Isn’t it funny that the dreams we had when we were about to graduate high school aren’t always the way things turn out? When I was 18 I was sure I was going to complete 4 years of college and do something in the psychology field. I wanted to help others figure out their problems and give them direction in their lives. Looking back I am not sure why I felt at the time this was the direction to go. Back then I thought when you decided on a career path you had to stick with it. Not the case. If I had known then what I know now I would have gone into the business direction. Computers weren’t really a thing ‘common’ people had, more your big companies, so I didn’t realize that would be something I would be interested in.
Well, that didn’t happen. One year into college I decided I would rather get married and be an Army wife. During that 5 years, I worked a couple of odd jobs, and I even sold Tupperware. I became a manager (though I never earned the “van”), but did accumulate a bunch of containers. I always joked I was my own best customer. I found I didn’t love selling and in the military people tend to come and go, and the ‘locals’ as we referred to them by were not always open to the military wives.
After almost 5 years of marriage and 2 little boys, my ex-husband decided he was done and found an older ‘model’ with 2 older boys and we got divorced. This is when my Dad who was an insurance salesman at the time hired me part-time to work in his office. It was a perfect job as I could work part-time and still be able to afford childcare.
During this time I met my husband that I am married to now, had another child, a daughter and worked for my Dad for 8 years full-time. While I worked for him I secured my auto/home/health and life insurance licenses which helped bring in some extra money. It was always stressful for me. If I wasn’t home thinking about what I might have possibly forgotten to do while at work I was going in early or staying late. I tried to take over his office but the headquarters after interviewing me said I didn’t have big enough goals. I felt I was being reasonable, but they felt differently. When the new agent interviewed me he didn’t want to pay me what I felt I was worth since I could run the office by myself if needed, so I decided to leave upon my Dad retiring. That was back at the end of 2002. I have since learned your dreams do not have to be ‘reasonable’ because hey, that is what dreams are all about.
My husband was running a Family Daycare out of our home which enabled him to be home with the kids before our youngest started school and when the boys came home from school. It was a perfect set up and I thought if I got my daycare license we could expand into a Group Home Daycare which would allow more children in his care.
What I found was although I do love kids, I didn’t love doing daycare. I dreaded each day when the kids would show up or wonder when the parents would get done with work and show up. So during this time, I decided to try my hand at a business out of our home.
My sister had a brick and mortar storefront with country decor and wanted a website. So I thought I can teach myself how to do that. So I would sit at her computer for hours on end coding in HTML a website for the items she offered. Looking back it was so amateurish but it worked and did what she wanted it to do. She started selling wholesale and that was when I realized what I could make soybean candles as a business. She actually didn’t purchase from me at first because she wanted to make sure they burned like they should and so on. Then my prices were “too high” as once again I wasn’t looking at the big picture.
There came a time that I gave up on making candles and gave her my candle business for her to make and sell. Then she decided to close the storefront and offered me her business online and all of her supplies. The catch was I had to pay her something like $3-5K and I did. But it was a lesson learned in giving up too easily. I made soybean candles, tarts, molded candles, potpourri and the list goes on, from our home. Pretty soon I had built the wholesale business up to where I had customers outside of the country ordering from me. During that 5 years, I decided to start hosting other people’s websites and had started my own blog called What U Talking Bout Willis.
The problem I ran into was eventually it was like the candles and those items were not ‘needs’ but wants and business started to diminish. I had built up the hosting business and was starting to see a bit of return on my blog so I decided to get out of the candle business. I was tired of the overhead, the shipping and it always seemed like I was running out of scents etc. It wasn’t making money is an easy way to put it.
So while hosting other people’s websites and my blog, I started to teach myself some website design. This led to learning more coding and how to fix people’s WordPress blogs when they were hacked or made a mistake.
Hosting became harder and harder as I had people in different time zones and would get a Facebook ding in the middle of the night that their blog was down. So once again I reassessed my situation and decided it was time to end that, which took me over a year because some had paid an annual amount up front.
Now I know that I have taken up quite a bit of your time but bear with me. A year ago in January, I was offered to be a virtual assistant for a larger blogger. I was going to handle her emails, write when needed, do social media and more. So I worked for her for over a year until she decided to sell it. Luckily I had kept my blog going as well as I could and started to put feelers out on opportunities to keep income coming in. I have never ‘worried’ about things not working out because my motto has always been “things will work out they always do”.
So while searching for some ideas on where to go from here I came across the WP Dev Suite with Dr. Alex Davidovic. It made me think of my days doing website work and I thought this could be an area I could revisit since I enjoyed it so much. When I purchased this it came with a webinar with John Thornhill. Which I didn’t know at the time as he was the surprise guest. I missed the live webinar so I asked if there would be a replay and waited for the link to be sent to me. I started the webinar in the evening and had to finish it the next morning. I had my notepad and pen and was taking notes while I was listening. For the first time in a while, I got excited.
Like really excited…….
I had told my husband if John offered a payment plan I was in, one way or another. My husband said, “I am always here to support you, you should know that after 22 years of marriage lol”. So when I finished the webinar, John offered the payment plan and I couldn’t get my payment in fast enough. There were 3 out of 10 original spots available and by gosh I was going to get one of them.
I am believing in myself, and having faith that this is the “last” time I have to start something ‘new yet old’. Not sure if that makes sense to you but it might if you have been where I am. But I am going to take what knowledge I have built over the past 16 years and put it toward this new journey. If you would like to learn more about Partnership to Success please visit here to learn about Partnership to Success.
You can also visit my other site: BeckyWillis.com