From Digital Marketing Manager to Photography Marketplace Founder: How One Girl Boss Ditched Corporate America to Live and Work Abroad
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 Megan Kline, Founder of PixPair! Originally from Corpus Christi, Texas, Megan 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 PixPair, an online service marketplace that connects small business owners, brands, bloggers, and digital nomads with photographers around the world to help them grow their businesses and brands.
I founded PixPair in 2019. After a year of building and growing my online business, I officially launched my website in January of 2020.
We provide blog, brand and small business photography. For example, a business comes to our site looking for a photographer for a brand photoshoot. On our site, they can find and book a brand photographer based on location. While PixPair does not necessarily provide the services, we aggregate other businesses that do the services, so clients can find them easier!
Q: How did you discover the Bucketlist Bombshells?
I discovered the Bucketlist Bombshells back in 2017 when I was working feverishly at my 9-5 job.
“I loved my job, but I longed to live and work abroad more than anything else.”
So, I invested in the Bucketlist Bombshells courses to learn how to do just that. I purchased the Tech Skills Course and the Work Online & Travel the World Course first and then the Design Skills Course a few years later.
“I fell in love with this group of like-minded women, and finally felt like I found my people.”
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells courses?
I wanted to live and work abroad more than anything else. So, when I discovered the Work Online & Travel the World Course, I purchased it immediately. I loved Cassie and Shay’s story, teaching style, and above else, the community of like-minded female solopreneurs they fostered!
Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?
Despite my business being a marketplace, I found the Bucketlist Bombshells courses extremely helpful in all of my business operations!
“I whole-heartedly cannot recommend these courses enough! They’re so helpful for small business owners!”
Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?
Previously, I was a Senior Manager in the digital marketing department at a big finance firm in Corporate America.
During my four years there, I was everything from an email marketer to a product manager. I weaved my way throughout the department to gather as much experience as I could!
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?
In 2017, I bought the Bucketlist Bombshells courses. I told myself I’d start saving money and quit my job in 2019, regardless of whether I had my own business up and running.
Due to my job demands, I wasn’t able to be 100% dedicated to the courses when I first purchased them. At first, I dedicated time for about one module every two weeks, but was very inconsistent. As I neared the end of my two-year personal cut-off date to quit, I dedicated time for a module a day during the weekends.
Courses aside, for one year, I dedicated 2-3 hours of work every day on building my marketplace business and website after I got home from my full-time job.
Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to ditch that 9-5 job?
I spoke to many people who quit their jobs to travel and work remotely, but a stranger told me something once that really stuck. She said,
“Corporate America isn’t going anywhere, honey. It’ll always be there if or when you want to go back.”
That really resonated with me. I loved my job but was hesitant about making the leap. That quote really pushed me to finally leave.
“I always wanted to start my own business that allowed me to work and live abroad. There was no better time to do that than now.”
Q: How long was it until you landed your first client online?
After launching my website in January of this year, it took me about three weeks to land a friend from high school as my first client.
Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online?
Because PixPair is a service-based marketplace, I rely a lot on a diverse set of marketing efforts and have to cater to both photographers (the supply) and clients looking for photographers (the demand). Specifically, I target digital nomad and remote work hotspots where small businesses and brands thrive.
Once a client engages with PixPair, we make it as seamless as possible for them to find and book a photographer. The process in its entirety is pretty self-serve and clients can book and manage appointments on PixPair’s site.
Q: What has been your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest setback was understanding and being comfortable with the fact that all good things take time to flourish.
I wanted to rush into starting my own business and would get discouraged when it would take me longer than I had originally planned to complete a project or task.
“Very quickly, I realized that taking the time to do something the right way can set you up for success in the future.”
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
Starting a business is never easy. When you run your own business, you’re essentially the “Jill of all Trades.” You’re the CEO calling the shots, but you’re also the front-line customer service representative, the back-end web developer and basically the entire marketing department.
“Running my own online business can be very challenging at times, but I absolutely love it!”
Q: Looking back on your online business journey, what is something that you’re most proud of?
I’m very proud of the various challenges I have overcome. It’s easy to get discouraged when you come across roadblocks. However, when you look back and see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve learned, it is extremely rewarding!
Q: If you could speak to your past self, what piece of advice would you give her?
My one piece of advice for my past self would be: Just do it.
“There will never be a ‘right time’ to take a risk, follow your dreams, and start your own business.”
You can prepare your whole life for something and still come up with reasons for why you shouldn’t do it. But I say, take the risk! I’d rather live a life knowing that I took that risk than not.
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
The communities of like-minded women keep me motivated and inspired to continue pushing forward in my online business.
Back in 2017, Cassie and Shay planted a seed in my head that it was feasible to start my own business online. If it wasn’t for them and the support of the community they built, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
“It’s knowing that there’s women like me out there going through the same struggles and business challenges that really help keep me motivated.”
Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business!
I absolutely love having the freedom to build my own schedule while working from anywhere in the world!
After leaving my full-time job, it took me a while to figure out what my new schedule would look like. I’m a morning person and a very routine individual, so having a schedule was important for me to be productive.
So, I built a schedule that involves waking up at 7:30am for an hour of morning exercise. After that, I make some tea and have a healthy and relaxing breakfast before heading straight to work around 9:30am. I work until lunch, take a break, then work in the afternoon until 4pm. My schedule varies day-to-day based on my workload, but I try to keep things consistent!
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
There are so many things I love about being my own boss. I love getting to do whatever I want, whenever I want. I love creating my own schedule that I can pick up and do from anywhere in the world. It is absolutely incredible!
I spent the last two and a half months (before the virus hit) in Cape Town, South Africa working on my business. It was the first time I’ve felt a strong sense of freedom and happiness with work in a long time.
While I was there, I would often reflect back on how I was in an office just three months ago and couldn’t imagine then how amazing my life would be now!
Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?
I love that I get to work on something I am truly passionate about: photography and giving back to and helping small businesses.
It’s amazing to see photographers sign up to list their services on my marketplace and share their incredible work. As for clients, I love seeing what they need help with and why they’re looking for a photographer.
Being able to be a singular site where clients can find a photographer easily for their business needs makes me so incredibly happy!
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
Since I’m new to remote work (since October 2019), I haven’t had the opportunity to work many places before the global pandemic hit. However, I’d have to say Cape Town, South Africa has been my favorite so far!
The Digital Nomad community is growing rapidly there and it’s such a unique and beautiful place. The gorgeous scenery, amazing weather and active lifestyle aligned perfectly with my values and personal work-life-balance views.
I also love that I had beautiful vineyards, stunning ocean views, and safaris basically in my backyard!
Q: What’s your favorite business tool that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
I love using Trello for task management.
I’m a girl who loves a good ol’ list and the act of crossing things out once complete. So, I use Trello to digitize this list process and it helps keep me organized and productive.
I also think some of the best tools are right at our fingertips: resources from other like-minded, female entrepreneurs. I often subscribe to their free resources and guides to stay up-to-date on trends and what other small businesses and brands are doing!
Q: What is your favorite business book that you would recommend to another girl boss?
I love Lean Start-Up by Eric Reis. It’s very applicable to what I do and has really helped me kick-start my business, PixPair. Plus, it taught me how to properly validate an idea and start a business with as little resources and money as possible.
I also love The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Farris. It helped me streamline and manage my tasks to be as productive as possible to achieve the level of success I desired!
Q: What’s your go-to favorite podcast that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
I love the How I Built This with Guy Raz podcast. It’s incredibly inspiring and it’s so fascinating to see how businesses across so many different industries started out. It’s also interesting to hear their challenges and how they overcame them to reach success.
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
My best piece of advice would be to think of everything you do as a learning experience.
“Every failure, every roadblock, every hesitation or challenge you face can either inhibit you or help you grow.”
If you put yourself in a growth mindset, you can do anything! When you take the energy spent on failures and challenges and redistribute it towards learning and productivity, you’ll be able to achieve many things.
“Transitioning to this lifestyle was the single most amazing thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.”
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
Meet The Bucketlist Bombshells
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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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!
3 Steps To Build A Wildly Successful Service-Based Online Business
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