Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in freelancing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Meg Kende, Founder of Moniker Creative, located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business is freelance writing and instructional design for education-focused companies, such as SaaS businesses that support K-12 schools, educational non-profits, EdTech groups that create learning materials and tools for teachers and students, higher education institutions, and marketing agencies that service colleges and universities. I also support businesses in other industries that may run a particular program or initiative in K-12 schools.
Tell us about yourself
I've always been "the writer." Whether to friends, family, classmates, or colleagues, if someone needed something written, read over, or edited, I've been that person. In college, though I majored in writing, I couldn't fathom that going into the business of writing could be a fruitful career. It took me ten years to figure it out! Ultimately, my background in writing and education has allowed me to deliver valuable content to my clients, and I'm motivated by memories of my students and school communities, my own high standards, and really great clients working on really great initiatives in the world of teaching and learning.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
When I transitioned away from teaching, the first thing I did was take a much-needed break. Then, when I started building my business, I set a goal for myself to surpass my rate of pay -- not my annual pay, because I wasn't sure that I'd be able to have consistent work all year round -- but my rate of pay within one year. That means I wanted each hour that I spent working to have a higher return than when I was in the classroom. When I met that goal within six months, I was pretty proud. The fact that I loved what I was doing was really important to me, too!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Being a business owner means that if things don't go as planned, you're on the hook. I spend much more time on proposals, pitches, interviews, networking, and my professional materials than in previous career pursuits. And sometimes, all of that hard work leads to a small return. (But often, it leads to consistent, well-paying, fulfilling work — on my terms!) As a business owner, you have to ride the lows as well as the highs, and that can be equally frustrating as it is rewarding.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
If someone out there was looking to start, run, and grow a business today, I'd ask three questions:
- Is the lack of stability worth it to you? When you weigh the downsides of potentially not having consistent work or pay, does the prospect of really building something on your own over time outweigh those factors?
- Is there professional development or experiences that you can engage in while you are still in a stable working situation that might allow you to transition more smoothly? Or, on the flip side, is this a leap of faith for you, and you just know that you're ready?
- Are you comfortable with setting boundaries for yourself and your clients? If you are in control of your own work life, do you predict it to feel overwhelming and burdensome or freeing and manageable? Okay, that was more than three questions, but you get the idea.
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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