There is a saying that keeps popping up in my life….
YOU CAN GO TO WORK, OR YOU CAN BE THE BOSS
Having always worked for someone since I left school those many years ago, the idea of running my own business was super daunting, and not something I believed I wanted to do at the start.
As I progressed into management roles and learnt how small and medium business worked, I found myself inspired to get in on this whole business owner thing. Nothing happened for a while as I had a good job and a family that depended on me. Of course, life’s rollercoaster has it’s ups and downs and paths you never even imagined.
In 2009 I started my own business. A computer tech support business that looked after home users and small business clients. This rose from my helpdesk background and the constant flow of jobs from mates and family (yep, you know the ones!).
Whilst things were going great working my new business on the side of my job, I saw opportunity to grow it even bigger. Could this become my full time job/career?
Fast forward 5 years and my business has developed from offering that original tech support role to looking after small business owners and entrepreneurs creating awesome web stuff: social media pages and content, adverts, websites and landing pages, logos and more. And I do this full time!
I am very passionate about my business as a lot of you may know. I have tried to stay true to my origins of being a bit of a tech head, hence my own sites and content are usually not as “arty” as some other marketing agencies, but I think that makes my brand different.
To build my business up on the side of my regular day job, I resorted to social media for creating my brand.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS EVIL YET OH SO GOOOOD!!!
Over the past few years, I have come across many get rich quick and join the new rich schemes. I call them schemes because so many of them seem to offer huge rewards with minimal work. I CALL BULLSHIT! If you want a business that is here for the long run and brings consistent income, you need to work hard. Bottom line. If it was as easy as copying and pasting the perfect business model and renaming it, everyone would have done it…. oh wait, everyone is trying to do it.
Yes, there are those that are raking in the big bucks, but this usually comes down to making a commission on conning someone else into selling this business model, the actual product is the business model. Hmmm…..
Social media has a lot to answer for in some ways, with many people creating a profile that looks amazing on the outside, but represents nothing about their true self. Maybe that is the beauty of the internet. Anyway, I stray from my point. Social Media gave me an opportunity to create my brand online. It was something I could share ideas and articles on and create the brand awareness I needed to build my business with.
We still get at least 80% of our client referrals from social media in some way or form. Combine this with leads created from Google search generated website traffic and I had created a lead generating machine. The fact that I could utilise Google and Facebook ads to find customers who were actually looking for someone like me amazed me, and still does. This is what the internet was for. If it isn’t matching couples up for dates, it is connecting business owners with their target audience. #LongLiveTheInternet
Create a Niche baby!
In developing my business, I found that whilst I tried to offer and take on everything, this actually killed my business, both in time and reputation. I didn’t want to be a one man jack of all trades, master of none. It was time to get specific. Time the NICHE WAS CREATED! (cue amazing music.. ta da!).
When my partner and I started looking through my client list, the work I was getting more of, (and what seemed to get the most return business) was for entrepreneurs and startups. Yep, so many people were trudging down the same path as me, creating that on the side business model and dreaming of going big. Many of them would come to me when they had decided their business was viable, enjoyable and would benefit from getting a whole heap busier!
Enter the Small Business Brand Marketing model. We decided to not let this information sit uselessly on my desk. We put into place a new business plan and product offerings. Although we still take on the occasional server and network setup jobs, we now focus on offering total startup solutions from logo designs and stationary to all your marketing needs including websites, social media, online advertising and offline print marketing. With my partner Brydie being the graphic design guru, it was the perfect model for us to take on.
Dreaming of a Better Life…..
I must also put it out there, that I had a reason to push this so much. I had a goal. A want. A need!
My family is everything to me, my two boys and beautiful soulmate. If my business could work around family appointments, school events and emergencies, that would be the bomb! By becoming my own boss, I have created that flexibility, and working in the realm of website and online advert creating, it allows me to stagger my working hours into early or late hours of the day. Some days I find myself plugging away at the keyboard at 2 or 3am in the morning. By the way, this is the best time to work online! Super fast internet, no phone calls and beautiful night time serenity.
And here I am, Look at me now!
It doesn’t seem like it has been 6 years but when I look back at how I got here I can see why it took so long. There was a lot of trial and error along the ride, and jobs I took on due to insecurities I wish I hadn’t. Now that I am working in my perfect role, I get great satisfaction in telling others how I got here, how I tried to always remember that big picture, and what tools I used to help me along the way.
A Goal is a Dream with A Deadline.
Along with my business team at Xmedia Digital Solutions, I now help other small business owners create their business dreams and reach their goals of more clients, returning business and monthly revenue. I have escaped that 9 to 5 rat race I thought I loved at first, but now don’t miss at all.
There have been people that have inspired me along the way, both with business ideas, motivation and personal development. I’d definitely check out the following guys.
A BIG shoutout to
Jill and Josh at Screw the Nine to Five
Shawn Stevenson at the Model Health Show
and my partner in crime Brydie. Couldn’t have done it without you by my side. Thanks for the support.
If we can help you with any thing, or if you have questions regarding my story, please use the comments below to ask and I will try to respond to everyone.
Thanks for reading. Please share my story with other business owners, entrepreneurs or that startup that needs that helping hand. Cheers guys!