Now that anyone can publish a book using print-on-demand services such as CreateSpace and Lulu, an interesting thing is happening: the rise of the entrepreneurial author. This is an author who is also an entrepreneur. She is in charge of her destiny and owns her own business. She is more than a writer (if she even identifies herself as such). She is more than an author, for her business has more to offer than just a book. She is an entrepreneur. But what does that mean?
When you are an author and an entrepreneur, you embrace the nuances of the entrepreneurial life from the viewpoint of an author. And you know you’ve successfully become an entrepreneurial author when you’ve embodied these characteristics:
Seasoned entrepreneurs have developed the ability to believe in themselves … and not let feelings of self-doubt and questions of self-worth get in the way of what they want to achieve. They’ve learned how to overcome obstacles and have become strong enough to know they can do so again. Entrepreneurial authors know that they can reach their ideal readers and audience through the power of their words on paper and in pixels.
Entrepreneurial authors know they are in charge of their success. They don’t expect anyone else to hand them results on a platter. Although they may work with publishers, they don’t depend on them to get the books into the reader’s hands. They are solution finders and take pride in the fruits of their labors. They use their strengths to move their business forward and are savvy enough to hire out their weaknesses to people better suited to accomplish those tasks.
3. Perpetual Student
There is always something new to learn … especially in the book business. Readers are consuming our words in new ways every day. And they expect authors to keep pace with technology. Entrepreneurial authors keep up with the times. They are constantly learning new things and new ways to do things. They continuously “sharpen the saw,” expanding their knowledge base in all areas and growing as people because of it.
4. Team Player
No entrepreneur is an island and smart entrepreneurial authors know they can’t be and do everything in their business. They know how to develop, inspire and work with a team that helps them achieve their goals. They know how to leverage the power of teams to accomplish what no individual can do. They develop systems that help that team work better, regardless if they are in the same room or not.
5. Systems Developer
Businesses become more efficient when they use systems. Clients get better results when they follow a system. Savvy entrepreneurial authors know how to systematize their business. They know how to make their business run smoothly by developing processes so that team members can work better together, new team members can get oriented more quickly, and clients can achieve results more consistently.
Entrepreneurial authors have a vision, a dream for their business and they are committed — come hell or high-water — to achieve it. They are tenacious and flexible. They continuously work to fine-tune their brand so that it works better and moves them ever closer to their vision. They do what it takes to get the job done.
Boastful and arrogant entrepreneurs are rarely successful for long. Smart entrepreneurial authors are grateful for everything that comes their way. They know that the more they appreciate, the more they will have to appreciate, and so they practice thankfulness and gratitude regularly. They show their gratitude with words and actions.
Successful entrepreneurial authors see the cup half full without becoming Pollyannas. They see failures as opportunities for growth. They keep their focus on the things they want, not the things they don’t.
9. Strategic Risk Takers
Nothing new ever happens without taking a chance. When risks are managed and strategically taken, failure is less likely to happen … and when it does, it is more likely to be a great learning experience. Entrepreneurial authors understand the importance of taking risks in their business and take changes smartly.
Now its your turn
Of course, these aren’t the only characteristics entrepreneurial authors share, but they are some of the most important. Do you have them down? Or are you still working on improving yourself in some of these areas? Did I leave something out you think should be on the top of the list? Please share your stories, journey, and wisdom in the comment box below.