Memoir Mentor Jessica J. Hill on Coaching and Setting Intentions
Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
Hi, I’m Jessica! I’m a memoir mentor and developmental editor passionate about helping women writers craft true stories they’re proud of. I focus on true stories because the impact is so great. They can foster empathy and connection. They can inspire and motivate. And for those who have the courage to tell them, they can heal and even empower. I believe true stories have the power to change the world. I lead writing workshops, mentor writers one-on-one and host international writing retreats that aim to educate, encourage, and inspire more women to tell the stories only they can tell. To learn more about my coaching and retreats click here.
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
I’m excited to connect with other female entrepreneurs because I believe when women build each other up, there is no stronger force for good.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
In short, I love being a cheerleader for other writers! I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, and I’ve had so many conversations with other women who have unique stories to tell but who struggle to find the time, the motivation, and/or the courage to tell them. I believe everyone has a story worth sharing, and I want to help more women get their voices heard.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
My career has touched almost every aspect of publishing, from writing and editing to publishing and promoting authors and their books. I began my career as a publicist for New York Times bestselling authors, including Garth Stein, Heidi Durrow, and Jamie Ford. I later earned a master’s in creative nonfiction from Colorado State University, where I taught English Composition and led creative writing workshops. I also hold a bachelor’s in magazine journalism. Later, I served as the Director of Marketing and Production for a boutique agency where I helped independent authors publish and market their books. My own writing has won awards and has been featured in Traveler’s Tales, Emrys Journal, and Horizon Air Magazine, to name a few. I’m currently pitching a memoir about how traveling the world solo taught me to forgive my father.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Yes! Both of my parents were entrepreneurs which gave us a lot of freedom to travel and explore while growing up. I’ve been self-employed and/or working remotely for more than a decade.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out, and did it go as planned?
I’m just getting started so I’ll let you know!
What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?
I previously ran a different business for seven years, and the biggest challenge was trying to do all of the things at once. I went to marketing conferences, took courses, networked, and then I tried to implement everybody’s advice instead of trusting that I know my business best. Keeping things simple and being intentional with every move will get you much further when you’re just starting out.
What is the accomplishment you are the proudest of to date?
I have just finished my first memoir after many years of working on it!
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I don’t know that there’s such a thing as perfect balance, but I’m grateful to have run a business before this one so I can try not to repeat the same mistakes. One of the reasons I love being self-employed is to have the freedom to make my own schedule, and I often have to remind myself of that, or I will get sucked into working a 9-5 on my own business.
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
Always remember your core values and why you started the business in the first place.
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
I planned my first international writers’ retreat! It’s a 5-day escape to Sayulita, Mexico with a small group of women who want to write a memoir. We’ll get clear on your story and your outline, and you’ll leave with a clear direction and action steps.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I’m planning to schedule more retreats. I’d also like to offer group coaching and start a podcast.