Pivoting to Success: 5 Key Business Lessons from Angie Black

Chipo   2

Updated on February 27, 2024

Nothing beats the thrill of starting your own business.

The moment when you decide to start building your own path to creating the life of your dreams. 

But, this journey comes with a lot of doubt, uncertainties, and challenges. Even the most experienced entrepreneurs aren’t immune to the fears that creep in as they wonder, “Will this actually work?”

But that fear doesn’t stop them from moving forward – and neither do the challenges.

Setbacks can serve as a springboard for even greater results – and you get to see that in today’s lessons from Angie Black.

Keep reading to learn how she turned a business idea that didn’t pan out, into a successful freelance business that’s allowed her to build her path on her own terms.

Angie’s journey is an example of how being proactive and adaptable, and using the right tools, can lead to remarkable results.

You Can Build Your Business On Your Terms

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for how to run a business or build your own “ideal” path.

How your business turns out will differ from the next person – and that’s okay.

What’s important is knowing what you want and being willing to do the work to achieve it. 

And with the right tools to build and grow your business, you’ll be surprised by what you can achieve.

To show you it can be done, Tony sat down with Angie Black, a thriving website designer and marketer who helps business owners bring their ideas to life.

Angie’s proficiency in creating high-converting platforms for her clients has led to profitable success. Just take a look at what her previous clients have said about her:

Want to learn how you can achieve the same results for your business? Keep reading.

Building Your “Dream” Career Path: Five Practical Lessons

Angie’s key business principles can be broken down into 5 core takeaways. Keep reading to learn how to create a business that leverages your strengths:

1. If Your First Idea Doesn’t Succeed, Try Again

Starting a business, or launching a new project, comes with its share of uncertainty and fears.

One of the biggest worries being “What if this doesn’t work out?”

It's pretty common to wonder if all the effort you're pouring into your project will pay off or if it'll end up being a lesson learned the hard way. 

In Angie’s case, her first idea became the springboard for her next idea – which turned out to be much more successful.

Angie Black

"I came up with an idea – a website. A dating website. But, that's no longer what I do. It was how I started.

I hired someone to build the website for me. And that’s how I started learning about websites. Eventually, the idea didn't take off. So, I decided to take a different path. And here I am."

Angie pivoted, channeling her skills and passion into web design and digital marketing, areas where she hadn't initially envisioned herself but found remarkable success. The best part? She loves what she does.

“I’ve always been so good with technology so doing this felt right from the beginning.

I love the feeling of freedom my job provides. This is the longest job I’ve had in my life and I know it’s because, even though I do ‘the same’ thing – all sites, projects and clients are different. That’s what brings variety and new experiences my way all the time and I love it.”

Recently I made a rough estimate of how much the websites I’ve created have sold and it came up to around USD 1.5 million. So, that’s something I can brag about! I’m really good at it. The websites I create sell… and a lot. I always tell my clients: bring traffic to the site and it’ll sell.” -- Angie Black

So, if you're staring down the possibility that your idea might not work out, take a page from Angie's book. 

Step back and take a moment to reassess, learn from what didn't work, and keep an eye out for new opportunities where your skills can shine. 

Your initial concept might not stick, but with a bit of flexibility and an open mind, you're bound to find your niche. 

Let every setback refine your path, not define it. After all, entrepreneurship is about finding your way through the twists and turns, not racing down a straight path.

2. Build a Tech Stack That Will Help You Achieve Your Business Goals

As we always say, the tools you choose for your business (your tech stack) play a big role in your business’s success.

Don’t base your selection on what’s new or shiny. Every tool must contribute to your business’s performance in a tangible way. This may take some trial and error before you find the right software.

In Angie’s case, she tried out several different website-building platforms for her business. And while most of these options offered ease of use, she found their design and customization options to be very limited.

When she decided to switch to WordPress, she struggled at first. Compared to her previous tools, WordPress had a steeper learning curve she had to navigate. But for her, it was worth it.

“As I started learning about the advantages of having your own website and paying for your hosting, you have more flexibility and control.

And usually over a long time, the cost of having a website on WordPress is way less than having it on another platform that offers immediate ease of use.

I've had a lot of projects that have involved moving clients from other platforms to WordPress.” -- Angie Black

Angie’s tech stack locked into place when she discovered Thrive Themes in 2019 after a client recommended it to her. 

“My first product from Thrive Themes, for myself, was Thrive Architect and I loved it so much

It was so easy – all the things I could do. It was fast, light, and I loved the way I could optimize everything.”” -- Angie Black

At the time of discovering Thrive Architect, we hadn’t released Thrive Theme Builder yet. So, instead of using other WordPress themes for her client’s projects, she built their entire site with Thrive Architect alone.

“I remember having to go through periods before having Thrive Theme Builder in the market where I would build websites that only consisted of landing pages.

So I would have a landing page for a homepage, an about page, sales pages, etc. And it was easier to use only Thrive Architect and not have to depend on a third-party theme.

I had watched many tutorials about Thrive Themes and learned all that it could do. So if someone came to me with a different theme, I would tell them I only design with Thrive Architect.

And now, only with Thrive Themes products.” -- Angie Black

3. Find Your Field and Focus on Becoming the Go-To Person

One of the best ways to attract potential customers organically is to become the go-to person in your field.

Some would call this “niching down”. 

A lot of new online entrepreneurs – freelancers, coaches, consultants, etc. – tend to feel hesitant about focusing on one field because they think it’s limiting. But that’s not true.

When people know what you specialize in, it’s easier for them to determine whether you’re the right person to help them or not.

For example, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk are well-known names in the tech industry – but they specialize in different areas.

In Angie’s case, she chose to stick to web design and email marketing because those were her areas of interest and strength.

“I don’t run ads, don’t do social media or anything else outside websites and email marketing which is my area of expertise, and I always tell my clients to hire an expert for those things if they want to get good results.

Platforms are big and complex enough to provide full-time jobs to experts. I’ve known freelancers experts at Pinterest only, or IG ads, or YouTube… you name it. It’s better to be an expert on one thing instead of being average in several things.” -- Angie Black

The best way to identify your area of focus is to play to your strengths. What can you talk about all day every day – and can help your target audience?

Once you’ve found your answer, start from there.

4. Embrace the Journey of Continuous Learning

Every project comes with its challenges — even the ones we love.

Angie loves WordPress and its benefits, but it came with a lot of learning.

“I will say, learning WordPress was challenging for me. I’d known other platforms that were more user-friendly. But, it took me months to really understand how WordPress worked.” -- Angie Black

In addition to studying WordPress and Thrive Themes tutorials, Angie also spent a lot of time learning from other web design and online marketing experts, including Marie Forleo, Amy Porterfield, and Donald Miller.

“There are endless resources nowadays to learn new things. I’d say around 60 or 70% or what I know has been self-taught.” -- Angie Black

If you’re currently struggling with a tool or business concept, look for other experts who can guide you. Learning is part of every entrepreneur’s journey, including yours.

Thrive Tip

If you’re a Thrive user who needs help with something on your website – or general marketing advice you can get help from the following places:

5. Be Proactive: Don’t Wait for Opportunities to Find You

When Angie talks about her business path, she describes it as something that “fell into her lap”. She was presented with a new opportunity after her initial business idea didn’t pan out, and she chose to run with it.

“[After completing a Marie Forleo training] I started meeting people. And since I knew things about websites because I was building my own. So, I started helping other people just out of wanting to share knowledge. And they started hiring me.” -- Angie Black

People are drawn to businesses that solve their problems. And the best place to share your knowledge, outside of your own platform, is in forums and groups where your target audience is.

“I found my first clients in Facebook groups. There was a really big group I was in and I started helping people. Then that's when people started hiring me.

It got to a point where, if someone would post, "Oh, I'm looking for a web designer." People who knew me would tag me as a recommendation.” -- Angie Black

Part of finding clients for your business involves taking the first step to build a relationship with them. Look for ways to offer assistance (without expecting anything in return, first) to build trust with your prospects and funnel them to your website where they can learn more about you.

And For the Freelancers…

One of Angie’s main tips for upcoming freelancers is simple: think out of the box. 

“Technology has changed and challenged the traditional way to create and run a business. 

New opportunities appear every day in areas we didn’t imagine a decade ago. To thrive as a freelancer in the digital world, it’s essential to have a new and different perspective on businesses and keep an eye out for new opportunities everywhere.

Be proactive, have initiative, and always keep learning. People who are used to being directed at a job have a hard time transitioning to freelancing. This job requires initiative, you won’t make it if you’re waiting for someone telling you what and how to do it.” -- Angie Black

For Angie, becoming self-employed wasn’t just about making money, it was also about living a life on her terms.

“I love the feeling of freedom my job provides. I say I’m not a good employee because I’m a rebel and don’t know how to obey (hah), so being 100% in charge of what I do makes me feel good.” -- Angie Black

In this day, freelancers have a plethora of tools available to them to give their businesses a competitive advantage – AI, website-building tools, social media, etc.

Dive into learning and find ways to use these tools to optimize your freelance business and offer value to your clients.

Are You Ready to Take Your Next Bold Step?

It took several bold steps, and a willingness to adapt, that led Angie to create a thriving online business.

As you read through this post, you’ll notice that her priorities, in running her business successfully, involved hosting her own website and having access to design and customization freedom.

And she couldn’t achieve that without the right tools.

For Angie, her main tools were WordPress and Thrive Suite.

Angie Black

"That’s my condition to potential clients. ‘I’ll move you to WordPress, but only with Thrive Themes.

I can only guarantee that it's gonna be fully optimized and it's gonna be high-converting using Thrive Themes. [With any other theme or tool] or I cannot guarantee that same quality."

Start Your Journey with Thrive Suite

You can do the same thing, too. Starting with working on your online platform.

Thrive Suite, our premium WordPress plugin bundle, is your key to building a website and online business that stands out.

Thrive Suite landing page

You’ve waited long enough to bring your new ideas to life. There’s no better time to start like now.

Purchasing this bundle saves you from spending $1000+ on five to six plugins to try to achieve the same results. Giving you more time and resources to implement marketing strategies that lead to more sales for your business.

These plugins are easy to use, offer an expansive library of customizable templates, and are updated regularly – helping you stay ahead of the competition.

What are you waiting for?

Get started with Thrive Suite today.

by Chipo  February 27, 2024


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