Debbie Viola was always interested in art, but her guidance counselor didn’t allow her to take art classes in high school. Immediately after graduation, she became a legal secretary, and spent 23 years working for a fast-growing, high-paced law firm. Though she was great at the work, she hated how it made her feel like a robot.

Everything changed on 9/11, when she was in Manhattan as the World Trade Center fell. Immediately after the tragedy, she decided to quit her job and pursue a career in art. Now, at The Creative Connection Painting Club, Debbie is doing more than just building a virtual community of women who paint together each month – she’s helping them experience the therapeutic power of making art while she supports her family.

Today, Debbie joins the podcast to share the story of the day her life changed forever, how her love of art and her natural talent led to her second career, and why it’s never too late to jump into something new when you follow your truth.

Key Takeaways

  • Why Debbie was never able to pursue art in school – and the specific request from her boss of 23 years that led her to finally quit her job as a legal secretary.
  • The moment of inspiration that showed Debbie that she could have a career in art.
  • How Debbie created her first business plan and launched her founding memberships.
  • Debbie’s advice for anyone who’s been told that there’s a “logical thing” to do and something they truly want to do – and why almost anything can become the foundation of an incredible business.

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Memorable Quote

  • If you have anything that you like, no matter how silly you might think the idea is, just figure out a way that you could help people with it and make it about them and not you and just go for it. Life is way too short.” – Debbie Viola

Episode Resources

Transcript

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Shelli Varela
Author

When you reframe your inner story, you reframe what’s possible. This is the mantra of our host, Shelli Varela who achieved incredible success, blazing a trail to become a fire captain, author, TED speaker, and host of The Yes Effect on Entrepreneur's list of 48 Best Podcasts for Entrepreneurs. Today, she uses the same approach to show people how to magnetize their message to achieve their dreams, and discover how they can make a BIGGER impact.

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