Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Bradley Denis, owner of Carolina Commons, located in Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a creative coach and consultant. I created Carolina Commons to generate space for individuals and communities to safely explore creativity, vulnerability, and play. While we do work with professional creatives, we primarily exist to support personal and professional growth in populations who don't often think of themselves as creative–especially young people transitioning into adulthood who want to build confidence, presence, and communication skills.
I also host a podcast called The Quotidian (www.thequotidianpod.com), focusing on the intersection of creativity and everyday life. It is a great source of inspiration from a wide variety of creative experts.
Tell us about yourself
My background is in theatrical performance and design, where I worked, taught, and toured the globe. My favorite parts of that creative process were the rehearsals and workshops, where I was able to play and dream without limits. In that safe space, one can be vulnerable and imaginative, which are the key ingredients to confident creativity, innovation, and novel problem-solving.
I decided to create a coaching and consulting business that focused solely on that presence-based experience to help people break through to new personal and professional insights and improve their daily lives.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Seeing my students and clients move on to success provides me with the greatest sense of accomplishment and informs me that my work is not only beneficial but necessary. In particular, I derive a huge sense of satisfaction when young people gain confidence and the skills to bring their whole selves to their endeavors. What a thrill!
As many readers will be aware, thought-leaders like Brené Brown have brought ideas around vulnerability and creative problem-solving into the mainstream. This work builds on those tools to help individuals and teams gain a broader sense of the power that comes from being open and being seen. From there, the sky is the limit.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As with many creative types, I struggle with the nuts and bolts of daily business maintenance. It is humbling to learn where I am deficient in certain business skills. But I've learned that delegation allows me to focus on my strengths, giving others who love tackling these organizational tasks the chance to thrive. Win-win!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Dream large–you need to know where you're going. What's the big picture? It's the dream that dictates all the other work. Don't forget to daydream without limits. The limits will come later, trust me.
- Develop an amazing team. Work with people whom you like, and trust their expertise. Don't try to do everything on your own. You gain valuable skills as a leader when you identify the strengths of others. Practice this and praise often!
- Remember to revise your goals. Goals tarnish over time. Make sure your targets are still relevant to you and your markets.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Part of my work as a consultant involves helping people move out of limiting psychological frameworks into new perspectives and solutions. If you feel stuck, I offer free consultations to assist in re-imagining and re-working in and out of problem spaces. I would love to start a conversation and hear about your work. I love meeting people and learning about their lives and their work.
Reach out, and let's solve some problems together!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.