Notes by Naly: My Full Review of 2017 and What's To Come in 2018
I'm sitting in front of my iMac in a long kimono robe, my hair naturally scruffy, and a hot lemon tea by my side. My personal journal is opened to a blank page and yet, here I am typing out my thoughts on the computer. I've kept a journal for most of life. I started writing in one since I was 10 years old, documenting everything from the mundane to the exciting. There is something about putting pen to paper that has always enamored me. I'm a writer, and for so long, it took a lot of gut-wrenching build-up in order for me to even say that out loud - I'm a writer.
What's even crazier is saying this - I'm a business owner. (Gasp)
This year, I've grown more personally and professionally than any other time in my short history. And the memory of how long it took me to get comfortable with saying that I was a writer, much less a businesswoman, has reminded me of how much I've grown this year and as a whole.
It's quite enlightening for me for many reasons, but none more than the fact that I am a total goals person. I'm a type A, goal-oriented, competitive individual who is always striving to be better than I was before. This tenacity has helped me become who I am. Of course, there is the other crushing side to that. Constant self-criticism, over analyzing every single little thing, and negative self-talk up until the point of achievement reveals my short-comings.
However, this year was different. This year, I clearly got off my own back for once. And you know what -- it felt damn good.
I still had my goals and my ambition, but I approached everything from a completely different lens. I wasn't doing things anymore out of superficiality or a need to impress. Everything I did came from a place of deep spiritual guidance and relaxed effort in believing that what is meant to be will be and it will come to fruition.
Perhaps I was completely worn out from work and life, but I knew deep inside that I would never be able to make Les Naly or LN Creative Group (LNCG) work if I kept trying so hard. The trying became incredibly trying. So instead, I just did and kept going no matter if it leads me down a dead-end or a path turned into a dirt road. I stopped fighting with myself, and I stopped fighting with the universe to make things turn out in my favor. I would wake up every morning and before I got to work, I'd ask the universe to help me make the right decisions no matter if things were in my favor or not that day. Then I'd proceed to just have the very most productive day I could manage. And if I couldn't, I didn't fight my need to relax and sit back.
I was also very fortunate to help mentor a number of young women as they start off in their career and enter the work world after college. It's a great joy to me to help answer any questions, and I still find it deeply humbling that anyone would want career (or life) advice from me. The more women I help and mentor, the more I believe they help me better define who I am and strengthen my purpose in life. It's a circle - we support someone and in some way they support us. It's beautiful, really.
In a gist - that was my 2017. The most amazing part? It was my most productive and successful year to date. Les Naly was well 1.5 years into production and we'd had some great partnerships this year with Purpose Jewelry, Lila P, and Fly Glitch.
Les Naly now gets 11,400 monthly global unique views per month and growing!
Thank you to everyone who has supported us and continue to follow our site! Without your support, none of this could have come to life and we're all so grateful!
After a lot of hard work and dedication, we kicked off LNCG with a handful of clients in the tech sector. We also gained more clarity about the direction of the company as a whole from our successes and was able to map out the next couple of years in even clearer vision as a tech marketing agency.
On a personal note, behind the scenes, I struggled a lot with infertility and self-worth. It's a tough topic for me to discuss openly, but I know there are millions of women who also struggle with the same. It's a deeply personal experience, one that I never gave a second thought to before until I found myself knee deep in it. There are feelings of shame, guilt, disbelief, fear, jealousy, bargaining and acceptance. I'd hold my feelings in as another pregnant woman would tell me, "how lucky I am because I can start a business without children." This whole experience nearly sucked the life out of me and made me lose hope in the dream of motherhood while I watched woman after woman get pregnant around me.
It took a long time, but I'm finally at a place of contentment. I don't think there is a finite time where I'll be 100% okay with it, but for now, I've found peace within myself and contentment and gratitude in what I do have.
This year I turned 29, my last year in the twenties, and unlike other years I didn't sit down and write out things I learned or made goals. I decided this year I was simply going to coast. The older I get, the more I realize how little those things mean. Some people learn lessons early on, some learn them late, and some people never learn. I probably won't give up making birthday lists or goals, but it's been an absolute joy this year to simply be without the nostalgia of lessons or the chase of yet another goal.
Instead, I worked on Les Naly, LNCG and I wrote. Oh, I wrote! I wrote short stories. I wrote poems. I wrote sections of my book. I wrote a television series. I wrote in my journal. I wrote writing prompts. I wrote and I loved every second of it!
So, what about things I didn't accomplish?
We set out to develop our YouTube channel and simply never did. We produced a number of shows, but couldn't come to an agreement on style and creative direction. We toyed around with a couple of ideas, but things fell by the wayside once LNCG got off the ground. Perhaps it's something we can pick up in 2018?
My husband, Chris, and I also didn't find the right home to buy. We've been on the hunt for a fixer-upper to work on, but simply haven't found the right one. Hopefully, 2018 brings us good luck with a new home to make our own.
While I didn't make birthday goals, I do have some goals for the new year!
For Les Naly, we've established a robust 2018 Editorial Calendar. So far, in the last 1.5 years, we've pushed out content two times a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In 2018, our goal is to increase the number of posts to 3 - 4 times per week with more food, style and beauty posts. I know many of you enjoy the food posts (as I do) and so we will begin producing more content.
We will also produce more free content as we have this fall. You can find all of our complimentary content in the Library section of our site. In addition, we will continue pushing out our bi-weekly e-newsletter, Les Naly Post. If you haven't done so already, you can sign up to receive it here.
At LNCG, our team has been working hard to become a Certified Women-Owned Business with the federal government. It's a long process, but we believe that we have a lot to offer with our array of marketing services. We're also digging deeper into our specialty as a Tech Marketing Agency. We are a B2B marketing company, but our specialty really is technology companies of all sizes. We don't try to fit into every box or category. We know what we're good at, and we're laser-focused on helping technology companies achieve their branding and marketing strategy goals.
On a personal front, I'm hopeful that Chris and I can find a fixer-upper. We're no Chip and Joanna Gains, but Chris has a construction background and previously owned a painting company. I love interior design and worked with some commercial real estate designers so why not make a go at it? Either way, we'll make some memories, or share a couple good stories along the way. I'd also like to refine the television series I'm writing, and potentially pitch it to a couple production companies. What's the worst that could happen? If they say no, then so be it. But I'm putting it out there in the universe and seeing what happens.
I'd like to find more time for meditation, working out and gardening. I'd also like to refine my style and update my wardrobe. It seems fitting, now that I'm turning 30 in 2018 and my internal style compass is yearning for a change.
On a final note, thank you for keeping up with me, and supporting Les Naly and LNCG! This has truly been a passion project and has evolved over time. I'm so, so, so grateful for your support and encouragement and all the feedback I've received from comments to emails to in-person. It really does take a village to make dreams come true, and I'm so thankful for your support. I hope you all have a Happy New Year and we'll see you in 2018!