Rise & Shine Interview: Anna Runyan

Ever wondered how business experts turn their passion into a reality through writing? I'm excited that today, Anna Runyan, is “Speaking From the Heart” and sharing her experiences with all of us. 

Anna Runyan, MBA, is a Blogger, Career Coach, Professor, and Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton in San Diego. Anna started her blog, Classycareergirl.com, in March 2010 to document what she was learning during business school and on the job. She quickly found that what she was learning was helping other young professionals as well. After just a few months, Classycareergirl.com was named one of the top 50 up and coming HR blogs for career development. Anna writes her blog as her “passion project” and loves helping others nail interviews and find fulfilling careers. Her growing blog now receives over 200,000 page views/month and her Get Ahead Community has grown to over 30 professional women. I was introduced to Anna after finding out about a blogging teleseminar she hosted. I listened in and realized that we share similar stories so I had to reach out and connect with her.  I am really inspired by Anna's vision and passion so I asked her to be part of this series.  Read her interview below.

(c) Anna Runyan
(c) Anna Runyan

Why do you believe self-expression (speaking from the heart) is important?

Trust is really important. When I first started blogging in 2010, I was an anonymous blogger. It was really hard for people to get to know me and really relate to me because they didn't even know my name. When I finally came out with my name and face in 2011, my engagement skyrocketed. People could relate to me and really get to know me better. I now try my best to be authentic and bring my personal life into my business. I want to be the same person in my business as in my personal life. I don't believe that there should be a line between the two. If you go to a job and you feel like a different person while you are working than when you are at home, then that might not be the right job for you. In business, sharing your personal details through your blog and social media is really important so people trust you and want to work with you more.

How has writing empowered you in other areas of your life?

Writing my blog helped me identify my passion. When you write about a certain topic for a year, you become more of an expert on it and you really realize what you enjoy learning about. Writing a blog helped me find a job as a Professor of Career Development at DeVry University. Writing a blog helped me start a career coaching business. Writing a blog helped me land speaking opportunities at universities across the country and helped me be featured in People and Forbes. Writing a blog helped me get a book publisher. So I think it is safe to say that writing has absolutely changed my life and career direction.

How did you find your authentic voice through writing?

I think you have to stop thinking about what people want you to write and just write from the heart. What do you want to write? Stop thinking about what the readers want, and think about what you want to write about.


How did you develop the courage to stand tall (i.e., get the courage to share your writing)?

It wasn't too hard to start blogging because I was anonymous for a year.

The courage really came when I decided to put my name and face out there.

I just felt like it was the right thing to do, and I realized that I could help more people if I was able to come out of my shell.

When you have a hard time writing, what do you do to work through it?

I have to go to a coffee shop and get away from my home office. Over the last year, I have written my book (coming out this fall!) and the only way I could focus on writing and editing was going to a coffee shop, turning off the social media,  getting lots of caffeine, and focusing. You have to plan it in your schedule, otherwise writing won't happen. You have to be inspired and in a creative mindset to do your best writing. Forced writing doesn't really work for me.

How did you find your support group?

I reach out to people online that I admire and ask to interview them.

People want to help; but you have to ask, otherwise they can't help you! My husband is my secret business coach. He listens to me and has amazing suggestions. I have also joined a women's entrepreneur group and hired my own coach and that helps me to keep reaching my goals and dreams.

Any advice for new writers/authors?

I never knew three years ago that starting a blog would bring so many amazing opportunities. Just write a little everyday and you never know where it might lead!

Thanks for speaking from your heart and empowering others, Anna! Keep up the fantastic work! If you have any specific questions for Anna about blogging, please feel free to ask :)

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One question that came to my mind after reflecting on what Anna said was, "How do you get inspired and into a creative mindset?" Many people struggle with this, so I'm reaching out to you all and asking for your input.  Looking forward to hearing your suggestions!

Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you at the beach!

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