Darby Higgs enjoys trying new things. Throughout his professional life he had quite a few different careers, from school teacher to political adviser to information manager at a think tank. Good for him, because without this eagerness for new challenges, he may have never discovered the very best way to supplement his retirement income.
Luckily Darby has a curious mind, a palate for good wine and a passion for travel. Let’s see how he combined these traits into a part-time retirement business.
1. Tell us a little about yourself, about your professional background, and how and why you decided to start your online business with SBI!.
I was born in Melbourne and have spent about half of my life in this beautiful city. My family moved to the country when I was very young and I came back to Melbourne for university. I then spent another decade in the country before moving back to the city.
I have had several careers, first as a school teacher in country high schools. Then I returned to Melbourne to work as a political adviser and later as a librarian and information manager at a university think tank.
I was building databases and websites at my last paid job; so I stumbled across SBI! when I was looking for ways to optimise my employer’s website. By that time I was interested in scaling down my career and pursuing some of my other interests, notably travel. I needed a source of income and a structure for my pursuits so I started thinking along the lines of “find something you like doing and then find someone to pay you to do it.”
2. What were your initial goals when you started vinodiversity.com? Have those goals changed over time?
Although I had no involvement in the wine industry other than as a consumer, I saw that the Australian wine industry was going through an exciting new phase. I wanted to contribute to the changes.
This basic motivation hasn’t changed much over the past decade; I still want reasonable income to supplement my retirement pension. But the real reason why I keep going is that I love dealing with the producers, marketers and passionate consumers in my wine niche.
- You can start your solopreneur career as a side hustle. That’s what some of our successful retirees have done, like Carl Trent, the “Disney Dad” and John Shank, the “Shedking.”
- You help people with your skills and knowledge rather than letting it go to waste. Just think about how much you’ve learned, either in your profession or by pursuing a hobby. There are certain to be enough people out there who’d love to tap into that knowledge of yours!
- You’re in control. You work as much or as little you as want, when you want and where you want.
- You can take your business with you. That’s a biggie, if traveling is part of your retirement dream. As long as there’s Internet and power, you can earn with your online business.
- You get to know new people and make new friends. This may even become your main reason why you keep building your business, just as Darby said above.
- You learn something new. It keeps your mind and body young.