40 episodes

Self Starter highlights small business owners, the self employed and freelancers who have taken the plunge to create their own desirable lifestyle. The podcast looks to inspire, motivate, reassure and become a resource for anyone in the self employed world no matter what stage of the journey they are on.

You might be working in a job you don't like but you're too scared to take action on an idea. You might be on the verge of launching/opening your business but have cold feet. You might be a well seasoned business owner who has carved out their place in the local or global community.

Regardless of your story, Self Starter will look to provide value and insights that will help you either get started, get your business over the line or to continue to improve in the self employment world.

Hosted by Andy Dowling who is the host of The Andy Social Podcast, bass player in Australia metal band LORD and is a dispute resolution specialist. You can follow Andy via most social media platforms via @andydowling

Self Starter Andy Dowling

    • Careers

Self Starter highlights small business owners, the self employed and freelancers who have taken the plunge to create their own desirable lifestyle. The podcast looks to inspire, motivate, reassure and become a resource for anyone in the self employed world no matter what stage of the journey they are on.

You might be working in a job you don't like but you're too scared to take action on an idea. You might be on the verge of launching/opening your business but have cold feet. You might be a well seasoned business owner who has carved out their place in the local or global community.

Regardless of your story, Self Starter will look to provide value and insights that will help you either get started, get your business over the line or to continue to improve in the self employment world.

Hosted by Andy Dowling who is the host of The Andy Social Podcast, bass player in Australia metal band LORD and is a dispute resolution specialist. You can follow Andy via most social media platforms via @andydowling

    Episode 40 - The End of Season 2

    Episode 40 - The End of Season 2

    Here we are folks! We're at the end season 2. While this series has been shorter that the first season, we've been able to get some great guests sharing their stories when it comes to all things self employment.

    In this final episode I throw out a few quick comments looking back over the past few months and thoughts on the future, including season 3 of Self Starter.

    While we wait for the future of Self Starter, please continue to share the previous episodes around to anyone who might need some guidance, assurance or even a gentle kick up the you-know-what. I've been incredibly proud of the impact that Self Starter has had on myself personally, as well as the many of you who have messaged me along the way to share your feedback.

    I hope that this continues to be a valuable resource in the years to come.

    Please keep in touch with me via the contact page or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Between our band LORD, The Andy Social Podcast as well as other various projects that come and go, I will certainly continue to have a lot to share.

    Thanks for continuing to support of the podcast and I wish you all the best on your Self Starting journey to create your own desirable lifestyle.
    Andy Dowling

    • 14 min
    Episode 39 - Applying Music Marketing First Aid with Monica Strut

    Episode 39 - Applying Music Marketing First Aid with Monica Strut

    Monica Strut could be seen as a first aid specialist when it comes to musician social medial and digital marketing. Responding to the call of bands who are in crisis and needing consulting and support, Monica is providing her expertise to help musicians succeed in the often murky waters of the music industry and online marketing.

    Starting out on your own is tough, especially when you're branding yourself as the product/service. Monica made the decision to put her name and personal reputation on the line rather than utilising a business name. No doubt a daunting decision but it has brought Monica many advantages including a relatable, trust worthy resource for people who are on the hunt for help and it also building her own profile as a subject matter expert within the industry.

    As a musician herself, Monica has seen the mistakes made first hand and has watched as peers have given up on their music pursuits. Monica is using these real life experiences to create tangible resources and tools for others. She's also using these experiences as a personal and professional compass to ensure that her goals to impact and help others are always in sight/focus.

    In our chat, Monica talks about how she has been taking a measured approach when it comes to building her business, managing it all on the side of a day job, how she got started with consulting and how her decisions to invest heavily in herself, such as using business coaches, have impacted her success to date. It's a daunting journey but as Monica shows, you don't have to do it on your own.

    Follow Monica Strut via Main Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube |
    Location - Melbourne, Victoria

    1. Be coachable - Monica took a large and critical step in her own development by investing in a business coach. Leaning on others who have had their own success, Monica has been able to get guidance and possibly more importantly be held accountable to her own goals and actions. Monica admitted that it was an expense that needed to be considered but she can confidently say that it's been worth it in allowing her to grow, get better and achieve her business goals.

    2. Too busy to get stuff done - Monica spoke about how she, like many of us, falls into the procrastination trap and finds herself doing a lot of "busywork". In other words, keeping busy with tasks that serve little purpose to the bigger goals. Friends, don't worry about the 20 dot point to-do list, start your days off with 3 to 4 main action items. You will get far more meaningful work done. As coined in the book "The ONE Thing" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, "What's the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?" - Keep it simple, and tackle those critical tasks first!

    3. Creating advocates - By using her name as the branding of her business, Monica certainly puts a degree of vulnerability out into the public domain. The benefit is that she can build deep trust and loyalty from her audience as it's easier to connect and relate to Monica as a person as well as her mission. This creates a natural advocate who is quick to talk positively and, when it arises, defend unnecessary criticism that Monica may receive. Corporations spend huge sums of money in their marketing in the hope of creating brand advocates, Monica is creating this herself by being herself.

    4. What's your mission/story? - We know that a story behind a business is important and Monica's background as a musician and her experiences watching people give up on their dreams has created a foundation to her cause and mission. When people can see "why" you are doing something and those origins, it's easier for people to connect, relate and most importantly support.

    • 47 min
    Episode 38 - A Premium Quality Recipe with Bondi Heat

    Episode 38 - A Premium Quality Recipe with Bondi Heat

    Mishka Bobrov of Bondi Heat is new to the world of self employment and small business. Having bounced around from job to job, he found himself in an unexpected moment where his father tried some home made olive oil made by Mishka and saw an opportunity. He encouraged Mishka to pursue and create a business around something that he saw was marketable.

    Luckily for Mishka, this was the moment to escape from the past several years of working in security and lead him on a path to start something that would truly spark a passion for him.

    We spoke only a few weeks into launch of the company and of course things were looking bright and optimistic. Like any business however there will be ups and downs, but Mishka has a close and solid network of friends and family who believe in him and are as hands on with support and the running of the business.

    In a market these days saturated in hot sauces, Mishka is looking to use the momentum of the market to create a point of difference with Bondi Heat where chilli infused olive oil is the staple and flavour is the focus.

    Follow Bondi Heat via Main Website | Facebook | Instagram |
    Location - Sydney, New South Wales

    1. A Premium quality product deserves premium quality content - Don't take any short cuts. If you think that your product is high quality then you should make sure that it is presented in a way that deservedly highlights it. Mishka has made no sacrifices with the visuals surrounding Bondi Heat and has brought a skilled friend on board to help with the marketing and presentation of his products. Remember that it's not you that needs convincing, it's everyone else. Spend a little more money and time to make sure that what you are selling looks the very best it can be. It will be worth it.

    2. Who are we trying to sell this product to? - Mishka's product is all about Bondi. He's grown up there, his community and family are there and of course the business shares the name. It's only natural that he is targeting those who are either in the area or identify with Bondi lifestyle. Remember that you don't need to win everyone single person over. Think about that stereotypical person who would love what you are selling. Maybe they are very similar to you. Once you have worked that out, target target target.

    3. Work with others who are skilled - Mishka built the company to be a community. This is not just about him but about everyone who works with him and is a part of it. Friends and Family are important, so for Mishka it's a natural move to utilise the skills from the people who mean the most to him. He will never need to do this on his own. As much as we would like to think that we can do it all, it's best to be real about our limitations and not hesitating in bringing in good and skilled people who can fill the gaps, support you and help you to succeed.

    4. Make the most of every moment - Mishka fought an aggressive form of Bone Cancer when he was a teenager. When he was all clear in 2010, he took on an attitude to make the most of life. A lot of us are fortunate to not have these same types of challenges, but life can change dramatically at any moment. What are you going to do right now to get after what you want? Don't sit back and wait. Every moment counts. Make the most of it!

    • 37 min
    Episode 37 - The Best Fish Sticks in the Business with Ibbotson Drums

    Episode 37 - The Best Fish Sticks in the Business with Ibbotson Drums

    Frustrated working for others, Paul was looking for a change. It didn't come without trial and error though, working a wide range of jobs, trying to work out what he wanted to do. No matter what he did, his mind kept gravitating back to starting his own business. When it came to investing his efforts in a possible trade, working for someone else, Paul made the decision rather to invest in himself and what he is passionate about. Drumming and metal.

    Leaning on his years of experience as a metal drummer playing in a number of bands, Paul has used his knowledge of drumming as well as his existing networks to create a grass roots business that caters directly for the demographic he comes from. This gives him a genuine and organic approach where people can instantly trust his business, understanding that this is something that is important to Paul and he has the knowledge and experience to back it up.

    It's only been a few months in but Paul has hit the ground running. Creating an overarching brand of Ibbotson Drums and focusing on his first product, Fishsticks, he's been able to reach the interest of a wide range of accomplished drummers who have jumped on board as endorsees of the brand. He's created apparel and is actively pushing his business out across his existing networks which is starting to naturally grow though word of mouth and recommendations.

    Paul's ideas are without limit and with a parent brand created, he will start to introduce new products and services as time rolls on. He's here for the long term and he's made sure that it's set up to allow plenty of room to grow, in any direction.

    What did you learn from this episode? Here's some of my key takeaways;

    1. Be confident in who you are - Wear your passions and your identify on your sleeve. Not everyone has to like what you like and you're not catering for the masses. There's enough business to go around. If you're genuine in what you do and have a real passion for your craft then it will be a magnet for not only people who share your interests but you may find people outside of your circles showing curiosity in what you are doing. Paul's domain is the metal drummer, but he's already found people outside of the metal genre showing interest in his products.

    2. Parent company gives you options - Paul created Ibbotson drums as a parent company to allow him to create as many different products/brands as he desires. He's started with Fishsticks and is his main focus, however as he said in the chat "the sky's the limit". You don't need to do everything all at once, but it's good to think ahead and create foundations so that you have flexibility in the long term.

    3. Taking a page from a different book - Paul has created merchandise that accompanies his branding which I think gives him room to create 'lifestyle branding' where people want to wear the logo and be a part of the imagery and ethics of what his business is all about. Paul shared that he has come from a skater background where a lot of his approaches when it comes to apparel have come from and been inspired by that industry. His branding isn't around skating culture but he's been able to fuse ideas and claw out inspiration from another market and apply it to his own.

    4. Endorsements - Can you create an advocate? If you have people who are passionate about your product, consider an endorsement where you take care of selected advocates (or these days often referred to as influencers) in exchange for discounted or free products/services. It's an agreement that goes both ways so be selective in the people you choose and make sure that value is being provided in both ways. Paul has a growing list of endorsees with their own public profile who swear by his product and spread the word for him. He even has a section on his website where prospective endorsees can complete a form and read up...

    • 39 min
    Episode 36 - Behind the Scenes with Korno's Concert Service

    Episode 36 - Behind the Scenes with Korno's Concert Service

    Ben Kornouchovs has been a part of the local Adelaide music scene for years. As a musician himself, Korno has seen both the needs of the performer and the punter when it comes to live music. His time working in music lead him to launching his own business, "Korno's concert service" which has been up and running since 2014.

    Specialising in artist support for touring and local bands, Korno and his team offer transport, chaperoning, stage and road management as well as merchandise services. Korno's jack of all trades approach ensures that artists are appropriately taken care of, ensuring that the 1 percenters are considered and performers are left to focus solely on their job which is to perform.

    Korno's involvement in the local scene often sees him as the go to guy for local metal festivals such as Heavy SA and The New Dead where he has an opportunity to not only work with Adelaide musicians but also interstate and international touring acts. A great opportunity to provide his services, network and carve out new opportunities.

    Korno has taken a measured path when it comes to his business where he has launched it as a side hustle outside of his normal job. Communication, negotiation and balance has ensured that he is able to meet the needs of his full time employer as well as hit the personal goals he has with his own business. As Korno's Concert Service grows, he will continue to assess the viability around taking on a more full time investment in what he does.

    It's not just the musicians that continue to get better and better, it's the support network behind the scenes who are findings ways to add value and create services that support the music we all love. It's an exciting time for opportunity and you don't necessarily have to be on stage.

    To learn more about Korno's Concert Service, check out selfstarter.com.au and find Korno on Facebook. For now, please enjoy this great chat with Ben Kornouchovos and Korno's Concert Service.

    What did you get out of this episode? Here's what I learnt;

    1. Keep it simple - It's not rocket science, folks. It's the small things that count. Working in music is similar to any other industry where often the smallest of things make all of the difference, especially when they are overlooked. Ben ensures that communication is a big focus when it comes to his work and is not reluctant to handle the menial tasks. Ben knows he has a duty of care and wants to do all he can to make sure the artist has the best experience possible. It's not always glamorous, but the small things can give you a tangible point of difference that makes what you do memorable.

    2. Balancing it out - Ben has taken a conservative approach with his business where he still retains his full time job working at a winery. He negotiates with his employer, gives notice and does all he can to maintain a balance between his full time employment and his own business. The balance he has created is satisfying and he's in no rush to quit his job. When it comes to starting a business, remember that you don't have to drop everything in order to make it happen. There are plenty of ways to execute on an idea or a passion that you have whilst still maintaining an existing job. There's no rule book!

    3. Learn everything - Ben's domain is in hard rock and metal music, however over the years he has found himself working for artists from a wide range of genres. Learning from different styles of music and their scenes has given Ben exposure to different ways of approaching similar situations or problems when it comes to live music and artist support. It's like sharing best practices. You may not be completely interested in a particular industry or niche group, but there are often parallels where you can pick up skills, ideas and insights that you can apply to what you do.

    Follow Korno's Concert Services via Facebook
    Location -...

    • 33 min
    Episode 35 - Crafting Loyalty with Bitter Phew, Sydney

    Episode 35 - Crafting Loyalty with Bitter Phew, Sydney

    Aaron Edwards is the owner of Bitter Phew. A Craft Beer Bar located in Darlinghust Sydney. Beer enthusiasts from far and wide have congregated to the 1920's New York-warehouse inspired venue, where 12 taps constantly rotate and showcase some of the finest local and international boutique beers.

    It could be argued that craft beer and bars are a dime a dozen these days. It's definitely not a bad thing, but when looking at potential business ideas, many people often get trapped in the 'originality' of a business, rather than how you can make an existing service/experience better than the rest. Bitter Phew shows that you don't have to reinvent the wheel, but instead just make it unique and exciting for the potential customer.

    Aaron is no stranger to event management and establishing venues. The man behind Doris & Beryl's Cocktail Bar in Newtown and Creek & Cella in Leichhardt, he's cut his teeth in the hospitality world, learning the ins and outs of what makes a great venue and ensures that people continue to come back.

    With Bitter Phew in full swing and having a roaring success, Aaron has set his eyes on his latest venture "Phew", a wine and cocktail bar which is an extension to the Bitter Phew branding. In our chat, Aaron talks about having to step backwards in order to move forward, explains that he needs to always go back to basics when commencing a new business/venture.

    Bitter Phew's success has come from a conscious organic approach where word of mouth and exclusivity has encouraged enthusiasm and loyalty amongst his visitors. Mainstream marketing does not fit with the branding and as such, the focused, grass roots approach has done the business big favours.

    Aaron also talks about financial disciplines he applies to his ventures, his background in the self employment world and collaboration ideas where business to business opportunities can help mutual growth.

    What did you get out of this episode? Here's what I learnt;

    1. How long can you work for free? - Preparation is key. It's not just about the financials but also the psychological ground work needed before you dive into a business. Aaron has made a rule that when commencing a business that he does not pay himself for the first 3 months. This involves a lot of preparation but sets up expectations and increases the likelihood of success where money can be reinvested back into the business in those early months. This ensures that it is set up for the long term. The temptation to pay yourself as the dollars start rolling in will be high but preparing yourself and getting clear on your goals before you dive in will set you up for success.

    2. Financially disciplined - We all need to take our financial education more seriously. For many of us growing up, we were often not taught about how to be financially smart. Aaron shares how he sets up his own accounts so that he has clarity and discipline when it comes to the management of this money. Accounts allocated to Emergencies, savings/personal goals and a everyday transactions ensures that you can stay on track and steer clear of reckless decisions.

    3. Exclusivity - The nature of your business will determine the appropriate approach, however an element of exclusivity to your business or product can attract a demand and tribal loyalty that will have your customers passionately supporting you. In Aaron's case, he rejected the mainstream marketing option and took on a word of mouth approach for those 'in the know'. He made sure that the people who did come in had that personal touch and felt like they were part of something special.

    4. Win/win collaboration - Collaboration possibilities are endless however they should never begin with profit in mind. Focus initially on covering costs rather than chasing dollars. Aaron shared his idea of cost price beers to the local barber so they can tell their customers where the beers

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

Aratticus ,

Promising!

Ive enjoyed the first few episodes a lot & really look fwd to following this regularly
Keep it up!

jerryzahija ,

One of a kind leader

Andy Dowling is truly an inspirational entrepreneur. A great example of what some discipline and hard work can accomplish. His diction and articulation in the wisdom and clever wit he expresses are inspiration and pleasant to listen to.

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