The Business Card of Your Life – Do You Know Who You Are?

It's important to convey your personal identity if you're trying to maintain a professional career

Cats, computers, books, blogging, writing… yup… that about sums me up!

It’s almost impossible for me to believe, but I’ve been blogging for almost 6 years now. It started as an afterthought – I was writing my first book – The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary and it was brought to my attention at a writing conference that I needed a blog. So I started a blog. I got business cards. I set up an LLC. All without having the foresight to realize that even though I knew Zee and Zoey were two of my cats that inspired me to change my life, unless you knew me personally, or bought the book, the rest of the world probably didn’t.

My blog was called Zee & Zoey’s Chronicle Connection and my business cards were designed to reflect my website, Getting ready for BlogPaws this year was a big wake-up call for me. So much of my life has changed – I’ve become an award-winning blogger, I’m a council member of the Cat Writers’ Association, and I’m secretary for the nonprofit organization, Pawsitively Humane, Inc.

I’m also in the process of writing my 3rd cat-related book and my blog is a viable outlet for cat brands to come to for product reviews, giveaways, social engagement and more. I’m a resource on cat welfare and I’m a mentor for many in the writing and blogging world who are new to it all. Looking at my business cards, I realized even if I gave them out, it would be likely no one would be able to remember who I was or connect my many leopard-spotted dots as to what I could do for them. Clearly I had some major re-hauling to do.

Sometimes you just have to take the plunge and believe in yourself to follow your dreams.

Me back in 2010 at a writing conference in New York City. This is where the new direction in my life started.

Thankfully, I’d already gone through the process of changing my blog name to Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles, so I at least had that going for me. There was the word “cat” in there. And I have redesigned my business cards to be an all-encompassing representation of who I am. But there is a larger picture to this and I invite you all to think about it whether you’re a blogger or not. Picture your life on a business card. What would it say about you? Is it a card that you’re happy with, or do you still have life goals you’re looking to meet? Does it succinctly tell your story, or does it leave people guessing? For as passionate and driven as I am, sometimes I live so much in the day to day, that I forget to look at the overall picture.

Have I achieved my goals? In some ways, yes, and in some ways no. Blogging and writing was not on my career path years ago, so in some ways I’m still trying to define who I am and what I want. And honestly, I think I’ll always be striving for personal growth. But being an ambassador for BlogPaws this year has really caused me to be much more aware of everything I do. Interacting with the BlogPaws team and members on a daily basis has opened my eyes to so much more than I ever thought possible.

In order to suceed, you have to start somewhere

Life has taught me many lessons in the past few years – one of which is to always keep trying and to never give up if you believe in something strongly enough.

People from nearly every circumstance, all sharing their thoughts, talents, advice and more via Facebook, Twitter chats, the BlogPaws website and more. It’s such an incredible organization and the culmination of it all – the 2016 conference – while I’ve always loved going, this year I’m excited to approach it with a new and fresh perspective.

I want to attend as many seminars as I can and devour the information shared. I want to network, but this time, with a much clearer vision as to what I want from the networking. I’ll be researching all the brands and speakers before I leave so that my homework is done. That way when I do hand them my business card, they will have a clear vision who I am as well. Deb Barnes of Zee & Zoey’s Cat Chronicles – award-winning blogger, author, and cat advocate.

And yes, I’ll be wearing my trademark cat ears and leopard print… that part of me will never change!! I’m also looking forward to the Cat Writers’ Association dinner that will be held on Friday night of the conference – we’ve got lots of new members that I can’t wait to meet in person and I’m in contention for several muse awards of which I’m extremely proud of – in particular, for my book, Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond.

Anew ward Cert's

A proud moment for me – my Certificates of Excellence from the Cat Writers’ Association – if I’m lucky, maybe one of them will win a coveted muse award.

Have a great day all – and take to heart what I’ve said. It’s already midyear. Goals and resolutions you made at the beginning of the year – are you on track? Or do you have dreams you want to follow, but have been apprehensive about getting the ball rolling? I can tell you firsthand, you have nothing to lose by trying and everything to gain by giving it a shot. Your path might not be perfect, and you might zig, instead of zagging, but that’s okay. Life was never meant to be perfect, and I often find for every door that shuts, or every roadblock I encounter, that a new door opens… 


If you’re interested in reading any of my pieces that received a Certificate of Excellence, please visit here:

Online Article/Rescue & Advocacy: Any Cat Can Be Feral…Even Yours

Books – Other: Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond

Magazine Article/Health & General Care: Kittens 101 – 2016 Yearly Publication (please contact your local pet store or bookstore to see if available. Published by

Online Article/Any Other Topic: My Cats and Our Shared Water Cooler Moments

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of BlogPaws. The opinions and text are all mine.

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles. It’s so easy for someone like me to look at your success and say, “That will never, ever, ever happen to me! Compared to her, everything I do is unsophisticated and elementary. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing and she has it figured out!” and “It’s easy/comes naturally for her why do I have to fight and battle so much?!?!” Thank you for being honest. I’ve shared on my blog about my own struggles hoping it will encourage others to talk about their own. But coming from someone with your level of experience and acclaim and success, it means so much more. I’ve followed your work for a long time and it will be an honor to meet you in person at the conference <3

  2. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    guys…984 paws crossed for yur mom that her getz 4 muses !!! how kewl wood THAT
    be huh …..hope all iz well N everee one iz safe; we noe floor a duhz had sum crazed weatherz


  3. Ellen Pilch says:

    I hope you win a muse award, you deserve it.

  4. jmuhj says:

    Wishing you all success, Deborah! in all your endeavors.

    Being at one of those “door closing” moments right now in my life, I’m taking to heart what you’ve written and knowing that other doors will open.

  5. What a thoughtful and inspiring post! I am wondering how you get ALL of that wonderfulness on a tiny business card! How do you decide what to put on it? If a person is involved in several unrelated interests, should she have more than one business card to hand out? I’m hoping to see a follow-up post. (hint hint) Good Luck with the Muse Award and I hope to be one of those people to engage you for blogging counseling. 🙂

  6. We cross our paws for you an hope you win a well deserved muse award ! Purrs

  7. meowmeowmans says:

    Great post, Deb. Thanks for sharing your journey and evolution with us. We have our paws and fingers crossed that you get those well-deserved Muse awards. 🙂

  8. Thank you for the post. You’re definitely an inspiration to a newbie blogger. I look forward to meeting you at the conference. I just got my ticket to the CWA dinner!

  9. This is such a fantastically inspirational post from one of my blogging heroes! Writing about cats has always been my dream, and even once I started my blog I never thought of it as a second career until the past couple years. Now with the great honors of being a BlogPaws Nose to Nose Finalist and a CWA Certificate of Excellence winner, I feel like the sky is the limit and I just want to seek out more and more opportunities. My only regret is that a trip to Phoenix is impossible for me because of family obligations, but my heart will be there!

  10. We wish you much luck with the Muse Award!

  11. I’ve been zigging and I’ve been zagging and one day, I figure, I’ll get to where I’m trying to go. As for the peep, well… Well she’s my peep so I guess I best bring her along for the ride. Maybe together we can get there faster. What do you think? Purrs, Seville.

  12. Deb, this is, once again, a truly fantastic post from you! What a great way of looking at your business cards. Mommy and I, for now, feel like ours are working for us still, but I can see how very important it is to make sure that they speak to what your blog and your message is truly all about. We will be tweaking ours when it comes time, and we’ll keep your sage advice in our minds when we do so. You always have such great wisdom to share! Mommy and I love you!!
    Love your friend, Pixel

  13. Belatedly….We enjoyed your post and absolutely adored that picture of you and your kitty and the words on it!

  14. Marg says:

    You have done quite well for yourself with all those awards. Good for you. I just blog for the fun of it.. I love to hear about all the kitties in the blogging world.

  15. mariodacat says:

    Congratulations on your latest award. It’s very well deserved too. You are wonderful inspiration to other cat bloggers.