In this episode, I talk to Sharon Haver, a New Yorker, a Style Expert and a Personal Brand Strategist from Focus On Style. Having been online since 1999, Sharon knows the ins and outs of being online using your natural and authentic self to stand out from the crowd and to help you grow.
Even before we hit the record button, Sharon and I have talked for 15 minutes to have a chat and I just loved her energy as well as her listening to her wisdoms.
I actually had to remind myself and remember why we have connected in the first place…the podcast interview! But Sharon has shared some amazing insights about her online journey, the ups and downs, and how she got to where she is right now thanks to her online presence.
Here is a short video about Sharon herself:
- what is the authentic star power and how it can make a difference to your online presence
- the importance of being authentic and natural online
- the benefits of just “going for it” when it comes to being online and creating content, like videos
- learn about how everything works together; the messaging, language, branding as well as your appearance, your style, your personality
- it’s not about being perfect in the beginning, but about having the right foundation and then develop your progress along the way
“[On Sharon’s strength] Just biting the bullet and doing it. Things might not always look pretty. I love things to look a certain way. But life is messy so I think it’s going in there and figuring out how to make the mess beautiful and suit you [and] how to step in your own star power and how to be authentic be the best at being you” – Sharon Haver
- Focus On Style site – https://focusonstyle.com
- Focus On Style YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/FocusOnStyle
- Focus On Style Twitter: https://twitter.com/focusonstyle
- How to Find Your Own Authentic Star Power – https://www.focusonstyle.com/insiders
- WayBack Machine – https://archive.org/web/web.php
- UpWork – https://www.upwork.com/
Ahmed: [00:00:10] And we go!
Ahmed: [00:00:10] This is the IgniteRock Podcast with your host, [00:00:15] Ahmed Khalifa. This is where we talk to awesome individuals who are doing awesome stuff using [00:00:18] WordPress.
Ahmed: [00:00:20] Welcome to the show everyone. Thank you for tuning in. And thank you for lending me your ear. Now let’s get stuck in an straight into the show.
Ahmed: [00:00:32] And here we go everyone is going to be a really fun one today because I’ve got Sharon Haver on the line today. I’m so excited because she has done a lot of a lot of stuff so I don’t know I don’t really but let’s just start with hello Sharon. And thank you for coming on to the show. Really appreciate it. And really I just want to start off with you know just tell me about yourself. Who are you? Where are you from and how did you get to where you are today?
Sharon: [00:01:01] It’s a lot of questions so welcome thank you for letting me be here Ahmed. I am the founder of FocusOnStyle.com that which went online. And are you ready drum roll please. In 1999. So I’ve been on line since 1999. Through many web site iterations and changes and whatnot. And you know things that you need to update to stay relevant.
Sharon: [00:01:26] So my original background is people don’t really know about me as my background is I have a degree in marketing and that was kind of my first love. And somehow I found myself being a New York photo stylist and I was a fashion stylist on photo shoots from magazines and editorial for 15 years. And from that I ended up having a syndicated newspaper column that went to 400 papers a week. That was pretty cool. And at some point what happened was I left my newspaper column and I decided to go from being on a news wire to a syndicator.
Sharon: [00:01:59] I just had my son and I was supposed to take maternity leave and I ended up having a…let’s say somebody forged my signature on a contract thing and it was a crazy syndication company. But that was my that was my way to get out. So this guy had set up my maternity leave had basically sold my car and my baby was totally newborn.
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Sharon: [00:02:24] And obviously you are not a mom but you know when you just have a kid you got like baby mush brains. And here I was with my newspapers who I owe my soul to because I had them on the news wire now waiting for next week’s column I could leave them with a hole in it. And I was busy on maternity leave and I you know as lot brand new kid I know what to do. So I ended up putting up a fast B2B site which was to sort of placate my papers and had no idea what to do and the next thing I knew I became a Yahoo site of the day. Now remind you this isn’t 1999. This is like Frontier Days before blog was even a word people knew. And I had crazy web developer stuff first of many.
Sharon: [00:03:09] And my site went down the day it was me the site of the day because he…I don’t know he thought it was merely a suggestion is what I think is what. So I was crying. I had no sight. I had nothing. I fell into this web business. It was really just you know coming off the syndicator.
Sharon: [00:03:26] And I called up Microsoft crying and the guys that say hey you know the site of the day just go to Staples buy a copy of front page. Call me back and I’ll walk you through it. And this really cool guy at Microsoft taught me how to build a web site.
Sharon: [00:03:39] So that was in 1999. My site’s been on on line a long time and my kid has 6 or 4 now. So we have realized through all of that. I developed a technique for it and fight fight not choice but by….it’s my business so you have to be in. So I’ve seen all sides of being on line and WordPress and I work with clients on helping them is still its style but helping them step in their Star Power and bring their business out there and having their website be part of it as well. And yes it’s a long way into it. I guess I kind of took that back door and work for this.
Ahmed: [00:04:22] I mean I don’t know where to start. I mean because…
Sharon: [00:04:26] …I know it’s like I could do it when you go from cray-cray to incredible you know there’s all sorts of stories.
Ahmed: [00:04:34] It’s amazing because I know that you have appeared in any publication you’ve appeared in Vogue, Elle, CNN, Entrepreneur. You have you know you worked at as a fashion stylist and been in photoshoots and working in magazines and things like that. Now you kind of focus too early on styling and personal brand strategist. And I like what you have in effect on your website and you quoted that you “help fellow entrepreneurs stand in authentic star power”. Right, that’s quite powerful. Can you can you go through that? What do you mean by authentic starpower.
Sharon: [00:05:16] Well I think what’s happened with the Internet is a lot of people have either glob onto it because it’s there. Or they don’t know what to do. Or they’re reinventing their career and they’re transitioning to being online or they’re finding out that whether or not they like it or not if they are a freelancer or an independent contractor or an entrepreneur and author or writer, coach, speaker that having an online presence is important even if you try to get a date you know you want to be swiped right.
Sharon: [00:05:47] So they’re finding that they’re having an online presence is mandatory and maybe a few years ago you could’ve been the guy in his weird creepy office cave wearing some ugly going “hey I’ve got six million dollars online”
Sharon: [00:06:02] But you know those days are over the day. Now what’s happening is especially was if you just look at your Facebook the you see celebrities coming down the street. even it I think called Master Class with celebrities giving courses. You see people who have got their act together looking relevant looking a step above. And then you see someone who’s kind of really smart really knows what they’re talking about has tons of valuable information but is not maybe the most savvy on presenting themselves online. And I call that stepping into your own authentic star power.
Sharon: [00:06:41] So you have to make sure that when someone sees you online that you look relevant, you look valuable that you are not someone that’s always going to click away too because it takes you know depending on the study less than seven five four three two seconds to make a first impression.
Sharon: [00:06:56] So you want to make sure that your visual message or written message or brand message or personal brand as is all is in alignment with who you are today not the same stale photo you were using 10 years ago. And you know it’s really it’s it’s really sad because I spent 15 years of my career being behind the scenes making other people look great, working with marketing agencies, working with advertising agencies, working with clients making sure that what I was putting together in a style package was something that someone wanted to buy into ads and the products or you know the author or the magazine.
Sharon: [00:07:38] So now what happens is I suddenly had to turn the tables and now I am the one you want to buy into. Right. So when I started this site it was a mac book is On-Star was a magazine site I had contributor’s I was still behind the brand but now is front and center and it’s just a scary for me to be seeing as it is for other people because now you know it’s all about me except it’s my you know I’m no longer hiding behind contributors in content.
Sharon: [00:08:06] So I understand that completely and I created different ways for you know people to educate them to you know break free from the other side of a computer screen and look like someone someone wants to buy into so they you what you have to say is that you can share your message and make your voice more powerful because someone just didn’t click away.
Ahmed: [00:08:29] Yeah. Yeah that is true. And you’ve mentioned you know one of the things I was going to ask you about you said about how the entire visual message it needs to align and I’ve not as you know you said that it’s about your business your appearance your hair your content. They all have to work together and make things right. You want to make a good first impression.
Ahmed: [00:08:48] But we all have to go on line and work along with each other. So definitely makes sense to me in my opinion so you’re really good people. So another thing I’ve noticed is that you’ve got a heck of a lot of content or not at all always you know because you’ve been advancing in 1999 online. You know you have accumulated them a lot of experience and of content a lot of ideas and so many things so you know you’ve got your podcast with you a seven day made and podcast you’re putting together a style book with you know fashion quotes on it. You’ve got your YouTube channel you’ve got your blog and you know you doing Facebook Live. It’s a lot of stuff. I mean it’s quite incredible but I’m quite curious to know. I mean what is what is system? When you create a content you have a routine and you have a particular style you know whatever that you do that makes it all work?
Sharon: [00:09:41] Well part of it is I’m used to it. When I when I was in the newspaper column I had a I had to write a column once a week. And when we have something on a news wire it goes out my anchors have it earlier for her in the papers. But you don’t know how much space they have.
Sharon: [00:09:57] You don’t know if you’re going to be the full page.
Sharon: [00:10:02] You don’t know if some hard news happens you are going to be two lines.
Sharon: [00:10:05] You don’t know if you’re going to be one column so you want to start to write in like 250 words, 350 words 600 words to 1200 words because wherever they cut it you need to make sure that the more important information is on top. So at first that was rather daunting. Or to to be polite. That was really hard to figure out. And then once you kind of do it because you know by repetition you become a master of anything.
Sharon: [00:10:30] I started to get my brain trained to work in different ways of breaking things down without ever being a conscious decision so I never had to decide or was 1200 words or ph it was just 20 words, you just kind of it just sort of flowed. And I do the same thing with my content. I kind of the site…newspaper column was fashion advice. Sites started asfashion advice “Dear Sharon.
Sharon: [00:10:54] So the column was so long ago when people wanted to ask me questions I had to go to the post office to pick it up from a P.O. box that was you know and they weren’t even e-mailed me that it was even that long ago.
Sharon: [00:11:07] So what happens, is it started as you’re sharing with people. I would get so much reader mail so it was totally reader driven. And then as I was out and talking to more people it’s what I hear it’s what you. What’s going on? What I feel is important. And that’s my my beginning launch point for content so it’s brought to me what I see.
Sharon: [00:11:28] And then as far as switching to more written content which I love I mean I’m a writer and I didn’t start out being a writer but I became a writer and I realized I loved it so much to be more like I didn’t know what you want to call it internet on air challenge with a podcast and videos my pop my videos my quick shoot videos are all one take. Do everything in one take. So if I stumble over and assemble a wire and it’s kind of does I know what I’m talking about I know what I’m going to say. So I think about it for a minute. And I just go as if we’re sitting here with a conversation you don’t have notes.
Sharon: [00:12:04] Maybe if it’s more of a training video or sales video I might bullet point when I want to say each one when I do my courses like in my signature program is to say she crash course and right now I’m creating simply amazing head shots which is to help anyone develop their own head shot on their own.
Sharon: [00:12:21] I have examples of what I’ve done with a webcam and with my phone and whatnot. I break it out in bullet points and I get very granular as to each step that has to take into the system you know and get from those steps that are all put together. And of course you could fire that out to massive amounts of content.
Sharon: [00:12:42] So I think for me, it’s easier because it is it’s in my head first because that’s just how I was trained with the newspaper column. But for anyone else I would say the best thing is to really break down your idea or get as granular as possible. And from that you’ll get all your topics and you can just take it. You could just sort of spit him out from that.
Ahmed: [00:13:03] It’s really cool because you know you’ve mentioned a few times that you know be natural and be raw when you’re doing you a lot video and if you stumble so what, you can keep on.
Sharon: [00:13:12] And you know I think it makes you more human. Yes. You know.
Ahmed: [00:13:16] Yes. I agree with the benefit and the beauty of live video isn’t that? It makes you look more authentic and natural and human. So it’s really cool.
Ahmed: [00:13:26] And you know what’s really interesting for me on your website you know on your About page, you have got like an image timeline of your website from back in 1999.
Sharon: [00:13:37] Isn’t that funny?
Ahmed: [00:13:38] Yeah it’s great. I loved it. So you think you feel the the transition and how can you know how much things have changed and deflect that. It’s really fascinating.
Sharon: [00:13:48] And yeah I love it it’s the Wayback Machine and if people don’t know that there’s also some really cool stuff you can figure out with the way back machine. So you used to use to archive sites much more frequently and you could go back to any date and see what a website looked like then.
Sharon: [00:14:06] Of course you’ll see a couple of the pictures of the little question mark is maybe the photo isn’t loading properly anymore but it gives you a really good idea. But also as a spy tool, if somebody says he who “I’m a business coach and you know I made all this money and I did all this stuff and I have all this stuff” and you go to the Wayback Machine and you see like oh my gosh two years ago they were saying that they didn’t have any money and they didn’t know what they were going to do and they were just like the tetch people and like their their brand BS so to speak.
Sharon: [00:14:40] But also you get to see people and you know how they change. So if someone is really beautiful and polished now maybe they started out being a little more shlepping I don’t know if that’s an international word for word. You know they make I started off being a little less polished because you do. You’re in this competition of other people out there so you do need to sort of step it up to kind of.
Sharon: [00:15:04] Look cool and on brands that was kind of fun you know like you see celebrities and you get to see them before and after plastic surgery was just kind of like you could see websites before and after plastic surgery.
Ahmed: [00:15:15] I think you know even the Wayback Machine for any website, it’s fascinating.
Sharon: [00:15:19] I love it you get it like because that rabbit hole you can’t get out of.
Ahmed: [00:15:23] It is like like going on YouTube and you can’t get out of it. You know Wayback Machine is same thing you get. Look at what website look liked when it first started. More often than not looked terrible.
Ahmed: [00:15:34] But if we get into it I’m going to talk about you know WordPress. What was your first experience like? How did you come across it and why did you choose WordPress in the first place?
Sharon: [00:15:49] Well I sent my my site started with Front Page Microsoft front page and I don’t know if they make it anymore. And that was just because this guy explained it to me and I kept my site and I had huge traffic when the site started massive because there were that many sites I mean it was like a million hits a month or it was huge.
Sharon: [00:16:06] So Front Page did me well it served me well I went through a couple of versions of it. Then was when the beginning of the end. Then I started to say OK. I have so much traffic and I have so much stuff, I shouldn’t be doing this. I’m going to spread up work and hire some idiots to come in so I had gone through several different iterations.
Sharon: [00:16:32] I had a custom coded site which the good part was I had to go to Paris. The developers say were a disaster. But at least I went to work in Paris. That was nice. Then I had oh my god a couple of other programs I had this thing once called Oh it was horrible Easy Publish, which is anything but from that I had some really nutty web developers who were actually put malware on the site. They were really kind of they were really evil.
Sharon: [00:17:04] And then I’m like I just can’t take it anymore and WordPress at the time was just not something that was viable for such a content heavy site. You know he said I have so much content that I made back then I had thousands of pages of content.
Sharon: [00:17:19] So I kind of kept finding these other content publishing platforms and custom coding and I could tell you right now people like you really don’t want to invest in custom coding because it’s terrible for maintenance. If there’s an update, it could break and you’re really left at the mercy of the web developer and a lot of them are you know pretty shady. They’re in for the job and then they’re off to the next one and they don’t want to do maintenance and then the next guy doesn’t want to come in and can’t mind read someone else’s custom code.
Sharon: [00:17:49] So I just kind of kept fighting the boat until WordPress got itself to be robust enough that I was able to migrate everything in there and then migration is it should be a four letter word. I say Tech is a four letter word but migration should be because when you have so much crazy content like I do it’s a huge job.
Sharon: [00:18:12] So eventually when we went into WordPress and I think…I was trying to figure that out in a Wayback Machine. I think it’s about seven years that I’m in wordpress now and I find it I love it. It’s great because it’s just it you could do it easily yourself. If I read it I just rebranded Focus On Style two months ago. I personally did all the design and there, I originally had an art, an art director who gave me my beautiful logo who set me up with the right fonts to set me up with my brand colors years ago. And now I do it myself with a team member.
[00:18:50] And yes when it’s really crazy coding, I have two different developers that I could give stuff to but I don’t want to be in the crazy coding world anymore. I mean if I have the forum stuff out it’s really getting it’s getting to be too much so we just do it in-house and once you learn it you know I believe if you do something every day learn to do it right.
[00:19:10] If you have an online business and you’re on it everyday learn to do it right. Learn to do the most you can and then it’s not time consuming. It’s the maintenance is not time consuming when you know you drink. You know you messed up you know what you did. And it’s almost impossible to mess up. Now WordPress has just become almost idiot-proof and there’s just so many great templates out there so I love it.
Ahmed: [00:19:31] And it’s amazing that you know you’ve done it all by yourself, well a big chunk of it could. I was going to ask you about the process to get it going to go, to maintain that, to get it really good. And you’ve done all the work yourself.
Sharon: [00:19:45] Yeah I had other versions and you know beware people of hardcoding. Beware Beware of harcoding. And then what happened was I mean I just have a designer eye because I mean it’s style it’s you have part of the design I am kind of like the font Nazi like I’ll make sure the fight at the font is the right size the typeface is correct.
Sharon: [00:20:08] But…What happened was when the site went when you had to be responsive…What was it two years ago…I went through about three different developers and designers, and the site was so complicated no one wanted to do it and they were like you part of it. I mean and I paid people they’re like oh it’s too much oh it’s too much I’m like. How lazy are you. So you were you know right around in the back and you saw the code. Now all of a sudden it’s too much for you.
Sharon: [00:20:38] So I basically said OK I can’t take it anymore. And I was thinking of moving to the Divi theme which I use in my sales site and I also use Divi I have a custom coded membership site which they’re custom to update. But for the main site I use can but Visual Composer which I love and I love Visual Composer it makes it. It has some limitations but it really makes it easy. So I had to find somebody who would deal with all those custom codes so my site can become responsive, so Google would like me.
Sharon: [00:21:09] I went all over the place and the first time in my life I outsourced to India and I found a guy there and he is by no means cheap for Indian prices. He is pretty competitive for the U.S. And he’s like OK…”but you got to be with me to do it”. I’m like “cool.
Sharon: [00:21:25] So I sat there with him and I would do the design and he would break up the code in the back and we just knocked it out and did it. And it wasn’t very difficult and I did it by force. And now we do all the upkeep ourselves. You know I only use him for certain problems. I have another guy I call for other problems and pretty much we do it all the redesign do it all myself I have someone working with me now who also has a design idea.
Sharon: [00:21:51] But once you know how to do it it all becomes part ofthe steps and it’s very easy and it’s not the maintenance isn’t that you know and I’ve even…and you know we’ve been hacked a few times through the years and had malware through the years and spam stuff.
Sharon: [00:22:07] You know once you go through this terrible stuff you learn how to get out of it easily and you can learn how to protect yourself better for next time.
Ahmed: [00:22:17] It’s amazing, that journey alone, it’s amazing. But you learn from it. You’ve learned so many things, and you learn what to do, what not to do. You break things down and you learn from it. It’s just brilliant. It’s just really cool, that you’ve done all that by yourself and with some of the people as well, so it’s really cool. I really like.
Ahmed: [00:22:35] So then you know, a lot of people, I don’t know if you seen it, you probably have because you work with a lot of people with their website. People have trouble WordPress, or even starting or even using it or stuff like that. What advice would you have for people who are having trouble or start or useing WordPress?
Sharon: [00:22:53] I think you have to just get over it. I think a lot of the problem is, is that you have to remove the idea “I’m just not [inaudbile”. And I know, it’s not that difficult really. You know and then I’ve had the opposite of like develoers, “oh you’re a woman and you’re in fashion?” It’s like “yeah baby, and like let me check your code.”
Sharon: [00:23:17] So the thing is it’s not that hard. So you have to really just bite the bullet. Have someone to help you. I prefer to do things that are collaborative. I think I was just had a client and she is..umm..in design and she’s a speaker and she said “I just didn’t want to do it. I gave it to this guy, I have gave him $6000” and I’m like “you’re designing your site is like this horrible color orangey purple”.
Sharon: [00:23:47] And I had another woman and she’s like “oh these are my brand colors” I’m like “you’re a business coach and your color your side is the color of a penny which in the United States is the lowest form of currency”. Like why are you choosing that?
Sharon: [00:23:59] The problem is a lot of people out there who…because graphic design has become so easy you can get Canva you can get [inaudbile] and get all these other apps out there that have decided I’m a graphic designer but they’re not an art director and that’s what’s key. So it’s more important that you learn the art direction, you learn the messaging, you learn the composition, the colors, what the unspoken language that someone sees when they’re there.
Sharon: [00:24:32] It’s what I teach my my clients when I tell them and step in their star power, learn what people are seeing and that unspoken language and that translates to every piece of code on the page which is really not that hard.
Sharon: [00:24:46] It’s not. If some done a basic site and they’re patient with you, isn’t it better to have a business that’s collaborative, that’s part of you that when people see your brand, your business, your WordPress site or you it looks like you and that doesn’t come from handing it off to someone. I mean if you hand off a team there’s a lot of meetings involved you don’t want a site that looks like your designer. You don’t want a site that you know I love when people get these logos on Fiverr and it’s like look what I got on like yeah you look like a cheesy template that you paid somebody five bucks for. Like invest the money and getting like a beautiful logo. Invest the money in spending time understanding your brand and then the other stuff it’s easy maintenance. It’s like if you go on Facebook you can do WordPress.
Ahmed: [00:25:35] Yes. Yes.
Ahmed: [00:25:37] I mean, I couldn’t you debate what you said. I mean, at the end of the day, you know your presence online, you want to give a good impression. You know , what you said is correct. You want to have the right design, colour and logo…all of these things.
Ahmed: [00:25:52] They may not be absolutely perfect in the beginning. And you demonstrated that with your you know display of what your websites look like over the years. But if you have a good foundation and you kind of build on top of that you know that will set you off. And really anybody can do it. And you have to…
Sharon: [00:26:10] It’s not hard.
Ahmed: [00:26:11] …You just have to try your best. And yeah, you know you can have other people helping you, experts around you, even read online and see what other people are doing and learn from them. But the good thing is, and I think you probably do…you know yourself, is that you should know how to do it. If you know how to do it, you learn as you go along and learn how to manage and maintain your website. You will definitely reap dividend because then you know what to do. You know how to fix things, you know how to upload things or these kind of stuff. So…
Sharon: [00:26:39] Yeah and then you’re not beholden to someone else’s timeline, like something cracked on your site right? Your code cracked. You know, “oh my god” I’m like the damsel in distress “I’ve got this big launch, I got this thing”. You call your web developer, designer…doesn’t call you back for I don’t know, two weeks, and then they ask you and go “oh but I’m really busy, I can do that like next September”. I’m like “I need it now”. “I’m sorry I’m really busy.
Sharon: [00:27:04] You know like…you want to sit there and when it’s you and you know what’s going on you want to go to the WTF. This is like not even five minutes like it’s taken you two weeks to tell me something that no not even five minutes.
Sharon: [00:27:17] So it’s your own success, and being able to go in and do that. And that’s what we’re talking about interestingly enough before this started, long before we were…before we started hitting the record button as I started a little service called My Web Developer Screwed Me.
Sharon: [00:27:36] Because my husband my husband hello husband. Right. He’s a doctor and he hired some medical agency to do his website. And he was you know, he’s good at his business he did it he didn’t ask. He’s not…he’s by far not tech/techy. I mean for years I had an answer his email, and now now he’s put on his big boy pants right.
Sharon: [00:27:55] So he has his company and he’s paying like 400 bucks a month. And I finally look at his site and that’s $400 a month for maintenance.
Sharon: [00:28:04] And I look at him like OK it is so wrong it is a dated template. I went in I asked for to get the back-end logo, for the back-end admin access and they’re like “oh you’re going to break them” like “no can I have it.
Sharon: [00:28:16] I went in there so they didn’t install the SEO…the SEO people is so important. I was number one for fashion experts for 10 years and it’s because I had really good as the SEO and already links of interviews and things coming to me just like this linking back to my site. That is so important to to really maintain your SEO.
Sharon: [00:28:36] So anyway. These people have done nothing, $400 a month. So I come in and I’m like in five minutes, could see all the stuff that is wrong with this. And then the guy says to me “oh but we’re going to optimise it for the 63 search engines out there”. I’m like “63 search engines?! There is like one and a half; Google and Bing.
Sharon: [00:28:57] So this is my husband. So I started working with regular clients. I’m dealing with them and their style and in their personal branding and going in like I said before and looking at their website message and it just becomes part of the conversation I have. So that’s what I do on Focus On Style.
Sharon: [00:29:15] But I just started this new service and I’m testing the waters with other people called My Web Developer Screwed Me and if you going to work with me page and Focus On Style, you’ll find me and eventually maybe the redirects will work better [inaudible] that was at Network Solutions that will answer me in maybe two weeks, and getting that done.
Sharon: [00:29:35] You know there’s things that are out of your control and there’s things that are in your control and I believe in being empowered with what is in your control and learning how to do it so it’s not a big deal.
Ahmed: [00:29:47] And it’s true because if you didn’t know any of these things, if you haven’t had that experience, you would be continuing to pay $400 a month.
Sharon: [00:29:54] Yeah, crazy!
Ahmed: [00:29:56] Whatever was going on then, it’s crazy. It’s absolutely crazy, for $400 a month to go…
Sharon: [00:30:01] …and the site is like three to five pages and I’m like “I pay that for my web server and my site is you know thousands of pages”. That site cannot take a half hour to design, using a generic template.
Sharon: [00:30:21] So I mean there’s a lot of people out there who prey on business people not wanting this to be their main thing especially if you have a brick and mortar business and your web site is just your web presence. It’s not a big deal you depend on someone else.
Sharon: [00:30:36] And people take advantage of you when I got that I could go on…we could be talking for a month on stories about this so. Yeah see you need to empower yourself to know how to do it to some level or hire someone as a consultant who you trust, who can make sure that the next person isn’t screwing you over.
Ahmed: [00:30:57] Very very true, very true. And you’d be better off in a long term as well, so really really good point there.
Ahmed: [00:31:02] So, there’s so many things, you know from your end and I’m trying to think you know what is your biggest strength, but there’s so many to pick from. So what is your biggest strength?
Sharon: [00:31:13] In WordPress?
Ahmed: [00:31:14] In anything.
Sharon: [00:31:17] Just biting the bullet in doing it. You know, things are not always pretty. I love things to look a certain way. But they’re…life is messy. So I think it’s going in there and figuring out how to make the messbeautiful and suit you. And how to take a step in your own star power and how to be authentic and be the best at being you.
Sharon: [00:31:41] And if you have an online business, besides your mess…your visual message, besides your written message, besides how your website looks. Just learn how to take control of your business, of your team if you work alone. The freelance contractors, the independent contractors you hire. I mean I love Upwork by the way, you can get so many of these little things, little things done with Upwork so please people I mean someone was just telling me in a group I was in the other day and say “oh we just, we had somebody on Fiverr and we gave them our password.
Sharon: [00:32:10] Never give your passwords to your website. So I went on Fiverr, you know like take control, always have a backup, always be prepared. You know, and learn how to learn how to do it, and it’s not so hard, just you do it every day. Just learn to do it right.
Ahmed: [00:32:26] I love that attitude you have, that “go get em attitude” and you just do it. Just bite the bullet and just do it. I love that!
Sharon: [00:32:33] Thank you
Ahmed: [00:32:34] So then what is your biggest weakness and how do you overcome it?
Sharon: [00:32:39] Oh God, getting like, “why, how did that break?! Why did that happen? Where did he do that?” And like having to get like a private investigator why and getting like into the minutia of life that’s just not right that drives me crazy.
Sharon: [00:32:54] Like we were at a hotel this weekend and we’re just there, having a celebration on the roof. We got there we’re staying in the hotel and there’s a security guard at the door and she’s like “I can’t leave you when I’m at capacity” and I’m like “what are you saying about capacity, six people just let you…I’m just doing my job…I’m like where to six left…how has that capacity with you, over capacity when they were there in.
Sharon: [00:33:14] And like that kind of person who is like doesn’t think I’m like we’re a guest and we’re paying to be here. You know what is your story? That kind of person will make me…just drive me crazy.
Sharon: [00:33:25] You know be flexible, see what’s going on, understand, ask questions, figure it out. And that will be my weakness all the time is people who are just inflexible, and yes you can say I was in a flexible and like she said no but I paid to be there. She was like doing her job, was not doing her job because she was just not thinking about the…you know the bullet points of the job description. You know I was thinking like “OK what does this involve? Pick up the phone get a walkie ask someone else” so that stuff makes me crazy.
Ahmed: [00:33:58] Wow. I mean there is a lot of…I can feel the energy from you, which I love, but that is so so cool.
Ahmed: [00:34:07] And it’s really interesting. You know, peek into you and look at what you do online, I would never have known that. You know it’s really hard to know what anybody’s weakness is, but I wouldn’t have known that so it’s pretty cool. And I appreciate you sharing that as well, so really really cool stuff.
Ahmed: [00:34:22] So, if we get all sentimental about it, what are you most proud about in your business?
Sharon: [00:34:29] My business? I started it when my son was a baby. I started it when my son was, I don’t even remember it, like under a month? It was something…I never woke up one day and said I’m having a website. You know, started at the top of the show saying that you know I did it with my syndicator…just signed me on instead of giving me maternity leave and sent me out there and I started the site when he was napping. It was that simple. I maintained the site I should say when he was napping.
Sharon: [00:35:01] So I would know my son…I never wanted a full-time babysitter. I had a…as he got older, a babysitter randomly here and there, but he was always in front of me. I always knew where he was. I can see him. I took him to the park. I took him to the playground. I was…he napped, I worked and I stayed up late. I did stuff at night. I redid the site between naps, between working, between taking him to pre-school.
Sharon: [00:35:25] I mean I was there, I was a full-time mom and I ran a full-time business and it wasn’t hard. I mean…I was, I chunked my time that I worked accordingly and I’m very proud of the fact, that I built this business, when my son was you know, newborn.
Ahmed: [00:35:42] And you should be. I think that’s a really really good achievement. I think an incredible. It’s really, really admirable what you’ve done there, so amazing. And you know, look at you right now, you’ve been consistent, you keep on going, you’re building, you’re a fighter…I can tell.
Sharon: [00:35:57] Yeah maybe maybe it’s the fighter to the fall, but yes I am.
Ahmed: [00:36:02] You want me to keep going. No, it’s amazing. And I like how you shared that as well. You know, everyone has their own situation in life but it depends what you do with your time and your place. And if you want something, go and get it!
Sharon: [00:36:20] Yeah. No. You know, you don’t regret anything. You want to do it. And I think one of the biggest takeaways here is if you, if you need a website, whether it’s just simply your web presence so people could find you because you have to have it. Or it is your business or it is your blog or your podcast or your blog or whatever it is or you know you’re selling something. If you have a web presence, don’t totally outsource it.
Sharon: [00:36:46] Be able to understand what it takes so that when you do outsource it, you know what they’re telling you, because you know it’s not…it’s not that “codey” a world that it used to be anymore. WordPress is needed.
Sharon: [00:37:00] I mean it’s very much more written in code and figuring things out, what plugin works with what, you know that can mess up. But it’s not so complicated.
Sharon: [00:37:09] So just like you know my husband didn’t know and got this $400 a month rip-off and I went in in five minutes and saw what was wrong. So if it is your business, make it your business to know what it’s about and then you can hire a freelancer to do it or a company but then you’ll know if they’re telling you the right thing. You’ll know if they are like, blowing you off for weeks at a time and it’s a five minute fix. You know maybe in five minutes you could fix it yourself for next time. Not that hard.
Sharon: [00:37:39] And WordPress has really made it easy.
Ahmed: [00:37:42] You’ve given so much points, so much advice Sharon. I mean there’s too many good things to take from this. It’s just…I mean we can…I mean I feel like I want to talk even longer. Just so many things, words of wisdoms that you have shared. It’s just awesome. It’s just so awesome.
Ahmed: [00:37:59] So I really appreciate it. I really think, everyone can take a lot from what you have said and even myself, I can take a lot from what you have said as well. It’s just so so awesome, so I really appreciate that.
Ahmed: [00:38:11] And you know it’s been really really good talking to you and it’s been really really fun chatting to you as well. I really enjoyed it. So if people want to find and connect with you, where can they find you.
Sharon: [00:38:22] FocusOnStyle.com is my web site. It’s also my handle across all social media.
Sharon: [00:38:29] If you are interested in getting my free star power kit so you can figure out how to bump up your messaging? You can go to focusonstyle.com/insiders and get that there. And if you have any questions about you know My Web Developers Screwed Me, you know I’m thinking about adding this as a service people so you know take me if you can either reach it from the “Work With Me” tab or you can just hopefully locate [inaudible] the woman will ask for the email or you know but it’s anything you can find out from Focus On Style at the top navigation bar. You can get it but I really encourage you to go focusonstyle.com/insiders and grab your free star power kit.
Ahmed: [00:39:17] I’m going to put those links in the shownotes so people can find it. It’s really cool. People should go visit the site. Connect with Sharon, interact. She’s asking you to talk to her. Give it a shot. You know it would be really fun.
[00:39:31] Sharon again, thank you very very much for your time. I really appreciate it and and hopefully we speak again soon.
[00:39:37] Yeah same here. This is fantastic. Thank you so much.
[00:39:41] And that is it.
[00:39:44] Wow. Thank you Sharon for coming onto the show. Really enjoyed chatting with you. So much fun. So many things to take away.
[00:39:50] And I’m just trying to take in to what you said about how life is messy. It’s all about going in there and figuring out how to make the mess beautiful and suits you.
[00:40:02] I love that. That is just so so awesome. So I think it’s a little thing when we can all take in account, learn from. So I really do appreciate it Sharon. If you want to shownotes, they are available on igniterock.com/episode21.
[00:40:18] And before you go if you don’t mind just leave early if you in iTunes. I would really really appreciate it.
[00:40:26] In the meantime, let’s rock with WordPress.
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