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Shahla Mahdavi Louisville

17 Oct Learning to Grow Means Letting Go

This marks my first official blog post as a freelancer. So, I thought I would take a moment to open up to you all.

Years ago, I tried freelancing – and I failed miserably.  It’s like, if you are a great cook – but you’ve never worked in a restaurant.  Even though your food may be incredible, if you don’t understand the business, you probably won’t succeed.  I wasn’t ready for the dedication, and discipline.  I also needed to grow my skills, so I went to agency work.

My first job at an agency was a fantastic experience.  I learned an incredible amount, met some amazing, smart, talented, and creative people.  I made long lasting friendships, and professional connections. But – my heart was in small business.

You see, my dad is a small business owner.  Everything in my life has been provided to me because of small business. I have always had a desire to give back – and I decided to jump ship in order to pursue a dream of creating a process that allowed for small businesses to have amazing websites.

As soon as I left, I was recruited by another agency. This agency (I won’t mention who) promised me the moon on a silver platter sprinkled with gobs of money and opportunity.  They had discovered my business model, and wanted me to implement it for them.  The thing was – I wasn’t really allowed to do it my way.  Instead of working with a few businesses at a time to listen to their story, craft a narrative, and create a powerful and beautiful website, this company wanted me to turn and burn templates.

I was told “Low paying clients don’t need strategy."

Take a template, slap on their logo and sell it to them for $9995.  I don’t believe in doing business like that. In fact – that is the opposite of what I want to do.

I believe that every small business has a courageous story to tell.  That every client deserves respect, and attention to detail.

I want to do good business to bring about good things, and this other agency and I butted heads on that.  So, I resigned.

There are other places I could work. As a female in the tech world, I have many corporate opportunities available to me. Still, my heart was telling me to follow my dream – but my brain was reminding me how little money was in my bank account when I did this before. But – I’ve never been one to be too concerned about money if my heart was in something. So I have decided to let go in order to grow.

When I was young, my dad used to tell me

Shahla, when you are thirsty, you go to the water fountain. The water fountain will never come to you.

I realize that I have been dying of thirst, but I have been too afraid to do anything about it.

I have decided to let go of self doubt, fear, and insecurities. I know what I want – and I know it’s OK to go after it.  I know that I have a good concept, I know that it has the potential to be profitable.  I know that I have the skills, drive, and dedication to fulfill my dream.  I am making the choice to craft my own small business narrative.

I’m ready to embrace the mud, and be grateful for the time I spent in it.  Without the mud, a lotus can’t bloom.  Without mistakes, a person can’t grow.

Louisville, I love you and all your weirdness, but too many of our small businesses have a terrible web presence.  Let’s make something awesome together.