Tell us who you are, how you got into the baseball world, and a little bit about you and your boyfriend/fiancé/husband.
My name is Chancelee Taylor and my husband, Ben, is a reliever for the Boston Red Sox. Ben and I met in middle school and started dating when we were 15. We did long distance for 3 years of college, I graduated a year early, we got hitched December 2014, he got drafted June 2015, I left my job and our families behind to follow him on this baseball adventure in March of 2016. That season, we started in High A (Salem, Virginia) and then in June had a mid-season move to AA (Portland, Maine). This past season, Ben got a big-league Spring Training invitation, traveled with the team to the exhibition game, and then made opening day roster (still get chills every single time I think about it). We spent most of the 2017 season with Boston, but obviously got moved up and down because #relieverlife.
Tell us about your business, what do you do, and how long you’ve been werkin’ it.
I’m a copywriter and editor for dreamers and doers. I write sales pages and emails for girlbosses, write/edit/provide feedback for bloggers, work on resumes, edit books, etc. Basically, if you’re a creative who needs help with words, I’m your girl. I started Chance to Write in April 2016 (our first full season) and have been werkin’ it since then.
What inspired you/how did you get started?
If we’re being honest…the need to compensate for minor league wages inspired Chance to Write (can I get an amen?!). We were newlyweds, I was fresh-ish outta college, and Ben was a senior draft sooo we really had no money. I needed to make money, but I needed a job that was flexible, on-the-go, and didn’t keep us on opposite schedules. I looked at what I liked doing and what I was good at; I’ve always been OBSESSED with reading and writing—plus I have a degree in English—and thought, “OH! I’ve got friends and sorority sisters still in college, I’ll edit their papers and word will spread…I’ll do that.” I built a website on Squarespace, set up an official email account, and started posting about it on Facebook and Instagram. I was reeeeally nervous at first, because people can be SO negative about working for yourself or starting a business, but everyone was supportive and word travelled around quickly.
Was your success immediate or did it take time?
It didn’t take long to make enough money to make ends meet, but it did take several months to have a surplus and be able to reinvest in myself and relax a bit. Right off the bat, I got an amazing job with Gameday Feels and worked with them on their blog, product descriptions, emails, website, and a few other projects. My love for women-owned small businesses began right then and there. The founders, Alexis and Hannah, were so encouraging and inspirational—and we’re still friends and work buddies to this day.
What obstacles have you faced and how did you persevere in the hard times?
Running your own business means you’ll eventually encounter EVERY type of obstacle. You’re building everything yourself in the beginning…from the website to the emails to the social media posts to the legal side of it all, so there’s just bound to be obstacles. I would say the hardest thing to overcome (besides fear), or my biggest issue right now, is “imposter syndrome” or feeling like a fraud. Like, who the heck am I to do any of this or to help any of these women? I’m in the middle of overcoming this and it’s been hard, but I’m standing strong in my dreams, my capabilities, and my vision.
How did starting your own business impact your life personally, and for the two of you?
It was life-changing. It gave me a purpose, a passion, a way to help provide for us, a chance for my husband to pursue his dream wholeheartedly, and a way to do it all together. It also taught me so much about myself—my strengths and weaknesses, it boosted my self-confidence, and helped me grow in so many ways. It’s also inspired some of my friends and family to start their own businesses and it’s been such an honor to play a small part in their journey. It’s seriously been AMAZING in too many ways to count.
What’s a typical workday like for you in the season? In the off-season?
In the season we reserve mornings for US; we take Hank on a walk, cook breakfast, drink loads of coffee, watch a show…whatever we want to do. Then Ben goes to the field and I work until I go to the game or he comes home. I try to align my schedule so that I have less work when he’s at home and wayyy more work when he’s on the road. Last off-season (2016) was when my business really took off. I would wake up early and work for 12-18 hours straight—it wasn’t healthy. Ben would have to remind me to eat, move, and sometimes even sleep; my anxiety got really out of hand around this time, too, and it’s when we had our first come-to-Jesus meeting about setting boundaries and finding balance. Spoiler alert: it didn’t stick.
What’s been the HARDEST part so far? What’s been the BEST?
One of the hardest parts has been finding balance. After our first come-to-Jesus meeting I found those boundaries and that balance for about 3 whole days and then got right back to my normal self. During Spring Training of 2017 I worked so much I ended up in the ER with stroke symptoms, and that was a huge wakeup call. I was forced to scale wayyyy back after that, and get serious about taking care of myself first.
The best part has been getting to work with and learn from so many inspiring women out there. Mommy bloggers, baseball wags, fashionistas, six and seven figure coaches, nonprofits, health coaches…They’re breathtaking, determined, fierce women.
What are you currently working on and what’s next for your business?
I’m finishing up a website makeover and completely restructuring my business. I took this offseason to really dive deep into self-love and spirituality, which has been so transformative personally and professionally. I’ve also been taking inventory of what I’ve done right and wrong with my business so far, and how I can do better going forward. I have some ideas for what I want to do next and how I want to impact my corner of the world, but I’m honestly still figuring it all out (which is really scary to admit).
What advice do you have for other WAGs who hope to start a service-based business?
Get started right now. You can do this, and you’ll amaze yourself. (I originally wrote “Jump. You’ll fly or you’ll fall, either way you’ll learn—and I think we all know you’ll fly” but my boo said that was kinda sappy.)
Ask as many questions as you need to…but find the right people to ask.
Set boundaries from the get-go, know your worth, and you’ll eventually figure out the balance part.
It’s okay to fail. It took me a long time to really get that the most successful people in the world failed big and failed hard, but they didn’t give up. They learned from it, they taught others from it, and they kept going (when almost everyone else would’ve quit).
What’s one thing you wish EVERYONE knew about being a WAG/baseball life?
Oh, there’s so many things. That we sit in the same stands they do and can hear them tear apart our loved ones for something as silly as a walk or a missed pop-fly. That while we are “living the dream” we’re also living life day-to-day and experiencing our highest highs and lowest lows off the field (no matter how great or terrible the season was). That we don’t “belong” to anyone (lol).
Where can we find you online / how can we keep up with you?
Interested in being featured in our WAGS Work series? Let us know!