a macbook and aurooba's hand holding a latte

Going solo

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There hasn’t been a big announcement or anything, but some of you may have heard that I’m going solo. So I thought this was a good time to explore why that happened and what that transition has looked like.

For the last 5 years or so, my gig was running Wanderoak together with my friend, Bobbi. She designed and I coded, the rest we did together. However, change has been afoot all around us for the last couple years and it was our turn. Bobbi and I decided to stop taking new work together as Wanderoak, to pursue different goals. I 100% support her new adventure(s) and I know she 100% supports mine. I’m thankful that our professional separation has been amicable.

I’m now working as a solo web developer who specialises in creating websites with WordPress. If you’re looking to create a new website, let’s chat! You can check out all the details here.

On the outside, it doesn’t feel like a very big change. I’m still working from home in my office. However, internally this is a brand new adventure and I’m excited for it. I’ve spent the last few weeks planning, thinking deeply, and preparing for this new chapter in my career.

So what’s changed or changing?

Logistically a lot of things have had to happen:

I’ve been working to switch everything over to my new work email address.

I set up a fresh Google Drive, inbox, new Asana instance, new Calendly account, and new Wave Accounting account.

I’ve registered my sole proprietorship under the name Aurooba Makes. I did it through the brilliant Canadian service Ownr.co so it was super easy.

I got new business cards with my name and info on them, in fact, I did this before I went to WordCamp US.

On the high-level business side:

I sat down and thought deeply about the kind of services I want to offer, pricing structure, who I want to work with, and created content for a new website accordingly.

I set business goals for myself that felt reasonable for my first year going solo (in many ways, this feels like starting over more than just a pivot). My spouse and I had a long discussion about what goals I would need to achieve in order to make this sustainable. I’m incredibly lucky to have a partner who is 100% behind me and supportive.

I designed and coded a new website for Aurooba.com that is more business focussed; should be live by the end of today.

The day to day:

This I’m still figuring out. My target audience and the folks I want to work with has changed completely since I’m a solo developer. This means thinking about new channels and different marketing. When I nail something down that is sticking (and working!) I’ll have more to share with you.

What was involved in closing down Wanderoak?

Doing this was sad. I am excited to be going solo, but Wanderoak was my life for the past 5 years. I still remember the day Bobbi and I paced around the kitchen island, took a long walk and analyzed every business name we saw, the sticky notes we wrote terms and ideas on, and the ridiculous names we came up with. And then we came up with Wanderoak. It felt so right and it felt so good. We told each other we needed to sleep on it, but really, we knew. We knew the moment we both said it out loud: that was our name.

Wanderoak is made up of two main things: our client-based service business and our tutorials and resources site, We Start With Good.

The nice thing is, because we were a remote distributed team, there’s not actually a lot of overhead!

On the service side there are a couple ongoing projects that needed to be taken care of. We also have hosting contracts with a number of clients. We decided that I would take over those contracts since I’m the better fit for it. Recently, we had also renewed our large hosting account with Siteground where we staged client sites and hosted We Start With Good; Bobbi needs some hosting and I already have some, so this account goes to her. We also have an Adobe Creative Cloud account together, which we are going to keep for the time being.

The second part is We Start With Good. We haven’t 100% figured out this part, but we will soon.

Maybe not business partners anymore, but still friends

Bobbi and I are friends. Yes, we shut down Wanderoak (although we haven’t legally dissolved the partnership yet; we’ll take care of that in the new year.). But our friendship is still there.

Bobbi has also officially come on as an organizer for WordCamp Calgary for 2020. So it’ll be fun to work with each other in a different capacity that isn’t a business relationship!

As you might be able to tell, I’m excited for the new adventures both of us are embarking on, but also sad. Sad for that which is ending, but also cognizant that it’s the right decision for both of us. Onwards we go.

Looking to get a new website made? I make pretty great ones. Learn more here.