My story in 60 seconds
I wrote my first website in 1995 and it was about toast.
That’s right. Toast. The stuff you eat for breakfast or late at night when you’re hunkered down over your laptop and you need something to soak up the wine!
Way back in 1995 when the internet was still in its baby stages – way before selfies, blogs and mass social media we had very basic websites. Lots of them were about cats. Pictures. Big ones. Small ones. Stripy ones. Stories. Musings.
I’ve never been one to conform so I made my site about toast. How to put bread into a toaster. How to press the button. Choosing the right butter. (Salty!).
OK granted, this was not high level stuff – but I loved it and told everyone I knew I’d made a website because I was so proud.
After university I went overseas to work in a huge international corporate environment for many years and I had that big, ‘ol fancy career. I was single and I thought the money would never end. I had a nice house in the countryside, drove a big BMW, had a couple of horses and skiied overseas up to 5 weeks a year.
Fast forward a few years and I realised I was no longer feeling fulfilled at work and it just seemed as though I wasn’t making a difference anymore.
Instead, I was just a tiny cog in a big wheel and all the while super-rich anonymous people got richer.
But by that time I was married, a mother, working crazy hours and heading for a burnout.
I needed more from my life.
I moved back to my home country and tentatively took new steps.
I set up a new business creating websites for an extremely niche audience and I thought I’d really cracked it in terms of the holy grails of entrepreneurship.
Oh what a fool I was!
I’d fallen into the trap of that oft-repeated mantra “charge what you’re worth”. For me, this meant reverting to type and going back to my corporate daily rate of $1400 a day.
I had a major [lightbulb] moment when I realised I’d left corporate because I made rich people rich… and here I was – designing expensive websites for… rich businesses!
Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire!
And then my marriage fell apart…
I found myself in the position of being a single mom with ill health, a shaky business and totally broke!
I knew my health wasn’t going to allow me to return to work full-time and with two small children and no regular support around I needed to be here for the children – because if nothing else, the school seemed to phone weekly to say one or the other had fallen over and bumped his head so I’d have to drop whatever I was doing to rush out and collect him from school.
I was in a position of either having to force myself back into the corporate workplace and outsource the raising of my kids… and count down the months – nay weeks! – until I had another breakdown, or – I was going to have to make my own way online and earn my own money to take care of me and my children.
So I took a deep breath and launched using the skills I’d developed over many years as a software engineer and programmer I was able to create a business which creates plug-and-play websites for other single moms like me who need a first class website ready to take payments, a little bit of hold-handing and someone to really take an interest in them (and their business!) – on an economy budget.
I get a kick out of it too because I’m a massive feminist and I get to really help empower other single mothers (the most financially marginalised group!) and help them take steps towards financial independence because having financial independence gives you the freedom to say NO to situations and people which do not serve you.