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Choosing a Lifestyle Business

For quite a while, my business has been in a good position. It’s continued to grow over the years, mostly with a great group of long-term clients and continual referrals from those clients. The thing about a website is that it’s always changing and growing. Once I launch a website, I almost always continue to work with that client. And, fortunately for me, that relationship continues to provide work for me to grow as my client’s businesses grow. I’ve become good friends with many of my clients and have built a solid base of work for myself.

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Back in the Saddle

Summer was wonderful and I’m sad that it’s coming to a close.  The kids are both back in school and that means my schedule has changed.  I’ll have more dedicated work time than I’ve ever had in the last 6 years. In some ways, I’ll miss the relaxed, lazy days where we made last minute plans or just played in the creek in our backyard all morning.  But, I’m also really looking forward to getting back into a regular routine and having more time to focus on my business.  I tend to struggle with finding time for my business and with a reduced work schedule, that was nearly impossible this summer.  Now, fall is almost here and I plan on getting back into regular blog posts and weekly tech tips – two things I’ve come to really love!

One thing that surprised me when I was reflecting about what I did and didn’t do for my business this summer, was that I’ve really missed writing for my website.  The process of writing has been incredibly helpful to me in terms of processing my goals for my business and it’s also helped me refine just what I want to do with my life.  I love my business and what I do, and the more I do it, the more I realize and understand just what aspects of my business I like and which ones I don’t enjoy so much. My monthly blog posts have gone a long way to clarifying the direction of my business.

Besides writing, I plan on setting aside one day a week for no meetings. This means I’ll have one day that’s completely dedicated to working on client work or other business work. I wasn’t always able to do this last year or in the summer and now, I’m finding that I need that dedicated work block to get in some focused coding or design time.

Those are my two immediate goals as fall arrives and I’m sure I’ll need to adjust and change and I figure out what schedule really works for me. It feels good to be typing this post and I’m looking forward to spending more time writing and updating my portfolio (which is definitely in need of some freshening up)! And, of course, I’m looking forward to launching some really cool websites this fall. I’ve been lucky to work with some great clients this summer and we’re close to wrapping up their websites. Keep an eye out for updates soon!

Image source: SLSA PRG 280/1/11/442

Tip of the Week – Finding Your People

This week’s tip is about finding a group of people that share your interests. Working from home can be a bit lonely at times. And beyond the workplace socializing and chit-chat, there are times when I just want to run an idea by someone or get an opinion. There’s something about talking with others face-to-face that can’t be replicated with an email or a phone call.

About a year and a half ago, I was feeling a need to talk with other web developers – specifically WordPress developers – so I hopped on and found that there was a Philly ‘burbs WordPress Meetup group. I RSVP’d to attend a Meetup and I’ve been attending ever since. Every month, we meet at restaurant in Chester or Montgomery county. We socialize for a bit, then there are two shorter and one longer presentations, all related to WordPress. I always learn something new when I attend this Meetup, whether it’s from the presentations or just from conversations with other WordPress users and developers. I look forward to this Meetup and it fills that need to chat with others that share a similar interest.

How do you meet people interested in the same things you are? Do you use Meetup?

Image by Bes Z (CC BY 2.0) via flickr

How Busy Am I… Really?

I’ve written a lot on this blog about the challenges of raising a family, working from home, work-life “balance” (hah!), and growing a small business. I love all of these things – it’s very important to me to be available to my kids and my family and it’s also important to me to challenge myself through the work I do in the web design world. Yet, there’s a point when it becomes not fun – when I feel too busy, too stressed, too drained… and life just overwhelms me. I felt that a lot through the late summer and fall of last year. I was struggling with my workload. There was never enough time. Never enough sleep. I was too busy and couldn’t keep my head above water.

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The Cobbler’s Children Have No Shoes

A client recently mentioned to me that her website (which I launched, um, well over six months ago) that she didn’t see her website on my portfolio. I laughed and gave her some line about “the cobbler’s children have no shoes” and then said I was going to work on updating my portfolio with my most recent work. That was over a month ago and I still haven’t updated my portfolio.

I recently wrote out my goals for 2014. The second goal is “Spending more time dedicated to A Mix of Pixels: blogging, updating my website, and continuing education, to name a few”. I’ve done some blogging and kept up with my tips of the week. But, updating my website and continuing education haven’t really gotten any attention.

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