Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dan Gerstein, CEO of Gotham Ghostwriters, located in New York, NY, USA.

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

Gotham Ghostwriters is the country's premier ghostwriting agency. With more than 3,200 editorial specialists in our network — and connections to a larger universe of 20,000 freelance pros — we have the unparalleled ability to find the right writing partner for any given client's priorities.

And through our extensive industry relationships with literary agents, publishers, media outlets, and PR and marketing consultants, we can also help you find the right publishing path for your stories, getting you the most impact for your ideas. Our clients include C-suite executives, tech entrepreneurs, heads of major advocacy groups, a wide range of business and lifestyle experts, and other thought leaders.

Tell us about yourself

I have been working at the intersection of ideas and communications for 30+ years. I started out as a newspaper reporter before becoming a speechwriter and communications strategist on Capitol Hill. After I left Washington, I became a consultant working mostly with issue advocacy groups. Over time, many friends in PR and politics came to me asking for help writing speeches and op-eds. I didn't have time to do it myself, so as a favor, I would introduce them to my other freelance writer friends. I didn't mind making those intros at all -- I am a natural-born connector. But it kept happening, and after about the 20th time, it dawned on me that this was a unique business opportunity for me. There was something missing in the marketplace, a way for demand for high-level writing could efficiently and safely find the right match, and I was in an ideal position to help solve it. That was the inspiration behind Gotham Ghostwriters. What continues to motivate me more than 10 years later is the same thing that sustained me in politics -- I get to help people by solving problems.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Developing a new business model from scratch and turning it into a respected and sustainable agency with a strong track record of success.

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

Hiring by far. It's a challenge for most small agency owners in the comms biz, but it's especially difficult for us given how niche our service is and how few people in book publishing have an entrepreneurial spark.

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

  1. Know the value you deliver to your customers and always have that as your north star.
  2. Know your competition, what your comparative advantage is, and how to communicate that to potential customers.
  3. Know what you don't know and build a circle of advisors and vendors to help fill in the gaps.

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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