Sarah Klongerbo and friends on a hike

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

June 2021 recap graphic

It’s been a hard month.

Well, that’s not entirely true. The first half of June was wonderful.

The last couple of weeks? Not so much.

I’ll share more details soon, but for now, I’ll just say that I received some difficult news. While I am (and will be) okay, I’m still processing everything, and I appreciate your patience as I do.

(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!)

Anyway, here are a few (admittedly vague) highs, lows, and learnings from last month.

June Highs 😀

I had a lovely meeting with a fellow local freelancer.

I’m an introvert, so networking — even the virtual kind — is not my jam.

However, I know the importance of getting involved in one’s community, both in terms of geography (for me, Sioux Falls) and in terms of industry (for me, website design + copywriting).

So, several weeks ago, I posted about my free Website Launch Checklist in the Startup Sioux Falls Community Facebook group, figuring other local businesses could find it useful.

Free Website Launch Checklist for Creatives

Shortly afterward, another freelancer in town, Caitlin Pisha, reached out to me, and we agreed to grab lunch.

Chatting with Caitlin was so refreshing. As a fellow creative, she has a unique perspective that I find stimulating, especially since I don’t get to interact with other artists very much. And her insights into the regional freelance community were super helpful.

We also talked about the potential of working together. Caitlin is a talented graphic designer who specializes in brand strategy, whereas I specialize in web design and copywriting, so our skill sets certainly complement one another.

We agreed it would be awesome to have a trusted referral or even partner for various projects down the road.

I hope I (and maybe you!) get to work with Caitlin in the future. Either way, meeting with her has inspired me to get more involved in my community, so I can forge even more solid relationships with other freelancers and businesses in my area.

I have the best friends and family.

Speaking of community, I have a really great personal one, too.

In the midst of some tough personal stuff (and, to be fair, some positive stuff as well), I was reminded of just how wonderful my friends and family are.

June was full of fun (golf tournaments, work parties, birthday celebrations, time with out-of-town friends, and a trip to the Black Hills)… and some sadness, too.

Through it all, I’m so grateful for friends, family, and especially a rock-solid husband I can lean on.

Sarah Klongerbo and friends on a hike in the Black Hills

June Lows 😞

[That elephant in the room]

I know I’m being super cryptic about this “tough stuff” I’m dealing with. I promise I’ll share about it when I’m ready.

In the meantime, as you can guess, I’ve been pretty distracted… again… which has taken a bit of a toll on my work and health.

I’m choosing to give myself grace and simply try to get back on the proverbial horse (er, elephant?) every day.

Some projects are moving more slowly than I’d like.

Because of said elephant / horse, I’m having a little trouble maintaining a high level of momentum in my career.

Business is still steady, for sure, but I’ve neglected my own sales and marketing lately, which I think is also leading to a slowdown in client work.

Fortunately, I have a few promising projects in the pipeline, and I always have my agency copywriting to fall back on.

Regardless, June has been a good reminder that if you don’t put in the work — the long, hard work — you can’t reap the best rewards.

Tip / Trick / Tool of the Month 💡

Tip: Say yes to opportunity when you can.

Between my meeting with Caitlin and other coffee dates with people who have reached out for help or advice, I’ve been trying to be more open about seizing opportunity when it comes my way — even if it doesn’t appear to offer any immediate benefits to me.

I learned this from my husband, Troy. He’s a total “yes man,” at least when it comes to business.

In fact, he even wrote about “Why You Should Be(e) Careful About Saying ‘No’” over on his agency’s blog.

I’ve seen firsthand the fruits of Troy’s many yeses. I used to bemoan them, wondering why he would take an hour-long meeting with a random acquaintance during an already busy week.

But as the years have gone on, I’ve witnessed the long-term profit of his opportunistic mindset. It’s led to new clients, employees, connections, and friends. And who knows where it will continue to lead?

I’m personally a bit more protective of my time, and we’re both aware that you should never say yes to everything. Boundaries and all that.

But, if you find that you have a little margin in your schedule, go ahead and accept — or offer! — an opportunity to meet with someone.

And if you don’t have margin? Make a little room.

Even if nothing comes up, you’ll be grateful for some space to rest or play or even (gasp!) get ahead on work.

Trick: Finding text on a webpage using your iPhone

Looking for a specific word or phrase on a webpage?

If you’re like me, you already use Command + F to find words on a desktop web browser multiple times a day.

But what if you’re searching from your iPhone instead?

In Safari: Click into the address bar at the top of your screen, type the text you’re looking for, and find your result under “On This Page.”

In Chrome: Tap the three dots at the bottom-right of your screen, select “Find in Page,” and type the text you’re looking for.

This trick is especially handy when you’ve got food on the stove, and you’re frantically trying to find the right measurement for that one ingredient in the midst of a ridiculously long article on a cooking blog.

Not that I would know.

Tool: Toggl Track

I’ve talked a lot about time tracking in these monthly updates, so I thought I’d share my favorite time-tracking tool.

Toggl has a few different products for businesses, but the only one I’ve tried (so far) is Toggl Track, an intuitive time tracker with great reporting features and a handy Chrome extension.

Toggl Track screenshot

We use Toggl daily at Till Agency, and it’s super efficient.

I actually use the built-in time tracker in Bonsai, my client management software, to track the time I spend on my freelance projects. I prefer Toggl, though.

I suppose I could create a separate Toggl account for my personal work and use it exclusively, but I’m afraid of getting the accounts mixed up. So, for now, I’m keeping them separate.

What do you use to track your time? Got any time-tracking tips for time-challenged me? Let me know!

That’s all I’ve got for June.

(And yes, I’m aware we’re a good week into July now…)

Thank you, as always, for joining my business-building journey. I’m truly trying to keep these updates as honest as I can, so you (and I) can bear witness to the actual ups and downs of this whole process.

Do you own, or are you starting, a business? Feel free to subscribe for future updates and other educational content for entrepreneurs!

Favorite Photos from June 2021

Sarah and Troy Klongerbo golfing
Caddying for my husband in the state Mid-Am golf tournament.
Sarah and Troy Klongerbo golfing
Feelin’ pretty suave after he chipped in for eagle.
Sarah Klongerbo and friends on a hike in the Black Hills
On a hike in Spearfish, SD, with our good friends Matt and Danae.
Troy and Sarah Klongerbo and their dog at Murphy's Pub in Rapid City
Out to dinner at Murphy’s Pub in Rapid City, SD.
Reading The Screwtape Letters with coffee on the cabin deck in the Black Hills
Mornings at my family cabin in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Pali Klongerbo in the Black Hills
Our dog Pali on vacation.
A golden retriever in the Black Hills of South Dakota
Creek dog.
Troy and Sarah Klongerbo on a hike in Spearfish, SD
Sarah Klongerbo's family watching golf in her basement
We invited my over to watch the US Open (and to celebrate Troy’s 31st birthday).
Party on the Klongerbo deck
My nephew was sad about something… while my niece was happy about something else.
Troy Klongerbo eating empanadas at Tarquin in Sioux Falls
Celebrating Troy’s birthday at Tarquin in Sioux Falls.
Sarah Klongerbo eating Argentinian food at Tarquin in Sioux Falls
Apparently Argentinian food tastes a lot like Italian (and I’m here for it).
Sarah Klongerbo and her dad and sister
My sister, my dad, and the hat he bought at a convenience store.
Troy and Sarah Klongerbo out to dinner at 22TEN in Sioux Falls
On a date with my husband’s stache at 22TEN in Sioux Falls.
Sarah Klongerbo and her family at an al fresco dinner
A fun al fresco dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house.

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


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