During my first semester in college, I picked up a book from the student bookstore called Majoring in Success. I was thrilled to discover that the author’s primary ingredient for success after graduation was knowing exactly what you want your career to look like before the end of first semester freshman year. If this was the one ingredient I needed to be truly successful, I had it. I knew exactly what I wanted to do and exactly how I was going to get there and I pursued that vision aggressively for all four years of college.
I bet you can guess what happened next.
I majored in Journalism in college with an intense focus on broadcasting. After graduation, I planned to send out my reel or audition “tape” to several small towns across America and see which one bit. I would cut my hair, buy some bright-colored pantsuits from Lord and Taylor and start off as a weekend anchor somewhere in the middle of Idaho or South Dakota. I would work as hard and fast I could to become the next Diane Sawyer. Or Oprah. Or even David Muir. Whichever option would have me, I would gladly have it.
It turns out I wanted different things as a college graduate than I’d wanted as fresh-faced 18-year-old. In spite of all the hard work I’d done to make my teenage dreams come true, being Oprah would be really, really hard. While I'd still do her job in a heartbeat, I found myself anxious about the work it would take to become her. I wasn't so sure I was willing to put in 100+ hours/week until "success" arrived.
When I visualized my happiest life, I didn't see a specific type of career as much as saw myself with time to enjoy my surroundings and have a family. Up until senior year of college, I'd been asking myself what I wanted to be when I grew up. What I started asking myself instead was how I wanted to feel. What do I want it to feel like to be in my own life?
The career I was pursuing - rather, the way I planned on pursuing it - didn't seem to make room for any of the feelings I hoped to manifest. I was only 22, but I already knew I wanted a life beyond work, work, work. Having a family was more important to me than any dream I could think of, and just as soon as I realized this, something funny happened.
I wrote a story on a friend’s yoga career that ended up in The Boston Globe. The story included a photo I took rather casually, but my friend’s friend saw it and wanted to hire me to help me photograph products from her jewelry line (still following? Good.) The friend called me and asked if I could help her and I said "yes" even though the photo she saw was one of the only professional ones I'd ever taken (this leads me to one of my favorite pieces of business advice: say yes, figure it out later!) The friend wanted to pay me more than I’d ever made on an hourly basis to do the job. I thought, if I can just get a few more clients like this, I can start my own photography business!
It was a great thought, but there were a few things I wasn't considering. One: photography was one of my passions but I was leaving bunch of my other skills on the table by trying to turn it into my sole pursuit, and two: I was living in Boston, one of the most expensive cities in the continental US. I would need a whole lot more clients to start my own business and the clock (read: my inexpensive, one-of-a-kind sublet) was ticking. Finally, I ran out of time and came home to Houston, Texas to regroup and determine what I would do next.
Shortly after coming home, I landed a salaried position working for my mom’s then-web design and development company. I’d learned a few things about websites from my time working with the jewelry company and felt an instant passion toward my new line of work. Still, I craved the autonomy that I knew would come with being a business owner. I worked 40 hours/week for my mom and spent the time between 5 PM and bedtime hustling and building up my own expertise. I vigorously researched web design and development and worked as hard as I could to hone my skills in all things websites, social media, branding and copywriting. After two years, I still wasn’t where I needed to be to “jump” and start on my own, so I took a job that had more flexibility and continued working full time while pursuing my own web design and social media marketing business. After three more years, I landed the biggest client I’d ever had, left my job and never looked back.
It took me six years to bring my post-grad dream to life, and every year brings new challenges, demands and adventures. I now work proudly with clients who are building or continuing to build their own dreams by showing them what I’ve learned and helping them get where they’re going through my services.
In my near-decade of experience, I’ve worked with published authors, super lawyers, work-at-home-mom entrepreneurs, musicians, artists and everyone in between. I work from home in the Heights neighborhood of Houston where I live with my husband, toddler daughter and gigantic golden doodle, Hampton.
I now run a business in which I ask my clients what I asked myself at 22: how do you want to feel each day? What do you want your mark on the world to be and what does that mark look like? What do you want to say and to whom do you wish to speak? With each client, I start with these questions, and from there we build the website, social media marketing plan or portfolio that helps them share their message, connect with their ideal audience and continue making their visions a reality.
If you’re interested in working with me, great! Simply fill out the form below to get in touch and let’s get to know each other better. I look forward to hearing from you, learning more about you and how I can help you along your journey!
Interested in working with me on your next project? Use the form below to get in touch.
Laura Max Rose is a writer, blogger, web designer, marketing maven, TV personality, wife + mama. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas with her husband Ben, their daughter Selma Baines and their son - nay, golden-doodle - Hampton.
As one of the youngest employees in one of Houston's top web design and development firms, Laura was able to effectively hone her skills as a project manager and brand consultant while working with individual web design clients on a part time basis. After several years working for larger companies and a non-profit, Laura pursued her own web design and consulting business where she proudly works with small and large businesses, best-selling authors, artists, musicians and highly visible non-profits to bring their missions to life.
Laura has been regularly featured on several local news programs including Great Day Houston and the Fox 26 Houston morning show as an ambassador for millennials and everything that employing them, living among them and dating them encompasses. She previously hosted a radio talk show based on her former blog, "The Light Files" where she had the honor of interviewing everyone from Houston's Former Mayor Annise Parker to famed "The Doctors" host Jennifer Ashton all before turning 26. Her new blog, "Jewish Penicillin" which is more parenting-focused, is her #1 passion project.