My Adventure in Creating a Mobile App
You may (or may not) have noticed that I have been a little MIA lately on the internet. My blog hasn't been updated as often as I'd like and my social media posts have been slim. It's not that I've been lazy or slacking. I promise you, I have been up to so much good!
Over the last few months I have been hard at work at creating my first mobile application. The app, which should make it to app stores this week, brings together a large small business community and has the potential to bring about a lot of good and economic growth for the area and I'm very excited to be a part of something so special.
It has been a long road. I'm not sure what has been more difficult: teaching myself to develop an app or courting potential business connections. Not only have I had to tackle the tech side but I also had to develop a more robust and comprehensive business plan than I ever have before. Unlike many of my other projects, this isn't a solo project but a mutual partnership between me and many small business owners and entrepreneurs.
I'm so excited about the app! But that's not what I wanted to focus on right now. I really wanted to talk about my adventure, so far, in an area I have little background in. I'm structuring this in a way that reflects many of the questions I've had to answer as of late...
"You're doing what? How?"
Continuous education. As the times and tech changes, it is important for communications professionals to remain flexible and knowledgeable about what is on-trend and available and to build upon their skill set so they can provide relevant solutions to their clients. Without continuous education, in some form or another, your knowledge base of the industry can become overwhelmingly outdated in a matter of months. Social networks are ever changing as are trends and needs of consumers. The only way to stay relevant and effective is through continuous learning.
Apps had always been so scary for me. They just seem so hard (and don't get me wrong it is) and way out of my league. But in an effort to stay abreast of the competition and because I'm overly curious, I set off to learn a new skill. I dove into Google and came out self taught in app development.
"So you're an 'app developer' now?"
I like to think of it as just another facet to being a communications professional. The app is simply another medium to sharing a message—whether it is peer-to-peer communication or marketing and advertising. For me "app developer" is a little too strong. I'm at the beginner basics level. I'm definitely far from being the next Instagram or Tinder. But I have developed an app from scratch and it's pretty awesome.
"How do you have the time?"
It's not about having time but making time. I have done all of this—learning how to create an app, developing it, editing, writing, designing, creating a business plan, and meeting with clients—while leaving my day job unaffected. How? Planning and prioritization. This means waking up early to answer emails before work and spending my evenings working from the porch (weather permitting) instead of binge watching another TV show (don't get me wrong, I did multitask and binge Girl Boss this weekend). It means I prioritized the app to writing blog posts and coming up with interesting things to share on Twitter. The truth is there are only so many hours in a day and when you work a full time day job with an hour commute each way, you're "free" time is limited. So make the best of it by planning and setting obtainable goals for each working session.
And yes, I still sleep. A LOT.
"Are you quitting your job?"
No. Absolutely not. I have worked really had to develop my career and get to where I am today and I have a plan for my future which includes a long and wonderful career in the automotive industry. I love what I do as my day job, but I also love my side gig. There's no rule that say you can't have both. As long as you are disciplined, both can live together very nicely. And I intend to keep both in perfect harmony.
This is all I have time for today. It's all I planned for. Back to the app! I promise you'll be hearing from me more as the app completes the testing phase and is released into the app store and I can take some time to come up for air. And I'll definitely be sure to share more specifics and information on the app when its ready!