They tell you there is nothing more gratifying than being able to pay yourself; to value the work you do, under your own terms, with no one looking over your shoulder along the way. They also tell you the first year of business is the hardest; to rely on only yourself to reap the fruits of your labour, to keep yourself on track to achieving your goals, and to keep on pivoting until you find the flow that aligns best with you.
In 2017, my first year in business, I encountered many challenges, both external and self-inflicted. I had just completed the Youth Entrepreneurship Program which gave me the kick out the door I needed, armed with my final business plan in hand. I had an idea, but no clear vision for how I wanted to grow and develop my business.
I constantly battled the desire to create content that touched people, in contrast to the work I was being hired to do. I was told not to complain. That I should take whatever work I was asked to do, and be grateful I had business coming in. The problem with that is, if people assume you can write anything, they will ask you to write about anything.
Now, any writer understands that research is a large component in producing quality content, however; familiarizing yourself with microbiology is not on the same level as naming new trends for 2018. I wish I was an expert on everything. Not only would I be able to write about everything, but I would, hands-down, win every argument.
I should mention the foundation of my expertise, which is, primarily in the fields of both international and community development. Having studied and worked on a number of field projects in this landscape, my greatest wish was always to somehow intersect this with my love for writing. What brought me to my “A-ha moment”, however, didn’t come until much later.
My struggle for a long time was, if I can’t define my ideal customer, how will I attract them? I hadn’t quite figured it out until I was told something by an entrepreneur that was introduced to me through VBEC’s Starter Company Plus program. This self-taught, stylistic photographer attracted clients that wanted her for her unique, bohemian lens with which she shot – not because she knew how to take a picture. After hearing that, it all sort of clicked.
I don’t think it’s uncommon for entrepreneurs to re-define their company’s vision and mission until it reaches a trajectory they are proud of. And since I have finally been able to articulate this way of storytelling with the “write vibes”, I feel as though Kareen Writes is now aligned with Kareen. I have identified my ideal customer, and they are the socially and environmentally conscious brands, organizations and game-changers who are gently guiding the shift to positive change.
Beyond knowing how to put words together, I’d like to be known as the writer that contributes to her clients’ mission, by connecting, engaging and inspiring their audience.