It started with a request: a mutual friend introduced me to someone who needed some help. Could I help with writing and editing?
“Sure,” I said.
The catch was that I’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 didn’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, “having a business license” transformed into “starting my own business” 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. “Sure there’s a market for better storytelling, better writing on company websites. You’ll have to convince people that they need you, though, which is typical no matter what business you’re in.”
So, “yeah, go for it!” was what he said.
Being dramatic, I asked him, “What happens if I fail?”
He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Eh. You’re out a hundred and fifty bucks.”
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, “SpokeAnna,” was not even my own invention – a friend sent me an email that said, “Thus Spoke Anna,” and it stuck in my head. (At the time, I didn’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 didn’t get.)
The business plan, the branding, the website, the blog, and the networking all came later. It started with a request – and, like always, I was happy to help.