Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Christina & Jason Szilagyis, History communicators, based in Saginaw, MI, USA.

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

We are History communicators, by which I mean we seek to explain the history and the historical context of current events in an interesting and understandable way. In that way, our potential customers are everyone because everyone should have the basic knowledge of history to understand the importance of current events and the reasons why they occur as they do.

Tell us about yourself

Jason and I are both historians and adjunct professors, so we started the podcast and blog as a way to expand our discussions about history beyond the classroom. We're motivated by the belief that a better general understanding of history will lead to a better present and future for humanity.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

We're still in (relatively) early days with HwtS, so I can't really point to any major accomplishments. We are proud of the fact, however, that we are one of the most-downloaded podcasts on our network, the BQN.

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

Because HwtS is a side business, the most difficult thing can often be making sure to set the time to do the work. As adjuncts, we already have to piece together part-time and contract positions to make ends meet, and because of that, we're often teaching twice what a full-timer's full load of classes would be, so it can be tough to prioritize the podcast/blog. But it's worth it when we get feedback from people who tell us they both enjoy it and learn from it.

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

I can't recall who said this first, so I can't cite it, but it's true: "Find a need and fill it." Do something that others are not, or do it differently than others do.

Be consistent, and this is important, especially for something like a blog or podcast that people get used to consuming on a regular basis. It doesn't take too many skipped episodes for people to stop listening or reading.

Don't make things more complicated or difficult than necessary. (That's also good advice for life in general).

Bonus tip (because this is something I learned in my years of retail rather than what I'm doing now): don't let rude or unreasonable customers (or people in general) stop you from doing what's right. There will always be people who won't like what you're doing, and many of them will feel the need to tell you about it. If it's not constructive or useful criticism, ignore it.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Jason and I hear from so many people, "I hated history in school, but I love it now." Be willing to revisit things at different points in your life, and you might just enjoy the thing you hated a decade ago.

The over-emphasis on STEM in the last few decades has made it so that the humanities are left aside and deemed unimportant, even derided in places. Human society needs historians just as much as it needs mathematicians; these are not just academic subjects but are the basis of so many things that influence day-to-day life.

To quote a poster from the University of Utah's humanities department that has become a meme, "Science can teach you how to clone a dinosaur; the humanities will teach you why it's a bad idea."

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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