Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kaitlyn Scoville, Founder of Come (Out) as You Are, located in Oshkosh, WI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Come (Out) as You Are is a passion project of mine that showcases LGBTQ folks' coming out stories for others to read and understand what they've gone through to be who they truly are: out, proud and safe to be who they are.
While some people think their stories seem "boring" or "uninteresting," they all deserve to be heard. Coming out is among the largest hurdles a queer person has to overcome in their lifetime -- oftentimes happening more than once -- and I believe having a platform to spotlight everyone's resilience is the best way for the public to understand why coming out is so important to any queer person.
Tell us about yourself
COAYA began as a blog for me to showcase the skills of interviewing, reporting, and storytelling I've gathered while studying journalism in college. I started it shortly after I graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh in December 2020 and have had a wonderful time connecting with people all across the world to hear their stories and paths to happiness. Since then, I've connected with my dear friend and colleague Robyn, who has been a tremendous help in keeping the website at the capacity it's at now.
What motivates me to keep going is knowing that the content Robyn and I make is positively impacting those who visit Come (Out) as You are. We are here to foster a safe online environment for folks who want to learn more about sexualities or instances of coming out or for those who may need a push to come out themselves. Just a few months after I started regularly posting on the blog, a close friend of mine came to me and said my blog helped them come out to their family, and I will never forget that. Though it isn't apparent every day that we're making a difference, I know it has been and will continue to do so.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think the biggest accomplishment I've done for the sake of the blog is to move it to its own platform to be its own identity. After starting it out on Substack, I decided I wanted it to be more than just a newsletter.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
While this is merely a passion project, one of the most difficult things that have come with keeping Come (Out) as You Are running is balancing it with my full-time work. The reward of having new connections and valuable stories to tell is what keeps me going.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- If you have a passion and see yourself finding joy from doing it, don't let it sit by the wayside. Be the Marie Kondo of business.
- Make sure to leave time for yourself. Self-care is critical in a time like now. But it doesn't have to be a scheduled time; if you need to step back and take a mental health day with no notice, don't let your work stop you. It will still be there.
- Don't lose sight of what your original goals were.
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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