Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Samantha Kate Pollack,
Copywriter & Creative Director of Cult of Personality, located in Asheville, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a "humanist" copywriter who creates powerful brand identities and compelling marketing copy for founders, visionaries, service providers, and activists. I believe the work you do for money can serve as the work you do for the world, and I'm out here supporting businesses who believe that, too. I'm on a mission to "do" capitalism in a way that's ethical, kind, inclusive, and profitable for everyone.
Some of my clients include high-profile thought leaders, ethical clothing companies, intersectional therapists, and the company that makes those RBG action figures. I even created the voice, messaging, and sitewide copy for an inclusive athleisure company that ended up on Oprah's Favorite Things. 😳
Tell us about yourself
I started my first blog in 2010 to document my relocation from Boston, MA, to Asheville, NC (think city mouse becomes country mouse, with a snarky New England edge). That was how I found my first writing mentor, Ash Ambirge. I then spent a few years beating my head against the wall and trying to make a health coaching & personal training business work... it didn't work.
BUT what I loved best about that business was all the writing I got to do. I found I had a natural talent for the medium, and so I started blogging & doing some light online marketing for the gym I used to work at. In 2015 I had my "come to Jesus" moment and realized I'd been a writer all along. I got my first full-time writing gig at a yoga/business coaching company and went on to start my own freelancing biz in 2016—right before Trump got elected. :/
I'm motivated by the power of words. I'm so committed to dismantling the patriarchy and untangling all the harmful, exploitative practices baked into modern-day capitalism. For a long time, my whole vibe was this rebel rocker chick spewing middle fingers at the man... but lately, I'm more about creating change from within. I'm just "doing capitalism" better—fairer, kinder, more ethical, more honest... and it's working. My clients are making money without selling out their values. And what's super cool to me is that more and more business owners & marketers are waking up to this, too... it feels like I was a little bit ahead of the curve, but for a long time, I felt really insecure about it because nobody else was talking like this.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
This is so cliché, but my husband was working in this super toxic therapy practice, and he was able to quit in January 2021. Me & my business supported us for nearly two years so he could recover from burnout and start his own practice. I had a real feminist boner about it. :)
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Gosh. I'm not sure if this is a "business owner" thing or a writer thing, but for me, it's the imposter syndrome (or whatever we're calling it these days). I can get really crippled by self-doubt, and it affects everything from the quality of my work to the way I show up in sales calls to my sleep, energy levels, and focus. It's something I still struggle with constantly, but I just try to be honest about it and remember to do things that help... like reading feedback from my clients or just taking a day or two off.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- There is SO MUCH NOISE out here. It's good to seek out help, but remember; you don't have to do anything anyone else says. Trust your instincts.
- You don't have to niche right away. You can do all the things and then figure out what your niche is after you have more experience.
- Your first 6 figures can be a fun milestone but don't forget to connect your financial aspirations to the life you actually want to have. You don't have to strive for something just because it's what the "cool kids" are doing. ;)
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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