Welcome to Amplify. How can we serve you? (Plus some of my favorite resources)

welcome to amplify

So you’ve read my long blog post about my career path, and how I failed as a freelancer. You may be wondering why you should bother coming back to this blog, or subscribe to my email list.

“One can only read so many posts about your story, Berrak”, you might tell me.

And you would be correct.

That was my way of relaunching this blog. The site has been in the works forever and as all things go, life got in the way and I got in my own head. Continue reading

Small Business Saturday: Etsy and Handmade Edition


I’m a huge advocate of shopping small when possible, every day, but especially during Small Business Saturday. If you’re not familiar with it, Small Business Saturday is an initiative by American Express, which has taken on a life of its own. This year, Google Small Business and Twitter Small Business formed a #SmallBizSquad with various partners in the industry to help give small businesses the resources they need to succeed. It was the last big project I got to work on as part of the Google Small Business Team, and I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished.

This blog post, however, will be dedicated to a few fantastic Etsy shops. One of my favorite parts about Small Business Saturday is reminding everyone that shopping small can mean online, supporting Etsy shop owners who work hard at creating high quality, handcrafted goods with love. (If you’re a frugal shopper like me, I’d like to point out that Ebates now provides cashback for Etsy purchases as well.) Continue reading

Business Lessons from a Cross-Country Road Trip

business lessons from a cross-country road trip

One of the things I love are road trips, to the point people have asked me if I’m afraid of flying because I’ll take driving over flying any day. I tell them that there’s a whole side to our country that we don’t get to experience when we’re just seeing the bird’s eye view. Last fall, I went on a solo journey that took me from my home in Seattle, WA to New York, NY and back to Seattle – with a few stops in between. The entire journey took me exactly a month, and although I planned every detail, I learned a few great lessons along the way that I apply to my professional journey as well.

  • Don’t forget the fundamentals. I planned out my route before hitting the road with the GPS on my phone, but I had also written down the key stops on my journey in a notebook – which paid off when my phone decided to die in Montana, leaving me without technology until I reached Chicago. Technology, SEO and websites will constantly evolve but at the root of it, the key to small business success is understanding the principles of great customer service.
  • Have a great support system. Although I was driving solo, my trip would not have been possible without a great support system. From friends offering me a place to stay to sending me a back-up phone, I felt the encouragement every step of the way. Running a business is time-consuming, challenging and although the responsibility is on your shoulders, a great support system is crucial.
  • Be flexible. There are literal and figurative roadblocks when driving cross-country, which require flexibility and patience. While you will need to have a solid business plan, the key to running a business is having enough flexibility to adjust the any complications – or even successes from unexpected places.

Lessons about running a business can come from unconventional places and experiences. What are some lessons you’ve learned in your personal life that you’ve applied to your business journey?