Are You Doing What You Were Born to Do?


Just as every leaf on a tree is designed with its own intricate pattern, so were you born in that unique way. When you start doing what you were born to do, everything falls into place, as sure as that leaf eventually falls from its branches. I know this, because I’m living, breathing proof. When you start to follow your destiny, great things happen.

Pardon me for feeling philosophical today, but there’s really something to this. Beginning to live by doing what you were born to do, is the real secret to life–I just know it.

When I started to take my own passion for writing seriously, everything along the way fell into place. I began to skate easily over obstacles. People I had only been loosely tied to in my network, were suddenly there to assist me as quickly as my own friends and colleagues have been. I began to realize why I had met some of these people in the first place; we were destined to meet.

I can only hope my connections have been as impacted by me as I have them along my journey to rediscover what I was born to do, because what they’ve each done for me is immeasurable and I am indebted:

When I needed an illustrator for my story, my supplier friend, Jennifer Dawson, put me in touch with her brother, “Mr. Lawrence”, a storyboard director for SpongeBob SquarePants and also the voice of Plankton. Mr. Lawrence worked with his colleague, Marc Ceccarelli, who eventually produced most of the illustrations for Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore.

When I needed a publisher for my animated and musical picture book app for iTunes, a colleague, Nathan Bailey, put me in touch with Creative Director, Jacqueline Merrill, at Skies America who published my story.

Coincidentally, I met Robby Armstrong, the musician who eventually wrote and produced the original musical score for the app, on an elevator in Nashville during a business trip. We got to talking because his wife, Chimene Armstrong, looked so much like Cameron Diaz. (I later learned his wife IS Cameron Diaz’s sister.) Chimene is now one of my closest friends. Robby and I are both dreamers and it’s been a pleasure to watch his career take-off. Robby just got back from hitting his own stage at the CMA Music Fest in Nashville.

When I came up with the idea to use my background and book to crowd-fund an island for social good in a third-world country, my friend, Baz Patel, said, “Hey, I think I can help. I can introduce you to some friends in crowd-funding. Baz has also helped me build the Finding Corte Magore project from the ground up. Baz and I met on the golf course where our children played together in a golf league.

My client, Lorna Pierno, is Nicaraguan. When I told her I was going to Nicaragua and wanted to meet agricultural workers and their children who drop out of school in the fifth grade, Lorna knew she could help me. “Tonia,” she said, “I’d like to invite you home with me, to our family’s coffee plantation in Nicaragua, where you will meet one-hundred children who drop out of school early. (The plantation owners don’t make the decisions for the kids, the parents do.) My family would like to support you in this,” Lorna said. Lorna leaves for Nicaragua with me next week and will also be my guest while we tour some of the islands for sale on the Caribbean side of the country.

When my Literary Manager, Gayla Nethercott, saw what I wanted to do in Nicaragua for the Finding Corte Magore island project–connecting crowdfunders and kids here in the US with kids there to keep them from dropping out of school, she quickly jumped into action. Gayla said, “Hey, there may be a documentary or film in this.” She’s been working with me and Baz on pitch videos and she’s also connected me to award-winning filmmaker, Robert Bella, who is also leaving for Nicaragua with me next week.

When Robert started to put together his wish list for camera equipment for the guerrilla-style filmmaking he’ll do in Nicaragua with me, he advised we’ll have to purchase or rent very specific camera equipment. Just a day earlier, Lydia Hurlbut endorsed me on LinkedIn. I recalled that Lydia was in that business. (Lydia is a friend and is a wife to renowned cinematographer, Shane Hurlbut). Together, Shane and Lydia own Hurlbut Visuals and Revolution Cinema Rentals and are working to get us the right equipment for our trip through their connections. This trip came together in such a big hurry, I needed Lydia quickly. When I couldn’t reach her, I sent a message to a mutual friend, Star Ladin, owner of Women Entrepreneurs Group. Star knew how to get into touch with Lydia right away.

Yesterday, by the pool at a promotional products industry (my day job) event, a new colleague told me one of his best clients just left the corporate world in marketing to go teach English to kids in Nicaragua. He and I both knew we were supposed to meet to connect his client to me and my project.

I can go on and on and add names and friends and connections to this blog post and when I have a bit more time, I will. Everything is so serendipitous and connected, it’s uncanny. I can’t help but think this was all meant to be.

When I was younger, I wrote nearly every day. Back then, my teachers and friends applauded my efforts in writing and encouraged me to one day grow-up to be a writer. Along the way, I fell off my own path and stopped doing what I now know is what I was born to do. The phrase, “Finding Corte Magore”, to me, means getting myself back on my own path and, if I can, help or remind other people to reconnect with or discover their own.

See you on Corte Magore!

Tonia Allen Gould
Author of Samuel T. Moore or Corte Magore, Entrepreneur/Tagsource, and Founder of the Finding Corte Magore Project.

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Author: Tonia Allen Gould

Tonia Allen Gould is the CEO of Tagsource, a 25-year-old Consumer Promotions and Marketing Agency, she's founder of the Finding Corte Magore Project, and children's book author of Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore. Here, on this blog, she writes about whatever compels her at the moment. In her book, she explores the concepts of perseverance, hard work, bullying, and finding a place to call home for young readers. The impetus of the Finding Corte Magore project stems from Tonia's background - growing-up below the poverty line, in rural Indiana. A product of Indiana's foster care system, she is the first to say that books, a solid education and teachers, taught her there was a life for herself, tangible and within her reach, she just had to reach out and grab it. After publishing her first book, she decided she wanted to find an island and make it real, by naming it after the fictional place in her book, “Corte Magore,” and utilize it for social and environmental good. Today, the 29-acre island of Corte Magore at Hog Cay, Nicaragua- through a joint partnership with Ambassador Francisco Campbell, the Nicaraguan Ambassador to the U.S.-will be utilized by the Finding Corte Magore Project to work to keep Nicaraguan children in school. The Finding Corte Magore Project works virtually to connect a global community of students and institutions with the plight of educationally and economically repressed Nicaragua. The project involves showcasing and managing one of the country's own beautiful islands in its educational and environmental initiatives. The goal of The Finding Corte Magore Project is to create social awareness coupled with building a sustainable, positive and long-term educational impact on the country's children who have an on-average fifth grade dropout rate. In addition, Tonia is a promotional products industry veteran. She is the founder and CEO of 25-year old Tagsource, LLC (AKA TAG! The Creative Source). She currently serves on the BOD for the Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC), is an "Industry Voice", a recipient of a PPAI Golden Pyramid, and has been named on ASI’s Hot List. She is the recipient of Supplier of the Year award through the Women’s Business Enterprise Council West, as nominated by Fortune 500 companies.

6 thoughts on “Are You Doing What You Were Born to Do?”

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    Liked by 1 person

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