After years in the news trenches, I’m ready to launch Robidoux Ink Link, a solo venture into freelance content delivery.
I have been reading a lot about trends in digital content creation and starting up a solo business, and read with particular interest, “The Six Mistakes of New Ventures,” on Practical Decisions, an entrepreneurial think tank of sorts.
It gave me the following food for thought:
Mistake No. 1 is “Passion Without a Plan.” Passion is my strong suit. As for a plan, I’m excited to be working with New Hampshire’s innovative Pathway to Work program, which will help me develop a business plan and get things up and running. I am also in the good hands of Lee Hecht Harrison in Manchester, a parting gift from Patch.com, which has provided me with invaluable resources.
Mistake No 2 is “Selling Too Cheaply.” Hey, tell me about it. As a longtime journalist in a shrinking industry for which no news entity seems interested in paying a living wage to highly trained professionals, I know well the hazard of working for peanuts. My sales pitch as a freelance digital content creator underscores my experience and effective way with words. I like to say I’m “worth my weight in gold” (although these days I might do better to say I’m worth my weight in bitcoin.) And I’m counting on my prospective clients to agree.
Mistake No. 3 is “Ineffective Marketing and Advertising.” If nobody knows who you are or what you can do, how will they find you? So, you will begin to see me popping up everywhere, from Facebook and Twitter to public events, and business mixers. I’d love to talk to your group or organization about what it means to be a 21st century media maven. Please share my links, give me feedback, reTweet me often. If you’ve been on the receiving end of my services or storytelling, I’d appreciate an endorsement to include here on my website. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mistake #4 is “Underestimating Capital,” and gets into knowing how you will sustain yourself until you break even, while maintaining a creative financing plan. As a longtime human being, I feel sustaining myself in creative financial ways is the sole reason why I’m still standing. Fortunately for me, in this particular venture, I don’t need a storefront. There’s no inventory I need to invest in upfront. It’s just me, doing what I do, from the inside out.
Mistake No. 5 is “Lack of Management Oversight.” You can take this to the bank: I plan to be the best boss I’ve ever had (no offense intended to all my previous bosses, who were all wonderful, by the way).
Mistake #6 is “Lack of Specific Skills:” They saved the best for last, in my estimation. Because Robidoux Ink Link will finally give me the chance to fluff my feathers and spread my wings as a skilled journalist, storyteller, content creator and professional writer. And fortunately for me, I am also an enthusiastic networker, diligent Tweeter and Facebook fiend, I love meeting new people, and pitching ideas.
Of course, there is one more important point: We all make mistakes, at least six of them in a life time. Especially writers and journalists and editors, who know that this is a daily hazard of the human condition. We’ve got the “next-day correction” archives to prove it. I firmly believe that if you’re out there not making mistakes, it’s because you’re not doing anything.
Today, I am ready to fly.