How One Millennial Quit Her 9-5 to Build A Web Design Empire & Work From Anywhere
We’re poppin’ major bubbles over here at BB headquarters today, because we are so excited to share this month’s Student Spotlight Series with you!
Each month, we sit down with one of our incredible Bucketlist Bombshells Academy students, who have chased their dreams with a fierce fire, taken the solopreneur world by storm, and are now totally rockin’ the online biz world.
Wanna get to know our next rockstar Bucketlist Bombshell? Let’s get to it, chica!
MEET ERICA HARTWICK
Name: Erica Hartwick
Hometown: New Zealand
Business: Big Cat Creative
Services she offers: Squarespace Web Design & Custom Templates
Currently located: Whistler, Canada
We sat down with Erica to chat about her own personal girl boss journey, what she’s learned as her business has grown over the past year and her advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells!
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HEY! 🙋🏼♀️ it’s ya girl Erica here, coming in hot with 3 things you might not know about me: 🦄 If I’m not wearing sportswear or pyjamas, you’ll most likely find me wearing an oversized tie dye tee, no pants, no makeup and of course a messy bun (not the cute messy, like, the “I’ve been sleeping in this for 6 days” messy). Disheveled, it’s my signature style ok? 😂 🖖🏻 I’m currently nursing 3 broken fingers and I’m am in a cast that looks like a sock puppet (taking name suggestions!). Things I took for granted when I had 2 hands: tying up my hair and tying my shoe laces 🤦🏼♀️ 🎉 I sell hella fresh and affordable website templates for YOU small biz babes who are chasing your dreams and diggin’ your goals! You can even win one next week! Keep an eye out 👀 ⚡️ Ok your turn! 3 things about you in the comments so I can get to know ya! GO!
What Inspired You To Take the Courses inside the BB Academy? To be honest, I basically hated every job I ever had. They would be OK for a while, but after a few months I dreaded going to work, and I never really knew why…I was super restless and truly never thought I’d be able to settle down and have a job that I actually enjoyed.
One day, when I was bored scrolling Instagram at work, I stumbled across The Bucketlist Bombshells.
I read their mission statement and was shocked because it was like they were talking directly to me! I wanted freedom, I wanted to build my own life, I wanted to be able to travel. But before Bucketlist Bombshells, I didn’t even know it was possible to run a business from your laptop, it was a completely new and exciting concept to me. So I immediately signed up for all of their courses, finished them as fast as I could and started my business!
What was the moment that you decided to ditch your 9-5? Did you have an “aha” moment? When I stumbled across Bucketlist Bombshells on Instagram I knew straight away that that’s what I was going to do! I didn’t quit my job until I had finished taking all the courses and had my website up, but I was so ready to quit. I knew it’s what I was meant to do!
How long did it take you to transition out of your 9-5, and how much time did you dedicate a week in order to make it happen? I finished all 3 courses inside the BB Academy in about a month. I came home from work every day and worked on them — plus, I spent the weekends working on them too!
I dedicated quite a big chunk of my weeks to them, because I was really motivated to leave my job. I then spent the next month building up my business website and getting a few small clients. I was out of my job within 2 months!
What does a “day in the life” look like for you now that you’re running your online biz? I wake up (whenever I want) and usually spend some time in the morning doing some reading (personal development or something inspirational), some journaling or meditating. After about usually an hour of that I open up my laptop and check my emails, and start going through my to-do list in Asana of things I need to get done that day. I cook lunch at home and usually go for a walk or to the gym in the afternoon. The great thing about running your own online biz is that every day is different, because you have the freedom for it to be!
Some days I just decide not to work at all, depending on what is happening. Some days I wake up really early and some days I work through the night, just depending on how I feel!
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LAUNCH! 🎉 So happy to finally say @shopohboutique is LIVE 🙋🏼♀️ Olivia + Hannah are two passionate girlbosses who came together with the idea of opening their own boutique, and I got to help them create it! 🤗 I helped with their branding, marketing collateral and a created a beautiful ecommerce website to display their gorgeous clothing 👚 Congrats ladies! 👯♀️ Check it out a shopohboutique.com
How has the BB Academy helped you on your girl boss journey? My life completely changed when I decided to take the courses. I never wanted to have my own business, now I LOVE running my own business. I never even wanted to work, now I wake up excited to start the day (seriously, that’s possible!)
Cassie and Shay completely introduced me to a new way of living and set me up for success. With their guidance it’s pretty hard to not succeed. I am so much happier as a person, and I’m eternally grateful that I stumbled across BB on Instagram that day!
I look back on that day now as one of the most significant days of my life, which is crazy! That’s how much happier I am.
Also, I’m making WAYY more money than I did at my previous jobs, which is pretty cool too 😉
What’s the most challenging part of runnin’ your own online biz? The most common challenges I see when people start their online businesses is that…
1. They get lonely working by themselves and
2. They lack the confidence to really put themselves out there and they doubt themselves a lot.
Luckily for me, I really like being alone (lol) and I’ve learned to be more confident. Though in the beginning, I was embarrassed to put myself out there.
I didn’t doubt the quality of my work, but telling people that I was starting a business was daunting! What would everyone be thinking and saying? Now, I couldn’t care less about what people are thinking or saying, which is great! Today, the most challenging thing about running my online biz is managing my email inbox.
How do you stay inspired and motivated on a daily basis? I’m constantly changing things up. My business 1 year ago is SO different than it is now. I’m always making sure that I’m learning something new, otherwise I get totally bored. The great thing is, having your own online business allows you have the freedom to constantly learn and change things up! I never had that freedom in my 9-5 grind!
How long was it until your landed your first client online? As soon as I had finished the courses! I started by reaching out to different Facebook groups and offering my services for cheap (I was still at my 9-5 at this stage). I did this because I really wanted to get my processes down and feel super confident in my services so I could soon start charging full price.
It was a great experience and I’m glad I did it. If you do want to do this, I would recommend making sure you choose someone who you’d want to work with in the future, and someone who will be super appreciative! After all, they’re getting discounted work!
Now that you can work anywhere, what is your fave travel destination to work from? Currently working from Whistler, Canada and it’s pretty gorg! Drinking a Chai Latte from Starbucks and looking at the snowy mountains out the window is bliss! But to be honest, I work from home 90% of the time! I love my little home office 🙂
What inspired you to choose the Bucketlist Bombshells lifestyle? The freedom to build your day, build your schedule, build a business and life you love is just so exciting and freeing!
Okay, and our absolute favorite question: What is your #1 piece of advice to aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells? Stop doubting yourself. Seriously, the corporate world will always be there and you can always fall back on it, so you have NOTHING to lose!
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LAUNCH!! 💫💫 Did you guys see this new brand and website we launched last week? 🦄 Mindful Goddess Tribe is run by @tinamavadia who thrives on helping mothers with teenage daughters across the world reconnect with their inner goddesses, and discover peace in mindful living, meditation, and being spiritually connected 🙏🏻 Not only is she one of the most empathetic and caring people I have ever met, she’s also creative and colorful, so we had an amazing time working together on this project! 🌈 Check out all of the goddess goodness at mindfulgoddesstribe.com
CONNECT WITH ERICA!
Bucketlist Bombshells Courses Taken:
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