Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tracie Kendziora, Founder of Okay, Okapi, located in Cape Canaveral, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a book coach and editor, which sounds an awful lot like I'm just sitting over here reading all day. Sort of true — but I'm also carefully reading manuscripts for things like flow, pacing, inconsistencies, authority, and opportunities to pump up the author's voice (my favorite thing to do!).
I work with first-time authors (established authors, too) who are working on voice-driven, prescriptive nonfiction manuscripts. A lot of my clients need help finding their voice — and translating that to the page so their book is more readable and packed with personality. (I also love working with clients who speak my love languages: sarcasm and a dark sense of humor.)
Tell us about yourself
A big motivator for me is feeling like I'm truly making an impact. I love hearing from clients who feel like they finally have permission to write the way they want to write, in a voice that reflects who they really are. That means a lot to me. And let's be honest: Getting shoutouts in a book's acknowledgments always feels amazing.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Publishing my own book was a huge accomplishment. Even though "writing a book" was always a dream, even though I filled notebooks with ideas, even though I told everyone I wanted to write a book, I just wasn't doing it. I don't know that I ever would have if I hadn't immersed myself in the world of publishing and book coaching — and surrounded myself with a supportive community.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Two things come to mind: The first is obviously the pressure to do (or want to do) everything! Business owners wear so many hats, right?! But I've also struggled with balancing my time between my clients' creative pursuits and mine. (Absolutely one reason it took me so long to cross "write a book" off my bucket list!)
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't feel like you have to do everything! You really don't have to be on every social media platform (or any, let's be honest...) or experiment with all the newest strategies or say yes to every opportunity that comes your way.
- Learning how to outsource is huge, too — even if it's small things to start. But the sooner you get comfortable giving up control (just a little bit!) and trusting other people to help you, the easier your life will be. And the more time you'll have actually to run — and grow — your business.
- But maybe the most important thing is to have fun. We start businesses because we're tired of working for someone else, dreading Monday mornings, and enduring a dreadful commute. But sometimes, we transform into the worst boss imaginable — and that defeats the entire purpose of doing your own thing.
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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