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Starting

How a digital detox led to a new venture

By stepping back from the online world and reacquainting with long ignored creative interests, I accidentally found a new side hustle. That wasn’t the plan.

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I really was not looking for more to do, if anything it was the reverse. But I knew I needed a refresh and having largely exited Flying Solo I was hungry for the new. As it turns out, it was the old that attracted me.

Through my Rekindle podcast I’d chatted with a number of creative entrepreneurs to discover how they stayed energised and upbeat in their work, when in most cases they’d been doing it for a good while.

IMHO it’s this ‘stage’ of a business that is often overlooked, the point where you don’t want to stop what you’re doing (and financial demands likely mean you cannot), but if you were in corporateland you’d surely be hitting up the Boss for a new challenge, or at the very least demand the corner office and a gym membership.

Time and again in these interviews I’d discover the role of hobbies and the importance of activities and connections outside of work. But truly it wasn’t until I’d devoured ‘The Case for Working With Your Hands’ by Mathew Crawford that the penny really dropped.

"I really was not looking for more to do, if anything it was the reverse."

Simultaneously (perhaps serendipitously?), I’d embellished my love of walking by taking an old film camera out with me and was loving the non-immediacy of the photographic process.

What was immediate was the desire to delve further. Low and behold my camera of choice, the classic Olympus Trip 35 had recently celebrated its 50th birthday and long forgotten examples were popping up online clearly in need of renovation and repair. My hands started twitching.

Fast-forward a few months and I now own over fifty of them and am steadily rebuilding, beautifying and will shortly begin selling them to others looking to explore the wonderful world of film. Please come along and see what I’m up to at Trip35.co.

So has this favourably impacted other aspects of my work? Most definitely and most particularly because it’s allowed it to take its rightful place. My key revenue activities are better contained and the corner office that I never wanted is now a workshop where I get to make a satisfying creative mess.

Robert Gerrish

is the founder of Flying Solo and helps soloists stay upbeat and energised. He’s recently published The 1-Minute Commute, is a presenter and facilitator and works one-on-one with those needing a refresh. Find out more about his skills and services and his Olympus Trip 35 camera side hustle or connect on LinkedIn.

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