Story Time Monday: This is My Life

Story Time Monday MD Web and SEO

Story Time Monday…

I remember being 13 years old (this was back in 1997) our family got our first personal computer. We had a dial-up modem and it took a day or two to download one song (man, kids today will never know the struggle lol). If someone needed to use the phone, you got booted – didn’t matter what you were doing or who you were talking to – bye-bye internet. If you weren’t on AOL, ICQ, and MPlayer – you were a nobody. There was no social media, no Facebook or Twitter. The internet was a much different place back then. It was quieter, simpler.Story Time Monday MD Web and SEO

At that same time, my interests in Paganism began to stir. But information on the internet was minimal at best. The concept of networking didn’t really exist back then (not like it does today). I was desperate to want to connect other like-minded people. I’ve always been a creative person, so I thought, if I can’t find the proper resources, I will create it instead. That’s when I started to teach myself basic web design (which back then was very simple). The first website I ever built was called “Wiccan World” – it doesn’t exist anymore. I had it hosted on what was once the mighty empire called GeoCities (which has long since been dissolved) it was a beautiful layout of deep purple and gold. It had over 50 pages of information on Wicca, as well as a lavish networking section where people could connect with each other based off their interests and their country of residence. People flocked to it. People loved it.

I bet no one ever thought it was produced and maintained by a 13-year-old girl. It was my pride and joy.

I maintained that site for 2 years, until 1999, when Yahoo bought out Geocities… and that was the end of the mighty empire. That was the end of my beautiful website. Forever lost amidst the sands of time.

As I grew older I always had a very entrepreneurial mindset. I’ve always hated working for “the man”. I knew somehow, someday, I would be working for myself. But what? I couldn’t decide. I didn’t truly realize what I was passionate about.

While I admit, over the last 20 years I had taken many courses and started many businesses that failed. An online “adult” toy store was my first big one, then a nail salon, photography, a cleaning business, a dog walking business, a landscaping business, a courier business, a nutritional coach… I’m sure there are others I just can’t think of right now – my family, my friends – they all thought I was crazy! “There she goes… on another business idea rampage again!” The point is – they all had one thing in common… They all had beautiful websites designed by me. But still, it never clicked.

I mean, by this point I was a pro without realization.

I knew my HTML, my PHP & CSS, I worked with MySQL databases, Perl and I worked with WordPress, Wix, Weebly. I’ve done it all at this point.

I never realized that I got more joy out of working the websites for these businesses than actually working the businesses. Until one day…

We had moved from our nation’s capital to a very small town about an hour away. I had taken a job that I absolutely LOATHED! It was horrible, the pay was shitty but I thought we needed the money so I swallowed my pride and took it anyway. Needless to say, I didn’t last long. After 5 weeks of bitching and complaining every day to my husband, he turned around and told me to quit.


“You love making websites babe, you’re always doing it – even for no apparent reason but to make one. Did you ever stop to think that maybe that’s what you should be doing with your life?” My oldest son who is 14 then chimed in “Ya mom, you’re REALLY good at it, you should do it”.  Then my husband repeated “Why don’t you quit your job? Stay home and focus your time on creating a business out of something that you have already been doing 20 years.” Only then did it finally click. It took my husband and my son to make me understand that I have been doing what I love now over 20 years. I just never realized it and I’ve just been doing it for free!

Fast forward to today…

I completely focused on my business now, and so far it’s thriving pretty good. I’ve got a good customer base already and I love working from home, but I work damn hard too. Last week I put in almost 100 hours and damn near burnt myself out. It was a clear reminder that I have to manage my time better and learn to take breaks. But what can I say? I absolutely love what I do.

It’s amazing how easily we can be blinded sometimes. The answer was sitting in front of me this whole time and I didn’t even realize it. So take a minute… stop and think about the things that you really love to do. Can you make a business out of it? Because once you start doing what you really love, you’ll never work another day in your life!

Melissa is a web designer and SEO specialist with over 20 years experience. She is a full-time Super-Mom of 4 children and 3 dogs, while she runs MD Web & SEO full time out of her home in Ontario, Canada and still manages (somehow) to find time to blog about everything web design, SEO, and even her personal life.

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