Chief Executive Officer
I’ve been in a leadership capacity since I was a kid. Where that has happened has been varied: office manager of a high-end retirement facility while going to college, a member of a touring youth ministry band, full-time youth minister, principal of a financial firm, even as assistant to the president of the graduate school I attended. But not in that order.
Some years ago, my friend Dennis declared “Joel, you are a late bloomer!” I’m OK with that description. He was commenting particularly on the fact that I had begun a new career in the financial services industry after I’d spent eight years in full-time church-based ministry with teenagers. He was aware of my former career and that its duration was double that of the typical youth minister. But because he was in the financial services industry himself, he was especially commenting on what he perceived to be great “success” in my new career.
Dennis knew how hard it was to launch a small business of any kind, especially in an industry and company which I’d exceeded a first-year benchmark (rare), and that I’d been immediately promoted into a leadership role, as a result. Thus, he enthusiastically conveyed the title of “Late Bloomer” to me, almost as if it were a knighthood. What Dennis didn’t know is that what prompted the new career success was old career failure. The failure was preceded by a relatively meandering journey that often felt quite pointless. Except, it wasn’t pointless.
There was a path; I just couldn’t see it because I was so close to it. Fourteen years after Dennis knighted me, I stepped away from leading an organization that generated nearly $30 million annually. Why? The path changed. It was time for a new direction. Since then I have written seven books, four of which are published (you’ll find them on this website, as well as just about anywhere else). The other books are in the publishing process, with two expected to be published later this year. I’m working feverishly on others and have several other book ideas to launch soon. In fact, we created a niche publishing company to help faith-directed novelists to emerge from being “writers” to “authors.”