I have the pleasure and honor of getting to know authors, writers and poets. I get to share a bit about these lovely people I meet with you, my blog readers.
Interview with Author Lynn Bardowski – author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl
Please share about your background (where you were born, where you grewup, siblings/family dynamic, career background , where you live now, etc.)
I was born in Atlantic City, NJ and grew up at the “Jersey shore.” I’m a Jersey girl at heart. I have 1 sister and 2 brothers. My Mother was a homemaker who worked part time while we were in school. As we got older my Mom began to fulfill her own goals and got her dream job at the age of 60, managing a team of 18 employees at a dental office. She proved you’re never too old to realize your dreams. My Dad had a “safe” job with the electric company when we were little kids and took a leap of faith to leave the safety net of his job to open a TastyKake (a Philadelphia baked goods company) sales route. He inspired me to be a risk taker. My career background is in corporate sales. In 1990, I found my purpose and passion from a very unlikely source, a PartyLite (a candle and home decor company) home party. My favorite quote is, “A candle loses none of its light by lighting another candle.” I knew when I walked into the party that I had found my calling. I went home and told my husband I was going to leave my successful corporate career (I had a company car and full time Nanny to care for my 2 daughters) to start a candle biz. He thought I was crazy. I’ve spent the last 22 years as an entrepreneur and generate annual revenue of approx. 3 million. Guess I wasn’t so crazy.
What inspired you to begin writing?
Necessity is the mother of invention. Due to my early success, I was asked to give motivational speeches and develop training programs, all of which I wrote myself. I defined my purpose as “To Serve” so I never considered if I could write a good speech. I wrote to inform, motivate and inspire other women entrepreneurs. By my second year in business PartyLite asked me to be a national conference speaker. I’ve written hundreds of speeches over the years and presented to audiences in the thousands but never really thought of myself as a writer or considered writing a book. Until last year.
When did you begin your writing journey?
As I reflect back on a younger version of myself, my writing journey began at a very young age. I can recollect writing short stories and was an avid reader by the age of 8, devouring my big brother’s Hardy Boys books.
What inspired you to write this book?
That’s a great question. When I started my business in 1990 I created a vision to “Share my glow and empower women to discover theirs.” It guides my actions. A few years ago I became an empty nester and had more time to get of my “solo-preneur bubble” and network with other women entrepreneurs. When they discovered i was generating millions of dollars in annual revenue they were shocked and asked me for business advice. Last year I did some research to find out what the big deal was all about. I came across a Wall Street Journal article that stated “only 1.8% of women entrepreneurs ever reach 1 million in annual revenue.” It was my turn to be shocked. I knew I had to tell my story. I created the Million $ Party Girl brand and started writing a book and a blog, adding the word gazillion to my vision, “empower a gazillion women…”
Please share about your book.My book, Success Secrets of a Million $ Party Girl, I’m proud to say debuted as a #1 best selling motivational book on Amazon. The book is an informative, inspiring, motivating, vision filled (and sometimes funny) read for every women. My 10 Success Secrets, shared with passion and purpose, give women practical advice to get from here to there. It’s an insightful and down-to-earth read complete with a resource guide. I share everything I’ve experienced as a women entrepreneur – from mommy guilt to failure to tips on work-life balance. A reviewer described it as an honest blue print for success.
How did you decide to publish this book? Why?
I decided to publish the book for 2 reasons. 1) I have big plans for the Million $ Party Girl brand and 2) It could take years, if ever, to get a book published by a publishing house. My motto has always been, “I’ll figure out how I did it, after I do it. “ I read blogs, joined free webinars and learned everything I could about self publishing. I also created Team Visionista, including a cover designer, editor, photographer and format expert to get it done right. I’m a best selling author and a publisher. Why not!
What is your advice to beginning writers?
Focus on sharing your gifts with the world – the world needs to hear what you have to say – and take the ego out of your writing. If I was thinking about me my self doubt would have surely crept in, along with all the questions the doubter asks like, “Who are you to write a book?”, and “Why would anyone want to read it?” I never had those thoughts because I focused on my purpose, To Serve. Writing a book and sharing my success secrets seemed like the best way I could serve women entrepreneurs.
What was your biggest challenge in writing this book?
Getting started and figuring out how to end. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I spent many moments staring at a blank computer screen and looking at the word count. At times, it was like watching paint dry. I wrote and re-wrote many versions before I got my writing MoJo going. Tune in to inspiration and ask your guides for help. My Mother, who passed away a year and a half ago, was my guide. After going through a few months of writers block I prayed to her for divine inspiration. She was the editor of her high school newspaper so I figured if anyone could help, she could. It worked – my prayers were answered and the words flowed out of me. When I told my Dad my Mom helped me write the book he just shook his head and rolled his eyes. I know in my heart she was with me. I also recommend you schedule time to write and give yourself a deadline. Sunday was my dedicated writing day. My deadline was June 30, 2012. I finished my book to the date, telling everyone I was “on deadline”, as if I had to hand it in to Random House. Friends and family had to take me seriously because I took my writing seriously.
Most writers are readers. What books are on your “to-read” list?
So many books, so little time. I love to read and started a book club a few years ago. There’s something about women connecting over a great read and a glass of wine. At the top of my extended summer reading list are, The Buddha in the Attic, Julie Otsuka, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, Sarah Addison Allen and The Forgetting River, Doreen Carvajal.
Where can readers find out more about you and your book? (add in blog/website/social media links)
Question for fun sake—what was your favorite childhood toy and why?
Barbie! She gave me my love for fashion. I used to make her clothes and would play with Barbies for hours with my friends.