It’s hard to believe that my 15th year in business has come and gone. Honestly, I have to admit that when I started WebCami in 2002 I’m not sure I thought I’d be making a life long career change. My primary goal was to be more available as a mom. Looking back, I was truly chasing my dreams and doing something I loved to do. I feel just as happy designing websites now as I did in 2000 when I was just learning how to do it! I think what’s key is I’m still learning. In 2017, I can narrow down my biggest yearly game changers into three categories:
I signed up for a WordPress Digital Consultant training program made specifically for web designers like me. I completed not one, but two certifications and participated in coaching calls and live webinars.
WP Elevation is a global business mastermind group for WordPress consultants that helps its members better serve their clients through communication, development workflow and project management best practices.
I still have access to this program for the first six months of 2018 and plan to keep taking advantage of the wonderful training. I learned that it was not only teaching me ways to improve my own business communication and client flows, but that what I was learning could easily translate to the businesses I was designing websites for. I’ve connected with other designers in the community from all over the world.
The internet is a wonderful thing! Without leaving my house I attended a three day, nine hour search engine optimization course.
The SEO Summit is an ideal fit for marketers, website owners, website developers, and bloggers. If you own a website or manage websites for client, you’ll benefit from this SEO Training.
Again, this was a brush up on SEO for me since the web design industry is constantly changing. It included homework so I felt like I was getting a true lesson in best practices. Just as WP Elevation did, this not only taught me things for my own business, but also gave me great tips for my own clients.
BNI is still a huge part of my business. I continue to be an active member in my networking chapter and I’m celebrating eight years in BNI in June. There is no other way to put this, showing up at 7:45 am meetings every single week will make you get your sh*t together!
BNI’s (Business Network International) purpose is simple, to help businesses large and small, grow their business and make more money! BNI’s culture is built upon the philosophy of “Givers Gain”.
Since 2010, I’ve been making connections and life long friendships with local business owners. It’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done both professionally and personally.
In 2017, I knew I needed to make time for other networking opportunities and I decided to step out of my comfort zone and attend WordPress Meetups to get to know my local WordPress community.
Seattle WordPress Meetup is a monthly meeting of WordPress users and developers.
This lead to volunteering at WordCamp Seattle in November and committing to being part of the organizing team in 2018.
WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress.
I also traveled and attended both WordCamp Sacramento and WordCamp Portland. The speakers I enjoyed this year included Jennifer Bourn, Tony Perez, Chris Lema and Kori Ashton. Each of them motivated me to continue to refine and adjust my business and to up my game as a WordPress designer.
3. Dream Big
I wasn’t quite sure how to title this game changer. I thought about using “Who’s your daddy” but that sounded a little creepy and slightly inappropriate! A somewhat random series of events lead to one of the best moments in my career and I have GoDaddy to thank for it. I had been participating in customer council video conferences for GoDaddy at the end of 2016 into early 2017.
As a member of the GoDaddy Customer Council Insight Community you are an integral part of shaping the future of GoDaddy’s products and services.
Basically, I volunteered my time to test new products, troubleshoot issues and give feedback. This lead to an interview article by GoDaddy that appeared on their website in March. I honestly thought it was the best thing that could happen to me professionally in 2017. The council ended in spring. I was sad to see it go.
Later in the summer, I randomly reached out to a fellow designer in California I had never met (WebDiva, Lisa Stambaugh) and she happened to be on another customer council. Lisa recommended me and upon being accepted to participate, I was told to block out my calendar for the GoDaddy Pro Summit in Scottsdale in October. They flew me to Arizona where I met several GoDaddy execs and some of my WordPress heroes. I also met other web designers, including a fellow WP Elevation member while I was there. We toured their headquarters and a call center. It was a very small gathering and I was so honored and grateful to be included. You can read my entire recap here.
I can sum up 2017 with this simple formula:
1 (Keep learning and working hard) + 2 (Network in your community near and far) = 3 (Big dreams do come true)
Looking to 2018:
- I plan to focus on client communication and productivity for happier clients!
- I will continue my WP Elevation training
- I am enrolled in a new client management training program from Jennifer Bourn
- I will continue as a customer council member for GoDaddy
- I will network at BNI, the West Seattle Chamber and WordPress Meetups
- I plan to work on my speaking skills at Toastmasters
- I’m volunteering at WordCamp Seattle again and planning to attend in Sacramento
- I’m planning trips to New Orleans, Florida and repeat trips to California to visit my family
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein