Day Sixty

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I hope it goes well.  Hah!  Today… I'm 60 days into my 365 challenge.  Wow!

Today went pretty well.  I was a little overwhelmed early in the day, but feel good this evening.  I've noticed that no matter how crummy I feel early in the day, if I actually do some lifting, or something (tonight was an embarrassing show of just how many push-ups I can't do, heh) I always feel better after.  Regardless of what exercise helps or doesn't help with weight, I do feel better when I do something.

Currently I'd really like to give P90X a go, but keep telling myself I should wait a few more days before jumping into buying it…. research it a bit more.  But it was recommended to me and I'm intrigued with it.  I really like having a step-by-step, guided plan for things… and P90X delivers that and with such high recommendations to me personally it's appealing.

I also did the books and tried to do them with a great attitude, because I know that's important.

Anyways, enough about personal things that aren't business related.

Today I worked through an exercise from Terry Dean on outsourcing that brought a TON of clarity.  I also worked through a resource from my coach on hiring on help and that was really great too.  So tomorrow I'll follow through with some of that.

I got a post up on NBBC today (yay).

I also got a post scheduled for the niche site.

I need to get some more core content up on this site and the niche site…  I didn't get anything done on the backlinking project, which I would really to do… so that's a big goal for tomorrow.

The big thing I did today, though, was go through and write up bullet points for the sales letter for the niche product funnel's second product… around 100 of them!! It was super-hard work and not really all that enjoyable.  But, it's done now and it makes the sales letter a lot closer to a reality.  I've promised myself a reward once I get this product up, so I'm more committed to it :p

More tomorrow… hopefully a happy, productive birthday!

Photo by chelmsfordblue

On Fear and Patience

Ask and you shall receive.

I happen to believe that's true, and chances are, you want to believe it, too. Let me tell you, though, God has a sense of humor. Ask for what you want and you'll get it, but it may not be what you're expecting.

I've been scarce the past few weeks because we have had major work done on our house. It has challenged me on so many levels. I never thought I'd learn so much from the experience. I'll be honest, I hoped I'd be able to pop out some short, peppy motivating post from it… but what it taught me is not nearly so pretty.

Fear

When you create your own business, you have to face fear. It takes facing and conquering your fear to strike out on your own. I've prided myself on being pretty brave (and yeah, I've even been a little high and mighty about it). But this renovation left me quaking in ways I never expected.

What we found underneath... fear festering

First, it was expensive. It had to be done… removing the wallpaper from our living room revealed plaster riddled with holes. It was bad, and more than we could take on. We had to hire someone, and now that it's done, it looks amazing. But it was really, really expensive.

We also had a lot of other bills come due around the same time: outside lessons for the kids, CSA dues, etc.

Fear found me. I won't even lie, it's still not gone. With fear comes feeling inadequate, like I'm not doing enough.

So I've asked for abundance. I've asked for wisdom in business. And facing this fear of all these bills all at once has certainly brought me to my knees wondering, why, when I ask for abundance, when we're committed to being free of personal debt, are all of these things coming at once? Why doesn't my business seem to be keeping up with it?

What Fear Taught Me

But the fear that came brought in with it reflection (I was, in fact, blessed – it didn't bring paralysis). My first instinct was to run out and buy a course that would teach me how to “make X dollars in Y hours.”

Then I started reflecting on me… and thinking. I have other fears. Fears of scaling. My business is solid. It makes money. It needs to scale up, though. I can't do it all. But I'm scared. Terrified. How can I let somebody else handle something?

So I'm scared – scared of stepping out and growing my business. I still view money with a fear mindset. I'm also scared of disapproval. It has taken a lot to let go of that in business, and I still face it for some choices (like outsourcing). I'm scared of disapproval for choices in my personal life. I'm working through those fears, doing what I know is right despite what others think.

So I asked for abundance, and I got slammed into a situation where I got to face my ugly, ugly fears. What about you? When you ask for something, what is life giving you?

I believe it's giving me a chance to give up. To say life is pushing me around and I'm not going to try and push up and over. It's throwing in a Dip (a la Seth Godin) and the question is… do you push through the Dip and up to success, or do you quit and whine?

Patience

It's all true with patience, too. Do you ask for patience? If you don't, wait until you have kids 😉

Same wall as above... getting it clean and pretty uncovered a lot of... not so pretty... inside me

But this experience has taken so much patience. Every time I ask for patience, I get a huge situation to deal with that requires patience. It's as if God is sitting up there laughing that he gave me a “trial by fire.”

I've had to deal with a lot of different people and a lot of situations over the past few weeks. Patience has been required to a huge degree.

But it brought with it other things. I'm an introvert, but I had to speak up. I had to be authoritative. I had to call, push, and make things happen. I had to serve as a middle-man, too (which I really hate), to communicate my husband's wishes to the contractors.

Do you have experiences like this in your life? Somebody who really makes your blood boil? How did you handle it? Do you take it for the opportunity to improve yourself? Or do you simply whine (or yell) about the person?

I realized I needed to use it to improve my ability to handle stressful situations, and to deal with people in a calm manner.

By The Way

If you've got kids, let me give you a tip. Handle situations that come up with them right away. Don't let it fester. You don't want to be a bad parent. You don't want to upset your kids. But it will be a lot worse 15 minutes from now when you're really ticked off… or maybe 2 hours from now. Take care of it, now.

But that really applies to everything in your life, right? There are some things you can let sit. But generally, you should take care of situations when they arrive.

Get over yourself. Get over your fears. Ramp up the patience. Do what you need to do — right now — in your family, in your business, in your life.

And remember, ask and you will receive. Just be careful what you wish for. You may be surprised with what you get.

Day Fifty Nine

Tonight is a “coming in under the wire” night, but at least I'm going to get the stupid blog post done.

Today was a rough day. This morning wasn't bad. The kids and I started a major scrubbing of the kitchen, needed after being cluttered full of tons of stuff during the dining room / living room renovation. It's looking a lot better. That went well and I felt good.

After all of that, though, the day got frustrating. My iPad came back to me with a fixed screen but completely malfunctioning, so off it went again today after a call to the warranty company and my feeling really, really frustrated.

My toddler was a bit annoying today. I try not to complain about the kids, really, because I think their issues tend to stem from me. But geez. I need to remember to nip his issues in the bud, because when I keep putting it off I eventually lose my cool. One of the big kids really got in hot water, too, for copping an attitude about cleaning.

So, well, I feel like I really didn't accomplish much today. I did get some things done. I wrote a post for this blog (yay!) – it will go live tomorrow morning.

Got tweets posted today… finally.

I also went through my product for the niche site and listed out tons of features… I have one section to go through and then I'll have a list of probably 100 features to start working into benefit-focused bullets.

I went through some job descriptions, too, on ODesk to get some ideas on how to try and hire some help for backlink building. It's a goal to overcome my fear of that and get some candidates going so I can get somebody to help me scale all of this. Even with Scott's help on some submissions I just can't do it all.

Hopefully a better day tomorrow. I'm praying that I learned my lessons today.

Photo by jim68000

 

 

 

Day Fifty Eight

Well, well, well, finally the major renovation work is done! Today was a crazy day but a relatively productive one.

I got one big video done for my backlinking strategy, so I feel like that's finally moving along. One of the issues is that I'm documenting as I go along, so it takes more time. I have to think about “ok, this should be step A, this should be step B, etc.” It's tougher to think that way, but I want to be able to teach others through my systems (and videos), so I need to do the think-through as I go along.

I also got some important emails written and listened to an audio interview I've been meaning to listen to.

I did some more thinking on goals, outsourcing, scaling, etc.

And I did some writing and editing. I need to work on getting some actual content up on the sites, especially this one.

Tomorrow I'm going to work on trying to get the rest of my house back together (mostly), and get some writing done.

There's so much going on right now with the house, health, etc. We did some lifting this afternoon. My little stringbean Cassidy deadlifted 45lbs! I'm impressed!! It's a lot of fun to see everyone lifting and I'm really enjoying it. My birthday is this week and I think I might just get a bench 😉 That will make it even more fun =D

Anyways, on to tomorrow, with more work – I'm going to push to get the sales letter for my second product for the niche site done, and get some actual content written along with other stuffs… we'll see how that goes.

Photo by moe_

Day Fifty Seven

Ah geez, and I did it again! I forgot a 365 entry. I did do things yesterday…

Today I relaxed, enjoyed the family, and got a lot of reading done. That was nice. In addition to reading, I did a lot of thinking. I've found that stepping back from “work, work, work” often makes my brain turn in ways that it hasn't before.

So I was thinking, and reflecting on the purchasing of “how to IM” products. I'll admit, I've purchased my fair share of them. They're addicting, lol. The latest, greatest things.

But when I thought about it, I realized that what works really well for me is the same as what has been working for me. In other words, it doesn't matter what I buy, my proven strategies are basically still working.

The issue is really with scaling. If I had, for instance, hired out some writing for article distribution with the money that I've spent on IM products… well I'd have a lot of articles written for me and sitting out there to possibly build up some links! Or, even better, generating opt-ins to my list.

It's a different mindset, I think. It comes away from “what can I do?” — especially on a low level like traffic generation. I know what works! It comes to “how do I scale this without pulling out my hair?” So my coach recommends putting aside 5-10% of what you make to building up some sort of outsourcing (whatever you don't like)… and I think that I really need to do that. There are some things that I absolutely HATE doing, and some things I enjoy, and somethings I want to do because I feel it's important (creating my own products, writing for my sites).

Anyways, so the day was spent mulling and solidifying some ideas. And a healthy dose of reading.

Photo by kirstyhall

Day Fifty Six

Everyone has to have an off week where they're not as productive as usual, so I'm going to consider last week my “off week.”

Today was a good day, but I mostly just took it easy and relaxed quite a bit.  I enjoyed my “mostly finished” front room, lifted some weights, and started planning next month's grocery menus.  Did a little reading, worked on a WordPress theme, and not too much else.

Sometimes it's good just to relax and I'm really trying to give myself time on the weekends to do just that.  I tend to want to work, work, work, work and I don't want my kids to remember me as being an exhausted, always busy mama.  I want to enjoy them some, too.  Of course, Scott is playing through the Myst series again, so Mama is not nearly as cool as watching Daddy play those :p

Tomorrow I intend to take it pretty easy, too.  I'd like to catch up on some reading and do a little organizing around my desk and my desktop.  I'm hopeful that the contractors will be totally finished on Monday and I can also work a bit on getting my house back together and getting back to the “normal” routine.

All of this work has left us with a beautiful front room… but it has also brought a lot of doubt into my mind about actually moving, which is what we want to do.  Sometimes I doubt that I'm doing anything helpful with my business because I'm still not seeing the returns I want to see.  It's hard to work year after year and feel like I'll never see that work really pay off.  It's frustrating to feel like I can never go from saying “yes, I make a nice part-time income” to “yes, I'm making a full-time income.”

I know that the doubt is there to get me to give up, to get me to quit, to get me to spin my wheels.  It's a time to sit down, focus on what will bring me the biggest returns, and dive in.  It's also time to remember that God is bigger than me, and that if I listen to him, and listen to good advice from those he's brought into my life, I will see progress.

It just feels so slow sometimes, and sometimes so impossible.  I have to remember that it's not.

[quote]”Luke 18:27  And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”[/quote]

Photo by solvencyiiwire.com

Day Fifty Five

And again, I don't write.  I can't make a habit of this.  Tomorrow is our anniversary, so tonight Scott and I went out for dinner.  It was so nice.  Such a contrast to last night, when I was exhausted and close to tears!

I can't say that today was terribly productive, either, though it was better than yesterday.  I spent part of the day making yet more phone calls (this time to an electrician) and relating my tales of yesterday to my son's violin teacher.

Though that seems like an odd choice, it's really quite strategic.  I don't remember the book I read it in… maybe one of Malcom Gladwell's… but I read about different types of people.  Mavens, Connectors, etc.  Well, our fantastic violin teacher is a Connector.  She knows everyone!  She's a good person to relate things like this to because she does know everyone (including lead contractors working on our project) and she likes our family 🙂  I don't know that anything will come of it, but I'm working on trying to leverage relationships better and I know that mentioning the right things to the right people can work in our favor.

Anyways, other than that, I did get a few things done today.

  • I wrote several articles for article marketing with the niche site
  • FINALLY figured out how to save an entire project in my new software
  • Got signed up/set up with several other article directories to use as part of the backlinking strategy I'll be testing
  • Stepped through some initial procedures in my backlinking strategy to test/document them

Of course, I also made it through the day in one piece, made grain-free chicken nuggets for my kiddos and Angie (our awesome friend who stayed with them while we went out), had an absolutely fantastic dinner with my hubby, and enjoyed walking around with him looking at weight benches and Olympic weight sets… Also got new screen protectors for my newly-repaired iPad screen and a new one for my iPhone since the old one on that really needs to be replaced.  All-in-all it was a good day.  Tomorrow is our actual anniversary, and I intend to enjoy it 🙂

Photo by kirstyhall

Day Fifty Four

Wow.  So I completely forgot to do this entry.  Today was one of those totally horrible days that just completely knocks you off of your routine.

I didn't get much done today due to lots of contractors in the house and lots of things ending up going wrong.  I got a couple of articles done for article marketing and honestly I'm not sure much else.

I'm sure that in a few days I'll think of more ways that such a challenging day has helped me, and how to apply it to my business.  Dealing with people in a calm manner is certainly probably a skill-building exercise.  But for now, I'm reeling and I'm tired… and most of all I really just want my house back.

The good news is that the front room is looking really nice.  So nice I don't want to stuff it back full of everything we had in it before!!

Photo by kirstyhall

Day Fifty Three

Tomorrow I get kicked out of my house.  At least, for a little while.

I really am a total homebody.  I don't like going anywhere or being away from home.  I dislike Friday afternoons when I'm running the kids around to lessons and have to be gone for hours.  But I think their lessons are important.

I like going out with the family, hiking, shopping, etc… but I always feel relieved when we're back at home again 🙂

So I'm feeling really uncomfortable about having to leave for awhile in the morning while they do some environmental testing in the house.  We're just going to down the street to the library, so I'll even have internet access.  But it's still not home.

Anyways. I have to complain somewhere :p

In a sense it's a good thing, though.  I'm limited as to what I can do, so I've decided I'll work on getting articles written for article distribution 😀  That's always a really good thing to do.

Not having my iPad this week (broken glass is being repaired) has actually been good in a way, because I've rediscovered just how much my little netbook can do.  There are some programs that iOS just doesn't have, and some times that a real PC is a great thing for.

I've gotten it updated and jazzed up some and I'll be packing it along with me tomorrow.

Today was more productive than yesterday but I'd still like to have gotten more done 🙂

I feel like I've gotten a lot done for the niche site lately, and I'm moving along with the content refresh on the other two sites… but I want to do more directly for Milk and Mud.  I want to get the core content built up, and I want to start really building the blog up.

I read RSS feeds and other blogs, but I'm just not really good at commenting.  The thought of guest blogging appeals to me some, but in other ways it doesn't.  Networking is not my strong suite and I'm not sure how to go about it.  I'm exploring some options for that.

I really like the idea of lightly connecting on Facebook and Twitter… and I like the idea of podcasting and making videos for Youtube.  Do I need to spend tons of time blog commenting to do that?  If I write here, and spend some time on Twitter and Facebook, and podcast/do videos, is blog commenting really essential?  And how do I balance all of that?

It's an interesting exploration.

Anyways, I'm moving along with the first steps of getting into the backlinking project, so I'll write more about that soon and get moving with documentation of the niche site case study.  I'll also work on this and develop some goals for Youtube/Podcasting.  It will be interesting to see where things go through March.  Always so many goals and so much streamlining.

Photo by reniassancechambara

Day Fifty Two

Today was a low-productivity day.  We all have them, but I dislike having them during the week.  I prefer for them to be on the weekend, when I'm generally hanging out with the family or reading.

But today was just one of those days where I found it really hard to focus.  It went a lot better than yesterday family-wise, but I just felt really scattered.

I spent some time learning a new program, and since there's always a learning curve, that took some time.  Once I got the hang of it, though, it went well and I can see using it in my business.  I'll play with it some more tomorrow, too.

I got several posts scheduled on the niche blog, and I also got a new page of content up on NBBC, but I didn't get anything up on this blog and I'm a bit behind where I want to be content-wise.

Normally I'd say something like “it's just so hard to keep up with all the projects” – but today that really wasn't true.  I spent a lot of time puttering and wasting my day.

I've had so much going on in life lately with working on the house, my business, myself, my family.  It's amazing how full a year can be – and we're only a couple of months into it!!

Anyways, tomorrow I'd like to get a lot more done.  I did get that audio fixed for GSC's next funnel product, so I will start working on bonuses and the sales letter for that 🙂

There's so much to do — I just need to pray and prioritize it right.  Hopefully next week we'll be back to the normal schedule for our family, which means less time to work, but a little bit less of a chance of hot tempers, so it's a better place.  But I have a few more days of getting to work more intensely until then… so I had better make the most of it I possibly can with 5 kiddos running around!

Photo by kirstyhall