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Case Study: Liz Houston

After 15 Years Of Teaching, Liz Was Ready To Make A Career Change!

Liz Houston

https://ehoustonstudio.com/

Liz made her investment back in 6 months!

"When you fully commit to a program that continually updates, allowing you to grow with it - I truly believe it's the best choice you can make."

Liz found out about WP Rockstar through Geekapalooza, our FREE online event that shows you how to start (and grow) an online business. She really enjoyed it, so when GeekWeek came up she decided to do that as well. 

"I started in this world with the Geekapalooza... But then GeekWeek popped up maybe a month or two later on my Facebook timeline... the week kind of just sold me on WP Rockstar and I signed up at the end of the week."

Before joining the WP Rockstar community, Liz had a 15-year career in teaching, which she felt burnt out from. She had just moved back to the U.S. from Taiwan and tried online tutoring as well, but she really wanted to transition away from teaching. 

"I wanted a flexible online job, and I realized I was more burnt out from teaching than I realized, not just from the classroom." 

Liz had some experience with coding, as she taught computer science before, but both web design and freelancing were completely new to her.  

"I taught computer science before so we would do things like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript... We kind of did more from a coding angle than a design angle, and I hadn't done WordPress before, only kind of just a little bit of coding. And freelancing is totally new to me."

It took Liz around six months to earn back her enrollment investment. She really wanted to work through the course first, before putting herself out there - which she did in about two months.

Her first client was a friend, someone she met abroad and recently reconnected with.

"It's somebody that I met in South Korea over a decade ago... he kind of messaged me about three months ago and asked if I would help with some things in his business." 

This evolved into various tasks, from logo redesign to website updates. 

Liz is happy to expand her skills and take on different kinds of work, but as a freelancer, she also loves the flexibility to choose what she wants to do.

“As a freelancer, I'll take on what I want, what I think serves me and teaches me.”

One of the best parts of the program in Liz’s opinion is the sense of community and support.

"I really enjoyed even the coaching that's built into the regular program... the support in the Facebook group, of course, I felt supported."

It really stood out to her that WP Rockstar is a business-in-a-box program. 

It doesn’t only teach you tech skills, but with different guest experts, it also teaches you everything you need to start your online business - from bookkeeping to finding clients.  

“I liked that it was really an all-in-one program, that it had all of the business stuff as well as the coding and web design.”

Liz's top tip for anyone wanting to learn a new skill is perseverance. Starting your own business is a big leap, but it’s totally worth it. 

"I think just never giving up... Just keep at it, it will work out. I just don't stop."

Liz is really happy with the program and we are SO happy to have her as a member of our community.

“I've been very happy with the group and in the community in the program, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to work from home or work from anywhere in the world.”

We’re super proud of everything she’s achieved so far!

If you, like Liz, feel burnt out from your current work, we’d also love to support you through this entrepreneurial journey!

The Ultimate Training for Website Building (a la WordPress) + Community + Business Badassery for The Next Generation of Geeks (even if you suck at math and tech, or think you’re too old)

Transcript

How did you find out about WP Rockstar?

So WP Rockstar kind of came a little bit along the journey that I can get into more later. But I started in this world with the Geekapalooza in my Facebook ads, and it was really one of the best kind of summits or online things that I attended.

So many speakers and just lots and lots to learn. And I loved it. 

And I binged on it over a few days and then was still kind of figuring out what I wanted to do, since that's more than just web design. But then GeekWeek popped up maybe a month or two later on my Facebook timeline - Oh, I should do this GeekWeek.

And yeah, the week kind of just sold me on WP Rockstar and I signed up at the end of the week. 

What was your life like before you joined WP Rockstar?

So I had been teaching for about 15 years and really feeling burnt out the last couple of years.

So I moved back to the U.S. I'd been in Taiwan most recently and just kind of gave myself time to figure things out, be with family. And I started trying to do online piano lessons and online tutoring. I wanted a flexible online job, and I realized I was more burnt out from teaching than I realized, not just from the classroom.

I just didn't want to show up every day and prepare lessons and just all of it anymore. So I joined a lot of transitioning teacher Facebook groups. A lot of people were in the same boat and started with some things like instructional design, kind of creating curriculum or course materials for businesses or higher education, different things like that.

And I was like, This is just so ugly. I just don't like the materials that are created. I'd rather just design websites or mobile apps or something like that. Seems a lot more current than this style of almost like PowerPoint Cliff Barty design. So that kind of planted the seeds of web design and I don't know if it was before or after that that Geekapalooza popped into my life, but WP Rockstar was after that. 

What actions did you take as a result of taking the course and being part of the community?

Really one of the best parts of that program, I think, is the Facebook community.

Just connect with people and try to learn and see what I can do there. I also had my Geekability Pod where we keep each other in check. We still do six months later, we still chat with each other. 

But I wanted to work through the course first and feel comfortable about things before really putting myself out there.

So really just focusing on completing the practice websites and everything for a couple months and then trying to start the business. 

We're all kind of in the same place where we're still trying to make this work like it's not.

It's the main focus, but it's been a slower build than we realized. We all still want to make it happen, so that's good that no one kind of dropped out or lost interest or so. 

Did you have experience as a freelancer or building websites prior to joining WP Rockstar? 

I would say a little bit with building websites because I taught computer science before so we would do things like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. We kind of did more from a coding angle than a design angle, and I hadn't done WordPress before, only kind of just a little bit of coding. And freelancing is totally new to me.

And that's been the idea of kind of like marketing myself and freelancing is a lot harder than I expected it was going to be. And I think also coming from teaching, freelancing is a really different mindset. I'm just so used to kind of giving all of my time every evening and weekend and really trying to value what I'm doing and make my own rules and stuff.

So it's new, but I like that. 

How long did it take you to earn back your investment? 

It was about that six month mark. So just this past month's paycheck from my client kind of put me over the edge. I'm sure people can do it a lot faster than I can, but I'm finally building some momentum these days.

I feel like I'm finally on the right track. 

Can you talk a little bit about how you found your first project and your first client? 

So far it has been one client with just projects that keep continuing.

And it's actually someone who came to me not knowing that I was doing what I was doing. So I really lucked out in that sense. It's somebody that I met in South Korea over a decade ago, lost touch with him, and then when I was trying to get into online tutoring last year, he was presenting at one of those online summits.

So I reached out to him and we had a little chat and reconnected. And then he kind of messaged me about three months ago and asked if I would help with some things in his business, like social media management or some other tasks. I said, Oh, well, sure, I'm happy to help. And then from there it's kind of turned into just anything that he's needed help with.

So it's been like logo redesign and preparing lesson materials and podcast manager and spreadsheets in the backend, updating his website each week, just kind of new stuff. And as a freelancer, I'm like, I'll take on what I want, what I think serves me and teaches me. But most of it is stuff that has been good. 

How much time on average did you put into the course?

 I don't really remember, like on a day to day basis how much time I spent on it. But I did finish the course in about two months. I think so. 

Did you feel supported when going through WP Rockstar and being part of the community?

I did. I really enjoyed even the kind of coaching that's built into the regular program. I haven't done the additional coaching yet, but sort of like the mindset videos and things like that along the way and the support in the Facebook group of course, so I felt supported. 

What are your future plans?

So I'm really hoping to get beyond this one client and I have a discovery call on Friday with the teacher who wants to update her website.

She's already added me as an administrator in the backend. So that's a good sign. 

And I have another couple that was a friend of a friend who wants a Squarespace website for their new business. So I'm checking out Squarespace this week to hopefully help them with the website, but it's kind of become like websites. And then also Virtual Assistant for course creators are kind of the two focuses.

And whoever comes into my world these days, kind of those are what I'm hoping both of them or one of them will turn out well. 

What stood out to you about GeekPack and WP Rockstar? 

I liked that it was really an all in one program, that it had all of the business stuff as well as the coding and web design.

Because being a new freelancer, I knew nothing about bookkeeping or privacy policy. And I just loved all the kinds of the experts that were brought in. And it wasn't just one person teaching what they knew and a community of all women, as all are primarily women. This is also a feature. 

What would you say to someone who's on the fence about joining the program?

One of the things that stood out to me was one of the coaches, Pamela Dale made a comment  - if you learn how to sell yourself, you'll always have work. Or something to that effect. I wish I knew the line, but I think it really just kind of teaches you how to kind of do whatever it takes and just like find your skills.

Like technology's always changing. So I think if you kind of just commit yourself to a program and know that it'll be updated and you can keep growing with it, I think it was really the best choice of program to get into.

What is your number one tip for someone who wants to learn a new skill?

Just never giving up. There were tough times or I'm like, will I ever find clients? Will I ever make this investment back? But it's just like, nope, don't go find another job. Just keep at it. It will work out. Just don't stop. Yeah. Resistance always wins. 

I've been very happy with the group and in the community in the program, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to work from home or work from anywhere in the world.

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