Author Melina Druga: “Only the talented and the persistent survive.”

Hello, all!

Today, I am excited to welcome Melina Druga, who will be discussing her new book, Enterprising Women.

About the Author: Melina Druga is a freelance writer and copy editor with more than a decade of experience. She provides her predominately female clients with a variety of editorial services including news articles, blog posts, newsletters, proofreading, line editing and editorial critiques.
About the Book: Many women dream of going into business for themselves and working from home. Few actually accomplish this goal. Enterprising Women: Practical Advice for First Time Entrepreneurs provides useful advice to aspiring business owners on marketing, business plans, outsourcing, taking care of oneself and more. It also features interviews with 40 women in various stages of entrepreneurship. It is available for purchase on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C1NM2H8) and as a PDF (http://melinadruga.contentshelf.com).

The Enterprising Women Summer 2013 Virtual Book Tour runs June 23-Sept. 20 please visithttp://melinadruga.wix.com/enterprising-women#!booktour/c2249 before Sept. 1 for more details.

 

Here is the interview:

A question I’m sure you have been asked time and again: What inspired you to write such an insightful book? How did you choose the women you would interview in Enterprising Women?

I was inspired by a couple of things. First, I’ve met many aspiring entrepreneurs who thought all they needed to succeed was a good idea. They didn’t consider they needed to write a business plan or a marketing plan. The second reason is because I felt there was a need in the market. The majority of the business books I read were written by men and the examples they gave were of entrepreneurs who were already successful. None of the books talked about how tough it really is when you open a business.

The women came from a variety of social networking sites, but the majority were from LinkedIn. I started with my connections and groups.

If you had it to do all over again, what, if anything, would you change about the One of a Kind Baskets experience?

I wouldn’t have selected gift baskets and instead would have started my writing/editing business two years earlier than I ultimately did. I’ve been much more successful with my editorial business than I ever was with One of a Kind Baskets. You’ve probably heard the old cliche about sticking with what you know. Well, it’s a cliche for a reason.

 You mentioned struggles and failure in your book; what specifically, have been some of your biggest struggles, obstacles and decisions with Enterprising Women?

The biggest decision I had to make was how to publish my book. Between the interviews and the final draft, approximately a year and a half passed and the book went through a complete revision and format change. It was getting to the point where the information was quickly becoming old. I had to decide whether to self publish or continue to pursue the traditional publishing route and delay things further. I ultimately self published, but it’s a decision I struggle with everyday. I’m not convinced I made the right decision.

A great piece of information from in your book:

“According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), entrepreneurs are

creative

inquisitive

driven

goal-oriented

independent

confident

calculated risk takers

committed

avid learners

self-starters

hard workers

resilient (able to grow from failure or change)

They also have high-energy levels, integrity, problem-solving skills, strong management skills and organizational skills.” Enterprising Women

If you had to say, which of these are your best traits as an entrepreneur/author?

I would say the ones which best describe me as an author are creative and inquisitive. You can’t really be a successful writer without talent and the quest for knowledge.

As an entrepreneur, the best adjectives are self starter, hard work, committed and resilient.

“And even when you’ve completed a business plan, it’s never really completed. It’s a living, breathing document.”

Excellent advice here. And in being realistic and planning, it is interesting to know, many people go into business with neither of these mindsets. What do you tell aspiring business owners who have tried, but struggle with their ideals and the planning aspect of getting started?

I would tell them to seek advice. There is a SCORE office in most cities and the advice is always free. In addition, they might benefit from talking to someone who is in the same industry they plan to go into. Most entrepreneurs are more than willing to talk about what they do and answer questions.

 Many authors will say, that the most difficult part of having a book, is marketing. What advice do you have for authors who find it not only difficult, but a reason to give up on their dream?

I would agree; marketing is difficult, but the overwhelming reason I hear for aspiring authors not following their dreams is the fear of failure. Rejection is par the course in the writing industry. Aspiring authors need to remember the writing industry is a business. Rejection will happen. They just need to move on and keep pressing forward until they succeed. Only the talented and the persistent survive.

You asked a great question in your book, and I will paraphrase a bit: What did starting a business teach you about your own strengths and weaknesses?

As I said before, I learned the hard way to follow what I know not what sounds interesting. I also learned which skills I excel at and which I need to improve upon.

 I came across an awesome passage in the book, where Cindy Kurman says, “If you’re not passionate about your life, change it.”

How does one balance going after that passion and staying grounded?

Hum, it probably varies from person to person. For some it might mean going back to school for additional training. For others it might mean starting a business and working it part time while working a full time job.

For me, I have been slowly learning how to balance work and my home life. When you work from home, your work is always there. It’s been hard for me to shut off thinking about the business even when I’m not working.

What is your dream for this book? Who do you most hope to inspire with the stories and words of wisdom shared?

My hope is that the information contained in the book helps aspiring women-entrepreneurs educate themselves and follow their dreams.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Yes. You can follow me on both Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MelinaDrugafanpage) and

Twitter (http://twitter.com/MelinaDruga)

Thanks so much, Melina; the information you’ve shared is invaluable.

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2 comments
  1. I think this is a great book with wonderful advice. As a woman entrepreneur myself, I find that a business plan and mentors are the two greatest assets you can have.

    • So true. She’s done an amazing job. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in her virtual book tour.

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