Digital Sweat Equity: If you build it, grow it, and commit like hell to it . . .

. . . they will come — and hopefully stay awhile.

Q1: How many perfectionists does it take to launch a website? A: What launch?! We're nowhere near done! But hypothetically speaking, four.

Q2: What happens when you take a scrappy DIY blogger and pair her up with a design-strategist / brand-catalyst / game-elevating genius? A: You're clicking on it, friends.

Gratitude for this gorgeous internet abode goes to:

  • Creative Director, Designer and Visionary-in-Chief, Adam Chaloeicheep
  • The Brilliant Developer One-Two Punch: Nina Cross and Alex Mangini (built on Thesis 2.1)
  • A small village of supporting cast members, and
  • A sprinkling of magic that bore a strikingly strong resemblance to blood, sweat and tears

I've shared a bit about each of their roles below . . .

But first, a little history

I can still hear the grinding, beeping, dopamine-inducing buzz of our dial-up connection as it signed on to AOL when I was ten years old.

Do di do di do di do. SKAAAAAAAARRREEEEEEEEE!! The sounds are forever etched into my brain, as that’s when my love affair with the Internet began.

The INTERNET?! What is this magical, wild, undefinable creature of fascination?

The joke was on me when I chose for my seventh grade project to program a sitemap of . . . wait for it . . . the entire Internet as we knew it at the time. It was no wonder I kept getting frustrated when I couldn’t keep up.

The signs were all there for me to become a blogger someday. I was a hardcore bookworm, I had become immediately obsessed with our first computer (an Apple IIc), and I created a family newspaper, The Monthly Dig-Up, that I sent faithfully from sixth grade through my senior year of high school.

After a few fits and starts in college, it took my own first mini-crisis as an adult before finally pitching my own first virtual stake in the ground. Life After College! I proclaimed on a whim in 2005, ready to help other twenty-somethings who felt lost and confused, with tips and resources I gathered from around the web. Two years later I added a blog.

Who the hell am I, and what the hell is a blog anyway? Who knows...but I was willing to feel my way through the dark to find out.

If you build it, they will come, I told myself. And I meant it. I didn’t care about making money or learning about marketing . . . I just wanted to be useful. Not much has changed.

It is only now, approaching 8 years after buying my first domain, nearly 6 years of blogging, and 2 years after releasing my book and quitting my full-time job, that I am FULLY stepping into a wide-open website under my own name.

Which brings us to today

Beyond the set-up of, oh, my whole life (no pressure!), this transition has been one long tactical year in the making.

I have slogged through confusion, existential questions, fear about jumping into a personal development pool with the “big fish,” and quandaries around WHO AM I if not the “after college” blogger?

But day-by-day, and with Adam's help, I have found more clarity around each of those big questions. Though there are still plenty left wide open, I am proud to say that from the design to the copy to to the photography to the toolkit to my hand-drawn icons and handwritten headings, this site is fully ME — life after Life After College.

I will be exploring the intersection of mind, body and business through the lens of my own life, which includes solopreneurship, travel, and creativity (the blocks as much as the successes) — and might even sneak in a few yoga pointers here and there ;)

It Takes a Village

I couldn't have asked for a team of more generous, brilliant, hardworking individuals than those who worked on this site over the last year.

I am truly humbled to turn the floor over to them today, as this is really a celebration of their work that I am LUCKY to have my ideas bundled up in. To read full bios and learn more about who they each work with, visit Meet the Magicians.

Without further ado, please help me give a raucous standing ovation to:

Adam Chaloeicheep: my creative director, brand strategist, visionary, and genius designer who guided me through every step of this project, starting last June. Adam, this site would be nowhere near what it is without you. Thank you for showing me a higher vision than I could have ever imagined for myself.

Nina Cross and Alex Mangini who helped bring our vision alive through their dedicated, innovative, Thesis 2.1 development magic . . . and their saint-like patience with my many last minute edits and additions.

Willie Jackson for his site speed ninjary in the midst of a big move to Boston, and to Shaun Carrigan for generously helping me whip together the welcome video, smack in the middle of his own feature-film release for Tell it on the Mountain.

Dan Khelleghan, Adam, Mark Hanaeur and Galo Delgado on the outstanding photography

Melissa Anzman for being my go-to strategist on all things blogs, business, courses and launches. She is whip-smart and damn good at what she does; Melissa keeps me sane.

Want to help me make their day? Please leave them a love note in the comments below, as this site is truly a celebration of their amazing work.

What's next? A few suggestions:

And stay tuned for my next post, which will outline the entire behind-the-scenes process (complete with an epic new Website Launch Checklist Template).

Last but definitely not least:

Thank you to my incredible friends and family, the community of people I am fortunate enough to serve (that's you!), and to all of you for reading this far.

It is with you top of mind that this site was built, and it is readers like you who make the work I do so feel so damn worth it.

To all those who asked me the daunting (if deceivingly simple) question, “What’s Next?” over these last few years, I am finally ready to unveil my reply.

Welcome — it’s an honor to have you here :)

Much love, Jenny