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Dear Blog No. 1

Dear Blog,

I haven’t been posting or sending out newsletters in a while and it feels bad. Because when I do WANT to post or send something out, I feel ashamed and then I give up.

It’s like that time I went to an all-females gym before I was married. I went almost every day, then I started not going. Because of some reason or another (I can’t remember).

The gym owner even started messaging me on Facebook asking, “Aina bila nak datang gym lagi? 😊” That coming from her, a warm and friendly lady, wasn’t offensive at all.

But still, it felt impossible for me to SHOW UP and start going to the gym again.

Maybe I’m not confident anymore. Maybe I feel like all my progress is lost. Maybe I’m aiming too high with my starting-again plan. Maybe I don’t need to go to the gym yet for things to start moving?

Well, back to writing. It’s not like I haven’t been writing at all. But I know I need to publish these writings for people to read. (That’s the part I’m struggling with) I guess this Dear Blog post is my way of slowly gaining the momentum back again.

What I have been doing instead:

  • Playing around with Excel and organizing data for my dayjob. Very surprisingly, I find myself getting obsessed with Excel and organizing data feels almost like a guilty pleasure. I’m even reading up on Excel tips on a daily basis. (For me, that’s weird)

  • Eating meat with my husband. My husband (let’s call him ‘S’) is a meat-enthusiast. We’ve been partying it up at Beard Brothers’ BBQ and Wagyu Kokoro recently.

  • NOT being on social media for almost 3 weeks. It first started off as a temporary thing. Delete the apps during the weekdays and reinstall them Friday night. But after a few tries, it felt more natural to just NOT install them back again. It’s been a nice break!

Well, till the next time then, dear blog. I’ll be back.


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Hello from the Person Behind Narrativity.


I thought I'd do something different today.

Hello there. My name is Aina F. Ismail. The "F" stands for Farzana by the way, just thought it'd be cooler to abbreviate my middle name.

Legal executive by day and budding entrepreneur by night (and sometimes during lunchtime), I'm trying to contribute to my own future. I'm juggling between a dayjob that I like and a passion that makes me feel really alive -- helping people build their dream business.

In my spare time, I like to read historical drama novels and play Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2. I sometimes snort when I laugh and have a mouth full of sweet teeth. Cakes are my comfort food. (Probably why I like to use baking examples so often.)

And this business and this blog right here? I use them to write about the strategies that I use and share them with people who are just like me.

Why a personal post, after all this time?

I wanted to write a personal post because it felt like I've been writing using someone else's voice instead of my own. There was a disconnect between Narrativity and who I really am as a person. I had been using my grown-up voice, talking about serious things -- and it felt stifling.

I had written 27 blog posts, 50+ newsletters and thousands and thousands of unpublished words... But it feels like I'm still struggling with my voice. It still doesn't feel effortless. So I wanted to tell you (and remind myself) that blogging and business in general is a state of continuous improvement. 

Maybe we'll never be perfect. And that's okay. Because we have to enjoy ourselves when we're improving. This is where I'm having some problems.

I've always believed in building my dream business, where I get to do what I love and make money from it. Being my own boss and all that. But lately I've been obsessively focusing on the end result -- "the perfect business".

I know this is wrong. We have to enjoy the ride as well as the destination. If I don't feel happy when I'm building my business, then is my business really worth it?

Should I really postpone my personal happiness to when my business is "really established"? Because a business will never actually be established. It grows and grows and there's always something to do (or worry about).

If I'm so intent on postponing my happiness, then why not just stick to my dayjob? Work really hard and then retire when the situation permits. Same thing, isn't it?

But because my business means something more to me, I owe it to myself to create that happiness NOW. To feel happy right here, at this stage. With all these imperfections.


So what now?

I'm not sure. I don't have all the answers. But what I do know is that my time is too valuable to be spent doing things that make me feel miserable. 

So if you can take away one thing from this personal post, let it be this: Building your dream business is not about feeling miserable now and feeling happy later. 

There's nothing bad about hustling, but the business has to make you a better person. You have to feel happy with how better you are getting, not feel miserably impatient for the "perfection" that you think you can achieve.

There is no perfection. Embrace getting better. And most importantly, enjoy the ride.

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