Celebrating the next generation of ‘Side Hustlers’ for Small Business Month
Donté Colley is a Toronto-based digital content creator seeking expression via fashion and digital media. He aims to connect and empower global communities through authentic joy, movement, and a message of self-love.
Read on for words of motivation and inspiration from Donté Colley.
GoDaddy Canada Q&A with digital content creator Donté Colley
GoDaddy: Tell us a bit about your business.
Donté Colley: What started as a fun social media account to uplift people has turned into so much more. As a content creator in my early 20’s, I have seen the evolution of the entrepreneur from a nine-to-fiver into a “side hustler.”
Similar to many Millennials and Gen Z, my side hustle was born out of the online era I grew up in.
With my GoDaddy website (dontecolley.com), I’ve taken my business to the next level with a website that hosts everything — from social media integration to an e-commerce store for selling my merchandise.
With Small Business Month underway, I hope to inspire more people to turn new opportunities into income-generating side hustles — and of course, celebrate all the young Canadians who are making it happen everyday.
GoDaddy: What inspired you to start your business?
DC: I continue to use social media as a creative outlet and a way to make others and myself smile.
I’m very passionate about encouraging young Canadians to pursue their interests and I want my experience to help others thrive in a shifting and challenging business landscape. My online presence has allowed me to step into my unapologetic self and build a brand from the ground up.
GoDaddy: How does your business reflect who you are as an individual?
DC: My business is everything that I am. Transparent. Candid. Optimistic. Determined. I’ve had many people on this journey tell me that you can’t do what you love, and I am here to prove them wrong.
For me, brand awareness has come from challenging the status quo and embracing vulnerability. It hasn’t always been easy, but my brand is the strongest when I am true to myself.
GoDaddy: What advice do you have for fellow side hustlers looking to take better care of themselves while they push to reach their goals?
DC: I cannot stress enough the importance of taking care of yourself and prioritizing your mental health.
There’s no greater form of self-care than allowing yourself to do what you love every day — but you have to take care of “you” first to help you succeed.
Self care looks different for each person, but what we can all benefit from is self love, believing in ourselves and staying positive no matter what challenges we’re facing.
Also, lean on your support network! Whether it’s friends, family, or co-workers — I’m a strong believer that we need to open up lines of communication and support one another.
GoDaddy: How are you encouraging aspiring side hustlers?
DC: We’re all a part of the puzzle, and all I could hope for is to encourage others to put in their piece because we are all so unique, valid and unreplicable.
It’s not always easy, especially for young people in this complicated economic climate.
But it’s worth it. You never know where your ideas may lead you. I hope to remind people of that!
GoDaddy: What’s it like being a content creator in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape and running your own business?
DC: It isn’t easy, but what comes easy is not worth having. The challenges that I’ve faced so far have been critical in the development of my brand and identity. Building, creating and making isn’t a linear process.
GoDaddy’s tools and services have made it a lot easier for me to reach new customers and grow my online presence. GoDaddy Managed WordPress is great when you want a more customized website like mine, and GoDaddy Website Builder is an amazing option for anyone looking to build a website easily themselves with beautiful templates to build with.
The most rewarding thing about being an entrepreneur is the results of the energy and effort you exert into what you love. What you exert is what you will receive, and I’ll always stand by that.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Donté. Check out Donté’s website for more information on him and his business. You can also connect with him on Instagram under @donte.colley and via TikTok, @dontecolley.
UPDATE: This post was first published to GoDaddy’s U.S. blog on 15 February 2021 and republished to the Canada blog on 12 October 2021.