I want to share with you the journey that led me to becoming a professional blog designer. Running a business isn't always sunshine and rainbows, but starting my own business has been both challenging and extremely rewarding.
If you have a dream to do something but are afraid to make the jump, just do it! I hope my story encourages you to take the leap.
This post contains affiliate links for products I recommend.
While I've been a creative person as far back as I can remember, it wasn't until 2006 that I ventured into the world of graphic design and coding.
Myspace was all the rage back then.
After hearing so many people rave about Myspace, I made the decision to create an account.
I loved it instantly. My favorite part of the platform was how you had the ability to customize your profile with custom layouts and graphics.
Come one. I know you remember those days. My Myspace page was decked out with my favorite music, glitter graphics, etc.
After being on Myspace for a few months, I began to get the itch to create my own graphics and layouts. I started using Paint Shop Pro (I purchased a really old copy on Amazon) and teaching myself how to make my own graphics.
Once I got the hang of that, I started learning about HTML and CSS so that I could code my own layouts.
Everything I learned about design and coding, I learned from online tutorials, forums, and lots and lots of trial and error.
Eventually, I even set up a Myspace page where I would provide Myspace layouts and graphics to download at no charge.
By this time, I had upgraded to using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for my designs. I felt so legit.
Believe it or not, at one point I was getting paid to design custom graphics and layouts for other Myspace users.
It was amazing!
The Death of Myspace
After a few good years on the platform, around 2008, there was a quick decline in the number of active Myspace users. People were migrating over to Facebook at a rapid rate.
At this point, I decided to close my page down, and move on to new adventures.
It wasn't long after leaving Myspace that I started designing for the Blogger platform. It was an easy transition for me because I had already learned so much about coding and graphic design during my time on Myspace.
I started designing for myself on Blogger because there weren't very many feminine templates available during that time. Occasionally, I would get inquiries about my custom templates, and began making money on the side creating custom blogger templates.
For the next two years or so, I was going to college while still designing as a hobby, and occasionally for profit.
While I loved designing, and enjoyed the opportunities that I had to get paid doing something I love, it was never something that I considered doing for a living.
It wasn't until I graduated college and was offered a job position that I wasn't passionate about, that I considered the possibility of designing for a living.
The day I was offered the job, instead of celebrating the fact that I had just been offered a position, I was thinking about how much I didn't want to work for someone else. I also thought about how fun it would be if I could work for myself doing blog design.
It was that night that I made the decision to quit the job I hadn't even started yet, and work for myself.
Thus, Beautiful Dawn Designs was born.
Working For Myself
In the beginning, even though I truly believed in my work, I would find myself comparing my work to others. There were times when I felt like I wasn't talented enough, or popular enough.
Over time, I learned to love and accept myself enough to stop with the comparisons, and appreciate my own journey.
Five years into my business, I continue to love what I do. Not only have I made a positive impact in my life, and the lives of my family. But I know I've made a difference in the lives of my customers, clients, and readers.
If you have a goal to start your own business, blog, or whatever it is that excites you; I challenge you to follow your dream. It won't be easy, but it's not supposed to be. However, I can tell you that it will be worth it.