That sounds like a catchy name for a blog, doesn’t it? That’d be fun. Maybe someday.
For now I’m writing about this because, on a whim, I signed up to do a presentation on it at a writing conference.
Wish me luck.
Haha. I’m not sure quite what I’m doing. I’m an author and an entrepreneur, but I wouldn’t say I’m an author and an entrepreneur. However, it is something I’ve thought a lot about in recent months.
See, I’m a woman of many hats. I’m writing my fifth book for publication, I’m starting a publishing business and a self-care/mental health boutique, I’m a stay-at-home mom to a toddler, an infant, and a cat, and I’m attending school full-time as a business student. Putting it all together like that, I feel so official. Like, wow, that looks like the life of a real adult. And I’m only 23, too! Maybe it only looks that official until you see it up close, though.
See, I’ve been putting off some editing jobs for a few weeks, I haven’t actually worked on that fifth book for publication in about that long, I’m seriously struggling to be a mom and student, and the boutique is really the only thing I’ve been doing consistently other than homework. But even then, I’ve been way more consistent at it than I have been with homework.
Despite everything that I’m doing or not doing, though, my imagination is running all the time. I’m constantly thinking about all the other things I’ve signed myself up more and all the things I want to do or be. And one of those things is an author entrepreneur.
A big part of why I’m writing this as a blog post is to get my thought process out. I struggle to think as clearly through the spoken word. My thoughts are much more concise when I’m writing and I stumble upon new ideas and epiphanies much more frequently. This is even more true when I’m writing for an audience. So basically, you’re my guinea pig by reading this. Thanks for being here.
Unfortunately, all the nonsense I’ve already written is part of my therapeutic writing process to get to the point. So, an author entrepreneur. What does that mean? What does that look like?
Haha. I’m not sure I even really know. Let’s dive into my messy head and see if we can make sense of it.
I picture an ‘author entrepreneur’ as more than an author who just wants to market their books. To be an author entrepreneur involves a lot of the stuff that being a regular entrepreneur involves: getting a business license, creating a community within your business, bringing in the customers, getting them to come back, etc. Let’s look at a google definition of entrepreneur (brb while I go google that).
Google says this: “a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.”
Okay. So to be an entrepreneur you take on financial risk. I’m not sure it’s possible to do that as much as an author as you could if your product were something you weren’t creating straight out of your brain. Let’s look at another definition that popped up on google:
“Talking about an entrepreneur, means talking about a person with great, innovating ideas that identifies the need for the creation of a business to fill a void. Entrepreneurs can be people of all ages. Their characteristics are creativity, imagination and a thirst for work.” Pulled from the iED.
I like that definition a lot better.
As an author, do you have innovating ideas? Are you writing your books to fill a void in the world, or just a void within yourself? If you’re only writing to fill a void within yourself, to be an an author entrepreneur probably isn’t for you.
Let’s just look at what I’m doing as an example. I’ve been in the process of converting my author platform into that of a mental health advocate. I stand for something. My books are a product, an extension of that platform. I write books about characters who struggle with depression and who find hope and learn to cope in healthy ways. Now, this isn’t just what I do as an author. This is who I am.
There we go. That’s it. To be an author entrepreneur, you must be your business. You as a person represent everything your products represent.
The trick to doing this is not to become something you’re not. It’s to discover the epitome of who you are and let that show through everything you do.
To further use myself as an example, I’m having a little bit of a hard time drawing a line between my many hats now. It used to be easy. I had a personal Facebook and an author Facebook for networking, as well as my author page to represent me as a writer. Now I just am an author and a businesswoman and I stand for the same things across every platform, so it doesn’t make sense to separate them. I serve the same markets on every platform. Mariah K. Porter is an author who writes about depression, and Mariah Newton is an entrepreneur starting up a self-care/mental health boutique. The nom de plume is different. A lot of the customers will be the same.
To be an entrepreneur is about who you are as much as what you do.
And of course, it’s also a lot about what you do.
There’s networking, marketing your product, marketing yourself, writing as though it’s a real job, and a whole set of characteristics that are necessary for an entrepreneur.
Oh man, we’re getting into all of the college business classes I’ve been taking now and I love it. I have notes and notes on all the other stuff it takes to be an author entrepreneur. Enough to make a powerpoint slide of it. And that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.
Thanks for letting me rant to you to figure this out! If you’d like to know more about being an author entrepreneur, make sure you’re following this blog to get updates. I’ll share more substantial info when I have it put together, although if my presentation is accepted, that may just look like a short summary and a recommendation to sign up for LTUE 2021.