Behind the Screen: Devan Danielle

Devan Danielle is an expert in all things personal branding and what exactly that means when talking business. In this entrepreneur profile series, Behind the Screen, we take a look beyond the business. No pitches, no selling, just sharing. Devan is here to share more about what goes on in her daily life as an entrepreneur.

To start things off, please introduce yourself to us. 
 
Hey! I’m Devan, the Brand Strategist + Educator at devandanielle.com. When I’m not working on my business, you can find me baking or paddle boarding with my boys: Taylor (my husband) and Dave (my golden pup).
 
In one sentence, describe your business.
 
I help established creative business owners shift what they're known for within their personal brand so they can book more of the right clients.
 
Where in the world are you located?
 
Florida, for now! We move a lot for my husband’s job, so I’m not sure where we’ll be next. I’m originally from Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Go Pack Go!)

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Day to Day

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

A night owl who’s constantly trying to be a morning person. As an art major, I pulled plenty of all nighters to finish projects back in college. There’s something magical about creating while the rest of the world’s sleeping.
 
However, lately, I’ve been craving the productive feeling of getting up early. Also, some of my best writing has been happening first thing in the morning. If I can coax myself out of bed early enough, my reward is a bacon gouda egg sandwich from Starbucks or something sweet from a local coffee shop.

What is your favorite day of the week and why?

I love Thursdays, because I’ve carved out non-negotiable creation time! 
 
As you know, it’s hard to stay consistent with content creation between newsletters, blog posts, and social media posts. Well, during my second year in business, I got married, moved five times, and could not keep up with my content. So I made my weekly newsletters aka Brand Love Letters my priority. To this day, it’s still my favorite place to show up every single week and encourage, teach, or create something new for my community.

If you had a free day to do anything (no working allowed), what would you fill your time with

Learning, exploring a new beach, and spending time with my boys! 
 
I’m a lifelong learner and a sucker for a good self-help book. My all time favorite is The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, and my current obsession is Essentialism by Greg McKeown. 
 
I also love my time outside in nature away from it all. That’s where adventures with my boys come in! My husband and I love to paddle board with our pup so I’m sure we’d find a new beach town to explore. 
 
To top it all off, I’d most likely bake something sweet — chocolate chip banana bread, cookies, or caramel brownies. I got it from my momma. ;) She loves to bake, so I’m always calling her for recipes.

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Self-care

What’s a simple way that you treat yourself?

An afternoon snack break! I’ll grab a sparkling water from the fridge and some trail mix (with chocolate in it, of course). Sometimes, I’ll switch it up and have a green smoothie or a banana slathered with cookie butter. 

What is something you’re waiting to splurge on?

An iMac! I love my laptop, but I’ve always dreamed of having a big ‘ol iMac sitting on my desk waiting to greet me every morning.

What does balance look like to you?

It looks like hustling hard when I’m in the zone and taking off when I’m not. I used to be so stressed out about establishing an everyday routine and trying to balance work and life on an everyday basis. Now, I allow myself to rest when I need to and work when I need to.
 
If I have evening plans and client meetings scheduled, I hustle it out that day. 
 
If my husband randomly has the morning off (and I don’t have a meeting), I’ll spend time with him and work in the afternoon or evening.
 
Family and clients come first, always. The rest can wait.
 
One particular quote from the book Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes, changed my mindset around balance: “Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means that I am failing in another area of my life.”
 
We can do it all, but not all at once. 

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A lil’ bit o’ biz

What was the breaking point in starting your own business?

Staring at the same fuzzy, grey cube walls at my corporate job every single day. I just kept thinking, “This is not why I’m here. This is not my purpose. I am meant to do so much more.”
 
After a lot of inner work and budgeting, I made a plan to quit my corporate job, pick up a part-time job at a local greenhouse, and turn my freelance design work into a full fledged business.

How do you stay motivated through the ups and downs of owning your own business?

1. I learned to expect and accept the ups and downs. 
 
I remember my former business coaching telling me, during a session where I was stressed out holding back tears, that it was okay to allow myself to feel the emotions that come with entrepreneurship — the good and the bad.
 
Building your dream business and life is really hard work. Allow yourself to feel the emotions and then keep pushing on.
 
2. Sleep. I know I talked about pulling all-nighters in college, but those days are so long gone. 
 
For years, I wished that we didn’t need sleep so we could just create and live more. Now, I love sleep and know that I need it to be at my best for myself, my family, my friends, and my clients. 
 
Sleep is now a non-negotiable. 8 hours per night minimum. 
 
It helps keep my energy levels up and my emotions in check so I can do the work!

What in your business gives you the most joy?

Helping creative business owners take a step back, see the bigger picture, and connect all of the pieces to create their ideal personal brand.
 
As solo business owners, it’s easy to get stuck in our own heads and overthink every single thing we’re doing. 
 
I love watching that aha moment play out as a client starts to truly understand their purpose and the bigger mission of their brand. 

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Rapid fire wrap-up

Introvert or extrovert?
Extrovert (ENFJ)
 
Sweet or salty?
Sweet

Chocolate candy or fruity candy?
Chocolate
 
What’s your go-to Starbucks order?
Tall vanilla latte with almond milk.
 
Name a movie you’ve watched more than 7 times.
Burlesque (Just a girl following her dreams!)
 
What do you wish you know more about?
Psychology. 
 
There are two types of people in the world... What are the two types?
People who listen to listen and people who listen to solve problems. I am the later.
 
How many tattoos do you have?
None, but I secretly (not-so-secretly-now) want a half sleeve.
 
What famous person would you love to have dinner with?
Brené Brown — even though I’d probably fangirl, hyperventilate, and forget how to talk like a smart human being.
 
What are you most grateful for?
My husband who supported my decision to start my own business back when all I had was one freelance design client and a dream.


Here’s a huge thanks to Devan for joining me in giving you a glimpse Behind the Screen. You can find her over on INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, and of course on her WEBSITE. Make sure to give her some love in the comments and share a bit about yourself while you’re at it!

Shoutout to Devan's photographers Natalie Zepp Photography and Art & Anthem for her pics!