Women Who Work: VA and Web Designer, Casey Garza

Squarespacers, you finally have some help with your websites! Virtual assistant and Web Designer, Casey Garza, of

Sundara Media

opens up about balancing her talents and passions to help others showcase their beautiful websites. Oh, and she also has a day job! Hopefully, those can find comfort in knowing you’re not alone with your day jobs, and passion projects. 

How did you make the leap to your current role?

I am currently in two roles, my regular 8-5 as well as running my business. I have been in the finance industry for 7 years and decided 4 months ago that I am going to be my own boss and do something I am passionate about every day. So these past months I have been setting up my business and am right on the edge of being able to take on clients! It’s tough having to do both jobs at once, but it is worth the sacrifices I am making to acquire the life I desire. 

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I went through so many different careers that I wanted to be as a child, the main one I always wanted was to be a nurse. After taking a few science courses in college I realized I wasn’t meant for a profession in medicine and re-directed towards Business Administration. I earned my BA in 2015 and am glad to always have that as a backup and as a great addition to my talents. 

What was your first job ever? Did it help you in your current role?

My first job ever was working for my parents on their farm. I grew up in a small town on a farm so I was always expected to help out taking care of animals or working out in the fields. Since my parents have been small business owners I got to see firsthand what it takes to run a successful business. Hard work, dedication, determination and passion all play an integral role and all of those qualities they instilled in me which I am so thankful for. I never considered having my own business but now that I do I can see how growing up in that atmosphere and working long hard days is helping me immensely in my business. 

What made you want to start your business? What or who inspired you to do so?

I currently work at a bank and I have always had this feeling that this isn’t where I am supposed to be, but I couldn’t ever settle on what I would do as an alternative. I didn’t want to open a storefront business because that required a lot of money up front and I had no clue as to what I would do. Then one day on Facebook I found The Bucketlist Bombshells, two amazing women who help teach millennial women to run their own virtual businesses from anywhere in the world. After some research, it just seemed like everything clicked! I was so excited and instantly it lit a fire in me and I realized that THIS is what I should be doing! 

What does your job entail? How do you explain what you do to others?

My job entails working with creative entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level! I create swoon-worthy websites to help them land clients and sales and take items off their to-do list onto mine so they can focus on the creative aspect of their business and take more time clients & customers.

How long have you been doing this?

Only about 4 months but I’m focusing on the fact that this isn’t a race, it’s a marathon so I’m just trying to enjoy the journey as much as possible. 

What is a day for you like? What is your routine?

Right now since I am still in my 9-5 my routine; it isn’t how I want it to be, but it’s what is currently working to get me to my goal. I usually wake up early in the morning and get ready for work. Then spend my extra time working on my business and learning. I then go to work from 8-5 and once I am off work I go to the gym, make dinner, and then get back to work on my business. Then my husband and I usually watch an episode of whatever show we are into at the moment, take our dog to the park and then go to bed. It is a full day but it helps that I am so excited about what I am doing! Ideally, once I quit my 9-5 my schedule, it will work out so much better me. For example, morning walks with my dog, going to gym in the middle of day to beat the rush, working at a coffee shop and let’s be honest, taking an afternoon nap if I feel like it! 

How do you end your workday?

I love making lists and crossing items off once I am done, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment. So every night I make a to-do list for the next day with my most difficult tasks first then they get easier as I go down the list. That way in the morning when my brain works the best I tackle the most difficult things first then continue down. 

How did you go about starting your side hustle? What were some of your initial steps that you took?

Research, research and more research! I have spent hours on the internet reading, watching videos and trying to gain insight into this new world. I also surround myself with people I am inspired by and who are already living the type of life I want. It keeps me motivated and inspired so that when I don’t feel like doing anything or am overwhelmed I can look to them and it kicks my butt in gear! 

What are you biggest responsibilities as an entrepreneur?

The biggest responsibility is that everything regarding my business rests upon my shoulders. There is no one else there to bounce ideas off of or to tell me how I should do something. I am 100% in charge which is amazing to have that creative freedom but can be overwhelming if I over think it. So I just trust myself and my instincts and do the best I can with each day. 

What has been the hardest part of your transition?

The hardest part is uncertainty. As an entrepreneur, everything is brand new and you have to put yourself out there in a way you never have before. It’s almost like stumbling around in the dark in the middle of the night unsure of pretty much anything. Then as morning comes and the sun slowly rises you can see more and more and things begin to get clearer. It’s all about trusting yourself and the process. 

What has been the easiest part of your transition?

The easiest part of this transition was making the decision to just do it! It just so right when I found it I knew that I couldn’t ignore it. 

What keeps you motivated?

My inspiration board, books, podcasts and YouTube videos all play a part in keeping me motivated. Being an entrepreneur is full of extreme highs and extreme lows so it can be easy to get in the dumps if you feel lost or unsure of how to do something. So I surround myself constantly with positivity, inspiring people and goals I am working towards. It keeps my mind focused where it should be and the energy to keep growing personally and professionally every day. 

How do you define success now?

My definition of success has changed so drastically over the past year or so. I used to think that success means you go to college, get a degree, find a job to stay in for 40 years, have a big house & nice material items then retire late in life and hopefully get to travel for a bit. I believe success looks different for everyone and for some people that may be the best path to make them happiest. However, for me success means following your heart and dreams even if no one understands or thinks that your way of life is “weird” or “different”. Success for me is not defined by how many things I have or how much money I make. For me, it is being present every moment of each day and putting value in experiences in life. I live my life the way that is true to me and to me that is true success. 

How do you prevent burn out? I think it’s important to be gentle with yourself. I have always been hard on myself and expecting perfection in anything I do. This belief has also held me back in the past because it has stopped me from stepping out of my box for the fear of failing. So now I am much easier on myself and accepting that failure is a part of growth and that is the whole point of this life. So to avoid burnout I make sure to schedule in time for myself for things that make me happy. If I’m unhappy or overworked I can’t show up for my clients in the best way and everything starts to fall apart. So I’ll schedule in a spa treatment, or take a break and go get coffee or take my dog for a walk to clear my head.

What do you think is the most important characteristic to have for someone who wants to take a similar career route to yours?

The most important characteristic to me is to have determination. No one is going to make you do this; it is 100% reliant on yourself. You have to be determined to fight for the life you want and realize that your dreams can become reality but you have to be determined to see them come to life. 

What do you wish you knew before starting out on your own path?

Honestly, I did so much research that I haven’t had too many surprises yet, I just wish I knew about it sooner! 

Did anyone help you in developing your own business or side business?

No one person helped me, but I did take the Bucketlist Bombshells courses which took this idea in my head and helped me see that I really could do this and be successful at it. Their Facebook groups have been amazing for motivation, encouragement, and ideas as well.

Do you have a work idol? Is there a working woman or man out there that you admire?

I gotta say, The Bucketlist Bombshells are just the best along with all the women who are in their Facebook groups. They are encouraging, positive and so knowledgeable they are a great group of women! 

What is your favorite thing about the industry you work in?

That I get to help people be successful in their businesses! I look at it as a rippled effect, if I can help one person be more focused, organized and help their business thrive then that just keeps reaching out and touching others in a positive way. 

What are some tools that you can live without? Asana – this is a great free platform for setting goals and making lists, so it keeps me very organized, plus you can collaborate with your clients easily on projects. HelloBonsai – I use this for proposals, contracts and invoices for clients, which is a really important part of my business. They have a free and paid version Toggl – This is a fantastic and easy time tracking app that is great to see how long you spend on certain projects which is free! 

What do you have on your desk or working space right now? Right now I have a plant, incense and a few books that I can pick up and get inspiration from. Currently, I have Manifesting Change by Mike Dooley, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and You are a Badass by Jen Sincero 

What do you want other women in similar situations to know about your chosen career path?

That your dream life is available to you, you just have take action every day to make it happen. All of your small steps add up to a huge life change so stick with it so you can look back one day and be so proud of what you have built. 

Find Casey on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!