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  • #994841
    Clare Miller
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    • Total posts: 4
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    Hi all,

    I borrowed Flying Solo from the library several years ago and liked it so much I bought it (don’t worry, I returned the library copy).

    I’m currently a public servant, and for many years really enjoyed my job. Since coming back from mat leave I’m in a role that, frankly, sucks. I hate it and there’s no way out in the short to medium term – I tried, my managers know but they can’t do anything about it. So my choices are stick around and hope for the best (or hope that they can eventually move me into a role I actually *want* to do), or quit.
    I have basically chosen ‘quit’, but need some actual income before I do that. Ever the pragmatist.

    Jumping into the forums may be a bit cart before the horse, given I still haven’t started a business – but I want to! I figure it can’t hurt to get amongst it, read people’s experiences and advice (I have already seen some great nuggets, what a fantastic community) and be inspired and whatnot.

    I’m working through a great course at the moment from PaidToExist.com in an effort to find out what I can do that I will both enjoy and that can make me money and support the life I want. (I don’t get anything if you click through to Jonathan’s site, other than the satisfaction of helping someone find a wonderful resource)

    I’m not sure about many things, but I am sure that I would like a 100% online and time-flexible business model. I want to be in business to help others AND to spend more time with my family. I would also like the option of travelling (my partner’s job could allow us to live in any of about 8 countries at this point, which is such a fantastic opportunity if what I do could fit into that!).

    So that’s a bit of my story. I do have a question to start with:

    Does anyone have a 100% online product offering, and/or primarily work with clients virtually/through Skype? How did you determine what to offer, and what sorts of products and services do people actually pay for (or not, as the case may be)?

    I’d love to hear from others wiser and more experienced than I. Once I work out what talents I have could actually earn revenue, I’ll come back to ask people’s opinion on that too :)

    Thanks everyone, have an awesome day.

    #1198718
    bb1
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    Clare Miller, post: 234911, member: 80731 wrote:
    So that’s a bit of my story. I do have a question to start with:

    Does anyone have a 100% online product offering, and/or primarily work with clients virtually/through Skype? How did you determine what to offer, and what sorts of products and services do people actually pay for (or not, as the case may be)?

    .

    Hello and welcome, there is nothing better than that day when you leave the public service and fly solo, and you have definitely got the right approach of jump on the forums and gain as much knowledge as you can before you make that jump. Although I must say I made the jump with a blank canvas, but was flying within 6 weeks, so you can do it. Just don’t spend the next 10 years researching and let those opportunities go past you.

    To answer your question though, I don’t recall the user names, but there have been a few users on here who basically trade while flying solo, and flying the world. Anything that you can do without direct client interface, or stock that you need at hand would work. I see so many people saying they live in say Melbourne but take clients from anywhere in Australia, so does it matter if you happen to be in New York at the time. Go back and have a look at some of the older posts and you may come across them,

    Not an option in my business technically, but I do have one client who lives in Hollywood, the only problem is their property is here in Melbourne. I would happily service their Hollywood property.

    #1198719
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    Hi and Welcome to the Forums Clare!

    It sounds like a service related business is where you should look and any number of services can be offered online – for example, there are a lot of web developers, SEO’s, SEM’s as well as copywriter’s, business coaches, Facebook advertisers,virtual assistants etc.

    Most, if not all of them are in the business of helping others.

    One of the keys is to try and work out what problems people are having and are willing to pay for.

    It is a good time to be in your position.

    Good luck

    #1198720
    Cody
    Member
    • Total posts: 117
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    Welcome Clare.

    Good on you for making the decision. I quit the public service just over 2 years ago and am having an absolute blast. It’s awesome you have some parameters around what you want out of a business. I wish I had that before I got started. When I initially left the workforce I started an online store where I had a garage full of stock. This meant I was stuck in one location, which didn’t line up to my desired lifestyle.

    I’d like to reiterate Bert’s advice: don’t research for 10 years without doing anything. Set yourself a date to quit. Without a target, you’ll miss every time.

    There are so many options. Write up a list of everything that interests you and start researching. You don’t necessarily have to find the perfect business that ticks all the boxes. Don’t rule something out just because you don’t think you can do it. I’m not a writer and never in a million years did I think I’d be running a Copywriting business. I don’t do the writing myself, I work with other people who are qualified and I find/manage the work. While I haven’t yet replicated my full-time income, the freedom is worth it. I’ve been able to spend the last 6 months travelling through Europe working on my terms.

    Once you’ve found an idea, test it out as quickly as you can. Check out this article on how to do so – http://www.appsumo.com/sumo-jerky/

    All the best and I look forward to keeping up with your journey.

    #1198721
    bb1
    Participant
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    Cody, post: 234963, member: 55612 wrote:
    While I haven’t yet replicated my full-time income, the freedom is worth it. .

    This comment stood out to me, as I haven’t either, and I never will, but the quality of life far outweighs the income. And you just don’t realise till you do it that you didn’t actually need that income, and it actually results in very minor changes (although I had one huge change because of it, but I knew that would be an outcome).

    The point I am trying to make is don’t put the jump of because you are afraid the income is not the same, because if you look at it that way you will never make the jump. And this is true for any employment not just the Public Service.

    #1198722
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
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    The sentiments above are terrific BUT…taking a leap of a cliff without a safety net is not for everyone and some people suggest more than 95% of online businesses fail. It is a sobering figure that deserves consideration.

    If you do not have any business experience, it may well serve you better to do a side project while you are working to test your ideas while not risking everything.

    From an employment perspective, a tool I always used was to apply my Japanese View tool.

    Japanese companies are famous for having 5 year business plans. When you look at your job, review the previous 5 years, especially around the changes that have affected you – I bet your workplace and the people in it and probably your job has changed in the last 5 years.

    Now here is the nub.

    Do you have any evidence at all to suggest that you will not undergo similar changes in the next 5 years?

    The reality might look bleak right now but your history will probably suggest it will not stay that way.

    In the meantime, sell Jerky!

    #1198723
    Clare Miller
    Member
    • Total posts: 4
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    Mmmm jerky. Great points, all, and thanks for the advice!

    One of the beautiful things about online businesses is that they really can start as side-projects and build from there. This is a huge selling point for me! I know from my maternity leave that a) we can live on a lot less than we usually do (even with the generous government paid scheme I still had to save for a while to cover expenses for the other 7 months) and b) I get bored SUPER easy. Filling my time was one of the reasons I chose to go back to work. No dilettante, me…

    Paul – thanks for your suggestions, some of those do sound like the direction my thoughts are heading so it’s nice to have some validation. I can also easily track the changes in my working life over the past 5 and 10 years – mainly because I’ve moved so many times (partner was in the Army until last year). I’m currently in my sixth different office, and eighth different role! What is different for me now is that I have a child, who I want to spend more time with. I don’t want to be at the office at 5pm, or 8am, or in fact at all, when I could do my work in a more flexible way and spend more time with her (note: she will still be in child care at least some of the time, not only to allow me to work but also because they are WAY better at organising activities for kids than I am – we pay huge fees for a reason!)

    Cody – nice to meet a fellow escapee (well, I’m soon to be, but you know what I mean…!) Also nice to know that deep skills in a specific area aren’t a necessity – this has been putting me off a bit, thinking oh I’m not good enough at anything blah blah. I’m sure I can find someone to help me fill the important gaps, when the time comes. Tim Ferriss’ stuff about using VAs has really opened up my thinking in that regard.

    bb1 – you’re right to make the point about committing to jumping at some point. I’ve split the different a bit and set a date at a time I (think I’m) comfortable with. I’ve given myself 6 months to go from amorphous idea to something making money (and also to save some $$ along the way) – like you and Cody both said it might not be as much as I get now but what I’ll gain in lifestyle and TIME will make up for it (plus expenses will be lower not having to drive to work every day, or buy lunch because I always forget to bring my own, etc etc).

    Anyway thanks a bunch guys, I’m going to make a concerted effort to participate on these forums – it’s so great to see lots of current activity, nothing worse in the online world than a ghost-town forum!

    #1198724
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,488
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    Hi Clare,

    If you are looking down the VA path, a lot of VA’s are starting to add value added services such as content planning and writing for Blogs, managing social media posts, Linkedin Profiles, sales calls, bookkeeping, WordPress management and updating etc….

    Any number of them can be learnt online to a fair degree of proficiency in 6 months.

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