The freelancing industry has developed quickly especially since the rapid development of the information communication technology began. Oftentimes, the freelancing industry has been ignored by the society. Many writers have however not given up on their passion for writing. One such person is Paul Hassing, the founder of Feisty Empire, which is located in Melbourne Australia. I interviewed Paul on 30 November through the telephone. Paul has set up a home office, although he does go out occasionally and comes together with other writers. I chose Paul because he is in a unique industry. Very few people do what they love and they are therefore dissatisfied with their work. What I admire about Paul is that he did not wait for the business to be successful so that he could venture into it. He has instead seen his business grow over the years and has chosen to learn from his mistakes.
What does your business do and why did you start?
I develop web content for clients, job ads and copy write strategies. Many people develop web sites without thinking of the content. They do not realize that this can harm their businesses or can lead the business to grow. I chose this field of work because I was simply tired of visiting company and organization’s websites and getting nothing from them.
How did the business begin and how did you advertise?
I have worked under different professional capacities such as editing, copywriting and proofreading. I decided to become a full time writer and realized my passion for life. I mostly depended on word of mouth in the beginning but I now use various means to advertise. I have come to realize that social networking is an important tool but most businesses people have not realized this. I use blogs and twitter both of which have proved to be very useful especially when used together. It is a fun way to keep in contact with your clients and an effective way to find new clients. I used emails in the past but I realized that I was not getting many responses.
What is different now that you have your own company?
One of the joys of owning my own company is that I have more freedom to do my work. This means that I am the one responsible for managing my own time and handling the clients. Flexibility is another advantage. Unlike employment when you have to do the work because it has a deadline, having your own business means that you can change your duties and choose an appropriate time when you can accomplish your tasks. One has the advantage of working in privacy. Sometimes people come up with new and innovative ideas when they have time to think about it with no disturbances. Time wastage is also reduced since I do not have to travel to work. In the office, people can sometimes handle many tasks simultaneously and there is no privacy. This tends to slow a person down and it takes more time to finish the work assigned. Besides this, there are no formal rules and procedures to be followed.
What sets you apart from the others?
I have worked in the industry for a long time. I have managed a human resource department and dealing with clients’ issues comes naturally to me. This is a positive attribute because I am able to handle them and make suggestions. Sometimes the client’s ideas may not be too good and this gives me an opportunity to present my ideas to them. I have also worked as an editor and a writer. I do not see what I do as work since I have such a passion for it.
What are some of the challenges faced?
Choice is one of the challenges that people do not realize to be a hindrance in their lives. I once spent a significant amount of my revenue on a client who then went back on his contract. I had spent so much money and resources on them it had not occurred to me that they would disappoint me. Since then, I have learnt to choose my clients carefully and limit the amount of resources I spend on any of them. Another challenge is that the workload can be too demanding especially when clients bring in work at the same time.
What advice can you give?
You have to realize that for every hour spent doing what you love there will be at least one hour of work you hate. Planning is also very important. One has to know where they are going for them to get there. You have to plan the whole process from the beginning to the end. People fail because they plan how they are going to start their business but they do not follow their plans to the end.
What does the future hold?
I am planning to enter into the world of search engine marketing. It is an underutilized market and I know it will be a beneficial and worthy venture soon. Besides this, I plan to increase my clientele to include the government. I am also planning on how to write eBooks. Though the concept may not be new in most developed countries, Australian authors are still shy because they have not realized how beneficial it would be for them.
How the interview affected my thoughts
Paul made me realize that it is not always fulfilling to do a job just because it pays. It is always best to do what you are good at and follow your passion to the end. Sometimes one has to take certain risks if they want to be successful. The first years of any business can be tough and challenging. However, this is the time when people learn many lessons and learn from their mistakes. Though a person may not have all the necessary requirements, it is always better to start from somewhere. The first step is always the hard one and one has to continue moving despite all odds. It is not always wise to put all your efforts on one client or on a single task. One has to weigh all the options and do the profitable thing. Another lesson that I learnt was that people could disappoint you when you need them the most or back out on you when it is least expected. At such times, one does not have to remain down trodden; he should instead pick himself up and move on. Planning is an important process in any business. One has to plan everything from the beginning to the end. She should also follow the plan so and implement it where need be.
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