Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Katy Palmer, copywriter and editor for creative businesses based in Redondo Beach, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm an LA-based copywriter and editor for creative service-based businesses and the SaaS tools they love.
Tell us about yourself.
I've always been a writer at my core and knew I wanted to pursue that as a career. A couple of years after graduating from film school, I worked as an executive assistant. I pitched the idea of remote work to my boss. It was a novel idea back then.
I used the time I saved from commuting to research how to become a freelancer and connect with others online. I worked from home starting one day a week until I was home almost the entire week. I eventually said goodbye in 2015 to pursue freelance writing full-time.
I was both exhilarated and terrified. But the same things that motivated me then still drive me and my work today. I'm passionate about helping creative small businesses succeed. I'm determined to use my writing and communication skills to make a living. And I love assisting others to uncover and share their stories.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
There are so many milestones I'm proud of as a freelance business owner. The most impactful is the fact that I'm still in the game. There have been many sidetracks and bumps in the road, but almost eight years later, I still get to make an impact with brands and people I admire.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Loneliness is one of the hardest things you sign up for as a business owner. I'm an introvert who loves rejuvenating with alone time. But I need social time with peers, colleagues, and friends to feed my creativity, ask for help, laugh with, and generally add joy to my work life.
I dedicate energy every year to building relationships with other freelancers and creatives who help support me. That's been mostly through in-person gatherings and meetups. Lots of hangouts have gone virtual lately, and that works too. But no matter how many co-working sessions, networking events, conferences, or coffee chats you attend, you still go home and run your business alone.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Work on your mindset. When you start a freelance business, you are both the CEO and the employee. There is no time for negative self-talk. If you haven't had a hiccup in your confidence yet, keep doing what you're doing and put some practices in place for when it happens. If you know what it's like to live in self-doubt, start writing down those thoughts so you can address them head-on. Ask for help if you need to. Your business depends on your ability to believe in your offering and mission. If you don't, you can't ask anyone else to.
- Connect with people. Other people will be your biggest cheerleaders, confidants, and liferafts through the ups and downs. Connect meaningfully and often. Follow and engage with other business owners who share your values. Remember that they're going it alone too, and it's ok to reach out to check in, share a cool thing you found, or offer a compliment. They may need you as much as you need them.
- Focus on your enough number and ideal workweek to craft a sustainable business model — Figure out what your "enough" number is to live. Map out how you'd like to spend your time and energy each week (don't forget your sales, marketing, and admin time) to ensure you don't burn out. Then, plan out the products or services you can offer within that timeframe that align with your skills, experiences, and passions. (Huge shoutout to Jen Carrington for this tip! It's a game-changer if you're looking to avoid burnout.)
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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