Entrepreneur Spotlight: Jessica Dornieden

Jun 12, 2017 | Entrepreneur Spotlight

The second interview in our Entrepreneur Spotlight series, which focuses on amazing ladies who are rocking their online businesses.

This week I interviewed the upbeat and multi-talented, Jessica Dornieden, and  founder of www.jessicadornieden.com which provides business strategy and VA services to female entrepreneurs.

Hi Jessica, What’s your business name and what’s it all about?

This one is not very interesting I’m afraid! When I first started out I was struggling to decide on a business name and decided that really I wanted to just be me. So we are operating at JessicaDornieden.com. Me and my team work with entrepreneurs and support them in their business strategy and technical implementation. We help entrepreneurs to plan out their sales funnels and marketing and then implement the technical side.

What was your “Big Why” that drove you to start your business?

I think I always knew I wasn’t really cut out to work for other people. Since the age of 19 (and in my first job after school), I struggled to just “fit in” in the workplace and “do as I’m told”. When I see problems, I want to fix them. When I can tell something is badly organised, I want to organise it – but none of this input was welcome anywhere.

I didn’t really know what else I could do though, so I always had the nagging feeling of wanting to “get out” but I didn’t really know an alternative. In 2015 I had a big meltdown, because I realised that I’d not be able to save money from the salary of the career I’d built in childcare. We’d never be able to buy a house, and adding a baby to our family would be impossible given high childcare costs and my low salary. I felt devastated. One evening, I made a decision that something had to change. I began researching alternative “jobs” online which would utilise my skills, and learnt about “online business”. Now my “why” is stronger than ever. I fell pregnant 2 weeks after resigning from my full-time job. My baby is joining our family very soon, and I feel like I’m now in a much better place to grow my business and spend time with the people that matter to me most.

What lights you up about your business? 

Many of my clients join me and my team at a really exciting stage in their business. Things are just starting to take off for them and they are growing big time – and we get to be there and support them. I love seeing their projects take off, and then supporting them further in developing a strategy for the next steps AND working out a way to implement them in their business.

What do you get to do in your business that was not possible in your 9-5?

I love waking up in the mornings and knowing that I DON’T have to rush anywhere. I can take my time drinking my coffee and I can have breakfast when I want to. I love being able to start work as early as I like and take a break when I feel tired/can’t focus well – that’s usually right after lunch for me. That was always the thing I hated most about working a 9-5 (or 8-6 in my case), you had to turn up every day at a fixed time and stay there for a fixed number of hours – whether you were feeling inspired or productive didn’t matter.

What daily habits do you without fail, that make a positive impact on your business day?

I am really strict with interruptions now, I do not check FB messages, Slack or emails before I have gotten my most important tasks for the day out of the way. So I often start work early around 6.30 or 7.00am and then take a break at 10.30am, by which point any distractions won’t totally spoil my day. We are creative entrepreneurs and we need to protect our creativity from outside influence, whether it’s personal, economical or political.

Would you say you’re living the “freedom lifestyle” and how does it look and feel to you?

I would say I’m 60% there. I do have a lot more freedom to make decisions about my life then I ever did with a job, however  I think I won’t feel totally “free” from the restrictions of other people until my other half is also free from his job. That’s our next goal. My ideal freedom lifestyle involves us, as a family, travelling more (as and when we want) and spending more time with our respective families that are both abroad. We only have a limited time to spend with those we love the most, and we want to make the most of it!

Where do you see your business in two years’ time?

I have big plans! I’m looking to grow the VA side of the business and really scale things up to help as many entrepreneurs as possible. I am aiming to connect with different professionals and grow a network of people that can help entrepreneurs in ALL areas of their business. I also want to really focus on the strategic side of the process of growing a business. That’s what I used to do in childcare and building and improving businesses is my passion.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to give to a woman considering starting a business, or who’s finding the initial set up of her business longer or a little trickier than expected?

Just keep going. These days we are desperate to make things happen overnight and we are often deluded by all the glorious descriptions of entrepreneurship we see online (Thanks Insta for showing me another entrepreneur sipping Cocktails while “working” on the beach). But in reality entrepreneurship is tough and dirty and things rarely go to plan – so it’s time to get used to it. It’s a game you have chosen to play, there are risks and there are rewards – but to me the only way you’re going to win is if you don’t give up.

What’s your favourite motivational phrase/ quote/ mantra?

My favourite mantra is: “Spend zero percent of your energy on things that don’t matter” – Gary Vaynerchuk
When I started my business, I was working a tough full-time job. It was the hardest time ever to create a business alongside it. But I focused on the tasks that brought results and left everything else – and that’s what got me to where I am now.

Where can we see more about you and your delightful offerings? 

The best place to read more about what we do is the website. If you’d like to get to know me as a person a little bit better, then you can follow me or Instagram.




Thank you for allowing me to interview you for my Entrepreneur Spotlight series, Jessica. It was great hear your story and your advice. The very best of success to you, Sharon xox

If you’ve been dreaming about starting your own online biz, then why not take the first step today with this guided visualisation...


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