Business Name: Gracefully Global Group, LLC, a content development, marketing and publishing excellence firm
Type of Business: Publisher Speaker Marketer
Business Location: Hayward, California, United States
Reason for starting
To create an additional revenue stream for my family, I started as a paid freelance writer while working a full-time in a professional global marketing career for a high-tech German company. I was paid to fly to Athens, Greece to speak at tech conferece early on. I took vacation time from my job and was paid nicely for my time. I was hooked. 🙂 Published many feature articles, one led to my “Latinnovating” book. I transitioned to LLC ahead of publishing book. Happy to share reasons why with your audience since legal entity questions are very common. Hearing why business owners choose one over the other is how I made my decision. I decided to market myself as a professional speaker with a book because that’s how you can do this creative work and make interesting revenue numbers. Now, my reason for publishing 1st children’s book is to leave a legacy of literature that will provide money for my family for decades.
How do you define success?
Success is getting paid for creating original literature, presentations, articles, videos that people want to buy, pay to hear presented live, and motivates young people towards meaningful life choices. My work and speeches teach students and career changers about educational and professional options they typically have never pondered. My work results in “Ah ha!” moments for the audience/reader. It informs and inspires. My first book had a green economy careers focus; 1st children’s book “Good Night Captain Mama” teaches young kids ages 3-7 that mommies fly military airplanes and wear uniforms too. As a military officer and now mommy/publisher, I feel obligated to present fresh images, like moms in military uniforms, to our youngest kids so they understand why we wear the uniform. Getting the opportunity to create words/images/books and then present as speeches is my definition of success.
My first book “Latinnovating” became an Amazon multicultural bestseller and won 3 international book awards in NYC this summer + a “books-into-movies” award in L.A. in spring. It’s used to teach a variety of college classes: entrepreneurship, sustainability, Honors English, communications, Latino Studies. I launched the book at a conference at Stanford University with White House staff in the audience last year. I secured a national book distribution deal with nation’s largest distributor to school and library market (Baker and Taylor) because of the excellent marketing my publishing firm creates and terrific partnerships with publicists. Because of this unique work to teach entrepreneurship and innovation using examples from the highly creative yet misunderstood Latino community, I shared the stage w/ President Obama’s Sec. of Education Arne Duncan at Green Schools National Conference as keynote speaker.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Obtaining outside funding to hire first employee and rent office space continues to be my challenge. Without perfect credit, it has proven impossible with under three years of time in business. Yet, we have ZERO debt due to my creative IRA borrowing. I funded my startup costs and printing of 1st book this way; we’ve become revenue positive with the following revenue streams: 1) paid speaking engagements (i.e. where all 400 attendees receive a copy of my book 2) distribution book sales 3) Amazon Kindle and book sales. #1 is key for veterans to realize-our experiences are VERY valuable as speakers; we MUST master marketing skills first. My masters degree in international business w/emphasis in marketing before I left the service was the key foundational piece that set me up for this success. Additional challenge is having a daughter who is blind and her two younger siblings to raise w/hubby
Who is your most important role model?
Any woman who has built a business that supports her family’s needs and continuously improves their quality of life is my role model. I featured two in my book: Green designer and large-format printing guru Carmen Rad (founder of CR&A Custom Inc. in L.A.) and Rosamaria Caballero-Stafford (founder of Green Irene) is another.