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Behind the Perfectly Imperfect New ‘She Takes on the World’ Brand We’re Creating

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First, I want to thank you for all your comments, emails, and shares of this reflection series I’ve been writing as I look back on the last few years of our growth and work on the next evolution of SheTakesOnTheWorld.com. I’m fired up about all the ways we’re going to be serving you moving forward.

If you haven’t stopped in to check out the first three parts of the series yet, you can find:

  • Part 1 (where I talk about my move from Canada to the U.S.) here
  • Part 2 (where I discuss the miracles that happen when you follow your intuition — and why I moved to L.A. despite everyone telling me not to!) here
  • And Part 3 (where I got raw about why I had to blow my own heart apart) here

Each story in this series gives a peek into where I’ve been, and where I’m going, along with my future plans for She Takes on the World. It’s been such a fun and fascinating journey for me and I hope sharing my experiences and lessons learned will serve you in some way.

Now I actually want to wind back the clock a couple decades.

When I was a kid, my parents got into the habit of videotaping our “candid moments” — blowing out the candles at birthday parties, swimming in the pool, playing with our toys, etc.

Not long ago I was at home watching these old clips on the couch with my mom and dad… and I saw something that stopped me in my tracks.

As the video faded in, there I was, at 8 years old, sitting at the piano. I was practicing a piece, sometimes stumbling, sometimes hitting the right notes.

My mom began walking towards Little Natalie, and the closer she got, the clearer the face of Little Natalie becomes; so intense and focused she looked about ready to explode.

Her furrowed brow and frown made it clear: Little Natalie clearly didn’t want to talk, or be bothered in any way. She glared at the camera, and her body was glued to that stool and that piano, determined to “get it right” no matter how long she had to sit there.

I wanted to jump through the screen and hug my little self. I wanted to tell her “It’s okay! You don’t need to keep practicing this song! Don’t be so hard on yourself when you mess up. Go play!”

I sat back to take stock of how far I’ve come and how much more relaxed I am now even though there’s an intensity to my personality. I’m so much lighter now, but it’s been a long road here.

…And, if I can be really honest about something else?

Nothing has brought that perfectionist monster out of me like the process of moving, letting go of endless old patterns and even a decade-long relationship, and planning the rebrand of She Takes on the World.

From trying to find “just the right” place to live, to listing all the reasons why my former partner and I were or weren’t “perfect” together, to sweating over the fact my amazing photographer wasn’t giving me the direction I thought I needed for the perfect shot.

Ultimately, perfectionism is one of the greatest fears we can carry. We don’t always recognize it that way — but it’s true.

But for a long time, I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I’ll tell you why:

One of the biggest problems with perfectionism? How we can be praised for it all our lives.

As a student, my straight-A’s were applauded.

As an entrepreneur, my obsession with every little detail of my brand and business gained me respect.

As a CEO, my perfectionism has communicated to my team, in no uncertain terms, how high my standards are.

And yet, it is this beast that’s caused heartache, stress, worry, and fear of not being “good enough”.

Perfectionism has kept me from sharing stories, ideas, and concepts with you that could have been valuable — because I was afraid you’d judge me, or wonder why everything wasn’t “just so”.

And battling our own inner demons is such a frustrating process, isn’t it?

It has taught me one thing, though:

Choosing “done” over “perfect” is the absolute best way to share my ideas with the world in a way that’s authentic, raw, and infinitely more valuable.

It also makes me feel infinitely more connected to you.

It’s a conscious choice that I make over and over, every day (and has caused more than a few total freakouts) — and the results have been… amazing.

This desire be more honest, open, and real for you — instead of “perfect” — has driven every decision I’ve made for the evolution of the She Takes on the World brand that we’re immersed in building too. 

What does this mean? It means no more perfect hair and makeup in a perfectly lit production studio (shout out to my production team though, they’re amazing!). That means no more scripted episodes.

It means no more fear, no more holding back, and no more barriers between what I’m doing, and the action steps I want you to take.

The new She Takes on the World is going to take you behind-the-scenes of my business and life in a way you’ve never seen.

I’ll show you the routines and rituals that are at the foundation of my success, as well as what I’m working on implementing at the time and showing you the beautiful mess that is entrepreneurship. I want you along for the ride.

Excited about where we’re heading? It would mean the world to me if you let me know you’re vibing with this new direction in a comment below.

And every week, I’ll be challenging you — and myself! — to take perfectly imperfect action of some kind.

Here’s a taste of what’s in the pipeline:

Challenges to add healthy new habits to your life — like your morning or evening routine (hellooo morning meditation practice you’ve been putting off).

Dares to try totally new things in your business and life, and take more risks.

Action steps for your business that I’m also implementing so you can see what’s working and what’s not.

And raw, honest stories of what I’m going through, experimenting with, and learning.

 

The new She Takes On the World is coming this summer, but some brand new “Dear Natalie” videos are just on the horizon, so keep your eyes peeled. “Dear Natalie” is a series answering the questions you write me with while we work on creating the new She Takes on the World TV. Want to email me? dearnatalie@shetakesontheworld.com

We’ll be entering this next phase hand in hand — and I hope you’re as excited as I am.

Now, of course, I have a question for you to contemplate, journal about, or just chew over in the coming days and weeks: What underlying pattern, belief, or block is holding you back right now? And what are you committed to doing to step forward despite it?

This isn’t about switching paths immediately. It’s about acknowledging our own obstacles, and finding ways to step forward anyway.

That’s why I invite you to walk forward with me.

Through whatever transition you might be going through now.
Through whatever shifts your soul is whispering to you to make, despite what everyone says.
Through whatever you need to do to take on the world — in your business, in your life, and everywhere in between.

This new journey is just beginning.

And I can’t wait to show you what’s next.

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36 thoughts on Behind the Perfectly Imperfect New ‘She Takes on the World’ Brand We’re Creating Leave a reply

  1. Angela Morris

    I love this Nat! I have read every word of your series, and connect with this more than anything you have ever done. Entrepreneurship has been a confusing road for me. To read realness from you made my shoulders relax, and nod my head as I read your words. Deep breath-for you, me and all the other women creating from their heart space. With you every step of the way, always.

    Reply
  2. Rachel

    That inner fear of not being ‘good enough’ has been something that’s come up time and time again for me over the years but has come out even more in the past 6 months or so. I’ve been working hard to try and push through it and to see you on the other side is so inspiring, Natalie. Thank you so much for sharing your enoughness and your rawness with us. I can’t WAIT to see all the changes coming

    Reply
    1. Natalie MacNeil Post author

      Thank you Rachel. <3 It helped me to take inventory of all the ways I let this impact my life, and I really felt into how I would show up differently if I let it go. Instead of pushing through I just sat with it for awhile to become really aware of the patterns. Does that make sense? Once I had that awareness, then I made some decisions around what I wanted to do and how I wanted to feel instead.

      Reply
  3. Gwen Elliot

    YESSSS. Thank you for sharing this Natalie. You are one of the most (or perhaps THE MOST) committed to alignment peeps I’ve had the pleasure to know. I’m so pumped for the rebrand! Personally I’m being held back by seeing opportunity everywhere and yet not taking action on all the things. I believe we call that ‘overwhelm.’

    Reply
    1. Natalie MacNeil Post author

      Thank you so much for the kind words, and I can totally relate on the overwhelm. As Danielle Laporte says, “I’m trying to just say I’m ‘whelmed.'” 😉

      Reply
  4. Vikki Coombes

    I’ve always loved your work Natalie and yet now as you step into the ‘good enough’ real you of messy entrepreneurship my cheerleading has notched up! Because as a newbie on this entrepreneur journey I have been searching for the ‘real’, the authentic, the ones who share the shadow as well as the blazing glory. Because that is who and how I am experiencing the birth and early growth of Your Bright Horizons and our offerings to the Hummingbirds of our wonderfully glorious complicatedly simple world. I look forward to continuing to stroll along in your wake … learning evolving crying laughing and celebrating our compassioning, creating and couraging together!

    Reply
    1. Natalie MacNeil Post author

      Thank you so much for this comment Vikki. Here’s to sharing our whole selves through our work!

      Reply
  5. Shelley

    Can totally relate. Super exicted to go on this new journey with you. May I be just as brave by making the necessary changes needed by me to take my life and business to the next level, and by allowing others to see my vulnerable side.

    Reply
  6. Erika Krumbeck

    Oh my goodness this so resonates with me right now. I’ve been living in so much fear of not making a mistake in my business. Of getting it “perfect” when I just need to get SOMETHING done. Thanks for your vulnerability!

    Reply
    1. Natalie MacNeil Post author

      It’s never going to be perfect. Done is waaaay better than perfect. Thank you for sharing!

      Reply
  7. Kirra Randolph

    Natalie!! I am so excited about your perfectly imperfect journey!! I am a recovering perfectionist. And I started redirecting that energy when my husband’s children told him one day that “they didn’t have to clean up because I was the maid”. I was so angry at those words…not just because it was rude and disrespectful for them to say that but because my obsessive tendencies made me behave that way. Over the ten years since that time I am still finding ways that I have to let that stuff go. I love your books and planner…I literally would not be able to function without them. I am a chiropractor and I run my entire clinic by myself (perfectionism strikes again) but I just hired an assistant to help me do things and I am giving her the freedom to do the tasks the way she sees fit. Thank you for your expertise and I am excited to see your unscripted, raw material…I really feel that this is going to speak to the soul of so many women and you are so brave to lead this revolution of women business owners!

    Reply
    1. Natalie MacNeil Post author

      Thank you so much for sharing that Kirra.

      I’m so glad the books have served you too. xo

      Reply
  8. Lynn

    I’m so excited for the new direction she takes on the world and appreciative of everything you’ve done so far Natalie! I think perfectionism as well as feeling worthy of things is what underpins most of the struggles I face is I’ve been creating my big dream of starting my own business. Looking forward to going on this journey with you!

    Reply
  9. Michele

    I love the series Natalie! It’s been refreshing and inspiring to hear about your journey. I especially like the less “buttoned up” you! You soul is shining through!

    Reply
  10. Lindsay

    Kudos to you for facing your fears and being brave enough to share them. I can definitely relate to making every attempt to shatter perfectionism – you articulated it perfectly. It’s not typically seen as a weakness because we are so often praised for it. Thanks for the insight :)

    Reply
  11. Jen Yocum

    Definitely looking forward to it. This resonates for me as well since I tend to be a perfectionist in many ways. I’m also trying to find that balance and what is “good enough.” I applaud you and am proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone and into a space that is more vulnerable and “real”…one that will definitely serve, and one that I am looking forward to witnessing. So glad to be working with you in CC and to have been witness to your growth for the last few years. xox

    Reply
  12. Tracey

    Natalie, I applaud the journey you’ve taken and thank you for taking us along for the ride too! I’m excited to see this new venture for you as you step into new territory. I’ve been following you for 4 years now, in fact my spiritual journey started with you and Danielle LaPorte, opening my eyes to new ways of thinking and doing life and business.
    Releasing the idea of perfection and just being real is so inspiring. I look forward to the new seasons of She Takes On The World!

    Reply
  13. Suzanne Perazzini

    Looking behind the scenes will be so helpful. As a perfectionist, I am also trying to let go of a little of that burden on my shoulders of needing every little word and image to be just so. I am all for the glorious, natural photos I am seeing of you after this new shoot. My biggest challenge is not getting bored too soon and having that urge to create something new even though the ones in place are working well.

    Reply
  14. Asia Nelson

    YAAASSSSSSSsssss. So much this 200% right now. This is SUCH an important shift in the world of success and work, to actually generate strength and ease around self-defining “success”, and to foster the better parts of our nature within a space that’s been WAY to heavily influenced by a race for the bottom (line). Thank you. See you there. 😉

    Reply
  15. Rebecca Jarus

    Just loving you so much Natalie for being brave and sharing all of you. Amazing. Looking forward to your videos. I’m impressed with you and what you are willing to share. xoxo

    Reply
  16. Louise

    Thanks for being so open Natalie! I sometimes feel alone when running my business & used to think everyone else had it together from day dot.

    Business is complex, requires out of the box thinking, staying ahead of the times, and you feel things must be perfect otherwise you lose opportunities plus the ownership of it all falls on you personally which is daunting… so your articles & openness is of great help, thank you

    Reply
  17. Hannah Chambers

    So excited to be with you on this next step in your journey!
    P.S. being a perfectionist is one of my greatest blessings/curses, and I love knowing you have dealt with this too.

    Reply
  18. Joo

    Natalie, I’ve read every single one of those email series and I love how much more approachable you are to me now. Just for being here writing you is a huge step that I felt driven to take because of those emails. I’ve always wanted to write you because I admire your strenght and focus, but I felt like there was a barrier between us (that I created anyway). I love your new approach and I’m wishing you all the joy and success on this process of rebranding STOTW. I’m so excited for those new videos and I can’t wait to watch them all. Best of luck dear.

    Reply
  19. Beth Johnston

    Natalie, your raw exposure of who you are IS perfect! In the imperfect world we live in, it is enlightening to know that those of us who are perfectionists can give ourselves permission to be who we are. No one is perfect, however striving for the best we can be is a worthy goal. I have come such a long way in celebrating me (age and lots of difficult life-altering experiences played a big part in my transformation). I have more work to do, but as you say, it’s ok to choose “done” over “perfect”. I continue to learn more about who I am as I navigate the world of entrepreneurship. Thanks for helping me along that road.

    Reply
  20. Kirsten

    This makes me so happy. Just last night I was talking with my HS Senior about being kind to herself. She obsessively checks her grades and hates dropping even one percentage point – A’s aren’t good enough. I’ve never pushed her to get straight A’s, but I guess she picks up on how I stall my own life and fear failing. This really hits to the heart of the matter. I’m looking forward to learning from you in a brand new way.

    Reply
  21. Karen

    Hi Natalie….. I love that you are going to show yourself in this way sometimes looking at someone so much more polished can highlight your own imperfection and the distance seems too great to achieve. Your advice is awesome and i do love all your videos. The high standards and lifestyle you lead are also an incentive so its a double edged sword. I suggested you do vlogs on your daily life…. to include behind the scenes struggles and not so perfect moments which happen a lot in my life lol . As always it is about finding balance and being human :) Excited for you karen x

    Reply
  22. Denise

    I have had the words “imperfectly perfect” rolling through my mind for several weeks now, and I think there is good reason to say that I’m definitely being guided. I’ve been through a lot (of some similar circumstances in fact) over the past few years of my growth (on a personal and business level, though I’m still working at gaining more traction in the biz)… I’ve grown tired of hearing all of the same typical biz-guru-types of ‘guidance’ circulating out there, and wasn’t liking who I was or how I was handling things. I feel I’ve grown so much, and am finally living into my authentic self more fully. I’ve been enjoying your authenticity, and am more inspired by your work then ever (though I believe I only found you about 3 years ago or so). In gratitude for your openness, and sending peaceful vibes your way. Looking forward to learning more about this new take on your business. Cheers and continued success to you! Thanks for sharing your amazing and intriguing story in it’s full glory!

    Reply
  23. Melissa Caldwell

    This is incredibly exciting! I can literally feel your energy bouncing off the screen lol. I love the direction you are heading in, and as I too am coming to a place of choosing imperfect action over my habitual perfectionism (aka, being stagnant), it’s great to know I’m in good company. You, and this series, are an absolute inspiration. Keep going, and keep on being you! I will be tuned in :)

    Reply

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