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What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Liza Shulyayeva, WA (b. 1988)
Name: Liza Shulyayeva
Age: 24 (Born: August 1988)
Known for: Techalite Web Consulting
Finding the right web designer can be intimidating. How does one comb through the thousands of self-anointed ‘specialists’ out there to come off with a product that serves as an effective portal to, and advertisement for, their own business?
Liza Shulyayeva, freelance programmer and coding geek, offers a refreshing approach to the worriers. The 24-year-old from Perth runs Techalite Web Consulting, offering programming and marketing solutions for small businesses and startups. To market herself, she prefers to work hard and let her results generate the buzz.
“I have learned that, for me, the best way to sell is to not sell too much,” says Shulyayeva, who also does search engine optimisation, project development, and software QA in addition to programming and design. “People see that I’m enthusiastic and passionate about my work. As a result, they want to work with me.”
Shulyayeva has been cutting her teeth in website development since she was 12, when her family’s first computer arrived and she started toying around with code. After years with various gaming and software companies, she opted to branch out on her own. She has had 21 clients in two years with Techalite, and has also worked with the Health Department of Western Australia as a long-term contractor.
She did have a bumpy start. Not long after starting Techalite, she had to endure six months without Internet access in the home. She recalls “spending a lot of time in Internet cafes, WiFi spots, and phone tethering” to survive the dry period.
Shulyayeva says the only secret to winning clients is not forcing the issue. “I have gotten lucky by meeting clients in unexpected places,” she reveals. “Talking to people naturally, without expectations or pushing your services, often reveals opportunities that you didn’t know existed.”
When she isn’t devoting herself to designing a client’s site, she’s usually designing one of her own projects or trying to add yet another programming language under her belt. She also maintains an active presence on Twitter to make herself available for consultations and take on new job referrals. (“People know I’m always in the loop.”)
For the girl who could never visualise herself in an office, life is pretty sweet.
“I have dreamt of being a freelance web designer ever since I was 12,” she says. “I’m living that dream.”
Anthill asks: Liza Shulyayeva, what motivates you as an entrepreneur?
My activities are driven by a desire to be happy. I think our lives are too short to waste them working in a job we dislike for eight hours a day. Making sure that I’m always doing what I love and that I am good at whatever that thing is has been the driving force behind my career and lifestyle decisions.
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.