Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in coaching, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Gina Clark of Gina Clark Creative, based in Kenora, Ontario, Canada.
What's your business and who are your customers?
Gina Clark Creative is an online community that provides creative resources and coaching for people looking to ignite their creativity.
I especially love to help my fellow left-brained creatives and analytic artists and believe that embracing your creativity is the ultimate act of self-care. I help creatives and artists with everything from deepening a painting practice, to developing a business, or just being more creative in day-to-day life.
Tell us about yourself
About 5 years ago, I was struggling. On the surface, everything seemed fine. I had a good marriage, three hilarious kids, and a comfortable home in a nice neighbourhood. But I was exhausted from doing all the things—irritated and stressed by everything on my plate.
I was always running to and from something. Work. Hockey games. Errands. In-laws. Life felt like a game of ping-pong. My anxiety only worsened as I repeatedly admonished myself to exercise more, eat better, meditate, and leave room for a social life.
If you had told me to add anything else, I would’ve politely told you to shove it up your a**.
In my quest to do everything, I ended up resenting every bit of it. I had made a lot of choices that didn’t come from the heart. My ongoing need to look and feel responsible was suffocating my joy. “WTH?” I remember thinking one day. “This isn’t me.”
I have a degree in Art History! As a third-grader, I was checking out books on Rembrandt. Like so many other women I work with as a creativity coach, I’ve never felt like I belonged with the corporate 9-5 crew. But I also didn’t feel like I belonged in the art world. While I’ve lurked at the edges, I didn’t see myself as an artist.
So I slowed down. Got quiet. I played with paint, began writing, and even tried my hand at weaving. Then something unexpectedly wonderful happened...I learned creativity was the missing piece to my joy. I realized I'm a left-brained analytic creative with the soul of a poet.
Now I want to demystify the creative process and turn it into something that’s just for you. I want to help people return to the part of them that always loved art but had it stamped out by the world. I'm that trusted creativity guide by your side who makes making something feel like play again.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Not being afraid to be visible and sharing my creations with the world. The thought of showing myself or using social media was terrifying to me when I started. Now I want to get my message out to as many people as possible.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Having to do all the things. I've had to become, if not an expert, at least proficient at marketing, copywriting, web design and maintenance, public speaking, bookkeeping, email and social marketing, SEO, pitching and contracting. The list goes on.
What are the top 3 tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
1. Just start! You don't have to know it all to start. You just need to start taking action. You will be amazed where you are in a year.
2. Outsource as soon as you are able to - use your time to work in your zone of genius, whatever that is.
3. Invest in yourself and learn as much as you can, but don't get stuck in student mode. You have to move forward before you feel ready.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Starting a business was the best thing I've done for myself in a long time. It's hard and there's not a lot of profit yet, but it's so rewarding, I can't imagine ever not being an entrepreneur now!
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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