What has surprised you in this process of running your own business?
The most surprising aspect of running my own business is how I’ve grown as a person. My definition of success is no longer limited to monetary statistics. Do I like to earn money? Absolutely. Is that my only measure of success now? Not in the least. When a student e-mails me to say she or he just received acceptance of publication thanks to help I’ve given them, or understands a writing technique more clearly because of my instruction, I glow. And I still get goose bumps of excitement when I am contacted by a student who was referred by another student. Validation like that is priceless.
What do you find most exciting about being an entrepreneur?
That I get to change and evolve as my customer’s needs grow. Originally, I specialized in playwriting. Then, one of my playwrights asked if I would critique a book she had written. I actually declined twice, citing that novels were outside the scope of my expertise. The author, however, insisted that my professionalism, writing knowledge, and insights on her previous plays would translate to her novel. I finally agreed to take on the project after her third request but insisted that I give her a discount as she was my “guinea pig” for this new service. Since then, I’ve used that approach to great results each time I’ve expanded my offerings. My customer appreciates my honesty, and I’ve learned more about craft and my abilities.
Can you briefly describe your usual day, from the time you wake up in the morning?
I wake up at 7:15 a.m. every morning and go to bed at 11:45 (after Jay Leno’s monologue - always end the day on something funny). My daily schedule depends upon which day of the week it is and what my husband’s work schedule is for that day. I learned early on that just because I set the day up one way on Monday didn’t mean I could work that same schedule every Monday or even on Tuesday. Some days I get to work uninterrupted for three hours in the morning, sometimes it’s not until after eight o’clock at night. Sometimes my work hours are broken up throughout the day. I do, however, always make sure that I work at least three hours every day (whether those hours are in a row our broken up).