Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lara Chapman, Founder of VoxTape Studios, located in Indianapolis, IN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
VoxTape Studios is an online voice studio where we transform students from shy and aspiring singers to confident and original artists. Our lessons focus on more than just vocal technique. While being a great singer is essential to step into the music industry, we understand that it matters how extensive your range is, how high you can belt and how fast you can riff.
To successfully establish yourself as an artist, originality and the ability to connect with your audience through authenticity are an absolute must. Our coaches work closely with their students to unlock their confidence to start posting clips, go to open mics, and put themselves out there as a singer and artist.
Tell us about yourself
I never thought I would end up in coaching. I wanted to be a performer my whole life, and everything I did led me down that road. I studied vocal performance, songwriting, and music business at the Berklee College of Music. As I finished my studies, I signed up with a management company in Nashville, TN. With my manager's help, I wrote, recorded, and released an album, won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the category of pop, performed all over, heard my songs on the radio, did magazine interviews, etc.
Essentially I was doing what I had always wanted to do my whole life. But the longer I did it, the more I realized I didn't love it. I was teaching voice lessons on the side, and I realized that I loved coaching others more than pursuing a career myself. I loved connecting with people and helping them work towards their goals. Seeing their success made me much happier than any success I saw myself. When COVID hit in March 2020, I had to cancel a tour I had planned starting that April, which was the last straw for me. That's when I decided to focus all my energy on vocal coaching. A couple of months later, in August 2020, I launched VoxTape Studios.
Now two years later, we are a team of 7 coaches helping students from all over the world, from Australia to Europe, America, and Asia, to work towards their goals and dreams. In September of 2022, just a couple of months ago, our team flew out to Los Angeles to see one of our students play the iconic Viper Room in Hollywood to close out their west coast tour after only being a band for one year. That's what gets me up in the morning - helping passionate and hard-working singers make their dreams become a reality.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is never giving up. There have been countless times when I felt stuck, uninspired, and sometimes even defeated when nothing I tried would work. But every time, I picked myself up and tried again.
This whole journey has been a rollercoaster with really high highs and low lows, but it's those highs that make the lows worth it. Whenever I was ready to give it all up, I would ask myself, "what's the alternative?" I never liked that answer, so I always decided to push through. And so far, it has always paid off.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There is no one to tell you what to do next. In a nutshell, it sounds great! No one telling me what to do? Sign me up! But whenever you're stuck, there's no one there to tell you what to do to get unstuck. You either have to figure it out through lots of googling and YouTubing, or you need to find the right people to help you.
It sounds easy to do, but when you don't know what and why things aren't working out, it's challenging to figure out what to do next. Whenever my husband asks me what movie I want to watch or what I want for dinner, my answer is, "the last thing I want to do is make another decision." So be prepared for that! I would still trade it for nothing, though.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Before you even start, figure out what you want to achieve and your goals. You will feel like a chicken running around with no direction and its head cut off if you don't know that.
- Delegate! If you see success and revenue coming in, stop doing the work you don't have to do. For example, get help with admin work or web design. This will allow you to free up head space and time so that you can figure out how to grow the business rather than feeling trapped in a hamster wheel, always running one step behind.
- Be yourself. Put yourself out there and make real connections with people. People love buying from people much more than from businesses. So be yourself, always be respectful, and the right people will find you.
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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