It has been four months now since we started building Propeller Digital, so we thought now would be a good time to give you an insight into our motivations for founding our own web design agency.
Reason #1: Scalable Income
Like many other entrepreneurs, one of our reasons for starting our own business was the potential to earn more money than we would if we were working a typical 9 to 5 job. Having a better income would of course give us more personal freedom, but another benefit of that is we have more motivation to do valuable work, rather than just trying to get through to the weekend. The direct relationship between our productivity and our income makes this work much more rewarding! We can also identify services we could be providing to earn more money, go and study those online, practice them and begin offering them as a service. We’re in full control of what we do for money, and what we charge for it.
Reason #2: Control Over Our Time
After studying for a while in University, we decided we wanted to do something where we could create our own working schedule. We have other interests and passions that we want to pursue to live a healthy, balanced life. The average business website has a short development cycle, so we never have to commit to more than a few weeks of work at a time, leaving us free to schedule in other activities if needed. That also means that we can always work during the hours that we feel we are most effective. We can do things like loading the first few days of the week with work, in order to have more free time later in the week.
Reason #3: Low Initial Investment
As young guys just out of University, we had a very limited budget to start our own business. Luckily, the financial barrier to entry for building websites is very low nowadays. Our recurring expenses starting off were just €180 per month. We also didn’t have the luxury of having enough savings to operate for a long time before making sales, but that didn’t prove to be an issue as we had already built a good reputation in our home city of Galway, Ireland, for doing good work. The main investment is time – time spent learning a skill you can sell, practicing it, and building your network & portfolio.
Reason #4: Opportunity to Perfect Our Craft
We have both had a fascination with technology from an early age, studied technology related courses in University and continue to study online regularly. Working on projects that we enjoy results in a better quality of life for us, and a better end product for our clients.
Reason #5: Satisfaction From Providing Value
Being able to see the fruits of your labor is always a satisfying feeling, and the results we get for clients are very visible to us. By staying in touch with our clients and checking analytics we can get a clear picture of how much we are helping their business. Seeing the results makes the work feel worthwhile and drives us to continue to improve. Since we’re confident in our abilities, we can offer our expertise to businesses we work with, resulting in a better end product.
Reason #6: Location Independence
After reading The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, and researching the growing “digital nomad” trend online, we recognized the many benefits of running a business that can continue to operate regardless of our location. This gives us the potential to see the world without stepping back from our work. Right now we are taking advantage of this by staying in a hotspot for digital nomads: Chiang Mai, Thailand. Our expenses here are very low, meaning we are under significantly less financial pressure than if we were living at home in Ireland, while still enjoying a relatively high standard of living.
This is a brilliant upside of this kind of work, especially for young people who want to spend some time exploring the world.
Reason #7: Being Our Own Boss
Being your own boss lets you completely tailor your work environment to suit your needs. We can go work in a coffee shop for a day, or play music in our office while we work. No one is looking over our shoulder to see if we’re hitting targets – targets we set ourselves! This requires a good dose of self-discipline and initiative, but if you have those, being your own boss is an extremely rewarding experience.
In general, running an agency gives us a lot of freedom to live the way we want to. We are in full control of how we spend our time and get a lot of satisfaction from seeing our work deliver results for clients.