Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Akari Piotrowski, Founder & Language Coach of Mochifika Language, located in Düsseldorf, Germany.

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

At Mochifika, I offer 1:1 Japanese online lessons and distribute a podcast for beginner to intermediate learners. I'm very fortunate to have customers from all around the world and to see beginner learners reach an intermediate level.

Tell us about yourself

As a little girl, I had a passion for English that stayed with me as I grew up and studied media design at the university. Despite my love for composing music, playing in bands, and making movies, my fascination with languages persisted, and I began learning Spanish. My travels to Europe for my graduation thesis and filmmaking further fueled my desire to interact with people from all over the world. After graduation, I worked in roles such as sound engineer, web developer, and designer, which had little to do with languages. Nevertheless, I continued to learn new languages, including Italian, Arabic, Polish, German, Norwegian, and Hungarian. Through these language-learning experiences, I became interested in language-teaching methods and began volunteering to give Japanese lessons to travelers while also using language exchange websites to teach Japanese.

As the pandemic forced me to spend more time at home, I decided to take the plunge and become a paid online Japanese teacher, a decision that has proven to be incredibly fulfilling. In 2021, I launched Mochifika and started my podcast, "Slow Japanese." When I first started the podcast, I had no idea how many people would listen to it, but "Slow Japanese" has grown in popularity every day, and I receive positive messages from listeners around the world. It's amazing to see my dream of interacting with people through language come to fruition.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

While my life has been interesting thus far, the people I've met through this project have truly broadened my horizons. Interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds has allowed me to see things from different perspectives, generate more diverse ideas, and enrich my life. I am extremely grateful to my clients for this wonderful opportunity in such a meaningful way.

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

One is the worry about financial commitments, and the other is plenty-of-tasks management. Like many entrepreneurs, I need more than one me to manage everything!

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

  1. Take the leap and get started! Remember, progress is made through small steps that lead to big strides. If your plans or trajectory need adjusting, don't be afraid to make changes along the way. Flexibility is key to achieving your goals also.
  2. It's important to have faith in yourself and trust that you can accomplish what you set out to do. Follow your passions and pursue what truly resonates with you, regardless of external pressures or expectations. Ultimately, your own desires and goals should guide your path.
  3. Continuously learning and growing is crucial to success. Don't hesitate to invest in seemingly irrelevant skills or areas of knowledge. It's also beneficial to engage with others in your field and seek out like-minded individuals who can offer support and insight.

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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