My husband was the one in our family who wanted to be an entrepreneur, not me. I was content sitting in my little office in Downtown Louisville working with the media and assisting in developing and executing promotional efforts. I was preparing for retirement (at the ripe old age of 30 something) until everything changed.
I had a feeling that changes were coming. They always are, actually. Change is just next door, waiting for a crack to expose your comfort and push you outside of it. It doesn’t like for you to feel warm and fuzzy. It gets excited when your adrenaline pumps. Change and me weren’t always friends, but now she’s a welcomed member at my Thanksgiving table. I’ll share why.
My best friend and I were having a chat one day and I shared with her that I just had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that we may be impacted by a corporate layoff. The organization had been having regular layoffs, and I didn’t feel like our department was “safe.” I knew I needed to take action, but I wasn’t sure what next step I should take … what I should do to prepare. So, I called her instead.
After wallowing in self-pity for a brief bit about the what-ifs, we switched the story and, instead, talked about what we would do if we weren’t doing what we were currently doing (did you follow that tongue twister?!). And when that question proved hard to answer (because remember, I was planning on retiring from there), I asked her a different question. “What do you think I should do if it’s not this?” Her answer turned me into a person I didn’t know was within me.
You should blog. Because, you know, there’s money in that industry.
Not! When she told me I should start blogging, I laughed out loud and asked how in the world that would put food on the table. And she kept telling me that I needed to write. That there was something I needed to tell the world.
Strangely enough, behind closed doors, I was writing. I had started writing when I felt that I couldn’t clear my head from its clutter. I had started writing when interesting experiences were occuring that I didn’t want to forget. Writing became my outlet, but I hadn’t told many people about it.
The next day, I called my friend back. Challenge accepted, I told her. I wasn’t going to wait to be impacted by a layoff to start a blog. I decided to start one that day. And that day I did. I began to blog about these experiences that I had begun to capture, and surprisingly, as I began sharing my blog, a new demand came of me. The request to purchase a book (a book, mind you, I never planned to write!).
I’ll spare you the details on how it all transpired, but it’s a story that I wouldn’t believe if I hadn’t experienced it first-hand. I was impacted by a layoff. And while an entire manuscript was prepped and ready to publish, I didn’t move forward with it until I was thwarted into the uncomfortable jobless land of unemployment. I figured, what’s the worst that could happen? However, I should have been asking myself, what’s the best?!
The outcome of writing a book isn’t just the book itself; it’s also a business.
The week or so before my book launched, I was charged with sharing my launch plan to my book coaching cohort. I was nervous, but I made it happen. I pulled together the ideas I had to take something meaningful to me and make it meaningful to others. And, in the middle of my favorite lunch spot, I borrowed their free wifi, ate a delicious grilled cheese and did a virtual presentation of my launch plan.
That day I’ll always remember. I’ll always remember how I realized my favorite lunch place needed to stay just that … my favorite lunch place. It didn’t need a new title, like “the place you host a virtual webinar.” It was loud, and I was so distracted. It wasn’t a peaceful Starbucks by any stretch of the imagination.
I’ll always remember how proud I was of my newly branded PowerPoint slides (y’all, they matched my book cover and I just thought it was fantabulous). I’ll always remember my heart racing, because even though I am comfortable in front of crowds, I realized that day I was not comfortable being vulnerable. And writing a book (and marketing it) when the message hits close to home isn’t easy.
But what I’ll remember most were the calls I got afterward from my book coach and publisher. I thought I was in trouble … that’s my guilty conscience for you. But instead, it was an opportunity. They both saw something in me I hadn’t seen in myself. I knew my book was meant for more than reading. I was open to the idea of speaking on the topics found within it. But I never expected my book to be the launch of a business.
Your business could be just one book away.
My book launch was successful. My book continues to inspire many. I’ve spoken to small groups and large ones, bringing the page to the stage. I envisioned that to happen. I was open to those opportunities. But I never expected to merge my love for books and my skill set in marketing to build the emPower PR Group. I don’t think anyone could. But my book made that happen.
And your book has the power to do the same for you.
Whether you want to admit it or not, writing a book is the beginning of launching a business. There are things you learn that only entrepreneurs and business owners have to tackle. I know because I’ve experienced it.
You learn all about sales tax and EINs. You figure out the importance of having a PO Box and ask yourself questions about if you need an LLC or not. (Too many three letter acronyms to deal with!) You start carrying inventory (and in your trunk, too, because you never want to be without a few books to sell in a Walmart parking lot. It feels sketchy, but not for long!). And you learn how to process credit card transactions from your phone (which is so cool)!
Beyond the logistical requirements, you begin to think about things like metrics and goals and create strategies to achieve them. You reflect on worthy investments to further your book sales, and you begin to hear from your readers what other opportunities exist. Could you provide one-on-one coaching packages or book club reflection guides? What about retreats – either hosted by you or ones that you speak at? Speaking of speaking, people start asking you what your speaker fees are (and you didn’t even know that was a thing until they ask!).
You, my friend, are unexpectedly launching not just a book, but also a business.
There are several reasons that you may find this terrifying and exhilarating.
Maybe, like me, you didn’t have the entrepreneurial spirit. At first, anyway. But if you have a message to share and you feel called to write it, you are already being vulnerable. Why not add a side of business management to the mix?
Maybe you love your 9-to-5 and couldn’t imagine leaving it. Well guess what, many people manage two career paths at once now-a-days. Look at all the MLM companies out there. I’m sure there’s a stat that proves most people are doing it. Or maybe you’d love to kick your 9-to-5 job to the curb. A book could be the start to something bigger. I’ve seen the power of a book and how it changes others … and how it’s changed me. If you are wanting to start something new, a book could be the gateway to it.
Or what if you are already an entrepreneur? A book, my friend, could help grow your business. You could evolve from “the person who runs XYZ company” to “the person who wrote the book that the XYZ company is based upon.” Now that has a ring to it! In all seriousness, a book has the power to elevate (figuratively, not literally). It distinguishes you from your competition and it gives you an opportunity to let people taste-test your offerings. From a tapas lover over here, trust me when I say, many people who taste your book appetizer will decide that you are the real deal and worth investing in.
Every author is really an authorpreneur.
Behind the book is an author. And behind the author is really an authorpreneur. The emPower PR Group loves helping authorpreneurs identify how to build (or grow) their businesses to work for them in alignment with their books.
When we support you in your authorpreneur marketing needs, we focus on the following:
- Never forgetting the value of your book and using it strategically to help you grow your business.
- Building a business that is sustainable, inspiring to you, and built with systems and structures that allow for effective and ongoing marketing efforts.
- Clarifying your business offerings and ensuring that your promotional efforts are in alignment.
- Growing your reach to your target audience – those who need you, want you and will invest in you.
I realize this may be uncharted territory, but rest assured that some uncharted territory is merely waiting for you to chart. It’s a new beginning. The sky is literally the limit. The opportunities are endless. Your future awaits. (And so does your business, authorpreneur!)
Learn more about The emPowered Authorpreneur program and see if the emPower PR Group can join you in launching your book.
And, let’s chat! I’d love to learn how the emPower PR Group can help you become an emPowered author!