Podcasts have enjoyed increasing popularity in recent years as more and more listeners find shows and topics they care deeply about. From fiction to business, there are plenty of shows for listeners to choose from, and one Arkansas podcaster is out to teach listeners the possibilities of entrepreneurship with her show launched earlier this year.
Courtney Garrett has her own photography business in Northwest Arkansas. In 2017, she went full-time with her photography business and launched a podcast called “Entrepreneurial Spirit” in January.
“I never thought I would have my own podcast, but I had been wanting to do it for over a year. My husband pushed me to do it,” Garrett says. “I feel like I’ve gained a lot of community from it.”
Garrett says she’s been taking photos since junior high school, and her friends have always known her as the creative type. Growing up, the entrepreneur said she always had Sony CoolPix cameras. And in high school, Garrett said she took a photography class and loved it.
Initially, Garrett says she didn’t think photography could be a career for her, so she took a job with J.B. Hunt. But entrepreneurship runs in her family, with her parents owning their own business.
“They did that while I was growing up,” she says.
In November 2016, Garrett bought a nice DSLR Canon camera and decided to pursue photography, part-time at first, and eventually growing to full-time.
Inspired by her parents and their own entrepreneurship, Garrett says she wanted the freedom and flexibility owning one’s own business provided.
“Almost my entire life my parents have owned their own business,” she says.
And entrepreneurship became an easy subject for her to talk about, even start a podcast on. Garrett wanted to tell others they can chase their dreams, do whatever they set their minds to and be successful at it.
“I’ve become incredibly passionate about it,” the business owner says.
The episode format for Entrepreneurial Spirit is currently one-on-one interviews with other women who are entrepreneurs. They’re virtual remote interviews Garrett describes as casual, laid back, fun and filled with banter.
The feedback she’s gotten on her podcast has been encouraging, Garrett says. So far, the photographer has had three different circumstances where people have told her they quit their full-time job to chase their dreams after listening to her podcast.
“I just feel like the feedback I’ve received so far has been stories of encouragement,” she says.
Garrett adds, if anyone had constructive criticism about her show, she’ll happily listen to it.
“I want to know how I can make the podcast better or more enjoyable for the listener,” she says.
Looking toward the show’s future, Garrett is looking to also bring in men who run their own business, while her show also continues to support women. She is hoping to bring more content to listeners, line up bigger guests and do solo episodes in the future.
As for listeners themselves, Garrett says she wants them to be driven to go after whatever they want in the business world. This means taking risks, being successful, and happy on the other end.
“I never thought in a million years I’d be running my own business one day, making double my own corporate salary and staying home most days,” she says.
While Northwest Arkansas’ business and entrepreneurial environment have been “just right,” Garrett says she thinks her business and podcast could have succeeded if they’d be started in any other corner of Arkansas, big or small.
“I think that photography and podcasting both are about branding,” she says.
Whether a town’s population is 350,000 or 10,000, according to Garrett, you still have to market yourself and put yourself out there.
If you’re interested in listening to Garrett’s podcast, Entrepreneurial Spirit, click here.