I’m still disoriented by the seasons in the Southern Hemisphere. September is the start of Spring in New Zealand, and after the long winter, I’m enjoying the warmer days and brighter skies.
We Sprang Forward at the beginning of the month, while my North American friends will Fall Back 4 weeks later.
So our time difference has temporarily shortened from 5 hours difference PT / 8 hours difference ET. Right now it is 4 / 7 hours off, and next month it will be 3 hrs / 6 hrs difference. Thank goodness for Calendly keeping all my appointments and time zones coordinated – managing my schedule would be its own part-time job otherwise.
Springtime growth can be chaotic and happenstance. It’s a nice piece of symmetry that my career is sprouting into all sorts of interesting directions, as well.
Before I tell you all about those evolutions, I’d like to share the biggest victory I’ve earned this month: I learned what caused me to fall ill last year. It was a restaurant called Pita Pit.
For a couple of months, I had been without the bloody symptoms of fatigue that confined me to my bed for most of my waking hours last year. Then I had a recurrence of my symptoms, with only one common variable: I had eaten at Pita Pit the day before.
This made me realize: when I had been at the worst of my illness, I was also eating at Pita Pit 2-3 times per week.
It was, I thought, the healthy option when I was working downtown full-time, and commuting 1.5 hours daily, and working on my business 20 hours every week on top of that. I thought my symptoms and illness were due to stress and overwork, but now I see that this stress only exacerbated whatever reaction I was having to the food I was eating at Pita Pit.
It’s only a guess, but I think they probably use some sort of petroleum-based accelerant on their grill. When I lived in the US, my family and I rarely went out to eat, since we were trying to live GMO-free as best we could. This encouraged us to prepare our own food at home for most meals.
Moving to New Zealand, I left that habit behind, and started eating out more. It’s ironic that I fell into the exact health trap I had spent years trying to avoid in the US.
The good news is, my cure is simple: don’t eat at Pita Pit.
I’m healing one more time, drinking cabbage juice and eating liver, and this should be the last of my illness; with luck, and some intentional cooking, I’ll continue to stay healthy.
The adventures this month were fun and fulfilling. I spent time with some amazing thought leaders, and spent time at the beach with my family.
One of my favourite moments of the month was when we were having a picnic feast, as my wife and I said farewell to food for three days, so we could take a quarterly fast. My daughter and I were crossing a park with a big picnic basket, and as I asked her to carry things with me, she exclaimed, “I’ve got books and a dog and a picnic, I’m living my best life!”
I snapped the picture of her above, along with some photos of my boys and their sticks.
I Booked My First Paid Speaking Gig
I’ll be speaking at the 7in7 conference later this month. It’s one of 7 digital nomad conferences over 7 years on 7 continents. Year 4 is in Wellington, and I’ll be presenting my new keynote: ‘Questions That Collect Referrals and Testimonials.’
I’ve been speaking as an amateur for a number of years, but this is the first time I’m getting paid for it. When I presented at Stages PDX in 2016, it was my first time on stage with a slide deck. But a decade spent onstage when I was young has given me a confidence and a comfort in the spotlight.
I’ve written on this blog about how the spotlight makes me feel, and I’ve had plenty of indications that it’s a natural home for my skills. Travelling to Denver to speak at the National Speakers Association conference in July reminded me that if I use this skillset – possibly my best skillset – I can make an exponential impact, reach more people, and have more fun.
Joining Thought Leaders Business School has helped me to clarify the business model I want to pursue: get paid for speaking, and sell coaching and training programs from the back of the room. There are plenty of people with my skillset who have very lucrative careers offering this trio, and with a little bit of long-term planning, I can do that, too.
I Launched My First Training Program
The 90-Day Profit Accelerator is part of this long-term plan.
I don’t like the title, but I had to settle on something to launch this program and get it going. I’ll rebrand it next year, and modify the format. The feedback I’ve gained from the participants has given me the insight you can only get on the other side of a launch. Regardless of what I call it, I’m very confident in the material.
“This is the work I would gladly put off doing,” one of the participants said. “As entrepreneurs, we get to decide how we spend our time. But I know that I’m not where I want to be in my business because I haven’t been doing this work.”
“Joining these weekly work sessions is like going to see my personal trainer,” said another, “I dread showing up, because it’s going to be hard – but when I’m done, I know it’s made me stronger.”
Hearing an entrepreneur crow with delight when they find a new way to package and sell their brilliance – that’s why I do this work.
Quotes that mattered to me this month
- “Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.” —St. Catherine of Siena
- “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” – Oprah Winfrey
- “The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Christopher McCandless
- “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” — Eric Hoffer
- “Rich people get paid by the project and pay by the hour.” – @naval
- “An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” – Dr Edwin Land
- “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to be yourself.” —Thich Nhat Hanh
Published This Month
- I was interviewed by SpeakerNet News about how to ‘Boost Your Business by Collecting Referrals and Testimonials‘
- I also made Testimonials101.com – a new evergreen lead magnet, 5-day email course, and PDF workbook
- While walking through the mountains and beaches of New Zealand, I recorded 10 daily videos promoting my training program collected under the hashtag 10 Ways to Double
- I made a video book review of Start Finishing by Charlie Gilkey.
Now @MerriamWebster has an official dictionary entry for ‘dad joke’ and I was privileged to leave the very first comment on the page, so I made my comment a dad joke.— Caelan Huntress (@caelanhuntress) September 18, 2019
It was ‘endearingly corny’ and ‘unfunny’ and I feel so very #meta with this, the finest of all my #dadjokes pic.twitter.com/kSRKhvZTe8
My comment was: I wanted to look up ‘dad joke’ in the dictionary because looking down on it would hurt my self esteem. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dad%20joke
As of this writing, my website shows up on Position 6 of a Google image search for the word ‘funnel.’ That was unexpected.
But the biggest surprise I had last month: I was working on a client’s website, and I went poking around in her form settings. I found 25,000 emails that meant to subscribe to her email newsletter, but the integration with her email service has not been working…for 9 years. Luckily, I had just written her a series of 10 re-engagement emails!
Metrics That Matter
This is a tricky time for my business – I’m still working with one-on-one clients, but I’m also promoting myself as a speaker. This means my conversations with my network have to seamlessly present these two aspects of my business.
The best way I can manage this is with honesty, sharing that I’m looking for speaking opportunities, as well as looking for digital marketing clients, at least through the middle of next year. In mid-2020, I’m planning to decouple myself from one-on-one work, and market myself as a speaker, coach, and trainer, exclusively.
- Net Profit last month: $ – 321
- Money saved last month: $ 100
- Hours of exercise last month: 3.5
- Average weekly hours worked last month: 38
- Days journaling: 7
- Days meditating: 14
- Hikes: 2
Goals for Last Month
- Enroll at least 10 people in the 90-Day Profit Accelerator – fail
- 5 minutes on the Vision Board every day – fail
- Meditate 20 times (try for 4/week) – fail
- Produce a speaker kit – fail
I don’t mind failing all my goals from last month. As Michelangelo warned us, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
I’m in enough professional transition right now that I see my goals as malleable; if I need to change direction mid-month, and aim for something different, I will happily pivot.
Goals for This Month
- Pay for November trip to Sydney in full
- Publish new Speaker page on this website
- Cardio sweat once per week (dancing or hiking)
- Weekly date with each of my kids one-on-one