Question: How does an aspiring entrepreneur, with a undergraduate degree, acquire the skills they need, overcome the fear, and finally create their own business? This was one of the questions I’ve pondered for a number of years. It all began the moment I fell in love with the Internet. Back in ’98 or ’99 I met the Internet on a friend of mine computer. Instantly the question of how does it work, and how do you build that came to mind. So started my quest into web development.
Because I was so curious within a couple of months I purchased my first computer and begin to learn about computers, how they worked and how that website gets to the end user’s (me) screen. Determination took me very far, within a few year I learned how to build a website by searching the Net and by 2005 I was ready to launch my very own site. I did and my site was www.yourguidetoshoppingonline.com (no longer live). I had learned about affiliate marketing, Adsense and web development all without a formal education. I had decided that my life’s goal was to run my very own website. I’d done well and had gotten my first check from Google for $100. Not bad for a girl with no formal education in web or marketing.
With the knowledge I had gained I decided it was time to get a college education in web design. So off to college I went. I spent close to two years in school then family life, finances and sickness got in the way. I quit school. I became discouraged because business hadn’t taken off like I’d dreamed. I’d given up for a short term and concentrated on the issues in my life. Bills were screaming, focus on a job and leave the dreaming to folks smarter and better than you. I decided to focus on other things and just in my spare time build blogs that would be in my own corner of cyberspace. And that’s what I did for some years. But I was still going to work towards that dream someday.
Over time I worked to make everyone else happy and I put all of my dreams on hold. I fought with life’s battles and they seemed to be winning. Mommy duties trumped all things because I had three people depending on me to take care of them. In 2011 I hit a huge bump in the road and I found myself newly divorced and working as an independent contractor doing merchandising and mystery shopping. I found it enjoyable because I selected the jobs I wanted to do and set my own schedule. But I had to take quit a number of jobs to make a livable income. My best friend said lets go back to school. I hesitated at first but I jumped on board. This would give me a chance to prove to myself that I could do something different with my life.
I was still maintaining a couple of blogs when I was accepted into Indiana University. During orientation I happened to be standing in a hallway pondering questions of how an education in computer science and web design could help me reach the goal I’d carried within me for so long and how I could gain enough professional experience to land a job. It was literally on a bulletin board right in front of me. A posting for a web technician. My chance had revealed itself.
I had nothing to offer except what I had learned on my own and the fact that I had signed up to further my education. I put together my resume and I submitted it. I started classes and a couple of months went by before I heard anything back about the position. Frankly I had forgotten I even applied. Studies had become what consumed my thoughts. But the email came and they wanted a portfolio of work that I had done concerning web development. I gave them what I had, the couple of blogs that I had built and maintained on my own. I had an interview with the team (how intimidating) and I was offered the job.
Over the next four years I juggled family, school, work, and church. Many days I wanted to quit all of them but there was a bigger goal I had in mind that helped me focus and never give up. I had something to prove, not to the world but to myself. It was the fact that I did not have to stay in the state of mind that I had lived in my entire live. That state told me that I could never achieve anything great and that my life’s destination was to be less than mediocre. But I knew in my heart that, that was untrue. I had the power within me that comes from God to be more that I could ever dream. I could be a college graduate of which in my close family there were few. And I could show my children how to succeed at education and more.
I believe that every step I’ve taken was strategically set for me all I needed to do walk walk in them. Each step has led to a new path of knowledge and experience. I’ve become a full time web developer gaining other Information Technology skills as well as management and leadership skills. The great thing about it is the questions I had in the beginning of my journey are being answered along the way. There is no easy path to entrepreneurship. It takes hard word, dedication, discipline, decision making, experience and failure in order to succeed. I have failed many times in my pursuit and I have not fully arrived, but I am enjoying the journey. And if what I do right now with my businesses never grow any more than where they are right now. I still see them as a success because I started them and I enjoyably work them everyday for myself and more importantly to help someone else that may think they are not capable of being an entrepreneur or just successful at accomplishing life goals.
WHAT I WORE: No Boundaries Juniors’ Skinny Jeans // Lady Boss Tank – Similar: Women’s Sub Urban Riot Day Job Muscle Tee // Leather Jacket – Similar Here: Women’s Levi’s Quilt Detail Faux Leather Racer Jacket // Black Stripped Heels – Similar Here: Simply Vera Vera Wang Phyllis Women’s High Heels, Size: 7.5, Black
Photography by: EIBM Photography’s Bobby Marsh