I recently interviewed four people who were at least 40 years old when they became personal historians. Their individual stories appear in this guest post written for Later Bloomer, Debra Eve’s blog.
Among the four are full-time and part-time personal historians whose areas of expertise range from memoir coaching to ethical wills. Some produce books for their clients; others focus on video or other formats.
Yet they all have the same basic mission: to help others tell their life stories so they can be passed along to the next generation.
The people who get into this business really enjoy it. Here’s why:
1) An emphasis on storytelling — “It’s always interesting because people’s stories are so varied,” said Tom Gilbert, who started Your Life is Your Story, an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based personal history business, after a 30-year career in radio broadcasting.
2) Flexibility – Projects can be scheduled around other responsibilities.
3) Mobility – It’s possible to work from just about anywhere in the world.
4) Minimal overhead – New business owners can get going with basic office equipment.
5) An important purpose – Gratification comes from helping to preserve someone’s family history.
If the idea of a personal history business interests you, stop by the Association of Personal Historians’ website (www.personalhistorians.org). For another example of a late-blooming personal historian, check out this post about Jennifer Campbell of Heritage Memoirs.