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 Taylar, Founder of Taylar Digital! Originally from Albany, New York, 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 Founder of Taylar Digital, where I offer Squarespace website design, brand design, and SEO strategy for female coaches and creatives who want to turn their website into a 24/7 marketing and sales machine.
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy?
The location independent lifestyle is what inspired me to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy. I also longed for the opportunity to learn new skills and get paid to do something that I love.
“I wasn’t happy at my 9-5 and knew that there had to be more to life than what I was currently living.”
Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?
I had taken a graphic design course while in college, but I had forgotten most of the material. The Design Skills Course taught me exactly what I needed in order to design full brand identities. It gave me the confidence to start offering it as a service.
The Work Online & Travel the World Course was extremely helpful in making sure I provided my clients with a seamless experience from start to finish.
“The Bucketlist Bombshells Academy gave me the skills I needed to start working with clients.”
Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?
Prior to running Taylar Digital, I was working at an SEO agency helping billion dollar global brands and high profile individuals, such as activists, celebrities and lawyers, improve their Google search presence.
Being able to dive deep into the SEO world was an incredible experience, but at its core, my job was to minimize the chance that negative news articles or review sites would move higher in their search results. Eventually, this reactive work started to weigh on my happiness.
“I was craving a career that gave me more meaning and purpose.”
Q: How long did it take you to ditch your 9-5, and how much time did you dedicate in order to make it happen?
Every day after work and on the weekends, I would make it a priority to work on my business. I’d spend hours digesting and learning as much as I could about the online freelancing world. I also spent this time building my website, finalizing my contracts, and establishing my client process so that when I left my job, I would be completely prepared to take on clients.
“Once I dove into the Design Skills Course, it took me 10 months to leave my 9-5!”
Q: How long was it until you landed your first client online?
I landed my first client halfway through taking The Design Skills Course! A former coworker reached out asking for help with graphic design. I did two projects with him and he was super pleased with them.
That initial experience not only reassured me that I really enjoyed the work itself, but it also gave me the confidence to keep going and pursue more graphic design work.
Q: What has been your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest setback was getting booked out for seven months and then going two months with no clients. I watched as my bank account drained and my anxiety kicked in. I overcame it by joining a couple group coaching programs and hiring a coach for private sessions.
“Investing in coaching gave me the support, accountability and guidance that I needed to take my business to the next level.”
Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to ditch that 9-5 job?
I experienced my first and only panic attack brought on by my 9-5. That’s when I quit my part-time job at the YMCA and decided to go all in on my business on the side of my 9-5. It was slightly terrifying to not have that extra money coming in, but running from one job to the next was exhausting.
“I knew that if I wanted to leave my full-time job, I had to get serious about starting my online business.”
Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business!
I wake up around 6:30 am, eat breakfast, grab some coffee, and get right to work. The mornings are most productive for me to do “the heavy lifting” – writing content, designing websites or setting up tech in the backend.
The afternoon is when I like to take calls, assign team tasks in Asana, and complete other admin and behind-the-scenes work. The afternoon is also when I like to get some movement in my day, whether it’s a walk or run.
I like to unplug after 5 pm and spend that time with friends or family. I pretty much keep to an 8-hour work day, unless I have “homework” from a course or group program.
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
The most challenging part about running an online business is accepting that you’re going to fall down. You’re going to have failed launches, announce promotions that no one signs up for, or experience months where you didn’t hit your income goal. However, it’s all about how you react and adapt.
You can’t run your business completely solo. You’ll truly thrive if you’re seeking support from others around you, whether it’s a group of business friends that meet every week, a group coaching program, or a mentor you can lean on for guidance. They are the people that will lift you up and encourage you to keep pushing.
“Every ‘failure’ is a learning experience, and you’re not alone.”
You can’t compare your success to a multi-six-figure entrepreneur who has been in business for five years. Everyone’s path is different. With determination and grit, you will succeed.
“If you don’t believe in yourself and your dream 1000%, no one will.”
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
I love listening to podcasts hosted by other female entrepreneurs when I’m out on a walk or listening to pump-up music on a run.
“Sometimes it’s easy to reach a milestone and gloss right over it, but I try to celebrate all my wins, big or small.”
When I’m down, I try to journal out any negative thoughts that are running through my head.
Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online?
To find clients, I mainly use blogging, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’ve also found amazing clients at in-person events and inside group coaching programs or mastermind groups.
I also have a few partnerships – one with a marketing agency, a copywriter, and a brand designer. This has been really impactful in taking the pressure off of finding every single client myself. My referral program has also been a game changer!
Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?
I love seeing my clients’ reactions when I deliver their dream website that they’ve previously failed to bring to life after tinkering around for months or years. It’s the best feeling.
Since the work at my previous 9-5 was an extremely slow process (it could take months to see any results), I love the instant shift my clients experience after I bring their website to life in just two weeks.
When it comes to SEO, I love when the concept finally clicks for my clients. Many online business owners are so lost and confused about how SEO and Google works. I find so much enjoyment from breaking it down into super simple terms that allow them to go off and start implementing it on their website or blog.
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
I love being able to design my day however I want. Take a walk in the afternoon while the sun is shining…check. Go to happy hour early so I can get a seat at the bar…why not? Lay down and take a nap when I need a mental break…yes please!
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
I haven’t been able to travel yet, but I love working from coffee shops, coworking spaces and any place with tons of natural light.
“Once the coronavirus craziness is over, I plan to jet off to Bali!”
Q: What is one of your favorite business books that you would recommend to another girl boss and why do you love it?
I absolutely love Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo. It can be so easy to look at a situation and feel lost or defeated. In her book, Marie breaks down how to overcome any hurdle. It’s super inspiring and sends a reminder that we have the power to change our circumstances.
Q: What’s your go-to favorite podcast that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
- Born to Rise Podcast with Cait Scudder
- Jenna Kutcher’s The Goal Digger Podcast
- The Pretty Awkward Entrepreneur Podcast with Megan Yelaney
- The Soulful Social Podcast with Madison Tinder
- Earn Your Happy Podcast with Lori Harder
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
My best piece of advice is to take baby steps. It can be so overwhelming trying to think of everything you need to do to start a successful business. So, break your larger projects or goals into smaller, specific tasks. Then, add them to your calendar so you can hold yourself accountable.
“You don’t need to be doing all the things all at once.”
It will ruin your productivity and make you overwhelmed. Hire out the admin work of your business as soon as possible, and don’t get sucked into shiny object syndrome – or always chasing after something new.
It’s really about taking it day by day. In the beginning stages of my business, I found that setting aside a chunk of my weekends to be fully focused on my business helped my productivity and momentum!