Author to Business Owner is designed to provide first-hand business tips for any writer. Each special guest has graciously imparted knowledge of their writing business in hopes of encouraging fellow authors to grow and manage their own businesses.
This month, I am excited to have Dorothy Cadet to share her experiences with us, and how she manages her writing business. A little background on Dorothy before we begin, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Columbia University, spent time in retail and real estate sales, and is currently a columnist for Examiner.com and published author! What drew Dorothy to a career in writing? As she discovered a love for helping women live practically and reaching their maximum potential, Dorothy worked for nearly 20 years as a teen and youth mentor, while seizing the opportunity to minister to women. She enjoys speaking, teaching, and training women in all environments. Through her role as a facilitator and speaker, she has spoken to both Christian and secular mom’s groups nationwide. Dorothy decided to write her book, “Laundry Can Wait,” as an additional resource for moms everywhere. She is with us today to share wisdom with other authors.
Welcome, Dorothy! Now that we know a little of your background and how you started writing, we would love to hear about your business. What have you learned from your writing business?
I’ve made many mistakes, of which I say, they weren’t mistakes, but building blocks! One was to not trust myself, but to trust what someone else said I should do. When you’re navigating the entrepreneurship field, you have to lean on others’ wisdom, guidance, and warnings. Sometimes, they are so used to doing things the “traditional way,” that they leave little to no room to step out and try a different track. I learned to trust, but verify. I take what is said, then I research it out myself and see if what I would like to do has been done, and if not, how I can take the advice I was given, then craft it into my own path, or create one that makes my vision come to life.
What do you love about being a business owner?
CHOICE! Being a business owner is a rewarding path. You work harder to see your dream achieved than you ever would at a “job” or other line. You are also able to craft your own plan of success and use your resources to attain it, all without limitation or someone telling you “you can’t.” If you are told “can’t,” you then get the opportunity to prove them wrong or heed their advice.
On the other hand, what do you hate about being a business owner?
RISK! You may get the reward of a business, but that means you also take all the risk in your business. Even the best laid plans fail or hit a roadblock, and sometimes you’re stuck not knowing what to do or how to get past it. You are also the one who has to deal with everything (disgruntled customers, suppliers, etc.), all while still having to run your business.
Very true! Now, I have to ask, have you ever hired a CPA? How does he/she help you?
Yes, I have hired a CPA in the past for other business ventures and he gave us the most sound piece of advice that we chose not to follow, which was “get a job!” In his 40 years of experience, he felt that what my husband and I were doing was risky and we didn’t have the background or capital to keep it going. We made it for three years without heeding his advice before we finally succumbed and my husband got a traditional job. The youth of our ideals hit against the wisdom of his years and eventually, we made it all work and we found ourselves in the black, instead of the red. At present, I don’t use a CPA, but we do have a bookkeeper who monitors our expenses on a semi-annual basis to ensure we are meeting deadlines.
In closing, do you have any last advice for other authors about being a business owner?
Being a business owner is a big step and requires research, time, and capital. If you go the traditional route, marketing and many of the woes are built in and your worry factor is minimized. Hopefully, you have been able to negotiate a good package. However, if you are self-published, read other books on marketing and find as many “free” ways to advertise as possible. When you do book signings, don’t just sit there, get up and engage the people. Let them pick up the book, begin reading it, and talk to them. Learn to be relationally based so that your message can come through and you are meeting a need!
We appreciate your time, Dorothy! To learn more about Dorothy and her writing business, you can visit her website, www.dacbooks.com. While there, be sure to take a look at her book, “Laundry Can Wait,” a conversation and testament to the strength of women and the pivotal role they play in the lives of their families. The book invites readers to experience goal-setting, relationship building, and the important of memories and balance between the roles of woman, wife, and mother, something we all need! “Laundry Can Wait” can be found on her website, Amazon.com, and other retailers. Dorothy brings up an excellent point about the importance of marketing for self-published authors. I recently spoke at the 2012 Ultimate Homeschool Expo on how you can be a self-published author. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!
Carol Topp, CPA