What Would Grant Cardone Do?

I need a new angle, a new idea, a better way to communicate my value…

“Terms of Ill-Endearment” has closed the chapter on my first attempts at gaining interest in my products –

The bottom line is that I’ve little clue how to introduce myself in a way which effectively communicates my value.

At the job centre, they tell me not to draw attention to the length of time I have been job searching: I ask them, Isn’t it better for me to acknowledge it openly, rather than attempt to hide or lie about it to a potential employer or customer?

Whichever one of us is right can be disputed, but it cannot change the fact that on paper, my years of unemployment and health problems means that I have very, very little to recommend myself with.

No matter how skilled, competent or qualified a writer I am, I still struggle to come across as inspiring or trustworthy –

I’m still a stranger. So, can I draw people’s interest in another way?

I have spoken about this before, but what if I lead my business ambitions with teaching English to foreign learners –

I only need to prove I’m a native speaker, and my copywriting can prove my strength at written language too. I may even gain work writing English language marketing material for foreign companies this way, or proofreading English marketing or documents…

Whatever I choose to do, I cannot continue along the trajectory I’m on currently on of trying to build trust with British companies in the way I am doing.

My confidence wavers every time I have to mention my current situation as a long-term unemployed person (known colloquially as a “benefits scrounger”), and I fear I may be becoming less and less convincing with every attempt at confidence.

I need a new angle, a new idea, a better way to communicate my value –

And a new audience.

Perhaps it is not scientific to seek to change so many variables at once, but the only element of my business model which is strong is my product itself.

This product needs to be presented to someone with a reason to trust me – such as a business owner abroad with a need to advertise in English.

I’ve spoken often about the law of averages/ LoA, and my need to simply speak to a lot more business owners –

But the LoA requires the basic business pitch and value propositions to be sound, and from the lack of interest in my product so far, it’s reasonable to conclude that my pitch and value proposition are not sound.

What Would Grant Cardone Do? He’d sort it out, then begin relentlessly pitching again.

So I need to Sort it out… And begin pitching and pitching some more.

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The Local Writer

I realise that I need to take myself out of the equation.

After composing my message indicating but not directly asking for a free listing in the name of “supporting local business”, I quickly realised this was no way to conduct any sort of business, no matter how broke I am:

Hi, I’m Ruth Klempner, I’m a new copywriter and for the past six years I’ve been on universal credit.

I want to help support other new start ups and small businesses with free/ no strings digital marketing support – would [local newspaper] be interested in helping support start ups and small businesses similarly?

I’m qualified and insured (please see my website ruthklempner.com), and am eager to build my portfolio and support other local entrepreneurs, who may also be on a very low budget.

I am on the self-employed pathway because I am not suitable for most employment options due to chronic health conditions and a long history of unemployment.

Would someone please be willing to discuss the options for advertisements available to me?

Thank you for your time,

Ruth Klempner  

If I’m not even trusted as much yet to gain more voluntary copywriting experience (I refer to my current failure to ignite Small Business Excellence with free content examples), then I need to do something that is completely APART from me –

By this I mean:

I need to be an anonymous writer just writing for the “good of the people”.

This is one accessible way that I can gain the voluntary experience I need to build my portfolio further.

It can be through representative journalism, such as local journalism focused on representing the work and ambitions of local business owners and job seekers. 

I can use free platforms such as new accounts on social media which will mention me by name, but which will not be in anyway focused on my business, but on a free writing service which is available to local business owners and job seekers, from a local writer.

I can write about local businesses in much the same way other local writers and journalists do, and I can build my name not as an ambitious copywriter, but simply as a writer and free service provider to local entrepreneurs and others seeking self-employment.

I will need to travel around the county, and I can do that if I get the right travel pass, and give up “luxuries” such as e.g. cider, coke and ice cream (summer essentials!) in order to help pay the £32.70 per week for it…

I can work out an efficient system to write about and include as much copy and content about local businesses as possible, and present my work simply as a local resource (as opposed to a local resource created by a local business owner with the long-term intent to make sales)…

I remember a phrase Grant Cardone used to describe people who lowered their prices in response to difficult times – “weak minded”.

Perhaps that encapsulates me perfectly – weak minded and unable to assert myself. Or perhaps I’m simply not a natural at sucking up to people, or endearing them in any profitable way, however sincere or insincere.

Perhaps it is that I simply don’t have the same ambitions as most other copywriters –

I certainly don’t have the same relevant and up-to-date CV, and this makes me hesitant to chase the same dreams.

Following my long experience on benefits and following my recent double rejection from DWP “Self Employment Coaches”, I know that I certainly want to help others in similar, lack-of-useful-help type of situations to myself.

And I can certainly do this as a “local writer” –

So maybe I do need to step down from my ambitious pedestal (yes, even seeking employment, any employment, may be reasonably counted as “ambitious”), and seek more, relevant writing experience as a randomer.

Cardone may call me “weak minded”, but as much as I am a natural writer, I am not not a natural entrepreneur. And maybe my route to “gainful self-employment” will take me through a long (but hopefully very productive) detour down local voluntary writer/ marketer lane –

Maybe in order to be somebody, I have to literally be nobody, and hope that others will build an image of me entirely by means of their own opinions and experiences, and through their own conversations. 

Forget this website, forget my work and my samples – maybe I need to start again and have others make a name for me, organically.

Who am I? 

I’m just a local writer.

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The Self-Employment Pathway

Do I sound like a scammer, offering free/ no strings support?

For my next trick, I will begin contacting local newspapers and ask if they would like to support start ups and small business owners in their area – 

A small ad here or there offering professional, digital marketing support 100% free to local businesses isn’t hugely unreasonable!

I had an interesting exchange with a Facebook user in the early hours of this morning after I had introduced myself and offered to support a fellow start up with free marketing support – he accused me of being fake, a charlatan and a scammer. He also said that copywriters don’t have “insurance” and that he works in marketing so he knows

Well, I knew immediately, of course, that this man was ignorant, and an internet troll (he had continued on to insult another user’s web design ability and to question their legitimacy), BUT it made me think just a little… 

Do I sound like a scammer, offering free/ no strings support? Perhaps I should instead stress that I am new and eager to build my portfolio THEREFORE I’m offering free support? I do say this sometimes, but not every time…

An advisor at the job centre scheme I attend said I should stress my need to build upon my portfolio. She also said (and after much build up from another advisor that she would surely be able to help), that she couldn’t be my advisor as yet because I’m not currently gaining clients.

This is after the self-employment advisor at the job centre said similar – they won’t help me until I’m earning. 

This was after regular advisors at both places had told me so many times that their in-house “self employment expert” would be able to advise me.

This is the help those on “self-employment” pathways receive where I live. Perhaps it is just me – perhaps every other person who has been allowed to follow a self-employment pathway has become gainfully self-employed quite easily by themselves, and without any prior business experience.

I won’t further discuss the gnawing sadness I felt at this second and final refusal of help. It does nothing for my eternally diminished sense of ego – yes, this is me with a diminished ego!

Perhaps you think I’m neglecting to share some part of the story? That they would agree to help if I wasn’t so…? 

I hope you can accept the answer is simply, “If I wasn’t so hopeless” –

But owning a business is SO NEW to me… And before I can receive advice from either the job centre or their associated schemes, I have to make it work alone.

But maybe that’s as it should be. They will have no part to claim in my success because they will never have aided me.

I will endeavour not to be made spiteful by such things, but again, it is a sense of humiliation. Also, however, it is a loss for other start ups who could benefit from my skills as a digital marketer – I speak, of course, in reference to my offer to support others on the self employment pathway with free digital marketing consultancy and assistance.

So, I’ll get on with the offers I want to make to those local papers and publications. And I will consider how not to sound like a scammer…

I am also considering how to begin a YouTube channel and use it to include presentations of the possibilities available with great copy – a channel I can refer potential clients to and also include as an extra resource on my website.

It’s pointless having a dedication to the “law of averages” when I don’t have the best version of my value proposition to share with those I am contacting – it’s also pointless spending forever considering this value proposition because I needed it done yesterday. So many yesterdays since.

But, again, this is my impatience. And I need to get on with the best, short scripts I can, along with the Canva presentations I’ll need to use for video.

Still a long road yet, but at least it’s an open road!

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Break Through the Babel of Your Competitors

The goal isn’t simply to gain a purchase from a customer, but to gain and KEEP their loyalty

My target audience is compromised of individuals with small businesses trading online. These businesses include independent fashion brands, sustainable brands, artists and crafts persons.

Key to understanding the motives of my customers will be studying their industries, competitors and other related products available to them, such as those also focused on building small business influence and success –

These alternative products (including but not limited to other copywriters) are my competition, and whichever one of us presents the best value proposition will win business from small business owners searching the market.

I will focus my initial efforts on researching and thoroughly understanding three of the main online industries, which I’ve already listed above: Small fashion brands, sustainable brands, and art and crafts work.

When I began to build my own business, much of my initial research gleamed much the same in way of motivations, limitations and aspirations for my target audience as for myself:

  • To gain a wider online influence
  • To stand out from my competitors
  • To increase my market share
  • To become a leader in my industry

But each industry has its own additional factors and nuances, and to cater properly to my target audiences, I must commit to discovering them all.

Much more research is therefore vital for any MASSIVE, and effective action to take place – my value proposition has to be both prolific and strongly relevant.

Every brand requires an authentic BRAND VOICE in order to be heard amongst the babel of their competitors –

And if your brand STANDS FOR SOMETHING which RESONANTES with your target audience such as:

  • Good quality fashion produced by UK designers (for fashion lovers wanting to support local brands)
  • Eco-friendly products sourced fairly from suppliers and which respect the Earth and all its inhabitants (for the ethically conscious)
  • Locally produced artwork and crafts work (for supporters of artistic creators and lovers of unique, beautiful things)

Then proclaim your brand’s MISSION from the metaphorical rafters!

Business is EARNED through:

  • FANTASTIC SALES SPACES (such as online shops featuring excellent user experience)
  • SHARP, CUSTOMER-FOCUSED MARKETING (jam-packed full of value, benefits, and in a LANGUAGE your customers can respond to, across a variety of popular SOCIAL PLATFORMS)
  • VALUE PROPOSITIONS which beat those of your competitors (give them what they want, and do it better than anyone else!)

There is (DIY free or paid) customer demographic and psychographic data to discover and assess (in order to further understand your customers means and motivations) by means of research through forums or surveys, and there are particulars such as BRAND TONE and CONTENT VIBE to scrutinise and improve.

Those on ALL BUDGETS must be creative and INNOVATIVE in dealing with the frequent challenges which occur with ever evolving INDUSTRY TRENDS and CUSTOMER TASTES –

And of course, the GOAL isn’t simply to gain a purchase from a customer, but to GAIN and KEEP THEIR LOYALTY and build your brand through ORGANIC MEANS such as WORD OF MOUTH.

It’s a lot to consider for start ups, including my own. And only massive, positive ACTION will see these challenges CONQUERED –

 Action and patience.  

Pressure and time. That and a big goddam poster.

Red

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Refund Pending/ (I.O.U)

Trust is EVERYTHING in business and in transactions with customers.

I owe an Italian restaurant in Sheffield city centre for a lasagne, a tiramisu, an Americano and a San Pellegrino which my father and I shared (he had the lasagne, I had the tiramisu!) whilst watching filming outside for the new Full Monty mini TV series today –

I didn’t check the bill and ended up paying for someone else’s dinner, and when the staff realised they had given me the wrong bill and had requested my card for a refund, the amount was, of course, not immediately returned to my account (my bank indicates it requires 3-5 days to issue a refund)…

So I offered the restaurant a verbal I.O.U, explaining I cannot pay out twice without the refunded money but that I will return when I have been reimbursed –

They agreed, and I hope they trust that I will return to settle up when their refund has cleared.

I owe about £23.

Sometimes things go wrong in transactions:

What is the right thing to do when there has been an error?

The restaurant and I did what we could – and we are both out of pocket until the refund appears in my account, at which point I have tried to assure them that I will return to pay what I owe.

Trust is EVERYTHING in business and in transactions with customers. I trusted the original bill was correct (it wasn’t), and now they must trust that I will return when I have received their near immediately-issued refund.

Both myself and the staff were distracted by the excitement of filming outside, and now we’re both waiting to be paid!

As a new business owner in South Yorkshire, this situation is less than ideal. I do not want to be accused of not settling debts, but equally, I cannot reasonably be criticised for refusing to pay a bill twice before receiving the initial refund.

I share this incident with you for the sake of transparency –

  • I am owed a refund for an incorrect bill by a small business in central Sheffield, and when it is paid, I will pay the correct amount for the meal I shared on June 2nd 2022 with my father.

Phew – I’m glad to share that.

As I have indicated so many times in this blog and on this website, I am here to BUILD TRUST.

I love Italian food and I am eager to pay for it!

Now, I will keep an eye on my account – Bank Holiday weekend probably means it will take longer than 3-5 days for a refund, but what can I do about that?

I’m going have a coffee and upload the images from my camera (I was very nosily and delightedly taking pictures of the filming!)

In other more related news –

I’m digging for Sheffield talent today, and more people to contact!

Pip pip

Dumbledore

UPDATE 7.6.22 – Refund has come through and so I’m settling up tomorrow 🙂

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Law of Averages

The first lesson we learnt in flogging broadband, Speak to as many people as you can.

Today I’ve been firing out messaging inviting small business owners to contribute to Small Business Excellence –

I’m very optimistic! Despite the concerns I mentioned in my previous post about not quite having sussed my target audience, I realised that I didn’t need to second guess any local business, I just need to offer the opportunity.

I do need to find the individuals starting out or without much help, those striving creatives with so much to share –

And if some well established local businesses can show some interest, then wonderful! I can see it all in my mind’s eye –

It’s going to be great. I just need to apply the Law of Averages:

The first lesson we learnt in flogging broadband, Speak to as many people as you can.

Obvious? Yes. But we all have a need to be EFFICIENT in order to be EFFECTIVE –

My efficiency will be determined by how accurately I identify potential contributors, AND how well I can tailor my messages to them. There is still the same basic (shortened) message:

Hi guys, I’m a fellow local business owner and member of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry –

I’m inviting all small local businesses to receive a free (no strings) single or multiple page feature on my digital marketing and copywriting website, www.ruthklempner.com.

Visit the website and you’ll find the menu link:

Small Business Excellence (SBE)

I’m a copywriter, and in SBE I intend to publish single and multiple page features (including social media and backlinks) on successful small and/ or independent businesses around South Yorkshire.

I offer these as a courtesy and as a way to introduce my self and my local copywriting business 🙂

Explore the website and DM if you fancy a free feature with backlinks!

Thanks for your time 👍

Ruth Klempner

Which I hope is friendly and informative without being too wordy…

I have also sought advice from the business advisors at Business Sheffield/ Welcome to Sheffield, since some prodding in the right direction would be a great help – in the meantime, I’ll continue to be driven by initiative and deliberation.

To be driven accurately by RESEARCH would be great, but I haven’t seen any other copywriter attempt to do what I’m doing –

But I’m a freak, I’m a weirdo…

Radiohead

And I was always interested in (my own definition of) “representative journalism” – the stories, feelings and happenings of normal, everyday people, or in this case, everyday small business owners.

Those individuals who have made their own path, and whose stories are therefore unpredictable.

Lets see if we can discover any of those stories in the coming weeks 🙂

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Anticipating Objections…

We don’t need any free promo

Regarding my Small Business Excellence plans:

Such is the success of so many small and independent businesses in Sheffield, I strongly anticipate this objection from many of them –

Why do they need my help, they’ve got this far by themselves! Well, that’s precisely why I want to speak to them –

I want them to share more about their journeys:

It’s like representative journalism. Documenting the tales of normal people, quite literally, going about their everyday business.

But WHY?

Because it’s FASCINATING!

To new and striving business owners like myself, the stories of how others have achieved SUCCESS would be an invaluable resource – and much the infinitely more fascinating since those others would be locals too…

I’m planning to connect with other professionals in Sheffield and SY via LinkedIn as well – I will request a connection, and introduce myself.

I will share posts about my website on my LI feed and possibly some regarding these blog posts too, and as I increase my engagement with other accounts, I trust others will similarly engage with me.

LI is wonderful for gleaming insights and stories into others’ successes, and I hope to get some good ideas for my Small Business Excellence pages and for my appeals for contributions from those who share on LI too.

I will also seek to correspond with those professionals and business owners in South Yorkshire who contribute to LI, and hopefully I will gain some contributions to my SBE pages via this platform too.

Am I just too nosey? Am I expecting too much?

I’m certainly too nosey. And as a new copywriter, I am certainly approaching building my business with no small amount of optimism –

But I’m TRYING to temper it with reason. That it why I try to anticipate every objection – this itself is a basic principle of copywriting. Overcoming objections. 

It was one of the first things we were taught as independent sales advisors too, as attempting to sell random broadband to unsuspecting members of the public required one to –

Anticipate and overcome every objection.

And so in the spirit of honesty, and transparency, I’m going to share the basic message I will be sending to small businesses across Sheffield and South Yorkshire in regard to my SBE ambitions:

(It doesn’t overcome every objection, there is not enough room for that, I will just have to trust some will follow the link and discover this post and more!)

Hi [business], I’m a fellow local business owner and member of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry 🙂  I’m inviting all local businesses to receive a free (no strings) single or multiple page feature on my digital marketing and copywriting website, www.ruthklempner.com.

Visit the website and you’ll find the menu link:

Small Business Excellence (SBE)

I’m a copywriter, and in SBE I intend to publish single and multiple page features (including social media and backlinks) on successful small and/ or independent businesses around South Yorkshire.

These features are offered as a free promotional space to all local businesses and will feature stories and images of your business, your successes, and your aspirations for the future! (Should you wish to share them 😉

I offer this space as a supportive, online courtesy to fellow small business owners and as a way to introduce myself and my copywriting business

I hope to build a diverse and inspiring resource of small business stories, images and links to reflect the wealth of innovation and skill which can be found within the orbit of small and independent businesses in South Yorkshire! 

Explore the website and discover my story, my motives, and more information about my work for small businesses. 

I look forward to hearing from you and discussing your free/ no-strings, single or multiple page feature!

Message me via:

info@ruthklempner.com

@ruthklempnercopy (Instagram)

Or call/ message: 07951 848 404

Also, if you would prefer, we can arrange a video call 

Thank you for your time, I hope to hear from you soon

Ruth Klempner

PS: If you know of any other local business owners who may be interested in free, promotional web space and backlinks, please feel free to invite them and to pass on my details. Thank you  

Is it short and to-the-point enough? Kind of. Does it overcome objections? No. Is it polite, and encouraging? I hope so. Will I adjust it as the weeks go on and as I receive, or fail to receive, positive responses? Definitely.

It is an odd thing that I am offering –

But as I say in the letter, it is an introduction!

Instead of introducing myself with a sales offer, I am doing so with a (not useless) freebie…

Is this my insane optimism gone into overdrive? Possibly – I don’t know! *Wails*

But I have to try, as INTRODUCTIONS are prudent at this juncture –

I’m “opening my shop”, how can I win attention, and begin to build…

Trust…

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Courage, Apprehension and Copy!

My shop floor is ready (enough) – it’s taken ages, and that’s been the easy part.

The eagle-eyed will have noticed that my social media presence is severely lacking at present – however much I bleat on about how necessary it is for small businesses to be active over social media channels!

Well, I’ve been neglecting my socials in favour of trying to get this website right –

And I guess it won’t be “right” until it’s tweaked into kingdom come, but I’ve not the time for that: We’ve no time for perfectionism when there’s trust to be built and money to be made!

My shop floor is ready (enough) – it’s taken ages, and that’s been the easy part.

I’ve a lot of avenues to follow in order to contact small businesses around Sheffield and South Yorkshire, and these avenues mainly exist on platforms such as Facebook, and Instagram. But Twitter is where I will be able to engage more easily in discussion with others in the digital marketing and copywriting industries –

Basically, I’ve lots of people to talk to, lots of networking online and otherwise to be done, and at the top of my list are small businesses of whom I will invite via multiple channels to participate in some free promo

(I can continue updating and editing my site as I go…)…

I’m excited, anxious and nervous to start networking again in earnest, but as one of my previous posts indicated, “Ruthless” Mode Enabled indicates I am (just about) mentally prepared…

I will always be nervous, I think. But in these last few days, I have also been able to experience a great feeling of confidence.

I have wonderful skill – I CAN help businesses – I need to network and introduce myself everywhere!

I need to keep my chin high (not least because I’ve terrible posture and I need to fix it). And I need not allow my smile to falter –

This is trial and error, but hopefully my victory road is not far from here… 

This is self-employment. It’s complicated, it’s scary, and it’s so precious.

I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to work as a copywriter –

I want to make myself proud!

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“Ruthless” Mode Enabled

I have to offer value, benefits and if I can, I need to build trust…

After much planning and assessing, re-making and re-planning, I am now again at the stage of throwing caution to the wind and pushing forward –

What happened last time? Well, you may remember from some of my previous posts:

My target audience was right but my message was wrong. 

Now, my task is to engage directly with small and independent businesses particularly across South Yorkshire:

  • I want to communicate the value of my Small Business Excellence section and the absolutely free/ no strings promotion it offers 
  • I need to introduce myself and my businesses as widely and effectively as possible 

I can keep planning the “right way” to do that or I can steam ahead with the best plan I have right now –

  • Sort my website
  • Find successful and inspiring small businesses 
  • Say hi and introduce the free promo!

It would be great to be able to connect via video call, and ideally I’d love to meet small business owners and visit their premises –

But one step at a time… I do have to think about the trial and error aspect of even the best laid plans…

Just because something’s free, doesn’t mean people are going to be interested in it. I have to offer value, benefits and if I can, I need to build trust…

I hope value and benefits can be seen in the free, locally-focussed internet space and backlinks which I am offering, and I hope to build trust through the relevant, informative and diverse content which already makes up my website, and through my offer to discuss business owners’ free features further via video call…

I hope the Pacific will be as blue as it has been in my dreams

Red

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…

John Lennon

Got a zoom in the afternoon

Saweetie

Ok, enough quotes –

But you understand my eager and anxious anticipation…

As a kind copywriter friend said to me, “You have to break into the orbit…”

My first attempt ended abruptly with the wrong messaging as no one realised what copywriting was – as I said previously myself, several years ago, I didn’t even know what it was …

This was my error – I had not anticipated this problem with my messaging.

My current attempt, I HOPE, will be a bit more successful –

And I am EXCITED to be able to build my free feature pages as I will learn so much about different businesses, their stories and their needs – and so will all other VISITORS and business owners who are eager to learn more about the goings on in local, South Yorkshire, small business!

But enough talk – I need to make the Small Business Excellence page look a bit more inviting, I’ll get Canva onto it…

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Self-employment and adapting my work around my health

These are just some bits about me 🙂

It is Monday, May 16th 2022 and today I visited the Business and Intellectual Property Centre at Sheffield Central Library. I only recently discovered this resource existed and it very helpfully provides many databases which are of great use to business owners across Sheffield.

Of course, I could only take 45 minutes of my allotted 2 hours because the chairs were so uncomfortable and my back was pleading for me to leave and walk around, but what I gleamed from that 45 minutes studying industry trends was very useful and some definite food for thought!

I’m sure I read somewhere that back problems were one of the primary causes of unemployment in the UK –

Mostly I manage mine ok, with some excellent tips and exercises from a local physio.

I have intimated in several blog posts as to the reasons that I have set up this small business – being able to work around my health being one of them.

The wonderful thing about being able to read and write and engage in the varied pursuits of digital marketing for a living is that in this great, digital age, if I need to walk around and work then I can, and I do –

I can dictate my work into my smartphones, as well as my laptop, and my Microsoft Office subscription holds and manages my work across my different devices.

I mentioned in a previous post that I use the popular graphic design app, Canva, a graphic design app which I can also use on my phones or on my laptop to create social media posts or images for my website.

So, although I am physically unable to commit to the type of manual work which I was used to do in my early 20s, I read and I listen, and I write.

Since I am still a process of building my business, my work/play balance is not what society says it “should be”.

I cannot generally rest my mind well, not when I know I still have so much to do and discover –

But I do enjoy the repose of a good audiobook (mainly Harry Potter I’m not ashamed to say!), and a pleasant landscape with some good music doesn’t go amiss either.

I enjoy cider in the sun (when there is sun), or else an overly sweet frappuccino – or a Coke Zero if funds are tight.

My dream is to be able to visit and spend time in my Jewish grandfather’s home city of Vienna, and to learn some better German.

These are just some bits about me 🙂

I hope to become acquainted with you and your small business very soon!

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