Two years ago, I started my business (by accident).
Starting a business was always a childhood dream but for some reason, I didn’t expect to start one at a relatively young age. For some reason, I thought the best time to start a business was;
- after university
- when I have a job
- saved enough money to invest
I did not expect to start my business in my third year at university — without being employed or having a lot of seed capital.
Years before starting my business, I was a blogger. I wrote inspirational content such as quotes, articles, and advice. I had several blogs in the past but one of the blogs that are still alive today is on WordPress. I found WordPress in late 2016. I had no idea how to navigate it. In fact, I deserted the platform for several months until I decided to give it another go.
WordPress is honestly awesome. The previous blogs I had were on Weebly and barely anyone read them, and it barely got any decent traffic. WordPress on the other hand was like a social media network for bloggers. My content was way more discoverable compared to Weebly. Over the years, I gained a loyal following of 450+ followers.
I was regularly posting content on my blog and it was awesome to connect with bloggers from different countries. I regularly explored other people’s blogs. I visited a girl’s blog and one of the things she does was rate a person’s blog out of ten. The rating is based on the appearance of the blog. I read the feedback she gave to someone and it was very brief. I felt like I could give more detailed feedback since I am a self-taught graphic designer and can share the design principles I learned.
That’s when I decided that I should do something similar except, make a specialized service to help bloggers design attractive blogs via implementable feedback — technically consulting.
I named this free service ‘Designo Feedback’.
I wrote a post asking if anyone wanted me to go through their blogs for free. I was able to find six blogger friends and delivered them implementable feedback.
All of my blogger friends were very impressed with the feedback and it felt good! I was happy to exceed expectations. One of them even asked me to design a logo for their blog and I happily did so. This made me think that I could make this a business one day — I just didn’t know when. I vaguely thought that when I have money, I can make it a business.
Later, university work and volunteer roles flooded in.
I could not focus on my small ‘unregistered’ business. In fact, 2019 went like water and, I barely worked on it. I didn’t consistently get ‘blogger’ clients and questioned if it will actually work out. I also noticed that the clients I provided feedback to are very unlikely to purchase my paid services. This itself was very demotivating.
As months went past, when I had time I would research and learn about blogging and business.
This is when things start changing.
One day I came across Sam Ovens webinar (LOL I think we all have!) and watched it to the end. I remember that day when I was doing something in the kitchen and had my laptop on the countertop and earphones plugged in. I was in the middle of doing a chore, but I made sure I don’t miss a minute of the webinar. I guess at that time, I thought the webinar was ‘LIVE’ when it was probably recorded 😛
I was so into the webinar that I forgot how long I was listening to it.
That was the day I made a decision to officially register my business and be serious about it.
WHY DID THE WEBINAR MOTIVATE ME TO START A BUSINESS?
I honestly felt like the webinar was talking to me. I had an unregistered consulting ‘business’, I had no clue what to do next with it, and this dude is talking about how to be a highly paid consultant. I was technically been told what the next step is for my business. What a random coincidence. I felt weird that day — hope, excitement, and hunger to learn more.
I WAS LIKE, DUDE I ACTUALLY HAVE A CONSULTING BUSINESS — WITHOUT ME KNOWING! I can start now! I have already proven myself that I can deliver results to people — I just need to start. And I did, registered my business around May 2019 and self-learned all the way until November when I finally decided to implement what I learned.
If you would like to know my story after November 2019, let me know! I’ll stop the storytelling here.
My business definitely changed since I officially registered as a business.
I changed my business name THREE TIMES – from Designo Feedback to DONI MEDIA and now, CASIA DESIGN.
I started with consulting only but now, as of November 2020, I am offering graphic/website design for small businesses. However, the experience I gained from consulting has helped hone my sales skills. I haven’t ‘made it’ yet but I’m progressing and that’s what matters.
I would like to thank everyone who supported me from the bottom to now, having a network is honestly your own net worth.
Looking forward to the years ahead and I hope to share it with you all,
DONITA WM | Founder of CASIA DESIGN