If you had asked me ten years ago would I still be in business as an independent book publisher I would have laughed and said, “No.” But I wouldn’t have meant it. I am determined to do what I care about and it would take a lot to talk me out of what I do now. Part of my early doubt was that I had no, I repeat NO training in business. I had never examined a spread sheet, thought about a profit-loss report, thought a budget was saving enough money to buy gas for a road trip. I was innocent of running a business. What did I have on my side? Passion, curiosity, more passion, heart, and lots of passion. Oh, I had one more thing that I had to carve and mold, I decided I would have a goal of publishing three books no matter what–come rain, sleet, sun, or ice I’d do this thing I’d set out to do. This is called determination and it’s a lot harder than the world sounds. It’s the ability to Stand By Your Words. This is what I changed about myself too. Prior to this goal I thought things came easy, or things just “happened” out of luck, or smarter people than me had good things happen to them. This is not the case at all, determination is crucial. How many small businesses have you watched open and close? Most of the “smartest” people are good at starting a business: they can get a loan, find a nice building, procure signs, flyers, business cards and the like and I guess they are comfortable with money because most companies seems to start on the basis of lots-o-cash.
I also had another skill. I had done a little bit of sales. The worst kind of sales. Cold calls. Telemarketing calls. Fundraising and some supervising. Nasty work to deal with, however, turns out it wasn’t so bad after all. One of the most vital things to know about starting a business, or living life, is that you have to deal with and fully embrace rejection. You have to take on the word, NO, and live with it day and night. There’s much more we’d all like than we get have.
I have never given up on what inspired me at the start though: writing, words, stories, creativity. I have only enriched myself. I care more about authors, more about books, want to help booksellers, talk with librarians and writers more than ever. I do wish I could write more myself, but that’s slowly being worked out. No one is deserving of perfection, and who would want it. I’ll write some more about what I think it takes to make it in the business world in my next blog. Until then, read a book!