I always had a thing for creativity. As a kid in the early 80's, I remember the satisfaction that came from drawing, clay sculpting, and painting. I would watch cartoons and spend a lot of time drawing my favorite characters. We had VCR's, so I would record cartoons like Bugs Bunny or Woody Woodpecker, pause where I wanted, then start drawing. I was probably responsible for a lot of broken VCR's. I wasn't a difficult kid to please, either. Instead of toys, I asked my mom for birthday cards or school folders with cartoon characters on them so I could go home and recreate them. The closer my drawing resembled the actual picture, the more satisfaction I drew from it. Drawing was my escape from a sometimes negative environment. When I would sit and draw, I would forget everything around me and go into my little world of concentrated creativity.
The creativity never washed away
Fast forward all the way to 2003. The creativity never washed away from me, but I never had an outlet to express it anymore. I remember I was working as a carpet technician for a great carpet cleaning company here in Atlanta. I would clean carpets and meet amazing people while cleaning their homes. Nothing was more gratifying than getting to meet people from all walks of life, so I definitely enjoyed my job. That is until one day when I injured my back badly and found myself struggling to continue cleaning carpets. I had a great boss, and because there was an opening available in the office, I started working in-house where physical labor was not needed. It turned out I was always the go-to guy for all things computer or internet related, and that's where things began for me.
I started to realize that I had a thing for picking up things quickly when it came to the Internet: using Microsoft Windows applications, creating spreadsheets, etc… Next thing I knew, we would have people from other office suites “borrowing" me to help them because their computer crashed, or they lost a file, that kind of thing. But the one thing that changed everything was the relationship my boss had with his website design company. He was fed up with them. We are talking way back in 2004-2005, when websites weren't nearly as sophisticated as they are now. The website design company who did our website were unresponsive, expensive, and seemed to be only concerned with collecting invoices from him. I remember my boss one day saying, “Geez, I would REALLY love to do away with these guys, but I don't know the first thing about website design." It was there when the proverbial light bulb went off inside my head. I said to him, “Hey, if you buy me the software, I will build you a site." Pretty funny considering I knew NOTHING about web design. What I did know however is that it would allow me to be creative once again. Yes! That's it! I just discovered a job that allows me to be creative!
And that is when I knew I had found my calling!
So my boss purchased Microsoft Front Page, which is like saying Atari now when you look back. Nevertheless, I started practicing and experimenting on how to create a website using it. Yeah, after a while, I became pretty good at it. I created a website for the carpet cleaning company and we took the site live. How exciting! At least for me it was. I remember calling all my family and friends just so they could check out the website I just created. Next thing you know, I had other companies who were friends with my boss, inquiring on whether I could create a website for them as well. And that is when I knew I had found my calling! Eventually, business started picking up to the point where I had to say goodbye to the company who made it all possible for me. I am forever grateful to Larry Hughes.
I remember I would call clients to see how they were doing, did they need any updates, and in particular- were they happy with their website. Most of the time I would get a yes, but I remember one client who had a concern. He said to me, “Ish, my phone is not ringing." I thought to myself, “What does that have to do with me???" I said to him how sorry I was about that, but was he happy with his website. What he said next would change my direction yet again. He said to me, “What good is my website if no one can find it on Google?" It took a while before that settled in. I started to get very curious about what made websites rank better than others in Google searches. That is when my new found fascination took over.
I was obsessed! I would attend seminars, join groups, participate in webinars and would read a TON of articles. (Still do, by the way). My mission was to get good at search engine optimization, better known as SEO. I didn't want to be known for just being an Atlanta website company, but I then wanted to grow it into an Atlanta SEO company!
You see, it wasn't enough that I could build websites, but I finally understood that business owners were more concerned about how much traffic the website generated more than, “Oh look at the pretty colors and how the letters move around." Going back to the carpet cleaning company: Even until this very day, his company is number one on Google searches in Atlanta. So I knew I had really started getting the hang of it.
Webstuffguy.com has morphed into something entirely more than Atlanta website design.I started to put myself in the shoes of a business owner. What tools or services could they benefit from? What skills that I possess could possibly help their website bring in more traffic. You will notice that a lot of the services we offer cater to just that. If there was something out there that would give my customers an edge over the competition, I would research it, learn it, practice it, get good at it and then finally offer it. Just by having a look at all our services, you will notice that we are not your typical website design company. We offer so much more!
In fact, there are 3 things that bring me the most joy
I didn't forget my creative side either. By creating logo design, offering photo restoration services, creating cool websites, I still am living the dream of making a living from things that I absolutely love to do. In fact, there are 3 things that bring me the most joy. They are:
- Making my clients happy: The gratitude I feel when they tell me how much they LOVE their websites is a feeling I cannot explain. Read some of my reviews to see what I mean.
- Producing results for my clients: Knowing that my hard work pays off and lands my clients on the front page of Google. (See some of my real time SEO results here.) It's very cool to do some work, and then check the next few weeks to see that it helped the site rank higher. Unfortunately, I have learned along the way that some industries are just too darn saturated and too competition heavy. It is why I have learned to turn down work whenever I have to.
- Meeting so many people!: One of the best things ever about my job is that it puts me in contact with business owners who in any other situation, I would never have the fortune of meeting. There are so many good people out there working so hard at following their own passion, just like I did. So many walks of life, it's just fascinating to me. Whenever I get a call from a new clients and they are explaining to me that they need a website, I am just chomping at the bits waiting to find out what their company does. From comedians to attorneys, to rock bands and everything in between, my career choice has allowed me to get to know them all!
All the best,
Founder of webstuffguy.com