Born in California, I first moved to the White Mountains at the age of eight, but left shortly thereafter to encounter countless moves all over the Country.
That said, for some unknown reason it seemed my destiny to “pop in and out” of the Pinetop-Lakeside area for the next 35 years until relocating one final time in January 2012. It was April of that year I was blessed with a job at Darbi’s Cafe, which has no doubt played a huge role in my decision to finally settle here, and how so many of you have come to know me, and even become a part of my decision in one way or another. 🙂
When Christmas came around that first year and I was a part of this amazing party Darbi puts on for her employees, I knew I wanted to give her a gift, but had a small budget and certainly couldn’t think of anything to get someone who seemingly “has it all.”
It was then that I remembered she had no website, and since I had been involved in building and positioning websites for many years at that time, I purchased the domain name DarbisCafe.com. I knew that what I could give her was my time and knowledge regarding the internet, and the importance of it as a small business owner.
So I placed the domain registration (that was done in her name) into a Christmas card offering to build her website as a gift to her. Apparently, she is kind of a sappy individual like me, and the rest as they say “is history.” 🙂
Our relationship grew, both professionally and as trusted friends. Of course I kept my position as a server there for obvious reasons, but once the website was finished, we also seemed to open the door for an endless amount of “feedback” online via reviews and comments to the website. When any negative feedback was posted, it was so disheartening and depleting for her, and this is when I began stepping up as her online manager. We agreed on a cost she felt was reasonable, and I took over everything that had to do with her online business. Period!
Her time is just too consumed by running the restaurant and having a young family to care for, but her heart wanted to sincerely apologize when she realized one of her customers was so disappointed. Let’s face it, there literally are only so many hours in the day. This was something I began doing on my days off, it was an arena I knew well, and the extra income didn’t hurt at all.
That said, even I had no idea of the long term benefits it would have when a business takes the time to respond to every one of these comments left on other websites.
What I now know is that Google holds this type of content (engaging with your customers) in very high regard, and as a result, Darbi went from no website at all…..to dominating Google with almost every search imaginable. She hired me the first year she opened the new patio and obtained her liquor license (2012), since then we consistently fill both the inside and outside and have upwards of a 45 minutes wait during the summer. Every year seemed to continually increase her bottom line.
Within a year or so of that, a mutual friend friend (business owner) who also had a small used car lot approached me about taking it online. It was Spring of 2013 that I came to an agreement with AccushineAutoSales.com and gained yet another beautiful friendship that has also seen huge financial benefits. They too are still with me, and I am rather confident in assuming that they always will be. 🙂
It seems as the years have gone by I have acquired clients here and there, but always my job at Darbi’s was my primary income and priority. The truth is, I make great money there, so I have cut myself off from pursuing this full-time because I also had my full-time job and two small grand babies. Four clients was about the most I felt I could do while leaving me a little personal time every week, and that is what I have managed from home for quite some time now.
However, it would appear there is something to this “aging process” right now, and serious issues with my feet have made it clear that I am no longer physically able to handle working outside the home at all. At the very least, I would need a couple of years to have both “reconstructed” one at a time.
Whether it is politically correct or not, I will say that I have a Big God, and total trust that all is well. I believe that I was brought to this community for a reason, and that my bills and all financial needs will be met through integrity & hard work and my faith & perseverance….anything else is unacceptable.
I look forward to this new chapter in my life, and enjoying the many new relationships yet to come.