It’s Wednesday, which means it’s interview time. This week’s guest is Shante Hassel. I’d love for us to show support of each other here at BSG and encourage each other in our business ventures. So, with that in mind, please check out Shante’s site, and if any of Shante’s books or planners are of interest to you, I encourage you to buy from her.
Tell us about yourself and your business.
I am a writer and a publisher of notebooks, workbooks and journals. www.shantehassel.com I just launched a journal prompt club where members can get free monthly journal prompts. Since I was young girl I loved to write, read and have pretty notebooks. This business really allows me to share just that. Writing is therapeutic even if it’s just jotting down a quick list to get your thoughts organized. In my blog I give tips on writing and affirming yourself with positive words and encouragement
Is this your first business?
Heavens no. I’ve tried several businesses from having a flea market booth, retail arbitrage, farmers market stand, flower arranging workshops to trailer rentals. Some of those businesses I loved but where a logistical nightmare and didn’t fit in with my lifestyle of having a young child and being a solopruener. I still have the trailer rental business, but it is super passive.
When did you start it and what gave you the idea?
The business I have now came from me really asking myself what do I love? What do I believe in and can be of service to others? What can I do with the resources I already have? Three years I wrote a prompt journal and I didn’t really give it much thought. Years later when I started looking into the journal market it was clear that I needed to pick this up again both for business and my own personal growth.
Did you face any specific challenges or obstacles before you set up the business? If so, how did you overcome them?
My biggest obstacle was my mindset. Believing that I can be a prosperous business owner and I can create not only a business but a legacy. Books are assets and they can be used in a multitude of ways indefinitely. It’s a little bit of a dream business. It does not feel like work because I love books so much. The library and bookstores have always been my happy place. I really have to work on accepting that business and pleasure are now one in the same for me. When I am working on something my husband thinks I am playing but this is real and there is real money being made.
What, if any, are your current challenges?
The current challenge is just getting my books online. Everything is actually super simple, but the process of uploading can be an all-day affair depending on how many books I have, variations and adding them to all my sales channels.
How do you see your business evolving? What direction do you see your business taking?
I would like to be able to hire a team in the future. An assistant to help with the uploading. I am also planning to go offline and put my books in local bookstores. I am planning to do some speaking engagements and workshops as well. There will always be a service component to my business, and I am planning to host free workshops at my local library and rehabilitation centers.
If this isn’t your first business, what did you do I the past? Why did you switch?
When I did my soul search to develop my publishing business it was clear that this is something, I can do any where and any time with just a laptop. That is super important. It allows me to work when I can, where I can. I absolutely love flea markets and farmers markets, but a lot of that work is done on the weekends and I don’t want to give up that precious family time. I learned a lot though and I am a great merchandiser because of those experiences. When I set up my book signings, I’ll be able to utilize those skills again.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
I have a handful of people I follow who give practical advice on publishing and writing. I admire the success they have and have coached other people to attain. I suggest picking 3 people max to learn from when you are developing your business. Otherwise you can spend a lot of time learning and not doing. There is not one perfect choice so don’t spend too much time agonizing choices and decisions. There is a lot of trial and error in any business. I say this because I use to be afraid to fail and I spent a lot of time analyzing and learning when I needed to be writing and publishing.
Do you have a favorite business tip to share?
Ask yourself, what are your gifts and talents? What do you love? How can you be of service? See what you come up with. Then go for it. Keep trying. Keep doing. Keep learning.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I have beautiful useful journals and workbooks on Amazon from house hunting workbooks, essential oils journal, gratitude, prayer, self-care. www.amazon.com/author/shassel