A few weeks ago, I was asked by a local colleague, Amanda Rogalski, who teaches a class on Technology in Business at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) to guest lecture for one of her classes. I always like to share the knowledge I’ve accumulated with those interested in what I do, so naturally I jumped at the chance talk to students about the basics of WordPress and how it can be used to the benefit of businesses and individuals alike. Along with this, one of the things Amanda specifically asked me to talk about was my career path.
In reflecting and mentally preparing my remarks for this class, one of thing things I couldn’t help but come back to was how grateful and fortunate I am for the opportunities I have to run my own business in the ever changing industry of SEO and Internet Marketing. Simply put, without the support I’ve received and continue to receive from friends, family, clients and colleagues, I would never have made it this far.
There are simply too many people to name in this blog post who have helped me along and gone out of their way to make sure that I succeed, but they know who they are and I wanted to take this opportunity to say a genuine thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do. From my associates who continue to provide a high level of service for me and my clients, to my colleagues who have continued to provide support and guidance (not to mention leads to keep me gainfully employed), to my family who’ve supported me even when things were not always easiest, to my clients themselves who come to me from as far south as Dallas TX and as far east as Israel, I sincerely thank you.
Chances are at some point in your life you’ve read an article or blog post by someone well known or at least famous in their field, or listened to a motivational speaker, or bought a book or attended a seminar from a well known author or self help guru – someone who in any case considers themselves qualified to dispense advice. Some of them are better than others, and I know people personally who have greatly benefited from the subject matter of these types of things. While they greatly vary in tone and overall message – there is one thing that they hammer home universally – you HAVE to take action.
This is of course solid advice. But it’s challenging to look at someone who’s accomplished so much – whether they’re on TV or have a popular blog or have written a book or three or they’re on a stage alone in a sold out arena and believe in yourself to the point that you KNOW you can duplicate those results. The point I’m trying to make is that it comes off as easy for someone who’s accomplished so much to say that ‘taking action’ is the only thing you have to do. Even if it’s the best advice available. Hearing the stories of the millionaires and best selling authors and all that is great – and there’s a wealth of knowledge to be gained from that. But it can be intimidating at the same time.
The biggest challenge I think many people face is that you hear these types of things from people who have seemingly arrived; you didn’t know them when they struggled and when they had adversity and doubts and maybe even wanted to quit. You see them now as this finished product of sorts – something to strive to attain for. Because of this, I wanted to share the stories of a couple of people who are taking action, and may very well become household names in their respective fields but certainly haven’t achieved that level of success at the time of this writing. My hope is that you may find some inspiration to hear about some people that haven’t arrived yet – but are working hard every day to achieve their goals.
I met Jon and Josh Mosher initially about a year ago when they approached me about search engine optimization (SEO) for an e-commerce site they were in the process of developing. I got to know them over the course of the next year to learn that they are brothers five years apart, each working long hours in their respective full time jobs – Jon in the wonderful world of automotive retail management (I can relate), and his younger sibling Josh in a customer service position with a fortune 1000 company.
The Mosher boys founded M2 Scientifics when they learned how severely lacking in customer service the world of laboratory supplies and lab equipment was. While I can’t discuss the specifics of their business model, I can say that they’ve moved forward with a new ecommerce site that they designed and developed themselves, added over 2000 pages of product content, sought the advice of numerous industry professionals, established vendor relationships and attended trade shows all while maintaining family life and their full time employment.
It hasn’t always been smooth, but they’ve learned a lot through this process and while their business is still very new, they’re already seeing some of the results from their labor, as their site is already generating search traffic and they even are starting to generate a little sales revenue as well! It’s very possible that M2 Scientifics will be on the radar of a lot of major players before too long.
Jen Lorenski is an expert in digital content, Google Adwords, SEO and WordPress here in Grand Rapids MI. She and I have collaborated on several projects all with great results for clients. I met Jen about 18 months ago when she was promoting Mosh Pit Nation (MPN) in a local restaurant. MPN is a free service which announces local heavy metal shows all across the State of Michigan. As a fan of that type of music, Jen started the service when she realized that there was simply no good central location for information on local metal shows. Purely a grassroots movement, MPN has grown from what began as simply being local to Grand Rapids to include surrounding cities such as Muskegon, Kalamazoo and Lansing, and now has a growing presence in Detroit and beyond. Jen sells t-shirts and other gear at shows to raise capital and awareness, and is now in the midst of organizing two heavy metal festivals in the summer.
Jen’s day job is OnlineSmarties.com – and works as a contractor for several businesses in the area performing many of the same services I offer. She began her agency after a mutual split from her last employer. Instead of seeking the security of employment with another agency, Jen decided to strike out on her own so she could focus on her clients and Most Pit Nation in a way that being an employee in a large agency simply doesn’t allow for. The rewards Jen has enjoyed have included to freedom and independence that self-employment allows for, as well as providing a great service to the local music community by growing Mosh Pit Nation to over 2600 facebook fans at the time of this writing. She is no doubt on her way to amazing things.
What do you think? Have a success story in the making you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you – drop me an email using the contact form or leave a comment below!