Felice Cohen is an author, motivational speaker, professional organizer and Holocaust educator. Her books are: Half In: A Coming-of-Age Memoir of Forbidden Love, What Papa Told Me, and 90 Lessons for Living Large in 90 Square Feet (…or More)
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
Great childhood. Grew up happy on Cape Cod, MA with dreams of playing centerfield for the Boston Red Sox. I played 3 varsity sports in HS and was recruited to play Division One in two different sports. And then eventually gave up that dream when I realized girls couldn’t play professional baseball. Not fair. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, I moved to NYC to pursue a career as a writer. Along the way I worked as a professional organizer, worked for the NY Daily News, worked as the Chief of Staff to the president of Hunter College and a few other jobs. I never stopped believing in my writing no matter how many rejection letters I got. I find a life/work balance with riding my bike, riding my stand up paddleboard, reading and spending time with family and friends.
Tell us something about your organization. What is it about and how is it helpful for people?
I am a self-published author.
Was there any turning point in your life that changed your journey? If so, what was it? Please tell us the backstory behind it.
I moved into a tiny, 90-square-foot NYC studio because the low rent allowed me to quit my stressful job and finish writing my first book about my grandfather, a Holocaust survivor. I planned to stay one year. I stayed in that tiny space for 5 years because it changed my life. Not only when a video of me in that space went viral on YouTube, but because I realized how much happier you can be with fewer belongings. Living tiny allowed me to pursue my dreams because I wasn’t burdened with a huge overhead and lots of bills.
While the global pandemic of COVID-19 is associated primarily with adversities, it has also brought about a true boom in startups, with successful entrepreneurship in many countries. The pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. Would you like to share your experience on a personal and professional level?
Because of the pandemic I moved home to get out of NYC and to stay and help my parents. It was a second chance to live at home, but being stuck together in our own pod brought us even closer. I had been working on my latest book which is about revealing a relationship I kept secret for almost 30 years and it was during the pandemic I told my parents everything. Being able to come clean to them allowed me to finish writing this book.
What has been the response of the consumers towards your venture?
The book about my grandfather has sold around the world. After telling his story, I was ready to tell mine, but very scared to do so since it’s such a private story. But the incredible and supportive industry reviews and feedback from readers has been very affirming.
How has your life changed because of your venture?
It has allowed me to live every day with a smile.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
I know people say “World Peace” when asked what change they would like to see in the world, but sadly we may never have that. But what if we could aim for “Personal Peace”, one person at a time. Helping people to just get through their days with a smile on their faces. Helping people to see they are loved and special could go a long way to possibly finding world peace. (Gotta still dream big!)
Give a motivational message for the audience/women who are reading this.
Never stop believing in your dreams. Even if they never come true, having a goal keeps you moving forward. Keeps you living.