Sometimes, it’s not easy to find the silver lining. My entrepreneurial endeavors didn’t pan out the way I’d hoped. I wasn’t able to catapult my handbag design business to the levels of Kooba, Rebecca Minkoff and Marc Jacobs. Yes, we made it into the pages of InStyle magazine and onto the arms of celebs like Katherine Heigl. But it just wasn’t enough to sustain our short-lived success.
Through those early experiences of being an indie designer with no finances to speak of and no real knowledge about the fashion industry, I discovered that I had other talents.. Shocker! I mean, let’s face it, I never would have guessed that I’d become an author five years ago. And if it wasn’t for my dear friend Anne, I may not have ever gone down that path.
I’ll never forget the conversation. Anne told me that her husband wanted to start his own wine label. He knew nothing about wine, other than the fact that he loved to drink it. Anne asked if I had any pearls of wisdom to share on the subject of starting your own business. She didn’t say it, but I got the underlying message. What lessons did you learn as you crashed and burned through thousands of dollars? How can you help my husband not mess up quite as badly as you did?
A thirty-minute conversation convinced me to write a book about my failures as an entrepreneur, with the intent that I could help some other aspiring small business owner navigate potential pitfalls. I had plenty of painful sound bytes to share, and harsh experiences to discuss. So I wrote and wrote…and rewrote. But none of the publishing houses were interested in my tales of woe. I didn’t have a following and they didn’t see that my how NOT to book would make money without an established reader base.
So I had a book. And the book seemingly had no future.
I had to figure out my next step. So, onward! I discovered a love of writing, but my words lacked heart. What other topics could amplify my voice? That’s when it hit me…I should become a blogger! Everyone was doing it! I’d simply write in the hopes of getting a book deal by blogging about the trials and tribulations of being a full-time working mother of three kids! There was a lot of emotion in parenting, surely that would shine through in my writing and make people take note.
I convinced myself that this was my golden ticket for success. And while I spun a number of humorous tales over the next couple of years, something didn’t click. Of course, I loved my kids and the stories they inspired. But my intended path still wasn’t right. I loved the laughter, the feedback and the inspiration. Something was missing…
Until I made a decision that completely changed my outlook. I decided to try my hand as a novelist. And the rest, as they say, is history.
I wrote a contemporary romance novel with no understanding of how to do so, evident in the multiple rejections I received from publishing houses over a six-month period. Until I found an amazing editor who helped show me the errors of my ignorant ways. I had no formal training as a writer; heck, I was a career technologist for more years than I care to admit before I decided to dabble in the art of the written word. My editor taught me the hard lessons and I’m happy to say that a few short months later, my manuscript is ready for prime-time.
It took me a long time to figure it out, but now I know. I am a writer. I finally found my passion.