This month we’re featuring an inspiring brave bellyflopper determined to make the world better one yard at a time! A brave bellyflopper is someone who has taken a brave leap forward despite the possibility of things going askew. If you’d like to be featured, please do not hesitate to contact me at: tko@bravebellyflops.com! I look forward to hearing about your awesomeness!

In her own words:

 Changing the world, one yard at a time. That’s my goal with Backyard Roots, a website dedicated to making growing food fun, easy, and inspirational. There’s nothing new about gardening (people have been doing it for hundreds of years), but there is an opportunity to connect people with resources and help them learn how to start growing food in their own spaces. I’m part-way through my belly flop of launching Backyard Roots, and it’s already been quite a journey.

 I’ve actually had the idea for Backyard Roots for years now, but I hesitated for a long time before actually starting. I had a lot of doubt… could I juggle my full-time job and this side project? Did I believe in the idea enough to invest the blood, sweat, and tears I knew it would take to make it happen? Would people think I was crazy? It’s not easy to make a living writing and running a website. If I didn’t try, would I always regret it?

 About 2 years ago, I bought the domain name and continued to just think about the idea. About a year and a half ago, I started writing (in secret, offline) as a way to further explore if this was really viable. I thought it was, so I signed up for Squarespace to start designing the site, but I got stuck really quickly. It was a rough time… We’d go out to walk the dog and what would start as a happy, excited conversation about Backyard Roots would end with me being frustrated and overwhelmed because I couldn’t implement my vision.

Kellie

 Despite the emotional rollercoaster, I kept with it. About a year ago, I learned how to make a blog page and started being able to draft my posts online rather than on my hard drive. A few months later, I’d accumulated a decent amount of content, but I had this idea in my mind of launching a perfect website and I certainly wasn’t close to that. At Thanksgiving, I was brave enough to talk to some of my family members about my project, and the more I talked about it, the more I realized that I needed to just start.

 My ‘lightbulb’ moment came when I realized that Backyard Roots didn’t need to be the grand website of my dreams – it just needed to be something. I had to stop trying to get it perfect behind the scenes and instead start putting content out there and building it pubically. So, on Thanksgiving weekend, I pulled the trigger and published my first post, and I haven’t looked back.

 In the ~6 months since then, I’ve published a decent amount of content, built a following of almost 2,000 Facebook fans and 1,000 Twitter followers, and continued to tweak the website design. I’ve learned things along the way that I never would have realized if I hadn’t started my belly flop and instead continued to just work on the site in the background.

 So right now I’m still mid-air… and only time will tell if this will turn out to be a belly flop or a swan dive. The biggest thing I’ve taken from this experience is that it’s better to try and fail than to not try at all. I still experience doubt almost every day, but I also have a tremendous amount of optimism and excitement.

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