August 2022: Justin’s Business and Life Review

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Hey there, beautiful humans! 

I’m starting a new monthly tradition where I share a behind the scenes peek into my business and life review. I’ll share the highlights, the challenges, what I’ve recently created, what I’m currently consuming, and some goals for the next month. 

TLDR: A Quick recap

August is always the month where I feel the most alive. Looking through my journals, I realized that Leo season is often the time where I feel the most inspired to launch new projects and try new things. That was certainly the case this month.  

While the primary focus has been completing the second draft of the book to turn it into the editor, I made some progress in other areas of my personal goals including, updating my personal site and launching new coaching services. The biggest hurdle has been wrestling with who I want to be in this next phase of my life and how do I meld my passion for self-care and mental wellness with my desire to help creative people grow in their careers and side hustles. 

Here’s the full recap: 

1. I turned in the second draft of my book for review

Going into August, I was terrified. I’ve been diligently working on the edits to my new workbook, but there was still a lot of work left to hit the deadline. And worse yet, I thought the deadline was August 29th, when it was actually August 15th. 

So I hit the ground running at the beginning of the month and made an exhaustive list of all the steps that were necessary to complete the book. 

I clustered the tasks based on the difficulty and focused my mornings on tackling the hardest things and my afternoons on the quick wins. 

Little by little I started to see progress and my confidence continued to grow. And somehow I finished the list three days before the deadline and had the extra time to thoughtfully review everything and make even more edits before turning it into the editor. 

If you’re looking to transform you life now, you can order The Reset Workbook.

2. I finally decided to get a haircut

One weird state of conflict I experienced throughout the month of August was trying to decide what to do with my hair.

For the book, I plan to include a photo of myself and I couldn’t decide how I wanted to be seen. Hair is such a meaningful part of my personal expression and throughout the pandemic, I’ve given myself the permission to explore, including growing a giant afro, wearing a variety of protective styles in twists, and even trying faux locs.

But a part of me also felt there was a lot of emotional weight in my hair. The pandemic has been emotionally draining, lonely, and oftentimes difficult. 

Those challenges have been juxtaposed with me stepping into a new season of my life where I fully own being a creative entrepreneur, author and coach. And I felt like the symbolic action of cutting my hair would be a visual cue that change has come. 

I talked it through with many friends and even brought it up with my creative coach. And then I woke up one morning and just cut it off myself. 

It was wild, ridiculous and also freeing. I immediately scheduled an appointment with a new barber and was fortunate enough to find someone that understood the look I was going for. 

There’s something about getting a haircut and feeling put together. With a clean shave and a tapered fade, I must say I feel a lot more dapper and in control. Click here to see the new look. 

3. To celebrate turning in the workbook, I scheduled an impromptu visit to New Orleans.

I’ve been in Austin for nearly three years now, but New Orleans is the place that feels the most like home. It’s the place where I went to college, started my career, and had most of my major life experiences, so it felt appropriate to go back for a visit. 

It was a beautiful experience. I rented an apartment for the week via Sonder and stayed in the Central Business district, my favorite part of town. I had my fair share of good drinks and incredible food. But the goal of this trip was to reconnect with friends that I know and love but hadn’t had the chance to connect in person due to the pandemic. It was so energizing having one on one dates with the people that matter so much to me.

Click here to watch a quick video recap of the trip. 

4. I relaunched my personal website  and launched a new coaching business

With a new look and a redefined focus on where I want to go with my career, I decided it was time to update my website. I took quick headshots of myself using my phone and reworked the copy on my site to better reflect this next version of myself. 

The biggest thing that I’m the most excited about is that I now offer coaching services. 

I’ve worked in design, marketing, and communications for over 15 years and am passionate in helping people work through blocks and tap into their unique set of gifts and skills. My goal is to provide support for people on how to build side hustles, grow in their career, and make transformations in their life. 

So far I’ve already had the opportunity to work with two incredible humans and I look forward to helping more people in the coming months. Are you interested in learning more? You can book a free discovery call here. 

Things I created in August

How to Combat Negative Self Talk

Best books for creatives to learn business, marketing, and sales

30 Day Instagram Reels Challenge Recap

Video: How to Reset Your Life When Everything Is Falling Apart Around You  (Patreon Exclusive)

Video: A Message From New Orleans (Patreon Exclusive)

Currently reading: 

The Visual MBA by Jason Barron (in progress)

Why I love it: Helps creative people learn the business side of being a full-time creator with beautiful images and simply stated concepts. 

The FireStarter Sessions by Danielle Laporte (in progress)

Why I love it: It genuinely hits you in the heart and shakes out the fear around defining success on your own terms

The Mortal World (Book 5 in the Invisible Library Series) by Genevieve Cogman (completed)

Why I love it: This fast paced sci fi and fantasy book series blends everything I love about books, the victorian era, and murder mysteries.  

Currently watching:  

A League of Their Own on Amazon Prime (completed)

A reimagining of the 1990s classic film about women playing baseball during World War 2. Except this time, its incredibly diverse, super gay, and slightly anachronistic. I LOVE IT! 

Rap Sh*t on HBOMax (in progress)

Issa Rae has done it again with a romantic dramedy that shows the meteoric rise of a Miami rap duo. The show thoughtfully captures clout culture, sexism in the hip hop world, and the challenges of being a full-time creator in an imperfect world. 

Locke and Key on Netflix (completed)

A thrilling show based on a comic book where magic keys and demons takeover a New England town. Its the perfect show to watch on a lazy Sunday morning that will keep you intrigued

My goals for September 

Officially relaunch my Patreon page. I’ve started adding content weekly to the Patreon page, but I want to do an official relaunch some time in Septemeber. 

Learn how to cook a new meal. I’m officially tired of everything I currently cook on the regular. 

Book 6 coaching calls in September – I feel like in many ways I’m repositioning myself. People know me as a self care and wellness illustrator, so I’m working to make new content that shows my years of expertise and my desire to help people like you grow in their creative careers.  

Take professional headshots. (I took these photos with my iPhone)

Schedule at least one podcast or speaking engagement. 

Start consistently posting Youtube videos. I already recorded and edited the first one! But video is incredibly hard and ya boy is self conscious. 

Finish the final draft of my workbook and plan another celebratory vacation. I’m thinking Chicago this time. 

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