In May 2019, I officially launched Create with Danielle, and it changed my life. It was a very unexpected and random decision on my part, and I’m glad I followed my gut and went for it. If you’re thinking of becoming a website designer or any type of business owner, I hope this post motivates you to start a business. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have experience or clients, this didn’t stop me! If I can do it, you can do it too.
I launched my business within 2 weeks of the idea popping into my head, and a year later… I’m turning away clients, overbooking for months and hitting income figures I never believed would happen. I want you to feel the same way I do! Free, happy and stress-free. No matter what type of business owner, I’m sure some of you will relate to this post!
My entire life, I dreamt and worked towards becoming a wedding planner. After high school, I moved to Toronto from a small town to fulfill that dream. I spent years taking courses and became a certified planner. I jumped right into the wedding industry at a local wedding cake shop where I thought would be the start of my forever career.
After working with brides and getting familiar with the wedding industry, I became extremely depressed and absolutely hated the field. It was not what I expected, but I kept thinking “I’ve wasted all of these years trying to get into this field, I might as well stick with it”. Many people think like this when they knew they picked the wrong field. I felt like I couldn’t disappoint my loved ones by dropping everything to start fresh. But working at that shop made me realize that I did not want to work for anyone else’s dreams. I wanted to work for myself! The women that I worked for did not value my time or hard work, and it was constant stress. I lost motivation and ended up being let go from that job. But little did I know, my life would change months later.
I had no job for a month which provided me with a lot of time to self reflect. It made me realize how much I wanted to pursue something else. I tried starting my own wedding planning business during this time, but I had no experience or past clients. I designed my website and branding for my planning business.
When designing this website, I realized something. I had way more fun designing the actual website rather than launching the business! Over the years, I had helped people build their websites as they knew I was tech-savvy. But it never hit me, that it could actually be my job. My childhood was spent designing Myspace and Tumblr themes (oh the old days!) and I always just thought of it as a fun hobby.
I hadn’t fully convinced myself yet and I ended up reading You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero in hopes of changing my mindset. Once I read that book, it changed MY LIFE. I highly recommend reading this book if you need the motivation to start your business!
After reading that book, I decided I was going to stop pleasing others and follow my dreams. I didn’t tell anyone (except my supportive fiancé), started an Instagram and followed every wedding vendor in the meantime. This was the niche I wanted to specialize in! But my issue? I had no portfolio, experience, testimonials or anything to back me up. Why would someone hire me when I have absolutely nothing?
I spent day and night formulating a business plan, creating my website and trying to grow my Instagram. However, I was not the type who wanted to cheat my way in. I refused to buy followers or pretend to have a portfolio/clients as I’ve seen some other designers do.
One week before I launched my business, I gained my first client. A wedding planner! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Someone had put their trust in me when I hadn’t even started my business or could prove my skills. I had a huge dance party in my apartment, cried my eyes out, and it was such a memorable experience. I had officially become a website designer!
Just months after launching my business and working as a server part-time, my business blew up. Within a month of launching, I was getting inquiry after inquiry. I was overworking myself and taking on 6 clients a month – which I don’t recommend!
The main reason I was getting clients was my presence on Instagram. Instagram will be your new best friend if you’re starting a business! My biggest tip is engaging with your dream audience. When I mentioned I followed every wedding vendor before starting, this helped me a lot. I engaged with them every time there was a new post. It worked every time. They would follow me back and slowly build a connection with me and realizing they need my help to improve their online presence.
Exactly a year into my business, I was able to quit my part-time job and design full time. It was the most exciting day of my life! I couldn’t believe everything I had achieved in one year.
I have worked with 40+ female entrepreneurs and small businesses, almost hit 6 figures, overbooked for months, launched my website templates, and created 2 courses!
You get to create freedom for everything in your life (finances, schedule, working from home) and being your own boss. What’s better than that? You don’t have to have a degree or be an expert to create these amazing results, you just have to be willing to invest in yourself & work hard.
If I can go from being jobless & depressed to living my life in ONE year, who says you can’t do the same?
Try it out! There are many types of design industry jobs that can make you successful whether it’s website design or graphic design. The push needed to be an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, but you’ll never know until you try!