I Wanted a Website - I Got a Whole Lot More!
This is my website story. It started in 2002, but I didn't know it yet. Get comfy, here we go....
But first! A little personal info... I'm the mom of two beautiful little girls. They are my life. And spending time with them is a priority. I suspect as they get older, it will be more important for me to be with them. But I digress... back to the beginning.
Have you heard the phrase "Man plans; God laughs"?
That was me.
I spent my whole life being interested in health and wellness and finally at the age of 29 decided to devote several years to becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic so I could help people.
I graduated in August 2002, took my Ethics and Jurisprudence course in December 2002, and received my California license to practice on January 13, 2003. I remember pulling into the garage after work and my husband had hung my license on the door leading from the garage to the house.
I screamed, and jumping up and down ran into the house!
Fast forward five (count them... 1-2-3-4-5) days. To a positive pregnancy test.
Of course I was thrilled to be having a child... but wait! I just got my license to practice. I'm a Doctor now! My career is JUST starting.
Woman plans. God laughs.
The beauty of children is that they help you re-prioritize your life, and over the last 5 years, I realize how precious every day is with them. I've worked part-time since my oldest daughter was born. Or maybe I should say I've practiced part-time since she was born, because I'm pretty sure I've never worked harder in my life than I have since becoming a parent. ;-)
OK, so in 2003 I had my first daughter. In March of 2004 I opened my own practice and guess what?! That's right, just a couple months later I was pregnant with my youngest.
I know I hear laughing from up above.
I'm telling you this because if you suffer from arthritis or other chronic health problems, you probably feel like a lot of your plans have been put on hold too. Or like your options are limited, or like you can't do what you used to do.
And I'm here to tell you that may be true to some extent, but with the world wide web, you're really only limited by your imagination.
The future depends on what we do in the present. ~Mahatma Gandhi
I've loved the internet since I first discovered it in 1994
I've been using the web almost since it first became available publicly. I still have recipes that I printed off AOL back in the early 1990's.
So when I started practicing, I knew I wanted a website. Build it myself or have someone else do it? That was the question.
A website does several things: First, it allows people to "get to know you" before meeting you. In my field, that's important. If patients trust me, they're more likely to get better. It's just the way it is. They're also more likely to refer their friends and family to me, which is crucial to the growth and success of my business. Second, it can reach people who are outside your geographical region. That allows you to sell services or products to people you otherwise couldn't easily touch. (And I'll be honest with you, this last part of the beauty of the internet completely escaped me until just a couple years ago).
My first website went live in 2006, and my web designer did a beautiful job. It had all the features I wanted it to. Unfortunately, it sat there and never got any traffic unless someone had my business card. It was a beautiful web brochure that no one really saw.
My second website was more geared to selling products. It went up pretty quickly, and again, the web designer (someone different) did a great job. But I had to pay a lot of money for ads to get people to find it, otherwise it sat there gathering dust.
By the way, I respect both those web designers tremendously. They did a great job of getting my ideas out of my head and onto the web. But my brain moves at a pace that I can hardly keep up with, and it does so much like a bumblebee. It flits from idea here to idea there and then back again. And I'm sure that I drove both of them crazy with the pace of changes I wanted on the website.
It became clear to me I needed to be in control of my site. Otherwise I was just going to drive webmasters mad...
How I got started with SBI! (Site Build It! - that's the name of the company I use for this site)
I told you about the bumblebee aspect of my brain... I was surfing the web looking for ideas for articles to write and I came across this exercise site written by a young man. It was pretty thorough as far as websites went. He had a newsletter and a lot of great information, and he talked about how he built his website using just his knowledge and this thing called Site Build It!
It just so happens I had recently read The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris. In it, Tim discusses how a website is the perfect business in today's age, because it makes money while you do other things. While you're sleeping, people are surfing the web. While you're traveling, people are surfing the web. And while you're working, people are surfing the web.
As much as I love treating patients, those beautiful little girls are my priority. And being home to make them dinner and take them to school and get them to gymnastics means that I have fewer hours at the office. And that's OK, but I still have bills to pay and things I want to do. And those require money.
How Site Build It! is changing my life
As Ken Evoy, the founder of SBI! says, no one on the web is actually looking to buy anything (well, rarely anyway). They are searching for information to solve a problem or answer a question. I started reading about Site Build It! and learned that by developing a site that answers those questions and solves those problems, you can draw people to your website through the search engines.
So how do I make money? Well, you've probably seen those "Ads by Goooogle" throughout the site. Every time someone clicks on one of those I earn something. And you've probably also noticed that there are books and products I recommend through Amazon.com and other vendors. I also earn commissions off of those.
I almost forgot, this site has also brought me some of my favorite patients! They found me by searching for chiropractors in my area.
Site Build It! taught me how take the information that is rattling around in my brain and build a tool that can help people... and as a bonus I can earn extra income.
Never be afraid to try something new; remember amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.
Mind you, I still know nothing about the technical side of this project. I just research topics, make sure there are people like you looking for answers, and then I write. That's it. Site Build It does the rest.
Like any project, this one has had its ups and downs. But anything good in life does, right? And what I'm building is a true business, just like any other business. Luckily, with all the tools SBI! provides there is always somewhere to turn to find the answers I don't know; and in building an e-business, that's important. Believe me, there's a lot I still don't know! ;-)
So what do you know that other people want to know about? It could be anything. And you can use what you're interested in to create a website. And you just might find you create a new life, too.
Take a look at the
quick tour slide show
if you are on dial-up).
There are so many people who have created new lives with this program, and many of them are
retired and doing it as a hobby
working from home
because of changes in the economy or downsizing in their companies.
If you're even slightly interested in the possibilities of a website, take a look at SBI! They really do teach you how to turn your hobby or interests into a viable, online business.
There is only one success--to be able to spend your life in your own way. ~Christopher Morley
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