Editor’s Note: Would you quit your job without a plan? Would you invest in yourself even though you were broke? All so you could do what you love and live the lifestyle you’ve dreamed of? Well, that’s what rockstars like Kasia do. She found Natalie and the Freedom PlanTM program while seeking clarity with her website design business. Now, she has to turn down clients because she’s totally booked out, and is creating an online course to help business owners design their own stalk-worthy websites. Read on to find out how she did it.
Hi, I am Kasia Zukowska, and I design WordPress Websites Worth Stalking™, for online business owners with services or information products who want their websites to express their inner rockstar.
Quitting my job without a plan
After feeling burnt out and totally miserable, I quit my corporate job in 2013. I didn’t have any plan, just some savings. But I knew I needed a vacation, so the first thing I did was travel for a whole month.
After I returned, I moved into a new apartment and didn’t do much until the beginning of 2014. That’s when the savings started to dry up, and I still had no plan.
But I knew one thing — I wanted to design websites.
After stumbling upon Tim Ferris’s book “The 4-Hour Workweek” and Chris Guillebeau’s “The $100 Startup,” I realized there was more than one way to make a living. I was still not clear about a lot of things, but I had a sense of direction at that point.
So I built my first website kreativethread.com, which I spent months designing and then ended up taking it down almost immediately. It was crap. The brand was not me, and the name didn’t feel right. Everything was a mess.
I realized that I needed clarity and a roadmap to get me to where I wanted to be. So I started looking for answers online and stumbled upon Navid Moazzez’s blog post about Lifestyle Entrepreneurs and learned about Natalie.
It all started with an email
After reading Natalie’s book, “The Suitcase Entrepreneur,” I was even more intrigued by her lifestyle and her location-independent business. It was what I always wanted to do — have the freedom to travel and work from anywhere — and she was living proof that it was possible.
One day, I received an email from Natalie. She was celebrating her book’s one year anniversary. Without thinking much of it, I hit reply and told her how much I appreciated all she did and how much I had already learned from her.
And she replied back! It really surprised me.
Not long after, Natalie launched the Freedom PlanTM program for the first time, and even though I was broke, I invested in myself. And I’m really glad I did.
The Freedom PlanTM helped me gain a lot of clarity about what I wanted to do. The community, though, was one of my favorite and biggest benefits of the course. I received tremendous support from all the Freedom PlanTM members, and Natalie herself. I forged new friendships, found accountability partners, and even signed clients.
The birth of a Rockstar
I strongly believe that nothing can stop you from standing out if you have the courage to be yourself. Being true to your individuality is critical to creating a design that’s truly rock star, and attracts the audience and applause you deserve.
But when you look at the web design industry, most websites look the same — boring, and without any personality.
The issue, often, is a lack of clarity from the website owners, and a fear of bringing their personality onto the website and into their business. That’s why their websites get lost in the sea of sameness, or worse, try to copy someone else’s website. They end up not getting any results, and the websites cost them money, instead of bringing it in.
I saw a need in the market and decided to do things differently (as I always do).
I came up with a workflow for my signature service package Rock Your Website™, which allows me to learn as much as possible about my client’s needs, likes, dislikes, and personality, so I can take all that and design a website that feels like them.
Including my clients in the website design process not only helps me in creating the site of their dreams but also makes them feel more vested in the creative process.
But I continue serving my clients even after the site is launched. I provide them with 30 days of ongoing support, and a series of video training, so they never feel lost. I also give them a chance to sign up for my Website Bodyguard™ plans, which lets them fully focus on their business while I manage their site maintenance and security.
My customized, personality-infused website creation process has paid off in spades. My clients are happy with their websites and feel ready to take on the online world.
I continue receiving positive feedback like this one:
“Kasia has been very responsive, resourceful, and proactively offers recommendations and tips. All in all, we are really happy with our website. The site embodies our personality and brand and does not look like a cookie-cutter site.”
~ Rosemary & Claire at Authentic Food Quest
Based on the work I was doing and the feedback I was receiving, I rebranded my business. The new name, WP Rockstar™ was a great fit with my love for music, my edgy appearance, and rebellious attitude. Plus the WP stands for WordPress, so that represents the business side of things.
There was still room for growing, though.
Time to rock the world stage, Lady Gaga style
The end of 2014 and 2015 was super busy for me. I started getting a lot of clients after the rebranding. But the problem was I worked “in” my business all the year and not “on” my business.
I didn’t do any marketing, my social media accounts started to look like ghost towns, and I even killed my email list. It didn’t help that I was undercharging for my services. And I was getting clients only through referrals, and my engagement in Facebook Groups and other online communities.
I learned a lot during this time — how to say NO more often, to never undercharge myself, how to better manage projects, I got even clearer about who my ideal clients were. The best part was that I got to work with Natalie and teach the WordPress Masterclass in the Freedom PlanTM program.
Recently, I have started shifting towards more residual income to grow my business, rather than working one on one with clients.
I want to impact thousands of people and help them with their online presence. That’s why I’m currently working on my first online course D.I.ROCK Your Website™, where I’ll walk people through the website creation process to create their own website.
Next year, I plan to take it even further. I will design my own flagship program which will go into online presence and visibility (branding, visual identity, website, social media, how to get traffic to your site and publicity). I plan to bring in experts to teach some of the topics too. It will be awesome, and by then, I will be working with only select clients, and focus all my energy on my digital program.
Starting your own online business is no walk in the park. It’s a journey, a process, but the pros heavily outweigh the cons. I hope my story inspires you to take action and be bold enough to follow your dreams and be yourself.
Kasia broke free from the grind of her 9 to 5 job and started her own website design business that gives her more time, money, and freedom. If you’d like to break free from the daily grind of your job and create a business and lifestyle that you love, check out the Freedom PlanTM program.