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For over two years, I've been leveraging TimeCamp (affiliate) to track and report on my billable hours with active clients. Recently, I shared how this tool is a part of my daily startup routine to stay focused and get stuff done.
As a result of this published article, the CMO invited me to participate in a written interview for their active blog, and I agreed. Here are the asked interview questions.
- Can you tell us about your daily routine at work? How do you organize it?
- If you were to advise a beginner entrepreneur who starts his/her first day as an employer, what would it be?
- How did you find out about TimeCamp?
- How do you use TimeCamp – is using our software beneficial to you and in what way?
- To whom would you recommend TimeCamp and why?
- I read on your blog that you have great business experience. Do you have any pieces of advice for us that could help us in the future?
If you're interested in my answers to these questions, I recommend clicking here to explore the article titled "How TimeCamp Helps Freelancers Measure Billable Hours"
In the early years at Noodlehead Marketing, we found ourselves requiring more help than we could afford. An active consultant suggested increasing his engagement in return for partial ownership in the business. The potential of this idea opened me up to discover it, but instead of bringing me along, the consultant operated as if this proposition was a done deal. We never discovered, tested, or formalized the agreement. This set the stage for an inevitable poor ending.
At the conclusion of our working relationship (me ending it), this issue of ownership quickly surfaced. It was a messy situation ending poorly (we reconciled later).
In reflection, I sought to better understand what went wrong so I could better navigate my future commitments and partnerships. This exercise led to the following revelation of four stages we all go through as an idea moves from concept to reality. And, how our volition and actions are connected.
Four months into the year, and I feel a bit worn down from the previous month’s writing activities. While I’ve had some success, it’s required a good amount of effort. In fact, I’ve been thinking of possibly taking a mini-break from publishing on this blog sometime this month, but a few days ago, I was able to push new content forward in my writing garden and that fueled my lacking energy. Also, the looking back and this looking forward blog posts are somewhat of a break because the structure of them is fairly set (I don't have to think about what to write). We’ll see if this newfound passion and break sustain me going forward.
We've now completed the fourth month of 2018! And, if you want to slow down time, I recommend doing a monthly looking forward and looking back journal entry (private or public). The activity helps me remember what happened while also providing a mindfulness throughout the month in expectation of these exercises. Anyway, here's what to expect in the following reflection point:
- 21 discoveries (insights, quotes, & reminders)
- 4 New resources to explore
- Watch my daughter's Baptism testimony and experience
- A new milestone for this blog
- Organic traffic continues to grow month over month
- April & 2018 goals progress reports
- This month's new articles and Quora answers
Let's get at it!
Staying focused and preventing distractions starts with a strong daily anchor point. For me, it’s quickly loading four website dashboards (via a bookmark tab) to give me visibility of the horizon, what needs to happen next and a pulse of what’s going on in my freelancing Business.
These four daily startup tools include my habit management tool (Habitica), my freelancing dashboard (Airtable), my time tracking software (Timecamp), and my great finance and invoice manager tool (Harpoon).
These apps help me stay focused and move forward. They stay open on my second screen all day, so I can easily access and update them throughout. Below, I dive into these four dashboards and how each helps me perform at a high level. Let's star with habit management.
What did you think of The Last Jedi? Did you love or hate it? Do you know why?
Since Star Wars The Last Jedi came out in December, I've sought out numerous takes (online and offline) on the film from people who loved it and people who hated it to better understand the movie. Much of this was driven by my love of Star Wars and initial trepidation of the film. While I moved towards liking The Last Jedi, there is an abundance of fans who despised it.
I'm trying to watch the last Jedi again to try to give it the benefit of the doubt but I just can't. There's so many things wrong with this movie. As soon as Luke tosses the light saber over his shoulder the movie goes to shit. It's like he's tossing my childhood away.— Swany (@SwanyPlaysGames) March 17, 2018
In January, I explored why the film's expectations divided fans, why it's so hard for people to embrace something different, and how we don't remember well (and criticize way too easily). It was my way to inspire Star Wars fans to become better people. Much of the polarizing and drastic response was driven by expectations, and I was no exception. Many fans were able to parse out our expectations and evaluate the movie on its own merits (not based on what we wanted).
We want to go in to films without knowing anything... but with films like this even without seeing a trailer we take in this huge pile of expectations, and I'm pretty sure that's what messed up my perception of the film.— Charlotte Gore is a Techno Bard (@CharlotteGore) April 10, 2018
In the following article, my aim is to encourage fans to become stronger thinkers and critics when we evaluate creative endeavors we like and don't care for.
- Is what we're watching something we personally don't relate to or is it actually of poor quality? Is what we experience in the film more driven by our expectations and the worldview we bring to the watching experience?
- Is it possible for a film to be well done and still not like it?
- Is our perspective limited? Are we ignoring problems or twisting what we experience? Is there more to the story?
What we value, matters. What we don’t, feels like a waste. What we expect, taints our perspective.
We humans quickly and shallowly judge people, places and things like many of the characters (Rey, Finn, & Poe) in The Last Jedi, and few people appreciate or understand the nuance in these questions when reflecting on a creative endeavor. I aim to change that through the insight and inspirational examples below. Let's strive to become thoughtful and thorough evaluators.
When it comes to marketing, the same approach is also the most powerful. There are tasks which are best suited for people and those that a computer can tackle without an ounce of sweat (haha!). And if we embrace new automation technology, companies have the opportunity to perform at the highest level.
Automation done well also provides opportunities to eliminate hundreds of staff hours, accelerate income generation, and effectively get people the information they need when they need it. Automation done right allows you and your staff to focus on customer relationships and growing the business.
Have you tapped into this powerful system yet?
As part of one my experiments for the month, I'm testing out Steemit, a platform like Medium where writers are compensated with a form of cryptocurrency for creating content the community views and engages with. With my first article, it was both a new topic of satire and platform to publish. It turned out to be a success and looks like I may end up with a payout of over eighteen dollars.
With this success in hand, I wanted to publish a second article and discover how I faired on the followup post to help create a realistic picture of the rewards. As I was thinking about what to write and learning about the community, the topic of freelancing seemed to be a sweet spot for this network of independent people. Since I wrote a book on the topic of freelancing, I thought it could also act as a way for me to write and share concepts from the book while also promoting it at the same time. Since I tackled the topic of creating a stream of clients for a guest blog post I submitted to the Freelancers Union, I decided to tackle the topic of packaging our services in a compelling way for this second Steemit article. It's now live on their platform to help other freelancers make progress on their journey.
More Articles ...
- When You’re Gone, What Do People Miss?
- What Does Success As A Business Look Like? Here Are Two Options
- Millennial Permanently Paralyzed After Being Subjected To His Own Question About Passion [Satire For Steemit]
- When You Hit Capacity, Which Of These Two Ways Will Your Business Respond?
- How Having A Designated Side Project Facilitates Movement When We're Stuck
- Mini-Experiments & New Goals For April 2018
- March 2018: 31 Rapid Fire Discoveries (+ Status Updates)
- Do You Create & Abandon or Build To Sustain?
- Productive Paranoia: A Small Simple Practice For Preventing a Big Problem
- Give Up Because You Have Already Lost — What We Can Learn About Failure From The Walking Dead
- Will You Initiate Beyond Your Circumstances to Get What You Want?