Hello and welcome!
My name is Stefanie, and 10 years ago, I quit my day job to focus on consulting and blogging. Since then, I've heard the question, “How did you do it?” more times than I ever thought possible. It can be kind of awkward. It's not a question that lends itself to a handy 1 or 2 sentence answer – and every answer seems to spawn more questions.
How do you get clients?
How can I build a website?
Where does the money come from?
For years, I've thought about putting together a site to dive into all these topics. Initially, I avoided it because I didn't want to be one of those people…the ones who blog about making money online. This summer, two things hit me.
- It's not blogging about making money that I find obnoxious – it's when people with no real experience do it that it drives me up a wall. That's definitely not me.
- Self-employment is one of the best things that ever happened to me. Spending a huge chunk of your life in a job you hate is a terrible tragedy – a tiny death on every single day you can't call your own. If I can help even one person escape that, this blog will be worthwhile
If you really want to go all the way to the beginning, my first experience in marketing involved mass-emailing tens of thousands of people and crashing my hometown ISP. It was the 90s, and said ISP was housed in a single-wide trailer in the middle of a cornfield. The ISP was annoyed, and my parents were both amused and puzzled as to why I needed to email 50,000 people at once.
I abandoned my “marketing career” for years until I was getting close to graduation with a painfully dull degree in economics. It was a sensible major, but the idea of becoming one of those women who walk to work in suits and sneakers made me want to jump off a cliff. I'd been dabbling in things like eBay and consulting and making websites, and I used that experience to get my first real job as an e-commerce marketing director. You can check out my horrific over-acting at 2:49 in the product video below…
Shortly after I started my one and only “grownup job”, I saw the movie Click and I was completely traumatized. I won't spoil it if you haven't seen it, but it'll definitely make you re-think how you spend the time you have. I always knew self-employment was my goal, but now I was done messing around.
It took a little longer than I'd hoped, but in 2008, I worked my last day. Since then, I've built hundreds of income-generating websites and worked with hundreds of clients – including companies like Sears, Menchie's, Steak N Shake, SportClips, TCBY…and a Russian dating company.
My current favorite project is one of my own sites, I Heart British TV – because I DO love British television, and it's been really fun watching the site grow.
The most important thing about self-employment, though, is that I've had fun – much more than little kid me would have imagined was possible. What's the point of a life you don't enjoy?
A few highlights:
- Releasing rehabilitated pelicans by the Golden Gate bridge
- Flying eagles and owls at a castle in Scotland
- Attending a clown camp run by counter-culture icon Wavy Gravy
- Playing with otters
- Meeting Kenny G. And Air Supply. And Stan Lee.
- Saving thousands of dollars by getting dental work done at a high-end dentist in Costa Rica (and getting in lots of exploring at the same time)
- Going to circus camp in the Dominican Republic
- Multiple trips to the UK, my favorite place in the world
- Going to Comic Con…twice.
- Taking random classes in woodworking…and screenwriting…and gemology
- Participating in the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia
- Meeting my now-boyfriend when both of us were in Boston to speak at the Harvard Club
- Spending loads of time with my pets and boyfriend (who's also self-employed)
- Spending weeks and sometimes months at a time back home with my family in the Midwest
You don't have to be a complete lunatic like me to enjoy self-employment, but it doesn't hurt.
Who is Profitorium Meant For?
Broadly speaking, this site is for anyone who's sick of the typical struggle – condescending bosses, crappy work schedules, long commutes, jobs that don't pay enough, and LOST LIFE. As far as any of us know, we only get one shot at this. Why spend it scared, stressed, and basically enslaved to a life you don't love?
More specifically, this site is aimed at people who are sick of the usual guru make money online crap. Sometimes, you'll find my answers a little more complicated than the usual advice. I don't skim over the hard or tedious parts. That's because I've actually DONE the things I'm talking about – often, many times over with sites and businesses of varying sizes.
If that's what you're looking for, then welcome – join the newsletter, check out a few posts, and let's get started!