piper’s dream reporter post: week fourteen

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Drum roll please…I did it, I found my logo designer & web designer!!  It’s signed, sealed and in the process of being delivered!  Not only am I jumping up and down with excitement, but yikes I’m also terrified and realization has now struck.  I was just saying to my hubby that this feels like a huge turning point – there’s no turning back, I’m committed to this.  (well, I suppose that’s not entirely true – I could have an empty web store hanging out there!)

The countdown has literally begun (any fans of the show Arrested Development?  I’ve got the song “The Final Countdown” in my head!).  If all goes according to plan, I’m now 11 weeks away from opening the virtual doors on One Sydney Road!!!  Ok, deep breath.  Because I’m feeling a bit in over my head and wondering how I’m going to get everything done in 11 weeks!

I feel like I have so much to talk about and share with you (logo & web design, countdown list!)  But first, I wanted to share with you parts of the email Jess sent to me & shared with you on this post because it’s so insightful and really sums up what I’m going through right now.  I have to say I’m glad she was feeling feisty – it opened my eyes!!  I had emailed her to share the good news about signing up with my web designer – along with the fact that I was freaking out a bit – what do I know about running an online store?  How am I going to do this?  How did she do it??  And can I have the magic potion now!  I really have felt the need for advice and reassurance – from anyone and everyone!!  So who better to turn to then someone like Jess who amazes me but also has become a friend through this journey.  And what she had to say was really powerful and insightful.  It actually made me stop for a moment after reading it to soak it in.

Wow, right?  There it is – the secret.  No advice – just follow your own path!!  It reminds me a lot of weight loss – we’re always looking for that magical way to lose weight – asking other people what they’ve done to lose weight or reading books- when really the answer is within us.  Everyone has their own way of doing things – their strengths, their weaknesses -there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution (sadly!).  Each person finds success their own way.  So the secret is that entrepreneurs just keep trying.  And that seems like something I can definitely do.  I may not know everything yet – but I’m a quick learner, a hard worker and I’m passionate about this – and that’s gotta count for something!  So I told Jess I would try and refrain from asking advice for 30 days – this is a near impossible task for me – but in a way, it feels good knowing I get a chance to blaze my own trail – good or bad, up or down – it’s mine.

And now let’s talk web design – because, eek, it’s happening now!  Thanks for all the great suggestions and ideas with web design.  I basically had it down to 4 different options (in order of price):

  1. Big cartel – They only allow you to have up to 100 products and I may have more than that when I start.  (I was able to get rid of this option fairly fast!)
  2. Have a friend design and set up my online store – this would involve me spending time designing the site myself along with learning how to use the shopping cart and figuring out how to set up all the credit card, security things I need.
  3. Go with a designer who does templates – these are templates that anyone else can use and there aren’t necessarily a lot of changes that can be made before it becomes “custom” work. (read: pricey)
  4. Go with a designer who can customize a site and set up all the miscellaneous things I need done (blog, twitter, gallery, etc) – this becomes expensive but you’re given the complete package.

My mistake, when I was researching web design and getting quotes months ago to find out about how much I would need to design a web site, was that I took the smaller dollar figure and assumed that would be what it would cost.  Here I thought I was doing my due diligence, finding out how much I would need to spend – and it turns out I didn’t ask enough questions (or the right ones).  So when they would say it costs “$2000-$6000” to build an ecommerce site, I figured with my frugality I would be on the low end.  This isn’t necessarily true, I’ve quickly learned, when it comes to ecommerce!!  So I had to go back to the drawing board once I was looking at the possibility of it being $6000 to design my website…I just didn’t feel comfortable spending that much money just starting out.

I also know that one of my weaknesses is techie stuff – so for me to spend my time (time is money right?) building a site myself with my friend would take me away from what I’m good at and what I need to be spending my time on right now – developing the store and the products.  My gut was telling me to go with someone who has experience setting up online stores…however this costs money.  Honestly, I was feeling a bit stuck – I wanted my cake and, darn it, I wanted to eat it too!  So with a lot of emails back & forth and patience on the web designer’s end answering my questions, I was thrilled to find out that I could still go with an experienced designer and get a custom site – I just can’t have all the bells and whistles that I dreamed of having at first.  But the relief of having someone who knows the tech stuff and can set it all up for me – well, that’s worth it in my book!!  Now it comes down to deciding how it looks….

I can’t wait to fill you in on so many other things that are going on and will be coming up!!  Thanks for sticking with me through this : )

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  1. Ann

    Nice to see you have your confidence back! And what an exciting time for you! I read something the other day that said the secret to success is very simple; do what you say you are going to do. If you say you’re going to open an e-commerce store, do it. If you say you’re going to decide how it looks by next Thursday, then decide by next Thursday. It’s very simple advice, sort of along the line of Nike’s, “Just do it”, but it really resonated with me when I read it, and I thought it might with you, too.

  2. Maddy

    I’m so excited that things are quickly progressing for you! I’m glad you find a designer that’s a good fit for your what you’re looking for in style and budget! So excite! And I’m just chomping at the the bit to see your new logo 🙂

  3. Jadyn

    That’s awesome Piper! Looks like you found the compromise that works for where you’re at right now. Looking forward to seeing what’s next for you!

  4. Rosie

    Piper, so nice to see you moving along! Your journey has been inspiring to me as I do a 180 and plan for my venture doing something I’m passionate about, like you!

    I wanted to say that I think you made the right decision. As hard as it can be to spend the money, I have experienced the results of not hiring the right person (not my hire) or trying to do it yourself. The path is truly long and frustrating — you made the right choice!! You were wise to realize that you did not want to be taken away from what you do best.

    Can’t wait to see the results!

  5. Brigitte

    Congratulations, Piper! This is such a huge step, and I just know the momentum is going to carry you all the way through your grand opening!

    And, Jess – way to be a great friend and mentor by knowing that Piper (and so many of us) sometimes need a kick to get going rather than a cheerleader. That’s true generosity, even if it’s harder to do than the rah-rah stuff.

  6. Maggie Rose

    Yay, I’m so excited for you!

    I’d be really interested in seeing what your (rough) task list looks like in looking forward the next 11 weeks.

  7. Patti

    Yahoo! Another awesome step closer. Keep up the great work and know that you have me as a resource if needed.

  8. Emma Jo

    Hi Piper!
    How funny and true that comparison with weight loss is! 😀

    I’ve got some questions for you! since I’m not American I wonder if it’s expensive to start a business in your country? how does it work? you need a lawyer? do you register the business somewhere? just curious 🙂

    keep up the good work!

  9. Jenny

    I’m so loving following you on this journey! I’m really excited to see it all come to life. I’m one who constantly asks/feels the need for advice, just today I asked two different people their opinions about how to handle a situation. What questions they would ask, etc. I really just need to trust myself and know that I can handle things on my own. Loved this post!

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