Start where you are

Sydney Community College Blog | on

"Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can," as the saying goes.

No time may feel like the right time to set off down a scary path, but if you wait for it all to be in alignment, you may never take that first step.

“Starting my own business was a fast track to self-development”, says SCC student Alison Gorman. Late last year she attended the Build a Side Business Course to flesh out an idea she’d had brewing for a while. This year she gave up her job to focus full time on Inkling Writing Studio, running children’s creative writing classes.

Alison Gorman smiling with a cockatiel on her shoulder

Alison Gorman gave up her job to focus full time on Inkling Writing Studio.

Ready is as ready does

“I didn’t know this (until the course) but I was really ready to get going.” Alison had shopped around for small business courses, but most were “the whole box and dice” she says. Having just a “vague and nebulous idea” for her business, she found the Build a Side Business Course to be perfect. It is “bite sized and focussed” – making the time and cost commitment an easier investment at that early stage.

At the course Alison filled her (now “lucky”) notebook, then launched Inkling Writing Studio right away. “In December I ran my first pop-up workshop…” January saw two classes, and by March she decided to quit her job to invest in the new business. “My primary school classes are now booked out,” she says.

“I felt sick in my stomach starting out”, Alison says, but the course helped her learn how to communicate the value of her business and “it made me really organised”.

A colourful celebrant

Della Deluxe wearing a red wig and clothing and jewellery

For Peter Conlon, it was all in with the longer How to Start a Business Course. Having completed his qualification to become a marriage celebrant in June, he got straight down to learn about creating a business plan to help get a “clear vision for the kind of business I want to have”, he says.

Births, Deaths and Marriages is a poetic place to be leaving to start a celebrant business. Peter has done some “soul searching” while working there to find his niche market as a celebrant and he’s now ready to work with people at the more human side of these life milestones. His point of difference is the characters he has created for his celebrant work. There’s the drag queen Della Deluxe, a cat lady called Cecily Birman – plus an Aussie type character yet to be fleshed out and named.

“You need to be open to all kinds of celebration,” says Peter, and the characters will bring fun, personality and colour to his events.

And it’s not just launching the business where short courses can help. His characters and performance are developing through an Acting course and Stand-up Comedy Course for Beginners in the pipeline.

You’d be surprised how ready you can be with just one great idea. So all you need to get started is a duck or two – then work as you go getting them into a row…


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