What kind of computer do you work on?
I currently work on a 2017 13" MacBook Pro with Touchbar. I also have an iMac but it's harder to work on the couch with that so, I use my laptop 90% of the time. 😜
What quote inspires you to be your best self as a business owner?
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to prepare yourself for the long haul, the rise and fall, and let neither define your sense of self.” -Karen Young (as quoted in In the Company of Women).
Because running a business is a never-ending series of ups and downs, I’m continually learning to ride out the challenges I can’t control and working to overcome the ones I can. This quote reminds me that my business successes, failures, and what people say on social media about either of those things do not define who I am as a person.
What business advice has impacted you most?
“Make generosity part of your growth strategy.” -Danielle LaPorte
Ever since I first read this quote (while browsing Pinterest a few years ago), I’ve operated my creative blog (DawnNicoleDesigns.com) on the business principle that you should give FAR way more away for free than you sell. I think that leads my readers to be more likely to buy from me when I do sell something because I’ve built a relationship with them and generously give a lot my work away for free!
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
Most of all that I was able to turn my passion into a career that makes a significant income. With just one life and so many of years spent working (because adulting=bills), I’m overjoyed to be able to work on my terms and (mostly) spend my days doing what I love.
How do you define success?
This is a simple question that is so hard to explain. It took me a long time to decide on my definition of success. I ultimately decided that, to me, success is the freedom to wake up each day and do what I want with it. Working for myself gives me a lot of liberty. Freedom to work when my mind works best (first thing in the morning), to work from anywhere, to take a day off to deal with life stuff, etc.
How did your education prepare you for being a business owner?
I’m a lover of learning in general! I think all my schooling played a huge role in helping me become a business-savvy person. My Bachelor of Arts is in English, and a huge part of blogging is writing. My MBA gave me a plethora of business skills. Furthermore, my Advanced Certificate in Graphic Design with Branding Concentration from Sessions College gave me the technical design program skills to follow my creative aspirations and monetize the design work side of my business.
What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve made as a business owner?
A quiet mind. Being a business owner means my mind is nearly always thinking about my to-do list, ideas, social media, responding to emails, etc. Even when I don’t want to think of it, it creeps in! In my traditional job, I left work Friday at 5 pm. I didn’t think about work once until Monday at 8 am. Sometimes, I miss that! But the flexibility and freedom working for myself allow still trumps all the cons.
How did you end up a business owner?
Accidentally. I started blogging over on Dawn Nicole Designs in 2011 as a hobby with no intentions of being anything other than a creative outlet. With three kids under four, I was changing a zillion diapers a day and creating in stolen moments. Starting a business was the last thing on my mind, which is why I refer to myself as an accidental entrepreneur. Pinpointing the turning point in going from a “hobby blogger” to “blogging as a business” is easy. It was my decision to intentionally start treating my blog as a business. I've been blogging professionally (making a full-time income over six figures) as a blogger for over two years now.