Matt Browman: Freelance writer values partnerships and business development
As the owner of a freelance writing business, it may not surprise you that Matt Browman quotes poet John Keats to describe his new career as a solopreneur.
“Keats wrote, ‘The poet is the person who has the ability to exist in uncertainty.’ I think it’s the same with entrepreneurs; they have to be able to handle the uncertainty. For them it’s probably the only way, because life the other way isn’t satisfactory either.”
For more than two decades, Matt worked in the wine industry. In fact, he is considered one of Canada’s most qualified and designated wine experts, and a foodie at that! He enjoyed writing sales collateral, technical documents, presentations and internationally distributed articles and blog posts for his employers. But, about five years ago, he decided to leave the job and the 9-5 work day and use his specialized skills and writing talent to go out on his own. He took a leap of faith and launched M Browman Ideas, a freelance writing business offering professional writing and editing services.
“Anybody who ever says they weren’t stressed out by launching out on their own with the uncertainty of what’s coming in and when, would be lying. Unless, of course, they’re backed by a safety net or a trust fund. That’s not me…I’ve had to make it work.”
With an English degree and an aptitude for languages (French, German and Japanese), Matt loves the written word.
“I love taking something that is fuzzy and making it clear, or taking something that is pretty and making it beautiful.”
Leveraging the sharing economy to scale his freelance writing business
Today, Matt writes and edits for a variety of clients in the wine/spirits and craft beer industry, government, investment and banking sectors. And, he loves both the creative and technical aspects of editing novels.
A short time ago, he joined Communo with an eye towards the future. He’s used the app to apply and win several jobs and he’s already collaborating with others on future projects.
He plans to leverage the partnerships he’s made and the sharing economy to scale his freelance writing business.
“The goal is to grow so I have a team of writers and other creative specialists on board. Then, it won’t just be me doing work, but I’ll have enough clients to share the work. I’d love to have so much work that I simply can’t do it all myself.”
“My weakness is sales,” laughs Matt. He’s not alone. Many creatives struggle with business development. While they’re proficient at their craft, it often feels unnatural to make sales calls and sell themselves. Matt says, one day, he hopes to meet a potential business partner through Communo – someone who excels at the business development side of things.
Blurred lines between personal and professional life
As a dad of two young boys, Matt has had to fiercely protect his family and leisure time. He’s been active in martial arts for 33 years and now teaches adult and children’s classes.
“There are times I don’t feel free to enjoy my spare time because I feel like I need to be doing more and that’s the trap that you can fall into, feeling like I can always be doing more. You need to make that choice to be present.”
What would you tell your 20-year-old self? “Buy real estate! And, life is gonna be hard, but the hard is what reveals who you are and helps you learn. “
Favorite food and wine pairing? “No such thing as a favorite wine, it’s all about picking the right wine for that moment, not to have one you always go to.”
Best advice for other Communo members: “Partnerships are so important. I’m a big believer that you get back what you put in, ten fold.”