These B-Schoolers made their
dream business a reality.
At age 43, with twenty years in leadership and a very expensive college degree, I couldn’t believe the situation I was in.
Two years had passed since I’d lost my job—after the economic downturn, the owners of my company could no longer afford me. I had exhausted my unemployment (which never covered the bills anyway), I had gone through all our savings, and my mom was helping keep us in our house every month. I had to cobble together side jobs just to feed us and pay the bills, which I couldn’t always pay in full. I felt like a failure. I distinctly remember the sense of defeat, the fear and worry of not making it through that time in my life. I worked hard to stay positive and convince myself I would one day look back and understand why it all unfolded the way it did, but it was admittedly a struggle.
I applied for dozens of leadership positions and was lost in a sea of applications for each of them. Only a few produced interviews and none panned out for one reason or another. This had never happened to me before, and I found myself forced to look at another set of skills I possessed: my talent for writing and design and my lifelong love of books. Self-publishing was becoming a more viable option for writers, so I threw myself into the field and learned everything I could. But without much of a portfolio, I had only word of mouth to get started.
That’s when B-School miraculously landed in my inbox from a friend. I knew it was exactly what I needed, so although I was cash poor, I borrowed the money for my down payment and began building my new business with a renewed sense of enthusiasm. That was 2012.
I clearly remember having TWO book covers on my website that I called my “portfolio,” and deciding that once I had ten, I could raise my prices a bit. It took another year or so to reach ten, but it sure felt like a victory!
Fast forward five more years—I now have 55 complete books I’ve produced and published for my author clients, along with another 80+ interiors I’ve designed as a layout artist for She Writes Press. The client list on my website now is so long that it seems staggering, even to me! What’s more, my authors’ books have won 13 notable indie awards to date, which thrills me to no end!
I’ve commanded competitive rates for my work. I’ve earned a strong reputation for designing unique and standout complex nonfiction, as well as fiction, memoir, and academic language books.
My business is thriving, and my partner of 18 years and I moved to our dream location in 2016. It was a huge, expensive move for us but, because of the success of my business, we were able to make that dream a reality. Now we live among trees and nature, with a gorgeous view of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains, where a creative like me can truly find inspiration in her environment. It’s a massive dream come true! What’s more, I was recently commissioned to ghostwrite a memoir for a notable artist—the first of its kind I’ve ever done in its entirety. I’m incredibly honored to be entrusted with writing his story, and I’m excited about what opportunities it may lead to in the future.
I share all this because the last six years have been truly transformative. I had to completely reinvent myself, in a way I couldn’t have known was even possible, and B-School was a huge part of that reinvention. To put it succinctly:
Before B-School: deflated, desperate, broke, afraid, and losing hope for my future, despite the excitement of what a reinvention could hold.
After B-School: bringing my business up at least three levels (and then more!), attracting remarkable clients I adore, obtaining confidence, thriving financially, securing a solid reputation in my field, growing my talent and offerings, and living in our dream location.
I can’t thank Marie enough for what B-School put into motion. It was truly invaluable, and I owe her a debt of love and gratitude.