Building a Business Part 9: Changes and Uncertainty

By Dana Fox
Part 2: Sugardevil
Part 3: Groupie
Part 5: Dream Jobs

I’ll always remember that email from Mike. At the time, I didn’t even know who “Mike” was or that he was Mr. CEO of Myspace himself. His letter was casual and didn’t go into a lot of detail. It wasn’t until after the fact that one of my developer friends over at the LA office told me I was speaking to the “big guy”… which brought even more questions into my mind.

His email asked me for my opinions. He wanted to know if the new Myspace was something that I’d be able to work with and told me that they were creating a whole new setting for Designers, so they could easily customize profiles. I gave him my honest opinion and told him that the new version they were releasing sucked. I said it would ruin the Myspace experience for everyone and completely run any type of business such as mine into the ground. I told him that if they went through with the upgrades, it would be the beginning of the death of the social networking site. It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to share these kinds of blunt realizations with the man in charge… and I thought it was important that he saw things from the perspective of someone like me, who, in a way, helped keep the site alive and added something different to it.

He didn’t listen, unfortunately. I spent months going back and forth with him and his developers who kept promising this amazing Designer feature and was told I would be able to try it out… and I was eager to!  If they were taking away the customizable features, I needed to know what they were going to replace them with so that I could keep going on…. business as usual. That day never came and their plans never saw the light of day.

A few months later, Myspace 3.0 was released and it was probably my worst nightmare. Over the years I had hundreds of customized profiles under my belt and soon I had hundreds of emails to deal with. Not to mention, I had to redo my entire business website and change up the services.

Though they had taken away the full-out customization abilities that I was used to (i.e. the ability to add your own CSS code and edit the HTML), there were still a couple things that I was able to offer services for. They still allowed you to edit your header and module boxes and things. I offered all of my past clients a “conversion” service where I would do the best I could to convert their old layout design to the new format. It was hectic, and nothing was as pretty, but it worked and I was still able to go on with my business this way.

I managed to continue working with my company for a while after that. Business wasn’t as great because people were put off by the new format. Mike wanted to turn the site into a smaller, “entertainment” network rather than stick to the personal vibe that people loved about it. Slowly over the course of a year or so, the Myspace phenomenon started to die out and Mr. Mike Jones sent out an email to his employees saying the company had been sold.

So, that was pretty much that. I was over it. My heart wasn’t in it anymore and I didn’t want to keep having to jump through hoops to get a simple profile done. Through all of the ups and downs I had experienced over the years, it was kind of bittersweet. On one hand I had no idea what I was going to do, but on the other, I was excited to try new things and move on. The previous four years of my career were entirely dedicated to Myspace design. I can’t replace the paths that led me here, that time I received a country music award and was showcased to Bill Gates, or all of the additional experience I gained.  When I started out, I knew the day would come when it wouldn’t be a hot product anymore and I always had it in the back of my mind that something could happen to the site and I’d be SOL. I believe that when it was all said and done, that mentality saved me. I was always trying to think of the next best thing I could do if it was all taken away from me.

Thankfully in the end, things ended up working out for me… but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified that I’d be a broke bum who would have to sell the house I had recently purchased. There were a few rough months where I literally had no work. Dustin was still going through the immigration process so wasn’t even allowed to work (by law). My bank account was slowly depleting and I was waiting for that “bounce-back” moment… would it ever come???

Stay tuned for part 10!

Have you ever been scared about an unknown future or finances?


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Dana Fox
Dana Fox
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About me

I am a country loving Canadian with a mind that never sleeps. When I'm not running the Wonder Forest blog ship, you can find me creating artwork for phone cases and home decor, whilst managing the daily tasks of Dana Fox Creative. Visit me at the links below if you wanna be friends!

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  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/01840894556652277821 Allie @ Between Dreams

    hurraaaaay! my favourite posts are back again. can't wait for part 10 :) woot woot!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/15023881896268219956 AUBREY @ Project Lovegood

    This is my first introduction to your Building a Business series and I'm incredibly intrigued. I'm working on building my own business and since I'm so new to it I can't express how nice it is to have someone be so candid about their personal experience, covering any and everything. This is of great help to me and I'll definitely be going back to read the other series' posts. Many thanks!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/12614945804057201168 Hannah

    I really enjoy reading this series. And yes, my finances/unknown future is scaring me with student loans looming above me.

    You are such an inspiration and can't wait for the next part!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/05804599385896970910 Wendy England

    Found these posts through Facebook and was intrigued.. Looking forward to reading them all. I left my £1000 a month job to purse something that never happened. I'm now stuck in limbo which is pretty scary

    https://www.facebook.com/painttheukpink
    http://painttheukpink.blogspot.co.uk

    Wendy xo

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/11078927627736857726 Samantha Y

    Dana, I just thought I would take the time to say how much I have been loving your Building a Business series. Not only is it interesting to read your honesty about what setting up your business was like and your stories about trying to continue the success of your ventures but I love the way you are writing the posts. It's just like reading a really entertaining book and I shriek with excitement when I see a new post in my bloglovin feed (thankfully I'm normally at home and not in public ^_^ – that could be embarrassing).

    Thanks for such a great series. I wish you continued success in all your ventures for 2013. I'll be tuned in as usual ^_^
    xx

    • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16765434513591686519 dana @ wonder forest

      Thank you so much! I sometimes worry that people aren't into this series because they don't tend to attract a lot of comments, so I am glad you took the time to let me know!
      xo Dana

  • http://teejrants.wordpress.com/ teejrants

    I, too, love these series. It fascinates me and just builds upon the e-mails you sent me. I am not scared of learning but there are some things, such as others experiences, that you just cannot google and find online. Thank you so much for taking the time to write all of this.

    Hannah

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/05232155737520099120 Jemma x

    Loving these posts :) xxx

    http://jeminixlife.blogspot.com

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/08766247962096977031 Kim Wedlock

    I've been scared about an unknown future and finances for years. Unlike you, my life isn't going anywhere. I'm lucky to have my boyfriend, but most of my time is dedicated to looking after my mum. I don't have the time or money to do anything more than I currently do (2 very small Etsy shops, and trying to get my writing published for a few years now), and I feel like I'm stuck in one place. I'm the kind of person who is afraid of the unknown, and while I'm taking my chances with trying to build a career which is unusual (ie not just stacking shelves), I panic and procrastinate with just about everything. I really envy the fact that you have so much motivation, but I also know that it is within my power to make these changes to myself.

    Love reading these posts, I don't understand why Myspace would send you a message if they're just going to ignore you, because I'm certain you weren't the only person avidly against it. It's like when these builders came into my high school years ago while it was our last year, and showed us the plans for the new buildings to "get our opinion" – well, it was awful, all of us said so, and there's always a pushing and shoving rush to get your food at lunch time, but they wanted people to queue on stairs. We said people would be killed because of the pushing and shoving at that height, and there have been serious injuries since. They didn't really want your opinion, they just wanted to show off. I used to love Myspace, too, I even wanted to hire YOU to do my band's page before we fell apart!

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/16332815163846166660 Dawn

    Like Samantha, I enjoy seeing these posts. I enjoy reading your story, learning more about where you came from how you grew. I wonder if, when MySpace was relaunched, if their intent was to close off "outsiders." I don't know. I deleted my MySpace account long before that happened. I had gotten it in 2006, I believe, and kept it for awhile. I deleted it in the spring of 2009. (I only remember this because my "acquiring" of social networks always timed certain college milestones.) I had always had difficulty in customizing my own pages, and I had a friend who knew enough coding to give me something decent. I would've been really upset and freaking out if I had been in your situation but, sometimes, you need those things to happen in order to find another path. You have most definitely done that. :)

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/11235356773272688628 Cody Doll

    NO!! Where is number 10? I just read all through your business. Funny how close we were. I was also designing myspace stuff but I did it just for me. I was just learning how to html and css before myspace switched to 2.0. By then I was in high school trying to graduate and get married (which didn't work). Anyways, I am thinking of opening my own business online.
    I was actually going to email you about it soon.

    My point, I would love to read part 10 to learn more.

  • https://www.blogger.com/profile/02429080697016935397 Ann

    omg I can't wait for the next part! You amazing woman you! :) xx