#SheWearsThePants: Book Marketer, Kickstarter Success & Air Guitarist Marquina on Joining a Goal Setting Group

Note from Pivotte

Congrats to Marquina Iliev-Piselli for recently completing a successful kickstarter campaign for her book,"TOUGH: Women Who Survived Cancer' Essay Collection."

The campaign raised 2x more than the initial goal! 

The book is for newly-diagnosed women, survivors, thrivers, & the people who love them. Working from interviews with 40 women with a variety of cancer types, Iliev-Piselli, a survivor herself, has created honest and triumphant essays that will lift readers up like a conversation with good friends.


Name, location - and multi-hyphenated title 

Marquina Iliev-Piselli, Brooklyn, NY

Founder of AuthorpreneurLaunch LLC bookmarketer-author-entrepreneur-wife-mom-karaokelover-airguitarist

What do you do - and what what drives you in your career as well as personal endeavors?

I help make books bestsellers. I love working with authors and getting stories into the hands of enthusiastic readers. I have a passion for community, connection, and storytelling.

Ambition: What does ambition personally mean to you - what place does it have in your life? Do you think our culture perceives “ambition” to be a dirty word for women? Why or why not?

When I think of ambition, terms like ‘grit’ and ‘drive’ come to mind. It takes planning and hard work to make your dreams come true. I’ve been told that I’m ‘overly ambitious’ but I take that as a compliment. I’m not sure if our culture perceives ‘ambition’ as a dirty word for women. But I do know that the company you keep has a huge impact on whether or not you feel supported in your goals. For the past three years, I’ve been part of a small women’s goal setting group and it has helped me focus my energy, both personally and professionally. That said, sometimes it takes a village, but other times you need to stick your neck out and go it alone to reach your goals.

What does ‘having confidence’ mean to you - what place does it have in your life? How do you work on it?

Having confidence means being sure of yourself and your abilities. It can mean owning your power, as we are all powerful, but sometimes it can be difficult to harness. For me confidence is something that is always shifting. I know deep down that I am capable, but I’m constantly pushing myself to reach new goals and get out of my comfort zone. I think, at this point in my life and career, I’m confident that I can weather the highs and lows that come my way.

Goals: Please share one of your current, important goals. Why is this a goal and how did you realize it was something that you wanted to work on? What’s your plan for achieving it?

I’ve worked as a digital marketer in the book publishing space for over ten years, but this year I’m publishing my first book. I’m creating the book that I needed to read at the lowest point in my life. Almost four years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had trouble finding stories about women my age and how they navigated diagnosis, treatment, and the aftermath while keeping their soul and spirit intact. I’ve created a 40-story essay collection called TOUGH: Women Who Survived Cancer as well as a supporting Share Triumph Virtual Conference to delve into these topics. As a book-marketer, I’ve been working on this content for over two years. I have run in-person seminars and currently host webinars to share the steps it takes for a successful book launch. Getting this book into the hands of as many survivors and metastatic thrivers is incredibly important to me.

Does your pursuit of ambition, confidence and goals influence your wardrobe choices? What is your outfit when you really have to get shi*t done?

Yes! I love clothes! They help me feel confident, especially if I have a presentation or a TEDx and I need to knock it out of the park. I tend to wear classic, timeless pieces and, at work, I want my words to speak, not my clothes. I had been looking for the perfect work pant and the 24/7 pant is it! I bought one jet black pair and then had to buy the navy. I’ve never been thrilled by work pants before. Before finding Pivotte, I wore simple dresses but with a pair of chic black boots, and chunky, artsy jewelry. In the winter, I’ll add an artsy, flowy wrap. I always try to have a pop of color. In a first-client meeting or interview, I tend to wear green — either a green dress, scarf, or an awesome Via Spiga green jacket. For speaking gigs, I love to rock a solid, bright-colored jumpsuit!

What activities do you do outside of your full-time gig? How does it bring balance to your life? How does it make you more successful in your full-time gig?

Outside of work, I play the electric guitar with a group every Tuesday night. I’ve also been a competitive air guitarist for ten years and the air guitar season starts every summer. Air guitar is something I thought I should ‘retire’ from but now I’ve embraced that I have a side of me that will always be a quirky goofball. I also am an insufferable karaoke singer. I’ll sing (poorly!) anytime, anywhere ;) ...and I’ll throw in a few air guitar windmills.

These creative pursuits make me feel alive and when I’m happy, my work and life are in better balance. I flow.

How do your activities outside of work influence your wardrobe and style?

My simple, classic work attire typically has some sort of slight wink to the ‘rocker’ vibe. Maybe it’s super-skinny pants, a few studs on my shoes or purse, a chunky ring, funky earrings, or a leather jacket.

What are your guidelines when choosing to buy something new for your wardrobe?

I’m always looking for an awesome classic piece or a single, standout, gotta-have-it accessory that will make the look come together.

How would you spend an extra 15 minutes a day?

Reading books with my 6-year-old. Snuggling up on the couch and reading The Hobbit or some classic from my childhood is my happy place.