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December 2021: Highs, Lows, and Tip / Trick / Tool of the Month

Sarah Klongerbo December 2021 blog banner

Welcome to my last monthly recap blog post.

After an entire year of sharing with you my highs, lows, and tip / trick / tool of the month, I’m ready to try something new — something I think you’ll like even better.

It’s been both vulnerable and illuminating to build my business in the “public” eye. I hope I’ve helped educate, encourage, or inspire at least a few of you who are trying (or hoping) to build a business of your own.

If nothing else, I think I’ll enjoy looking back on these monthly recaps in the years to come. You know, when I’ve built my multimillion-dollar empire. 🤣

So, why am I retiring my monthly recaps?

For one thing, they’re a little self-centered. 😆 I’ve always known that, but I’ve reasoned that since I like reading about other people’s specific experiences — especially their honest ups and downs — you may be interested in mine, too.

But now that I’ve been in business a full year, I frankly don’t think my updates are as interesting as they were when I first left my full-time job to freelance. These days, my work is a lot of marketing, sales, project execution, repeat — and since I don’t want to divulge too many private details about my clients, it’s tricky to make that cycle sound fresh every month.

For another thing, these recaps take a fair amount of time to create. The “highs and lows” format requires me to consider everything that happened in a month; if I leave something out, I feel I’m not providing the full picture. Add in the “tip / trick / tool of the month,” and I could spend hours writing an email that really doesn’t need to be so long or complex.

Plus, I’m a perfectionist. I’m still learning “done is better than perfect.”

Lastly, and most importantly, I want my content to be as helpful as possible for you. I think I can create even more value for you in other ways.

So, what can you expect from my content going forward?

I’m excited to introduce a new email format for 2022, something I’m calling “Passing Notes.” Every other week, I’ll share with you a story or strategy that can help you with your writing, website design, or business in general.

My hope is to keep these emails short, sweet, actionable, and authentic.

Sign up to make sure you get these emails (and other educational content) in your inbox!

December Highs

I launched two websites.

What better month than December to cap off two website projects?

First up was Paula Lain Counseling, a female-led counseling group here in Sioux Falls.

I had a blast infusing the therapists’ fun personalities into the copy and design. We wanted to highlight their cultural competency, animal-assisted sessions, and down-to-earth (yet professional) approach. I think we accomplished it!

I’ll try to share the second website launch soon; there are just a few loose ends I want to make sure we tie up first.

In the meantime, you can check out my latest web design and copywriting work (and PLC’s awesome counseling services) here!

Paula Lain Counseling Website Launch

I’m starting three more websites in January.

With several 2021 projects now neatly wrapped up, I’m stoked to begin some 2022 projects I’ve had penciled in for a while.

These websites, along with a few other projects and my regular agency copywriting work, will take up most of my time through the end of February or March.

I also had two other promising meetings in January, which I’m hoping will translate to some more exciting projects in the near future.

That said, if you’re interested in getting on my calendar in the next couple of months, please reach out so I can set aside time for you!

I updated my own website design.

While I was busy working on my clients’ websites, I figured I should give my own site a little facelift, too.

After all, the end of the year is the perfect time to audit your site. (Haven’t done it yet? Hit me up for some free website advice!)

Since I got my beautiful brand photography back from Maddie Peschong, I swapped out almost all the photos on my site. That led to the next domino, tweaking my brand colors, and the next domino, updating my brand fonts.

I haven’t made many structural or content changes to my site, but for now, I’m pleased with the (minor) redesign. It’s cleaner, more cohesive, and less “stock” — AKA more “me.”

Wanna see it? Visit my updated website here. (Hint: you’re already on it. 😉)

Oh, and another thing! I created a new links page for my Instagram bio. That’s been on my to-do list forever, so I was glad to check that one off. (And it’s pretty pretty, if I do say so myself!)

BTW, if you have an Instagram account you use for business, you should definitely have a page in your bio that links to your most recent or relevant content. You can use a service like Linktree, but I prefer the personalization of a custom page, like mine:

Sarah Klongerbo New Instagram Links Page

Christmas!

Like yours (I hope), my December included a lot of quality family time, as we celebrated Christmas first with my family, then with Troy’s.

Troy’s brother even got engaged on Christmas Day! Bekah, welcome (officially) to the fam. 🥰

Prepping for meals, buying gifts, hosting guests — it all took some time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. (Unless, of course, someone wanted to reinstate an extended Christmas break for adults?!)

Klongerbo Family

December Lows

I haven’t (yet) gotten around to my year-end reviews.

Going into December, I had big goals of auditing everything in my business: content, finances, systems, the whole shebang.

…And have I done any of that yet?

…Nope. 🤪

I know you’re all tired of hearing me say “I’m behind, but I’ll do better next month!” — so I’ll just leave this here. If anything, maybe it’ll encourage you that, if you have tasks left to complete (and who doesn’t?), you are far from alone.

Tip / Trick / Tool of the Month

Tip: Let go of what’s no longer serving you.

…Like this monthly recap. 😉

I committed to it for an entire year, but it’s no longer serving me (or you), at least in the best way possible.

So instead of feeling shame about “quitting” this format, I’m thanking it for how it has served us, and gently releasing it to the wind.

(Not to go all woo-woo on you or anything.)

Also, can I just say I hate the word “quit”? I believe we can simply stop doing things that we’re no longer meant to, without wearing that heavy cloak of guilt. Amen?!

I’ve been inspired by the Elegant Excellence goals journal I’ve started using this month. In it, Hilary Rushford advocates for essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of “less, but better.”

As we enter this new year, let’s all acknowledge that we can’t say yes to anything without saying no to something else.

And that intentional letting go is a beautiful thing.

Trick: Record your thoughts with Voice Memos.

A trick I learned while taking Hilary Rushford’s Creative Business Accelerator course (yes, her again, and no, I haven’t finished yet) is to not write, but instead record your thoughts or notes.

As a writer, of course, I’m a big fan of the physical act of writing. Hand-writing, especially, can help you process your thoughts in the moment and better recall them later. (Typing works, too.)

But when you can’t write, are short on time, want a more stream-of-consciousness response, or simply prefer speaking to writing, recording a voice memo can be a highly effective way to journal.

I find audio recordings to be very freeing — especially if I know no one but I will ever hear them.

I’m allowed to fumble over words without feeling I have to go back and delete or edit them. I’m able to use vocal inflections that can help me understand what I was really thinking when I reference the memo later. And I can do it all on a walk with my dog in a fraction of the time it would take me to scribble down all my thoughts on paper (or screen).

If you have an iPhone or Mac, you already have the Voice Memos app. Simply open it and start recording whatever’s on your mind. When you’re done, name the file and move it to a relevant folder.

You, or your family, may even find these recordings precious in years to come. Who among us doesn’t have a treasured voicemail saved from a loved one?

Canva Pro Dashboard

Tool: Canva

When I was writing my latest blog post, “The 12 Best Tools for Your Business in 2022” — which is basically a compilation of all the tools I’ve shared with you over the past year — I was surprised to discover I hadn’t yet talked about Canva.

If you run a creative business, you’re likely already aware of Canva. But in case you aren’t, here you go (and you’re welcome!).

Canva is an online program that allows you to design and publish virtually anything. There’s a free version, but I pay for Canva Pro, which includes additional features like custom fonts, Background Remover, Magic Resize, and more.

You can use Canva for everything from Instagram graphics to sales presentations to printed posters and more.

Trust me: unless you’re an Adobe pro, you pretty much need Canva in your life as a creative entrepreneur!

Pssst: Missed any of the other helpful business tools I shared with you throughout the year? Check out the full list here!

Friend, I want to thank you so much for coming on this business-building journey with me.

There’s something about email, especially, that makes me feel connected to you — even if we’ve never seen each other face to face.

That’s why I would be so honored if you would join my exclusive email list. You’ll be the first to know about new freebies and marketing education — and, more importantly, we can continue to building this online relationship of ours.

Hope to see you in the inbox!

Favorite Photos from December 2021

Sarah Klongerbo and her sister out to lunch
Out to lunch with my sister.
Sarah Klongerbo at her niece's dance recital
At my niece’s dance recital.
Sean Klongerbo and his girlfriend Bekah at Pho Thai in Sioux Falls
Hanging with Troy’s brother, Sean, and his girlfriend, Bekah, from northern Minnesota.
Troy and Sarah Klongerbo at Pho Thai in Sioux Falls
Dinner at Pho Thai in Sioux Falls.
Klongerbo Christmas tree
Merry Christmas!
French onion soup at Christmas
Trying a new recipe for our Christmas tradition of eating French onion soup.
Klongerbo family Christmas dinner
Troy made Christmas Eve dinner for his family when they came to stay with us in Sioux Falls.
Sean Klongerbo proposing to his girlfriend Bekah at Falls Park
On Christmas Day, Sean proposed! I’m beyond excited to have Bekah in the family.
Sarah Klongerbo and her niece
My niece Chloe loves piggyback rides!

December 2021: Highs, Lows, and Tip / Trick / Tool of the Month

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