Sarah and Troy Klongerbo with Matthew and Cassandra Schock in downtown Sioux Falls

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

Sarah Klongerbo blog banner for July 2021

Happy August!

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 tiptrick, 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

Orrr…

“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.

July Highs 😀

I received so much support after sharing the news of my miscarriage.

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.

I’m getting back to healthier habits and routines.

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…

PowerSheets goal planner for Sarah Klongerbo

I’ve sent out some big proposals.

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?

July Lows 😞

Said proposals are taking waaay too long to create.

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…​

I’m starting to feel at a crossroads in my career.

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.

Tip / Trick / Tool of the Month 💡

Tip: Don’t write anyone off, especially in a small community.

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) ✨

Trick: Quick access to calculator (on Mac)

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.) 😅

Calculator shortcut on Mac

Tool: Dubsado

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:

  • Embeddable lead capture forms
  • A more intuitive client funnel
  • Advanced automation tools
  • A more robust, customizable interface
  • And more

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! 😁

Favorite Photos from July 2021

Troy and Sarah Klongerbo on a boat in Minnesota with Troy's parents
We spent the Fourth of July in Duluth, Minnesota, with Troy’s parents.
Troy and Sarah Klongerbo on a boat in Minnesota
So good to get on the water!
Amy and Sarah Klongerbo on a boat in Minnesota
And to be with family after a hard time.

Troy and Mike Klongerbo on a boat in Minnesota
Troy and his pops, in their happy place!
Troy and Sarah Klongerbo in Duluth
Troy’s dad lent us his convertible, so we went cruising down the scenic North Shore.
Pit stop at Great! Lakes Candy Kitchen.
Hanging at Sag Lodge waaay up north.
Klongerbo family at Sag Lodge near Grand Marais
A family affair!
Troy and Sarah Klongerbo in Duluth
How Duluthians roll.
Troy being pensive on Lake Superior.
Sarah, Troy, and Grandma June Klongerbo
We got to see Troy’s dear grandma June in the Twin Cities on our way home!
Sarah Klongerbo and Jac Jacobsma at Bread & Circus in Sioux Falls
Lunch with my friend Jac at Bread & Circus in Sioux Falls.
Crista Ballard at Looks Marketplace in Sioux Falls
Dinner with my friend Crista at Look’s Marketplace in Sioux Falls.
Sarah Klongerbo's family at their first-annual progressive BBQ contest
Everyone gathered on our deck for stop #3 of my family’s first-annual progressive BBQ.
Troy Klongerbo proudly showing off his reverse-seared ribeye
Troy making reverse-seared ribeye…
Sarah Klongerbo mixing mai tais
…And me making mai tais!
Flowers for Sarah Klongerbo from Till Agency
Till Agency (where I work part-time as a copywriter) sent me a beautiful bouquet after my miscarriage.
Kind client note and gift for Sarah Klongerbo from Erica & Jon Photography
I also got the sweetest note and gift from one of our clients, Erica & Jon Photography!
Sarah Klongerbo working on her deck with her dog Pali
Pali and I working on our deck.
Sarah and Troy Klongerbo golfing at Hidden Valley in Sioux Falls
Troy and I out golfing in Brandon.
Troy and Sarah Klongerbo at the Palisades in SD
Troy and me on a walk at the Palisades.
Troy Klongerbo and his dog Pali at the Palisades in South Dakota
Of course we brought Pali, too!
Sarah Klongerbo holding her new nephew, Miles
Meeting my new nephew, Noah. 🤍
Sarah Klongerbo holding her new nephew, Miles
Isn’t he the sweetest?!
Sarah and Troy Klongerbo with Matthew and Cassandra Schock in downtown Sioux Falls
Out on the (down)town with my brother and his wife, celebrating their birthdays.

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

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