I wrote this blog post on why I started my own business after many business owners asked me about my story, and because I love reading stories like this myself. I hope you enjoy it too.
Who Am I?
Hello and welcome to my very first blog post! I thought I would begin by explaining what prompted me to start my own business and why web design and digital marketing?
Essentially, I’m a nerd.
I love to learn, and coding always seemed to be that one subject that was intriguing but also a little intimidating to learn. You have to be super smart to write code and build websites, right?
Well, maybe when it comes to the super complex websites, but learning to code is no harder than learning a language – you don’t even have to know it fluently, you just have to know the basics and build from there.
When did this all start?
I would have to admit it was MySpace. I remember being 16 and building my profile using lines of code I had learned or copied from a design site I liked.
I would customise my page to reflect my mood or style that week. I’d customise the background, my profile picture, adding my new favourite song, adding marquees and even changing the cursor icon.
Six years later, I joined an online product team as part of an internship for business studies at Victoria University. I was the go-to person for the tourism community, upload their business information onto visitvictoria.com, help them with search engine optimisation tips and tricks, content marketing advice and provide them with analytics reports.
I’m not going to lie, I loved this job. It piqued my interest in web design and development, but for some reason the thought of me being a coder seemed impossible, and laughed that idea right out of the room.
But then something unexpected happened…
A year later I became unemployed, and I decided the best thing to do was to go traveling.
I already had friends traveling the world who encouraged me to meet them in Argentina to start a tour of South America, so I did. We went from north to south of Argentina, across to colourful Chile, over the salt flats to Bolivia, ate our way through Peru and up to Ecuador and Colombia for Xmas and New year. It was incredible.
During my time backpacking I ran out of money, so I did what all broke backpackers do, worked in my hostel for a free accommodation.
My job was to clean the hostel. I’d sweep floors, clean the hostel, and turn over rooms for new guests.
As I was working, I realised another backpacker was experienced in web development, and earned his nights accommodation by updating the hostels website.
Here I was, breaking my back cleaning a hostel and he did a couple of hours ‘tinkering’ with a website?! This right here, set the wheel into motion and I used this frustration into motivation. I needed to learn to code.
I needed to make a change…
I started researching and making lists on all the things I needed to learn so I could code and build websites. I looked up Universities and online courses, which offered the best value and flexibility so I could study full-time while I worked.
When arriving back in Australia it took me two years to complete my study of Front-end Web Development and WordPress Development. Once I finished this courses, I lined-up an internship and gave my notice at my full-time job.
The internship fell through, but once I told people I could code I started getting enquiries to build them all websites. So, I started my own business.
Now you’re probably thinking I am crazy. Who leaves a comfortable, well-paying full-time job to start their own business, shouldn’t it already be thriving before you take the leap?
Yes, is the answer to that question! But honestly, I had a now or never moment. Either I would leave my job a start my career in tech, or I would never start and the last two years studying would be for nothing.
Who I want to help…
Noticing a gap in the market to help female small business owners, I wanted to start there.
I lived in Richmond which is start-up city, and it’s pretty much the Silicone Valley of Melbourne, Australia!
I’d see so my tech companies moving into the suburb and all have a focus on the big brands that are already doing great things, and taking those big, successful brands further.
Now, don’t get me wrong, good on those agencies for working with these amazing brands. It’s what we all dream of! And, they have the flexibility to pick and choose who they want to work with, and some of these brands are names you would be crazy to say no!
While on the flip side, no one was paying any attention to the new, fresh little start ups. The small female-lead business owners and entrepreneurs, who had incredible ideas and dreams. They were being ignored, and I wanted to solve this problem.
By creating a great presence online, it creates that all important first impression between a brand and its customers. I want to be able to help the growing community of small business owners and entrepreneurs make an impact on their industry that is meaningful, unforgettable and ever-lasting.
On 7 November 2018 I took that leap to start my business, and I want to encourage others who are considering starting their own businesses, to do the same and have the confidence to help more people.
Share with me why you started your business? And what you’ll be doing this year to get your incredible brand noticed online?
If you liked this blog post and want to learn more great tips for starting a business, and all things websites and SEO. Check out my other blog posts or join me on Instagram for my value-packed posts on all things small business and getting noticed online.