Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Heather Boschke, Artist and Author at Buddha Birdie, located in Burnsville, MN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My art business is called Buddha Birdie, where I sell cards, prints, and mugs that feature my bird drawings. All drawings are done by hand with pen and marker, and much of my inspiration comes from birding adventures. My illustrations connect with a wide audience, and I like to think each bird activates the child within in each of us through their playful and joyful spirit.
Tell us about yourself
I started drawing as a creative outlet in 2021, and birds are my favorite animal. My love for birds started early when my grandpa used to call me "Heather Feather," and growing up, I had a pet cockatiel named Birdie. Birds also appear in my marketing company Vogel Venture (vogel means "bird" in German), where I take a strategic bird's eye approach to connect companies and their customers.
I'm motivated not only by the flow and peace I get when I am drawing but also by unleashing a part of myself that isn't tied to typical business metrics. The journey with my birds has brought me so much joy, and I hope it does the same for others. My goal is to spread joy one bird at a time.🙂
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Writing, illustrating, and publishing my first children's book, Little Birdie Buddies of Minnesota was a huge milestone. During my corporate career, I thought there was only one way to grow, and that was up. What got acknowledged, celebrated, and rewarded was climbing the ladder. After starting my marketing business, I realized quickly that the growth wasn't just northward bound. Growth meant expanding in all directions, and I was growing in ways I couldn't imagine and using muscles I didn't even know I had. And expansive growth has been so much more rewarding than linear growth, not to mention more fun.
My experience in entrepreneurship has been the biggest journey of self-discovery. And it has also unlocked creativity that has been dormant and buried underneath all of the energy it took to navigate corporate politics and toxic workplace environments. Without the weight of that nonsense, I've been able to tap into parts of myself that have come to life because there is space for new growth. I'm learning myself in new and profound ways, which includes drawing birds and listening to my heart when the idea of a children's book starts growing.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the toughest things to do as a business owner is to set and honor boundaries. Since the work we do is what we love, it's very easy to let it consume every second. Yet what helps to unlock our creativity and be at our best is when we are able to put the work aside and explore the other parts of who we are. We are all so much more than what we get paid to do. Keeping that knowing as my center of truth has changed the way I approach life in general.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Always be learning! Opportunities to grow and expand are all around us, and when you continue to approach the business with a beginner's mind, you can stay open and eager to new ideas, concepts, and approaches, which are where the sparks of creativity begin.
- Ask for help when you need it. The humans in your life want to help and support you, and the entrepreneurial community is made up of the most generous people I know. Amazing things happen when you are brave and honest enough to ask for what you need. And then always pay it forward when others need you.
- Start and end with this question. What sets your soul on fire? Following the answer to this question is the only navigation tool you need.
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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