Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ricki Heller, editor, writer, and a coach based in Maple, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a book coach and editor. I will help you write your first book! From finding your "big idea" and how to write about it to power through the writing process with consistency and motivation, right up to the final developmental edits, our work will allow you to produce a complete manuscript that is ready for publication.
Tell us about yourself
With a Ph.D. in English and a background in teaching English at the college level, I've always loved writing and editing. About 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with a debilitating health condition and ended up studying holistic nutrition as a result. That allowed me to regain my health, which led to a new career as a health coach. When the pandemic hit, I realized how much I missed writing and helping others to achieve their best writing, too, so I pivoted again and began "Dr. Ricki" book coaching. I love seeing entrepreneurs blossom as writers, even when they don't think they are able to write well. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you know how to channel your ideas and get them on paper (or into a file). I truly believe that everyone has at least one book inside them, and it lights me up when I help them to get that book out into the world.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'd say that my biggest accomplishment was leaving a long-term, secure job to start my first business without a financial safety net or a "plan B." That was in 2014, and I've never looked back. After my first (self-published) book was recommended by Ellen DeGeneres, I published two more books with traditional publishers, worked as a magazine editor for seven years, and have helped hundreds of clients, first with their health goals and, in recent years, writing their books. Each time I see another one of my clients publish a book that feels like my biggest accomplishment!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There's always more you could do, and it's easy to let work overtake all of your time. I've had to be very mindful of keeping to a schedule so that I don't end up working on weekends, for instance. When you love what you do, it's easy to keep doing it, so you have to be intentional about setting aside time for other things. The beauty of owning your own business is that it's up to you--you can use your time as you see fit.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Most important, I think, is to believe in what you are doing and that you are capable of being successful with it. If you feel passionate about your business and committed to its success, you will be able to weather the difficult times so much more easily. Learning from failures is also really important. In so many contexts in our lives, we're taught that failure is "bad." I had to learn that it's okay to fail in business--in fact, it's going to happen sometimes, whether you want it to or not--but if you can learn from each failure, that will move your business forward toward more success. Finally, I think it's essential to keep learning and growing, whether that means taking business courses, working with a coach, joining a mastermind, or something else--the only way to keep growing the business is to keep growing yourself as well.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I think most of us are capable of much more than we realize. Don't wait for a crisis to show you what you're made of. Make the choice to dive into something challenging and rewarding before you have to.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.