A passion for community, storytelling, and innovative publishing collided when Krista Malden created and published CommunityNOW! Magazine. With the aim of integrating the topic of innovation between the public, private, academic, and government sectors in Alberta, Malden was able to launch the magazine with little to no funding in two months.
Malden was drawn to writing and music her whole life and pursued Jazz studies at Mount Royal University. Her love of storytelling never left her, however. During her varied career, she found herself continuously drawn to writing before finally finding a job in the publication world. In that role, she pondered on how shecould publish her own magazine with a focus on community and innovation. Thus, CommunityNOW! was born.
“I have a passion for supporting the community, and CommunityNOW! magazine is establishing a real eco-system of information on innovation in Alberta.”
Making it work
Turning CommunityNOW! into a fully functioning publication wasn’t easy. Malden had to balance the fickle beginning stages of a publication and sourcing funding while raising two daughters. She explains that it was a learning curve, but with the support of family and friends, she was able to do both.
“Some nights we would have a movie night, but they had to accept that mom will have her computer open because I had to make a publishing deadline, or we would be attending a community event but as we explored the event I would be working and covering the event - it’s important to involve kids in what you do.”
“You learn to find your support where you can get it and my family had to adjust. You have to learn to ignore what people think when they don’t believe in your vision, and just get on with it.”
Facing down unique challenges
Though determined to succeed in her endeavor, Malden quickly learned that not everyone’s experience as an entrepreneur is the same. She found herself facing unique challenges involving her support system and outside expectations.
“A man can start a business no problem. But when a woman does there are more questions for her, like ‘What about your kids?’ ‘How will you cope with all of this?’ or ‘Wouldn’t it just be simpler if you had a 9 to 5 job?’ I’ve learned to simply jump in, and when I fall, I pick myself up again.”
Creating a support system
Malden’s support structure goes beyond family and friends: “I’ve always said that I’m rich in people, not in money.” Her parents, professors, friends, colleagues, and fellow writers form a strong network of mentorship that encourages and inspires her to persevere and grow.
“My parents always said that I should hang out with strong, passionate, and ethical people and I’ve taken that to heart. Who you hang out with is so important. They inspire me to be the best I can be.”
Krista Malden’s 3 tips for new entrepreneurs:
1. Build a network of support
2. Stay focused. Keep reminders all over the place in your house to keep you focused on why you’re doing what you’re doing
3. Be ok with failing. It’s a hard lesson to learn when you fail. But it’s a giant learning experience. You can’t go backwards, only forwards.