It is difficult to say when the story begins, perhaps it started in my fifties when a boss said to me, “one day you will find out you are not worth as much as you think.” I never forgot those words and from that day on the chip on my shoulder grew like a snowball rolling down a mountain. From that day on I knew it was time to move on from the comfort of a corporate job, the security of knowing you always had a paycheck coming in and the medical benefits my family depended on.
At the time, I was working in the home entertainment business which was going through a rapid consolidation and many of my good friends who worked for movie studios were being laid off as the number of accounts they sold movies to were disappearing as fast as milk during a winter storm.
As my friends kept being laid off, they searched fervently for sales jobs, insurance sales, real estate sales, car sales, they were salespeople at heart. Some went years before finding work as they learned fifty plus year-old salespeople making six figures were being replaced by thirty-year-old salespeople making half that.
I admired salespeople, their skills were impressive and my only foray into sales showed me how hard it was and the thought of having to close a deal to feed my family was petrifying.
Sniffing Out Wix
As the companies I worked for were sold or went out of business I started my search for a new comfy corporate career and quickly discovered what my good friends had already experienced, I was either too old or too expensive for the corporate world. Maybe I was not worth what I thought, but old? I had the physical and mental energy of a twenty-year-old and my creativity and technology savvy were as sharp as they ever were. It was time to “rage, rage, against the dying of the light.”
When a great friend encouraged me to start my company, I was petrified, but I knew I had no choice and as an elementary school teacher once wrote about me, “Steve likes to daydream,” and dream I did and built my first website for my new company, Starting Gate Marketing.
I built my first site on Squarespace, which at the time was more popular than Wix. The experience was painful, time consuming and frustrating. I have always been the type that when I need help, I need it now and exchanging emails for 2 or 3 days to solve a problem is a horrendous experience.
Then, while working for a non-profit and managing their WordPress website and incurring big fees when we needed an update, I suggested we move the website to a new platform so I could manage it myself and save us money. Having tried Squarespace, I decided to sniff around to see what other platforms were available and most importantly at the time, offered phone support.
My Nose Led Me to WIX
The journey began with my first website migration and with each passing hour I found myself immersed in the WIX website builder like a game of chess, thinking through all the possible moves and seeing the game develop. If I made a mistake, I could take back a move and try something else. It did not dawn on me then, but it does now, that my lifelong passion for chess was a key driver in falling in love with WIX.
When the new site was done, the Board of Directors were impressed and that instant gratification was an adrenaline rush, like building my first Lego and seeing my creation come to life without any prior skills.
And then someone asked if I could build a website for them and I did. It was rewarding! Then I did another, and the adrenaline kept pumping. Eventually I saw an ad to become a Wix Partner and my nose was filled with scents of hope and excitement.
When I was accepted into the WIX Partner Program it was like the first day of walking into a new job, nervous, excited, and so much to learn. But perhaps everything I needed to learn I had already been taught without ever realizing it. The countless hours of playing chess, my years with Blockbuster Entertainment and delivering customer service at the highest levels. My years in marketing and advertising, perhaps these were the foundations to a successful career as a Wix Agency Partner.
The Dog Learns New Tricks
One of the first things I learned about running my own agency is if I could not sell clients on how I could help them, I would be stuck in a pile of doo. Yikes, I am not a salesman I thought, I have never been good at it and was petrified at the thought of having to sell someone on my services. But sell I must, and I spent countless hours honing my pitch letter. Turns out my degree in creative writing would be another key driver in selling myself, my services and the WIX platform.
My dad used to say, “you get out of it, what you put into it,” and as hours turned into days, days into weeks and weeks into months, my confidence grew, my client base grew and before I knew it, I was becoming more than a Web Designer, I was now a salesman and a problem solver, hellbent on doing whatever I needed to do to earn 5-star reviews from my clients.
Now, at sixty-two, nearly three years since I did my first Wix website, I obtained my first milestone, one-hundred straight 5-star reviews on WIX.
My passion for WIX and helping customers from all walks of life, every type of business, no matter how small or big, is like my first passion for movies and chess.
My sister always asks me, “how did you learn this,” and I reply, “you can always teach an old dog new tricks.”
Starting Gate Marketing
Creative Web Design from Start to Finish