Contestant's Case to Win
This is based on the number of votes received.
I am a 50 year old web site Usability Consultant and Founder of Cre8pc.com, UsabilityEffect.com and Cre8asiteforums.com. My clients are small and medium businesses, to web development and ecommerce corporations, to search engine marketing companies. I started out in 1995 as a newly divorced, stay at home mom, who had been out of the workforce for 3 years. My children were 3 and 6 years old. I had a 286 PC with WordPerfect wordprocessing and AOL connection in my kitchen.
I chose to make my own way. I made a serious and risky decision to work out joint custody, and ask for no support whatsoever, even though I was unemployed, had no home, no local family support and no money. During the split from my husband, we shared our house while I taught myself HTML and image animation in our kitchen. This landed me a job with the first company, a high tech magazine publisher, I applied to as a webmaster. I was put in charge of 13 websites. That was in 1995. My first site for them was Internetwork.com. I did both design and search engine optimization for them, teaching myself new skills at night before going into work in the morning.
I worked full-time to be able to afford daycare and a small condo to live in. At night, I freelanced in search engine optimization work and launched Cre8pc.com, a teaching site for SEO. In 1997 I was laid off, went completely broke, and if not for a friendly landlord, was a heartbeat away from being homeless and being forced to give full custody of the kids to their Dad.
I worked day and night, finding small jobs here and there and finally was hired by Unisys as a webmaster consultant. In 1998 I started the Cre8pc Web Site Promotion club, which is now known as Cre8asiteforums. I also went on to work for Verticalnet as a User Interface Engineer and later, QA Software User Experience and Functional Testing Engineer. I was laid off in 2002 during the dotcom crash, but by that time was earning enough to take over the mortgage of my old house.
Within 6 hours of being laid off, I was sub-contracted in software application testing by AT&T Worldnet. That enabled me to remain self-employed. I now own my home and am putting my eldest through college.
1996 Began Cre8pc.com
1998 Started the Cre8pc Website Promotion Club in Egroups/Yahoo!
2002 Launched Cre8asiteforums.com
2002 Started the Cre8pc blog
2004 Launched UsabilityEffect.com, my consulting site
2008 Launched Akesana.com
2009 Working another new website
Member of the Usability Professionals Association
Board Member, Baseball Little League
Booster Club, High School Football
Presently donating services to Austin based non-profit
Columnist for Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Land, conference speaker, articles published in multiple online sources, guest blog writer for Search Engine People, Bruce Clay blog, SearchEngineRoundtable author, volunteer head webmaster for local Little League and on their Board. Involved with local school sporting events and helped create school district web site guidelines.
I knew I could thrive if left on my own. I took responsibility and accepted my mistakes. My path to success was dependent on my willingness to learn from mentors,not being afraid to ask questions and definitely not being intimidated by anyone. I'm very close to my kids. My daughter is a 4.0 college student and my son is a popular school and community athlete, who has won many awards, including a gold medal in power lifting.
I believe I'm proof that mothers can achieve anything, and let no one try to stop them.