Escaping the 9 to 5 with Dave Williams

audio editor Sri Lanka

In this month’s career transition interview, I’m talking to Dave Williams. Dave is a friend who amazingly has taken on the job of editing my podcast episodes these days, for which I’m incredibly grateful.

His is a story of not wanting to change career as such but wanting to change location and move his family to the other side of the world.  Watch the full interview or read the transcript below to find out how he made the move to Sri Lanka.

Audio editor in Sri Lanka

Dave Williams had been working at the same London post-production company for 13 years when he made the jump with his family to the tropics. He loved his job and the work environment but couldn’t see himself staying there for the next 10-15 years. Today, he’s a freelance sound designer working remotely from Sri Lanka.

You can connect with Dave on his website.

1) At what moment did you decide it was time for a change?dave-computer

Anna:                              Hello everybody and welcome to this month’s Fearless Fridays. I am here with Dave Williams, and Dave why don’t you go ahead and kick things off and let us know what you were doing in your previous life and what and where are you now?

Dave Williams:              Hello. Yeah, I’m Dave Williams. Previously I was a sound designer in London. I worked for the same company for almost exactly 13 years to the day I left. I loved it very much, I loved the job. And as with that sort of job, you earn your stripes at a company, hence why people stayed… I don’t think many people these days have worked for a company for 13 years. It’s less common than it used to be, should we say?

Dave Williams:              But in my industry, maybe not so, because I started there as an assistant, and you earn your stripes and you earn your seat doing the job and you just stay. I was very happy there, but now I’m doing the same job but freelance, and living in Sri Lanka.

Anna:                           Amazing. I guess the first question is then, if you loved it so much, why was it that you decided to, and I guess you’re still doing the same work as you said, so what was the decision around going freelance, and also I guess specifically moving to Sri Lanka?

Dave Williams:              Well, the moving abroad thing was a family decision. My wife had an expat childhood. Her father took the family around the world, so she’d grown up in Indonesia and China and various places like that. It was just something she wanted to do, or we wanted to do. I’d lived and worked in London. I’m not from London, from Edinburgh originally, but I moved to London after university, so I’d done nearly 20 years there.

Dave Williams:              It had always been just a burning thing that I wanted to work abroad or live abroad at some point. I kind of thought I’d missed the chance when I got married and had kids, and then it’s kind of worked out totally opposite. It’s a great time to move abroad with young kids, before you get involved in the school system in the UK.

Dave Williams:              But work wise, I very much loved my job. I’ve always considered myself very lucky that I found … I always remember the exact moment that I realised that this was what I wanted to do. I did try plenty of other things on the way, and I had the mantra that crossing stuff off the list is as important as adding stuff to a list. I did jump to that. I was happy to say, “No, I don’t like that. Move onto the next” sort of thing.

Dave Williams:              They were all sound orientated, but I worked through the music side of things and then worked on sets. I remember the very first time I did sound to picture and that was it, sold. And I still feel the same today. So, my problem was that I, having been at the same company for 13 years, well, still am a shareholder there. So, a lot of people, the senior staff were also shareholders, so the senior staff hadn’t really turned over in that time, so we were a family.

Dave Williams:              It was a wonderful work environment. But I just had this thing in the back of my mind, I was very happy now, but I didn’t see myself in 10 years’ time as a 50 year old, or in 15 years’ time, doing the same thing. Times two what I’d already done. I had a problem, I don’t know why, it just didn’t sit well with me. I also, my father at the age 40, completely shifted his life. He changed career. Moved countries from England to Scotland, but he had always just said it was one of the best things he’d ever done, and that always just sat with me as well.

Dave Williams:              Some would call it a midlife crisis. For me, it was just that I realised that it was about time, a great time in life to make a major change. My problem was, though, I was very happy in my job, so I didn’t want to change career. I just needed to change how we did it. For years, a number of years we looked at moving with a job, so I applied for jobs in Asia, Singapore, and places like that.

Dave Williams:              But I ran into the same problem of people stakeholder in their jobs in this industry. As I did. I would have never moved if we had stayed in London, and I ran into that time and time again. I basically had an offer in Singapore. If the phone had rung over a period of about three years, we would have moved, but I was waiting for someone else to move on, and he never did. So yeah, we had to find another route. The freelance was the jump that we made.

Anna:                           I was going to say, it sounds like you had a couple of positive role models there, in a way that your wife already had the expaty background, so she had the positive experience of moving around internationally, also as a child I guess, and as well, your dad, as you said. It’s so important to have seen that experience. Other people might have had a negative experience, that their father really struggled with their business and that can really influence how we see entrepreneurship, I suppose. Would you say it was extra difficult, I guess, given that you’d worked so hard to get up the ladder? And as you said, you really enjoyed the job, so what were the challenges in saying goodbye to that particular company and job, but also to the stability of a salary and so on, and perhaps also to England at least for the time being?

2) What was the biggest challenge you faced in making the change?

Dave Williams:              Yeah. I mean, I’d like to think that I never particularly had an ego about it. What I’d often said about the job is it didn’t really matter to me, didn’t have to be a Nike commercial or anything like that. I didn’t have to be working on that all the time to enjoy my job. I didn’t even necessarily have to enjoy the commercial or whatever it was, or like it. It might have been a terrible piece of [inaudible 00:06:24] but I could enjoy my bit of it. Doing the sound, I could take pleasure out of that.

Dave Williams:              I knew that moving away from London, I was putting the bigger jobs at risk, but I was at peace with that. I knew that maybe the level of work … Sorry, just to go back one step, another motivation for coming here was actually to get better at my job. There was this particular part of what I do that’s a really creative end of it, that I had always yearned to learn, but just never got around to it.

Dave Williams:              A busy life, work, family life, commute, all this sort of thing. Finding an hour or two every day to learn something new, I was really struggling with. Not just finding the time but the motivation, as well. Because it would have to be an end of day thing. I was a busy guy and it just wasn’t happening. By the time we wrapped up this whole move to Sri Lanka, which was the coming together of many, many things. Job, family, a couple of unfortunate things in our life health-wise, and a death in the family and things like that. Was just all added to when we made the decision, to jump and do something a bit more adventurous than we had been looking for originally. It felt right.

Dave Williams:              It didn’t feel that brave or it didn’t feel that crazy. It felt quite calculated. Some people kept on saying, “This is incredibly brave” but we really thought it through. We were really at peace with each level of it, and the work side, there was a risk there that I wasn’t going to get … The phone wasn’t going to ring. But I was at peace with the fact that the quality of the work might not be quite at the same level, but if I got time to get better at my job, it would be one step back and two steps forward.

Dave Williams:              So, that would come, and if it all worked out and we end up staying here, which I’d like to stay, we’ve been here 10 months now and we’ve just bought a piece of land, so it’s working out. Yeah, that will come back and even in the 10 months I’ve been here, I’ve seen the quality of the work improve. And to the variety, so it’s brought many different … There’s many different sides to my job now, so it is a very positive thing, and yes, there were positive people involved in making the decision. There was also negative things that happened to us as a family that ended up with us making a more positive decision.

Dave Williams:              So yeah, when we jumped on that plane, it did feel very positive. All around. And it felt exciting as well. And age 41, with a four year old and a two year old, that’s a very lovely feeling.

Anna:                           It sounds like a perfect storm I guess, as you said, positive and unfortunately some negative circumstances as well, and then very well thought through and an intentional decision. Was there anything in terms of I guess going freelance, or the move, was there anyone in particular, any resource you used to help you out there, to overcome of the challenges of doing that with the kids or just work wise?

3) Where did you get the support you needed to make it happen?

Dave Williams:              I mean, I guess the freelance move was helped entirely by my time in the industry. I mean, fortunately my black book is the clients that I’ve worked for over the 13 years. Unfortunately one of the natures of the industry is there is grades of work. [inaudible 00:10:31] people who produce top level stuff also produce stuff with different budgets, some of which I would be perfect for.

Dave Williams:              Working here in Sri Lanka, I felt that I could offer … It just seemed to roll off the tongue quite nicely, that you could pay me a London day rate essentially, and get a London quality mix for the price of about two hours in a studio in London. From the client side, you can’t sit with me, you can’t sit in the back of my room and we work through everything together. But not every job requires that, fortunately.

Dave Williams:              The actual jump into freelance, the hedge that I made was that the clients, the existing clients I had were going to call. And they did. And the most powerful thing I found after that, of way more powerful than me jumping on a plane and coming back to London and knocking on people’s doors is word of mouth and just producing good work. I found time and time again, if you do a good piece of work … Fortunately back in London, or a certain part of the industry is freelance.

Dave Williams:              You find producers, the people who make the work or put together budgets and make jobs come together. A lot of those guys are freelance, so if you know some of those guys and they go and work for one company, and you do a good job with them, and then they’ll go and the producer will move onto another company, but the one they left might use you again, and the one they go to might use you again. You just continually got to produce good work, and so that’s also a really lovely feeling, because I think maybe back in London, I’d become a little bit blasé. I knew I could do the job but I was friendly with a lot of clients, but I felt … Because you’re sitting there face-to-face, you feel you can impress them by just having a nice time with them.

Dave Williams:              Whereas here, I only can impress them by being producing good work, being [inaudible 00:12:54], being efficient. In that respect, I think I am better at my job, without having actually found that much time to learn the new things that I hope for, but that’ll come.

Anna:                           Sounds like there’s a very smart niche there that you’ve calved for yourself, as you said, particular level of work that doesn’t require, I don’t know, a massive agency, doesn’t require you to be onsite and so on, and a really good value proposition for them. I’m curious, did you have to do anything … Of course, once … Not of course, but once you have worked with them and done an incredible job, there’s the word of mouth, the recommendations, but was there anything you needed to do to get that snowball going? Did people just hear of the fact that you were moved and you were now available? Did you have to actively reach out to people and let them know that you were available freelance?

Dave Williams:              Funny enough, that is the part of the job, the new, part of my new job, because I used to just be a sound designer. Now I’m a sound designer but I’m also an accountant, a producer, business … I’ve had to learn how to do spreadsheets. But yes, that was the part that I was least good at. Just letting people know that you are here pitching those emails correctly, timing them correctly, not too often, not too … I would sit here at my computer and procrastinate and not want to do it.

Dave Williams:              Because I just, it’s not natural for me to do that, to just say, “Hey, how you doing? I’m here, this is what I can offer you. This is what I’ve been working on recently. Hope you’re well.” But having done it a few times, and immediately picked up work from it, it becomes easier and now I think I’m about right. Sometimes it can be … There’s been times out here where I’ve felt like a bit of an island. You send out some emails to people who you’ve had a long relationship with, working relationship, and there’s no acknowledgement at all.

Dave Williams:              But it happened to me earlier today. Then two weeks after I sent it, a reply, and a promise of some work. It’s incredibly rewarding when it does happen. I can’t remember fully the original question.

Anna:                           No, that’s perfect. I think as you said, it was something that you did, I guess have to get comfortable with. It’s a bit uncomfortable at the beginning. I come from a branding marketing background and I still struggle probably still now, but certainly the beginning, in terms of telling people what I did and selling myself is very different to selling somebody else, but it’s really positive as you said, that you’ve just been genuinely reaching out to people. If you don’t mind my asking, have you felt that it’s sort of … Have you been able to manage the ups and downs? Because I guess that’s always the fear around freelancing that one day you have 10 contracts, the next day you have zero. Have you been able to manage that, so you feel it’s more or less steady and you can plan the work?

Dave Williams:              Yes. It’s definitely something I had to get used to. Fortunately, the phone rang pretty soon after I landed, so there has been some work. I mean, not constant, but work came in the door quite early on, which settled things a little bit. Obviously I’m not working in a half million pound architecturally designed studio anymore. I had to get over the hurdle of will it actually work? Can I produce work of the quality that it needs to be? I got over that pretty quickly.

Dave Williams:              But yes, it’s much more personal now. On the day, there are days when I don’t have any work. There are some days where I do two days’ work in a day, a long day. There’s been some months where I’ve earned double what I did in London. There are some months when it’s less, but when it all pans out, you have to get used to seeing the big picture or the longer game. It’s nice now that I’m starting to get … I mean, the nature of my work anyway is it’s quite short notice.

Dave Williams:              I wouldn’t expect to be booked up for the next month, or a month in advance or anything like that. But I’m starting to get things booked a few weeks in advance. And sometimes I can look ahead a few weeks and that week is booked out, and that is really lovely. Because yeah, it is personal. What I found so far, and I don’t know if this is just a thing, but when the closer your hand gets to the panic button, that’s when things tend to happen. Maybe you just feel it more, maybe when the job does come in, the relief or the hand snatching away from the panic button, you sense it more, but so far touchwood, whenever I have felt that I potentially need to do something different or change tack, or I nearly booked a flight to London at one point.

Dave Williams:              Funnily enough, I did come in the end because I got booked in London for two weeks, but something has always happened, positive. As I said, there’s been months where it’s been mind blowing. But I would say as an average of the 10 months, when you really look at it, it’s been quite steady which is incredible. I mean, if you told me one year ago that A, this particular job would be suited to working at the end of your garden in Sri Lanka, and that I could potentially be as rich in terms of financially and rich in happiness and all of those things, I would have laughed to you. I didn’t think it was possible.

Dave Williams:              And even when I made the jump to do it out here, I was assuming that it was going to feel very different, and it was going to be much more of a struggle. Not that it hasn’t been a struggle, but I should have … It’s easier to say in hindsight, but I had such a good bedrock there from doing it for so long, and enjoying it for so long. I mean, the two have come hand-in-hand. I’m not trying to tell you I’m incredible at my job, but I really love it, and I think that probably comes across.

Dave Williams:              I believe that if you want to be good at something, you do have to love it. Whatever I’ve done in the past has come back to pay me back in terms of the phone calling, the phone ringing, since I landed here.

Anna:                           Amazing. That’s very reassuring and inspiring, and I think it’s good to be prepared for having to maybe take a lower income, certainly in the first year and so on, but also fantastic that you’ve been able to get the work and that it has been as you said, more or less steady. Of course, we always have those dips and I think you’re right, there’s always the lowest point just before we have a breakthrough. We’re just about to hop on a flight back to London when that biggest contract potentially comes in. That’s an interesting one, just have to take a breath and have the faith that it will keep coming.

Anna:                           You mentioned that it was a very positive changes for the kids, for you. Work wise sounds great, and you’re learning more and so on. What would you say are the best parts of your lifestyle now?

4) What’s the best part of your lifestyle today?dave-computer

Dave Williams:              Best parts of this is … It’s a two pronged one, because it can be the best and the worst part of my lifestyle, is the more fluid nature of my days. I book my work so I can fit stuff in when and where i want, so up to a point. There’s a five and a half hour time difference, so we’re ahead of the UK by five and a half hours. I can get up in the morning and I can drop the kids off at school, I can go for a surf, and I can be sitting at my … I’m rubbish at surfing, but it’s coming.

Dave Williams:              But I can be sitting at my desk by half past nine, exactly the same time I was in the UK, and I’ve got five and a half hours work before anyone even wakes up, before anyone gets in in the UK. I’m five and a half hours ahead. The way that usually manifests itself is I’ve done most of the work, I’ve got the mix ready. By the time the client gets in in the morning, it’s waiting in their inbox.

Dave Williams:              And then you go through a feedback process, generally. This is sort of a cookie cutter day. They’ll watch it and they’ll mull it over, and there might be a bit of a toing and froing. When I say the great part of the day is that I work hard in the morning and I quite often get some time off in the afternoon. When the kids come back from school, we can do whatever, and generally I then will go back to work a bit later on. But in terms of the structure of a day, it works quite nicely. Sometimes I don’t go back to work until after the kids might be in bed, about what time it is now.

Dave Williams:              But it breaks the day up quite nicely, and I get to spend family time, which is a motivator for coming here. And I’m happy, and the client’s happy, and the way it all works is brilliant. On the flip side, when it doesn’t work, and when suddenly feedback starts coming in just as once you’ve maybe stepped away from the desk, because you would at home anyway, because people have to listen to it, and because the time difference, when you go into the evening, which I totally expect, and I generally stay up to 11:30 anyway, which was the end of playtime in the UK.

Dave Williams:              Even if I haven’t got any work to do, because there might be stuff coming up the next day. But it can sometimes steamroll whatever plans you do have. I’m never too far away from a studio. I haven’t learned to say no to anyone yet. I’m still very much in the mindset of I will do anything that people ask me to do. I don’t know if that’ll ever change. But if there has been a problem, I know you asked about positives and I’m now talking about negatives, but if there is, it’s the same answer.

Dave Williams:              When it works, it’s the best thing about it. When it doesn’t work, it can be the most stressful thing about it. Because I might find myself somewhere else with kids, because it’s that time of day here. And suddenly stuff hits the fan somewhere else and I need to drop … That’s the thing. You’ve just got to drop everything and come back to a little room in the end of a garden and get on with it. Yes, you just have to accept that and that can sometimes be the worst part of it. It’s the best and worst.

Anna:                           That’s interesting with the timezone, because as you said, there’s a positive side to it, and I love that, just have a few hours of nobody contact me, I can just work on things. But as you said, there’s then the other end of the timezone. I remember once when I was travelling while working, I was in Hawaii and there was no business reason for me to be in Hawaii, and the timezone is just not lined up with anyone, so it’s always a bit like, “Oh, I’m in Hawaii right now.” It’s very difficult to chat to people.

Anna:                           But as you say, there’s always that side, isn’t there? We long for the freedom of flexibility, but there is another side of it which is potentially too much freedom and the flexibility and the wrong direction and so on. What I would say, though, is as you said, you might not ever change that, but I would encourage you to, as you get more confidence, set those boundaries and say no, because I think obviously as you said, the time with the family is one of the core reasons why you wanted to move, and you are good at what you do and you have the work coming.

Anna:                           And I, in my naïve little world think that the world is not going to end if they get it the next day. Obviously that’s always an individual business decision, but that’s something maybe to work on for the future.

Dave Williams:              That is definitely the way, the first step into that for me would be yes, I can do it, but you might have to wait until [inaudible 00:25:52]. I think to be honest, where I worked in London, there was a booking system. Time is booked in, once it was confirmed, that’s it. It’s set in stone. If someone wanted to make a change and there wasn’t space for it to happen, they had to wait. There was no choice.

Dave Williams:              Here, again, another positive and negative, here I can … One of the things people have commented on is my reaction time can be incredible. Because I can manage my own time, and down to me, but if I’m working on something that has no time pressure, and something comes in that does have time pressure, I can shift stuff around and get straight onto it.

Dave Williams:              For some people, that really works. Even though I’m half a world away, my reaction time can be significantly quicker than someone nextdoor. However, I think in my first few steps into the freelance world, I’ve been so eager to please that that’s become the norm. That’s what I’m trying to offer, and actually it’s acceptable to say yes, you can do it, but I am doing something else at the moment. It’s in the queue. But I have to say, that’s right, you’ve actually just … A light bulb’s just gone off. My reaction is to generally jump as high as I can to get it back as quick as possible. Because I feel that’s a positive. I feel like I want to hammer that stake in, or whatever. [crosstalk 00:27:42]-

Anna:                           I think that’s completely natural when you’re starting out and as you said, if that’s one of your selling points almost, that you are that flexible compared to a studio where someone’s booked the time exactly, you have that flexibility. But obviously if you have I guess an established relationship with someone, you have ongoing work with them, they know you’re great and they’re going to work with you, then hopefully you can begin to push back a little bit, just so that you can have some more [inaudible 00:28:03] and not work into midnight which sounds a bit tricky in the long run, but great that you can manage it now.

Dave Williams:              Yes. There’s definitely some interesting midnightly … I mean, I’m going to say it’s like, last night I was here, sat in this very same room with no power and a deadline, on a laptop. Funny enough, there was a couple of socks were working in the house, so the internet was still working, so I sat here with a head torch.

Anna:                           Oh, God.

Dave Williams:              Working on a laptop with no AC or fan, and then running back to the house to actually send and receive stuff. I even, on one of my trips, jumped in the pool because I was so hot that it just … That is going to happen. And did I get the job done? Yes, I did. Were the clients aware that it was this end, what was happening this end? No, but that’s because I handled it okay, and the same stuff happens at home. People aren’t always aware of how the situation of their work is getting done, but I mean, nothing if not interesting.

Anna:                           I get that.

Dave Williams:              [crosstalk 00:29:15].

Anna:                           It can happen anywhere, like you say. I had a power cut in the middle of a webinar last year I think, at home, in Surrey, in England. And the other day I wasn’t able to reconnect my screen and I had to pile up a … I mean, if you’d seen my behind the scenes what was going on, it was horrendous. Like you said, of course if the wifi is less stable and so on, it can be quite stressful in those power cuts and things, but it can happen anywhere I guess.

Anna:                           All the more reason actually to relax a bit, because you know what? Stuff happens and there’s nothing you-

Dave Williams:              Exactly.

Anna:                           … do as well if something like that happens. You just manage as well you can.

Dave Williams:              Funnily enough, Sri Lanka was the … I mean, it seemed a bit of a random choice, and we hear this story often. We came here on holiday just for two weeks and basically fell in love. That was in November. That must be November, 2018. We moved here by May, 2019. But on that two week holiday, a couple of things. Without realising we were sitting here scoping out we were going to move to, some quite major ticks were going in boxes.

Dave Williams:              One of our children got a bit ill, needed to spend a night in hospital, and they were great. Big tick. One of the things was the internet, funnily enough. I don’t need the internet to work, I need it to send and receive the work. Yeah, [inaudible 00:30:47], I’m sitting here on a … I hate to say it, but the beach is about [inaudible 00:30:51] to Surrey the other day. The guy asked me to split it into what we transfer, that I sent him, he asked me to split it into five different sections because he couldn’t download it quick enough in Surrey. So yeah.

Anna:                           There you go. But that’s important to consider, those criteria, you haven’t again just gone on a map, “Hey, we’ll go there.” You’ve really thought about the practicalities, haven’t you? I guess, what advice would you give someone who is tempted by this story? Maybe as you said, maybe loves their job but would love to go abroad. Maybe specifically has young kids. Any words of wisdom now based on the hindsight of the 10 months you have had there?

5) What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is considering making a big career or lifestyle change?

Dave Williams:              Words of wisdom. I mean, it’s hard to put it into one snappy line, essentially. Because it feels, when we broke it to people, “We are moving to Sri Lanka,” people were shocked. But to us, it felt like the culmination of probably since the birth of our first kid, probably five years worth of things just simmering away that got us here. I would say my word of advice would be don’t necessarily look for the quick fix.

Dave Williams:              As I said earlier, I thought even my opportunity to move abroad had gone by getting married and having kids. Those opportunities, the door was open all the time. Just by staying interested, staying … If there’s something you want to do, say move abroad, I had become so disheartened with trying to find a job that I thought it wasn’t going to be possible. But the thought of doing … There’s an interesting cross section of people who can work remotely out here.

Dave Williams:              It just so happens that my job is one of them, and as I said a year ago, I would have laughed at you if you’d said that. It was a sense of want, we wanted to do it. Not panicking. It didn’t happen in the first three months. And just building towards something. And yeah, the final decision felt quite radical to people because … But that was the bit that made it such a brilliant decision. Because we changed it to freelance, to it didn’t have to be a big city.

Dave Williams:              So, we can come to a country like this where it’s more affordable. There’s not so much pressure on financial pressure. There’s family wise, with young kids for example, so we have a two and a four year old. Two and a five year old now. They’ve never had so many mates. It felt like for example, making friends here, we didn’t move … One of the things we definitely did move for was people. That hadn’t come into our thinking.

Dave Williams:              We had good friends in London, and we hadn’t really considered what would happen, but it wasn’t to meet new people. It’s been 100% the best thing about coming, because whatever brings people to a place like Sri Lanka puts you into, you’re the type of person to move to Sri Lanka. Whatever that quality is, everyone’s got it. This is just a complete luck thing, but there’s a lot of people our age with kids our age.

Dave Williams:              It makes socialising, childcare, our kids are constantly play dates, sleepovers, sort of thing. Childcare is easy. If I need, if my wife needs, if we both need to be working all day, it’s way less of a problem here. You just ask someone and there’ll be someone who lives within five minutes of here who can help us out. Certain headaches that have just been removed. There’s other headaches that have been caused, but that’s generally something to do with power cuts or something like that.

Dave Williams:              So advice, back to a snappy line of advice would be just keep going. Because if you want it, eventually the right door will open up that matches what you are after. [inaudible 00:35:58] when it does.

Anna:                           I love that, because I think people tend to get caught up in the how, and in particular, they come up with lots of reasons or excuses I guess why it’s not possible, and the shift that happened for you, “Okay, I’m looking for a job, I’m looking at these cities, and I’m not getting the job” and that can go, “Oh well, I can’t possibly find a job abroad.” And likewise, “I’ve got kids, that’s not going to work.” Interesting as you said, “Oh, I’ve got all my friends here, childcare, what about that?” And actually, you’ve forgotten all about your friends in London. Not quite, but you’ve been able to find for the kids, and that’s really interesting. I guess did you ever think worst case scenario, “What will happen? Oh, I can just come back and get another job.” Was that some part of the thinking?

Dave Williams:              Yeah. Funnily enough, that’s interesting you ask that, because one of the things that gave us the most amount of confidence in coming here was our worst case scenario. Full disclosure, Jane’s father passed away, so it must have been September, 2018. There was a slight financial backing. There was a little pot of money that really helped. When we went to our worst case scenario, this is how we put it. If I don’t earn a single penny, we could probably last a year or something like that.

Dave Williams:              And we’d come back to our life in London, which we enjoy, but we liked our life, we’d always looked for a change. Worst case scenario, we could go away for a year, tick the adventure box, get better at our jobs, by studying, and come back and feel refreshed. That felt like, “Oh, if that’s the worst case scenario, there’s not really a negative in that,” apart from the fact the phone didn’t ring and freelance didn’t work. But as I said earlier, in hindsight, I had such good grounding and such good relationships from just being a professional doing a professional job for a number of years, that you don’t see it from that side. But from this side, there’s such value in that.

Dave Williams:              That is valuable to other people. Now I see it, because people call me rather than calling someone else and the work just feeding through to me through a system and a company. Now they call me and so you really feel valued. You wonder how you earned it, and you think, “Oh, it’s because I did a job for those number of years” and in some ways I feel like I’ve earned it, yeah.

Anna:                           No, you absolutely have. Oh, I’m really happy that things have worked out for you. So exciting as well, with your plot of land and building a house and so on. I hope you and the kids continue to enjoy it, and don’t have too many power cuts scenarios going on.

Dave Williams:              I’m buying a generator.

Anna:                           That’s a good plan, I think. That’s the thing. There’s always a solution, isn’t there? There’s always some kind of practical answer. There’s always a way if you want to find it. So, where can we find you online? Do you have a website you want to share or social media?

Dave Williams:              I do have a website, being a sound designer, there’s not a lot of words on it. It’s just examples of my work, but it’s DaveW.onfabrik, which is F-A-B-R-I-K, so

Anna:                           I’ll be sure to share that, so that people can find it and I guess as well, by word of mouth again, there’s another channel for people to hear about your work. I should say as well, that Dave is the genius behind editing the podcast, which I’m sure is very much below your pay grade, because you’re very much more advanced than that, but nevertheless, much appreciated. So everybody who’s listening to that, you’ll know that this is the guy who’s behind it.

Dave Williams:              Pleasure. Lovely to talk to you.

Anna:                           Thank you so much. Yeah, such a pleasure. One of my favourite interviews. Just don’t tell anyone, and thank you so much for your time.

Dave Williams:              No worries at all. Thanks Anna.


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Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how One Step Outside uses and protects any information that you give One Step Outside when you use this website (

One Step Outside is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

One Step Outside may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes.

What information we collect and why

We only ever collect the information that we need in order to serve you.

Generally, this just means collecting your first name and email address that you enter, for example, when you request a resource, register for a webinar, or submit a message via a contact form.

If you are a paying customer, we also collect your billing information including your last name and your postal address.


When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymised string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.

Contact forms

We use Gravity Forms to allow you to contact us via the website. We will use the information you submit for the sole purpose of that specific form and will explicitly ask you to provide your consent to allow us to do so.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Advertising and Analytics


We use Google Analytics to track and optimise performance on this site as well as embedding video content from YouTube, and this means that your web browser automatically sends certain information to Google. This includes the URL of the page that you’re visiting and your IP address. Google may also set cookies on your browser or read cookies that are already there. Apps that use Google advertising services also share information with Google, such as the name of the app and a unique identifier for advertising.

Google uses the information shared by sites and apps to deliver our services, maintain and improve them, develop new services, measure the effectiveness of advertising, protect against fraud and abuse and personalise content and ads that you see on Google and on our partners’ sites and apps. See their Privacy Policy to learn more about how they process data for each of these purposes, and their Advertising page for more about Google ads, how your information is used in the context of advertising and how long Google stores this information.


We use the conversion tracking and custom audiences via the Facebook pixel on our website. This allows user behaviour to be tracked after they have been redirected to our website by clicking on a Facebook ad and enables us to measure the effectiveness of our Facebook ads. The data collected in this way is anonymous to us, i.e. we do not see the personal data of individual users. However, this data is stored and processed by Facebook, who may link this information to your Facebook account and also use it for its own promotional purposes, in accordance with Facebook’s Data Usage Policy

You can allow Facebook and its partners to place ads on and off Facebook. A cookie may also be stored on your computer for these purposes. You can revoke your permission directly on Facebook here: For more guidance on opting out you can also consult

Who we share your data with

We use a number of third parties to provide us with services which are necessary to run our business or to assist us with running our business and who process your information for us on our behalf. These include a hosting and email provider (Siteground), mailing list provider (GetResponse), and a payment provider (Stripe).

Your information will be shared with these service providers only where necessary to enable us to run our business.

How long we maintain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognise and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website, we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

The main reason for collecting this information is to be able to send you resources, updates and, sometimes, information and products and services, as well as for internal record keeping.

The rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

How we protect your data

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure.

Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password that lets you access certain parts of our site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential and we ask you not to share a password with anyone.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Links to other websites

Our website contains links to other websites. This privacy policy only applies to this website so once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Changes to our privacy policy

We keep our privacy policy under regular review. Initially created on 18th November 2016, it was last updated on 23rd May 2018 to be compliant with GDPR.

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