The best way to do something is to do it yourself. This cannot be any more accurate when it comes to the creative side of things. E-commerce is an important part of the business reality in this day and age. However, it all starts from a well-designed website. The process can take a long time and sometimes you wish you could be more involved at least on the creative side of the things.
This is what happened to Maria Lola from Chickswhocode.com, and she turned it into an opportunity to learn about it. Now, she is not only a coder, but has also designed courses to help others in the process too. Join us as we have a brief chat with Maria-Lola about her entrepreneurial journey to making Chicks Who Code.
What inspired you to start working as a freelance web developer?
I was in the process of creating my website for my chocolate business at the time and I had paid for someone to design my website for me. Unfortunately, I never got my website or my money back. This pushed me to learn how to design my own website and eventually started getting other people asking me to design their websites for them.
What was your first website?
My first website was a chocolate website where I handmade all of my chocolates using fair trade ingredients and I created the website using very basic drag and drop features. As I wanted to get fancy, I realized I needed to learn more about website development and coding.
Some of the best web developers today are self-taught. Do you think there is a specific reason for that?
The industry keeps changing with better and faster ways of doing things so regardless of getting a formal education, you will still need to stay on top of trends and learn new ways of doing things. So yes, an extreme amount of self-education is important.
You have studied art and design along with Animation at college. Does it help you in your work?
Honestly, going to college and university hasn’t really done much for my career except look good on a CV. I find my self-explorations, learning and experiments have been a lot more beneficial to adding to my skillset.
WordPress has made things a lot easier for people. Do you agree with this?
Absolutely! WordPress has made it so easy for people get a professional website up and running. However, I would lean on the side of caution when buying templates if you don’t really understand the basics of how WordPress works, some templates and plugins can make it a lot more complex to get your site ready to go live. This is why I have a course that teaches people how to build their website in 2 weeks using WordPress, plus they get 3 support calls with me as they are building it.
Lastly, there are a lot of entrepreneurs out there who are having a difficulty in bringing their ideas to the market. What advice do you have for them?
It really depends on what the difficulty is…If it’s self-imposed then working with a coach, a partner or accountability buddy can help you through your hurdles, if it’s financial then perhaps think about making a simpler, cost effective version of your idea or pose your idea on kickstarter for funding.
Finally, if the difficulty is standing out from the crowd, you’ve got to be very creative and playful in your thinking and try new methods of getting the word out and surprising your audience.