I failed at becoming a doctor …
I failed at becoming a doctor …
Okay, I didn’t really fail. But you’ll have to read on to see why.
Before I get into other blog posts, I wanted to start by introducing myself and tell you a little bit about who I am, how I got to where I am today, and why I started Trademark Virtual. If you didn’t get everything you were looking for on my about page, then you can find extra juicy details here.
So let me begin.
I officially launched my website design business, Trademark Virtual, in July of 2021. However, my business started unofficially in March of 2021 after unexpectedly landing my first client from a Facebook group. I grew up in a small town in Ontario, Canada and have a brother who is 14 months older than I am (bless my mother). From a young age, I wanted to grow up to be a doctor. I wanted to be a doctor, my brother wanted to be a lawyer – a parent’s dream. My brother is now a lawyer, and I am now not a doctor.
However, I did follow in my brother’s footsteps and applied to the university he was attending. I was accepted into the Bachelor of Science program and was scheduled to start in September 2012. So I packed my bags, bought some dorm supplies, and set off to start my journey. My first-year schedule was oh so fun – calculus, physics, chemistry, biology, and one elective. Knowing that this was a heavy school year, I asked my brother what “bird course” he would recommend. He told me that Health Studies fit this description; show up, do the assignments, and you’ll get a good grade. I cried after every exam, and I mean every single freaking one, of my first year except for my health courses. How does someone go from being top of their class, receiving awards in high school, to feeling like they nearly failed every exam of their first year? And so, to my surprise, I did not fail a class in first year, but I was dreading second year.
When it came time to declare my major, I had a choice: 1) stick with the Bachelor of Science and apply to Life Sciences and be on my way to med school, or 2) be disloyal to my lifelong dream of med school and declare a Bachelor of Arts Health Studies major. And so, after feeling like I let myself down and thinking that I would never achieve greatness, I declared a major in Health Studies.
I finished 4 years happy as a clam (kind of) and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health Studies. Okay, so what next? If not med school, then what? I applied for a Master’s of Science degree in Public Health and Health Systems. I won’t bore you with the details, but I wrote a thesis on cannabis use and inpatient psychiatry. Okay, so what next? I got a job as a healthcare researcher. And now what?
Having gone through life thinking that you always needed to be achieving something, I felt unfilled working a 9-5. I felt like I wasn’t advancing – I was used to advancing from junior kindergarten all the way to the end of my Master’s degree. I was constantly chasing the next big thing.
Finally coming to terms that I would not be fulfilled with a regular 9-5, I started to dream up all the businesses I could create. Dreaming is one thing, taking action is another. After sitting on the dream for some months, I officially enrolled in a course for aspiring entrepreneurs in November 2020. Although at first I felt more lost than found, I hooked onto website design and haven’t looked back. Initially, it was difficult to see the parallels between my formal education, my life experiences, my innate skills, and website design, but I quickly started to see many:
- Attention to detail: I can quickly spot double spaces, missed punctuation, and unaligned elements. Important in academic assignments and website copywriting.
- Planning: Central to getting any school assignment in on time and also getting a website launched within schedule.
- Multi-tasking: Juggling multiple clients and multiple jobs has been learned through balancing education and recreational activities throughout my entire life.
- Resourcefulness: Google is your best friend not only while in school but also when designing websites.
- Writing: I know how to make a strong argument. Story-telling and relatability are central to converting website visitors to paying clients.
- Research: A lot of your time while in school is spent researching. The same thing goes for website design – you need to know who your target audience is, what others in your industry are doing, and what people are looking for and/or need.
Today is September 6th, 2021. Approximately 2 months after officially launching my website design business. I cannot wait to look at this post in the future and remind myself how far I have come. If you are compelled to reach out to me, or share the word about my business, I would be so honoured. Here are 5 lessons I’ve learned so far on my path from aspiring doctor to website designer:
- You’re allowed to change paths: No one but you can tell you what you should do with your life. If you’re feeling unfilled, pause, reflect, and take micro-steps in the direction that feels right. You are not a failure because you didn’t achieve what your 6-year-old self wanted to do.
- Take the leap: Although it might seem scary at first, jump into whatever your heart is telling you. It is so easy to keep making excuses. If I didn’t purchase the entrepreneur course in November 2020, I very likely would not be where I am today. Just do the damn thing.
- Formal education is not the be-all-end-all: You do not have to have formal education to be successful in an industry. There are so many resources online to teach you the skills you need to start a new career.
- Lean on your network: Although scary at first, reach out and let others know of your new venture. People are way more supportive than you think!
- You learn far more than industry knowledge from school and work: I can’t stress this enough. What I learned from both my degrees was less content knowledge, and more intangible skills. What this means is that you do not need to feel pigeonholed into the industry that you received formal education in.
Until next time,
Who we are
Trademark Virtual is a website and design studio serving clients across the globe. We are passionate about helping people use websites as a resource to free up time and strengthen online presence. Our design approach is customized to each client to ensure that their unique pain points are understood and addressed.
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