I've always embraced technology from a young age.
Growing up in Colorado, I spent a lot of time playing outside when the weather was good.
I only came home for lunch and had to be home by dark.
My stepdad would always say "Kids should be seen but not heard," if we were noisy.
He worked at AC/DC, a small appliance repair company, and then later at JC Penny, repairing appliances.
We had an Apple computer when they first came out.
He taught me how to play games on it.
They were learning, and spelling games, and some taught me how to code.
We had AOL. It was slow and used "dial-up," so it tied up the phone line when we used it.
I always had all kinds of electronics in my house.
We even had a full-size space invaders arcade game in our basement, and my dad modified it to use pennies to play.
In high school, I took computer classes on an Apple computer that looked like a dog kennel with a tv screen and an attached keyboard. I learned CAD design programs and how to type on a keyboard correctly.
I was born in 1977, part of GenX. Many studies say I'm a millennial. There are also other names like Gen Mill.
I was born partially deaf. I can't hear sounds like other normal hearing people can.
For me, the sound volume is always turned down - about halfway compared to normal hearing people.
My grandmother, mother, daughter, and I all inherited the same genetic bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. My older brother hears fine. My boys hear normally. Many others in my family can hear perfectly too. Genetics are weird.
Growing up, I started talking and walking later than other kids my age. I was quiet, but I wasn't stupid. I was taking a lot in. I was a visual, hands-on learner.
I got my first hearing aids when I was 4, after failing my first hearing test.
Now, newborns are tested at birth so they can be fitted right away for hearing aids to avoid any delay in speech or development.
When you lose one of your senses, the others over-compensate. I learned to read lips and body language.
My memory, attention to detail, intuition, and manifestation abilities were heightened.
I didn't let my hearing loss slow me down.
Growing up, I could do everything everyone else could except hear all the way.
My mom taught me how to make money by collecting aluminum cans for money to go to the pool during the summer.
I ran lemonade stands and had garage sales.
Once my brother and I made a circus and charged money to neighborhood kids to run in an obstacle course and play games in my front yard.
I was active, trying out many things my whole life.
I took dance classes when I was a small kid and played t-ball and softball.
I tried basketball and volleyball and danced with my friends in the middle school talent show.
In high school, I was a cheerleader. We won second in the state in a nationwide cheer and dance competition we were in.
I was a diver for the swim team and on the gymnastics team.
I played flute in the school band and once got "first chair" and a solo part during a concert.
When I marched with my school band, I was playing the flute or carrying the banner in front of our marching band with another cheerleader.
We had a blast marching in parades, including our home-coming, harvest festivals, state competitions, and CSU's homecoming.
I was a track all-star. I did it all, hurdles, running short and long distances, high jump, long jump, shot-put, and relays.
I received academic all-star awards for having good grades during high school.
I held a high-grade point average for most of my classes.
I lettered in all the sports I did.
In my junior year, things fell apart a little bit for me. My parents moved from Windsor to Loveland, and I had to attend a new school.
I decided to hate it. I got in trouble.
Dropped out of sports.
I got bad grades for not following instructions.
I ran into the principles truck while backing out of the parking lot to ditch class.
He was kind enough to forget about me playing hooky for not being a hit-and-run.
I paid for his deductible so he could fix the dent on his truck.
I returned a crappy book to my teacher after failing her class for not bringing it back in time. I did the right thing, but too late.
As soon as I turned 18, I moved out of my parents' house, back "home" to Windsor.
I wanted to finish my senior year with the class I grew up with. Graduate with my friends.
I first lived with an older friend; she invited me to share a place with her after I turned 18.
She couldn't stand living with me and moved out after a few months and left me alone.
One night while I was out eating with a friend, my apartment was broken into and trashed. My hot water heater was broken and never fixed. I had no hot water for many weeks.
I decided to move into a new place that had opened up down the street.
My new house was broken into as well!
I lived alone for the rest of my senior year of high school. And although I loved it, it did get lonely at times.
I'd accidentally oversleep, and be late to class.
Only so many times will they allow you to sign your own excuses for yourself when you're late for school.
I was kicked out of high school in my senior year for missing too much school.
I didn't give up on graduating high school with a diploma.
I re-enrolled in high school the following year in a new city and state.
My new school district required a hearing test that I failed.
They helped me get services that replaced my hearing aids. The moment I got hearing back, was amazing!
I remember wearing my hearing aids while driving home after picking them up from the audiologist.
I could hear birds chirping, and the words being sung on the songs playing on my radio.
I was afraid the engine of my Honda might explode. I had never heard of an engine running before. My friends finally filled me in; it always sounded like that. It was pretty normal sounding for a car engine.
I graduated half-semester with a high school diploma.
After graduation, I moved back to Fort Collins to live with the guy I had been dating since I was 17. We later broke up when I was 23.
I met my husband shortly after and had three kids.
I've tried many jobs in life trying to figure out what I'm good at.
I've been a babysitter, fast food worker, waitress, barista, telemarketer, pizza delivery driver, call center rep, cell phone salesperson, retail store manager, marketing, and advertising sales consultant.
I've had to adapt to every job because of my hearing loss.
My hearing loss causes my understanding of speech to be delayed.
It's a little harder for me to understand verbal instructions.
Sometimes up to 5 minutes can pass by after someone says something to me that I heard before I could finally understand what was said.
It's frustrating for someone that is deaf or has a hearing loss to have a normal conversation. Frustrating for people who are talking to them too.
I can't hear over the phone very well. It's hard to stay focused on any phone conversation. I have to turn the volume all the way up.
Background noise is a significant annoyance. If there is any, that is all I can hear.
Many people I meet can't really tell I'm hard of hearing unless they see my hearing aids.
My long hair usually covers them up.
I don't point out my disability.
Most people find out I can't hear when I'm changing out my battery after it's died, or when I tell them I can't understand what is said.
Many times in life I've ignored condescending looks seemingly questioning me for not listening, or paying attention.
I'm used to disgusted looks after I ask a "dumb question" if it's been talked about already. Or for asking "what?" too many times for clarification, to be 100% sure that I understand what's being said to me.
I clarify because I get confused easily. Once I understand things, I'm solid.
Being hard of hearing is like playing the game "telephone" with everyone you ever talk to - all the time.
I'm frequently wrong about what people actually say.
If I'm not looking at the person talking to me, fully paying attention to them, and reading their lips, I might not understand them fully.
I don't define myself by my disability.
After graduating high school, I took a few college courses before I realized that I wasn't 100% sure what I wanted to do with my life. I was wasting my money and time there at that point.
I stopped going after I earned a few credits at a 4.0 average, to focus on working to support myself instead.
I got my first cell phone when I was working in the cell phone industry. It was a huge Nokia from Verizon. I used it for calls and texts.
My first camera phone took small pics, but you could only send them via text. If you emailed it, the resolution on resizing was terrible. It had no internet access.
Then I got a used Blackberry because I was ready to get better access to my email.
Does anyone remember these? I couldn't get it to work for me.
I got access to a desktop computer when I moved in with my husband and at my cell phone sales job.
I joined Freecycle and used Craigslist.
I auctioned stuff on eBay and purchased cheap accessories and replacement cell phones.
Fast forward to my first real corporate job.
My client was impressed with my follow-up when I sold her a cell phone with a free data plan for a month.
I called to remind her to remove it if she wasn't using it. Then she invited me to work with her at the Coloradoan.
For many years I worked at that newspaper, learning all about advertising and marketing (with a cell phone that didn't get online at all.)
She taught me so much about leadership, marketing, and advertising.
My sales talents had been well-honed from reading books on sales and from years on the sales floor selling, recruiting, and teaching others how to do it.
This was right about when the iPhones started to come out.
I remember at the time I was using a Magenta Motorola V3 Razr.
Then the hinge broke, and I was forced to upgrade. That was when I finally got my first "smart" phone.
I developed an addiction to reading and creating content online, and connecting to others using social media. Finally, I felt like I could connect to others, on an even playing field. Who cares if you can hear on social media?
Then my work got really into digital advertising.
Newspapers nationwide were getting shut down, consolidated, or moving to once-a-week, twice-a-week publications with online websites to update everyone daily on news and info.
I watched sadly as the Coloradoan sold thier press. We outsourced our printing to our competitor, Denver Post.
I remember going on a tour of the Coloradoan when I was a kid, seeing the press in action, printing newspapers.
I also got a tour of the press when I started working in the Coloraoan advertising department, but it wasn't running at the time.
Working at a media news publishing company for ten years helped me learn so much about advertising and digital marketing.
From the beginning of social media and the internet, I was there and trying everything.
It became so ingrained into my daily life, that I became an online examiner in my free time, writing stories about roller derby. (A sport I joined at 26).
This taught me more about journalism, writing content for targeted audiences, and promoting it on social media.
I paid out of my own pocket for a social media marketing management course to learn more about managing social media for others.
At work, I suggested adding social media management to our client's marketing options.
We all became experts in social media to grow our followers and reach, but I noticed many didn't appear to have the same interest in social media that I did.
I was mocked for using it so much and even got in trouble a few times for being so social.
I quit friending my bosses so that they wouldn't know when I was active on social media.
I perfected using social media to get prospects for advertising sales.
I had more followers than many huge companies that I worked for including my own before they started adopting it.
Social media never sleeps.
I read somewhere that people that spend more time on social media are lonelier and more depressed.
Perhaps that is true.
For many other reasons for me though.
While at the Coloradoan, I became a new mom three times over. My husband stayed home with them while I worked.
I took it hard, being away from my kids and working all day.
Then my team at work was restructured.
Shortly after getting a new sales manager, I lost my job.
I was pregnant with my third child then, and the only supporter of a family of 4 going on 5.
It seemed terrible then, but it helped me get closer to my goal of being home with them.
In my next job, I worked at the Greeley Tribune, in the advertising department there. I commuted 40 minutes each way. I spent my entire waking life in other cities for two years.
I fell further into a depression over not seeing my kids enough.
They tore my heart out when they begged me not to go to work as I said goodbye each morning.
My first year at the new job performance-wise was phenomenal.
I blew my goals out of the water, and made more money than I ever had.
My manager was excellent. Everyone I worked with was so nice and supportive.
Then they restructured the team.
I got a new manager. Goals became unachievable.
I ran out of sick and vacation time, and I couldn't work from home anymore when my husband would get sick.
I decided working there was not something I wanted to do much longer. I saw the end coming.
When things went downhill there, I started to look around and apply for other jobs.
I was feeling overwhelmed. I wanted a work-at-home job. There weren't any that paid the same income I needed to survive. I was ready to be home with my kids.
After losing my job at the Greeley Tribune, that was the moment I started my journey to being an entrepreneur. I knew I had to use the internet to make a living.
This decision changed my life for the better.
I've become a business owner, entrepreneur, boss-babe, mompreneur.
You can say I'm living the good life.
I'm seeing my family every day.
I can be there for them so much more than ever before. I don't have to get time off to attend my doctor's appointments or take my kids to theirs.
I can attend my kids' field trips, parent-teacher conferences, and class parties.
They are all into fun activities now.
I even have activities I do all alone, for the first time in a long time.
The nagging guilt I felt over whether I'm a good enough mom has dissipated.
The company I started was called Boudica Marketing. Boudica was my roller derby nickname. I provide marketing consultation, and social media management for businesses.
I make and update websites and develop marketing plans. I handle media buys and create ads.
I made my website http://www.boudicamarketing.com.
I also made an e-commerce gift store with dropshipping, BoudicasMarket.com
Before I lost my last few jobs, I was searching for any way to work from home.
I started learning from others who were doing the same.
I was struggling to pay our bills by myself.
My husband got sick all the time, making me miss a lot of work while he was in the E.R. hooked up to an I.V. to give him fluids and pain medicine.
A few times he was sick, and he told me he would die. I believed him.
He survived and was finally diagnosed with I.B.S.
He can't eat onions or garlic, or he could die from cramping, vomiting, and dehydration.
I remember one day I was on the way home from work, feeling like a failure at my job and life.
I pulled over to the side of the road, and in desperation, I searched from my cellphone to make more money and work from home.
An ad from Tai Lopez targeted me. How to increase your income. A youtube video pitching 67 steps.
He became one of my influencers.
My husband got jealous that I was listening to him so much on my phone.
Many people including my husband liked to make fun of Tai Lopez.
I appreciate his new ideas and other perspectives.
He made me realize that multiple forms of income and passive income were the only way to really thrive.
I started to follow and learn from anyone he mentioned, like Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and Warren Buffet.
I realized I needed to start living my life; time was limited. My kids were growing up too fast. I was missing it all.
I followed marketing industry experts Tai suggested, like Grant Cardone, and Gary Vaynerchuck.
I focused on being healthier so I wouldn't loathe being myself.
I tricked my mind into loving myself, by pretending to until I did.
I joined Kinobody (on Tai's recommendation) and lost 80 pounds.
I started to meditate and do yoga.
I have a hip impingement from years of sitting at my desk job.
I went to the doctor to help me diagnose and fix my hip pain.
I did physical therapy, and it helped. The pain is gone, and I know how to manage it if it returns.
I started to read again.
I give back to the community by organizing free kids' clothing swaps.
I made a considerable effort to intentionally figure out a way to better my life using the internet to work from home so I could live my life more fully - and be a part of my kid's life too in a meaningful way.