The journey to entrepreneurship: 2012 in review

I declared to the world that 2012 would be my year of being an entrepreneur. A few months into 2013 and I’m still living without a boss and carving my way to doing what I love. Here’s the low down on my 2012.

What I achieved in 2012

I created a website, became proficient at using WordPress, wrote 34 blog posts and received 8,608 visits and 101 comments from friends and strangers on my site and even more on Facebook and Twitter.

I completed Kita Bet (grade 2) at the Ulpan – Hebrew language school, which was 5 months of 4 mornings a week classes. My Hebrew has improved a lot, I have more confidence in the language, and I’m understanding more and more about Israel and its people.

I had a lot of ups and downs with freelancing, and came to realise it’s a difficult and uncertain way of life, but luckily I have a few good clients that keep me afloat, and that is what matters.

I wrote half a terrible novel during NanoWrimo (a total 23,800 words). I joined a writing group that meets every week, and continue to practice writing, my favourite creative outlet.

And the big news is….. I joined a start-up! Introducing CasaVersa, an awesome home exchange platform. Travel more, live like a local, and never pay for accommodation again! I’m the marketing/community manager, writing and curating all our social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest) and our blog (which I created from scratch!). I’m learning loads in the process. It’s an adventure being part of a really small team trying to create something new. I’m super happy that I’ve officially joined the start-up nation (as Israel is called), and am diving into the tech-entrepreneurship hub here that isn’t not found many places in the world.

People in chairs on the shore of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), Israel

Jacob’s Ladder Festival goers cooling off in the Kinneret – May 2012

In 2012 I learned that:

I’ll always be confused about my career. I sought some help and read a few books (including a particularly great one called How to Find Fulfilling Work). I organised meetings about escaping from the corporate world and drew a bunch of people around me who think similarly to me.

Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. The hardest thing for me is trying to ignore the negative person in my head constantly reminding me of all the risk and uncertainty involved in doing something different. It’s always reminding me how easy life would be if I just got a proper job (particularly one in Australia). I spend a lot of my time telling the voice to shut up! I listened to it when trying to build my freelance career, and it didn’t help me. I listened to it when we created Stick Around, and again it didn’t help. It’s still talking occasionally these days, but it never says anything useful.

I’m not immune to its negative ways yet, but I’m getting better at ignoring it. I have a feeling that the negative voice will always be there – it’s natural for people to be risk averse, it’s helped people survive and flourish for thousands of years, but it’s also what has kept us working for the man and not doing what we love. In this new world of endless opportunities we have to stop listening to the negatives, and use our education, knowledge and opportunities to make this life as incredible as we dream, and more.

bluebells and a bay

Somewhere on the Isle of Skye – June 2012

I don’t mind working all the time. Being a freelancer means sometimes you’re swamped, and when you’re swamped there are no rules about working hours. So I work on the weekends, late into the evenings, and on holidays. To those of you who work in a regular job this must sound pretty horrible, but then you’re used to work taking up almost every day of your life, and not being able to decide when you work and when you don’t. But for me, I really don’t mind. I know the busy time will end. I know that each hour I put in means money in the bank. And I know that next week I can have a long lunch with my friend and no boss will be wondering when I’m coming back to work. Freelancing is freedom!

…when the siren sounds, run for shelter. It seems like it was forever ago now, even though it has been just 5 months since I heard a rocket land for the first time. Life is completely back to normal here, in Tel Aviv except for often doing a double take when I hear the low rumble of a motorbike engine accelerating. I’m hoping for peace.

Jo at Primavera festival in Porto- June 2012. Photo by Fly on the Wall.

What’s in store for 2013

Launching CasaVersa! I would LOVE for you to go and sign up now – you don’t have to want to do a home exchange, just think of it as a sign that you want to stay in touch with us. Join us for the start-up journey!

Continuing to study Hebrew. My Hebrew has improved but my main problem now is that I really don’t use it very much day to day. I have some ideas for fixing that, like meeting a friend from class to practice once a week, and finding a language exchange partner. Being married to an Israeli, I know that I’m always going to be learning more Hebrew, no matter where I am in the world.

Continuing my career journey. I’ve realised that I’ll probably never know what I really want to do with my life, because it’s an answer that I’ll never be able to truly answer. The question is simply too big. I’m going to keep on doing things I love, searching for new ideas, learning new things, and surrounding myself with great people. And I’ll keep doing that forever.

2012 was an awesome year, and 2013 is already going fabulously. We’re about to spend 5 weeks in Australia and Japan, which we’re super excited about!

To send you off on a lovely note, here are some more gorgeous pictures from our year of 2013.

Diving in the Red Sea from Aqaba – October 2012. Photo by Fly on the Wall. Working from a Cafe Aqaba TEDxJaffa Street art in Tel Aviv – and inspiration Us on the front page for Stick Around
Haifa Bahai Gardens

Haifa Bahai Gardens

Wadi Kel Geneva



















Jo Savill is a writer, science communicator and entrepreneur. Stay up to date with Jo’s writing by signing up to her newsletter.

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