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Meet Sinoun Chea of ShiftWeb Solutions in Midtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sinoun Chea.

Sinoun, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
ShiftWeb Solutions started because I had a personal need to have the power to make my own decisions. Honestly, I was also tired of working for others – I have always been an entrepreneur at heart.

As a tech-savvy artist who already had a few years of web design and internet marketing under my belt, it only made sense that I created ShiftWeb. Starting my own company allowed me to take chances – something I could never do working for someone else. I admit that in the beginning, it was terrifying, but also incredibly exciting. Now, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else! I also feel like this is just the beginning of my journey – I have so many ideas. You can’t be a person with a ton of ideas while working for others. I need the freedom to do what I want and when I want.

Another reason ShiftWeb came into fruition is because I immensely enjoy working with other small businesses! It brings me joy to help other entrepreneurs like me that do not have the technological skills as I do. I love helping others succeed!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In short, no, it has not been a smooth road! But that’s not a bad thing. I think failures are important to success. Without the bumps in the road, how do we learn and grow? A smooth road is practically impossible for entrepreneurs.

I think all SEO’s have struggles, especially when they begin working in the industry. The internet is always evolving so we have to evolve with it. Trying to keep up with the changes while learning is a challenge, but the ones who stick with it must find it fun, like me! They also know how fruitful it is – not just for their business, but for other businesses as well. It’s a satisfying industry if you learn and persist from your struggles.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
My company specializes in search engine optimization (SEO) and web design. You don’t frequently encounter companies that are well versed in both SEO and web design. Typically, you’ll find companies that focus solely on one or the other. I’m proud that ShiftWeb takes a holistic approach to making a business’ website successful. This approach didn’t happen overnight though – it took years of learning and “shifting”. (Get it? Ha!)

I started ShiftWeb solely as a web design company. I didn’t go to school for web design or development, I taught myself everything by just jumping in! I have learned a lot since I first started many years ago and I refuse to stop learning. I admit I’m not a skilled web developer, but I do have a good eye, a driven mind, and good organizational and project management skills. These skills allow me to make ShiftWeb successful.

The industry I’m in is dominated by men so what sets my company apart is that it is woman-owned. I am proud to be a part of this high-demand and growing industry. I appreciate that small businesses trust me to take care of their SEO and web design needs!

What were you like growing up?
When I was a kid, I was always a big tomboy. Personality wise, I’m very expressive and creative. With these things in mind, I think I was a bit of an oddball to my mother because we grew up in very different environments. At 34 years young now, I’m unmarried focusing on my career. When my mom was this age, she was dealing with a 17-year-old queer daughter who was just ending her baggy clothes and 90’s hip-hop phase to discover Bjork and Sigur Ros in her bedroom, spending her days going through stacks of CD booklets from BMG!

My parents were refugees from Cambodia who struggled to make ends meet. I’m a first-generation American who learned from society that I can do whatever I want if I put my mind to it. My parents didn’t have the same privilege I had. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to experience two very different cultures. It opens your eyes in ways that are hard to imagine, unless you’ve been there yourself.

My father passed away when I was only 14 years old, so unfortunately, he’s not able to see who I’ve become. I think my mother used to struggle with how “different” I was, but I never held back on the things I wanted and believed. Keeping it real has always been important to me. I also think I’ve always been a go-getter because why not? If there’s something you want, you’re not going to get it unless you work for it. I learned at a young age that if you have a problem, it means you are supposed to be learning something. This allows me to view mistakes, failures, etc. as a learning tool, as an opportunity for me to grow. This mindset probably explains why I am where I am now: An entrepreneur who will never quit, a writer who makes zines and is always working on quirky little projects, and a human being that wants to make a positive impact in the world.

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