Back in 2005, this podcast was brand new. I had only just started to interview entrepreneurs and one of the very first guests was Robert Gerrish, co-founder of Australian small business community FlyingSolo.com.au (and author of the Flying Solo Book).
You can listen in to that first podcast here.
Today, 13 years later, Robert is returning to the Entrepreneurs Journey Podcast to share how his company grew and was eventually sold to a publishing company owned by David Koch, a well-known Australian television personality.
Built To Sell
I asked Robert to explain why Flying Solo wasn’t built like so many other blogs at the time, around the personal brand of the founder. It could easily have been the ‘Robert Gerrish’ blog, leveraging his growing fame as an expert on small business in Australia.
Robert was speaking on stage, he’d released a book, he was a popular coach, so it would have completely made sense for his new web project called FlyingSolo.com.au to feature his content and build his brand.
During the interview, you will hear Robert explain that his decision to grow Flying Solo as an independent brand was done because he wanted to create something that was independent so it could one day be acquired.
Although I doubt he realized at the time it would take over a decade for that vision to come true, eventually Flying Solo was acquired by a big Australian publishing company.
How Robert Found A Famous Buyer For His Web Business
At the start of this podcast, we talked a lot about how the Flying Solo website was first grown, including why the focus on community was so important.
Toward the end of the podcast, we dived into the story behind the sale, including how Robert ended up having three potential buyers, one from Sydney and two from Melbourne.
If you’re currently building a content and community-driven online business, or you’re interested in selling your company, this podcast will provide some unique insights.
Enjoy the episode!
Topics Robert Covers In This Podcast
- How he went from helping others create lifestyle businesses on his own to start Flying Solo
- How he grew his business to 118,000 Australian members in 12 years
- Why he chose not to use his personal identity as the brand of Flying Solo
- The doubts and fears he had in his mind had in making that decision
- His “hippy-ish” approach to recruitment
- Moving fast vs slow in business, and why you don’t have to be a trailblazer of business trends
- The importance of being completely transparent with your agency
- Why he eventually decided to exit his business
- His journey selling FlyingSolo.com.au to Australian TV Presenter David Koch
- Why it’s so important to understand who you’re serving and focus on serving them instead of money
- The concept of “designing with the end in mind” when starting a business from scratch
- His pub analogy for how to handle an online community
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