1. What is your greatest regret?


I try very hard not to dwell on past mistakes, preferring to focus on the present and my resolve to do better. However, one thing I have always regretted is not taking time out after leaving full time education – where I was completely sheltered from the realities of life – to gain more experience and simply enjoy being young before rushing headlong into the very different demands of a career, relationships and the inevitable responsibilities that come with both.


Although I definitely do not regret the path I chose in life, had I taken that break and maybe travelled more, I would have hopefully been more mature – and better prepared – to deal with the unexpected challenges that were ultimately thrown at me, instead of having to stumble my way through it on a daily basis, without the luxury of time – or worldly experience – to do a better job.


Despite this, I managed to have a successful career and a very happy marriage… but I still regret not taking that gap year!


2. Please explain more what you do


I had a long career as a graphic designer, mainly working for a magazine publisher in London. I was primarily responsible for designing and producing the company’s weekly news magazine for the fresh produce industry, but I was also responsible for other publishing projects, including involvement with the PR and marketing department. In this capacity I designed exhibition stands and took care of clients’ marketing needs, such as brochures and other printed matter. From time to time I even wrote the odd press release.


These activities meant that I worked extremely closely with journalists – proof reading their copy and occasionally writing captions and headlines. I was already an avid reader and had enjoyed writing essays at school, so being exposed to this environment helped to hone my skills as a writer.

Sheila Rawlings – Biography 

Having always been a prolific reader, I soon began to expand my literary passion by writing short stories as part of my English Literature projects at school, a process that was actively encouraged by my teachers.

​During my secondary education – at Bexley Technical High School for Girls in Bexleyheath, Kent – I also discovered I had a gift for art and design and, after obtaining 6 O Levels and 2 A Levels, went on to complete a four-year course in Graphic Design at Medway College of Art in Chatham, Kent (now the University of Creative Arts). However, my interest in literature and writing remained.

​After graduating from college, I worked as a graphic designer for two separate mail order companies, designing and producing their catalogues, before finally joining a magazine publisher. As well as designing and producing their weekly trade magazine, I was also involved in the production of a variety of their other publications, working closely with editors and journalists.

​When the company decided to form a PR department, I was enlisted to run it. As well as the design and exhibition side, this involved producing press releases and marketing literature, giving me an opportunity to hone my writing skills.

​While exposed to this environment, I began to write my first novel. However, due to the long hours and pressures of publishing, I was forced to abandon what I had begun. It was only after recently retiring, and missing the focus and discipline of the schedules I was used to, that I finally managed to complete the novel – a thriller – which went on to be nominated as a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Independent Book Award 2014. I have since completed my second novel – book one of a trilogy – which is also a thriller.


Good luck with your books 

Don’t be the Victim: 

Using Writing to Inspire OthersWriting has always been an escape for me. To say that my childhood was less than ideal is an understatement. During the hard times, I found myself retreating into my writing. The worlds that I created allowed me to control something in my life and provided a foundation for me to stand on. Over time, I was able to break out of the situation, go to college, and become successful. 

There are very few times that I speak of my past. I try my best to focus on the present and future. 

Why did I tell you all of this? Inspiration.

Over the years I have connected with others that are struggling or have a similar situation. I share my story about breaking through the cycle and using writing as a tool to accomplish this. Dealing with violence, drugs, poverty, and alcoholism is not easy for any person (especially a child). I am one of the fortunate few who has broken the cycle and remained far away from it.

Writing has always been a core of my foundation. I did not use it to escape reality, but to provide a constant structure in my life that I controlled. It is easy to take on the victim mentality in tough situations. Things will happen in life that we have little to no control over. This does not mean that we have to play the victim. 

We are all in control of how we respond, how we act, and how we treat others. The power of positive thinking will put you into a mindset that will allow you to achieve goals you never thought were possible. A book by Helga Klopcic and KC Harry, Remove Negative Thinking: How to Instantly Harness Mindfulness and The Power of Positive Thinking is a great resource in helping you identify these negative patterns, reframe your mind, and enforce positive thinking. 

How do you use the power of positive thinking combined with writing to inspire others to do the same? Are you in a situation or something that has happened to you which gave you the victim mentality? Take a step back from the situation, engage in positive thinking, and find a way to use writing to inspire others. What you will learn is that inspiring others will be far more rewarding than thinking about being a victim.

Additional Resource: Greatest Inspirational Quotes: 365 days to more Happiness, Success, and Motivation by Joe Tichio

About the Author:

Theodore Roach is the author of Book Launch Marketing: 35 Easy Ways to Promote Your Book, Increase Sales and become a Bestselling Self-Published Author. As a marketing coach, Mr. Roach continues to help authors publish their books with a solid strategy to climb the charts. In addition, Mr. Roach writes various fiction genres and has created a group of over 200+ authors as a support community for each other. 

For more information, visit:

Angel Capital vs Venture Capital vs Private Equity

David Cummings on Startups

Last week I was talking to an angel investor that had invested in a couple idea stage startups and he mentioned that he was also interested in small private equity deals. Curious, I probed deeper and asked what a small private equity deal looks like. He responded that it might be a startup with $500k in revenue. Hmm, I realized we were talking about different things. Here’s how I see it:

Angel Capital

  • Idea stage through seed stage
  • $0 – $1 million in revenue
  • Not profitable
  • Minority stake
  • Insanely risky
  • No debt component

Venture Capital

  • Early stage through growth stage
  • $1 million+ in revenue
  • Not profitable
  • Minority stake
  • Very risky
  • Moderate debt component

Private Equity

  • Growth stage
  • $20 million++ in revenue
  • At least $5 million in profits
  • Majority stake
  • Moderately risky
  • Heavy debt component

So, the gentleman I was talking to was really looking for angel deals where the company was…

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