I am Big Joe the Storyteller.  That is who I have been now for 20 years.  Since my marriage back in 2008 I have been a storyteller with no other job than this.  I have been my own boss for all this time which is equal parts blessing and curse.  The blessing part is I get to call the shots, don’t have to answer to anyone (other than my clients and my other boss which is my wife lol) and control where I go and what I do.  The curse part is I have no one to answer to, and control where I go and what I do.

I am very talented when it comes to the creative side of my job.  I love reading stories, writing stories, and of course telling stories.  When I am in front of an audience telling tales and I have them in the palm of my hand, there is no greater feeling in the world.  I love making people (especially very young people) happy and entertaining them with tales.  Getting laughs and seeing smiles feeds my soul.  I am not in all this for the ego and the “look at me” aspect of things, I am in it to serve the audience and entertain them with the tales I tell.  My goal is to reach as many people as possible and share my stories with them.

That fact, is why the being your own boss part is a curse.  While I am great at “being” a storyteller, I have had a rough time “managing” a storyteller.  I came into this career with zero business skills.  I was a preschool teacher before this and while that experience helped me in a creative sense (I knew how to entertain young children), it did not prepare me for running a business.  Marketing, record keeping, invoicing, contracts, and all the other aspects that are involved in business were beyond my frame of knowledge.  I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and it was a struggle to learn what I needed to learn.

I had help along the way, including my mom, my wife and various people who assisted me in different ways.  There was one woman who for a very brief period was my manager.  She ran my schedule, took a cut of the revenue and all I had to do was perform.  That to me is a dream scenario.  I tell people all the time with my business I am both organ grinder and monkey (I turn the crank and I dance) and I would much prefer to just be the monkey.  If someone could run the business part and I could just focus on the storytelling part that would be amazing.

However unless I find someone like that, the burden is on me as it has been for a long time.  Despite my lack of knowledge and skill,  I have done pretty okay with dealing with the burden.  I have been learning on the job and have gotten better as I have gone forward.  I am at the point now where I am regularly reaching and exceeding my financial goals for the year (and truth be told the goals are way more than a man with stories and puppets should be reaching), and I am able to market myself and deal with all the paperwork etc, pretty well. Basically I can what I am doing now at the level I am doing it and be fine. However it is the future that concerns me!

There are lots of goals I want to reach, and projects I want to do in the future that have so far gone unreached and undone.  As I said earlier, my intention is to share my stories with as many people as possible.  I have a lot of thoughts on how to make that happen.  The problem is there is still only one of me.  I am able to keep my current situation running well, but I don’t have the time nor the knowledge to make all my thoughts into realities.

So as 2018 arrives and I am 2 years away from hitting the round numbered age of 50, I have decided to go on a quest to reach my goals.  I have spent far too long grousing and complaining about my problems (as evidenced by the preceding paragraphs) and far too little time solving them.  I have let my successful current situation lull me into a state of complacency and a lack of urgency.  Now with time ticking by (and as the saying goes I’m not getting any younger), I need to snap myself out of my lull, quit whining about things and start doing something!  To help me along, I have purchased a countdown clock to count down to January 1, 2020 when I will be in my 50th year (will turn 50 that November but I wanted to give this a round number).  It will be a constant reminder of the time passing, which will keep me motivated and keep me on course.

As for that course, I don’t know where it will take me or how I will get there.  I know the thoughts and plans I have, but for some of them I have no clue how to usher them into reality.  I do know however that sitting here complaining about that fact will not get the problem solved.  So I need to work, sacrifice, take chances, think outside the cliched box and be all I can be.   I don’t know if in two years I will reach all or even some (or even one) of my goals, but I won’t know unless I try.

At the moment, I have 729 days till the alarm on that clock goes off.  I hope when it rings I will be closer to where I want to be than I am sitting here January 1st 2018 freezing my tail off (it is 7 degrees outside at the moment!)


Thank you for reading this! Currently this blog is available through my website and at the moment I think I am the only one reading it.  Who knows maybe after my site is redone (that is one of my goals) and with some effort this blog (or maybe someday a podcast – another goal) will be heard and read my more than little old me!

Cheers to a New Year!

Big Joe 🙂

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