Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Karen Khounthavong, Founder of Karen Khoun Design and Photography, located in Portland, OR, USA.

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

I produce creative, fast-paced, fun web design and brand photography for Multi-Hyphenate Entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Tell us about yourself

I got started in design because I used to collect magazines — my childhood bedroom was lined with magazines. I would read any kind, no matter the topic. I realized I could make magazines as a career. I went to school for communication design and even worked at Sagacity Media for a bit. What motivates me to do this every day is getting to help my clients communicate themselves visually and align their businesses and missions to their websites, potentially solving pain points in their businesses as well.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is working with mentors I admire and being on a first-name basis with people I really respect in this industry. I have such a fun job that allows me to connect with so many different people, making work feel like a dream.

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

The mental and emotional gymnastics of handling the highs and lows and unpredictability and problem-solving EVERYTHING. I like to work alone, and learning to ask for help and hire people was so helpful, but also hard to let myself delegate tasks and learn new skills quickly.

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

First, try to maintain that beginner mindset. There is always something new to learn, no matter your skill level. Second, find your people inside and outside of work. It's nice to know someone has your back when you are working really hard on your business. You also need people to remind you that breaks and not talking/thinking/working about business are important. Lastly, I recommend reading as many business, finance, mindset, and creativity books as you can get your hands on while you try to find your support. It's a great way to remind yourself of all the things you have learned, and it's also like having your hype crew accessible at any time.

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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