Liam Carnahan of Inkwell Content has been working in the content world for more than a decade. Starting out as a lowly writer on a content farm, he eventually grew to become the Director of Content at a major digital content marketing agency in Sydney. But in May 2019, he decided he’d had enough of his agency life and left his day job to run Inkwell Content Services. In addition, he also runs Invisible Ink Editing as he pursues his passion and talent for helping other writers improve their work.
What does freedom look like for you?
“Right now, freedom for me is centered around being “globally unchained.” I spent 10 years, before I started freelancing, handcuffed to various desks. Now that I’m a freelancer, I can go wherever I want, as long as there’s an internet connection. I’m kicking off my celebration of “locale freedom” in April with a trip through Asia.”
“…If you can find a way to manage your self-doubt, you’ll be on the path to freedom.”Liam Carnahan
When did you realize freedom was important to you?
“If you want to go way back, I’d have to credit that to my parents, both of whom taught me the value of freedom by giving me plenty of it when I was younger. My father’s a minister and my mom’s a therapist… and I’m a gay atheist. Despite these circumstances, they always told me that I should be my true self through and through, and that’s the ultimate freedom—feeling comfortable in your own skin.
When it comes to working freedom, I’d have to say America taught me the value of freedom—but I’m not being as patriotic as I sound. Working in a world where you are limited to 8 days vacation and almost no paid sick leave really teaches you the value of freedom, because you don’t have it. When I moved abroad to Australia, where 20 days paid vacation each year is the legal minimum, my eyes really opened up to how restricted my freedom was back in the states. “
What one piece of advice would you give to people that are in pursuit of their own freedom?
“You are worth it! A lot of people freeze up when transitioning to a less traditional working life, because it feels like an impossible and scary undertaking. Underneath this, there’s probably a whole heap of self doubt. You don’t think you’re good enough, or that you don’t deserve to live the life you’re dreaming of. But you do deserve that life. If you have a hard time believing that, start asking yourself why you think you don’t deserve it. Talk back to that little voice in your head saying you can’t/shouldn’t do it, and tell it to mind its own business. It will never go away completely, but if you can find a way to manage your self-doubt, you’ll be on the path to freedom.”
As leaders in their space, they are always learning – what have you changed your mind/perspective on?
“Email. Honestly, I thought email marketing was dead until very recently. I’m an email purist, so I very rarely subscribe to marketing newsletters/email lists. My inbox is sacred and for work-related emails only. I assumed most people were this way, but oh boy, I was super wrong about that. In fact, there are many, many people out there who love email lists and actually look forward to them in their inbox every day or week. I’m still coming around on my own subscription habits, but I now understand that building an email list is a very valuable practice, if you can get it right.”
Most influential book?
“Hmm, I know you’re probably looking for a self-help book, but I’m a fiction nerd, so I’m going to recommend the best book I read last year, which was The Power by Naomi Alderman. Not only will the book’s thrilling plot suck you in, it examines what power means in every sense in the world, and will make you rethink the current power structures that exist in our society. Go pick up a copy!”