JaQuette (juh-kweh-tuh) Gilbert is an author and writer mentor. She is an Earl Grey tea lover and a firm believer in using words and stories to connect with others. She’s also passionate about helping women and teens use writing to heal, grow, and create authentic content.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I have been a storyteller since light up shoes were first invented. I have had my share of mindset issues and problems with self-publishing my first book, “11 Ways to JumpStart Your Thinking”. I decided to use my knowledge to help other newbies wanting to self-publish because there are lots of things I wish I knew when first beginning my author journey.
Tell us about your business.
I am a writing mentor for nonfiction and children book writers. I help writers get their ideas out of their head and into a structured and organized outline so that their writing process goes smoother. I also motivate and encourage writers to share their story and I provide self-publishing tips to make the book launch process easier.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
For the month of May, I am conducting a writer vlog series in which writers share how they learned to give themselves permission to write and build a brand authentically. Our featured writers include: Trisha Alicia, Raquel Penzo, Stephanie Bwabwa, Angela J. Ford, Alisha Nicole, Ferocious Katie, Kayla Hollatz, and Logan Miehl.
I have overcome a lot of mindset barriers and am finally proud of the kind of business I’m building. One built on authenticity, compassion, and tenacity. ?
Where is your business based?
I primarily work virtually, but am based in Columbia, South Carolina.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Some of the first few steps included solidifying my “why”, “who”, “what”, and “how”. It took quite a bit to gain clarity, but allowing myself initially to write about anything and everything helped me to narrow down my focus.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Making genuine connections and networking has been the most effective way to raise awareness about what I do. I have found that while it is great to self-promote, it means a lot more when others promote you to their audience.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenges have been balancing my marriage, motherhood, graduate school, writing, and my business.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I am still a work in progress, but it helps to make detailed plans in my Visionary Journal for a quarter at a time. It also helps to schedule time for my family and for myself. I’m learning that while it helps to plan, I must also leave room for necessary changes.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I have a good bit of writer pals who keep me focused, and reflecting on previous journal entries helps me remember where I came from. However, my faith is what ultimately gets me through difficult times.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I distinguish myself from others based on my authenticity. I do not try to model myself after others in my industry. Instead, I do what aligns with my overall goals and vision for my business.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
My writing coach said something to me that I’ll never forget. She simply said, “Dig deeper.” Writing can be quite personal for me at times, and she sensed I was holding back when I needed to get to the underlying cause of what I went through at that time.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Stay in your own lane. Do not feel as if you must be a carbon copy of someone else. What works for some may not work for you, and that’s perfectly okay. Make sure what you do aligns with your overall vision. Also, don’t be afraid to take risks when necessary.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
I had the pleasure of trying out SmarterQueue as a free trial, and loved it! I have recently purchased it because I needed a way to stay consistent and visible online without sacrificing time to work on other important tasks.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I really enjoyed reading “Wallflower” by GG Renee Hill and “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. Both of those books have changed my life in ways I didn’t think possible. I felt such a connection to these wonderful authors and made some much-needed mindset shifts because of their books.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am currently learning more about copywriting, which is quite different than any other kind of writing. I hope to use copywriting to better connect with my audience.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My second quarter goals include helping two of my daughters complete the writing portion of their first book. I am also working on my first writing prompt journal and a collection of essays and creative non-fiction. My daughters and I will be relying on checklists and my Visionary Journal to keep us on track.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.