Hi guys! The first interview in the Creative Business Diaries series is Dianda. She is from the Netherlands, where she has a business as a cat behaviorist. She writes articles and blog posts for different online blogs and for a physical cat related magazine. She also loves to photograph cats and occasionally other animals as well, to showcase their beauty.

cats

1. What do you create?

I write blogs (and occasionally give presentations) about cat behavior and photograph cats (and other animals). I mainly write for other online blogs and photograph as a hobby for now.

2. Why do you create? / 3. When did you start creating?

I started becoming interested in cat behavior when I got my first cat 10 years ago. That led to a cat blog and a blog needs good photos of course. The reason I got a good canon camera. Eventually, I stopped the blog and started my own business with another blog to start fresh and new.
I want to share knowledge about cat behavior. There are so many misconceptions about cat welfare. For example, most cats experience a lot of stress in their household, but most owners don’t know, because they see it as normal or they don’t see the signals. I love photographing (cats in particular) because I like to showcase them as natural as possible.

4. What advice would you give to someone who wants to share their creations/start a business but doesn’t know where to start/is afraid of reactions?

Don’t be afraid and don’t listen to others. If I would listen to all the unsolicited advice about starting my dream or my business, I wouldn’t be where I am today. People told me not to do it, cause it wouldn’t bring in enough money, or they thought it was silly. Listen to your fear and work on it. Where does it come from? How can you get around your fear?

5. Favorite social media to promote/to find inspiration and what tips do you have to succeed on that network (if any)?

Instagram and pinterest.
Tips to succeed on instagram is to engage. If you engage people will do the same for you. Do that and you will work along the new algorithm of instagram.

6. Who inspires you and why?

Photographer the Dogist and Jackson Galaxy. But also Sarah Ellis. The last two cat behaviorists. I love how they followed their dream. The Dogist is my example in animal photography. Photographing the dogs on a walk or in a park. His photo’s look very natural.

7. What are some of the disadvantages of the business you are in and how do you beat them?

Being a cat behaviorist is a hard business, because all the behaviorists kind of dislike each other and no one wants to help each other. The same is about writing about that genre. There is always criticism, people will disagree with your information, etc, etc. I used to get into discussions with these people, but I have let that go. It’s no use and a waste of my energy.

8. Was there a moment when you wanted to quit? Why?

Oh yea, I still do. I have a lot of doubts and insecurities. That little voice in my head that tells me my photos aren’t good enough, my articles aren’t good enough, so why should I continue? Those are thoughts that make me think about quitting.

9. How has your business evolved since you started it? Did it go in the direction you were expecting?

It didn’t go into the direction I hoped it would. I hoped to work from it fulltime, but sadly that is not possible yet. So I work next to it, fulltime. I don’t know what kind of expectations I really had, but I didn’t know I’d still be working next to it. The branche is difficult here. But it is ok, it makes me try to explore different things in the branche. Like giving presentations, trying out photography. Something I never thought I’d enjoy.

10. What makes you mad about the creators’ community and how would you change that?

More respect and collaborations is something that I miss. We can help each other out or work together to make the world a prettier place. While my experience is that some creators and business owners can be very bitter respectless and downright mean. Of course, there are exceptions (thank god).

Random 5:

1. Chocolate or Pancakes?
Chocolate
2. Sweet or Salty?
Sweet.
3. Wine or Beer?
Beer.
4. Swimming or Skiing?
Neither.
5. Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings?
Lord of the rings.

To see some of her work find Dianda on her 2 Instagram accounts: kattigekatten and divinefelinephotography check out her website (in Dutch).

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