building the business

Fourteen Days into the Venture

hustle hard workToward the end of 2015, I decided to try again in 2016 to start my own venture and to forge my own path. Originally, I planned to write a blog post each day (or every other day) chronicling the long, hard and lonely road, especially since information about the beginning of the journey is hard to come by. Everyone talks after they're successful, after they've made it and, most likely, after others hear about them and want to talk to them about what they are doing. Hardly anyone talks about the early days, before there's traction or product/market fit or paying customers or investments. But, I think those early days are some of the most important to talk about. I think it's important to be open about how shitty some days are and how much work it takes to get traction and product marketing fit. I think we really ought to talk about how deep you have to dig within yourself in order to keep going when no customers show up, when your product isn't working, when you're running out of money and when others tell you that you can't do it.

Then Why Didn't I Start the Conversation?

I don't have a good reason. I wondered what I would write about on those days where I have nothing to show for the fruits of my labors. What's there to say when I don't get the sponsorship deal, or when no one watches the stream, besides reporting that those things happened? Perhaps I would've figured what to write if I actually started writing instead of making excuses.

I understand now that not knowing what to write was a terrible reason, but better start now than never and start the conversation that I think should be had a little more often. It's a much more real conversation to have in my opinion, since success isn't overnight, no matter how much it seems to be from the outside. I also think a conversation likes this acknowledges failures and missteps as part of the process of success instead of the antitheses of success.

If All We Talk about are Winners, then What Does This Say About Losing?

Not everything is going to work. Not everyone wins. Not everyone wins every time. Not every step is a step in the right direction. This doesn't mean those steps were wrong or bad. This doesn't mean that those lonely days where no customers show up are indicative of anything personal or permanent. The days where it feels like you're banging your head against a wall are part of forging your own path, and a part of life. In hindsight, the tough moments are easier to canonize and incorporate into the larger story of success. But, on that day, without hindsight, it just sucks.

But, failures and missteps are okay. They only represent who you are if you choose to let them represent you.

So, before I can fit failures and bad days neatly into a narrative of victory, I'm going to start the conversation and document the lonely road on this venture. I know it will take a lot of hustle and hard work. I know the great things won't happen overnight.

I know a lot of people will tell my I'm crazy, that I ought to quit, that I can't do it, that it's not possible etc. Those comments are going to come. Shrugging all of that off is easier said than done. Sticking to your guns is easier said than done. I'm not writing this post and wanting to have this conversation because I'm delusional about myself and my abilities. I'm doing this, and want to do this, to showcase how hard it is not to be.

1st Post of the New Year!

Happy 2014!Happy New Year! Last year, I pledged to blog every single day, and that lasted about a month. Ever since then, my blogging has essentially been a series of fits and starts. I do it for a week or two, only to run out of time, ideas, or both. Even with my 50 blog post ideas list, I've only done about 15 of those articles, and maybe about 25 posts total since I wrote that list.

What To Do This Year

I'm really not sure if I want to pledge anything to the blog this year. I feel that 2013 was full of plans, pledges, dreams and not a whole lot of action. I didn't follow through with many things I said I would work on or accomplish. Partly, I don't want to pledge anything because I don't need another goal or task on my to-do list. I also don't have any clue as to what I would want to pledge or would want out of this blog. The focus of it has always changed, and I've never been able to settle on an idea to which I want to commit. That's something I want to work on this year, so consider "commitment" my chosen theme for 2014. Since I spent so much time planning to do things and not actually doing those things that I planned, I'd like to change that by committing to a few things and following through with my plans. Since I restart my business coaching next week, and part of my coaching involves daily journaling, I'll probably be blogging much more often to chronicle the coaching and my growth process. I think that's more fun than doing it all in Evernote, as my coach prefers, so I'll journal here and then put the links into her Evernote.

2014, Here I Come!

I am still excited for the New Year, however. Things have started off swimmingly, and I have high hopes for the next few coming months. My news gigs are steady and a lot of fun, while get to spend the time informing myself of what's going on in the world. I also still have steady work from my clients, so I have plenty to keep me busy and afloat. Time management is going to be key for me, but because I restart my coaching next week, I'll have an accountability buddy in my life to help me stay on track and to hold me accountable to all these plans.

One goal/resolution that I have for 2014 is to get an iPhone. I know I'm late to the party since it's 2014 and I don't have a smartphone yet, but I definitely need to get one this year since I work for a news app. I need to be able to buy the app and use it on my phone. I want to be able to show the app to people when I tell them about the app and my work. I want to see the app working in real time and use it the way a normal customer would use it so I can be better and more customer-centric when I do my own work. It'll be nice to have a smartphone finally and to take advantage of this amazing productivity tool. The iPhone is one goal/resolution that's certain because I can't work for an app but not be able to access the app. For most places, it's not acceptable to work somewhere but not to use the product or service of your employer.

I don't have anything else set except to stay the course and to work hard. I need to do a lot of building and rebuilding this year since I hardly did any of that in 2013.

Why You Should Hire Me to Manage Your Social Media

manage your social mediaSocial media is a daily time commitment. If you, or your company, isn't willing to commit the time, then one of two things need to happen. Either limit the number of social networks you use to something that's manageable, or outsourcing your social media marketing. If you are choosing the latter, partly because you don't just want to use Facebook, then consider hiring me to do the rest! Here's why you should hire me to manage your social media:

I Have Proven Results

One of my social media marketing clients is a nitrogen tire inflation company called Nitrofleet99. When I started working on their social media presence, all the company had was a Facebook profile with about 15 fans. This was in June 2012. To date, November 2013, Nitrofleet99 has 383 fans on its Facebook page, an accomplishment based on some Facebook advertising but primarily on a content amplification and promotion strategy that focused on consistent and regular engagement. Part of consistent and regular engagement is updating your social media profiles every day while planning this content in advance. This strategy enables me to spend the day-to-day work engaging with followers while the research of appropriate content takes place well before this content is scheduled for sharing.

Since June 2012, I've also added a Twitter account and a Google+ account for the company. Not only do these presences exist, but both the Facebook page and the Google+ profile have ranked on the first page of Google for the term, "nitrogen tire inflation."

I Understand that Social Media Can't Work in a Silo

Part of what makes social media marketing difficult and time-consuming for businesses is that they consider it separate from the website and other marketing efforts. This is a huge mistake, as isolating social media means that your marketing efforts can't drive visitors and leads to the website (and the company), while eliminating a huge opportunity for the business to amplify the content and promotions happening on the website or in the email newsletter. My previous employer, for example, has a lot of great videos on its blog featuring different customers and services of the customer. However, these videos can only be found on the blog and can't be found anywhere on social media, YouTube in particular. Why my previous employer won't share these things on YouTube, or any other social network, is beyond me. Why are you creating this content if you don't amplify it through social media? By keeping these things to one or two platforms, instead of strategically using all of them to reach as many people as possible, you are essentially leaving leads and visitors on the table for your competitor to grab.

If You Need Content to Share on Social Media, I Can Do That Too

There's a 50/50 rule in social media marketing: 50% of what you share needs to be your own content, while the other half is the content of others. Most companies are surprised that their social media marketing efforts aren't entirely about the, but others do realize that your social media marketing doesn't matter too much if all you're doing is sharing other people's content. No one is going to be come a fan or follower (and they certainly won't become a customer) if you don't have any original research, or thought leadership, or helpful information of your own to offer. This is where I can come in. I can create blog posts, white papers, press releases, newsletter articles, essentially anything that would be awesome to share on Facebook or Twitter that you can slap with your company's branding. After all, the goal to accomplish with social media marketing is to show that your company is the one that can address the needs and pain points of your customers. By only sharing the content of others, you're really saying that it's your competitors and these other thought leaders who really know what they are doing.

I'm not an intern or college student whose a good fit for a social media role because I'm young or a digital native. I'm a good fit for the social media role because I know what I'm doing, and I've been doing this long enough to know how to understand a brand so that results happen on social media. I know how to use Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/Google+ to achieve the results the client wants to see.

Guide to Small Business Phone System Brands

small business phone systemsThere are many phone system brands and companies out there. In fact, there are no fewer than 50 different companies out there that provide business phone systems. Of course, there are the big, well-known brands like Panasonic, Cisco, Samsung, and Toshiba. Surely, they are good brands and can provide you with a good business phone system. But, are these systems really the best ones for small business? What do some of the smaller brands have to offer? This is a short guide to five business phone system brands that are recommended for small businesses. All of them are smaller than the big guys previously mentioned, but that doesn’t mean that their product or service is small on utility.


Formerly known as Packet8, 8x8 offers a hosted phone service solution, using the latest VoIP technology. All services are delivered directly over the Internet, so features can be accessed by employees who are in the office, traveling, or working remotely. So, 8x8 would be a good vendor for small business that has traveling or work-from-home employees, rather than one where employees need to be at the office regularly. With all hosted solutions, you’ll need a fast and reliable Internet connection to ensure that business demands are met for phone usage as well as other activities such as Web and email usage. The good thing about an 8x8 business phone system is that you aren’t sacrificing some of the features of a traditional phone system, like personalized voicemail, call forwarding, and three-way calling.


As with 8x8, Nextiva offers a hosted solution using VoIP technology. A Nextiva business phone system is better for a small business that would like a hosted phone service, but might not use the system all that much. Nextiva offers some very low rates – but for limited calling each month. Nextiva is also a good choice for microbusinesses, companies with fewer than 10 employees, as the three plans Nextiva offers are for one, four, and eight users. Features include holiday and after-hours greetings, voicemail to email, and number portability.


Vocalocity also offers a hosted solution, but is also one of the most customizable business phone system vendors on this list. You’re cost will depend on how many features, and which features, you would like. Small businesses can choose to incorporate mobile phones into the Vocalocity business phone system as well. Optional features include call conferencing, call recording, and paging groups (where you can broadcast messages to your employees through the business phone system). Another good feature is that each phone comes with its own phone number, instead of just an extension.


If you have a broadband connection, you can take advantage of Aptela's VoIP service and get big business productivity and mobility solutions—without the big business price tag. If you’re considering Aptela, the company offers a 30-minute test drive of their business phone system. Two great features about the Aptela business phone system include the support of green initiatives and administrative functions such as loudspeaker paging, password management, and call history. Payment starts at $25 a month per person, but a minimum of $50 per month is needed before your business can sign up for a calling plan.


Offering both hosted and server-based solutions, Fonality has competitive pricing for the value. If you have over 20 employees, it’s recommended to go with Fonality’s server-based solution, although this solution requires more up-front costs and ongoing maintenance by your own employees, which can take attention away from core business needs (unless you already have a robust IT staff). Besides that, Fonality’s business phone system options are very flexible and have a per-person monthly payment that’s better suited for smaller businesses. A nice feature about Fonality is that the company provides detailed reporting for all extensions and search filters, in case you’re suspicious about your employees making personal calls while on the job.

Take Away

Purchasing that small business phone system can be a difficult process, especially since there are so many aspects of which to keep track. The number of users, the different features, hosted versus server, all of that makes a difference in pricing and in which vendor would be the best fit for your small business. Certainly, this guide isn’t meant to be an exhaustive one to what’s out there. But, it’s a start in navigating these complicated lines.

A Few Places to Get Your Tech Essentials (For Less!)

tech essentialsSure, your business may not necessarily need tablets or the latest mobile phone models to operate. But, there are some technologies that are essential to running your business. You probably need at least one computer or laptop, a phone system, and a quality web presence. All that costs money to purchase and to maintain, but you couldn’t possibly run your business without them. Fortunately, there are a few places to go where you can get your business tech essentials for less than what you’d normally have to pay if you went to a retailer. Here are a few of those wonderful places of savings:

Newegg is an electronics discount website with everything from computer hardware to cameras to home theater equipment. If you are okay with a refurbished laptop or desktop, than this is the place to go. The great thing about Newegg is that many of the products come with user reviews, so you’re still able to compare and to evaluate products without having to go to a store. Newegg also has tons of daily deals and additional promotions so going on, so you’re sure to find a bargain on this site. It’s also a little more reliable than going through an online wanted ads site like Craigslist. A site very similar to Newegg is

Daily Deal Sites

There are plenty of them out there that cater specifically to small businesses, such as RapidBuyr or OfficeArrow. The deals include much more than tech products, so you’ll be able to find discounts on everything else a small business might need, from virtual assistant services to a social media book to accounting services. These sites are free to sign up for, and OfficeArrow offers a lot more than daily deals. They also have articles and templates on every business topic and task imaginable.

Service Providers

If you already have a service provider in place, say for data storage or your phone system, you may be able to find a discount if you simply ask. Some providers have specials for startups and small businesses. You also may be able to save money if you use one provider for a variety of different services. In other words, bundle services. For example, 37Signals offers four web-based apps for small businesses: Highrise (customer relation management), Campfire (group chat), Backpack (internal communications), and Basecamp (project management). To get all four through 37signals only costs $99 a month, when getting all four through four separate providers could cost double that. If you don’t have any service providers in place yet, make sure to ask how the company can help you.

As a new business, you certainly aren’t in a place to be settling on any price. It’s in your best interest to find the best prices, since money saved means money that you can invest in other aspects of your business, such as marketing or hiring staff. You’re already going to have to work for the money, so let the money do some work for you by taking a look at ways to get your tech essentials for less.

What Do I Do with This Inbound Marketing Stuff?

what to do with all this inbound marketing stuf It stresses me out that I don't have much idea of what to do with all this inbound marketing, business blogging, and content marketing knowledge. The best I have is that I can apply it to online media and publishing, but that's about it. For some reason, I feel like I should do something more with it besides applying it to something else. It's still interesting and important stuff, so I want to keep up with the topic without just passively consuming it or reading up about it. I want to apply it in ways besides improving my business.

Consulting Work?

I could turn most of Stirring Media's current services into consulting work. I think there's less competition for things like inbound marketing consulting and content marketing consulting, versus being a marketing agency or providing those services. I also think that I would make a very good consultant. One of the most frustrating things about the work I was doing previously (and now, to an extent. I still need to make an income as I build the online publishing portion) is that consulting isn't in the contract so I usually felt somewhat constrained when providing services. One clients only posts 250-350 word posts. Even if I do give them 600-800 word posts, they cut out half of it and post a 300-word version. I could say something if I were a consultant, but would saying something mean anything if I just provide the service? They're not paying me to listen to me, and even if they did listen to me, would they tell their other contributors to double the size of their posts? I really don't know if they'd change, even though the change would make my service more effective and their blog better. As an agency, you can't really be an agency of change unless a client hires you to be an agent of change and to create strategy as well as content. However, if you're not hired to do that, it's then a hassle to get some money's worth out of the information. You don't want to do too much consulting for free.

There is the Stirring Standard

I started this site a while ago as a publication that sources most of its content from business blogs. The point was the give great business blogs a platform for their content, a way to have the good stuff rise above the rest. It would also be one more way to get found online and to set some standards for what's considered good content. This is something that needs to happen soon as more and more folks jump into content marketing, so we're all starting to just drown each other out and to make it harder for our target audience to find our content. Also, this site would have been a way to give businesses and their stories a little more legitimacy while building back links. I believe businesses have good stories to tell and can offer something valuable and beneficial to people. I think businesses can go beyond selling a product or service, much more than was possible or necessary than years past. People don't want to be sold to anymore. Anyway, still don't know what to do with the site. Not sure if I would pursue the business blog idea.

At least with consulting idea, I have an additional source of income that I could utilize right now. I also wouldn't need to delete so many pages from the website. I could simply rewrite most of them, so I would only take a temporary hit to SEO instead of a permanent one (it would be permanent because the pages would be gone, and it would probably leave broken links strewn across my website, which would also hurt). I better add this to the revenue model, and then send all my homework to my business coach.

3 Things That Annoy Me as a Former Content Marketer

annoying things about content marketing One of the things that's especially difficult about changing the direction of your business is getting out of those old habits. Since I"m moving into online publishing, where inbound marketing and content marketing have their place but not their former prominence, I am having some trouble figuring out what to do with my business blogging and inbound marketing knowledge. I understand that it could prove useful when creating our own stuff and marketing said stuff, but I don't quite need to keep up with the ins and outs the same way I now need to for online publishing and media (which, from initial research, is proving a little harder than I thought).

Through all this, I came across some of the many things that annoy me about content marketing. Primarily, it's when people do it wrong and the right way is seemingly obvious (or should be known by the person/entity committing the transaction). Now that I'm moving away from the business, I can vent without worrying of the perception that I am just harping on competition. Here are three things that bother me about business blogs and content marketing:

  1. Marketing agencies with horrible business blogs (especially if they offer blogging services) - There aren't many marketing agencies these days that are strictly direct, traditional, or offline marketing. Nearly all offer primarily or entirely online marketing services. A major part of online marketing is business blogging, and this cannot be ignored or washed over as if blogging is going to go away tomorrow (because it's not). Therefore, it bothers me when a marketing agency doesn't even have a blog, or doesn't even follow blogging best practices (like publishing something once every two months, or not including photos with their posts). It's even worse if the agency offers blog writing or business blogging services of some kind. I think it's very representative of an agency and its services when it can't even do its own blog and its own online marketing right.
  2. Great business blogs with no easy or obvious way to subscribe - I came across an excellent online media and publishing blog today through my research. I wanted to subscribe to the blog, but I couldn't find a place to follow it or to put in my email. I couldn't even subscribe via RSS feed. I suppose the only way to follow the blog is to bookmark it. But, isn't part of the point of having a great business blog is building a subscriber base? You can't even tell if someone's bookmarked your site. I have no interest in this company's custom content or SEO services. I just want to read your blog, share your content, perhaps write a response to an article or two. I guess I'm going to have to take that elsewhere.
  3. Horrible Formatting - Just an FYI, something like the example below looks horrible:

horrible formatting

First of all, what kind of a caption is that? I can't even tell if that's supposed to be a caption, or an introduction, or an interesting side note. It's kind of long for a caption, and doesn't say much about the picture. If you have an educated guess, please tell me in the comments. Second of all, why is this "caption" to the side like that? It gets in the way of the actual lead sentence, and forces the picture to be small. Besides, there's all that blank space. Why isn't is underneath, so it's not confusing to the reader of where you should start reading? Third, giving your next paragraph, or introductory paragraph, or whatever that is, such minimal real estate is awkward and constraining. Fourth, pictures should be aligned on the right, not the left. People read from right to left, so starting with the picture is jarring and ruins the flow of reading the content.

As a side note, I understand that this isn't always necessarily the fault of the writer or the content marketer. One of my clients just updated his blog, and now the formatting is atrocious. You can't get the pictures to format correctly. I have no idea what he did and I have yet to figure out a way, if any, to remedy it on my end. However, don't leave something like that up for everyone to see, especially if you can fix it. It reflects badly on you while hurting the user experience.

Okay, I'm Finished

Time to put myself and my talents to better use.

Today is Going to Be the Day

today is going to be the dayIt's getting really close to midnight, so "today" could actually be up for debate here. But, today is going to be the day that I make a few changes for the better, that I do what needs to be done to build myself a successful business and to be recognized as an expert in my chosen fields. I need to get myself going and to make some progress.

I'm Going Back to the Office

It's been weeks since I was at Lab1500. I've been there once in the past month, and that was to do my VIP day. Other than that, I've been staying home and working. The biggest reason for this is that my sleep schedule is all screwed up. I've been going to bed at 1 a.m. for at least a week, which makes it hard to get up at a reasonable hour the next morning. Getting up late means that it's tough to get down to the office because they close at six, and I don't want to go down there for just two or three hours. Lab1500 did just announce that they were going to do 24/7 service, but I do think I need to get my sleep schedule fixed. It does mean spending one or two days completely tired, but I just need to bite the bullet and get it done. I also feel really guilty about being a night owl, sleeping when everyone else is working. Then again, I am working when everyone else is sleeping. I don't quite know what to do. I'll ask my business coach.

Working on My New Business Ventures

I haven't made much progress on my upcoming coffee blog either. I created a contact page today, and did research on how to write a review policy, but that's it. I will get the first coffees that I'm going to review, and find a good shop to review as well. However, I am starting to think that I might have to do a few reviews first, and then develop a policy. You know, figure out the system first and then put it into writing. Haven't had the funds to get everything started on the right first. I do need to buy the domain name, and figure out the hosting stuff. I also need to catch up on all the great stuff Sean Ogle has sent me.

Speaking of which, I do need to start migrating my pages off my site from HubSpot. I need to cancel my account because I can't afford it, but I don't want to lose the work that I've done so far. I'll put that on my task list for the weekend. I think I'll move them all either to my Stirring Standard blog or to my current Stirring Media site, which does need revamping also since I will be changing the direction of my business. I think I need to make another giant To-Do list.

This is What I Need to Do...

And today is going to be the day to do it. I've been slouching around a little too long, and perhaps I needed a bit of a break or impromptu vacation, but it's gotta end sometime cause I can't be this way forever. I don't think I'm going to get that successful business or accomplish any of my goals with this kind of schedule and this kind of pace. I'm getting things done, but I'm not getting enough done. Just doing what needs to be done and I'm going to end up running in place again. I don't think I got far with my previous business because I spent too much time doing what needed to be done today, instead of doing things that moved the business forward and put it in a position to grow.

Passing the Time, Waiting for My Beets to Grow

i am bored I am bored. I haven't been bored in a long time. I really shouldn't be bored, as there are plenty of things that I need to do, or that I could do, but I don't want to do any of them right now. Actually, the one thing that I want to do is play Plants vs. Zombies Adventures on Facebook, but I have to wait another two hours for my beets to grow. Beets are awesome because they headbutt the zombies and kill them really quickly. They are cool, and I do hope they show up in the Plants vs. Zombies sequel coming out next month.

In the Meantime...

I'm blogging because it's something that I can do and that I need do. Perhaps it could get my mind going enough to do something else, like read or work on my business or look for freelancing work. I've already done my chores: washing dishes, doing the laundry, cooking rice, and cleaning the bathroom. I'll vacuum tomorrow. After all, I don't want to be this way tomorrow too. I need to leave myself a few things to do. Actually, putting all this into words make me feel like kind of a loser. I can do so much better than writing about being bored, and being bored of course.

Writing Down the Bones

I've begun reading Writing Down the Bones again, for the third or fourth time actually. I think I need to get back into "writing from my bones", especially since I've spent so much time over the past two years or so writing for other people and writing for reasons other than the personal ones. Also, with content marketing and writing for other people, you often have to take yourself out of it. You're not writing for yourself. You're writing for an audience or what the client thinks is needed for their audience or their purposes. Sure, these things can have personality, but how personal can topics like 'blog article headlines' and 'nitrogen tire inflation myths' and 'military identity theft' get? Even if I did have a personal anecdote to go with these things, you can't always inject that into the white paper or blog post or whatever it is you're writing.

Maybe this blog will be "Blogging Down the Bones"? I like the alliteration, but I feel like that title doesn't make as much sense as the original. I also get the impression that skeletal remains are going to appear within my posts. I don't want that.

Random Facts about Me?

One of the things that I do need to work on for my blogging and my business is to come up with facts about myself and turn those facts into interesting relevant bios. This blog needs a unique bio (it also needs a new tagline, a new blog goal, and maybe a more defined niche) and my coffee blog needs a unique bio too. I've been using the same bio that I wrote a few years ago, one that was needed for the online publications to which I was contributing. I either don't contribute to them anymore, or the bio is probably outdated. If anything, this list would be a lot of fun to do and would also be beneficial toward working on my brand and CEO identities, which I need to do as part of my business breakthrough stuff. I wonder if my business coach expects all that do be done by Thursday? Probably.

Well, since I made rice, my dinner is just about ready. Rice and lots of veggies with a sesame seed dressing. Yum yum! I do think Sean ate the rest of the ice cream though. That's sad. We do need to go to the grocery store anyway.

Snow Day Today

snow day todayToday is a snow day in St. Louis. Lots of places ended up closing, closing early. I ended up working from home because the event I planned to attend tonight was postponed to next week, and even though I take the bus (and the bus is always running) the weather made it seem like the sidewalks were going to be awfully slippery. I don't like the idea of eating it on the sidewalk. I don't like the idea of waiting for the bus when it's below 20 outside, and that the bus is probably running late because the road conditions are so horrible. I love snow days because they don't exist in Hawaii, so interesting things happen on snow days like people leaving early from work to beat the weather, and fun things falling from the sky, and the fact that things close in St. Louis but if this happened in other cities around the country nothing would close and it would be business as usual. I also like the idea that everything shuts down and that people stay home and its okay to be lazy or to take the day to plan or to think about the future (when am I never planning or thinking about the future?) Snow days are interesting. I wish Hawaii had sun days, where it would be too hot or humid to go to school.

Today is Also Poker Day

Yes, it is! I think I might start playing in an hour or two, after I finish this blog post and maybe do a bit more work. Yes, even with the snow day I've been getting things done. I still have to catch up from not getting much done over the past few days, so I do find it a relief the event got postponed. I feel like I have some extra time to get things done. The only thing I'm worried about with playing poker is if the power or the Internet cuts out. I've had problems with that previously when the weather was severe, so it would really suck if I'm in the middle of a good hand and I lose it because I couldn't place my bet. I actually had a strong showing the last time I played. I was up for the day, even though I did make a few bad plays. Those bad plays did cost me some money, no doubt about it, but I feel like I'm playing very well and that I just need to plug these leaks.

Building the Business

One thing that I've realized recently is that I haven't been pursuing jobs on Elance and on other sites as much as I used to. Part of it is that I'm worrying about meeting the needs of current clients, so I don't have the time anymore to pursue leads. Part of it is also that I am starting to get more leads, and more qualified leads, through my website, so the time that I do have is better spent on those. Both are good problems to have, but I also don't want to be put in a position where I am unable to grow or unable to support growth.

Another thing I just realized about building my business is that I've slacked off somewhat on improving my website. It was a point since the beginning of the year to tackle a page per week, making the necessary improvements. I didn't do a page this week, and I don't think I did one last week either. I should put it in my calendar for next week, so that I don't forget and then end up not doing any more improvements until 2014. I should do that now, before I forget. I planned poorly for this week, so I'm being extra careful to make sure that I properly plan for next week.

All good things to do on a snow day.