Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannon Albert.
Shannon, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I got my college degree in Computer Information Systems and worked as a programmer for corporations for many years. In 2004, I started planning our family’s first Disney World trip and discovered it was much more involved than I could have ever imagined, but the planning process ended up being just as fun as the trip itself.
I started dreaming of putting my technical skills and love of teaching to use to help others plan trips, but it wasn’t until 2012 that I got the nerve to actually do it. A year after starting my site, I quit my corporate job to focus on the site full time. Five years after I began, the site I created, WDWPrepSchool.com, has grown to be one of the biggest in the Disney World planning niche and I couldn’t be happier to have taken that risk.
Has it been a smooth road?
It hasn’t been a smooth road at all. In fact, if I knew then what I know now, I’m not sure I’d be as brave to do it all over again. One area that’s been a challenge is the financial side of things. Going from a corporate salary to building your own business that requires you to spend money is very difficult to figure out.
Another challenging area is the time required to build any kind of business and the toll that can take on everyone. I worked 70 hours a week for 4 years straight which was very difficult for my family and not very healthy for me. I gained 30-40 pounds and my blood pressure increased a lot which was a huge wakeup call.
If I had it to do all over again, I definitely would have had more savings in place and carved out a bit more time to take care of myself and my family. Thankfully, those areas have improved a lot for me and there’s bit more stability and less stress involved with running the business.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
My business is called Prep School Productions, and under that company is two sites that help people with trip planning. The first is the one that I run for Disney World visitors called WDW Prep School. The second site is DCL Prep School which is owned by me, run by someone else, and helps people with Disney Cruise Line trips.
I think I’m best known for creating a 6 step planning process to help simplify the planning process, but also for the use of data and graphics to teach people things. I always ask myself which topics seem way too difficult for other sites to have already covered and then do that. It’s not unusual for us to spend 12-20 hours on a post (sometimes even more) to cover something in depth.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Since I run an online business, the location isn’t as important as it would be for a brick and mortar business, but there are things that have been easier because of living in the DFW area, including the ability to book direct flights to so many places, reasonable taxes, relatively low cost of living, and the availability of co-working spaces. For those reasons, I think the DFW area is a great spot for many people looking to start a business.
- WDW Prep Level 1 Member – $15
- WDW Prep Level 2 member – $25
- Address: 8528 Davis Blvd., Suite 134-296
North Richland Hills, TX 76182
- Website: http://wdwprepschool.com
- Phone: 8177912383
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/wdwprepschool
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/wdwprepschool
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/wdwprepschool
- Other: http://pinterest.com/wdwprepschool