Adventures of an Unlikely Entrepreneur

Have you ever had an idea for a business that kept coming back to you? I’ve had such ideas in the past, but until last summer, I never followed through with them. Some of those ideas came out on the market months after I thought of them and were very successful, leading me to kick myself for not pursuing the idea.
Last summer, I had a brainstorm. It occurred to me that there ought to be a market for short books that covered the essential ingredients of a skill. These books would be in the 20 page range, so they could be read in under 20 minutes. I had heard that the average person gets about 18 pages into a how-to book, and then doesn’t continue with the rest; so a lot of people are buying full-length books and not reading very much of them; and yet the most important information isn’t found in the first 18 pages. Why not put all the most important information in about 20 pages, and leave out the rest?

A little background: I am a lawyer, and have been practicing law for almost 30 years. Currently, I represent mostly small business owners, and serve as a mediator and arbitrator of business disputes. I’m very good at what I do, and enjoy it. I can’t say, however, that I am passionate about my legal practice.
I had been intrigued by the idea of “finding my passion”, and doing something that I truly loved. While listening to one of those “success” webinars one day, the idea occurred to me of taking the various materials I’ve developed for presentations I’ve given over the years and converting them into short books. Then I thought that there would be lots of other people who would have materials they could convert as well. Perhaps I could put together an easy platform to enable people to share their wisdom. Then we could expand to audio books, videos, foreign language translations, and on and on.
I felt as though my left brain and my right brain were in constant battle with each other: “you can’t do that, you’re a lawyer, not a business person,” said one part of my brain. “Why not? It’s a neat idea, and it sounds like fun,” responded the other side. I talked it over with my wonderful husband, and he liked the idea. I asked several business colleagues and personal friends what they thought, and most of them really liked the idea as well. I did a little research to find out if there were any other ventures out there that did something similar, and didn’t find any that did exactly what I planned to do.

I put together a financial model, and it looked really good. I got a referral to an internet marketing specialist, and he really liked the idea. He got me even more excited about the possibilities. At about that time, I decided to “pitch” my idea in a competition, and I won! The competition was the Make Mine A Million program, which helps women business owners grow their businesses to over $1 million in revenue. At that time, I didn’t have a separate entity for the new business; it was part of my law firm.

That was the clincher. I decided to move forward with the business.

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