It was just slightly under one year ago that I embarked on a journey that has led me here today – onto your computer screen (or smartphone or tablet).
I was contemplating the notion of working from home doing computer-related projects for people and actually being able to make a living that way. I wanted to be an entrepreneur (a long-time dream of mine) – let my creative juices flow, set my own schedule, work in the location of my choosing, etc. My challenge was, however, that I wasn’t sure how or if this was even possible.
You see, I had done this type of work for people before, but just as a nice gesture because I really enjoyed doing it and wanted to help people. So, I thought to myself – “How can I do this for real“? What would it even be called? Can I really count on this type of work for income?” Don’t get me wrong – favors and nice gestures are great and all, but they don’t exactly pay the bills.
So one day, while sitting in my car pondering this idea, I thought of different words that this “thing” might be called. All of a sudden, I thought of the word “virtual”. It made perfect sense and totally matched what I was trying to do.
I immediately hopped onto my phone and Googled something along the lines of “virtual work” or “work virtually”. I was shocked (very pleasantly) at what I found. Who knew that there is a massive industry out there of virtual professionals? I quickly learned that there is a huge list of roles a virtual professional could fulfill – from accountant to event planner to designer to life coach. I was inspired and excited to say the least!
So as my list of services I could offer was increasingly growing, I knew I needed to calm down and focus on only a few things and do them very well. I knew that the main areas I wanted to focus on were all very techie (i.e. web design, email marketing, graphic design, etc.).
I was a bit overwhelmed by the enormous amount of resources out there, and I wasn’t necessarily planning on taking any training courses. But, I stumbled upon a website with this appealing-sounding course called the Geek Labs. It sounded creative, fun, geeky, and right up my alley!
I was weary about signing up for any sort of training program because (in my opinion) there are just way too many gimmicks when it comes to working from home (or, just not working for a company). Ever been home during the day and watched TV? Whew – those make-money-from-home schemes sound so appealing, don’t they? But let’s be realistic…there’s a catch. There’s ALWAYS a catch (usually in the form of $$$ taken away from you way before it arrives back in your pocket). No thank you!
Something about this course, though, did NOT seem gimmicky. So, I went for it…and boy am I glad I did. More than anything, that course taught me aspects of email marketing, social media, web design, and productivity that I never would have known about – not because I wouldn’t be able to find those resources myself, but because I wouldn’t even know to go looking for them in the first place. The other valuable piece I walked away with was lifetime support from the creator of the program and an entire community of fellow students.
That course catapulted me into two other major sources of learning – one being an incredible web design course with a similar lifetime support community and the other being a company that offers excellent graphic design courses.
OK, so I took a bunch of courses and gained a huge set of skills I had dreamed of having under my belt for years…but that doesn’t quite explain this whole re-brand while just now [officially] launching my business. Confusing, huh?
While taking all of these fantastic courses, I was simultaneously designing my own website for my business, The Creative Solutions Project. When my site was finished (or finished enough to start promoting my biz), I didn’t exactly tell the world (about my site or my biz).
Part of it was that I already had a few clients (which was great), and I was worried I wouldn’t have enough time for more clients at that early stage. The other part was that I had my own bit of website shame :(. Yep, the web designer over here had website shame – the very thing I preach we shouldn’t have!
It (the site) wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t something I was extremely proud of. It was busy, the colors no longer appealed to me, and it seemed very “standard”. My taste also changed drastically from when I first started bookmarking websites that appealed to me, and – this one’s a biggie – I (now) wanted to have my URL match the name of my business (seems like a no-brainer to me, but my initial concern about the URL being too long led me to just use my name instead).
So – here I am. Officially launched – complete with a new, responsive (a.k.a. will-look-great-on-mobile-devices) website; a URL that matches my business name (makes so much more sense, doesn’t it?); a portfolio to showcase my work; a clear list of services and processes; and a cleaner, more professional look – which is exactly what I wanted.
You, too, can have exactly what you want! So, I invite you to explore my site and contact me with any projects you feel I could help you with. And, be sure to sign up for my email list (ya can’t miss it – it’s at the top of your screen), as I plan to share all sorts of techie tips and tricks (and a few non-techie ones, too) on my blog.
Thanks for visiting, and I’ll see you in your inbox soon.