What is it about?

Is it time for a side hustle? Let’s chat about it (based on real-life experience) during the 11th March workshop. 

We’re testing a workshop designed for people considering a side hustle or at the beginning stage of a small-medium operation to share experiences and ideas with one another. In this workshop, Chatty Curator (Arthur, a marketer) and Lucas (business mentor and entrepreneur) will overview some essential planning steps for smaller operations, review the pros and cons of different business models, and measure them against some of Arthur’s past projects.

The workshop will open to the group for an Experience-Share session (ice-breaker, Q&A and open discussion). We hope this workshop will help people considering entering the local small-medium operations* space develop a cautious-optimistic lens – “Give it a go but must be mindful and informed.”

With the rising cost of living, siloed feeling at work, or an increasingly chaotic world, many would be starting their own business or side hustles to boost income, better job satisfaction, and improve independence. I set up the Chatty Curator (as Art2Public in 2010) because I felt the professional space around me represented me only partially; the first years were hard, and I made the error of not fully understanding my limit and the importance of planning. I suffered burnout, and the extra income didn’t really justify the experience at the time; fortunately, I turned it around as I learnt from others. And I hope this workshop can be an opportunity for me to share the what-not-to-dos…

Who is it for?

If any of these sounds like you, join us!

  • People planning, starting or refreshing a side hustle.
  • Small-medium operations creating or refreshing their plans
  • Anyone starting something new (a project, an idea or a resume) and seeking ways to guide their creative and communication decisions.
  • Supporters of local businesses and/or LGBT communities that want to learn about the people behind the scenes


  1. Business and marketing plans (10 mins)
  2. What I’ve done incorrectly in the 2010s (10 mins)
  3. Personal finance and things to consider before jumping in (15 mins, TBC)
  4. Experience Share (Q&A and attendee stories, 45mins)

This workshop is not a sit-and-listen occasion. Attendees’ participation is crucial – we’re about sharing experiences and creating a safe space; what you share doesn’t have to be perfect, and we understand that entrepreneurship is complex. Through this workshop, I’d like to jumpstart a community of conversation and space to learn from one another, and no question is too silly; being candid and mindful is the key


Your workshop leader is Arthur Chan. Arthur commenced his career in 2003 and worked in marketing in a number of industries in Sydney, e.g. events, art and culture, local councils and consumer products. In 2010, he started freelancing with consulting makers to improve their event and online marketing strategies; as referrals grew, he created the moniker “The Chatty Curator” and expanded his service scope to help small businesses and organisations in NSW. In 2020-21, he self-volunteered to create content to build a meaningful and supportive community during business inactivity; in 2023, he is rebooting The Chatty Curator as a community platform that combines business knowledge, events, and networking; with a curated online and in-person space that builds around people that do or care about small operations and side hustles and want to #GetChatty about their local businesses.

Guest leader: Lucas Merlo, PhD, a mentor, researcher, teacher, founder and venture capital advisor. With previous experience at RMIT & University of Canberra, years as an education facilitator and over a decade spent building and launching businesses, Lucas brings a unique approach to the table, combining academic prudence with disruptive business and management techniques. His students and mentees have gone on to build rewarding careers within STEM, edtech, sports management, fintech and more. In his recorded segment, he will take you through (and demystify) essential customer knowledge tools, e.g. Jobs-to-be-done Canvas, PESTLE Analysis, SWOT Analysis and Customer Problem Statement Builder.

How we got here?

This Chatty Curator workshop is proudly supported by NewLedge®. NewLedge® understands that science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health are some of the backbones of our new knowledge economy; founder Lucas Merlo built the platform to host short, practical and industry-relevant training programs – they understand many owners, operators, and managers have time constraints and need to make implementations quickly.

This collaboration aims to enhance learning experiences and help small-medium LGBT operations to hit the ground running with marketing and managerial capabilities. With your feedback, we can improve and customise over time. We conducted deep research and drew from years of experience, but building a safe community to converse and learn from each other is the key to standing the test of time. Join us to take our first step!