Hello, everyone! Welcome back to another episode of "What's Your Next." I'm Stacey Riska, your expert franchise matchmaker, here to help you find a business that's a perfect match for you. Today, we have a special guest, Connie Inukai of Write Your Selfie. Connie is not just an author and inventor, but also what we affectionately call a "grandmapreneur." Today, we'll dive into her inspiring story, her inventions, and the businesses she's running. You're in for a treat, so let's get started!
Age Is Just a Number
Connie's journey into entrepreneurship began at the age of 70, proving that there's no age limit to pursuing your dreams. She spent 40 years as a technical writing professor at the University of Maryland, inspiring her students to dream big and find their ideal careers. In a unique assignment, she encouraged her students to identify their dream job and create instructional materials for it, sparking creativity and ambition in her classroom.
From Technical Writing to Inventing
As Connie aged, her eyesight deteriorated, and she faced challenges like reading menus in dimly lit restaurants. To address this problem, she invented "Tip and Split," a handy device equipped with a magnifier, light, and bill-splitting feature. This invention became her first foray into entrepreneurship.
A Transition to Retirement and New Ventures
Connie's transition from teaching to entrepreneurship came when she realized her students, who started their careers after graduation, would eventually earn more than her. She decided to retire and embark on her entrepreneurial journey. Connie initially struggled with finding the right people to promote her invention but soon took matters into her own hands. She wrote a book titled "How I Got My Product on QVC, The Today Show, The View, and More in Retirement," sharing her tips on gaining visibility and success as an entrepreneur.
Writing for Her Grandchildren
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Connie paused her Tip and Split venture, as it primarily served the restaurant industry. She shifted her focus to a new project: writing her life story for her grandchildren. Realizing the importance of preserving family history, she created a unique book filled with pictures and captions that share her life experiences and ancestry with her loved ones.
Inspiring Others to Write Their Selfie
Connie's passion for preserving memories and stories led her to develop "Write Your Selfie," a process that encourages people to compile their life stories using pictures and captions. She believes that everyone has stories to share, and her method simplifies the process. Connie has authored a book called "How to Write Your Selfie" that outlines six straightforward steps to help others write their own life stories.
Helping Others Share Their Stories
Connie offers her services to individuals who want to embark on their journey of writing their life stories, making the process accessible and enjoyable. She also assists those who may not have pictures by helping them source images from various places like the internet. Her goal is to encourage people to document their life stories for themselves and future generations.
Connie's story is a testament to the idea that passion and entrepreneurship