I could’ve been anything.
So why choose to become a writer?
I was always going to be a writer. My dad taught me to touch type on his Olivetti 386 when I was 4. He made me print out all my homework on our dot-matrix printer, and that probably explains why I have the handwriting of a 4-year-old child.
I did drift from my writer path several times though, after hitting a few snafus along the way. At one point, I wanted to become a priest. Also a chef. (I love cooking.) A pro fighter. A film director. A propaganda researcher and theorist. A stripper. (Kidding.)
But after graduating into the Great Recession of 2008, what I ended up as was an archivist at a business school. A construction worker in Central Lancashire. A receptionist at a student desk. An administrator at the National Health Service.
Then came the cushy stuff.
Editor-in-chief at one of the largest research editing firms in Asia. Marketing director at a research editing startup in Taipei. A creative director at a multimillion-dollar performance ad agency in Australia…
So why did I choose to go freelance if I had it so good?
Corporate life wasn’t for me. I’m not into office politics, stressing out about who’s gunning for your job, or who’s trying to kiss the boss’ ass this week.
What I did enjoy about these senior-level positions was that I was able to produce all the training material, hire and train teams of copywriters, editors, designers, and video editors from scratch, help foster company cultures, and test out all shades of SaaS tools to roll out company-wide.
On a holistic level, I love business building. I am absolutely addicted to creative troubleshooting, and I view entrepreneurship as a puzzle to be solved. I also detest being the smartest person in the room, which is why I founded the Freelance Copywriter Collective, a Facebook group and website. (Combined with our job board, we make up 20,000+ copywriters!)
Initially, I wasn’t planning on selling them anything. I just knew there were others out there who were smarter than me, and I needed experts to teach me—and for free, so this is how I managed to surround myself with industry pros.
And when opportunity came knocking, in the form of several Facebook ad agency founders reaching out to ask me if I had any resources for the creative side of Facebook ads, I founded FB Swipes. In an industry plagued with media buying courses and training, the scantness on the creative end presented an opportunity.
To this day, I’m recognized as a Facebook ads expert, and I still receive requests for podcast interviews and invitations to expert panels, even though between you and me, I wanted to do something more impactful than Facebook ads, and have strived to move away from it.
Things just got personal.
I live in Bangkok, Thailand, with my girl and my rescue dog. Despite living in one of the biggest cities in Asia, I’m a country boy at heart. (I spent much of my childhood in my hometown, Oliena, in Sardinia, farming olives, reading books, and building chicken coops.)
Even though I’m from a small farming town, with my dad in the foreign service, I was fortunate enough to travel the world and meet all types of people. I also speak 6 languages, and have been building my own PCs with my younger brother since the fourth grade. (My dad’s a techie too.)
Outside of work, I enjoy reading comics (anything a’ la Garth Ennis), dystopian fiction, and popular physics books. I also enjoy gaming (Fallout, GTA, and RDR2; anything storydriven and open world) and combat sports (boxing, muay thai, bjj, and grappling).
But enough about me! What about you?
What are you working on? How can I help?