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Thank You, Internet! Plus, a Powerful Chain Reaction that Resulted from a Single Blog Post

Thank you, Internet!

The internet is pretty powerful, wouldn’t ya say?

It’s a place where you can learn, meet people, find jobs, share photos and stories, run a business, and so much more!

For me, it’s become the core of my business.

I’ve been wanting to share my journey about how I became an entrepreneur and, specifically, a web and graphic designer for a while now. It’s really all about the internet, and I’ll explain why in just a bit. But first, I want to mention that originally, this post was just going to talk about how I learned that the creator of WordPress is from Houston (which is where I’m from) and went to high school less than ten minutes from where I live. The interesting part is HOW I found this out and why the internet – and having a website and blogging and connecting with people online – all create a chain reaction that can lead to amazing things like clients, friendships, and more!

Before I share that cool story, here’s a snapshot of how I got to where I am right now (and it all started in early 2012):

  1. Finally made headway with starting my own business (long-time dream)…but still not 100% sure what I should focus on/offer.
  2. Researched what I could do and the skills I needed to add to my plate (lightbulb moment when realizing that doing computer-based tasks for people from the comfort of my home actually exists, and it’s called being a Virtual Assistant).
  3. Found Ali Rittenhouse’s VA Training Program through lots of Googling (search terms: online business, female entrepreneurs, work from home, etc.).
  4. Became extremely confused and stressed about which WordPress theme to use (WordPress was lightly touched on in Ali’s course) – and just stumped in the whole WordPress and web design area in general.
  5. Ali referred me to Amanda Aitken of the Girl’s Guide to Web Design (GG2WD), and I signed up (and could barely sleep because I loved what I was learning so much!).
  6. I started making my way through the GG2WD and wanted more – specifically graphic design skills…and even more specifically, Adobe Illustrator.
  7. Research and referrals led me to Nicole’s Classes, where I took a slew of Illustrator classes.
  8. Fell in MAJOR LOVE with web and graphic design and scaled down my services to focus on those two areas.
  9. Amanda Aitken then offered the Girl’s Guide to Graphic Design, which focused on PhotoShop. I signed up, of course!
  10. Through Ali’s and Amanda’s courses, I met (and continue to meet) some incredible people who I now truly consider to be great friends and incredible inspirations, such as Shelby Frago of Intrepid Joy (we’re partnering on a project right now as I write this post, and she lifts me up whenever I am down), Janet Hoover of Blue Tail Designs (we’re planning an online course together and have so much in common that it’s almost scary…but the good kind of scary), Billie Gardner of Desire to Done (I got to be one of her first coaching clients, and it was an incredibly helpful experience!), and Leah Kalamakis of The Freelance to Freedom Project (if you’re looking for a community filled with helpful, inspiring and all around awesome freelancers and entrepreneurs, the community Leah created is not to be missed!). There are many more, but I just had to mention these special few.
  11. As it stands now (February 2015), I am very busy designing graphics and creating and managing custom WordPress websites for a very diverse group of entrepreneurs and small businesses (check out the variety here…and I’m working on six more websites at this very moment, so check back again soon!). I also continue to take classes through Nicole’s Classes and Atly (hmmm, addicted to learning? Yep!). My two favorite instructors are now teaching at Atly (Alma Loveland and Melanie Burk), and I would NOT be where I am today without the skills I learned from these extremely talented ladies.

OK, so back to the internet and why it’s so powerful (if the list above didn’t give you enough of a reason)!

Back in April 2014, I wrote a post about Saying No, Fear, and Baby Steps. I posted it on Facebook (on my page and in the Freelance to Freedom Project group). It generated a few comments and a decent number of shares on social media.

Fast forward to December 2014: A woman named Julie contacts me via my contact form to inquire about my web design services. I’m not sure how she found me, and I looked back at her email to see if she mentioned it, but she didn’t. We email a little, but don’t proceed just yet.

January 2015 rolls around, and Julie gets in touch with me again. I send her my web and graphic design questionnaires, and we schedule a phone consultation to make sure we’re a good fit for working together. She tells me how she found me. Goose bumps are happening as she’s telling me…and they’re happening again as I type this.

She learned about me in a blog post written by someone I had never even heard of and didn’t even know that that person talked about and linked to my blog post about fear. Say WHAT! That’s crazy…and AMAZING!

I immediately found the post that linked to my post, connected with the author on social media, thanked her both personally and on social media, and am now currently working on Julie’s new website. If that’s not an incredible chain reaction of how amazing things can happen just from blogging and/or having an online business and being active on social media, then I don’t know what else is!

But wait, there’s more!

When Julie and I had our chat, she mentioned someone named Tim Ferriss. I like to say I’m pretty internet/blogger/entrepreneur savvy, but I hadn’t heard of him either! So, I immediately looked him up and became rather fascinated by him. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s the author of The 4-Hour Workweek and other New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers. I watched his Day in the Life of Tim Ferriss video and signed up for his email list.

OK, here it is…ready?

Tim just sent out a newsletter two days ago with a blog post + podcast with Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress, which powers 22% of all websites that exist today. While listening to it, I learned that Matt is from Houston and went to the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (I strongly considered auditioning to go there for dance, but ended up choosing not to…not that we would have been there at the same time, as I’m much older than Matt).

Are you fascinated with that piece information or WHAT? Uhmmm, I AM!

To summarize:

  • If I wouldn’t have written and shared that blog post in April 2014, then someone wouldn’t have seen and shared it…which allowed it to somehow land on Varonica’s computer.
  • Had Varonica not chosen to mention me and link to my post in her post, then Julie wouldn’t have seen it and found my website. Thank you for my wonderful new client, Varonica! I’m so excited to work with you, Julie!
  • Had Julie not contacted me, I wouldn’t have learned about the uber-inspiring Tim Ferriss.
  • Had I not looked up Tim Ferriss and signed up for his email list, I wouldn’t have known about the podcast with Matt Mullenweg.

I think you get the picture!

Inaction leads to nothing!

Keep putting out good. It will come back to you tenfold in unexpected ways. ~ Daymond John

For more inspiring quotes from my favorite show that I dream of being on one day with some incredible, multi-million dollar idea, click here!

What about you?
Have you had a chain reaction scenario online that has led you (personally or professionally) to something wonderful?
Tell me about it in the comments below.

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10 comments

10 comments… add one

  • Kathryn February 13, 2015

    I so love the inter-connectedness of it all, Stephani! What a great story to share with your readers!

  • Janet February 14, 2015

    I love hearing these amazing stories! It’s crazy how one little thing can create something wonderful! Daymond’s quote is perfect too! I’ve had a similar experience and have been soooo blessed to find you and many other amazing webby friends to learn from and support!! It’s great to reflect and see all the awesome, inspiring and brilliant things that have happened! I’m honored that you mentioned me – I feel totally the same and can’t wait to see what 2015 brings us!!! WOO! 🙂 <3

  • Sofia February 16, 2015

    Great post Stefani! And congrats on the chain of events, the internet is indeed amazing. PS: to get even more crazy on you, I actually know the person who named Wordpress and is/was a friend of Matt’s, pretty cool stuff 🙂

    Wishing you much continued success!

    • Stefani Harris February 18, 2015

      Oh Wow! That’s so awesome! Such a small world!! Thank you…and much success to you, too! 🙂

  • Varonica February 17, 2015

    I’m happy to be a part of this fabulous example of the power of the internet to connect us together in meaningful ways! Thanks for sharing this in such detail!

  • Rebecca Gruenspan February 17, 2015

    What a cool chain of events! 6 degrees of Stefani Harris. I am amazed at the power of the internet every day. After all, that’s also how it led me to YOU, as you were starting out in your business, reconnected us and ultimately having you create my beautiful website. Glad to hear things are soaring for you!

    • Stefani Harris February 18, 2015

      Exactly, Becca! From barely knowing each other when we worked for the same organization to reconnecting on Facebook to you reading my FB posts and seeing that I became a web designer…that’s all what brought us back together! SO COOL! And I’m so honored that I had the opportunity to design your website…AND that I get to continue working with you to keep it maintained and up-to-date on a regular basis! THANK YOU! 🙂

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