Entrepreneur Highlight: Meet Devonnie
Tell us more about yourself:
I’m Devonnie Garvey, a freelance copywriter and blogger. Presently, I live in Ocho Rios, Jamaica but I like to think of myself as a citizen of the world. I love learning, and I’m obsessed with self-development and finding new ways to challenge my mind.
How did you get into your skill?
For as long I’ve known myself, I’ve had a passion for creating stories. I also love reading, so when I was a child I started combining those passions by writing short stories. Eventually, I was spending hours each day bringing my thoughts to life in the form of poems, short stories and even a few novels.
Still, I viewed my writing ability as just a hobby, even though I always got raving reviews about what I wrote. All that changed when I discovered that people would pay me for my hobby. At the age of 17, and in the middle of a Information Technology degree I discovered the world of freelance writing, and realized that this is what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing.
Fast forward two years, and I’m currently a freelance copywriter and blogger.
How do you promote yourself?
My method for promotion isn’t too complex. I haven’t delved into the world of Facebook Ads or Google Adwords (yet, lol). However, what I do now is a combination of things. I guest blog on websites that my clients would read, and position myself as an authority. This puts me right in front of them. Also, I get a fair amount of my work through referrals from existing customers, as well as Facebook Groups.
How can you get in touch with me?
I work with entrepreneurs over by DreamWrite, to help them attract their ideal clients through great content - sales pages, emails and website copy. I also blog at The Femme Agenda about how young women can start their own online business. If you need to reach me directly, you can drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have any upcoming projects?
Yes, I do! It’s still too early to say, and I’m a little tight-lipped about what exactly they are. But, it involves pivoting my copywriting and blogging career in another direction - one that’s more suited to my strengths. It’s going to involve a lot of learning and growing on my end, but I’m excited! I’ll keep you updated, lol.
What is your philosophy in life?
This is an interesting question - as it stands, my current belief system is an amalgamation of quite a few things. I’d say that they are:
1. Never believing that anything is ever out of your reach regardless of where you come from or how old you are. My favourite quote that reminds me of this is one by Anais Nin. It goes, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
2. Always keep pushing yourself to grow. I wrote an entire post on this on my blog, about how nothing good ever comes from staying in your comfort zone. This philosophy is fueled by my fear of mediocrity, I think.
3. Choose what you give your attention to. When you think of how simply a bad thought can ruin your day, it’s easy to see why you need to be careful about what you spend your time focusing on. Don’t allow bad energy to stifle you of your happiness and joy.
You know, I actually have quite a lot more? Lol, I think the broad heading they all fall under is positive vibes. Always stay positive, and act according to what you believe in.
In your opinion, what do you think are the keys to success?
From my perspective and based on the relative successes I’ve had so far in life, success is when your trained ability collides with an opportunity to show it off. For example, I was able to snag an internship as a writer at multinational company when I was 17, without a college degree or any “formal training.” However, it wasn’t luck, I had spent hundreds of hours before that honing my craft of writing - it just so happened that I got the opportunity to execute it.
So, success is when you get the chance to show off all that you know and are good at. The part where that definition morphs into something bigger, is when you realize that you can go out in search of the opportunity to showcase your ability, and your ability doesn’t have to be one that you gain through a four-year college education.
Along with opportunity and ability, you need discipline and patience. The last two are what allows you to sustain the success that the first two may bring you. Once you have a mix of all four, you’ll find yourself in a pretty sweet spot.
What made you start your business?
I never subscribed to the idea of sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week. It seemed like a cruel kind of punishment to spend the majority of my life doing things I didn’t want to do. The whole corporate ladder and petty office politics wasn’t what I wanted to spend my time doing. I didn’t like how restricting it was.
On the other hand, I’ve always loved writing. I would happily do it for hours on end. I’ve never encountered anything else that I feel that way about. But, I had always been told that I couldn’t make a living as writer. On career days in high school, there were never any writers to listen to or aspire to be. Heck, I didn’t even personally know of anyone who was only a writer and had a nice life. So, for a while I thought that my passion always had to be a hobby.
I started my business to challenge that status quo. The first dollar I made with my writing was symbolic - it was liberating, it was my triumph that I could do what I loved doing and not end up a pauper. And if I did it once, I could do it a thousand times, and a million times. I could be the author of my own future. Thus, I flung myself head first into the sea of freelance writing - without a life jacket, I might add.
What can I say? It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
What blogs and websites do you follow and why?
My tastes change frequently, but I’ll let you in on a few of the online resources that I absolutely adore. The people on this list, I always open their emails and I read their content religiously.
The Middle Finger Project - Ash is AMAZING! Her blog actually inspired me to take the leap to pursue my dream of writing full time. I love her witty writing style, and the way she’s able to connect with an audience is something I adore.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich - Ramit’s blog and his emails are phenomenal. He’s able to break down complex concepts into easy to understand portions, and after reading one of his posts, I always find myself thinking differently. Additionally, his book of the same name has helped me to develop some great money habits. His other venture/website Growth Lab is amazing as well.
Gary Vaynerchuk - Gary Vee’s videos and blog posts are my daily reminder that I need to get up off my butt and start attacking life head on! He’s a no nonsense serial entrepreneur who firmly believes in the power of discipline and incremental effort to create a successful masterpiece.
The MFCEO Project - Andy Frisella’s podcast impacts me like Gary Vee’s. They spur me to action, and though most of his insights are on how to run a physical business - I cannot stress how much they broaden my entrepreneurial mindset. Additionally, most of the truth he speaks of is applicable in every situation of life. His podcast is centered around how to be the CEO of your life and business.
Rich20Something - I found Daniel through Instagram, and he spits nothing but facts. His blog, podcast and movement is centered around building your own business in your 20’s. It’s great stuff for a young person like me, even though I’m not in my 20’s yet.
Those are the five resources that come to mind, right off the top of my head. I have a ton more - I’m always on the prowl for new information and the like - but these are a pretty solid foundation to build your entrepreneurial knowledge off.