Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melinda Rothouse, Ph.D., co-founder/owner of Syncreate/Austin Writing Coach, located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a coach, consultant, facilitator, educator, and public speaker focusing on creativity, mindfulness, and career/leadership development. I help individuals and organizations bring their creative visions to life. I am also a musician and photographer, and I lead workshops and retreats both in the US and internationally.
Tell us about yourself
I am a certified coach with a background in education and a Ph.D. in psychology with a specialization in creativity studies. I first started my coaching practice to help writers and creatives bring their ideas out into the world, and then began to branch into creativity and leadership development coaching as well. Before I became a coach, I worked with a couple of career and business coaches to gain clarity on my professional path and to build my business. I found that working with a coach helped me take meaningful action on my goals much faster and more effectively than I was able to on my own. I realized that I loved the coaching model and how it allowed me to work with clients in a deep way to help them realize their dreams.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
In 2021, I co-authored and published a book, Syncreate: A Guide to Navigating the Creative Process for Individuals, Teams, and Communities, with my business partner Charlotte Gullick. Based on our experiences as creatives, educators, and coaches, the book breaks down the creative process into three main phases: Play, Plan, and Produce. Our aim is to demystify the creative process and help people move from start to finish with their creative projects. The book won a Silver Nautilus Award for Creativity and Innovation, which we feel is a wonderful accomplishment.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
There's no specific roadmap for starting your own business because your business is unique to you. So you have to be creative and flexible and know when and how to pivot. In this way, entrepreneurship and creativity go hand in hand. Starting a business is, at heart, a creative act. For example, we spent several years developing an app for creativity that never got off the ground. But then we realized we were both writers and that writing was a sweet spot for us, so we took all the ideas and intellectual property we developed for the app and turned it into a book. So sometimes, you have to try a few different iterations of a business idea before something sticks.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't give up if your first venture doesn't work.
- Find good collaborators.
- Seek out, build, and invite community around your business 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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