Overcomer Series with Melinda Isaacs

Overcomer Series

melinda-isaacsWhat do you do?

I’m a fine artist and WordPress designer + developer who works with creatives, small business owners, and art enthusiasts to bring beauty into their business and lives!

Growing up, did you always dream that you would be doing what you’re doing now?

Absolutely! I’ve always dreamed of making a living doing what I love: creating. It wasn’t until I went to a vocational school during my junior and senior year of high school for Interactive Media that I wanted to do something with web design + development. Then once I got into college at the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art, & Planning to get my BFA, my love for art came back and I knew then that I wanted to combine my love for design and art into a versatile business that I absolutely love!

What made you decide to “go for it” in terms of your career goals/ambitions?

I finally decided to “go for it” after I had enough of working at the local casino. It was a 2nd shift position that was incredibly demanding, and it meant a lot of my work went unappreciated. It also meant that I worked long, unconventional hours and had no control over my schedule.

Working this job kept me so busy that all I had time to do was work and sleep with very little time to work on my degree. There was constant stress, and it was causing me so many medical problems that I had to find a way out. There was a month where I was out of work because I ended up so sick – I was bedridden. That was definitely not a life worth living!

So, I made the decision in May of 2015 to put in my two weeks so that I could finish my degree on my terms. This ultimately became the push to take my freelancing career into full-time work! I hustled like mad and in the end, everything came out just fine! I have steady income, I’m doing what I love to do, and I was able to finish my degree!

Did you face adversity? How did you overcome that?

Oh yeah! While I was working at the casino, it eventually became more and more difficult to finish my degree and I was under constant stress of figuring out how I was going to plan the classes that I need around my work schedule. My managers also me a hard time about needing certain times off to go to school, and the work environment that I was in wasn’t healthy at all.

After thinking about the pros and cons, I decided that my best and only choice was to leave the casino and begin building a better life! A few months before I left, my fiance wrongfully lost his job at the casino (we worked together) and I became sole support until I made the decision to leave. Thankfully he was able to get on unemployment for a few months, but that was short-lived. Eventually the casino fought unemployment and won, which meant that we had to rely on savings to make ends meet while everything was beginning to come together.

I was able to work as a freelancer while finishing my degree, and my fiance was able to find a steady full-time job. The first few months since I made the decision to leave the casino was insanely difficult, but it was ultimately worth it in the end!

A lot of women have these big goals & big ideas that they’d like to bring to life, what advice would you give them in terms of how they can make that happen?

Just go for it! I understand that it’s scary and daunting to think about the “what if’s” when making a huge decision, but you’ll never know unless you go for it! Work hard, play harder, and let your heart guide you. It may be rough in the beginning, but it’s so worth it in the end!

What’s the biggest regret you have when it comes to your blog/shop/business?

My biggest regret is that I didn’t learn the basics completely before I began freelancing. More specifically, I didn’t learn about taxes. Taxes have always terrified me, and you don’t realize just how much is going into them when you first start out. I’ve always known that 30% of your income needs to be set aside for taxes, but learning how to file them and when was another story.

Learning how taxes work took a lot of trial and error to get the hang of, a lot of blood, tears, and sweat, but thankfully I have a great support group that I can go to for help and advice!

What’s been your proudest moment so far?

My proudest moment so far is finding steady income! As a freelancer, you’re always worrying about how you’re going to find enough work to pay the bills, keep a roof over your head, and food in your belly. After months of searching, I was able to find a client who was in constant need of my services and I’ve been able to make ends meet ever since!

And, just because we like our coffee around here, how do you take yours?

Ooh, coffee! I love mine with a few teaspoons of sugar, a little ice (iced coffee = ♥), and caramel and coconut creamer!

I believe in the story of the overcomer. That has been my story and I believe that is your story too. We want your journey here on the blog to help encourage others just like you and me. If you’d like to share that with us, please come over and share your story with us!

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