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Mental Health Advocate, Author, and Mom – Meet Stacy Ross | Ep #143

May 14, 2024

Mental Health Advocate, Author, and Mom – Meet Stacy Ross | Ep #143 Join host Shannon Russell in this poignant episode of the Second Act Success Podcast as she sits down with author Stacy Ross to delve into her deeply personal memoir, “Searching For Slippers.” Stacy, a former marketing professional turned writer, opens up about […]

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Mental Health Advocate, Author, and Mom – Meet Stacy Ross | Ep #143

Join host Shannon Russell in this poignant episode of the Second Act Success Podcast as she sits down with author Stacy Ross to delve into her deeply personal memoir, “Searching For Slippers.”

Stacy, a former marketing professional turned writer, opens up about her journey from corporate life to the challenging yet rewarding path of motherhood. She candidly shares her experiences raising a child with borderline personality disorder, shedding light on the emotional rollercoaster, the struggles, and the moments of resilience that define her story.

Stacy discusses the unexpected pivot in her career during the pandemic, which led her to finally pursue her long-held dream of writing her memoir. She shares insights into her collaboration with her publisher and the transformative process of turning her raw experiences into a compelling narrative.

Stacy reflects on the themes of acceptance, resilience, and finding lightness in the midst of darkness. The title of her memoir, “Searching For Slippers,” serves as a poignant metaphor for the elusive quest for peace and normalcy in the face of life’s challenges.

This episode is a must-listen for anyone navigating the complexities of parenthood, mental illness, or embarking on a journey of self-discovery. Join us as we celebrate Stacy’s courage, vulnerability, and the power of storytelling to inspire hope and healing.

Mental Health Advocate, Author, and Mom – Stacy Ross


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Second Act Success Career Podcast
Season 1 - Mental Health Advocate, Author, and Mom - Meet Stacy Ross | Ep #143
Episode - #143
Host: Shannon Russell
Guest: Stacy Ross
Transcription (*created by Descript and may not be perfectly accurate)

[00:00:00] Stacy Ross: there are upwards of 17 million parents and caregivers out there of children and adults with mental illness, which is hard to believe since it's really the most isolating experience you can imagine.

So I'm hoping to give voice to that The idea is if we help the parent, we help the patient. that's all we really want in the long run. It's this great circle of care that the parents are right in the middle of. So we need to help them.

[00:00:27] Shannon Russell: Hey, you, are you feeling stuck, desperate for a career change or thinking of starting a business, but you're just not sure how to make your first move? I'm television producer turned career coach, Shannon Russell, and this is the second act success career podcast. This is where you will not only get the career advice you've been craving, but you'll get tips from career and business experts.

along with inspiration from others who have made a career transition to find second act success. Let's get [00:01:00] started.

Welcome back to the podcast. My friend, I am so happy you're here because it is mental health awareness month. And today's Second Act success story that I'll be sharing with you is that of Stacy Ross.

Stacy is a mom turned author.

She is detailing her experience of raising a child with borderline personality disorder. In her upcoming memoir Searching For Slippers. Stacy's story is such an important one and one that I'm sure a lot of families can relate to. So let's get right to it. Here is my conversation with author Stacy Ross.


[00:01:38] Shannon Russell: Stacy Ross, welcome to the second act success podcast.

[00:01:43] Stacy Ross: Thank you.

[00:01:44] Shannon Russell: Our mutual friend, Jamie Hanley recommended that we get together and I'm so happy she did. I absolutely love your story and I'm excited to share it with my listeners today.

Why don't you start by telling me where you began your [00:02:00] career? It was in marketing. Is that right?

[00:02:02] Stacy Ross: Yes, I have an MBA in marketing and my jobs were always a little, patchwork, I guess, was the best way because I married my college sweetheart and he was in medical school and all the training that, um, went after that.

So my job basically followed wherever we were at the time. I was a special events coordinator for the American Cancer Society when we were in Rochester, New York. And then I was at Revlon doing marketing for them for two years. And then along the way, you know, we had three kids and I started freelance writing.

I did that for a while and I owned a yoga studio for a period of time and then I went back to my marketing roots and as the kids got a little older I started doing marketing consulting for small businesses, that were really just ready to make the leap from small to medium. I [00:03:00] went in and I did a, an analysis of the business and then I usually ended up working for them on a part time basis doing.

All of their marketing because they're the companies that don't really have a marketing team. And I would give them recommendations. I'd help to build their website and do all the writing and everything from blog posting to, I wrote several CLE courses for a private investigator that I was working for and then all the website content and things like that.

So it was really fun because I got to learn about different businesses along the way.

[00:03:35] Shannon Russell: And do the writing piece and the marketing and it kind of all goes together. And then of course, like many of us, things pivoted a little bit when the pandemic happened.

the world shut down. I was working, as I mentioned, a friend of mine is a female private investigator and does a great job, but because so much of what she do is tied into the courts, the courts closed and, I wanted [00:04:00] her to be able to pay her actual private investigators and I, you know, I feel like marketing is a luxury for one business is going really well for a lot of things, so, I was furloughed.

[00:04:11] Stacy Ross: I came home and I started writing. I had been writing on and off for years. I always journaled and I had been threatening to write a memoir for Probably 10 to 15 years,

[00:04:24] Shannon Russell: Threatening yourself to actually get it out?

[00:04:27] Stacy Ross: Yeah, promising, threatening, whatever it was along the way. I started writing and writing, um, And when all was said and done and the world opened back up, I had 170 pages written and I had to decide what to do with it.

[00:04:43] Shannon Russell: That really is a pivot because you're enjoying it. You've kept yourself busy during this time and now do you go back to what you did? And everyone knows what happens when you put that book down.

Like, it never gets written, right? Or it takes another 10 years.

[00:04:58] Stacy Ross: Or it's picked up by your [00:05:00] children one day, and they read it. Yeah, exactly.

[00:05:03] Shannon Russell: So, so what made you decide to focus on the book and not go back to marketing?

[00:05:10] Stacy Ross: like you said, it was now or never. And I really was still in the throes of deciding.

, I spoke to a friend of mine who is a publisher and I recognized how difficult it was. I'm an unknown name to actually go to a traditional publisher. The other thing is my Book was not in manuscript format. It was to me, it was a mishmash of, of really a lot of free writing and storytelling that I did.

So it's felt like a very heavy lift to get it into a format to send off to a publisher. But I was toying with that. And then I was toying with putting together a proposal for an agent. So I was researching different ways to go. I was scrolling through Facebook mindlessly and I saw that a former colleague was [00:06:00] publishing a book and I just noted the name of the publishing company and I Googled and it was a local Ocean County based boutique firm and I figured what do I have to lose?

I called and left a message and Jen Young called me back, which was. I don't know, nothing short of miraculous. we spoke for a long time she asked me to send her my manuscript and I warned her it was not really a manuscript and she said, are you willing to send it? And at this time, no one, including me had really read it.

I, I really didn't go back through it, but I figured I had nothing to lose. And I sent it to her. So in answer to your question, I guess my path kind of decided itself with that. Movement, because she called me back a couple of days later and she said, this story needs to be told we publish two memoirs a year and we'd like you to be one of them.

[00:06:58] Shannon Russell: you just were not expecting that I'm [00:07:00] sure thinking that you're handing her just a bunch of your notes and little stories and she saw through it of what it could be.

[00:07:07] Stacy Ross: Right. She definitely did. And it's been a journey that was last March.

[00:07:13] Shannon Russell: how was working with her? Is she a, a traditional publisher or hybrid publisher?

[00:07:18] Stacy Ross: Jen is a boutique partner publisher. what that means is that we basically work together every step of the way. And it's been a wonderful experience. I mean, she's become a very good friend. I'm deep in the editing process now, which means I haven't seen the book in a little while. They're, they're putting it together.

With flow. But before that, I had done a lot of additional writing. We've basically spent the past seven or eight months or the first seven or eight months talking about what, where we wanted it to go. and what it was really about, it's a story about my oldest child who has borderline personality disorder [00:08:00] and what it's like being a mom, raising a child with a mental illness.

And over time, I realized the story is about me because it's a memoir and it's really a coming of age story for a mother and what does that mean? for me, it meant the fairy tale that I envisioned, you know, as a newlywed and a new mom. Didn't happen. And as I basically grew up in the face of all of the things I went through and started to understand that, you know, fairy tales can be rewritten and where I am today.

[00:08:37] Shannon Russell: Definitely a story, like Jen said, that needs to be told for other families and for other mothers to see that they're not. And I'm sure there's a lot of mothers that can relate. You said you didn't really go back and read what you had written from start to finish, which since I, I'm writing my book and they always say, don't do that.

Just keep writing, get it out, get it out. Just keep writing. [00:09:00] Yeah. But now you're handing it over to someone else and was she really the first person other than you to read it and to look through? I mean, that's, that's actually a memoir to share that with someone else. What was that experience like?

[00:09:14] Stacy Ross: So I think I, I've been thinking a lot about this. I think because I wrote alone for so long, um, you know, I had a writing group that I read. But I was very selective in what I could read, but really telling your story to a page gives you this freedom. And that was the only way I knew to tell it. So when it came time to share it with Jen, and then I was interviewed soon thereafter on a alumni podcast.

I only know how to be honest about it. Cause otherwise there's no real story, you know, you can't, you can't, you can't pretty it up. Or it's not real. It was very therapeutic for me and very freeing. And Jen is wonderful and kind, and she got [00:10:00] me to say a lot of things. You know, I did a lot of telling in the book, not showing, and I had to go deeper to really show what it felt like.

And that was hard work.

[00:10:10] Shannon Russell: Yeah. I'm sure very cathartic to just have it out there. Mm-Hmm. and now. This past year, you've been working with her and you're getting close. This book is coming out

[00:10:20] Stacy Ross: Actually, it's due right now. We just set a release date, probable release date of November 15th, uh, 24, and there'll be a pre release.

I'm going to start taking, reserves for it in the next few weeks and then preorders in September, which will be signed copies. And then we're hoping either to release it in mid November, depending on, you know, what happens right at the end with printing or we hold till January.

So that's the decision we're in right now. And we named the book, that was a big deal. We named it Searching For Slippers. The working title had been Acceptance, [00:11:00] which, which worked, uh, but it didn't really describe everything, and there's a lot of other books out there named Acceptance, and Searching For Slippers just fit, because for my entire adult life, I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I was always right, it dropped, and it was a heavy, heavy drop, crisis after crisis, and I realized all I was really searching for was a little bit of lightness in the slippers, and the slippers also kind of can be a metaphor for the fairy tale.

[00:11:32] Shannon Russell: Yes, the fairy tale, and just, it's something that us moms. Love, right? It's just something cozy. We spend so much time in the home taking care of kids. So I can see so many correlations.

[00:11:43] Stacy Ross: Exactly.

[00:11:44] Shannon Russell: so tell us a little bit. So this is about your oldest daughter. Has she read the book yet? How does she feel about the experience?

[00:11:52] Stacy Ross: So just as a clarification, um, my book is about my oldest child, Finn, who transitioned six years ago. So [00:12:00] Finn was born Molly, and I do clarify that anytime I'm speaking because, , in the book, Finn and I, yes, we've actually done a lot of collaboration and it's actually helped build our relationship. but because so much of what I talk about is before the transition, and it's very difficult, as you know, if you're writing to go back to a time and be using a name that's not used anymore.

So, , I spoke to Finn and we agreed that I would use female pronouns and Molly when I'm back in that time and the books dealing with that very sensitively when we're going to be changing pronouns partway through the book,

Finn is now 28 years old. And he's been heavily involved in the writing of the book. Most often when I would be talking about. something that happened and I wanted a clarification and he would say that's not how I remember it. And I'd say, well, that's my memoir. This is [00:13:00] how I remember it.

[00:13:03] Shannon Russell: I love that it's helped your relationship too.

And it's probably really cathartic for both of you and because it is your memoir, it's your story, your recollections. Yeah. The experience and that's really wonderful. that was comforting Not only to Finn, but to the rest of my family because I'm comfortable talking about this.

[00:13:25] Stacy Ross: But, you know, my other two children, I have twins, Leo and Emily, who are 25, and my husband, they didn't ask for their whole life to be in book format. And I'm very, very conscious and sensitive of it. But when I look back at what I've written and I talk about it, it's really mostly about me. Very little about the twins.

We talk somewhat about relationships and their introduced. And it's very honest about Finn, but you know, my life hasn't been all bad, I talk about the ups and the downs, and you see a real life [00:14:00] painted.

[00:14:00] Shannon Russell: you were a working mom, you weren't home only dealing with the kids, you were working out of the house.

You're writing your marketing career. you were really juggling all of that and being a mother and dealing with the relationships within the family. So you had a lot to deal with on your own. And if your husband, you said he went to medical school, so I can only assume he works a lot.

[00:14:25] Stacy Ross: He's a surgeon, and yes, for a good portion of, my kid's teenage years, he was commuting from New Jersey to Philadelphia, to Temple University. And then during COVID, he was making that as a drive, not on the train. So yeah, he was home. Late and a lot of the time he was at work. He wasn't reachable cause he'd be in the OR.

So, um, we are great partners and, uh, you know, we definitely co parent everything, but on, when it was the front lines, it was me and it affected. My [00:15:00] ability to work. I mean, I closed down my yoga studio on the day, uh, Finn was in hospital, one of their inpatient stays. And I. What had to teach a class on mental wellbeing and yoga.

And I felt like I was barely holding on to my own life with the string. How could I do this? And I, I ended up closing the studio the next few weeks.

[00:15:26] Shannon Russell: That take a bit of relief off of you to not have to worry about that business that's 24 7.


[00:15:33] Stacy Ross: Yeah. When I was making the decision of, I said to a friend that I was really struggling with it 'cause it was something I had wanted for so long and it was right in town. I felt, you know, to be part of my community. I loved all the pieces of it. And she said, so how will you feel if you close it tomorrow?

And I said, relief. So that was the answer. At the time.

[00:15:56] Shannon Russell: And you know what, Stacy, it's all, I'm very big on checking all the [00:16:00] boxes and having your adventures in life and checking it and saying, okay, I did it. And you did it. wanted to open a yoga studio. You did it. It fulfilled you for that time. And you realized that you were in a different place.

And so you could check that box. So,

[00:16:14] Stacy Ross: and my priorities were clear, like many working moms, career came second to What I was doing at home, I was still the primary parent is if anyone got sick, it was me that had to juggle, how he wasn't around. so the part time consulting work really fit me better.

And the kids were a little bit older so they could, you know, come home without me. and I could work from home at, you know, as any writer at that time, I was able to do so much of my job at home. I liked going into an office though. I was much better. At being productive and I like the socialization. I like feeling like a grown up.

[00:16:53] Shannon Russell: Oh yeah, I know. Working from home just makes it, makes you kind of miss that, like how things used to be, especially [00:17:00] as a writer.

[00:17:01] Stacy Ross: Yes.

[00:17:02] Shannon Russell: Well, I'm curious if, what you've gone through in your life and motherhood, now it seems like you are an advocate for other mothers and for mental health. And let's talk a little bit about that and, and where your journey is taking you now.

[00:17:17] Stacy Ross: I feel a little bit like this is just happening and I don't know if that is also partially experienced, that it's exciting because it's kind of, I'm able to just kind of ride it.

And, and I don't have a lot of the responsibilities of motherhood with grown children. So my flexibility has opened up a lot of possibilities. I had always wanted to talk about my experiences, but the stigmas of mental illness had made it really difficult for me to speak in the light approach the local schools.

I'm in different groups locally I'm not a therapist, I'm not a professional doctor, so why would I speak, even though I had, you know, all [00:18:00] of this personal experience. So that's part of the reason I felt that a book would actually help that, but I was interviewed.

On the alumni podcast and I told that story and I spoke, you know, honestly and about my experiences and the response was so overwhelming people coming out of the woodworks that they had similar experiences and no one's ever talked about it. And I have a family friend, a daughter. I mean, everyone was connected.

And I said to Jen, my publisher, I want to do more of that. So it's become a concurrent mission of mine. and right now with the book in editing, almost more so has the speaking grown. And I started speaking. I started locally, very local. My first talk was to my orange theory and I had a whole group of friends there and I, told my story, I read an excerpt from the book, and I also, as I started [00:19:00] speaking, I felt like, you know, it's one thing to just tell my story, but I want to give the audience, the people listening to me, some kind of thing that they could take home, and because I've had this luxury of look back.

I realized that what's really helped me through the years was being honest. When, whenever I really was honest with myself, with my family, with my therapist, with Finn, that was when I really healed or felt better or made good decisions. So I put together a coping toolbox based on honesty. And I, I built a little acronym with it, where the H is, Honoring the truth in your life, and it goes on from there, and I talk about that, to the groups that I speak to, and it's just kind of grown.

I just, um, I was invited to give the keynote speech at the NAMI New Jersey annual meeting which was a big one, and it was very exciting. I spoke to a full house. I spoke. [00:20:00] about my story and then I spoke about boundaries and the importance of them and how they've worked for me. So yeah, it seems to be that I've touched a nerve because there are upwards of 17 million parents and caregivers out there of children and adults with mental illness, which is hard to believe since it's really the most isolating experience you can imagine.

So I'm hoping to give voice to that.

[00:20:28] Shannon Russell: I think speaking is such a wonderful way to do that and for you to get out there and have other people feel like they can come and talk to you. I'm sure you've seen it just even in your circle and in your community of people coming and feeling like they can lean on you and get advice from you.

[00:20:46] Stacy Ross: Yes, it is. And it's it's it's an interesting balance that I've learned because I remind people it's it's heartbreaking when I can't solve a problem, you know, and I can't I don't it's not all rosy for me [00:21:00] either. You know, my life is still happening and unfolding and I can't. I wish I could solve all their problems or help them, but the best I can do is listen, tell them what's worked for me.

And I'm very, very conscious of what, where my line needs to be drawn as far as what I can offer. but I, you know, I've started to give out, suggested support groups and things like that. People that are looking for that. And in my smaller talks, I'll even suggest that if they're looking to build community, maybe they exchange numbers with each other before we leave and things like that.

So I'm learning as I go.

[00:21:40] Shannon Russell: And as you do more talks and you meet more people, you can figure out what kind of tools you can offer to them and just grow from there. But I love that you sound like you're at peace in where you are now and open to the possibilities of what is going to come down the road, especially when the book is [00:22:00] released.

I'm sure you'll have so many more speaking opportunities. Yeah. This episode is airing in May when it is Mental Health Awareness Month. And I think that's really important for both of us to get this out during this month. Let's talk a little bit about what you might really want people to be aware of.

What are you finding when you're speaking and talking with people?

[00:22:22] Stacy Ross: I'm finding that it, it. you can never get away from it, but I do know that right now.

I think it's one in five about 20 percent of the households in this country have at least one child with diagnosable mental illness. That's ages 3 to 17. So that number to me is staggering. That's I think, , 8. 4 million. In numbers, but there's also, I looked at it from a caregiver parent perspective.

There's also 8. 7 million caregivers that are taking care of an adult with mental illness. So, you know, the [00:23:00] difficult thing of mental is it doesn't usually go away. Some of them are manageable, some are even curable with medication, but it's still a lifelong. Issue, even if they're on meds meds for me, Molly was diagnosed with a D.

H. D. between kindergarten and first grade. Obviously, that was only a partial diagnosis or misdiagnosis, whatever you want. And I knew it didn't fit, but I was so grateful to have something. Um, she was immediately put on medication. I was able to get in touch with the school in between kindergarten and first grade and luckily the principal was very supportive and gave a 504 in place of an IEP, which would take longer until we put that in place.

So we had services and support immediately. but we didn't really know what we were dealing with and it just continued to unfold. So. You know, I think it's very [00:24:00] hard as a parent to know if you're struck with behaviors that you know aren't typical, but are they just because you have a particularly active or different child or is there something more going on?

And that's something I struggled with, you know, up until a borderline diagnosis at 18.

[00:24:21] Shannon Russell: Just not having the resources, you know, to have people to talk to, whether it's a school or friends. And do you find that a lot of parents are in denial that it's just something else and it's, it just takes something to happen for them to realize , okay, this is a more serious diagnosis.

[00:24:41] Stacy Ross: Well, it's interesting. My experience. So this was, you know, 20 years ago. My experience was, yes, it was ADHD. We wrote it off. We medicated them and we moved on. from what I'm reading now, though, parents and, you know, the pendulum always swings in [00:25:00] one direction. We're much more open, which I'm so grateful for, to talk about mental illness and to acknowledge that our children have these things.

But on the same token, I think that from what I've read, there are parents out there that are jumping to medication for anxiety, and there's so many diagnoses. You know, I do feel there's a certain level of stress and anxiety that we want our kids to be able to cope with. so I don't know all the answers there.

I think that it's, again, parenting is a very hard balance and, and we want to fix our kids. That's all I wanted to do. I wanted to fix Molly, if she was broken and I wanted to save her from any difficulties and pain she was going to face. So I wanted to get ahead of it.

[00:25:48] Shannon Russell: I

[00:25:49] Stacy Ross: don't think I'm any different than any parent now.

I'm just at a different time.

[00:25:54] Shannon Russell: Right. You're dealing with an adult child rather than, you know, a child who's in school and you're [00:26:00] dealing with whatever happens at the school and with the educators, Well, it sounds like you balanced everything the best that you could and that you have these healthy children and, you're learning as you go to, but you are that person that can be there as you're speaking and telling your story that other people can go to.

And yes, you're not a mental health therapist, but you've been there. You've been in the situation and you can speak to it and give your advice. And that's helpful.

[00:26:26] Stacy Ross: And I do find that, the audiences are reacting and it's helping, you know, the more I speak, the more credibility it gives me to keep speaking, which is an interesting that I'm just learning as I go.

The idea is if we help the parent, we help the patient. that's all we really want in the long run. It's this great circle of care that the parents are right in the middle of. So we need to help them.

[00:26:54] Shannon Russell: I wonder if you could even speak with a group of parents and [00:27:00] children so that they can understand what the parents are going through as well. And if it's a situation, where they could maybe understand from hearing your story.

[00:27:08] Stacy Ross: Well, it's interesting. I was invited and I spoke at the Long Branch Public Schools for Social Emotional Learning Day.

And I spoke to several groups of high school students. And you just don't know if you're getting through to high school students because I was basically looking at the top of their heads while they were looking down at their phone. Um, so it's quite different because when I'm talking to a group of parents, they're nodding along and they're, you know, so you can read them a little bit better.

But I, you know, I was careful what I said. I talked about my story and I talked about knowing. how to be sensitive and how they're not alone, because I knew some of them could actually have some kind of mental illness or a sibling or a parent, or, you know, I didn't know the makeup and I came home and a few hours later, I got an email from one of the students thanking me for, [00:28:00] yeah, and that hopefully parents will understand what their children are going through.

So I think it, it happens in both directions. And on that, it really, it was one of the nicest, because you do wonder, you know, as you start this journey of speaking, you're kind of like, I'm such a small fish in a huge pond. Is it going to make an impact? But I guess that's saying of one, you know, one step at a time, one person at a time.

[00:28:28] Shannon Russell: To me it sounds like you're writing for the parents, for someone to understand your journey and for the student to reach out to you, that just seems like you really hit a nerve with him or her.

[00:28:38] Stacy Ross: Well, Jen always says, because when we talk about, targeting your book, you write for one, you reach many.

So even if my book's targeted at moms or parents of children with mental illness, it hopefully will touch and reach people that have any experience with mental [00:29:00] illness. that note, My twins, my, my female twin, Emily, would love to speak with me and we are in talks right now to do a panel in the fall, through either the Mental Health Association or in one of the local schools, because as a sibling perspective, that's a whole other perspective, being afraid to bring them.

Being friends home, feeling like you have to be perfect all the time because your parents, you know, can't handle one more thing. And all of those feelings that went along with growing up in our household.

[00:29:34] Shannon Russell: That's an interesting perspective that will just bring in more family members and more, more of an audience.

Does Finn ever want to speak with you on a stage like that and have,

[00:29:46] Stacy Ross: Finn would love to, but Finn's not. Always stable, and I have to be careful what, what we're presenting. So, um, I hope one day we can, and actually Finn has written a few [00:30:00] things for the book.

I know that, like, Nami would have loved to have Finn, but Finn's still going through his journey. And, you know, I hope one day he's there.

[00:30:10] Shannon Russell: Yeah. Oh, well, I appreciate you sharing the story with us here and just for all the work you're doing and you're speaking and with your book,

you made such a transition from the marketing world and doing your writing to now writing about something that's so personal. you imagine going back to that world?

Or are you just happy in the world that you're in because you're creating something that's really personal and is yours?

[00:30:37] Stacy Ross: I feel like I'm where I belong for the first time. I really, really do. I said it to my husband recently. , I always felt like I had one more thing up my sleeve, you know, and I am 58 years old.

I'm 57 years old. I keep getting that wrong. even if I do this for 10 or 15 more years at the most, I [00:31:00] would retire and be done working, feeling very fulfilled. I never quite felt that with marketing. So maybe I needed something like this.

it also gave some meaning to all that we went through, which is a wonderful way.

I mean, that I'm very lucky for that because many most people probably go through some such crises in their life and, um, really understand why.

[00:31:30] Stacy Ross: And also it's not, it doesn't end. I'll tell you, we just had a very tumultuous Passover. Ben came home and it was difficult. He was fighting with his husband and even the boundaries that I've set up, having him stay at a hotel and things like that weren't enough to keep it.

completely away from us. you know, we had a wonderful time. I've learned to compartmentalize. We all have, but [00:32:00] I was ready for him to leave. And I'm fine now, you know, now it just takes a couple of days, but you know, that's still a learning experience. It reminds me that you're never more than one phone call away from your next crisis.

[00:32:14] Shannon Russell: Well, this is a great month to bring this up and, and as that reminder that everyone is going through some aspect of this or know someone who is, that there's a way to get help and perspective and this is a, very purposeful second act for you, I'd say, uh, what would your advice be for someone who is thinking of transitioning out of their career, writing a book, starting something that is a little bit more passion filled in their lives?

What would your advice be?

[00:32:45] Stacy Ross: Do it. Don't be afraid and, and be open to where it could take you it's brave enough to talk about yourself and do something passionate and then just be open to where that path could lead,

[00:32:59] Shannon Russell: When you set out to [00:33:00] write, you were writing for yourself and now you're going to have a published book and all these other opportunities are coming about for you.


[00:33:08] Stacy Ross: and it feels good.

[00:33:09] Shannon Russell: for the writing aspect, if someone is listening and they have a story, whether it's a crisis or something that's happened in their lives, and they're thinking about putting pen to paper and writing a memoir, what would your steps be and for them to actually get what's written on the page out into the world?

[00:33:26] Stacy Ross: Well, first, right. writers, right? I say that to myself all the time. and carve out a schedule for yourself. And then as far as getting published again, I only know my journey, but I would say, don't be afraid to approach a publisher.

If you find a book that seems to be in your genre, in your sphere, look in the back jacket, see who the publisher is, be open to. Other formats rather than just the traditional publishing formats. There's the traditional route, there [00:34:00] is self-publishing there's now self-publishers that do a little bit more of editing.

I was concerned about that 'cause I've seen a lot of self-published books with mistakes in it, and I needed the editing. I needed help with that. and the other way to go is to write a book proposal and to find an agent. And then there are these groups in the middle, which is the hybrid, the boutique, and the partner. I have found this situation you know, I retain all the rights to my book.

I have all the final editing say, and I've been a part of it every step of the way. So, I highly recommend it. Especially for somebody like me who this is my first book and I didn't know what I was doing and, and now I've learned about it.

[00:34:49] Shannon Russell: I like the idea of what you have and having really that partner relationship too.

Answer your questions and walk you through the whole process. Because at the end of the day, you want to hold that book in your [00:35:00] hands and be able to show it to people. So as long as you can get it across that finish line, everything's

[00:35:06] Stacy Ross: fine. Absolutely. And to your question about leaving marketing, it's funny.

I'm using my marketing more now for personal reasons, because I'm doing most of my publicity where, you know, I have a publicist that's working with me, but it's still a lot of my contacts. I send out a lot of pitches and I kind of, when you create a platform for yourself nowadays, you're really marketing yourself.

it feels like I'm using everything.

[00:35:33] Shannon Russell: I love that so much. You're right. You are doing that. You're doing that with your social media, even when you're speaking. if there's any handouts you're giving them or on your website, like all of that is just bringing people back into your world. And let's talk about how my audience can get on your list for the book and follow along with what you're doing and how you're advocating for the mental health space.

[00:35:54] Stacy Ross: The best place to, will be to reserve a book and to get on my mailing list is at my [00:36:00] website, which is stacyrossspeaks.Com. So it's S T A C Y R O S S S P E A K S. com. you can follow me on Instagram at @stacyrossadvocate or on my Facebook page at Stacy Ross speaks and same at LinkedIn.

But if you want to see a listing of where I'll be speaking, that is always on my website.

[00:36:26] Shannon Russell: Fantastic. I'm going to link to everything and make sure that I share this around. And I just love your story and I love that you're so open to share and help others. thank you for being here and really sharing everything that you're doing.

And I can't wait for Searching For Slippers to come out. I think it's going to be a wonderful, wonderful read for me.

[00:36:45] Stacy Ross: Well, thank you so much for having me. And thanks to Jamie for introducing us.

[00:36:50] Shannon Russell: Yes, we love her. Thank you.

Thank you for joining us. I hope you found some gems of inspiration and some takeaways to help you on your path to Second [00:37:00] Act Success. To view show notes from this episode, visit Before you go, don't forget to subscribe to the podcast so you don't miss a single episode. Reviews only take a few moments and they really do mean so much.

Thank you again for listening. I'm Shannon Russell and this is Second Act Success.


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