by Jacquelyn Guderley
I didn’t mean to launch a business. I just wanted to solve a problem that I saw - a problem that, if I’m honest, felt mostly applicable to myself and made me feel a little hopeless. Like the sky wasn’t the limit. I suppose when I decided to do it, it was through a type of selfish self-indulgence. But I knew that I wasn’t unique enough to be the only one with this problem; in fact, I know a lot of women who faced the same problem as me.
They were all emerging female writers, most of them at the very start of their writing journey, and none of them felt they could get their work published.
I want my work to be published, I said to myself. I want my fellow female writers’ work to be published. I want to build their and my confidence so that Salomé is on the start of their journey. I want to improve their and my writing. I want to be paid for my work. I want to see more women getting their work published. Absurdly, about 25% of published authors are female currently.
So I did it.
I don’t mean I did it over time. I don’t mean I stewed over the idea for months, making minuscule tweaks. I just did it. This was the timeline in the first ten weeks, from February to April this year:
So, how did I achieve something which makes people’s jaws drop open in awe a little when I tell them eight weeks after we began to exist I could hold our first issue magazine in print? Is it because I’m a fantastic entrepreneur? I am a good entrepreneur; Salomé has taught me this valuable lesson (and this is my second business, not my first).
But our early success is not something that isn’t replicable. My key action points to rapidly move from concept to profit-making business are:
Lastly, please just have fun with it. Luckily for me, the stakes are low when it comes to Salomé. It was a mini brainwave that I had one day and I decided to take a punt on it. I wanted it to work but I didn’t intend for it to be my livelihood and I had a salary otherwise. Now there is more pressure because I am emotionally attached and sometimes I do dream of it becoming my career. But if Salomé ended tomorrow, I’d come away with quite a few quid in my pocket and three and a half months of fond memories. However, few things make me as happy as my magazine, my Salomé. Few things satisfy me quite so. Few things keep me as stimulated. And, hand on my beating heart, I love it. And sometimes, Salomé feels just like my heartbeat.
Jacquelyn Guderley is the Founder of Salomé. She’s an ardent social entrepreneur, this being her second business (she cofounded Stemettes, an award-winning social enterprise, inspiring girls into STEM careers). She also took part in the OnPurpose leadership programme, which creates new leaders in the social enterprise space. In her spare time she likes to write and play sport a lot.
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