Here on the blog, we’ve started this new series called Maven Monday – I’ll be interviewing some amazing women every few weeks, and sharing their stories and why they do what they do – for others, for their families, and for themselves.
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Natalie Jark, a web design coach. What a pleasure it was to interview her and learn more about her goal to do good in business, and sharing that vision with others.
A little back ground about Natalie before we get into the interview:
Natalie runs her self-branded business, Natalie Jark, in Colorado. She is a wife and expectant mother, embracing motherhood and business in this season of life. She enjoys outdoor activities, and also enjoys doing good with her business.
Tell me a little bit about your business and how you got started. What you do and how you do it:
Natalie: Absolutely, so I am by trade a user experience designer. What that means is I focus on everything digital when it comes to businesses. Whether that be websites or SAAS applications (software as a service platforms, like facebook and websites you have to sign into), as well as mobile applications, tablets, things like that.
So, I can set all of those up for people. That’s where my original expertise comes in, but I’ve always been drawn to the empathy side of things. Finding new ways to connect with our audience, and develop deeper relationships with them online.
It was this pursuit of connecting with others that drove her to launch her own business two years ago, and her business has been growing ever since then. During this two years, she developed her EMPATH program, which we talk a lot more about below.
What do your services look like now? For people that might be interested:
I do a 12-week coaching program for those who are super small and want to do it all themselves. I love to empower those who want to create a website and do it the right way from the beginning or those who want to modify an existing website that they have and lay a solid foundation. So, I guide them through my Empath Method, which focuses on Empathy and getting to know your audience and creating something for them so you can do good online and create those inclusive spaces online through accessibility practices.
I also offer done for you, because as you know, as entrepreneurs, we wear a lot of hats, and sometimes we just want someone to lay the foundation. So, I do it for my customers and clients as well, depending on what they want.
While I’m of the belief we don’t need a website to build our business, in today’s world, no one can deny it’s very helpful. This is where Natalie’s services come in handy for those of us growing our business. And, talking to Natalie got all my creative juices flowing about memberships and resources, and what the future of Soul Cadence could be like.
What does that [SAAS] mean for a business owner like me who may one day want their own app or social media for their own community? Is that something this could include, and what would that look like?
It get’s a little more complicated when it comes to software as a service kind of platforms. That’s something we would want to hire out a developer to do it for us, but when it comes to the design aspect where I could empower my coaches and clients, or do it for them, to design really engaging platforms for their users.
So, she would help them with the design and partner with a developer to put it all in reality. This really sparked some big dreams in me. And, I’m so excited to have a new friend like Natalie in my network. Such a great encouragement.
And you guys can do these things and make these decisions, you just need to have someone guide you along the way, to know what to do in making the design decisions for your people.Natalie Jark
Along the way, we all face challenges, so what’s been your biggest challenge so far, starting a business or facing down running a business in motherhood? What’s been some big challenges for you that you’ve faced?
Probably the biggest is accepting the fact that in order to do what I want to do it’s probably not going to pay off immediately. You know we all want those immediate returns, we want to see that money come into the bank account right away. We want to see the amazing testimonials coming in from our clients. We want all those things.
But, in order to do that the right way it takes a little patience and a lot of work and connection making. And accepting the fact that, you know, maybe I won’t be making the big bucks right away. Maybe i’m just going to make it in small increments and build my tribe and get my message out – the message that’s written on my heart.
That’s more important to me, to get out my message and do it the right way so that I’m creating authentic relationships with people, and I’ve finally gotten to that step, so hurray! But, that was a big struggle, when you want to support your family; you want to support your growing business and growing business ideas, you know, everything costs money these days. It’s hard to accept the fact that sometimes you have to be patient and do it the right way to build the empire that you want or the community you want.
I think that’s something a lot of moms in business especially want to see that return right away. But, also, statistics show we still carry the emotional load of the family. Whether we’re stay at home moms, whether we work from home or work outside the home, it doesn’t matter, we carry the load. And, for those of us who have other hurdles to go through or we don’t want to leave our babies at daycare while we go to work, we want to see the return right away to make it make sense. It’s hard enough for those of us like Natalie and me with supportive partners. When someone is breathing down your neck about the return, it makes it so difficult.
So, what advice would you give others starting out?
I think the best advice that I can give for those 9-5ers out there just starting out and they have kids they have to put down in the evening, and have to support their husband as much as possible, and the house, the laundry, the you name it, do what you can. Do what you can when you can.
But, always still make yourself a priority. You don’t want to lose yourself in the process. I have realized the importance of taking care of myself, My Better Me Life is what I call it, it’s a side project I have. (find her @TheBetterMeLife on Instagram!)…
If you don’t make yourself a priority and take care of yourself first, you are no good for anyone else.
Natalie and I talked a little bit about the importance of getting out of our own way, so we don’t lose our God given dreams and identity where we can get lost in motherhood and business. Even for the best mother out there, we can get lost and wonder what’s going on. Those first few weeks of motherhood can be rough in that respect. But we need that community, that tribe, which is why we both have a heart for self-care, community and connection.
What’s your biggest dream for your business. Like if everything was out of the way and you got everything you ever wanted, what would that look like?
I would love to see some kind of coaching or online course take off and help a wider variety of people. I want to be able to help the small business owners who can only afford the small things. Whether that’s just an online course that just teaches them the basics of how to handle their website and do good online all the way up to actually guiding them through the coaching program like I told you. I want to be able to reach them where they’re at in their journey and be able to support them, their business, and their cause.
I’m all about creating relationships. I want to be create relationships with my people so I can help support their causes.
One of the topics Natalie and I talked about is that each of us as business owners wear a lot of hats. Part of that comes from wanting to do things our way, because our business is our baby. Which is why a big push of my business is to build a network to connect with, and connect my clients to. Women who are masters in web design (hey, hey Natalie), or virtual assistants, social media managers, graphic designers, and more. Especially in this online space, building that tribe is so necessary. Natalie and I talked about the importance of that community – which is what this whole Soul Cadence Village thing is about.
If you’re a momma trying to navigate it all: motherhood, business/ministry, overwhelm, burn-out, chronic illness/mental health issues, keeping up with it all, this is the place for you. I want to help mommas build community, own+share their stories, and reclaim their God-given identity+dreams. So, come on in, and join us!
Want to know more about Natalie, find her at nataliejark.com.
Watch the Interview: