Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marcia Yudkin, Founder of Creative Ways, located in Goshen, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I publish a weekly newsletter called Introvert UpThink, which analyzes how quiet people who enjoy being on their own are misunderstood and maligned in our society. My customers are people who want to better understand themselves or those close to them, along with understanding confusing situations that come up in the media and in everyday life. My goal is to make the world safer and more welcoming for introverts.
Tell us about yourself
I've had three major business shifts. After briefly teaching at the college level and concluding that that wasn't the life I wanted, I became a successful freelance writer for magazines. Once my first book came out, and I learned how to promote my work, I morphed into a marketing and publicity consultant. Recently I shifted my emphasis to my longstanding exploration of issues affecting introverts. Throughout, I maintained a solo business, working from home decades before that was fashionable.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'm proud that I developed an audience while holding to values of integrity, unfashionable truths, and excellence no matter what. People still following me now who got to know me in the 1990s.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a business owner, you're responsible for everything, including technical stuff, finances, and marketing results. I've depended heavily on getting advice from peers in online forums and email lists, and I've shared my knowledge in those venues, too. When specialized problems come up, I have paid numerous experts for their valuable help.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Be careful accepting guidelines as truth even if highly successful people confidently say they're inescapable. For example, many gurus claim you can't earn above a certain threshold unless you hire employees. I had never done so. You also don't need to pretend you're a conventionally likable person - outgoing, enthusiastic, friendly, and always accessible. You can successfully be yourself - even a grouchy recluse. And bigger is not necessarily better. You can build a human-sized, person-to-person business that completely meets your financial and personal needs while dealing almost exclusively with the type of people you most enjoy.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Question the "musts" you hear. For instance, you must be on social media! But if you don't enjoy it, if you don't like its prevailing vibes, don't do it. I've never blogged, and I don't do Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
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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