Denver Life Slice of Life Work Diaries

Taking a step back & a step forward

Speaking at Ignite Denver 20 on June 11, 2015. Thanks to @b_wleung for the photo!
Speaking at Ignite Denver 20 on June 11, 2015. Thanks to @b_wleung for the photo!

Last month, I spent a lot of time reflecting on my business, Hashtag Hustler, and what direction I want to take it. I also spent some time thinking about what exactly I want out of my life–do I want to go back and work for someone else? Do I want to actually succeed as an entrepreneur?

The first half of June, I spent running around getting stuff done for a couple organizations I’m a part of here in Denver: I gave my third Ignite Denver talk on June 11, talking about the lessons I learned from working at a hot dog stand in San Francisco. Hopefully the video will be up shortly so I can share it with you all!

Ryan and I in Times Square after watching Les Miserables on Broadway.
Ryan and I in Times Square after watching Les Miserables on Broadway.

After that, though, I spent the rest of the month with my love, Ryan, and went to New York City for vacation. It was Ryan’s first time to visit the Big Apple, so we visited many tourist attractions, such as the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Chinatown, and so forth. We went to see Les Miserables on Broadway and walked the Brooklyn Bridge as well. All in all, it was a great respite from life in Denver, and gave me space to really think about what I want out of my career and business.

Unfortunately, after we got back from New York City, I got sick with a terrible stomach virus. I’m feeling better now, but that sickness forced me to take off several more days and think about what direction I want the rest of the year to go in. On Monday, I received a rejection letter from a job I really wanted, and that was when I knew I had my answer: it’s time to go full-force with Hashtag Hustler.

It’s not that I haven’t been going at it with Hashtag Hustler since the official launch at the start of the year: it’s that I have been getting rejections from prospects the past several months, and I want to fix that. So I’ve hired a business coach to work with me over these next six months to revitalize the business.

Since the beginning of June, I’ve been hearing others talk about how we as professionals need to seek out other professionals to help us in our careers and lives. Why would a real estate agent act as his or her own expert in financial management if he or she doesn’t even have the background in that field? Why do so many businesses insist on doing their own marketing when that is NOT their speciality?

If you don’t invest in your own career or your life, you will receive that energy back from your clients or your friends. I realized this when I kept receiving rejection after rejection: I haven’t invested in my own business since my first business! Why would others want to hire me as their social media coach/manager if I don’t myself seek out a coach for my business?

So, onward I go. I have high hopes for this new adventure.


Speaking of adventures…

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you may know that I spoke at the inaugural Denver Startup Week in 2012. I would love to speak at this year’s Denver Startup Week about social media, but I need your help: please click on over to vote for my two sessions before Friday, July 10th. Much appreciated!

What Businesses Do Wrong On Social Media (& What To Do Instead)

Make Your Event Social Media Sparkle!

Work Diaries

Projects & Spinning Head

I’m currently taking a break from all my reading for my classes.

A few days before 2012 came to be, I constructed a list of things I want to focus my time on. And already, with school back in-session (full force!), I find myself neglecting my business plan, my writing, and my freelance work.

I’m working on a statistical analysis for ELI ; now, to find the time to get all the numbers crunched. Am so glad I have my stats professor guiding me along on this.

the3six5denver is going well so far, but I feel like I am pulling teeth to get more writers out of the woodwork. This week has been slow for the project…need more writers, need another editor.

I met with a NaNoWrimo friend last night for a quick dinner before my classes 6-10pm. I continue to tell myself, every year since NaNoWriMo 2007, that I will “revise that novel and get it ready to send out.” Sadly, out of all of my WIP (novels especially), that first novel has the most potential. The rest is just drivel for now.

My network in Denver is expanding; so glad for this. I need to make a point to blog a little more frequently than once each month. A lot happens, but not enough time is set aside for writing. Sigh.

Back to homework now…

Work Diaries

Daily Post Day 69: Ideal Work Location

If I could work from anywhere, it’d be from all over the world.

Oh…sorry. Is that not such an original answer?

Well, I’ll admit it isn’t, but it’s much easier to execute this lifestyle these days with technology. Telecommuting, virtual assistants, etc.

Why sit in an office all day when you could be out traveling and doing work wherever your heart desires?

I’d certainly love that.


But….realistically. My ideal work location would be a big city/metro area. Perhaps maybe not the larger metro areas in this country, but something second-tier (in terms of population, etc.). A mix of nature and city life all wrapped up in one.

(By the way, I’ve already found that place I believe…)

Work Diaries Work in Progress

Daily Post Day 8: How I Stay Focused

(Ah-ha! Caught up now! I actually quite like these prompts from The Daily Post. At least they get me writing!)

I stay focused on tasks at hand (e.g., freelance writing, web design, writing letters, etc.) by removing myself from distractions (such as my laptop….). Usually, when I am drafting stories for my writing gigs, I take my AlphaSmart NEO to the dinner table and draft my story that way. If I sat at the computer doing that, I’d become too distracted with Twitter, email, etc. That’s the main reason why I bought the NEO in the first place — less distraction!

Now, when it comes to website editing, I close down all my Internet tabs (that are distracting) and set myself a time limit on web work. I can only stare so long at the computer screen after all…

With non-technological tasks, I just make sure I have some relaxing music playing in the background and I can focus pretty well on whatever I’m doing.

Since I’m on the topic of focus…today I finally had the chance to draft a new story series outline for my writing client. Thank goodness for my family and their movie suggestions! Have yet to crack open my novels-in-progress for writing, but 10K days are coming up. Also, shall have some write-ins soon. Must coordinate schedules!

NaNoWriMo project Work Diaries

A New Cycle & NaNoWriMo Thoughts

It’s always about cycles; once I get used to a routine, something else changes it up. I think this weekend I’ve finally gotten the hang of my recent schedule:

Since I’ve received unexpectedly good attention for client stories, I’ve been keeping busy with writing short stories up to 2,000 words. These stories are essentially me being a ghostwriter, so in the end I don’t get credit for writing them (other than the bit of cash I receive from the gig). It’s okay; it’s been fun learning about new topics I wouldn’t have ever thought to write about in my own work.

Since the past few Sundays have been errands days, the rest of the week I decided to be more proactive and finish all my projects/assignments by today. Success! Amazing what a little deadline does to me. It’s probably a common feeling, but I find that just having a deadline/plan later in the day forces me to focus on my work earlier in the day. It’s better than floundering around all day and not seeing an “end” to the project.

Blogs have fired up for NaNoWriMo preparation; I remember how last year I wasn’t able to complete my novel. Then again, there was a lot on my plate last November–my mind wasn’t completely on writing. I wonder if this year will be different. I’m still against too much preparation for the project, though; in terms of writing, I just like to go with the flow rather than plan too much.

Earlier this week, I was chatting with a friend about how I’d like to get back to my own writing after I complete my client projects. Although it’s nice to earn money writing for others, I find the most joy in writing from writing for myself. That’s how everything should be in terms of career, right?