The story continues...
Need to catch up? Read part one and part two of my story.
With a bankruptcy and a foreclosure in my rearview, it's needless to say that 2011 and 2012 were probably the worst years I've ever faced. I literally had no money and no idea what I was going to do to get some. I couldn't go back and work for someone. That just couldn't happen. I'm just not built for that. I definitely couldn't go back to Saint Louis and live with my dad. I was stuck.
But at the end of my last blog post I told you how I had a dream about a website. It's funny how God likes to speak to me in my dreams, but it happens all the time. And when I woke up from that particular dream, I couldn't let it go. As a result, I actually built and launched my first website, INeedABlackHairstylist.com.
With no money I had to figure it out. I was on my own. At first I did my usual. Look for someone to do it for me, which didn't go so well. And which I now know was for a greater reason. I can't remember how it happened, but I finally got to someone that told me I could do it myself in WordPress.
Now I had minimal WordPress experience. I had used it on my previous websites for the blog. Seemed easy enough but at that time, I had no clue how robust it was or what it was capable of. So to make a long story short, I built INeedABlackHairstylist.com on my own. I figured out themes and plugins and scraped the little money I did have together to get it done. Now let me be clear...this website was in no way easy and required technical skills far beyond me. But I was able to connect with a couple of experts who would come in when I got tripped up.
Ultimately, I got it done!
My first website.
I'm still in love with the idea. Unfortunately it didn't last because I quickly began getting paying website clients and no longer had the time to maintain it! (But I plan to resurrect it.)
One of my former clothing line clients/friends gave me an opportunity to build her eCommerce site. And then I built a site for another person in need. And then another and another. I learned how to put myself out there and secure new projects.. Every project was an opportunity for me to learn something new. And if I didn't know how to do something, I just said I could do it, then went and figured it out.
Some of my first projects
This truly is the way things needed to happen. As I was doing something new, I needed those little wins to boost my self esteem and propel me forward. Even though I'd made it pretty far in my short-live ad agency career, and had some pretty good successes with the clothing line, both ultimately ended. Which at the time I saw as BIG FAILS.
My professional self-worth (which of course blended into my overall self worth) was not great. All of the assholes I'd encountered in the past professionally, all of the rejections I'd experienced and all of my tries and failures managed to creep into my psyche on many a day. And, of course, those insecurities can begin popping up everywhere. Especially when you're trying to do something new.
But this time around I just kept my head down without distraction working, learning and growing. Of course I had to address my insecurity issues when they crept up. Still do. But eventually, you just get so frustrated with yourself (and others) that you realize how much not dealing with your shit can affect your money. And then you get strong.
So...that is how I got started in web consulting.
More work came in, bigger projects and more stuff for me to figure out! And I loved it! Now I help my clients with their eCommerce sites, membership and eCourse sites, email marketing and pretty much all the things they need to be operational in their businesses on the web. I've always had love for small business. One of the reasons why I'm on my second one. I have a small team that works beside me to create and develop these not so out-of-the-box solutions for my clients. Many things which have never been done until my team and I did them! And I'm actively working on a way to help small business owners help themselves online, even if they can't afford to have me do it for them. Which feels amazing.
And most importantly, I'm finally doing what I really enjoy. I somehow ended up having the internet business I always wanted. And strangely, or not, I can now connect the dots. From try to failure, to another try to another failure, to a success...and so it goes. And it's a beautiful feeling. I love the story that's still being written.
No doubt shit was totally hard. But I'm so happy everything that happened, happened. It just made me better. It grew me professionally, personally and spiritually. And I've got so much more growing to do.
In December 2020, I bought a house and in March 2021, I moved back to St. Louis to be closer to my dad. Another beautiful thing. Not only for the obvious reasons, but also because the life I've designed for myself allows me to basically be anywhere and do what I love to do. And St. Louis is the perfect spot for me right now.
- 1I have the ability to help myself. The one thing I wasn't doing in my first business, I've learned to do for myself now. There are no rules. There's not always a right way or wrong way. And even if there is, what difference does it make as long as I am able to deliver quality end results.
- 2Everything happened for a reason. So cliché but so true. And is still happening. Being able to connect the dots now is pretty cool. But I'm reminded that whenever I get into a hard spot, I just need to push through, try not to resist it and get the lesson that I'm supposed to get.
- 3Having insecurities is normal. But we don't have to let them stop us from doing what we need to do or from getting what we want and deserve for ourselves.
- 4I'm even better at figuring shit out than I thought. School is always in session and I'm ready to show up each and every time.