Nowadays

Zac Parsons, a friend of mine who writes about the arts, culture, and sports, recently asked me what Watershawl was up to nowadays. Here is my reply:

With due diligence and a lack of self sabotage things will continue to get better. They are good right now, but there’s room for improvement. I’m expanding my focus from WordPress web design to Google Apps and it’s corresponding marketplace apps such as Salesforce.com to be a cloud app shop more than just a design shop. This is what Small Box Web might call becoming more integrated.

I’ve always been a business analyst/consultant in a designers clothing so now I’m just letting more of the tech side shine through. I had other brands like Telablue, Growmotion MarketingProfessional Technology Consulting, Geek Hand, Managing Actions, and Ether Fleet, but I consolidated those late last year into one Watershawl brand. After redesigning my logo to have a “water shawl” around a user head I saw the connection between the “water shawl” and a “cloud” and saw an opportunity to rebrand my services as cloud apps.

I struggled for a long time with how to connect web design with technology consulting, but once I realized the connection was cloud apps, it was easy because WordPress and Google Apps both live in the cloud. Essentially I want to be an Appirio for small businesses. I looked at applying there, but it looked like I wasn’t qualified even though I’m doing a lot of that stuff already. Instead I’m just going to learn from them.

In high school I ran a club and when it came time for me to graduate I handed over leadership to a sophomore named Mike Martin. Mike went on to get a degree in computer engineering and now works at Appirio. I’m having lunch with him on Monday to pick his brain and see if he’d be willing to freelance with me on some projects.

I’d love to get a client in Evansville. If you run across a company that has a website, but is still using a Comcast or Gmail email address then they are a candidate for Google Apps. It’s free for up to 10 users and after that $50 per user per year. Once they are on Google Apps they can add CRM, project management, or accounting software easily and cross-selling a web design becomes easier.

What’s going on with you?

Business On the Side

The days of working as a business analyst by day and a business consultant by night are starting to wear on me.

For those of you who don’t know, I run Watershawl Technology Consulting and do Internet Marketing for Cost Publishing “on the side” while maintaining a day job as a business analyst. I’m Microsoft Certified and have worked as a network technician in the past so I tend to understand both sides of the fence. I realize the balance that needs to exist between business needs and technical specs. This makes me a good business consultant.

The problem is time, which is the same problem we all have. I know I am entrepreneurial by nature and enjoy solving problems, but I can’t be in two places at once and this causes stress. Its stress I put myself in, but like I said, its starting to wear on me. I’ve been working “on the side” since I graduated from college in 2005. Even before graduating I worked full time while in school. I know what it means to balance work and life goals. Every once in a while, though, you have to ask yourself, “Why?

Why do I do what I do?

I enjoy watching my clients businesses grow while my business grows at the same time and I’ve learned to relish that growth, but what am I growing into? What is Watershawl? I dream of the day this company is able to employ myself and others for the good of the community, creating and updating new and exciting solutions for customers online and off. I would love for my children to have someplace to work or learn new skills as they grow into their careers. I would love to be able to work from home. Those are all the goals I am working towards. That is who Watershawl is. What can Watershawl do for you?

August 2011 Update: My First Day of Work After Quitting My Day Job

96th and Allisonville

This tree is old. I liked its gnarled roots sticking up from the ground as the cows most likely tread on it in the past. Does anyone know what type it is? I can’t place it. I wanted to get a picture of it before the area was developed further. Next door is a Walgreens. The White River runs in the background near the tree line. When I was a maintenance worker at a summer camp in Michigan, there was one particular tree that when I mowed under it, I couldn’t help but think the tree was majestic. It was a maple. I don’t have to mow under this one to consider it so.

[Update 1/7/2012: This tree became known as The Watershawl Tree because of it’s use in the Watershawl logo for a time.]