Subscribe to Motivational Mondays on your favorite podcast platform!
What does it take to be an entrepreneur? For Paige Dungan, it simply comes down to mindset: a willingness to take advantage of opportunity, face fear, and find solutions. That’s how Dungan became the PR mastermind of many successful book launches, including international best sellers, and began her own entrepreneurship journey. Now, as the founder of The Front Porch Collective, Dungan has brought together her skills and her community to empower new authors to have the book launch of their dreams and amplify their voices in a crowded marketplace.
Join Corey Andrew Powell in this week’s episode of Motivational Mondays to learn from Dungan what really sets entrepreneurs apart from the pack, discover the skills you need to start your own endeavor — and maybe even pick up a few tips on launching a best-selling book.
Embracing Opportunity and Figuring It Out
Surprisingly, Dungan’s career in publishing and PR began in Texas barbecue. After college, she took an open position at a national restaurant chain called Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and began learning the ropes of corporate communication. It wasn’t long before her first book project came up: The family that owned the restaurant told her they wanted to produce a cookbook, and she would be in charge of promoting it.
Dungan admits she had no idea how to do this, and was essentially thrown in the deep end. Yet, she was determined to make it happen — something exceptionally hard in the earlier days of Google.
“We of course [had] the internet, but it was not [the] robust engine we have today to find out all this information,” she says. She had to dig through mountains of information just to find the basics of publishing and PR. She remembers, “This was the first time I really had to use determination to make something happen. Because no one was holding my hand. No one was giving me guidance. But I knew that I could figure it out. I just had to be educated enough to be able to do it.”
Facing the Fear of the Unknown
A common experience shared by many high-achieving entrepreneurs is that, at some point, they were given a project or responsibility they didn’t know how to fulfill and had to figure out their next steps on the fly. This kind of tenacity and ability to problem-solve are key ingredients for success. Some people would close the door to these opportunities at the outset by saying “no” out of the fear of failure.
“The biggest thing that holds us back is that feeling of being scared,” says Dungan. “We’re taught from a very young age that being scared means someone is going to rescue us or comfort us. But most of the time in the working world, no one is running to comfort you. So it’s important to reframe that feeling scared means ‘I get the opportunity to do something new.’” And at the end of the day, no matter what happens, you learn a lesson from trying.
Never Too Young to Be an Expert
Dungan never let her age or her lack of experience hold her back from success. That outlook has impacted the roster of clients she represents at The Front Porch Collective, including authors from all backgrounds, walks of life, and ages. She recognizes Gen Z as a powerful group of changemakers who have been saddled with an unfair reputation in the media. Dungan stresses that it's an amazing time in the publishing space, for both fiction and nonfiction, because young authors are one of the highest performing categories.
One of the biggest barriers to publishing, especially for nonfiction writers, is a perceived lack of knowledge. But Dungan has seen through her young clients that what really matters is authority in knowing and doing the work. When you show up confidently and authentically, your age is irrelevant.
Knowledge is power, Dungan reminds us, and information like this is something that should be shared to invest in future members of that industry. People sometimes tell her she shouldn’t give away so much for free, but she insists, “I know the knowledge, so why wouldn't I pass that on? I'd be doing this industry a disservice.”
Want to learn more about Gen Z entrepreneurship? Watch or listen to our Motivational Mondays episode with Milan Kordestani, CEO of Audo.
Listen to this episode to learn about...
[1:33] The true story of how barbecue ribs led to Dungan starting her own business
[3:27] How to overcome fear as an entrepreneur
[6:54] The evolution of media consulting in the digital age
[11:44] Why you’re never too young to write a book
[22:53] The power of serving with no expectations
[24:50] Why it’s critical to learn from failure
Listen to the bonus episode to learn how to maintain unwavering confidence as a business owner and to understand why everything is inherently fixable.