Hey, Loves! 2019 is coming to a close. Wow! I know I say this a lot but this year really did FLY BY. I guess being pregnant/having a baby really does make things go into warp speed. So crazy! I have been spending the last few days reflecting on this past year & all the goals I was able to accomplish. I knew in my heart at the start of 2019 that I wanted to quit my day job to pursue Vida Noel full time. I am so happy (proud, excited, shocked, ALL THE THINGS!) to say that I did in fact quit! A Day Job To My Day Dream…by the Grace of God I was able to make this a reality. Today’s post is about the story behind it all & why I knew it was something I was meant to do.
A Day Job To My Day Dream // Saying Goodbye to my 9-5
I always had this unsettling feeling. You know…the feeling of “What am I doing with my life?” I have always had wild, off-the-wall dreams. If you would have asked me when I was 12 what I wanted to be when I grew up I would have said “a singer”, “an actress”…I craved the stage…I craved a platform where I could show people what I loved to do. Before I got pregnant with Noelia, I was dancing for local semi-professional dance teams. Brody and I originally planned to get married, settle into being Mr. and Mrs., and then make a bold move to Dallas, Texas where I could audition for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. 3 months into marriage I got pregnant with Noelia and it shattered me. I discuss it more in THIS POST HERE but the pregnancy was not in my plans. Sounds so selfish, right? Totally. It really makes me upset thinking about how selfish I was back then. With time, God in all His Grace showed me just how much I needed that pregnancy…how much I would need Noelia. I always thought I was the leader of my plans. I got to decide X,Y, Z and the timeline for everything. My pregnancy with Noelia was a sweet reminder that God knows what He is doing and that He knows the true desires of our hearts.
I was probably around 5 months pregnant when I was scrolling on Instagram and discovered a Blogger named Andee Layne. I still follow her to this day! She was also pregnant with her second child and sharing bits and pieces of her life and pregnancy on Instagram. I thought it was FASCINATING. I never really knew what a Blogger was until I came across her account. I had no idea that you could share your life and your interests and make a living out of it. From that day on I was entranced with not only Andee’s account but other similar bloggers. I suddenly had this heavy longing in my heart to do something like that. I always loved having a “stage” or some sort of platform. The thought of sharing my interests and lifestyle to others just sounded right. Could this have been THE THING I was looking for all along? I communicated with Brody how I wanted to start blogging one day. I wasn’t sure how or when to start, but I knew I wanted to do it. Day after day, week after week, the longing was still there. It was all I thought about at work. I would spend downtime writing out potential blog names and themes, messing around with different names and seeing what sounded right off the tongue. I don’t know how to explain the feeling other than I just knew this desire was there for a reason. I knew by our second baby that this would be my reality and I didnt even take the first step yet. I was just that confident in my heart and the desire that was placed there!
After Noelia was born and I had my first day back to work (truly the worst day EVER) I knew it was time to take that first step and figure out how to really do this whole blogging thing. I think God knew I needed to wait…to experience that feeling of leaving your baby to go back to work. I never wanted to experience that feeling again and that was the day I made a promise to myself that our next baby would not have to experience me leaving them after 12 weeks during the day. Please understand, I do not believe any mother is a bad mother for going back to work! It is something that has to be done and sometimes prior to 12 weeks. I just knew in my heart it was not for me and I knew the desire in my heart to blog would also allow me to say home with Noelia and our future child(ren). Everyone’s situation is different!
I spent the first year of Noelia’s life studying and learning how to blog. SPOILER ALERT; there is no right or wrong way to start any of this. I guess I was just trying to educate myself on the basics. WordPress VS Blogger? Site Ground VS Bluehost? Lifestyle blogging VS one specific niche? You get the picture. I meditated on multiple names that my blog would be called. I originally liked The Pink Peony. It was cute…girly…but basic. I actually found another blogger who named her blog Pink Peonies so that name was out the window for me. I was a little sad about it but it was a blessing in disguise. There was no true meaning behind it other than a cute name. Then one day I really started to think…or maybe I wasn’t thinking? Just existing. The name Vida Noel came upon my mind and I had that moment where the heavens opened and rays of sunshine came beaming down on my face and the trumpets blaring (yada yada yada, you get the picture)…and I said “THAT. IS. IT!!!!” VIDA NOEL.
Vida…the word for life in Spanish. My Mom used to call me Vida when I was growing up so naturally I started calling Noelia Vida, too. Noel is simply derived from Noelia’s name. Noel means gift. Noelia is and will always be my greatest gift…my life. She was the life I never knew I needed. The inspiration I never knew I needed. She is the reason for all of this. If it wasn’t for my daughter Noelia there would be no Vida Noel. I would be stuck doing something I did not love for work and allowing fear to control my life. Noelia will forever be the meaning behind Vida Noel which is why I know in my heart it will never fail.
In January of 2017 we purchased our first DSLR camera to begin taking pictures with and to get the creative juices flowing! My blog was not live yet but I found it important to start implementing thigs prior to the launch. I focused on making my personal Instagram cohesive and consistent with sharing OOTD’s, moments of Noelia, and postpartum fitness tips (things really haven’t changed!). We really had no idea what we were doing when it came to pictures and shooting on the camera…we just stayed consistent and actively tried to learn about photography (ISO, shutter speed, aperture, etc.)
I created my blog and launched it on July 14, 2017, my 25th birthday!! The blog already had meaning with its special name, but I figured why not give it more meaning by launching on my birthday. I spent the rest of 2017 and 2018 diving in and learning about all things blogging, influencing, content creating, and marketing. I am STILL learning, but that first year was truly scary. I had many nights staying up late crying to Brody about my fears and what I believed to be failures. I saw so many around me doing amazing things with their brand and making a living out of it. Then there I was, still working my 9-5 while spending 6-11pm most nights on Vida Noel. I worked for free to build a reputation and connections and I felt like I was running out of precious time. Noelia was only getting older and I craved another baby but I refused to leave another baby during the day for a job that didn’t fill my cup.
Around this time of frustration and confusion, Brody gifted me with a new book by Chip Gaines, “CAPITAL GAINES” and it changed the game for me. I highly encourage all entrepreneur like minds to read it. I read the whole book in a few days (never happens) and started implementing some of the things Chip said. I really could cry at this point while typing this. Now that I see things full circle it really is so incredibly sweet. Thank you, Jesus!!
At the end of the book Chip tells you to immediately write down how the book impacted you and the goals you have for yourself. I remember writing down soooo fast all my thoughts & goals for myself. It was like God took my hand and wrote it all for me. You will see above how I wrote down that I would never go back to a 9-5 job after having another baby. Wow! Thank you, Jesus for allowing this to become my reality.
From that point on I got SERIOUS. I got better with pictures, I stopped trying to be like everyone else, I learned how to pitch to brands and really created a space for like women to come and be inspired. I invested in tools that truly mattered and started to really value what I was bringing to the table for brands and my audience. By the time I got pregnant with Reina I knew I only had 9 months to get where I needed to be financially. I knew even if I wasn’t ready, I had to quit anyway in order to grow. We do not grow when we are comfortable. We grow when we are challenged and we accept the next step without the fear of failure. On July 12, 2019 I quit my day job and never looked back. There was no fear. There was no regret. There was only the confirmation in myself that I knew I could do it. Anyone can do it. When your mindset is I CANNOT FAIL, YOU WILL NOT FAIL. I promise you. The will of the Human mind is everything.
I will save the deep details of my grind to making my side hustle into my full-time work for another post but for now I wanted to just share my story. I have a huge vision for Vida Noel…this is only the beginning. Although it is scary to put so much into one dream, I really think that is what life is all about. Never settling for a life that doesn’t get you fired up to start your day. I do this for my girls…that is how I know it cannot fail! I hope my story encourages you to go after the things you want in life even if they are scary. Being fearful is okay, it means you’re on the brink of something GREAT! I had so many fears when it came to quitting a job with a promised paycheck; healthcare, 401K, retirement. BLAH BLAH BLAH all the stuff that makes you conform to so many norms. Yes, they are important…but who is to say you cant make a better living for yourself doing what you love? Things will work themselves out as long as you’re smart and diligent with your plan!
Here are my top 5 tips to making any goal successful
- Have a vision & see it every. single. day. Live it & breathe it! If you have to write it out, print it out, CARVE IT OUT…do it! Make that vision a part of your day!
- Surround yourself with a few people you trust that know your vision. For me this is Brody and my parents. If it weren’t for them there would be no Vida Noel. Brody is my partner in crime. He takes all the content photos for my brand while my parents fill in when needed. They watch the girls so we can work and often take shots of me when Brody is unavailable. These people need to see the vision just like you do and help you when times are tough!
- Hustle even when you’re tired. I cant tell you how many times I came home from day job exhausted an unmotivated to do anything for Vida Noel. I was already tired enough from being a new Mama to Noelia and the last thing I wanted to do some nights was sit in front of a computer and work for free most of the time. Trust me…the hustle that nobody sees behind the scenes is where the good stuff happens!
- Be consistent. No matter your goal there needs to be consistency. SHOW UP everyday for your goal and your audience (if your goal includes one). For me it was posting content that fit my brand regularly and making an effort to learn and grow.
- Be resilient! There will be many times when you feel like something is not working or that your efforts are going unnoticed. I have had many nights crying to Brody about this very thing! It is hard but those are the moments of growth. They are the hurdles that push your forward and make you tough! Remember, failure is a teacher. Learn from it and use the lesson to move on.
If you have made it this far in this post, you are a ROCKSTAR! Thank you so much for reading and your support in Vida Noel. It really does mean the world to me. Xx
Did you like this post? It would mean the world to me if you could PIN this image (or any image!)
Love the message! I always look forward to your posts/blogs. There are not a ton of 100% positive people out there – but you are one Nicky, and I truly mean that. There were many days we stood side by side and honestly you never ever said a snide or mean comment about a single soul. I know you’ll always stay like that. Love ya!
P.S. beautiful babies and hubby isn’t too bad either! LoL
Thank you so much for stopping by the blog and for reading this post. I so appreciate your support and kind words!! So much love to you!
I have been reading your blog and following you since you had about 6k followers on IG. I have seen you evolve as a blogger and as a content creator. Your content and honesty with products and fashion is amazing. You and Brody have figured it out 🙂 I love you girl! You are so beautiful and true and honest with who you are. You have encouraged me to start my own—in which I have rated the process and it’s been hard for sure. I’ve been scared and pulling back and freeze all because of fear ! Reading this makes it burn even more in my heart like “go for it and stop
Freezing.” This is exactly what I have needed Nicki. Seriously, I appreciate you so much. God bless you and your gorgeous family babe.
Thank you so much for stopping by the blog and for your kind words! I appreciate it greatly! Thank you for your sweet comment and for following along. I am so happy that I could inspire you! You’ve got this, Babe!
Girl! You are so inspiring! I absolutely love this post so much! Congrats on all your hard work! I’ve been blogging since 2015 on a few different projects and I completely understand how daunting, lonely and discouraging it can be at times. I also understand how rewarding it can be! I would love to learn more about your story! Will you share more posts like this? Cheers to you! 🙂 XOXO
Thank you so much for stopping by and reading this post! This line of work is definitely a challenge but oh so rewarding! I would love to do more posts like this. Cheers to 2020!
I love watching you grow and learn, you are so amazing! And when I don’t think you could get any prettier and you do-from the inside out!
Ahhh, thank you! It means a lot that you still follow along and connect with me! I hope and pray all is well!