Welcome! So you want to know a bit more about me personally? Awesome! Ever wondered, “Who is this person I am working/thinking about working with really? What are they all about?” Well, here is the place to find all that info. Enjoy!
No one in my family is surprised that I ended up with a gift for storytelling. Not one that is, accept for me. I still pinch myself that this is what I do. You see, I have traveled the world trying to figure out who and what I am. I have always known that I’m creative but never could put my finger on what kind.
It’s a special kind of torture to be good at most anything you try. I have been:
- Age 15 – Actor – Performed in numerous plays and productions in my local theater
- Age 16 – Award Winning, International Hair Model
- Age 17 – Host, Waitress, line cook and bar back. (I was a terrible waitress)
- Age 18 – Award winning cosmologists (won 5th place in the world for student men’s hair in Berlin, Germany with 2 weeks training for the Hair Olympics. Yes, that is an actual thing.)
- Age 19 Corporate headhunter for Oracle, Peoplesoft, PricewaterhoseCoopers and Arthur Anderson etc
- Age 21 – Manager for a large t-shirt screen printing shop (yes I understand Pantone colors, ink and how to make a screen)
- Age 22 – Graphic Artist – I started in Corel Draw back in the day for color separation and have since learned the Adobe suite
- Age 23 – Tech for an audio/visual company assisting with productions for billionaires like Bill Edwards (Mortgage Mogul in FL)
- Age 24 – Manager for a powder coating company/industrial warehouse (a dry type of paint that is baked onto the part in large ovens)
- Age 24 – Painter – I tried my hand at acrylic on canvas and painting on glass. Could not keep a piece in my house for more than a week before someone offered to buy it
- Age 25 – Booking manager/event planner – I did this successfully for my band throughout the years.
- Age 26 – Musician/Singer/Songwriter (have graced the pages of Rolling Stone Magazine and played to crowds of over 10k people)
- Age 27 – Video editor – I needed to learn this to produce videos for my band
- Age 28 – Recording Artist (recorded an album with Sylvia Shivey in Weed, CA after 2 self released titles)
- Age 30 – Writer- After leaving the band I needed to do something so I tried my hand at writing on Elance and have since Ghost written over 12 books, and countless blogs, articles, handouts and web copy of every variety.
- Age 32 – Coffee shop owner – Rented and ran a summer business selling coffee, pastries and gifts. Restaurants are hard. I don’t recommend them lol
- Age 33- Web Developer – I have always created my own websites but I began to be asked to do it for people, so I stuck to WordPress and honed my skills.
- Age 34 – Organic Marketing sales & consulting – What can I say? It just makes sense to me!
- Age 35 – Writer -Still writing for choice client’s, all from referrals and Elance (where I still have 51, 5 star reviews)
- Age 36 – Opened my own web development company specializing in WordPress
This is the short list if you can believe that. I have done much more but this is a good snapshot. After a long journey I have finally settled on branding expert/story-crafter. I still run a WordPress development company but this is where my artist lives and thrives. I find this type of work particularly effortless.
Funny Traits That Surprise People
I am much older than I look physically ( I still get carded for movies sometimes) and much younger than the average person my age in spirit. Sometimes, when I feel like someone is not taking me seriously or reading me incorrectly I resort to breaking out my ID.
A few years back I hired (a now friend) named Sam that was 10 years younger than me. He had an amazing amount of natural talent but needed some guidance. As I was showing him the ropes of writing and what I needed him to do, he kept getting this funny look on his face and when pressed about it, finally admitted to me that I made him feel bad.
When I asked him why, he told me that I seemed so much further along than him that it made him feel like he was doomed and should just give up now. I suppressed a smile and said (in an even tone as possible), “Well, I can understand your frustration Sam, but I do have 10 years on you. I certainly hope I have it more together than you.”
Insert blank stare here from Sam.
“No. No way! Prove it!” he retorted.
Now I couldn’t hold back the smile any longer. I dug into my purse and produced my drivers licence.
I will never forget the look on his face or what he said next. The look was somewhere between excitement, amazement and horror.
“So, I mean, holy crap.” he shuddered. “Don’t take this the wrong way but you’re OLD! I mean, uh, older than I thought but man that makes me feel better. Now I don’t feel so behind!”
“We’ll good Sam. I’m glad that helps. Now can we get back to work please?”
For the youthful spirit, I attribute that to the fact that I have always followed my dreams, not matter how hard, difficult or down right nerve wracking. People underestimate me a lot when they meet me for the fist time in an informal setting and I kind of enjoy that. I’m not sure why, whether it is my outgoing personality, my enthusiasm or general kindness, but many people reveal to me later that they thought I was a sweet, simple girl when they first met me. This is particularly funny in the delivery of the back handed compliment that usually begins the following way.
THEM: “Ya know, you are actually really smart Steph!”
ME: “Um, thanks?”
THEM: *Shifting uncomfortably* “Well, It’s just when we first met I thought your were really nice and all but…”
ME: *sigh* “Well, you will be happy to know that you are not alone in your initial take on me. Don’t worry, you are not the first to make this discovery!”
I was born in Frankfort, Maine in a log cabin that my parents build by hand but I was raised in Standish, Maine on a large hill overlooking Sebago Lake in an 1890’s converted hunting lodge. My mother always produced the majority of vegetables for out family from her organic garden and the first time I bought a tomato from a store I tried to return it because I thought there was something wrong with it. I kindly explained to the woman that tomatoes should not taste like plastic and inquired about their growing medium. I was met with a quizzical look but she did return the tomatoes without further scrutiny, however, subsequent purchases remained equally disheartening.
I was a curious child that formal education could not tame. My father and many teachers called me a “space cadet” because I simply could not stop daydreaming. I grew up with the odd personality mix of being a bit bossy, introverted, curious and precocious. I would sit at the front of the class, raise my hand all the time and argue with the teachers when an answer did not seem correct or sufficient. (This behavior did not have the desired friend-making effect on would wish for.)
I made straight A’s and completely lost it the first time I got a B. “But Stephanie,” my mother tried, “you have skipped an entire grade! Getting a B is VERY good.” But her kind words fell on deaf ears. I remained inconsolable.
Rebel Without a Clue
This was another one of my father’s favorite things to say about me as a teenager. By 12 my parents had divorced and we went from being a middle class household to being extremely poor. I mean government peanut butter, Good Will for school clothes poor. The curious part of that was that I barely noticed at first.
It was not until a few incidents that I began to understand. The first was having boxes of food and a turkey delivered to my door by a charity on Thanksgiving day. I thought it a bit odd but didn’t question it too much. Perhaps I had just never noticed that this was how thanksgiving had always been? But the real red flag came when I received a gift from “Santa” one year. I opened it to find a pair of earnings that I had made in class to help “the poor”. Ironic huh?
Also, because I was raised on organic and “health” food, (we’re talking apples and oranges in the Christmas stocking and buckwheat pancakes for special breakfast folks) I developed a particular craving or all forms of white bread. Years later, my husband’s mother still tells the story of how I used to come over (my husband and I met when I was 15) and ask for a piece of white bread, thanking her profusely when she would give me one. (This was a BIG no-no in my house).
For the life of her she could not figure out why this odd, skinny, little girl was so fascinated with plain- ol’ white bread. The truth is that I didn’t have many friends or get out much and I was ALWAYS hungry. And yes, I still think white bread is a no-no food and devour it plain when I’m at a guests house. I eat it with a huge grin, and of course, thank my host profusely. I guess old habits die hard.
The lifestyle change was dramatic and the volatility of my parent’s never-ending custody battle drove me deeper into seclusion. I began to miss a lot of school. I got walking pneumonia, Mono and chicken pocks all in the same time frame, so I mostly stayed in my room that year and began writing and painting to find solace.
I do not envy my teachers at that time. When I finally went back to school, if I was difficult before I was a monster now. I challenged the way the school was run, refused to do assignments that made no sense and crafted ways to earn back the marks I missed for refused assignments with extra credit work I would invent/barter. I even began correcting test questions before I would hand them in. (I would mark the test in red ink with notes on how to improve the question).
I eventually became so disenchanted with the public education system that I suggested to my mother that I would do better as an autodidact. She agreed and took me out of public school so that I could study on my own. She got me a pile of books I wanted from the USM used book store and I think I must have read for a year straight.
I took a high school equivalency exam at 16 (at my father’s insistence) and then entertained the thought of attending college. USM said they would be happy to have me but after a bit of inquiry on how they chose their staff and the rules that the administration were governed by I decided not to repeat the experience of the bureaucratic nightmare that schools had become.
I’t was not long after that I packed up all my belongings and moved to Florida. It was there that I enrolled for school as a cosmetologist and met the first of many mentors, Michael Della Penna. He would lead me to hair modeling, gold metals and world travel. The rest is history and encapsulated by that long “I have been…” list above.
Working With Me
True to an artist’s form, I work as a muse to pull the best from my customers and reflect it back in my writing. My ways are unconventional. I’m quirky and curious and will ask you all kinds of odd questions that may seem out of place at the time. I have learned to trust my intuition however and it always leads me well. I’m lighthearted, quick to laugh and reserved in my judgments. I’m an excellent communicator and deliver amazing work over and over again. I really love what I do and it shows in the final product.
I have always been a fan of community building, strong leadership and impossible goals. If it would take 10,000 people working together to accomplish it, count me in! in 2013 I discovered a community that made my heart go pitter-patter within the ranks of the GDC (Game developers conference). What do you do when you are highly creative, too smart for your own good, interested in everything and want to build communities? Endeavor to become a game developer I suppose.
Game development encapsulates all of my loves, talents, skills and desires under one roof. The game I am creating is a labor of love and I have no idea how to do it but I love the challenge and I love every aspect of it. I get to write/story craft, plan big picture type stuff (use my analytical brain), recruit a team to help me and tinker with ideas/solutions to problems. In essence, I can create my own world and invite others to play by my rules. Is there anything better? I think not!
I am also writing an autobiography. I have written many books for others but none in my own name. It is harder to write for yourself. A lot harder but the exercise is good and when people become curious about how I do what I do, I would love to share my experiences with them.
Here are some fun quick facts about me:
Favorite Saying: “Gnothi Seuton”, my personal motto. It stands for “know thyself” and that is no easy thing to accomplish.
Favorite Quote: I have modified it a bit but it goes something like this “For every 1,000 striking at the leaves of a problem, there is one striking at the root.”
Favorite Pastimes: Avid computer gamer, reading, gardening, painting, group oriented activities, inventing things, language
People that Impress Me: Eban Pagan, Charles Schwab, Ghandi, The Dali Lama, Seth Godin, Jennifer Lawrence, Plato, Leonardo Davinci, Greg Palast, Hunter S. Thompson, Neil Gaiman, Mya Angelou, Anais Nin, Anthony Robbins, Jay Abraham, J.J Abrams and Douglas Adams.
Awards & Accolades: Won 5th in the world for student’s Men’s hair at the International Hair Olympic (yes, that’s a thing), have graced the pages of Rolling Stone Magazine as a Singer/Songwriter for my band, won many poetry and karaoke contests, have written books for Emmy winners.
Favorite Projects: I love to write people’s stories, write books and interview people.
Favorite Color: Green
Unusual Things I have Tried or Actively Doing:
- I have gone over a waterfall clinging to an inner-tube with a life vest (both came off from the water pressure).
- I have written to the navy to inquire how much it would be to rent an aircraft carrier in all seriousness. Surprisingly, they did not reply…
- I have stood at a bar table and been asked to sing songs for professional Blue Jays players while they peeled off $100 bills to hear the next song.
- I have saved a strangers life.
- I have gotten lost, alone, on foot in Mexico
- I have nearly been run over by a giant, angry Austrian man in a tiny red car…in Austria
- I have eaten fire.
- I have performed an editorial news report on TV
- I have accidentally walked in to Collective Soul’s trailer while getting ready to open for them and Amy Lee. (They were very nice about it)
- I have visited nearly all the 48 contiguous US states.
- I have helped carve a pair of 20 foot elephants out of Styrofoam blocks.
- I have entered and won karaoke contests as a dare. (the $500 prize didn’t hurt.)
- I have made my own medicinal tinctures from herbs, roots and alcohol.
- Every year I fill my porch up with over 200 vegetable seedlings that I grow and given them away to the community. ( I do offer a contribution cup that is voluntary and always receive more than the cost of the time, seeds, cups and dirt back for my efforts. People rock!)
Thanks for reading! Have a question, want to make a comment? Write me at Steph@stephaniemonty.com or leave a comment below.