I’ve listened to a fair few life-change and small business podcasts in the last year or so, and a lot of them talk about Financial Freedom as an aim and an achievement. It’s one thing to hear podcasters in the States talk about it, though, and another thing to meet an example of it.
Michelle Ward has been pursuing alternative income streams for almost a decade and has amassed such a broad portfolio of affiliate sales sites that she has the freedom to explore where her interests take her, whether full-time employeehood or even freelancing. After getting to know her at work, I just had to talk with Michelle about how she became an Internet entrepreneur!
It’s easy to think about starting your own business in terms of how it’s going to solve your fiscal problems, but if Jeff Rufino were happy with simply bringing the cash in, he could have stuck with playing poker at the Casino every night.
Instead, twelve months ago, Jeff took a chance on a belief of his – that social media could help Cairns’ struggling businesses get more customers through the door – and went into business for himself. In that time, he’s built himself a reputation as the local Social Media Guy, has formed a company of equally passionate individuals and is still going strong.
I’m very happy to have sat down with Jeff over Skype and talked about how he got to where he is. His passion, his confidence and his honest desire to help people out shine through as he speaks!
It’s one thing to start a business in order to sell a product, yet another to believe in the product and its benefits. But Brad Russell, the co-owner and operator of Earth Toys with his wife Bree, lives and breathes a whole philosophy of play that seems absent from most places that sell toys.
In my fifth location interview, I visited Earth Toys, a shop in the middle of Cairns, to talk with Brad about how he and Bree set their business up and how it’s going, but came away not just with that but also a hefty slice of Brad himself.
Brad is a great guy to talk with: Always relaxed, always intelligent and always very insightful. Relax and let this one sink in!
And once you’ve finished this episode, drop in and see Brad when you’re next in the area. You’ll probably leave with something you hadn’t thought about buying before, but with a view on playing – and living – that you’d never considered before.
Leigh Dall’Osto is one of my more popular guests, and her story of going from the campaign trail of a local government election to opening a successful fusion of cafe and community centre in Edmonton, on Cairns’ south side, has garnered some interest outside the podcast too.
A few weeks ago I was talking with one of the writers at work about the podcast, and he asked me if I could pen a few words about career changes with Leigh as the sample case. I submittted a draft, and he asked if I could get Leigh to tell me more about that period between when Leigh lost the election and opened the cafe.
Thankfully, Leigh was happy to answer my extra questions over the phone. Thanks to having Leigh on speaker, I was able to record the conversation for quotes in the article – and after I was done, I realised the recording would make a great episode!
So please enjoy the return of the effervescent Leigh Dall’Osto to the Paid to Play Podcast!
Episode Ten! Ten episodes! Ten interviews! Double Digits!
It can be easy at times to dismiss regional cities as Hicksvilles with little going for them culturally. Yet Cairns, with its international airport and major tourism draws like rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef a stone’s throw away, does a damn good job of not just attracting, but also breeding artistic talent.
Jesse Kuch falls within both categories. He exercises his musical creativity as a DJ, a gig that regularly takes him across and outside the country. And as the entertainment editor for the local daily newspaper and the manager of an independent dance music record label, he has a vested interest in keeping his finger on the pulse of the local entertainment scene.
For my fourth location recording, I decided to pack my Behringer Podcastudio up and take it into work, where I interviewed Jesse in the media room. The general quality is improved on my last three location recordings (where I relied on my netbook’s built-in microphone) but there are also a few more pops and other distortions as I learn my way around using the kit on location.
Still, these don’t get in the way of a great interview with a fellow whose enthusiasm for music is almost boundless!
It’s fun talking about this podcast, not just because of telling people about the interesting thing I’m doing, but also because of the folks I come across whom I realise would make great guests!
Steven Cooke is a great example. He’s a colleague of mine, and a couple of weeks ago I was telling him about Paid to Play. In response, he started telling me about his own project: Creating and building a design of aquarium that features two tanks linked together by a clear tube. Naturally I had to have him on the show!
This led to my third location recording, which turned out to be in Steve’s office at work during a lunch break. So please listen to this interview with a guy who decided to take a concept he’d had at the back of his mind for six years and turn it into something real!
The common trend in career changes is people giving up their old job in order to focus on what they love to do. While opening and managing a cafe might seem about as far removed from politics as you can get, Leigh Dall’Osto opened Plan B Cafe in order to keep doing what she’s always wanted to do, even when political avenues closed on her – help bring the people in her community, the town of Edmonton (around fifteen kilometres south of Cairns), together.
In my second location recording, I had the chance to sit down with Leigh at her cafe and talk about just how a cafe can help people get to know others in their own town – and what some of the surprises along the way have been!
If there’s one guy who’s managed to strike the ideal balance of work life, home life and getting paid to play, it’s Jeremy Judd. This former Adelaidian and now Cairnsite is an active DJ, street artist, entertainment advertising sales executive and event manager, not to mention dad and smokin’ hot fiancé (just ask his lady Kay)!
I’ve been lucky enough to work with and get to know Jeremy for the past couple of years, and after scheduling issues and a bout of laziness on my part, I finally sit down with Jeremy on Skype to ask how he got to where he is and how he does it all now.
I bring you two interviews for the price of one download; a great pair of interviews with Malcolm Semmens and Amy Milligan, owner-operators of KerSplatt! Comics and Collectables, Cairns’ only dedicated comic book store and fast becoming a second home for the geek population of Cairns!
Amy Milligan and Mal Semmens.
I ask Mal and Amy just how much work they’ve done to turn a random idea into an operating business, how they balance selling their hobby and indulging in it – and in what new ways opening and managing a shop can actually be fun!