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2 Things I Didn't Do In 2022

As I sat down to write my last blog post for 2022, I couldn’t help myself from being a bit reflective.

The last half of this year has been such a growth journey for me and while I’m definitely still figuring parts of it out, I’ve also come much further than I could have imagined in such a short amount of time.

Eight months ago I did what was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life - and no, I’m not exaggerating. I truly reflected and tried to figure out if there was ever a time I made a more scary decision, but I couldn’t think of one.

I quit my perfectly good job of 3 years with no backup plan.

Now, if you don’t personally know me, this was really out of character. I’ve always been the one in my family and friend group that has always had it “figured out.”

My whole life I’ve made sure that I know what’s coming next because quite honestly I think I have a control problem (I’m working on this 😅) and I don’t like feeling surprised or not knowing what to expect.

This is the same reason I’m the person that plans a detailed itinerary for every trip I go on and look up the restaurant menu and parking situation before I get there.

Nevertheless, I felt a pull in my heart that it was time to do something different. The scary part wasn’t the “something different.” The scary part is that I didn’t know WHAT it was.

Sure, I have a ton of skills and talents in certain areas, but how was I going to use those exactly? Would I go work for another company? Work for myself? I honestly didn’t know.

And I wish I could say that it all became crystal clear when I quit, but it didn’t…

For a solid three months I felt so lost, confused and unmotivated. Let’s just say it was a sad girl summer… I can laugh about it now because I’m out of that funk, but I won’t even pretend that it wasn’t rough.

I think the main reason that I felt so off is because I was basically having an identity crisis. For the first time ever, I wasn’t the person that everyone knew me as - which if you remember was the girl that always had it “figured out.”

I also felt like everything I had worked so hard for up to this point was for nothing and that I was having to start over from scratch. Because up until now, I had done everything “right.”

I was the good kid in school that never really got in trouble. I made good grades and was in Beta Club, Student Council and yearbook. I got my first job at the age of 15 (I would’ve sooner if it weren’t illegal) and had been working ever since.

My parents praised me my entire life because I was the easy one out of my siblings (sorry sis 🤣). I saved my money. I went to college. I did internships just because I wanted to, not because I got paid or received class credit. I was the secretary for my sorority (ZLAM, anyone? 👑) - I promise I’ll never say that again.

I had a job lined up before I graduated college. When that one fell through, I had another one locked in within a week. After college I moved into an apartment where for the first time I was responsible for all the bills. When I started my first big girl job and realized I hated it, I figured out something else.

See what I mean? So when I found myself doing the thing that didn’t look “right” compared to everything else I had ever done, I was really thrown for a loop.

Luckily, I have a really sweet husband who supported and encouraged me through all of this and constantly reminded me that it would all work out. (he’s much more calm and less anxiety driven than me if you can’t tell 😅)

And as usual, he was right!

The reason I'm telling you all of this isn't to be like “look at me, I did it.” Because I still have a very long way to go. But I am on the right track.

And the only way I got on the right track is what I really want you to take away from this…

I didn’t stop trying to figure it out.

I will never forget my first day of not having a job. I think everyone expected me to chill for a minute and take time off (and there’s nothing wrong with that, btw), but I did the exact opposite.

I woke up at the same exact time even though I had nowhere to be. I did my exact same morning routine. I got dressed for the day, sat down in my office and started mapping out what I could do.

I thought about the things I knew how to do and from there I listed the things that I actually love doing. Because one of the things I’ve had to learn is that just because you know how to do something doesn’t mean you should be the one that does it.

Out of all the things you know HOW to do, which ones actually bring you joy and excitement?

Of course there will always be things in life and business that you have to do regardless if they excite you or not, but you get the point!

Here’s a glimpse at the list of things I know how to do:

  • Online course portal management (so think Kartra, Kajabi, Thinkific, etc.)

  • Social media management

  • Social media content creation

  • Writing of all kinds (emails, blogs, landing pages, sales pages, etc.)

  • Backend website management

  • General VA duties (personal email management, calendar organization, etc.)

  • Basic system setups

  • Podcast management (editing, scheduling, etc.)

  • Video editing

Those are the high level things that I know how to do and that I’m fairly good at. But not all of those spark joy for me.

So I narrowed down what did and from there took it even further. Writing really excites me - but not just any type of writing. Out of all the things I can write, blogs and emails really light me up.

Fun fact: my very first job out of college was a Digital Content Creator at a law firm and the primary thing I did was write blogs - this has felt really full circle!

Emails are super fun for me, too! So, that’s how I determined what I was going to do. But then came the struggle of how I was going to do it. Again though, I didn’t stop trying to figure it out.

I had heard of UpWork, so I thought okay I’ll start there. I created my profile and started applying to a lottttt of jobs through that platform.

At first it felt like nothing was happening, but suddenly I started landing a few which was super exciting. Even though they weren’t all ideal, it was the proof I needed at the time to show myself that I could do this and it could work.

Fast forward, it got to the point where I knew I had to make this a real business because I didn’t want to rely on Upwork forever to get clients. I needed a website and social media accounts so that I could personally connect with people.

So, I created a very mediocre website, started creating content and officially launched Natty Writes in September.

Here’s what I didn’t do:

➡️ wait until things were perfect to start showing up

➡️ wait until I had all the things figured out to make a move

A common business phenomenon that’s been playing in my head since the start of this journey has been: what you do today will show up in 30, 60 or 90 days.

You may have heard that before in a business book, but if not the premise is that the actions you do today might feel like they aren’t leading anywhere, but they WILL show up down the road.

And that’s proved true for me time and time again over the last 8 months.

The scary part about that is that the opposite is also true - what you DON’T do today will also show up in 30, 60 or 90 days.

If I would’ve taken time off to chill instead of kicking things off on day 1, I’m not so sure I would’ve figured out what I really wanted to do so quickly.

If I would’ve waited to have the perfect website or social media content, I’m not sure I would have the clients I have today.

So, that’s what I want to leave you with. I know you hear things like “take messy action” all the time, but it’s true. The messy action is what leads to the clear and confident action in the future.

Here’s to more growth in 2023, friend 🥂

- Natty

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