1. Tell us a little about yourself and what inspired you to launch your business?
Believe it or not, it was the economic meltdown that led to launching my business. I got laid off in 2009 and after helping Hello Ms. CEO founder, Tavia Sgambati, write a business plan for another business, I realized there was a market for writing for pay. Prior to that, I wrote for entertainment such as poems and romance novels, it was my escape from reality.
2. Can you please elaborate more about your business and what it all entails?
I am a writer and editor. I help clients to find their voice. Many people know what they want to say, yet struggle with getting their ideas and big pictures across to others. My services include resumes, business plans, blog writing, and speeches all the way up to author coaching and ghostwriting books. I have written in a wide array of genres and on countless topics.
3. What challenges did you face early on in building your business?
I had a hard time believing that there was a market for writers. Like who needs a writer? Also, because most of my communication is written, it was a challenge to describe what I did when asked, “So, what do you do all day?” or “What exactly does a writer do?”
4. What was your biggest mistake and if given the opportunity to do it again what would you do things differently?
My biggest mistake is something I still wrestle with and that is consistency. When I have a desk full of jobs, the first thing I neglect is my social media; however, that is where the bulk of my clients come from. Once a social media presence is established and moving…it needs to keep moving!
5. What drives you to succeed, in other words, what is your “WHY”?
My children are my why. Doesn’t every parent feel that way? LOL! Also, I feel like I have a lot to say and don’t mind lending my voice to those who need or can’t find theirs. We are all in this together, when we help each other, the world is a better place.
6. What inspires you personally &/or professionally in your life daily?
Being successful to a point where I am only writing for myself inspires me. The way my world revolves when I’m working on a book to my own credit makes me the happiest. There are so many stories that I want to tell people to entertain them, inspire them, motivate them, and let them know they are not alone in what they are going through.
7. Do you practice personal development and if so do you have a favorite book that you would love to recommend?
Honestly, I don’t. When I read, it’s to relax myself, so I read espionage. Sounds weird coming from a romance novelist, huh?
8. What habits did you create to help make you successful?
I have learned how to ignore my phone. Phones are time sucks. You get on them and talk, talk, talk, or text, text, text, or play around on social media. I’ll have work breaks, but I’m now limiting my phone calls to 15 minutes and I answer texts once I’m finished working for the day or when I take breaks.
9. What was your mindset to help ensure that your vision would become a reality?
Being laid off from a job was extremely hard to swallow. I had not done anything wrong. Almost 30 people lost their jobs that day when the company closed our store. I didn’t want to be in a position for someone else 1,000 miles away to tell me, ‘I’m sorry. I don’t know how you’re going to support your family. Have a nice life.’ That pushes me to keep money coming in.
10. How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Just being my genuine self and a unique marketing scheme. I market my books the way movie houses market films.
11. How did you develop key partnerships?
Make sure the relationship is symbiotic. I offer my skillset and advice so they won’t hesitate to do the same.
12. What does women supporting women look like to you?
I like when I do something and one of my people points out the weakness. They show me how I could have executed something better. When it comes from a place of love, it’s received with love.
13. Based on your experience, what’s the best advice you can give to an aspiring Female Entrepreneur?
Nike…just do it! Time is going to pass anyway, so do it. Don’t waste time talking yourself into or out of an idea. Somebody is already doing something similar and making money. Why aren’t you? McDonald’s doesn’t care that Burger King sells hamburgers, so get off your butt and make your dreams work for you!
Book Author Specific Questions:
1. When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer and what inspired you?
I’ve never wanted to be anything but a writer. When God made me, He said, “Carla will be a writer.” Period.
2. How long have you’ve been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was about four or five-years-old. It’s always been in me.
3. Is writing your full-time career?
I write full-time! Yes! And I’m proud about it!
4. How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
My tally is close to 30 now. I’ve lost count. My favorite is the first of my Sgt. Knight Series titled, Mask Offfound on amazon.com.
5. Tell us about your first published book and what was the journey like?
Whew! My first published book was long before the internet is what it is today. The journey was hard and I lost a lot of money gaining the experience. That is why now, I offer an author coaching service to help guide aspiring authors to success while minimizing the headache.
6. What advice would you give to a new writer or someone wanting to get started with being a writer?
You won’t know if you’ve got the juice until you start. All writing is bad in the beginning, keeping at it is how you find your voice.
7. How do you handle writers block?
Step away from the work. Give it a 24-48 hour rest, then come back. Your mind will be refreshed. Changing the scenery is also good. Sometimes I write in my home office, other times I go to a coffee shop. Being somewhere different reenergizes me.
8. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Sending the first draft to a client! I’m always, 1,000% nervous! It is rare that the response is negative. I strive to write for my client in their voice to prevent a lot of back and forth. It saves my time and theirs.
9. Writing can be emotionally draining and stressful. Any tips for aspiring writers?
Allow yourself the freedom to take breaks. You don’t have to just cram your writing. Let the spirit of writing lead you. If you feel like you need to take time away from the project, take the time! Otherwise, your work will come across as forced and you really don’t want that.
10. Fun Question: If your book was made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
Michael B. Jordan from Creed, Viola Davis, and Meryl Streep…I would have to find a role for her somewhere!
11. How do our members get more information about your books and how to connect with you?