Meet Wild Web Woman Michaela Latavanh! Michaela is the founder of Beachside Studio, a web design and digital strategy boutique that creates client-attracting websites for women business owners with big visions.
What inspired you to launch your business? I moved to Brazil for love. When I arrived I couldn’t speak Portuguese well enough to get any local design jobs, so I started searching for virtual jobs. That’s when I discovered the entire online business world and never looked back.
How has your previous employment experience aided you professionally? I started freelancing while I was still at college to build my portfolio with real-life pieces but ended up enjoying working for myself so much that I never worked for anyone else with exception of one internship and working and traveling as a scuba diving instructor.
Do you weave your values into your business? How? I believe that time is our most precious currency and it should be spent with the people you love and doing the things you love. I strive to create solutions for my clients that will give them back time. I believe your business should give you life not take from it.
What is the best part about being a web-based businesswoman? The freedom to schedule your business around your life, being able to wake up without an alarm, the freedom to work with who I want to and to help others succeed.
What is the most challenging part of being a businesswoman? Work-life balance. When you work for yourself especially because you are passionate about what you do, you tend to overwork yourself. I find it hard sometimes to stop so I have strict boundaries like no work on weekends or after 5pm.
What is your favorite way to unplug from work? Go to the beach! I love to surf, play beach bats with my husband or take my dog for a walk on the beach. Hence my business name 😉
How do you maintain your health? Your mindset plays a big role when you work for yourself so it’s important to make sure you have a healthy mindset. I make sure to celebrate my wins (even if they are small) regularly, keep my eye on my own work to avoid the comparison monster and making sure I stay true to myself and my values and what success means to me.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments? My client’s success. I love hearing their success stories.
What helps you increase your productivity the most? Systems! If you have systems and processes in place, you fly through your tasks and find ways to automate things. I try and automate as much as I can.
Focusing only on the tasks that will get me closer to my goals. I find it’s easy to be busy and have a never-ending to-do list but if you forget about the fluff and only focus on the tasks that are truly going to get you closer to your goals, you will find yourself with loads of free time.
What are some risks you have taken that resulted in positive outcomes? I highly recommend investing in mentorship. Every time I have done it, it has propelled my business ahead.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date? It’s a journey. And not everyone’s journey looks the same. No need to compare yourself with others.
Things are not perfect off the bat. It’s better to get something out there and test it and let it evolve than to wait for perfection before you launch it.
How do you maintain a work/life balance? This is a struggle but I set clear boundaries for myself and my clients. For example, I don’t work on weekends and holidays and I stop my workday at 5pm.
Business-wise, where do you see yourself in ten years? Semi-retired (working with fewer clients) and traveling 🙂
Where’s your favorite place to work from? My home office with Spotify blaring.
How do you make your home a productive space to work? I have set business hours, so my husband knows when he can bother me 😉 And I have a dedicated spot for my office.
What is the #1 piece of advice would you give to women aspiring to run a business and become Wild Web Women? Defined what success means to you. Success looks different for everyone and it’s easy to get sucked into what success “should” look like. By chasing other people’s dreams you will never fulfill yours.