Archive for category My Business

Getting to Grips with my Newsletter Tools – for Now

I had wanted to start a newsletter for over 12 months before I finally did it.  I had completed a newsletter ‘toolkit’ session with my mentor Katie Mac (from Katie Mac Publicity) over 6 months before I published my first one.  What stopped me was (1) making time to develop content, and (2) not having the skills to design and create the newsletter template.

I addressed both obstacles by engaging someone with the skills to co-design the newsletter look and feel and then set up the template in MailChimp.  Paying for this service increased my motivation to find and protect the time to develop newsletter content.  I tend to work best to deadlines, so created an arbitrary deadline of July 2018 to release my first monthly newsletter.

I’m currently working on content for my September newsletter (a little later than I had intended to, but will release it this week).  I decided it was time to take over the technical newsletter production tasks.  My designer provided an online demonstration of how to replicate a previous newsletter and update both the content and design elements.  It’s actually very straightforward.

I’ve also used Canva for the first time to edit titles for articles within the newsletter.  This is an unexpected bonus as I’ve been looking for a reason to learn how to use Canva.  I often see attractive visuals online that other people have created using Canva and have yearned to be able to produce my own.  Today I took my first baby step toward this goal.

The general approach that I’ve used to developing skills needed for my newsletter is one that I commonly apply to get things done in my business.  Where I don’t have the time to figure out how to do something myself I engage someone who can do some setup efficiently then get them to train me.

I also recognise that while it makes me feel good to master new tools it may not be the best use of my time.  Particularly as I am shifting how I work and adopting a business model rather than a solo practitioner model, my time will be better spent on strategic, high leverage activities such as business development, marketing and sales, product development and some delivery.  I may end up outsourcing technical newsletter production again or engaging a team member who does this work alongside other operational and administrative tasks.

PS: September 2018 newsletter theme is social learning.  Newsletter goes on on 21 September – sing up now on website to receive a copy.

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I Travelled to Get Unstuck

From January to August this year I lived on the road with my 13 year old daughter.  We travelled around the east coast of Australia, as far south-west as Discovery Bay in Victoria and as far north as Port Douglas in Queensland.  I drove around 12,000km as we moved from one Airbnb to another, or stayed with friends.

Our trip ended a month ago and we’re settling into our new city – Brisbane.

I’m currently writing my September newsletter, and want to reflect on what I’ve learned about my work in the introduction.  I was having trouble getting started writing this piece yesterday so turned to ‘travel quotes’ on Pinterest for inspiration.  Thanks to the Bohemian Bowmans blog I came across a quote that perfectly captured why I travelled.

Source: http://bohemianbowmans.com/20-travel-quotes-youve-never-heard/

While my imagination and capacity for enthusiasm hadn’t completely eroded, this quote got me started with my opening paragraph:

I embarked on an extended road trip because I felt stuck. I lived in a busy, expensive city. I worked hard on consulting projects to pay the rent.  I rarely socialised.  I was struggling to support my child contend with an alienating school environment.  I felt my choices, freedom and vitality being stripped away from me.  I travelled to get unstuck.

You’ll have to wait for (or sign up for) my newsletter for the rest of the article.

Spoiler alert – yes, I did get unstuck.  The extended period on the road has opened up new ways of working and new opportunities.  I’m currently in that ‘in-between’ stage, the ‘unfrozen’ stage, where I’m exploring possibilities and alternatives for how I want to work and reshaping my business model.  My mindset is open and expansive, and I’m excited about the options I’m exploring.  (More on this in upcoming Daily Dispatches.)

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