From Economics to Design: How One Girl Boss Built a Design Studio While Traveling the World
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 Maria Sofia Grandoni, Founder of Creative Crush Design! Originally from Italy, Maria 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 Creative Crush Design, a boutique branding and website design studio that helps small businesses and entrepreneurs find their creative voice through custom branding and website design. My goal is to help my clients free up their time, optimize their brand, and grow their business!
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy?
I was at a point in my life where I was trying to figure out what I was passionate about, good at, and what job I could see myself doing for the next few years.
I stumbled across the Bucketlist Bombshells through a Facebook Ad, featuring their free masterclass. It was all about finding your passion and discovering what skills you could market and sell. It was just what I needed!
After completing the masterclass, the results told me that I was a creative person with great organizational skills. The accuracy of the results surprised me. I mean, deep down, I already knew that about myself, but I had never really stopped to dig deep and figure it out!
The masterclass suggested that I could offer branding and website design as business services. Since I had recently taught myself how to build a website that would feature my travel blog, I already knew my way around WordPress! So, I officially decided that I would become a graphic and website designer!
Cassie and Shay’s free masterclass gave me so much value and clarity that I completely trusted them to help me build my new business. It was a no-brainer to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy!
Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?
The Bucketlist Bombshells Academy was everything to me! Firstly, I never knew that I could do a job that I actually loved while working from anywhere in the world. The courses showed me that this lifestyle was real, attainable, and that I could truly live a life of freedom!
The courses also gave me the skills to actually go and create a life of freedom! I already knew how to build websites, but I knew nothing about design principles, making logos, color psychology, and so much more.
On top of all that, the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy also gave me all the instruments needed to create my own online business and get it up and running.
“I’m 100% positive I wouldn’t be here living my best life if it weren’t for the courses. They were a game-changer!”
Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?
I had recently graduated with a degree in Economics, but I quickly discovered that it wasn’t my cup of tea. So, I was working as a dental assistant during the day and waitress at night. One day, I had enough, quit my jobs, and began traveling with my boyfriend.
While taking the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy, I was living in Australia working construction and farm jobs. It was the perfect setup because I would finish work around 3 or 4pm and work on building my business in the afternoon and weekends.
Q: How long was it until you landed your first client online?
After I completed the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy, I spent three to four months setting everything up and building my portfolio. I then landed my first paying client!
Q: What has been your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
When I moved from Australia back home to Italy, I officially launched my business and was ready to take on clients. I ran into my biggest setback when I tried applying everything that I had learned in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy to the Italian market. It was and still is very different in so many ways. When I started landing clients, they wanted to meet in person rather than communicating online. So, I had to adjust my travel plans accordingly.
Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to ditch that 9-5 job?
I had already left my job to travel. However, when I realized that I could have my own business doing something that I love while also traveling the world, I knew I could never go back to a “regular” job.
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 8am, write in my gratitude journal, create my to-do list for the day, and read for 10-20 minutes. Then, I go to the gym for an aerial yoga class, come back home and have a smoothie and a coffee while I catch up on my social media and emails. I start working around 11am.
Mondays are dedicated to my business. I plan my content for social media, fix things on my website, update my portfolio, review my processes, and take care of my marketing strategy.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are my client days where I work on my clients’ websites and brands as well as take client meetings and calls! Fridays are my catch-up days where I finish the leftover tasks from the week or work on personal projects.
Around 1:30, I have lunch with my boyfriend and then get back to working. We both work from home and try to finish around 6pm. Maintaining some kind of routine helps me be more productive, but my days are rarely the same!
“For me, the most important thing is to keep my schedule flexible, and this is what I love most about having my own business!”
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
The most challenging part of being a solopreneur is having to wear so many hats! All at the same time, I’m the CEO, COO, and in charge of marketing, admin tasks, customer care, finding clients, and invoicing.
“Sometimes running a business is overwhelming. But, at the same time, staying on top of everything gives me an incredible sense of accomplishment and power!”
Another challenge is maintaining a work-life balance. Since I truly, genuinely love what I do, I could do it for hours without even getting up from my chair! So, I have to give myself boundaries to keep myself healthy and sane.
“I try to move my body at least four times a week, refrain from working in the evening and the weekends, and take days where I am completely offline.”
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
Mindset is everything! I’m obsessed with the idea of self-transformation, so I’m constantly learning and improving! I love listening to podcasts, reading books, taking courses, and mastering new skills. When I feel uninspired, I try to do something creative that is non-business related or take a break to recharge my batteries!
“Remembering why I started my business in the first place is what keeps me going every day.”
Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online?
I created a social media strategy focused on providing value so that my ideal clients perceive me as an expert and trust me.
Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?
I love creating something from nothing and the process of bringing an idea to life!
“I love when clients say that what I created for them was exactly how they pictured it in their minds!”
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
I love the freedom that being my own boss gives me. I started my business with the goal of having the freedom to travel whenever I wanted to.
“I love that I can change my schedule how I want, work when I’m more productive, and take time for myself when I’m not.”
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
So far, Bali has been my favorite destination to work from. It has everything you could possibly want: delicious and healthy food, various sports and activities, and plenty of events! Plus, it’s where I got to meet Cassie IRL last November!
“Bali is the perfect place to meet inspiring and like-minded people.”
Q: What is your favorite business book that you would recommend to another girl boss?
I love Jen Sincero’s book, You Are a Badass. It called me out on my BS, was so relatable and funny, and completely changed my mindset!
Q: What’s your go-to favorite podcast that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
Building your business will be hard. There will be days when everything seems to be impossible and you’ll feel like quitting. Be prepared for people to tell you that your dreams are too big, but don’t listen. If you really, truly want it, I promise that this life is possible for you.
“If you stay motivated and keep the big picture in mind, you can totally 100% do it!”
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!
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