Summer Owens holding first copy of her memoir

Okay, I can admit it.

I cried.

If you’re a parent, do you remember the first time you held your child?

You’d waited months for that moment to see and hold that “thing” that had just been an idea or how it would actually look and feel was unknown.

If you’re not a parent, you may be able to imagine the anxiety that comes with carrying a baby then actually holding a physical object that you had a role in actually creating.

At 15 I experienced holding my baby. A flood of mixed emotions overwhelmed me, and some of those same feelings filled me 15 years later.

Well, ten years ago today I saw and held my second baby for the first time. In that moment I felt accomplished for completing a project that had taken me years…nearly a decade. I felt excitement for whatever was next…I had no idea. And I felt fear for the judgment I knew would come for me sharing my story.

Summer Owens holding first copy of her memoirBut I felt proud because I had the success story to tell. I cried throughout the process of remembering my experiences and writing my thoughts, fears, and hopes. I also felt proud because I had figured out the whole writing and publishing process (before it was as simple as it is now) and I had a physical object that would live long after I was gone.

I knew people would criticize my writing and criticize me for writing, but what I didn’t know was how that baby I was holding was about to change my life and countless others.

The impact of publishing my memoir

Since that moment, that book has been read all over the world with people email from countries I’ve never even heard of but also some I’ve been blessed to visit including Ghana, Jamaica, Mexico, Canada, and Sweden.

It has gotten me in all my local news outlets, CNN HLN, the 700 Club and they even flew me out to be on the 700 Club Interactive.

It has gotten me into dozens of schools especially after I created the S.O. What! Literacy, Life Skills, and Character Education curriculum when educators told me their students “wouldn’t put that book down”.

It created an entire speaking business for me where I have now spoken to over 10,000 people especially youth and young adults.

And it made me quit my amazing corporate career. After seeing the impact that my story was having on the lives of so many people, I started S.O. What! and quit a marketing career that I dreamed of having to pursue what I discovered was my purpose.

The very reason I had experienced the joys and pains, challenges and victories in my life. It was to share with others to help them avoid or overcome my challenges and get through their own.

That’s it. That’s S.O. What!, and that’s my life.

Because I told my story.

No it has not been all roses. Well, maybe roses, but don’t forget roses have thorns, but they are still beautiful. And that beauty is enough to make dealing with the thorns worthwhile.

Are you sitting on a story that sharing it might impact your life and the lives of others? Contact me and let’s see how I can help you get it out, change your life, and change the world!