The Journey Blog

A Big Decision – Joining One Percent Collective

Yesterday I announced that I’d accepted the role of Head of Operations at One Percent Collective. For anyone who has been reading my blogs about self-employment, it may come as a bit of a surprise that I’m venturing back into traditional employment!

Why am I doing this?

The thing is, this role is basically perfect for me. Here’s why:

  • It’s part-time (so I can continue with my independent consulting!),
  • Incredible values-alignment (which is probably the most important thing to me!)
  • It’s the kind of job I know I can add a lot of value to.

Yep, it’s a perfect trifecta of things that I’ve been looking for. I think it almost goes without saying that opportunities like this don’t come along very often!

A bit about One Percent Collective.

Pat Shepherd founded One Percent Collective six years ago after being inspired to act during a six-week volunteer stint on the Thai/Burma border.

Drawing on the writings of philosopher, Peter Singer, Pat reckoned that he could make a big difference if he could encourage a lot of people to give a small amount (1% – it’s basically nothing!) and, after a year of hard mahi, One Percent Collective was born.

Today, One Percent Collective has over 500 regular donors and works with 14 partner charities. Better yet, these charities have collectively raised more than 1.5 million dollars (and built a lot of awareness too!)

You can find a list of the charities here.

Looks like a bit of me!

So, I think it’s pretty obvious why I jumped at the opportunity to join the incredible team behind One Percent Collective.

I will still be doing the self-employment thing. It is a top priority to ensure that my clients (through Seedling Consulting) still get everything they need from me. I’m just going to have to take my time management skills to the next level!

(Might have to change the topic of the blog though 😅)

What can you do?

Well if you’re reading this and you’re feeling the vibe, I’d love it if you’d consider signing up for One Percent Collective. Giving is good. Get amongst it! You can sign up here.


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The Journey Blog

Networking: Two & Self-Employment 🧰

If you’re asking yourself what the ‘Two’ in the title is about, it’s probably because you missed ‘Networking: One’ – check it out here. If you’d prefer the TL;DR (“too long; didn’t read”) option, just keep reading.

Last week, to kick off my two-part series about networking, I wrote about my experiences in virtual networking (aka new-age networking). My key takeaways were:

  • If you’re prepared to jump on a video call with a stranger, there’ll be no shortage of people to chat with.
  • Everyone you speak to knows something you don’t.
  • Your small-talk skills will level up big time!

This week I’m writing about the ol’ faithful traditional version of networking – face to face.


It feels weird to say that in the couple of months we were in lockdown, I became very comfortable with virtual networking. Knowing that it wouldn’t be practical to only meet virtually moving forward, I’ve been making an effort to reintegrate and reacclimatise to face-to-face networking. I’ve got to say, it is a refreshing change!

After an extended hiatus, the anticipation was high, and I wasn’t disappointed. Meeting face to face rather than through Zoom brought a totally different quality to the experience. 

Digby Scott, Keep Your Meetings Real (May 2020)

It was a great experience heading down to one of my favourite cafes for a meeting. I enjoyed the coffee, the meeting, and the walk to and from the cafe!

Virtual tools are incredibly convenient and easy but they definitely lack some of the personality that a physical catch-up has. So far, I’ve only caught up with a couple of people since NZ moved to Lockdown Level 2 but, both times, they have been sessions full of rich information and conversation.

What does face-to-face have that virtual doesn’t?

Conveniently, I received an email from Digby Scott‘s mailing list this week about having ‘real meetings’. Digby wrote about a dinner party he attended with some friends, saying, “After an extended hiatus, the anticipation was high, and I wasn’t disappointed. Meeting face to face rather than through Zoom brought a totally different quality to the experience.”

He posed a pretty poignant question too, why should we meet face-to-face when it is almost always more convenient to have a virtual meeting? His take is that the following three things are enhanced by a face to face meeting:

  1. Belonging: Our deep need for a real connection with others
  2. Bringing: Our desire to bring value to the world. To make a difference 
  3. Becoming: Our hunger to learn and grow through a rich exchange of ideas

These are important things to consider as, fundamentally, everyone wants to feel like they belong, have something to offer, and have a path to personal improvement.

What’s my take?

Personality, physical connection, and authenticity.

Don’t get me wrong, I think video calls can absolutely be authentic and genuine connection can be achieved. It just doesn’t quite get to the level of a face-to-face chat.

So, what am I gonna do?

Being a big fan of both the virtual and face-to-face options, it doesn’t take much for me to draw my conclusion:

A balance of face to face and virtual networking is the way to go.

I’m going to use a mix depending on what’s convenient for my schedule. It’s much easier to stack video calls within a day because there’s no travel time and you can easily take notes and follow through with actions immediately (since you’re already on your computer!)

But, for important meetings and to create meaningful relationships and connection – there’s nothing better than meeting in person.

Like so many things in life, it’s all about balance.


I know I said that I wouldn’t be doing a weekly #Pupdate moving forward but we took Billie to a photo shoot last weekend and it was hilariously cute. She was so well-behaved for the photographer. So, keep an eye out for a professional photo or two in the coming weeks!


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The Journey Blog

Networking: One & Self-Employment 🧰

Networking is to business as ‘practice is to perfect’. It’s terribly cliche but I think there is an enormous amount of truth in the old saying, ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know.’

In light of the times and given all of the recent changes in the ways people network, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. It’s a pretty big topic so I’ve decided to split this post into two parts – one about physical networking (or traditional networking) and one about virtual networking (new-age networking).

So, here we go:

I reckon that virtual networking is the best thing since sliced bread. Which, I guess, makes it pretty good. However, I’ve realised that I haven’t bought sliced bread in over 6 weeks and the bread that I bake doesn’t come out of the oven pre-sliced (and I’m not sure that I’d want it to!)

There’s a lesson hidden somewhere in the weird carbohydrate-based statement I just made… it’s that sometimes the new version is great and other times, the tried-and-true is more appropriate. I don’t think one is better than the other – they’re both good.

For now, let’s focus on new-age networking.

Yep, we’re jumping into Zoom-town or Hangout-ville or whatever your preferred online platform is. I’ve fully embraced the idea of virtual networking. I’ve doubled down on my LinkedIn usage and I’ve been actively seeking out new people to network with.

(No idea what all the Zoom and Hangout chat is about? Check this out.)

Here are a few of my key takeaways:

  • If you’re prepared to jump on a video call with a stranger, there’ll be no shortage of people to chat with.

I’ve put up a couple of posts on LinkedIn advertising the fact that I’m keen to chat. People who approach you are likely to be the kind of people you want to speak to – yes, you may get the occasional multi-level marketer, just be honest and say you’re not interested.

You’ve just got to be prepared to say yes.

  • Everyone you speak to knows something you don’t.

The amount of information I’ve learned from random strangers on the internet is, quite simply, awesome. I’ve learned about apps, awesome mailing lists & news-sites, browser plug-ins, podcasts amongst a bunch of other things.

  • Your small-talk skills will level up big time!

This goes without saying. You’ve got to learn how to do small talk if you’re going to make conversation with people from across the world. It only gets easier – I’ve heard the trick is to get the other person talking about themselves. It’s particularly easy at the moment given the common unity we’re all experiencing due to COVID-19.

Next week

I’m going to be writing about physical networking – I’m definitely missing it at the moment after lockdown in NZ. It’s going to be interesting utilising a mixture of physical and virtual networking moving forward.


My latest obsession is listening to white noise while I work. I’ve found it helps centre/calm me, reduces distraction, and results in better productivity.

Have a listen to the white noise playlist on Spotify and let me know what you think.


Billie’s been back to the vet this week for her very-last round of puppy booster vaccines. She’s doing well and we’re doing well. We’re really, really happy.

I’m thinking I’ll reduce the frequency of the pupdates now that we seem to have moved through a lot of the early puppy stuff – rest assured, she’s a well-loved and happy dog. I’ll still be signing off with a photo of her each week!


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The Journey Blog

Writing A Blog & Self-Employment 🧰

A blog about writing a blog. It doesn’t get much more meta than that.

I’d wager that everyone has something interesting on their mind that could be made into a blog post. I’d also wager that most people would benefit from writing more. Writing can be therapeutic and, when done regularly, it will enhance your communication skills and empower you. It’s also pretty cool when you have a written record of certain times in your life (though it’s also slightly embarrassing looking back at old blog posts at times – but, hey, it’s character-building).

Why am I writing a blog?

Longer-term readers and those close to me will know that I decided to begin writing my blog as a way of documenting my self-employment journey and to hold myself accountable. I didn’t have many set tasks in the early days of Seedling Consulting so it was good to have one thing that I could set myself deadlines around.

Now, 22 blogposts in (and counting!), I’ve realised that my blog has become a creative release. Unsurprisingly, writing frequently has resulted in my writing becoming better while reducing the amount of time it takes me to write a post (generally speaking).

As someone who’s in business, it’s also a great way to promote my website and for someone who is interested in my services to get to know me. I’ve even been able to help out with some basic copy-writing for my mates over at Psychoactive Studios!

Definitely check out Psychoactive's website. So good!

Why should you write a blog?

Basically, for the same reasons I have. If this is something you’ve been thinking about then I’d encourage you to give it a go. You literally have nothing to lose (as long as you don’t say something massively controversial – then you might have something to lose haha!).

Now before you start giving me excuses as to why you can’t, I’ve pre-prepared some rebuttals below:

  • I don’t know how to start a blog! See below section titled, ‘How do you start writing a blog?’.
  • I don’t know what to write about! What’s something you’re passionate about? Write about that.
  • I’m not a writer. Maybe not yet but all writers started somewhere.

All these and a bunch more excuses (and why they’re not valid) can be found here.

How do you start writing a blog?

Personally I use a WordPress website which gives me all of the tools I need to publish this blog. It costs me about $3/month for WordPress hosting and I bought the domain name ( for something like $30 when I set-up the website. This was all managed through Namecheap – don’t judge a book (or a name) by its cover (like I did), their customer support and resources are amazing.

Other options could be:

  • Wix website: free – unless you want a custom domain name. You’ll get your own website to do whatever you like with too!
  • Medium: also free (as far as I can tell) – in fact, they’ll pay you if people read your posts. You don’t get your own website.
  • LinkedIn: also free – share direct to LinkedIn where you’ll have your pre-built captive audience (your network).

These are just three options and there’s dozens more. Have a look and if you do start a blog, send me the link – I’d love to have a read.


Up until now, Billie has been basically the goodest dog you can imagine. We had a slight hiccup this week when she chewed the plug off a lamp [see photo!]. We were slightly unimpressed to say the least. Fortunately it wasn’t plugged in!


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The Journey Blog

Celebrating Success & Self-Employment 🧰

I’ve been so busy writing blogs, jumping on random Zoom chats, and… well, doing my day-job that I didn’t even realise I’d chalked up twenty weekly blog posts. The big 2-0. That’s something to celebrate… but I missed it. And now we’re here at post 21!

Yep, it’s bloody easy to forget to celebrate success. Often, I find that I’m just looking to my next win – I’ve always got to get my next hit of success. But what’s the point in working and working if we don’t stop and smell the roses from time to time?

You don’t need me to tell you this.

It’s common sense but for some reason we all seem to forget it all the time. We need to reflect on our wins (and our losses, for that matter but that’s another blog post…), bask in the glory of a job well done (but not for too long), and acknowledge the time and effort put into a worthy task.

I don’t think there’s an exact formula for celebrating success. I think it’s just doing something that makes you happy as a reward for your hard work. Pretty simple really.


For once, I actually did a little bit of research for a blog post. I did a quick google search and found a Tony Robbins post about celebrating success. It turns out Mr Robbins had already asked his followers about the various ways they celebrate success. Convenient for us, I reckon!

So, here are some cool, very easy, and intentional things that you could/should be doing to commemorate your achievements (big or small):

  1. “Having a great cup of coffee, sitting back and contemplating what I’ve accomplished. Being thankful, and using that energy to propel me forward.”
  2. “I look for a way to share it with the people that made it possible.”
  3. “After seeing all the great touchdown victory dances on the red zone football show, I am currently creatively working on my own victory dance.”
  4. “I celebrate with someone I really care about. We just do whatever comes to us in that moment – no plan, we just go and experience it.”

What am I doing to celebrate my success?

I’m writing this post and I’m acknowledging the work I’ve put in to date. I’m nowhere near done and my writing still has a long way to go but this is an important milestone on this journey that I’m on. And you know what? It feels good 🎉


As I type this while sitting on the couch (relaxed blogging!), I’ve got Billie desperately trying to get comfortable next to me. She’s a bit sick of my arm moving so much as I type… given she’s trying to use it as a pillow [as seen in the photo below!]


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