Sitting down to write something this important is a daunting task. It’s almost surreal to look back at the last five years of my life and realize how blessed I have been in the ability to share it with you all. From the humble beginnings of launching on January 1st 2014 (take a look at my first ever blog post to see what that was like) after learning to navigate the world of blogging as a contributor for FASHIONIGHTS (to this day my favourite blog). All those years ago I stepped onto a path that would lead me to this very moment. And my dear friends, this is the moment when I am sharing with you that I am stepping down as Chief Executive Officer of Do The Daniel Inc. and will be leaving the #DoTheDaniel team.
January 1st 2014. It feels both like yesterday and a million years ago.
It was the day I launched my own website. It was mine. My own blog. And I took myself on a journey that would lead to me to travel the world, make so many beautiful friends, learn so many lessons, fall in love every day with my now husband (then boyfriend), thrive in an industry that has since evolved several times, and become the CEO of a thriving business. From Daniel Desforges writing because he loved it and inspired by the man he loves, to today as Daniel Reyes writing because it is my job (which yes, I still love) marching boldly towards the future I want and deserve.
How do I even start to express to you what the last five years has meant to me. Starting off as a food blog with my idea of #DanielsDish, my first ever column that helped me fine tune my skills, to sharing memories with my husband and growing team around the world, this has been the most amazing and memorable journey. I am brought to tears thinking of the incredible opportunities this has offered me. The trials I have faced and overcome. The understanding that I finally know what is most important to me. And of course, none of it could have been possible with you.
You the reader, colleague, friend, acquaintance, family member or stranger – reading this right now and allowing me to tell you what the future holds for me.
I recently sent out an internal memo to our staff to let them know about the upcoming changes that will take place as I transition off the team over the next few months. Thankfully DoTheDaniel.com is built on our team and no one person is more important than another. I should clarify that this is not the end of the blog or it’s staff as we continue to grow. It is simply time for me to hand over the reigns and allow it to evolve into it’s next iteration without me. To birth endless opportunity from this change. Here is a small excerpt from the aforementioned internal memo that really helped me to understand that this is the right thing to do. And that now is the time.
Good evening / morning team,
I wanted to take a minute to address you all to let you know that earlier today I spoke with Catherine about something that I have given a great deal of thought. Over the next few months I will be slowly phasing myself off of the blog and I will be officially stepping down as CEO of Do The Daniel Inc.
This by NO means notification of the blog shutting down, but rather a notice of my time at the helm coming to an end. The business and brand have never been more successful. We continue to grow every day in large part to you and your hard work. … This is simply me reaching out to each of you as human beings and as friends to let you know before we work towards announcements in the coming weeks. Because I value and respect each and every one of you more than I can express. You’ve become family, and family is very very important to me.
When I started Do the Daniel five years ago I could never have dreamed of everything we would accomplish together. I have no doubt that the next chapter and evolution of this outlet will be even more exciting than I could ever have imagined. But it is important for me to accept that my time is coming to an end as a part of the journey, and that it is time for new direction and leadership. And that as we transition once the official announcement is made, that I know the brand is in good hands with you all. There is so much to look forward to my friends. This is the start of something amazing as a next step. I can feel it.
With the help of my therapist over the past few months I have realized that nothing is more important than my well being, what I want in life, and my marriage. So for those, and many other reasons, this decision is and will be final. I of course will fulfill contractual obligations that lay in my hands as the current CEO. Once those are complete, I will no longer be a (contributing) part of the staff at Do The Daniel Inc. in any capacity. I know this may be a LOT to process and should you have any questions while we sort out the handover process and my official resignation, I am of course here to listen and answer what I can. Please understand that this is both a professional decision in the best interest of the company, but is also largely personal.
I want you reading this to understand that it was hard to write that to a team that has looked to me for leadership over the years. Hard to understand that what is best for me and the life I want is to part ways with something I created and helped thrive. But I also understand the importance of this step. And as mentioned, Do The Daniel will continue growing and evolving for many years to come. I genuinely believe that.
I think what I am most excited about as I work towards the personal goals (which I may have lost sight of during the journey) is becoming a member of the audience with you. To walk off the proverbial stage when the time comes, and sit in the theatre with you watching as each and every member (both current and future) are given the opportunity to shine. A part of something that a long time ago became so much bigger than just me.
Like any other business, this is simply a change in leadership. And it is time I gave my husband, my future children, my current and future goals, and my current path the best of me. I know what I want now more than ever. I am doing this for the right reasons and I cannot express the love and appreciation I feel for the experience.
What will I do next? I haven’t really decided that yet. But whatever it is, it will be with a healthy perspective on life and love. Renewed in my sense of self worth and unconditional love for the life I want with the people I want in it. Please don’t be sad by this announcement. Instead, be excited that we still have some time together over the coming months. Be excited for the possibility of what you will see here on the blog and our social media channels as they grow and evolve. And know that I am doing what I know is best for everyone involved, but most importantly, what is best for me.
If this particular post makes you feel and think, then I have been successful in my endeavour to touch just one soul in this big beautiful world.
I always wrote for you. I wanted you to, even if just for a moment, feel. I wanted you to see that you too weren’t alone. To join in on the excitement of building this and watching it thrive. Most importantly, I wanted you to know that life is full of beautiful moments such as this. The ending of one chapter in order to start a new one. My ability to express myself has always laid in the power of my writing and I hope that this post (certainly not my last on the blog in the coming months) will remind you to express what you feel, to chase what you want most in life, and to love with every ounce of who you are. Because life is very short and I could never look back knowing I should have left and didn’t for the reasons I feel are the right ones.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life and for your continued support as I pass the torch. Most importantly, for trying to understand even if you don’t always agree, that things happen for a reason.