Becoming an entrepreneur can be daunting. There is no guidebook. Ok, there are lots of books written but the steps you can take can vary. There also isn’t a boss to tell you to follow a particular plan and all will work out. First you have to have a vision. In 2007, I began brainstorming ideas but really didn’t have a vision. You may recall in 2007 (from My Story), I was happily not working for the first time and spending the year off with our son. There was no drive then. Fast forward to 2010 and somehow things aligned and I had a vision. A vision to launch this website so I can do all the things I love doing while reaching a larger audience. Next was to come up with a plan. I tried to think of a time when the task at hand seemed monumental. In 1996, I ran a marathon. I was amazed when people would ask: “How did you do that?” I didn’t run the marathon overnight. I trained little by little and at one point after spraining the same ankle three times in a row, I had given up. With a little more rest, I was able to push past running 12 miles and eventually run the marathon.
I set out to divide the process into baby steps to make it more achievable. I started a mostly online and free self education process. Of the many steps, one of my favorites thus far has been having a logo designed. I wanted to limit how many graphic design companies I was going to consider. Too many choices can drive you crazy. I heard an interview with the founder of 99designs.com on an internet business podcast and was intrigued. 99designs is a site where you can launch a graphic design contest and graphic artists from around the world can submit designs over the period of one week. The other company I explored was logoworks.com. This recommendation came from an internet business book I was reading. Logoworks has set packages and offers you 6 designs, by 3 designers with unlimited revisions for ($399) about the same price a logo will cost you on 99 designs if you award the recommended prize. The driving force in choosing 99 designs was the worry that I wouldn’t end up with a logo I liked and the fact that if I didn’t get a design I liked there was a money back guarantee. There were enough designs submitted that in the end the money back guarantee was not necessary. If you are on a tight budget, you can check out www.fiverr.com where all work offered including logo design is $5.
Launching the contest was relatively easy. You choose the prize you want to award and then type up a description of what you want included in the design along with providing information on the target audience you are trying to reach. And then you wait. The first design was submitted in less than 8 hours. It was one of the ones that were among my top two choices until the end. You could give feedback on each design which would allow the designer to make alterations. The feedback also allowed other designers entering the contest to avoid a particular aspect of the design that you didn’t like. The talent was incredible. And the support amongst the designers was pretty neat to see. One of the graphic designers complimented another on her logo. It was the one that I ended up choosing.
I saw that some contests received hundreds of logo submissions. At first I had hoped that I would too. Later, I was thankful I didn’t receive hundreds of designs. It was difficult posting feedback on every design with kids at home for the summer. I polled my friends, former coworkers, and my husband for their opinions. It was so much fun and nerve wracking to receive all the opinions. By the end, I had received 77 entries from 12 different designers. I went back and forth between two designs until the end. The winning designer ironically is from the same country my parents were born in, Serbia. The world is a small place with the advent of the internet. I hope you like the winning entry seen on my website. (At the time of writing, the designer had not given me permission to release her details. If you are interested in her work, I can forward a message to her.) I feel with the internet that there isn’t a thing you can’t do. This can make you feel on top of the world! My hope for you is if you are reading this and whether you are becoming an entrepreneur or not that you feel this way too.