Success on the back of passion

Doing it her own way: Melanie Duncan

Do you ever feel like Neo in The Matrix? Do you want to break free of your monotonous 9-5 world and blaze your own trail in the business world? If you’re like most people, you probably dream of working for yourself, setting your own hours and successfully surfing the entrepreneurial wave. Are you staring out the office window right now looking at ‘those lucky people’, who work for themselves? So, where do you sign up to start making inroads into your new life? Well, the first step is to take pointers from those who have already done it, and who better to guide you on your journey to business success than Melanie Duncan? Who is Melanie? Read about this industrious powerhouse of business success, and how she is helping people like you find their way into a world of working for yourself, from wherever.

Melanie Duncan?

A serial entrepreneur who sees an opportunity in every personal dream, Duncan has built an empire out of her passions, which include embroidery, marketing and business coaching. But first, like most of us, she paid her dues in the 9-5 world. Starting out as a fragrance rep at the age of 16, Duncan was forced to confront her shyness, her struggle to approach people with the right marketing lines, and her fear of rejection. Each of these obstacles are large and insurmountable for many, but Duncan quickly realised that if she was going to make it in the business world, she needed a thick skin, a direction and a passion.

After some serious lessons and a few bites of reality, she decided to do business on her own terms. This led her to become the founder of what most of us dream of, the #workfromwherever fantasy; it’s the hashtag we stare at and daydream about (during our lunch hour from 1-2pm, which includes a mandatory toilet break).

What did she do?

With a passion for embroidery, Duncan and her husband decided to try and find success on the back of one embroidery machine. It was not easy for the first year, but they soon discovered that e-commerce was the way to go, and the business grew into a full production line of Luxury Monograms that they ship to clients across the world. And, just when you thought worldwide domination with an embroidery machine was enough, Duncan moved into online marketing, providing educational tools and inspirational guidance to entrepreneurs who want to go out on their own. Now, her and “Mr Duncan” share a successful online business that they operate while relaxing on beaches in Juan le Pins, or enjoying a cup of coffee across from the Louvre.

Working from where?

#workfromwherever is an idea that came to mind when the couple took a few months off to travel in Europe. On discovering that a business doesn’t need to close down while you’re gallivanting across the globe, they found that you can enjoy new cultures and draw inspiration from your surroundings while brainstorming new ideas. While they enjoyed their holiday, they continued to run their business, and the idea to inspire people like us 9-5’rs with an online mentorship program, was born.

A lesson from the Duncans

You can escape the thumb of the commercial world and turn your passion into a business model that allows you to call your own shots. Duncan is the prime example of how you can have it all in a marketplace saturated with entrepreneurs. It is intimidating going up against a wave of like-minded individuals with similar dreams, but who said success was easy?

Finding success is a real possibility and Duncan has shown that you can get out there and find it without being married to the corporate world.

The world is so much bigger than it used to be thanks to the digital age, where e-commerce sites allow business owners to operate from anywhere in the world. It makes life so much easier because you can operate from a co-working space in Cape Town, for a day or a week, before jumping on a plane to Phuket for a working holiday.

Melanie Duncan has shown that life doesn’t need to be lived in a box, because she lives her ethos of Entrepreneurship. Freedom. Success. Every day, and it works.

Stop staring at the people who are making life happen and become one of them. Begin with a hot desk at Work & Co, and watch as others start to stare at you, wishing they had your life.

© Work & Co. 2020.