Episode 3: Why I’m done selling people shiny objects they don’t need

Welcome to The Rachel Kurzyp Show.

You’re listening to episode three.

I wanted to do something different. I often get asked about biz journey and how I got to where I am today.

So I thought it would be useful to share a bit more of the behind the scenes stuff and the big transformational moments for me over the last eight, nearly 9 years.

I started my business when I was 25. But I didn’t go all in until I was 28.

Starting a business in your early-to mid-20s is more common now but when I started, it wasn’t. The move made sense to me because I’ve been working since I was 14 years old in various jobs, in various roles and capacities, all around the world.

I know people don’t often talk about what came before quitting their 9-5. And while I don’t want to bore you with my life story, I do think it’s worth noting what lead up to me quitting my day job because my corporate career had a huge impact on my business and how I’ve decided to run it.

I’ve been selling since I was 8 years old. My dad used to sell sheep manure as fertiliser to our local community, in Tasmania, Australia. I used to walk the streets of my neighbourhood with a notebook and knock on doors and sell the manure.

I’m not sure if this was intentional or not, but it definitely shaped my thinking around selling, serving and running a business. Thanks dad.

Since that time, I’ve had strong feelings, values, and ethics around selling that have informed everything I do in my business.

And this didn’t always prove helpful in my 9-5 roles. If I could sum up how I felt in in the 11 years between starting my first job at Domino’s pizza to my last job as a marketing manager at an international volunteer organisation it would be inner conflict.

Like most of you, I didn’t like sitting at a desk all day, I wanted the freedom to say yes to opportunities that excited me and make a large impact and be financially rewarded for my work. But what pushed me to go all into my business was that I didn’t like how businesses were operating. I didn’t like how they were about profit first and serving their clients and customers second. And I didn’t like that my role as a communications and marketing manager was to help them do this.

And it’s probably worth noting here that I have qualifications in business too. I have three degrees. A bachelor degree in business management specialising in marketing and consumer behaviour, an Arts degree specialising in journalism and online media and a masters in international development where I focused on local businesses like Grameen bank in Bangladesh.

So I had all this theoretical knowledge and I had my fair share of jobs and what I learnt wasn’t being done in practise in Australia, the UK or Bangladesh or any of the other countries I visited and lived in and I just couldn’t understand why. After a while I was so worn down by the system and trying to make changes on the inside that I knew I had to go and do my own thing.

Look, I get how idealistic this sounds. And I recognise my privilege here too. And while some of my motivations were altruistic, I’m gonna be real here, I decided to start my own business for me. I wanted to escape the system and live my life on my terms.

I was done with pointless meetings. Done writing marketing copy that instilled fear. Done dealing with old white dudes and their fragile egos. Done with pretending that what I was selling actually helped make the world a better place.

So in 2012 I started freelancing and building up my portfolio writing for local publications like the age and newsmodo on various topics from homelessness to should you use Facebook ads.

In 2013, I moved to Bangladesh where I trained local teams on all things communications and marketing as a part of my role in a government run volunteer program.

When I returned to Australia in 2014, I got a full-time job because of well money, but I also begin volunteering with other organisations. I became the communications manager for a international development-focused blog that we turned into a registered NFP here in Australia and the regional ambassador for NetSquared an American-based tech NFP that ran local events and trainings. Both volunteer roles allowed me to expand my network, hone my expertise and build my reputation.

And it was about this time that I started becoming noticed by brands and influencers. I was being asked to consult, manage marketing projects, and write million-dollar grants for global brands so I went down to 4 days a week at work and essentially started creating a bridging job for myself.

Within 6 months I was able to quit my job and go fulltime in my business. For the first few years I did writing and communication projects for corporates. It was easy because I didn’t have to do much selling or marketing, they come to me via referrals. But over time I became exhausted by this too because I hadn’t really escaped the system, I was still in but just working from home in my PJs.

Thankfully, in 2017 I started getting asked to support small business so I started creating my first done-for-you based services, basically taking what I was doing for large corporates and making it accessible for small business. Again, this work came to me via the articles I was writing and the authority I had built working with larger corporates like WHO, The World Bank, Ernst and Young and the Department of Education in Victoria.

But I found that projects always got delayed or stretched out for months, they didn’t really know what they were selling and who they helped, and they weren’t interested in finding out. And the focus was again on how much money I could generate with my content. I didn’t love selling their cookie cutter solutions.

It was at this time that I started getting asked by solopreneurs to help them start their business – create their brand personality, write their website copy, build their content marketing strategies, create their services, and close sales. And it was here that I fell in love with business, marketing, and sales again.

The feeling I got from doing this work reminded of when I was eight years old and I felt proud of what I was selling. I knew the manure was great fertiliser because we used it in our own garden. Customers would ring us up and ask for more bags and extras for their friends. People would stop my dad in the street to say hi and thank him for selling them manure. We were making a real difference to people’s lives.

This is why I love the work I do now because I can support and empower individuals to go out and make the changes they want to see in the world. And one of the best ways I know how to make that happen is by helping multi-passionate business owners just like you love their business, marketing and sales. Because the system might be broken but that doesn’t mean we can ignore the strategies we need to be seen and heard.

If you’ve been following my journey for a while now, and even if you’re new here you’ll see pretty quickly that I don’t always sound like a typical marketer. I’ll never tell you that you need to be on a certain social media platform or write your sales copy in a specific way to make a sale.

Yes, there are strategies, framework, formulas and tools that I know will help you based on research and science, and I’ll teach you these but I’m not going to sell you a plug-n-play framework for success. Because there just isn’t one.

You can’t manufacture the connection that must take place between you and your customer or client to establish the trust, like and know factor. You need to create it.

And while I will help you gain financial freedom this is the icing on the cake. And I’m here to support you create the cake. Because without it, we’re just encouraging people to invest in shiny objects that are worthless when used alone.

And I’m not down with that.

And if you’re thinking of selling or launching a new service or product soon, download my complete framework for a successful and stress-free launch. This free guide will walk you through what you need to do to ensure your new offering is going to a make a life-changing difference in your dream clients life.

Head to rachelkurzyp.com.au/successfulsales to download your copy!

Thanks so much for tuning into today’s episode.

If you’ve found what I’ve shared valuable please leave a review and hit the subscribe button, so you don’t miss when a new episode drops every Wednesday.

Hi, I’m Rachel

I support multi-talented business owners to get clear on what makes them tick and desperately needed in their industry so they can make more money.

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Should you start a podcast?

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Do you genuinely want to start a podcast? Or do you think it’s the only way to grow your audience, share your expertise and produce evergreen content?