December 17, 2013 at 6:11 pm #503
Steve and his wife Susan spent 15 years toiling away in Corporate America.
They loved their jobs at first, but as their company grew, so did their displeasure with corporate life. When they began their careers at a computer gaming company, they were allowed a lot of creative license, but as the company got larger, their jobs became “smaller” and more focused.
Management didn’t understand that in order for these two project managers to do their jobs well, they needed solid teams. Temps and new grads were brought in last-minute to help get projects off the ground, but getting these folks up to speed cost them even more time and money. They were working seven days a week. The pay was good, but they had no free time to enjoy their lives.
After several years, Steve and Susan developed a plan to escape the cubicle. They would start their own company, teaching software programs to people who needed to update their skills. Susan left in 2003, with Steve to follow once Susan was making enough to cover the bills.
By 2006, they were both free of the corporate life.
They did very well right out of the gate. They were doing so well, in fact, that they brought on three full-time employees. As their little computer training company grew, it evolved into something different. Something they didn’t set out to do but realized the market demanded it. And more importantly, they also discovered they were good at it. They began designing websites for companies that did not have them (new companies or older, local companies who were slow to the online party). After a few years, the sole focus of their business was website design.
They spend so much time working with clients and dealing with the day-to-day of running a business, that their own website and online marketing efforts have taken a back seat.
They have spent the last ten years building their business into a profitable company. They have reached a stage in their lives where they want more time to themselves – time spent with each other (outside of the office) and time with family and friends. That was, after all, why they left their stressful corporate jobs. More time and more freedom were their goals all along.
They have a whole list of things that they want to do with their website but they haven’t quite gotten around to it. They know they need an active blog in order to draw more leads from the site. They’d like to develop case studies to enhance their portfolio. And they both have a natural aversion to social media. They know they need to be there, but the time it requires is less than appealing.
In his spare time, Steve writes science and fantasy fiction. He’s a storyteller by trade and his job at the gaming company was storyboarding. His goal is to step away from his full-time capacity at his business to focus on his writing. He has published a few short novels, and his goal is to self-publish one book per year into his retirement.
In her spare time, Susan is an artist. At the gaming company, she was a designer, and at her new company she is in charge of development and design. Her day is mostly taken up with development issues and she outsources a great deal of the design work to employees and freelancers. But she wants to focus on her art.
Together, Steve and Susan want to publish graphic novels. It is their retirement dream to sell their business and then focus their efforts on their art and storytelling.
Their business is at capacity, but they aren’t attracting their own ideal clients. If they could draw larger contracts, they could reduce their client load and collect more money from each client. But they are in a holding pattern at the moment, unable to make the transition because their plates are so full.
They want to begin to filter out leads right from their website. They want to showcase their best work and help visitors to understand that not everyone can afford their services. But until they are able to make time to rework their own copy, they’re going to be stuck in this holding pattern.
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