Danielle Uhl: How One Woman Followed Her Passions to Create Two Successful Businesses
Today, Danielle Uhl is the vibrant and confident founder of not one, but two, businesses. The Colorado-based entrepreneur radiates purpose and passion, yet it wasn’t always so. Flashback to her college days and Danielle freely admits she had no clear idea how her future would unfold.
Art was her passion, especially photography, but back then she wasn’t sure if it offered a pathway to a satisfying career. Or to any career for that matter.
So, with all thoughts of an arts degree dismissed, and without the faintest clue about what to study instead, choosing a major seemed an impossible task. The options were overwhelming.
Danielle decided to take a leap of faith and let her curiosity lead the way. She enrolled in as many different courses as she could, with the hope that one of them would spark her interest. Danielle soon found herself taking an array of classes - everything from psychology to English education, to vocal performance to criminal justice to leadership.
It was a smorgasbord of ideas and inspiration. It was also a lot of hard work, but ultimately, and somewhat surprisingly, her instincts led Danielle to completing a business major. After graduating with a BA in Business Management, she immediately undertook a Master’s degree, receiving an M.S. in Organizational Leadership. The world of business had won her heart and re-ignited her creativity.
“I never thought I would go to business school, but I loved the idea that you could create a business and have it exactly as you wanted it to be in the world.”
Skip to 2019, and this is precisely what Danielle has done, building two businesses that allow her to spend time doing what she loves.
In her coaching practice, Danielle draws on her own experiences of career uncertainty to help other women take action on their unique dreams and develop strategies for success. She envisions a world where women are thriving.
“I really want to impact women in a very inspirational and positive way so that they can take charge of their lives, go after and achieve their big goals. I want them to create successful businesses doing what they love, and then ultimately educate them and inspire them to do the same for other women, so it's kind of a ripple effect. I get goosebumps just talking about it.”
Increasingly, women are starting their own businesses. In 2018, 1,821 new women-owned businesses were launched every day in the U.S alone. Since 2007, the number of women-owned businesses there has increased 58 percent. This is higher than businesses overall, which increased by only 12 percent. Clearly, the decision to create their own enterprise is being taken by more women than ever before. However, they still face many obstacles to success, and Danielle is committed to helping them overcome challenges to create a business and life they love.
I asked Danielle to describe her clients, and she says they’re women who are right where she was five years ago. They’re women who are passionate, energetic and creative but they’re unsure of how to bring their ideas to life. Many are introverts and highly empathetic too, with big goals they are committed to achieving.
For Danielle, this is hugely satisfying work. She shared that her motivation comes mainly from years spent watching her own mother’s experience of being stuck in a job that didn’t fulfil her ambitions or dreams.
“That's what I didn't want. I didn't want people to just fall back into autopilot mode and live their life that way. I wanted them to see their potential and do things that they were excited about and that they loved doing.”
Danielle’s other business has brought her full circle and allowed her to re-engage with her early love for photography. It has also brought travel and adventure her way. It all started with an unexpected text.
“It's so crazy how it happened. I woke up one morning, and I had a message from my second cousin who I talk to about once every decade at most. We’re really not very close, so it was completely out of the blue.”
It turns out her cousin wanted to recommend Danielle to the national director of a karaoke company he was working with, and who was looking for someone to photograph their national karaoke championships in Vegas.
Danielle got the gig, and it was at that event that one of the judges fell in love with her photos and invited her to photograph the KWC Karaoke World Championships in Finland. Clearly, this was an amazing opportunity but it was also one that required a life-changing decision.
“I was like, do I do it? Do I not? And then II was like why not? I'm going to say yes to myself because there is this part of me that totally does want to do it, so I'm going to do it and just kind of see where that leads.”
This was the point at which Danielle decided to leave behind her day job to work full time on her businesses.
A lot has changed since her college days and now, far from being uncertain about what the future holds Danielle is confident she has a lot to offer. Not only is she living her dream of pursuing an artistic career, but she helps others pursue their dreams too.
Upcoming plans include courses, retreats and public speaking, a prospect that would have horrified her just a few short years ago.
“I definitely want to start speaking and hit those bigger audiences so I can impact more women. I feel I have important things to share now. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I'm not doing this for me, I’m doing this to help other people. If I don't spread my message, if I don't put my offers out, I'm holding that back from someone else.”
Danielle offered this tip for other women who want to follow their passion and start their own business:
“If it's something you love, it's your gift. Don't hold that gift back from other people, be willing to put it out there and share.”
True to her own advice, Danielle will shortly be launching a 30 Day Kickstart Program for aspiring women entrepreneurs to help them build their businesses.
You can find out more about Danielle’s work and how to enrol in her programs at www.danielleuhl.com