Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with David Ebner, President of Content Workshop, located in Clearwater, FL, USA.

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

We’re a storytelling content marketing agency that helps small, overworked marketing teams in transformative industries reach business goals using content.

Our customers span a variety of industries. While we develop content for several tech companies in the data security, software, and web development industries, we also create content for the recreation, leisure, healthcare, and non-profit industries. Good storytelling is industry agnostic, but we enjoy working with people looking to transform an established industry or build a new vertical with first-to-market ideas.

Tell us about yourself

I started Content Workshop in 2013 while I was a graduate student studying for my Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing. I spent my entire educational career honing my writing and storytelling skills and noticed that these skills were not just transferable but were optimal for success in copywriting and content marketing.
I started gathering fellow creative writing graduate students and graphic designers to form a co-op of freelancers, and we formed a company. Since then, we’ve added project managers, strategists, animators, multi-media designers, and others with creative backgrounds.

Since the day Content Workshop was born, it’s been my mission to build a place where artists can come together to apply their art commercially. We want to help artists make a living on their craft, and content marketing is a fantastic way for us to achieve that goal. I’m motivated by helping artists find financial freedom and helping brands tell their stories to the world.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Survival is my biggest accomplishment to date. Through a global pandemic and a lot of market uncertainty, we’ve been able to shift with our environment to remain relevant. I was the only full-time employee of Content Workshop for a long time, and in those days, we could handle a lot of bumps in the road. But as we’ve grown, our business has become responsible for providing dozens of families the financial security they need.

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

I think transitioning from a tactician to a leader is one of the hardest things a business owner will encounter. Most entrepreneurs build a business around a skill they have and how marketable that skill is. As your business grows, the best use of your time shifts away from that original skill and toward leading people to accomplish a broader mission.

Leadership is not an inherent skill that people unintentionally acquire; it’s a learned skill that takes years to develop and an eternity to improve. Many entrepreneurs can’t transition from tactician to leader, and that’s why many of the world's most successful business founders reach a ceiling and sell or simply hire someone to take over their company’s leadership.

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

My first tip for someone looking to start, run, and grow a business is to move away from only selling your time. Your most valued resource is your time, and it’s not scalable. You need to find a way to turn yourself into two people, then three, four, and so on. This is where the transition from tactician to leader comes into play.

My second tip would be to scale with contractors. There are millions of very skilled individuals out there looking for side work. Hiring employees too early can extend your liabilities past your revenue. Contract labor can ebb and flow with your revenue. Working with contractors over employees is often less expensive and less risky. Of course, there are situations where an employee is the best path, but I’d challenge any entrepreneur to think twice before hiring.

My last tip is to operate with transparency. Clear and concise communication with your team members and clients can save you a lot of stress and keep your company running efficiently. Be direct with your team, and be organized. Use agendas for meetings and take prolific notes. Years in the future, you’ll want those notes. Building more efficient processes means more profit, but you can’t build that future through a solid foundation of transparency.

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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