Once upon a time when my business was brand new I offered a ton of website related services. If you needed a logo, I was your girl. Graphic design? Yup, I did that too. And then of course I offered web design and development for every single platform. I loved web design so much and wanted clients so badly that I cast a wide net and took on whatever work I could get, regardless if it interested me or not.
Fast forward 5+ years later and things look a lot different around here. I slowly stopped working on all platforms aside from WordPress, then I dropped offering branding services, and most recently I ditched the design in order to focus solely on development. As someone who loves all things design related, this decision may seem a little baffling. And when I think about it, I still can’t believe that I’ve gone development only. But it’s been one of the best decisions for me.
Let’s back up a bit to way before I even launched my design business. I was obsessed with creating pretty sites. I spent hours upon hours after school making my Livejournal and MySpace look perfect. When Pinterest launched, I was addicted to pinning all of the beautiful things. I didn’t go to school and study design, but I have a deep admiration for all things well-designed. And this love I carried into my business.
But over time, I quickly fell out of love with design. It was no longer something fun. It was a chore. I felt like I had to force creativity I didn’t have. While I used to enjoy creating logos, any new project that involved a logo was a nightmare. I would drag my feet and provide my clients with what I considered subpar work.
Meanwhile, my love for coding continued. I always saw building websites as a puzzle of sorts. I loved playing with code in order to get it to work. And that feeling I’d get when I finally got something working was amazing. Unlike design, development never turned into a chore.
But I was a web designer! I told myself I had to offer design and development services. Forget the fact that I hated designing for other people or that people were hiring me solely for my development services. Luckily one day I decided to no longer offer branding services. That was a huge weight off my shoulders. I didn’t mind designing websites as long as the branding was done for me.
Of course this feeling didn’t last for long. I quickly realized that even with the branding provided for me, I was struggling. The creativity wasn’t there and I didn’t feel like I was giving it my all. I felt like I was doing a disservice to the beautiful branding I was given. But what could I do?
The obvious answer wasn’t so obvious, at least at first. It took me time and looking deep into my business to realize that I could stop offering design and work solely as a developer. After all, I had started running my business from a place of alignment and things were going well. But things weren’t going to be completely in alignment until I dropped design for good.
And let me tell you. Once I gave myself permission to only offer the services I wanted to, things started falling into place.
I realized that I didn’t have to offer design to run a thriving business. And development was where I excelled. But even better was realizing that I could utilize my love of design and use that as a selling point in my development business. I’ve heard so many nightmare stories from designers who have worked with developers that didn’t take into consideration the aesthetics of a site so I knew my attention to detail could be put to good use as a developer.
So here I am today, the owner of a WordPress development business. Needless to say, this change in direction was a long time coming. And funnily enough, it came after I decided to rebrand. Kind of backwards, right?
So why the rebrand in the first place?
Quite simply it all came about because I wanted to form a LLC. I had been in business for 5 years as a sole proprietor. It was about time I get my ducks in a row and make this business legit. But what should I call it? I could go the boring route and use my name. But that didn’t seem right. Or I could use a play on my name, but I struggled with ideas I liked.
Then one night before bed the name Italicized Creative popped into my head. I figured it was too good to be true. But nope! So naturally I purchased the domain at 1:00 in the morning.
At the time, I figured I was going to continue to offer design and development services, hence the “creative” in Italicized Creative. It was soon after acquiring the name that I realized I needed a change in direction, but the name stuck.
So really, it was my quest to form an LLC that led me on this path to changing directions in my business. I’m sure I would have gotten there eventually, but this once decision jump started a total change. Interesting how that works!