So one of the things that worries me is consistently hearing that women are afraid to start their own online businesses because of the expense. I’m always asked, “Would it be expensive to start my online business?”  or “Is it expensive to become a web designer.” My answer is always the same: Maybe. Which is unfortunately the reality. Depending on what you’re really wanting to do, the startup costs of an online business can quickly get out of control. But it doesn’t have to be that way for everyone.

Here’s my story:

In 2015, after going through a devastating divorce, and being stressed and tired at my regular corporate HR Job, I decided I needed a change. I had spent most of my life doing what others wanted or needed and now I wanted something that was MINE. I truthfully believe that to be successful at anything, your true intentions must be rooted in something deeper than financial gain.

So I set out to find what would make me happy!  Now, on my Pinterest account, I had always been fascinated by (what I didn’t know they were called this at the time) Brand Boards, for some reason these pretty little images brought so much happiness to my day when I would see them. I always thought in the back of my mind, I would love to do that. In addition, I’d always wanted to get into tech in some way, as I genuinely feel all women should have some sort of technology experience. 


“Your true intentions must be rooted in something deeper than financial gain.”

So the idea meshed in my mind: “Maybe I could become a Web Designer??”

It seemed to check all my boxes:

I could do it in my spare time (as I had no intention of leaving my full-time job–even though I was drowning, I’m also a bit risk adverse)…

I could join three of my current dreams and passions into one: Creativity, Technology, and Entrepreneurship….

I could teach myself: I’m what many refer to as an “LLL or Life, Long, Learner” and spend most of my time figuring out how to do anything by myself.

I could use it as a way to ‘turn off work’ when I got home at night (firing people…not fun peeps, not fun.)

The money was an afterthought truthfully–even though I was hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt (another story people– I knew I had a fairly secure job and enough experience to be able to take this small risk… but don’t get me wrong, the idea of bringing in extra cash was definitely a perk (I was in debt.)

Well, it was decided. I had the makings of a dream online business.

So I set out to teach myself how to design websites.

My first invaluable resource was a site called Skillcrush. If you are interested in learning more about tech skills as a way to change your life, the ladies over at Skillcrush will definitely set you up right. They had so many resources and information that my mind was blown, but alas, my frugalista spirit could not cough up the thousands of dollars for their courses (I’d already done that for a graduate degree)!

So I moved on to other resources, whatever and wherever I could find them. I taught myself to code for WordPress (though I don’t find it necessary as a web designer – but definitely a must if you plan to develop). I learned the key principles for graphic design, UI/UX, and Adobe CC (formerly Adobe Suite –or i actually think it’s still called that, but CC is ‘in the cloud’). I built simple websites for practice using HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Bootstrap and then I knew…okay, I can do this.

I knew that my passion was always WordPress, clearly as I love blogging too. But I HATE  repeat HATE coding in PHP. Like for real ya’ll. Fortunately, I knew from all my research that if I didn’t intend to develop themes I didn’t necessarily need to code in PHP. HTML and CSS would work fine and minimal PHP was necessary.  Trust me when I say, because WordPress is an open source platform and like millions of developers are always using, if I needed any PHP code, I could find it out there–WITHOUT EVER HAVING TO WRITE IT MYSELF!

Now, listen ladies, I can design the hell out of some s*** in Bootstrap, but as an L-L-L, I believe that if there are easier ways of doing things, they exist for a reason.

Enter Divi!

So that’s when I stumbled on to the Divi Theme by Elegant Themes. Ding ding ding… just what I needed! The absolute best way to mesh my love of design, with my love of WordPress.

If you don’t know what the Divi Theme is, you need to check it out, even if you’re not an aspiring web designer. It is Amazing!! To say the least… It literally allows me to design PREMIUM that’s right PREMIUM websites in half the time, for half the price…so I design and save money at the same time. It’s also unbelievably user friendly so anyone can learn how to use it, even if you don’t intend to design websites as a business–maybe you just want to save thousands by building your website yourself.

So there I was, off and running with my own online business and get this, the total cost of doing this: $248. Yes, you read that correctly. I said $248.00. Including my business license.


What’s more, in my first 20 days of business I landed 3 clients and made $3,000.00!

Now, again, it wasn’t all about the Benjamins, in fact my first clients came from a special promotion I did on my Instagram page for a 5 page WordPress website for $750.00. If I were to charge now it would be at least double that though.

And here I am today, a profitable online business, an invaluable skill set, and more importantly something that is mine.

If you want to learn more about the exact steps that I took to learn how to design premium branding and websites: 

Then attend my FREE Workshop that I’m holding on Oct. 4th at 1:00PM EST / 10:00AM PST.

I promise you will not want to miss it as I’m giving all my tips for how to do your branding and web design for less than $300, as well as how you can start your own online biz (even if it’s not web designing) for less than you’d ever imagined, PLUS I’m giving away a LIFE-CHANGING PRIZE!!

Affiliate Disclaimer: Please not that when you click on some of the links in this post, they may be affiliate links that could result in me receiving compensation. There is no cost to you for this, I just wanted you to know. Also, I would never advise products or services that I myself wouldn’t use. 



I'm Shannon Gurulé, I'm a Certified Life Coach, SHRM-CP, and Creative Entrepreneur! I help quarter-life millennial women find their way with life, business, and career coaching!

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