Week in Review: June 16th-June 22nd

Last week I mentioned I was pondering two thoughts that I wanted to share.

Well. Now I’ve added one more. Lots of competing thoughts in my brain this week, but what else is new.

The first is that work doesn’t have to be stressful. Unless you’re a police officer or an emergency room doctor, there is very little that is life or death. And everything is fixable in the end.

The second is that the goals you set for yourself should be things you can control, not things you can’t control. For example, one of my goals used to be, “Sell Shadow of the Magician to a Big Five publisher”. But that goal isn’t up to me. So I revised it to be, “Finish Shadow of the Magician and make it the best book I can”.

The third: You’ve got three choices. Give up. Give in. Or give it all you’ve got.

While I’ve been adjusting to my new life, I don’t pretend to have this all figured out. Or to have any kind of balance. This week was filled with some really great moments and some really crappy moments. Moments where I was really proud of myself and other moments where I was terrified because there is no GPS, no roadmap for this. Not even a post-it note drawing.

I’m still binging on as many podcasts as ever, which seems to inspire me and frighten me in equal parts. I think the inspiration part is kind of obvious. But what scares me is that most people who become ultra-successful also experience big, soul-crushing failures.

And I’ve never failed like that.

And it scares me that my greatest failure may still lie ahead of me.

That it’s lurking somewhere on the horizon.

Which makes the no-roadmap-for-this thing kind of hard to swallow some days. I’m hoping I’m making good choices. The right choices. Choices that don’t lead down a bad road.

But. I have no idea.

On that cheery note, I’ll breeze through my week in review!

Saturday I woke up late after hanging out with my friends on Friday night and watching American Vandal with the boyfriend after I got home. Threw off my whole day. I was pretty unfocused and unmotivated. I did manage to force myself to do some stuff, but it was not pretty. Really not pretty.

After a day that is not much to write home about, I ended up checking out our new neighborhood Sprouts and then watching the rest of American Vandal with the boyfriend. It was good. I really liked that show. I also liked that the season was self-contained and short. I can really only handle TV that’s mini-series length these days – the only way I can even finish something without feeling guilty about it.

Sunday, I got up early and worked on Shadow of the Magician for a little while. Got some good work in, was pretty proud of myself. Looked at what I have left to do, decided I could maybe finish my edits by the beginning of August.

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The boyfriend and I then went to the fair. We didn’t go last year so I was excited to go. It’s kind of the same thing every year so it was nice that we took a break. This year’s theme was basically candy and also unicorns. Was digging the unicorns. Really like the unicorn trend.

We met up with a few friends while we were at the Fair, ate some ridiculous and also over-priced food, and checked out the speakeasy which makes some strong drinks. Word to the wise. Was super disappointed that I could only have half my drink because I drove.

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Monday I went to the barn and had a good ride on Miss Pia. Which was great because my day started off stressful trying to juggle some last-minute client appointments and reschedule things. I’m glad Pia was the easy part of the day. Also got her saddle adjusted so checked that off the list.

Spent some time working at Starbucks in their blessed air conditioning and met a client for lunch at Bushfire. I am obsessed with their short rib bowl. Not like I’ve ever had anything else there, but it is damn good.

After lunch, I picked up my new desk chair – hallelujah! Took advantage of Office Depot’s chair assembly service so my chair was ready to roll (get it?) as soon as I got it home. Tried to make the most of the rest of the day before writer’s group. Launched a client’s website and got a referral for a new client.

At writer’s group, I had chapters again. Got some GREAT feedback, which made me really excited. And also sad that now I doubt I’m going to make the August deadline for my edits. It was a great 24 hours while it lasted.

Tuesday morning I started off a roll before I had to head to the dentist. Fun times. I broke my mouth guard recently (better than my teeth I guess, been there, done that) so my next visit to the dentist in July will be super expensive because I have to get my mouth guard replaced and I also have to get a filling. Fun factoid: I have super weird back molars which is great for games of two truths and a lie and not so great for my wallet. Those suckers are hard to take care of.

Tuesday night I had dinner with friends and clients in Encinitas at Blue Ribbon Pizza. I haven’t been there in years and it was super yummy.

Wednesday I had another good ride with Pia. She got her back shoes put on while I ran home to get on a prospective client call. Went well except for the mini heart attack I had when the client called me two hours earlier than planned because they mixed up what time the meeting was because of the time change. Not the thing you want to be sorting out before you’ve had your daily caffeine.

I was in SUCH a great work groove after the meeting UNTIL…migraine. Ugh. I was hopeful that I would take my Excedrin like always, wait half an hour for my vision to go back to normal, and then get back to my work. No such luck. This is the first time a migraine has made me feel sick in a long time. Which was super inconvenient because not only did I have stuff to do, I was supposed to meet my friend, C, for dinner.

I decided to go to dinner anyway, hopeful that if I drank enough water and got super hydrated I would feel better. She was late meeting me at the new True Foods at UTC and while I waited I ordered a (non-alcoholic) drink called the Medicine Man. And wouldn’t you know it, I actually felt better after that. Maybe it was just the name. So dinner went as planned and we had a good time catching up and celebrating her birthday.

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Thursday I was determined to do some damage to my to-do list. This was one of my better work days though I had a client call and went to see my chiropractor towards the end of the day. When I’m not in good working order, I tend to get headaches and if I ignore the situation for too long, I usually will get a migraine. Plus my back had been hurting all week because Pia is learning flying changes. And doing them at all the wrong times and with a buck, too.

Friday I rode Pia who was not good. Yikes. Hopefully she’ll be better after the weekend. Maybe too many changes in one week with her saddle and the new shoes. After that, it was off to another client appointment in Carlsbad. Never been to that part of Carlsbad before. On the way back, I forgot there was fair traffic so I ended up going through San Marcos and Vista to the 78 to get home. And I saw even more new-to-me parts of San Diego.

I chugged through a good amount of my to-do list in the afternoon before I had to do a bunch of contracts and proposals. Proposals take so long, oh my god. Grateful that I have proposals to do, but yeesh. I actually like doing the market research and planning out the strategy, it’s just that it takes a long time.

Friday night, the boyfriend and I officially broke out our air conditioning unit. It’s a plug-in monstrosity we bought at Home Depot years ago that eats up electricity like no one’s business, but it makes the heat bearable. Summer has officially arrives!

What I’m Reading:

Give and Take by Adam Grant (Finished!)

Rise of the Youpreneuer by Chris Ducker

I’m planning to start War Storm by Victoria Aveyard, but I haven’t been wanting to read before bed. It’s been sitting on my nightstand for over a week. I think I’m also in that weird limbo where my own writing is going good so I don’t want to read anything from author’s I really, really like, because then I’ll feel down about my own writing. It’s hard to practice staying in your own lane when you love reading. It’s not like Instagram where I can just unfollow my competitors.

What I’m Listening To:

Tim Ferriss interviewed Brandon Stanton (the Human of New York guy) on his podcast and I loved every minute of it. Listen to it here.

What I’m Watching:

Check out American Vandal on Netflix.

What I’m Loving:

My new desk chair. It’s every bit as amazing as I imagined it would be. Ergonomics for the win.

Building a StoryBrand

Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

Donald Miller’s StoryBrand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses. This revolutionary method for connecting with customers provides readers with the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret for helping their customers understand the compelling benefits of using their products, ideas, or services. Building a StoryBrand does this by teaching readers the seven universal story points all humans respond to; the real reason customers make purchases; how to simplify a brand message so people understand it; and how to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media. Whether you are the marketing director of a multibillion dollar company, the owner of a small business, a politician running for office, or the lead singer of a rock band, Building a StoryBrand will forever transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value you bring to your customers.

Okay, so this book may seem like it’s kind of a niche interest, but it’s actually really good and is applicable to anyone building a company or building their own personal brand! Storytelling in marketing is super powerful. I think most people understand this on some level. Just think about your favorite brands…chances are they’re telling great stories!

Building a StoryBrand really lays out how to use storytelling to accelerate your brand’s results by discovering how to craft a message you’re customers want to and need to hear. It walks you step-by-step through the framework and explains the concepts in a clear, easy-to-read format.

I’ve also read Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson, the founder of Clickfunnels. While I liked that book a lot, I think Building a StoryBrand is easier for a non-marketing person to understand. The examples Donal Miller gives are a little more tangible and aren’t necessarily bound up with the online world. I think sometimes people who aren’t digital natives (and even some that are) struggle with concepts when they are tied up with the digital space. It’s a lot easier to understand an example from a movie, a book, or even a company that sells physical products like cars or t-shirts.

The book is divided into three sections. The first section introduces the concept and explains why storytelling is so powerful for brands. The second section is where you get to go through the StoryBrand framework and create a script for your brand. The third part shows you what you can do with your StoryBrand script once you have one.

After reading the book, I went online to MyStoryBrand.com where you can actually fill out the framework for yourself. Even though it’s been a little bit since I finished the book, the notes at the end of each chapter helped me quickly remember what each part of the framework was about and fill out my StoryBrand script.

Even if you don’t run a company or have anything to sell, this book is great for anyone who is building a personal brand, running an organization, or just managing an entity that needs an identity. This book makes the concept of storytelling easy to understand, develop, and implement!

New Adventures…

If you’re not connected with me on my personal social media, you missed my big announcement yesterday!!

A few weeks ago, I had my last day as an employee of Coastal Premier Properties. After 5.5 years, I’ve left my role as Head of Marketing to start something I’ve long felt called to do. Though I definitely resisted the call and tried many times to ignore it and move in different directions, it is true that when you are called, there is little to do, but answer. I’m sharing this for anyone who feels called to do something or be somewhere, but has been ignoring that voice whether out of fear, practicality, or something else. Truly amazing things happen when you accept and lean into your fate, your destiny, your life’s work. I’ve seen it firsthand – the things that have happened since I stop resisting are nothing short of extraordinary.

I loved so much of the work I did at Coastal Premier. But what I loved most of all was working with the people, teaching and helping agents achieve success even if that success was something as small as doing their first Instagram story. There’s a magic to working person to person and seeing someone have a breakthrough or a triumph because of something you did or helped them achieve.

Whether your company stays small all its life or you’re merely passing through on your way to greatness, everyone starts from the same place, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and making things work because there is no one else, but you. I know that struggle well after years of working with people in all stages of business. And what I’ve found is that there are not enough people offering digital marketing services to the little guys and those who are just starting out.

My vision for Minute Marketing is to not only offer paid digital marketing services, but also free resources to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Even if you’re not a business owner or aren’t in a place where you can afford to hire out for short or long-term needs, I hope you’ll visit my site often, read that blog, and subscribe to my channel on Youtube because one of the things that is important to me in creating my company is to give value and provide the resources people need to get their business to the next level. If you’re stuck and you can’t find the answer to something, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. I want to know what you’re struggling with and if I can answer a question for you, there’s probably at least one other person who has the same challenge.

My site is now live at www.MinMarketing.com. I encourage you to subscribe to my emails not because anyone really needs to join another mailing list, but because I hope to make this the most value email subscription in your inbox. If you’re interested in learning more about my paid services, you can visit the services tab. If you don’t see what you’re looking for and wonder if I offer that service, please email me about what you need.

…Oh, and if you’re wondering if I’m writing a goodbye to this blog right now….NOPE, NOPE, AND MORE NOPE! That’s another thing I’ve discovered about this crazy ride we call life – sometimes you get really, really lucky and get called to walk two paths. My blog is now back in action and I’ll also be sharing more details about my journey as a business owner and a writer here.  I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for awhile now, which is why I haven’t been keeping up with my blog. But I’m excited to start reading again (you guys, I have SOOOO many new books it’s insane) and I am stoked (yes, stoked!!!) to dive back into edits (stoked to do EDITS!) on my Tesla book and get that ready to send out to agents. I missed my blog, I missed reading, and I missed writing. Obviously, it will be a challenge to maintain multiple time-consuming pursuits, but along with my horses and friends and family, that’s what makes life worth living for me. And without all those things, my soul feels incomplete.

So cheers to living a crazy complete life full of passions and chasing dreams and gratitude and synchronicity and making shit happen.  I’m so looking forward to this new adventure and can’t wait to see what the future holds! And if you’ve read this far, I hope you will enjoy turning the page to a new chapter with me.

-Shannon