It’s time to launch!

I’ve been working on this site for a good two months now. That might seem sort of astonishing considering how basic it is. With the abundance of simple website publishing platforms available these days, the site creation itself is pretty easy. What’s not as easy is the conceptualizing of the business that must happen before you can do much more than spend nearly a week playing around with different color palettes. Not that I did that.

What services will I offer? Perhaps as importantly, what services WON’T I offer? What kind of clients do I want to work with? How will I build my professional community?

This photo was taken during a photo shoot I commissioned a few months ago. It’s not one I’m going to put on LinkedIn, but I kind of love it because this is a real facial expression I make when I’m thinking and it looks like the real me, not the more polished version I would rather put out there. So here I am being vulnerable. This better not bite me in the a**, Brené Brown!

Why am I doing this?

Why. There’s a long answer and a short answer. The short answer is that I love to write and always have, but had grown a little bored with the feature writing I was doing as a freelancer immediately before this business idea was born. After taking some classes online to refresh my skills, I was introduced to the idea of content marketing as a discipline separate and distinct from traditional marketing and from public relations, and it clicked immediately. In this field, I can apply my skills as a writer and editor in a new way, and take advantage of the master’s degree in business I recently completed by a) running my own business; and b) applying what I learned in my favorite courses, which were data analysis, business intelligence and statistics. I can apply some science to the art of copywriting and truly help small businesses elevate their visibility online and reach more customers. YES! That’s exciting to me.

The long answer is more complex and personal. Like most of us, I want to find purpose in my work. I want to advance the causes and issues and people I believe in and help them succeed.

So how do I make the leap from lead generation to lighting a teeny, tiny light in the world?

My life has been dramatically improved in the last few years by the hardworking and dedicated small business owners whose services I am grateful to spend money on. My gym family changed my life and helped me uncover a stronger, more determined side of myself. The amazing care providers who nurture and teach my kids have moved me in ways I didn’t know was possible. The neighborhood Mexican restaurant from which I’ve bought gallons of take-out refried beans and rice has saved dinner dozens of times. These entrepreneurs are BRAVE and creative and work so hard. They inspire me. If I can help these good people be more successful, more financially secure and reach more people, I’m all in!

I resisted the pull of self-employment for a while because I wanted to be able to show up somewhere, do the work and go home. I didn’t want to deal with billing and administrative headaches. After many years working for a small public relations agency, I’m well versed in the hassles of business ownership.

But there are a lot of great reasons to do this now, flexibility being the biggest. I also want to push myself to take risks. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m learning to embrace imperfection and experimentation and the mighty ‘F’ word – failure. I want my kids to see that I won’t let anyone else define what I’m capable of, what I’m worth or when I can spend time with them.

So here I am. Open for business. Let’s do this!

Published by The Wordshop Integrated Content Marketing

Amy Miller is the founder and chief strategist at The Wordshop.

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