This month’s featured member is Jill Schoenberg.  She is the author of the award winning self-esteem journal for children, Journal Buddies and founder of Blue Sky at Night Publishing.  Journal Buddies has received the Mom’s Choice Award as well as the Dove Family Approved Seal.

Journal Buddies is an interactive, guided and creative journaling system that strengthens self-esteem, builds healthy relationships, and encourages creativity.

Read on for the insight Jill shares in the questions we asked her.

The idea for Journal Buddies first came to me through a brief moment of inspiration in February of 2005.   The journey from that first moment of inspiration to holding an actual printed and bound book in my hands has been challenging and enjoyable, exhilarating and exhausting, and I would do it all over again if I were asked!!!

I have long desired to make a difference in the lives of others, especially kids, and that desire is the very essence of this project. The material I present in  Journal Buddies is intended to shed light on the magnificent and excellent Spirit that dwells within us all and to help facilitate a fun and enjoyable process of self-discovery.

Blue Sky at Night Publishing is committed to helping people creativelyvconnect, communicate and celebrate through the power and magic of interactive journaling.

What’s your why?  Why did you start your business?

In a nutshell, I started my publishing company because I wanted to own the full rights to my ideas.  You see a few years ago during what I like to call my “brief moment of inspiration” the idea for my award-winning Journal Buddies books came to me.   This idea led me to much research and learning about the book publishing industry.

After pitching my books to some major, medium and online publishers (and after much rejection), I received an acceptance letter from an online publisher.  I was thrilled, that is until I read the legal terms of our agreement.  They would own the book, the idea, the designs and all concepts, and the cost for me to purchase my own idea back from the company was, well…. astronomical!

I returned to my research more determined than ever to find a way to publish my book, own my ideas and create my dreams in my own, creative way.  That my dear friends is how my publishing company & my Journal Buddies books were born.  And what an adventure is has been and continues to be!

What has been of the greatest help for you building your business so far?

The greatest help in building my business thus far has been, without a doubt, the many wonderful souls who have encouraged me along the way.  My wonderful family, my lovely friends, all of my many beautiful professional contacts; I owe my success to them.

The journey to creating a business is wondrous and amazing, but it is also filled with more challenges than one can imagine at the onset.  This is where the love, guidance and support of others emerged for me as the most priceless help in getting my business started and in creating the life of my dreams.  For the unceasing support and encouragement I received from so many I am deeply grateful, for I could not made this journey alone.

Are there any tools, techniques, resources etc… that you have used that have been helpful to you?

Network. Network. Network.  Meeting, sharing and helping each other out is essential to the successful businesswomen, in my humble opinion.  That is why I love Secrets of Her Success so very much; it’s all about connecting, sharing, supporting, encouraging, guiding… It’s simply a lovely resource!

Mediation is another key to the success of my business.  As any business owner knows the “To Do” list is often endless, especially when starting a new business venture.  What I have learned is that taking precious time in the morning and in the evening to sit quietly and tune in to the silence within is absolutely essential to counter balance the often-frantic pace of a budding entrepreneur.  Oh do I wish I had made more time for mediation when I first began Blue Sky at Night!  How much more ease, grace and joy would have flowed into my life and my business if I would have allowed for the time to sit and simply be quite and listen to the silence.

Finally, sometimes you just need to walk away, forget about your business and engage the love and simple joys of life.  A walk outside on a crisp morning, dinner with a friend, or playing with my nieces and nephews, these are the truly valuable moments in life.  When setting up and running a business, if we are not careful with the investment of our time we can easily miss out on these amazing opportunities.  In other words, insist that you take breaks in order savor the joys of life that always abound!

Have there been any challenges in your business that you were able to overcome?  What/How?

This is a fantastic question, and yes there have been many challenges I have overcome.  But the biggest challenge of all that I have overcome was myself.  The limitations and barriers I faced that were the most difficult and caused the most troubles for me came from within.  The courage it took to face myself and the way I overcame this challenge was through sheer determination and persistence.

Is there anything that you’ve learned along the way that you wish you had known early on (“Hind sight is 20/20”)?

Yes I wish I had known how hard I can be on myself, and I wish I would have lighten-up much sooner.

What keeps you going even when times get tough?

Passion.  I love what I do –  it’s my calling, and truthfully I’d do it for free (that’s how I know it’s truly my passion).  The deep love I have for my journals and my publishing company gives me energy to keep on keeping on even when times are tough.

What is/are your favorite quote/s to live and work by?

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”  ~Helen Keller

Hmmm… what can I say to such wisdom?  I think I’ll just let those wise words sink more deeply into my being.

Do you have any favorite books on business and/or personal development?

Oh yes, I have many favorite books, but tops on my list these days for personal development are books and resources by Yogananda Paramahamsa.    His materials teach scientific methods of meditation and principles of spiritual living that lead to a life of inner peace and attunement with God/Universe/Source.  Indeed, I decided to commit a full year of studies to Paramahamsa’s Self-Realizations studies.

Oh, and I love absolutely anything by Marianne Williamson, too!

Regarding business books, I have read many and some of my favorite authors include James Arthur Ray, Joe Vitale, and a variety of other Law of Attraction based writers.

Do you have any favorite web sites for business and/or personal development?

I absolutely love Secrets of Her Success and think it is one of the most useful and content-rich, authentic resources out there on the web!

Also, a great online marketing resource is SEO 20/20.  Those guys really know their Internet marketing stuff and offer tons and tons of content for a very reasonable price.

What words of wisdom could you offer a business owner on their way to their dreams?

Never give up and know that the journey will be full of many joys and many challenges.  And remember, it took most successful business people many, many years of effort to become overnight successes!

What’s your dream?

My biggest dream of all is to live my life fully present and in the now filled with love, peace and joy for myself and for all of humanity and to express love to all of those around me.  Then, and only then, will I find true happiness and joy in all of my work and in all of the circumstances of my life.  From this place of power grows my passion, my work and my creations.

What do you think is the secret to success?

Doing things for the love of it, not for the results.  If you truly love what you are doing, the results – whether large or small – will thrill you to the depths of your being, create great joy and offer you the happiness you desire.

Fill in the Blanks (in regard to business):

Whatever you DO: do it with love.
Whatever you do, DO NOT: do it because you think you should do it.

Anything else that you would like to share that may be helpful knowledge to anyone reading this?

Recognize and realize that building a business is much more about building yourself than about the business.  Do the inner work on yourself and the outer work of building your business will occur naturally as an expression of your True Self.

When you build a business from the inside out the journey becomes so much more meaningful and enjoyable that words can barely begin to convey the astonishing differences you’ll experience.  Others will feel the joy, love and purpose of your business and how it may best serve the many needs of humanity.  This, in turn, will create your customer base and your material success. And yet, the joy of expressing your authentic self will remain the core of your business and for this reason your work will serve you, and in turn you will have more with which to serve others.

Besides, building a business from the inside out is an exhilarating and unmatched experience!

Happy journaling…

Jill Schoenberg is the author of the award winning books Journal Buddies: A Girl’s Journal for Sharing and Celebrating Magnificence and Journal Buddies: A Boys Journal for Discovering and Sharing Excellence. Please visit for more information about Jill and her work or send her an email at

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Filed under: Featured Business Owner Interviews

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