If Catherine Shefski could control time, I bet she’d take us all back to kindergarten when all we were doing is learning, screwing up, getting gentle guidance to learn from our mistakes and not judging ourselves so damn much.
I’m pretty sure that when I messed up the fingerings for Mary Had a Little Lamb on my brown plastic recorder I didn’t call myself stupid or tell myself I’d never be able to remember that Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge or FACE… I don’t know, I have a bad memory. You’d have to ask my music teacher Mrs. Boring.
But screw up as an adult? We can be pretty unforgiving…
But back to Catherine: She’s all about inspiring women to reconnect with what they want out of the next season of their life. And helping them connect with what they want to learn to do without all the self-judgment.
She also built her own WordPress site – so read on to learn more about Catherine, what she does for a living and her experience creating her online business.
When did you decide to start your business and why?
Over the past two or three years I've had a lot of change in my life. I had been teaching piano for most of my life, something I enjoy. Several of my students were women who “always wanted to learn how to play.” But then I saw how stressed they were and how hard they were on themselves when they made mistakes. That's when I started reading about the value of play for adults and how play encourages creativity. So the blog was born!
What do you feel makes your target audience special?
My target audience is women in midlife. Their kids are grown and they're thinking about starting a new career or creative endeavor. Many women I talk to don't know what they want to do when they reach this crossroad because they've been so busy taking care of everyone else in their life and not taking time for themselves. I particularly enjoy sharing stories about women who have taken risks, maybe left the corporate world to follow their dreams, or overcome obstacles. I find these stories very inspiring and I hope my readers do too.
Why did you decide to build your WordPress site yourself?
I never considered any other option. Years ago I built websites using Microsoft Front Page. Using WordPress themes is so much more fun, especially with the Make's Page Builder Plugin. This was the seventh WordPress site I built, but the first one with the Make Theme using plugins.
What was the most difficult thing about creating your WordPress site?
For me the most difficult, but also the most fun, part of building a WordPress site is the branding. I can spend hours looking at color palettes, fonts, and images. Finally I just have to make a choice and just go with it. I suppose it's just procrastination, but there are so many beautiful choices it's hard to decide on just one.
What was the easiest thing about it?
For me the easiest is the UX. I love saying that! UX is user experience and I'm just starting to get my feet wet in that area. After going to so many websites, I think I have a good grasp of what would be intuitive navigation for the reader. (I hope so, anyway.)
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting their own business?
Honestly, I always encourage people to start a business. Whether it's an Etsy Shop, eBay, becoming an Amazon Affiliate, or selling things at a flea market… I think everyone should give it a try. Once you get the bug, you'll always want to have a side business. Who knows… it just may turn into something much bigger!
If you could go back in time and do something differently, what would you do and why?
I would have kept my mailing list that I had built to over 2000 subscribers fifteen years ago. Back then I was writing a website geared towards women with young children. Those kids would be in college now and the subscribers would be my target audience!
How long did it take you to build your WordPress site?
I followed the WP*BFF program and built it in 5 days.
How do you promote your site?
Twitter, FB, Pinterest and Google+. (Twitter is my favorite!) I also cross promote between two or three other blogs I have which are still active and I love networking with other bloggers and web entrepreneurs.
Do you have an email list, and if so, what is the most effective way you have grown your email list?
Ugh. Don't mention email list. (see the question about going back in time.) But yes, I do have an email list. I have a Free mini-course that I'm offering in exchange for signing up for the mailing list, but it's not very effective. I'd love to learn more about growing my list.
Do you earn money from your site, and if so, how? Affiliate marketing, ads, products, etc.?
I offer coaching for women, but I'm also working on downloadable e-courses and e-books. I hope to make money from my information products.
Who are your favorite bloggers or podcasts?
Connect with Catherine!
CatherineShefski | Designing Your Second Act
50 Ordinary Women (doing extraordinary things)
Your Organic Evolution – Free Mini-Course with email signup