I WANT to know about YOU!

I really do want to know about you. I swear!

I've come to the realization that even though I spend an exuberant amount of time on twitter and chat with a lot of people. I still don't know them as well as I would like. Some of them I've spent many nights with at a conference and while some of those moments can be quite personal the history behind how they got started is can be a mystery.

After I share my story with you, I'd like for you to post how you got involved in your business or profession.

In the Beginning:
From the time I was 8 years old till senior year in high school I wanted to be a marine biologist. I finally was able to take the classes and realized that everything I read in books was not how it was in this class. I guess you can say it took the romance out of it. Just so happened that I was dating an older guy that was just starting a cybercafe (circa 1996) and needed me to do a website. Now mind you, I barely was on a computer, I just helped build them. He handed me a how-to book, the notes and photos. I put together my first website. I enjoyed it. It was HORRIBLE. I then started looking into design schools. I had always been able to draw, paint, sculpt... anything artsy fartsy was for me.

Fastforward a year, I was in college, and I had landed my first job doing websites, I BS'd my way in and I was excited to start. First week I had no computer so I was able to learn that HTML thing. Turns out the company they hired me for wasn't doing as good as their... X-rated sites. Yes folks, thats where I learned my coding skills. Life was interesting but was good. I had also started teaching web design with my college teacher every saturday morning. I was dreaming HTML in my sleep literally.

Fastforward another year... I grew bored and there was no room for raises or management so I left. Moved on to freelance. I did very well. I was out on my own but never made it official. I'm 18.

Fastforward to May 1998, I went looking for a job and came out with office space and to start my own business. So here I am, 19 years old and taking one hell of a chance but that is always how I rolled. Leaping forward like the frogs I love. I figured how hard can it be. They will bring me the business. Ha!!!! Was a great lesson to learn.

Fastforward a year, I moved out of the office and to a home office. I hated the commute and having 2 of everything. I have had a home office ever since. I have always had an easy time with the discipline it takes to work from home. Life was great. Business was booming. I had attended my first networking and I was scared sh-tless. I had to go and tell these people about me and what I do. I had no one to lean on for support. My parents didn't understand and all my friends were in college or goofing off. Still I winged it!

I decided to go work for someone so that I could buy a place. I had no real income history because I worked for myself and had a great accountant. It was interesting to say the least. I had a great cubby friend but turns out my boss was a sex offender. He was 40 something and messed around with a 15yo. Shortly after learning that I left since the company was going to sh-t anyway. My exit interview lasted 2 hours and 4 pages. It's hard to work for others when you have managed your own business. It served its purpose. I had bought my condo and was back to doing the business again.

I was able to make it through the dot bomb era. I managed to keep growing. To get back into networking. Then I had a horrible accident. July 13, 2001 I had t-boned a truck. I was in my Jetta, no seatbelt and going 40MPH. I woke up minutes later after blacking out before my head hit the windshield. I woke up bloody, and people in my car talking to me. The car I hit was flipped on its side. The firefighters took me to the hospital. I hit on all of them even in my state of confusion. I had a golfball size hole on my head, my right hand (i'm right handed) was cut up, sliced up and full of glass. Even up to 2 weeks later, glass was still coming out of my hand. I had surgery on my head the next day. Yes, they sent me home with a hole in my head. Explains a lot I know. There was no evidence of the airbag going off and I should have been dead on the scene. I'm lucky and that moment was the wake up call to move forward. It wasn't an easy path however. Once one survives that, you start to question why you are alive and what if any is your purpose on this life.

I later joined NAWBO and my life changed after that. I no longer had to wing it. I had an ocean of mentors to help me. I learned how to network properly and with confidence. I got public speaking gigs. I won an award. I developed some of the best friendships and travel buddies from that group. Since then, it's been my mission to help other new business owners to not have to "wing it" through their business. In all honesty, I wouldn't trade what I did. They were all valuable life lessons. Interesting journeys.

Here were are and almost 12 years later, I've molded my business into a one-stop shop that is geared to helping most small business owners boost business. I've had the great opportunity in working with the 2007 and 2010 Superbowl committee as well as other large companies like Office Depot, Burger King, Jaguar. I've added new services including full color printing and social media marketing. I've seen amazing speakers at conferences and have met many of my great friends though those conferences and twitter. Even when business is slow, and it has been, there are still plenty of areas and people that give me inspiration to start new businesses and to give me the support and cheers to keep on trucking.

I am still actively involved in NAWBO and if you are a woman business owner, find a chapter near you and join. It's important to have that support system and resources at your fingertips.

So in a nutshell, that is where I came to be where I am now.

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