In this edition of FinanciElle “Statements” I got the opportunity to Interview Chanèle McFarlane, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Do Well Dress Well.
Do Well Dress Well is a platform that empowers millennial women to live remarkably. Through valuable content and networking events, they provide the resources needed to navigate your career, embrace your uniqueness and positively transform your personal and professional life.
I’m a big fan of the site, so doing this interview was very exciting for me.
Paolina: What has been your hardest experience dealing with your business and finance and what did you learn?
Everything! Growing up, I never talked about finances (or even thought about it very much) so it’s only now that I’m realizing how much that has affected me and my relationship with money. The toughest thing has simply been talking about it – I actually cringe when I think about money conversations, but, I am slowly getting over that especially as I’m now a full-time entrepreneur. I’ve come to also realize that my discomfort around money also comes from simply not understanding it because I’ve never taken the time to. Finance is not yet my favourite subject to talk about but it’s something I now make a priority by putting financial reviews in my calendar. Together with my husband, everything is laid out on the table and we’re able to see where money is going, how much is coming in and then set budgets accordingly. Through these regular reviews, I’ve been able to really understand how to manage money and quite honestly, I still have a lot of learning to do but the thought of that no longer makes me nervous.
Paolina: What advice do you wish you had gotten about finance when you were first starting your business?
You can’t avoid money conversations forever. When I first started my business, I didn’t have any idea how to manage things. I spent a lot of money as I would consider everything to be a business investment that would “pay off”. Some things did, but, some things didn’t and I was really forced to finally sit down and think about my money now and in the future. I wish that I was more confident with money management before I started my business but where do we really learn about that? I don’t think any teacher I had in my life ever brought up the importance of financial literacy and money wasn’t ever the topic of conversation I had at the dinner table with my family when I was younger. It would have helped me immensely if someone encouraged me to take a class or read financial literacy books as I now have a lot of learning to do!
I also wish I had learned sooner about all the excellent financial resources and grants that are provided by my municipal government. We’re very lucky to live in a country like Canada where entrepreneurs can receive so much financial support. When I started my business, I was still working a full-time job and I used my own income to bootstrap my business. I don’t regret this but knowing that I could have received grants to help get my business off the ground, I can’t help but think about how helpful that would have been!
Paolina: What topics would you want to learn more about when it comes to finance and your business and why?
I’d love to learn more about preparing my business to receive funding (and how to include financial information in a pitch deck), maintaining cash flow and how to efficiently create financial forecasts.
Chanèle is an award-winning consultant and speaker specializing in personal branding, networking, personal style, entrepreneurship, social media and content strategy. In addition to being the founder of Do Well Dress Well, she’s also the founder of Ideate Networking, the co-founder of Vision Vertical, and a free-lance writer – Editor in Chief of the Make Lemonade Blog, and contributing writer of Her Agenda.
To find out more about Chanèle, visit https://www.chanelemcfarlane.com/.