (mentally) wife. The fact she filed for divorce, you can now go and live your life free of that guilt”. That single statement from a trusted doctor touched the very core of my being. Accepting a divorce was still not an easy thing to do.

            Other than handful of friends, my former church family has forgotten about me. Even the organisation I served for 14 years (BSF International) threw me under the bus when my ex-wife spread lies concerning my character, even though I provided the court documents to prove the accusations were untrue. Pope Francis’ statement recently about not shunning divorced people in the Catholic church goes to show how widespread the problem is within the Christian community. Pope Francis is the only church leader who seems to understand the complexity of how divorce impacts the individual. Family Law has voided the Christian doctrine concern divorce. *Now that would be a subject worth tackling. Even through I am moving on, there is a great fear concerning a second marriage. There is no way I would ever want to go through the process of dissolution and the shock wave it creates through one’s social fabric. Then again, when I got married the first time, divorce was not an option for both of us. Better to choose to be happy than accept living in misery. Life is too short not to have joy.


            • Jessie Jeanine Says:

              I agree that it can be tough to find churches who don’t discriminate against things like divorce, race, sex, and politics or where people don’t judge us just because we sin differently than they do. However, they are out there. Often times, it’s made me want to start a congregation or church of my own (and I’ve been asked, lol!) where perhaps the only prerequisite is that one has to be divorced, imprisoned, gay, a single parent, a troubled teen, a foster kid, politically incorrect, etc! It just makes you think… Especially after being shunned or dismissed by the very people who you thought held the same core values as you. That’s what I love about evangelizing ~ It’s all about meeting people where they’re at!

              I can relate to and understand your fears and reservations regarding ever having a second marriage. I suppose personally, I just want it too bad not to let that stop me. I’m not going to let an experience, which may have ended poorly, rob me of what God says I can have. I wouldn’t ever give up all the good which came from those situations just in order to avoid the bad (no matter how terrible it really was.) I learned early on never to let ‘man’ rob me of my faith and belief of all that is good. It takes time my friend and isn’t easy, but you can love and trust again!


  11. Yuriy Ku Says:

    All you need is love.



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