Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in music education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kiyoshi Shelton, Founder of Kiyoshi Music, located in Ypsilanti, MI, USA.

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

My business is Kiyoshi Music. I coach people of all levels: from beginners who've never flowed before to professionals. I teach others how to find creative liberation through their voice and performance from the page to life's stage, using the art of vocal expression/flowetry as a tool for personal self-development to break through fears and limited beliefs with coaching methods I've used personally over the decades. I teach online courses and 1-on-1 private coaching and am available for workshops and consultations. My primary customers who I coach are CEOs, brand influencers, doctors, psychologists, business owners, teachers, musicians, and others on their path to vocal empowerment and freedom.

Tell us about yourself

I first got started working on my business in 2016. I've been making music, rapping, and singing for over 20 years (since the late 1990s). My good friend and music collaborator Krista Richards is a vocal coach. She convinced me to begin rap coaching and teach others how to freestyle, rap, and write songs. I started believing in myself more and more as client after client would express how transformative my 1:1 private sessions are/were. I eventually created an online course during the pandemic called "Expand Your Expression" after a student of mine suggested I should. I've witnessed a lot of growth in my students and clients over the past 5 years, and it's been a wonderful journey I plan to continue. Seeing people more fully expressed and breaking through their fears and self-judgment keeps me motivated. I love supporting others in freeing their voices through freestyle, rap flow, and voice activation. It's a unique niche that is more than just rap... It's pure medicine. I've had countless students tell me my coaching and courses have helped them release songs and begin to believe in their abilities even more! It's empowering and such an honor.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is helping multiple clients gain the courage to freestyle on big stages in front of others and release their own music.

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

Learning super effective marketing strategies to attract more clients.

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

  1. Stay driven. Consistency, focus, action, and discipline are all KEY!
  2. Don't procrastinate. NOW is the time to get after your goals!
  3. Have a PLAN and execute!

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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