C.F. Jackson's goal is to help her fellow writers and authors to have successful websites.
She offers providing resources, workshops and tools that help folks to improve their websites. Her business is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Tell us more about your business. How did you get into this line of work?
Organized Thoughts Publishing, LLC was launched to give life to my suspense novel Won't Be Denied.
As an author there was a lot I just didn't know about the internet.
In 2005, I attended an event to mainly see motivation icon Les Brown, but I walked away with a whole lot more. So I took a 2 1/2 to a 3 year sabbatical to learn more about what my website needed.
Well, with the mentoring, coaching, and studying I've received and am still receiving, I've learned so much that it's my desire to help my fellow author and writer.
I see so many who are making the same mistakes I've made when I became a published author in 2004, so I launched the Website Makeover Workshop. Its purpose is to help authors and writers put the pieces together to obtain online success.
When did you start the business?
Organized Thoughts Publishing, LLC was created in 2004 for the sole purpose to bring my suspense novel Won't Be Denied to an audience I expected would enjoy a suspenseful read set in Atlanta.
My latest project that stems from Organized Thoughts Publishing, Website Makeover Workshop, came into the light May 2008, as I provided strategies and techniques to help authors reach their desired goals with the use of their online presence.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
My career per se was telecommunications. I'd spent about 10 years creating an awesome resume, filled with skills and knowledge that many employers found very impressive. However, with being laid off too many to keep count it was time to determine what was really within in me.
So it was that desire to be more and achieve more in 2002 when I started to focus on my true purpose. And that purpose came to me in 2003 with a title and synopsis of Won't Be Denied. I sat down every night from 8PM to 10PM and wrote. Within 5 to 6 months I had completed a suspense novel.
Where did you get the startup money?
My start up money came from an angel investor...my bank account. I also did some freelance writing where I earned money from that opportunity to assist in the initial publishing of my novel.
Who are your main competitors? How do you compete against them?
My main competitors are the thousands of other published of authors who can be found on Amazon or any other book store website. To compete is a great challenge. It's easier to sell a book with someone one-on-one.
Not to compete with that sector, my desire is help my competition by being of value with Website Makeover Workshop.
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
The experience has been a challenge and life changing. It has made me step outside of my comfort. Like so many other writers and authors the desire to just write is deep in my heart, but that's not so.
I had to seek out and recognize marketing and publicity opportunities. For example, some years ago a major radio station had a segment, "Tuesday Talent" where locals call in to display their talent.
Well, I heard poets, singers, and rappers calling in. So I rushed home to read from my novel. And it was that one call in opportunity that lead into two more call ins and an in-studio interview.
The quiet, in the back of the room sort of person is no more. Speaking at writers' conferences wasn't even in my sights back 2003 when I wrote my novel. Then to have my novel's title become a brand that's being worn as far as Malta…it is amazing to me. Won't Be Denied started out as a novel, but it's also a t-shirt and motivational community to challenge others to do more and be more. I can only wait to see what else sprouts from this seed.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
I wished I had more supportive friends. Too often those whom we consider friends, their true value appears when you begin to do something extraordinary. I couldn't control them. I did my very best with what I knew and gathered. I'm happy to have started because I could have allowed one or two elements to hold me back.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
The most important thing has been to take action. For me, it's also been very helpful to obtain a mentor and coach who has some insight to help with many elements of my business.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Most importantly, just get started.
Oh, here's what I wish I knew back then. Get the book The E-Myth by Michael Gerber. Be sure to read it.
That's a great book, especially for new entrepreneurs. Thanks so much for sharing your entrepreneurial experience with us, and good luck in growing your business.