Part of my plans for moving independently and running my own company was to take some extended time with my tasks reduced to the absolute bare minimum (more on that at the bottom of this newsletter and my most recent video). I was attempting to be this way for all of January.
Now that it is February I have mixed feelings about how I did. I definitely needed the break and I took plenty of time for myself. I have played lots of video games, read nearly 10 books, started blogging again, and even restarted my fitness routine. But I wouldn’t call the last month relaxation. As always, I filled my task list with a bunch of stuff, just this time in the guise of “health”. In reality, I put the same pressure on myself and was overloaded every day with too much so I was always stressed about falling behind on my relaxation.
I need help with relaxing 😆
All this aside, I am excited about the Spring and Summer and to get back outside. Until then, there’s plenty of marketing to talk about.
- Resources for getting started
- Twitter interlude
- A personal accessibility note
- The full experience
- In other news… My vlog!
- Link summary
Resources for getting started
There is a wealth of free services for new businesses to help anyone get started. I love these kinds of projects, like unDraw linked below, that open source resources without limitations. The illustrations you find on this site are free to use in any scenario, so you don’t have to learn about licensing, which is incredibly tricky when you are getting started.
This allows you to grow with your limited resources. Then, as you grow, you can find people and companies that can create tailored content for you.
The only thing I see as problematic with these types of open resources is that it leads to people thinking that good design work is either free or low cost. Good design costs money. Do not conflate getting started content with highly optimized, specially tailored design.
A personal accessibility note
What better returns on your content? Make accessibility a priority.
No more excuses, all of your content needs to be accessible. Accessibility isn’t just the right thing to do, it is important for SEO and for building a better product for your customers. If you work with someone who says that accessibility is not worth the effort, fire them. Flat out. Fire them.
This means no more keyword stuffing your alt tags on images. It means that auto-generated captions aren’t good enough. It means you should be able to navigate your website with just a keyboard. It means you should have overviews, clearly defined sections, and link summaries.
No more excuses.
The full experience
I love this model and how this article framed creating a brand, which will work for any business. This newsletter lays out the four value logic:
In the end, it is all about what kind of value you can provide to your customers, and how that value is perceived by prospects. But, in order to do this, you need to leave your ego aside. Be honest with yourself on how your customers value your brand.
A short, but dense, read about this brand development process is a must-read for any business in any part of their lifecycle.
Resting to become our most beautiful version | Get Better
I love the Fall and Winter.
In the fall, trees lose their leaves. Plants release their excess and prepare to rest. They are still active and growing, just releasing what they have taken on over the Spring and Summer.
Winter comes and the plants rest. They rest for months, only doing the bare minimum. But this rest is much needed.
We can’t grow all the time. In order for us to grow, we need to rest. We need to rest so we can be the most beautiful version of ourselves.
In other news…
On top of running two companies, being married, raising 4 kids, and being a bad movie junkie, did you know I also vlog? It’s true!
My vlogs are a place for me to talk about non-marketing/landscaping topics and get some practice using various cameras and video editing techniques. In my most recent video, I’m all worked up about my Razer Kishi, especially streaming games from XCloud and my Steam PC. I play some Hitman 3 on XCloud and then me and my kids play some Rubber Bandits because it is hilarious.
I also had a big fiasco with my PiHole install going kaput and causing everyone’s wifi to go down. Plus I have a solid Metaverse rant.
- Free, open-source illustrations – https://undraw.co/illustrations
- Venn Stone on Twitter – https://twitter.com/VennStone/status/1487856037570957314?s=20&t=WQfvzfMfqTz_mB7zS_etEA
- The Sociology of Business Newsletter: The taxonomy of objects – https://andjelicaaa.substack.com/p/taxonomy-of-value
- Resting to become our most beautiful version | Get Better – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Muli23Yzq0
- A Nexus 5X + Kishi console, Hitman 3, Rubber Bandits, and Pi problems | Vlog #9 – https://youtu.be/Ka9FetCLCcc