How I became the first in my family to start my own business

Source | LinkedIn : By Nathaniel Andre

In this series, professionals discuss their experiences accomplishing something for the first time. Read their stories here, then write your own using#IWasTheFirst in the body of the post. 

Growing up, we have all heard the phrase “study hard, get a good job, and you will retire comfortably”. My entire family, both the younger and older generations, have continued to be dead set on this belief. For me growing up, it seemed as if there was no other professional path to take – no freedom for divergence. Yet, after many of my experiences with the startup culture at Cal Poly, I was eventually able to escape from this uniform mindset. Within the last couple of months, I have begun focusing on my dream to create my own search engine optimization consulting practice, having already begun working with my first client. I am currently assisting CCSE improve site traffic in an effort to help increase their outreach to the local community. This makes me the first in my family to actively go after starting my own venture.

I won’t lie – there are many other people who could provide a more detailed description of how they have built a company from the ground up. However, I offer unique insight into how opportunities to start something new can present themselves to us all in many different ways. My journey began last summer when I interned at NeuroSky, where I worked on promoting our new ALS software by driving traffic to our site. This is where I initially built up my understanding of search engine optimization and the factors essential to increasing search engine rankings. I developed a passion for this field, which I brought with me when my internship ended. Yet, even more impactful for me was the unique opportunity I received to chat with the CEO of NeuroSky during my last day of the internship. Through a series of stories, he explained to me how he believed that everyone from the Bay Area owed it to themselves to start their own venture at some point in their career. I have kept this piece of advice with me to this day.

Fast forward to the start of this school year, I was looking for opportunities to further improve my search engine optimization skillset. After searching for local positions, I applied for a marketing internship at CCSE, a local nonprofit which focuses on ecological restoration. During my interview for the position at CCSE, I spoke to the director extensively about my search engine optimization experience, and why I believed his organization needed to implement these techniques to thrive. A week after the interview I was informed that I didn’t make the cut. However, in an effort to better myself, I endeavored to learn what factors that influenced the director to make his final decision. Through our correspondence, he explained to me that he wanted someone with a publishing background, but was still extremely interested in my search engine optimization experience. He then inquired as to if I would be willing to provide him assistance in improving his search engine rankings. I – of course agreed to help.

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