Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in publishing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Maria Dismondy, Owner of Cardinal Rule Press, located in Novi, MI, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Cardinal Rule Press is a traditional children's publishing company. We produce realistic fiction picture books that are centered around the Golden Rule. Our customers are families, caregivers, and educators.

Tell us about yourself

My former career was in education. I taught for over a decade. I saw firsthand with my own students what was needed in the book industry. We needed more books that featured children like my students and that were centered around topics that would teach children about emotions and how to deal with them. After writing over ten books myself and selling over four million copies of our books, I am motivated daily to continue to get books into the hands of young readers. I am motivated to help protect the children of today with emotional intelligence. What we do here at Cardinal Rule Press is important, and the members of our team know and feel this!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Last year I purchased another publishing company. The acquisition was not easy and something I am super proud of. It took courage and pushed me out of my comfort zone on a number of occasions. I grew my team and focused on growing as a leader as well. To me, the more books we sell mean, that many more children are filled with the positive messages our books provide!

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

As a business owner, there are roadblocks that seem to come out of nowhere. You have to learn to problem-solve quickly. I've learned not to let my emotions get in the way of making these decisions. Being the owner is also challenging in the sense that you don't have someone telling you that you are doing a great job. That sense of success and accomplishment has to come from your own self-reflection.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Education is key. In today's world, we are lucky to have so many outlets to gain knowledge. Podcasts, articles online, webinars, audiobooks, and more. Make time for your professional development.
  2. Network. Connect with others in and outside of your industry. Having mentors and other like-minded business owners to reach out to and learn from is important. Do not do this alone!
  3. Get Back Up. You will make mistakes. There will be times you feel as if you've failed. Feel your feelings, then get back up again. Owning a business takes personal drive, and you're not always going to get it right on the first try.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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