Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Terra Rathai, Owner of Earth Girl LLC., located in Minneapolis, MN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am an artist focused on modern nature and landscape photography, as well as a specialist in garden photography. My customers appreciate the contemplative beauty of my photographs and the way that my work helps them to slow down and appreciate the beauty in their everyday lives.
I also own a service business called Earth Girl Creative which offers a range of services from photography and content creation to social media management, branding, and web design, as well as writing and editing. My customers are mostly small business owners like local restaurants and other creatives, artisan food companies, jewelry designers, and floral designers - people who appreciate my aesthetic and benefit from the efficiency of working with someone who can do a little bit of everything to support their business.
Tell us about yourself
I've always been a creative person drawn to the power of beauty. I started out studying Art History and later added an English degree. Becoming a photographer and artist was something of an accident. I started playing around taking pictures after our first child was born - I had a camera with me all the time and was always taking pictures of him! Then I spontaneously decided to undertake a 365 project in 2010, and I started a blog where I shared one photo each day and wrote about it. That was a life-changing experience that set me on this trajectory.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The courage to start it in the first place! I've learned a lot since starting my own business over 10 years ago. I taught myself everything - photography, graphic design, marketing and branding, web design, social media, all kinds of technology, product design, etc. Now I'm in a position to help others with the skills I've gained over the past decade while combining a love of beauty and even using my English degree to work as a writer! When you own your own business, everything is an accomplishment, especially if you're a sole proprietor like me.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a multipassionate creative type, I have an abundance of ideas. It's really hard to be disciplined about pursuing a single goal or strategy and not being distracted by the next idea, the "fun" part of launching and creating something new. Not having anyone to tell me what to do is great and also crippling sometimes to have to make all the decisions on my own.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Choose something you really care about that you'll enjoy working on for a long time to come. Be ready to learn, stretch, be uncomfortable, struggle, doubt yourself, and persevere. Having a strong commitment to the work and clarity of purpose will help see you through when things are tough. Be flexible but focused. Plan A won't always work out. More often than not, you'll need to try a variety of things or adjust your approach, product, or plan. It can be difficult, but try to stay focused on the core objective while being flexible in your actions.
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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