I first published my “Welcome to the Mikayla Taylor Blog” post on July 14, 2019.. exactly 13 days after I left my 9-5 job (for the first time) to get on this roller coaster ride that is entrepreneurship. That means I put my website together in less than 2 weeks – WHOAH.
Granted, I had a lot of time on my hands. Obviously, I had left my 9-5, and I was not yet a mother. I’ve been spending some serious time reflecting on my journey and how it’s all coming full circle in 2023. So it’s time for this blog post to get an update! (And next – my about page… it definitely needs an update!)
To formally introduce myself, my name is Mikayla Taylor! No surprise there. But today, I’m not going to share with you some fluffy about me story and why you should work with me as your SEO copywriter & website strategist or subscribe to my newsletter.. none of those things. This post is to get REAL and RAW. To share my true story and how I got to the point I’m at in my business today (where I literally pinch myself because I can’t believe I’m here, living out my dreams).
So, let’s get into it!
The REAL Story of How I Became A Conversion Copywriter for Women Entrepreneurs
All the gurus and coaches would probably use my story with a headline of what NOT to do when starting an online business. And I don’t disagree 🤣
But I’m also so proud of this journey and how far I’ve come. I truly wouldn’t change it for anything because I wouldn’t be where I am today. Here’s a little timeline for you:
2015 – Starting my first blog
Throwing it way back to my very first blog, imperfectlykay, a natural hair blog that I started in college at the University of Miami. I was not consistent, but I did share my 100% authentic self. Who knew starting this blog would start a journey of me wanting to share my story and create online? My very first post, which was published on November 15, 2015, shares a lot of sentiments that I still feel today. Here’s an excerpt below:
Blogging is something that I’ve always aspired to do. Until now, I never pushed myself to actually make a blog and write. So, here I am.
I want my blog to be able to resonate with everyone from all walks of life. Our world is twisted in so many ways (sending love to all parts of the world suffering right now), but one way that really hits home with me is this concept of perfection. I see it in the media, on social media, and even in how we treat each other.
I personally am the type of person who feeds off of what other people think. These past 20 years I’ve let someone’s positivity, or negativity towards me, affect my perception of myself, to an extent. I recognize that as my fatal flaw. I’ve realized that I’ll never be truly happy until I learn to love myself and who I am, all flaws included. I’m imperfect, and honestly that’s okay. How I feel is described perfectly from this author, David Burns:
“A poor self-image is the magnifying glass that can transform a trivial mistake or imperfection into an overwhelming symbol of personal defeat.”
We’re all imperfect. We’re all human. We mess up sometimes. But we have to learn to not beat ourselves up about it.
I’m a college student, so my path to embracing my imperfections are rockier. Feeling pressure to be the perfect at everything: the perfect scholar, the perfect student leader, the perfect balancer. Trying to keep up with personal relationships, trying to keep up with yourself. Sometimes you fall behind in one way, and it feels like your imperfections, your failures are suffocating you. Although I’ve learned and grown, I still struggle with my imperfections. But I want to be okay with them. Learn from them. Grow from them. And ultimately, love them.
I want this to be a place to share my growth in loving my imperfections, and hopefully, someone else out there can learn to love theirs too. Life’s too short to not love yourself 100%.
But don’t worry, this place will be more than just me documenting every day where I realize I’m not perfect at something. My blog will be filled with tons of different experiences. My growing love for my natural hair, me accepting it’s okay to eating only semi-healthy. Really, it’s a just a glimpse of me living my life.
People pleasing and perfectionism is still my fatal flaw. But WOW, 20-year-old me was really onto something. If only she knew where this blogging journey would take me.
Even though I wasn’t consistent and had a total of 5 posts on this blog, published between November 15 and December 15, 2015.. I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of myself for starting and for putting myself out there. Because without that, I’m not sure I would be blogging today.
2016 – Changing career goals
In May 2016, I graduated from college with a bachelor of science in public health. Less than a month after graduation, I started a 3-month long summer internship at the CDC (yes, the CDC). For a while, I forgot about my blogging goals and instead focused on a career that would bring “stability” and “security.” I mean, it only made sense, right? After all, I was headed to Emory for my Master’s in Public Health. So, I finished my summer internship, started my grad program, and in October 2016, I started as a graduate assistant at the CDC. I worked in the same office until I graduated with some of the most amazing people. I found ways to be creative in my role, design graphics, or use Canva whenever possible. I knew if I was going to work at CDC, I needed an outlet to have a creative spark. So, I focused all my efforts on getting into health communication.
2018 – Entering the real world
I finished my MPH from Emory in May 2018 and literally started working full-time at CDC the very next day. I thought I didn’t need a “break,” but sis… I had no idea what was coming, LOL. My fellowship at the CDC was temporary because I had accepted a position at a Big 4 consulting firm to transition into public sector consulting in the fall. But then, the public sector division of that company was sold, and I ended up as a consultant for a start-up at CDC, which was a very interesting environment and change of pace.
2019 – Reassessing my career goals
I remember working during a lunch meeting (because what was a lunch break as a consultant?), and one of my coworkers asked about my career goals. I remember this so vividly as we sat in the fishbowl, as it was called, on the 8th floor. I said, “it sounds super dumb, but my dream is to be a content creator and have a blog.” It was the first time I had really said that out loud. Even behind this put-together government consultant get-up, I wanted to share my authentic story of navigating life imperfectly.
When I realized that desire was back, I started planning behind the scenes how I could launch my website. In January (see screenshots), I set a date to relaunch the imperfectlykay blog by my birthday on August 1. But working full-time, trying to grow an online brand, and having undiagnosed health issues started taking its toll.
I always had stomach issues, but once the stress of the “real world” hit, and a job where I was working 50-60 hours per week and commuting 2-3 hours a day… the stress made me crumble. And really sick. Then, not understanding what was going on with my body took a serious toll on my mental health.
I started therapy and was diagnosed with mixed anxiety-depressive disorder. I threw up from stress on the way to work and spent my lunch breaks crying in the bathroom on the toilet.
I knew I couldn’t go on like this forever. I thought a different job would fix it, but it didn’t. I had the same feelings. So July 1, I left my 9-5, and on July 3, I filed my LLC in my dad’s office (he owns a liquor store and a pawn shop!). As you read, I started working on my website immediately because I had my “welcome to my blog post” ready and up on July 14. And just like that, I had a successful business and was fully booked out with clients!
KIDDING. If only it were that easy, right? For the remainder of 2019, I completed a copywriting course and started promoting my brand on social media (I was all over the place though, between the wellness/chronic illness influencer stuff and copywriting). In addition, I went through tests and procedures to try and figure out what was going on with my body. Everything turned out “normal,” and my symptoms were dismissed as anxiety and IBS.
I’m not going to lie. I was operating from a fear mindset and had many limiting beliefs around money. And ultimately, I think that hindered my success significantly. To receive abundance in life and in business, you need an abundant mindset. When you operate from a place of fear and believe you won’t make any money, that is exactly what will come true.
In this time, I also decided I would create a program to help women wellness entrepreneurs DIY their websites. It was called the “Wellness Business Website Accelerator.” But no one signed up. I gave up on my launch. And the idea sat in my Google Docs for years.
Now, I won’t say I made 0 money this time because that’s not true. But I did not make enough to cover my expenses or a WEDDING planned for March 2020. So, the journey continued…
2020 – Going back to my 9-5, but not as a failure
For the longest, I thought that I had failed in business because I returned to my 9-5. But that is not true! I only would’ve failed had I given up. But I didn’t, I’m still here today, right?
So I spent six months taking courses on copywriting and building an online business, but with the wedding coming up and bills to pay, I found a job at CDC and returned six months after leaving my 9-5.
You would think that’s the end of the story, Mikayla tries entrepreneurship, Mikayla doesn’t make significant money, girl goes back to the 9-5 world and decides she isn’t cut out for entrepreneurship. Right?
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. I didn’t give up on my business. I used my salary to invest in mentorship, brand photoshoots, events, and courses. I pitched to clients. I shared more about my journey with chronic illness (I thought I was well on my way to being a wellness influencer).
I also continued searching for a diagnosis for all of my health issues. I had (and still have) a running list of symptoms in my notes app to share with doctors. And, of course, my medical records binder to carry to every appointment.
My aunt has endometriosis, and I always wondered if that was the culprit behind my issues, too. So, I found an endometriosis specialist and booked an appointment. To see these specialists, there’s usually a waiting period of a few months. I took a pregnancy test the day before my appointment – positive. I was in disbelief and so excited. The office staff was so excited for me over the phone, I could tell!
At the time, I didn’t realize what a big win that was, especially since many women with endo struggle with infertility. I’m so endlessly grateful that I could safely carry my daughter despite fibroids and (suspected – more on that soon) endometriosis.
My pregnancy journey was far from easy, though… I struggled with hyperemesis gravid arum. At seven weeks pregnant, I was in the ER after vomiting so much and being unable to keep down water. Then three weeks later, I was hospitalized again. I remember writing to my baby girl in the hospital. Even though I wouldn’t officially find out the gender until February 2021.. a mother always knows 🙂
2021 – Mikayla Taylor | Doing Business Differently
I knew I needed to do business differently with a baby on the way. I couldn’t flip-flop between doing wellness stuff and doing copywriting. So I went all in on being a copywriter. I completely redesigned my website and updated my copy to reflect that (this is the mikaylataylor.com you are looking at now!)
I focused on sales pages because they were my top-selling offer. Now, my Signature Sales Toolkit is also bringing organic search traffic – even though I don’t post about it on social media anymore.
I continued to invest in mentorship to grow my business and set a plan for having a steady income during my maternity leave (which was short-term disability leave for six weeks, but I took 12 weeks off).
I returned from maternity leave with a job offer for a GS-13 position with the government. If you aren’t familiar with the government, GS-13 is a pretty big deal. Civilian employees really only go up to GS-15. Some people spend their whole careers trying to secure a GS-13 role, which is often viewed as a leadership role.
To be honest, this was something I did not expect at all. I thought I would stay a contractor until I felt secure enough to go full-time in my business. But the salary, benefits, and stability were hard to pass up.
“Maybe this IS my dream job,” I thought to myself. So, I accepted the position, and when I started in December, I immediately filled out the necessary paperwork to continue working on my business as a government employee.
I wasn’t ready to give up on my dreams of being a content creator quite yet.
2022 – Struggling to “have it all”
I continued to work my business while navigating a demanding 9-5 and a baby. And being 100% honest, I sucked at it. Most nights we ordered Uber Eats for dinner. I was overly stressed out, waking up at 5 am to work on my business before logging in to my 9-5 by 7:30 am, and then staying up past midnight each night to work on my business more. And to be honest, that probably was reflected in my content. The frazzled state, the stress.
In April 2022, I served on CDC’s COVID-19 response team for two months, leading a team of 20 health communicators. It was a great experience and one of the highlights of my public health career. But it was also incredibly draining. I remember one Friday, after working long hours the whole week, it was 5 pm, and I finally decided to log off and make dinner for my family. But then I was called into an emergency meeting and quickly had to turn off the burner to take the call. So, another night of Uber Eats and more stress for me.
I was “on call” for my first Mother’s Day (thankfully, nothing important happened that required time away from my family). My daughter was only eight months old, and that experience really taught me that nothing mattered more than work-life balance. I didn’t want to miss out on my daughter’s childhood trying to climb the “corporate” ladder. At that point, I felt like a shell of a person, all I did was work, and my health really suffered.
When I came off the response in June, we received three days of administrative leave to recover. I wanted to use those three days to rest, yes, and work on my business so I wouldn’t have to be at the government forever – of course!
But in those three days, my body completely shut down. I ended up in urgent care with a sinus infection that triggered my asthma. But I only had three days off. And I needed to save up the rest of my sick/vacation days for when my daughter was sick or when I wanted to take time off for the holidays.
So I went back to work and struggled. My monthly cycle became unbearable. I was nauseous 24/7 from the stress. So I made a mental plan to leave the government for good by the time I turned 30 (in 3 years). But shortly after my 27th birthday in September, I was at my breaking point. I felt like if I didn’t make a huge change in my life, I wouldn’t see 30, let alone 28.
I knew I couldn’t go on like this every day when I had a husband who needed a partner and a child to care for. I kept having flashbacks to how I felt in 2019, absolutely miserable.
So on October 12, 2022 (TikTok has the receipts), I decided to leave the government again and pursue my “dumb” dream of being a content creator. I put in a one-month notice to leave right before Thanksgiving, so I wouldn’t have to worry about if I had enough vacation days to spend time with my family for the holidays.
Then a week after my last day, I went to the doctor. I gave her my standard spiel listing out my symptoms and gave her my medical binder with information from my colonoscopy, endoscopy, and MRIs. Without hesitation, she told me I had endometriosis. She told me that all the pain and symptoms I experienced were not in my head. The rest of the appointment I was on and off crying because I couldn’t believe a doctor finally listened.
2023 – Rediscovering Mikayla Taylor and prioritizing myself
Since I left my 9-5 in November, I’ve felt a million times lighter, better, and happier. And I’m committed to sharing the vulnerable moments of my story in the hopes it inspires someone.
I can’t lie, though, there have been moments where I wondered if this would be like the last time when I went back to the 9-5 world six months later.
But there are so many things different about this time, and I have a real diagnosis of what has been making me sick all these years. And I’m also doing the deep shadow work that I’ve pushed
So now I’m sharing this story with you on this blog in a very full circle moment.
This. This is what I was meant to do. To share this story. To tell you not to give up. Don’t give up on your business. Don’t give up on searching for a diagnosis when you know your body is telling you something isn’t right. Listen to your gut. Don’t give up.
And watch where that journey takes you 🤍
(PS – on average, endometriosis takes nine years to diagnose and can only be confirmed through surgery. My surgery is coming up at the end of March! I first noticed symptoms at age 16 and was diagnosed at 27. So for me, it took 11 years of pain and suffering before my diagnosis.)
And in the spirit of full transparency, I will leave the original post (with a few updates in italics).
I’m so glad you’re here!
To formally introduce myself, my name is Mikayla. I’m a twenty-something freelance copywriter with a passion for communicating evidence-based health information to millennials like me. (I wrote this when I thought I was going to be more of a wellness influencer..as you can read. I don’t know if you want to take wellness advice from me right now LOL, but it is something I am actively prioritizing).
I’m a recovering perfectionist living in Atlanta, Georgia where sweet tea is water and Chick-Fil-A (pretty much all fried chicken) is a food group.
A few fun facts about me:
- Taylor isn’t actually my last name (yet). I’m living like a fraud until I get married in a few months! Without the amazing support of my fiance, I probably wouldn’t have started this blog. (Mikayla Taylor is my real name! My husband and I will be celebrating 3 years this year, and his support still means everything to me!)
- I have a 2-year old puppy named Leo. He’s a chihuahua schanuzer terrier mix and is the cutest thing ever! (Leo is 6-years old now, and we still love him endlessly!)
Back to what I’ll be talking about most of the time…
My health and wellness journey has not been easy, and it’s one I struggle with daily.
Society has a weird way of messing with our thoughts about what we “should do” that often leaves us disconnected from who we really are.
For me, this meant pretending to be well and abled when I was chronically sick. And for a while, this was pretty damn easy because I didn’t technically know I was sick.
Zooming out at the big picture of my life, you could probably say I have a vomiting problem. Sorry, I should’ve warned you it wasn’t going to be all flowers and roses over here. But, I didn’t start this blog to be pretty, I started this blog to be real.
In my 7+ years living with chronic illness, 5+ of those years where I was undiagnosed, fitting in was uncomplicated. Physically and emotionally draining, sure. But “uncomplicated” in the sense that all I had to do was follow the steps laid out for me.’
Finish high school, go to college, go to graduate school (in my case), and start a career.*
Somewhere along the way, I realized I couldn’t keep up and it was severely damaging my physical and mental health. So I said goodbye to my corporate job and hello to taking better care of myself.
I never imagined myself starting a business without having a solid “back-up” plan of a 9-5 paycheck. But, I decided that no salary was worth sacrificing my health and well-being.
I’ve done a lot of research on different diets, meal plans, and recipes for various gastrointestinal illnesses. I’m also a Master of Public Health and Certified Health Education Specialist and I’m super passionate about helping others live a healthy lifestyle.
Through this process, I’ve also learned the importance of taking care to better manage my anxiety disorder and situational depression from dealing with chronic illness. On this journey, I’ve wished so much for someone who understood where I was coming from, and writing is an outlet to share my experiences.
Every week, I share health education and lifestyle tips for women living with chronic illness, whether that be physical, mental, or both.
I recognize that you may be facing your own battles on your wellness journey. On this blog, I am an accountability partner, a source of encouragement, and a resource for evidence-based health tips. It’s hard out here for real, y’all.
However you landed upon this blog, I hope you find this community helpful on your wellness journey.
(Wow!! I am so proud of my journey! If you read this far, thank you❤️)