Badassery Magazine March 2018 Issue22 - Page 31

I nterior Designer, Sarah Daniele, was laid off from a design firm and decided to try to run her own design business. She found one of the biggest challenges for independent designers is finding new customers while maintaining her current projects, so she decid- ed she wanted to do things differ- ently including automating the op- erations of her business and have monthly recurring passive income. She asked her software develop- er husband to create the tools she needed to manage her own design business. Many other designers who saw her software wanted to find out how they could start us- ing it for their business. At first, she didn’t intend to bring the platform to the design industry as a whole, but after establishing the size of the demand for the product, Sar- ah announced she’d be building the Mydoma Studio platform for her design industry colleagues. Transitioning from a design busi- ness to a tech startup wasn’t an easy process. She’s wanted to be an interior designer from as long as she could remember. She says, “I love design so much. So, all of the sudden, this new opportuni- ty presented itself where I wasn’t going to be Sarah Daniele, Inte- rior Designer. And, I didn’t know how to transition well out of that. I didn’t want to disregard this op- portunity, but it was difficult be- cause it was who I had become and who I wanted to be.” So, over- coming the emotional aspects of the transition was a challenge. In the beginning, she was run- ning her design business full time in addition to building the soft- ware. But eventually, she phased out all the design work and was able to focus on the software full time. She said, “That was a really hard day. That was the day when clients started calling and say- ing they wanted to hire me again or a referral would come in and it was just, ‘No, I don’t do design anymore.’ And, that was terrifying.” Not only was it scary for Sarah to put all her efforts and attention into something she didn’t know would work, but was emotional- ly challenging to put something on the back burner that she’d worked so hard for and been so connected with in her life. One of the things that she found challenging in the beginning was getting the early validation she needed to prove that her software as a service would be profitable. “It’s one thing to go out and say, ‘Hey, I’m building this thing.’ and have people say ‘Yeah, I want in on that.’ and send positive emails and sign up for a beta, but then to actually take action and do the things you want in the beta and then get them to actually give you money for that thing you are sell- ing, that was challenging. I thought like a lot of other entrepreneurs out there, I thought ‘If you build it, they will come.’ But that was 30