June 2018 Recap
JUNE 2018 RECAP
Can you believe we've passed the halfway mark of 2018? Time flies when you're having fun!!
This marks the 4th post in my monthly recap blog posts where I share a behind the scenes look at my business and life as an entrepreneur and digital nomad. I love having this space to record the highs and lows and show you how I spend my time away from my laptop.
I really enjoy seeing little glimpses of the personal lives of my fellow business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs because it makes me feel like I know them as real people, you know? I’m hoping you enjoy reading these posts from me too! I’m a firm believer that business can be professional AND fun and I’m so excited to share what I get up to every month.
June was a wild month full of travel - we're talking Bali, Cambodia and my grand return to Canada! I somehow managed to squeeze in some work too haha.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
BUSINESS AND WEBSITE NEWS
You might remember from the previous recap blog post that I gave my website a major facelift in May. It was long overdue and I continued to tweak my site in June. I played around with a few design changes, switched up the layout of certain pages, and added more testimonials across my site for social proof.
I also spent countless hours improving my email marketing. I created new email sequences, updated my welcome sequence for new subscribers, and fixed a few issues with embedded forms on my website (oops).
Another major thing I checked off my to-do list last month was that I updated my free email course, Launch Your Best Site! I added links to extra information and useful resources and I'm thrilled with what I'm sending out again. If you are interested in building your own Squarespace website but aren't sure where to start, this free email course will teach you everything you need to know!
I'll talk a bit more about my crazy travel schedule below, but first let's take a look at how that impact things on the work front.
I was lucky enough to work out of two of Outpost's coworking locations in June - first in Ubud (Bali) then in Phnom Penh (Cambodia). I know! Wild eh?
Outpost Ubud is a wonderful coworking space, chill & bright space, and I love all the events that they put on. Really awesome crew of people there too!
While I was working out of Outpost's Ubud location, I mentioned to the founder that I would be heading to Cambodia on my way back to Canada and he convinced me to check out their Phnom Penh location (known as the Green Penthouse) and work from there for a week. I didn't even know that Outpost had a location in Phnom Penh but after I checked it out online and got to ask a few questions, it sounded like a fun thing to try out. I am so glad that I took his advice and gave it a shot!
Let me start off by saying that never in a million years did I think that I'd work remotely from Phnom Penh, let alone that I'd find such a wonderful and welcoming co-working space there. The coworking space is gorgeous (as you can see from these pics), the wifi was awesome (I honestly think it was better than the internet in Bali), it's comically inexpensive, and the staff was beyond lovely. The coworking space is up on the 7th floor (IIRC) which meant that we had a great view to watch the rain roll in every afternoon.
Outpost Cambodia was the perfect space to buckle down and get sh*t done, and they even have a co-living option if you want to live and work in the same place while you're in Phnom Penh. I did that for a few nights and had a blast but spent the rest of the week on the other side of the river (both downtown and with family friends in trendy BKK neighbourhood). Everyone I met there was super friendly but it's a much smaller and quieter community than the digital nomad hub that is Ubud - and that's OK :)
Here are a few pics of Outpost Cambodia (from their website)
A few recommendations for anyone interested in working out of Outpost Cambodia:
- The coliving option was fun for a couple nights but I recommend staying on the other side of the river if you're there for a while. You can get to/from Outpost either by a cheap tuktuk (~$3 USD) or on their river boat (but I didn't always have the best luck with that haha)
- Outpost will lend you bicycles for the day!
- Every restaurant in town will deliver to Outpost and the staff will help you order whatever you want!
- Enjoy sunset from the gorgeous rooftop patio - best view in town, hands down! Perfect spot for a sundowner.
- Lots of French people in PP so brush up on your Francais
- It's a fairly small community of people (at least it was when I was there) so if you're looking to make lots of new friends and join a big group in Phnom Penh, this probably isn't the place to go
June was my sixth (!!!) month working remotely and I have to say it was my most memorable one yet. I still don’t love the term ‘digital nomad’ but I’m falling even more in love with the lifestyle every day. I can't believe that I could just hop on a plane and land in a place like Cambodia and keep on working like normal, it seriously blows my mind. Despite the crazy travel, I tried to stick to my "best" schedule (wake early, go for a walk, work, exercise before dinner, etc.) and still have fun exploring the sights. More on that below.
^ Click photo to enlarge
Also, Coworker.com interviewed me for their "Coworkers of the World Series"!
Page views took a major hit in June - we're talking a 14% decrease! I'm pretty sure this is because I had been using Boardbooster to schedule pin from my blog, and when they shut down (RIP) my referral traffic from Pinterest fell off. Bummer!
Question for fellow website owners: did you notice the same thing on your website in June? Did you switch to another Pinterest scheduling tool like Tailwind? Please let me know!!!
On the plus side, my email list continued to grow and I actually saw an increase in the number of people who signed up for my Squarespace SEO Checklist (probably because it's positioned super prominently on my site after the redesign last month). Yay!
I track all my stats in my Website Growth Tracker and it’s really fun to see my progress every month (<--- shameless plug).
I worked on several custom Squarespace websites in June and they all went very well.
I talked to several potential clients about my website consulting and strategy, mostly related to SEO and adding monetization streams, which is always exciting! You might remember that I had held off on this service over the past few months while I was abroad because I wasn’t sure how reliable the internet connection would be for live sessions and I was worried that the time change might be a turn-off, but I realize that I was overthinking things and making excuses. I’m very glad I opened this service back up again because I honestly love working with other website and business owners this way, so if this is something you’re interested in, let’s talk!
I shared a pretty honest blog post about what I learned from launching my second digital product so be sure to check that out if you’re interested in reading about my biggest takeaways!
I had intended to launch a few new digital products in June but none of them are live yet (for a variety of reasons). I'm frustrated with myself and was hesitant to share this (because I know I could have made it happen if I really wanted to), but the truth is I just prioritized other things in June. There's not a lot left to do before rolling these out and making them available so I just need to buckle down and get it done. Even though I really enjoy creating products and get wonderful feedback on what I've shared so far, I still get hung up and doubt myself. This is something I need to push past because I know that my products are awesome, valuable and solve my customer's problems so I need to stop doubting myself and letting that slow me down. Done is better than perfect should be my forever motto!
My goal for June was to publish two blog posts and send out a my weekly email to my newsletter, but I dropped the ball on the content front.
I only published 3 blog posts/video tutorials in June. Ugh! I have no real excuse here, I could have done a better job scheduling content in advance (which I normally do) so that I had blog posts lined up to hold me over during my crazy travel period.
I did, however, send out my weekly newsletter emails so at least I didn't fail on that front. My newsletter continues to be one of my favourite things to do and I don't see that changing anytime soon! Not to brag but I have the BEST email subscribers - you guys are so smart, funny and seriously crack me up with your replies. Keep ‘em coming and sign up below to join the fun - I’ll even send you my website pre-launch checklist to say thank you.
I know that blogging and growing my email list is time well spent because I can see a direct correlation between the content I create and how it increases traffic to my website, grows my audience, and in turn helps me to reach new business milestones. This should return to normal next month!
HEALTH & FITNESS
Health and fitness was a little all over the place in June (mostly due to my crazy travel schedule and being out of my normal Bali routine), but I still broke a sweat every day and kept up my fitness!
The past few months in Bali have turned me into #BasicBaliBabe, thanks to a near-daily yoga practice. Before I left, I made sure to squeeze in as many classes I could at my favourite studios in Ubud. If you ever find yourself in Ubud and want to practice yoga, I recommend checking out Yoga Saraswati, The Yoga Barn, Radiantly Alive and Ubud Yoga Centre. The Practice and Samadi in Canggu and Power of Now Oasis in Sanur are also wonderful studios.
I surfed as much as I could before leaving Bali (in Canggu) but I miss it already! I am so lucky that surfing was such an important part of my fitness routine over the past few months, it's one of my biggest joys (lame but true).
While I was in Cambodia, my main fitness goal was to hit 10k steps every day. That might not sound like a lot but holyyyyyy, was it ever challenging with that heat! The temperature was next level, no joke. I went to several yoga classes at Nataraj studio in BKK and really enjoyed my practice there - definitely recommend if you're in the neighbourhood. I noticed that Phnom Penh had several other boutique fitness studios, modern gyms, even a Crossfit box so that was neat for next time!
One things I adored about living in Bali was how wonderful and inexpensive the spas and massage treatments were. They became part of my routine while I lived in Ubud and I already miss being pampered on the regular!
One of the best things about returning to Canada at the end of June is that I got to go RUNNING again! If you've read previous monthly recaps, you will have noticed that I really missed running while I lived in Bali, and I'm SO happy that I've been able to pick that back up! My cardio is pretty pathetic but I can already feel it improving every time I head out. Hurray!
Before I left for Cambodia, I wasn't sure how my plant-based, low-alcohol diet would hold up but it turns out I was worried over nothing! Eating vegetarian/vegan in Bali is obviously super easy because there are so many restaurants and cafes that cater to plant-based diners, but I was thrilled to see that it was super easy to keep up in Cambodia too! Phnom Penh is way more cosmopolitan than I remembered (a lot has changed since I was there in 2015) and Backyard Cafe and Vibe Cafe were particularly delicious. This also marks another month of basically not drinking alcohol and although I never intended to move to Bali and ‘quit drinking’, I'm digging it and plan to keep with it.
TRAVEL & EXPLORING
As mentioned, I was in Bali, Cambodia and Canada in June. It was a ton of travel but I had a blast!
My last week or so in Bali was really bittersweet and I still have all the feels. It's HARD to leave such a wonderful place but I know I'll be back - hopefully sooner than later :)
After that, I flew to Cambodia! It's my second time visiting Cambodia and as I was going through immigration at the airport, the officer noticed the visa in my passport from my previous trip (a month in 2015) and gave me a warm "Welcome back!" - so typical, the Khmer people are some of the nicest, friendliest people I've ever met.
I stayed with family friends for a few days down in Kampot and had a blast checking out some of my favourite places in the area. I then returned to Phnom Penh for the second half of my stay and had the best time getting reacquainted with the city! I was floored at how much had changed since my last trip - outside the tourist centres, Cambodia is still very much a developing country, but Phnom Penh is completely different and it was particularly noticeable now. There are so many great restaurants, shops, boutiques, the infrastructure is great and leagues ahead of where it was a few years ago, loads of new high-end serviced apartments that expats live in, lots of construction on new buildings, renovations and improvements are happening all over, expensive cars all over the roads, high quality goods are sold at the markets, the works. Basically I was blown away with how much I loved PP this time around and I'll definitely be back!
From there, I flew back to Canada! It feels great being home and I have had the best time seeing all my friends and family. There's no place like home!
EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
June was nuts and I did so much that it's almost impossible to keep track of it all! I'm going to leave this section blank for this month's recap because it's a bit of a blur haha.
- Blog twice a week (or more)
- Send out weekly newsletter emails
- Launch digital products that are ready to go!
- Pitch article/guest blog post to 'goals' publication
BOOKS I READ
- Spy Catcher: The Candid Autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer by Peter Wright
- Destination Saigon: Adventures in Vietnam by Walter Mason
- Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
NEW ON THE BLOG IN JUNE 2018
- How to perform a content audit on your website
- May 2018 Recap
- How to add and customize a form on a Squarespace website - video tutorial
Now that you’re all caught up on what the heck I’ve been up to lately, it’s your turn to fill me in on how things are going with you! How was your month? Anything new and exciting that you’d like to share? Do you like these monthly recap posts or do you have zero interest reading about my escapades? I’d love to know so leave me a note in the comments below!
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