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Friday, 26 December 2014 00:00

How a Military Veteran from Vestal, NY Helped Launch My Website Design Business

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AJS Blog Post Pic Dec 2014Life has a way of sending the right influencers at crucial moments to help guide us. My life took a dramatic change at one such crossroad.

My grandfather enlisted in the Navy during WWII when he was 17. He was passionate about preserving our freedom, and now my family was looking for a way to express our gratitude for his service. So my dad started a business to honor military veterans, "So Proudly We Hail".

I was given the task of lining up advertising and producing the supporting business website and print materials. This was all very new to me, but I loved the thrill of marketing a business and honoring our military veterans. That is, I did enjoy it until I realized the website design company I hired was not going to have the website ready in time.

Would we crash and burn? Or would we find a way to rise above?

A week before the print ads were released, a friend referred me to a website design company in Binghamton. They produced a beautiful website design for us. Our marketing campaigns launched and, shortly after, the newspaper interviewed our company and some of the veterans and their families. From there we were contacted for a TV interview. It was thrilling to see these influencers come along at just the right time to change the course of our family business.

But this was just the beginning. A love of website design and marketing had really been fueled in me. I received a call from the website company in Binghamton, NY, whom I had worked with, asking if I would help them generate leads and better serve their clients. I said "YES" and enjoyed learning more over the next couple years. From there I started my own website design company in the Greater Binghamton area, but it all comes back to the day we decided to honor my grandfather.

I realized, though, that this wasn't just a random event that so dramatically changed my future. My path was being shaped much further back by great influencers.

My dad is a man of great vision and taught me from a young age that anything is possible. He also instilled a love of business, finance, marketing and honorable character by setting an example and allowing me to be a part of anything he was involved in...he set my sisters and I up selling Uncle John's Sweet Corn at a young age, he gave me a book to track my finances at age 11, he let me help pilot his plane while he took aerial photographs, he infused enthusiasm for our entire family to help build our house from the ground up, and he taught me to enjoy the journey.

Today I found a note my mom wrote to me a few years ago that seemed to sum things up appropriately: "It is so easy to get discouraged with how things go in life – one day you see hope or determine to be content and the next day all hopes are dashed because this or that happens – kind of like a roller coaster ride (you like the thrill of those rides – don't you?). Well hang and each new day when "obstacles" come may you stand strong...keep the bar down and hold on."

Behind the scenes there are always influencers at work. I'm blessed to have a long list of people who have invested in my life. I would count it a privilege to play a role in investing in you and your business and helping you see the success you've envisioned.

P.S. Our So Proudly We Hail business is no longer operational, but it was a great stepping-stone. Maybe one day soon we'll open the doors back up.

Amy J. Stoddard

Amy J Stoddard, Marketing & Design is such an exciting venture for me because it does three things that I believe in and am passionate about. First, it fulfills my passion to develop a team of business professionals who together can provide businesses with a single source for all their business marketing and design needs. Second, it allows me to help other entrepreneurs build their own businesses and fulfill their own dreams, because in the 21st century, if you do not have a web presence, you almost do not exist. Third, by providing jobs and promoting the American ideal of free enterprise and innovation, I am able to honor my Grandpa Stoddard, a WWII Navy veteran, who fought to preserve our way of life.

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