There are so many reasons to start a business. Many entrepreneurs tout the “freedom” it brings and the “setting your own schedule” aspects.

But truth be told, everyone defines freedom differently and the type of business you decide to start can determine whether you control your schedule or the business does. (i.e. store hours)

Here’s how and why I chose to build a digital business.

Defining My Priorities

One of the most important things to me when taking DCM Communications from freelance work to full-time business was being able to work anywhere I had a laptop.

And maybe not for the reason most people would think.

Becoming a digital nomad was not the goal. (I like my home & dogs too much to constantly be on the road 🐕 🐕)

The goal was being able to work with people I could help, no matter where THEY are located.

I also wanted to be able to have that “flexible schedule” to shift things around as needed. Work would always get done, but if I needed to have a personal errand or appointment, I can.

If I wanted to go for a run midday or take a class, I could. Being able to “do it all” just meant I had to rearrange my work schedule, which often means front-loading my week with heavier days to accommodate the appointments and errands later in the week.

Eventually I learned I needed to set my schedule around my creative energy just as much as my meetings & errands, but that’s a story for another day.

How I Built My Client Base 

When I first took DCM full time, lead generation started with a single email to all my LinkedIn contacts. That brought me clients in DC and Miami, my two biggest networks at the time.

Then it expanded.

Chattanooga, New York, Birmingham, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, Nashville, Seattle, Boston… the list goes on.

Long before COVID forced us to work through a screen (three years prior in fact) I took the lead to educate my clients about how mutually beneficial it could be to work with me remotely.

For locals, it meant less time wasted in traffic and more time focused on the actual work so we could get it done EFFICIENTLY (and effectively) and get on with all the other things in the day.

For those in other cities, it meant they got to work with who felt like the right fit for them (💁🏻‍♀️), even though I didn’t live next door. I didn’t need to be that close to get the job done.

Video calls and screenshare tutorials gave us the face-to-face element and practical methods of teaching (for me) and learning (for them) to make their marketing lives easier.

These are still two of the top tools I use in my business today.

Much easier to watch a 5 minute video and see a screen doing what you are supposed to do than to read through a novel-length email of step-by-step, no?

And yeah, selfishly it also means I get to keep the DCM’s productivity running while I travel to places to…well, RUN 🏃🏻‍♀️

It’s not always easy to be an entrepreneur. That freedom and flexibility comes at a cost. And yet, I am 150% confident this is the life for me.


Channing Muller is an award winning marketing & public relations consultant and the principal of DCM Communications, based out of Chicago. She works with event professionals and business owners to grow and scale their businesses with refined marketing strategies developed through one-on-one and group consulting, customized marketing programs and public relations. She has been named a "25 Young Event Pro to Watch" by Special Events magazine and "40 Under 40" by Connect Meetings. Channing is an avid runner, lover of Labrador Retrievers, good food, delicious drinks, and an advocate for the American Heart Association.

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