Never let your fear of stepping out of your comfort zone cheat you out of following your dreams.
Porscha Sterling is an Atlanta, GA based author, publisher, entrepreneur and influencer. She’s best known for her breakout hit novel series “King of The Streets, Queen of His Heart” series. Her debut novel “3 Queens” was released in 2014. Shortly after Porscha launched her publishing company Royalty Publishing House, which quickly became the #1 woman-owned, independent publishing company in the nation. Her work has won numerous awards including being the 2019 Literary Honoree for the Kimmie Awards by Sheen Magazine. She just produced her first feature film for Amazon with more films on the way.
Where did the idea for Royalty Publishing House come from?
The interesting thing is that I was not even planning to become a publisher at all when I first wrote and published my first book. However, I learned during that process that there were so many others with a dream of writing their own books and having them published but needed guidance on how to get there.
After working with a few aspiring authors who took my advice and ended up becoming bestselling authors, the idea that I could make a business of it came to me. I began to do some research on what I needed to learn and how I could get started. Once I was comfortable with what I learned, I decided to take the leap into the publishing world. Much of what I know now, I learned along the way. There are many things that no amount of research can prepare you for!
The name came to me immediately. I’ve always posted on my page, referring to myself and other women who read my books or followed my page as Queens. So the name Royalty Publishing House just seemed to fit.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day looks hectic! I try to start it out positively and I make a rule of not checking my emails or social media first thing in the morning. After having a moment of peace and quiet to settle my mind, I do all the things needed to get my family ready for their day before diving into work.
Once I step into the ‘work’ portion of my day, I have tunnel vision until I’m done for the day. In order to be productive and balance my role as a publisher and an author, I stick to a schedule. I begin with handling my company, then I have a hard stop at a certain time, and I turn off everything and mute all of my notifications so that I can focus on writing. Once I’ve met my writing goal for the day, I end there and then pull back on my ‘publisher’ hat, making phone calls, following up on emails and conducting meetings. Every now and then something comes to disrupt that schedule… life happens! But I try to stick to it as best as I can in order to stay focused.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Creating the storyline for my books gives me life! It’s such a relaxing and exciting thing to start with a blank sheet of paper and outline my next novel. Some authors write from the top of their head without an outline. I’m not like that at all now. I’ve done it before but as I grow with my writing, I like to bring in more complex storylines and I like to tie things together by thinking ahead instead of only writing in the moment. I think of my character as actual people with actual problems and real personalities. I give them likes, dislikes, favorite things, real faults and real history. The more life that I give them and their circumstances, the more I feel like people can relate to and feel the situations the characters go through.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m so excited about the increase of audiobooks. Personally, I love them and the fact that more authors are choosing to dive into that market makes me very happy. I also love hearing my own books on audio as well. It brings another aspect to the reading experience that enriches the story even more.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am a very focused person when I have a goal in mind. I’ve always been able to block out everything and work tirelessly until I get something completed. This can be very frustrating to others when they are trying to pull my attention elsewhere but, in business, it’s led to very good results.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I could tell anything to my younger self, it would be to never let anyone place limits on you. If you think there is something you want to do or you think you can do, cancel out all doubt whether it comes from yourself or from others, and get it done.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Not many may agree with me, but I definitely believe it to be true: A nice long work out in the morning before you start your day gives you so much energy! Most people roll their eyes or look at me like I’ve lost my mind when I say that but for anyone who has done it, they’ll agree.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Always read! I read everything, whether for business, information or for pleasure, I always have a book that I’m in the middle of completing. There is so much that you can learn by just opening a book and, if you never do that, you’re selling yourself and your dreams short. Knowledge is the best tool.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Being able to listen to the opinion and advice of others has helped me. As a business owner, I have to know a little about everything and then bring people on who know a lot about their specific area. From there, you have to be able to recognize good advice and utilize it when necessary. I’ve seen a lot of people fail simply because they don’t like their team to give input unless it agrees with their decisions. That’s a terrible mistake.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There was a new business that I wanted to start at one point that I had a lot of different things going on. Because of that, I could put the amount of time that I needed into getting that new business off the ground. I ended up spending a lot of money on something that I couldn’t make successful because my attention was too divided. Eventually, I made the decision to put that project on hold and come back to it when I had time, however, that was after a lot of time and money spent. It was hard to let go but I had to.
Much later, I came back to the project when I was able to give it the proper amount of time and it’s doing well now.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
This may exist already and it may be trivial, but for me, a mother who has an almost two-year-old who is always stealing my car keys and mashing every button he can find, I really wish that my key fob vibrated if my car alarm was going off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been somewhere, an alarm sounds off and people are all trying to figure out which car it belongs to. I’ve heard that my current car has some kind of app that may do this, but it would be so much easier if an alert showed on my keys.
Also, as a busy mother who rarely has time to cook but doesn’t like to fill my family with fast food, an app where I could book a chef in the area to stop by and cook a meal on my busiest days would be amazing. Like the chef version of UberEats. You choose a type of meal, they grab the ingredients and come right over to prepare it in your home for your family. I would love it!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I’m currently on vacation and my villa came with a butler who provided amazing service for a portion of my stay. I just gave him and each of his helpers a tip of $100 apiece and it was well-earned because the service was impeccable. I think people greatly underestimate how much a person is willing to pay for exemplary service. I’ve seen so many businesses with great products fail because of poor service. I’ve also seen businesses with not so good products flourish because of their model of service. It can make or break you.
In my case, I was looking to have a relaxing vacation with my husband for our anniversary and just a few small thoughtful details made the difference for us. Although we like to try out different locations for our travels, we signed up for the Loyalty Program for that resort because the service was so good, we vowed to use their properties before all others.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Basecamp and Slack in order to stay organized when working with my team. It has helped us a lot to be able to communicate with each other and share files all in one area without having to search around for things that we may have worked on in the past.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
That’s a tough one because I’ve read so many books that are meaningful to me for many different reasons. I just read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and it was amazing. It’s all about how to transform, change and better your life and business by forming the right habits. If you use what is learned, it can change how you go through life.
What is your favorite quote?
Right now, one of my favorite quotes that I personally think of whenever I’m daring to try something new is “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.”
– Never let your fear of stepping out of your comfort zone cheat you out of following your dreams.
– The key to success is keeping the right group of focused, dedicated and knowledgeable people around you.
– Do not allow the limitations that others place on you to be limitations that you place on yourself. Believe in your own ability to succeed.
– Start everything with a well-researched plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This applies to everything.
Official Website: porschasterling.com
LiT Reading App: litreadingapp.com
Royalty House Publishing: royaltypublishinghouse.com