It started with a request: a mutual friend introduced me to someone who needed some help. Could I help with writing and editing?
â€œSure,â€ I said.
The catch was that Iâ€™d need to have a business license. I knew I could help this friend: I knew I had writing and editing skills that were marketable, but what I didnâ€™t know was how it would grow into its own thing and become a business.
So, I did what I do: research. I unleashed my Inner Hermione. I asked everybody from my mom to my husband what they thought of me starting my own business. (Somehow, â€œhaving a business licenseâ€ transformed into â€œstarting my own businessâ€ really fast.)
I asked my former boss, Ed Reese, for a meet and coffee, and asked him about the marketing world of Spokane, and whether or not I should start my own writing business. Remarkably, he took me seriously (a fact for which I remain grateful to him to this day).
Not only did he take me seriously, he encouraged me. â€œSure thereâ€™s a market for better storytelling, better writing on company websites. Youâ€™ll have to convince people that they need you, though, which is typical no matter what business youâ€™re in.â€
So, â€œyeah, go for it!â€ was what he said.
Being dramatic, I asked him, â€œWhat happens if I fail?â€
He shrugged his shoulders and said, â€œEh. Youâ€™re out a hundred and fifty bucks.â€
So I went back to my new friend and now client and said that I would help, and we met for coffee (another typical move on my part). When I had my business license, I began to do the contracted work.
The name, â€œSpokeAnna,â€ was not even my own invention â€“ a friend sent me an email that said, â€œThus Spoke Anna,â€ and it stuck in my head. (At the time, I didnâ€™t notice that it might have been a reference to Thus Spoke Zarathustra, which is a book I tried to read several times and just didnâ€™t get.)
The business plan, the branding, the website, the blog, and the networking all came later. It started with a request â€“ and, like always, I was happy to help.