Build a Business Others Will Value

My name is Nathan Allotey (that’s A-low-tay), I’m a web designer and digital marketing strategist with a passion to teach others.

Let me get to the point. (Scroll down for the more detailed version).

The quick version is I believed in taking calculated actions to build up my resume in hopes of landing a good job. I would later discover that building my own business lead to work that I am passionate about and enjoy.

I spend hours teaching myself web design and business until the money I made from freelancing on nights and weekends equaled the salary I made on my 9 – 5 job. I wanted to continue to grow my freelancing business but I knew I needed to learn “what I didn’t know” about business and this lead me to pursue my master’s in business administration.

The advantage of having my own business while getting my MBA allowed me to immediately apply everything I was learning at the time. I was able to translate everything I learned about business for the needs of a freelancer/solopreneur.

With this newfound knowledge I created an online course teaching what I learned. Over 20,000 people took the course.

After the course I launched a weekly podcast on how to build a business as a freelance creative and 100,000 downloads later it’s still going strong. People not only learned a great deal from what I was teaching but they applied my teaching which lead to more revenue for their businesses.

Here’s What I’ve Been Up To Recently

  • Every month I produce a multiple weekly shows where I share on topics such as the business of freelancing, digital marketing and products.
  • Every week, I share insights on how to grow your business as a freelancer on Freelance Jumpstart TV podcast. The podcast is available in audio and video with episode notes.
  • As a bonus to the Freelance Jumpstart TV podcast there’s a segment called TrafficTalk where I answer questions about business and freelancing.
  • Ever wonder what it takes to build a product that sells? I provide an inside look at the product building process with the Road to Launch Podcast.

I wrote a book called Freelance Jumpstart which is also a course I teach and outline a step by step process to growing your business as a freelance creative. If you’re looking to move from amateur to professional you’ll receive extreme value from the course.

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The “Next Step” Trap

When I was younger I was taught, if you work hard, then good things would happen. This led me to always look for the “next step”. After elementary school was middle school, then high school, then college and finally a career. Every step of the way I was working, in elementary I had a Kool-Aid stand, in middle school, I was a paperboy, in high school I worked at a restaurant, and in college, I had two jobs in addition to classes.

I picked up on one critical observation. Though I had experience working for the majority of my life none of the work I did ever transferred. Sure, skills such as customer service could be used in a variety of different scenarios, however the value of what I learned never seemed to be appreciated. A new job meant learning a new system in which my previous work wouldn’t be recognized or appreciated.

Once I finished college, I was excited, and my family couldn’t have been prouder. I did everything I was supposed to do so all that’s left was to find my dream job. I went through the process of internships, job fairs, resume workshops and job interviews and still didn’t find my dream job, and even those jobs I did notice that fit my desires weren’t willing to pay me what I’d hoped.

What happened? I worked hard and completed all of the “steps”; where was the reward?

From Observation to Opportunity

A couple of months after graduation I began working at a web hosting company and learned so much about what it takes to build a website and how to set clients with their web presence. Every day there was a new challenge, and I always made it a point to resolve problems for clients no matter how long it took. Speaking with my coworkers, I soon discovered my definition of service was vastly different from my peers. Then a thought hit me.

Since I took the time to always go the extra mile and others didn’t, was I being rewarded for the value I provided the company?

One problem that continually surfaced was the fact people wanted help building their websites and didn’t know where to begin.

Every night after work I would read tutorials, watch YouTube videos and browse through blog posts about how to build a website from scratch from design to development. This allowed me to help more clients at work and as an added benefit I saw an opportunity to start my own business. I didn’t know the first thing about starting your own business, so once again I took the internet immersing myself in as much business advice I could find. Then I took a step. I launched my company, continued to practice my web design skills and began getting clients.

Though I had a technical background and I was getting some clients wanted to build up my business development knowledge.