Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ed Troxell, founder of Ed Troxell Creative, located in Santa Rosa, CA, USA.

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

You might have heard of the hit Netflix show “The Home Edit” or maybe, “Sparking Joy” (with Marie Kondo), where both shows help clients organize their physical spaces – helping them go from overwhelmed and chaos to organized and happy. Well, our business does the same thing, only we help our clients – Solopreneurs (primarily in the service-based industries, coaches, speakers, consultants) and Real Estate agents – get their virtual spaces organized and guide them towards success with video marketing.

We meet our clients where they are at with their current online business challenges that prevent them from being more productive and active online. We first start by getting our clients organized – setting them up with the right systems and processes that will make their lives easier, give them more time back in their day, and ultimately allow them to drive more business online (a tidy space makes all the difference).

We then introduce our clients to the power of video marketing. We empower our clients to show up as their authentic selves online, deliver their expertise, and engage as an industry experts. We show them how to easily create video content using their phone, including how they can take one video and share it on multiple online channels (social media, their website, and even include it in their email marketing) so that they can naturally attract the right audience who is ready to buy from them online. Our job is to make it easy for our clients to get organized and show up online in more places without taking so much time out of their already busy schedules.

Tell us about yourself

I was born an entrepreneur. At an early age (probably five years old), I knew that I would run my own business someday – I just didn't know what it would look like. I recall my first "business" wasn't the typical lemonade stand, it was selling soda cans to the neighborhood kids for $.50 a can, I believe.

Growing up, I had the opportunity to see what working for yourself vs. working the typical 8 to 5 day job looked like – my dad was a handyman, and my mom worked in an office. I knew that I didn't fit fully into either of these jobs, so I knew I would have to carve out my own path. Over the years, I worked a variety of part-time jobs – from packaging flower seeds in a cold garage for a small business owner to working a corporate retail job, I even worked at a Vespa shop – that allowed me to have a flexible schedule, earn money, travel, get outside, be on the computer, interact with people face to face, and really allow me to build up my skillset across various industries.

I opened my first business back in 2008 – while working four part-time jobs and finishing college (crazy times but a fun experience) – a publication called MIX IT UP Magazine, and yes, I even printed the magazine as I wanted the full experience of running a magazine. I figured if I couldn't move to New York to work for Men's Health, then why not start my own magazine right here at home? So I did. I ran that business for 2-years before making the hardest decision at that time...the decision to close the business up and move on.

What came next was a series of experiences, including a full-time job (benefits, stock, vacation, decent pay, the "American Dream," right?) with Apple – don't get me wrong, I was grateful, but full-time never was a desire of mine...ever. After 4.5 years, I finally gave in to what the universe was telling me (literally, it was banging my door down towards the end as I was debating whether or not I would listen), which was, "Ed, you got to go – go now and go start your own business again."

Quitting Apple now became my hardest decision – I had everything I was told one should have in order to be "successful" (a full-time job with benefits) – and leaving to start my own business from scratch and seeing what happens still sounds crazy when I say it out loud but it was the best damn decision I ever made.
It's important to note that I planned what I call my "exit strategy":
- I weighed my options (best and worse case scenarios)
- I paid down my debts
- I sought out advisors
- I researched and studied everything related to starting and running a business
- I built up my 6-months savings to cover my transition back into entrepreneurship
- I worked as an assistant for the best local web designer in my area – she was the best, and when I say she was the best, I mean the BEST! She taught me so much about running your own web design business. So I did as much work as I could in order to prepare for the transition.

What motivates me each day to keep showing up is knowing that there is at least one person out there who could use my guidance in helping them show up more consistently online without all the technical challenges or mindset barriers getting in their way. I believe no one should be held by the technical challenges preventing many from sharing their voice online.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Giving myself permission to take the risk and leave my full-time job to start my coaching business – I am celebrating seven years now in business, and I'm so grateful for the work that I get to do every day. Seeing others show up more, especially with video (I have clients who feared showing their face on video and now create TikTok's on a weekly basis – it's awesome!) and allowing their greatness to shine even brighter online makes me so happy!

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

Making decisions, especially hard ones. You can easily overthink everything and never actually take action. Being a business owner is all about taking action and seeing what happens – from there, you can see what's working, what's not, and where your opportunities are. So test and see what happens. Oh yeah, and make sure you have coaches (yes, plural) to help you in various areas of your business.

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

Pick one thing you can really focus on building out (you can always add more later), get set up with the right systems (project management system and email marketing program for starters, as so many skip these), and create video content with you in it.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Like we always say, the three keys to success in anything that you do (both business and in life) are: show up, deliver, and engage. Remember that, and you can make anything happen.

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.