Educator, Writer, Empath, and Founder, Chanelle James, on Launching Empathy Wanders

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Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

I am an educator, writer, author, creator, empath, etc. The list is endless. I like to say that I am a ‘Jane of All Trades’. I love life and I explore what it has to offer. Writing is my therapy and I found that my words can help others. As someone that perseveres through anxiety daily, I wanted to share my intuitive thoughts with the world as an outlet and to let the world know that they are not alone. My first book, Intuitive Ramble is a collection of poetry that focuses on some of life’s themes. From there, I established ‘Empathy Wanders: Candid Thoughts That Wander‘. We offer creative writing services, open-mic moments by Nelle J, merchandise, bi-weekly newsletters, and more! My goal is to start a movement and continue creating collections of poetry to share.

What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

I am excited to be an Entreprenista League member so that I am able to collaborate with others to expand my business. I would like to gain more insight into what I’ve established on my own to make sure I am on the right path. I want to create relationships and build foundations.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

When I published my first book, I was given the advice to create a business around my book to establish my brand. It has definitely been a challenge because I have done everything on my own without knowing if I am on the right path. Although I have had a small amount of success, I would like to have a bigger influence. I am super thankful for my family and friends who have followed my movement.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

As I said earlier, my career is in education. I’ve been a teacher for almost 10 years. So, prior to creating my business, I had no knowledge of how to run and keep a business afloat. Still learning 😊

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes! I have always known that I have creative abilities to offer the world and I want to share them. I know that I want to work for myself.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

When I launched my business (last July), the only marketing strategy I used was Instagram and word of mouth. At the time, I had no clue about marketing and honestly, I am still learning. No, I do not think it went as planned but I did get exposure.

What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way and what did you learn from it?

The biggest challenge that I have encountered along the way is continuing to have the confidence to keep doing what I am doing even though the results may not show what I want right now. Because I am an optimistic, hard-working person, that has helped me out thus far. There is power in the struggle.

What is the accomplishment you are the proudest of to date?

The accomplishment that I am MOST proud of to date is publishing my first book!

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Yes, I do believe in work/life balance. As an educator, having a work/life balance is key to being successful and making it through the year. Some of the best tips I can offer are to set aside uninterrupted ‘self-care time’, create non-negotiable no-work time, and plan, plan, plan. I am an avid planner that always has a to-do list. Sometimes, I find that all of my ‘daily to-dos’ may not be necessary that day and can be moved to the next. Lastly, just breathe and insert meditation when needed.

What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

Some advice that I can offer others is to build a village of support for yourself that can cheer you on in times of stress.

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

This past May marked the one-year anniversary of my book release, Intuitive Ramble. This July will mark the one-year anniversary of my establishing my business, Empathy Wanders.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

My goal for my business is to have a storefront or ‘ladies’ lounge’, where patrons can come and hear spoken word from myself and others in the community and shop. I plan to release more books of poetry hopefully independently and host more events. I would like to partner with other authors and continue to build my blog on Medium (@nellej_87957).

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