Beyond the #GirlbossMoment: Danielle Stowell
"Right after college, I got a big job in a big city and led a pretty big, badass lifestyle. It was really fun until 2008, when the corporate-event production agency I worked for went under and I found myself unemployed. I ended up getting another job running a tech company's conference center a few months later, and while my financial worries went away, the next time I blinked, two years had gone by with nothing significant to show for how I had spent my time or the impact I had made. Working at a job I didn't care about, in a city that didn't quite feel like home anymore, I realized I was missing out on a lot of great things that happen in life when you slow down and take time to really be present.
I wanted to love my life every day, not just work toward taking a vacation to escape from it. I quit my job and moved back to Iowa, and I've spent the last several years dedicating myself to my community. It started with me volunteering for groups and causes that I cared about as an effort to meet people, but eventually the skills from my first agency job combined with my enthusiasm for my new town landed me a few gigs running fundraising and community-engagement events for local non-profits.
I don't remember exactly when or who it was, but somebody told me I should stop lending my talents for free all the time, because most people are willing to pay for anything that makes their lives easier. I have a knack for keeping track of all the little details that most people find too tedious to worry about. In essence, I'm really good at getting shit done, particularly when it comes to helping others, and I've been taking baby steps to start my own event production house. I set up an LLC, opened a new bank account, bought a domain, and will complete my MBA by the end of this year. I've got a long way to go before I feel confident enough to leave my day job and work for myself full-time, but that's my end goal and it's finally within sight."