It seems our family has been endlessly busy since we got home over a month ago from our most recent “big trip”, but so much of it has been good:
- Re-establishing our family routine, working to finish up this homeschool year and make plans for next year (although we’ll go through the summer at a slower pace, with a few full weeks off for vacation)
- Taking a personal retreat (Stephanie) before baby arrives, which was so helpful as I prioritize, set goals, and make plans for our family and businesses.
- Weekly dates where we’re getting out to both a) enjoy one another and b) have intentional conversations, many of which have been about the above-mentioned plans that are in process. The more we set aside time to be purposeful about talking and planning together, the better we function as a team, whether in the home or in the office.
- Lots of busy work inside and outside our home, trying to finish up a few big house projects before baby arrives (painting the office, re-siding and painting the outside of the house, some yard landscaping and getting gardens set up nicely, etc.). It has felt chaotic much of the time, but it’ll be worth it when it’s done!
- Strategic planning sessions and meetings for future business direction, where we’ll be working together more as a team (Ryan and I, that is), and we’re getting very excited about it all!
- Weekly family nights where we do a fun activity of our kid’s choosing (well, mostly – it’s still subject to our approval, budget and energy levels!). When we travel, it’s easy for us to spend time together doing memorable things as a family. When we get back into routine and the business of everyday life, we’re not always as good about it. Setting aside every Monday night for this purpose has been forcing us (in a good way) to stop and just enjoy our kids, whether it’s playing baseball at the park, going out for a cheap movie night, or playing Yahtzee around the kitchen table.
- Planning for a mini-maternity leave. It’s tricky, taking time off for baby when you’re an entrepreneur. This will be my 3rd time figuring out how to navigate this season (our first two kids were born before I started my business). I’m thinking of writing a post with tips on how to make it happen. Got questions for me?
That’s us in a nutshell. 🙂
And now, onto the Brew… I’ve been saving up a lot of reads in the past few weeks, apparently! I’d love to know if you’ve read any useful articles or posts lately, too.
Unboss @ Design for Mankind
For me personally (Stephanie), this resonated as I spent some time at a recent personal retreat really assessing this next season of life as a mom of five kids, with homeschooling and working and how I will balance it all. I don’t necessarily relate to not wanting to be a boss, so much as to the concept that it’s OK to not be uber-ambitious, to want to slow down and soak up certain seasons of life, to be able to do your work and do it well without necessarily having to do it in a bigger way.
The Very First Step: How to Become an Entrepreneur @ Entrepreneur on Fire
“Furthermore, once those mindset shifts took place, we started doing something that will ultimately prevent thousand of wantrepreneurs from ever becoming actual entrepreneurs: we started taking action… We started actually getting on our bikes and pedaling.” Kate makes a simple but crucial point about what it takes to turn your dreams and hopes into reality if you truly want to become an entrepreneur.
Such excellent ideas in here for anyone working with a team whose members are spread out across the country or continent. We have such a team at Ultimate Bundles and are continually working to improve our communication and camaraderie as a team, something that the TED tech team seems to be doing well.
Why Your Idea Isn’t Spreading @ Goins Writer
These points about why certain sales and promotions techniques don’t work are so very true. “Selling is serving. Not pushing or forcing people to do things they don’t want to do.” Yes!
My 23 Go-To Productivity Tools for Remote Work @ Todoist blog
Written by Zachary Sexton from Asian Efficiency (a site Ryan loves), this is a really great list of online apps, software, etc. for getting things done and staying organized when you work remotely. Either Ryan or I (or both of us) use many of these, but there are a few new ones I discovered that I’d like to check out.
ProBlogger FAQ: How Long Should Posts Be? @ ProBlogger
This one is fascinating for me. Much as I try to make myself write shorter posts, I really struggle to write anything less than 1000 words, and a great many of my posts teeter towards the 2000 word mark, with the odd one between 2000-3000. I’ve been told by various people over the years that I should just learn to write shorter posts, that they’ll perform better, be read more, that shorter is what people want.
But in my gut, I’ve always felt that a short post simply can’t always convey what I want to say, and particularly with how-to or teaching posts, anything less than 1500 words is not long enough to go into enough depth to make the post truly helpful. Now, that’s just me, but Darren seems to agree with me in this post. Ultimately, he boils it down to the sage advice that “It all comes down to content. Good, useful content that people enjoy reading. Write enough to be useful, then stop.” But it’s worth a read and a look at the graph he uses in the post.
Why You Should Choose People Over Profit with Dale Partridge (podcast with Chris Ducker)
This one has been added to my must-listen list. The show notes sound excellent and entrepreneurs like Dale Partridge, with strong integrity and a sincere desire to treat people well, are ones I want to learn form.
In this beautiful video, an engaged couple in their 20’s gets made over to see what they will each look like at 50, 70 and 90 years old. Once their make-up and transformation is complete, they turn to look at each other and respond to both their own appearance and their partner’s. This was so touching, and made me appreciate my marriage more, as we look forward to all the years to come, the kids we’re raising, the adventures we’re having together, the memories we’re building. Keep the tissues handy.