Today marks the one year official anniversary of Web Friendly Help LLC. You’ll want to follow the links throughout as they contain music tributes. Cue the anniversary song! No one did it better than the Flintstones, eh?
Before I go any further, I need to thank my early customers. Many of you trusted me, a business newbie, and my business, by paying for my services. Nowadays I have a few more financial transactions under my big belt, but I never take anyone’s trust or money for granted.
Next, I have to thank my taco chompin’ buddy. Yeah, you know who you are. You say the graphics are cheesy. I say cheesy isn’t a bad thing, especially when it’s slathered all over a taco or burrito. Man, I’m getting hungry here!
Lastly, I have to thank my Genius J-Squared team, Jesus and Judy. Jesus is closer than a brother to me, a trusted friend, and my God. He’s that persistent small voice that is always reminding me to keep going, even when it is hard, especially when trying to do taxes, or work out payment invoices for the state Governments.
The other part of that J-Squared is my loving wife, Judy. She is my faithful soulmate. She always made me believe that no one could do this work the same way as me. While others can do this work, no one does it the same way. People need your unique approach. People you work with need you to help them with your personality.
So, thanks again everyone. It’s because of your support and trust and encouragement that I have the impossible dream that is a reality. I am a completely blind entrepreneur who is making lives better, one individual at a time. It is wonderful, precisely because you all have been wonderful and gracious to me.
Web Friendly Help has two new features this month.
First is a new deals page. You can find it on the website by going to the deals link at the top of the page.
I was inspired to create this because I’ve wanted to offer some good credible computer deals to anyone who may need them. If I find a good-looking computer deal, I’ll post a quick announcement about it. If anyone subscribes to my deals announce-only list, you will get it too.
It’s important to remember that I sell no physical goods. These deals are third party, and though I’m familiar with all the companies I recommend here, I have no control over the quality of the product itself. As such, I make no claims regarding warranty and the like.
The next feature is news. This is important to me because it can be difficult to locate news that is related to access technology. What I do is handpick news sources and put them up on my news page again at the top of the website. This page is updated several times per day. Screen readers can easily jump to each news story by pressing the letter I.
If you hear something you like, just press ENTER on it.
Some of my readers have mentioned that they have put the news page as part of their start page in their browser of choice. That’s awesome and I’m truly honored.
Current Status and Long-term Goals
Right now, I’m focused on providing the best access technology service that I can deliver to you. I’ve also recently started doing virtual assistant work, as well as audio editing work. I love doing all of those things.
Below are my long-term goals for myself as well as for the business that I started one year ago. As you can see, they are kind of one and the same. If they are realized, they will have a real impact on the blind and visually impaired community.
- Demystify the process of starting a business for a blind/visually impaired person
- Hire other blind/VIPs for meaningful work
There is tremendous untapped talent in our community. As a quick example, take the NVDA screen reader, developed by blind programmers who were determined to do something about the existing state of screen reading technology. Today, their product is used all over the world. I want to do something similar with my company, perhaps on a smaller scale than the example of NVDA, but no less impactful for the individuals involved.
Lasting Change requires Tenacity
As I mentioned, I started this company with little to no help from anyone, aside from assistance with signing pesky government paperwork. I don’t say that to pat myself on the back, but because it is very doable as someone who is blind. Many people who aren’t living with any kind of disability struggle to start a business or even a hobby for themselves. I find that this pessimism is exacerbated among the VIP community. Sometimes this is due to ignorance, lack of confidence, or even laziness.
It has been said that finding a job is itself a full time job. Oftentimes when a blind or visually impaired individual lands an interview, they do not end up getting the job. Many times, this is through no fault of their own. Sometimes the job position is filled, but other times this is merely an excuse not to hire someone with a disability. This conundrum is partly what led me to start Web Friendly Help. I kept asking myself, If someone who is blind has skills and cannot get a job through traditional ways, why not start a business?
If you spend countless hours working on your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, handshake, interview techniques, researching each company you interview with, and on and on, and you still don’t get the job that you are qualified for, then why not take all of that time and turn it into a business. In a nutshell, that’s what I did.
With that, I’m going to conclude this article. I‘d like to leave you with a few thoughts to consider.
Starting a business is easy, running it is hard. This is why being an entrepreneur is not for everyone.
If you’re tired of the job search hamster wheel and you are highly skilled in a few areas, consider turning that into a hobby or business for yourself, then eventually for others.
Buck tradition and think outside the box to get it done. This will mean different things for different people, but sometimes you just need to think differently.
You will fall. Pick yourself up again. Do it 100 times until you reach your goal. Then move on to the next mountain and repeat. If you have added to your experience and learned something, even if it’s how not to do something, you are still richer for that experience.
You will learn more from your mistakes and failures than from your successes. I just have to tell ya, that last one is my most popular message for people. Everyone just jumps for joy when I tell them that. 😉 Not! It’s true though.
OK, I’m done now. Time for a taco or 10. As always… Qapla!