Today, McConnell works full-time on her own business called Vegie Head, celebrating the variety and vibrancy of plant-based food.
“I loved my job but I just wasn’t fulfilled. I knew there was so much more I could be doing. I was sick of websites that had processed food and brown rice and tofu as virtually the only options for vegetarians. I thought, ‘Let’s show plant-based food doesn’t have to be boring.’
“For three and a half years it was like I was working two full-time jobs. I had to say no to a lot of personal commitments because my business commitments were just too strong. It was a hard balancing act but it was the best thing I could have done. Doing my own thing gave me the strength to get through my day job. I knew there was an end in sight.
“Success happened a lot faster than I thought. I had no idea about marketing, photography … I really just went out on a whim and started doing it and I made many mistakes.
“It was scary to leave my full-time job, but I knew I could make my business work. I’m such a believer that when the time is right, the time is right …
“One thing that fuelled my fire was when I was asked, ‘Why would people buy an ebook from you when there are thousands of free recipes online?’ That was the biggest challenge I think, people’s perception of, ‘Oh, you’re going to do your own thing, where are you going to get money from?’ I love being able to say, ‘I told you so.’
“I now feel happy, light and free, and I’m actually busier than I’ve ever been. I don’t even think of it as work. It’s just what I want to do and I love it.”