Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Aura McKay, Founder of Business of Creativity, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

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

My business is a business and marketing training academy. It offers live and recorded training courses, private coaching, and mastermind groups for photographers, designers, and other freelance creatives.

Tell us about yourself

I was an award-winning international photographer for two decades and was able to launch and grow four entrepreneurial, creative services-based businesses by leaning into my background in marketing communications and financial management. Even with my skills and business knowledge, I was still a reluctant entrepreneur. I didn't want to run a business - I just wanted to get paid to do work I loved.

Other photographers and creatives don't have the advantage of knowing how marketing works and feeling confident with things like pricing and generating profit. They are terrified that they will fail at freelancing and have to get a full-time job. They are consumed by imposter syndrome, overwhelmed by marketing, and are working themselves into the ground.

I know what it is like to try to do everything alone and to never feel like you are good enough or making enough money. I know the pain, depression, and self-doubt. And I know the difference having the right training, support, and community can make. I don't want them to have to do it alone.

Our economy needs ideas, creativity, and innovation like never before. We need our creatives to step into their full potential and thrive. This is not about me. It never was, and it never will be. Creative freelancers need me, and I will not fail them.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is seeing and celebrating the accomplishments and growth of my members and clients. Sure, I've won awards and spoken on stages, closed really big, exciting projects, and met some famous people, and it really is my clients that light me up.

The photographer who is now fully booked four months out and earning six figures a year. The designer who is finally focusing on the work she loves and getting more (and better quality) inquiries than ever before. The illustrator who finally knows their value (and that it is not the same as their self-worth). The multi-passionate easily distracted creative who is able to manage their time and energy to actually get stuff done!

So... maybe, all the 5-star reviews and testimonials are my biggest accomplishment - the feedback from people who have experienced the value of my energy, knowledge, and teaching skills.

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

Uncertainty. Risk. Never knowing for sure. You can do all the training, planning, and research you want. The only way to know FOR SURE is to do something. Test it and try it out. This is super scary. It means taking action when you don't know how things will turn out.

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

  1. Don't do it alone - it is really hard to stay motivated, consistent, and focused all day, every day. Connect with a community, get a coach, find a mentor and network.
  2. Mindset is more important than you think - results come from actions taken or not taken. However, it is your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that determine if you take action or don't take action. Have tools and habits for managing your mindset and living your life by design instead of by default.
  3. It takes longer than you think - a lot of people give up too soon or are really hard on themselves by setting unrealistic or impossible standards. Set yourself up for success by doubling or tripling your time estimates.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

In order to be successful as an entrepreneur, you must have three core beliefs:

  1. The belief that success is actually possible.
  2. The belief that success is possible for YOU.
  3. The belief that success is worth it - worth the work, the worry, and the discomfort.

Being clear on your dreams and WHY they matter goes a long way to establishing these core beliefs.

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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