Cassidy A. Lee Press, LLC: Blog Guest Feature Interview 10 – Sharise Caldwell

Cassidy: Welcome, Sharise! Please give our readers an introduction of yourself and a little about your business, My Beautiful Book Boss The Movement, and your books.

Sharise: Hello, everyone! I am  Sharise Caldwell, the owner of My Beautiful Book Boss The Movement, Podcast, and Brand. We love to cater to Black stay-at-home moms, mompreneurs, homeschooling moms, or women who want to prioritize their families first. I am personally all the above and know the challenges of maintaining a home, without forgetting about myself, and honoring God. We have multiple resources available created just for you, just like the A Heart for The Home Series.

Cassidy: What inspired you to pursue entrepreneurship and write your book?

Sharise: Firstly, I didn't know I could write a book, which I actually discuss inside of the book. I have seen so many women, including myself, choose the options that often come from opinions and not necessarily the best choice for the overall individual life and long term goal. God spoke a few but powerful words to me in order for me to write, A Heart for the Home. He said, "write your book."

Secondly, I struggled to have my own business and really didn't even understand what it involved or actually meant. In my world as housewife/homeschool stay at home mom, we often have businesses with premade kits, packages, or products to sell. These companies are either product based to consumer or MLM structured. I personally didn't make money but I gained so much knowledge and an even deeper desire to have a steady stream of income. After becoming a independent consultant with a few companies and really trying to figure out what I was good at or if I had any talent at all, I accidentally stumbled across my gift. Art and Words!

Cassidy: Is there a message or words of wisdom you want to express to your readers?

Sharise: No matter where you are in life right now, you have a gift and talent with great potential that haven't even been recognized yet, even if you are successful. If you feel a deep desire to fulfil and that there is more, then there is more for YOU!

Cassidy: Would you mind sharing a highlight or brief excerpt from your book?

Sharise: Temporarily moving in with my parents to help care for my partially paralyzed mother, without a business, no clue how to make income, and still caring for my 4 young homeschooled children (11, 7, 5, 2).

Cassidy: Did you find any part of the book taxing or difficult to write? Were there high points to writing the book? 

Sharise: The entire book was fun to write because I was so surprised I was actually writing it! When the main character goes into a flashback of her life to revisit the actual event, I was able to become extremely creative and detailed.

Cassidy: How do you combat writer’s block? Do you have any advice for other writers?

Sharise: Combatting writer's block can consist of just speaking the story you want to write while recording your actual thoughts or full conversation. It was how I was able to start the first five chapters and then continue to build the rest of my story.

Advice Tips 1# - Trust the desire you have to actually write a book or to at least tell a story.
2# - Just do it with confidence even if you aren't sure or still have fear about the whole process.
3# - Reach out to someone who can assist you with writing your book.
4# - You are the writer, that doesn't mean you have to be the editor, too!

Cassidy: Are there different aspects about being an entrepreneur that you wrestle with? What would you say are the best and worst parts about the experience? 

Sharise: The best part of being an entrepreneur is having the freedom to create anything I want even when I can't find it already available for purchase.

The worst part is going through the motions, emotions, learning curves, and challenges that come unexpectedly.

Cassidy: You've shared a lot with us so far. How do you do it all?

Sharise: I honestly do not do it all. I try to do a little better everyday. 

There have been mostly downs, however, just try again the next day. If you stop you won't ever get there. If you keep going something has to happen, Right?

Cassidy: On that note, what advice would you give to entrepreneurs struggling to balance their life and business?

Sharise: Do not try to do it all. Do somethings now and slowly add on each task with the plan to hire out certain responsibilities to position yourself and business to grow.

Cassidy: What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books, service(s) and/or product(s) and which ones have been most successful?

Sharise: I utilize social media, IG, FB, and YT because it's what I'm familiar with and it allows my strengths to shine through. Also, podcasting, whether its your own or pitching yourself to other podcast!

Cassidy: Where do you see your business in 3 years?

Sharise: I have no idea only because I didn't see my business as a business. I am shocked with what I discover about myself on a daily basis. I will say in 3 years I will still have a successful publishing company, gift packages for the whole family, and teaching other women to pursue their purpose.

Cassidy: Thank you for your time and insight, Sharise! We'd like to show our support and check out your products and resource. Please share your social media and business contact information with us.

Sharise: Yes, thank you! The best way to contact me quickly, is DM or Messenger. If anyone would like collab or sign up for a scheduled consultation they may send an email at:


Cassidy A. Lee Press, LLC: Blog Guest Feature Interview 09 – Coach Tuesday Nolden

Cassidy: Welcome, Tuesday! Please give our readers an introduction of yourself and a little about your book.

Coach Tuesday: Hello, I am Coach Tuesday Nolden, author of Unleashed & Anointed: Standing Firm Unashamed.

Cassidy: I'm happy to have you here!

What inspired you to write your book and pursue entrepreneurship?

Coach Tuesday: I was inspired to write my book because I needed to release the chains of guilt, shame, and fear that held me bound from not telling my truth. All of the challenges and hardships I faced in life got me to the point I am today as a CEO of my own life coaching and candle business. I got into entrepreneurship because I have always found myself leading something or someone at many times in my personal and professional life, so the idea of running my own business was never a second thought. I just knew it is what I was called to do because it confirmed the leader everyone else saw in me when I just thought I was ambitious, driven, and determined.

I know becoming a CEO would allow me to influence others who had these same qualities to pursue their own journey to ownership. I said, ‘Yes,’ to the call of being a CEO of Keep It Lit Candles, a business which advocates for mental health to vocalize the topic to normalize the conversations to ultimately remove the stigma.

Cassidy: Im sure your words will be inspiring to other entrepreneurs looking to take the next step 

Is there a message in your book you want readers to grasp?

Coach Tuesday:  We all have been created for the purpose of worship. God called us to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We all have a past, present, and future. Our history is His story of how He brought us from then to now and with God, our story ends well.
Cassidy: Can you share one highlight from your book?

Coach Tuesday: You must be an advocate for your own life in all areas. Look for the most accurate, efficient, and effective information that will allow you to not only be informed but to also apply it to your life and get results.

Cassidy: Which character or part of the book was the most fun to write? Which part was the hardest?

Coach Tuesday: The first chapter was the most fun to write. It allowed me to be a kid again and bring back the fun memories of childhood. The hardest part of the book was the beginning of the second chapter. It took me to some real dark times in my life where pain was inevitable, and I truly wished I had not had to go back to but to embody my entire truth it was hard but necessary.

Cassidy: Exploring old memories, especially painful ones, surely can lead to roadblocks during the writing process. I'm glad you were able to overcome them.

What advice, if any, would you give other authors dealing with writer's block?

Coach Tuesday: I usually make thought bubbles on a sheet of paper and gather details to begin writing based on the key thoughts. I also use another person as a sounding board, which usually provokes questions or ideas. They help me to become more creative in my writing to unblock the places I have become stuck.

Cassidy: Looking back at entrepreneurship, what are the best and worst things you've experienced?

Coach Tuesday: The best part of being an entrepreneur is setting your own guidelines and playing by your own rules. You are in charge of your own schedule, and you get to choose how you spend your time. You also get to have a major impact and influence on the clients and people you serve and network with, which is very self-fulfilling and gratifying to see the positive impact you can make on another human’s life. .

The worst part of being an entrepreneur is you get lonely being the leader, and you must make some very hard, necessary decisions regarding your business growth. It may not be very clear. In these times, I trust and rely on God to give me wisdom through prayer.

Cassidy: What advice would you give to entrepreneurs struggling to balance their life and business?

Coach Tuesday: I would advise other entrepreneurs to develop a healthy business and personal life by creating schedules, routines, and practices that incorporate self-care, fun, and hard work to ensure they are feeding all three of these facets of their lives.

Self-care is so important because leaders pour out so much; we need the time and permission to take breaks to get refilled, so we are not pouring for empty cups that will lead to burn out. We must have fun while we work. We cannot be too hard on ourselves. We must have some grace and mercy in our daily activities. Don’t look to be perfect; look to be moving forward toward your goals.

Hard work does balance the days where you go hard for the business to eliminate last minute rushes or un-welcomed pressure to meet deadlines. Inevitably, it will lead to unnecessary mistakes or chaos, so on these days, work hard to play hard is the perfect phrase for this concept. It will minimize any stress. Having a well-balanced routine and operational process is crucial to running a successful business in excellence.

Cassidy: You're absolutely right. A well-balanced routine is crucial. Keeping the flow of traffic to your business must be taxing. 

On that note, what marketing techniques have you used to sell your books, service(s) and/or product(s) and which ones have been the most successful?

Coach Tuesday: I have used many marketing techniques, and they all have seemed to worked, some better than others. I have used’s self-publishing platform. I used my own personal website, where my audience can buy a personal autographed copy of my book as well as virtual vendor opportunities and social media: Facebook ads, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.

Cassidy: You've put a great deal of effort and time into your endeavors. 

Where do you see your business in 3 years?

Coach Tuesday: I see my business moving toward an online university where we will offer online self-directed courses on the hard topics in life that will help our audience navigate and develop strength in the areas they may not be achieving at their highest or greatest potential. These courses will allow them to identify, define, and overcome the hurdles and put into practice what they learned from the courses to get the true results in their personal or professional lives. We will also continue to advocate for mental health and awareness while speaking life to our audience at speaking engagements to empower and inspire them to execute their goals in excellence. We will continue to host free workshops to empower them to move past what broke them, so they can live in peace and not in pieces. Through our life coaching experience with inner healing coaching offered by Coach Tuesday, who is a Transformation Healing & Empowerment Coach. We have many great plans for the business and look forward to serving our clients with the most effective, accurate, and relevant information that will leave them better than we found them for sure.

Cassidy: Thank you for your advice and encouragement! Please share your social media and business contact information. We plan to support you as best we can!

Coach Tuesday: Thank you for the opportunity! I hope readers will feel free to contact me. I can be reached through the following mediums:

Coach Tuesday Nolden CEO / Life Coach of Keep It Lit Candles & Inner Healing Coaching Experience /

Cassidy A. Lee Press, LLC: Blog Guest Feature Interview 08 – The Blerd Explorer

Cassidy: Welcome, Phil, The Blerd Explorer! Please give our readers an introduction of yourself and a little about your book, The Black Traveler’s Guide To Daegu South Korea.

Phil, The Blerd Explorer: Hi, I’m Phil, and I go by The Blerd Explorer! I’m from South Carolina but reside in South Korea.

Cassidy: What inspired you to write your book?

Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and the Apple Store.

Phil, The Blerd Explorer: I had a lot of fun making the first book, The Black Traveler’s Guide To Incheon South Korea, and wanted to continue to gauge the market. Since the travel market hasn’t made travel content that markets to people of African descent.

Cassidy: Is there a message in your guide you want readers to grasp?

Phil, The Blerd Explorer: That you should travel. Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone and experience new things.

Cassidy: What words best describe your book?

Phil, The Blerd Explorer: Food, Hiking, Fried Chicken Festival!

Cassidy: Can you share one highlight from the book?

Phil, The Blerd Explorer: Of course! E-world, like many places in Korea, is built on the hills so be prepared to climb up and down. I highly recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes and water should you travel to the park. The E-world excerpt comes from chapter 6, “The Parks, The Lake, The Festivals, & E-World.”

Cassidy: Which character or part of the book was the most fun to write? Which part was the hardest?

Phil, The Blerd Explorer: The hardest part was the hiking chapter. While hiking is a lot of fun in Korea, I wasn’t able to complete the trail because I got lost. The most fun part was eating and trying the various street foods at the local markets.

Cassidy: How do you combat writer’s block? Do you have any advice for other writers?

Phil, The Blerd Explorer: When it comes to writing, take your time and don’t try to force it. Should you get writer’s block, take a break, go for a walk, and come back to it when you’re ready.

Cassidy: What marketing techniques have you used to sell your book and which ones have been most successful?

Phil, The Blerd Explorer: Using Instagram and also reaching out to various Black podcasters have been effective.

Cassidy: What projects are you currently working on?

Phil, The Blerd Explorer: Right now I’m taking a break from writing. This summer 2021, I will begin Project Korea where I’ll write a travel guide for the whole country. I’ll spend the summer in Busan gathering research material.

Cassidy: Thank you! Please share your social media and book contact information, so the readers and I can show support.

Phil, The Blerd Explorer: Thank you! I appreciate the support, and I look forward to sharing my future explorations.




TikTok: @theblerdexplorer


Spiritual Abuse, Part 1: Identity Erasure

Disclaimer: I will recreate events, locales, and conversations from my memories of them. In order to maintain their anonymity, in some instances, I will change the names of private citizens. I will also change identifying characteristics and details such as their physical properties, occupations, and places of residence.

Trigger Warning: Please be advised. These entries will detail varying levels of abuse, systemic racism, and mysogeny. If any of these areas are psychological triggers for you, please do not read these entries.

Attempting to separate me from my heritage is a fruitless battle. I can remember back to lessons I learned from my mother, father, grandmother, and aunt. They taught me my cultural identity around the time I entered elementary school. As I grew a little older, they retold the horrors our ancestors endured to maintain what little cultural identity they were stripped of. After being ripped from their homes, they inevitably cobbled together what remained of their culture with an entirely new one. It is no wonder that when I encountered my first brush with racism in second grade, I was able to immediately identify what was happening and call it out. To make a long story short, a white classmate of mine told me I wouldn’t be able to attend her birthday party because her dad said Black people weren’t invited. (I’m sure he didn’t mean for her to regurgitate his words verbatim). I plainly responded to her by saying her dad was a racist.

As a young adult in the workplace, I noticed nuances of racism. They’re often referred to as microaggressions. While microaggressions in the workplace should not be tolerated, I handle them in a decisive and proactive manner. A source I did not expect to receive microaggressions from was my fellow church members. Let me clarify. I did not expect to experience it with other Black American church members, specifically older members who’d lived through and still bore the scars of segregation. But maybe that’s why the microaggressions originated from them. I’ll perhaps address this theory in another blog entry.

When I saw the posts from survivors of a youth ministry once known as 220 and its internship, 220i, I wrestled with whether or not to speak because I dare not detract from the mission at hand. However, I feel there were things done in the dark at the megachurch over periods of time, which cultivated the toxic environment. It didn’t just start in the church’s youth ministry. I believe it was there well before its inception. I personally witnessed it in the older people in the adult ministries.

I had a mentor at the church, who was an older Black woman. She fixated on my natural hair. (I’ll refer to her as Hannah for privacy reasons). During a casual one-on-one lunch, she changed the subject to appearance. She went so far as to subtly point out a white woman in the restaurant and ask what I thought of the woman’s hair. If you know me and my reactions, you probably know what facial expression Hannah received. Hannah went on to say we (meaning Black people) were the conquered; therefore, we were to conform to the standards of the conqueror. Her assertion was followed by the statement that I was very intelligent, but men love beauty.

No one should be judged for their hair/body or their self-expression. By perpetuating eurocentric standards of beauty, Hannah and other mentors at the church were basically enforcing slave codes in a modern day setting. 

The conversation I had with Hannah was one of the catalysts for my transition out of that church. Among other reasons, like its toxicity, I refused to continue to support a church where my identity, worth, and well-being as a Black woman were devalued. The church’s culture, as a whole, needs to change, and people held accountable.

If you’ve experienced trauma related to spiritual abuse, reach out to a psychologist or licensed professional counselor. and the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) are resources for people needing support and healing due to trauma from abuse as well.

In the near future, I’ll be releasing more entries further discussing instances of spiritual abuse, how to overcome them, and additional organizations and resources to assist in the healing process.

Cassidy A. Lee Press, LLC: Blog Guest Feature Interview 07 – Jess Mo’ Books, LLC

Cassidy: Welcome, JC Miller and M.R. Spain! Please give our readers an introduction of your shared business, Jess Mo’ Books, and a little about your book, They Call Me Gomer… 

JC: Hi Cassidy, we are JC Miller and M.R. Spain; otherwise known as Jess and Mo of Jess, Mo’ Books LLC. We are authors and the LLC founders of the indie boutique publishing company producing inspirational content that glorifies God. Currently, we have five published titles: Finding God in the Kitchen, I Am Rahab: A Novel (a three-part series), and They Call Me Gomer We are working on other creative outlets, such as our periodical digital magazine, JessMoBooks, and a t-shirt design featuring our reading initiative, Black Girls Read. 

Cassidy: Jess Mo’ Books has a lot coming our way. I’m looking forward to it!

What inspired you to write your book as well as pursue entrepreneurship?

JC: I adore Bible stories and have a sincere desire to bring unsung biblical characters into a modern light. For instance, my latest novel, They Call Me Gomer… was inspired by the book of Hosea. Gomer was the promiscuous woman the prophet Hosea was told to marry. She represented the people’s waywardness, and Hosea’s commitment to her was a symbol of God’s never-ending love for humankind.

M.R.: We were inspired by our faith, and the willingness to step out on it to pursue our dreams. We saw the vision, made it plain, and we are running with it.  

Cassidy: Amen! Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

JC: My books are primarily about deliverance to the backslider. My intention in recreating stories like these is that all might realize God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Although we are unfaithful, He is the faithful lover of our souls. 

Cassidy: Can you share one highlight from the book?

JC: Sure, in my latest novel, They Call Me Gomer… I decided, this time, to include some poetry. Many may not know I’m an aspiring poet. *laughs* Here are two separate poems from the book. The first is from the introduction, and this verse inspired me by the prophet Hosea. “Israel is swallowed up; now she is among the nations like something no one wants.” 

In They Call Me Gomer…, the main character, Go-Go, feels as though she’s watching her life from the inside of a beast. 

They call me Gomer, but who is she? 

Another brown-skinned girl in this overpopulated world withdrawn in her own skin? 

Invisible to men?



Misplaced amongst the nation…like a worthless thing.    

A beast came and swallowed me whole. 

I’m on the inside looking outside.

I hear with its ears. 

I speak with its voice. A language, not mine. 

I’m in a beast, or is the beast my mentality? 

These were my invisible years. 

This one is an even shorter one from part 6 of the book. Here the main character loses her diary and proceeds to submit her thoughts on pieces of a paper bag, which she uses to illustrate her current situation. 


Brown paper bag letters

Words written for no one to see

Brown paper bag type situation

The trash in the street

Brown paper bag livin’

There go my dreams 

I’m just hoping these brown paper bags don’t stifle me.

Cassidy: Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing your poetry selections with us. *smiles* As a writer, poetry was and is still my first love.

Which character or part of the book was the most fun to write and which part was the hardest?

JC: Creating Gomer was fun, being that our personalities are opposites. Gomer said the things many wish they could and did things most would not. Beginning a book is always the most challenging part for me, but I stay in that pocket once I find my groove. 

Cassidy: I agree. The beginning is difficult. It’s tricky finding the perfect starting point.

You’ve written quite a few books so far. Do you have any words of advice for other authors for combating writer’s block?

 JC: The cure for writer’s block is to write. Write any and all things until something sticks. Maybe also consider keeping a diary and or notes. 

Cassidy: A creative journal of sorts is a good idea.

Speaking of the other hats you wear, how is it being an entrepreneur? What are the best and worst parts of it?

M.R.: The best part about being an entrepreneur is having creative freedom.

The worst part about being an entrepreneur is that you tend to work more off-hours than you would if you were at a regular 9-to-5.

JC:  I concur. *laughs*

Cassidy: You are right about that! *smiles* What advice would you give to entrepreneurs struggling to balance their life and business?

M.R.: When it seems as if success is very unreachable, don’t give up. Remind yourself that you already took those initial steps to fulfill your dreams, but be realistic with your goals, and remind yourself that you can manifest them.

JC: Set aside time for yourself. Even if it’s only for an hour or two a day, write or do something for your business and mental health. Baby steps are better than giant steps. Also, scheduling your social media posts for the entire week helps. I use the Crowdfire app. 

Cassidy: Realistic goals and planning are surely assets for any entrepreneur.

What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books, service(s), and/or product(s), and which ones have been most successful?

M.R.: Amazon, Canva, Bonfire, and collaborations with other authors and entrepreneurs.

JC: Creating fanfare at least six months before your book releases helps. Get people involved with the anticipation by creating fun posts and great giveaways. And know that even when it feels like no one is watching, they are.

Cassidy: I’m sure an author reading this interview appreciates the words of encouragement. *grins*

Where do you see your business in three years?

M.R.:  I see our business flourishing with more book titles, not just from us, but from other writers we have helped accomplish their dreams of becoming published authors.

JC: I see a complete catalog of diverse books, movies, and a series that not only entertains but inspires people to do and be more for the kingdom of God. 

Cassidy: Then, we will be waiting in anticipation of what is to come. Thank you both for sharing your wisdom and vision with us! Please share your social media and business contact information, so we can support you both and stay connected as your new projects are released.

JC: Thank you for having us! I included our information, but any readers should feelsm free to reach out to us on social media. We are happy to hear from readers and authors alike!

Author JC Miller: 

Jess, Mo’ Books LLC:  

Cassidy A. Lee Press, LLC: Blog Guest Feature Interview 06 – Michelle P. Jones

Cassidy: Welcome, Michelle! Please give our readers an introduction of yourself and a little about your book, Desperate Housewives of Biblical Proportions, and your businesses, The Authorpreneur Academy.

Michelle: Hi, everyone! I’m Michelle P. Jones, and the most recent book I published is Desperate Housewives of Biblical Proportions. It chronicles the lives of the seven matriarchs of Genesis, their physical and/or spiritual relationship with barrenness, and how their choices turned into Generational Curses that still plagued the Jews today. It also show everyone the damaging consequences when we live a life of barrenness where our lack controls our today and our tomorrows for generations.

Order Desperate Housewives of Biblical Proportions.

Cassidy: What inspired you to write your book?

Michelle: It was a divine assignment. It’s the culmination of a project that began as Vacation Bible School literature and grew into a book that speaks to how barrenness manifests itself in all of our lives.

Cassidy: Is there a message in your novel you want readers to grasp?

Michelle: That there is an answer and solution for the barrenness in your life.

Cassidy: Which character or part of the book was the most fun to write? Which part was the hardest?

Michelle: I enjoyed writing about Hagar she represents so many women today who have compromised themselves to have what always looked attractive and appealing. The harder part to write about involved Leah because of the real pain she experienced when she consistently compared herself to her sister, Rachel, and never saw her own value and worth.

Cassidy: How do you combat writer’s block? Do you have any advice for other writers?

Michelle: For each of my books, I scheduled the writing process and wrote during those times only. I kept my writing relevant by writing for a blog and magazines to have an outlet for the noise that sometimes came into my heart and mind. Noise that easily could have caused a block for me.

Cassidy: That is some very sound advice. An outlet to channel excess creativity through is a must.

Is there something your enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? Is there anything you aren’t fond about in entrepreneurship?

Michelle: The best part of being entrepreneur is being of service and sharing my knowledge, tools, and wisdom. The worst part of being an entrepreneur is, due to a lack of resources, sometimes I have to wait on implementing different aspects of programming until the resources are available.

Cassidy: What advice would you give to entrepreneurs struggling to balance their life and business?

Michelle: For some balance is an illusion. I would say make a point of keeping a regular schedule of self-care activities. It will help you create the balance in your life you desire. Remember, you are the most important person in your life, and you should treat yourself as such.

Cassidy: What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books, service(s) and/or product(s) and which ones have been most successful?

Michelle: Creating a community of supporters has been my favorite marketing tool. It has created a momentum that translated into sales. We work so hard in getting testimonies and referrals. By creating a community of supporters you have both within the same group of people.

Cassidy: Where do you see your business in three years?

Michelle: I see myself fully implementing my Authorpreneur Academy membership structure, where members can learn at the times available to them and remain knowledgeable in their chosen field.

Cassidy: Your insight has been valuable to me and our readers. Thank you! Please share your social media and business contact information, so we can continue to follow, support, and glean from you.

Michelle: You are welcome and thank you! Here are a list of my platforms.






Contact Tree:

Do Not Despise Small Beginnings

I have written about not despising small beginnings on more than one occasion. If I had to pinpoint when I’ve written about it the most, I would settle on these pieces being written during periods of transition. Transition can be exhausting. It can even be demeaning because some transitions require a person to revert back to square one and rebuild.

As someone rebuilds, people may question his or her qualifications or experience. Entrepreneurs face this dilemma constantly. If they open a new business, they have to start somewhere. There has to be a first sale, a first testimonial, and a first repeat client. While it is reasonable for people to request more information about their experience before services are purchased, it should not cause the entrepreneur to question his or her legitimacy if he or she is putting in the actual work to build the business.

For any entrepreneurs facing the challenge of a small beginning and questioning their legitimacy, I offer this advice… continue to network, continue to educate yourselves, and continue to forge the foundation of your businesses.

There are mentorship and educational opportunities, which can help you gain business training using cost effective methods.

Here are several I’ve come across:

The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), a nonprofit organization, can assist you with fulfilling your business ownership goals and achieve greater success through mentorship. Find a SCORE business mentor here.

Online courses through Alison are useful for people who prefer virtual learning.

There are also grants made available through nonprofit organizations, specifically targeting small business ownership. The SBA offers grants for entrepreneurs, but they are limited. You’ll find a listing of other small business grants, here.

As you comb through resources, reflect on your ultimate goals. Are they short-term, long-term or both? What does strategic planning look like for your business?

Remember, every great company began somewhere. Your efforts and vision are no less admirable or worthy. So, keep your eyes and ears open. Help is out there.

Stay the course!

Cassidy A. Lee Press, LLC: Blog Guest Feature Interview 05 – Shaylon Scott

Cassidy: Welcome, Shaylon! Please give our readers an introduction of yourself and a brief explanation of your business, Book Mecca.

Shaylon: My name is Shaylon Scott, and I am the Founder of Book Mecca. Book Mecca is an online literary platform and bookstore that highlights Black authors and their stories.

Cassidy: To give our readers more insight into Book Mecca’s offerings, please give a rundown of your products and services.

Shaylon: It’s important to us that our stories, magic, and melanin glow is told by us and shared for generations. The best way to learn about a culture, even your own, is through reading a book. We seek to amplify the voices of Black authors through a personally curated online bookstore, virtual and in-person interviews as well as hosting and facilitating book themed events.

Cassidy: On that note, who or what inspired you to pursue entrepreneurship?

Shaylon: Entrepreneurship was always a retirement idea for me growing up. I always felt as if a steady paycheck was what my family needed and that my ideas were not strong enough to stand on their own. It wasn’t until I fully tested the feasibility of my business and idea through a women’s entrepreneurship course from WINGS of Dallas that I fully saw the possibility. They encouraged me to see my passion project as a purpose and not a hobby.

Cassidy: It sounds like the journey toward entrepreneurship was a gradual process. What would you say are the upsides to being an entrepreneur, and what are the downsides?

Shaylon: The best part about being an entrepreneur is seeing your dreams leave your mind and see others enjoy and embrace it. The worse part is the constant self doubt. You have to continually speak over yourself to encourage yourself when things are going great and when they aren’t.

Cassidy: I completely agree. Speaking affirmations over oneself can have a major impact on us and our success.

Along the way there have surely been milestones. Would you mind listing some of your greatest achievements or accomplishments you are proud of?

Shaylon: Some of my greatest achievements are interviewing six New York Times best selling authors in my first year, of which four of them are now slated for tv show/movie adaptations. Working with these authors early allowed me to establish my voice, theme, and the opportunity to connect with more nationally known authors.

Cassidy: That is an amazing achievement and one to be proud of. I’m sure it’s going to be awesome continuing to observe their evolution as I’m sure they will feel the same way about yours.

Getting to such a point is no small order, of course. For entrepreneurs who are working towards their own crowning achievements, what advice would you give them if they’re struggling to maintain a work/life balance?

Shaylon: I would advise any entrepreneurs to fully use their calendars and not try to remember everything themselves. As you grow, your calendars will fill up with all sorts of opportunities. You will need to prioritize and fully engage in opportunities that align with your mission and your true availability not your desire to do it all. You are still human, so it’s ok to say no or even better, not yet.

Cassidy: I concur. Giving oneself grace is integral to the delicate balance of entrepreneurship. Even the most organized and efficient people have to know their limits and practice self-care.

What marketing techniques have you used to sell your services and products? Which ones have been most successful?

Shaylon: I have focused primarily on social media and book club/author groups to share about our services and resources. Instagram has been especially fruitful in developing strong relationships with authors, famous and new. Facebook has been a great resource to engage and educate the community searching for resources and a place for their work.

Cassidy: I see, a combination of virtual and in-person methods. As you market your services, are you working on any projects concurrently?

Shaylon: The Pass the Voice Initiative is an effort to bring Black literature into the hands of future readers wherever they are. With the establishment of free, little libraries in high-traffic businesses where African Americans frequent and where literature will be valued, it is a way for us to always have access to great literature and not feel overwhelmed by the variety of content available in larger libraries. We are bringing our stories closer to home. Our initiative starts in North Texas because there are so many African-American families who have moved to the area and seek to have their voices heard and stories told as well. This initiative also provides a way for families to share literature and give back on a consistent basis and become more cognizant of the authors and stories they are reading and providing to their children. The funding will be used for the following: (Starting in North Texas (4-5) and as we grow we will move to more locations)

*Creation/Building of the little libraries

*Purchase of YA books/Children Books/Adult Books (book drives will also take place for continued inventory)

*Marketing/maintenance supplies/scouting locations/expansion goals to more counties (Initiative Link:

Cassidy: Fantastic strategic planning! With all of these projects and initiatives in progress, where do you see your business in 3 years?

Shaylon: In three years, I see Book Mecca as a well-known independent bookstore and resource for Black authors, famous and independent. It would serve as a go-to place for Black lit for readers and authors.

Cassidy: Your vision is truly needed and truly inspiring. Thank you! Please share your social media and business contact information, so our readers can pass along your resources as well as support you and your initiatives.

Shaylon: No problem and thank you! I’ve listed my most frequently used social media and website information. Please contact me through these channels if you are interested in any resources or services Book Mecca provides or if you have any questions. Thanks again!






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