Montoya Family Funny

2018: Building Up Strong Foundations For A Prosperous Future

It’s the time of year where I reflect before entering into my annual blogging break. This annual reflection point blog post is my last article for 2018. Come back and read new articles in 2019 or visit the blog archives to hold you over.

In several months, it'll be the five year anniversary from when we shut down Noodlehead Marketing. It's mind boggling to think we've almost had as much time away from the company as we have had while managing it. 

But, it's been a positive new journey (although not always easy). Let me recap.

I was grateful in the first year for the unexpected freelancing success, while 2015 was a year of taming this new wild ride2016 Involved another child, closing some loops on the transition, excelling as a freelancer and beginning the journey to buy our first home. In 2017, I published my first book, launched into a blogging challenge, changed churches, and bought a house, to name a few of many expected changes that year. 2018 was the year to build up these new foundations for a more prosperous and margin filled life. 

Learn about my year's failures, successes, and other interesting tidbits

Dark Water Bubbles, Abyss

6 Practical Ways For Managing Anxiety & Combating Its Effects

Anxiety and depression are brutal mental and emotional challenges we humans face, and eventually, a heavy dose of this would unexpectedly affect me.

In the fall of 2013, I was hit by a metaphorical truck of emotion and mental issues as the result of many life changes including the decision to shut down my marketing business of seven years (while considering going back home to Arizona). I was facing a nervous breakdown.

Explore the steps to overcome and effectively manage anxiety

Night sparks and fire in forest

October 2018 Reflection Point: 12 Lessons Learned, 12 Quotes, 3 New Things, & Goal Updates

This is my last monthly reflection point for the year, now two months away from ending. Later this month, I’ll share my reflections on the entire year before closing 2018 out with a blogging break. My blog frequency for November will also decrease with only three more articles planned for publishing. 

Continue reading about lessons learned, collected quotes, and an update on my life and work

hiking on a trail up a mountain

400 Articles! The Contributing Ingredients To This Important 5-Year Blogging Journey Milestone

This blog post is number 400! 

Celebrations are in order as this article completes my blogging goal for the year. 118 new posts published for 2018!

While it's been a five-year journey to get here, a large share of the work happened fairly recently. 206 of these 400 articles were newly published within the previous fifteen months, 88 of which came during 2017's four-month weekday blogging challenge. The rest of the 400 articles (~194) took me almost four years to accumulate (from 2014 through part of 2017).

My goal of publishing 400 blog posts was my tipping point test. Would this volume of content drive more visitors from the search engines? While I'll need another year to truly answer that question in a meaningful way, the leading indicators show a dramatic uptick in activity. Will this activity provide enough momentum to reach escape velocity towards an income generating path through blogging? We shall see.

Thankfully, with a full plate of paying consulting and project management work, I'm able to play the long game. So, as I look forward to what could be, what's important at this moment is fully understanding (and appreciating) how I got here. While the content creation really ramped up in the recent past, it was the work done beforehand that laid the foundation for the machine to come alive. The fusion of it all brought me to this point. As I look back, what were the milestones along the way? 

Explore the five year blogging journey I've trekked

Chi Chi Okezie At Emory University

Chi Chi Okezie, An Active Learner, Shares Who Inspires Her & What It Means To Live Better & Work Smarter

This blog is geared towards sharing stories and systems to help others live better and work smarter. While you receive an abundance of insights from my published articles, I've been experimenting with a new interview series to provide you with the opportunity to hear insights from people I know and work with.

So far we've heard by video from Jason Long, founder of MedRev, and by written words Gary Epp, fractional EOS integrator. Their wisdom provides different perspectives and ideas to thrive in your personal and professional journey.

To continue this new Live Better, Work Smarter interview series, we'll be talking with Chi Chi Okezie of SIMPLEnetworking. Chi Chi contributed a guest post here on the blog in 2015 where she shared how her faith in God changed her business and transformed her life. We originally met in Atlanta networking to grow our respective companies, and she's an active reader here on the blog.

So without further ado, let's shift to Chi Chi and read her insights on how she lives better and works smarter. 

Read interview with Chi Chi Okezie on Systems and Stories to Live Better & Work Smarter

Woman standing on mountain looking out

Embracing The Satisfaction Of A Job Well Done and The Duty Of Excellent Work

Since the beginning of time, creation played a major factor in this universe. God created the heavens and the earth with a Big Bang. And, it was good.

He took satisfaction in His creation, and we humans are no exception when it comes to creating and valuing what we've finished (regardless of how you believe the universe came about). 

Humans share a sense of accomplishment and favor for what we’ve done and the hard work we did to bring what we value to life. But, to sustain ongoing work requires not only creating excellent products and art, it means appreciating, enjoying and deciding the work we've created is good. It requires we embrace the satisfaction of our finished creation. 

Explore the satisfaction and duty of hard work, not matter what kind

Gary Epp Portrait

Gary Epp Shares His Prioritization Framework, Working Within Our Giftedness, & What He Learned Traversing His Career Path

This website is geared towards sharing stories and systems to help you live better and work smarter. While you receive an abundance of insights from my published articles, this interview (as part of a new series) gives you the opportunity to hear from people I know and work with. Their insights provide you an alternative perspective for growing yourself, others and your small business.

In this interview, you'll read Gary Epp's answers to my questions. Gary and I met through our mutual friend and client, Craig Haynie owner of CablesAndKits. Gary provides fractional COO support (including serving as a fractional EOS Integrator) for B2B companies with 50-250 team members. He specializes in helping firms align their purpose, people, priorities, processes, and practices to drive greater predictability and higher profits.

So without further ado, let's shift to Gary and read his insights on how he lives better and works smarter. 

Explore Gary's answers to my questions about living better and working smarter

woman raising her hand

Instead of Asking For Permission, Ask This Question Instead

When asking for permission (from a boss, spouse, client, or friend), you're proposing a question that quickly leads to a yes or no answer. In most cases, the subsequent question is going to be, "why?". 
 
Knowing this, it's actually better to ask a question that quickly goes to the root of what we're seeking while also bypassing a knee-jerk response of yes or no. So what is the better alternative question?

Discover a focused question for getting to the root of a decision

Balloons releasing to the sky

How Does a Company Take a Year Off (Business-Wide Sabbatical)?

What would it look like if your business took an entire year off? Is it possible or crazy? What would the fruit of this endeavor look like?

In 2013, the entire Noodlehead Marketing team embraced an entire year of rest and release,  a Sabbath Year (Shmita in Hebrew). At the time, I never heard of an organization taking a sabbatical (just individuals) and after extensive research to find an example, that didn’t change. 

As we explored taking a year off for the company, we were limited in trusting God and the few scriptures he left on the topic to discover what it was and how to apply them to our upcoming year. 

Once we committed, there was a roller coaster of wonderful and scary moments throughout. In retrospect, it was critical in instilling values and changes in me, my marriage, and elsewhere.

So while it may feel quite risky to do, taking a Sabbath year could be the best thing you ever do. It was for me. 

Explore my story of taking a Sabbath year during the final season of the company

Jason Long Outdoors

How To Overcome Challenges, Build A Business, & Lead Yourself With Jason Long, Founder of MedRev

The following interview with Jason Long launches a new experiment exploring the stories and perspective from my friends, colleagues, clients, and mentors. These interviews will span multiple mediums to provide a platform for others to share how they grow themselves, others, and their small businesses. 

In this discussion, I sit down with my friend and serial entrepreneur Jason Long who shares how he pushes himself to be a better person, partner, and leader. We also explore how a difficult season of his life culminating in a horrific car accident left him with brain damage. This moment in his life and business became the catalyst to change how he saw the world and what he deemed as most important. In the conclusion of the interview, Long leaves us with two tactical insights worth embracing in our daily life. 

Click to watch or listen to this interview with Jason Long about growing our life

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Grow Your Life With Jason Scott Montoya, Atlanta Georgia
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