For me, just getting the book published was a success. Would I love to sell a million copies, too? Of course! But that wasn’t my goal going into it. I wanted to help as many people as possible.Serena Holmes, author, The Accidental Entrepreneur
2022, here we are! How are you all doing? Rested and energized for a new year, we hope. However, if you’re more so in the mind state of, What? A new year! Where do I begin? What do I focus on? know that you aren’t alone. Take a breath. You’re doing your best.
One of the best ways to get out of a funk is to take a page of advice from someone who’s been in a similar situation and managed to work their way out of it. Take Serena Holmes, for example. Serena is the author of The Accidental Entrepreneur: Turning Tragedy into Triumph to Embrace my Destiny in Entrepreneurship. Serena doesn’t just offer advice and inspiration for growing entrepreneurs based on her success and accomplishments, she gives readers a look at what it took to get there, including the hardships she faced growing up.
In a 4/5 star review from IndieReader, C. S. Holmes said, “THE ACCIDENTAL ENTREPRENEUR by Serena Holmes is an introspective, hopeful self-help tome offering detailed facts and figures regarding one woman’s journey towards creating a self-sufficient, self-actualized life.” If you’re looking for a book to inspire and motivate you, this is it! Moreover, when we asked Serena if we could feature her as Tellwell’s January Author of the Month, she agreed to not only answer our questions, but to share the lessons she learned from self-publishing, so that other authors could benefit. Find out about her self-publishing tips and how she’s used media mentions and online marketing to build a following of over 14 thousand on social media!
Serena, tell us a bit about yourself.
Where do I begin? I just celebrated my fortieth birthday. I am a proud mama to a gorgeous two-year-old girl named Sienna, and a happy wife. I became a mom pretty late in life, since I was focused on my career throughout most of my twenties and thirties.
I have had my own brand-experience agency called Tigris Events for the past eighteen years, and also obtained my real estate license this past year. Before COVID, I loved to travel but am fortunate to have a family cottage to get away to when I have some downtime.
What inspired you to write The Accidental Entrepreneur?
Running your own business can be a lot like riding a roller coaster. There are plenty of ups, downs, and learning curves, especially since you have to figure out most things for yourself. I had a lot of crazy things happen throughout my childhood that I believe helped give me the foundation to be successful as an entrepreneur. Between those experiences and those I gained during my time as a business owner, I felt compelled to write and publish a book about it to help others on the same path.
What was it like opening up about the vulnerable parts of your journey as an entrepreneur, and why did you feel they were important to include in your book?
Opening up in this way was extremely nerve-wracking. I was worried about upsetting some people, but in no way was I trying to do that. The experiences were what they were, and for those that I included in the book, I felt it was important to add context for readers and detail the kinds of lessons that were learned along the way.
How do you continue to learn and grow as a leader and entrepreneur?
I believe in life-long learning. I have taken courses regularly over the years in digital marketing, sales, leadership, and more. It’s important to take time to develop personally so you can grow professionally. I try to learn as much as I can from others, especially those who can help me get where I want to go even faster!
Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?
I love quotes, some of them just resonate so well. One of my all-time favourites, however, is “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
What were some of the more significant lessons you learned writing and publishing a book?
There were definitely some lessons. First of all, editing will probably take longer than you expect it to, and, secondly, even if you have an editor, it’s a good idea to have other people read it to find any outstanding errors that can fly under the radar. If your book is based on real-life events, it’s a good idea to try to speak to anyone who can provide additional information or insights that could be relevant to the book. For me, I also chose to change the names of most people and companies to protect their identities, and also protect myself from any potential litigation.
What have you been doing to market and promote your book?
I have been doing a lot! I have requested as many reviews as I can, have run a BookFunnel campaign and some Instagram/Facebook ads. I’ve also promoted it through my network with newsletters and on social media. I have also been on about a half-dozen TV interviews/podcasts and am working on lining up a few more.
Tell us about the success you’ve been having since you published The Accidental Entrepreneur.
For me, just getting the book published was a success. Would I love to sell a million copies, too? Of course! But that wasn’t my goal going into it. I wanted to help as many people as possible, and I felt that publishing a book also gave me additional credibility as a business professional—in both the world of events and my new profession, being real estate.
What’s next for you?
Although I’ve loved working in events, due to the pandemic my business came to a standstill when the industry was deemed non-essential. As such, I’m working on getting my real estate career off the ground. I’m definitely passionate about real estate and real estate investing. I believe it has the potential to give you true financial freedom, and I think I can help a lot of people this way. I am excited to see where this new journey takes me.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for featuring me as your Author of the Month! For anyone who has had the chance to read the book, I appreciate your time and would love your feedback with a review.
Listen to some of the latest interviews with Serena Holmes for more great advice!
- Interview with Leslie Hughes from PUNCH Media
- Brilliance Business podcast interview, conversations with leading experts in business
- At the Heart of Business podcast interview with Judith Tait
- This Is It Actually podcast interview