Having a web design side hustle can open the doors to a lot of amazing opportunities and be a great source of income on the side. Often, web design side hustlers discover how much opportunity there actually is in web design compared to other industries or traditional markets.

That’s the case with my guest in this episode, Chris Misterek, the host of The Self Made Web Designer Podcast, who doubled his income with a web design side hustle before going full time into web design.

In this talk, you’ll learn how Chris began his modest web design services for family and friends, then to Fiverr and eventually to higher paying, premium clients. We cover a wide range of topics from learning web design, to getting clients, to raising rates and even customizing your own web design journey that suites your goals and needs.

This was a super inspirational chat and I can’t wait to hear how it encourages you, especially if you’re looking to take your web design side hustle to the next level!

In this episode:

03:58 – Greeting to Chris
05:32 – Variety of design
12:45 – Where to start
17:59 – Starting to teach
20:19 – Side hustle & a job
27:46 – Have confidence
32:24 – The rate “dance”
37:44 – Portfolio bulking
41:58 – Undersell yourself
46:38 – Client searching
56:20 – Internal conflict
1:03:04 – Changing mindset
1:04:47 – Go for it!

You can also view the full transcription of this episode below.

Self-Made Web Designer

Connect with Chris:

Featured links mentioned:

Episode #077 Full Transcription

In This Episode

Josh 0:16
Hey, friends, welcome to Episode 77. And this one, we’ve got a really cool different type of episode for you in this one, because you’re going to hear from somebody who essentially doubled his income. With a web design side hustle. My guest in this episode is Chris Misterek. And he is the guy behind a website called Self-Made Web Designer.com. He’s also the host of the self made web designer podcast, which is actually how we originally connected he reached out to me, because both of our podcasts show up on the related podcast, listens, no matter what app you listen to, or listen to the podcast through. And he reached out asked if I’d be interested in coming on his show, to share some of my knowledge and expertise in web design to help his audience had a really good chat with Chris. And then I wanted to offer him the same. So I had him on my podcast. And here he is, because Chris has a really cool story. He is essentially still working full time for an agency, but is doing self made web designer and freelance on the side. And you’ll hear how he transitioned into web design, and how he doubled his income, just doing side web design when he worked for a church. So he was working for a church wanted to make some income. And the really cool thing about this interview is it’s pretty wide ranging, but we do cover all sorts of really important topics on how to get clients, how to raise your rates, how to stay balanced, and creative, and also how to get through some tough personal stuff, you’ll hear that Chris had to go through some tough times when he was getting his business going. And you’ll hear all about that. And I just found it fascinating because it just shows you the power of what you can do with web design, you know, he was working for a church and wanted to some bigger income on the side and was able to do that with web design. And then that sparked this whole new career path for him to get into web design. It’s also a great lesson. And a good practical example of how you can do whatever the heck you want to do in web design. So if you want to just do web design on the side and have it be kind of like a profitable little side thing, while you’re doing something else you can. But if you want to make it a big agency, you can if you want to stay a solopreneur you can. So I love doing these types of episodes to show you what’s possible. And I hope this is really insightful and exciting for you. I would also really encourage you to go check out his podcast, it’s a Self-Made Web Designer. And yours truly was on recently so you can backtrack and check out my interview with him if you’d like. Without further ado, though, really excited for you to hear this interview with Chris. Now for those of you who are just getting into web design, one of the trickiest things is that you need to learn to value your time. And you can learn everything you want to for free on Google. But the trade off is it’s going to take a lot of time and if you value your time and you’re serious about learning as quickly as possible, so you can hit the ground running. I would love to help you do that. And if you need to know how to build websites fast join my Divi WordPress beginners course today because that is my most cost effective, quickest way to learn how to build websites with WordPress and Divi you’ll learn all that you need to know to get going because you can overwhelm yourself with everything that you can learn about WordPress and Divi web design. But the trick to get going and build momentum is just to learn what you need to know to be confident to get going. And that’s exactly what my Divi WordPress beginners course will help you do. So you can join that today. I’m really excited to help you in your journey. And hey, let’s have some fun. enjoy hearing from Chris on how he doubled his income with a web design side hustle. You’re ready to get pumped? Get ready to get inspired. Let’s do it.

Josh 3:58
Chris, welcome on to the podcast, man. awesome to have you on.

Chris 4:02
Josh, thanks so much for having me. Honor to be here, man.

Josh 4:05
Well, the The feeling is the same. I was on your podcast recently. And you had reached out because we I think I see your podcasts under mine under you know, recent power relative podcast or related posca podcast Excuse me. So you’re on there. So I had seen you before when you reached out I was like, absolutely. I’d love to be on your show. And then I think you have a very fascinating story. Because which everyone I feel like in web design does. I think we all have a really interesting story. And that’s what we’re going to talk about in this one because you essentially took a side hustle of web design, doubled your income and we’re you know you’re in transition taking this to a whole nother level. So I’m fascinated by this and I can’t wait to talk all about it. Before we dive into it, man, do you want to let my audience know where you are and then what you do?

Chris 4:54
Yeah, yeah. So I am in Gilbert, Arizona, and I’m a ux/web designer, which is just kind of a complicated way of saying I do a little bit of every type of design when it comes to the web that there is to do. So everything from marketing design on websites, to branding to a little bit of UX designs and product design, I do front end development. So I’m a, I’m a renaissance guy who knows a lot, or a little about a lot of things.

Josh 5:29
And that’s not a bad place to be as a web designer.

Chris 5:32
Yeah, you know, like, it’s been tough for me, because, you know, I’ve, I’ve had so many people tell me, like, you’ve got to get specific on what you’re doing. And I’m like, I just love it all. You know, like, I don’t really, I like the visual side of things. I like the strategy, like psychology side of the UX department. I like the development side. And so it’s just kind of, you know, lends me to learn a lot of different things about a lot of different, different things that we do in web. So practically, my full time job is I’m a UX designer at a company called Show It. And we’ve got a drag and drop Website Builder that is marketing, specifically to photographers, and creative entrepreneurs. And then I also have a podcast, which super excited to have had you on in episode coming soon, probably by the time this one is out. It’ll be available, called Self-Made Web Designer, and I help other folks who are trying to get into web design, learn how to do it. And so so that’s me, and I’ve got a full family, four little kiddos of all ages and stages in life, and me and my wife are just living it up here in Arizona.

Josh 6:48
That’s awesome, man. Well, I’ve wanted to hit on something you said there, which was people telling you to kind of narrow in your focus, which I do agree with, for the most part. And what I mean by that is I’ve found from your service offerings for clients to definitely narrow that down, because clients will get confused if you do 32 things. So I found that to be really important. However, the cool thing about web design is if you like video and graphics, and code, and marketing and content, that’s the perfect industry to be able to put all this stuff into play and never get bored. Because I kind of feel that way right now. And I’m doing you know, I still work in Divi every day. And I still do a lot of web design. But I do podcast, video editing, graphics, marketing, conversion based content, like I’m doing all these other things on a daily basis. So life never gets boring, that’s for sure.

Chris 7:38
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, the line is out there. But I think it’s a lot farther than people would kind of understand from at first glance, you know, like I, I think used to have a business card that had drum lessons on with web design and all that kind of stuff. You know, like, like that when I see somebody who’s like, Okay, I’ve got a clothing brand, and I do media, and I do photography. And I also do one on one life coaching, and I’m a certified counselor, it’s like, okay, right, like, let’s let’s narrow that focus a little bit. But, you know, it’s, it’s really cool to be in an industry that is kind of ever, ever changing and ever growing, you know, from when I started, even the definition of what a web designer is, has changed drastically. And so it’s, it’s fun to kind of keep up with that and figure out okay, which part of me Do I resonate with, where things are going on, which do I not, and there’s a lot of tangent ways to go within web design, too. And I know people who have started in web design that are doing more brands are doing more, you know, graphic design, or they’re doing more marketing. And so it’s, it’s a really fun category to just learn as much as you can.

Josh 8:48
That’s a great point, man, it is so true. And this is one thing I tell all my web design students is you can gravitate towards whatever you enjoy. If you like words, and you like content, you can go into a lot of more SEO fields in and around web design. Whereas if words aren’t you thing, but you really have a you’re a visual person, and you like graphics, and you can do a lot of different graphic design and with web design and focus on the design aspects, but there’s also people who are very analytical. But there’s people like me who enjoy conversations and content and stuff like that. So I just love it. Man. That’s so awesome. And I know it seems like you’re really you know, honing in on on what you’ve done with self made web designer to help others but you’re also getting ready to take to the next level with that. So let’s talk about that, man. Let’s maybe bring us back to you know, when you started your web design side hustle, what did that look like? What made you want to get into web design in the first place?

Chris 9:44
Yeah, my story. It starts a little bit sad show. It kind of came from a tragic season of my life where my wife of 10 years came home one day and kind of shockingly said I’m done with our relationship. And so that was tough relationally. But it was also tough financially. Because up until that point, I was working for a church, I was working working for a nonprofit organization, you know, felt like it was a calling had done it for 10 plus years. And so nonprofit organizations are typically not known to pay a lot for the positions that they have. And that was the case for me. And it was never the goal of making a lot of money to work for a church. And so when she left, I kind of had to figure out, Okay, how am I going to be able to keep this full time job with the church that I had no desire to leave, but also provide for my family, I had three little girls, much younger than they are now. And so I had to figure out a way to be able to sustain our life. And there, there was a few barriers to that, right? Like, I couldn’t go and get a physical job somewhere, you know, pick up some shifts at Starbucks, because I needed to be with them, I was looking to spend more time with them and a kind of tough season of their own lives, than to spend less so that that was a factor of it. And it needs to be something that was super flexible, so that I could work around my full time job. And so on the suggestion of a friend, I started looking into web development. And this was when Kahn Academy was 100%, for free, they only had a handful of courses, they were just getting started. And it was kind of a unique idea of educating people for free. And so I was like, Man, this is awesome. So started up the HTML, CSS and JavaScript courses that they had and just instantly knew there’s something in this that I just absolutely love. So poured myself into trying to learn as much as I could about web development, web design, for about six months.

Josh 11:56
When was this?

Chris 11:57
This was 2004 or five ish. So okay, some of the dates are kind of fuzzy, huh? Well, we’re wait no no no 2014. So yeah,

Josh 12:09
I was gonna say I was gonna say, Yeah, you’re definitely in the HTML around then. Okay, then. Okay. Yeah. 2014 ish.

Chris 12:16
Yeah. So, so, so did that took like, a online course at a local community college near me. And then just kind of went for it started telling people, I was a web designer, told my friends and family, hey, if you’re looking to build a website, or if you know, somebody that is, just let me know, I’ll either do it for free, or I’ll give them a crazy deal, because I’m just trying to build a portfolio.

Josh 12:43
Best place to start.

Go with people who trust you for some other reason other than the skill that you have in the thing that you’re trying to develop. They trust you because of the integrity that they’ve heard that you have from other people or because they have a relationship with you. – Chris

Chris 12:45
Yeah, you know, there’s a guy named Don Miller that says, you know, when you’re building a bouquet, it’s always best to start with the flowers that are closest to you, you know. So rather than trying to both simultaneously, figure out how to build websites and design and figure out WordPress, or Divi, or whatever it is that you’re using, as well as marketing yourself and project managing and all that kind of stuff. You know, just just keep it as simple as possible and go with people who trust you for some other reason other than the skill that you have in the thing that you’re trying to develop, you know, so they trust you because of the integrity that they’ve heard that you have from other people or because that they’ve seen because they have a relationship with you. So. So I did that. Some friends graciously gave me a shot, I think the first website that I built, I got $100 gift card to Amazon, you know, and I was excited about that. I was like, great, I get paid to do this, you know, because for six months, I was just like, hey, let me just try to build things for fun, I’m going to see a website and to try to copy it and code and see if I can make it look at least somewhat close to what I’m seeing on the actual website. So sure, kept going kept going. Lo and behold, I kind of ran out of friends to build websites for. You know, like, had probably built a website for most of the folks that I knew that needed one and probably a lot of people that didn’t need one, but were just being super nice to me and given me a shot. You know, like my mom’s website or my aunt’s or whatever, you know, and so, had to figure out the next step, like where do I go from here. And so a friend suggested I look at a platform called oDesk, which people know it now as Upwork. And so started putting out application started applying and didn’t get anything for about three months. like nobody was biting nobody was interested they had that they had no desire to contract me to do anything but three months came around and somebody gave me a shot for you know, like a small little landing page for a an incredibly small amount of money, but I knew like if I’m going to build this thing, I’m going to have to do something probably for cheaper than I would want to and see. Did one landing page for him got good feedback, he gave me multiple projects, increasing the price a little bit at a time. That feedback lent itself to getting more and more projects. And then within about 18 months, I doubled the income of my full time job working about 18 hours a week, just building websites for people. So did that as a as a as a part time gig as a side hustle for about four or five years. And then something started stirring in me. And I know you’ve recently been through kind of a similar change, where you just realized, like, hey, it’s it’s time to relook at what I’m doing. And so I decided to go ahead and flip the script and work for the church, in my spare time, volunteer, completely volunteer, and go into web design in my free time, or my full time, position. And so consider doing freelance and I was about to do that, but found a company that is close to me, that is, you know, just the same heartbeat that I have for helping people and for keeping your family first and for treating employees well. And it just seemed like a no brainer, like this is right in line with who I am. And they’ve given me the liberty to pursue other things as well, flexibility in the job that I have. And so was hired on to show it. And through the course of interacting with people on staff there. realize that there are other folks who wanted to become web designers, but we’re just kind of afraid to take the step.

Josh 16:40
So you were working there before you launched self made web designer?

Chris 16:44
Yep, absolutely. Absolutely. As for for about seven or eight months, and it was actually a real specific conversation with a guy named Josh, who’s on our team.

Josh 16:55
He’s a sounds awesome, I would trust him for sure.

Chris 16:58
Anybody named Josh is typically guy. Yeah. So we were on a staff retreat. And, you know, the company does staff retreat well, so we were in Cabo San Lucas, hanging out in a hot tub at this resort. And I was just asking him about his life, what he wanted to do and what he saw himself in 10 years. So I don’t know what that is about me. I’m just always interested in people’s long term goals. And he’s like, I really want to build something for myself, you know, like, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. And so I was like, Hey, you know, you’re a computer science major, you know, more now than I did when I first got started as a web designer. And so what’s what’s holding you back from just going for it just building a web design business? And he’s like, honestly, I’m afraid, I’m afraid, I’m not going to know what to do. I’m not going to know how to find clients. I’m going to make mistakes, somebody’s going to sue me. And I’m like, Listen, let me walk you through the path that I took to get where I am. Because I think it’s a lot easier than what you’re thinking it is. And so started working with them. And it wasn’t like I sat with them. And, you know, like, was some kind of martial arts sensei just.

Josh 18:07
Or like a full time mentor.

Chris 18:09
Right? You know, like, I just I just chatted with him when he had questions. There are a few other guys on the team that chatted with them. And within about three months, he started charging $120 an hour as a web designer, and was crushing it had more work than he had time for, as a college student. And so I, you know, just figured, like, if there’s guys like Josh out there, then there are probably other people who just need a little bit of encouragement. And so started self made web designer with that in mind to help folks who need just a little bit of mentorship, a little bit of encouragement, a little bit of insight to get going as web designers, and it’s been a year now. It’s been a fantastic journey.

Josh 18:50
Well, it’s awesome, man. And it’s it’s very parallel to like you said, kind of what I’ve done over the past few years with my brand here. Same thing, I had built my web design agency up. And then I was actually involved with a mentorship program here locally for a high school. And I had kids that were mostly involved, or they mostly wanted to do 3d game design. However, I had a couple of kids who were super pumped up about what I was up to, and they were like, wait a minute, you don’t go to work, like you just work from home. I was like, Yeah, I just work from home where and when I want, and I have clients and they’re all over and I can do whatever I want. They’re like, holy crap, it like blew their mind. So those couple of kids who really fired me up to teach them I thought the same thing. I was like, you know, instead of spending six hours a day, you know, with these kids, which is very gratifying, but it was, you know, I got to spend some time with him. And then I ever heard from him again. It’s like, what if I could do this at scale and help a lot of people and then continue to help them ongoing. So same thing, and that’s what inspired me as well. But what’s really cool about kind of what you’re talking about is going back to what we talked about in the beginning, you can do whatever the heck you want in web design. Like you you took a path You are a freelancer, but then took a full time job. But how cool is it to hear that you still have the freedom to do self made web designer? And it’s not I don’t know, the whole situation with your company, I’m assuming, is it? Is it remote? Like, do you? You know, is it something where you can, you know, as long as you get the work done, you don’t have to work amount of certain hours? Or what does that look like?

Chris 20:18
Right? Yeah, you know, they’re, they’re super flexible, about what their requirements are. And it as long as you’re getting your work done, you’re being productive. We have milestones that we’re trying to accomplish as a team, we have milestones that we’re trying to accomplish individually, every month, we make goals for ourselves. And so and then every month, we have a follow up meeting with our director and the CEO to chat about how did we reach those goals, or what were some things that we fell short in. And so as long as you’re, you’re, you’re being responsible with your work, they’re very gracious about what they allow me to do or not to do. Right now we’re 100% remote. But you know, when, when the COVID lifts, and we’re all able to go back to our offices, you know, we’ll all go back to the offices and that’s like, that’s more of a personal thing. Like, I really love being around people, and don’t necessarily enjoy working from home 100% of the time, like, it has its cool factors, you know, like, not being able to not having to wear pants and not having to wear shoes. But, you know, for certain people specifically, like me, the novelty of it kind of wears off. And so to have a team that I just like being around, and just want to spend time with, even when we’re not working is is a pretty cool thing. And so even talking to folks to be like, you know, this is not unique to the tech world. Like, there’s some really cool tech companies out there. Like, even if they’re not remote, like you probably will find a place that you love the people you love the mission of the company, and you’ll just fit in like a glove. And so it’s it’s not a pipe dream, just to be able to really love the job that you do, and wake up and go to work excited. And that’s what you and I have tried to help people figure out on their own.

Josh 22:09
Yeah, I mean, that’s the thing, I’m a big proponent of really, wherever somebody wants to go with their journey, there’s not a right or wrong path. It really like if somebody wants to be a solopreneur freelancer, like I did for as long as you can just as a one man or one woman shop. Awesome. Do that as long as you can. But as soon as you get to the point where you feel that nudge to scale, then take the next step. And that’s really what I’m working on hard right now is helping everybody no matter where they are in their journey, whether they’re just getting started to a freelancer solopreneur to those who are building, maybe just a small team, with subcontractors, and then those who are at a high six figure level who are building a small team and actually growing a legit business. And that’s the cool thing about web design. It can work for everybody and somebody who wants to be a solopreneur should not be they shouldn’t be pressured to be an agency owner if they don’t want to be that’s kind of how I felt for a long time. So I’m big on telling my students that as well and everyone listening, do what works for you. And that’s what I love about your story, Chris is you were able to do freelance, you’re able to double your income. And that really changed the the your life course to where you’re able to work with this company. But you’re also passionate about helping others. I’d love to hear some practicalities, about your freelance and how you actually sorted raising your rates and getting more clients. Quick question. Before we dive in though? Did you do that under a certain brand name? Or did you do it under your your personal name? Do you still have those clients? Or what happened when you made that shift? I’m curious about what happened to those clients, you know, when you took a full time job?

Chris 23:41
Yeah, well, so it was a bit of a struggle at the very beginning trying to figure out like, what was I going to do was I was I going to just say it was my name and be a freelancer? Or was I going to turn it into a business? And

Josh 23:55
Everybody’s everybody’s struggle in the beginning? Yeah.

Chris 23:58
Well, in my like, my name is a little weird, you know, so it’s Misterek, but it’s spelled mysteric. And my full name if you say it together fast enough, it sounds like Christmas tree. And so you know, people that love Christmas are always happy when I say that, but most other people just think I’m kidding them, you know, they’re like, Are you are you being a jerk right now, like, your name is Christmas tree. So so I really struggled with this at the very, very beginning, but landed on going with Misterek web design as the name of you know, my, my face of whatever I was doing, and, and and did that for a couple reasons. Number one, I wanted it to be my last name because it is unique. And you know, I think if you’ve got something that helps you stand out, like why not lean on that and there’s nothing that will help you stand out like your name. And so, you know, using that in my advantage and kind of kind of owning it. So there’s the pride factor of it as well. So when I talked to people, I would say, you know, this is the name of my company. And I use my last name, because I’m proud of my heritage. I’m proud of my family. And I’m going to give you things that I’m proud of. And so I used it almost like a marketing tool in the midst of what I was doing. So I don’t know if there’s no right or wrong way to do when it comes to like naming whatever it is.

Josh 25:23
Yeah, I just, I feel pretty passionately that if you plan to scale or if you think one day, you’re going to make it bigger than yourself, I would definitely go with a some sort of company name. I know, for me, I chose InTransit Studios, which was actually based off my band’s third album, our album was InTransit. So I was like, that sounds like a cool name. And it wasn’t taken. But I debated in like Josh Hall design, or Josh Hall, Web and all this kind of stuff. But I wanted to keep it open ended in case I thought it would scale one day, which I’m glad I did, because now it is a full agency and changes studios as a whole agency. That would be my two cents on it just you know, thinking long term. But the beauty about it is you can always change it. And I’ll be honest, like over half of my clients never knew my business name. They just knew me as Josh, their web guy. So it really didn’t matter.

Chris 26:11
Right? Yeah, there’s something that say, if you plan on scaling, or one day, if you plan on selling, it’s going to be tough to sell something that has your name in it. And my intention was never to get back. My intention was to keep it a side hustle for the rest of my life and just kind of keep doing church work and nonprofit music and all that kind of stuff. But lo and behold, things change.

Josh 26:34
So yeah, when you when you started that like, sounds like you got clients, just like I recommend starting with your personal network one at a time you do some freebies, you do some volunteer stuff, you do some stuff for friends, and people, you know, obviously, it’s not where you want to keep your price points very long. But what made you start to raise your rates? Did you feel like you got more competent at web? Does web design? Did you feel like you had kind of, you know, built up a portfolio and you got testimonials? Like what did that what did the first steps of raising your rates look like? Because if you doubled your income in 18 months, some point you can’t be doing sites for 100 bucks. So what did that look like?

Because more times than not, your feeling of confidence is a lot less than your actual competence. – Chris

Chris 27:11
Yeah, 100%. So I don’t know that I ever got a ton more confident and what I was doing, you know, and you’ve probably experienced this, and probably talked to a lot of people who experienced this the same way, it’s really easy to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, no matter how much experience you have in the midst of being a web designer, because it is such a vast sea of things and possibilities. And so, you know, I would never encourage somebody to wait until they feel confident to raise their rates. Because more times than not, your feeling of confidence is a lot less than your actual competence. And so, you know, sometimes you just have to close your eyes, raise your rates, and hope for the best. And that’s exactly what I did. So my thought was, every time I had a job for a certain amount of money, so let’s say I’m doing a website for 500 bucks in the middle of that job, if I get an invite for another project, that I know, I’m gonna have to wait or you don’t have to work extra. I’m gonna ask for more than what I was currently charging for the website that I was currently doing. And so the worst that can happen is they say no, and I still have a project that I’m making money from. And so it’s not a big deal. The best thing that can happen as they say yes, and making more money than what I’m currently making. And so I just keeps me more motivated to keep going. And so I just kind of did a percentage factor. I said, Okay, this time, I’m going to charge 30% more, and so 500 and went to, you know, 750 went to 1200. And I just kept doing that until I reached a point where people stopped saying, Yes, right. So I think that’s kind of the supply demand curve. Right? You know, you you raise your rates until there’s more people who are saying no, then there are people who are saying, yes, you know, and I think like, it’s, it’s tough when you raise your rates and you get a no, you’re like, Oh, I’m too high, and you instantly go back down and that that would be a bad move. You need to flesh it out a little bit. You need to go Okay, what are the reasons why they said no, am I not communicating my value well enough, did I maybe, you know, charge the wrong thing to the wrong type of person. You know, because different types of clients are going to see what you have to offer in a different light, right? Like somebody who just wants a business card website with their logo and a little bit of text on it like you’re going to have a tough time justifying them paying you $10,000 for a website, and so Figuring out okay, what’s what is this? What is the ideal client look like for me. And when you’re first getting started, that’s kind of tough. And it really is like trying to find a light switch in the dark, you’re just kind of banging around the walls until something turns on, you’re like, Oh, that’s it, you know? And so my encouragement to everybody that asked me, when should I raise my rates? How much should I charge is, you’ve just got to experiments, you know, like, it’s, it’s more of a, an art than it is a science, like, you’re gonna get paint on the floor, you’re gonna get paint on the wall. But if you don’t raise your rates, like you will be stuck, and you will hate it. And eventually, you’ll say this is not worth it. And so

Josh 30:42
It’s not good for anybody. It’s not even good for your clients to stay at a low price point. Because Yeah, I echo everything you’re saying, Man, I, I’ve talked about this on the podcast, I have a business course where I go into this in a lot of detail, but I’ll just tell everyone what I say in there. And that is raise your rates right now. And just like you talked about, Chris, even if it’s not a like, you don’t have to double or triple your rates, like if you’re, if you’re charging a grand for a website, on average, yes, you definitely want to get to the three to four to five k range. However, you don’t have to do it overnight, you can just raise it to 1500. When I was at 1500, I experimented with 1750, and then 1997. And guess what, everyone who was buying a website for me between 1200 and 1500 was 100%, buying 1900, just under two grand because it was in what I like to call the same price bucket. Like there’s something in the mind that if it’s under two, it feels different. Now projects that were 2000 and 3000 or more, same thing, I was able to up my race to that on average, but I did have to add more value. So that’s the really cool thing is once you get more valuable once you go through more courses, you get more training, you have more experience, you have more tools in your toolbox, and more confidence, that’s when you can really start upping your rates. But then even if you’re just at a starter level, you can still up them a little bit. And even like I remember the first time I started getting about 250 on average more project, it was like holy crap. For me, that was my car payment that month, just adding an extra 250 to that web design project was my car payment, like that was freakin sweet. And what’s really freakin sweet is when you can charge 2500 more on a project, you can absolutely get there, it just does take more value. But that’s a great approach. Man, I love that you said that. Because it’s what I encourage all my listeners and students with just raise it, even if it’s just a little bit, raise it and then as soon as you get more valuable, you can raise your rates significantly, and you’re going to have the confidence to back that up.

Chris 32:35
Absolutely. And, you know, it’s, there’s like, there’s the theory of it all, you know, like, just just raise your rates, but then there’s the practicality of it, like, Dear God, if I raise my rates, and nobody says yes, am I going to lose my house this month? You know, like, there’s a real fear factor in the midst of this. And so there’s a psychological process that, you know, I always encourage people to take, you know, when it comes to raising your rates, so if you can reduce the risk, in your mind, before you raise your rates, like you are more likely to keep your rates higher for longer to figure out how to play at that level. Right? Yeah. And so if you’ve got a little bit more money in the bank account to where if you don’t get a project that month, you’re not going to be really struggling. If you’ve got a great month, where you’ve got a lot of leads in the pipeline, that you know, like, I’m gonna, I’m gonna pitch this and you know, if 10% say yes, I’m still good, because I’ve got 10 people. Exactly.

Josh 33:42
Yeah, I remember, I think this was back in 2013. At that point, I think the highest I’d ever charged was just under two grand it was when I was at the 1750 range. And I got a bid for a trucking company. And I was like, I know, this company makes hundreds of thousands, probably at least seven figures a year. Like, I’m sure they can afford more than two grand. So I charge I think 45 I think was maybe right at four grand, if I remember for that first project. And I was just like, you know what, I’m just gonna like double it. And now, I’m kind of kind of negating what I said earlier, you don’t have to double your rates. But I did, because I did get to the point where I felt more confident. And I knew I was getting better design and stuff. And I just went for I went for four grand. And guess who else who else went for it? they did, they went forward as well. So for me, it was like holy crap, like I just doubled. You know, this project. Instead of needing to get to clients. The next few weeks, I just have this one project and to your point, like it filled my bank account more. And it also just freed me up to do better on that project and to learn more. So again, you don’t have to double your rates. But there are certain situations where if you feel like you have a really good client, and you know what you’re normally doing is going to be well under what they’re expecting, then just go It honestly even even if they say no, that’s what you know, who cares? But worst case scenario, all right, they say no. But again, to your point, you can still keep on going. And I’m actually curious, did you feel like there was a price point for your average clients that you started seeing knows way more than yeses? What was that price point?

Chris 35:18
Yeah, it was much more of an hourly rate for me. Because I, I started, you know, I hit the 4500 line on websites. And and I stayed there for a good long time. And occasionally, I would kind of dip my toes into the in, I’m a big risk taker. So I would go up to $10,000, you know, and so even would try to come back and do like 7500. And just got a lot of notes on that. And so my hourly rate at the time was right around $75 an hour as well, because Upwork has the option to do hourly pricing as well. And so went up to 85. And wasn’t getting a lot of interest. And so it was at that point, I started kind of backing up slowly back to 80. And then back to 75. And, and was there for quite a few years, until I started self made web designer actually. And, and it got to the point where it was kind of the same at the very beginning, I’m doing self made web designer, I don’t really have a ton of time to do anything else. But if somebody really wants to hire me, and they’re willing to pay, I’m willing to have a conversation. So I doubled my hourly price rate to 150.

Josh 36:40
You had started working full time at this point, too, right? So you didn’t need because I need that side income like that.

Chris 36:46
Exactly. And so what happened was, I got even busier than I had been before and people started hiring me without even having conversations, they would just say, here’s the project, I’ll send you the money. Let’s do this. And I’m like, What the heck is happening. And so I think it goes back to, you know, I had a few years where I was raising the level of value that I could offer to people. I was raising the social proof. So people were able to see like, Okay, this guy has a lot of projects under his belt, he’s made a lot of money on up work.

Josh 37:20
They don’t need to know how many of those projects were friends and family, right? Like, did you feature those projects and testimonials? And?

Chris 37:26
Well, I wasn’t I didn’t have any projects on Upwork from friends and family. So gotcha. Because Upwork kinda does a good job of, you know, keeping people from gaming the system where, Hey, can you send me 10 bucks and give me a five star?

Josh 37:40
I guess I was thinking on your website like to have those featured on your website? Oh, absolutely.

Chris 37:45
You know, and, and I, I’ve even got a post on my website about how to make a small portfolio look humongous. You know, like, there’s some really key things that you can do to make.

Josh 37:54
Can you send that over? By the way? I’d love to have that.

Chris 37:56
Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah, there’s some really cute ways to make more hills Look, my like mountains. And it’s all about the way that you talk about it. Of course, you’re never mentioning that it was your aunt, who was giving you you know, the benefit of the doubt what you could do, and honestly, probably didn’t need a website. You know, but but having that having that mindset with portfolio and even every single job and project that you take of making sure that you’re tracking its success. And this is this is such a key for a lot of people. Because if you’ve got a pretty website portfolio, that’s one thing. But if you’ve got case studies where you can say, Okay, these folks were making this much a month before I help them with their website. And then when I was done and went up to this much, you know, like it has such a bigger impact those hard, like factual data sets where people go.

Josh 38:52
That’s a great point do so instead of just this grabber hitting on this, because it all ties into how you doubled your income in that year and a half period with doing a side hustle web design business. And that was just so you know, you got those clients that were a lot of personal network and friends and family. And then instead of just saying, here’s a new website at build, it’s more of a case study, data driven approach, I imagine you probably followed up with them over the weeks and months after that to see you know, what it looked like. So that’s a great point, man, I would encourage everybody to do that with their portfolios. And I know one thing that I tell a lot of my students, because a lot of my students inevitably are just getting started. And they’re like, well, that’s a great question, how do I get clients? And how do I get started, if I don’t have a portfolio, like who’s gonna hire me if I have nothing in my portfolio, and I always tell them, do the personal network thing, build a few and I would say, Get, you don’t have to do more than three, you could have three projects. But don’t say all of our web design projects, say featured work. That’s a little tip, call it featured work or recent featured projects, because more than likely, a lead is not going to look at more than three projects. And that’s all you need. Now, ideally, you You could build out your portfolio, but at least at the start, do some, you know, just call it featured work, they don’t need to know, it’s aunt Jane. And they don’t need to know the other one was, you know, the church that you helped out with or your your your friends band or something like it’s still, it’s a great way to kind of mask. It’s not false advertising. It’s just Hey, this is my work, but they don’t need to know they didn’t pay anything.

Chris 40:20
Right? Absolutely. And I would never advocate trying to pull a fast one on people, I, you know, I was always incredibly honest, probably more so than I needed to be with most folks that would hire me and say, like, okay, you know, here’s, here’s what I’ve done. And here’s, here’s a little bit of proof of what I’m able to give you. But you know, I’m not super strong in this area. And so I guarantee you, I will do a great job for you. But you’ve got to know, if you ask me how to do something, I’m going to have to take some time and look up what I’m supposed to be doing in this specific area.

Josh 40:57
Yeah, and you know, that’s one beautiful thing about the Divi community. And that’s really what I’m trying to cultivate. With what I have going on moving forward is that, because I did the same thing, if you don’t know how to do something, don’t oversell yourself, inevitably, you’re gonna have to figure some things out in web design, but you don’t want to put yourself into a position where you’re in way, way over your head. Absolutely. So in that point, I would always say like, is this something I think I could learn, like, we’ll just, you know, I’m gonna have to figure out a little bit about this, and I’ll get back with you or I know somebody who can help out with this, or I can find somebody. And that’s the beauty about Divi. And I mean, I have a free Facebook group, that’s great for However, it’s actually why I’m working towards building a membership for my entire kind of my tribe. So when you get into those types of situations, you can refer to my trusted network, like if you get outside of your head with SEO research and keyword research, and you don’t want to do any of that, I’m going to have people you can refer back to so there’s there’s a lot of different options out there. With that idea in mind. It’s a great point, man.

Chris 41:58
Yeah, and I think one of the biggest mistakes that people who are just getting started can make is is over selling yourself and over promising. And I had some great advice at the very beginning, from a friend of mine who’s built multiple businesses that told me is as hard as it is always undersell yourself. And so if somebody is quoting that the project is going to take them a day and a half, and you know that that’s ridiculous, just be honest with the person that is, you know, working with you on the project and say, This is going to take me and whatever you think it’s going to take, you know, put some cushion time in there, you know, so if it’s gonna take you a month time, it’s going to take two to three months, you know? And if you lose,

Josh 42:42
undersell over deliver, right?

Chris 42:44
Exactly, if you lose the project, because you’ve been honest, like, you don’t want that project anyways, you know, like, getting a project by the skin of your teeth will always work out negatively for you in the long run, right? Like, as much as it’s like, and this is at my core, like, I love sales. I love talking to people I love, like having conversations and trying to convince somebody of something like I’m just built that way. But, you know, the thrill of the hunt can get really enticing and really dangerous, where if you’re like, well, let’s just add something else onto the mix where it makes it where they can’t say no, and then all of a sudden you find yourself three weeks into and you’re like, why did I say yes to this, like what was I thinking, you know, and so, having having that baseline of integrity, but also being wise and, and being patient, you know, because if you’re quick to the draw, you will burn out or you will get bad feedback, and people will avoid you like the plague. So be smart about what you’re doing.

Don’t sacrifice what you do, don’t sacrifice who you are just to get a project if it’s not a good fit. – Josh

Josh 43:45
That’s also a lesson and being modest. And watching your pride too. I think a lot of people who are very competitive struggle with the feeling of losing out or like failing, and actually academics struggle with that more than anybody that the you know, if you go for a project and you don’t get it, it’s one reason I’m not an academic, and I have my thoughts on college and higher ED, because I feel like so many people are programmed to be afraid of failing, whereas it’s gonna happen all the time in the real world of freelance web design. So it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to not get a project, learn from it. At the same time, it like to your point, don’t sacrifice what you do, don’t sacrifice who you are just to get a project if it’s not a good fit, I understand. There are some times where you got a mortgage to pay, you might need to take something on just to cover that month. But at the same time, you want to be very careful not to put your self in a position where you can’t say yes to the really good projects that are perfectly suited for you. So it’s a balance, and it’s something that I experienced early on. I had to be very, I learned pretty early on just what you’re saying that. Here’s what I do. I know it’s going to expand and change. But I really, you know, like at that time early on, I did not do e commerce. I was like I’m just I’m not set up for that. I don’t know Anything about e commerce? And I just never felt comfortable with the people who asked me I refer them out because I just, you know, yeah, I would have been awesome to get like a $10,000 project when my average was 1500. But if it’s a project that I’m weighing over my head, and I completely, you know, 10,000 would be great. But advice, you know, didn’t do a good job. That’s a, that’s a bad thing. I’d rather get a bunch of 1500 projects that were right down my alley. So great point, man. Definitely, I think it is, again, going back to the pride thing, particularly if you are competitive person, or you know whether you’re competitive and you just have to get that, you know, lead. It’s not like a used car salesman, salesman, where every person you want to make a sale and web design. You don’t like I remember, I don’t mean to derail us, but I remember somebody asked me my conversion rate for leads early on. And I was, first of all, I barely even understood what conversion rate meant. Because I had no mind for business. This is when I had drum lessons on my business card. But I also was thinking after that I was like, Well, I don’t want 100% conversion rate, at least not with the lead not with every lead coming in. Because that’s not a business, like web design is not a business where you want to win every client or every lead that comes through. Now what you do want to get a high conversion rate on is once they get past your filters, like once you get a qualified lead, that’s when you want to have a high conversion rate. But for everyone who fills out your contact form, if your conversion rates at 40%, that’s fine. Like maybe those are 40% of good clients versus 100%. of, you know, a lot of bad clients. So I say that to say, I don’t know how you feel about that maybe have that factored in to when your freelance career when you turn that corner, but yeah, that was my stance on it, man.

Chris 46:38
Yeah, you know, it’s it’s all about not finding the most clients, it’s about finding the right clients. And the wrong clients have a tendency to widdle themselves out. But every once in a while, you will get some that find their way into your inbox or into a phone call. And so, at that point, you’ve got to have a real clear mindset of who it is that you serve best, and who you like and enjoy working with, you know, because that’s, that’s the other thing about this is, especially when people are just getting started, they’re thinking really short term, you know, they’re thinking, let me just make a quick buck, because I just got to figure this stuff out. But if you think like, you know, I’m six or seven years into this. And to your question earlier, I still have clients that are with me from when I first started. In fact, I, one of the first clients that I worked on a site for like, I just went in and did some things for him. I’m actually signing him up for a maintenance plan, based on our conversation.

Josh 47:39
We talked about that last time, didn’t we? Yeah,

Chris 47:41
Yeah, I was like, I gotta be more like, Josh. So I’m gonna start talking to people about maintenance plans. So

Josh 47:46
Get the recurrent income going, baby, heck, yeah.

Chris 47:47
Yeah, man. So you know, like, you have to think about it in that regard. And I think what’s funny to me is, when I first started, I was just looking for as many people as I could, who are doing the same thing as I, as I was. And I found links on forums, I found links on old Facebook groups, but inevitably, I would, I would go to their website, and it would be a website not found for for, you know, like, what the heck, you know, because most of them were out of business. And so if you think of this in longevity terms, you will always come out on top, a lot of times you can’t outperform your competition, but you can Outlast them. And that’s something I say on my podcast every week, if you don’t quit, you win, you know, like, it’s it’s not about like, you’re saying, it’s not about never failing, it’s just about that. You keep getting back up, day in and day out, and you keep going until you figure it out, or until you’re the only option left standing, you know, like, there’s something to be said about just having some grit and staying focused and keeping on going.

Josh 48:51
That’s great, man. Wow, what an inspirational little clip that was, I’m gonna have to put that out there as a separate clip, because then it’s great, man. Yeah, it’s so true. Like, and I think a lot of people maybe don’t anticipate those, those valleys like there are going to be points no matter what the business is, no matter what your journey is, there’s going to be low points, it’s just a life lesson, there’s going to be some low points you have to expect Now you don’t have to expect to be living on the streets. But in web design, at least you have to expect there’s probably going to be some months where I don’t get as many leads. And that’s where you want to have better pricing. And you want to have a buffer to where ideally, just as an aside a business Nope. As a side, you want to at least have three months of income saved up to where if you don’t get a client for a couple months, it’s okay. That’s the beauty about recurring income to have maintenance plans. But even at that point, just you don’t have to expect to be out of work for three months, but you do have to expect to have some good seasons and bad seasons. And that’s the way it is in web design. Even when you have that recurring income going. There’s still peaks and valleys with new projects. But the really cool thing about what we’re talking about is in web design, You don’t need to get a ton of leads every month, you can just tear to your point play the long game, one client one step at a time, build as much recurring income streams as you can with hosting and maintenance and some other content services or whatever. And I firmly believe if you get 50 clients, that should be enough to set you up for a very long time with a six figure income. And it’s certainly a 50 sounds like a lot it is. But that’s what I got to. And I say that because once I got to 30, 40, plus clients, and I had my income, my maintenance going for recurring income, that’s when it all changed. For me, that’s when I was not worried about not getting a client next month, because I’ve got 30 or 40 clients here to service. And I can always resell and upsell things to them. And they already knew me, like me and trusted me. And I just want to encourage everybody with that thought, because it is something where you’re not a salesman that has to sell constantly, you are somebody who is going to start a very long relationship in web design, like it’s not a quick one to done service, even people who don’t sign up for your maintenance plan, you’re always going to be in touch with them, they’re always going to have questions and maybe months down the road or a year down the road, but they’re always going to come back to you. So yeah, I can’t can’t recommend that mindset enough just to remember that you’ll play the long game. And just remember, when you start a web design project, and you land a client, they’re going to be in your corner for a very long time. And and you in turn should be in their corner for a very long time.

Chris 51:23
Absolutely. And if there’s one regret that I have, is not focusing on maintenance of plants more when when I first got started. And you know, that’s such a key and pivotal aspect, pivotal aspect of having something that is sustainable, or else you get the classic highs and lows, you know, the peaks and the valleys of what it means to be an entrepreneur or a freelancer. And, you know, there’s, there’s something to be said about having the power to walk away. And when you have something that is a sustainable income, like a maintenance plan, you know, when you’re having a conversation with a client and your potential client, and they’re not budging on how low they are in their project, and you’re thinking, I’ve got 50 folks who are paying me month in and month out, and if this guy is trying to, you know, undercut me, like, there’s no way I’m gonna say yes to them. Like, that’s a powerful thing. And it helps you, you have to have something in there to grow, or you just have to be really risk, you know, savvy, like you love taking risks, and just going for it, you know, they’re okay, right? If you lose everything and don’t get paid anything that month.

Josh 52:41
Well, I have some encouragement for you, Chris. And for anyone who’s listening, who’s been doing web design and hasn’t had a maintenance plan or hosting plan. First of all, it’s all right, it’s not too late. And I’m the prime example of that. I don’t have too many regrets in business. But my regret is the exact same. I didn’t start my plan until 2016. So I was six years into my freelance journey. And people I had heard about it, I had a mentor who was like you should do at least some sort of like update plan, even if it’s like 39 bucks a month just to update client sites. I remember thinking who’s gonna pay me monthly to update their site? Well, a lot of people because they don’t want to update their site, and they shouldn’t update their site. So what I did was when I set up my plan, I really went all out on it, I came up with a really nice page, I did a video to explain it. I reached out to clients one on one, I did not do a bulk email thing I reached out to one on one talked about their website and told them about my maintenance plan. And not to say this with any sense of boasting or vanity, but I launched my maintenance plan. And I think we got over 20 clients within a week. So it was like boom, recurring income like that. So it’s very possible to do that. So if you’ve been at it for a while, that’s okay. Remember, your clients are still your clients, even though they don’t hear from you monthly, it’s not too late. So that’s the beauty about, you know, that kind of services, you can go back. And it’s likely that even if you work, let’s say over the you know, for somebody who has been doing, you know, web design for a few years, maybe you landed 20 clients, well, if you reached out to all them one by one, do a real person organic way about it explained the value of a maintenance plan service, I have a whole course on how to make make a maintenance plan. If anyone wants to, you know, see what’s involved with mine. You can do that. And then even if you convert five of them, there’s five people who are paying you monthly and you can build on it from there. There’s your car payment, or there’s, you know, a bunch of bills paid for you. So, yeah, that’s late, man. Yeah.

Chris 54:32
Yeah, no, that’s great. And when I encourage everybody to go take that course, because I think I’m gonna sign up for it too after after hanging, how successful you’ve been so that’s fantastic.

Josh 54:39
Well, and you know, the other thing about maintenance plans too is if anyone is interested in scaling or eventually selling their business, you have to have recurring income applicants for web design. You can’t sell a business if it’s just you, and it’s all a project a project basis. It just, it doesn’t work out. I sold my agency a few months ago and I had an episode recently about You know, the entire process. And for me the biggest sale, this biggest selling point of my agency was my maintenance plan because I had that those recurring clients, so, so yeah, that’s huge man, I mean, but this all leads into being able to double your income and transition into web design. Because the cool thing about really being serious about hosting and maintenance is you can double your income a lot faster if you do have at least a ground a foundation of recurring income, so those projects can stack on top of there. But what’s even cooler is to hear that you did it without having that from the get go like you were still able to generate a lot and raise your rates one step at a time in a very, you know, fairly quick period. So man, Chris, we’ve covered a lot of really good stuff, we we’ve been kind of all around sales, getting clients and then raising your rates, maintenance and, and stuff that we should all do as freelancers, but it’s all super valuable under this umbrella of ways to actually double your income. I’d be curious, do you have any just like when you were raising your rates, and you started doubling your income as a freelancer? I’m just curious, what did that look like personally, like? Did you sit back and be like, holy crap, I’m doing this thing on the side, like, did you have like a cool revelation with web design? That was just like, Man, this is like a whole new world. Do you have any moment like that?

Chris 56:20
Yeah. You know, it’s is there was a lot of emotions in the midst of it, it was it was there’s kind of like, this internal conflict that that set me on a new path of thinking, you know, I’m like, Okay, wow. And in 18 hours, I’m getting paid the same amount that my full time job is paying me, you know, so there’s a lot of questions behind that, like, what the heck am I doing with my life kind of thing? And why haven’t I been doing this for longer, you know, but at the same time, it was it was super freeing, and, and it gave me a lot of ability to take a lot more risk in my full time job and, and do try things that I hadn’t tried before to realizing like, Okay, if everybody ends up hating me, and I somehow get fired, you know, which wouldn’t have been the case, you know, but, you know, I’ve got this thing to fall back on. And so it gives you, it gives you this sense of freedom in your life, that, you know, you you don’t have until you until you get there, and I’m sure you experienced it as you saw your own rates and your own ability to kind of rise. And I think I remember your story is you kind of had some trouble with one of your kiddos. And so you didn’t have to work for a period of a few months because of the web design. Sorry, web design business that you had built.

Josh 57:41
Maintenance plan, yeah.

Chris 57:42
Yeah, that’s, that’s a pretty, that’s a pretty fantastic thing to know that, that you’ve got freedom in the midst of this. And so yeah, it’s, it’s pretty awesome. And I think, coming to that conclusion has has been one of the biggest reasons why I’ve launched self made webdesigners and, and tried to help other people come to this point, as well. And, you know, it sounds like it was your hope and intent as well to help people realize, like, you don’t have to stay at this level of living, and hating your job and like working from week to week, and just hoping that you have enough money to pay all of your bills, and then have a little bit of fun, you know, like it was it was life changing for me. And so, you know, coming back from the retreat where we are in Cabo and I was talking to Josh, I was actually reading a book on the airplane, by a guy named Ken Coleman. And it’s called the proximity principle. And it talks about, you know, his, his idea was up in your career, and you figuring out like, okay, think 10 years down the road from now? Where do you want to be? Where do you see yourself and let’s make a pathway to progress in that then. So this is seven months into, you know, a tech job when I’ve never had a tech job before. And so I started thinking like, Okay, do I want to do I want to get like get better in grow? And like the tech career fields, do I want to become like a manager? Do I want to, you know, be a leader of like a software company. And it just kept coming back to me again, and again, no, I want to help people figure out how to do this themselves because it was so life changing for me. And so that was the real big turning point that I said, Okay, I’m going to take all of my free time and I’m going to go for figuring out you know, how to help people get to where I am from where I was, and so you know, this last year it’s it’s been it’s been fantastic started the podcast, scene students some really good feedback from that started a course called the web designer starter kit course. Over 2000 people have been through it also, in just under a year. And so it’s it’s it’s been a fun ride. And my encouragement is always when somebody is getting started to say like, yes, this might be like a short term solution for you. But But think long term, you know, like think 10 years down the road, where do you want to be like, what do you want it to look like? And, and also, don’t be afraid to pivot. Like we were saying, you know, and I just did like a year anniversary episode on the podcast where I talked about a few things that I had learned from interacting with people this last year. And one of the most common things that I found is that people are today where they never thought they would be five or 10 years ago, right? Like, their life looks nothing like what they thought it would be but only because they were willing to kind of go with the flow and make a pivot and make a change and not be afraid of like what you’re saying the failure or not getting it right, or having to start over having egg on your face. And I think people have a really bad relationship with failure. Like most of the time, we’re so afraid of it. But failure is your friend, you know, like, failing at something is actually the biggest form of growth, potential in your life, more than anything else more than success. I’ve seen people who they hit a homerun at their first at bat with their business, and just did some amazing things. But like, slowly, but surely they hit trials, or they hit sticking points. And they’re like, why am I not having the success that I have at my first at bat? And so it almost was worse that they knocked out of the park on their first try, you know, and so realizing that that failure is, you know, a tool to help you grow tool to help you learn from it sets you up to where you can’t lose.

Josh 1:01:49
Yeah, I echo that completely man, failure and mistakes are great. Just don’t do them over like, Don’t keep on doing it. Right? learn from it, immediately. Never do that again. And then you’re you’re gonna see a lot change in every aspect of your life. And it is really kind of to recap what you just said there. It’s really all about a mindset shift. It’s a mindset, mindset change. I mean, I remember, I was a cabinet maker, making 11 bucks an hour, and I was like, man, maybe one day, I’ll make like 15 an hour. I Katie, you know, like Applebee’s twice a week at that. So there’s a lot of mindset shift. And it is it’s interesting, because that’s not something that happens overnight. I think that happens with knowledge, experience, and then life changes to like, what I my mindset with money now is completely different than it was previously both how I come across with my rates, and also how I view money and you know, things that we buy for my family because I have a wife, two daughters and a golden retriever. Like what I need now is much different than what I needed when I was a single Dude, what you know, making my hourly rate was 20 an hour. So a lot of it is mindset. The really cool thing about this idea of mindset, though, is that the faster that you can change your mindset, the better. So this is why you’re doing what you’re doing. This is why I’m doing what I do. Like we are helping people I think more than anything, because there’s a bazillion tactics and strategies for getting clients. That’s not the most important thing like getting clients hate to break it to everybody. That’s not the biggest thing you should be worrying about. Right now. If you’re early in your career, the biggest thing you should worry about is changing your mindset. Absolutely mindset with your value your worth, what your mission is the long term stuff, changing your mindset on how you learn, like the importance of your time, there’s all these other things that need really need to be there to be your foundation, before money comes into play. Because even if you as a complete aside, even if you land a big project for five grand, let’s say, first of all, can you deliver on that? What are you going to do with that money with your mind? Like if your mindsets not right, what are you? What are you going to do with that opportunity? So it’s why mindset is just so important, more than anything, it’s not a sexy title. It’s you know, like, if I did an episode on changing your mindset, it’s not going to get near as many views as how to make $100,000 a year. But the fact is, it’s more important. So

Chris 1:04:20
Yeah, absolutely.

Josh 1:04:21
I love that you’re kind of you know, I think it’s kind of what you’re essentially talking about with your journey. You just learned that you know, the world is in web design. The world is just open for whatever you want to do. And there’s endless possibilities. And right now, more than ever during the Coronavirus and the pandemic that we’ve been through, it’s really I think, open up everybody’s eyes that business is going digital more and more. And there’s actually a bigger need more so than ever for web designers.

There’s never been a better time to just go for it within web design or tech careers or whatever. – Chris

Chris 1:04:47
Yeah, there’s never been a better time to just go for it within web design or tech careers or whatever. You know, like there’s so many offshoots of this as we’re talking about. So web design doesn’t necessarily it has to be this specific thing that you go for, but I you know, I love I love what Gary Vee says that no other time in history have you been able to connect with somebody who is in four different time zones away and sell them a service or a product. And so there’s such a unique time to figure out how to have a side hustle or how to have a freelance career or how to build a business. And so it makes me excited. It makes me excited for people who are kind of pressured into this from you know, everything that’s happened with the Coronavirus. And I know that’s weird. And I know there’s a lot of pain in that there’s probably a lot of people listening, who they’ve struggled with their finances, or they’ve struggled with, you know, not having enough work in the midst of this season. It’s I’ve got a lot of friends who are in the conference business, you know, like coming from music, you know, like, audio visual guys like videography guys, photographers, like, those guys were hit so hard, but to be honest, it’s like, I’m excited for you, you know, because like, this is something that will help you grow, you know, it was pressure that pulled me or pushed me to do what I am. And I’m so much better off today than I was when my wife left, you know, so long ago. And so realizing like this, this is the precipice of something for somebody, that could be a really cool thing.

Josh 1:06:23
That’s great, man, I was just gonna ask you for kind of a final thought. But I think that was really a great way to kind of sum this talk, man, I’m super encouraging, very inspiring. Again, I love hearing about you your journey on how you literally doubled your income with just what we talked about with just doing some work for your in your personal network, volunteer very cheap, you know, kind of websites that gave you a portfolio you started on Upwork. What was it called previously?

Chris 1:06:51

Josh 1:06:52
oDesk. Okay, so yeah, I didn’t realize that’s what it was called before Upwork. But that’s how you build your freelance career, which you know, you’re able to, to land a full time job that gives you the freedom to now help other people. But it’s also great to hear that you are still managing clients. And you’re still in the thick of it with web design, which is obviously going to keep you relevant to with what you’re doing with self made web designer. So, man, that’s awesome. Well, Chris, thank you so much for your time for sharing your experience. And for really being an open book on you know, you went through some personal dark times, but to hear how you’ve come out of that is amazing. And I think it’s gonna be really inspiring for a lot of people. So thanks for being real about that, man. Where can people check you out? At Do you still have your personal freelance web design business up as well?

Chris 1:07:33
Yep, yep, yep, there’s a few places. The first place I tell people is go is Self-Made Web designer.com. Go find the podcast there, you’ll find the starter kit course that I was talking about a whole bunch of blogs and different things, insights and stuff that I’ve done or learned or just wanted to chat about. My business side is MisterekWebDesign.com, which is definitely due for an upgrade. But but that’s there. If you Google me and add the word Upwork, you’ll see my Upwork portfolio and see kind of the base level of prices that I’ve charged for people and the different projects that I’ve gotten and what that looks like. So social media, just plain Chris Mistreke everywhere. So Josh, thanks so much for having me on. Really, really appreciate you taking the time to chat and appreciate what you’re doing with helping people and it’s you got an awesome podcast, some awesome courses. I’m excited to see what happens for you in the future.

Josh 1:08:24
Likewise, man, thanks so much for coming on. I’ll make sure all those links are in the show notes. And then yeah, I have a feeling this won’t be the last time you’re on the podcast, man.

Chris 1:08:32
Thanks, Josh.

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