Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nina Hart, founder of Writing from the Top of Your Head, located in Asheville, NC, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm the founder of "Writing from the Top of your Head" workshops, which have helped to free many writers from the shackles of perfectionism. I'm passionate about helping artists find their voice and reclaim the hooligan kid spirit that most people have buried under an "adult" veneer.
My clients are what I would call "heartbroken artists" because they suffer from shame and vulnerability around writing or sharing their work. They've often shut their creativity down due to criticism they've suffered in their arts education. They have a deep calling to create, and it makes me happy to see so many artists move forward to tell the brave stories only they are meant to tell.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a short story author, performer, Kaizen-Muse creativity coach, first draft book coach, and Gateless Method writing teacher. My first collection of short stories, "Somewhere in a Town You Never Knew Existed Somewhere," was selected as a finalist in Foreword Reviews' IndieFab Book of the Year Awards. Writing from the Top of Your Head was a seed that sprung up in 2014 and was based on a quote by Emily Dickinson, who said, "It should feel like the top of your head is open...that is poetry." I'd had my own experience where I allowed myself to unlearn all I'd been taught in order to be a "good" writer and found awe and freedom on the other side. After I studied to be a creativity coach, I combined the two experiences together, and the curriculum was born. Every day I'm motivated to do what I do because it gives me great joy to watch clients grow into their true selves. I'm a natural and wholehearted cheerleader and feel an enthusiasm for my clients that comes through like a message from the stars – urging them forward. A student called me "the fairy godmother of people's unlived artist lives," and yes – I think that's my job. I'm also a natural-born clown. If you can't laugh at yourself and laugh while you're creating, I don't see the point. The best material comes from that wacky unleashed place of freedom. We need so much more of that freedom in the world.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a creative entrepreneur with ADHD, I'm proud of myself for creating work and a life that fits who I am. I've never fit well into typical work situations, and I'm so grateful to be able to live my life on my terms. It has not been easy, but I've persisted and have watched the powerful impact this curriculum has had on children, teens, adults, and the elderly. I'm currently developing a facilitator training program, so this creative freedom can be spread so much further, and fellow artists will be able to find gainful and fulfilling employment within a creative field.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Again, as a creative entrepreneur with ADHD, I've struggled with executive function, planning, and structure. And then there are the financial ups and downs of any business. I've learned to trust the process, believe in myself, follow the joy, and keep things as simple as possible. Most of all, I've learned to ask for help. I believe in a good virtual assistant, hiring a good coach, and having the courage to reach out to your network because we all have people in our lives who want to be there for us. We can have the courage to ask them to be allies in growing our businesses.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be daring. Believe in yourself and what you have to offer!
- Ask for help! You can't do it alone.
- Be willing to step out of your comfort zone every day, but remember. Small steps are best!
- Make time for rest!
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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