Today’s blog guest is my USA pal Margaret whose quirky sense of humour makes her an honorary Brit. Here’s Margaret, in her own words:
My name is Margaret Rode and I am a website consultant/designer/manager in Colorado, USA. When not doing that, I am teaching at our community garden, writing a book about sustainability, walking in the mountains, and playing with my dogs and spouse.
My business is called Websites for Good, and I started it in my spare bedroom in 1998 after a career working for other people in companies like Apple Computer and Boeing. I enjoyed my jobs, but was dogged by a crazy calling to do what I had been doing for them — web-related things — for others, offering my skills to those who were trying to do good in the world. Perhaps, I reasoned, I could help them use the Web wisely to get supporters, media attention, buyers, donors, and believers. I’ve always loved the philosophy of “Doing well by doing good,” and so away I went to save the world with a laptop computer and a dial-up internet connection.
My first client was a children’s book author and publisher who created a series of books that took kids on journeys around the world, introducing them to other cultures and places. I believe her site cost US$400.00 and took about a hundred hours to make. Fortunately, I got past that first “oh my, what have I done” moment and have gone on to work with some truly amazing people (and yes, actually earn a living at it). My clients are mostly owners of small organizations of one kind or another, who love what they’re doing for a living — or want to get to that point. They are authors, teachers, coaches, consultants, artists, healers, nonprofit organizations, social entrepreneurs…and others who are driven to improve some aspect of life for others. On one day I may be working with a consultant trying to teach us to talk (and listen) to one another again. On another day it may be someone trying to save endangered turtles, or a local nonprofit orchestra trying to bring music to a small community.
There are many things I love about self-employment. I love being able to choose whom I give my life energy to, and it allows me to limit my client list to people I respect and admire, making it very easy to get out of bed every morning! I like the freedom to shape my own days, rather than have them forced into the shape dictated by a corporate HR department. But most of all, I think I love the fact that I can — I must, in fact — bring to my clients’ projects great love, great loyalty, and great creativity. I am constantly pushed to edge of my comfort zone, experimenting, exploring, and growing. And of course, it’s very rewarding and stimulating work, exposing me to the best humanity has to offer. In these days of dark news on every screen, with every evil/corrupt deed shoved into our faces, being able to work with people who are pushing back against that tide is such a gift.
I am still surprised at how much time it takes to manage a small business, and how things don’t always go as planned. The ups and downs of income and new clients can still rattle me a bit from time to time, though with each passing year I get more relaxed about it, and keep a clearer/calmer head about it all. I’m also always a bit mystified by peoples’ reactions to my self-employment, especially people who are desperately unhappy in their lives working for others. They seem to think that I am either extremely brave or extremely stupid to be following this path, when in reality it’s neither. I simply have a vision of how I want my life to look, and in order to have it be so, I’m willing to keep putting one foot in front of the other, learning as I go along.
In addition to continuing working on lovely projects, the thing I’m most looking forward to is figuring out how to meet more good people and help them, from teaching to writing to volunteering abroad. Creating different income sources would also free me to pursue other ways I can be involved in all the magnificent work being done — completely ignored by the media — around the world. What could be more satisfying than devoting my time and energy to people trying to make things better?
Find out more about Margaret at her website: WebsitesForGood.com
And Like and enjoy Margaret’s content at her Facebook Page: Facebook.com/WebsitesForGood
Margaret is a loyal and much valued member of my coaching community called Small Business Big Magic which is designed to support work-at-home solopreneurs, start-ups and those wanting to jump ship from the Day Job. Until 31st August membership costs just £50 a month or you can snaffle a year’s membership for the price of £450. Building a business takes time. Plan to join SBBM and be with us for at least a year.
This series of guest blogs during August is designed to draw attention to the price increase on 1st September. After 18 months at these very low rates, prices must rise (for new members only) to £75 a month and £675 for a year’s membership. Join SBBM now to grab the best ever price for the full life of your membership.