I help business professionals, experts, and thought leaders write, finish, and publish a high quality nonfiction book within months, rather than over years of struggle. I do this as a writing coach (private and small group), ghostwriter, and editor.
How did you end up here?
I earned a Ph.D. in English from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona in May 2000 with an emphasis in American women’s autobiography. I taught composition and literature courses in person and online for 20 years before resigning from ASU in 2012 to start my own writing and consulting business.
Name one challenge you grapple with regularly in your business?
Feeling like I work all the time but never get done what I need to get done as fast as I’d like. I’m impatient with the process of building a business from the ground up, but I know it just takes slow and steady progress to create systems that ensure a more reliable funnel of prospective clients. Knowing I’m doing all I can do given time constraints (and more) doesn’t always make me feel better or more relaxed about the process. I need to give myself permission to have fun and play more. 🙂
What was the lowest point in your business and how did you work your way through it?
I can’t yet identify the lowest point. There have been a few so far (unfortunately). I left a completely secure, benefits-paying job at the university in May 2012 to begin my business, thinking I had approximately $30,000 worth of contract work lined up to make my transition into business for myself easier. My first tough lesson about business is that nothing is secure unless it’s signed in writing and backed up with a down payment. That was just the first low point. Over about the next two years, I went through three unexpected health challenges, all while trying to build my business: treatment for stage 1 breast cancer, foot surgery, and most recently, a full knee replacement. Fortunately, I got steady contract work from a small but growing digital marketing agency to write copy for nine large nonprofit website redesigns. Because of my health challenges and because I was enjoying working for this agency as a contractor, I mostly closed down my new business to help build up this other growing business, eventually going to work for the founder full time. Within four months, though, she laid me off. Another shock and quite disillusioning! So I restarted my own business in May 2015, almost from the ground up–again. The layoff was probably my lowest point. I got through it by reaching out for support from family and friends, hiring a business coach, and re-envisioning the freedom and joy of being my own boss and doing great work with clients who I enjoyed and who genuinely appreciated the quality of my work.
What was the highest point in your business?
I don’t feel like I’ve reached a “highest point” yet, but I’m thrilled each time I earn the trust and business of a new client.
Do you have a favorite mantra or quote?
“We see things not as they are, but as we are.” –Anais Nin “I can’t write five words but that I change seven.” –Dorothy Parker
What words of advice do you have for someone who is in business or is thinking of starting one?
I’d encourage people who want to transition from being employed to having their own business to ease into it, if possible, and to hire a business coach who has been successful in their line of business and can show them the way.
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(This blog originally appeared on UnleaSHEd Business Confessions website!