How Deb Shaw Used His Specialized Knowledge to Work From Home!
Deb is the founder and head of research at MarketsNow, an online research service focused on currencies and commodities. Prior to MarketsNow, Deb worked in a variety of roles across financial services. Specifically, he worked in foreign exchange trading, in international payments, and in technology venture capital.
1) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
In my case, I targeted internet-based startup ideas. I also wanted a career that provided significant upside. In other words, I did not want to be limited by my choice to pursue an internet-based startup. I ended up founding an online research service focused on currencies and commodities. It’s in an area that I find very interesting (financial markets) and can also be quite lucrative.
2) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
Prior to launching my current startup, I first spent a lot of time learning about online marketing and the financial markets business. My belief was that I needed to understand both (1) how to acquire customers online and (2) how to provide what customers are looking for before achieving any degree of success. Once I was confident in my own abilities, putting together the website and publishing content was relatively straightforward.
3) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
I acquire all my customers through my website. I currently provide trading recommendations to a small number of customers who approach me directly through my website. Once MarketsNow achieves more traction, I intend to ‘product-ize’ what is essentially a consulting business today.
4) How do you market your business?
I market my business entirely through search engine marketing. By publishing updates on all the world’s major currencies and commodities every morning, I have a number of regular readers and subscribers who read my content. Given the nature of this industry, good content tends to get shared quite a bit while word-of-mouth is also a significant factor.
5) What does your usual day look like?
I break up my day into two pieces to ensure that I am working on both the product (the research that I publish) and marketing. I wake up at 6:30 and spend my mornings writing and editing research. I spend most of my afternoons promoting the business by speaking to other businesses in this area.
6) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I knew how difficult it would be to find and hire good employees. Given the nature of this business, there is a lot of material to cover on a day-to-day basis. It’s nearly impossible for me to do everything myself, and I need a lot of help. I didn’t realize how difficult it would to find good employees prior to starting this business.
7) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
Working from home (especially solo) is very tough for almost everyone. My advice would be to have a lot of confidence in what you are doing. When you (inevitably) fail from time-to-time, you want to ensure that really believe in what you are doing. If I lacked faith in my business, it would be very difficult for me to keep going.
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