Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brinn Colenda, an author based in Wilmington, NC, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Writing thriller novels is my business as an authorpreneur. I write to tell stories, to entertain, to take readers to locations they haven't visited, to teach them along the trip, and to think thoughts they've never thought before. My customers are both adults and young adults who are looking to learn new things and experience life-or-death episodes vicariously and safely from their living room, the beach, or on long flights.

Tell us about yourself

I am a former military pilot and raised a family in the mountains of New Mexico. My role as a husband and father taught me the value of family—as well as experiencing family stresses firsthand. I leaned on my international flying experience too, so the adult books emphasize airplanes and international locations. My action books feature generations of the same ordinary New Mexico family doing extraordinary things to survive and thrive. No James Bonds, no Lara Crofts, or Marvel heroes. Just regular people meeting (and beating) some really nasty hombres. My experiences with soccer teams and snowboard competitions led to my clean Young Adult thrillers, where teenagers are forced into life-threatening situations. I love this business!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Doing what I've done—publishing award-winning books in a crowded market. Touching lives. Mentoring young (and older!) writers has been both stimulating and satisfying. I love the independence.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The independence! You have to build structure into your life to do all facets of the business—or decide which elements to contract out. Plus, learn how to write!

Keeping positive. This is a tough field, and most aspiring writers give up too soon. Writing is a lonely business, which is a complication in itself.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Join a writers' group. This is a must, either online or in person. Or both. You need feedback and support from colleagues who are facing the same issues that you are dealing with. Listen to them and sort through their suggestions—but be true to your own voice.
  2. Go to writers' conventions. They are worth the cost and will advance you faster than anything else I can think of. Most authors are enthusiastic about writing and love to talk about their craft. Ask questions. Pick the offered classes that appeal to you and ask more questions. Authors also love to mentor. If you prefer to stay home, there are also Master Classes by amazing authors available.
  3. Don't give up.

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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