Jae Nichelle

Jae Nichelle is an Atlanta, Georgia-based ghost writer. After one of her spoken word poems went viral a few years back the responses she received led her to want to help others find their voice as well. Today, through her business Jae Ghosts she helps writers with their memoirs or biographies they might be writing and also offers services to help guide writers through the process or even just help edit. While the learning curve to start her business may have been steep, today she’s focused on helping women of color and entrepreneurs share their stories with the world.

Nichelle’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:

Jae Ghosts is a ghostwriting, editing, and book coaching service geared towards helping women of color and entrepreneurs tell their stories.

I have seen how life-changing it can be to feel heard. In 2017, a spoken word poem of mine called ‘Friends With Benefits’ went viral online, and the response from other people changed my life. From then on, I knew I wanted to help other people share their stories because I know how many people go through their lives without being heard. However, I know some people need a little help finding out what to say and how to say it. My clients have felt new confidence, drive, and purpose after seeing their words appear on paper.

I’ve had to redefine success for myself multiple times in the past few years. I used to believe it had to be about the end goal– making X amount of money, writing a certain number of books, getting recognition, and so on. Now, I’ve realized that success is about the journey for me. No matter what happens with my business in the end, I will have successfully taken risks. I will have successfully bet on myself. As long as I continue to put my best foot forward, I will always succeed.

[Related: She’s a Non-Profit Storyteller and Fundraising Coach]

Starting JaeGhosts has been a major success in and of itself. Before I began ghostwriting, I was in school, geared up to go down a completely different career path. I knew that I really wanted to write, but the people around me kept telling me that writing would never be sustainable. Still, I went with my gut. I left my graduate degree program and made the best decision I could have ever made.

I began this work with very little business experience. When it came to creating appropriate paperwork, building contracts, creating a website, and seeking clients, the learning curve was steep. I felt like I was throwing darts with a blindfold on, just hoping something would stick. A few months in, I decided to take a step back and educate myself with all of the resources I could get my hands on. I read articles, took skillshare courses, watched YouTube videos, and asked the business owners around me for advice. I only jumped back in after I drafted a plan and felt confident in my next steps. Now, I make sure to keep studying and seeking out new information so that I can learn and grow.

[Related: She’s Helping Writers Find Their Voice and Their Motivation]

My mother is my greatest role model. She is always striving for more and always willing to learn and implement new skills. I learned to never settle and never give up by watching her.

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Editor’s Note: The Story Exchange is celebrating its 10th anniversary by launching the annual Women In Science Incentive Prize. Apply now for a chance to receive $5,000 in funding for your climate-related research or startup. Deadline: July 31. 

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