Have a story you want to write, but you don’t have the tools to do so? Lauren from Burning Soul Press can help you write the bestselling book of your dreams.
Driven by her passion for telling other people’s stories, an avid writer herself, an award-winning ghostwriter, and author, Lauren Eckhardt founded Burning Soul Press amidst the pandemic during April 2020. Within the first few months of opening its doors, it was a remarkable success and earned upwards of six figures!
In a few months, she helped over fifty aspiring writers fulfilled their author dreams by supplying the tools and the knowledge to write. A Jane of all Trades, she helped the market, publish and launch each book to Amazon bestseller status.
They work specifically with clients who have a powerful message to share with the world, whether through fiction or nonfiction books, and help shape their impact to reach more people with their words, stories, and mission.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Lauren and here’s what went down:
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
I am a best-selling and award-winning author, ghostwriter, book coach, and Burning Soul Press CEO, a book coaching and publishing company. We help soul-driven writers empower best-selling story authors who make a lifelong impact on their message and mission. I started Burning Soul Press in April 2020 as a one-woman show, and within months, it quickly grew to a six-figure company with a fantastic team that supports all our global clients in helping them reach their author goals. Now we are on track to becoming a seven-figure company in 2021.
When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?
When I was seven years old, I was always finding ways to make money. I would spend hours making things like an amusement park game zone, selling tickets to have people come and play these games I created out of something like boxes and rubber bands – I even had toys to win prizes. The funny thing is, I was also always writing stories for people at this time, but never once thought about putting a price tag on those.
How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?
I spent 12 years in the human resources field, chasing degrees, certifications, and promotions, always successful but never fulfilled. I kept going for what I was supposed to have to elevate myself versus what felt purposeful and spending my time helping the world be a better place. I ignored pursuing the dream in my heart but thought about it always during my 9-5 until one day, my ultimate “why” was born (my two boys), and I realized these dreams must become my reality if I want to set a good example for them.
As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
Simply knowing that I am doing everything that I can to my kids grow up in the world. I want them to believe in a world where they can dream and those dreams come true, and that they can be themselves and they are accepted, and that they can be open about what they’re going through in life and be loved throughout it, never having to hide in the dark no matter what.
In a word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why.
It is tough, it’s chaotic, it’s maddening, it’s joyful, it’s beautiful, it’s rewarding, it’s stressful, it’s fulfilling, but above all, it’s freeing because I can let my heart and soul fully fly and I don’t have to hide it. I do not have to shove myself in a box to be something I’m not. I have learned to love myself even more, and trust who I am even more each time we attract our ideal clients and work with them. These are the people I am meant to help; this is my purpose fulfilled. Embracing that and living it is free.
What were your top three motivations for starting your business?
1) To provide future authors with the support, encouragement, knowledge, and tools to write and publish their books with confidence and ease to reach their goals (everything I wish I had when I wrote my first book!).
2) To normalize the truths of who we are by creating safe spaces that allow for the sharing of people’s stories to build deeper connections that inspire light, hope, empowerment, and comfort as we embrace that we’re all in this life together and each one of us is valuable.
3) To prove to my kids that when your dream reveals itself, there’s always an even bigger mission than what you first thought possible. When you own your goal, trust yourself, and step up to the plate, your life will shape you into who you are meant to be.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
1) You must be willing to take risks. That’s where the growth comes from.
2) You must be willing to hire help or outsource, even when you don’t feel ready to make that move. Take the things off your plate that drain your energy and time the most. You’ll see the fruit of that decision quickly.
3) You must understand that not every day will be a dream. There will be rough days, and that’s okay. If you know this is your mission in life, nothing should ever stop you from fighting for its success every day.
What are the three most significant challenges you have faced growing the business, and how did you overcome them?
1) Thinking Too Small – realizing that I was scared to grow to a certain point because I did not think I could handle it. Remember that there is always a solution. There is still a lesson to learn. The smaller you stay, the less you can help the people you want to reach. Getting out of your comfort zone is the only way you can do it.
2) Turning Clients Away for the First Time – being a natural people pleaser, I did not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I learned why it was important after having a few clients that weren’t in alignment with our mission and values. You must protect your company and the mission at heart, so those lines are to be drawn. It can be hard as an entrepreneur to turn down money, but it’s a continual realization of how clear you are about your own company’s direction and trust with the path you’re on.
3) Being Stressed to the Point of a Breakdown – Feel all the emotions. Ride them out. Listen to what you’re supposed to learn at that moment, and implement it (for me, it’s usually self-care-related). You may be a different person in mere hours after it feels impossible to keep going. Being an entrepreneur is a roller coaster to shift frequently but know it’s all part of the ride.
What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
Word of mouth and building genuine relationships. I started the company with a passion for helping other people succeed as authors and get their stories shared with the world, and no matter what, I must continue that path. It is not always easy to measure the financial results from simply talking to people. Still, suppose I start to drift into the analytics of any other marketing technique. In that case, I find that I become more focused on the results vs enjoying the relationship-building that’s taking place only through networking opportunities or referrals.
As you grew the business, what have been some of the most important leadership lessons you have learned?
You must take risks, and you must empower your team to take measured risks. I’m hiring people who I believe in, people I want to represent our company because of their servant hearts and passion. I want them to feel like Burning Soul Press is theirs as much as it’s mine. So, if I’ve seen risk-taking grow our company, I want my team to try things too and see the result without fear of consequences or discipline. You must set the bar for what you expect from anyone else.
Another one of my goals is to have my employees work 25 hours per week and make a full-time salary, but that means I must learn how to work 25 hours per week (and not 60) to set that example and direction for our company. The values we have are reflected in everything I do, and it’s the only way to select the right culture for our entire company to ring true to us and how we help our clients.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
“You don’t have to be an expert to help other people; you just have to be a contributor.” Many people wait until they’re in a particular place (a coveted position or ideal place of recognition) before they feel like they can make a difference or do what they feel called to do, and that’s not true. You can step out and help people now. You don’t have to be an expert—just a contributor to the mission moving forward. Being one step ahead is all you need to help someone else, not at the finish line.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Identify your right message (what I call your soul’s message, the one that’s your purpose of bringing into the world) that can then feed into your mission. If you aren’t doing something that truly lights your soul on fire, you will reach burnout. It can get murky and choppy in these waters quickly, especially when it feels like sharks are swimming all around you. If you trust your light in guiding you to where you are headed, you’ll be set up for success so much more than most people who don’t have a clear vision of what that is before they begin.