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From Teacher to Solopreneur: How One Millennial Changed Careers to Chase Her Girl Boss Dreams

From Teacher to Solopreneur: How One Girl Boss Changed Careers to Chase Her Girl Boss Dreams, launched an epic website design and branding business that now gives her the freedom to work remotely from anywhere in the world! We’re sharing all her top tips and tricks in this interview...

It’s time for the latest installment of our Student Spotlight Series! We’re so dang excited here at BB headquarters today, because this months student is seriously so dang inspiring, and is totally killin’ it out there in the #girlboss world!

Want to know a bit more about our Student Spotlight Series?

Each month, we sit down with one of our incredible Bucketlist Bombshells Academy graduates, who have successfully 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 kick ass Bucketlist Bombshell? Let’s do this thing!


Name: Tara Plaza

Age: 29

Hometown: Manalapan, New Jersey

Business: Blue Cat Media & Design

Services she offers: Branding & Website Design

We had the chance to sit down with Tara and chat about her own personal girl boss journey, what she’s learned as her business has evolved, how she dealt with totally changing careers, and her epic advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells!


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How’s everyone feeling on this hump day? Are you the type who needs 4 cups of coffee before it’s even lunch time like me? . . . What gets you through the work week? . . Some people choose to get into really great evening routines to unwind and mentally prepare for the following day as opposed to intraveneously feeding caffein into thier veins as their way of pushing through the work week. Ive been trying to get more into this habit than obsessively downing coffee but…. well, baby steps. 🤣 . . It’s also really fun to shop for adorable coffee mugs with catchy little sayings. lmao. . . . . #coffeeislife #coffeefeind #unwind #routines #evening #breakthehabit #dunkindonutscoffee #starbucks #rook #coffeeaddict #coffeelover #caffeine #digitalnomad #digitalnomadlife #digitalnomadgirls #remotework #remoteworklife #wanderlust #workandtravel #traveltheworld #bucketlist #laptoplifestyle #laptoplife #girlmeetsglobe #girlswhotravel #girlslovetravel #globetrotter #globetrottinggirl #workfromanywhere #bluecatmediadesign

A post shared by Tara | Brand & Web Designer (@bluecatmediadesign) on

What inspired you to take the courses inside the BB Academy?

I was on my “prep” as a middle school language arts teacher, preparing lessons and feeling like a complete robot. I was passionless about the work I was doing and dreading the next 30 minutes when the kids were coming back and I would be instructing again.

I saw an advertisement for the Bucketlist Bombshells courses and I felt like the heavens opened up and that this was a direct sign to me at that very moment. I literally dropped what I was doing and began to learn more about these BB gals, and knew that this was my chance to finally do something I was passionate about.

Hearing their story made me realize that I did not need to be stuck in a job that was comfortable. That I could possibly, make a career doing something I enjoyed while still being able to make my own schedule and travel! I was sold.

What was the moment that you decided to ditch your 9-5? Did you have an “aha” moment?

I was pretty fed up with teaching for some time now and the day I saw the Bucketlist Bombshells post I knew this was the sign I was waiting for. I think I was most scared to tell my Dad, because of all the times he has supported my career changes and multiple jobs. I knew it would be hard to tell him.

But I worked up the nerve and was surprised to see that he did not want to KILL me. I knew it would take my showing him I was serious and was going to stick with it in order for him to fully support me but I knew in my heart that this time I wouldn’t let him down.


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A post shared by Tara | Brand & Web Designer (@bluecatmediadesign) on

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 would dedicate 4 hours per day to learning the skills I needed to make my online business work.

So, everyday during my prep at school and then after school I would dedicate time to building my business. I made sure that when school ended and summer began, I would be able to launch my website.

What does a “day in the life” look like for you now that you’re running your online biz?

So, I wake up without an alarm clock (HALLELUIAH!) which is still about 8 am. I have my coffee, I do some yoga and stretching. I lounge with my cats a bit, and then I begin my work in my adorable little HOME OFFICE! (YASSS).

Whether I am working on a client project, following our project timeline, or I am learning or brushing up on a new or old skill, I am sure to get on my computer and start working. A couple days a week I go to a cute coffee shop and do my work from there.

I love getting completely involved in my work and not even realizing how quickly the time goes. I also LOVE meeting new people when I travel to new coffee spots and chatting about my online biz.

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Labor Day Weekend is here…. and I’m still trying to figure out my feelings on that.⠀ ⠀ It’s like the summer came, said hello, threw a shot of whiskey in my face and disappeared! lol⠀ ⠀ I hate how fast time flies. Looking back, this was such a life changing and productive summer for me and I am so proud of all I accomplished. ⠀ ⠀ I think one of the most important things to remember to do when working toward your dreams, is to take some time every so often to reflect on all your accomplishments and give yourself a pat on the back. ⠀ ⠀ —OR —buy yourself some gorg new shoes. Yeah, screw the pat on the back, I like the second much more! ⠀ ⠀ Ahh summer… you were fleeting, BUT there is still so much to look forward to. The next couple months are filled with pumpkin spices lattes, cuddling by the fire, reading great books, getting together for outdoor campfires and drinks with friends and family, going on nature walks and enjoying the beauty of the changing leaves. So, friends, as one season comes to an end, the beauty of another will soon be on us.⠀ ⠀ Stay focused on your goals. Work, but also reflect and relax. Take time in each day to appreciate the moments. Build others up. Give a compliment. Be Kind. Love. Aspire to Inspire.⠀ ⠀ Cheers to the weekend. Love you all. ⠀ XO- Tara⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #cheerstotheweekend #labordayweekend #labordayweekend2018 #summerflewby #ontothenext #timeisprecious #timeisoftheessence #appreciatelife #appreciateyourself #beautysurroundsus #donttakeforgranted #graphicdesigner #entrepreneurship #liveauthentic #livehappy #liveinthemoment #takeyourtime #learneveryday #seekthesimplicity #natureawaits #buildyourempire #dreamscometrue #graphicdesignerforhire #buildothersup #bekind #loveyourself #guidance #aspiretoinspire #accomplished ⠀ ⠀

A post shared by Tara | Brand & Web Designer (@bluecatmediadesign) on

Has the BB Academy helped you on your girl boss journey?

ABSOLUTELY. I never thought I would be able to convince myself that I was capable of starting my own business. I never thought I even had skills someone would pay me for. These courses have been everything for me!

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.


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Being a #solopreneur means I can #workfromhome, on my bed and in pajamas. It also means I can work in a coffee shop, #coworkingspace, or while on vacation, but the best part is that I have the freedom to #workfromanywhere and make my own hours! . #digitalnomad #digitalnomadlife #digitalnomadgirls #remotework #workandtravel #entrepreneur #smallbusiness #smallbusinessowner #smallbusinesslife #smallbizsquad #sidehustle #lifeofafreelancer #entrepreneurlifestyle #girlboss #bossbabe #womeninbiz #myownboss #womenentrepreneur #femaleentrepreneur #fempreneur #buildyourempire #buildyourownbusiness #beyourownboss #branddesignerforhire #nomore925 #bluecatmediadesign

A post shared by Tara | Brand & Web Designer (@bluecatmediadesign) on

What was the one thing that kept you going when you felt like giving up?

Having a life that I was proud of.  I want a life that makes me happy everyday . I know that sticking with this career choice and not giving up even when things get tough or seem impossible, that it will all be worth it. I know that if I am happy,  my dad will be happy as well.

How long was it until you landed your first client online?

About 2 months after launching my website!


View this post on Instagram

Soo Friends!!⠀ ⠀ ⠀ I have been loving my career being the creative behind Blue Cat Media Design & finally got a professional photo shoot taken (by the one & only Mike Romeo @michaelromeocreations ) at one of my favorite places in Asbury Park NJ called Catsbury Park. (are you surprised?!)⠀ ⠀ This is a cat cafe & tea lounge that is a home to homeless cats as well!! So not only can you watch these cats play & be adorable behind the glass while you sip on a chai latte & do your work, BUT you can also go inside their little playroom and fall in love with 1, or 2, or 3. Then you have the option to apply to adopt the babies!! This is a non-profit corporation so they count on other cat lovers / awesome people to help support them with donations and of course materials they need to keep sheltering & adopting out these wonderful babies! ⠀ ⠀ Please follow them @catsburypark, visit their website, or do both & donate a little something!⠀ ⠀ I am so in love with causes like this and volunteer at as many as I can. So, being able to do a photoshoot here just totally kicked ass! The manager Jamie was soo sweet & I am asking all of you to follow their instagram page- and if you are in the area, please make a trip to this amazing place. Feel the love, fall in love & get a great coffee/ tea/ pastry while you’re at it!⠀ ⠀ I have a couple new photos from the shoot on my website if you want to check MEOWT! (that is the text on my cat mug, not sure you can see it! lol)⠀ ⠀ I will also be posting a couple throughout my insta, since I am so in love with them all- it was def hard to narrow them down.⠀ .⠀ Today is a beautiful day to adopt a cat!⠀ .⠀ Happy Friday my beautiful friends!⠀ ⠀ #catsburypark #godonate #asburyparknj #catsinneed #rescuebabies #rescuebabiesarethebest #donatetoagoodcause #donatetoday #savealife #savealifeadopt #happyfriday #happyfriyay #callingallcatlovers #ifyouhaveaheart #catsofinstagram #catmomproblems #graphicdesign #bossbabe #loveyourjob #enjoythejourney #beagoodperson #kindnessmatters #helpingothers #supportanimals #catsneedahome #photoshoot #michaelromeocreations #ineedcoffee #sohappy #entrepreneurlifestyle

A post shared by Tara | Brand & Web Designer (@bluecatmediadesign) on

Now that you can work anywhere, what is your fave travel destination to work from?

Well, I want to go to Bali! I hope to make this happen within the next year 🙂

What inspired you to choose the Bucketlist Bombshell lifestyle?

FREEDOM. FREEDOM. FREEDOM. More time to do things I love without having anyone tell me anything! I love not having the restraints of a corporate job.


How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online biz?

I listen to inspiring podcasts in the morning & I also go to the BB group for words of encouragement or to see how other BB members are doing! It is great to hear other girls successes as well as struggles and to know I am not alone.

Okay, and our absolute favorite question: What is your #1 piece of advice to aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?

NEVER STOP LEARNING. Even when you have everything “set-up” and you are feeling discouraged because you are not getting clients, just fill your time with educating yourself. Learn something new everyday. Be the best at what you do.



Blue Cat Media & Design



Bucketlist Bombshells Courses Taken:


Want to submit yourself (or a BB who inspires you on the daily!) to be featured in our next Student Spotlight? Just head here to apply!

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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!

Free Masterclass

3 Steps To Build A Wildly Successful Service-Based Online Business

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From Teacher to Solopreneur: How One Girl Boss Changed Careers to Chase Her Girl Boss Dreams, launched an epic website design and branding business that now gives her the freedom to work remotely from anywhere in the world! We’re sharing all her top tips and tricks in this interview...

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