December 2019

MEET KATE, THE ADVENTUROUS SOUL BEHIND CHASING WONDERMENT

Hey there, Bold Girl! I’m Kate Donovan - the CEO (Chief Encouragement Officer!) of Chasing Wonderment. I’m a big dreamer, wife, momma, and full-time entrepreneur. I am OBSESSED with coffee, personality tests (like the Enneagram / Meyer’s Briggs) and I love me some Netflix. ;-)

 

Instagram: @chasingwonderment

Facebook: Chasing Wonderment

www.chasingwonderment.com

 

What do you do full time? What is your passion? 

My passion is LIVING LIFE. I believe that life is a gift, and I don’t want to waste another second of it. I want to encourage women, to remind them that there is HOPE, and that they can LOVE every moment of their lives. (Even the messy ones!)

If your answer to the previous questions are one in the same, tell us how your journey to doing your passion full time was- was it hard? If they're not one in the same, tell us how it is balancing the two!

My journey towards living a passionate life was NOT an easy one: In fact, it was FREAKING HARD. I had an idyllic childhood, but at 18 I went through some personal tragedies that rocked my perfect little world… and I didn’t have a clue how to cope. My physical and mental health began to crumble around me. It took a few years to realize that I was struggling with depression, hormone imbalances, and disordered eating. Everything felt overwhelming, and I spent a lot of years not wanting to get out of bed. 

By this point, I was married and momma to TWO toddlers. I was exhausted in every way possible.

Healing began when I started learning about this movement called “Slow Living.” I stopped over-committing and took a TON of naps right beside my kids. I went to a naturopath and got some help with my health. I began feeling like a HUMAN again, and I realized that I had forgotten what it felt like to enjoy life. I had even forgotten what I liked to do for fun! 

As I learned how to live again, I realized that life is a balance of All The Things. That it’s messy and beautiful. It’s chaotic and delightful. It’s hard and wonderful, and some days you cry and on others you laugh. It’s not meant to be lived on auto-pilot… it’s meant to be filled with love and tears and laughter. That’s Chasing Wonderment.


What struggles do you face in your business? How do you overcome them? (I know this is a doozy, so take all the space you need! Haha)

One of my biggest struggles is that I am multi-passionate! It’s SO hard for me to choose just ONE thing to focus on, and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure that out. This year I’ve had VERY clear direction from God that have helped shape my decisions, and have made huge changes in my business. 

Another thing that I struggle with is being too independent! I don’t like to ask anyone for help — so I tend to isolate myself and try to do it ALL alone. I’m learning to reach out to other entrepreneurs and have a growing community of women that are just as passionate as I am about building businesses that are bigger than themselves.

Another struggle is my own Mindset. I’ve learned that whenever you try something new, your brain tries to tell you that you’ve made a HUGE mistake in an effort to keep you safe. So as I’ve started stepping into bigger (scarier!) things, it’s been a challenge to remind myself that I need to push INTO that feeling of fear (instead of running away from it!).

 

How does your faith weave into your business? What is one goal you have in terms of sharing your faith through your business? 

My faith is SUCH a huge part of my life — the most important part, really. My biggest goal when it comes to sharing my faith through Chasing Wonderment is to remind women that there is HOPE. That their dreams, desires, and lives are VALUABLE. More that anything, I want women to know that they are LOVED — Unconditionally.

 

What made you decide to start what is now Chasing Wonderment? How did it first look/what was it called when you first started?

After I got married I started practicing hand lettering, and I realized that I could make artwork for our new home. My hubby encouraged me to post a few designs on Etsy, and my business was born! I called it “Corner Chair” since I was almost always drawing in the corner office at our family’s hardware store. I kept busy making prints, greeting cards, and doing custom artwork for clients.

As my mental and physical health began healing, I wanted to share it with other women. I had learned SO much about Slow Living, so I created a free “Slow Living” challenge on my e-mail list. The response I got was incredible. I saw right away that women needed to know that change was possible — they needed to know that there was HOPE.

It would be two more years before I made the change to Chasing Wonderment, but that e-mail challenge was the beginning. 

 

What was the journey like growing Chasing Wonderment to what it is now/what was your thought process like through the changes over the years? 

I’ve always been a “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” kinda girl… and honesty, a LOT of my business iterations have been just that — a new crazy idea that I decided to just GO for! But it’s amazing how many of those crazy ideas have led me right to where I need to be.

I’ve recently started simplifying everything in my business. I want to make everything clear for my customers, work on better strategy, and dig into the heart of how Chasing Wonderment can help others. As I’ve started to peel back the (MANY!) layers of my business, I’m learning that simplicity = clarity. It’s made it SO much easier for me to know what I need to focus on — and given me more confidence to share Chasing Wonderment with others.

If you could tell your pre-entrepreneur self anything, what would it be? 

If I went all that way back to my pre-entrepreneur self, I’d be about three. :-D I’ve had some kind of business since I was 4 years old! But since I’ve kinda grown up in the entrepreneur world, I would go back and tell myself a few things...

First: Let it be Messy. When you have multiple things you love, you need to give yourself time to figure out what you really want to do… and what you don’t. It’s okay to change it up, test stuff, and have fun experimenting!

Second: Simplify! Once you’ve been in business for awhile, not every idea has to be a product you sell. I absolutely LOVE to sew, but I’ve learned that sewing for other people steals my joy for it. Once you’ve experimented, dig in to ONE thing and see what happens when you focus on just that.

Last: Don’t go it alone. I think a lot of entrepreneurs are tempted to build their empire solo…. Don’t fall into that trap! Connecting with others can help you grow, build your business, and encourage you in ways you might not even realize! 

 

What are your top 10 motivators? These can be quotes, people, phrases, books- you name it! 

1: “I can do All Things Through Christ who strengthens me.” This is my favorite Bible verse, and it’s a constant reminder to dig deeper when I feel like I CAN’T. 

2: Rachel Hollis, Rachel Hollis, RACHEL HOLLIS! (Does that count as three?) Her work has been the motivational butt-kicking I never knew I needed. I particularly LOVE this episode of RISE podcast:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/80-hard-things-that-will-throw-you-off-course-how-to/id1245763628?i=1000429479256 I laughed, I cried, and I can’t stop recommending it to others.  (Her site: https://thechicsite.com )

3: Morgan Harper Nichols. Her poetry and her heart to serve others is INCREDIBLE. I’ve had her art on my phone as wallpaper for a few years now.  https://www.instagram.com/morganharpernichols/ 

4: Allie Casazza! She teaches Minimalism for real women with REAL lives and it’s been a game-changer. It’s helped me simplify my stuff so I can focus on the life I really want to live.  https://www.instagram.com/allie_thatsme/ 

5: Jenna Kutcher… I absolutely love her! She has such a genuine, sweet presence online and I’m constantly amazed at how she markets her business (sometimes you don’t even realizing she’s selling something!)http://jennakutcher.com 

6: "Burn the Ships" by For King and Country. This. Song.  I can’t stop listening to it. As I’ve started simplifying the mission and message for Chasing Wonderment these past few months, this song reminds me that it’s time to dig deep. I know I am called to do this — so it’s time to burn the ships (i.e. all the other hundred-thousand-million good ideas!) and just GO FOR IT.

7: Tara Swiger! She has a way of simplifying strategy and business concepts for people with creative brains. Her podcast is the first one I ever listened to, and I’ve been a fan for YEARS! I also love how she blends mental, physical, and emotional health in with her business teaching. https://www.taraswiger.com

8: Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller. His style of simplifying and using storytelling has been life-changing for my business, and I love the clarity that it brings. I’m slowly working my way through every aspect of Chasing Wonderment using this format, and it’s given me a new confidence to share the heart behind the Chasing Wonderment movement. https://storybrand.com 

9: Think of social media as an opportunity to GIVE something. This has been so helpful in growing my social media presence! I’ve had this really bad habit of scrolling for hours and then getting frustrated when I don’t see growth... But when I open an app with the intention to serve, it changes the way I comment, scroll, post, and share on stories. It’s a game-changer!

10: You Can Do It ALL (just not all at once)! I thought for years that I couldn’t be a wife, a great mom, AND run a business. I felt like I had to give up one or the other. The guilt and stress I wrestled with were NOT fun, and when I realized that it was okay for me to build a business, enjoy my kids, and ALSO enjoy when they were at school… everything changed!

 

If you could do anything and knew you wouldn't fail, what would it be? What advice would you give to fellow female entrepreneurs about taking leaps of faith? 

I’m doing it right now! I still have NO clue if my big dream for Chasing Wonderment will work… but I do know that I am CALLED to do this, and I’m going all-in. (And it’s scary as Heck)

If you’re looking to take a leap of faith, I would recommend a few things:

Girl: Don’t Go Into Debt. It’s so tempting to put that website on the credit card, or to buy another e-course… but DON’T DO IT. You’re going to end up with a LOT of stress if you're trying to build a business while paying off debt.

Trust your GUT. I don’t care if somebody tells you your idea is dumb: If you know in your GUT what you should be doing, GO FOR IT. There’s a fine balance between getting advice and wisdom, or allowing other people’s opinions to sway your gut instinct. Trust your instincts and don’t look back.

Find a Tribe! Your tribe doesn’t have to (and probably shouldn’t!) be filled with people who do the same thing as you. Look for women who have ONE thing in common: A passion to build a thriving business! You can search for local business-owners on Instagram or Facebook, join a local meet up with the Rising Tide Society, or connect with women on Instagram! I’ve got local and distant friends who “get” my excitement when I’ve learned new strategies and talk about goals. And if you don’t “click” instantly, it’s okay! Don’t let it stop you from reaching out again.

And if you’re looking for a tribe of women who want to live every aspect of their lives with intention and purpose: Come join the Wonderment Community! We believe in dreaming big, setting goals, and chasing wonderment — together. https://wonderment-community.mn.co/

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