PW: How did your experiences help you write The Girl's Guide to Starting Your Own Business?
Caitlin Friedman: It's funny, because as soon as we decided to write this book, we started documenting all the mistakes we made [when we started our own business]. We've been wrong in many, many ways.
Kimberly Yorio: But it's the only way to learn. The thing that we found after we started interviewing everybody was that it was the same for them.
CF: Everybody, no matter how many mistakes they made, knew [starting their own business] was the right decision for them.
KY: Every January, we make lists of all of our goals for the next year: What are we going to do? How do we get re-inspired? Is it about getting more clients? Is it about fewer clients? Higher billing?
CF: Hire people! Fire people!
KY: Grow! Shrink! Move out of the city!
CF: Go back home!
KY: What we didn't overtly say in the book is that we do this because it gives us pleasure. Sometimes the clients are really difficult; sometimes it's really expensive; sometimes we're not bringing in enough money. But at the end of the day, we're really happy—
CF: That we don't have a boss.
PW: That's a recurring theme in your book, how nice it is not to have a boss. It left me wondering if perhaps you had both had awful bosses previously in your careers?
CF: We've both worked for entrepreneurs, and I think that when you have a boss who's a small business owner, you learn so much, but you also see that, actually, you can do it yourself as well.
KY: And the flip side to that is that we've both had corporate experiences where we were constantly frustrated by the management.
PW: What separates your book from other books on how to start a business?
CF: We couldn't find a book that answered the specifics and also inspired us. We also felt that they were geared toward people who wanted to start large businesses with lots of employees, rather than somebody who wanted to have a better quality of life, or more flexibility in their workday to spend with their kids, or who would be satisfied making less money to have more time.
KY: Also, if you've ever read those books, they're boring as hell. Even the stuff that for us was really hard to wade through: the financial part, the legal part—
CF: The tech stuff...
KY: We felt like we made it accessible for anybody who also found it overwhelming because it's just like, "Oh my God, the LLC, the C Corp., the S Corp., you know, all this stuff, that's just like, I'm a publicist! I work in cookbooks! What do I know about the laws for insurance, the laws for unemployment? Why do we need all this stuff?" But unfortunately, how much money has not knowing about that stuff cost us?
CF: Thousands and thousands of dollars.
PW: Why is it a "girl's guide"?
KY: It is different being a woman in the business world. You have a different way of going about it, people treat you differently. I think that many of the women in this book agreed with us.
CF: We tried to address the confidence issue in the book. We offer women ways they can deal with that.
KY: Confidence is the whole ball game. Everyone we spoke to talked about how they felt when they went in to sign their lease or when they made their first sale, or when they had their first argument. If you have the confidence to see your way through it, then you're going to be successful. I think it's important for the bookseller not to lose this book in the business section, because it's really more how-to/inspiration. This is a real sort of rah-rah handbook guide, full of information and stories. I feel like you would buy this book the same way you would buy a diet book or an exercise book, because it's much more...
KY: It's almost so true that it's cheesy. If you really believe that you can do it, you kinda can do it. Neither one of us has ever looked back since the day we walked out the door.