A New Day

Nov 30, 2016 by

(My first column as publisher and owner of The Coweta Shopper, a 40,000-monthly circulation direct mailed news, entertainment and shopping publication)


Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is a first.

She is the first female president of an African nation, in this case Liberia, a position she has held since 2006. She is also a co-winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. Big stuff.

I learned that bit of trivia a couple of weeks ago while doing some research. I was trying to find out who coined the phrase “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” That is one of my favorite quotes of all time.

Turns out Mrs. Sirleaf came up with that one in her book This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa’s First Woman President.

Over the last several weeks my dreams have not only been big, but at times pretty scary. And those dreams involved buying this publication, The Coweta Shopper. I admit there were times I looked at my wife, Corby, and said, “what in the world am I doing?” And being the incredibly supportive wife she is, she simply responded with “what you are supposed to be doing.”

I guess with more than 30 years playing with paper and ink, I have some qualifications, but that didn’t mean I didn’t have a pause or two in buying my first business.

But I was definitely not alone in this endeavor.

A few years ago, I wrote a book entitled Everyone Needs A Sam (okay, shameless plug.) It’s based in part on the two main characters from the Lord of the Rings trilogy – Frodo and his ever faithful companion and confidant, Sam. The theme is about finding mentors to help you on your travels, and also seeking, and finding, wisdom. Finding Sams.

A wise man once told me if you can’t name everyone you need to thank, don’t name any. I am in that wonderful predicament, even including the inner “Team.“ To all the friends, advisors, prayer partners, bankers, lawyers, accountants and probably a baker and candlestick maker as well, all I can say is thank you.

I have had, and continue to have, an amazing number of Sams on this journey.

Joe Williams, who sold me The Shopper, has been the consummate gentleman in this endeavor and has provided incredible counsel and advice. There is a Bible story about two men who built their houses; one on sand, the other on rock. We all know which one remained after the storm.

Fortunately, Joe is a former builder. And he has left me with a very strong foundation, so all I have to do to be successful is just build on his foundation. And that foundation includes the staff – Rusty, Ruth, Joey and Robin – who have generously agreed to stay on and tell me when I’m doing something dumb.

So, what’s the future hold?


Joe has graciously agreed to continue to write his column and serve as Consigliere.  Personally, I think he wants to make sure I don’t mess up his baby. And that’s okay. I strongly believe in seeking out advice from those who have previously made the journey.

Another quote I love is “if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” Everyone who has helped me in this project is, and always will be, smarter than me in their area of expertise. And that’s what I counted on.

My goal is pretty simple: to provide entertaining and interesting information to our readers, and to help our business partners – our advertisers – succeed.

And that’s my goal. Welcome to the journey.

Until next time.

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  1. Betsy Perry

    Congratulations and sincere wishes for a successful new adventure!!

  2. Nice piece John. Congratulations on your new business!

  3. Congratulations John! Great news for Newnan!

  4. Samantha

    So exciting. Congratulations to you, your family and our community!!

  5. Linda

    Congratulations on your new business, you will be great. You and Corby are a team. And one that God has blessed.
    I wish you much success and happiness in this new chapter.

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