3 Things I Learned Building A Remote Web Design Agency
Build a remote business from your bedroom and have the freedom to work from anywhere, at any time. Make money while you sleep, hit the road, see where the wind takes you, and explore the country – it all sounds so good, doesn’t it? Well, I’m doing this and am building my remote web design agency now. It is definitely exciting and if anyone comes to me with a remote business idea I’ll be the first to say “yes! Do it!”
However, it wouldn’t be right if I wasn’t totally up front, building any business isn’t going to be easy, not even close. There will be bumps in the road, no, there will be huge mountains in your road. You’re gonna have to get out the big gear and dig your tunnel through them. Since I decided to quit my job and give everything I had to my business, I’ve become an expert mountain digger, even so, I still stand on the edge of insanity at least once week.
Has it been exactly what I want to do, absolutely. Has it been a hard journey, yes. Is it worth it, you bet. Is it for everyone, NO WAY. When I started building businesses, almost 15 years ago, what I expected has been very different, not bad, just different then what I imagined. The reality? A lot of this difference came from my lack of experience working for myself. Along the way, though, I gained some knowledge that has really helped me create a more fulfilling work/life balance. Here are 3 things I found incredibly helpful, and I hope they help you, too.
ONE: Get a mentor. Find someone you admire, someone who inspires you and is doing something similar to you. Reach out to that person and ask if you can take them to lunch and pick their brain, or maybe send them some questions in an email. I found 100% of the time I reached out was met with openness and encouragement.
Don’t forget these are people who have gone through the struggles and the joys, these are your people. Remember that EVERYONE that has success goes through it. Period. Get to know them, hang around them and learn from them. Go to seminars, events and workshops. I went to a Lynette Xanders workshop, with Wild Alchemy, and it changed my life! Put yourself in the world you want to be in and then, guess what, you’re in that world, things will happen!
I was incredibly lucky and thankful to have people in the beginning who encouraged me like Cindi Mansfield with Blueray Designand Brenda Spiers with Buzztag. Not to mention so many incredible friends and family who continue to support me.
Relationships are super important and you have to appreciate and nurture them. Mine have been the unexpected bonus I didn’t even think about. I now see how supported I am and I am so grateful for that. I can say that my relationships I’ve gained and built are the best part of this entire process.
TWO: Pay your dues. You gotta work and you gotta pay your dues, there’s no way around this, accept it and just do it. When I started I had to find clients. I spent 10 hours a day sending out emails, introducing myself and worked hard to build an ‘interesting’ online portfolio with what little projects I did have. I worked 7 days a week networking and finally got that one client that saw something in me and took a chance.
My rates were ridiculously low. I said yes to everything and if I didn’t know how to do something I would spend endless nights figuring it out. There was SO MUCH I didn’t know but I was in heaven learning it. Eventually this all lead into a great opportunity with Eureka Vapor. Because of the hours of work I put in, along with my willingness to do anything, and, do it right, I built a relationship and was offered exciting projects for my portfolio. I also came out with a nice friendship, that I am forever grateful for.
Point is you have to respect the process, you have to build your brand. If you are starting out and someone gives you work, appreciate the heck out of it and them! They’ve worked really hard to get where they are and that needs to be respected. Be grateful for what you get and pay it forward.
THREE: Know what you want to do and love to do it. Sit down and take some time to be very sure about how you see your life and how you see your business fitting into that. These questions are hard and most people don’t go there. But if you want your dream life you HAVE TO take a minute, or a month, and really think about what that looks like and how your going to get there. What is your end game and then get a plan in action.
I got the book Momentum by Lynette Xanders and it was brilliant in making me peel back my layers and focus in on what really mattered. I realized I want to work for myself, I’m happiest when I travel, I want to make passive income, I wanted a web design agency and above all I love being around my friends and family.
It was a life revelation to finally realize these things and say them out loud. I gathered up the courage to make it all happen and I set sail. I haven’t looked back since. It’s been hard, and beautiful, and scary, and I wouldn’t change any of it.
Final note: My first skydive was the most intense fear and anxiety I had ever felt followed by the most incredible elation and bliss imaginable. The same with my first performance on stage. Imagine crippling stage fright with a serious fear you might die. I honestly asked my friend to break my leg, which thankfully she refused. I pushed through and did the performance and the feeling after was nothing short of PURE BLISS.
If you’re thinking about jumping off and doing your own thing, expect something similar! It’s exciting AND terrifying. But I am a huge fan of living this life exactly how you want to live it, whatever it takes, this to me is bliss. BUT you can only get to bliss IF you go through the pain. SO… go through it already, get uncomfortable. It’s worth it, I promise!
Erin is the founder of PULP a pure premium web agency focused on creative web design and local SEO services for startups and companies that need a fresh squeezed perspective. Based out of surf city Huntington Beach.
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