YPDaily: Tales From a Bar Stool

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
Tales From a Bar Stool was created by me and a friend (who has recently retired from the site) as a way to share the adventures we had and lessons we learned while sitting on bar stools. It was, in large part, dating focussed and about meeting men, but as our lives developed and changed over the past three years, the tales have morphed into a platform that encourages people to socialize, connect and truly live life (while still staying sassy).

I want the tales to inspire readers to meet more people. To talk openly to others, to have fun, to be playful, to stop hiding out in turtle shells. You never know where life will take you by talking to just one new person. Stranger doesn’t always equal danger, I don’t care what your mother told you.

Outside of Tales, I’m a freelance writer and marketing / social media consultant helping brands tell their stories.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Tales started because we were having the kinds of nights that made us shake our heads in wonder the next day. Basically, we were blown away by people’s social skills (or lack of) and by the eclectic characters we would meet. Our friends convinced us to write about it… and Tales from a Bar Stool was born. I’ve always loved writing and have written in a diary since I was 12 (shhh… under lock and key), and it just makes sense to write stories for other people to read.

In 2011, after years working in the corporate world, I decided that 9 to 5 wasn’t for me – that environment really didn’t mesh how I want to live. And voila! The freelance life.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I get to write and people actually read it. I think that’s basically every writer’s dream – to have an audience. But also, having a voice that hopefully has the potential to encourage others to talk more and meet more people is hugely satisfying. People are the fuel in one’s life – everyone has a story worth listening to. Another best part: the fact that I have freedom every day; that I’m not in an office sucking in recycled air.

The most challenging part is the instability. The realization that I am accountable to myself… that I now have to hustle for myself. Which, in a way, is also the exciting part. Also challenging, is trying to please everyone when I write. But the reality is, I can’t please everyone. At the end of the day, it’s just my opinion and not everyone will agree with it. Oh! …And the anonymity debate rears its pretty little head quite often. To stay hidden or not…

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I love this question. I’ve just bought into the whole envisioning and manifesting phenomenon, and realize how key it is in accomplishing goals. So… five years… hmmm… I want to be traveling the world and covering major events for various publications and brands. Not writing the “who’s who” gossip style column which is so grossly abundant, but writing about how people interact, what the atmosphere is like, the tales people share – focus on the storytelling angle. I also want to write a novel and adapt Tales into a screenplay. Dream come true.

What does success look like to you?
Success is seeing dreams manifest. It’s being able to pursue and live out my dreams on a daily basis. To be successful in a job that doesn’t feel like a job. And ultimately, it’s the satisfaction of influencing other people to truly live. If I can help just one person lead a better life and inject some happiness into their day to day, that would put a smile on my face.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The day I looked fear eye to eye (with wobbly knees) and made the decision to leave my desk job. I never ever regret that moment, even amongst all the challenges of being self-employed. That moment changed my life, my outlook and my happiness. It’s like a switch turned on in my soul. Getting picked up by The Province Newspaper was also a huge turning point where we realized, “Hmm… maybe we really have something here.”

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Never give up! If you are passionate about something, do it. Do everything you can to make it happen. Those who succeed, are the ones who don’t give up through the tough times.

Talk to everyone. Share your story and your dreams. You never know who may be listening and who can help. Or conversely, who you can help.

Stay curious. It didn’t really kill the cat.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
There are so many great ones! The Canadian Diabetes Association is important to me as diabetes is prevalent in my family. I’m also really inspired by what Imagine1Day is doing for children in Ethiopia.

In terms of unofficial charity, there’s an extremely talented busker on the corner of Alberni and Burrard Streets who plays the most beautiful music on his violin while his dog sits at his feet. I can’t pass without giving him something. I encourage everyone to stop and listen to him. I’d love to hear his story.

What is Notable to you?
Having the guts and drive to change your life. To help others without expecting anything in return.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
I’m a recent iPhone convert from Blackberry, and I’ll never go back!