We had the good fortune of connecting with Roy Schwartz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Roy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
My army unit’s slogan was “who dares wins,” and I still live by that. I’d rather fail gloriously than settle for safe mediocrity. So much of my success in life has come from “going for it,” without hesitation, no matter how unlikely it was to work. And you know what? Even when I failed, it usually proved to be more course-correction than a dead end. You’ve got to meet luck halfway.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I’m the author of two books, The Darkness in Lee’s Closet and the Others Waiting There, which is an illustrated middle-grade fantasy novel, and Is Superman Circumcised? The Complete Jewish History of the World’s Greatest Hero, which is primarily a history book. I’m currently working on my third, also nonfiction.
I write about pop culture for The Forward and CNN.com, plus occasionally others. When I’m not doing that, I’m the director of marketing & business development of a regional law firm, a job I grew into from legal writing. All these different things come down to being a writer.
One thing I’ve learned is that talent is important, obviously, but it’s not everything. Whatever it is that you do, whether you’re a painter or dancer or dentist, you’ll only go as far as your business skills and people skills will take you. Don’t look down on those or neglect them. Pretty much all my big breaks came through relationships, not the sheer force of my brilliance. And I’ve been able to make a career out of my passion, and to support a family, by understanding and catering to the needs of my bosses and by being professional and dependable. Be that first, talented second.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Success is equal parts fortitude and fortune. My fortune was finding the most amazing human being and convincing her to marry me. Aside from being tirelessly supportive and encouraging my wife is a bestselling author and editor, so she’s my perfect sounding board. She knows what it is that I’m trying to say versus what I’m saying. All my writing is better because of her.