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The most successful women entrepreneurs join multiple, diverse networks to learn from their industry contacts and gain credibility. Brooklyn Cupcake thrives to help small women-owned businesses by helping them move into a place where they have the vision and the confidence to catapult to a whole new level.
This month’s featured Small Woman-Owned Business is:
Name: Jacqueline Brockert
Years in Business: 6 Months
Tell us about your business. What product or service do you provide and who is your target audience?
I am a new author that has published two romance novels and is presently working on a third. My target audience is females interested in romance ages 26-40.
It takes a certain mind-set and bravado for anyone to start their own business and succeed, but it’s even more difficult for women in business. Please tell us what being a business owner means to you personally. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I was only 48 when my pinkie finger began to tremble sending me a message that something was wrong with me physically. I was burning the candle at both end being in Real Estate and Restaurant Management. That small pinkie that I could not control would end up being a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. My son was still in college and I knew I needed to make radical changes. I began to see that the window that I thought I had to accomplish things could diminish. I knew that I had talent as a writer and I knew that my son was about to graduate college and could help me self publish my book. I gave up real estate and decided I would do everything to have my life the way that I had always envisioned it. I could control my life and I would do it by concentrating on creating a new career I could do with Parkinson’s.
Are you a mompreneur?
Most of my children’s life I was a single parent. I worked two jobs most of the time to support my children. I now am a grandmother and am blessed to have both children beginning their lives.
Do you work your business part-time? If so, was it due to choice, conflicting family and household roles, or in order to have more flexibility in your schedule to be able to attend to family responsibilities?
Right now I work full time as a restaurant manager at a very demanding setting. My time for my business is every second that I am not at my full time job. We have set an office up at home and my son and I spend many hours working on promoting, editing, and networking for my books. Although it may seem very demanding, I feel it seems effortless, because writing has always been my true passion.
I need to keep good medical benefits which is why I keep my full time job. This career is new and I hope it will be one that I can support myself and other employees. The schedule that I do work has often been a strain on what I really want to do with the business.
There are observable differences in men and women entrepreneurs’ motivations, goals, preparation, organization, and strategic orientation. How do you perceive the various aspects of the experience of business? What skills do you believe women need in order to run a successful small business?
As a mother, I have been multi-tasking for years and I think that is a very useful tool in this business. We often wear different hats as mothers and business women. When I began writing my first book years ago it was after my household slept. I never missed a baseball game or a birthday party and kept my dreams for the late night hours. It is sacrifice and the ability to always see the bigger picture that makes women strong in the business world.
Most women-owned businesses do not meet the traditional business standards. Women do not have access to the same capital necessary to grow a business. They do not have the same access to contracting and procurement opportunities that may help them to build their business. Women do not have the same access to resources. What barriers and obstacles have you confronted as a women entrepreneur?
The first question by men after they hear I wrote a book is “Oh is it a children’s book? Now I have great admiration for women that write children books but the men that ask often act like you are not capable of the big novels. I think that I have found that the walls put up by men in general make it harder for a women to succeed.
Are you certified as a Women-Owned Business (WOB)? If so, how have you benefited by this? If not, why not?
Not at this time
Do you have a professional mentor or coach? If so, how has he/she helped you?
My son is a professional in both communications and marketing and he has helped me navigate through the process. He has a strong belief in me which in turn helps me excel in the industry so far. He also is proficient in marketing and social media, which I was not at the time we started the business.
Advancements in technology have helped ease the movement of more women in business into leadership. What has been the most effective marketing and/or social media initiative or program you have used to promote your business?
Social media is vital to reaching my readers. Imagine my surprise when my son said I was going to being in a YouTube video! We have gained so much by using twitter and sites such as hoot suite to promote the books.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business? If yes, please describe (and include links if available).
These are some of the social media tools I have found useful:
A Book Tweeting Service: Follow @RomeoPiansayJr on Twitter.
What business goal do you plan to accomplish over the next year? Are you choosing to remain a small business?
I plan to have the third and forth book published this year. We are looking into various ways to expand the business and hope to be more involved in the printing process and e-book formatting by establishing our own website to distribute on.
Do you desire to have a large enterprise either by revenue, number of employees or market share?
I hope to have the revenue to make this my only career. I also plan to expand the business and along with that more employees.
What one thing have you learned as a woman small business owner that has served you well over the years?
As a writer, I was lucky enough to interview a professional writer in high school. I sat before her in her home studio and pressed the button on my tape recorder to record her answer my questions as to what was her secret tools of success. She told me to write every day and to make sure I wrote about what I knew. Now, that advice has hit home. To be a writer you can never take a break from it. If you are not writing you must be thinking about writing.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Never to give up. If you hit a brick wall find a way to tear it down.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
The publishing of my two books.
Do you have any new upcoming projects or reached a milestone?
I have two new books that I am working on now. My first book was a longer novel and the second was made into a shorter book for the busier woman. I have always written romance novels and feel I need to branch out in new directions. The third book will not be a romance, but I have creatively included it as part of the “Karma Corn” series.
Are you involved in your community? If so, please tell us about it.
I have been involved as a sports mother in a small community. Throughout the years I have been active in the school with the children. Recently, I have been in studies with the Michael J. Fox Foundation. I would like to also be a motivational speaker for Parkinson’s groups.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I have spent most of my life working for other people from sales to management. I have sold messenger service door to door in New York City and ran a small restaurant in Crested Butte, Colorado. I have hung wallpaper in Dallas Texas and have been a real estate agent in Iowa. Throughout my careers, I had a feeling in the back of my mind that I would become a writer when my children were through school. I am living the dream and feel the most fulfilled I have ever felt in my life. I walk into my office and if my smiling son is not waiting to greet me, my keyboard is. My life is full of endless possibilities and I intend to enjoy each one of them.
What’s the best way for our readers to connect with you (feel free to include the links to your social networks and websites)?