Pulse CheckWelcome to the new folks who recently came across Value of Simple from Smart Passive Income and Becoming Minimalist! We're happy to have ya here!

Every month I recap the past, present, and future of my personal journey and the voyage of Value of Simple.

These “Pulse Checks” are intended to be an honest, transparent, and (hopefully) inspiring assessment of where I've been and where I'm going.

This is the Pulse Check for August 2012.

Making Decisions vs. Executing Decisions

I'm not sure why, but I've always had a tougher time making decisions than acting on them. Being a natural analyzer/optimizer makes most decision processes drawn out and that's just when it impacts me. When a decision impacts my family and everyone in this community, well, I want to make damn sure I can sleep well after making it.

I'm just two months into Value of Simple, but a decision on my first product has been looming much longer.

With the help of Melinda, my lifeline group, some gracious volunteers who Skyped with me about some product ideas, and the first Ask the Community post, I've decided what I'm going to create. Details are coming, but I'm unbelievably excited to create it! I'll be working on that heavily during my 120 Hour Continuous Creation Challenge next week.

However, my enthusiasm is tempered slightly by some minor failings last month. By the end of last month, I wanted some additional free resources ready for the newsletter community that exemplifies my “put it in a spreadsheet” philosophy. But I'm still working on those and doubt they'll be done until the end of this month.

Good thing I have the Smart and Simple Matters show to pick me up when I'm not feeling great. Have I mentioned lately how much I love creating podcasts and sharing the wisdom of amazing people with you?

And speaking of sharing…

You won't be left hanging much longer on the experience of my 90 minutes of sensory deprivation in a float tank. Look for a video soon about it and subscribe to my YouTube channel to see it first.

The Numbers

A lot of people are interested in the stats behind Value of Simple. I am too because it helps me understand what's working, what's failing, and what I need to emphasize in the future.

But more than that, being upfront with you and sharing these numbers lets me display some core values of candor, vulnerability, and accountability. The more you know about this refuge of simplicity, the more you know whether this community is a place you want to be long-term.

Now, on to some numbers.

Visitors to Value of Simple

Value of Simple Stats

Value of Simple Stats

The pure traffic numbers were about half of what I experienced in July. This is mostly due to the effects of the 27 Simple Sages article in July and the massive spike in readers it created.

Honestly, I'm not concerned about the decrease in visitors. After all, it's not every month you promote and launch a new website or hit a home run with something like 27 Simple Sages.

I won't get into advanced metrics and just state that, all in all, I'm satisfied with how the month went in terms of eyeballs on our content here.

Here are some other stats for the month that give an objective view of engagement in and by this community. If a number is in parenthesis, it's the net increase or decrease of the same stat from the previous month.

This also includes the income I made so you can see how this site supports my family, charities like Second Harvest Heartland, and the greater community.

  • New
    • Comments (not including mine or guest post related ones): 80 (+24)
  • Value of Simple Products/Services Income: $0.00 (I don't have any…yet)
  • Affiliate Income (Affiliate Links Below):
    • A-List Blogging Bootcamps: $0.00 (my personal review)
    • Amazon: $0.00
    • Aweber: $0.00
    • Bluehost: $0.00
    • Clicky: $0.00
    • Dragon NaturallySpeaking: $0.00
    • Elance: $0.00
    • Headway WordPress Theme: $0.00
    • iTunes: $0.00
    • Legalzoom: $0.00
    • Manilla.com: $0.00 (my personal review)
    • ODesk: $0.00
    • Optin Skin: $21.24
    • Total: $21.24

Check out my Resources page if you want to know why I stand by these products and services.

Article Round Up

Here's all the content I was responsible for in August. This includes content not published on Value of Simple like guest posts, YouTube videos, other people interviewing me, etc.

What I Learned in August

I learned a number of things last month. The first was a renewed commitment to planting seeds early so I'm not impatient waiting for them to grow.

This is especially true when I need to rely on someone else to create value. Things like:

  • Pitching podcast interviews to Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income (already published, woot!) or Courtney Carver of Be More with Less (coming up soon)
  • Working through a massive checklist to launch a new product or service
  • Emailing fellow bloggers about my guest post ideas and the actual drafts of them (like this one at Becoming Minimalist)

I also learned how to kayak down a river for four hours while avoiding injuries. Well, at least until trying to navigate under the absolute last log and having it catch me under the chin.

Note to self: You're not as good at doing the limbo on a kayak as you think you are.

What's Around the Corner

Hoo boy! There's a ton of stuff coming down the pipe in September and the rest of the year.

From a personal perspective, this is just the beginning:

  • Working on speech(es) for Toastmasters
  • My personal journey in the Continuous Creation Challenge. Note: The only thing you'll see or hear from me between the 9th and 14th is what I can schedule to publish ahead of time.
  • Turning 33 on the 16th (please don't feel the need to acknowledge it)
  • The return of college and pro football. Between the Badgers, Packers, and Vikings, September might not be as productive as I hope.
  • My seven year wedding anniversary with Melinda (already celebrated this past weekend with great times in Milwaukee)
  • The Minnesota Blogger Conference on the 22nd (which I'm still hoping to present at)

And speaking of conferences, I'm planning to attend New Media Expo (formerly known as Blog World Expo) in January. Will I see you there?

From a website perspective, the list isn't any shorter:

  • At least two more guest posts at some pretty cool websites (already written and just waiting to hear back)
  • Two more podcasts. One of them will be the first solo act for Smart and Simple Matters since the initial episode.
  • My first screencast video for a productivity tool I've talked about before. For some reason, there just aren't any good videos yet to help people get the most of out the core functionality.
  • A metric crap-ton of work on my first product in preparation for a November launch

So let's just say my hands are full right now. But, I think I still have capacity to take on more. Know of anyone you think I should collaborate with, interview (or be interviewed by), or swap ideas and resources with?

As always, make sure to let me know in the comments if you don't see something around the corner you were hoping to see.

Thanks for being interested enough in me and Value of Simple to read this Pulse Check!

Your partner in simplifying,


Photo Credit: fmgbain