So what do you do?
Having been involved with the Victorian Small Business Festival for a few years, it was lovely when I was invited to create a short series involving creative and older entrepreneurs from the Melbourne region. Armed with my little recorder, I hit the trams, trains and buses and met a very interesting bunch.
Over the next 4 shows, I'll introduce you to people who have started diverse little businesses that satisfy their creative needs and wants.
1. Sumi Sivalingam
Sumi is from the Melbourne suburb of Doncaster, 15kms North East of the CBD and moved to Australia from Malaysia.
She has established herself as a bookkeeper for a growing band of multicultural clients. She loves her work, loves supporting her clients and shares where she gets her motivation and resilience.
After spending time with Sumi, I ducked back into the City and spent a few hours wandering around the National Gallery and as I always do when I'm in the neighbourhood, walked over to Federation Square.
While some dislike the architecture, I think it's a marvel of inner city design and I love its energy.
2. Triet Trieu
As luck would have it, I stumbled across a little artisans market on my visit and hadn't been there long before I bumped into Triet and his young family running a great little business, Wrap Roll It - here he is on Instagram - all from the tiny interior of a 1950s Australian caravan.
Riding the 'food truck' wave, Triet was doing a great trade, but I managed to drag him away for a quick chat.
What I particularly loved about Triet's approach to business is that what looks, outwardly cool, fashionably homemade and somewhat hipstery, is deceptively well strategised and planned. Triet knows where he's going and he's very clear that for the next little while the family comes first.
Have a listen to Triet's story, I think you'll like it.
3. Anne George
The third guest in my travels around Victoria was Anne George, who moved to the suburb of Hughesdale in South East Melbourne a couple of years ago. Her move wasn't some leisurely, planned relocation, but was a rather hurried family move following her husband's unexpected and distressing redundancy.
Happily the family are now firmly settled, but not before Anne faced and overcame some very real challenges. She barely knew anyone when she arrived and having had a good few years in business felt she was effectively starting from scratch. That wouldn't feel good.
Impressively, Anne didn't delay in getting out and about in search of what she calls 'her people'. She joined a number of networking groups - online and offline - and wasn't backward in telling her story.
As you'll hear, Anne does know a thing or two about storytelling and while she may not wish to repeat the upheaval of upping sticks, she doesn't deny she's learned a great deal from the experience. I think you will too. You can learn more of Anne's work and how it helps businesses prosper at her website 'Word and Web'
4. Danielle Storey
My final guest in this little series, Danielle is an interesting woman with a really varied work portfolio.
She has a family business selling printer inks, The Cartridge Family (I so love that name!), runs her own speaking and consulting business and alongside this is the CEO of The Eastern Innovation Business Centre in Melbourne.
She’s also fabulously upbeat and energetic.
In our interview, she explains how by successfully facing a challenge in one business she realised the need for another, and how those two businesses combined, fuelled her passion for innovation, that in turn lead to her latest gig. Serendipity in action.
It’s a great story and one in which ‘relationships’ show up as the common thread.
I hope you've enjoyed what I think of as my 'Melbourne Sessions'...next stop Vietnam for a conference. I wonder who I'll meet there...and what they do.