Announcing…A New Chapter

August 1, 2016

I have a rather momentous update to share today. I’ll preface this (lengthy) post with saying I’ve mentally written it about 100 times over the course of the last several months and I’m so excited to actually share the news of the new chapter I’ve begun recently.

If you’re a longtime reader of wit & whimsy, you know that in addition to managing this blog, I’ve also worked in PR + marketing for ten years. I’ve grown my career at three different PR agencies – first in San Francisco and then here in New York.

In the course of my career I have thrived off of my professional growth. My career always came first. I was constantly seeking that next promotion, that next big account, that next contribution.

But the past year and a half at my job were, let’s say…difficult. But I let it be. I let myself stay in an environment that felt stale and like I had outgrown it. I also didn’t initially invest the time to think about how to really improve it.

So, when 2016 came about, I prioritized really thinking about what it was that I wanted out of my career. I started listening to podcasts about living with intention, doing the work you feel compelled to and I began to regularly seek out opportunities that would provide me with mental clarity so I could chart my course. I then finally sat down one afternoon and I physically wrote out what I liked about my job and then I wrote out what I didn’t like. What quite quickly came into focus was that I didn’t just need a new job but rather I needed a totally different working style and atmosphere. I wasn’t looking to leave my industry and I wasn’t seeking blogging full time. Rather, what I decided was that what I wanted was to be the master of my own career satisfaction.

Meghan Donovan I Soho I New ChapterI no longer wanted to feel reliant on senior leadership to make me happy. I no longer wanted just the gratification of telling people the big-name, recognizable brands I was working on. I no longer wanted to be working in an environment that didn’t make me feel challenged or inspired. Rather what I realized I really, truly wanted (and was desperately missing) was fulfillment.

Let’s define that for a moment:

fulfillmentI love that definition. Because what was missing from my job was developing my abilities and my character. I no longer fit at the company I had worked at for nearly three years. And because I was lacking fulfillment at work I was seeking it out in other areas of my life which actually ended up being great. I worked out more, I said “no” more to things to free up time for other priorities and I poured myself into blogging.

…And most importantly, I started to look at what a life as a consultant would look like.

Being my own boss.

Full-time self employment.

The more I researched it, the more the idea began to appeal to me. (It also terrified me but what life is one where you’re complacent? When instead you could take a risk and see what happens? You could leap and see where you land?)

On being your own boss I wit & whimsyI began to wonder what my life would look like if I 100% trusted my gut and decided to put my capabilities and skill set to work in a new manner. And put it to work for clients and businesses I am really excited to work with. That I’m intrigued by. Whose mission I am interested in and believe in. I decided that what I really wanted was to work with smaller brands that I could hopefully play a role in growing.

So, what did I do next? I got to work in my free time. I read countless books and articles on running your own business, listened to podcasts on being self-employed and most importantly, I started going on “50 first dates” with people who freelance & consult in my industry. The wisdom I soaked up was invaluable and following every meeting my gut was telling me this was a community I wanted to work within.

A major lesson I learned through charting this new course was that working for yourself takes bravery. It truly takes gut. It takes determination. And passion. And organizational skills. It takes an extraordinary amount of self discipline. It takes so much.

Everlane Poplin Dress

My to do list has never been longer and I’ve spent Friday and Saturday nights researching LLCs and lawyers and health insurance options, making lists of brands I want to work with in an ideal world, drafting a handbook of sorts for myself on how to be my own boss and countless hours networking with a really awesome group of people. (Some of you clever readers may have caught on via Snapchat the recent difference in cadence to my day and my content even these past few weeks…)

And with every step of plotting my next move, while there was fear hiding in a corner taunting me, I became more and more confident in my decision and what I wanted to do. I realized that choosing a life of consulting and working for myself was going to be the right next step. With this realization I suddenly was left feeling so much more energized. I was less stressed but more overwhelmed in such a good way. I felt empowered to set myself and my very own clients up for success.

You see, the thing about careers is that while having the right title is great, your career shouldn’t just be about taking jobs to build your resume. I think it should be more about doing the work that makes you feel fulfilled and alive. The work you will wake up excited to do. It exists out there but sometimes it can be A) hard to identify B) harder to choose.

Truthfully, I think, years ago when I moved out East, I thought I would move to New York, make the right connections and my “dream job” would appear. But it didn’t happen that way. And now, today, I’m grateful that I have the ability to create and continually curate my dream job. That makes me feel incredibly lucky.

Another key lesson I’ve learned over the past 10 years? No one will ever be as invested in your future as you are.

So at this point in my life I’m choosing to do something I’ve never done before by working for myself. I’m choosing to believe in myself. I’m choosing to work harder than I’ve ever worked and not because I have a job description from my employer. But because I want to work with clients for whom I really want to make a difference in their business. I’m choosing to move forward and invest in my passions. I want to have a better work/life/blog balance. I want to structure my day in a way that feels productive and meaningful.

Moving forward I’m choosing to do the work that people didn’t expect from me. I’m choosing the work that isn’t necessarily the traditional work I felt I “should” be doing. I’m choosing to not rely on others to make me happy or fulfilled in work. I’m choosing to reinvigorate my career and my aspirations. I’m choosing to stop continuing “what if?”

In all my research and reading in preparing for this next chapter, I came across someone who said “we don’t ever look at the downside of staying put” and it really resonated with me. I spent a year not looking at the downside of how my situation was keeping me down in my career and personal pursuits. By staying put I was sacrificing my creative brain power, my ambition and so much more.

Rosegold iPhone

So there you have it: I am now an independent PR and Influencer Marketing consultant.

I’m so excited to be on this new path forward. It has me feeling energized, inspired and so driven. I want to say a heartfelt thank you for continuing to support my pursuits through this site & in my life. I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge what a formative role this blog has played in my ability to take this leap.

I’m one lucky gal to have many wonderful people in my court and I thank God everyday for you guys, my friends, my amazing family and the stellar community of people who have so graciously helped guide me to this point and provided me with so much positivity and support along the way.

I’ve got some really exciting clients and projects lined up but of course, if you know anyone that’s in need of public relations or influencer marketing help – I’d welcome a conversation! For all consulting inquiries I can be reached at meghan[@]meghandonovan.com. (And in continuing in the good news, I’m thrilled to announce I’ve brought on a stellar intern, Kate S., who will be helping me behind the scenes man both of the businesses. I am so excited to have her on board!)

So here’s to the next chapter and all that lays ahead….may you consider your passions and those secret gut instincts that tell you there may be something else out there. Explore them and just see…you never know where life may surprise you!

xx,
Meghan

p.s. this TED talk meant so much to me regarding pursing work you love, I drew extreme satisfaction in my decision while reading this book and felt very inspired by this read.

[And as an aside…in the past I have really enjoyed writing some career-focused pieces like this post. Would you guys be interested in more posts like that? If so, please let me know in the comments and would especially love if you sent me questions you’d like answered to help jumpstart the posts! meghan[@]witwhimsy.com.]

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59 comments on “Announcing…A New Chapter”

    1. Thanks so much, Erin!! Grateful to have you as a reader! If there’s anything specific related to career posts you’d like me to cover, do let me know!

  1. This post is so inspiring! I, too, have been writing down the pros and cons of starting my own business. It’s a scary thing, but I love coming across stories like yours that prove it can be done. I agree with you too — it’s about following your gut. Congratulations!!

    1. Writing it out was one of the most helpful things I did if you can believe it! And then learn as much from those who have gone before you in the pursuit of self-employment. If you have the drive and commitment, you can do it! So glad you found the post inspiring – keep me posted on how things go for you!! I’ll be rooting for you 🙂

  2. I had a hunch 🙂 Congrats on taking the leap! I love learning about what people do for work, but even more so when they are out on their own, navigating the world of being an entrepreneur. Happy happy Monday to you!

  3. So excited and proud of you Meghan! You’re a total girl boss and someone to be admired. Wishing you the best of luck and we must get coffee soon!

  4. Congrats, Meghan!! What an inspiring post — a wonderful read for anyone in the middle of their career or just starting out 🙂 It was great to meet you this summer, and thanks for sharing so much of your wisdom!

    MaryClaire

    1. So glad you liked it, MaryClaire and so happy we are now connected! You are part of the next generation that will leave their mark on our industry and I can’t wait to see where your career takes you!

  5. WAHOO! I’m so proud of you and so happy that you’re joining the freelance world. I am also rather jealous that you have procured an intern. Can’t wait to see and celebrate all your upcoming success. xx

  6. Congratulations, Meghan! Wishing you all the success and fulfillment in the world. You’ve GOT this, girl! xoxo

    Nicole

    1. Thank you so much, Nicole! Always so wonderful to hear from you!! You must let me know the next time you’re in NYC so we can have a proper catch up!

  7. I’m so proud of you and excited for this next chapter! You’re doing something most people (including myself) are not brave enough to do! Lots of love!! xo

  8. Congrats Meghan!
    I was 32 when i started my own business and now, 41 years later, cannot imagine doing it any other way. Sometimes I felt I was too young and did not have enough experience but Voila!
    Good for you hiring someone to help. Keep time for your self but also pay someone to do the things that you can teach them. They will thank you for the education and you spend the time toward the next step.

    1. I could probably learn a thing or two from you as you have seen great success! Thank you for the wisdom and support, Diana – it means the world!

  9. Meghan, you are an amazing young lady! I am in awe of what you have already accomplished in your life! I know there will be exciting adventures waiting for you to discover and enjoy in the days and weeks ahead!

    Love and Hugs,
    Your CA Mom X0

  10. Ahhh, what exciting news!! Thanks for sharing your heart and thought process behind the decision – I totally resonate with this post and am saving for the future 😉 Congrats, lady!! xo

  11. So proud of you and impressed! That is not an easy decision in the slightest but it is such a great one!! This post was so well put and inspiring I think this resonated with a lot of people, wishing you the best in all your business endeavors!
    xx, Merritt
    The Style Scribe

  12. YASSSS! Wish I could hug you in person, but SO happy to read the full recap this morning. 🙂 I love having a friend like you who is committed to pursuing what matters and can’t wait to see where this big jump takes you! XO

    1. Aw Jessie thank YOU!!! Such a thoughtful sentiment. So lucky to have you as a friend. You’ve been an inspiring lady boss ever since we first met!

  13. Congratulations! I am confident that you WILL continue to do great things! Best wishes for all your future endeavors.

  14. So proud of you and happy for you- and for all the lucky clients who will get to work with you! Love this post. Can’t wait to follow along on this adventure! I believe in you so much!!!

  15. Thank you so much for this post! I typically drone through blogs every day mindlessly looking at the pictures and not really reading the posts. This speaks to me because I too am in the process of making the decision to leave my mundane full time job. This is very inspirational and encouraging. I plan to print this out and read it again and again to remind myself of my goals and drams.

    Thank you!

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