Women and the new entrepreneurship.
I’ve finally, truly wrapped my head around the fact that I’m an entrepreneur. A business owner. (It’s April 7, and the ink is drying on the checks I just wrote that prove it, made out to U.S. Treasury and Hawaii State Tax Collector, respectively.) This is the story of how it happened.
I’ve been reading revolutionary literature for a couple of years now: I began with Seth Godin and his amazing, thought provoking blog. I came to believe that hidebound thinking coupled with fear was holding me back, and out of frustration with the traditional publishing industry, I published my first novel last year.
In addition to writing every free moment, I was doing ridiculous 55 hour workweeks building my private practice and working my full time state job as my husband recovered from a health crisis.
Something had to change, and I’d begun to realize it had to be me. I was the only one who could set myself free from workaholism and the need for security, and last May I did the unthinkable: I voluntarily left a secure state job with a retirement pension, in a bad economy, with my husband also a self-employed artist.
And it f*cking worked out wonderfully.
One year later, I still get up every day and thank God for this life. I get to write my books and help people, the two big things I feel like I was put on this earth to do. I’ve lost thirty pounds since last May, able to take care of my health and exercise now. This May, one year since I quit the job, Mike and I are leaving on a month-long road trip to see the National Parks. It’s a lifelong dream and I hope, the first of many.
I’ve been reading books and blogs by some revolutionary writing entrepreneurs, and they’ve colored and shaped my thinking. Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Tucker Max, Hugh Howey, James Altucher and Kathyrn Kristine Rusch have all planted seeds of freedom. I have individually contacted each of them to thank them for how they’ve touched my life and inspired me, and even more amazing, they’ve all responded.
These are revolutionaries with heart and soul who care about helping others. I want to be one of them. I already am, in my small way. And I’ve been pondering why, in studying that lineup of the new freethinkers, Rusch is the only woman I'm following. In a much touted Entrepreneurship summit with some of my “mentors,” I only spotted one woman in the speaker lineup.
I’ve got a few ideas on the subject. I think mainly, women aren’t socialized to put it all out there, take radical chances and talk about it. If we do, we’re bigmouthed, horn-tooting bitches.
So we’re scared to talk about business. How we work for change. Our visions and dreams. How we sacrifice for our husbands and children.
I know. I did all that, too—and now, I feel the best gift I can give both my young adult children is the gift of continuing to live bold and free, a life of purpose, generosity, and creativity. True to my calling.
This journey hasn’t been without many failures and bruises. This last week I had a huge setback when The Islander Group, a book and Hawaiiana distributor, declined to carry my print books. That would have been the doorway into Costco, Target, any number of Hawaii retail businesses, all of whom order from them. I have a salesperson trying hard to get venues for my print books, only to have doors continually shut because of being self published. It’s painful, and discouraging, and yet I persist because when people see my beautiful books and hold them, they want them.
I’m still hoping for some outlets to carry the books, and it’s costing me money to do so.
I’m an entrepreneur, and dizzy with the rollercoaster of it. I’m telling the story of it, in hopes it inspires you to take some chances too. I’m a forty-eight year old mother of two, wife of twenty-seven years, former workaholic mental health therapist who loves to make up stories. I’m breaking stereotypes, and I’ve never been called a bitch by anyone who really knew me—I’m much more of a marshmallow people-pleaser.
Guess what? You can be nice and successful too. Assholes aren’t the only ones to finish first! (Tucker Max’s book) So here’s to the new generation of freethinkers—and all the middle aged women taking destiny by the hand and walking into it. May we all be successful in our endeavors.
I took my Building an Author Platform book down from Amazon this week. From now on, it’s available to any writer who asks, free. Just email me.
I hope it helps a few more people sell a few more books.
What do you think of women and the new entrepreneurship? I for one suspect that the numbers are unparalleled. Got any great women's business blogs for me to follow?