How I’m Simplifying My Web Design Business on My First Work-iversary

One year ago, almost to this day, I had a light-bulb moment that maybe, just maybe, I could open a new business that I could run alongside staying home with my kiddos. At that time, my daughter was 2 years and my son was 6 months old.

A few months prior, in the Fall of 2015, I bittersweetly closed the doors to my first business. A life coaching business for mom entrepreneurs. Through coaching, I helped them simplify their life and biz to focus on what really matters. I launched that business in 2011 just before getting married. And since launching that life coaching business, A LOT had changed. I got certified as a coach. Became a mother. Left my 9-5. Niched down. Experienced success (through several failures). Grew a waiting list of clients. Had another baby. Built a new house. Moved to a new state. And then… made the decision to not return to my coaching business after my son was born…

Running a business and a household became much more difficult after my son was born. He was nothing like my daughter. He wanted to constantly be held (only by mama). Then when he became mobile he was (and still is) loud and rambunctious. Which is okay. But there just wasn’t much room left for quiet coaching calls in my day anymore. And by the time night came, well, I wasn’t much good to anyone.

So I decided to temporarily close the doors. I figured I’d just be a stay at home mom and return to my coaching business when the kids begin school sometime in 2019… it was a bittersweet decision for sure.

But after I closed the doors to my first business, I just couldn’t let my entrepreneurial spark dim.

For the sake of everyone in my family… I needed something to call my own. I needed a business.

So on a whim, after a diaper change and before dinner was served… I texted my husband to tell him I thinking abou starting a virtual assistant business after seeing someone post something about needing one on Facebook.

I texted him again within a few moments to reassure him that I wasn’t thinking about it anymore and that I AM going to start this business and I AM going to rock it.

I signed up for Marie Forleo’s B-School February 29, 2016… on a credit card… praying I’d make enough in the business to at least pay it off by the end of the year.

And the rest feels like history…

So much happened throughout the first year of my web design business.

2016 was really all about figuring things out… on so many different levels.

I actually realized I didn’t like being a virtual assistant at all… and the only service I did like, was web design.

So I decided I needed to pivot… by May 2016 I had dropped all of my hourly virtual assistant clients and started solely offering web design and development services. And I experienced great financial success, but at a cost.

I had to use that money for childcare and found myself stuck in my office on gorgeous days and going to bed later than I wanted.

Making a lot of money, even if I was doing what I loved, was an eye-opener. It wasn’t my real goal.

I realized I didn’t want to hire a nanny anymore. I didn’t want a housekeeper. I didn’t want to keep paying for my own virtual assistant or grow a team.

I just wanted freedom.

I’m a minimalist in my life and business. So it makes sense that building this huge empire wasn’t for me. But it took some time to figure that out.

I really just wanted to a be a happy stay at home mom, with flexibility in my schedule and to be able to contribute to our family’s goal of financial freedom.

And I wanted to do purposeful work that I loved, that had me racing to my desk during the kid’s nap times.

And that’s where I’m at now. Yay!!

I’m only accepting one new client per calendar month until my children are a bit older and more independent, granting my more time in my schedule for work.

And I’m only working with the coaches and consultants I feel a personal connection to.

And I’m leaving ample freedom in my schedule for… well, whatever may come my way.

My goal for my second year of business was to become a well-known industry expert and book out all 12 months with 12 new clients.

So I started blogging a lot more regularly, providing content I thought my existing and past clients would find valuable.

But I’ve been pretty busy lately wrapping up 2016 projects and working on new and exciting 2017 projects…

… plus it’s been between 60-80 degrees and sunny outside… and it’s FEBRUARY! (It’s usually 20-30 degrees this time of year.) So I’m spending as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors.

I haven’t had the desire to sit down to write out new content for the blog.

So I’ve made another pivot, a conscious decision, to throw out my self-made content calendar and create a new 2017 goal.

My new goal for this second year of business is to simply focus on my clients and serve them with love.

A goal to continue to grant my clients outstanding web design alongside the highest level of customer service.

A goal to consciously limit my availability, so I can be of more service to my clients (& of course my family).

And while I’d still love to be a “well-known industry expert” and put out great content, I feel at this point in my life and business, simply focusing on my clients will do just fine.

So if you need me, I’ll still be here behind the scenes building beautiful websites… and enjoying the beautiful weather ;).

Have a Q? You can reach me here.

Want to get on my design calendar? You can request a strategy session here.

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2 Comments

  1. Kelly Pietrangeli on February 28, 2017 at 10:18 AM

    I can relate to your story on many levels! I was a freelance graphic designer with a baby boy and all was going well. Then baby number two came along and threw me and our whole family life upside down!

    Eventually something had to give and I decided to give up my clients and focus on my family for a while. But like you… it’s hard to keep an entrepreneur at bay!

    I did B School in 2013 and launched my website (coaching mothers!) soon after. But my kids are teenagers now so I’m able to work full time and FINALLY pour myself into my business.

    Good for you for being dedicated to living a well balanced life. Kids grow up and you find more and more time. There is plenty of time 😊

    Enjoy those sunny days, enjoy those amazing kids, continue to adapt your business vision to whatever feels “right” as you go along!

    I’d love to speak to you about a website re-vamp. It sound like you’re pretty booked up?
    http://www.myprojectme.com



  2. Katie O'Brien on February 28, 2017 at 1:17 PM

    Hi Kelly! Ohh our stories are very similar, aren’t they?! My son completely rocked my world. I was definitely not prepared for all his spunk.

    I can definitely relate to everything you said. I love seeing what you’re up to and how you business has evolved, too!

    I’d love to chat about a revamp. Currently, I do have April and June still open for new projects. But we can jump on a strategy session and chat details and timelines 🙂 When you’re ready, complete the form at the bottom of katieobrien.com/web-design and I’ll shoot you over a link to my calendar.



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