Tools

Your Weekly Brew

Boy, has this been a tiring month. A cup of coffee sounds pretty good right about now.

First, Ryan was gone for 5 days to Arizona for a product launch conference. Then a few days later, I left for 8 days on the East Coast (attending the Share-a-Sale Think Tank in North Carolina and then the Allume Conference in South Carolina, hanging out with friends in between).

During my time away, we officially launched EntreFamily (yay!) and figured out the technical ins and outs of publishing a podcast. Since being home, we’ve been catching up on sleep and time together as a family and with each other, and getting our kid’s homeschool back on track, as Ryan’s been gearing up for his next big product launch.

So with all of this, we’re grateful that:

a) Ryan’s big project of late, the Ultimate Christian Living Bundle, has finally launched, and is running along smoothly. Launches take so much energy, but the first couple days went off without any hitches and he’s just working to keep things going strong until the sale ends on Monday. At which time he’ll sleep. ๐Ÿ™‚

b) I’ve found a two-mornings-per-week mother’s helper, which I’ve been feeling the need for recently. Whether this will be long term or not, I’m not sure but I’m grateful for a bit of extra help to ensure that I can stay on top of the house and give the kids more focused attention with their learning.

c) I had my BIG interview for the Entrepreneur on Fire Podcast with John Lee Dumas on Tuesday morning. I’ve been both nervous and excited for the two months since it was first booked. I was 95% happy with how it went (I did say one silly thing… can I admit I’m hoping he edits it out?), but otherwise, I’m relieved it’s done and can’t wait for it to be published on December 3rd!

d) We finally found the right tiles for our bathroom renovation project, which is getting closer to being done, little by little. We’re just praying we have two bathrooms again by the time our friends, the Odoms (a family of 5), come to stay with us in 3 weeks. 11 people in 1 bathroom for 4 days? Yikes. (I know, it’s just a silly bathroom, but am I the only one who finds renovations totally exhausting? I cannot wait until it’s done.)

Read::

Why it’s good to travel with kids (from a kid) @ The Art of Simple Travel

Wanna be convinced that you should give family travel a try — by a 9 year old? Our good friend’s daughter, Tatum Oxenreider, talks about their family’s round-the-world trip and why she thinks travel is good for kids. And I think she’s right.

First Glimmer of Hope for Organic Facebook Reach @ Pro Blog School

The Facebook game is still driving me crazy (as my mastermind group likes to say — Facebook is drunk). Getting decent reach feels like mission impossible… and yet. Some people are getting it. Jason talks about what he’s learning from another food blogger and how his wife Lisa is applying it to their own Facebook page with some success (which also experienced a huge drop in reach last January). There’s a link in the post to a podcast worth listening to.

How to Grow a Blog @ The Humbled Homemaker

Erin is a business partner, a fellow blogger, and a real life friend. She’s also a great blogger who has built her platform well in just a little over 3 years. In this post, she gives a HUGE list of blogging resources she recommends, many of which I would second.

Listen::

Our Entrepreneurial Story @ EntreFamily

OK, this is a shameless self-plug. But I wanted to make sure that everyone hears this podcast, because it’s helpful for getting to know Ryan and I, and the journey that we’ve been on as entrepreneurs. We keep our podcasts short (around 30 minutes) and laid back, but we try to get in as much candid and helpful information as we can. You can either listen to them straight on the blog, or subscribe through iTunes (we’re coming soon on Stitcher, too — just waiting for our show to be approved).

Use::

The Useletter

Technically speaking, this is more of a read. But what’s cool about this newsletter from Amy Lynn Andrews is that you’ll actually find a lot of useful stuff in it (hence, the name). It’s one of the few that I subscribe to and I often find gems in it. She keeps up with all sorts of brilliant tips and resources for those with online businesses.

Crazy Egg

Have you given heat mapping a try? If not, you should. Ryan and I have used it on several of our websites, particularly on Ultimate Bundles, to help us determine how our visitors find their way around the site, where they click, what their patterns are, which links are most popular, etc. This is an extremely valuable tool. If you don’t want to pay the fees indefinitely, just use it for a month or two to get some good information and then stop.

Do::

Mastermind groups

Do you have one? I can’t even tell you how valuable they are to me. I’m currently in four mastermind groups — a large one with other professional real food bloggers, one with about 8 other close blogging friends in the same niche, one with 5 other business women/moms (we call ourselves “EntreMoms” — get it?), and another with 4 podcasting friends (who have taught me SO much). Not only do I learn a tremendous amount from these groups, but I also gain their friendship, their support, their encouragement, and continually find myself inspired and built up by being around other awesome, motivated people.

blogging friends at allume

Up wayyyy too late on our last night together, but having the best time with friends Diana (My Humble Kitchen), Erin (The Humbled Homemaker), Beth (Red & Honey) and Crystal (Money Saving Mom).

In fact, that was probably the biggest takeaway from my 8 days away. The time spent with work colleagues who have become dear friends, and the incredible amount of refreshment and joy that I receive from being with them.

And I apologize that this week’s “brew” was just me and not really from Ryan, but he gets a pass because he’s in the trenches of a big project. He’s got a great post for you coming up on Monday, though!

What has refreshed you in your work lately?

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Your Weekly Brew

Ever feel like you could use a bit of a pick-me-up at the end of the week? Some fresh inspiration to get you excited for the coming Monday?

That’s what Your Weekly Brew is meant to be. Each week, Ryan and I will make note of recent things we’ve read, listened to, experimented with, or just generally been influenced by, and then we’ll share them with you.

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