Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melanie Deziel, Co-Founder of Creator Kitchen, located in Raleigh, NC, USA.

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

The Creator Kitchen is a membership for writers, podcasters, speakers, and other creators who want to master their craft and become better storytellers. The Kitchen combines virtual learning with community support, offering masterclasses on important creative skills, roundtables for connecting with fellow creatives, office hours for feedback and support, co-working sessions for accountability, a Slack community for ongoing support and celebration of wins, and exclusive behind the scenes content from the founders and other celebrated creators. (GoSolo readers can save $100 of membership, for life, with code GOSOLO.)

Tell us about yourself

I co-founded Creator Kitchen with Jay Acunzo, a fellow former journalist and marketer who is also a renowned podcaster. Our goal was to create, as Jay calls it, "a beautiful corner of the internet" where creators could find not only community but content that helps them master their craft and the structure to continuously improve their skills.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

When we hear from members that we've succeeded in giving them a creative community they feel supported by or that we've provided a masterclass that changed the way they approach creating content, you can be sure we're smiling big goofy smiles. That's the ultimate goal and the best feeling: to give fellow creators a path to creative growth.

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

Starting any business is a huge learning experience, and we've certainly learned our fair share of lessons along the way. Sometimes you launch a feature that isn't as needed as you thought, or you try something you'd written off and discover there was a much bigger demand for it than you predicted. We're always pivoting, always adjusting, always listening to feedback, and always learning new ways to. Serve our community of creatives better.

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

  1. DON'T GO IT ALONE. One thing that I think we'd both say is that partnering up on The Creator Kitchen was a game changer for us and for the business. We've discovered one another's superpowers and leaned all the way into those, allowing us each to shine at the things we love and are skilled at and providing support for areas the other may be less excited about or experienced with. We're stronger together than we would be building this business alone, and the business (and our members) are better off for it.
  2. BE OPEN TO LEARNING. Starting a business and growing a business both require an openness to being wrong, a willingness to try new things, and the knowledge that nothing is permanent. Be flexible and listen to your customers and your data, to figure out the next right thing.
  3. IGNORE THE BEST PRACTICES. This was the subject of Jay's last book, Break The Wheel, and its core to how we operate and what we teach our members. Any business advice you see out there is what worked for that person, with their content, for their audience, with their resources, at that specific time. It's not universal, and it's not guaranteed to work for you. And worse yet, if everyone is following the same generic advice, you won't stand out. Follow your gut and try to operate outside the generic "best practices" so you can stand out.

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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