taking a break on the boat to look at the mountains

See You In 2021: A Year-Long Blogging & Book-Writing Break

“If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.” ― Banksy

I can hardly believe it, but I’ve been blogging since January 2014 (My first published post was on Crab Mentality). That’s six years of blogging while freelancing full-time and also publishing my first two books (for freelancers and small business owners).

In 2018, I finished a total article count of 400, and this blog post makes it 461. Since I began blogging, I’ve posted as seldom as once per month and as often as every weekday. This year, I’ve averaged about one new post per week (although they were not as evenly distributed as that average implies). 

I've written a great deal over these past six years, and now it's time to take a temporary step back. In 2020, I’m taking a break from writing and side projects and will abstain from sustaining any publishing cadence.

Continue reading about my writing break for 2020

Montoya family in Piedmont park Atlanta Georgia

2019: Closing Out Our Reboot Chapter And Exploring The Next One

It’s the time of year where I reflect on the year, before entering into my annual blogging break. This annual reflection point blog post is my second-to-last article for 2019 (One more to come, about 2020). Visit the blog archives to hold you over during this upcoming blogging break.

When this year concludes, it'll have been six years since we began this new journey (post Noodlehead Marketing) and it's included freelancing, a new church home, buying our first house, transitioning from home school to public, increasing our kid count to five, paying off our minivan, and launching numerous side projects (like IDEMA and The Island Story). 

My wife has also stepped out relaunching her website, launching a podcast, and publishing a conversation journal (on top of having a young baby girl to care for).

This year's greatest milestones for us included finishing our student loans ($155k), and for me, publishing my second book for small business owners (The Jump). 

Surrounding these two great achievements are numerous iterative shifts and adjustments to mold our life (time, money, & attention) into our desired vision (slowly and surely).

I'm grateful for the amount of progress (and with God's heavy lifting through it all) we've made in the last six years, and its an inspiring example of how much we truly can accomplish in a short period of time after starting over from scratch (even with debt slowing us down).

But, with this extended amount of effort to steward and build upon what God has graciously provided, it's been a tiresome journey to rebuild our new life. And, I've likely made it more difficult I’m some ways (by publishing books and maintaining this blog along the way) while making it easier in others (building awareness and credibility for my consulting work). 

More details to come, but my plan in 2020 is to slow down on these side ventures and rest in this extra margin throughout next year. It'll be a year of reflection, release, and rejuvenation for the exciting things on our horizon in 2021 and beyond.

But, before I jump to what’s ahead (in the upcoming final blog post for the year), let’s check back in on the goals I began with at the start of 2019.

Continue reading my reflections and goal status updates for 2019

jason scott montoya and artie Ruderman

Should I Stay Or Should I Go: My Pro Business Channel Interview

"Great ideas need landing gear just as much as wings." - Artie Ruderman

To promote my second book for small business owners (The Jump: From Chaos To Clarity For Your Striving Small Business), I've conducted multiple podcast interviews over the past few months. 

jason montoya rich casanova

The latest comes from the Pro Business Channel with Rich Casanova (co-founder) and Artie Ruderman (business development consultant). This will be my second appearance on the show, with the first happening in early 2016 with Craig Williams.

If you're not familiar with the Pro Business Channel, their focus is on creating content from conversations. They produce numerous shows as part of their network and also offer solutions for organizations to produce their own podcasts.

"When you are not all in, you're holding back." - Jason Scott Montoya

In this episode, we dive into the book's framework including IDEMA, the four pillars of an effective business strategy and whether or not you should continue your business or shut it down. Click the play button below to begin listening to the interview.

jason scott montoya interview studio

traps in the ocean, water

An Exploration & Commentary on Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps by Jennifer Garvey Berger

"If your life is feeling more complex, less predictable, and more confusing than it used to be, and if you're finding that your reflexes are sometimes leading you astray, this book is meant to help you understand why - and how to make changes that will make your life easier, that will make the increasing complexity your friend rather than your enemy."  - Jennifer Garvey Berger

leadership mindtraps book by jennifer garvey berger

In her concise must-read book, Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps: How To Thrive In Complexity (affiliate link), Jennifer Garvey Berger explores five human quirks that help us through life, but in complexity cause more problems and lead us down problematic pathways that amplify our complicated situations. 

In this monster article, I'm going to explore the book content and these introduced concepts while also listing multiple resources to help you understand, apply, and share them with others.

Let's start by quickly surveying the five quirks that easily become mental traps.

Explore the leadership mindtraps we fall into and the resources to help us overcome

team working together to row the boat

Build Lasting Leaders, Robust Relationships, And A Cohesive Culture Within Your Small Business

In your small business, do the people in it take top priority? Do you and your team sustain strong relationships that go beyond the work being done? Is there a culture within your organization that would be devastatingly missed if one were to leave it?

And if you do have all of these in flying colors, are they self fostering and healing or are they utterly reliant on you as the business owner (or some outsourced resource)?

If you want to build a strong scalable company that effectively grows and lives beyond your capability, you must have a vision for the talent with your organization. These people that work for and with you must know and see how them growing your business will help them grow as a person, progress vocational, and strengthen themselves financially.

When you build a strong and clear win-win mission on this foundation, you’ll build an unstoppable force to do things far beyond what you or your team expect.

Explore what it means to develop the talent within your organization

stage platform lights show

Building Up Digital Platforms & The Associated Teams To Grow & Sustain Them

Marketing is an ongoing effort to communicate who you are, what problems you solve, and why your company’s solutions should be selected by your ideal customer.

How well is your organization doing this?

My end goal with my customers is to build a flourishing marketing department that effectively does what I’ve described above creatively leveraging processes, tools, and people scaling in harmony with the operations required to fulfill the promises made

Continue reading how we work together to build a thriving marketing department for your small business

cait and steve montoya talking on the couch

The Conversation Podcast: A Discussion Between My Wife & Father

My wife, Cait Montoya, has a podcast where she interviews parents to gather their feedback and insights about the conversations they have with their kiddos. She interviewed me in October about my weekly date night rhythm with our children.

Here is the podcast summary: "It is our passion and dedication to helping parents have conversations with their kids. We share real-life parent-child conversations, interviews with parents, and conversational tools."

In this episode, Cait interviews my dad, Steve Montoya. One of the great talents my dad modeled to me growing up was strong conversations with others. Whether it was his friends or mine, he was constantly sitting people down and having serious conversations about life (while also having a little fun along the way).

Take a listen to the following podcast episode to get a little glimpse of my dad's conversational nature and Cait's dread of that first time he sat her down for "a talk."

adventure: man standing on the edge of a cliff looking out at the mountains

Diving Into Wild At Heart By John Eldredge: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul

"There few things worse than being a man and living a passive, dull, and apathetic life." - Craig Groeschel

As part of my 9-month-long leadership development group at Gwinnett Church, we’re exploring numerous books. We first read and discussed Bo’s Cafe, about one man’s journey through a struggling marriage (and his own issues of the soul). 

Next up, we’re diving into Wild At Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul by John Eldridge. In his book (which you can check out on Amazon here - affiliate link) Eldridge explores four concepts (The Question, The Wound, The Beauty, and The Adventure) as he dives into, 'what is masculinity?'

Join me in this blog post as I explore Wild at Heart and these four concepts. If you have not read the book, you can check out the following videos and my commentary along the way. Get a glimpse into the soul of every man. 

Explore masculinity with John Eldredge and my commentary on it

path of the freelancer book price drop

Price Drop For Path of the Freelancer: Now $14.99 (Paperback) & $9.99 (Kindle)

As an experiment prompted by a friend, I’m dropping the price of Path of the Freelancer: An Actionable Guide to Freelancing from $25 (for either version) to $14.99 for the paperback and $9.99 for the Kindle edition. 

Path of the freelancer book cover

If you have not yet purchased a copy of the book or you know a freelancer friend, make Path of the Freelancer a gift for the holiday season. 

I’d love to continue the matchbook option, so anyone who buys the paperback would get the Kindle version for free, but unfortunately, Amazon has discontinued this program. So, pick the medium you prefer to read Path of the Freelancer: An Actionable Guide to Flourishing in Freelancing. 

I’m excited to learn how this pricing experiment may continue and grow sales for the book over the long haul. If I can sell 3-4 times the number of copies, I’ll consider it a successful strategy and one I’ll make permanent. 

Any lessons learned will also inform my future pricing strategy rollouts for The Jump. 

where is waldo shirt looking person

Have You Seen This Small Business Owner Seeking To Build A Sustainable Company?

Wanted: Small-Business Owner Who Finally Values & Wants Sustainability, But Struggles To Foster It

My primary target client is an online oriented B2B training (or technology) oriented organization. The intersection of my experiences, strengths, and unique skill-sets best equips and enables this type of company. With them, I go further faster.

In 2016, I put out a wanted poster for a chaotic business owner struggling to effectively communicate and lead their company. In the past several years, I've considered myself a small business firefighter, running into the burning building when everyone else is fleeing (and screaming). With the launch of my book for striving small business owners, I'm now shifting gears.

At some point, entrepreneurs who've been running on the treadmill of constant change and innovation (but failing to follow through and get anywhere) recognize the value of consistency and building a sustainable and bulletproof business. Those that truly value and want this type of sustainable company burned out from chronic change will lock into a focused flywheel (financially sustainable economic engine termed by Jim Collins).

I'm seeking entrepreneurs in this sustainability stage and mindset.

This ambitious business owner is on the cusp of launching from a strong foundation, but they need a contract co-founder, someone who will operate with a strong sense of stewardship in the business, to help them cross the chasm and land on the side of sustainability. They've honed in on the operational side of their business and mastered the delivery of their offering to their customers.

Now, they need an experienced and skilled marketer to come in, enable them to build out their digital platform (or maximize the one they already have) and equip their people with tools (Hubspot, Mailchimp, or Joomla) to take the business to the highest level of excellence. They want someone to support, model, and guide them (not do it entirely for them) on how to sustain their amazing company.

So, when you see them, send them my way.

We'll work together to grow their business.

Photo by Ty Williams on Unsplash

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