Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in writing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bento Leal, owner of B-L Enterprises, located in San Leandro, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I write and self-publish books. My customers are primarily Amazon members buying books.
Tell us about yourself
I worked as a relationship skills trainer for a non-profit organization in California for more than ten years, teaching various curricula to individuals and couples to strengthen their families and relationships. At some point, I felt I had learned enough to create and teach my own shorter course on the side. After teaching that course a few times, I said to myself, "You already know what you're saying. Why not type it up and turn it into a book?" Which is what I did over the course of a year. Realizing that most books die on one's computer, I had it all written but not a clue about how to get it published.
Then in January 2017, I enrolled in an online self-publishing school which guided me on how to get it proofread, get a professional cover made (cheaply), make a launch team of friends, and ultimately how to upload it to Amazon, and get it where it is sold print-on-demand at their websites. Voila! I was up and running, and fortunately, the book has been a best seller in several categories and generates 4-figures in profit every month. I'm in my 70s and retired, and now writing more books.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Learning how to navigate Amazon as a seller and how to write and give readers what they want and are willing to pay for.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Honestly, my small solo business out of my home and laptop is not very hard. In my case, the hardest (if you can call it that) is keeping track of the various aspects of progress with each of my books. I currently have five books in development, in different genres, and at different stages of development. It's a little like juggling plates. But I have a wallboard I use to keep on track with each book. This broad vision is handy for me.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Given the relatively small parameters of my business, I would nonetheless suggest these tips:
- Do a business you truly enjoy, not just for the money. Something you like working on.
- Start small and grow steadily. Watch YouTube videos for tips and insights on how to start and grow your particular business. There are a ton of free videos on YouTube from people who "have been there and done that." Learn from them.
- Write and self-publish a book. It will likely be your best-selling card as it gives you instant credibility in your field.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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