How Nadine Started Her Own Communication And Copywriting Agency
I met Nadine at a business retreat I attended a few months back. We sat across of each other during a...
I met Nadine at a business retreat I attended a few months back. We sat across of each other during a workshop session where we had to reflect on our goals and the future of the projects we were working on. Pretty quickly, Nadine and I started talking. Her bubbly nature was so inviting, and her advice so honest and valuable that I needed to learn more about her, and how she got to be such a delightful wordsmith (you know me). Here’s how she did it.
What was your big dream, and what inspired you to go after it?
My big dream was to start my own communication advise and copywriting agency. I’d been helping a lot of people for free with copywriting when one of them told me I could send in the bill for the work I had done for his company. That’s when a light bulb went on. Until then, I thought I was just helping out (like I did with so many – too many – people) for free. But after that the Orange Typewriter was born.
Did you always have this dream?
Nope. My dad had his own printing business for many years. And as a kid I witnessed how my dad was always working. Then, the last ten years of his career worrying about money. Add to it that I loved the corporate international world I was working in, and there was nothing telling me I would ever start my own business.
What was one of the first thing you did to get you started?
Incorporate my business – making it official – by signing up at the Chamber of Commerce. And drink champagne afterwards. Talk enthusiastically about what I did – which helped spread the word. Talk to two entrepreneurs I knew about starting your own business. Design my logo – Which made it real :).
What were the biggest challenges you faced in working toward achieving your dream?
Confidence to just do. Taking that first step. Corporate is one thing, having your own business feels much more personal. So failing business to me would feel like failing as a person, as I saw how it was for my dad.
I also had to let go of control: I left corporate because I choose to take care of my kids of which one is dealing with autism and the other has juvenile arthritis. It was a really good decision which I would take again, but it did make me an overly concerned tiger mom. Always there, always taking care. Now that they are teenagers we all have to learn that they can stand on their own two feet.
What do you wish you would have done differently? What would you warn others about?
Be clear to clients what they can ask for what price. In the beginning I definitely under charged. So my advice is: remember that you’re worth it. Giving freebies, or a lot of none chargeable hours (which the clients often don’t even know about) doesn’t make you more valuable to them. They care about getting the solution they’re looking for, not the gifts and specials you offer them in silence along the way.
Would you say you’ve achieved your big dream yet?
Yes. I successfully started my own business. It’s about a year old now, and it was an amazing year. Getting clients I didn’t even think I could ever work for. I thought way too small! Can I still grow? Is there still a bigger dream out there for me? Yes, for sure! But wow did I achieve so much already.
What do you think helped you achieve it?
Enthusiasm and professionalism. Enthusiasm to my clients, enthusiasm in my communication and in the meantime delivering bad ass texts my clients need to grow.
What’s the best advice you have for others who want to follow their big dreams?
Just start! Every great run, every great business, every adventure started with one step, one action.
Me doing great, shining in my business is also better for my family. Yes it’s true I’m not there with them all the time. And my two kids had to get used to it. But when I am home, I’m happy – singing – dancing – taking them on adventures. My growth makes them grow as well. They are so proud of me. There is a reason I registered my business on the birthday of my daughter, hoping to show them that you can always start a new dream (even when you’re 40). It’s important to remember this, especially as women who often think about and care for everybody except themselves.
More about Nadine – theorangetypewriter.nl
Nadine graduated from the School of Journalism & Design in 1998, and was an Art Director for Reed Business Information from 1998 until 2003, when she moved to Germany and got kids. Since 2016, Nadine is specializing in International Business Communication and Communication Strategy for small business owners.
Nadine’s favorite quote:
Let’s go on an adventure! (Free translation from Bilbo Baggins – The Hobbit: I am going on an adventure!)
Nadine’s big dream for the world:
Appreciate and enjoy each other’s differences, each other’s cultures. It’s an asset that we are so diverse. Not a threat.
If you want more inspiring stories of Big Dreamers, I’ve got great news for you! This story is part of an interview series, you can find all entries here.