Talking with talented people who are doing what they love for living is what these series of interviews will be all about. We can all learn from their professional and personal paths.
This time we got to talk to Morgan, lets dive in:
Morgan Ringrose, self taught web designer and developer working exclusively with Squarespace. Instagram mom to anyone who needs encouragement and a cheerleader.
1. How did you get into web design and development? Where/how did you learn?
I had my first taste of “coding” when I was a child. I would add HTML to my Piczo website and think I was the absolute coolest. When I was in my late teens I would code gamer profiles using iFrame in exchange for virtual cones for my avatars. It wasn’t until I finished a university degree that was completely unrelated to anything I do now that I really put my time and efforts into learning computer languages and front end design. It started with customizing WordPress to learning PHP.
2. How did you start freelancing?
I started freelancing by accident actually. I wanted to get more practice with WordPress so I started a Fiverr gig. $10 and I’ll install and setup your premium WordPress theme, then those $10 clients grew into full time clients, my prices rose, what I could do became more advanced then before I knew it I had made several thousand dollars and didn’t have time for a regular job anymore.
3. How did you get your first 10 clients?
It’s been so long now, I believe the first half a dozen or more were from Fiverr then from Instagram where I showcased my work in more of a portfolio style feed.
4. What is your plan for your business in the next year & 5 years?
That’s a good one. I think about this a lot actually and I don’t really have a goal setup for myself. This is my first year operating as a registered business and I would really just like to feel scaling financially. Sort of separate from that, I would like to teach coding to children in school. I remember having keyboarding class and it was so dull, I would love to work with schools to teach younger kids the basic understanding of computer language. So many kids have no idea this field is out there or that it might interest them because a number of kids aren’t exposed to it.
5. What are you currently learning?
For once, I’m not taking any coding classes! I’m currently taking courses on how to create a more education based platform and grow my reach. I firmly believe education should be free to all and if I know something useful I want to be able to share it openly and have it easily accessible.
6. What has been your biggest mistake with your business or clients?
Not having contracts signed with a deposit. Letting my personal feelings towards someone’s financial situation dictate an extremely low rate for a large amount of work. And under selling myself because I’m always worried my fees are too high and will be rejected.
7. What has been your biggest success (that you are proud of) with your business or clients?
My biggest success was last year, having a year of documented income that I could put down on paper. When I first started freelancing (and the 3 years after starting), I couldn’t even apply for an apartment because my income basically didn’t exist.
But on a client front, my business success with them is being able to create exactly what they wanted even when they themselves weren’t sure. When I give my clients the green light to go look around their new site and they’re over the moon about it. That’s a win for me. No matter how big or small the website, it’s such a feat to see them happy with my work.
1. Do you believe in work life balance?
Yes. As a mother and a wife, being able to balance my work day and wrap it up by the time my children are done school is what I strive for. It’s why I never gave up on pursuing this path. I love that every single day my kids know I’ll be there outside the doors waiting for them. One thing I had to learn was how to create boundaries for myself, my work and my clients. When I say I’m done for the day, I am done for the day and I need to go recharge.
2. What is the book you have recommended the most to your friends, family and/or coworkers?
The Night Circus, hands down. Excellent read
3. What does your morning routine look like? What does your night routine look like?
Let me go back to before Covid, right now I’ve been home with 2 children for 5 months and it’s just groundhog day.
Mornings: Once the kids are where they’re supposed to be, I get coffee, turn on my computer and set my iPad up. I watch Jenna Marbles videos as background noise because I get lonely sometimes. Check my Instagram, Facebook page, Emails and do a lap to make sure all of my clients websites are up and running without issue. Then it’s just deciding what aspects of what project take priority on that day then walk my husky 3-4 times before 2:35pm.
Night time can be chaos, but I find an hour to read and wash my face.
4. How many hours of sleep do you get?
Sometimes 8 but other times 2-3. Depends on what happened during the day. I find I get stuck on things that happened and can’t let them go which then keeps me up all night.
5. Favorite way to spend your free time?
Right now I play Animal Crossing. But in all honesty, I like cleaning my house and rearranging things. It used to be such a chore but now I find it therapeutic.
6. Blogs you follow and read (business or fun).
I only go on blogs for recipes and ONLY if they have a “skip to recipe” button.
1. What is the advice you find yourself giving more often?
I’m quick to share my mistakes with people, I think it’s important to humanize myself and show that everyone struggles. Because of that transparency I get a lot of questions about business, what to do in sticky situations like dropping a client that is disrespectful, or when a client isn’t paying. There are so many scenarios that it’s hard to know how to navigate so going to someone like me that has probably dealt with it before can be comforting.
2. What advice would you give to your 20’s self?
Don’t go to University.
3. What is something (phrase, advice, statement, rant.. ) you would write in the biggest billboard in the world?
MLM’s are a scam that prey on very specific groups of people and it should be illegal.
Where can people find you:
Social Media: Instagram @m.ringrose