Bravery looks different through every set of eyes. For some, bravery is defined by the sacrifices and dangers that one must make and go through in order to survive and protect their loved ones. For others, it's leaving a toxic relationship or job and starting fresh in a new environment without a supporting tribe. While both situations are absolutely definitions of bravery, I think both have one thing in common: Pushing oneself outside their comfort zone in order to accomplish a goal, dream, or need. Though I didn't go off to war or leave a toxic environment, I did push myself drastically outside my comfort zone in many ways.
For the new people at the table, my name is Danna and I am lifestyle blogger focusing on food, wine, and entertaining. My hope is that busy professionals find adventure so they can live a zestier life. So you are asking yourself, "How does guzzling wine and going out with friends make you brave? Did you wear strappy sandals after realizing you hadn't had a pedicure?" Well, yes, I have done that, but no that's not what makes me brave. First, I am actually an extroverted introvert, meaning that I appear to be social, but it's very exhausting. I really enjoy my couch, video games, and a good K-drama with my cats, dog, and boyfriend.
Last year, in 2022, I made some huge strides in building my brand and business that required me to push myself well past anything that was comfortable for me. For one, I legitimized my business and formed an LLC. Taking that step to make things legal, hire an accountant, and put myself and brand out there as a legitimate business is like saying "Hey, people, this isn't a hobby. I'm real." After months of trying to convince family and friends that Dannify is a real thing and trying to explain my vision, I thought this would get them to take me seriously. Once my LLC was formed, I realized the only person who needed to take my business seriously, was myself. This single step boosted my self-esteem and I began to do work my business much differently.
Next, Dannify hosted two local events, bringing local businesses together to fill a fun need of the public. The Sip n' Snuggle at Pollen Acres Farm and the Spicy Summer Soiree at the Olie Gathering Place brought local OKC metro professionals together for events filled with fun, wine, networking, and making a ton of memories while supporting local businesses. "Oh yay, you know how to throw a party," you're saying, but it's so much more than that. Coordinating with businesses, marketing, networking, and praying to the event gods that neither rain nor COVID won't deter ticket sales or cause a bunch of no-shows is a full-time roller coaster. While my sole purpose was to bring people and businesses together, I wanted to create magical events for all parties involved, evoking fond memories and prompting excitement for future events. Also, for someone who still is working through imposter syndrome, approaching new businesses and building those relationships left me feeling nerve-sick. Everything worked out though, just as it was meant to.
Another act of courage? Me joining the Junior League of OKC. It was described to me as a sorority for adult women that do a lot of community work. Let me preface that I was never even considered for a sorority in college, nor did I even know what one was. In college, I was still finding myself, my voice, and my place in life. So, last year, when I was approached about becoming a provisional for the local Junior League chapter, internally, I regressed into the shy, quiet, 18 year-old Danna. Externally, I appeared excited and decided to give it a shot. Volunteering is something I have been wanting to get involved in for a while now, and this seemed like a great networking opportunity. It was also a way to grow as a woman, business owner, and local resident. After joining, I found a great group of women who have ripped down all preconceived worries I had and shown me love, acceptance, and friendship I wasn't expecting.
My last big challenge and act of bravery was selling my house in a market that was crazy to buy in!! My cute little house with a pool went under contract on St. Patrick's day. After over 15 offers made on beautiful homes, I decided to build. I was in limbo for several months, living with my supportive boyfriend. While trying to be as little of a burden as possible, my cats coughed up hairballs on his floor and my dog decided she wanted to start peeing on the couch. After builder complications and having to change plans, I ended up buying a house that was a lot bigger than the one I sold, and a bit out of my comfort zone. This house is the next step. This house is for us, guests, and maybe one day some kids. It's something that will make me work harder in my day job as well as put more effort into my Dannify business.
Summing it up: Forming an LLC, planning 2 local events, joining Junior League, and buying / selling a house may not seem like a big deal to some, but for me it was life-changing. I could have sat on my couch playing Zelda and petting my animals. I could have done many other things and created excuses for not working on my goals. Each time I pushed myself, I grew. I have met so many new people, formed new business relationships, and learned valuable business lessons that will allow me to dominate 2023. This extroverted introvert who is hushing her imposter syndrome whispers has learned how to do the dang thing and keep going. Despite all the "oh you're a blogger? Hmm. that's cool" comments, the lack of excitement and encouragement I get from those I would think would be my cheerleaders, and the doors that don't open as quickly as I would like, I still push forward. My bravery is continuing to make the uncomfortable comfortable, pushing through the nay-sayers and doubt, and surrounding myself with like-minded people and businesses to achieve my goals.
Thank you to everyone who continued to read my blogs, follow my socials, and shared Dannify with your friends and family. Big things are coming for 2023 and I can't wait for you to see what's new!
Until next time, keep life zesty,