22.9.12

Building a Business Part 6: The Real Beginning


Part 1: The Beginning
Part 2: Sugardevil
Part 3: Groupie
Part 4: "Jacob"
Part 5: Dream Jobs

Myspace. Anyone who remembers how trendy Myspace was years ago knows that it was the place you had to be. Everybody had a Myspace page and thousands of friends. I loved it especially because you could completely transform your profile if you knew how to properly. My profiles were always completely customized and people started to take notice.

 a few of my past myspace layouts

While we were booking bands for shows, one of my band buddies asked me if I would design their page for them. I hadn't tried to customize a band page before, since they were coded differently than the regular personal profiles... but I said I would give it a shot. 

I spent hours... weeks... months perfecting a code that would work properly on Myspace band profiles. This is sometimes what happens when someone gives me a challenge... I cannot get it out of my mind and always want to take it to the next level!  My idea was to completely overhaul the typical profile so that it looked nothing like a Myspace page, but more like a branded website. Nobody had done anything like this at the time. I was filled to the brim with the desire to make this idea work and stopped at nothing to finish it.  The wheels would not stop spinning in my head for months, and one winter day in 2006, I finally completed my creation. An interchangeable, customizable Myspace code for band profiles. 

I launched the first design with my newly created coding on my friend's band's profile and it was a hit. Because of that profile, some other affiliated bands started inquiring about my abilities. I offered to do a couple of them free of charge in order to build up my own portfolio so that I could turn this new idea into a little business. I started creating a website where I offered my Myspace customizing expertise for bands and needed some work to showcase, so in the beginning it was necessary to work "pro bono".

After I had a couple of designs knocked off, I opened up my virtual doors. I was nervous because I wasn't sure if it would all be a huge waste of time or not. The only traffic I would get would be from my little link placed at the bottom of those customized profiles, so I needed to come up with other ways to promote myself and my new business.

I got some promotional materials made, like 1 inch buttons and things, and handed those out at our events we would organize. Thankfully, I had already partly squeezed my little foot into the doors of the music industry, so there were lots of bands I knew that I could promote to directly.  It worked most of the time, because once they laid their eyes on what I was able to do to their boring old Myspace profiles, they were sold. Bands want to stand out, period. I knew this and I tempted them with the opportunity to do so. Like a bait on a hook.

some early work

I was still working at my retail job selling lingerie and working on artist promotion stuff on the weekends.  There came a point when I just knew it was all too much. I had high hopes for this new Myspace idea, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to take that business where I wanted it to go if I had to work a retail job at the same time. I had a few Myspace clients, and some other web design clients... and though it was nothing to quit my job over, I quit my job over it anyways.  My dedication would pay off and I was sure of it. I just couldn't dedicate 100% of my time to it with something holding me back. I put in my 2 week notice and said goodbye to years of working with some of the best girls.

Quitting was scary, but not as scary as what I imagine my life to be like if I hadn't quit. I had confidence that everything would work out, and I knew that this idea was huge. Leaving that job gave me all of the time and energy I needed to take this business to the next level.... and you best believe it went to the next level.... ten fold.

Stay tuned for part 7!

How are you liking this series so far? It's hard to recall certain things sometimes but once I get there, the memories just keep flowing!






By Dana Fox Updated at: 10:06 AM

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18 comments:

  1. I like to read about your journey. I find it rather inspirational. And yeah I remember myspace being the bomb back then heehee :)

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  2. I promise I read the whole thing, but really I've been distracted by that polka dot blazer since I opened this post. I *love* it!

    Also, I wonder if in a few years we'll talk about Facebook like we talk about Myspace now.

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  3. Damn! Your MySpace work is impressive! I never had the patience to get that into designing for it back in the day... I just remember opening up the source code I had to work with and being "Oh god, fuck no! I am so not touching this with a ten foot pole."

    But then again... I was a hater from the beginning. LOL.

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  4. The whole serie is inspiring, I look up to you. I am only 16, and I am not sure of what my future will be like. I don't know what I wanna do, I don't know which course I wanna go to. Even If I find out what it is that I wanna be, I am not sure if I will find a job one day. Though you make me believe that anything is possible. If "John doesn't got to the mountain, the mountain will go to John" - that's a portuguese saying that doesn't have john, but it's what I feel when reading this.

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  5. love this series, and loved this post! I am at that point right now. I have the chance to interview for a job I know I could get because I have many years experience doing it, but the pay and time away from my kids isnt really worth it. I am trying to break out into something else I want to do as my own business, but getting my "foot in the door" hasnt been so easy. I can't even get some people to email me back, so its proving to be a rough start.

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  6. I really love this series. You have done so much and you are still young to do so much more. Waiting for the next post!

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  7. So inspirational. I am loving this series. I so want to start a business of my own! Thank you for sharing your story ^^

    Biancarosa
    xoxo

    http://beancah.blogspot.co.uk

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  8. So I have fallen in love with your blog since I've found you. Thank you for this series it's really inspiring me to just go for what I want to do!

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  9. thank you for sharing, this post is very helpful for me, because i want to open my own business, i'm afraid a bit, but i will try.

    http://coeursdefoxes.blogspot.com/
    http://www.facebook.com/CoeursDeFoxes

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  10. i've been self-employed for 2 years. this is very inspiring. thanks for sharing, dana.

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  11. Yay! Thanks for sharing, Dana, I love your story it's so inspirational :) I love your old Myspace layouts, I would have been so jealous!

    Stephanie
    owlsinmyheart.blogspot.com

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  12. I am really enjoying this series, it's so inspiring!!
    http://five10eleven.blogspot.co.uk

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  13. Ahhh, you did Butch Walker's MySpace page!! Love that man :)

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  14. Congrats on all your success! I always believe hard work and determination pay off :)

    xo Emilie @ Hungry Delights

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  15. I love reading these! :) xxx

    http://jeminixlife.blogspot.com

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  16. I am loving this series, Dana! It is absolutely fascinating how you built yourself from the ground up! These are the kind of stories that make good movies :)

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  17. Love this series! I look forward to each one.
    Catherine Denton

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