Self publishing my book has been an enlightening experience! These are the lessons I learned.
#1. Start With The Book Proposal
A book proposal is what you need to submit when you are trying to get a publisher to publish your book. When you are self-publishing, you don’t REALLY need the book proposal, but I highly recommend going through the exercise of putting it together for your book anyway.
When I wrote “Don’t Be a B*tch, Be an Alpha” I worked on the book proposal thinking I would be pitching it to several publishers. While I ultimately decided to self-publish, to represent exactly the voice I wanted to share with the world in a non-compromised way, writing the book proposal was such a beneficial exercise for me.
It forced me to really look at myself as an author, the purpose of the book, the reader/audience, the content, and the marketing plan with critical eyes. Before working on the book proposal, I was naïve in thinking that I would write the book, and publish the book: the end. But by working on the book proposal I had to really get clear on what the book is about, who the readers are, why anyone would want to read it, what other books are in the market that cover similar topics, and how as an author I plan to promote the book. It was not fun. (In fact, I almost gave up.) While it was a challenge to look at all these details and realize, “oh crap, I am not really clear on these topics!”, having to get clear and write it professionally and comprehensively helped me later, because I was able to use that information for a press release, a marketing packet for bookstores, a fundraising campaign, and in other aspects of marketing my book--including pitching my book to various podcasts and conferences.
#2. Don't Let Planning Get In The Way Of Writing Your Book
Don’t let planning get in the way of writing your book--write the damn book first! It is easy to get stuck contemplating, organizing, planning, and researching ABOUT publishing your book, while not actually spending the time and attention needed to write the book. I have known people who've been working on the same book for years, some almost 10 years! Also, I am constantly approached by women who say they want to “pick my brain” about self-publishing a book and want to know all the logistics and details--yet when I ask, “Have you started writing the book?” the answer usually is “not yet” or “not enough.” The most important task of self-publishing your book is to write your book. Without your manuscript, it’s premature to spend too much time researching publishing options and other logistics like digital book conversion or audio book recording, etc. These resources and information are readily available for you once you complete your initial manuscript. It’s great to plan ahead and be prepared, but don’t use this as an excuse to distract yourself from actually writing the book.
#3. Hire Professionals
I have been reaching out to multiple independent bookstores all over the country to stock my book, and I’ve learned from them that many people end up with unprofessional self-published books. These are books without professional binding, a professionally designed cover with correct spine, barcode or ISBN, or with typos and grammatical errors in the text. Bookstores have told me that these types of self- published books automatically get rejected from being considered for shelf space. This can be avoided by hiring professionals to help you with your book: professional writers, editors, illustrators, book designers, etc. Sure, your Aunt Sally may be a great editor as an English teacher, but she is not going to be as experienced as professional editors who edit books like yours.
For “Don’t Be a B*tch, Be an Alpha”, I got writing and editing support from Emily, a professional writer and editor with experiences in writing for women’s online magazines on related topics and also owns a professional literary company. Mel, who did my secondary edits, is also a professional writer and editor with many years in publishing and journalism. My illustrator and book designer, Sarah, owns her own design company and has had many experiences working in print media like books and magazines, before mine.
Of course, working with these professionals costs more money than working with “amateurs” or friends or family—or doing it all on your own… but for a good reason. Just because you are self-publishing does not mean the book should be DIY all the way or be created with less experienced talents. The only difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing is just that: who actually publishes the book. Make the investment to hire a professional editor, proofreader, illustrator, and designer. The last thing you want is trying to DIY or save money (aka: avoid investing in your first book) only to create a product that you are not proud of and that bookstores refuse to carry on their shelves.
#4. Your Book Is Your Baby
Your book is still your baby, so don’t check out mentally just because you have hired professionals to do their jobs. While I had a team of professional women committed to helping me with my book, I learned that I still had to be on top of the process. I went through a period of half-heartedly looking at different versions of the manuscript (because let’s face it, I’d written, rewritten, read the manuscript so many times by then, that at that point my eyes were just glazing over the words and lines). I even glazed over email communication back and forth between editors and designers, etc.
Don’t let that happen. Take a few days’ break from looking at your book and then make sure to set aside the time to review your book after it has been professionally edited, proofread, and designed, with a fresh set of your own eyes, as if you’ve never read it before. When I did this, I was shocked to notice a couple of things about the book I had never paid attention to before, particularly regarding the tone and frequency of certain words in my book. These were not grammatical or structural errors, so none of my editors or proofreaders caught it. It was something only I could notice and catch as the original author. I didn’t do this early enough--I did this after sending the file to the printer. When I stopped the press to make these little corrections, it cost me an extra $600--ouch! So don’t make the same mistake, be sure to do this BEFORE you release the print file.
#5. Get Organized
Get organized so you won’t lose your mind (and it’ll prevent costly mistakes). I thought I knew my manuscript inside and out--by heart. But by the time two editors looked at the manuscript and proofread it, and the designer made several edits and versions, it was almost impossible to know which version was for what by memory. While my designer and editor kept things organized, I started getting confused about which file went with what, and what version went with what. In self-publishing, you may have to upload the book in different publishing platforms (Amazon versus Ingram for example), and the specification for each may be slightly different. Make sure to keep track and get organized with Google Doc or Dropbox folders with very clear titles and names. Trust me, eventually a file name like “Cover_V2_Nov19” won’t help you remember what it was for. I should have named it like “Cover_V2_FinalApproved_AmazonUpload_Nov19”, for example.
#6. Marketing Is Your Responsibility
Marketing your book is your responsibility. Nobody else is going to do this for you. Always be ready to sell or talk about your book! Start working on your marketing plan as soon as your manuscript is in other people’s hand for editing, etc. With years of marketing experience in my previous career, and with large social media following, I still found this to be a challenging task. I got help from marketing consultants that specialize in self-published books/authors, as well as tapping into my sisterhood for social media marketing support.
Also, be the walking billboard for your book--now is not the time to be shy. I carry a pretty good sized box filled with signed copies of my book in my car, because just weeks after my book came out I learned a valuable lesson: I was invited to a little happy hour event hosted by a fellow coach friend, and she asked me to bring a few copies of my book. Knowing there will be only about 10 women, and wanting to “not look too eager to sell” I had shown up with just eight books. These women started buying multiples of my books, one for their daughter, or their sister or coworkers, and I quickly sold out of copies, missing out on more sales. I didn’t even have extras in my car! Because I played small and was “embarrassed” about appearing to want to sell my book, I only sold eight books instead of twenty. I am never making that mistake again. I carry my books in my car at all times, and a couple of copies in my purse. One night I was eating dinner at a big farm to table event with a friend, and I ended up selling three books on the spot to women who were sharing our dinner table, because they overheard our conversation and asked about it. I not only happily shared about my book, I said, “I have copies in my car out front if you’d like one!” Sold three. Hell yeah.
#7. Toughen Up
Grow a thick skin—in other words, be prepared to encounter some snobs. While more and more people are self-publishing, there are still those who look at self-published authors as less than professional. Everyone is entitled to their belief and point of view, and they may judge you or your book accordingly, but my advice is to let it go. Don’t take it personally. First, create a book you are super proud of, (see #2 and #3) and then hold on to that emotion and gratitude.
It’s not always easy though. I was at a party the other day, and my friend, the hostess, had graciously and excitedly shared my new book with her guests (I love her!) Then one of the guests started to talk about his friend who, (in his own words) “for REAL published a book through a REAL PUBLISHER.” (Eyeroll). I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit miffed, and my feelings hurt, but I was able to just let it slide. Sure it hurts to be dismissed immediately for self-publishing, but maybe he was simply really proud of his friend who published a book the traditional way, or maybe he really has a dream of publishing his own book traditionally some day as well. Who knows, and who cares? It really has nothing to do with me or my book. As self-published authors, we can’t let things like that get to us. Just be prepared for some people to be snobbish, and let it slide. Some people are always going to be snobbish about something--your book may just happen to be one of those things, and that’s okay. They are not your people. There will be many more people out there who will love and support your book.
#8. Be Proud Of Your Work
Most importantly, once you have your book published, be proud of yourself. You wrote a book! And published it! You put it out there! How many people can say that? Out of those who contemplate, dream, and think about writing a book someday, only a fraction really make it happen. Out of those who judge and criticize others for their books, only a fraction are really authors of their own book. You did it. You are an author. You have a book. Make sure you remind yourself what an accomplishment that is and be proud to celebrate your accomplishment.
Recently, I had a very short, but very powerful encounter with a loved one of a good friend, and that experience sparked me to share a little bit more about how I discovered I was a psychic medium.
A lot of times people think of mediums as people that can bring spirits from the other side on demand, but I don’t use my gift or market myself in that way. When I do act as a psychic medium and connect with someone’s loved ones, it is always to deliver a loving and healing message from the other side to serve my client at their highest good.
I discovered that I was a medium when I made contact with my late mom-in-love, whom we lost very suddenly a few years ago. My relationship with her had been complicated in the past because, although she was always a loving and caring force in my life, my relationship with my own mother was not. It was difficult for me to trust my mom-in-love based on her love and patience toward me and I had created massive boundaries and walls around our relationship.
All of the spiritual awakening and personal growth and healing work I had been doing was starting to pay off, and I started seeing how I was stopping love or refusing love for the fear of disappointment and conditional love. At the beginning of 2016, I set the intention to “take down these walls” and love my mom-in-love with open heart and more importantly let HER know how much I loved her. Then only a few weeks later on February 3rd, she had passed away suddenly.
I can’t describe the emotional hole and regret I felt around our relationship. I had built all these stupid walls around our relationship for over ten years, and when I finally decided to lose the walls and love her fully, I was too late. It was too late. We had lost her.
They do say something devastating and heartbreaking like this experience can trigger or speed up deeper spiritual awakening, and that must have been how it happened for me. A few months later I was taking an online class that introduced us to psychic mediumship. During our group exercises on how to open our channel for connection meditatively, my mom-in-love made the connection with me right away. It was as if she had been waiting for me to finally open myself up.
The messages she gave me was so validating and loving...and so specific that I had to believe it was her. I had been wanting a piece of Mom’s jewelry as a momento, but with my sister-in-love in possession of all her jewelry, who was grieving and having a difficult time, I knew it would be a bit tricky to ask. During the “conversation” with mom, she acknowledged my desire and gave me a ring (a vision of a ring) as a gift, something that was silver, carved with butterflies, then said “here is a ring you wanted, now let Amy keep all my jewelry.”
It took me some time for me to “come clean” and come out of the “mediumship closet”. It was a powerful, healing, and loving experience for me to connect with my mom-in-love, and for a while, I just wanted that moment to stay between me and her. The trouble was, I started getting more messages. The second came from a young man named Billy.
I had never met Billy while he was alive. I had only met his mom once briefly and had heard weeks later that she had lost her son. But when his spirit connected with me, it was as clear and direct as he was alive and standing right next to me, talking nonstop wanting me to deliver all his messages to his family.
When Billy came, it was more like he pushed his way in, pulled up a chair in the middle of my thoughts and started talking about what he came to talk about. Billy had this way of just showing up and claiming the space, and a charming way of commanding attention. There have been times when I tried to “explain” why he shouldn’t just show up whenever - (I’m standing in line at Starbucks), (it’s 3 am, dude, WTF?) Or (you know other spirits wait until I put up “open” sign.) It didn’t seem to bother him at all.
Billy is an important spirit to me because he really helped me to push past some of the fears I had around my mediumship gift. Having such a strong connection and presence from Billy and receiving so much validation and gratitude from his loved ones when I had shared his messages really helped me gain my confidence as a psychic medium.
Many people often ask me to connect them with a spirit or loved one as a medium. To me, this doesn’t feel like the best way to move forward and heal from the loss. Actively knocking on that door to connect, or relying too heavily on these messages to help us grieve doesn’t feel right.
I believe it’s important not to seek that connection and validation as our main means of healing - it’s something that can help us, but we need to go through the process of grief and healing on our own in this physical world too. I describe getting messages from the loved ones who have crossed over as an unsolicited love notes or hello notes - we don’t anticipate, seek, or demand these notes when we receive them. When they arrive we accept them with joy and love.
It is an exciting time in the world right now - more and more people are discovering their spiritual gifts and deepening their connection to the divine/spirit/source/god. This energetic shift has allowed more and more people to seek out their own intuition, openness, and curiosity with their potential gifts. My hope is that with the right tools and resources, and mentorship from other people who have experienced similar spiritual awakening, more people can connect with their soul purpose and gifts and serve people and the world at deeper, more magical level. And maybe some of you too will find out a gift of mediumship.
I am available for spiritual mentorship and coaching for those of you who are going through your own spiritual growth. Message me if you’d like to learn more on how I can help you with your journey.
Introduction from Seo
I get asked so many questions from people on how to become more spiritual, grounded, better at manifesting, trust intuition… and my answer is always “start meditating.” And usually the response I get is, “Oh I know, I try, but…”
Usually my response to that is, start at 2-3 minutes a day, because ANYONE can meditate for 2-3 minutes. It’s bullshit when anyone says they don’t have time or it’s too hard when it’s just for 2-3 minutes right? If you are still not doing it, it’s probably because you don’t feel ready or don’t want to, whether you realize it or not (our subconscious minds can be a stubborn bitch!)
Then I thought, hmmm maybe that’s too harsh for some people – I should share someone else's experience and tips from her experience. So I asked my friend Sabrina to share her view on meditation – she came up with so many great practical tips! Enjoy!
Guest post by Sabrina Jugo
Sabrina is a millennial feminist that lives in Richmond, Virginia. She is passionate about social justice issues and plans to pursue a Master's in Social Work in the near future. When she isn't writing, she enjoys reading, lighting candles, drinking tea, and having passionate conversations with friends about how to make the world a better place.
Why People Should Meditate.
For many years now, I have been resistant to the idea of a dedicated meditation practice. Because I live and breathe psychology, which emphasizes mindfulness, I spent a lot of time truly thinking that I was doing “enough” to better myself. Be mindful while I’m watching the dishes? Sure. Be mindful in conversations with friends and loved ones? No problem. The truth is, while the benefits on mindfulness and meditation may overlap, they aren’t quite the same.
Mindfulness may help you feel connected to the world around you, but meditation connects you to truths within yourself. It’s no secret that some of the greatest thinkers in the world have uncovered great meaning deep truths about themselves, and the universe, while meditating. That said, if they can unlock all of these magical powers by dedicating a few minutes a day to it, why can’t we?
Here are the five biggest roadblocks in my meditation journey, and how they can be easily debunked.
1. “I don’t have the time”
When there is something that I know would benefit me greatly, but that greatly overwhelms me, I like to use time as an excuse not to do it. As a college grad who was trapped in a pretty mentally unhealthy college environment for four years, I perfected the art of overbooking myself and neglecting most things that were good for me. Now, as a 24-year old, who juggles a few different jobs, a social life, a desire to stay connected and informed about the goings-on in the world, and future life preparations, it seems like there often aren’t enough hours in the day. Regardless of your age, I know you feel the same way! While this thought process still creeps in from time-to-time, the ultimate truth is, you make time for things that are important to you. If I can make time to play a few hours of volleyball one night a week or re-watch episodes of Gilmore Girls that I’ve seen 15 times, I can find a few minutes during the day to meditate.
Headspace is a great app to get people started, that is not too woo-woo or spiritual in nature.
Insight app is my favorite app - it has so much variety of guided meditations, and it also has a timer with background noise option once you get more self-sufficient in meditation on your own (when you don’t need someone else’s voice to guide your meditation)
2. “I don’t know where to start”
Everywhere we look, we see meditation advertised as something that only our most highly esteemed friends have mastered. The media, in particular, tells us we need to dedicate a room in our house to it, and make it last a few hours. The message is, if you aren’t fully committed to the idea, you shouldn’t participate at all. Furthermore, being a beginner at anything lends itself to some discomfort. This is where my perfectionism creeps in. That little voice inside my head tells me not to bother trying, since the most likely event is that I will fail.
The great news (especially for my fellow perfectionists) is that like anything, you can start small. There are thousands of resources out there for beginners or people looking to get back into meditation if they’ve taken a break or stopped completely.
3. “I have too many thoughts going through my mind”
Because I’ve worked with many individuals who suffer from anxiety, and I’ve experienced my fair share of anxiety at times, I can understand how debilitating it can seem to sit with your own thoughts. For some people, it can seem like the most daunting task of their day. The good news is that meditation can be an amazing tool for managing anxiety in the long run! Over time, the practice can help to calm your body, and allow you to work through your thoughts. Although it may be a challenge at the beginning, you can look at it like a long-term investment toward your overall health and well-being.
4. “It takes a long time to get any benefits, and if I skip a few days (weeks), it’s just like starting over”
The truth is, this one is still a challenge for me. I self-identity as a “project starter” and have difficulty keeping up with my intentions or habits in general. This is where positive self-talk comes in. A huge part of my professional life has been spent telling others to be kind to themselves, and that we should be working toward progress, not perfection. It’s easy to tell others to cut themselves some slack, but when it comes to you, it’s an entirely different story. I think back to when I played tennis in high school. I was a pretty decent player, but when I went to college, I stopped playing. Almost seven years later, I’m starting to play again, and it feels like I’m starting from scratch. It is incredibly frustrating, and I often think to myself, “why can’t I do this? I used to have great strokes and do super well”. Of course it’s not going to naturally come back to me! Instead of placing value on where I was then and where I am now, I could simply acknowledge that I did the thing in general. If I mastered the skill then, I can master it now.
5. “Meditation makes me more anxious than relaxed”
It’s possible that this is true, at first. I believe that the majority of us do not make the effort to sit quietly with ourselves, really ever. Sitting with one’s thoughts, without any distractions, is not sexy, and so no one tells us to do it. I can tell you from experience that after a while, you learn to control anxious thoughts, and even ward them away when they come up. [PSA, I am by no means stating that an anxiety disorder or severe anxiety can be cured through meditation. What I am saying, is that it can be a helpful tool and coping mechanism for those people as well].
Please comment & share what your mediation journey has been like. Both Seo & I would love to hear from you. Join Alpha Female Sisterhood.
I met Myrf through her sister-in-law, Meriel, who is also another kickass girlboss of Ozzy & Squish (my hair goddess). Meriel brought Myrf to one of my early morning fitness classes, and she is such a badass fitness buff, I immediately felt connected with her. When I found out that she owned one of Richmond's best interior designing firms, Decorum, for almost 20-years, I admired her even more.
While I'm surrounded by many like-minded women entrepreneurs, most of us are newbie entrepreneurs, having our businesses for less than 5 years. With Myrf being a successful girlboss for almost 20 years, she is full of insights and tips which helped me whenever I asked her for advice (she's become one of my best clients, friends, and advisers!)
And because I am a generous, share-the-love kinda gal, I asked her to participate in this Kickass Girlboss Blog Series, so you all can learn from her awesomeness, too!
How did you get started with your interior design business?
I actually worked as an interior designer, as part of a traditional company, for several years before deciding to break out on my own. I knew I had a lot to contribute and lots of great ideas but didn’t always have the opportunity to run with my ideas since I wasn’t in charge. Along with a coworker, we decided to break away and start out own business and have been working together ever since.
What is it like having a business partner?
Honestly, it’s great. I’m not sure I would have succeeded without her help and there were so many times we leaned on each other in order to get through (and still do!). We don’t always see eye-to-eye, but we communicate openly right from the beginning. Once we choose one person’s solution, there’s no looking back! We’re both Libras and avoid conflict, so we won’t hold a grudge or fight over that decision. We won’t let anything fester and that keeps our partnership strong.
When did you know you had something good?
Right from the beginning! Or at least, we thought we did. It never crossed our minds that our business could fail, or that it would be hard. In retrospect, we were a little stupid, but I think it was a good thing that we were so naive. If we had known some of the challenges we would face, we might not have gotten started.
Is there anything you could have done to make things easier?
We should’ve bought office space outright, long ago. We started by renting our real estate because finding the start-up funds to purchase a property is so expensive! In the long-run, we’d be money ahead by having an office to fully call our own, but we ended up making it work and didn’t have the stress of saving up that much cash or having to forego other investments along the way.
What is the hardest part for you with running your own business?
I really hate firing people. It’s great that we have enough work that we have a few employees on staff and I love working with most of them. Unfortunately, over the years, not all of them have worked out. Even when it’s obvious things aren’t working out, I don’t like being the person who has to let someone go.
The life of an entrepreneur often means very busy days with long hours. How do you make time for yourself?
I always remember that I need to take care of myself first and foremost. Being stressed or unhealthy will just make things harder. I love working out with my friends in the morning to get things off to a good start before stepping into the hustle of the day. That’s how I met Seo originally, but now our friendship goes way beyond a work-out session.
How do you push through the tough times and keep going despite adversity?
I’m a cancer survivor — and the #1 thing that taught me was to keep things in perspective. There are a lot of days when work can be challenging, but at the end of the day, I always focus on what’s most important to me and make sure that’s the priority. It really puts things in perspective.
Are you still working toward expanding your business? How?
When I have new ideas, I run with them. I created the Dip-a-di-do-da, a decorative dip container for parties and events. When I realized how often I was scooping dips into other bowls to put out for social events, I thought there had to be a better way. I started searching for an easy way to just place your dips into a decorative container and couldn’t find any after extensive searching, so I designed one. I sold out of my initial order of 500 pieces and continue to promote and sell the product.
Do you have advice for other people just starting out?
Remember that you might not find the solution in an obvious way. For my dip containers, I ended up asking around and got a producer because I knew someone who made plastic yacht parts. That probably wouldn’t be the first place I looked, but it worked wonderfully. Don’t be afraid to tell people about your endeavors or ask for help or introductions…you never know when it’ll help you along!
What do you love most about working for yourself?
I love controlling my own schedule. I don’t have kids of my own, but I still love spending time with my extended family and being part of their life and being able to attend special events. I also love that I can take advantage of meeting people out for coffee or carving out time for myself when I need it.
Leaving the rat race was one of the most important things I did in order to bring purpose to my career and my life, but I’m not the only one who’s made a big change like that.
Today I’m talking to Becky, who left her own office job to work for herself and gain freedom in her life.
Tell me a little about what you do and how you got started.
Hi Seo! I’m working right now in two different ways: primarily in freelance writing with a travel marketing spin and part-time as a luxury travel advisor who specializes in using frequent flyer miles to pay for trips. I’ve been doing both of these for over a year after picking up small gigs that snowballed into great opportunities! Today, I’m transitioning more and more to travel writing full-time, which I love…but in general, working for myself is a great fit for me.
What prompted you to leave a traditional career – what caused you to make a change?
I worked in corporate finance from 2007-2014 before deciding to make a change. I left abruptly in order to pursue a lifelong dream of living and studying Spanish in Central America. I loved it, but when I came back, I was unemployed and had a big decision to make: go back to my career path or try something new.
I had always assumed I’d return to finance after my sabbatical, but after experiencing that freedom, the idea of conforming again sounded terrible. I spent a few months figuring out what I wanted to do next until finally admitting to myself that I hated what I was doing and that I should try and make a living in an industry I love (tourism!). It took a lot of thought — and a lot of mental struggles — but making that decision was the first step toward success.
What was the scariest part about breaking out on your own?
Once I started, I was scared of failing because that would mean I had to go back to the corporate world. That thought was worse than letting my family down, going bankrupt, or anything else, so I pushed myself every day to work harder than I thought was possible. I never realized I was so depressed in that position until I broke free. My old job was a significant stress in my life and without those shackles, I finally felt happy.
When I was in the midst of my new career, the scariest part was more about what other people would think of me. Small talk always starts with “what do you do?” or “where do you work?” and I wasn’t sure my non-traditional title or accomplishments would impress anyone. Eventually, I learned to let those thoughts go since I was proud of myself and that should matter more than what other people think.
Where did you get the money to get started?
Thankfully, what I do doesn’t have a lot of overhead. At the time, I was working as a waitress to make ends meet, so I used my tips to print up business cards and set up a website. I started building a portfolio while I re-invested my first earnings to attend a few conferences. Networking is EVERYTHING in my line of business, so spending that money is the smartest thing I could do.
I also did a lot of work on my own instead of outsourcing it and I took advantage of every free training or certification I could find, which helped build my credibility. But I’ll be honest: the first few months were financially rough and it would have been a lot harder to push through if I didn't have someone at home to split the bills with. I had a safety net that not everyone does, and I’m thankful for that.
Did you ever feel like your business would be a failure?
Absolutely. When I first set off on my own, I was targeting the wrong customers. I only made $75 in profit in the first six months (essentially, I was working for free).
At one point, with tears running down my face, I submitted a job application for a job I knew I’d hate because I just needed to make money. Thankfully, while I was waiting for an interview, I took a hard look at things, re-evaluated my target customer, and now I’m doing much, much better.
I still wake up some days during slow periods at work wondering if I’ll have to go back, but I harness that fear into motivation toward working on new business goals. Some have been unsuccessful but others have been great opportunities and that’s what lets me continue with this line of work.
At what point did you know you had something good?
When one writing client came to me and specifically extended an editing position (in addition to the writing I had been doing), I finally realized my work was highly valued. They trusted me enough to oversee other people’s work which reaffirmed I was on the right path. Since then, I’ve stopped editing because it doesn’t bring me the same professional enjoyment, but it was a real “feel-good” moment!
Please share with us the pro/con, rewards/challenges of running your own business in your own words, in your own life.
At first, my goal was to find work I enjoy doing since working is such a big component of my daily schedule. I love juggling clients since every day is something brand new to experience and it’s incredibly satisfying to tackle projects and learn something new all the time. You have no idea what you’re capable of until you push yourself!
One of my favorite rewards has been working remotely. I flex my schedule, work from other cities while traveling, and was able to take care of a family emergency for ~3 weeks without worrying about whether or not I’d get fired. It takes a lot of discipline (and I’ve been known to procrastinate at times), but if you can manage yourself, the flexibility is priceless.
But that said, running your own business is definitely hard. Along with the work I love, there’s a lot of other tasks that come with self-employment: I play marketer, accountant, tech support, and a million other roles, too. They’re not always glamorous and they’re not always fun, but it’s part of the package.
What was the single most important factor that contributed to your success?
I couldn’t have done this, not one bit, without a support network. My friends listened patiently to business ideas and talked through logistics. One family member in particular played cheerleader, no matter what, so I had someone to smile with when things went well and someone to lift me up when things went horribly. Plus my husband was there every step of the way, through my frustrations and my happy dances. I couldn’t have done it alone.
If you could go back in time to when you started, what one lesson would you share to yourself?
Work really hard toward balancing a workload. I have a lot of little clients, which means sometimes I have a lot of projects from different people all rolling in at the same time. Not wanting to say no to a paycheck, there were times where I was working 60-80 hours a week trying to get it all done by deadline and then other times when I had nothing to do (and thus no paychecks). It’s better to try and spread things out, but it’s hard to do when you get started.
Becky is just one example of a woman who chased after her dream of getting a kickasslife…will you be next?
Meet Seo Kelleher, an intuitive coach for life and business, committed to empowering women. "I am passionate about helping women find the courage to transform their lives by embracing their vulnerability and taking the responsibility."