What are your thoughts on the freelance time sheet?

timeI need your advice.

Here’s the abridged version:

I have worked for a company in both employment (full time) and freelance capacity.

This relationship has continued successfully for almost 5 years.

In order to get paid I submit an invoice with a rough list of my hours.

A few months ago,  I was invited to a Google doc,  so I can record all my tasks in a shared spreadsheet

Here’s what I’m good at: Drinking an entire bottle of water in one go.

Here’s where I suck: Filling out time sheets.

Is it just me, or do the words ‘marketing’ and ‘time sheet’ go together about as great as my ex and I?? How do you confine creativity to a box on an excel sheet, and IF i was compatible with that type of work… I feel like I would be compromised as a marketer. Wrong?

I went from being the entire ‘full time’ marketing department to the entire marketing department at 1 day per week.

This includes: Email marketing, affiliate marketing, social media, copy, creating the marketing calender, overseeing the creatives, content management, etc..

Marketing requires thought… but you can’t charge for that time.

I respect a company’s right to watch their expenses and make sure they are maximizing the use of their staff. And it’s hard when you can’t keep an eye on your worker. I respect the retainer in exchange for an expected amount of output.

In #5 in this article… it got me thinking. Maybe I hate doing it because I can’t just hand in some shitty version of it?

Meaning I don’t do great work and then hand in a sloppy time sheet. I like to think I do great work and hand in a great time sheet.

Or maybe it’s time to move on.


How I ended up downloading ‘You Need a Budget’

On occasion, in order to fall asleep…or wake up… I scroll though my feedly app.

I saw an article from MOZ titled: But I Have to Buy Links, Ads, and Exposure, Because My Customers Won’t Amplify My Content.

As I oversee a lot of content marketing, I was intrigued.

To be honest, I was tired… and hoping to grab some real practical advice or tool that I could implement. However,  Rand’s speech was a bit more on the whimsical side… along the lines of Gary Vaynerchuk’s work ethic of ‘bleeding from his eyeballs’ to see staggering results… of which I live and believe strongly, but it’s always nice to pick up some solutions. Rand discusses how the people we are directly communicating with MAY not be our ‘sharing’ demographic, and we have to work in other ways to reach our influencers (hope i got that right).

So, then this happened:

I was on FB, and a post appeared in my feed from one of my FB friends and fellow marketer,  Aaron Zakowski. The post featured an article titled “Boosting your content with Facebook ads” (I don’t recall if it was sponsored content or not).

I click because… well that’s what I do, I click all day!!! No really…  I’m genuinely interested in the subject matter… and I think the ad fits the content, as it got me to click, so I’m sure I’ll learn something.

I arrive at Aaron’s site. Within a minute of reading (and the article is very informative, so thank you Aaron), I see this very cute pop up appear:

SumoMe Pop Up

I like it.. It’s a heck of a lot slicker & cuter than some of the clunky ones I’ve seen and used.

I look for more information and notice this image in the bottom left corner  sumo_me (powered by SumoMe).


So I click on SumoMe, and as I’m known to do…  leave that tab (along with 20+ others) open on my computer for a few days…

Finally… when my computer starts chugging along and begs for a restart,  I get around to clearing out my tabs and investigate SumoMe further.

I download the wordpress application and then install it on one of the blogs I manage. When I install it, I notice that there are several other plugins from this company.

So I look through each offering on their site, to understand how each plugin works, and I become increasingly more and more impressed with this product and company. Everything is so clean, well done, simple, and so exactly on the money. Why have I never heard of this?? In order to achieve similar promises with other comparable plugins would take hours, and lots of money. Trust me… I’ve tried.

I install the plugins and see them in action.

I check out the company and see it’s owned by a Noah Kagan. After clicking on his twitter account, I quickly put together that he is also the owner of Appsumo, which is sort of a Groupon for geeks.  And of course now the Sumo in SumoMe all comes together.

I click on appsumo and notice they have a deal on this software called “You Need a Budget”. Heck, I’m a single Mom. I need a budget, who doesn’t need a budget? I read that there are 26 hours left to snag this $60 program for $30, and since I am unavailable at that time… and clearly a procrastinator, I note the time and do the math of 26 hours and tell myself that I WILL come back to pick up the deal.

Sure enough, less than 26 hours later (because I’m a reliable procrastinator), I return to pick up the deal and am saddened to see I missed it. I made a silly error – the ’26 hours to go’ post was written the day before I read it. DUH! That part never occurred to me.

So since I was now determined, but not eager enough to spend $60… I went the extra step to the YNAB (You Need a Budget) website, and downloaded a 34 day trial version. I have even watched one of their webinars to maximize use of their software during this trial version.

when I found myself opening Feedly again… it slowly dawned on me, a few weeks later, how correct Rand was in this whiteboard Friday… how frequently this ‘serendipity’ of amplified content occurs, usually without even paying attention.

UPDATE: Got tweet love on this post from both Noah Kagan (SumoMe creator) + Jesse Mecham (YNAB creator)

Top 10 Highlights from America Summer 2014

Not in any particular order.

Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak & Manitou Springs – All in one day and on day one

After our 28 hour journey… tired… sick of the pressures of being in a country at war, coupled with the generous warmth and love shown by my superior Colorado family… this made for a PERFECT day.










For the first 10 days of the trip, pretty much every stretch of land outside the window was picture worthy.




Busch Stadium – incredible thunderstorm – at the 7th inning, with no rain in sight, the tarp men came out and covered the field. We then were witnesses to an incredible 30 minute flash storm… 80% of the visitors filed out and the remainders had their choice of seats in the house. The rain actually started AFTER the tarp was removed. The last 2 innings were perfect, especially since it went on a bit longer with some 9th inning sass shown by the Reds.















Acrobats – In Branson Mo, we were taking advantage of our only time to enjoy some retail at the outlet malls, which is like going to a movie while in Las Vegas. Absolutely ridiculous! But at 8 o’clock PM, we pulled ourselves out of the GAP to race across town and just miss 7 minutes of the Chinese Acrobats. The next 90 minutes was filled with WOWS! Oohs & Aahs. Nice to see kids can still be wowed. Branson, MO… sounds random, but there is nothing random about Branson… have you been there? It’s like a conufsion of Las Vegas & Orlando stuck in the middle of America.





WATER – Hot Springs Arkansas:
1) Getting up on waterskis the first try (repeat for most, but first time for some) – 4 hours out on the most glorious lake.
2) our lakehouse property had 2 Kayaks.
Being able to just grab a seat and an oar and sail out into the lake was incredible.
3) Swimming & Diving at the local pool. Partially this was memorable, simply because had I not picked up and DONE, nobody would have done anything :).  Then everyone followed. Even some doubles tennis

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Karaoke with the family for my mom’s b-day – What was intended to be a collection of songs sung for my mom in honor of her 70th… turned out to be a bit of a howling party.

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This drive down…



after accomplishing this!!

My amazing ride (red ford explorer) took me + boys on a 3 hour scenic drive to one of the coolest spots in north america – called Whitaker point, aka Hawksbill Crag in Northern Arkansas. Moments of pure serenity!





COUSINS!!! or AKA “the time I flew Internationally with a 7 year old and didn’t go to Disney’  That was odd… but the feeling the love from the family in FLA more than made up for it… My gorgeous Aunt Beth is a pile of love and light, my cousin Julie is real and awesome… her children are perfect & delightful. It was short, but so very memorable

+ Cousins in Boca

+ Cousins in Colorado

+ Cousins in Arkansas (from Dallas!)







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and this video which not only includes ALL the Colorado cousins, it also includes a major highlight of being introduced to this beautiful music and encouraged to pick up the piano again:


Music Ludovico Einaudi – “Divenire” Played by Cassie Lowenstein



Not being reachable… The first week + I was unreachable. I expected this to change in Arkansas, when I picked up a SIM, but until I hit St. Louis MO, we were just in such mountainous terrain (and the SIM plan was so poor) that I could only rely on wifi. At first it was so frustrating, but oddly comforting & liberating once I adapted. With most my family in the car with me, I didn’t have that much to worry about. Each night before sleep, I had to spend time checking out the maps and making plans… so old fashioned!


This hotel for $100 – May not have the best reviews, but it had a complete kitchen, including washer / dryer, 2 TV’s with cable, free wireless, and was just incredible for this not spoiled Jap.

Last … My upgrade on the entire trip back. PRIORITY traveling. Walking in the business / first class lines. Going upstairs on the plane… having a BED to sleep in, big screen, fancy meals, totally not crowded. What an experience. Thank you daddy!