NAME: Danielle Price
COMPANY: She Will Shine
How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
Passionate, Tenacious, Warm, Thoughtful, Kind
What is the long version of how you got to where you are today?
I’ll warn you, it’s a long one… Here goes… I had been working as a Graphic Designer for around 11 years in various studios and agencies, and wasn’t enjoying the long hours that were often needed. I knew I wanted to start a family sometime in the not too distant future, and that I wanted to have flexibility when it happened. So I quit and started my own design business from home. I never advertised, so all of my work came from referrals from friends and family, and as us women are so good at talking to our friends, word soon spread and I was working with a lot of female business owners.
This is where I had found my dream clients. We completely understood each other personally, and professionally which not only made working together enjoyable, but it also lead to great results. The connection between us as business owners grew into a supportive friendship, sharing common objectives for our businesses and our lives as well. This was also around the time when the idea of a little side project began.
I decided to create a side business, an online directory connecting women in business. As time progressed I began resenting my design work. I wanted to spend more time developing my side project, but couldn’t afford to stop doing the work that was bringing in the income to fund it. I had been kicked out of my home office/spare bedroom with the birth of my daughter, and was now working from the dining table. Not ideal for someone who had had the luxury of my own home office for the last four years.
I was running two businesses, had two kids, a husband, and a household to look after, and stress levels were getting higher. I’ll never forget the time my husband said to me (over my laptop) that he could tell when I was working on design and when I was working on what I called the fun stuff, the expression on my face said it all. I knew something had to give.
After much mulling over, I decided to take my side project to the next level. It had inadvertently turned from a business directory into a supportive women in business network and I wanted to give it the possibility of a future it rightfully deserved. But it was going to take some precious time and capital to get it there. I needed to save funds from my design business over the next few months to put towards it. So that’s what I did. I worked my butt off, saved a chunk of money, quit design and set out on my new mission.
The first thing I needed was a new name, and new brand. Needless to say with my past experience, branding was the easy part of this process and, She Will Shine was born! I also wanted to allow more opportunity for personal connections between members so introduced an online support group and events.
She Will Shine encompassed so much more than I first imagined. It was a true community for all female business owners. I took out an office space and was finally able to give it the attention it needed to evolve, and evolve it did… and continues to!
I think it is really important people can explain their main message in a concise paragraph – if the above is the full version - What is you elevator pitch on what you do?
I run a membership-based community for all female business owners, providing genuine support and networking opportunities through small group sessions, educational workshops, an online support group and co-working.
Are you doing what you thought you would be doing 10 years ago? (If not, what did you think you would be doing?)
No, not at all. 10 years ago I thought I would still be a graphic designer working for someone else part-time while raising a family. I never imagined creating and running my own business.
What does ‘success’ mean to you, and do you consider yourself ‘successful’?
I think success means that you are accomplishing what you set out to do. Am I successful? I’m doing what I truly love and I’m seeing first hand, women who I was able to connect through She Will Shine, genuinely support each other through the good and the tough times of growing businesses, and yes I’m able to help them on their business and personal journeys. For that I consider myself ‘successful’.
What do you still want to achieve (personally & / or professionally)?
She Will Shine is a community for all Australian female business owners. We’ve just appointed a Brisbane Ambassador and planning an event up there soon, and I’d like to now take events into other capital cities and regional areas throughout the country.
Did you study anything specific for the career you are in?
No. All my business knowledge has been through the experience of running my own businesses. There’s nothing like on the job training.
What have been the most rewarding things in your career to date?
One of my proudest moments would have been when I opened up She Will Shine HQ as an all female co-working space in 2014. We were the very first all female co-working space in Melbourne. It was such an honour to welcome women who were otherwise isolated working alone in their business, and have them utilise the space as their own. It gave our community a true home, and created a hub for our supportive village.
Tell us about your workspace (Office / café / couch / aesthetic) what inspires you about your workspace?
Our HQ is very warm and welcoming from the minute you step through the door. It’s professional, and feminine and we even have our very own She Will Shine Members wall of fame. It is of course very “shiny” after all we have a name to live up to! I absolutely love working alongside my members in the space.
What are some frustrations you have experienced on your career journey?
As a solo-preneur I think the biggest frustration for me is not having the budget and/or resources to accomplish everything I want to right now. I’m very much a do’er and having to wait for the time/money can be challenging. The upside is I’ve learnt to be very resourceful with what I do have.
When was the last time you where overwhelmed & cried from something provoked by work / work load?
Gosh this is a constant, but the most recent would have been when looking at the numbers during a recent price reshuffle. Taking the plunge and not being guaranteed of the outcome, if there will be enough to do what I want to do, to pay the rent and to finally put some money in my pocket.
Would you say you put pressure on yourself? Has this gotten more or less as you progress in your career?
I definitely put pressure on myself. I have a standard in my head that I have to meet or exceed. I think it’s probably increased as time goes by, but on the other hand I do realise the importance of getting stuff done and no longer agonise over the small stuff.
If you are a business owner – and you often can’t just check out / have a week off when you are dealing with personal things – how do you keep on keeping on with your business when things get tough?
I just keep going, putting one foot in front of the other. I focus on what I need to do and get it done, and just sit with the belief something good is coming that will put me back up on top. As strange as it sounds, sure enough it does. And then soon after it will happen again. The rollercoaster ride is endless though.
Has your career affected your personal life / relationships? If so how?
I think it’s just been the time factor. I’m working almost every night of the week, so I’m far from the mum of kids who bring home-baked goods to school. I don’t have a lot of spare time to meet with friends socially but these days most of my friends are the women I have met through work, so we’re all very much in the same boat. I’ve also set very clear boundaries around when I work, and refuse to work when I’m looking after my kids.
Has your journey at times felt lonely? How?
It has been lonely in that I work for myself, but I’ve also been very lucky in that I have created my very own supportive community that I not only lead, but lean into when I need to. And gosh those women are amazing!
What causes you anxiety / sleepless nights?
Deadlines. They’re all self imposed though which really is ridiculous.
If you had your time over again, from when you started your career to right now, would you do anything differently?
I don’t think I could have, or that I would want to. All of what I have done so far really has lead me to where I am now. As they say, it’s the journey!
What advice would you give your 21 year old self?
It will all work out the way it’s supposed to. The experiences you have on your journey will teach you what you need to know to get there.
Who are some women in business you admire & why?
Samantha Wills (of course!) for her honesty in sharing her story.
Janine Allis for getting to where she wanted to go without any formal business training.
What traits do you admire in people you surround yourself with?
Honesty and integrity. These are so important in the way I lead my business and life, and I want people around me who have the same values.
Work life balance… Does it exist? and how to maintain it, or a sense of it?
No it does not exist! I just give priority to whatever needs it at any given time, in the knowledge that tomorrow it could be something completely different, and when I need to, I have the flexibility to shuffle things around. Kids are the exception, and I’m working on getting that “me” time scheduled into my life again.
Have you ever thought about giving up / quitting? If so, does that feeling hit from the same triggers? Why haven’t you quit?
Yes. It’s happened when I focused too much on the financial and not on the physical results I am seeing come out of the community, the connections I am seeing forming and the differences the community is making to our members. I keep telling myself that the better you want something to be, the longer it will take to get there, you’ve just got to keep going.
What is the biggest misconception about what you do?
That we’re just an online community, or that we’re just an in-person community. We’re both.
What advice would you give someone who is starting out in your industry?
If you don’t absolutely love what you do, the minute it gets tough you’re going to want out.
If you knew what you know now, about how much work was involved to get you to where you are now, would you do it again or do something different, if so, what?
Gosh that’s tough because I would never have thought I was cut out for what I am doing now, but here I am doing it. I don’t think there is anything I could have done differently that would be as satisfying as what I am doing now.
I like the quote ‘Don’t just have a job, have a purpose’ - What do you want your legacy to be?
That I’ve helped women believe in themselves and what they are capable of achieving.
The SAMANTHA WILLS FOUNDATION is about bringing women in business together – why do you think this is important / (why did you want to be involved in this interview)?
The Samantha Wills Foundation is so aligned with the She Will Shine vision. To connect women who completely understand what it’s like to create and grow a business. It’s not an easy journey, but you have people around you who understand you personally and professionally, and who are there for you when you need it most. Women who you can be totally honest, real and raw with, without fear of judgement.
What are some of your favorite quotes?
How I make someone else feel when I’m around them is so important to me, so one of my favourites is, “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like somebody.”
And I’m on the vertically challenged side so I love the tenacity of Shakespeare’s, “And though she be but little, she is fierce.”