I always say that our careers are not a straight path. One door closes and another one opens. Where we plan is not necessarily were we end up in our careers. The key to thriving and surviving your career is to reorganize and repackage your skills after a job lay-off.
Meet Sarah Beardsley, the current publisher and owner of Venus Zine, (http://www.venuszine.com/), a fifteen year old quarterly music magazine catering to women with a passion for music. In this difficult economy she has managed to expand its distribution, quadrupled its circulation and has turned the brand into a lifestyle format, while keeping a focus on music.
Sarah bought this popular, but floundering publication in February, 2010, after considering numerous magazines. Before starting her own marketing firm, 2nd Floor Advisors, she was SVP of the Communications, Media and Entertainment practice for BearingPoint consulting which filed for bankruptcy.
Sarah is an example of how people are changing their careers by looking into other industries. As a former executive of telecommunication firms, her last position in this industry was as a SVP for VeriSign, a technology and telecom services company. As a divorcee she raised her son who attends Loyola University Chicago.
Sarah refers to Venus Zine as a "restart". I like this term. It's not a start-up, but rather a publication that needed to be energized and restructured. Admittedly she hadn't run a magazine before, yet had solid marketing and branding experience that has helped her to reformat the publication. She hired a sassy NY-based branding firm, Doublespace, to help her repackage the magazine. Sarah has recruited experienced editors, writers and salespeople by offering them a unique opportunity to be involved in a re-start.
Owning a magazine is not for the faint of heart. It takes guts and talent to enter the market when publications are struggling and advertising revenue is down. Yet, this is the path she has chosen. She's working through the process and is building a wider audience through her online publication and distribution in stores like Duane Reade, Barnes & Noble, Target and news stands, along with subscriptions.
Venus Zine's audience is largely women in their 20's and 30's. The magazine does well in college towns and in urban centers. She believes that readers will always want a printed version of a magazine and that there is a market for both on-line and printed copies of her publication. The video interviews she has on her website are a popular feature and her readers check here for daily posting of interviews and information.
For more information on the magazine go to the website at http://www.venuszine.com/. The latest issue has a colorful interview with Zoë Kravitz, Lenny's daughter. Check out the monthly features that include beauty, fashion, culture, design, music and my favorite, a recipe for apple cider! It's a perfect magazine to buy for the fall.