October 2015 Brags

Looks like it’s time for another brag post. :)

If you’re new to these, the gist is that every month I recap the last month’s previous wins. It’s a great way for me to stay in gratitude mode before jumping to the next big thing and I *love* being able to look back at the end of every year and see how the year progressed.

As always, I encourage you to post in the comments with your big wins from the last month too so we can celebrate together.

October was a funky month. As I mentioned in last month’s brag post I was bedridden from October 1st through October 15th. I didn’t do much of anything except for stay in bed and wait for the intense vertigo to pass.

That said, here are my big wins:

1. I think I did a pretty excellent job of being graceful during the 2 week process of being stuck in bed. I certainly experienced moments of frustration but I also looked for the lessons in why I would have gotten vertigo as well as what the blessings were. Most of the time I was actually grateful for what I was learning through the experience.

Some of the lessons, in case you’re curious: I had to learn how to receive help, I had lots of bonding time with my family (I stayed in the RV next to their house while this was happening), I had lots of time to do some inner work, and I got untangled from over-working.

2. Don’s birthday was October 11th and I completely surprised him by having people from all over the world send him presents and cards.

This was easier said than done because I had to wait for periods where he’d be off Facebook and secretly post, then make sure to delete all posts before he’d get back on.

I told people to send their presents to our P.O. box where I had his assistant saving everything, then she shipped it all to him on his actual birthday. He was completely shocked!

3. Don and I decided to sell our house in Vegas. As part of the move we decided to give my brother one of our cars. My brother was thrilled and my mom said she hadn’t seen him that happy in a while. It felt very, very nice to be able to do that for him.

Bedroom ledge with lots of crystals4. I moved to Pennsylvania for a while to be near family and friends.

Because I was so sick in the beginning of the month, I had my parents look at the place I live in now and told them to commit me to it if they liked it. I ended up moving in sight unseen but I love the house.

Bucks County, PA is BEAUTIFUL this time of year and it feels nice to be near so many people I love.

The picture next to this post is a picture of my bedroom ledge. It overlooks some beautiful nature and is filled with crystals (#obsessed).

5. I spent tons of time with my sweet nephew Gabriel.

6. Heather Tremko, the author of DIY Spa Retreat, sent me a copy of her first book. She referenced my “How to feel more alive” podcast episode in her book and said she wanted to thank me for what I put out in the world. It felt nice to hear that someone would reference a podcast show in their book.

7. I promoted a great product called Physical Product System along with 3 other marketers. I personally sold over 100 copies and as a team, we ended up winning #1 on the affiliate contest plus all of the smaller contests along the way. The contests are nice but it also feels really great to recommend excellent products to people and have many of those people trust me enough to pick them up.

8. I released some beta spots to a Twitter software I’ve been working on for 6+ months now, Post Dynamo. It was nice to finally put that in the world.

9. My Shopify store is still humming along nicely, earning 4 figures a month even though I haven’t been working on it much at all.

10.  My social media presence went from a total of about 88,000 followers on September 1 on social media sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook to somewhere around 89,000k by the end of October. There was an estimated increase of +1,000 followers/friends/fans. I’m not exactly sure as I wasn’t tracking well (but now have someone tracking M-F) and also hadn’t been doing much to gain followers since I hired a new assistant and hadn’t yet trained her on what my old assistant had been doing.

Total number of podcast downloads11. A Better Life ® (my podcast) was downloaded 10,508 times in October. I wasn’t as consistent as normal with my shows and even missed weeks completely so the numbers were down, but over 10k downloads is still brag-worthy!

So, that’s it for me – how about you? What were your October wins? :)

September 2015 Brags

This is probably the latest I’ve ever been for my monthly brags. I was pretty much completely bedridden from October 1st through October 15th due to a very bad case of vertigo.

I probably won’t remember everything but I’ll do my best to remember the big things. Sometimes I don’t feel like continuing to do these brags, but then I remember it’s very nice at the end of the year to look back and celebrate things I may have forgotten, so onward I go. :)

If you’re new to my brag posts, the gist is, around the 1st of every month I write down some of my big wins – personally and professionally – from the past month. I invite YOU to do the same thing too, both in the comments here and anywhere else you want. Life happens very quickly and it’s nice to slow down and celebrate yourself.

Here, in no particular order, are some of my September wins:

1. My sweet nephew who never says anyone’s name (everyone is pointed at or called “mommy”) said “Rachel”. I didn’t hear him but when my sister asked him to repeat it, he said it again. It was such a sweet moment and put tears in my eyes.

Up until that point I hadn’t seen him that often, since I lived cross county, and it was always on a very random basis. I think we have a special bond though and to me, that proves it. ;)

2. I got to treat Don to a NYC vacation. He’s always so generous with me and it was nice to be able to treat him back. We were in NYC from August through September, then I went to PA, then we both went to Wichita to hang with family and friends there. I had a very good time seeing them.

3. I promoted a product called Five Dollar Posts (great product on Facebook advertising) and ended up selling 207 copies. That was nice, but I was mostly excited about the conversions. 34.85% of the people who I sent to the sales page ending up buying which lets me know that people trust my recommendations.

FPD4. I made a big move in my personal life that I think will end up impacting my future for the better in a big way.

I’m usually pretty transparent and would share details but since this affects more than just me, I want to be considerate. The main idea, though, is that I made a huge decision that took a lot of courage. It was a long time in the making and something I know will pan out for the better, but that doesn’t take away that it was a VERY tough call. It took me several months to be ready for it.

5. My social media presence went from a total of 84,605 followers on August 30th on social media sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook to somewhere around 88k by the end of September. I didn’t track it (grr) but that’s a pretty educated guess. There was an estimated increase of +3,395 followers/friends/fans.

6. A Better Life ® (my podcast) was downloaded 14,632 times in September. I wasn’t as consistent as normal with my shows so the numbers were down, but I’m still celebrating a lot of listens.

7. I helped refer hundreds of people to UseGearBubble.com. It felt great to support my boyfriend AND share an amazing resource with people. Many people are already making sales with it. :)

(If you’d like to learn more about this, check out this blog post: What can I sell online without spending money upfront?)

8. My Shopify store netted 4 figures with minimal involvement on my end.

9. I put $5500 (the max) into a Roth IRA. I’m proud of myself for my long-term planning! This was one of many steps I’ve been taking to invest into my future.

10. I decided to partner on a business with my sister. She’s making personalized items like stickers, mugs, magnets, pillow cases, shot glasses, etc, and my marketing knowledge + her discipline + love for what she’s doing is going to make a great combination.

11. Every once in a while I get the bug to go on Single Mom Facebook pages and see if my intuition “pings” at anyone. I found someone in September who was sharing how she was exhausted and just wanted to be able to take her kids to the movies. I messaged her and ended up sending her some money which she seemed very grateful for.

My giving isn’t entirely selfless – I’m addicted to the buzz of joy that comes with giving – and it felt really nice to support this woman.

12. I posted about #11 on Facebook and got some very strong hate from people saying I should keep stories like this to myself.

This bothered me a lot more than it should have, but probably because it happened around the same time as the personal item in #4 was going on.

The reason I’m counting this as a win is because a lot of people, both online and off, supported me and told me that my stories inspired them and to keep going.

Sharing these stories helps me feel expressed, so it was nice to hear encouragement. I don’t post the stories to get accolades (though I’m sure a part of me enjoys them). I mostly post because I love inspiring people.

One of my favorite life moments was hearing from someone who told me that he paid the toll for 5 people behind him after being inspired by one of my posts. After we talked a little bit, he sent me this:

Story

I think about that a lot and it inspires me to keep posting my stories. When I first read the criticism I wanted to just delete my Facebook account, so getting that support felt really good to me.

13. It was my birthday on the 25th. I got a ton of love from friends, family, and Facebook (which was especially nice since I was banned last year) and spent the day at an amusement park with my nephew, sister, mom and stepdad. We had a great day.

Okay, I think that’s it for September. I can’t remember anything else right now. Usually I keep a “wins” file on my desktop but I’ve been lazy at keeping it updated the past few months. I also checked my calendar and Facebook for any other prompts.

How about YOU? What do you want to celebrate from September? Brag on, I’d love to celebrate you!

August 2015 Brags

I’m definitely running late for my brags this month!

Same as always: I’ll be sharing some of my wins and would love for you to share yours in the comments, too. :)

Here, in no particular order, are some of my biggest August highlights:

1. Due to a messy divorce + drama, my mom and her best friend hadn’t seen or talked to each other for over 17 years. It was something that I knew bothered my mom a lot and I always secretly hoped to get them talking again.

Finally, several months ago, I took action and sent her best friend a letter. It turns out that everything boiled down to a big miscommunication! They both missed each other a lot. Crazy.

They ended up reuniting in person on August 5th and are now going to get together much more frequently. This was amazing to witness.

2.  A few months ago I saw a hilarious article and posted it on my Facebook wall.

Out of curiosity I looked up the author and ended up on her blog. She had a post saying that her calling was to write her own books but she couldn’t find a publisher and had to do things she didn’t feel passionate about in the meantime.

Following my intuition, I reached out to her and told her she should self publish.

Self publishing is awesome.She thought self publishing would be $5k+ based on estimates she got. I told her she could get up and running for less than $100 and was happy to help her.

Cut to a little over 3 months later, I get a message from her saying:

Hi Rachel!! I self published and it’s doing incredibly well! Thanks so much for your help. I mentioned you in the acknowledgments of the book. And I’ve shared your knowledge with other authors to self publish!! You’re changing lives!!!

Her book Ten Years Taken is doing PHENOMENALLY! It got 259 reviews (4.8 out of 5 stars), was picked up by Barnes & Noble, and the book is absolutely excellent. I couldn’t put it down and spent a day reading it.

3. I went to Pennsylvania in August to go visit my family and had an excellent time. I got to spend lots of quality alone time individually with my brother, sister, mom, and my stepdad on the way to the airport. Of course I also saw my nephew who is the most adorable kid on the planet and makes me SO happy.

4. Don and I went on a trip from the end of August to early September to NYC. We stayed in Little Italy and walked around a ton, saw a Broadway show, ate delicious food, and caught up with some great people. It was really fun.

5. There were some big podcast wins, too.  GetResponse sponsored my podcast! They are my absolute favorite email provider so this was a huge win and one that makes me feel amazing.

A Better Life also received 12 more positive reviews over August (yay!) and got downloaded +17,506 times. It was also highlighted on Psychology Of Eating’s Best 25 Personal Development Podcasts which is a big honor.

6. I’ve been traveling for a few weeks so I don’t know what I weigh now, but as of August 25th, I was down 8 pounds overall. Woohoo!!!!

7. Business-wise, this was my 2nd best month of the year. My Shopify store is doing great, I picked up podcast sponsorships, and I ended up selling a *LOT* of an eCommerce course that I really believe in.

8. My social media presence went from a total of 80,016 followers on August 1st on social media sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook to 84,605 on August 30th (I didn’t track the 31st). That’s an increase of +4,589 followers/friends/fans.

9. I made a few tough decisions I’d been putting off for months in August. I won’t get into details here, but it involved cutting people out of my life in a few areas who were not only not serving me, but actively bringing me down.

FitBit10. I walked a total of 520,108 steps on my FitBit in August, which works out to about 7.94 miles a day.

11. Leesa! OMG! If you’re following me on Facebook you may have seen this post. Here’s what it said:

A few weeks ago I was reading about the winners of the Build A Business competition on Shopify and read about Leesa, a company who sells high-end mattresses at a (comparatively) affordable rate: $1kish.

I told myself I wanted to come back to the site at some point and buy one.

COMPLETELY RANDOMLY a few days later, the founder of the company reached out to me on Twitter and said he wanted to send me a mattress!

To make it even more awesome: we talked on the phone and I adore the guy.

I think that’s everything for now. :) How about you? What would you like to brag about? Do tell!