Anna, what would you say is your purpose here on this earth?
Oh I have so many reasons for being! I am definitely a multi-passionate boss-lady (I have three businesses!) but the core purpose of those businesses is to help my fellow female entrepreneurs move towards what lights them up. I do that via my graphic design business by creating aligned brands for them, I inspire and motivate via my digital magazine ROOOAR through storytelling and with The Creative Circle by mentoring my fellow creatives. For me, it’s all about seeing other people achieve. I want us all to win.
How did you come to be where you are right now? Have you always been creative?
I have always been creative. As a kid I would carry my pencils and paper everywhere I went and I refused to throw any of my drawings away! I had cupboards full of papers it drove my mother mad. It’s funny, because my eldest daughter is EXACTLY the same now #payback. When I was in high school I was lucky enough to know that graphic design was where I wanted to be. I went to art college, skipped a lot of classes, drank a lot of beer and had lots of fun! I then worked in a design agency for 10 years doing soul-sucking work (no one enjoys designing real estate ads!). Then when I fell pregnant with my first child I decided to say see you later to the man. That was seven years ago. My business journey has definitely evolved in that time and I’m happy to say I’m exactly where I want to be, right now.
Can you tell us your big, beautiful vision? What are you creating in this lifetime?
My big beautiful vision is for women in business to support each other without insecurity, jealousy or contempt. I want to create a real community of business warriors, where we not only talk about our wins but also our struggles. A community where nothing is sugarcoated. That’s what I am creating.
What does your current business model look like?
I have three businesses I flit between. I am very much a go-with-the-flow type of person. So wherever my passion is for this moment is where my attention goes. It isn’t much of a business model but it seems to be working out.
Talk us through what typical day (or week!) in your world might look like.
I get my girls ready for school and drop them off and then usually dive into emails and delegate tasks to my team. I will then work on one business per day to share the love. The days are short with school pick up at 3pm and the usual mummy-duty tasks in the afternoon and evening. I then often do another hours’ work after dinner while my husband is on dad-duty. I am lucky enough to work a four-day week and spend Friday’s with my youngest, usually drinking babycinos and playing at the park.
Down time, and work vs. life balance. How does this work for you?
I remind myself often that I am the boss and I make the rules. If I’m feeling like I need to watch Netflix during the middle of the day - I DO IT. I do listen to what my moods and body are telling me. I wasn’t always this balanced in business and life but over the years I have learnt that no one will die if I take a few hours off.
What has been your most rewarding project to date, and why?
There have been a few! Meeting the ROOOAR community at our in-person dinners and events has always been a highlight. Actually hearing how something you have created has changed peoples’ lives is pretty darn amazing. I don’t think it gets better than that.
What three key lessons have you learnt in your entrepreneurial path, which continue to carry you forward?
- If you hustle you will always succeed (hustle = are proactive in your business)
- Ask for help - doing business completely by yourself is freaking hard so grow a team and find a community of your peeps for support
- Be open to evolution - don’t find change in your business, this entrepreneurial journey is often very fluid and if you roll with it you may end up somewhere totally different (but amazing) to where you initially set out to be.
What challenges have you faced creating such a diverse business/es? Do you identify as multi-passionate?
Yes! I am the ultimate multi-passionate entrepreneur and I have made my peace with it. For some people business is about simplifying but for others it’s about doing lots of different things and that’s okay. I have a million ideas all the time but these days I don’t act on them as impulsively as I used to. My mentor actually said something to me that has stuck with me always: “Ideas are great, but you do not need to act on all of them”. So simple. I needed to be told.
Where do you go to gather inspiration?
My fellow boss-ladies.
What are the most helpful habits you've cultivated?
Delegation! Getting rid of the tasks that I don’t love doing is the best thing everrrr.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
Keep going. Hustle. Keep your eye on the prize and don’t stop until it is yours.
Please tell us your favourite:
- Book - Eat. Pray. Love (still!!!)
- Website - Facebook
- Early morning activity - My girls and I have breakfast with my grandmother once a week - it’s the best. She cooks us scrambled eggs.
- Late night activity - Netflix or Jimmy Fallon
- Gourmet snack - Give me a glass of Sangria and a cheese platter and I am yours.
Anna Dower is an art director, graphic designer, and the creative force behind Design With Style. With more than 15 years industry experience, she’s infused her visual alchemy into heart-fuelled businesses and brands from all corners of the globe. As well as gorgeous design, Anna is passionate about empowering women in business. She is the co-founder of ROOOAR, the digital magazine that's redefining the landscape for female entrepreneurs. She’s also a business mentor, using her hard-won wisdom and expert insights to help her clients bring their big-ass biz dreams to life.