Personal and professional growth require an environment in which we can freely experiment, loftily dream and securely course-correct. "The Everyday Woman's Guide to Entrepreneurship" is a simple, effective guide to becoming your own boss, allowing your passions to drive your future.
• 20+ brand building tools for turning your vision into sustainable business success
• 10-page personal development journal for creating the right mindset and embracing the power of a positive perspective
• Sample rate sheet, expense management sheet, legal worksheet
• 10-page social media kit
• 12-month, weekly and task planners
• 10 inspiration pages: tear, share, frame or add to your vision/inspiration board
• Grow and succeed using the power of your voice, mind, story and vision
• Interactive worksheets
• Entrepreneurial Q&A
• Full color, visual-centric, coffee table-esque design
|Publisher:||Author Solutions Inc|
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.22(d)|
Read an Excerpt
THE WAY WE GET BY
The year is 2012. I'm the youngest person working for a Connecticut-based marketing firm. After applying to more than 200 jobs, this was the only company that requested an interview. I started working as an entry-level editor five days after graduating with a bachelors in English, Writing and Mass Communications.
I didn't care if I swept the halls. I needed a job in my industry, fast. Looking back, I realize how imperative this job was for getting to where I am today. If only one other employer had agreed to an interview, my entire career (dare I say, life) trajectory would have looked different.
I took the job as a way to get by. Today, I owe it everything.CHAPTER 2
OPPORTUNITIES IN THE UNLIKLIEST OF PLACES
The story of my career beginnings is just one of endless ways life has shown me that the greatest opportunities happen in the unlikeliest of places.
If it wasn't for that employer, I wouldn't have been able to quickly establish my own client base as a freelancer. Allow me to explain ...
As Director of a seven-person editorial team, many of my clients were understandably confused as to why I had parted ways with the company so quickly (I was laid off due to "restructuring," conveniently right before my scheduled move to California). I kept in touch with several clients and the rest is history.
I am continually astounded by life's little delights. My first client as a freelancer came not from a corporate crossover but a contact of a contact of a contact I had made years prior. I had met a woman several years earlier while out on a walk with my now husband. I asked if I could pet her dog (duh) and we struck up a conversation where I learned that she was the VP of her own marketing firm.
When I decided to go solo, I gave her a ring and she put me in touch. I have acquired new clients from thrift stores and dog parks. I have made key connections at cafes. All moments you could never plan which you'll never get back.
Because of my experiences, I firmly believe in the power of saying "yes" with an open and positive perspective.
Can we talk about the beauty of life's natural and inevitable design? I truly believe every moment at that marketing firm was meaningful and purposeful. Not just being hired as an entry-level editor but transitioning to the company's content marketing division. Not just being promoted to Assistant Manager but then Director of an entire team.
Every second added up to perfectly position me for the moment I never thought would come: starting in own business.
If you were to ask me then, I would have never believed in my wildest dreams that I would be doing what I am today--let alone that the opportunity would stem from where it did. Unlikely, no?
There is little I believe in as strongly as the fact that everything happens for a reason. When my mentor and former Director--a brilliant woman and inspiring leader--asked me to succeed her, my first thought was heck no.
I didn't want the added pressures and responsibilities, and I imagined that upper management would be difficult to work with. Yet in the end, I would have regretted more not seeing what I was capable of achieving.
Even if I failed miserably, I knew I would walk away better for having seized the opportunity. Accepting the promotion ended up being one of the best and worst decisions of my life. I became depressed and wouldn't eat. I experienced physical symptoms of extreme stress. But it all lead me to where I am today, and to me that's worth it.
In looking back, I'm reminded that uncomfortable and even painful situations have their place in our purposeful path towards success. We need to trust life's plan, even if we don't understand the path.CHAPTER 3
INTO THE VOID
In just one day, I had gone from Director of Content Marketing responsible for a seven-person editorial team to being by myself with my own thoughts. I went from making $75,000 a year to no sustainable income besides unemployment checks I could claim for the next six to 12 months.
I was very unhappy at my job and so I was in an odd way at peace with what had happened. I was excited about the newness of life and the possibilities that lied ahead, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't equally scared of the void.
I had a conversation that day with a dear friend who happened to have two successful businesses of her own. In the past I had discussed with her the dream of working for myself with my own set of clients.
She told me to go for it. Then I thought to myself ...
If not now, when?
So I did. I launched a website. I followed up with my clients from corporate. I designed new business cards and created fresh samples of work, I had little idea of what I was doing, but more passion and drive than ever before.
Within one week I had my first client. Within one month I had five. Now, I have over 20 clients worldwide.
You have to embrace the void in order to fill it.
I know what you're thinking.
Sure, let me just reach out to all of my clients right now. Beep boop boop ::mimicking dialing::
You might be thinking I'm out of touch or that I don't remember what it was like to start from the bottom. I haven't forgotten. I just believe in you that much. I know with absolute certainty that you can get to where you want to be because I did.
I paid $20 to launch my first website using money from unemployment checks. My brand evolved through the years to what you see today. It won't happen overnight, but I promise that with good counsel and a sincere belief in your own power and capability you can do whatever you set your mind to.CHAPTER 4
'TIL YOU MAKE IT
I hate the phrase "fake it 'til you make it." What does that say about someone's passion or willingness to learn? More importantly, what does it say about their efforts? It implies you're coasting rather than climbing.
I believe that every effort and action is impactful. I believe that with hard work and dedication you can "make it," but you'll have to travel your own purposeful path for getting there. No comparisons, just you.
Define success on your own terms. Once you know what "making it" looks like for you, create a strategic roadmap for getting there. The beauty here is that there's no right answer. Maybe you won't know what "making it" looks or feels like until you reach that point. Maybe it's something you can't even comprehend yet. That's totally okay. You don't have to have it all figured out right now. All that matters is that you're bold enough to have a vision and brave enough to pursue it.
I know it sounds horribly cliché, but you need to trust that you'll get to where you want to be in your own perfect timing.
Why do I feel so strongly about women helping women?
Because of one woman who took a chance on me. My former boss--the woman who I would one day succeed--saw potential in me even at my most inexperienced.
She recognized in me strengths I never knew existed.
She saw skills that could be honed. She fought hard for my career advancement and financial compensation.
She stood up for me when I was still learning how.
She challenged and continually encouraged me. She provided opportunities early on in my career that most women never get.
She had a family of her own. She had her own work responsibilities, pressures and stresses. She didn't have to clear a path, but she did. I owe so much to her dedication to my personal and professional growth.
Our relationship extended far beyond the office. She attended my wedding. Today, living on separate coasts, we stay in touch and contribute thought leadership content to each other's businesses.
Seek out women who create space for other women.
Women who believe in the transference of power instead of wielding theirs as a weapon to bring others down.CHAPTER 5
What you tell yourself is what you will achieve.
If you tell yourself no one is interested in your skills, then you won't see much demand.
If you tell yourself a certain fee is too high (within reason), it becomes so.
When I was 24 years old, I walked into my Vice President's office and told him I wanted to make $75,000 a year with my promotion to Director (a $20,000 raise). I got it, plus a new office with a window view. I became the youngest and second highest-paid Director in the company's history.
It seems crazy until you start doing it yourself. Try it out and you'll see what I mean.
The same goes for customers and prospects. If a client is not willing to pay what you believe you are worth, have the courage to walk away. Keep prospecting until you find customers that believe in you as much as yourself. I promise you they're out there. If your prices are not unrealistic (basic research can guide your efforts), stand up and never settle.
This also goes for work processes. Not all people will respect your boundaries. Set them anyway.
Here's a story to give you an idea of what I mean:
I had a call with a prospective client about content creation. The individual I spoke with elaborated on the company's requirements and budget. It was a perfect match on paper. Until ...
"The President is a control freak. He is very impatient and needs to have things done his way. He gets easily frustrated when things don't go exactly how he wants them."
In a nutshell, I politely suggested that we may not be a good fit if this is the kind of environment they require.
It sucks to walk away from potential business, but even more to be taken advantage of.CHAPTER 6
The year is now 2016.1 am newly married, freshly parted with corporate, and working as a full- time freelance Content Marketer and Brand Strategist. I'm supplementing unemployment checks with income from my business. It is slowly but surely taking off.
In June, my husband and I move from Connecticut to California on a 10-day cross-country road trip. I nervously tell my clients I'm taking a two-month hiatus from work. They tell me to enjoy and they'll see me when I'm back online.
People thought we were crazy. Some family members were upset that we were "leaving them behind." But in the end I had to live life on my own terms. Eventually I came to understand that you don't need to justify yourself or your decision-making to anyone. If someone can't respect your choices, you may have to set boundaries.
In a matter of weeks I gained so much I never thought I could. I moved to a dream location, purchased my dream car (a hardtop convertible), and started a dreamy new chapter of life with my new husband.
What makes you any different from achieving those things on your dream "To Do" list?
You already know the answer: nada.
What if you relentlessly pursued that idea you've been toying with for months or years, no matter how crazy? What's stopping you from doing so?
What is your "Connecticut?" In other words, what's that thing that perhaps you need to leave behind? Negative influences? Self-destructive thoughts? We owe it to ourselves to give this serious contemplation.
Remember that friend who encouraged me to go for it with my business? There were times when I was low-key jealous of her. Of course I was thrilled for her success; she was (and still is) the epitome of a badass boss.
Yet at the time of our conversation she had successfully launched multiple companies and was pregnant to boot. It was easy to feel small and defined by my inexperience. I remembered thinking, "How does she just whip up businesses like it's nobody's business?" I felt like I wasn't doing enough in comparison.
Then it dawned on me.
It is nobody's business, including my own!
The only difference between her and me was that she had freed herself from the restraints of conventional thinking. What she thinks people want her to do. What she thinks is expected of her.
In coming to this realization, I was able to identify and correct behavioral patterns of my own that were limiting my ability to innovate, grow and achieve.
Now people ask me how I was able to start my own podcast and launch my own line of t-shirts. It's because I had an idea and just went for it. I didn't let the fear of failing stop me from trying, and I learned much about myself and business along the way.CHAPTER 7
THE BURGER THEORY
If you have ever dieted, then you know what a cheat day is. It's a day that you allow yourself to dine on the delightfully delicious (for me, that's In-N-Out and Doritos). These are days you normally relax and don't exercise. In many ways, cheat days are self-care days (we can't always be counting calories).
Some weeks you might find you need more cheat days than normal. You might lose your motivation to eat healthy, even. The same happens in business.
It's okay if you have a "cheat day" or even a few. You might want to use downtime to relax. You may need to take a break for mental clarity. Science actually shows that the best creative insights happen during moments of disengagement and distraction. The bottom line is that you should never feel guilty for prioritizing your mental health.
Honor the necessary balance between grinding and unwinding.CHAPTER 8
REACHING THE SUMMIT
Personal and professional growth is a never-ending journey. This is a good thing. Be present in your current state, thankful for every moment and opportunity, and eager for all that lies ahead.
Personally speaking, I have achieved more than I could ever imagine in the last few years but have further hopes and goals. I want to become a mother. I'd like to get better at being quick to listen and slow to speak. I'd love to increase my number of speaking engagements and opportunities.
The journey doesn't end unless you say it does. Don't let it.
Let's pause here. You know my story, now I want to know how you're feeling. Excited? Eager? Overwhelmed? Unsure?
You might be thinking, "How can I really just do this?"
This question is normal, but you can't sit on it for too long. Go back a page and re-read the quote. Now, again. This is honestly the best advice I can offer you moving forward. You must be willing to push the limits of possibility, not just in business but in your own mind.
Listen, we're not large corporations with ample spend. We're everyday women with a vision and some dollars to invest. You're going to be challenged by constraints. Instead of worrying about your limitations, use them to your advantage. Constraints force focus and creativity. They're necessary for achieving breakthrough growth. Remember: embrace the void to fill it.
I'll leave you with this quote from Oprah: "Don't worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow."
As you contemplate your journey, ask yourself what success means to you. Aim to be significant. If you deliver value to just one person, you've succeeded. And if everything comes crashing down, what's the worst that can honestly happen? The world will keep spinning and the sun will still rise. The only thing that will change is that you'll be refined into a more knowledgeable and experienced version of yourself.
Feeling better? I hope so. Now, grab a cup of coffee and see what other questions women just like you have.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Real questions submitted by women across the entrepreneurial spectrum, with real answers based on years of experience navigating the world of sole proprietorship.
How do I decide what business to start? -Meredith S., Las Vegas
The best ideas come from the heart; there has to be passion behind the purpose. If you don't have a gut feeling about one particular business idea, get introspective. What are your passions? What's that one wild idea in the back of your mind? Could it be something more?
Whatever idea you land on, ensure that it is sustainable, scalable and stable. Ensure it delivers real value to a group of targeted consumers. Create a value proposition. Identify a target audience. Develop a mission and vision. Do your research, and take your time.
How do entrepreneurs start off? -Ashley R., MN
Trust life's natural course, follow your instincts and never underestimate the power of outreach. Every email, phone call, event and business card has a proven ripple effect. There is no bad idea when starting off as an entrepreneur; you only stand to gain.
Stay persistent, and think of ways to creatively fill the pipeline. Also reach out to every viable connection. If you lack connections, start laying the groundwork for establishing them. Go to networking events, workshops and tradeshows. Connections are ITL∫ITL to entrepreneurial success.
How can I become a successful entrepreneur with no money? -Tracey O., CA
It's impossible to spend nothing and become a successful entrepreneur, even if you have no employees or capita! expenses. You'll likely want to be conservative when starting out (I paid $100 to launch my website and order business cards in the beginning). Spend will naturally increase as your business grows (now, I spend approximately $6,000 each year on business expenses). This includes everything from the square footage of my home office to a portion of our monthly phone and Internet bill to business cards and client lunches. Financial spend will differ depending on the market you're entering, but an upfront investment will be necessary.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Everyday Woman's Guide to Entrepreneurship"
Copyright © 2019 Allison Boccamazzo.
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
THE WAY WE GET BY, 3,
OPPORTUNITIES IN THE UNLIKLIEST OF PLACES, 4,
INTO THE VOID, 8,
TIL YOU MAKE IT, 11,
STAND UP, 13,
LEAVING CONNECTICUT, 16,
THE BURGER THEORY, 18,
REACHING THE SUMMIT, 20,
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, 23,
BRAND BUILDING TOOLS, 30,
IN THE END, 71,
INSPIRATION INDEX, 74,