Introduction: How did you get started as a Personal Historian?

I can't think of a better first post than to introduce you to how Leave a Life Legacy began. In fact, usually the first question people ask when they find out I’m a Personal Historian is: How did you get started in this kind of work?

I graduated high school in a small Iowa town called Mount Vernon. I attended University of Northern Iowa and received a Bachelor's of Science degree in Bioinformatics (computer science with biological applications). In senior year, I became interested in business, and began to look for a business idea.

In an off-handed comment my dad mentioned that he thought he could write a book but he didn’t have the patience to sit down and type it. On a long car ride to visit my grandparents I brought my laptop and typed as my dad told all kinds of stories about his life and experiences. I quickly realized I couldn't type as fast as he could talk!

I bought a recorder, and the first people I interviewed were my grandparents. I enjoyed connecting with them and learned so much that I didn’t know about my roots! As I told others about this experience, I realized many people would love to share stories of their own lives, as well as know stories of their loved ones. Thus Leave a Life Legacy was born in November 2011. I joined the John Pappajohn Small Business Incubator program at University of Northern Iowa and took several business courses that the program offered, which formed a guiding foundation as I moved forward in building Leave a Life Legacy.