Danielle AlexanderDanielle Alexander, owner of Edify LLC, joined us to talk about her career journey. Edify LLC is a metro Detroit tutoring, editing and freelance writing business. Learn how Danielle made the transition from teaching to owning her own business.

DB: Hi Danielle! Can you tell us what your current position is?

DA: I am the owner of Edify LLC.

DB: Where did your journey start?

DA: I attended Michigan State University and received my bachelor’s degree in English/journalism and got my master’s degree in Educational Technology. I taught high school English and journalism for four years before the long hours, high stress and low pay took their toll on my mental health. When I gave birth to my oldest, I decided to spend my maternity leave soul searching and took on a few students a week to tutor in English-related subjects and ACT/SAT preparation. I realized that if I could work with seven or eight students a week, I would make more than I did as a full-time teacher and wouldn’t have to pay for child care. And thus, Edify, LLC was born. Since then, I’ve been blessed to have worked with over 50 metro Detroit middle school, high school and college students while being home the majority of the time with my now two children. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to regularly write and edit for a variety of metro Detroit publications including Visit Detroit, SEEN Magazine, Chaldean News, West Bloomfield Lifestyle Magazine, Birmingham Life Magazine, Detroit Mom and more.

DB: That’s great! What do you value most about your current role? 

DA: The flexibility. My husband is in finance and works long days. He could never take off for lunch duty at the kids’ schools, chaperone a field trip or drop everything to teach virtual school when needed. Even with all of my “jobs,” I’m still able to make my kids my number one focus, and although I lack free time, I would do it all over again if I had the choice. 

DB: What has been the biggest learning to date from your career path?

DA: I can’t do it all. Since starting Edify, LLC, there have been times where I said yes to too many students or yes to too many writing assignments. It’s hard not to when it’s good pay and something I enjoy doing. However, a stressed out and exhausted mom makes for a very tense household, so whenever I get offered an opportunity for more work, I need to take a step back and remember that I pursued this path, so that I could be happier, healthier and more balanced. I’m constantly asking myself, “Can you handle more work right now?” If not, I then ask, “Is there something on your plate you can and should let go of in order to take this new thing on, or is it just not the time right now?”

DB: What is your favorite interview question to ask candidates? 

DA: I work alone; however, if I do ever hire anyone to work for me, I’d ask them what topic/idea/concept they find so engaging that it makes them lose all track of time. For me, it’s anything grammar or writing, and whoever I’d hire, I’d want them to love what they’re doing as much as I do, so it seems less like work and more like an adventure. 


Deanna Backos is a partner at the midnight oil group, a Detroit marketing agency offering full-service communications for clients. We live and breathe our clients’ brands, always developing new ideas, strategies and creative solutions to build awareness, engage with their target markets, and develop true brand advocates.