Ashley Gibbard

Everyone’s Path is Different

Our readings have covered many different paths to startups. What we have learned is what you set out to do may not be what you end up doing, and most importantly everyone’s path is different. We have read brief stories about people and their businesses, whether they were a success or a failure and we learned just how determined you have to be to simply push past just the idea of a startup.

It was really interesting to get to hear from Donna Ladd, c0-founder of the Jackson Free Press, because she fits these criteria. We got to hear her tell her own story, nothing was cut out, nothing could have been taken in a different context, and we got to hear the passion in her voice when she talked about her journey and her love for reporting.

What I liked most about hearing Donna’s story was where her interest in journalism came from. Learning that her mother was illiterate, so Donna enjoyed reading the news was really powerful. Everyone seems to have a unique story behind what they are passionate about and those are the stories we don’t get to hear unless we ask the person. Also that Donna grew up in a town she didn’t like and she moved out and had no intention of going back but that is where she is now. Each stepping stone in her career ending up leading her back home where her startup success story took place and that is really special.

I know the Jackson Free Press was started in 2002, but it is a strong example of an alternative newsweekly. This is an area of journalism I think all major cities and maybe even smaller cities should look at.

What I also found helpful about Donna’s story was the question she answered about wanting to specialize in a specific area of journalism. I think we know that these days to be in journalism we have to be familiar with all areas of production and ways to share information and she reiterated that, but I loved that she said don’t give up on the thing you are passionate about doing. She is running a business but her true passion lies in reporting.

I also like that she met her partner while pursuing her career and they were able to create this startup together. I am always interested in people’s stories when they are able to work with their significant other successfully.

It’s always encouraging especially now when we are getting ready to start our careers to hear from someone who truly never gave up on their dreams, it’s cool to hear how dreams evolve into something that you may have never thought of before. That’s how startups are created, having a passion for something and following it if you do that it will create dreams and possibilities for you.

One thought on “Everyone’s Path is Different

  1. Thank you for this post. I do wear most of my life on my sleeve and in my writings. I believe in honesty, and the warts along the way make us who we are. Always remember that we have to use our pain and challenges to become better at what we do and effect change. And thank you for the comments about my mother; she will always be my hero, may she rest in peace.

    One thing: I don’t live in my hometown now, which is still too small for me. I live in the capital city about 90 miles away, but I can go visit when I want. It’s wonderful to be close to family again and do what I love. Go kick some butt in journalism and make the world a better place.


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