It was a matter of timing—and trusting my own inner knowing. I didn’t know anything about running a business. I just knew that working in corporations was killing my soul.
On the job, I taught myself scores of software programs. To remember the details, I wrote my own version of quick-and-easy manuals. I’d summarize 200 pages into a single chart.
It drove me nuts how bad the manuals were. The writers would often bury some critical piece of information where it could hardly be found. The manuals were written only for beginners with no way for power users to quickly access needed information. There were no graphics to explain complex concepts.
I spent six months as a technical writer in a mainframe company. There, I learned FrameMaker which was the premier software for technical manuals at the time. I converted all the company’s software manuals into FrameMaker and became an expert in designing FrameMaker book templates. That fluke of luck positioned me for my leap into my own business.
At this point, I had a decision to make. To stay on that job, I’d have to do some serious work learning the mainframe. My technical-writer mentor advised me against going this direction (good thing). We negotiated my exit from that business that was mutually beneficial.
Within a few days, I had my first contract as a technical writer. From that point, I was consistently working on technical writing contracts. I got work through agencies. Tech writing was so hot in those days that once I knew my current contract was ending, I’d have multiple offers for new contracts.
The only thing I knew for sure was that I never wanted to work in a corporation again. So—I had to learn how to run a business. With that first contract in hand, I immediately went to San Francisco Renaissance (a small business “incubator”). I registered for their six-month entrepreneur program, where we focused on writing our Business Plan.
I tied for the top prize in writing the Business Plan. That program was three hours in-person class, 2X a week for six months. Our homework filled a 4” binder. By the end of the course, I had a fully developed business structure, with a retirement plan, medical insurance, and disability insurance. Most importantly, I was confident that I knew what I needed to know to have a successful business.
Remember the dot.com crash—from one week to the next, everything changed. The business evaporated, and I suffered a debilitating computer injury. Even if there had been work, I was unable to work on the computer—at all.
After a lengthy time of self-examination, I decided to train as a coach. This was something I could do without a computer. Even if I was in pain on the floor, I could still speak to and help clients on the phone. I researched various coaching programs and chose CoachU’s 2-year program.
At this point, I attended a Peak Potentials Millionaire Mind Intensive. Harv T. Eker had a coaching program called SuccessTracs and I became a coaching client. After some time of working with my coach, I got an opportunity. I was grumbling about how difficult it was to start my coaching business. He told me that SuccessTracs was looking for coaches. He offered to recommend me.
I became a SuccessTracs coach and coached for the company for four years. I loved working with clients by phone on personal and business matters. The gist of the program was how to make and keep more money.
I needed to change—without the easy availability of contracts, I had to learn marketing. At this point, I discovered Robert Middleton’s Action Plan Marketing. His information made so much sense to me that I signed up for his year-long coaching program.
During that year’s training, writing website content became my primary focus. Robert had a wonderful approach, and I adopted it and started providing these services. He coached me one-on-one to write websites. I found something I really loved. I became a Certified Action Plan Marketing Coach.
Once I was able to work on the computer again, I started writing online content. The coaching and writing combined into an awesome client experience. Something magical happened when I interviewed clients for their website content.
One thing has become really obvious to me since 2010. My clients and I come up with awesome content. We completely create or transform their businesses. Then, I’ve seen so many instances where that great content ended up on c****y websites. It’s very frustrating.
Another problem happens when clients put our great content onto a great website—then don’t promote it. There’s no SEO. There’s no Pay Per Click. There’s no social media or content strategy. The website just sits there. It’s not a lead funnel. It doesn’t rise in the search engine results. It’s just a “brochure” and doesn’t bring leads.
These facts have troubled me for years. I wanted to be able to give my clients EVERYTHING they need for website success. Great content, lead funnel websites, search engine optimization, pay per click, and a content strategy—that’s the formula.
Serving this market keeps me excited. It’s worth getting out of bed for. It’s so much fun playing a part in accelerating growth for my clients and their businesses.
CoachU Coach Training Program (CTP)
Taking the Leap—Art Marketing program
San Francisco Renaissance Program (Entrepreneurship)