Go Live HQ’s Promise Tangeman
Building a career — and life — you love
Some people know instinctively that they want to own their own company. That wasn’t Promise Tangeman. But although she didn’t go into web design thinking she’d eventually be the boss, with a staff reporting to her, she now realizes there were early signs.
“When I was in elementary school, my sister and I had so many little businesses — we did hair, nail design, car washing. Now I can see there was a real entrepreneurial spirit,” she said.
Promise is the founder of Go Live HQ, a web design company helping businesses launch their online identities, from creating a completely custom website to offering expert-made predesigned templates. Go Live HQ’s client list reads like a who’s who of stylish sites, including Brooklyn Blonde, We Wore What, and Girlboss. But like most startups, Go Live HQ’s successes was a longer journey, and one that’s continued evolving as business needs change.
“When I started, I was a freelance designer who started a blog back in 2008. I’d do designs for people and blog about them, and that’s where my influence started online.” As demand grew for Promise’s work, she started her own company, Site House. One of the frustrations she heard most from clients was that actually sitting down and getting their website off the ground was the hardest part.
“So I put on a Go Live workshop, and we’d meet for two days and teach people how to build and launch their site, so at the end of the two days, they’d leave with a fully functioning site.” The feedback Promise received from attendees was overwhelmingly positive — all they’d needed were those two days on the calendar to kick-start their business to life.
“One of my top strengths is focusing on just getting things done, but it’s not the same for everyone else,” Promise said. “When you’re launching something, it’s a real pain point. Go Live HQ today started from those workshops, and that’s why I renamed the company.”
From the beginning, Go Live HQ had a long list of clients eager to work with the company. While the interest in her company’s service has been daunting at times, it’s also spurred some of Promise’s most intense periods of reflection and evolution, both personally and for the business.
“Sometimes it feels like I’m just meeting demands and I get caught up in it. Those are the times when I take a step back and say, ‘OK, where is this taking me? Where do I actually want to go?’ When you’re a business owner and trying to please customers, you can wind up somewhere other than where you want to go,” said Promise. “It’s important to figure out if this is a direction I want to be going in and, if not, how can I pivot and change directions?”
For example, even while the Go Live HQ team expanded, the demands and client expectations didn’t slow down. “I was feeling overwhelmed, and I thought, ‘There’s got to be a way where we can help people, but not necessarily one-on-one,” Promise said.
That was the start of the successful resources and templates available on the site, giving clients who just need a helping hand the tools to create their sites on their own. “I’m always re-evaluating the business and whether it aligns with the life I want to live. That’s why you own a business — to create the lifestyle you want to lead.”
These days, Promise gets a lot of questions about getting your startup off the ground. “Don’t wait for all the mons to align or everything to be perfect to launch what you love.” she said. “So many times, people think ‘it’s not the right time’ or ‘I should wait until I have this education’ or whatever it is. They’re just excuses, and then you’ll wind up either never launching or really frustrated. Hunker down and bust it out.”
“Once you launch, there’s always room to tweak and change and grow as you evolve. But you have to test your product and your market and whether you’re meeting their needs, and you can’t do that until you’ve launched. Forget the beautiful curated Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards. Just launch it!”
Promise’s go-to “let’s kick butt song”: Each season has a different song, but “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars is really hitting the mark right now. I like the message: let’s party but let’s make it happen.
On mentors being friends : I have friends who are mentors, who inspire me. One of my friends and I are in similar fields, but we made it known early on that our friendship is more important than our jobs, so there’s no competition. We can go farther together than we could by ourselves — that’s what inspires our friendship.
Her favorite tip for staying productive: I’m a big fan of not multitasking. I like to do one task at a time, do it well, and then move on. Get those two or three things you absolutely need to get done out of the way in the morning — slay them and then get distracted by everything else in the afternoon!
Go Live HQ
Even when your startup is successful from the beginning, all the twists and turns of being an entrepreneur can lead you down paths you hadn’t originally set out on. For Go Live HQ’s Promise Tangeman, that realization was the first of her business’s many evolutions. Read more.