Amanda Razani’s leadership opportunities have started in the same, simple way: with an invite.
That was the springboard for her thriving book-selling business. It’s led to her membership on several nonprofit boards, most of which serve children and women. And all of that has blossomed into her becoming a “whirlwind of success and civic-mindedness,” as one admirer noted.
“I don’t mind being in those leadership roles,” Razani said, “but I don’t know that I ever looked for one. … Sometimes it takes being invited. I don’t always say yes. But if it’s something I think I can be passionate about, it just takes that invite.”
If not a whirlwind, Razani is certainly a wellspring of enthusiasm and cheer. She practically bubbles over when talking about her work for Usborne Books & More, a children’s book publisher. She hosted a book party “because I really wanted free books.” That led to an invitation to join the company as a sales rep.
Her minivan – aka her “bookmobile” – is typically loaded with product, which she shuttles to elementary school book fairs, vending events and private parties.
“I love seeing all the smiling little faces running around the tables grabbing books,” she said. “I just get that feeling of when I was a kid. If I could have a whole library in my house with walls full of books, I’d love that.”
She is equally passionate about her writing and editing career on Upwork, an online freelancing platform where she has earned a 100-percent approval rating from clients worldwide. Her goal, she said, is “to help everyone express themselves in the best way possible through the written word.”
Razani grew up in Brady, where as a high schooler she worked as a radio deejay at KNEL. She fell in love with writing and editing while studying communications and journalism at Angelo State University. She worked for the Ram Page school newspaper as its copy editor during her final year of college.
After graduation, Razani worked for the San Angelo Area Foundation. Though she loved the nonprofit agency and its work, she felt the pull of her passion for the written word. When her daughter entered high school, she “took a leap of faith,” pursuing work that would give her the flexibility to attend all of the teen’s activities.
“I love working and providing for my family,” Razani said. “But I want that time with my family. I want a good balance and to have both.
“I’m just going with the flow, building my book business and my writing and editing business,” she added.
As she sits in her home office each day, she has a plaque nearby that reminds her that leadership and success are shared responsibilities. It reads, “Rise by lifting others.”
“A true leader, on their journey to success, they want everyone around them to be successful,” Razani said. “Everywhere they go, they leave a trail of inspiration and motivation. It’s not just about them. It’s about everybody finding happiness.”