Nina Godiwalla on Why Authors are Entrepreneurs

In Chapter 3 of 22 in her 2011 Capture Your Flag interview, author Nina Godiwalla answers "What is the Business Model for Being an Author?"  Godiwalla notes the business model is being an entrepreneur, the book is the product, and everything else is the business world.  A Wharton MBA, Godiwalla finds her networking skills very useful making connections that create opportunities to accelerate her career.  She finds value and reward in pursuing an outreach strategy to senior level leaders as well as across her business networks.  Godiwalla is the author of "Suits: A Woman on Wall Street". She is also a public speaker on workplace diversity and founder and CEO of Mindworks, where she teaches mind-based stress reduction techniques to help organizations improve employee wellbeing.  Godiwalla holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, an MA in Creative Writing from Dartmouth University and her BBA from the University of Texas at Austin.


Erik Michielsen:  What is the business model for being an author?

Nina Godiwalla:  The business model is being an entrepreneur and I see the book as your product and everything else is -- it’s the business world.  I used my MBA to the nth degree as part of this—as part of this book process because the reality is, is you get handed this gift of being able to have a product and then you can do nothing with it or you can expect everything to come your way but what I found is my business skills especially networking -- and I don’t even call it networking -- because what I did was I literally found people that I would have loved to meet.  Just people I would have you know like ‘oh that person is so interesting, they’re doing something so fascinating, I want to talk to them’ and I reached out to them and I – these are, some of them were authors, some of them were maybe they got a sense a better sense of the marketing than I did and it’s technically networking but the reality was it was just me reaching out to people I wanted to and the same with the networks.  I was already involved with a lot of networks and it’s basically how did I build deeper relationships with those networks.

So one of the most interesting pieces is the marketing piece, to be able to go out there and basically, you get to talk – I mean I get to talk all the time about things that I’m passionate about so I mean it’s hard to complain about any of it.  It’s just – it's fun and exciting and the other part is, is it’s what you make it, with any entrepreneurial thing.  One of the things I found astounding is you learn in a way I didn’t with a corporate job.  You have somebody standing over you and kind of telling you what you need to do and I don’t – you don’t have that.  I have that with my publisher and I do have a publicist, I have an agent, so they’re there but the reality is, is you get to do what you want to some extent and if you don’t like doing something you procrastinate, you put it off and you don’t do it.  So when you’re doing your own thing you get to do all the stuff you love because the reality is you just put your time behind things that you love.  So for me it’s just it’s been what I’ve made of it and the thing is I love is so much that you know it ended up just doing really well.