When I first started the Young Money series on This Online World, I truly had no idea about what stories we would end up hearing.
We’re now on the 10th post of Young Money, and it’s been pretty incredible so far. From million dollar retail arbitrage businesses to full-time bloggers, we’ve definitely had quite an array of successful entrepreneurs who have been willing to share their stories.
Now, my goal in starting Young Money was simple. I wanted to showcase the stories of young, hungry, and passionate businesses owners or side hustlers who are trying to forge their own path.
I also wanted to highlight stories where the entrepreneur in question approaches things differently.
Considering that the entrepreneur we’re about to hear from started her freelancing/blogging career at 18 AND decided to move across the world to grow her copywriting business…well, I guess you could say we’re in for one truly incredible story!
Take it away, Araminta!
Hey everyone! My name is Araminta Robertson, I am half Spanish half Scottish, and I’m currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Like many other 18 year olds, I had no idea what I wanted to do after high school.
Although all of my friends were going to university, I decided to do some work abroad. After one year of working abroad, I attended university for three months, and dropped out after deciding it wasn’t for me.
After reading a few books, I realized that I knew nothing about the financial world. I also realized that if I understood how money worked, I would be pretty much sorted out in terms of career.
So, I started my own blog, Financially Mint, to write articles about all the books I was reading on tax, property investing and managing a business.
I tried online university and started working as an intern for a FinTech startup in Barcelona. I still kept up with blogging, and other people online hired me to do virtual assistant tasks and a bit of writing for their own websites.
I realized I could make money working from my laptop, and kept doing some freelancing work on the side.
Financially Mint never really took off, but it was an excellent way to build up a portfolio. The blog has over 100 articles on personal finance and career building tips, and it’s written with millennials and Gen Z in mind (emojis everywhere 😛).
With my internship coming to a close, I decided to find freelance writing clients specifically in the FinTech space, and that’s when I went full-time with freelance.
What Side Hustle Did You Start & Why?
You could say my first side hustle was freelance writing.
I started freelance writing because I wanted to have the flexibility to work whenever and wherever I wanted as soon as possible (yes, impatient). My parents had helped me out with rent and other expenses, so I had a few savings.
With two months of savings in the bank and a few regular writing clients, I jumped ship and moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (I was actually heading for Australia, but that’s a story for another time).
The other side hustle I maintained was a podcast with two friends, called Financial Independence Europe. The podcast itself doesn’t make money, but it has been an amazing way to meet fascinating people, gain interviewing skills, and learn a lot about the world.
We even organized a four day conference in early 2019 in Portugal, and have interviewed interesting people from every corner of the world.
How Did You Scale Your Side Hustles?
It was all timing. I found a common skill (writing) in a specific up and coming niche (FinTech) and was based in a city with demand for talent (Kuala Lumpur).
When I arrived in KL, I explored the tech scene and started pitching to FinTech startups. Lo and behold, the FinTech scene in Malaysia is booming, and people need writers. Next thing I know, I’m offered three different jobs at interesting startups.
I turn them all down, and instead insist on being hired as a freelancer (still love my freedom!). I gain more clients and keep working. I’m extremely happy that I still get to go into their offices and work with them in person, from time to time.
I learn the intricacies of freelancing: how to negotiate, what are my values, what jobs are not worth my time, which schedule works best for me, what are my strengths and what are my weaknesses.
It’s a lot of fun, mostly because for the first time in my life, people are paying me for something that I am producing.
It’s an incredible feeling. Something that I am creating with my own experience, love and ambition. Every article I produce is like a baby; all the unpaid hours, weeks and months I spent writing are finally paying off.
And, I’m extremely lucky. I love technology, I love working with startups and I love helping others add value to their businesses. I’m extremely lucky that I’ve found a “side hustle” that allows me to do exactly that.
Results & Impact
The biggest impact on my life was confidence: startup employees were listening to me when I gave marketing advice and discussed article ideas.
I hosted my own tech event and started working with InsurTech and PropTech startups. I also attended a FinTech conference and was able to ask questions without feeling small. I felt in charge and in control of my own career.
I wasn’t making bucketloads, but I was making enough (and Malaysia is extraordinarily cheap) that I could stop budgeting every cent and relax a little.
Wins, Losses & Challenges?
I’m currently dealing with a health issue that I’ve tried not to let take over my life. Because of this, I’ve had to come back to the UK, and I’m still sorting it out.
The challenge has been to keep my freelance writing going even though I’m no longer in KL. As suspected, my work significantly reduced when I left, and I’ve had to ramp up my client base using different techniques. This was a challenge, but I’ve taken it head on and now I’m expanding my network to the entire world, and not just Malaysia.
I’ve re-branded as Mint Studios, and have my own freelance website. I’ve also kept up with networking with people in the FinTech space and producing content.
I still love what I do and I keep looking for opportunities to work with startups and find interesting projects. That’s a win in my books!
Tips for Other Entrepreneurs
Live, breathe and network what you do (or want to do): Attend conferences, download podcasts, sign up to newsletters. Immerse yourself totally into that world. If you don’t like it, then this work is not for you (and that’s absolutely fine, the sooner you realise this, the better). If you like it, then you know you’ve hit the hammer on the nail.
Investigate before committing: I tried a lot of different work (au pair, museum assistant, teacher, waitress, you name it) and traveled to different countries. I did a lot of networking, listened to a lot of podcasts and read A TON of books. I kept searching for things that interested me and kept note of them. That’s how I ended up at the right time, in the right place with the right skills. Keep investigating, and when you find something you like, be willing to go down the rabbit hole.
Figure out the accounting side of things: I’m still figuring it out – you’ll spend more hours than you wish doing admin, managing accounts and talking to clients. I recommend investing in some accounting software AND an accountant.
One of my favorite sayings is “The harder you work, the luckier your get.”
I think it’s easy to look at successful entrepreneurs (especially young ones) and to think, ‘damn, you got lucky.’
But…luck really is just one small piece of the puzzle. Yes, being in the right place at the right time matters. However, in order to create a lifestyle that brings you fulfillment and happiness, you need to work to build a foundation.
I actually wrote a guest post on Financially Mint nearly 2 years ago when I started blogging at This Online World. Let me tell you, Araminta was hustling back then and nothing has changed in that time frame. I’m not the least bit surprised to now learn that she has found success and is growing an international client base in the FinTech space.
For other young adults reading, I hope her story has provided some inspiration and guidance.
Take risks, hustle to build the career or life that you desire, but make a plan.
Araminta’s point of ‘investigating before committing’ is absolutely critical. It is possible to make money online, or to become a digital nomad, or to build whatever sort of work-life balance you desire.
However, you need to put in the time and effort to test proof of concept. There is no point of buying a one-way ticket to Thailand just because you ‘hate your job’ or ‘want to try something new.’
Take time to learn the skills you need to succeed, build up a savings cushion, and pull the trigger when it makes sense. You don’t have to get everything perfect on the first try, but heading into a new chapter of life with a game plan dramatically increases your chance of success.
I’d like to thank Araminta for taking the time to share her story! Be sure to checkout her blog and the Financial Independence Europe podcast. Additionally, if you’re in need of a talented copywriter or content writer, definitely get in touch!