EMPOWERING AMBITIOUS WOMEN WITH THE TOOLS + RESOURCES FOR ONLINE SUCCESS
Helping you create your dream biz so you can live your life doing what you love!
Hey there, my name is Tara Tierney and I'm here to help you create your brand + grow your business online!
WHETHER YOU'RE A BLOGGER, AN ENTREPRENEUR, A PERSONAL BRAND, OR A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER WITH A STORE FRONT, YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY HAVE A KICK-ASS ONLINE PRESENCE.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING AN ONLINE PRESENCE
Ask yourself this: What's the first thing you do when you're trying to find out more information about something? If you're like most people, you probably turn to the Internet to do your research.
An online presence is any existence of an individual or business that can be found via an online search.
You have potential customers who are searching online for products or services you may offer. However, if they can't find you in a Google search, in a business directory, or on social media, you're most likely leaving money on the table.
An online presence works for you 24/7.
By having an online presence, people can find out information about your business, do research on your products or services, read through your reviews and make decisions about purchases at any time of the day.
INVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS BY SETTING IT UP FOR SUCCESS ONLINE!
IMPORTANT THINGS YOUR BIZ SHOULD HAVE
- A website
- SEO properly formatted on your website
- At least one social media profile
- Up-to-date directory listings
- A company blog that's regularly updated
- A branded email address
My goal is to help you
- Create a brand that's infused with your personality and style
- Create a professional, functional website and/or blog
- Gain organic traffic through online marketing and SEO
- Learn how to do some things yourself so you can save some money
- Turn your passion into your own profitable dream business
- Gain more time freedom so you don't feel like you need to work 24/7
- Live a life doing what you absolutely love!
LET'S GET YOU STARTED!
A BIT ABOUT ME
I'm a 30-something, introverted, creative entrepreneur with a colorful imagination and a brain that never seems to like to sleep.
My passions include graphic design, website design, blogging and finding new ways to make money, especially through passive income streams. Ideas light me up, I love making things look pretty, and I'm obsessed with creating something out of nothing!
When I'm not being creative, I like to spend my time learning. I have a very curious nature about me and love exploring, testing and analyzing. I find myself always trying to understand the "why" and the "how" behind everything, which is what has really helped me grow in both personal development and in business!
I've spent the past 4+ years running this business; creating logos, graphics, websites and blogs for small businesses and entrepreneurs while also helping them gain visibility online through online marketing. In addition, I've also created a few of my own successful niche blogs, all of which earn me a nice stream of passive income on the side.
In my free time, I can often be found somewhere near the beach (I live in San Diego), traveling somewhere new and fun, testing my strength in the gym or eating copious amounts of delicious food (totally a foodie.)
HOW I BECAME AN ENTREPRENEUR
First of all, let me just say, I never wanted to have my own business.
I grew up surrounded by entrepreneurs; my grandparents, a few of my aunts, a handful of my cousins, and my mom all ran their own businesses.
One would naturally think I would have wanted to run my own business, too, right?
Running my own business was THE LAST thing I wanted.
I saw first-hand what it was like to run a business through my mom, who ran her own boutique for over 30 years. The time, hard work and stress she had to endure for so long just never seemed worth it to me.
I never wanted my life to be consumed by work.
What I did want was freedom, a stress-free life, to live my life on my own terms and to be able to leave my work at work.
Having a 9-5 job was the norm and seemed to be the goal for so many people. If you were lucky enough to land a job that gave you the same schedule as everyone else, you had “made it.”
I enjoyed having my nights and weekends off, because my friends also had nights and weekends off, so that meant I could spend more time with them having fun.
For most of my life, living for the weekends was all I lived for.
I spent most of my 20’s doing just that; living life to the fullest. I traveled, I partied, I dated around, I ate at new restaurants, I worked out and played numerous sports, and I spent a lot of quality time with my friends.
Choosing happiness meant everything to me, so I just did whatever made me happy!
IF YOU AREN’T HAPPY, MAKE A CHANGE
There was one thing in my life that wasn’t make me happy and that was feeling cold all of the time.
I grew up in Massachusetts where the winters were pretty long and pretty brutal.
Moving to a warm beach city was always my big dream but the thought of moving alone just seemed too scary. So I spent 5 years after college trying to find a friend who was open to moving to a warmer climate with me.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to move away from their family... or their comfort zone.
So I had a decision to make: Stay and be miserable because no one shared the same dream or face my fears and see what happens.
I decided their reasons for not wanting to move were not enough to make me stay. I wanted to be happy and I wasn’t going to let anyone else, including myself, stand in my way of that.
So I made the decision to move to San Diego, because beaches, palm trees and sunny weather year-round sounded like my dream life! Plus, everyone there seemed so active and outdoorsy, which fit my personality perfectly. 🙂
Once I made the decision that I was going to move to San Diego, I realized that I needed to save up a good chunk of money. I wasn’t making much at my current graphic design job so I went looking for a better paying job. I found one, got hired, quit my old job, and started working my big plan. My big plan was to save half of every paycheck for 1 year, or until I had $12,000 in my savings account.
So I did that and quit that job in February of 2009.
Two weeks later, I packed up my jeep with whatever I could fit in it, and started driving across the country, by myself. I had no job or place to live lined up, but for some reason, I felt confident I could figure that part out when I got there.
I decided to turn my drive into a 3-week adventure and made plans to stop in various cities along the way, visiting friends and family where I could, and just exploring. It was one of the best trips of my life because it really boosted my confidence and made me feel really empowered!
I did something big that I was afraid to do, and I succeeded.
When I got to San Diego, It took me about 2 weeks to find an apartment and about a month to find a part-time job that would hold me over for a bit until I found something full-time.
Five months later, in August of 2009, I landed a full-time graphic design job, which helped me feel a lot more financially secure and “settled in.”
I spent the next year partying, traveling and having fun with all the new friends I made, every chance I got… it was a celebration afterall! I was living in my dream city and living my dream life!
After working at that job for a year, I started to realize how shitty the management was treating all of us employees. Not to mention, they paid us crap. I only stayed because the economy was down and I felt like I was lucky just to have a steady, full-time job.
In October 2010, they decided to cut my hours from 40 hours to 20 hours a week and that’s when I decided it was time to get out of there. I had no reason to stay, after all… I couldn’t survive on part-time pay and I definitely didn’t want to be treated like crap anymore.
So I found a new graphic design job in November 2010, that paid me a bit better and treated me a hell of a lot better. I loved the people there and found the work to be decent, but after about a year and a half, I started getting bored and started craving something a bit more challenging.
A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
For about a year and a half, I was in a relationship with an emotional abuser, yet I didn’t realize it (you never see it until you’re out of it.)
In June of 2012, he broke up with me out of nowhere.
We were living together so one of us had to move out. I decided to be the one to leave simply because I was heart-broken and couldn’t bear living in a place that reminded me of him.
I spent the next 2 months searching for a roommate on Craigslist and ended up moving in with a girl named Amrita who ran her own successful web design and marketing business.
At the time, I had no idea that this girl was about to change my life.
The whole break-up and moving situation sucked at the time, but looking back, it was such a blessing in disguise! I am now SO grateful that my boyfriend broke up with me when he did, because otherwise I wouldn’t have met her!
Amrita was pretty much living the dream life, in my eyes. She could work from home or anywhere that had wifi, she had a flexible schedule, she was her own boss and she was making bank!
Over the next few months, she really opened up my mind to all sorts of new possibilities in the realm of entrepreneurship. Plus, her story and the way she was choosing to live her life was really inspiring and motivating to me.
This is when I began thinking about starting my own business, too.
I wanted to be able to work from home (or from anywhere), I wanted to have a flexible schedule, I wanted to do work I actually loved and I wanted to do something that really challenged me.
I also felt like I needed a project to work on, to help me get my mind off of my ex. He had been stringing me along for months after the break up, which didn’t help at all in my healing process.
In October of 2012, I decided I wasn’t going to let this toxic person hold me back any longer. I desperately wanted to move forward, so I made the decision to cut him off and go no contact.
A month later, my job announced that they were going to be downsizing and were offering severance packages to anyone who wanted to leave.
I saw this as my opportunity to pull myself out of my sadness and boredom and to start working towards something bigger: creating a better life for me.
So in December of 2012, I took my 6-week severance package, quit my job, and with a little help from Amrita, I started my own graphic and website design business.
I called it Whipped Dream. 🙂
I SELF TAUGHT MYSELF WORDPRESS, SEO + ONLINE MARKETING
Before I started my own business, I had only used Dreamweaver to design websites on but I wanted to learn how to design sites using the WordPress software so my clients could go in and easily make their own changes once the site design was finished.
So I sat down and taught myself how to use WordPress the free way... through a variety of Google searches, YouTube videos and lots of trials and errors.
Also, when I first started out, I had no clue how to market my business and the first couple of years really reflected that through my income and stress levels.
I was told online marketing and SEO were two things I would really need to learn how to do (or else pay someone to do it for me) if I ever wanted to run a successful business. Since I'm pretty conservative with my money and I don't like paying for things I can do myself, I decided it was time to finally sit down and learn how to do it.
Once I figured it all out, everything changed for the better almost immediately! I started making more money, I didn't have to work as much, I felt less stressed and I finally felt like I had found my true calling... both design and online marketing.
MY WHY + MY DRIVE
As an entrepreneur, I think it’s really important to know your WHY because that is what is going to drive you and motivate you to keep going, even on your hardest days.
I don’t want to feel controlled by anything or anyone, whether that’s a job, a boyfriend, a friend or even a parent. I also don’t want to feel like I need someone else to make me happy or to support me financially; I want to be able to do all of that for myself.
The way I figure it, the more I can do myself, the less people have control over me and my happiness.
My WHY is to create a better me, a better life and to be the one in control of my own happiness.
What drives me day in and day out is progression; always moving forward, learning, growing and improving. All of the little things I do each day are all going to add up to something big one day.
“When we strive to be better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”
I don’t want to settle for who I am right now. I want to create who I want to become.
I want to surround myself with people who force me to level up, not people with people who try to hold me down.
My goal is to take all of my pain and turn it into my power!
MY VISION + MY GOALS FOR THIS SITE
As far as this business goes, I choose to work with women because I want to empower and motivate them; I want to help them see that they already have the power within them to create everything they want and need. I hope this site, as well as my personal blog, inspires and encourages other women to go after everything they want in life!
My vision for this site is to catalogue all of the things I’ve learned over the past 4 years of entrepreneurship in a simple, organized and fun way. Things like blogging tips, business tips, online marketing tips, tech tips, WordPress tips, and DIY tutorials.
I also plan on creating a resource of premade logos, templates and worksheets to help you grow your business.
I want us women to learn how to use our unique inner strengths and talents to help ourselves stand out and be big influencers in the world.
I never wanted my life to be consumed by work, but now it is!
The irony, however, is that it never feels like work. I wake up every day excited and happy to learn and create new things. My work has a purpose and I’m truly living my passion! And getting paid for it!
I now have freedom, a (fairly) stress-free life, and I live my life on my own terms.
The only difference is that I can’t really leave my work at work since I basically live and breath it, but when you love what you do, it literally feels like just another day. 🙂
Some Good Reads
Below are some helpful posts I wrote on my personal blog about my entrepreneurial journey.
Hopefully they'll help inspire and encourage you to go after everything you want!