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Ruth RossName: Ruth Ross

Book Title: Coming Alive: The Journey to Reengage Your Life and Career

Your book’s Amazon purchase link: 

What is your book about? Coming Alive is the prescription for anyone who has ever personally felt the pain of knowing they weren’t fully engaged at work or at home (or both), has an important person in his or her life experiencing this, or perhaps manages a team that is struggling with disengagement. This book will act as your roadmap to walk toward something better by being thoughtful, strategic, and intentional. It will take you on a journey to understand the power of passion and commitment, pinpoint the underlying causes, recognize the symptoms, and most importantly, learn an easy-to-use treatment plan for reengagement.

Coming AliveWhat inspired you to write your book?  In 2011, I diagnosed my own disengagement when working as an Executive Vice President of Human Resources for a top Fortune 100 company and knew that I had to reengage, both at work and at home. I made the decision to start my own company and to write a book to help others who were also struggling with these feelings.

Can you describe your writing process? There were two processes: one that worked and one that was definitely a lesson to learn from. I started out with an idea and just started writing with no structure. I had so much in my head that I wanted to get down on paper. I ended up with a lot of good ideas in a really bad book. Then, I got smart and decided to be more thoughtful and intentional. I began by identifying my eight chapter headings and writing a summary paragraph of what I thought I wanted to include in each. I then tackled the chapters one at a time, with absolute focus and clarity. I also made the decision to clear my calendar of client work as best I could to focus on the writing, and four months later I had a completed manuscript that I was really happy with.  

How did you come to do what you’re doing today? It was having my “face-in-the-mirror” moment when I just knew I had lost the passion for the work I had done for thirty years.  I knew in my heart that I needed to find the happiness I had lost in my soul and thankfully had a loving and supportive husband who encouraged me to follow my dream to become a writer and speaker.

Can you describe a typical day in your life? I usually have one or two meetings or calls related to my work, and then I try and devote time to writing my blog and articles for major publications. I also attempt to take a long walk at least four days a week, which is my feeble attempt at exercise.

What do you most enjoy about what you do? I love not having a boss! I really enjoy being able to focus on what I want and that includes writing about things that I am passionate about. I also love the reaction I get when I speak to a group of people about engagement and you can literally see the light come back in to their eyes when they realize they don’t need to be stuck in a pit of quicksand, which is what disengagement feels like to many. I love that I can teach people to work to thrive, instead of just working to survive.

Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey?

My late husband was an amazing source of inspiration for me. He was the one who encouraged me to take the plunge and start writing. He challenged me to be the best I could be and to honor and share my voice. 

Can you share something that people may be surprised to learn about you?

I love to play poker. It keeps me engaged and challenged.

What’s next for you?

My husband died suddenly and unexpectedly several months ago, so that has changed a bit the direction I’m now taking. The lesson learned coming from this tragedy is that you have to cherish every moment and live life to its fullest. I’m still moving forward (excitedly, I might add) with launching a half-day workshop for managers based on the concepts of my book May 2015, and believe it is filling a big gap in the workplace today, but I’m also thinking there might be another book in me.

Is there anything else you would like to add? I love to encourage people to walk toward something better rather than running away from what isn’t working for them.

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