Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in music but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Hannah Harris, Founder of Hannah Harris Ceol, located in Alma, MI, USA.

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

I perform and teach traditional Irish fiddle music. On the performance side, my customers are those who enjoy listening to and learning about this genre, and on the teaching side, I work primarily with adult fiddlers who are looking to develop a real feel for Irish traditional music in their playing.

Tell us about yourself

I started my business on the side while working in retail. I knew ultimately I wanted music to be my career, but being fresh out of grad school, I had no idea which direction I wanted to take that in. My life took me to a small town in northern Michigan, and while that felt very isolating at times, after a lot of mindset work, I realized I could turn to the online space to reach my people. This started as online lessons + an email list and gradually turned into crowdfunding and launching my debut album, then turning to the online course space to reach more students. My students and the Irish music community at large motivate me to show up each day -- I love connecting with all the amazing people in this community and being a part of it all!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being a business owner has honestly helped me find my way in the world. It has tested my weaknesses and given me the opportunity to confront those head-on, and it's given me an avenue to develop my strengths. Owning a business and not always knowing the answer but going for it anyway has given me a strength of character that I'm proud of and am not entirely sure I would have developed otherwise.

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

Owning your responsibility -- when you're a one-woman show, you're responsible for how you show up, how you serve your customers, and how you make all the decisions, big and small. It's a lot to keep track of, and you won't make everyone happy. But even on the hard days, staying true to your values and acting with grace and integrity makes those hard days much easier to bear.

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

  1. Listen to your customers, and be willing to pivot what you offer so that it's sustainable for you and serves your people well!
  2. If you're feeling stuck, the best action is to move -- it will either be the right next step, or it will give you clarity on what you don't want to do.
  3. Protect your time and energy so you can best serve the people who need what you have to offer! You can't pour from an empty cup.

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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