24 Things You Don’t Know About Me After 24 Years in Business

24 Things You Don't Know About Me After 24 Years in BusinessReading Scott Stratten’s book, UnMarketing, he mentioned a blog he posted in 2009 entitled, “25 things you didn’t know about me.” I liked Scott’s concept.

So, given that January 1st marks the 24th anniversary of my business, I thought I’d let you in on 24 things you may not know about me, but I hope you’ll enjoy discovering:

1. I played Amaryllis in “The Music Man” in sixth grade (that’s me in the pic at left). Loved having a solo (sang “Goodnight My Someone”) and have the fondest memories of it.

2. I love singing. I sang in both the girls’ chorus and school chorus in high school. After high school, I started to take singing lessons from my dad’s friend who was an opera singer, but then I went off to college. Now I sing in the car.

3. I love to dance – disco and salsa mostly. Most recently discovered “Ayre Dance” – choreographed combo of exercise & dance that makes me smile.

4. I was a disco dance instructor. Folks say they despise disco, but have you noticed that when you turn on some old disco tunes, everyone gets up to dance (and has a good time doing so)?

5. I still own disco record albums (yes, vinyl).

6. I was a disc jockey in a discotheque. I had asked a friend to teach me how to spin records (as I thought I was going to work at Club Med and use the skill there – in addition to being a dance instructor for them). Next thing I knew, the disco offered me a job. Speech therapist by day and disc jockey by night.

7. I have a master’s degree in Communication Disorders (major in Speech Pathology & minor in Audiology). I worked as a speech therapist in the public school system before realizing it wasn’t the career path for me. Was hard to admit after spending 6 years between undergrad & grad school studying for it.

8. I was born and raised in Queens, New York. I love to visit the Big Apple, but choose not to live there anymore.

9. I was a semi-finalist in the Miss Teenage America contest held at Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. How many of you remember Palisades?

10. I went to the Barbizon School of Modeling. Started to pursue a modeling career, but was told by NY agencies that I was too short.

11. I applied to the High School of Performing Arts and after being turned down I performed a little in high school. However, the rejection kind of squashed my dreams and eventually I stopped acting (well, at least on stage).

12. A piece of my heart is still on Kaua`i though I now live in Colorado. I’m the only copywriter in the Rocky Mountains with the aloha spirit and a New York state of mind.

13. Never understood why, while living on Kaua`i for 10 years, more people didn’t jump on a plane and come visit. After all, it’s a magical paradise.

14. I cry a lot when I think of my beautiful golden retriever Ike who died in April 2012 (he was 13 ½ years old). He was famous on Kauai’s north shore.

15. Being “Ike’s mom” was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Ike was a precious gift in my life and an inspiration to all who met him.

16. I don’t like to talk politics . . . so let’s change the subject.

17. Though I now live on the mainland, I still say aloha. I get annoyed when someone replies, “You’re not on Kaua’i anymore.” Heck I know that, but if you don’t like the aloha spirit, that’s your issue, not mine. What greeting would you prefer?

18. Why, when I introduce myself as “Debra” do people say “what do you like to be called?” My response is usually, “you can call me by any name you like, as long as it’s polite.”

19. My motto is “better busy than bored.” What’s yours?

20. I value my family and friendships above all else.

21. I miss my mom and dad every day.

22. I am grateful I have 2 brothers (I’m the middle child).

23. I love tradition, birthdays, and holidays, but I don’t like to spend them alone.

24. I’ve known my best friend in the whole world since the 2nd grade. How lucky am I? Do you have a friend(s) that you’ve known since childhood?

Here’s wishing you a new year of self-discovery, exciting new adventures, good health and great happiness.

Want to let me in on something I don’t know about you? I’d love it if you shared a little piece of yourself in the comment section below. Thanks.

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.


  1. Hi Debra – nice idea for a year-end column and one celebrating your 24th year in business. I just began my 23rd year in business in November!

    While there seem to be many things we share in common (not to mention our love of writing), I can honestly say I never had any singing talent. I do love music though and soft jazz (Dave Koz among others) is a favorite.

    My condolences on your recent loss of Ike. I can totally relate. I am ‘Mollie’s Mom,’ and it’s a really special thing…she and I have such a bond. She just turned 11 this month, and is half black lab and half dalmatian; a real love. She and I walk the trails in my community almost every day.

    Happy New Year Debra!

    • Congrats on 23 years @Christel. Feels good, doesn’t it?
      Glad you enjoyed learning something new about me. Thanks for sharing a little piece of yourself. I know what you mean about that special “thing” – that bond between a dog and it’s owner. I used to walk the beach with Ike and each time would meet people who were his “admirers.” People who had met him in years past and were happy to see him when they came back to visit Kaua`i. If you want to “meet” Ike, take a peek at my Pinterest board at http://pinterest.com/debrajason1/my-beautiful-golden-boy-ike/
      Here’s to being “Mollie’s Mom.” Wishing you much joy & happiness in 2013.
      Thanks again. ~Debra

  2. Hi Debra ~

    Well, I’ve always loved being on a stage too (I’ll sing or act, just put me on the stage!). Guess that’s why I so enjoy public speaking. And it’s where I met my husband.

    And yes, I remember Palisades Amusement Park but Adventureland in Melville was closer – and still is!

    Enjoy a happy new year in beautiful CO.

    Andrea Feinberg recently posted…If You Can Manage Your Life, Why is “Time” Such a Headache?My Profile

    • Hi @Andrea. I agree that public speaking fills some of that childhood desire to be on stage and in the spotlight. I think that’s why I enjoy it as well.
      In Queens (think it was in Little Neck) there was a place called Adventurer’s Island and my downstairs neighbor owned it. I may have even had a birthday party there once.
      Sending you wishes for a fabulous new year on the east coast. Here’s to seeing each other again in 2013. Thanks. ~Debra

  3. when did you live in Hawaii? I had a layover for one night so I took The Bus and explored just a bit. I liked it though. Definitely a place I could probably live in. And I love dance too!
    janet recently posted…My Top 5 Transformations for the New YearMy Profile

    • Aloha @Janet. I lived on the island of Kaua`i for 10 years and just returned to the mainland over the summer. Kaua`i is a magical paradise and if it’s on your bucket list of places to live, go for it! What type of dancing do you love most? I look forward to finding out. Best, ~Debra

  4. Love this blog post idea! Happy new year to you, and here’s to another 24 years in business!
    Hannah Rosner recently posted…Welcome to 2013!My Profile

    • Hi @Hannah. Appreciate you taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts here. Thanks & happy new year to you. Here’s wishing you 24 years of success with your beading & jewelry business. See you in the UBC! ~Debra

  5. Congratulations! I love the idea for your blog too. I may do it for my next blogging challenge… 30 training ideas or something like that.
    Catherine Doucette recently posted…A New Year. A New Path.My Profile

    • Thanks @Catherine. Glad you like the idea. Lists always make for good blog posts. They give readers a concrete set of tips, guidelines, etc. Since I was celebrating 24 years in business, I used 24 as my guideline. However, I find “Top 10” lists are usually popular among readers. Happy new year. ~Debra

  6. Donn Dufford says:

    Happy New Year Debra. Great list. Sorry for the loss of Ike. I’ve lost dogs/best friends after 11 and 17 years, so I understand. I know you can’t replace him, but hope you’ll find another four-legged friend to keep you company. May the new year treat you well. Better than well. I’ll look forward to reading your list after 48 years. Stay warm. Donn

    • Hi @Donn. So nice to see you commenting here on my blog.
      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments about Ike. His spirit is with me and I think about him every day. It will be a while till I find another 4-legged friend like him.
      Thanks as well for your optimistic comment about reading my list after 4the next 24 years. Can’t imagine what will happen between now & then. No time like the present!
      Here’s to a fabulous 2013 for you & yours. Best, ~Debra

  7. Aloha Debra:-) I had a pet turtle when I was 5 and when he died that was my first heartbreak. I still think of Rocky and miss him. I send virtual hugs. Congrats on 24 years in your business! It looks like you’re still loving it? That’s the best part! Celebrating with you! How tall are you? Did you ever think about commercial modelling and print ads. There’s a market there for women under 5’7. A fun fact about me is I worked in a chicken factory when I lived in Australia 10 years ago:-) Happy New Year!
    Dana recently posted…Happty New Year: Walk These 7 Steps With MeMy Profile

    • @Dana I think we had a few turtles when I was a kid. Alas, I don’t remember their names.
      Thanks for your virtual hugs. Our pets leave a lasting impression on our lives. And, in my case, Ike left lasting impressions on many people he met as he was a beach ambassador on Kauai’s north shore.
      I am 5’2″ and “back in the day” I did a commercial and a print ad or two, but now – while I love being in photos – it’s not really a career I dream about pursuing.
      A chicken factory? What was it like working there? I can’t imagine. Thanks again for your thoughtfulness and for sharing your comments here. Happy new year. ~Debra

  8. Happy New Year, Debra! And many congratulations on 24 years in business, what a great achievement!
    Jan recently posted…Important Service Area Business Google+ Local Change You Need To KnowMy Profile

  9. Wonderful post Debra! Great blog idea, you’ve inspired me!
    Victoria Elam recently posted…Ultimate Blog ChallengeMy Profile

    • Thanks @Victoria. Appreciate you stopping by to read the blog and share your thoughts. It always feels good to read that I’ve inspired someone. See you in the UBC. Here’s to your sweet success in the new year. ~Debra

  10. Hi Debra,
    Congratulations on 24 years in business! So many businesses fail in the first 12 months so your achievement is a huge testament to your attitude and abilities!
    Something you may not know about me is I’d love to live overseas (probably in small town France) for a few months. Something to work towards. Also on my visit list are Spain, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Poland, Japan, Canada, the US, the UK (again), China, Vietnam and New Zealand. It’s an ever growing list 😉
    Best wishes for 2013!
    Caylie Price recently posted…Want To Succeed? Pick A Theme For 2013My Profile

    • Hi @Caylie, my first goal when I started my business was to “survive” for 3 years. Then, as soon as I did everyone started saying “5 years is the ‘real’ mark for whether or not your business will succeed.” So, I’m happy to say I made it past both the 3 and 5 year landmarks.
      I had thought about living in France more than 24 years ago. I went there on a trip (to the Cote d’Azur and Paris) and thought it would be cool to learn French fluently. I thought living there would be the best way to achieve that.
      My parents were married in Paris and talked about raising me bilingual. Alas, they didn’t do that and while I took French in school and even later in life, I have not learned to speak it fluently.
      I have friends who live in New Zealand part time and Australia part time so both places are on my “bucket list.” Tried to trade in some mileage this year for a visit, but couldn’t get a MileagePlus seat.
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts here.
      May all your dreams come true in 2013.

  11. I love your blog post! I was born in Colorado, but I never lived there I lived in New Mexico. Wow Hawaii that would have been a great place to live as the pictures I see are so beautiful. I sold two miniature horses to a lady who lives in Hawaii. That was an experience getting them there.

    Sorry to hear about Ike as I know how hard it is to loose an animal friend. I still cry about some that I’ve lost too. Thanks for sharing a little bit about yourself. ~Kim
    Kim Wende recently posted…Patting A HorseMy Profile

    • Hi @Kim, I had no idea you were born in Colorado. Where?
      The island of Kaua`i is beautiful and while there are many gorgeous pictures, nothing compares to being there in person. If you ever have the chance to visit, you should. I’m guessing that in order to get two miniature horses to Hawaii, they had to travel via boat. Did the horses make the journey okay?
      Thanks for your thoughts about Ike. Of course, while I think Ike was the best dog on the planet, I know I am not alone in having owned an incredible pet with a heart of gold.
      Best wishes for a fabulous new year. ~Debra

      • In Durango, Colorado. I would love to go to Hawaii someday that would be awesome. The miniature horses I sold to the lady in Hawaii were flown over there in big crates. Yes they made the journey with no problems at all. One was a 29″ stallion and the other was a 36″ mare.

  12. Very cool post Debra, you’re one interesting lady!! I love that you are like a “quintuple threat”! Acting, singing, dancing, DJing, modeling–YAY!!!! Oh, I used to watch the Barbizan commercials when I was young and daydream like nobody’s business! How was it? Something about me… besides dreaming of modeling when I was a teen in the 90s, I also wanted to be an opera singer!! In high school for the Sr. superlatives or whatever, I got “most likely to be on saturday night live” and “most likely to be a stunt person”, whatever that means! I also have a massive feather collection as well as a wine cork one and am not quite sure what I’ll be doing with either. YAY!!!!! Congratulations on doing what you love for 24 years, that’s quite a feat!!! 🙂
    eyenie recently posted…Focusing on Your “Happy Things” = How You Kick AssMy Profile

    • Eyenie, when my father first suggested I take singing lessons from a friend of his I said “no” because she was an opera singer and I didn’t want to sing opera. About a year later, I did take singing lessons from her as I realized she wasn’t teaching me opera, she was teaching me how to sing & breathe. I was living in NY then and when I left NY to go to graduate school in CO, I never picked up singing lessons again. I am thinking about it now and putting out the energy for the “right” teacher to come into my path. I would love to see you singing on Saturday Night Live.
      I did go to the Barbizon School of Modeling when I was a teenager in New York.
      You can make a cork board out of the corks. How about earrings out of the feathers? Or, put them on clips you can wear in your hair. I have a collection of matchbooks and at one point thought of “letting go” of them, but I do use the matches to light my candles and fires in the fireplace so I guess I’m hanging on to them.
      Here’s to focusing on happy things. Have a great day. Hugs. ~Debra

  13. Yes… so much in common, Debra. Aligned experiences and values for sure. I used to play a game with my friends called “Little Known Fact.” One thing you may not know is that I co-authored and sang a latin jingle for a Coffee Company back in the day. I got such a kick out of hearing myself on the radio, day in and day out… and so did my friends and family.

    • Love that @Adela. I bet you, your friends & family got a kick out of that. It’s great! Do you still have a copy of the recording?
      I was in a TV commercial for JC Penney’s once. However, you’d never know it was me as they had me dressed up like an older woman, hunched over (it was a shadow effect so you never saw who it was at all). I don’t have a copy of it anywhere. And, once I was on “Mork & Mindy” when they filmed it here in Boulder. It took 3-4 hours to film and I was only on the screen for seconds. It was a kick to watch it on TV with my family. Somewhere I may have it on a VHS tape.
      Fun learning these little-known facts. Thanks for sharing. ~Debra

  14. Unfortunately, I don’t have a recording. Fun memories for sure.
    Adela Rubio recently posted…Rituals for Awakening: Let’s Celebrate the Light!My Profile

  15. Love this post so honest and authentic! Something unusual we have in common… I went to Barbizon’s School of Modeling as well in Minnesota. I then went out to Colorado (where my sister lived) and tried to get into modeling. They wanted $1000 to do a portfolio and get me started. My sister and I decided it was more of a gimmick than a real offer so that dream of mine was laid to rest. I would have never survived in the modeling industry because I’m too much of a feminist.
    Julie Geigle recently posted…Dream Your Biggest DreamMy Profile

    • Thanks @Julie. I was 16 when I went to Barbizon. However, after I left NY and moved to Colorado, I actually got some photos together for a portfolio (didn’t pay $1000 for it). When I knew I had a trip planned to NYC (where I grew up), I started contacting agencies. That’s when I started hearing “you’re too short.”

  16. Congratulations Debra on 24 years in business and thanks for sharing moments of your life.
    It’s my second year of having my own business and the first one when I’m determined to make it full-time occupation.

    Happy New Year!
    Inga Deksne recently posted…why some dreams remain only dreamsMy Profile

    • Congrats on your 2nd year in business @Inga. I did my biz full-time from the get-go. I’d say that after about 3 years, it felt like it was real! Hard to believe it’s now been 24 years. Wishing you much success as you move forward. Thanks. ~Debra

  17. Debra, we have a lot in common! I took voice lessons until I went off to college, and before that, dance lessons (ballet, tap and jazz). I still love to sing and dance! My fave song to sing at karaoke places is Last Dance. Thanks for sharing such interesting info!

    • @Jeanine, I think when I was very young I took ballet. I took tap lessons as an adult, but it was quite a few years ago. However, I was in a tap recital and several friends came to see me perform. That was fun. Do you sing the Donna Summer song “Last Dance?” I used to play that song a lot when I was a DJ in a discotheque.
      Thanks for sharing some things we have in common. ~Debra

  18. Forgot to mention that I also took Barbizon modeling classes when I was about ten years old.

  19. Hi Debra! Working in the chicken factory was cold! lol I liked it because I started early and got off earlier:-) It was a very interesting experience. Out of the 8 months I worked there, I only saw one incident with the chicken meat I didn’t like very much.

    Someone once asked me at lunch, ” Is it true that everyone carries guns on the streets.” I said you watch to much American TV.
    Dana recently posted…52 Ways to FreedomMy Profile

  20. I had a special friend growing up. She lived next door and we did everything together, but when I was 12 years old, dad moved us to the country after purchasing his dad’s farmhouse.

    I left that friend behind. Oh sure, there were times when I could talk to her on the phone and every now and then mom would let her spend the night, but as the weeks turned to months and into years – I lost touch.

    I recently found her again on Facebook and we’ve connected, but it’s not the same. We lost touch so many years ago (40 to be exact) and we’re different people. I have no idea what makes her tick and it saddens me that I finally found her but that’s pretty much where it ends. 🙁
    Bonnie Gean recently posted…How Do You Build Trust with a Blog?My Profile

    • Bonnie, first I got excited when you said you re-connected with your friend via Facebook. Sorry to hear that the experience left you saddened. However, as you said, 40 years has passed and people change. At least you have the joyful childhood memories to look back on as I’m sure that shaped your life as you were growing up.


  1. […] year, on the anniversary of my business, I revealed 24 things you didn’t know about me. So, this year, inspired by the Facebook post – and celebrating 25 years in business – […]

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