Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Catherine Nikkel, bestselling author, based in Toronto , ON, Canada.

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

I am a writer and bestselling author who specializes in ghostwriting books, blogs, and emails. I've authored 14 books for clients to date—including memoirs, biographies, and business books—and thousands of blogs and emails for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and influencers.

I truly believe everyone has a story to tell. Drawing upon my background as a former social worker, my goal is to empower people to use their voices to make an impact—within themselves, in their relationships, and in their communities.

Tell us about yourself

In my mid-thirties, unexpected medical challenges forced me to examine where my career was going. My passion for storytelling and a desire to help people amplify their voices allowed me to walk away from 15 years in social work to pursue my dream of writing. Sure, I was apprehensive, but my professional experience had taught me that this test would lead to my testimony.

People’s stories fascinate me. The ones that really happen and the endless versions we tell ourselves. When I help clients tell their stories, we get up close and personal. So I can get to the heart of what they really need to say and the unique way their soul wants to say it. Then, we’ve got the start of something magical! This is what motivates me.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As far as "selfish accomplishments go," to date, I have been featured in numerous publications, including Forbes, HuffPost, Yahoo!, Authority Magazine, and Thrive Global, and podcasts such as H.E.A.L. Her and Unicorns Unite. I am a four-time nominee for the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards, which spotlights Canada’s most accomplished and impactful women.

However, as much as these are things I worked hard for, the biggest accomplishments for me are when clients are happy with the work they've received. Especially when they give feedback such as "Wow, this sounds just like me," or "I really felt heard." It's these moments that matter the most.

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

One of the hardest things when it comes to being a business owner is the voice in your head on the days that things get tough, suggesting you just give up. It is, without question, a challenging path to walk, but the reward of helping others helps to silence those voices. (The reward and great support circles help.)

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

The top 3 things I suggest for anyone looking to start, run and grow a business are:

  1. Seek out mentorship and supportive communities. It can feel very lonely at times, and it's these two things that have helped tremendously.
  2. Know who you want to serve and speak directly to them. Your ideal customer or client persona is what will help your business grow and become overall a sustainable one.
  3. Get uncomfortable. Challenge yourself. Ask all of the questions. Tell more stories. Go all in.

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.