Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Grumpy Penguin: Almost Ready for Prime Time

My business card with the "old" logo
Many of you already know that I am starting to put together a business as a "content writer for small businesses". As I've mentioned many times on this blog, I have been working with The Challenge Factory and, in particular, Lisa Taylor to identify my "sweet spot" for future career work and it sure feels like we have found it. I did my "Test Drive Day" in May and learned a lot about myself and how I need to progress; the blog piece I wrote about it appeared in the Challenge Factory newsletter. In mid-June I attended a Social Marketing Summit which was presented by Enterprise Toronto; that blog piece was retweeted by some of the presenters of the day. The first piece I wrote about the Jays Care Foundation was retweeted by the Jays Organization and it has nearly 1,000 views at this point. Pretty heady stuff; the feedback I have received for this blog has been remarkable and very encouraging. I have a website close to being ready to go live, I will be starting a Facebook Page for my business and Sarah created some terrific cards for me, which I have started to hand out all over the place. But today something really cool happened which I hope will kick this start-up business into overdrive. (This is the "exciting news" I spoke of yesterday.)

I was interviewed this morning about my Challenge Factory experience and my new business by a freelance writer who has been commissioned to do a piece for the Sun, a piece which I have been told should be run across Canada. I don't want to go into too many details here because I don't know what the finished article will look like; all I know is that if my new business, "The Grumpy Penguin" (I saw no reason to change what works!), is mentioned in the body of the article I would expect to see immediate action on my website, so I had better have it set up the way I want it in the next couple of weeks.

The new and improved "Grumpy Penguin"
Even though the name of the business is the same as this blog's title, I hope to keep them as separate as possible in the future; I expect I will continue to make posts here of a personal or opinion-oriented nature and those will have no place in what I am trying to accomplish with my business. Some of my very best pieces from here will appear on the website in a kind of "portfolio", but there will be no direct link from there to here, other than what may be uncovered with Google. For the time being, I will continue to post here every day to hone my skills and perhaps even increase my reach, but there may come a time when I will have to cut back on the blogging to focus on paid jobs. I also am thinking of starting another blog on the WordPress platform concerning New Music because: 1) I am very interested in New Music; 2) my peer group is not the target demographic for New Music and I want to help them find the best of it; and 3) I would like to become proficient at another blogging platform as it can only help in my future endeavours. As the telejournalists say: "More on that as it develops."

As I wrote in my piece on the Social Marketing Summit, "it is entirely possible that the "next chapter" of my working life has already begun without my even noticing it. If so, I think that's the best way to go about it." There are days such as today where it sometimes feels as though this new business is going to get off the ground almost in spite of me. I'm still being cautious about its potential but every day I see more and more holes that this type of content writing can fill. I think I am striking at the right time. I sure hope so!

Thanks to everyone who has been along with me on the journey so far. This blog has been easier to write every single day and I've had positive feedback from all the expected sources but also some very unexpected sources as well. I am grateful to all of you, but especially to Sarah, my rock and biggest booster. (Boy, this sounds like a goodbye letter; nothing could be further from the truth!)

When I find out more about the Sun article I will let you know through the usual channels: here; on Facebook (if you are friends with me there); and via Twitter (if you follow me there). And when the website is up and running, you will be the first to know.

This is going to be fun. If not, well...then I'm not doing it right.


  1. Bravo on all your hard work! I'm looking forward to seeing your business on its feet.

  2. Very exciting news, Steve! Can't wait to see the Sun article, and your website.

    1. Thanks, Cynthia. You've been a huge catalyst here. :)

  3. Fabulous! Well done S-dot and well deserved.

  4. Sounds good! I don't usually read the Sun myself, so you'll have to tell me when this article is up :)

  5. Great stuff and of course I love the business name!

    1. Thanks, Nat! You know, only today did I realize how perfect a penguin logo is for someone who wants to do content writing for a living...because of the black-and-white-ness of each of them. :D


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