Ryan Gawick is a future entrepreneur who recently completed a coding boot camp that will help set the foundation for his business. He has spent the last few months creating projects from scratch and making a portfolio that will showcase his newly acquired skills.
Born in Canada, Ryan’s family first moved to the United States when he was five, only to quickly move to other countries in short order. Before returning to the States permanently, Ryan lived in France and Venezuela, giving him a unique view of the world.
Ryan received his undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University and his master’s from Houston Baptist University. He has an MBA and BBA in Marketing. He hopes to use his education to propel himself into the tech world.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I have always had an interest in technology and Web development. When I was younger, I’d build websites as a hobby using HTML. I wanted to expand on my knowledge so I could pursue a different career.
How do you make money?
With web development, you pretty much have to establish yourself before you start to make money. Once I have everything lined up the way I hope to, I will be a freelance web developer that will charge for my services. Right now, I am still in the beginning stages of the process. I am building my portfolio so I can present it to potential clients.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
I know that will take some time for me. I’m just starting in this field and there is so much to learn. I am confident that once I have the skills and the portfolio that showcases my work effectively, I will have more opportunities.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I have had a few different jobs, so I have some different experiences with this. I think no matter what field you go into, you’re going to have those moments where you doubt yourself. Things may seem overwhelming or too difficult. Starting out isn’t an easy thing, but you have to hang on and push through. You’re not going to be successful if you give up, that’s certain. Just know that tomorrow will be a better day. Trust the process and be prepared to evolve your skills.
How did you get your first customer?
I am obviously still in the very beginning stage in this field, but I have researched how to get myself noticed. I intend to really hone my skills. I want to be working with the most up to date technology and be providing the most cutting-edge designs. The best way to get your name out there is to look for a website specifically meant to introduce developers to clients, like upwork.com. I expect that is what I’ll be doing once I feel I’m ready to present my best work.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
At the moment, I don’t have a need for marketing, but I have done some forward looking research. What I can say is that, no matter what product you sell or service you provide, focus on the quality. Obviously, the internet is a major marketing tool these days. You can utilize online advertising, but ultimately, it’s going to be those referrals that really generate new business. Word of mouth is still the most prominent way to grow. Be honest and approachable. If you don’t have those qualities, no one is going to recommend you.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I have been building my portfolio and taking in as much new information as I can over the last several months. I have been trying to find my path. I’m looking to establish myself with a company and I’ve been applying, hoping to find an opportunity. There has been some interest, but I still have not been able to break through and land that first opportunity. This profession is extremely competitive at the moment and the pool of people seeking a junior developer role is growing by the day. I am more than willing to relocate anywhere in the country at this point.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I don’t give up. No matter what I am doing, I want to be the best at it. I believe in learning as much and as often as you can. Don’t let difficulty sway your belief in yourself. All you can do is your best.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
So far for me, the best moment was when I was still working for a company in Portland. I’d been there about three years and they were looking for a distribution manager. The plant manager approached me to see if I would be interested. They needed someone with that experience and who was well-rounded. It was a great moment because I feel like I was being recognized for my hard work.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
Once I am where I want to be, I think the future is endless. Web development is a field that is constantly changing. I was drawn to it by the potential to have a career that will let me grow, as a developer and as a person. I feel like it will be really rewarding.
What business books have inspired you?
I do a lot of online research in several areas. I am trying to learn as much as I can about the whole process of starting a business. I haven’t read a specific book that I can think of right now.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
In my pursuit of learning all I can, I have purchased several useful courses on Udemy.com. It’s an excellent resource when you want to learn about literally anything. Whatever you think of, they’ll have at least a few courses on the topic. It has definitely helped me advance my skills.