Confessions of an Entrepreneur. I was afraid to try!

(Even though I give career and business tips everyday, this is my first official blog post}  I have a confession to make that I hope will help each and everyone of you in your journey.   It’s no secret that I am a certified human resources professional by trade who got laid off in 2001 .  That’s part of my success story on how I used the layoff as a defining moment to take control over my career.  I worked hard to build a brand, and make a name for myself.  I have been blessed to become an author, career expert, speaker, radio host and even Publisher of a CAREER Magazine.  My secret is, this ever-changing technology had me afraid to try something new! Launch out into the deep….

For many years, I “controlled” my career, but left certain parts of my destiny to others such as graphic designers and web designers {no, they are not necessarily the same}.  Why?  Fear.  Not the spooky kind of fear, but fear that I would not or could deliver in excellence so I made an excuse and stuck with it.  I am a human resources professional and human resources is what I do!  While I am the first person to tell my clients to “sell your strengths and buy your weaknesses”- –  I still have to admit; I have paid way more money than I should have over the past 10 years on websites. While I understand being an entrepreneur requires wearing MANY hats, I simply refused to wear the hat of a web designer.   Since 2001, I have had approximately 10 websites built and I paid someone to do it each time (I currently have 6 separate web sites).

Fast forward… I had a discussion with my graphic designer who is proficient in both graphic and web design. I shared my goals to update the CAREER Magazine website (which she created in 2008).  Based on our conversation, and the direction CAREER Magazine is heading, she suggested Word Press website because it offers the most flexibility.   She found a great template for me and offered to do the website for less than $300.  That’s important to share because that’s the cheapest quote I ever received for any website.  Knowing the caliber of her work, and her worth;  I figured she just was giving me a price break because of our long-term working relationship.  Or she  felt sorry for me because she was aware of my graphic designer nightmares and all the THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS I’ve spent on websites prior to working with her.

When I was finally ready to move forward with my website, my “main” graphic designer was in the process of expanding her business and moving her home business to a retail location.  She was happy to upgrade the website, but told me she could not start on it for another two months.   As a general rule, I have always worked with several designers because experience has taught me to always have options.

I have two other graphic designers that have successfully completed other projects for me when my main designer was unavailable. But decided to just go in a totally different direction and try a designer I had met online a few years ago (and met him in person summer 2009 while visiting my best friend in Detroit). Before turning over my website I had him to do a graphic design project for me and I was sooooooooo happy with his work.  So, I turned over my website and a $300 partial payment as his requirement was 50% down to start.   After waiting more than three months for my website, I began to look through some emails and realized that my new “graphic designer” did not design the project I was so happy – – HE HAD OUTSOURCED IT! (which explains why the website samples he sent were not up to par).  Long and short of it, I never got my website from him, I have yet to get my money back {which he has repeatedly promised to return} and I will be working on my formal complaint to the Better Business Bureau as soon as I finish this blog.  But I digress.

During this process, I began to mentor a young lady in the New York area who wanted to start a Magazine.  I explained to her that my time was very valuable and her mentorship would be a working one.  During one of our frequent talks, she mentioned “updating her website” and the light went off.  I asked her about her web design skills and low and behold, she has built several websites using the Word Press platform.   I told her that I now needed her to pour back into me as I had poured into her.  She willingly agreed.  Via Skype, she walked me through the BASICS of creating my website through Word Press.  For some reason, I still had the fear that I could not do it to the level of excellence that I would be satisfied with.   So I put my website aside and began to work on my husband’s website.   Once I got the hang of how Word Press operates (and I’m still confused about some things).  I buckled down and completed my husbands website over the Thanksgiving holiday

(see and you guess it, I went ahead and knocked out my personal website as well (which you are currently viewing, check out all the pages, I worked really hard and don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter).  So now I have defeated my fear of websites.  I did notcomplete ONE, but TWO.  YES, I WIN!

I shared my websites with my graphic designer who gave me a thumbs up.  Now there are some things I can’t figure out and she will go in and fix them for me over the next couple of weeks, but the point is….I DID IT….and I’m ready to take on the upgrade of the CAREER Magazine website without fear!  And guess what, the template only cost me $35.00, some sweat equity and a few cups of courage.  Best investment ever!  SCH


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