This year, I…
- Had 5 speaking engagements
- Doubled the traffic on Do Well Dress Well and successfully monetized the site
- Hosted 3 ideate networking events and landed great sponsors
- Was quoted in Forbes Magazine
- Was featured by Charming Charlie for their campaign
- Partnered with Futurpreneur Canada for the Work is Changing campaign
- Started recording audio blogposts
- Travelled to New Brunswick, Cayman Islands and New York City
- Had the most life-changing experience by attending the Girlboss Rally
- Worked with great clients through personal branding and style services
- Quit my full-time job to fully dedicate my time to my entrepreneurial endeavours (!!)
A few things I’m disappointed about…
- I didn’t keep up with recording audio blogposts. It adds at least an extra hour to my content creation process and it was hard to manage that with my full-time job. (But, I got an amazing microphone for Christmas and I can’t wait to relaunch audio in 2018!)
- Writing more e-Books (I wrote one in 2017 which admittedly didn’t do as well as I hoped but I have some better topics in mind and I look forward to putting together another one!)
- I’d love to travel more but I can’t really afford that expense right now. Hoping by next summer, I can take a 2 week trip (!!) to England with my husband and his family
The top 10 blogposts on Do Well Dress Well in 2017 were…
In 2018, I’m looking forward to…
- Launching my personal brand website and Instagram account (if you want to work with me as a speaker or consultant, you’ll visit there)
- Positioning Do Well Dress Well as a business brand (but I’ll still very much be present – more on this later)
- Hosting unique events for ideate networking
- More speaking engagements, including outside of Canada!
- Launching a product-based business with my mom
- Creating a scholarship
- Taking more local staycations and “working vacations”
- Running the blog for one of my favourite local businesses (more on this soon!)
- Cultivating other strategic partnerships with awesome women-focused brands
Over the past month, I’ve had a lot of people ask me the exact same question: Chanele, how are you?!
That’s a good question. If you don’t already know – I left my full-time job in November. Still so strange to write or even say out loud.
But, I haven’t yet been able to answer the “how are you?” question. Quite honestly, I haven’t even stopped to think about it – until now.
Usually when someone asks us “how are you?”, we tend to respond with “good” or “pretty good” or if we’re really feeling fancy “I’m excellent”. None of those seem to fit with my current feelings (after all, I did just recently make a pretty life-changing decision) and nothing best describes how I feel more accurately than “I’m overwhelmed.”
Not overwhelmed in a sad way but the way things have come together in the last 4 weeks and the amount of love and support I’ve received has been so overwhelming. I mean, I knew that this was the right time but I’ve never felt more confident in my decision. It doesn’t mean this experience has been easy though.
Side-hustle work ethic and entrepreneur work ethic are two completely different things and in all honesty, I haven’t fully adjusted to it yet. Some days, I just look at my to-do list and I stare at it for 5 minutes because I’m unsure of where to put my time. Everything feels like a priority right now because let’s be honest – I need to be able to pay my bills. So when I spend time on something, it’s no longer just because I’m passionate about it. Passion is what drives me but it’s not what pays the bills. This is my livelihood now.
So, if you’re curious about how I spent my first month as a full-time entrepreneur – I’ve been doing a lot of planning and prioritizing. I’ve had to really streamline what I want to do to ensure that I’m not getting distracted by the wrong things. I’ve done a lot of reading to fill any gaps in my knowledge. More importantly, I’ve spent a lot of time having insightful conversations with people. Through these conversations, I’ve not only been able to understand who I am now as an entrepreneur but what impact I want to have on the world. I’ve finalized a few partnerships and I have a few in the works but essentially these will help to magnify the impact of Do Well Dress Well and I couldn’t be any happier about that. Aside from all the work and planning, I’ve been resting. Taking the time I need to relax and spend time with family. I feel so recharged and re-energized to hit the ground running in 2018.
I had a number of people ask my why I didn’t wait until the new year to quit my job. First of all, I’ve never been one to wait until the start of a new year to make a change. The calendar doesn’t determine the start of a new year – you do. You can choose right now at this very moment for today to be the start of a new year for yourself. I decided that I wanted my birthday (November 30) to become the start of my new journey so that’s exactly what I did. Plus, the timing was perfect because I’d be able to enjoy the rest and family time that the Christmas season brings.
Now as I prepare to go in 2018, I realized that there were a few changes I needed to make. I realized that Do Well Dress Well no longer reflected its growth. Although it did start as a blog, it has become more than that. That being said, I’ve been focused on transitioning DWDW to a business brand instead of simply an extension of myself – a personal brand. It will still be the brand you know (and hopefully, love!) but separating my personal brand from DWDW is the best decision in order to achieve the growth I want. I’m in the middle of setting up my personal website (where my more detailed bio, speaking and consulting services will live) and I’m also rebranding Do Well Dress Well in terms of a new logo and site design.
The core of DWDW will always be valuable, authentic content. A place for women to share and read open and honest stories and gain insightful advice. In addition to blogposts, there will be more e-Books and printable resources available. It will also become more of a social enterprise through financially supporting the professional endeavours of millennial women.
Although I’m proud of myself for what I’ve been able to achieve in just under two years, I still have a long way to go but I’m excited to get closer to where I’ve always wanted to be. I can say this now that I’m no longer employed by anyone but myself but I felt as though my day job was holding me back from my true potential. I was always nervous about promoting DWDW and sharing everything that I’m working on. I never wanted my colleagues to think that I was slacking off at work and that my mind was elsewhere. Because of this (as well as just feeling uncomfortable with self-promotion), I held back a lot from sharing posts and PR coverage and I believe that if I didn’t do this, I’d be a lot farther. I can’t complain though because having a full-time job is what has kept DWDW afloat financially.
My theme for 2018 is Visibility. I’m focused on getting as much visibility as possible for myself and my brands, Do Well Dress Well and ideate networking. No more holding back from sharing what I’m doing – I will unapologetically share my work and the value that I have to offer. They say that women self-promote a lot less than men. We have to change this and I’m committing to doing my part.
Whatever you’re committed to achieving next year, I wish you the absolute best. May your dreams become reality and you experience the very best that life has to offer. Thank you for following along on my journey and I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings!