See how this young couple embraced becoming new parents while learning new digital skills and changing career…
Can you work for someone else and still be happy?
You can… if you do it right.
Today, you’ll hear how this amazing couple is doing it, including how they’re building someone else’s dreams to build their dreams, how they avoided a huge $40,000 mistake and why working for someone else can be great stepping towards owning your own business.
Plus, you’ll hear how they managed to change careers, sell their old house, build their dream home and reskill in digital marketing and SEO — all while raising a new born.
Megan and Tim are perfect examples of what success looks like even if you work for someone else.
If you want to hear how they’re building other people’s dreams while building their dreams, then click below to watch the interview or read the article.
Matt Raad: Hello again, everyone. It’s Matt Raad here, host of the Digital Investor podcast.
I have two special guests, Megan and Tim, from Edmonton, Canada. Welcome, guys. Thank you so much for being here.
Megan & Tim: Awesome, glad to be here.
Matt: You both have an interesting story to share because your journey is a bit different from other members of our community. Megan, you started out non-technical but fully embraced this, and now you work in tech.
So, I want to talk about your journey because some interesting things have happened to you along the way. I want to hear some insights from you that will help our readers who are looking to transition to learning digital skills and earning money online.
Megan & Tim were both burned out professionals looking for a change
Matt: Megan, you’re now working full-time as an SEO’er. But it didn’t start out like that. Where did your journey begin?
Megan: I started in communications for not-for-profit agencies. So, before doing the Champions program, I worked for an agency that supported refugees in Canada. And it was really good. But the burnout was very real, and I needed a career change. That’s when I started looking around for what options are out there.
Matt: And Tim, what’s your background?
Tim: My background has always been in marketing. I used to work in the mining, oil, gas, and energy sectors. But now I work for a utility.
I’m currently the brand manager for a billion-dollar utility company. So, I do marketing for big corporates as my background.
Matt: You guys are much younger than most of our community members, and you both work in professional roles. And Tim, yours is a full-on corporate role. Do you work long hours?
Tim: I try not to!
Matt: But you do, though.
And Megan, you were in a role for a not-for-profit company, but there are very high burnout rates in that space.
They decided it was time to reskill in digital
…which ultimately saved Megan & Tim from a huge $40,000 mistake…
Matt: When you first started with us, you were looking for a change. What was happening there? What led you to learning these digital skills?
Megan: We stumbled upon eBusiness Institute when listening to a podcast.
We already had some money set aside to buy a website but didn’t have the skills to do it.
So, when we heard a podcast where Matt and Liz Raad were speaking as guests, we thought, “Hang on, let’s go see what they’re talking about here.”
We put the brakes on buying a big, expensive website without knowing what to do with it. Instead, we went and checked out eBusiness Institute first. We’re so grateful we did that. Otherwise, we probably would have spent $40,000 on a website without knowing what to do with it and burning it into the ground.
Matt: Yes, and well done for that. You heard us speak on the Empire Flippers podcast. That’s really cool.
They learned how to buy, build and sell websites
Matt: So, did you start learning how to build websites using our programs first? Was that your first step?
During the event, we heard a lot of people talking about the Champions program. We were asking, “Hey, what’s Champions? How do we find out more?” We had no clue what we were doing and wanted to learn more. So, that was all explained at the event.
Shortly after joining Champions, they became new parents
Matt: Awesome. And I know this is where your story starts to get inspirational. You are like some of our clients in this age group who enter our program. What happened soon after you joined Champions?
Megan: We had our first baby! The Champions program started in September, and we had Roman in December.
Matt: Yes, so lots of life changes for you during this time.
Megan had big plans for her maternity leave…
Matt: Megan, you were still working on maternity leave. What were your life plans then? We’ll have a lot of new mums reading this who would be interested.
How did you handle that transition period to where you are today doing this full-time?
Megan: I had an expectation that I would spend my maternity leave building websites, selling websites, and flipping websites. I would have all that free time while the baby naps all day. So, with that extra time, I would do all of this. And then, at the end of my maternity leave, I wasn’t going back to the not-for-profit I worked at.
Well, it didn’t quite play out that way, but life has a way of working out anyway. I’m still really happy with how it worked out, but I had to adjust my expectations along the way.
Matt: You didn’t have as much free time as you’d think?
Megan: Yeah, apparently you don’t. Babies are quite needy! 🙂
Matt: And it’s important to realise that as a new mum. It can take up a lot more time than you think. We have lots of new mums and dads on the program. And we have lots of Champions babies born, which is fantastic.
How this new mum used her new digital skills to change career
You don’t just have to use your digital skills to start a business, you can also change to a job you love!
Matt: I’m really impressed with the two of you. You’re both such go-getters – especially you, Tim, in your full-on role. But in your first year, you had a look at buying sites, you participated in all the lessons we gave you, and you re-skilled.
And I think it’s worked out really well for you, Megan. Your journey started only two years ago, and life has changed quite dramatically for you. Not just from being a new mum. How did life pan out for you over these two years? What do you do now?
Megan: There have been so many amazing changes.
Because of eBusiness Institute, I made a huge career jump. I’m now an SEO specialist at a marketing agency.
So, I now do SEO full-time. I’m learning so much every day and applying all those skills to my website.
Within 2 years, she now works for a huge SEO agency in Canada
Matt: That’s perfect. And did you ever expect to do that? You came onto this program to become an entrepreneur and own a business. But the outcome for you is that you’re working full-time in SEO for a big digital agency two years later.
Megan: Absolutely. And I don’t feel like a failure at all, even though I’m still working for someone else. It’s been so successful; I’m doing what I love and working with people I love.
Eventually, the goal is to transition away from that. But right now, I’m doing this by day, and I’m learning so much from it, so it’s really beneficial for my future. I’ve set myself up for success.
Matt: You have.
…and they now have the skills to buy their own website business
Megan: Tim and I recently sold our house. So, we have a little bit of extra cash and can go back to the original plan of buying a big website. But this time, we have the foundation to do it properly.
Matt: So, you’ve trained with us for two years and have full-on re-skilled in digital. You both build amazing sites and are really good at SEOing websites. Not only that, but you’re also continuing your education by actually working in this space.
And Megan, it’s the opposite of failure. You’re mega successful when you think about it. Remember what I said to you the other day on a Zoom call?
Megan’s journey into working for a leading SEO company
…without having to spend years studying at university…
Matt: Did you ever expect two years ago to be working for one of the biggest SEO companies in Edmonton?
Megan: It’s definitely one of the biggest in Edmonton and one of the most sought-after in Western Canada. So yes, it’s incredible.
How Megan demonstrated her new Digital Skills for the interview process
Matt: Wow. And you were a total beginner and worked for not-for-profits before this. Did they know that when you got the job? How did you get this job?
Megan: I really leaned in hard on the digital skills I gained through eBusiness Institute. During the interview process, I showed them some of the sites I built during the program, which was fantastic.
And some of our clients are not-for-profit organisations. So, for them, it was a perfect mix to have the experience I can offer and the perspective I can give the client.
Matt: That’s perfect. And what did they say about your digital skills? What were they expecting?
Also, how did you go into this mindset-wise? Did you have any imposter syndrome, given that you’d never worked in this space? I would love to know what was going through your mind at the time.
Megan: Totally. I was thinking things like, “I’m a fraud. I’m a fake, and they’ll catch on soon.”
But I’ve spent many months there now, and no one’s “catching on”. So, I know now I must be good!
Matt: Well, come on, Megan, you’ve been trained by the best, and you are the best! You guys are awesome star students here.
Megan: Well, it was so great, Matt, because one of the first things I worked on was keyword research for our client. I remember looking at your first couple of webinars, and you just breezed through it. So, I thought, “Yeah, I got this. I know what to do.”
Matt: There you go. And you know, all of us SEO’ers are self-taught. There is no actual formal course. You can’t go to university and learn SEO.
She is developing new technical skills & combining it with the practical digital skills she learned through eBusiness Institute
Matt: We probably have people reading this who are starting out on their online journey or working through the WebDev Accelerator course. Or maybe they’re in our Digital Investor or Champions program. No matter where you’re at, I want you to realise that there are no formal courses out there in what we teach here.
And Megan, now that you’re working for this big SEO company, they’re obviously impressed by you. As you say, they’re the most sought-after SEO agencies in Canada. Now that you’re working there, are you finding it pretty easy with the knowledge you’ve learned in the Champions program?
Megan: Yes, I would say it’s relatively easy, although there is a lot to learn. It feels like an endless amount of SEO, especially on the technical side. I’m always learning about things like Google Analytics 4, UTM tracking, and all of that.
Matt: Would you say that your day-to-day is a bit more technical when working in a big agency?
Megan: It is, but they’re supportive of that.
They know that my strength isn’t necessarily the technical aspect of it, but I have time set aside for additional training. So, for example, if I need to dive deep into analytics, that’s no problem. I have the time to learn.
Matt: That’s awesome.
She now gets to work with some of the biggest corporates in Canada!
Matt: And what sort of clients are they putting you on? Are you getting to work on big websites?
Megan: Oh yes, it’s huge! One of the clients is the biggest real estate broker in Edmonton. We also work with the Children’s Hospital, some non-profits, and real estate.
Matt: Alright! That’s impressive. You must pinch yourself sometimes.
Think about it; it’s not like you’ve gone to university and spent four or five years to do a master’s degree or anything like that. Instead, you’ve taken two years to learn practical digital skills and have come out and landed one of the best SEO jobs in Canada.
Tim has used his skills to build a leading directory site in Canada
Matt: I really like the sites you guys build, and they’re based on the digital skills we’ve taught you. In particular, there’s one passion site that you’ve built, Tim. Do you want to give this site a bit of a plug?
Tim: Sure, I built a directory site based on the best heli-skiing and cat skiing experiences in Canada.
Matt: And you guys are based in Canada, so I’m presuming you’re keen on heli-skiing?
Tim: Well, I wish I could be heli-skiing all the time. We’re not doing it as much as we’d like, but we may do it again soon.
Matt: And was this the first site that you built? Or is it the main site you’ve been perfecting?
Tim: It’s our main site, but I don’t know if it was our first. It was all a blur of website building in our first year of Champions.
Matt: Yes, you guys really went for it.
How Megan managed building websites as a new mum
…and how she navigated the looming deadline of her maternity leave…
Matt: Megan, when you had Roman, you originally had all these plans for your maternity leave, right? Were you both thinking about doing the Digital Agency strategy at that point? Or were you still very focused on the portfolio strategy – buying and selling websites? Or were you thinking about doing all the above?
Megan: At first, we thought, “Let’s do it all!” When we started, it was a bit like the ‘shiny object syndrome’.
If anything, we were initially more focused on the portfolio strategy. But then we learned more about local. There was the added pressure during maternity leave because I only had so much time to do this. I needed to focus and choose the right strategy, and it had to be successful straight away. So, I ended up learning a lot about this strategy here.
As a high achiever AND a new mum, she realised she needed to be kinder to herself
Matt: Looking back on your first year, what would you say to someone reading this now? I remember reading your accountability emails and watching the journey you’ve both been on.
So, when you look back now and put it all into perspective, what would you say to our readers?
Megan: My number one thing is to be kinder to yourself. If I could go back to Megan a couple of years ago, I’d say, “Chill out, be patient; you’re doing your best. Rome wasn’t built overnight.” Just be kind to yourself.
Matt: Tim, would you say that Megan’s a high achiever? Did she load herself up with too many expectations?
Tim: Yes, probably.
Megan: I think both of us did. We were both going to do it all.
Matt: Well, I said you’re the same as each other.
So, congratulations to you both. I know you had a lot of pressure going into this, with your maternity deadline looming and what you wanted to achieve. But look at what you both accomplished. You’ve got the digital skills now that can change your life. You can go anywhere and get a job… the best job even.
It means you have security for your family, and you’re also building up assets in the background, which you can transition back to at some point. So, a big congratulations in terms of your digital skills there.
Even baby Roman enjoys learning about SEO!
Matt: I also want to mention little Roman, too, as it seems like SEO is literally in your family’s blood! I will be on Zoom calls with you, and Roman will be there, too.
Megan: Yes, and when we were watching the webinar videos of Matt and Liz Raad talking, Roman would recognise your voices! Because it’s just us here, the only voices he would hear in the house are ours and Matt and Liz’s. So, we were getting worried about him getting an Australian accent! 🙂
Matt: I was surprised when I spoke to you recently, and you had little Roman there. He was very quiet, but he got really excited as soon as I started chatting. So, you put him on the camera to me, and he’s almost waving, and I’m thinking, “Wow, what’s going on here?!”
Like you said, he recognises my voice every Wednesday and gets very excited about SEO.
Megan: Absolutely. He’s been hearing you since he was still in my belly.
Matt: That’s right. He’s grown up with Matt and Liz Raad talking about SEO.
Megan’s first website build as a new mum
Matt: So, Megan, remember the first website you built? Were there any challenges for you? I know you’re a legend at this now; two years later, you are super confident building websites.
But in your first year, as a new mum trying to learn all this stuff, were there any websites you built that really stood out for you?
Megan: Oh my gosh, there were a few…
The one that stands out is for a friend who owns a painting company. She does commercial and residential painting, and I created a brand-new local site for her. It was one of our first local site builds. It’s my baby, and I’m so proud of it. And she was so happy too. She’s completely booked up now, which is so great.
Matt: Wow, that’s awesome it worked out and was very successful for her.
The challenges of balancing motherhood and a new career
Matt: Were there any hard parts in doing this journey as a new mum?
Megan: For a short while, something that was more challenging than time was the energy. As a new parent, you’re tired! You don’t really sleep in those first couple of months.
So, even if I did have the time, it didn’t necessarily mean I wanted to be sitting in front of a computer. I had other things to do that were also a priority.
How Megan had to cope with feelings of guilt between work and being a new mum
Megan: I remember after the first six months with Roman, I would feel guilty for not being on my computer. And if I was on my computer, I would feel guilty for not being with Roman. So, I really had to do a mental shift around that – I can’t always be feeling guilty no matter what I’m doing.
Today, when I’m with Roman, I’m with him and I’m present. And when I’m not with him, I’m present with the task.
I really had to surrender to that guilt that I was constantly feeling.
Matt: I think you’ve just helped a bunch of readers here because Liz went through the exact same thing. And Tim – you and I, as partners, would always feel that as well.
But Megan, it’s perfect you shared this because we always hear about it. There are new mums out there who are feeling guilty no matter what. This is a big thing.
What she did to overcome those constant feelings of guilt…
Matt: Is there any advice you can give? How did you manage that feeling of guilt? Do you just suck it up and handle it? How did the journey pan out over six months?
Megan: It wasn’t sustainable to be in such a rut of feeling mum guilt. Nothing would have been working.
There was a lot of self-talking, “You’re on the computer now. Roman’s sleeping, so he’s good. Just focus on this now.”
I also scheduled certain things. For example, Wednesdays were my WebDev days. It’s there in my calendar for Wednesday, so I don’t need to worry about it until then. That really helped.
Also, since January, I’ve been seeing a therapist to tune up my mental health a bit, and that’s been huge. It’s been really, really helpful. My advice for anyone who’s struggling is to talk to somebody. That’s the best thing you can do.
Matt: Thank you so much for sharing that. There are a lot of people who need to hear that – both mums and dads. And as you both know, we have a lot of high-achieving new mums in our program. It can be challenging as a new parent.
One of the things we help people through is the mindset because Liz and I have been through it, too. When you hear about these amazing opportunities (buying and selling websites, and living the laptop lifestyle), people don’t talk about the extra layers of complexity when starting a family or having a newborn.
Thank you, Megan, for coming along today and talking about this. It’s good for people to understand it when preparing for this journey.
How mindset helped accelerate Megan & Tim’s online journey
Matt: Looking at things now, two years later, would you change anything? Has it been a fun journey the last two years?
Megan: It’s been so fun. The only thing I would change is to stop comparing myself to others in the program. You don’t know what other people are going through. You don’t know what support other parents have. And you don’t know how long they’ve been doing it for.
It can be hard if you only hear about other people’s successes. It’s like, “Well, I’m trying. Why am I not that successful yet?” Or if you’re building your first website and hear someone else sold theirs for $1 million. You have to remember you’re already on the journey, just not there yet.
So, it’s good to stop comparing yourself to other people. On the flip side, it’s good to hear from people who are on the next step over and they’ve already done it. It’s inspiring to hear because if they can do it, I can, too!
I think that’s why these interviews are so important. There are so many stories from different people, each with their own unique sets of challenges, solutions and successes.
Their lives have already changed so much in two years!
Matt: That’s great, Megan. And Tim, you must be really proud of her.
Tim: Oh yes! It’s been a rollercoaster over the last two years. We’ve had a baby, Megan’s switched careers, we built our dream house, and we sold our old house. There’s a lot that’s happened over a very short timeframe. Throw in COVID there, too, which we didn’t go into.
So, a lot has changed for us, and it’s really exciting to think about it from that perspective. When we look back to two years ago, if the trajectory remains the same, it will be wild because it’s already so good!
Matt: Celebrating this moment and looking back at where you came from is important. You are young parents, building a family and a new business and lifestyle for you both. So, congratulations on what you’ve achieved already because this is only the start.
Here’s how to start your Digital Reskilling journey
Matt: If you want to get started like Tim and Megan have done, check out our free Masterclass or one of our courses to learn how to re-skill in digital. Who knows where it can lead? It might be more than just your own online business. It might be like Megan, who found a new career that fits your lifestyle as a new mum.