CJC Interview: Jodi Monelle, CEO & Founder of LIVEKINDLY
Tell us a little about your path so far— where are you from? Where are you currently? Share a few career highlights.
“Originally from Bath, United Kingdom, currently living in Vancouver, Canada. My work history hasn’t followed a linear path - from media sales to public sector to technology. I wouldn’t say it’s directly relevant, but I think I picked up a lot of skills, which I have been useful to me in starting a business. When I moved to Vancouver, I was an Executive Assistant at Hootsuite and as an EA you have cross-functional work, which gives you quite a bit of insight into the business. You also learn how to manage a very heavy workload for both yourself and the person you’re supporting. I think my employment history has taught me how to communicate with people of all professional levels and backgrounds, which is important because LIVEKINDLY's brand focus is all about inclusivity & mass appeal.”
Where do you find inspiration?
“Our readers! Every day, real people! I am so inspired when I see people engaging with our content in such a positive way, it really fills me with hope and gives me the drive to keep going. We have the highest growth and engagement on Facebook consistently since we launched in April 2017 than any other vegan media publisher. It’s telling really - people WANT positivity. They WANT good news - they don't want to feel bad or guilty about their choices anymore and I just love seeing how happy people are when they read our stories.”
How would you describe your personality?
"Compassionate, values-driven, adventurous."
What does being an ‘entrepreneur’ mean to you?
"To me it means trying to find a better way forward, either by creating something doesn’t yet exist or improving upon what’s already in-market."
What’s the biggest misconception you face WFH or as an entrepreneur?
"The biggest misconception I’ve faced is that people think you're not motivated. If it's a job you love or something you created, I feel like you are motivated no matter your location. So much so, when you work from home and don't necessarily need to 'leave the office' at 5, it can be tough to know when to call it a day."
Who was the last person that inspired you and why?
"I recently attended Green Monday in Hong Kong and was blown away by the people - so friendly, so eager to help. The sense of community there is inspiring and it's way more progressive than I expected. I think some great things will be coming out of HK in the next few years."
What’s your favorite ‘me-time’ or ’self-care' activity?
"I love getting outside, I spend so much time in front of a computer! Living in Vancouver makes it easy - I’ll ride my bike along the seawall or go hiking in the mountains. I also really love a spa day!"
What is the biggest lesson you learned in your 20s?
"To trust my intuition. I wish I would have learnt this sooner."
What is your outlook on your future career? Your career industry?
"My focus is on LIVEKINDLY and making it the best possible newsource for positive change and compassionate living."
What’s your favorite quote?
"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples" - Mother Teresa
If you could give one piece of career advice what would it be?
"Don’t let the critics get you down. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Trust your intuition."
Who do you find in business, a personal mentor or celebrity figure to be most intriguing?
"Those are three very different types of people. A celebrity LIVEKINDLY frequently reports on is Moby. His commitment to animal welfare and the environment is inspiring."
If you weren’t pursuing your current career, what would you want to be doing?
"I love what we’re creating. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing."
If you could give younger self any bit of wisdom what would it be?
"To always trust my intuition."
How do you define success?
"Success is subjective. Everyday I’m connecting with with extraordinary game-changers, working with my team to share positive news that matters and scale a business that aligns with my values. This feels pretty successful to me."
What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses as an entrepreneur?
"I spend too much time in front of a computer. I guess it’s both a strength and a weakness. The time I’ve invested in LIVEKINDLY contributes to how we’ve been able to grow so quickly. At the same time, I recognize how important exercise and self-care is and am trying to be more mindful of my calendar."
What do you believe most prepared/inspired you to work solo—i.e. corporate experience, college, friends, family, etc.?
“I may have founded LIVEKINDLY but from day one, there’s been a passionate group of people supporting me, and rallying to help it grow.”
What is your favorite Instagram to follow? Favorite brands on social?
“If you take a look at my personal Instagram, you’ll notice I follow many vegan food bloggers. I’m a total foodie and wish I had more time to recreate their amazing recipes! Naturally, my favourite Instagram account to follow is LIVEKINDLY.”
What’s something few people know about you?
“I never wanted to be a 'career' woman! Travel is my thing, and I was always told you could only pick one. It was kind of accidental that I got both, but I thank my travels for all of the opportunities to (unintentionally) grow my career and skill set and to lead me to where I am today.... in a job where I can travel and do something good for the planet.”
More about LIVEKINDLY: To livekindly means to live in a way which shows appreciation to our humanity, our home and those who share it with us. Inspired by the notion that mother nature’s intricate design is arguably flawless, the LK community have come together to build a home for informative and thought-provoking content, focusing on sustainable and compassionate living.
The Crackerjack Collective is a series of informal interviews for These New Walls, featuring my entrepreneur and/or work from home network that continuously inspires me. These interviews are meant to, in turn, inspire others looking for similar insight on what we do and the motivation to get started. Know someone extraordinary that you want to see featured in the CJC? Send us an email. x Kate, Founder, TNW