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  • #978878
    Rob F.
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    • Total posts: 15
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    Hello, everyone. My name’s Rob and I live in Cairns.

    I hope you’ll forgive me any missteps but this is the first business forum I’ve ever been on. Gaming forums, sure; science fiction forums, occasionally. But this is the first forum I’ve visited in order to make a difference to the practical side of my life.

    At the moment, I work full time in a nice job and with good, fun people, but there’s not much of a career path the wage doesn’t really help get my wife and I out of debt.

    I want to make my own career path by doing something that will lead me to what I define as success: Keeping my wife and I in a modest but comfortable and debt-free lifestyle through doing something I love.

    I reckon I have a skill to offer, and that’s my skill with the written word. I love playing with it, trying to figure out how best to convey an idea, intent or process as clearly and efficiently as possible.

    I have my own web log which I’m working on orienting around giving people the confidence to make a living out of their hobbies. I have a “Hire Me!” page (that’s in need of a re-write) where I offer my service. I have a portfolio page including articles that the local daily newspaper (a News Corp. publication) has published. I even have a podcast where I interview people who get paid to play.

    What I don’t yet have is the confidence to make a go of getting myself out there, finding people who could use a writer, offering my services and negotiating a rate.

    My main problem is that sense that I’m out on my own, blundering in the dark, that I’d better not take another step until I’ve got a better idea of what I’m doing lest I trip up and fall face first.

    Which is why I’m here. I’m hoping to meet people who are or have been in a similar situation; I also hope to eventually develop into someone who can later on pay any assistance forward to others who are just starting out.

    So, thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope to get to know you all better!

    #1110215
    AgentMail
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    • Total posts: 1,741
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    Hi Rob,

    Welcome to the forums. This is a great place to seek advice and share discussions around business. You’ll be truly glad you found it!

    I was in your position when we started our business 2 years ago. We have now grown to a point where both my wife and I are supported by the business, and we are continuing to grow. The business is in a different shape to what i had imagined 2 years ago, and that is probably the most important piece of advice I can offer.

    Don’t over-define what you do. Be agile and accept that your business path will curve and change. Enjoy the ride, and work hard to impress your customers.

    It is easily the best decision I ever made, and it only truly began to take shape when I took the plunge to focus on it full time.

    Best of luck with everything, and keep us updated on here.

    #1110216
    AGMBris
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    • Total posts: 319
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    Hi Rob

    Sounds great, doors are opening when you have an intention to move into your own business environment. I must admit, it was the biggest move for me in terms of moving into a “job” that would give me more passion and excitement to get up and get into a career.

    Here is a few words from my blog, http://www.anthonysblog.com.au/2012/05/making-the-world-my-office/

    I would be interested to know what your focus with writing is. Is it creative? Or business oriented? Do you have concepts or focus on article writing fro business for exmaple or re-writing website content for businesses considering marketing elements and SEO?

    I have some great contacts in to the artistic world too, be it songwriting or film. I guess if your path was creative writing or story based that would be great.

    Anyway it sounds great and that you are in a place of defining what you want to do with your passion and how it may sit in the financial world for you.

    Hope it unfolds soon for you!

    #1110217
    Rob F.
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    • Total posts: 15
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    AGMBris, post: 122713 wrote:
    Hi Rob

    Sounds great, doors are opening when you have an intention to move into your own business environment. I must admit, it was the biggest move for me in terms of moving into a “job” that would give me more passion and excitement to get up and get into a career.

    Here is a few words from my blog, http://www.anthonysblog.com.au/2012/05/making-the-world-my-office/

    I would be interested to know what your focus with writing is. Is it creative? Or business oriented? Do you have concepts or focus on article writing fro business for exmaple or re-writing website content for businesses considering marketing elements and SEO?

    I have some great contacts in to the artistic world too, be it songwriting or film. I guess if your path was creative writing or story based that would be great.

    Anyway it sounds great and that you are in a place of defining what you want to do with your passion and how it may sit in the financial world for you.

    Hope it unfolds soon for you!

    Hello, Anthony, and thank you for replying! I envy the operation you describe in your blog posting!

    I like the idea of blogging for other folks. I’m listening to podcasts like Copyblogger’s Internet Marketing for Smart People and Small Business, Big Marketing, and I’m actually co-recording a podcast with a friend who owns / operates his own web hosting / online presence management business.

    I also have a relative who owns / operates her own accountancy firm, and I did discuss blogging for her, but I couldn’t quite get a handle on what sh wanted me to write about or what I’d need to research.

    Still, I do have a creative streak. I’ve got an incomplete first draft for a novel that I’m starting to realise I expected way too much from and need to just sit back and have some fun with.

    #1110218
    JacquiPryor
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    • Total posts: 2,344
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    Hi Rob,

    I can tell from your very first post here you are a writer; an enjoyer of words – it comes across even in how you post on a forum :)

    It sounds like you enjoy your current job, but perhaps it doesn’t offer the future you are after? I wonder if there’s a way to continue doing that whilst building up your writing gigs on the side?

    As you’ve had articles published with your local papers before, I wonder whether there’s perhaps opporunities to become a regular contributor of some form there. Could be worth looking into to start building your reputation in the writing world whilst still having the security of the wage from your current job.

    It is daunting to take the leap – but, (in my opinion) worth it. I absolutely had fears, concerns and anxious moments when I first started my company… I’m only 6-months or so in to it but already things are falling into place and I’m realising it’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. My biggest tip, based on my experience, is to make sure you can bank-roll yourself whilst you are building up your presence in the market; you can’t expect in week 1 you will make all the money you need (obviously) – so, the more promotion/building you can achieve before giving up the security of employment the quicker you can start earning what you want/need when you do give up that security.

    Ghost writing for other people’s blogs is definitely a service out there… if you don’t have direct contact with businesses needing the service, check out websites of others that offer the service (copywriters and the like); Some are likely to contract writers for that purpose so dropping them a line or a quick call can’t hurt.

    Wishing you all the best :)

    #1110219
    Jodie McLeod
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    • Total posts: 345
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    Welcome to the forums Rob!

    As you can see already, you’re in good hands here on the advice and encouragement front. And if you’d like some further reading material, make sure you check out our section on business startup advice, which includes articles on everything from choosing a career to building confidence.

    Best of luck with getting started and finding your feet!

    Jodie

    #1110220
    adrian
    Participant
    • Total posts: 181
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    Hey Rob, welcome aboard! The people here are a really nice bunch, and it’s awesome for Aussie info. Taking those first steps into freelancing is bloody terrifying, but you’ll find lot of people here who have walked the road.

    It sounds like you’d enjoy The Freelance Switch podcast series, they’re finished now, but are still available and good – and one of the regulars is freelance writer. I still listen to them a couple of times a week, great when you’re out walking the dog.

    Cheers, and see you around!

    #1110221
    Divert To Mobile
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    • Total posts: 2,751
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    Hi Rob,

    Well written.

    Writing well and convincingly is an extremely valuable skill.
    It will be interested to read some of your work when you get a site up.

    Steve

    #1110222
    kathiemt
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    • Total posts: 1,167
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    Hi Rob, and welcome. Great you have found this forum and you’ll find many here keen to help you.

    I’m going to tell you what I tell anyone who’s thinking about having a go at something – just step out and do it! You’ll never know unless you try and you don’t want to regret not having done so.

    Now, given that, there is that scary part of making an income so you can survive. gulp. I did that late 1993 and wondered if I was doing the right thing. So I set in place a safety net. I took leave without pay for 12 months so I had a job to come back to. Don’t know if you can still do that these days, but might be worth investigating. Next, I took on a temporary job to bring in income while I put plans together to run my business. And then I did some temping with an agency to ensure I still had income coming in when I wasn’t working at that temporary job anymore.

    I did a LOT of reading during that time, asking questions and meeting people. There was no internet in those days and so no forums or anything I could go to. But there were local business networks and I went to breakfast meetings and after hour meetings to meet other business owners – to learn from them and to meet potential clients.

    It worked, and at the end of my first 12 months I had grossed the same income as my previous year as an employee. I knew I’d made the right choice and gave in my notice. The only time I look back now, is to share my story with people like you. I do not regret having made the decision I did. Enjoy the journey!

    #1110223
    Rob F.
    Member
    • Total posts: 15
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    Divert To Mobile, post: 122754 wrote:
    Hi Rob,

    Well written.

    Writing well and convincingly is an extremely valuable skill.
    It will be interested to read some of your work when you get a site up.

    Steve

    Thanks, Steve! Does this count?

    #1110224
    Rob F.
    Member
    • Total posts: 15
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    adrian_gray, post: 122749 wrote:
    Hey Rob, welcome aboard! The people here are a really nice bunch, and it’s awesome for Aussie info. Taking those first steps into freelancing is bloody terrifying, but you’ll find lot of people here who have walked the road.

    It sounds like you’d enjoy The Freelance Switch podcast series, they’re finished now, but are still available and good – and one of the regulars is freelance writer. I still listen to them a couple of times a week, great when you’re out walking the dog.

    Cheers, and see you around!

    Subscribed in iTunes, Adrian! Thank you!

    #1110225
    Rob F.
    Member
    • Total posts: 15
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    kathiemt, post: 122763 wrote:
    Hi Rob, and welcome. Great you have found this forum and you’ll find many here keen to help you.

    I’m going to tell you what I tell anyone who’s thinking about having a go at something – just step out and do it! You’ll never know unless you try and you don’t want to regret not having done so.

    Now, given that, there is that scary part of making an income so you can survive. gulp. I did that late 1993 and wondered if I was doing the right thing. So I set in place a safety net. I took leave without pay for 12 months so I had a job to come back to. Don’t know if you can still do that these days, but might be worth investigating. Next, I took on a temporary job to bring in income while I put plans together to run my business. And then I did some temping with an agency to ensure I still had income coming in when I wasn’t working at that temporary job anymore.

    I did a LOT of reading during that time, asking questions and meeting people. There was no internet in those days and so no forums or anything I could go to. But there were local business networks and I went to breakfast meetings and after hour meetings to meet other business owners – to learn from them and to meet potential clients.

    It worked, and at the end of my first 12 months I had grossed the same income as my previous year as an employee. I knew I’d made the right choice and gave in my notice. The only time I look back now, is to share my story with people like you. I do not regret having made the decision I did. Enjoy the journey!

    Thanks, Kathie! One good thing about Cairns is that it’s big enough to support a business breakfast scene. I keep thinking, “I need a business card first!” but just getting myself out there without can’t do any harm. In fact, there’s a Media Mix in town on Friday night…

    #1110226
    kathiemt
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    • Total posts: 1,167
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    Rob F., post: 123160 wrote:
    Thanks, Kathie! One good thing about Cairns is that it’s big enough to support a business breakfast scene. I keep thinking, “I need a business card first!” but just getting myself out there without can’t do any harm. In fact, there’s a Media Mix in town on Friday night…

    You should be able to get cards done quickly at a good price these days Rob. I know that in my BNI chapter the printer there will often have something completed for us if we ask him on the Monday or Tuesday and he arrives with whatever it was for us on Thursday at the meeting. Great service. Business cards, postcards, he’s even done conference handbooks for me quickly.

    Failing that, then go to http://www.vistaprint.com.au and get some cards done just to tide you over till you’re ready to get some professionally designed (if you’re not doing them yourself).

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