Two years ago, Karen Casella and I were left frustrated after searching for websites relevant to forty and fifty-year-old women with a passion for life. There was so much out there for millennials and people in their twenties and thirties but things dropped off after that.
Being friends for a long time, we always wanted to create something together and decided to fill the gap in the market right there and then. There was only one problem – we had no idea how to build a website. Oh, and we both already had full-time jobs.
It might sound crazy now but we consider ourselves determined chicks! We felt really passionate about showing that no matter what your age is, you can reclaim life’s goals and dreams that many of us set aside for many years because we’re “too busy”.
We knew we had to learn the basics of coding to build a good site but the prospect was overwhelming to say the least. I run a construction supply company with my husband and Karen and her hubby run a dairy farmers’ milk delivery business. We both have worked in practical jobs for a long time and really had no experience working online.
It seemed like an intriguing mystery and I was worried I was too old to learn. I thought – are there any other women in their forties learning to code?
Not to be put off by a challenge, we found a coding workshop by Meeum that looked welcoming. We embarked on a two-hour flight from Townsville to Brisbane to attend. To be honest we were initially just looking forward to a fun girly weekend away and thought if we learn anything – it’s a bonus!
Little did we know that this course would change our business so dramatically. We quickly realised we had to rebuild our website from scratch – we had focused on what looked good rather than more important things like search engine optimisation.
It was like lifting the lid on a new hidden language. Without the course, we would have a website that no one would be able to find on google – Gorgeous Life would probably be relegated from a business to a hobby.
On returning to Townsville, we built our current Gorgeous Life site which is a hub for all things health, fashion, relationships and recipes. We’ve also created an online shopping store using Shopify.
Working on weekends and learning as we go can be tough but we have never looked back. I would say to anyone who is interested in coding, setting up an online business or just learning something new “do it!” – whatever your age.
I think it’s important we keep doing things that are foreign to us to keep the old grey matter moving. I’m so glad I indulged my inner nerd and am now part of the coding community at 42.
How to code a Website, SEO for Beginners and Website on a Weekend workshops are running across Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne. Tickets from $75. Found out more at www.meeum.com