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Unique Rock Mountain

Mini-Experiments & New Goals For May 2018

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. 

It's A Girl

Before I dive into the experiments, I want to interrupt and make a family announcement. We found out this week our fifth child is a girl! We’re excited to diversify the boy-heavy family with a second daughter!

Moving on from my exciting announcement, let’s dive into my goals and the mini-experiments. 

My List of May 2018 Goals

Each month, I set three goals to complete by month’s end. These will usually end up being important but not urgent actions, and you'll help me stay accountable to finishing them. Here’s what’s on the slate for May. 
  1. Read & Reorganize the JUMP: Launching The Perpetual Small Business Forward: now that I’ve completed compiling my words into one document loosely ordered, I’ve now read and reorganize the content. My goal this month is to read the entire book two times and make changes along the way ironing out any issues contained in the draft. These first few reads are the hardest.
  2. Update The IDEMA Medium Page:  The IDEMA Medium page we launched a few years back needs some updates, and now that it has been getting more traffic and likes, the timing is right to update it. 
  3. Fix All Broken Links & Crawl Errors: Any website that’s been around for awhile will eventually decay. One of those decay elements is broken links & crawl errors, and my site is no exception. My goal this month is to go through and fix or remove them all. 

Sandboxing My Life

Below is a list of the small experiments I’ve been running, as well new ones I’ve added to the mix. These experiments are my way of exploring ideas for potential further integration into my life. It also gives you insights and inspiration for your own challenges these solutions may provide. 

New Experiments

  • Google Business Profile: I went ahead and created a Google business profile for my freelancing work. I'm not sure how helpful this actually will be, but I thought I'd be worth testing out.
  • Diversifying Income: Last month was a little light on the hour count, so I explored other ways to fill in the gap and respondent was one of them. I had my first interview session with a toy manufacturing company about new products. I earned $30 for 30 minutes of my time.
  • Hubspot Native Search: Google recently dismantled their site search system and this left many of my Hubspot customers between a rock and hard place. Thankfully, Hubspot has been working on a solution and have a beta available of the new Hubspot native search. It is an add-on to the beta design manager, so you'll need to also request access to it. For one of my customers, we got the search rolled out and working on their website. If you need help with it, let me know.
  • Kiddo Gaming: On the weekends, the kids get to play games on my computers like Castle Crashers, and Lego Star Wars. Unfortunately, we'd let them play for extended periods of time and they'd turn into little monsters. So recently, I've been limiting their time to one hour with breaks in between. I also leverage chores and extra responsibilities before they can start playing, or for them to earn extra time. By breaking out their play time and merging it with useful time, their attitudes are much better and they contribute to the family.
  • Gmail Updated: Gmail has launched a new interface for their email tool and its great. I've been going back and forth between Gmail and Inbox by Gmail because Inbox provides snoozing and a few other helpful features like reply suggestions. With their new interface, they now brought over the features from Inbox and I no longer need to use both! 
  • RZIM Writing Contest: With the launch of Abdu Murray's new book "Saving Truth", the organization he's a part of (RZIM) is running a writing contest around the definition of truth. Over the past few years, I've been writing on this topic across social channels, but I've never compiled and published in one place. My plan is to pull the pieces together and create a strong submission piece for the contest.

Existing Experiment Updates

  • Social Media Engagement: I've been more active on Twitter than I ever have. I'm tweeting what I’m writing about, upcoming blogs, sharing lessons learned that go on the monthly blogs as they occur to me, and promoting existing content in a deeper way. Plus, I'm engaging with other people in my feed, sometimes with the intent of developing content here. What I'm also learning is that Twitter is topic oriented connection platform where Facebook is relational oriented connection platform. What we care about versus who we care about. There is some overlap, but they have distinct differences. On Instagram, I'm experimenting with a series of black and white photos of my youngest son. It's called the boy photo series. Every other image is part of this series.
  • Steemit: I've published two articles on the Steemit platform. The first article earned $18.86 while the second earned nothing. I'm glad to have tried it out, but for me to get the benefit out of the platform, I'll need to create regular content. I don't yet want to go down this road until I've better established my blog's digital footprint.
  • Simple Blog Text Graphics: This was a terrific idea to enhance my blogs, but the extra time to knock it out and include the images seems to add more friction to the blog writing process than I'd prefer at this time. Once I hit my goal of 400 posts, I'll reevaluate this action. I will eventually make this a permanent addition, just not at this time.
  • Email Subject Line Expectation Clarifiers: When I compose a new email (at least when I remember to), I've been adding a subject line word to set the expectation for the recipient on what they need to do. This idea was inspired by Gustavo Razzetti. This is something I intend to stick with permanently, but it'll take some time and reminders to hard wire the habit into my brain every time I send an email.
  • Purple Pillow: I've been using the Purple Pillow. I enjoy how the pillow feels, but some nights, I was not having comfortable sleep with it. After some experimenting, I discovered the pillow is too firm for my light head to relax throughout the night. But, when I lay a soft material over the top of the pillow, it seems to change for the better. I'll continue testing this to find a way where I can soften it and allow me to both sleep on my side and back as the night progresses. Regardless of how this Purple Pillow experiment works out, It's been a great exercise to figure out what I like and don't from a pillow and mattress.
  • Freelancer's Union: As part of my guest blog submission to the Freelancer's union website, I created a new account and set up a profile page here. Any time I can take advantage of securing a link to my website (for SEO benefit), I happily do it. My guest blog will publish soon, and I will share it here on the site when it does.

Do any of these experiments seem interesting? Do you have any helpful experiments in progress?

Hero Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Monthly Reflection Point

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