Man, we had a good thing going back there. There were the 5-am workouts, the 9-5, the family, our new business, and over 100 posts without a serious break. For about 9 months I had this thing rocking on all cylinders, was saying things like “Sleep is for the weak,” getting a ton of things done, and actually being a good husband/dad (unconfirmed reports). I bet you can guess what happened in October, though???
And although it pains me to admit this weakness, a weakness it was: I. Burnt. Out.
For me, burnout looked like sleeping in until 6, the regular 9-5, all family time after work, and 15-30 minutes on the business in the evenings. For workouts, I would squeeze 12 minutes of running into my day either picking up Clara from school or literally running to the drugstore. I did 100 burpees for time. I repped out 100 pushups with some core work, but in any case, I was doing what I needed to do to maintain. Then 7 days went to 5, and then to 3 or 4. Then in the beginning of October, we set off on a transition with our business. We knew this was coming, but like most things, we didn’t realize the extent of time that would be needed to make our new endeavor happen. What was it – we are forced to move our dental office to a new location.
How hard could it be, right? Move a couple of dental chairs, put up some walls, yadda yadda, Grand Opening!! Uh… Not quite. Well you see there was the negotiation of the lease. Then there was the negotiation of the turnover terms and date. Then there were talks with the contractor on exactly what building our new office space (within an existing structure that used to be a ‘speakeasy’…) would entail. And finally, we ‘got’ to dance with our old friends at the bank for a few months about how much our practice could borrow vs what we had to bring to the table in cash… ‘Wow’ is a good word for how that process went. Luckily for us, we had much help along the way and ultimately we were able to get the deals negotiated, completed, and signed after a few months, and as of this writing we have just started construction this week (set to open the new office in early April 2018!!). We’re crossing our fingers that our apt contractors (Team DDS) have us prepared and in good hands – we’re confident in their abilities.
But let’s get back to October and the blog…
Much to my former self’s surprise – I am human and those long days ended up taking their toll. I wrote about it a bit in this previous post, but I’ll just say that stress levels rose, my priorities shifted, and eventually I quit fighting the ‘I need to finish this post before Monday night!’ fight. Then one day in October I quietly shut down new posts without so much as a heads-up to the readers.
Let me apologize for that off the top (well, middle) of this post – I’m sorry. Truth be told, the active readership had gone a bit stagnant and with minimal engagement, I started thinking that no one would really notice the new posts quit coming. I also rationalized it at first as – I’ll just take a week off. Then the week turned into 2 and here we are. I didn’t run out of post ideas, necessarily, I had shifted my time and desire into other areas. For a while, I was on the fence between shutting the site down completely vs planning a reboot day (today!!) sometime in the future.
But then some things started happening.
First, it was a friend who asked me when the next new post would come out. Then I would hear second-hand questions with the same curiosity. Then one day in November I got an email notifying me of a new subscriber to the blog. The questions started spinning my writing wheels a bit but then the thought of a new subscriber that cared enough to sign up for my newsletter not getting a single new post. Not cool. Then another subscriber came in. “Alright,” I thought. “Game on.” And I started planning out what the reboot would look like. For the plan to get formulated, I needed to sign in to the Admin page (something I hadn’t done since preparing the last post) – and this is when it clicked for me.
I signed into the Admin page in early December and saw that at least a handful of people had visited MikedUp Blog each day since the last posting and that was with no new content. People were actually starting to find my articles by searching for different topics on Google. This blew me away. And on top of that, I had earned more of the advertising pennies I focused so much on gaining in the past. Although they were pennies – they were hard earned pennies, and I loved every one of them.
What makes this time different from the last time?
That’s a good question, imaginary reader person… I’ll start off with the fact that I already have 5 additional articles written and scheduled to post for the next 5 weeks (with more on the way). I’ll be answering some mailbag questions while also diving off on the tangents I so much enjoy – hopefully you’ll enjoy these as well. But what makes me confident that the blog will sustain is the following:
I truly enjoy writing these articles and hearing what impact they have on each of you. It’s fun for me. Also, we have been through many stressful periods getting our business up off the ground and (fingers crossed) things have started settling out a bit. I am confident that I’ll be able to devote a few hours each week to the blog and its many projects. Another thing is that I’ve been working with some financial counseling clients and they have made some tremendous progress. I can’t wait to share some of their accomplishments and the ‘how’ of how they got out of debt and into much better financial situations.
Another slight adjustment moving forward is that the posts will be coming out Wednesday mornings rather than Tuesdays. It’s a reboot, after all, and a new posting day signifies a new reinvigorated beginning (also it gives me an extra weekday to work on post prep, should we get to that point again).
What I’m doing to take back control over my general well being
First things first, I’m setting a little more realistic workout goals. Rather than agonizing over getting in a solid 30-45 minute workout every morning (then spend the remainder of the day thinking about when I can fit that into my schedule if I happened to get up 10 minutes late), I’m planning 4 hardcore workouts throughout the week (30-45 minutes) with 2 during the work week and the remainder on the weekends. What I’ll do to cover the other 3 weekdays will be to just fit in something simple (a 12-minute run to pick up Clara from school, 100 kettlebell swings, 100 burpees, 100 pushups/situps/squats, etc.). One thing that I’ve noticed about those simple days is that Clara and the Mrs. tend to enjoy participating in those workouts as well. #TeamWork.
With regards to the business, we have many good practices and systems in place that allow me to be efficient with my time spent working at nights. These should help me reduce the time needed and still allow us to grow effectively.
For husband/dad mode: no changes. Some areas of my life need more attention than others. These are those areas.
Now for the blog. With less stress coming from not working out at 0500 every morning and more streamlined evening work schedules, I am going to designate 1-2 nights each week (30-45 minutes per) to focus on writing and preparing posts. That should be more than enough time to crank out 1 (good quality) article each week. Additionally, I had started writing again in early December but this post isn’t out until January. In that time, I’ve been able to bank a solid 5 articles that are scheduled and ready for your eyeballs in the coming 5 weeks. That buffer should keep stress down and creativity for new articles at a high! One change to the site is that I will not be updating the Index page any longer. Rather, I will make the categories (finance, fitness, family, etc.) menu bar options at the top that will allow you to scan through articles based on what you’re looking for. There is also a search bar for you to quickly scan for keywords or article titles.
Thank you for coming back!
I know I’ve been MIA for a few months now and I appreciate the fact that with no new posts or focus on my end toward the blog, you kept reading (or at least clicking) and you are here now. Without your interest, there would not be a ton of push for me to actually post these articles at all. So thanks again for being here and for spending a few of those precious moments in your day. I’ll do my part to keep coming up with new and (hopefully) interesting content for you in the coming weeks and months. I’ll be monitoring the comments section below if you have any comments/questions/or heckling to do. I appreciate you,
Thanks for reading!
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I’m glad you’re here. Thanks again and talk soon!