Deanna Nowadnick is an author and speaker who inspires, encourages, and empowers women to tell their stories. We met at a fabulous local networking group (shout out to FAVE) and I was immediately drawn to Deanna’s kind and welcoming presence. I was thrilled when she hired me to update her website and we had so much fun together during the collaboration. You can also find her beautiful musings on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Deanna’s Books are on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
First things first – what would your walk-on-stage music be?
I have two, depending on the event.
For my women-of-faith get-togethers: “Across the Lands” by Keith and Kristyn Getty with the violins leading the way. I used to play the violin and the solos make my heart sing.
For the rock-n-roll in me, “Don’t Stop Believin” by Journey. Truly a classic.
When did you start your business, and why did you create it?
My life as an author, speaker, and mentor is a passion project that started after writing my first book in 2011. As the “author of,” I was asked to speak more and more. Very quickly I realized I didn’t want to just hawk books and talk about my own writing; I wanted to talk about ways we can all tell our stories.
Tell us about your business and what makes you unique in your field.
I love helping women of faith connect our delightfully ordinary stories to God’s extraordinary love and faithfulness, so we can be encouraged and empowered, knowing God’s been in the details—always has been, always will be. When I write and speak, we giggle and we groan, but it’s not all about me. We all have stories to tell. We all have stories that connect to bigger, more important lessons in life. I help women embrace their stories, make those connections, and get words down on paper. My goal is to have people say, “If she can do it, I can do it, too.”
What do you feel makes your audience special?
I’ve had the joy of connecting with wonderful women, wise women of great faith, women who have experienced life and all it brings, both accomplishments and challenges. They’re reflective, honest about their journey, and inspirational.
If you could magically give all of your community members one thing in this world, what would it be, and why?
Words on paper. I’ve truly become a passionate advocate for telling our stories. Every single time I’ve spoken at an event—every single time!—someone has remained after the festivities to walk out with me. In a quiet voice, eyes to the ground, I’ll hear, “I have a story to tell, but…” You fill in the blank. Before my first book, I said the same thing, “…but I could never write a book, but I’m not a writer, but I don’t know where to begin, but I don’t have time…”
“But we do…, but we can…”
Has anything surprised you about starting a business?
I never expected to write a book. I never expected my writing to lead to a speaking life. I never expected a writing and speaking life to provide opportunities to mentor others. I never expected to be surrounded by so many women of great faith and great encouragement. I continue to be surprised and delighted by it all.
Why did you decide to hire out your website? What were your thoughts or beliefs about hiring a web designer before you hired me?
I didn’t expect to hire out the updating of my website. I know enough about WordPress to add a post, change some graphics, tweak this and that. Cory, I hired you to do an assessment, thinking you would affirm for me what I thought I could do on my own. Not so! Your eye for detail, your suggestions and recommendations, your wisdom about what works and what doesn’t at this moment in time was not just helpful, but worth the investment in myself. (Editor’s note: Awww, thank you so much Deanna!!)
What is possible for you and your business with your new website?
I wanted the site to be professional, yet approachable. I wanted classy, but pretty. I wanted women to feel welcomed into my “home.” I wanted visitors to stay awhile and be able to learn more about me. I’m a writer and a speaker, so I wanted women to be able to “get to know me” at my site. And Cory, you captured that!
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about investing in a larger web design project for their business?
What is an influential book that you’ve read lately?
I am surrounded by books. I’m currently working my way through a Beth Moore study of Philippians along with two Lysa Terkeurst books. All are excellent.
I also refer back to Donald Miller’s “Building a Story Brand” whenever I’m thinking through business next steps. He can organize my ditziest moments and messiest plans.
And speaking of books, I have to add that I published my third book, “Bouquet of Wisdom,” earlier this year. I love writing inspirational memoirs and this time I connect thirty personal reflections to garden flowers. They’re a unique collection of memories that come together in an exquisite bouquet of wisdom.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Today marks Walk #980. I started walking Monday, August 17, 2020. I was back from a wonderful week away with family and feeling terrible. Why? Because I’d eaten my way through our entire time together. That morning, my spirits low, my heart heavy, I stepped outside and began a miserable twenty-minute slog around the block. Yes, a miserable slog. I could not have imagined my time outside would be the first of 980 (and counting!) consecutive walks. That such an accomplishment could come from such disappointment and frustration still overwhelms me—in the best way.
To the next 980!