Taking a job, you love, and making it even better


It is easy to find yourself in the same working landscape for many years, especially if it’s a job you love.


Cultural development officer Narelle Vogel enjoyed a successful career with local government in Albury for almost two decades but felt she needed to expand beyond one organisation to progress her career and open up new opportunities.

Narelle’s legacy during her time at council is already evidenced in various community projects she was responsible for implementing including an Indigenous sculpture walk and art trail as well as the popular wood-fired ovens.


After leaving her full time role in 2020 she began setting up her own consultancy business where she hoped to tap into her years of experience to continue managing community development projects “with an arts twist”.


“Because of my background, my clients will probably be in the regions and mainly local government or public organisations who don’t feel they have the understanding about how to develop and deliver arts projects.”


Narelle said while she does have good networks, she still needs to let people know she’s out there and ready turn their ideas into realities.


“Some organisations don’t know what they have in the pipeline but when they do, they need to know I’m available for something like that and can deliver it from start to finish.”

The early stages of project development and the delivery of the vision is where Narelle said her “true passion lies” and while she enjoyed that part of the process in her council cultural development role she started to be “funnelled into a strategic role”, a place where her heart really wasn’t in.


“I probably have brains and smarts for strategic planning it but it’s not my passion. My passion is project delivery. I’ve only started to realise that since running my own business. I felt it innately but hadn’t managed to articulate it until now. Part of that process was just about getting the freedom to do stuff, rather than getting caught up in what the strategy is. Really, it’s just that freedom. I’ve got to deliver this, here’s the time frame, and away I go.”

Of course, nothing is straight forward when starting up your own small business, even for someone who managed community projects for a living.


So, when Narelle decided to take the plunge into setting up her own small business, she turned to Kathie Heyman’s Masterclass.


“Kathie helped me take myself seriously. Being able to accept and feel comfortable and validate spending time developing your own business. Working ON your business rather than IN your business all the time. I had heard that before but identified the next level meaning in it when I started my consultancy. I now know that the wheels will fall off if I don’t spend time working on my business.”

Narelle said she loved having the regular Masterclass’s so much she was setting aside a “chunk of time” to just think about it afterwards. “It felt like the time spent doing the Masterclass was really valuable because sometimes in a group setting listening and using prompts from other conversations going on and applying them back to your own business, that kind of setting was really fabulous for me.”


She said it was also great to know that not all small businesses have to fit the same mould.

“Kathie validated that it was okay to muddle things together and there wasn’t only one way to running a business, it’s what works for you. I loved the organic nature of that rather a forced, regimented business plan.”


Narelle said she is still working out what is realistic (she still has a part-time government contract work) and the next challenge for her was being able to apply her skills as a small business operator rather than within the confines of an organisation in a salaried role.

“Part of finding that peace is recognising that I was a project developer, the ideas generator and I delivered those ideas. That I have the integrity and the skill to now do that out on my own.”


To find out more about Narelle Vogel Consultancy contact Narelle on Facebook or LinkedIn.