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It’s been nearly a year since I called Go Daddy and purchased the domain for Small Town Leadership. Since then, I’ve published 40 blogs (25,000 words). Here are my top lessons learned and a recap of my posts for easy reference.

It’s okay to put yourself out there – Early on, I hesitated and second guessed before hitting the publish button. That feeling has subsided and only surfaces when I am writing something that is highly personal. So far, no one has trolled or gotten into a debate over my content and I feel great that I am finally putting my stories into the world. Do you have something to share, but are holding back? If so, know that it’s OK to put yourself out there.

Find what sparks joy and follow it – I’ve written a lot about things that sparked joy for me when I was younger, most notably public speaking and music. Reminiscing made me take action to put those things back into my life through quarterly speaking gigs and joining the church choir. How could you experience more joy in your life?

My family is my foundation – My parents, sister, husband, daughters, grandparents, Uncle Bob, and neighbors were main characters in my blog. It’s made me appreciate every one of them even more.

Now more than ever, we need to understand our differences – The fastest I have written and posted a blog was November 9, 2016 following the election. (Read the post-election blog HERE.) I am slowly coming up with a plan for how I am going to take action during the next 4 years. For now, these two posts will be my rallying cry – Love is Love and Running with a Stranger. Not a single person in this world chose where, how and to whom they were born. All of us have a great opportunity – or perhaps even an obligation – to understand our differences and embrace diversity.

2016 Blog Posts – a topical table of contents:

On Family

May 2016 – Top 5 lessons I learned from my mom

June 2016 – My Dad taught me that it’s OK to talk to strangers

June 2016 – Craving simplicity in a complex world

July 2016 – Small Town Vacations: 41 states by car

August 2016 – Craft Show Kid: A Lesson on Creating vs. Consuming

October 2016 – Why does daddy get dirty at work? An early lesson on vocation

November 2016 – Me Not Little: From a punch in the nose to true sisterhood

On Appreciating Diversity

May 2016 – Running with a stranger: A lesson in diversity

July 2016 – From a small town to making it big featuring: René Delane

September 2016 – Love is love: from small town to strong ally

On Education & School

April 2016 – You don’t always get a round of applause

April 2016 – The day I rode an entire public bus route

May 2016 – Ripping down the poster: A lesson on respect

July 2016 – It’s ok if you don’t make the team

August 2016 – Staying fit in a small town

August 2016 – First Day of School Spirit

August 2016 – The Dime

September 2016 – Why I resented the football team

September 2016 – Why I chose Ohio State

November 2016 – Passing the School Levy

On Leadership & Work

April 2016 – Boogers on the wall: A lesson in networking and employee engagement

May 2016 – A Small Town Resume

June 2016 – An Open Letter to LinkedIn

July 2016 – From small town to Silicon Valley

October 2016 – First flight to frequent flyer

October 2016 – My AH-HA moment of the year: Focus on the long game

November 2016 – The County is craving change – what are you going to do about it?

December 2016 – From getting fired to joining the choir

December 2016 – Why I’m happy at work: 5 ways you can be, too

On 4-H and the Ohio State Fair

March 2016 – A purple ribbon, for me?

August 2016 – Why the State Fair matters

About the blog

March 2016 – About the woman behind Small Town Leadership

March 2016 – Why a red barn?

April 2016 – Inquiring minds want to know: Top 3 questions since launch

May 2016 – 7783 Words Later: A Small Town Leadership Re-cap

The Collective Voice Podcast

June 2016 – Two Girls + Two MacBooks + 9pm Phone Calls = The Collective Voice

September 2016 – The year of the podcast: why I listen, why I record

November 2016 – Final podcast of 2016: Guilt, trusting our gut & other top lessons


What is your favorite Small Town Leadership post?

Thank you for your readership during my initial year! I look forward to your continued readership in 2017.

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Small Town Leadership Founder; Natalie believes everything she needed to know to succeed in her career she learned by growing up in a town of 600 people. As a Certified Professional Coach and award-winning public speaker, she helps her clients and audiences make wherever they are feel like a small town. She lives in Dublin, Ohio with her husband, Rob, a professor at Ohio State and two little girls.

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