This must be how parents feel on their child's birthday. Alright, maybe I'm slightly dramatizing this and I'm not actually buying that cake (at least not a whole one,) but nonetheless, happy 1st birthday to my little baby, Barneys, Bergdorfs & Bill$.
When I tell people I wrote a book, I don't feel like it was as large of a feat as most people do. And that is not to pat myself on the back at all. The entire time I was writing I didn't really think "I'm going to be an author" or that people would begin to introduce me as "she's the one who wrote that book." I guess this was mainly because I didn't think it would be such as success and I had NO idea what I was doing.
I kept the entire venture pretty low-key because of that fact. I told a few of my friends but until it actually was released for pre-order, most didn't know. I lost track of how many times people have responded to my story of writing the book with, "wait, didn't you major in finance though? How did you know how to write a book?" The truth was and is...I really didn't. But the other truth is...it wasn't that hard.
The entire point of this post is first to celebrate how far the book has come in a year. I released it with a very mediocre, manuscript-esque cover that my self-publishing company offered to do for me for a fee. From there the 1st edition sold over 300 copies on Amazon through essentially all grassroots marketing thanks to my friends and family posting. I felt the book had plateaued in the beginning of this year so I decided to enlist the help of Madisen Theobald to create a new cover and re-release. With that, the success has continued and I am so proud of the impact this book has made on girls everywhere. Seeing Instagram posts from all over the country from people I have never met in my life is a very cool feeling.
Also, it is TOTALLY fine to be super proud of your accomplishments. It's not being braggadocious (yes, Trump said it in the debate, and yes, it is a word) to promote yourself and talk about your successes. It's marketing and it's smart. You are your brand. Just make sure to inquire about theirs as well. Don't be the one always using the word "I" (Mia Thermopolis warned all of us against this in Princess Diaries.)
The second reason is to say you can literally do anything you set your mind to. I didn't have many naysayer's but whenever someone did pose the question, not in an offensive way at all, about how I had no writing experience, it only encouraged and fired me up more about my idea and how I couldn't wait for it to debut. I just prayed it wouldn't be a flop, which thankfully, it has been anything but.
If you don't fear failure, then you're not really trying. If you're not afraid, then you don't really have the passion. But if you don't look fear and potential failure in the face and say "I'm ready to give it my best shot," then you are content, which is something I fear more than any sort of failed venture I might embark upon.
This is not to say I am the almighty inspiration and for you all to go out and write books. But hopefully it does encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Maybe something you've thought about doing for a long time but haven't known where to start or if you would succeed. Mine started sitting at my desk at an internship that had nothing to do with finances or writing, with a blank word document and an idea of creating a one-stop girls guide to all things money.
Thank you all for the support. I hope to continue with this blog and make Barneys, Bergdorfs & Bill$ presence grow even further. If you all ever have any ideas for topics, press opportunities etc. please shoot me an email. Y'all rock (notice NYC has not curbed my "y'all" usage :))