Amy Carriere Design Evolves – A Design Business In Flux

I’m in flux with my business right now.  Part of it is realizing how happy I am in my personal life & seeing that I want to enjoy more of that.

Quick timeline review to get you up to speed:

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Knowing the job I was at was ending soon, I took a couple night classes in Photoshop & web design. After that I was hooked & started taking a lot of different design & development courses online.
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Started working for IntegrityNETworx (MB Designs of Florida back then), learning tons on the job.  The learning never stops!
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Started a successful virtual assistant business on the side.  Made lots of money but ultimately decided to focus on learning web design.
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At the end of 2012 I started my own web design biz while working part-time for my old boss remotely.
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I went full sub-contract with her so I was technically “on my own” but still had a bit of a safety net.
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Built up my business & eventually quit doing the sub-contracting thing with my old boss.  She was working on a new career so she started just referring work my way.
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Quit taking any subcontract work – totally on my own.  Took over the IntegrityNETworx client list complete with 2 servers when she went full-time into real estate.  Immediately dealt with a hack (and subsequent total data loss) on the older one.  Spent weeks rebuilding all the sites (with her tireless help). After that was done I moved the sites on the other server to a new server to improve backups. Scary, especially while going through a divorce, moving out & living (and paying bills) alone for the first time in my life. Also, found new love amidst the server chaos.  By the end of this year I moved in with said love.  Lots of upheaval (mostly good) in 2015. Took some hits to my ego of course, but overall I survived it.
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Went through an inexplicable bout of something akin to narcolepsy for the first several months of the year.  Couldn’t stay awake more than a few hours at a time.  Slogged through it.  Was so frustrated with my body.  Doctors never did suss it out. It slowly got better once I reduced my Diet Coke intake, among adding other healthier habits.  Yeah, weird. During this time the server that had survived the hack starting physically shutting down every day so I set up a new server & moved all the sites over.  Not as easy as it sounds since the programs are totally different now so I had to re-learn what I once knew & barely remembered.  Once I could actually sit at my computer for a full day, started getting headaches & dry eye daily.  Adjusted & medicated for that, I am finally able to be at almost 100%.  Realize I’m way too stressed but also bored.

It seems like in the midst of the post-hack recovery & the other server moves & that weird sleeping issue just keeping my head above water counted as a “win” to me.  Since that has calmed down I’m starting to notice a lot more negative things or things that I’m not doing as well as I want to be. Cracks, if you will.  I’m less than happy spending time working nearly every day, weekends included. What it boils down to is that I’m just worn out AND I want to give my current clients better service.

Since realizing this I’ve been brainstorming.  What can I do?  What can I offer that is new & exciting?

I’ve been cramming in lots of reading about blogging, online business, social media, marketing, making money from home, etc…  I’m still considering my next move.  I think I have landed on cutting out project work almost entirely (at least for a while) while still supporting my current clients (because I love them!).  It’s a scary thing to do but I need to do it.  I am also pretty sure digital products will be a component in my next steps – social media graphics, printables (fun, cheap, very popular), maybe even a course or two but I also want to incorporate art into my life again.

On top of all this I will be traveling in Europe for over a month this summer.  It’s coming up so quickly & I’m so excited but also worried about keeping all my figurative shit together during that time.  I will be so far out of my element.  I know it will be fun and also a growing experience that I have been looking forward to for years.

Until I figure it all out (LOL) I’ll be posting things here as I take baby steps toward whatever is next.



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