While other kids played with beanie babies I was hawking mine on eBay. I was always enamored with business and marketing. My family had a successful real estate business and at a young age I knew I wanted to go into business. I realized the importance of online marketing early on with my beanie baby business. Heck, I made two thousand dollars selling beanie babies when I was 13. I was not making that kind of money when I set up booths at collector shows. It’s all about the E-Commerce, baby!
When I was 19, I obtained my real estate license. College was never really in my “life” plan. My plan was to work for the family business, in real estate.
Unfortunately for me, I became a real estate agent in 2007. As you recall, the real estate market crashed in 2008 and it crashed hard. This is when I realized I had to change my career path because of the economy. I was heartbroken that I had to start over. Little did I know this was a blessing in disguise.
Fast forward to my college years. -Oh boy!
With an entrepreneurship spirit, a few of my friends and I joined forces to make the best t-shirt company ever. Our business model was flawless, well at least that’s what we had thought. The name of our company was 33.3 (I know, how cliché). We had a developer, graphic designer and a marketing/sales person.
While our developer used Dreamweaver, this was the first time I understood the importance of web development. Watching Diggnation and conjuring up our next business scheme, I began to understand more about development, different kinds of files, and the difference between serif and sans serif (everything I now take for granted). The t-shirt business failed 🙁 but the lessons it taught me were priceless. This was the first time I knew I had to be a part of the web development process.
Back at it again
My family stumbled upon some land that was a great investment. It was a “no-brainer” to purchase because the price was too good to pass up. My sister and I decided it was time to learn how the building industry works. Trinity Home Builders emerged where I spent the next four years developing our marketing strategy and web presence.
After working with three different web developers, I was still not happy with the end result of our website. So, I became obsessed with web development. After the website was in a good place, I was no longer content at Trinity. The CRM and PPC campaigns were on autopilot. Purchasing lumber and dealing with draw sheets was not my forte. I separated myself from Trinity and went back to school to finish the remaining two classes I needed to graduate in Marketing.
HTML & CSS 101
Last summer I spend two nights a week learning the fundamentals of web development. I obtained a social media certificate after completing that course.
During the course, we were assigned the task of developing a WordPress website. I finally had my “ah-ha” moment – now everything I was trying to do for so long made sense.
Now, just because I can create a site on WordPress, this does not mean I’m a developer. It’s the organic SEO, GA, GSC, social media, and all other inbound marketing that drives me.
After a combination of my HTML class and WordCamp sessions, WordPress became my CMS of choice and I never looked back.
I was fortunate to be able to volunteer the first year I attended WordCamp Milwaukee. It was the beginning of my initiation into the WordCamp community. I met many talented individuals during the sessions, volunteering, snagging swag and at the social events. These individuals were not just acquaintances I met in passing, but they became friends and invaluable resources. It was and continues to be a wonderful experience.
During last year’s WordCamp at the speaker/sponsor after party, I had the privilege of meeting Topher. I shared my story with him and told him how WordPress had impacted my life for the better. He told me about HeroPress. He asked me if I would be interested in writing an essay about my WordPress journey thus far. And, here I am.
Currently, I work for Tuna Traffic as a Digital Marketing Technologist, and every day I am learning something new. I’m excited to see where my WordPress journey takes me next!