Bernadette Geyer Q and A Interview
Can you share your back story with us, a bit about your childhood?
I grew up in a small mill-town in Pennsylvania. From the age of about 5, I would accompany my father to coin meetings and coin shows – where the numismatists gathered each month and where my father sold coins and collection accessories to coin collectors. He was a good salesman and I learned a lot about how to create a rapport with folks before you try to sell them anything.
Were you a determined child or has that developed?
I think I was always fairly determined, even as a youth. I’ll have to check with my parents about that, but I think they’d agree.
Can you share something about yourself that is not widely known?
I used to play the clarinet in my high school band. And I was in the school’s Library Club.
How and when did you know you wanted to become an entrepreneur?
I’ve always had a bit of an entrepreneurial streak in me. When I would go to numismatist shows with my father when I was a teen, I’d go around to all of the tables taking lunch orders from the other dealers and then go across the street to whatever fast food place was there and buy everything to bring back (my dad fronted me the money). I would make a lot of tips from the dealers, who were glad to not have to leave their tables. Then, when I went to college, I took my dad’s hair clippers, and I cut hair to make money. I was always looking out for ways to bring in a little extra cash.
Tell us about your business…
I started out as a freelance writer and editor, launching my editorial services business in 2006. I also taught writing and professional development workshops, both in person and online. After moving to Germany in 2013, I learned German and added translation into the mix of services. In 2018, I was hired as the part-time head of marketing for a nonprofit, so I gave up the workshops. Now, as a freelance copy editor and translator, I work with small businesses, solopreneurs, authors, and professional speakers around the world. As I like to say, “I make sure you’re understood by the people you want to reach.”
What did you give up to get to where you are today? What did you have to sacrifice?
When my husband and I moved with our daughter to Germany, we gave up a very comfortable life. We could have easily drifted along doing the same thing year after year, staying in our routine. However, we had long dreamed of living overseas and had created a 10-year plan for how we would get ourselves prepared. We kept looking for opportunities that would take us overseas, but there was never that big break. So, we finally stopped waiting for someone to hand us the opportunity and decided to create our own. The past five years have certainly been a wild ride, and I don’t feel like we’ve completely “made it” back to any level of stability, but I think we’re on the right track now.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do?
Start over in a new country, learn a new language, and try to make a go of being a freelancer in a city where we knew no one when we arrived.
What are your goals for 2019 and beyond?
I want to write another business book this year. Last year, I self-published my first – Branding for Beginners – which was based on one of the workshops I used to teach. Now, I’ve realized that I already have a lot of material to work with for a second book on a different topic. I’ve also set a goal to be a guest on at least five podcasts this year. For beyond? I want to continue to focus on my core services – copy editing and translating – in addition to my marketing job.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? Do you have any big Goals?
Right now, I edit and translate lots of different types of projects – from social media posts and blog content, to websites and books. In five years, I could see myself focusing on translating books and websites, but I can’t bear the thought of giving up copy editing books, too. I learn so much from book projects.
Can you share 3 #BizTips for Women in Business
1) Write down all of the projects that you work on. ALL OF THEM!! Take a regular survey of everything you do. This is important to knowing all the demands on your time.
2) Look at the above list and – very honestly – consider whether there are projects or tasks you work on simply because you’ve always worked on them (or at least have done so for a long time). Are these projects and tasks still valuable to you? Do they bring your business money or bring you personal joy? Do they fit with the “core” of what your business does, or are they only very tangentially related?
3) STOP! Stop doing tasks that you feel like you can no longer do or that you feel are drudgery. If you don’t like doing it, it will reflect in the way you do it and it won’t be effective. Say, for example, you committed to writing a blog post every week. Your blog posts are on a wide variety of subjects, 10% of which directly relate to the business services or products you offer. Or maybe at one point you felt like you had to be on every social media channel, but now you only post on one regularly and the others are like ghost towns. When people see those lagging online presences, what will they think? Cut the ties and scale back to what you really want to work on.
How can people best connect with you online?
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GeyerEditorial/