Are your brand pants giving you a muffin top?

Are Your Brand Pants Giving You A Muffin Top1

Because mine are. And you know what?

It doesn’t feel good, it’s not cute, and I’ve decided to do something about it.

My business to-date has been very focused on two tiny slices of the apple pie (yes, I’m mixing dessert metaphors) of my skills and interests – writing and entrepreneurship.

Please don’t get me wrong: I love the writing slice. I love the entrepreneurial slice. But there’s so much more I want to share with you that DOESN’T relate directly to business – yours OR mine. And if I keep that “life” stuff out of the rotation any longer, I may go cray cray.

So it’s time for me to go back to the drawing board. To tell you how I really want to help you (and why). Then you can make an educated decision on if you’d like to stick around and join me. (I certainly hope you will.)

This post is like the kickoff to a coming out party. A business quinceañera, if you will. And YOU, my friend, happen to be right at the top of the guest list.

In this special edition video, I’ll share:

  • Who I REALLY am (a more complete introduction that’s long overdue)
  • The real WHY behind my business – and why I lost sight of it for a little while
  • One thing I wish I’d never said about my crazy launch story
  • What I’m looking for in my NEW brand pants (hint: think maternity wear)
  • A challenge for YOU to take a look in the brand mirror

You ready for this?

Click below to learn about the nerd behind all these words:

Special Shout-outs

This message was inspired by a delightful tropical brainstorm I experienced while talking with brand super-stylist Sarah Ancalmo of Public Persona and PR genius Melissa Cassera of Cassera Communications.

Thank you, ladies, for affirming that it’s okay to go with my ahem…gut… and expand my entrepreneurial waistline ;) New message, new visuals, new opt-ins, offers, and services…I am SO looking forward to what’s on the horizon!

This Week’s Tweet Shop

Click one, click ’em all!

Let’s Talk

In the comments below, I’d LOVE to know:

  • What do you think of all this? Make sense?
  • Shorty wanna ride with me, or are you leaving me now that I’m rounding out a bit? (Either way, I appreciate you!)
  • GUT CHECK: How do YOUR brand pants feel at this stage of the game?

Really. I want to hear from YOU. So spill the beans, please :)

And finally, if you like this video, please SHARE it with your friends and fans. My idea of a “dream client” has been blown WIDE open this week, as literally everyone can benefit from improved communication skills. I’m ready to figure out the best, me-ist way to serve the masses and will be asking for YOUR honest feedback and ideas along the way. The more folks we can reach in the coming months, the better!

To dreamy brand pants,

nik

 

 

 

P.S. Wanna see the first wave of what’s coming? Click below to check this out:

ACAC Home

P.P.S. The spirit of this post reminds me of that song…I’m comin’ out…I want the world to kno-ow, have to let it sho-ow….which makes me think of that Levi’s commercial with the singing belly buttons. THAT makes me think of low-rise jeans, which are…notorious for creating muffin tops! Have we had a full-circle moment here?

 

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LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.

  1. Aly Swan

    Hello Nikki

    What a lovely video, congrats to you on sharing this with us, your audience. Thank you.

    It’s very timely as I have been through a very similar experience with Freddie. I have decided to create a magazine called Violet. It is still in it’s infancy, but is helping me to include more of me within it.

    Remember, have fun!

    Warmly
    Aly Swan.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      That’s amazing, Aly! I can’t wait to hear more about Violet :)

      Keep me posted!

    2. Diana

      Hi Nikki,
      Thanks for sharing this video. I think a lot of us moms struggle with how to merge making money and doing what we love with what’s really important to us (faith and family). Also, I heard you’re from Houston– I live in Bellaire. Small world :) Thanks for what you’ve put together so far!

  2. Vanessa Feliciano

    Nikki,

    I’ve watched your journey unfold with a big smile on my face the whole time. You + I have criss-crossed paths a time or two but I’ve never really said something to you.

    Todays post changes that.

    I thank you from the depths of my heart for your vulnerability {which I see as Strength} BUT more so for your conviction in moving forward.

    YOU, make total sense. Communication is SO much more than the business side of things. In fact I think it’s WAY more.

    Every move we make OR don’t, says something about what we believe to be important. Teaching people to be better communicators in every facet of their lives is what WILL change the world.

    Because how something is being said is just as important as what you say. PLUS, who doesn’t want to find a simple {nicer} way to say what’s on their mind. BRAVO.

    GO on girl!!! I’m sticking around + I’m more than sure I’m not alone.

    As for my brand pants, the message resonates with me SO deeply because I’ve kind of felt that way since day one of launching. The pants never felt just right. So I’d take them off + try on another + another.

    It wasn’t until last month that I started to realize how restricted I feel giving people X amounts of steps to Y.

    I want the everyday moments to matter more than the technical how-to’s + for SO long I was ignoring the fact that, that’s just not how I operate.

    YES. Tips are amazing + when they are the best way to support my tribe that’s what I’ll do, but other than that I want to be SO much more creative with how I make my mark in their hearts.

    Hearing your message today, seeing the support from the tribe + reading Eleanor B.’s Pressfield recommendation has solidify that I HAVE to listen to my heart + the things it wants to express but more so in the WAYS it wants to express it.

    BIG thanks. Best wishes.

    With love + Grace

    Vana

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      This comment is perfection, Vana. Thank you so much for sharing it.

      Blessed to have you here and SO excited for your new brand pants!

  3. Denise Dare

    I’m so stoked for you, Nikki!

    I’ve been waiting to hear that you are planning to expand your communication sauciness to all facets of this fabulous life. {I knew it was comin’! }

    A few weeks ago I went to a weekend communication retreat hosted by the VA and facilitated by PAIRS. {Have you heard of this program…pretty epic!}

    It was an absolutely amazing and transformational experience…reminded me of the power of our communication to help us live the life we desire. I hope to be trained with PAIRS so I can be a facilitator for future veteran couples retreats as the program expands nationwide. SO exciting!

    Happy to hear you are stepping into ALL of who you are…and shining your light even brighter!

    Hugs & Happiness Always.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ahhh, thank you so much Denise. I so appreciate that!

      Will definitely check out PAIRS – sounds amazing!

  4. Adi Maor Siso

    Just wanted to say I love you and your authenticity.
    For me this video was no surprise. It was clear that you’re up for big things, for a bigger picture. It’s also inspiring to see how it’s evolving and growing inside you.
    I would love to hear more life stories from you and not just writing stories, because you tell them so well!!

    For myself I can say I totally get what you’re going through. I’ve been there just recently with my local business. I felt I can do better, be better, and bring a lot more pieces of myself to the table. That’s why I’ve open this current international business to support starting busy entrepreneurs and I’m sure I’ll have to fit my pants as I go.

    Thank you for sharing!
    Can’t wait to see where you’re taking this from here….

    BIG HUG!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      And I just love YOU, Adi!

      Thank you so much for the support, friend. And for sharing your journey as well.

      So excited about our new paths :)

  5. Marama Carmichael

    I totally get where you are coming from! My brand pants were too tight too. Not so much what I was actually doing, because I was doing all the stuff I wanted, BUT the brand itself and the message it was sending.

    I just went through a whole re-brand ( name change, website change, the lot) because my old brand tied me down to my old business. (I used to be a natural Therapist and the old brand was “Essential Wellbeing for Business” which SOUNDED natural therapy-ish and was way too small).

    My NEW brand “eSense” has two different branches and is sooo much roomier.
    You’ll find your fit and grow and change into it. Have fun with the journey! Congrats! xx

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      That’s right, Marama!! Congrats on your new brand pants, and THANK YOU for the encouragement.

      It’s definitely true what “they” say about entrepreneurship being the ultimate course in personal development ;)

  6. Kiria Vandekamp

    Thank you Nikki for “coming out”!
    Love your video & message and would love to hear more personal stuff, too.
    I can totally relate to what you´re saying and like that you´re making your changes transparent.
    Love & pleasure to you
    Kiria

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thank you, Kiria!!

      If I kept the changes secret or just changed things ONE day, it wouldn’t feel right. Except for the visual changes. I’m totally gonna keep those secret til they’re ready for a big reveal! :)

  7. Lauren

    Hi Nikki, so happy for you:) I am having some growing pains and shifts too!
    I think the whole you is a great idea!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thank you so much, Lauren!

      Here’s to growing together – without stretch marks ;)

  8. Jennifer

    Hey Nikki,
    I love the video & you. I appreciate your transparency. THANK YOU for keeping it real .

    I am SO excited for you – your new journey & growing pants:-) The world is going to be a better place with more of Nikki. Whether it’s business life, mommy life, your faith or your family. It’s all going to be fabulous!

    Thanks for being YOU & being authentic!
    xo Jennifer

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      This makes me heart so happy, Jennifer. You don’t even know!

      Thank YOU so much for the encouragement. Happy weekend!

  9. Claire

    Interestingly, I have never perceived you as anything less than the whole of you – your communication already encompasses your whole “you” because that is your gift.

    Now you are becoming clearer about how your voice sings to the world. I love it! Keep growing sweetheart x

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Interesting, Claire – thank you for saying that! (And for reading, and commenting…) I appreciate you!

  10. Kim

    I can totally relate to the muffin top. I found myself experiencing one in June of this year. And, you’re right about those maternity jeans. That stretchy panel IS perfect for growing in.

    I’m excited to see you growing.

    I can’t wait!

  11. Jennifer

    Hi Nikki,

    I enjoyed the video!

    This shift sounds great. There are lots of people out there who coach others on how to create great content for their websites, etc., but what makes you so different is your expertise PLUS your personal spin on the way you teach it (the “Nikki” part). I think it makes sense to expand the “Nikki” part even more, like you’re planning to do.

    In the end you’ll end up being an example of how to make a shift in your business, just like you’re already an example of how to start an online business and be successful. We’ll all end up learning from that.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      I didn’t even think of it like that, Jennifer, but you are SO right.

      I am happy to go through the test course first so that I can help y’all navigate your own when the time is right.

      Thank you for this comment!

  12. Angela

    I think this is wonderful what you’re doing. I love that you’re going to be talking about communication as a whole and not just for business. I could imagine that would get rather boring for you! Communication is so important! Love love love what you’re doing can’t wait to see more of you xx

  13. Eleanor Beaton

    Nikki,

    Fascinating post! I think you’ve hit on something I’ve been ruminating over/struggling with/meditating on for the last few months.

    The conventional thinking is that in order to be successful as an entrepreneur, you need to carve out a specific niche and offer very tactical content to the people you most want to help. The assumption is that we are serving time starved, impatient readers and only have time for news they can use. Yesterday.

    I don’t disagree with that wisdom at all — on one level, it makes rational sense. But intuitively, I know different.

    Self-expression has an important place in our personal brands. If we don’t embrace and make room for it, it’s muffin-top city. The human spirit simply won’t stay small. It needs room to think big and get out front.

    Steven Pressfield (author of the War of Art and Turning Pro) has a great post on this here — check it out: http://www.stevenpressfield.com/2013/07/this-might-not-work/

    Great work on this post. Do I want more of Maternity Pants Nikki? Heck yes.

    Eleanor.

    1. Vanessa

      BIG thanks Eleanor.
      Really + truly needed that RIGHT now.

      A million hugs + much love

      Vana

      1. Eleanor Beaton

        Vana: so glad you enjoyed! A million hugs back. E.

    2. Nikki Elledge Brown

      That’s exactly IT, Eleanor! Wow. Nail on the head.

      I need a Ross-n-Rachel-style break from the business gurus.

      I was feeling VERY stifled writing for the imaginarily impatient (demanding, gimme 1-2-3 steps in 5 minutes or less) reader model. Then I realized – hang on. This isn’t me. Sure, sometimes I’ll write content like that (maybe MORE now that I’ve given myself permission NOT to!). But there’s so much more I have to share. And the right people will love it.

      I love this quote from Pressfield’s article – totally sharing it on FB today:

      “The avatar concept makes a lot of sense. I see how it works. I would even implement it myself in certain cases.

      But a writer can’t work like this. An artist can’t. If you do, you’re a hack.

      Did Picasso ask his buyers if they were ready for Cubism? Did Quention Tarantino focus-group Reservoir Dogs? Did Springsteen workshop Darkness at the Edge of Town?

      Sometimes you gotta lead.

      You gotta get out front.”

      Thank you again for sharing – this makes perfect sense!

      1. Eleanor Beaton

        I’m glad you found it useful Nikki. Steven Pressfield is a genius. Happy weekend. E.

    3. Teri Smart

      Eleanor, thank you so much for sharing this! I have struggled so much with this “avatar” concept and it’s taken me so far from myself that I just didn’t know who I was or what I was doing anymore! It wasn’t until recently (the last few weeks) that I’d stepped back from business all together and just decided to stop listening to everyone else and just do “me”… Be ME. Thats all I’ve ever really wanted to be, and yes Seth is right, it might not work… But being true to myself will always be the answer. Thank you again!

      1. Eleanor Beaton

        Teri: Seth Godin + Steven Pressfield = Creative Genius.

        I think living in the land of This Might Not Work takes courage and faith, but the rewards of being exactly who you are – of being truly authentic – are enormous. Good luck!

        E.

  14. Anna Bethea

    You GO, Nikki! This was an awesome video. You recently made the big change to video posts, and now you’re expanding even further into what is true and good for you. And it’s true and good for me, too. I just want to affirm that you show real bravery in pivoting a bit, and you’re an inspiration to me. I’ve been wanting to make my brand more than just about organizing stuff, and more about the bigger picture of how spaciousness in our environment, minds, and hearts can make a big difference in our lives. I’m pumped up by your great example and look forward to seeing your new designer jeans. :D

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      LOVE that, Anne! Thank you so much for sharing it.

      Your new brand pants sound amazing. And that angle and approach certainly will set you apart from the other folks who focus just on organizing.

      Please keep me posted!

  15. Marsha from YesYesMarsha.com

    SO EXCITED and not in ANY WAY surprised about this.

    You are due for some pretty huge things, Nikki, and I’m excited to have been an early adopter :)

    Well done on coming out!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Early adopter – YES! Don’t forget FRIEND, Marsha.

      So happy to be on this journey with you!

  16. Jacqueline

    Yes!!!

    I love this. Thanks for your openness, vulnerability and authenticity!

    Very inspiring – for my own process and journey!

    Thanks doll.

    I’m with you.

  17. Hannah Pasquinzo

    Nikki,

    I’m totally with you for your transformation, and I already know I’ll love it :) I outgrew my brand before I even got started. Sheesh! Reworking now (there must be something in the water – know a few others reworking, too).

    Excited to see your bigger picture stuff!

    Thanks,
    Hannah

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thank you so much, Hannah! Happy to be on the journey with you :)

  18. Susan Seale

    Way.to.go.

    Dear Nikki,
    I’ve had this sense every time I have visited your site that what we saw was really just the tip of your iceberg…oh-mama-of-many-gifts!

    In my own life and with my new (I call it emerging) biz I am aware of how I am unaware of exactly what my brand will encompass. I earned my street-cred-Ph.D running a school I founded over 20 years ago. It was quite an education. This week I launched my new site (still at the DIY place) for my new biz and because I’m creating as I go right now, I’ve really been forced to be me. There’s nothing shiny or hidden on the site. It’s me.

    When I hear you talk about your morning devotional I can relate. This new work I am doing with women has emerged out of a devotional practise and did not exist until almost the end of B-school. Everyday miracles in my neighbourhood.

    Again (and I seem to say something like this every time I leave a comment)…your light shines so bright we can see it waaaaay over here on my island in the very chilly pacific northwest:) Keep shinin’ oh brilliant one!!!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Tip of the iceberg. Everyday miracles. Shine, shine, shine.

      Thank you for being here, Susan :)

  19. Amanda Genther

    So funny that you brought up the fact that you’re going to be writing more personal posts and not ONLY these tactical posts. I’m at that exact point in my business right now. I usually post every week and haven’t posted in 2+ weeks now because I’ve been feeling this weird distance between business and personal and I hate it.

    Thanks for the inspiration to break free from my skinny biz jeans and put on some designer maternity jeans.

    xx

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      I totally get it, Amanda! I’ve been feeling this way for a WHILE and just finally realized (admitted) that this is why.

      Let’s go Wilson Phillips-style and break free, break from the cha-aains….. ;)

  20. Mich Nicolas

    Hi Nikki! Thanks for being authentic. I love that you are so real. Your story inspires me, actually. And I’m sticking around because I can relate — I, myself, am a Christian, who loves to reflect and seek the Lord’s direction for my life. God bless you in and on your journey. :)

  21. Erin Lindstrom

    I love this!! This is actually the first time I’ve come to your site and I love your authenticity. The changes you’re making sound fabulous and true to who you are so I have the utmost confidence that the universe will support you in making it happen! I’m a fellow b-schooler and military wife/mom and am inspired by you! Many thanks and warm wishes xx Erin

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      WELCOME, Erin! Happy to have a fellow Navy wife in the midst! (Yes, I googled.)

      And thank you so much. You picked a perfect time to join the party.

  22. Silvia Bianco

    Hi Nikki, Trilled that you brought this up. I’m amazed that you’re so comfortable bringing your faith into your posts and applaud you for this. I consider myself a holist chef because I’ve never been about just cooking and recipe creating but using food as a metaphor for life. I’m a teacher and philosopher at heart but for years I felt I had to sneak that part in through the back door and keep it on the back burner so my brand pants were bursting at the seams. I became really clever at talking about life things and somehow bringing it back to food but I never really came clean. When I rebranded in July of this year after B-School, I came up with a new tag line: cook, eat, connect. It was the connect part that gave me bigger pants. Now I feel that I can talk about connecting to yourself and others using food as the big picture metaphor that it so clearly is and I can be comfortable being the holist chef (and spiritual seeker) that I really am. Thank you Nikki for demonstrating these growing pains (and delights) with us.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thank YOU, Silvia!

      Sharing my faith will always be important to me. I genuinely believe this is part of what I was *created* to do, and I want to be sure I’m clear about that!

      This is SO not about me.

      I’m the water. God’s the faucet. And what a RIDE this is turning out to be ;)

  23. Teri

    Nikki I’m honored to be on your list no matter what you decide to do, because you’re an inspiration. It’s awesome that you are being true to yourself and honestly it gives us all permission to do the same. I’m still trying to grow into my brand pants as a writer but I’ve most recently wanted to share the importance of being present, something Marie stressed in her teaching. So many of us get so hung up in the online world of our biz that we forget to live.. That’s what my blog is about this week and the personal journey that reminded me to do so. My freebie is called the Art of Writing: being present and I’m hoping to be able to somehow put everything together, into my brand pants lol! I’ve been encouraged to push through this quickly and get myself out there but I’ve decided to take it slow, and work out my true message. Like you, I need to be true to myself or I’ll resent the entire process! Love you work, and looking forward to supporting you in your new ventures! (And of course I’d love to hear about your adorable toddler!)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Yay, Teri! Love that last part especially :)

      Absolutely go with what is sustainable and feels RIGHT. In my experience, forcing anything else definitely leads to limits, resentment, and a whole lot of procrastination.

      So glad you’re here!

  24. Tamsen

    Nikki,

    Ahhh … I’m so excited for you and so totally know exactly what you’re going through. You said it so well with the whole “brand pants” idea — I too started B-School last year and am going through my own muffin top (love that!). There’s nothing more special and important than being real and transparent with yourself — way to go! And thanks for sharing yourself with all of us.

    One of my businesses was birthed on the idea of seeing life and legal solutions from a new perspective (Vuja De Law) and now I know that my purpose is to change the face of law — all the aspects of it. So I’m right with you on the whole looking for designer maternity jeans!

    Vuja de your day!
    Tamsen

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ha! Going through your own muffin top. Love it, Tamsen.

      We’ve got some shopping to do!

  25. Paige

    Nikki,

    I’m with you & you make a lovely Quinceñera. ;)

    Paige

    1. Monica de Liz

      Hey, Hey, Hey! Sending divine blessings your way! You’re talented. You’re amazing! You’ destined for victory Nikki! May your new vision bring you infinite joy and prosperity! Faith it until you make it sista :)

  26. Ashley

    Nikki, I was so excited to watch the video … I was hoping you’d be announcing another baby on the way ;-), which, in a way, you totally did (because we all know that our business is another child … at least one we can kind of control).

    I have such a similar story to you: going to university, being told that I would be amazing as a PhD candidate, applying all over North America and getting into MIT and ASU … and then I had a complete body breakdown (at the ripe old age of 23).

    I literally saw a crossroads in my life, one where I could decide to go and do my PhD, work my butt off, get a lot of prestige, feel “important”, and probably end up sick, tired, alone, and without a husband or family. The other way I saw being able to spend time with my family who I was already away from for 5 years for my undergrad, marrying someone who is truly my partner, and having a beautiful family.

    I chose the healthy way.

    Kudos to you for letting us all know in your lovely, hey y’all style that we’re going to be getting some different (and even better, I’m sure) info from you soon!

    You are an inspiration for me for when I brand myself (and move away from my current brand) scheduled for the middle of next year.

    Thanks for always showing us how to do things with authenticity and integrity!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Oh Ashley – this comment makes me love you even more! Soul sisters.

      Love it. We’re in this together. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next :)

  27. McKinnley Prince

    Nikki I love it! The Universe rewards those who DO, as you’ve clearly seen this year. I used to be afraid (as many people are) of doing something before it was just right, but I’ve learned that if I just put it out there good things will start to happen. And if I need to tweak it or change it later, then I can! It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time – or any time really.

    And that’s what I see you doing here, doing!! So congrats on getting out there, and congrats on making it fit. I look forward to hearing about the journey.

    McKinnley

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      “It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time – or any time really.”

      Thank you, McKinnley! That’s so true.

      I’ve gotta admit it’s kinda weird DOING it so publicly, but I can’t imagine doing it any other way at this point. And WOW – look at this safety net of support y’all have created for me.

      So humbled and overwhelmed and encouraged by these comments today.

      My cup runneth over. Just like my muffin top.

  28. Pramilda

    Hey Nikki,

    So happy to hear of your plans. I love that you are embracing the wholeness of who you are. Looking forward to seeing your brand evolve and grow.

    Pramilda

  29. Tova

    Nikki—this video was heart warming and uplifting :) I think it is common to feel constricted at times, especially when in business we are “supposed” to niche down, and yet the best business really flourishes when we come from our heart & soul and what it is we really wanna give to the world. I totally can relate, as I’ve outgrown my brand pants, and have (since B School) re-morphed how I do what I do and getting down to the big Why too….which is so important. Anyhoo thanks for sharing your message and I think its GREAT!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thank you, Tova!

      The thing is – what I’ve been doing is absolutely *part* of my heart and soul. (Which is why I think it took off so naturally). I’m now just KEENLY aware that I’ve gotta grow and play full-out.

      It may get a little crazy for a while, but I’m ready :)

      Excited for YOUR new brand pants too!

  30. Shanna

    Nikki,

    I think your new vision is wonderful…you have big gift to share with the world, why not blow it wide open!? Also, there have been a number of times that I have read your personal blog when you’ve referenced it and I loved it! You’ve already drawn us into your life with your genuine personality, so just keep going with what feels authentic to you!

    I’m excited for what’s to come! =)

    Keep shinin’,
    Shanna

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      LOVE reading that, Shanna! Seriously means a lot.

      It’s gonna be total demo + reconstruction mode over for a while, and that’s exciting :)

      Thank you for being part of it!

  31. Ashley Kolesar

    Nikki,

    LOVED your video and I’m so proud of you! Can’t wait to see where the maternity pants take you and I’m excited to hear the extra juicy stories :)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thank you, dear friend! You know you’ll always get the inside-inside scoop :)

  32. Karen Taggart

    I just love your videos, Nikki, I think you could talk about frogs or chicken pot pie and I would tune in! :) It’s such an over-used word these days, but you are one of the most authentic people I see online and I just love that. You show your real self, and you seem so comfortable because of that. You seem so sweet…I feel like we’re friends! :)

    I just finished my website, but have stalled. I think I’m doing it again…doing what other people do and not what’s in my heart. I need to re-evaluate, but I’m definitely going to do videos!

    Thanks and can’t wait to see what you grow into over the next few months!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ha! Well, to be fair, I DID talk about (TCU Horned) Frogs ;)

      Thank you for taking time to share this, Karen. It’s so true. It’s smart to listen to what the “experts” say, but at the end of the day, we’ve each got our own trails to blaze.

      I’m excited to see what you come up with over there!

  33. Morgan

    Nikki – Thank you for such a candid video! I’ve loved your advice and videos so far, and I can’t wait to learn even more about you – all of yourself!
    I couldn’t believe how much I identified with your story. Born in Texas, got a masters but opted out of PhD, became a mama, started business this year, Marie Forleo B-schooler 2013, and experienced business unexpected growth! (Check, check, and check!)
    And, really, knowing your life story and identifying with you makes me even more eager to follow you.
    I hope you find just the right pants! :)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      High-five, Morgan! Obviously we were meant to connect.

      Thanks for pants luck. I’ve actually NEVER liked shopping. Exactly why I’ve hired Sarah to help me design the perfect pair :)

  34. Melissa Cassera

    So proud of you lady!! This is such a fabulous “coming out” for you. Adore your story and now everyone gets to know the “real + amazing” you. xo

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thank you, dear Melissa!

      As you know, I’d already been *feeling* it, but it was a total wakeup call to hear you say my current brand was very “business-focused.” I instantly thought, “How did I get HERE?!” then…”And how do I fix it!?”

      All part of the crazy process. Thankful for every step and lesson along the way.

  35. Gillian Sullivan

    Beautifully said Nikki.

    Looking forward to your posts even more now, as your “business” blooms. It will be refreshing to have your perspective on communication that is not just ALL business.

    I like your style and enjoy having you fall into my inbox!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thank you so much, Gillian! I enjoy *falling* into your inbox :)

  36. Cathy

    Hey Nikki.

    I’m with Adi on this one: no surprise that you’re moving into the next phase so quickly – there’s just way too much energy & enthusiasm in there to keep you in the skinny jeans.

    I look forward to the emerging style with bated breath.

    As for my own pants, I’ve been worried lately that I’ve chosen a size too large. Wondering if I’ll ever be able to fill them. There have been days lately when I swim around wondering which leg to put in first.

    Your video today has pointed out that this is a good thing – I’ve already got the room to grow. I just need to trust that the gestation will progress as necessary.

    xo

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Absolutely, Cathy. (And thank you!)

      Whether our brand pants are too big, too small, or just right – the point is to stop and evaluate every now and then. An honest assessment will do us all some good!

  37. Rosie

    I always look forward to watching your videos, and I loved hearing the backstory and your “why.” I truly admire your focus on “nice” communication. Looking forward to seeing your business progress!

  38. Amber

    I loved this video start to finish and I will most definitely still be following you my luv.

    You are so gracious, kind and deliciously focused… and I love that! Can’t wait to hear more about your new brand pants and journey in your business. I know I am constantly checking my own to see what’s going on. So far so good! But it took a LONG time to get to this point…so maybe I just found my first pair? Hehe.

  39. Molly Hahn

    You go girl!!!! Just signed up for your email list. Looking forward to sharing the journey with you.

  40. Christine Dyan

    I’m LOVING this Nikki! Thanks for inspiring me to think about my out muffin top/brand pants. Looking forward to the months ahead to see more of YOU! :-)

  41. Elle

    Nikki, I’ve been following you for a while and i feel you are already growing big and bad beyond a simple communications brand idea.

    You are so fun, consider me one of your lemmings, i’m so ready to follow you off the cliff.

    I’ve been going through a similar restructure for my business too. Struggling through this year with a lot of setbacks, i’m ready to launch into 2014 with new conviction, focus and drive.

    Your blogs and tips have been so useful and inspiring and i’m looking forward to getting to know the “real” you. I’ve got a toddler too and I know how hard it is to try and find balance in all your aspects and loves. One of my brand ideas it to work with those experiencing multi-passionate identity crisis. It has been so much fun and i can’t wait to share it with everyone.

    Thanks for having the courage to share yourself with us.

    Elle

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ha! I promise not to lead you off a cliff, now or ever, Elle.

      Thank you so much for sharing this. Sounds like we’re both moving forward with hope and a renewed determination to soak up all that these last few months of 2013 have to offer.

      Toddler moms unite!

  42. Tonia Winchester

    In a word: yes. I’m with you. I can’t say I’m surprised. Something in me knew that something you was only scratching your surface. Maybe because I see people as whole humans in the contexts of their environments, but I had a feeling this was on the horizon. So congratulations on your coming out, and stepping into your limitless potential. :) I’m happy to be along for the ride.

  43. Jessica

    Hi Nikki,
    I’m coming along too! Your transparency, real-world walk-throughs of your journey (so far!), your playful + authentic voice, your generosity — it’s inspiring.

    It also gives me permission to lighten up + not get bent out shape about my brand (or lack o’ brand for now) – and has me thinking about the big picture, umbrella themes, of my life and how my business can be an extension of that, instead of focusing on one narrow part.

    I can’t wait to hear more. Goodness knows, I need some communication finessing – at home and on the web! (It’s tricky, lovingly negotiating with a four-year-old:)

    Jessica

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thanks for saying that, Jessica!

      I really love this discussion. Because while I’m all about designing brand pants you can grow into, I’m also happy I started off in the (too) skinny jeans.

      By being SO specific with my offer to start, I was able to gain traction and grow my tribe (unusually) quickly. Now I’ve got a beautiful crew of people who know me and what I can do. What’s most exciting this week is that they (you!) trust me enough to stick around and see where we can go next :)

      I think the big takeaway is that there is no ONE right way to do this thing. We’ve all gotta blaze our own trails and learn to follow our instincts.

      What a ride, huh?

  44. Emma

    Wow, I love the brand pants analogy, I’ve just had a total aha moment and realised that I’ve been wearing a pair of size 4 skinny jeans for the last year, when what I really want to be getting around in is a nice comfy pair maternity pants! I am passionate about my pre & postnatal fitness business, but I don’t want this to be all that I do because I have so many other things that I’m passionate about and I’ve been struggling with how I bridge the gap between the two. Maybe I also need to someone to help me with my big brand vision! I now have a lot to think about, thank you!! And I’m really looking forward to your future posts, what you have to say about communication for entrepeneurs is always so helpful and fun to watch, if this is just the beginning then I’m excited!! :-)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thank you so much for this, Emma.

      It IS just the beginning. Haven’t even scratched the surface, sister.

      I’m excited too :)

  45. Kelly Pietrangeli

    I’ve been looking forward to finally watching this muffin top video (my curiosity’s been sky high!), but forced myself to wait until I’d cleared the decks on some work tasks so I could kick back and watch it guilt free.

    You didn’t disappoint

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ahh thanks, Kelly!

      I’m sure it was an amazing comment, and I appreciate the time you took to write it :)

  46. Kelly Pietrangel

    Oh no! I spent ages writing a comment and it seems to be only showing the first paragraph! I’m sadly out of time, but I’ll just say that you’re definitely on the right track with this Nikki

  47. Barbara

    Hey Nikki~
    You have had such an impact on so many people, myself included. I’m sure whatever you have up your sleeve for the future will be nothing short of aaahmazing! Congratulations on staying true to what’s in your heart! <3

    Much love & gratitude~
    Barbara Foxworth

  48. Barbara Foxworth

    Ha ha! I’m just writing this comment because I want to be your FIRST 100’th Comment! :-) Goooo Nikki!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ha! Thank you, Barbara! Actually the good ol’ “One Sentence” post was the first to crack 100. But this one is special in a totally different way :)

      I so appreciate your comment(s) and support, lovely. Hope you’re having an amazing October!

  49. Eleanore Strong

    Hi Nikki!

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. Your new vision sounds great. You and I actually have some overlap – I write about healthy relationships, and communication strategies are a big part of that. I’m fascinated with figuring out how best to say things. In fact, my current opt-in is “10 Classy Ways to Say No.” :)

    Anyway, I will definitely still be with you as you move in this new direction – very interested to see how it all works out for you!

    All the best,
    Eleanore

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Absolutely, Eleanore – communication strategies are a big part of just about EVERYTHING. (Hence the need for bigger brand pants ;))

      Happy to connect!

  50. Lisa J Wood

    You are saying, exactly what I feel. :) I’m searching for how I can grow into my brand as well. Great visual with the maternity pants. Have you seen the baby belly bands…that will give you some stretch too…and you can put it with any designer pants.
    As a fellow Texan, thanks for your share and disclosure.
    I’m inspired. :)
    Lisa

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thanks so much for this comment, Lisa!

      YES – totally used the belly bands before I needed full-on maternity pants…I think I’m in the belly bands phase right now ;)

  51. Sara J. Sanderson

    Sounds great Nikki!!!! I’d certainly love reading more stories from you. Allowing my voice to be heard is a big piece for me personally which is part of my ‘why’ for supporting others to hear theirs and express themselves fully. It’s not just about business – it runs through all my life. I’m excited to continue this journey with you and very pleased you’re expanding!!!!!!

  52. Tanya

    Bonjour chère Nikki,
    Well, somehow I got a whiff of you out here in France a couple of days ago. Don’t know how, why…..but I am quite glad (Internet world). Well, I don’t think I can say much about your changing pants but from the discovery I made, your history (or herstory) and passions are exhilarating. Thank you for the short video, a live face is a wonderful welcome. Happy trails and will be looking forward to seeing you with the new pants…..and thanks for the inspiration.
    All my best (“bon vent”, as we say in France),
    Tanja

  53. Christi Saxon Koelker

    Oooooooo…aahhhhhh! That’s a combination of a big ole sigh of relief and a blast of magical Hawaii breezes blowing into my over-taxed entrepreneur brain! You make plain sense Nikki and that’s what’s zooming you up to the top of your fan’s email list while allowing us to drop off a few others who JUST WEREN’T HELPING! I’m looking forward to following you. Yay you and yay me….I feel refreshed.

  54. Genna

    Love how this is evolving for you Nikki! You have a great style, I felt like I was in a coffee shop with you listening to your story. Felt engaging, personable, authentic, and inspiring. Looking forward to watching your video series and connecting with you in the future.
    Big hugs!

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