Mary Anne Radmacher says she has been both a millionaire and “absolutely broke” during her lifetime.
She isn’t joking. The Freeland writer, author, poet and artist built a fortune by starting her own greeting card company, and eventually decided to ditch it all in exchange for what she truly loves to do — inspire other creative types to find their inner voice.
Some may call that crazy, but Radmacher couldn’t be more content.
“My favorite work in the world is working with an individual to unwrap or deepen their own intuition and instinct,” Radmacher said. “I empower clients to unwrap, with clarity, all that they already know!”
These days, Radmacher offers a reassuring voice to those who need it, whether in the form of an artist struggling with writer’s block, a painter seeking creative inspiration or an average Joe having a bad day. She hosts private creative retreats for artists and writers from around the globe to help them find their ingenuity. She runs self-empowerment events from Puget Sound area to Europe, and gives inspirational speeches at schools and workshops. All the while, she continues to scribble down aphorisms once seen on her greeting cards into notebooks that often grow into poignant, life-affirming quotes. These quotes often spread across the internet, and have built an international following of those who love her work.
To say Radmacher does a lot is an understatement. But according to her, she’s just like anybody else.
“People think I’m so humble, but I’m really just an ordinary person just like you,” Radmacher said. “I just try to show others that you, me and everybody else is infectious to those around us.”
Radmacher says she gets more satisfaction from helping others feel better about themselves than from personal gain. It’s part of the reason why she wanted to fulfill her teenage dream of establishing her own uplifting greeting card company, and also part of the reason why she decided to give inspirational speeches once she ditched her company.
It was actually a follower who brought Radmacher to South Whidbey in the first place. A fan who was particularly impacted by Radmacher’s writing offered to house her if she agreed to move to Whidbey Island to put pen to paper full time. It was a perfect location for what she wanted to do — continue her own writing while helping fellow writers. Since her arrival, her words have touched the lives of those around her. One of her friends even tattooed one of her most famous quotes on her arm.
“What I like about her work is that a lot of people don’t have the personal comforts we used to since the internet and texting came along and made everything less personal,” friend and follower Alice Johnson said. “A lot of people miss someone reassuring them that everything will be fine. This is why I have her quote tattooed on my arm, to help me be mindful that I’ll be OK no matter what.”
The tattooed quote is, “Live with intention. Reach for the better feeling thought.”
Although she may not have the deep pockets she once had, Radmacher’s work is internationally recognized today. Her quotes are featured in the Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations, she has penned 11 books and her quotes are highly visible on social media sites.
But monetary success isn’t important to Radmacher. Her goal is to have her cheerful and kind demeanor infect those around her, either through her words or daily actions. She says she could care less about selling books, and would rather spread the word on Whidbey about the self empowerment she preaches. Radmacher says positive energy is growing increasingly important in this day and age, particularly at a time when she says tensions are high. Not every person may make a difference on a national scale, but they can do so at the post office or the grocery store.
“I want to help people on the island to not get miffed when there are seven people at the post office ahead of them in line, or if they see that crazy person who’s grumbling angrily because of the long wait,” Radmacher said. “If we are worried about the direction our country is going, then the way to begin making a difference is in the line at the post office, on the road and when you’re walking your dog.”