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5 Things I Did RIGHT During My First Year in Business

Here at Natty Writes, I’m a big believer in celebration. 🎉

I believe it’s not just for the big moments in life, either. It’s also for the small ones, mediocre ones, because it’s a Friday ones.

It’s for the time you send your 10th newsletter on March 10th and you love when the world aligns like that.

It’s for the time you land a new client on a random Tuesday.

It’s for the time the person in front of you pays for your coffee at Starbucks.

It's for the time you publish your first blog post, or 5th, or 50th.

It’s for all the time, okay?!

So, all of September that’s exactly what I’m doing!

I’m taking time to celebrate one whole year of Natty Writes by recognizing where I’ve been and where I’m at now.

As I’ve spent time reflecting on my first year in business, I’m naturally drawn to think about all of the challenges, struggles and hurdles I passed through to get me here.

But I also can’t help but think about all of the things I did RIGHT to get me to this point as well.

While I’m all for recognizing the wrong, I’m also really into celebrating the right (obviouslyyyy).

In this blog post, I share a few of my major mistakes during my first year in business, but for this blog post specifically, I’ll be focusing on the things I did right!

5 Things I Did RIGHT During My First Year In Business

  • I started before I fully knew what I was doing.

When you’re first starting in the world of entrepreneurship, it can be really easy to waste a lot of time trying to figure out what exactly you’re going to do.

What services am I going to offer?

Who is my ideal client?

What should my prices be?

These are all things that you can spend a lot of time obsessing over instead of just STARTING.

For me, I was in a unique position where I had quit my full time job, so I truly had ZERO income (shout out to my husband for trusting me).

Because of this, I knew I needed to at least do something (even if it wasn’t the right thing), so that a) I was making *some* money and b) I was getting clarity and really narrowing down what exactly I wanted to do with my life.

So, not really knowing how to get started I turned to UpWork.

If you’re not familiar with the platform, essentially it’s a true freelancing platform where you can apply to different jobs for various tasks and you get paid hourly.

Now, this was not my ideal situation and I knew it’s not how I wanted to work forever, but it allowed me to start SOMEWHERE and actually led to finding the clarity I needed for the business I have today.

Through lotssss of trial and error, I landed one solid client through UpWork who actually led to creating the services that you see offered today at Natty Writes!

But that’s not to say it was perfect in the beginning.

Even when I had gained this clarity, I still had a LOT of figuring out to do. But I didn’t let the unknown and the uncertainty stop me from simply starting.

Instead, I started and refined as I went – in fact, I’m still refining to this day. When you’re a business owner I don’t think you ever stop refining!

  • I didn't obsess over my brand right away.

When I decided to go all in on Natty Writes, I knew I needed some sort of brand, but I didn’t do what I see a lot of people doing…

I didn’t wait until I had professional photos taken. I didn’t wait until I had an amazing website. I didn’t wait until I had identified my brand identity or brand strategy.

I just started and I did it with just 3 things (they aren’t what you think).

I started with what I had because I knew that all of those other things could come later and they would be EVEN better when I had more time under my belt, more clarity in my business and oh yeah… more income.

This mediocre website has served me perfectly fine for one whole year – she’s due for an upgrade (coming soon 👀), but she got the job done AND she’s been able to house all of the content that I own – though the blog, of course!

I know that it’s so easy to look at everyone else that’s ahead of you and want all of the things that they have – the cohesive social feed, the beautiful website, the aesthetic photos!

But I PROMISE those aren’t always the things that need your attention right away.

And that’s not to say that I don’t think branding and beautiful websites aren’t important – I absolutely do and have even made those investments this year (Nicole’s your girl if you need help with this).

I simply believe that starting first and letting all of those things come later can benefit you even more!

  • I didn't spend a ton of time on ideal client work.

This is another thing that can very easily steal your attention if you let it.

And I get it – you hear people say that you need to identify your ideal client so you can create the right messaging and that can 100% be true.

But what I found is that the people I *thought* were my ideal clients, were actually the exact opposite.

I talk more about this experience here and how it actually led me to not industry niching at all and here’s why:

Hiring a writer that has experience in your industry isn’t always the answer to YOUR specific problem.

You don’t need a writer that has experience in your industry.

You need a writer that can adapt to the uniqueness of YOU and YOUR business.

You need a writer that is willing to do the research to get the facts they need for your project specifically.

You need a writer that can match YOUR voice and help you reach YOUR goals.

  • I cold pitched.

YEP, I did the thing that so many people cringe about doing.

And guess what? It worked!

Now, I’m not saying that every single person I reached out to responded – most didn’t.

But a few did and honestly, all I needed were a few to get started and more importantly increase my confidence in what I was doing.

One of my cold pitches actually became a client that I had for almost a full year and to this day they’re still a great connection!

Through cold pitching, I proved to myself that people were interested in my services and they NEEDED them.

That alone was enough to keep me going!

  • I didn’t let the comparison game win.

Starting out, one of the first things I did was find people in similar industries to learn from and I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of people I found that I still follow and learn from today.

But one thing I’m really big on is being super careful with who you learn from and not getting caught up in comparison.

Looking to people for inspiration is great, but when that person becomes someone that you are comparing yourself to all. the. time. they’ve gotta go!

It’s a true “it’s not you, it’s me” situation. To do this, I use the “mute” feature on Instagram religiously because I truly believe that protecting your mindset is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself.

Comparison is natural, but instead of letting that win, I constantly reminded myself that I’m not where they are and yet I’ve still accomplished a lot.

I let my mind focus on what I HAD done instead of obsessing over what I haven’t.

When you let that be your focus, you’ll be more excited about your work and be able to achieve more celebratory moments much more easily!

Overall, it’s been a year of ups and downs and lots of in betweens, but with that it’s also been a year of a whole lot of good.

If year one was this good, I can’t imagine what year 2 will bring.

Thanks for being here. 💛

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