ImagiNation with Natasha Murphy

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Natasha Murphy

Founder, Nicely Built

Occupation: Founder, Nicely Built

Age: 36

Favorite Productivity Tool: Zapier

Most Recommended App: Slack

Last Book You Read: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Website: www.nicelybuilt.com

Instagram handle: @builtnicely

Tell us about your journey? Nicely Built is the name of the company I started six years ago. What started as freelancing has since grown into a 7 person operation. I’ve always loved shopping and I’ve always loved coding. So, it’s only natural that Nicely Built focuses on e-commerce.

What's your favorite part of your day? The middle of the workday is my most favorite time. I like the combination of feeling energized by morning accomplishments and taking a brief break to strategize and catalog what should be completed in the afternoon.

When do you feel most successful? When I’m surrounded by my team. A group of individuals will always be able to create better work than just one person and I never lose sight of this fact. Sharing the success that comes from doing great work with my co-workers is tremendously enriching.

What do you do to recharge when you’re feeling drained? When I start to feel overwhelmed, it’s important to switch into self-care mode ASAP. Muscling through the exhaustion only intensifies and prolongs the experience. Two coping mechanisms I’ve come to rely on are instituting periods of offline time and a dedicated yoga practice. Here in Atlanta, the two studios I frequent the most are Tough Love Yoga and FORM yoga.

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur? I would tell my younger self to trust her instincts. There have been many times in my journey where I’ve agreed to take on a client or complete a project against my better judgment. Listening to my heart would have saved me a lot of grief. Also, I would say “work with a bookkeeper.”

How do you optimize your day? Rather than existing an email responding automaton, I try to structure my day to be mostly production work bookended by an hour or so of email. It doesn’t always work, but I’ve found setting aside time specifically for active projects is key to ensuring the work we put out is top notch.

Who is the person/people who allowed you to imagine more? My late father. Also an entrepreneur, he encouraged me to start my journey and promised to be there if I failed. He taught me so many things about being a small business owner… the importance of giving back, treating clients with empathy and respect, and responding to conflict-free of anger to name just a few. One of my favorite adages of his is, “you have to make fifty dollars before you make hundred dollars, you have to make hundred dollars before you make a thousand dollars, you have to make a thousand dollars before you make ten thousand dollars.” More than anything, he taught me entrepreneurship was a lifestyle with its own unique set of pros and cons.

What does imagining more mean to you and your story? Imagining more for me means redefining popular notions of success, wealth, and happiness. I’m not looking for an exit or to be the biggest industry leader or to drive the fanciest car (though I wouldn’t mind a Tesla). As I progress more and more in my career, intangible rewards such as time, freedom, and experience have come to be what I desire most out of life.

If you could do more of one thing every day what would it be? Sleep. I’ve always slept more than the average bear. To the point where it’s a running joke amongst my loved ones. In a perfect world, I’d be able to take all the naps.

Favorite social media platform? Facebook. Because it aggregates content from Instagram and is the platform the majority of my family and friends use.