Technically, it’s 277 episodes if we count the 177 episodes as The WordPress Chick.
I thought it was a lot more, but there have been some times over the year when the podcast went on sabbatical, and that’s O.K.
What matters is that I get back to it.
So here we are, officially at episode 100, and it’s GAME ON!
Before I get into what’s coming and my new non-negotiables, I need to bring you up to speed with the last few weeks.
One of my dogs needed knee surgery (on both back knees), so I had that done the first week in July. She didn’t heal correctly because she pulled something out that they had done, probably just from moving incorrectly or getting off the couch (I was trying to lift her everywhere also).
So, after taking her back to the vet twice (they didn’t do x-rays the first time), it was determined that she’d need surgery again on one knee.
Fortunately, they didn’t charge me for the second surgery but wanted to keep her at the vet (she’s still there at the time of this writing, which is 2.5 weeks later) so they could do physiotherapy with her to make sure she healed.
I’ve messaged them and am waiting for them to get back to me.
The day I dropped her off in Liberia (about an hour away), I started feeling like I was getting sick. Sure enough, I had a heavy summer cold, congestion, cough, and fever (tested negative for Covid twice).
I had a close friend’s niece come to stay with me a during that time (I said it was fine as long as she did her own thing and didn’t mind being here while I was sick), which turned out to be great because she made a couple of pharmacy runs for me.
The day I was taking her back to the airport, I went to get in my car and could barely walk.
How I managed to drive her, there is beyond me. I was in excruciating pain (I’ve had two kids and would take childbirth over that pain all day long). I had to stop my car 4 times on the way home to lay down in the back seat to get some reprieve.
I got a hold of a great massage therapist and asked if she had any time that day because I thought it was sciatica.
In the meantime, a friend brought me a muscle relaxant and some pain meds from the pharmacy during my massage (she knows the massage therapist too). I was sobbing I was in so much pain during the massage. I took the pain meds immediately, which did nothing.
I called my friend and said I needed to go to the doctor, so she & another friend’s husband took me directly to the emergency in Liberia. After a CT scan and a couple more rounds of pain meds (it took forever to get some relief), it turns out I have a herniated disc pressing against my spine, compressing the nerves.
Last week my same friend (who truly is an angel) took me to San Jose (my first trip there – it’s over 4 hours away) for an MRI. We stayed overnight (which was fun. We found an Outback Steakhouse – an American chain – and even a Starbucks! I got a Starbucks on the way out, but actually prefer Costa Rican coffee!).
We left San Jose the next day and went straight to Liberia to consult with the neurosurgeon for the results of the MRI.
He said I absolutely need surgery.
I had been doing a bit of research and reading before my MRI (which, holy hell, I’m way more claustrophobic than I thought!) and was determined to heal myself naturally.
Until I saw the MRI image.
I haven’t decided yet, but I am leaning towards having the surgery.
The next big decision is whether to have the surgery here or back in the states. I don’t have insurance here (and if I sign up now it won’t be covered because this is a pre-existing condition), or to sign up for medical back in the states and get the surgery later.
It really just depends on whether or not I can deal with how I feel right now for a couple more months (insurance in the states won’t go into effect until Nov. if I sign up now.
It’s $16k cash if I do it in Costa Rica.
So, right now I’m in the ‘research’ phase of things.
Fortunately, I’m out of pain (I have a heavy-duty medication I take at night blocking the nerves) and pain meds during the day. The one thing that is a little concerning for me is that my right leg feels really heavy, which is caused by the issue with the nerves.
I feel like I’m walking like Igor from Frankenstein (dragging my right leg), but it doesn’t hurt, so that’s good.
So here I am today, on a rainy Saturday, able to sit at my desk again, coffee in hand, and jumping back into things.
As we head into the last 4 months of the year, I have some very specific things that I want to accomplish.
I’ve already shared that I’m hoping to move everything over to ClickFunnels 2.0 when it launches on October 3rd. I don’t think that will be something that happens overnight, but ideally, I get all my funnels and products into the platform first.
The process of getting my blog and podcast into ClickFunnels will take a while (I’m giving myself until the end of the year), but truthfully, it depends on how much I like the blog platform. As long as I have the flexibility to format my content the way I want and add an opt-in box with ConvertBox I can’t imagine why I wouldn’t (other than it is tedious).
I’ve been thinking a lot about how I do the podcast.
After doing it for so many years, I want to change it up a bit. My initial thought was to do seasons or themes, but neither resonates with me (but don’t quote me on that because if I can’t find a better name, it might just be one of those).
I’ll continue doing solo shows, but I want to bring more interviews back. I have clarity over the type of guests I want and the topics I want to discuss.
I get pitched quite a bit to have someone on the show (and I’ve committed to some of those interviews already and will honor those commitments). Still, if it doesn’t feel right with the season, session or theme I’m in (I’m ALL ears if anyone has any suggestions as to what to call this), then I’ll tell them to come back later and see if it’s a good fit.
This is a big one.
My biggest opportunity is to create a solid distribution and promotion schedule. The one thing that has probably impeded my growth more than anything else is not promoting myself enough.
That ends now.
Over the last week, I hired 3 writers through Upwork to take the content I’ve already created and create a Twitter thread, 10-15 tweets, and a Linkedin Post.
I’ve got two back already and am pleased with both results.
Both are affordable, and I’d like to work long-term with them.
I’m still waiting to get the work back from the 3rd writer, so we’ll see how that goes. One has more experience writing SEO-rich blog posts, so I may also enlist help on that front. It may take me longer to edit those into my voice than to write them, but I highly doubt it.
I am on a MISSION to turn this into a system that works with the growth I want to achieve and the direction I’m heading.
Content marketing is simply marketing.
I’ve worked at reframing, creating content, repurposing it, marketing myself, etc. It’s ALL simply traffic. You need the traffic to serve the people you want to serve and grow and scale your business.
We’re entering the next phase of social media. Gone are the days of it being a novelty or something you can choose to do or not do (and yes if you’ve been in a service business for a long time and have plenty of referrals, have it, skip the social. But if you want leverage and other opportunities, it’s part of how business is done today).
After realizing missed opportunities with the Content Creators Planner, I’m doubling down on creating a small and extremely efficient team.
I refuse to be stuck or limited by time, and I have zero desire to try and do everything myself anymore (or with one key person).
There is NOTHING “FtheHUSTLE” about that.
Which I love.
It’s much easier to put in extra time when you know it’s not the standard way of doing business. Sprinting for a set period with an end goal is doable.
That’s how I’m approaching each of these pieces of my business that are changing and part of the new foundation.
My New Non-Negotiables
Whenever I think of the phrase “non-negotiable,” it first brings up thoughts of working with clients (scope creep, anyone?), which I don’t do anymore or personal boundaries.
My new non-negotiables are different.
They’re internal non-negotiables that are directed at me… from myself.
Here is my list of my new non-negotiables:
My gut tells me this list will grow, which is pretty freaking fantastic.
This is something I’m going to rewrite on paper and put next to my desk.
Products, Funnels, and Automations
I’ve spent way too much time not putting the right automations in place.
Even though I don’t want to admit it, I’ve probably also lost thousands and thousands of dollars not making sure my product suite is up and available for sale (with the right funnels, follow-ups, and upsells).
That’s all going to change.
My products are going to focus on three things:
I wrapped up a great first cohort of HitSend (well, I have one more live stream to do that was canceled because of my dog’s surgery) and will be running that multiple times a year (I’ll probably do the next one at the end of October or beginning of November).
I’m about to pre-sell my new course, Launch & Grow a Newsletter, for 50% off (the course will open on October 1st). This is a self-paced course with two live calls. Once the course goes on evergreen I’ll remove the live calls, but I love getting the feedback and the interaction with my students. I intend to have my back surgery in early October so will time those calls around that.
The Launch & Grow a Newsletter course will be part of an evergreen funnel and value ladder. I have a few more email marketing products that will go into my product suite.
There will be one high-ticket coaching program called “FtheHUSTLE Insiders.”
And that’s it.
Plus a new secret project, I’m working on and will announce in a month or so.
It has been a busy-ass year!
I’ve had visitors 8 months out of the past 9!
My plan is no more guests until 2023. I have absolutely loved having everyone here, but it does throw a monkey wrench into my schedule a bit.
I’ll be heading to California for Christmas and looking at making it a longer trip (10 days to 2 weeks, so I can see everybody as well as have some downtime). I’ve got a wedding to go to in Chicago in March and would like to take a couple of other trips next year besides up to California (even though I miss everyone it’s not really a ‘vacation’ for me).
My priority right now is to get my back fixed so I can get back to business. It’s not slowing me down too much, but this is pretty uncomfortable and I’d like to get off of these meds. I’m a higher energy person and these make me pretty sleepy.
I’m still quite happy in Costa Rica and don’t have any immediate plans to leave. Ultimately, I want a place in the states and one here. I may wait until my kids settle down somewhere in the states so I can be closer to them (and future grandchildren… that is so weird to write and neither of my kids is anywhere near that yet).
Overall, life is really, really good.
I’m excited to see what the next 4 months bring me.