Over the weekend, S and I attended a fantastic conference called Mad, Bad & Dangerous. The event was for women in business and geared specifically toward entrepreneurial women. The event lasted most of the day on Saturday and included speakers, food, booths for local female entrepreneurs to sell their wares, and a 24-hour generator that challenged teams of local high school girls to creatively solve a real problem faced by a local business – in 24 hours. The girls pitched their ideas on stage and the winning team received $1,000.
The event was a lot of fun! I gained knowledge, a beautiful handmade notebook, and some valuable contacts. But more importantly, I gained a new perspective.
S has been telling me for months that to be an indie author is to be an entrepreneur. He’s right – I essentially own a business. I’ve been struggling with this concept for the last few months because I’ve never thought of myself as an entrepreneur. Certainly, the business side of anything is difficult. There are a lot of components to the success or failure of a business. I have always felt more comfortable with the artistic side of writing. I enjoy the creating while the business side – the money side, the survival side, the success or failure side – was daunting and seemed contrary to my abilities.
While I was at Mad, Bad & Dangerous, I listened to the keynote speakers, Renee and Lily Sandler, a mother-daughter team that founded Blamtastic, a lip balm and skin care line. Lily is still in high school. She’s only 17 and she is actively involved in the business she helped found in 2007 when she was 9. Renee and her daughters began the business in their kitchen as an exercise in female empowerment. Now, they are distributed in Walmart and their business is expected to make at least $10 million this year.
As I listened to their story, I was reminded of the many little business ventures I experimented with as a child. I made quick list and from making potholders to baking dog treats, I remembered 17 little ‘businesses’.
It was like the clouds parted and sun shone for the first time.
I was an entrepreneur and I didn’t even know.
Mad, Bad & Dangerous could not have come at a better time. I have already been working to learn how to succeed as an indie author. I’ve been researching social media platforms, how to build an audience, book bloggers, indie author contests, book signings, comic cons, and book reviews. It’s a little overwhelming but it’s also exciting.
To be an indie author is to be an entrepreneur. Ideas that could turn into money are what constitutes an entrepreneurial flair. What you do about your ideas is another thing entirely, but having the ideas in the first place is valuable. Entrepreneurship is a special kind of creativity.