The antidote to the "don't give up your day job" blues: Chats with career crazies and freelance fun-makers on how to turn what you love doing into income!
Tag Archives: Venkman
“For whatever reasons, Ray – call it fate, call it luck, call it karma – I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe we were destined to get thrown outta this dump.”
“For what purpose?”
“To go into business for ourselves.”
Tonja Davis is an incredible fusion of geek and fitness enthusiast. She’s not only worked in technology and for one of the biggest business names in the geek world, she’s also taken her own struggles with with chronic illness and injuries – in her own words, “If there’s something you can break, I probably broke it!” – and turned them into programmes to help those whom the mainstream fitness industry neglects.
The business born of the fusion of these loves is Action Hero Fitness, a comic book-themed body and health coaching business that aims to help geeks struggling with fitness. Tonja levers web technology and even online-enabled game consoles to run coaching sessions for people whose health issues prevent them from going to gyms or outdoor fitness courses.
C. J. Miozzi is the paid player I want to be when I grow up. He’s a writer, graphic artist and voice talent, and he’s built his revenue streams around his love of video games, especially Diablo III. He’s probably best known for his YouTube channel of advice for players of Diablo III, for which he goes by the handle of Rhykker.
We chat about the difference between personalities and content providers on YouTube, the conflict between outsourcing and the desire for complete control, pursuing a career almost completely outside your field of study and planning for the inevitable changes in any modern career, not just freelancing. Oh, and we have a bit of a geek-out about Dungeons & Dragons.
Listen to the end of the chat for a special offer on John Williams’ Find Your Money-Maker course!
John Williams has done all sorts of things. Though he’s a writer, blogger and coach at the moment, he’s programmed special effects software for movies and TV, done work for the BBC, and even been a stand-up comedian. The one through-line of his recent efforts is his choice to not work to anyone else’s job description or schedule for a living.
John has taken his experiences in getting out of the rat race and turned them into a blog called “Screw Work Let’s Play” which has since become a book (with a second one due in July 2016). The blog and book feed into the coaching courses he offers to help others find their own thing (or selection of things) in life. Naturally, I had to get him on the show!
John and I have a great chat about what the process of ditching the nine to five is really like, the conflict between experimenting with work for low pay and not settling for less than pro rates and how the current education system still moulds people for factory-era work.
Sam Powers is a stage illusionist of international acclaim. Since witnessing his first magic show at the age of three, Sam has delved into the world of illusion as entertainment. His slick, stylish shows have taken the breath of audiences across the continent and the globe and earned Sam the respect of his peers!
Even though Sam was lucky enough to discover his calling young, it still takes commitment to make that calling a reality. It was a privilege to spend some time with Sam, the managing director of International Magic, discussing just what it means to manage the business side of show business.
Thanks to Matt Bond for getting Sam and I in touch!
After taking photos of pets as a hobby for years, it took Ken Drake answering the dreaded, “What do you do for work?” question with what he wished he could be doing (instead of the software engineer work he’d been looking for) to start him down the path of getting Paid to Play.
Ken’s wife Beck had similarly been in business and marketing for years, and when her husband’s sideline began gathering steam, Beck herself saw an opportunity to start bringing meaning into the work she’d already been doing.
The result is Zoo Studio, which produces fantastic images of people’s pets! These two were a request of my wife Vickie, and I was very glad to chat with them about going Venkman on one of the most joyous hobbies possible!
Linc Biggins is a longtime petrolhead, driving, riding and modifying vehicles on two wheels and four for as long as he can remember. after discovering the simple joy (and lack of expense) of commuting to work on a 50cc scooter, Linc decided to open a shop dedicated to the sit-down two-wheel market. The result, ScootaCo, is Cairns’ largest dedicated motor scooter retail and service store.
I had occasion to use ScootaCo’s services myself after the tyre inflation valves on The Foxy Lady, my 150cc scooter, gave way, and I got chatting with Linc about his business. The next step was, naturally, to interview him for the podcast!
Nei Ruffino has been working freelance in the comic book industry as a colourist and overall artist for almost a decade. While she’s done work for all the major labels, Nei is probably best known for her work on Zenescope Entertainment’s Grimm Fairy Tales series and her colours for Danger Girl penciller J. Scott Campbell.
Nei is a big believer in not just paying it forward, but the independent scene. She’s been live streaming Photoshop tutorial videos and recently launched a Patreon crowdfunding page to support both her tutorials and her personal projects, including the one shot comic, Azure.
It was a pleasure to chat with Nei about how she got her break in the comics industry, the daily realities of creating art (including deadline pressure and repetitive strain injury) and the comic book convention scene. I’m glad that I could fulfil Mal Semmens (of KerSplatt! Comics and Collectables)‘ request to get Nei on the show!
My wife Vickie requested that I chat with Joy Harjo right in the early days of the podcast. Joy is one of the people Vickie truly admires; a poet whose works are just as often abstract free prose as they are traditionally-formed poetry. Joy and her work have both been acclaimed for years, her first published collection hit the shelves in 1980.
Joy doesn’t define herself as a poet, though, nor a musician. She always grew up knowing that she would become an artist, and her quest to express the things beyond us all have led her not just to poetry and the saxophone, but to script writing, a memoir and travel around the world. Her work often addresses the disconnectedness and damage in all of us in these supposedly civilised times, and she draws much from her experiences as the blood of the Mvskoke native American nation, a people outside their country whilst still within their own country.
I chatted with Joy about her career as a poet and musician, the ups and downs of the Internet and the danger of others pigeonholing your work.
ALSO: Stay tuned after our chat for a quick update on… going weekly!
If Joanna Penn wasn’t an entrepreneur when the novelist bug bit, she was certainly on her way there, with a web log and podcast about self-publishing and a regular speaking gig. Then a chance encounter with NaNoWriMo, an annual writing challenge, resulted in over fifty thousand words of her first novel, the occult action thriller Pentecost.
Joanna levered her existing knowledge of the publishing industry to make Pentecost (now known as Stone of Fire), its sequels in the Arkane series and her second book series, London Psychic, into independent publishing success stories. After having listened to her podacst for years, it was a privilege to chat with Joanna about how she makes sure to keep her noveling, blogging, podcasting and speaking plates all spinning, how Australia helped her discover the Amazon Kindle and just what it means to keep showing up for your dream every day, even when you’re already what most would consider a success.