Thinking Like an Entrepreneur is Essential to Your Writing

Whether you want to be a part writing, business, blogging, blogging a book, business around a booktime author or to build a writing empire, you need to be able to think like an entrepreneur. Thinking like an entrepreneur and not just a “writer” will help you pull the right levers when you need to give yourself a “cost of living” raise or help you live the lifestyle you most desire. As a writer and business owner, you need to learn to make decisions that allow you to not second guess what you are doing while creating consistent income.

In my research I found that most successful writers also think like entrepreneurs as they approach their businesses. And hands down there are two key perspectives you want to consider when building your business: 1. Your desires 2. The desires of your market. It is the blend of “You” and “Who” that allows the most successful writers stay ahead of the game.  It also allows them to rise when things may be less than favorable and to bounce back when they missed the mark.

As writers and business owners, thinking like an entrepreneur ensures you will be happy and make the kind of money you most desire. So if you are ready to learn to think like an entrepreneur, start by refering to these 5 quick tips as a foundation:

  1. Get inside the head of your ideal reader, or client or customer. Start talking to people, finding out what they want and learn how they think. This information is invaluable for talking to your ideal clients or customers via blogs, articles and books. In addition, it will help you better market these products, ensuring high sales. It is also great information as you create posts, articles or concepts for your next book. Consider yourself a Cultural Anthropologist studying a little known society. Even if you think you know your ideal customers, think again.  They change just like you do, so never sit on your laurels.  Keep on studying and course correct as you go.
  2. Be clear on what’s truly important to you in a business and as an author. Do you want to travel or stay put? Do you want to hire people or go solo? How much money do you want to bring in? The list goes on and on. The point is to get clear about what you want and to stick to your guns! Think of this as the rules for your business that will help you make better business decisions. When you evaluate opportunities, do so with your criteria clear in your mind.  This will also allow you to not get sucked into the “next best marketing technique” or business workshop that you don’t need. Also keep in mind, the success of your business is dependent on you actually liking it and how it is structured.  Be honest with yourself about what you’d like it to be.
  3. Make your business decisions by thinking about the short term and long term consequences. Often I see clients not invest in themselves because they are afraid of parting with money in the short term, when sometimes that investment can yield 10 fold or more in the medium to long term. Any time you need to make a business decision, take a few moments.  Really step back and ask yourself: What will I gain short term? What will I gain medium to long term? What are the tradeoffs both short and long? And most importantly:  Is this aligned with where I want my writing business to go?  Will this help me get there?  By asking yourself these questions you will get a bigger picture of what truly needs to happen. This also helps control the impulsive decision making that often is extremely short sighted.
  4. Surround yourself with people who desire to achieve the same level of success you want. It has been said that you are the average of your 5 closest friends; consider that to be the same with your business. If you are hanging around writers and business owners that aren’t going where you want to go, it’s time to find some that are! This is where events like Expert Platform Building 101 + Entrepreneurial Fundamentals 102 are extremely beneficial.  In addition, workshops like this allow you to learn from other attendees by using the compounding effects of masterminding.
  5. Choose your tasks wisely. Whatever you work on in your business needs to be the 2-5 things that will absolutely move you closer to your financial and time goals. If you are doing things that aren’t producing results that directly impact your financial or time goals, then you are doing the wrong things and, therefore, spinning your wheels. Remember Pareto’s Principle, 20 percent of the effort yields 80 percent of the results.  This is where you need to be honest with yourself and determine what your 20 percent is! Living by this rule will help you get all sorts of time back on your calendar. In fact, this is one of the keys to helping me keep my business hours under 30 a week and allows me to take multiple vacations a year.  It is a leap of faith, but try it for 1 week and see what happens.

Now, here is your challenge.  I encourage you to assess yourself and your writing business against these 5 entrepreneurial tips.  Which of these are you doing consistently? Where can you use a bit more work?  Be honest with yourself about what you are doing to help move your writing business forward.

Bonus Tip: The most successful entrepreneurs often do quick assessments of their business and then determine how to make the appropriate course correction.  Get in to practice by assessing yourself against those 5 tips above. You will be happy you did!

About the Author

Silvia Johnson is the founder of Outside The Cubicle, LLC, and the creator of the Thriving Business Model™. She has over 10 years experience in the areas of personal and business transformation. Having a knack for modeling success and an ability to walk others through the steps to achieve their own goals, she has transformed hundreds of lives and businesses on an international scale. Learn more at:

Join Nina Amir and Silvia Johnson at
Expert Platform Building 101 + Entrepreneurial Fundamentals 102
on May 19-20 in San Jose, CA. Get the details here.



  1. says

    I completely agree that writing and entrepreneurialism must hold hands in order to be successful. I didn’t always feel this way, but once I started thinking of myself as both a writer and entrepreneur I feel a very real sense of freedom and control over my projects.

    Excellent post with really useful information! Especially your tip about continually assessing yourself. Thanks to both Nina and Sylvia!
    Intricate Knot recently posted..Cront Ardead…RIP Edgar Allen Poe

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  3. Nina says

    Intricate Knot, Thanks for your comment. I’m not the best business person, but I do treat my books like a business. You have to wear a business hat every day to succeed as a writer. Stop by again! Nina

  4. Nina says

    Thanks for letting us know about Booktango. How does it interface with WordPress?

  5. says

    Thanks for the great info on thinking like an entrepreneur. I also just finished reading your book, “How To Blog A Book” and got so much out of it. Do you know of any specific information on blogging a memoir or creative non-fiction?

  6. Nina says

    I offer coaching, but anything that reads more like fiction is a bit harder to do in such small pieces. That said, it can be done! You can blog vignettes or just write your whole chapter and then post it in logical segments.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the book. If you post a nice review on Amazon, B&N or Goodreads, you get a free 15-min coaching session. :~) Actually, you can get a free coaching session any number of way…sign up for my newsletter…or just sign up for one.

  7. says

    “the blend of “You” and “Who” allows the most successful writers to stay ahead of the game.”

    Best advice! I constantly forget to consider my audience when defending “my voice”. My voice can be the most awesome thing on the planet & it doesn’t matter one little bit if nobody likes it, lolz!

    I also appreciated your urging to surround myself with fellow “movers & shakers”. I tend to be socially awkward, so this is not easy for me. *but* having said that, I’m on my way to a meet-up this evening to chat in person with some other bloggers who are WAY ahead of me on the grand scale of things. Am very excited, but nervous, so this was a timely read for me. Thanks! :)
    Andi-Roo recently posted..“Don’t take this personally, but –”

  8. says

    Sylvia’s advice all rang true for me both in my writing and for many of my clients (I’m a CPA to writers).

    It’s hard to pick my favorite among these great tips, but probably the last one, choose your tasks wisely, is where I need to focus. There are so many opportunities offered. I’ve had to learn to say no to some so that i can can yes to others (especially the tasks I’ve already committed to!)

    Choosing wisely ties in closely with #2 be clear on what’s truly important to you in a business and as an author. And I’d add “as a person, wife, mother, etc…” the list goes on! :) There are so many competing demands which is why Sylvia’s advice is always timely!
    Carol Topp, CPA recently posted..Business Tip #11 for Writers: Do you need E-books?

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