The Mocha Manual for Turning Your Passion to Profit is just what it sounds like — and that’s the beauty of it. Award nominated author Kimberly Seals Allers’ guide to point black women in the direction of self-fulfilment, personal development and financial independence is in-part her own story. The former writer for Forbes and Essence magazines — like most women of color who want to enjoy maximum living — determined to create a life that  gave her more freedom and  time with family via doing the things she loves to do most.

The accomplished writer and online editor talked with rolling out about how she left the stability of a job to secure a dream.  –roz edward

How did you personally turn your passion to profit?
I was working as senior editor at Essence. My book came out while I was still working, and basically I started building a business. When it first started I was on a book tour giving out maternity T-shirts as promotional items. But people really liked them and I started selling them. So really I started in retail, and was still working my job, and the weekends I would devote to my business. … Then I crafted a nine-month plan where I was working the business, building up my online platform … and being clear about marketing and a time line. I set a quit date nine months in advance and I worked backwards toward it.

Did you have a business plan?
I did have a business plan, but it was really a starter one. I think that women come into business intuitively, so we don’t always take the “right steps.” I did write something down, but I had worked at Forbes and it was part of my mindset. I had a written plan and I had mentors, but a business plan can start with as little as two pages. As I grew and I went out to get financing and support, I created something larger.

What else is on the horizon for you?
Outside of the books, mochamanual.com has been home base. I started in the pregnancy and parenting space and that’s really where I have [put down] my roots. We cover everything from pre-conception to the sixth grade at this point. We are constantly providing information, and that’s why I have my blog. So in addition to running mochamanual [.com], I am also the multicultural editor for Lifetimemoms.com, and I blog for Baby Center.

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