From College Student to Website Designer: How One Woman Made Her Entrepreneurial Dream a Reality
Ever wondered what it takes to ditch the cubicle and become a full-time girl boss? Our Student Spotlight Series interviews our students who have made the transition from 9-5 to remote CEOs!
From what inspired them to start their own business, their favorite podcasts, go-to morning routine, advice to aspiring girl bosses, and so much more!
Today, we’re sitting down with our student Lauren Brown, Founder of Left Coast Made! Originally from Long Beach, California, Lauren gives us a glimpse into her girl boss journey…
Q: What type of online business do you own and what services do you offer?
I’m the Lead Designer and Owner of Left Coast Made, a design studio where I create websites for creative entrepreneurs.
My goal is to translate my client’s heart and mission into a beautiful, conversion-ready website that forms a deep connection with their ideal clients. The websites that I create reflect my client’s personality, values, and the quality of their work while saving their most precious resource: time.
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy?
I enrolled in The Work Online and Travel the World Course when Cassie and Shay first launched it back in the summer of 2015. I was about a month away from finishing college, about to turn 25, and wasn’t working at the time.
While in college, I worked a few graphic design jobs, and in my gut, I just knew that I couldn’t go back to another desk job. My anxiety was through the roof, and I knew I had to do something different.
Since I can remember, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset. I would dream about having my own equine veterinary practice or cause-related clothing line. I never had any interest in working for someone else, and the thought of being tied to a desk at the same job for 40 years scared me.
“I knew there had to be more than just working for someone else my entire life.”
Since it was so long ago, I can’t remember how I came across the Bucketlist Bombshells, but I do remember that when I saw their website and the amazing lives they had created, I was SOLD!
I bought The Work Online and Travel the World Course, my first official investment in my yet-to-be design business, and I was off and running! Since then, I have also taken The Tech Skills Course and The Design Skills Course!
Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?
The Work Online and Travel the World Course introduced me to Squarespace! While working on the course module that went over how to set up your website in Squarespace, I immediately fell in love with the platform.
I had no idea something like that existed and thought you needed to know all the languages of code to build a simple website. Plus, I figured I could learn more about the platform and there would be no overhead to worry about.
“I’m forever grateful to The Work Online and Travel the World Course for giving me my first business idea!”
Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?
Prior to running my own online business, I was working at a local graphic design and print company. There, I learned a lot about design, printing, and customer interaction. Because of this experience, I had the confidence to start my own business!
Q: When did you begin building your business?
I started right out of college! However, I don’t recommend this unless you have savings. I’m all about following your dreams and diving into building a business, but when you don’t have a cushion to keep you afloat, it can be extremely hard to not stress over money!
Q: How long was it until you landed your first client online?
I landed my first client within a month of starting my business and The Work Online and Travel the World Course! I was SO excited and charged waaaay under price! To this day, she is still one of the best clients I’ve had!
Q: What has been your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest setback was when I was scammed by a “client” about a year and a half ago. There were a lot of big, red flags, but I ignored them because I was acting out of desperation instead of trusting my gut.
“If a potential client seems sketchy, trust your gut. Ask questions, get more information, and do your research on people and companies.”
Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to ditch the idea of a 9-5 job?
I’m super grateful for all the work experiences I’ve had. Throughout the years, my past experiences have helped me run my business, but most importantly, they taught me what NOT to do as a business owner.
“I didn’t want to work for someone else’s dream.”
Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business!
First thing in the morning, I take my dog outside and feed her. Then, I hop back in bed and cuddle with my cats. A bit later, I get up, work out, eat breakfast, and take my dog for a walk. Once I return, I turn on my favorite music and get ready for the day.
When it comes to work, I have to leave my apartment. I’m much more productive and get to talk with people when I work at my favorite local tea shop instead of staying at home!
After working for a few hours, I head home to take care of my pets again. Then, I’m off doing something outside like walking dogs with my friend on the beach!
I come home, unwind with a Netflix show, and eat something delicious for dinner. Usually, I head to bed around 10pm and listen to a meditation recording.
“I love to keep my schedule super simple and open!”
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
The most challenging part about running my online business is allowing myself the freedom to have my own schedule.
“I want to look back on my life and be happy with the path I chose for myself!”
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
I love to follow people who have lives they absolutely love and aren’t afraid to share about it on Instagram. I’m inspired by people who love what they do, have a positive attitude, and also share when they are struggling.
Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online?
I do most of my marketing on Instagram. I love that I can educate my audience and eventually turn some into clients!
“Helping and educating your potential clients are great ways to gain their trust and show you’re an expert in your field!”
Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?
All of my clients are on a mission to make the world a better place! They see a problem that needs to be solved, and they come up with a solution.
It’s so amazing to be able to create a website that will help move my client’s business forward. It’s also a lot of fun to be able to get to know them on a personal level and continue to follow their journeys!
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
I love that I can shift my business to what feels right for me. I don’t have to stick with one thing for the rest of my life. That’s so freeing for me!
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
I haven’t done a lot of destination work, but it’s definitely in the near future! However, I absolutely loved Tokyo. It’s incredibly clean, safe, and easy to get around. Everyone was very kind and the food was SO good!
Q: What is one travel item you can’t live without when you’re working and traveling?
I can’t work without my Nexstand Portable Laptop Stand! I have terrible neck and back pain from years of slouching and looking down at my laptop. This handy laptop stand has alleviated a lot of the pain! Plus, I can fold it up easily and take it anywhere!
Q: What’s your go-to favorite podcast that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
I really like learning from people who are straightforward and relatable. These podcast hosts and guests definitely have those qualities:
- The Jim Fortin Podcast – Transform Your Life From The Inside Out
- James Wedmore’s Mind Your Business Podcast
- The Almost 30 Podcast with Krista Williams and Lindsey Simcik
- Building A Story Brand with Donald Miller
- The Angie Lee Show
- Do The Thing with Whole30’s Melissa Urban
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
Even when it seems like things will never work out, keep going and have an open mind. Your business will shift and that’s okay. Trust your gut and do what makes you happy!
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
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Hey! We're Cassie & Shay - we're obsessed with helping millennial women build an online service-based business giving them the freedom to travel the world!
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