Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Katy Collins, Founder of Capitola Surf and Paddle, located in Capitola, CA, USA.

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

We are a surf and stand-up paddle school offering beginner to advanced lessons and coaching. Our customers are locals and visitors alike looking to play outside, challenge themselves physically, and invigorate themselves mentally in the elements of the sea.

Tell us about yourself

I've been playing in the ocean since I was in my mom's belly. I've always been connected with nature, and I've always wanted to share and spread that connection to others for the well-being of our own livelihoods and this planet at large. I've worked a wide variety of jobs in sports recreation, outdoor education, emergency medical services, and the surf industry to build a well-rounded background that would enable me to run a successful business. I love to be outside immersed in nature, so I am grateful every day to do what I do and spread the stoke.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Our biggest accomplishment is what we do on a daily basis: provide a high-quality service where we strive to make peoples' days--potentially memories of a lifetime, and connect people with nature.

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

Being able to turn off. As a business owner, it is a privilege to be able to set your own schedule; however, it can be extremely difficult to get work off the brain. It is important to remember to be present, especially with friends and family, and take time to balance out your work and social calendars.

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

  1. Do what you love because running a business takes a lot of time and energy, so you might as well enjoy what you do!
  2. Go for it! We often wait for the right time and enough experience before embarking on a great challenge like running a business. But truly, there is no right time like the present if the passion is there. The growth and learning potential that will come with running your own business is incredibly rewarding.
  3. Provide the best customer service you possibly can, and strive to make every day a good day.

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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