Day 2990 – Six Years Ago Today Was My First…

What happened six years ago today for the first time? My very first wedding as a full time wedding photographer. I’m so thankful for these two and am glad we’ve stayed in touch over the years! Happy anniversary!

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Day 2987 – My Biggest Productivity Secret

I, like everyone, have a ton of things to do. My list of tasks grows every day, and at times it’s overwhelming. I have SO many ideas and projects I want to work on (I’m looking at you, YouTube Channel). I have fiction books I want to write, kid’s books I want to write, spending more time on Pinterest to increase my traffic, creating more content, posting on my other websites, keeping up with social media, oh, and reading hundreds of books. It can be discouraging sometimes. It can feel like I’ll never get everything done. And, well, I won’t. I’ll finish some things, for sure, but the scope of my imagination will not ever be realized. Honestly, accepting this is a big step towards peace and focus at work.

So, what’s the number one thing that I can point to? What is my productivity secret?

It is simply, a good night sleep.

Tuesday was an extremely long day. Since we get up at 5, we’re typically in bed around 9 or 10. I like to lay down around 8/8:30. Because of a back to school night, Bret was at work until 8. We shared the car that day, so I was out until 8 as well. For one reason or another, it took us forever to get to bed. Yesterday I was exhausted. My productivity was almost non-existent. I did complete the HAVE to dos. But it was far below what I’m capable of doing. I knew I HAD to go to sleep early last night. I think I fell asleep around 8:30. I woke up around 9:15 and was so confused. Took a drink and back to bed. I woke up feeling FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC! I am excited to see how much I will accomplish today. I am so energized. And I realized, that sleep and rest is such an important (and SO often overlooked) part of a productive life.

Bonus productivity tip – naps. Oh baby, taking a nap in the middle of the day, then having a cup of coffee after you wake up is SO helpful! It’s almost like starting the day over.

Do you agree? Is sleep the most important aspect of productivity? Let me know below!

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Day 2982 – The Dark Side Of Freelancing – or – Six Years Freelancing

Scrolling through my On This Day today, I noticed I started each post the same “I can’t believe….I cannot believe….etc….I’ve been a freelancer for XXX years” And to be fair, I still can’t believe this is my life, working as a freelancer. Having complete freedom of my days and my schedule. Being responsible for making my income. There are a few things I might change over the past few years. I would drink way less, I would have increased our fees for photography sooner and more gradually. Then again, everything I’ve gone through has made me who I am today, and I really like myself and how I’ve grown. But there are things that aren’t that pretty about freelancing. There are some really hard things.

– It is much harder to make money. I have made more than half of what I made at my 9-5 jobs.
– There are stretches where I don’t shower for a few days. It’s a “well, why bother?” attitude.
– It is incredibly lonely. I can go days without seeing anyone other than Bret, librarians, and cashiers.
– There is a sharp increase of self-doubt.
– Not too many people will understand what you’re going through.
– There will be dozens…hundreds….thousands of people who do what you do who will do it cheaper.

I’ve also been considering how different my life would have been if I didn’t jump into full-time freelance work. Here are a few things I would have missed out on.

– Travel. Hands down, this has been the best outcome of freelancing. I can up and go when I want. I probably would not have taken as many cross country road trips as I have if I was still “workin’ for the man.”
– More time with Bret, stress free. When I was working a 9-5, and building a business on the evenings and weekends, there was very little time to hang out with Bret. And when we would hang out, there was always the tug of things I should be doing. There was always stress.
– I wouldn’t have had the time I have now to help Bret build his real estate investing business. I can devote time now to getting things organized and running smoothly so he can focus on what he does best.
– I wouldn’t have met all of the amazing business owners at meet ups, conferences, and weddings.
– I would have been plagued with lots of what if questions.
– I probably wouldn’t have written two books.

Are there sacrifices I’ve made to freelance? Oh baby yea. But I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Here’s to another 6 years freelancing!

This is from my first wedding as a full-time freelancer. 🙂

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Day 2981 – Repost – How To Make Your Dreams Come True

Below is a repost from this day last year. I think it’s a good reminder, and I hope you’re taking steps towards your dreams! But two fun facts – When I was adding in the tags, I typed “meeting your goals” and had a mental picture of me shaking the hand of a goal. I wonder what a goal would look like… Also, if you think your dream is too big, and 15 minutes is too little time…I really only write about 15-30 minutes a day, and wrote my road trip book in less than 6 months. Don’t underestimate the power for 15 minutes every day!

~~~~ originally posted 9/8/16 ~~~~

I love to see others follow their dreams. I love hearing of people quitting their full time job to be a small business owner. I love pushing people to fulfill their dreams or at least figure out how to get there.

I have a few new dreams, being a speaker, writing for income, traveling more – to name a few (I am a big dreamer after all). But how do you make these dreams come true? How do you live the life you want to live? Here are a few tips.

– Set a deadline. Whether it’s in a few months or 20 years, put it on the calendar.
– Break down the steps to get there. If you want to write a book, break down how to do it before your goal. Having bite sized steps is super helpful.
– Tell a few trusted people your goal. Pick people who will ask you how it’s going. Pick people who won’t take your excuses as a valid reason you’re not completing your steps.
– When you’re working towards your dream, give it your all. Even if you can only devote 15 minutes a day to writing your book (or whatever), work SO hard in that 15 minutes.
– Realize that your dream may change, or how you get there might change.

Now go do it!

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
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Day 2980 – Buy A Book Day!

I want to start off by saying I did a very poor job of following my own advice yesterday about fighting procrastination! I spent a ton of time on Facebook (not doing as well as I was with checking twice a day), I played games on my phone, I watched videos. To give you a snapshot of how bad it was, on Tuesday I did 6.13 hours of work (either for my clients, for Bret, writing, or building my business), and only 1.03 hours of games/social media. Yesterday, I did 3.67 hours of work, 1.8 hours of games/social, took 1.5 hr nap, and spent 1.22 hours relaxing. When I say relaxing, I’m typically just laying in bed and playing games. Oy. Ha ha, so the lesson is, take your own advice! Thought y’all get a chuckle out of the irony. 😀

So today is buy a book day. I love to buy books, but I very rarely buy them now. I am absolutely obsessed with the library (as you know). Since we have minimized a lot in our lives, I think differently about buying books. I want to buy books that will be a good resource, that I will go back to again and again, and will enjoy reading multiple times (I’m looking at your Harry Potter in a Trunk*). I went from two large bookshelves, to less than 1 small shelf….and even those I could probably get rid of more. I think a big shift for me is that I am honest with myself about if I will actually read or re-read a book. But there’s another side to owning books, I rarely read my own books. If I don’t have a library due date hanging over my head, there’s no pressure to actually read the book. This is also true for books I borrow from people.

Even the last book I bought hasn’t been read that much. Though, reading Dream Big, Think Small: Living an Extraordinary Life One Day at a Time* really has had a big impact on how I think about things. What I love about Tools Of The Titans is how it’s split into bite size chapters, and the system I created for reading it (highlighting in different colors), helps me keep track of what I have and haven’t read. I am hopeful that if I can add reading a chapter or two into my routine will help me to finally finish this massive (707 pages thank you very much) book.

What was the last book you bought? Do you buy lots of books or just use the library? If you want a book to buy, and it’s something you’re interested in, check out one or both of my books below.

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* Amazon affiliate link
Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
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Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
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