This is part of the It’s My Turn series … read more or submit your own story!

Shari Fitzpatrick moved from a small town in Oregon at age 20 to work for her brother’s mortgage firm in Los Angeles. After four years, though she enjoyed her job, she discovered she wasn’t passionate about it.

She started thinking about how short life really was and how important it was to love your work/career…. to be passionate about it! While we all talk about making our passion our business, so few of us truly do it. Yet for Shari, she knew this way of life would be so much more rewarding.

So she did what too few of us do … she looked inside and decided to make a change.

Shari Fitzpatrick- Life Can Be Reinvented If You Let It

She decided she would take her hobby of making chocolate dipped strawberries, and with a $1500 cash advance on a credit card, turn it into a business. Today Shari’s Berries is a $33 million dollar company.

My biggest a-ha moment was when I realized how much more successful I could be if I loved my work. It gives you the tenacity to keep on going when the going gets rough. I can remember coming home from vacation and being excited to get back to work…that was when I knew I had found a huge key to success.

Shari’s Advice:

If you have a Big Idea, and you are contemplating how to move forward, JUST START! You don’t have to start big, big isn’t always better. Start small, get some business cards and start trying out your product or service on friends and family. Trade your product or service for ones that you need in order to test your idea and get it out there. So many don’t start/follow their dreams as they don’t know how, are scared, or maybe are afraid to put their idea out there as they are afraid that someone may steal their idea.

In addition, have your priorities in the right order. Always put your family first…. after all, we work as a way to support our family so it shouldn’t hurt it. When people are on their deathbed they never say I wish I had spent more time at the office. You have one chance to be a great Mom and enjoy your children…. you can always work.

Another item I would stress is to not bring on a partner or borrow a lot of money to grow your business. If at all possible, grow your business as you grow your sales. This way you will enjoy your company and not have to work to pay the bank or answer to anyone.

When my company was in its 10th year I was approached by an investor/partner that lured me with the deal of a lifetime. I went all in immediately as I was overwhelmed by my booming business and was so excited to have a ‘partner.’ It only took me one year to realize I had trusted the wrong person. I didn’t do my due diligence. I had agreed to a really bad business deal. Ten years later I fell below the 51% ownership level and my company’s board of directors voted to sell my beloved Shari’s Berries company off to In Chocolate

I was crushed, heart broken. I grieved losing my company as if I had lost one of my boys…..

However, life is all about reinvention. And what went away in one direction, soon allowed another opportunity to come my way. After my company was sold, I received a book deal from Pelican Publishing. Today my book Berried In Chocolate is inspiring and educating entrepreneurs world wide to follow their dreams and never give up! I travel Internationally as an Inspirational Speaker and have started a new berry company, Berried In Chocolate.

Life can truly be reinvented again … and again … if you let it!

3 Takeaway’s for you to follow:

  1. Realize how much more successful you can be if you love your work!
  2. Just Start! Too many don’t start or follow their dreams because they don’t know how or are scared. Start small, test your idea, and get out there.
  3. Grow your business as you grow your sales. That way you will enjoy your company and not have to work to pay the bank or answer to anyone!