April is looking good for Todd Townsend Digital Creator, LLC. I create smart, effective websites for small business as well as logo designs, branding, hosting, and maintenance. It all started about fourteen months ago in the most unusual place. I was driving a truck to support my boat habit (that’s another blog entirely – Bubba the Pirate). There wasn’t much for my brain to do all day, but maintain my lane and make the next delivery. Specifically, I was back in a truck to earn the money to buy an engine to replace the bad one in my boat. Along the way, I was planning the details of my boat project and writing for my blog.
My sister, Amy, had started a super creative, custom decorated cookie business and hired a designer to make her a logo. She wanted a logo that looked like a cookie. The designer submitted some beautifully crafted logos that would have worked well for another business, but none that looked like a cookie. After a couple rounds of further attempts and the same not-quite-what-she-wanted results, the designer finally told my sister “I think I’ll just send you your money back.”
I had been talking to my sister enough to have heard about her trials and tribulations with the logo design. My trucking job was pretty casual, just six Southeastern states, and an easy schedule. I started to have a vision of a logo. Eventually, I asked if I could take a swing at designing the logo for her business. With some new software and a drawing tablet for my laptop, I started studying on YouTube and fleshed out my idea. I’m not sure whether the initial design impressed or not, but soon I had an inspiration and completely redesigned the logo — it was a hit!
Soon after Amy was telling me about her plans to put together a basic website for the cookie business. I thought the plan was solid, but the amazing cookies that she was creating deserved a well designed site. Further, the nature of the cookie business, or any creative business that changed with the seasons, was going to call for a dynamic website.
“Well, why don’t you build one for me,” came the challenge.
I had done a fair amount of coding back in the HTML days; just as modern tools were dawning. In the early 2000s, I had hand-coded a digital product catalog for a company where I worked. It was basically a website that lived on a CDRom disk that salespeople handed out. Before that, my ex-wife and I were jamming HTML code and structure into auction listings in the early days of eBay when their own selling tools were still quite rudimentary. A new website was almost in my wheelhouse, but I wanted to be able to do it well, of course.
I’ve always been a serial student and usually have some kind of training or concentrated study of some kind going on. There are resources all over the web, in varying levels of quality, about building websites. A friend was working on her own digital nomad skills and was taking the WordPress Rockstar program. Rockstar is not just a training program but also a private online community of WordPress developers and designers helping each other best serve our clients. It was just what I needed to polish up the skills I had, and to catch up with ‘web design’ circa 2022. I dove right into the training and the community.
So while I was truckdriving, whenever I stopped for the night – and sometimes sneaking moments during the day – I studied WordPress and started building my sister’s site. Soon enough, I had the money I needed for my boat’s new engine and I left my highway job to return to the boatyard. While removing one diesel engine from my boat, removing the good engine from another boat, and installing that new-to-me engine in my boat, I was still studying WordPress and building the cookie site.
The boat launched the first week of December, I started my life as a “Digital Nomad,” the cookie site went live in February, I designed a logo for another client in March, just signed up a new website client in April, and last week completed the third and final phase of the WordPress Rockstar training. Also, as of this month I have just about reached a comfortable enough level of business where I can put my full-time efforts into Todd Townsend Digital Creator and not have to work a side job to survive. Life is good here on the web and on the water.
Let’s talk about how TTDC can help you leverage the power of WordPress and the Web to expand your business!