Yes, it’s a happier month than the last one, at least for me.
As I shared in my previous monthly update, I got some hard news toward the end of June (see “Highs” below) — but I’m on the up-and-up.
(Psssst: New here? I write a monthly recap of my journey to becoming a service-based business owner. Along with my [very honest] highs and lows, I share a helpful tip, trick, and tool of the month. Interested? Sign up to get first access every month!)
How about you? Will your August be better or worse than your July?
My husband recently shared with me an annoying Gary Vee Instagram video (sorry, he bugs the crap — or, as he would so eloquently say, “f*ck” — out of me) about the two different approaches to the month of August:
“While everybody’s at the pool drinking rosé, this is when you put in the grinding hours.”– Gary Vee
“It’s also a very strategic month to go into that rest period.”– Gary Vee
So, which route will you take this August?
So far, I’ve taken route #1 — partly because I feel like I took route #2 for much of the start of summer. But, as you’ll see below, I’ve been on a steadily rising trajectory since July.
Both routes have merit.
Either way, let’s try to be intentional about how we spend our time this month.
Well, the cat’s out of the bag — you now know that the reason I was so down last month (and so distracted the months before that) is that my husband and I had a miscarriage.
You can read more about our pregnancy journey, and how I’ve tried to make sense of the heartbreak that’s followed, here.
I felt incredibly vulnerable posting about our experience publicly, but I wanted other parents who have lost a child to know, “You aren’t alone.”
And that’s what everyone has let us know in return.
From the hugs of family to the DMs of strangers, we’ve felt so grateful for our community. I shared a little more about this over on Instagram if you want to hear more of my thoughts post-posting.
Not gonna lie, being pregnant (and then suddenly not) did a number on my health — physically, mentally, and emotionally.
There was a lot of joy, of course, but there were also nausea, fatigue, confusion, and carbs for days (errr weeks). 😬
Since mid-July or so, I’ve started to get back on track with my nutrition, exercise, sleep, and work habits.
I’m still not quite as disciplined as I would like (or, frankly, will probably ever be) — but I am now coming to my office regularly, establishing a more balanced schedule, and generally feeling more motivated and productive. I’ll call that a win!
I’m aiming to carry these healthy habits into August, too…
As I wrap up one website project (which I hope to share soon!) and continue to work through a couple of others, I’m looking ahead to what’s next.
In July, I sent out three proposals for some pretty significant projects, and I’ve got a few more in the pipeline. That’s exciting.
I also politely declined a request for proposal (of sorts), as I simply didn’t feel the work was a good fit.
Saying “no” always seems so scary… until you actually do it. Ya feel?
I’ve been in the business of creating completely custom proposals for my leads, but, as I’ve started to ask myself: Whyyyyy?
It’s not that clients don’t deserve a personalized experience — far from it. But the proposal itself doesn’t need to be this perfect, intricately planned novel I’ve penned just for them.
They’d probably rather have my personal attention.
So, I’m working on revamping my proposal strategy.
Along with a new template I’m creating using the CRM I’ve just switched over to (see “Tool” below), I think I’m going to try a fixed pricing model.
No more numbers-crunching or fingers-crossing. Take my prices or leave them! 😤
(We’ll see if I’m this feisty once I start implementing this strategy…
Part of the reason I’m feeling more productive lately is that I’ve had less agency work on my plate, which is giving me some breathing room to actually reflect on my business.
What do I ultimately want to achieve here?
Someone recently asked me about my five-year plan, and I realized it’s been a minute since I’ve thought about it.
I tend to be a more open-minded person when it comes to my life and business plan, but it’s definitely wise to revisit your goals (and your progress toward them) on a regular basis.
If my Asana list is any indication, I may have a few too many goals right now.
So, bear with me as I continue to sift through them. 🙏 Please and thanks.
Hopefully “don’t be an asshole” is obvious advice, right?
Yet sometimes it’s tempting to be short with (or simply ignore) people when we don’t think we’ll ever encounter them again.
You might recall a few months back, when I shared about my first flat-out “no” as a freelancer. Well, I recently crossed paths with that person again — in a totally unexpected way — and it’s looking like we actually will work together in a different capacity this fall!
Had I totally written this person off, I might never have gotten this promising opportunity.
Plus, being a good person is just, you know, a good thing.
✨ (Inspirational quote of the week) ✨
Do you use a Mac?
You’re probably very familiar with the Spotlight Search shortcut (Command + Space) — but did you know about the calculator shortcut within it?
Simply type your equation into the search bar, and you’ll get the answer immediately!
(Yes, equations like “180 divided by 4” are about as complex as I can manage.) 😅
Okay, I am officially obsessed with this business management software.
I’ve been familiar with this SaaS business for a while, but it wasn’t until Dubsado’s huge birthday sale at the end of July that I started to seriously consider it for my own business.
I’d been using Bonsai, which I’ve shared with you before, to manage my clients, proposals, invoices, and other back-end business needs.
I still think Bonsai is fabulous for freelancers, but I’ve recently fallen in love with the additional features Dubsado has to offer, namely:
So far, I’ve noticed a few things Bonsai boasts that Dubsado doesn’t (like automated expense tracking and a Chrome extension with built-in time tracking).
But I’m okay with the trade-off, given the opportunity that I believe Dubsado offers to level up my client experience.
If you’re interested in trying either CRM for your business, feel free to nab these discounts using my affiliate codes! 😉
Well, I’d better get back to work.
After all, I’m shooting for the “grinding” type of August here.
However you choose to spend your month, I hope it’s just what you need.
After a few months of leaning in to the season at hand — pregnancy, grief, and now… well, whatever comes next — I know that there truly is a time for everything under the sun.
So go enjoy that sun! ☀️
P.S. Have you filled out my Typeform survey yet? No? What are you waiting for?! It takes two seconds, and it really helps me out! 😁
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