Living Life Your Way....Interview with April Bowles

I've been working hard the last few months at overcoming my fears and following my dreams. So I'm running a series of interview with inspiring people to see what part fear has played in their life and how they've overcome it to live life their way...


photo credit - Teri H Hoover Photography

Hey! Tell us a little about yourself.

Hey! I’m April.
I help creative entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality through my website, Blacksburg Belle, where I write about marketing, blogging, and increasing business success. I’ve been creating ever since my mother handed me a box of brightly colored crayons, but I didn’t make creating my job until I quit my day job almost two years ago to pursue my creative passions.
I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my Inspired Blogging for Creative Entrepreneurs program, and you can sign up to receive the first month for free on my website homepage.

Is the life you lead now the life you've always dreamt of?

 Not at all. The entire time I was growing up and through college I thought I wanted a “normal” job. When I entered college, I was on the road to becoming an elementary school teacher and then decided to become a therapist for at-risk adolescents. I got my master’s degree in clinical social work at NYU and landed a job that allowed me to do what I’d been dreaming of doing.

One of the hardest decisions I’ve made was to end my career as a therapist.

My career was kinda like drinking margaritas and eating pizza every day. I liked it, but my body didn’t. I was constantly sick, suffering from tension headaches, and living off of Diet Coke for energy. I couldn’t shut off my “therapist self” when I was at home, so my life was consumed with worry.

Then, my husband {my fiancé at the time} and I decided to move back to Virginia to be closer to our family and many of our good friends. He got a job offer about six months before graduating from law school, so we had six months to save and plan.

Sometime during the planning, I realized that I wanted to live a more creative life. I wanted to the take the jewelry and art I was making and turn it into my job. Thankfully, I have a supportive husband who jumped on board right away.

I learned everything I could about marketing, the psychology of buying, how to sell handmade stuff, and running a small business. After running my own business for a while, I decided I also wanted to help creative entrepreneurs build successful businesses. That’s where I am now, and I wouldn’t change any of it.

When you have faced difficulties, what has been your inspiration to keep going?

I’ve got an amazing, supportive network of family and friends, and they have been the biggest influence in my ability to move forward when things are difficult.

I also find inspiration by remembering that I control a lot of my situation and my mood. I decide whether or not to look at a situation and admit defeat or plow through it. Of course, there are situations that I can’t control like the death of a family member or getting really sick, but I still have control on how I’m going to react and move forward. When I remember that, I feel empowered.

Fear affects us all at some point. What part has fear played in your life and how have you overcome it?

Fear pops up all the time. I think anyone who says otherwise is either superhuman or lying. Whenever I experience changes {positive or negative}, fear emerges.

To overcome it, I try to stay present and live in the moment. For instance, I recently accepted a speaking invitation, and I have to fly to get there. I hate flying. Before I fly anywhere, I get anxious and scared. I don’t like feeling out of control. In order to get over that fear so I don’t have a complete meltdown or panic attack, I try to stay present. I look at the people around me, I get out of my head, and I focus on bodily sensations and my breath.

Fear was an emotion I experienced regularly when I decided to leave my day job. I was on an emotional roller coaster. One minute I felt on top of the world and filled with excitement and the next my inner critic took over and the fear was almost paralyzing. During that time, I tried to remain present and I also relied on my husband for support. Whenever I was having a fear-filled moment, he was there to listen. 

What advice would you offer on following your heart and living your dreams?

Make a plan and take action today.

We often think our dreams will never come true. That it happens for other people, but not for us. But, that’s not true. It might happen for some people faster than others, but you’re ultimately in control of making your dreams come true.

Too often, I talk to people who’ve never considered how to make their dreams reality. For instance, if you dream of living at the beach, have you checked out how much more or less expensive the rent and other costs would be? Have you looked for a job near the beach? If you dream of quitting your day job, have you figured out how much you would need to save in order to do it? Do you take small actions every day to make it happen?

Living your dreams is not about “big” action. It’s about everyday action. If you take actions every day to get closer to your dreams, you’ll get there.

What do you think are the three most important things you need to lead a happy and radiant life?

Wow. That’s a tough question. But, I’ll try to answer.
In my opinion, you need people in your life that love and support you. You need to live according to your values and beliefs. And, if I’m being truly honest, you need money. I’m not talking about millions of dollars—but enough to satisfy your basic needs and a few wants.

You can find April at Blacksburg Belle


  1. I love your interviews! Such a nice section of your blog.

    Lara xoxo

  2. Thanks for this Polly (and April!) I was inspired by this post, and I have just taken a step towards a job that I have been thinking about for some time:)

  3. Lauren (ladaisi)May 09, 2011

    This post was so inspiring! I love meeting other people who pursue their creative dreams and try to live by them - it makes it so much easier for me to do the same!

  4. C. C. HomemakerMay 10, 2011

    Im going to love this series, such a great post, which is really relevant to me right now. Im also having a dilemma knowing I want a whole new career after ive just spent 3years studying psychology. Its scary to try something different and not have that security. But im building on my passion, finally started doing a blog and im starting a local business course for women who have "just an idea". Its a start.

    Really did enjoyed this Polly exactly what I need today! thanks x


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