We have had some pretty big changes going on behind the scenes these past few months. Changes that have been years in the making.
If you’re new around here, let’s catch up on a little history. Rachel and I (Sam) started out as “fellow creatives” and joined forces in 2014 to establish Northfolk. At that time, our little business ran about 80% on template sales. We were “living the life” with passive income. Pretty great right?
Things started to shift as our industry grew and the tools we used continued to develop. We eagerly took on some super amazing custom clients and template customizations as a way to
keep growing along with things. And we grew. Little did we know at the time, that we weren’t actually growing in a direction that “filled our cup.”
We slowly started to realize a few years ago that we were spending all our time building other people’s businesses and neglecting our own. So while we knew things needed to pivot a little, it was in that process, we realized how passionate we were about exactly that – helping other creatives build businesses.
So before we dig into all the new and exciting changes we have going on, we just wanted to take a quick minute to look back on a few highlights from 2019. Sometimes we get so focused on the things we want to be different, that we forget how great things really are.
A few things to look back on from 2019.
1. We were able to spend two weeks together this summer just connecting and spending time together, relaxing on the lake up in Alaska where Sam lives. Our goals for 2020 and beyond – more time together.
2. We were published for the second time in Spark by Showit.
3. We landed ourselves among the Top 15 Showit Designers.
4. We poured ourselves into some amazing self-education courses and workshops.
5. We had our first experience with outsourcing (a Pinterest manager worth her weight in gold)
6. We built some crazy beautiful custom sites for some incredible influencers, bloggers and creatives. Work we are beyond proud of, and clients that we now call friends.
7. And the most important thing – clarity. We did a lot of soul searching in 2019. What worked, what didn’t, what we are passionate about, and what we aren’t, what was good for business, without sacrificing our families and WHY we started all this in the first place.
Then we did something crazy…
I don’t remember when it was, it might have been late September, or early October – but we cleared out our entire calendar. No. more. clients. If you didn’t already have a spot that was paid for, you weren’t making the cut. Sorry.
I’ll be 100% honest with you – while we have been WANTING to do this for awhile – but too scared to take action, this wasn’t a business decision, it was emotional and personal. You see…. around this time Rachel’s Dad got sick. It was cancer. Having lost my Dad 13 years ago in a tragic accident, I told Rachel to sign off. Go be with her Dad. Soak in every minute she possibly can. Play cards. Laugh at memories. Hold his hand. Be there. Every. Minute. And she did.
So we closed up our calendar. I operated the business at 50% and Rachel spent nearly every day at the hospital.
A few weeks before Thanksgiving, only a short 6 week since he got sick, he was gone. It was that fast…..
So here we are, an empty calendar and a long list of dreams and aspirations that we have never had time for before. It was time to make a decision. Open our calendar back up to the daily inquiries of people wanting to work with us, or buckle down and do the hard work we have never carved out the time to do.
For the first time, it wasn’t even a hard decision. It was go time.
What you can expect from us in 2020
Okay so I know that this is what you are here for. What do they have up their sleeves you ask? Well let me break it down..
We have a brand new collection of Showit templates launching in January.
These templates have been a huge labor of love. Our newest collection will be exclusively Showit and exclusively sold in our shop (for now anyways). The modern website template has changed, grown and developed over the past few years. It’s no longer just about having a pretty website, it’s about having a strategic site with a clear purpose that engages, guides and converts your audience.
There will be three (3) templates: MacKenzie, Poppy Lane and Kodiak.
*All of our existing Showit 5 and Prophoto 7 templates have been moved to a “retiring” section on our site as they take the back seat to our new collection. Eventually we will phase these out of our shop, though you will still be able to purchase them through Showit or Prophoto.
We are breaking into the education field.
We have been working for nearly a year on building a course: Websites Without Overwhelm.
The past eight (8) years we have worked with hundreds of clients on custom projects and templates. We have seen people buy templates and never finish them. Or finish their site to never touch it again.
We believe your website is your businesses most valuable tool.
Our goal with this course is to create a NO-FLUFF program to help you build and most importantly, MANAGE your own website.
The big picture.
We design and build websites. We are good at it.
But our passion – the thing that fills our cup, lights a fire in us, that we could talk to a cold audience about for 30 minutes with no script….
We LOVE helping others see the opportunities in building their own business.
Self-education and entrepreneurship is the way of the future. You no longer have to choose between a career and staying home with your babies. A job you hate or struggling to pay the bills. There are ways to provide for your family without thousands in loans. We are proof. We have consistently ran a profitably business right out the gate, for over 8 years.
Our job as web designers, has allowed us to connect with clients in ways we have never imagined. We found ourselves coaching and strategizing in all things business. Over the past several years we have watched friends and acquaintances leave jobs they hate to stay home with their kids, pay off their debt and build financial stability for their families. With every person that discovered their own possibilities, we found ourselves called to a bigger purpose.
So while we are breaking into the education field with our website knowledge, our goals and passions are much, much bigger. 2020 is going to be a journey down a new and exciting path. We can’t wait to do the hard work, build a community and grow Northfolk into something we weren’t previously ready for, but we are now.