Choose your experience:
Professionally, my story starts at the age of 8 years old.
That's when 2 things happened:
- We got a computer with Internet access
- I saw Wendy's "Where's the Beef?" ad for the first time
With the computer, I was open to the connected world at a very early age (this was 1995, just having access to a personal computer was a big deal - internet too? Cloud 9.).
With my adoration of all things clever and access to all of human knowledge at my fingertips, my path was, and remained for 13 years, set.
Fast forward to 21:
I've been in school for most of my natural life. The bulk of what I know cannot be credited to the schools I've spent the last 15 years of my life attending. Even worse, now I'm acquiring debt to receive the same lack-luster education that I was forced into by parents and federal mandate for oh so many years.
I decided enough was enough. I packed my bags and moved back home.
Over the next two years, I worked 2 fulltime jobs: exterior finishing (decent pay, at the time) and creating my own company.
I'd never created a real company before. Sure, I had made money offering things like graphic design and computer repair. I made a few marketing materials for computer repair under TechMess(^tm) when I was a teen, but I never really advertised because I had enough work (and I didn't really like it).
On top of that, I had a much bigger problem: I didn't know how to do some of the things I needed to know how to do!
I wanted to do marketing, and that meant I needed to be able to develop classic and digital marketing materials on a professional level.
I didn't know how to code. I didn't know much about print. I knew enough about marketing to know what I needed. I'd been Photoshopping since 7.0 so I could handle the graphic design.
After 2 years, I had:
- a decent understanding of web design
- a professional(ish) logo and some marketing materials
- a much improved understanding of design and marketing
It was time to get some customers.
I didn't really advertise. What little advertising I did returned in nearly 0 reward. I was still working full time outdoors and coming home to work another 8 hours improving the website, learning more about the things I was working with, developing more marketing materials and defining a target customer base.
I had all kinds of solid plans in the works, and now I have a few clients to try out my brand new 'expertise' on.
About 15 clients in, I realized something horrible: I really hate marketing.
It turns out, I wasn't in love with marketing at all. I liked the idea of marketing. The idea of making funny commercials or persuading people for this or that just by creating clever media.
As it turns out, marketing is nothing like that at all...
I stuck with it for 3 years after the fact (for a grand total of 5, operating under Creative Design Influence). I honored my contracts and finished them out. Between working 2 jobs and a few more checks coming my way thanks to my wonderful (and honestly, probably the only reason I did as well as I did) 0% interest financing option, I had enough money saved up to afford some time while figuring out my next move.
The last year under CDI, I backed off from the 16 hour days. I was still working full time, but the stress was really starting to take a toll on my well-being. I cut personal work to around 20 hours a week, using most of it to finish the software applications I had started under CDI.
A year later, I took some time off. An entire year, in fact. I had never done that before. It was always work or school, getting in whatever free time I could between my ambitious duties. I didn't even take a year off before starting college (though I desperately wanted to: I was given the choice of college or moving out and being on my own).
It was wonderful. I don't think I would have survived without it.
It taught me a very important lesson about balance between work and play. It helped me recharge my batteries, and gave me a much clearer version of what I wanted to do and ways that I could get there. This pretty much brings us to now.
Have Brain, Will Travel
I have tons of experience, and for the moment, you can get me at a bargain! I need some technical references. If you need a capable developer, we may be able to come to a reasonable arrangement!
Feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss working together!