Pulse Check

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

This “Pulse Check” is 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 September 2012.

Growing Real Relationships

I'm a connector.

I love connecting people to resources, groups, individuals…anything that will help them. And in the past couple of months, I've seen my ability to connect people to what they need – when they need it – increase a ton.

Part of this is because I'm getting better at curating. Part of this is because I'm getting the hang of some of the complexities of running my own business. Many things that were once intimidating and time consuming have now become simple and quick.

But the main reason I've increased the value I add is due to all these wonderful new relationships that are blossoming. Seven months ago when I quit my corporate gig, I wasn't a part of rich online communities. I didn't have time to seek depth in interactions with acquaintances doing these amazing things.

But now I have energy for full engagement with so many people and organizations that it's almost becoming a problem. Granted, if I could choose my problems, this would be at the top of the list.

I want to support so many folks with their missions and their ways of adding value! And by connecting freely, transparently, and generously, I'm doing just that by opening doors for myself and everyone else.

I'm so much better now at connecting people with questions I can't answer and problems I can't address to folks who can help them. I love connecting with the influencers and the folks who are becoming influencers. For every Pat Flynn and Joshua Becker, there is an Erin Kurup, Ethan Waldman, Shanna Mann, and Sarah Goshman.

You better get their rookie cards now. Because after this year, the price ain't comin' down.

My point is this. It shouldn't take Scott Dinsmore to convince you that it's worth the effort to create new and potentially rich relationships. And when you enter into new relationships – online or offline, with individuals or communities – do it without any expectation of getting something from it. When you do, the speed at which those relationships develop can be incredible. And more often than not, you get back much more than if you entered them looking to get something.

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

September 7th was a good day at Value of Simple.

I set single day records for pageviews and email newsletter sign ups thanks to the rockin' folks Becoming Minimalist and Smart Passive Income sent here. Pat Flynn selflessly promoted the interview we did and it helped a lot. Thank you Pat (and congrats on the birth of your beautiful daughter)!

Over the course of the month, I experienced what I'll call the “Joshua Becker Bump Effect” (JBBE). Between my guest post on Becoming Minimalist and Joshua including me in his list of 8 Simple Living Blogs, it made a huge impact!

Almost half the people who came to Value of Simple in September clicked a link from Becoming Minimalist. So thank you Joshua for valuing my message and my approach enough to enable this growth!

And the JBBE didn't end there. The unexpected effects were awesome too.

Kerry from The Simple Year added me to her Blogroll after finding out about me from Joshua. That simple act sent a bunch of folks this way and I appreciate it Kerry!

I could go on and on, but I'll just give you one more. Mohamed Tohami of Midway Simplicity (also featured in Joshua's post) and I struck up an email conversation and got to know each other a bit. He invited me on his Midway Simplicity Show and our chat can be found here. He's a great guy taking a middle of the road approach to simplifying, something that's lacking a bit (especially here at times).

With all that said, 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): 58 (-22)
  • 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: $10.00 (my personal review)
    • ODesk: $0.00
    • Optin Skin: $0.00
    • The Bootstrapper Guild: $0.00 (my personal review)
    • Total: $10.00

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

Article Round Up

Here is all content I participated in or was responsible for in September. This includes content not published on Value of Simple like guest posts, YouTube videos, other people interviewing me, and more:

What I Learned in September

The first week of the month was great, but the rest of the month was schweet as well.

Separate from celebrating my seven year wedding anniversary with Melinda (I love you honey!), making sure my 33rd birthday was a non-event (mission accomplished), and passing out for a cause (while donating a double helping of blood), there was a lot going on.

A day at the Minnesota Blogger Conference had my views on the importance of curating validated. Rick Kupchella of BringMeTheNews.com gave the keynote speech and it was dynamite! He talked about what he's doing with curating the local news with terms like “curation engine” and “narrative curation”. And that made my heart flutter. I had no idea people were doing this kind of stuff with curating. Right in my back yard no less!

Now, I'm not interested in curating as a business model. But I would like to offer a product next year about personal curation – separate from all the free resources I'm creating around the topic. This concept, its relevance to everyone, and the power behind it keeps on growing. And I'm thrilled!

I'm also thrilled with the response I saw to the Continuous Creation Challenge. I won't recap my experience here, but it was personally fulfilling and great to have a number of folks join me this time. I promise additional resources for upcoming challenges like FAQs, planning guides, and more.

To sum up September, who knew I could get this much done with all the football on the weekends?

Side note: The Badgers were due for an underachieving season so I'm not mad. They won't go to the Rose Bowl this year and I can deal with it. And how about those frisky Vikings? Yeah baby!

What's Around the Corner

Due to 120 hours continuously creating, I have most of October's content done and scheduled for publishing. There will be three Smart and Simple Matters episodes this month, including one with the super Courtney Carver. And look forward to some of my best written stuff yet coming up.

But October is really all about Start Investing with $100.

And what's that? The awesome newsletter community already knows as I announced this to them recently.

But I'm super jazzed to share this with you too!

Start Investing with $100 is the product I've been casually mentioning for months now. It's for folks who have never invested before or have always wanted to self-direct their investments but didn't know how. It will take the form of a multi-module online course with each short module building on the previous one. The goal is to empower people to break all the barriers in starting to invest with confidence and purpose, with as little as an initial $100.

There's a huge need for this! I continue to hear from people who simply aren't investing and have no good reason. And perhaps worse, I hear from people who are intentionally not investing for all the wrong reasons (and harming their long term purchasing power in the process).

The course is going to be simple and organized, just like everything you see on Value of Simple. It's my first step to create a standalone resource to unlock people's time, money, and talent and I'm pumped up to release it into the world!

I'll have an upcoming article specific to Start Investing with $100 soon, but hit me with any questions or last minute requests you'd like to see included in this.

And 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 report!

Your partner in simplifying,


Photo Credit: fmgbain