Expert Content Marketing Insights That You Can Actually Understand (& Do)

Content marketing shouldn’t be rocket science, but often people get bogged down with all the advice out there, the rules, the algorithm changes, and recommendations. It’s easy to forget about the truth of writing online – that you are writing to people, not just Google or your computer screen.

But after you re-focus on writing for real people, there are a few (simple) tips that you can understand, and do, that will improve your content writing, marketing skills, and outcomes.

Let’s view six of our expert content marketing team’s top insights for writing, promoting, and measuring your content’s reach.

Know (& State) Your Goal

This is hugely important (hence, it’s number one spot). You need to know your goals for your content marketing and be able to explain them (and measure them – but that comes later).

Are you looking to sell a product, a service, gain a click, or simply be seen, read, and known? Do you want to help your readers understand a problem, solution, or process? Make sure you aren’t marketing your content as informational and then actually creating content that is promotional.

An example could even be this article – it’s clearly labeled and written to give value, information, and knowledge to you (the reader), not to sell you something (promotional).

What is the Buyer’s Journey

If you are working to create a killer content marketing plan, then you need to do your research and understand your ideal client’s buyer journey.

What are the pain points of your ideal client? How can you help? What are the questions your ideal client or customer are considering, asking, or trying to answer?

Putting yourself in the shoes of your client to understand their process and interweave that process with your own content plan is a great way create content that your customer base wants to read (and will find value in).

Consistency is Key

Writing or updating with consistency is good for both the search engines and your consumers. This is because you are showing that you’re active (for the search engines) and letting your consumers see and read your news and content on a regular basis (which helps you maintain your reader base).

Consistency builds trust for your readers and relevancy for the search engines.

Track & Measure

This is something that many potential content marketers forget about – you can’t have a successful content plan without being able to measure that successful content marketing plan.

It’s kind of like saying ‘oh, I’m great at swim racing – I always do well’ but then not knowing any of your event times or how you’re doing in comparison to others. Though that kind of confidence and self-belief might be good for your psyche, it isn’t good for business.

Make sure you have known goals, as well as a relevant way to track and measure those goals. There are tons of software tools out there that can help you understand who is coming to your site or blog, what their actions are, how many become clients, etc. – use that technology.

Know Your Voice, Love Your Voice

This is something that some writers just have, and others have to consciously think of and work at. Our content team works with many clients, and every client of JSL Marketing has a unique online voice.

Some are more professional, technical, or informational, some are more friendly, conversational, or casual. Your online voice is the way people will view you because your content is your main form of communication with your clients.

Having one page seem professional and a little drier, with the next being casual and conversational with humor smattered in will confuse your clients and lacks that consistency we talked about earlier.

This doesn’t mean you can never have a serious post if you are more conversational, or never have a ‘holiday wishes’ post if you are a tech company, it just means you need to create a voice that connects with your target audience and then use in that voice.

Repurpose your Content

This is a tip that will save many content marketers loads of time – especially if you have a large site or extensive backlog of blogs with lots of content already.

If you repurpose your current content (turning blogs into eBooks, eBooks into infographics, articles into page content, two articles into one more comprehensive one, etc.) then you can get more mileage out of the same amount of content/work.

But that’s cheating, isn’t it?

If you take a blog from 6 months ago, rename it and post it as-is, yes, that’s cheating and doesn’t give any value to your customer base, readers, or the search engine’s ranking of you. But, if you take a blog from 3 years ago and reformat it, add to it, and edit it into an eBook or online pamphlet, then no, it isn’t cheating. Because you are giving your clients something new, something of value, while only doing half the work (since some of the content was written before).

Maybe you have a blog that didn’t get a lot of traction in its heyday, try it again with updated stats, information, some new sections, and a new format (infographic, eBook, pamphlet, one-sheet, etc).

What I mean to say is, sometimes you’ve got to give your content a second chance.

Need Content Help? JSL Marketing’s Content Creation Team is Ready & Waiting!

JSL Marketing loves writing – I mean, just look at all the posts we’ve done, with more coming every week! And moreover, we update the copy on our website often too. So, it makes sense that our website would be doing so well, but it also makes sense that we don’t just write for writing’s sake, but because we enjoy updating you on our activities, services, and more.

Maybe you don’t have that writer’s bug, and that’s okay, let us handle your online voice, consistency, blogs, and copy updates so you can get back to the parts of your business you truly enjoy.

Contact the JSL Marketing team today to learn more about our Blogging, Content Marketing, and Copywriting services or fill out a form and have us contact you.

The Law of Averages (And How It Changes the Game)

If you’ve spent any time with me in a business capacity, then you’ve probably heard me talk about my business view in relation to the Law of Averages, but what exactly am I talking about? Math equations? Mean, median, and mode?

Not quite.

I’m actually talking about the fact that (on average) you’ll land at least some of your traffic, or, you’ll convert some of your potentials into customers. This means the more eyes on your site or business, the more leads you will get, and the more leads you get, the better your odds are that some of them will be qualified and choose to work with you.

At its most simple – how many customers will you get if no one knows you exist? Zero, of course. How many customers will you get if lots of people know you exist? At the very least, more than zero.

This isn’t to say you don’t have to be a good company, it’s simply saying that you need to not only be a good company – you also have to be good at advertising, getting out there, and responding to every lead.

Let’s look at the Law of Averages a little more closely and see why I think it’s one of the most important business rules of our time, especially in the online world.

Why is the Law of Averages Important?

The Law of Averages is important because it deals with both SEO and traditional advertising all wrapped up into one neat, little law.

SEO is all about trying to get higher rankings and therefore, better traffic (more clicks, customers, and closings) by making your site nicer. Essentially, SEO is about getting your website, product, or service in front of as many people as possible – sounds a lot like advertising, doesn’t it?

If your site ranks well, then more people will visit it. If more people visit your site and you have a good business model, service, or product, then you’ll get more leads. If you get more leads, then odds are you’ll get more closings. This is the premise for old school adverts too – more people see it, more people inquire about your service/product, more sales/customers are made.

This might seem like an overly simplified concept, and it is, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. And this is why I think at any business’ core you have to be focused on both your service and your presence (or your business model and your website/SEO).

How Can I Take Advantage of the Law of Averages?

You can (and should) take advantage of this law by following up with every lead that comes through your doors.

Thirty years ago, this would look like greeting each customer and treating them like your most important client, however, now, much of business is done online, so you need to make sure you are keeping up with your form submissions, emails, calls, and digital meeting requests.

Did you know that many of my company’s clients ultimately chose us, JSL Marketing, because we were the most responsive and the first person to get back to them after they submitted a form? Usually within just an hour or two.

Of course, this bumps our ‘average’ much higher than mere chance. Which brings me to my next (and most important) point.

The Law of Averages Should Be Your Baseline

This point is to say that your ‘average’ should be just the beginning. If even a terrible website or company will occasionally get a lead, then yours should be getting many more. This means you need to marry great service, customer care, responsiveness, and a well curated website in order to meet your true potential.

Merely lazily following up with leads that trickle in without really giving value might get you the occasional client or sale, but that is the bare minimum. Instead, know that you should answer every lead because the Law of Averages says so, but then go above and beyond to wow each and every potential lead. I bet you’ll be impressed by how quickly your baseline for successful closures or sales grows.

Ready to Find Your Average Baseline & Then Blow it Out of the Water?

Contact me for business coaching, sales coaching, or speaking engagements if you want to learn more about my business models, thoughts, and startup success. And stay tuned, as is going live soon!

Check back often for my launch date – until then, contact me here, or call me at 817.435.1350.

What the Rise in Voice Search Means for Your SEO Strategy (OK Google, Hey Siri)

Voice search might have only really started in 2011 with Apple’s Siri, but it’s boomed since then with Alexa, Google, Cortana, and more. Due to its popularity and the frequency in which online and mobile users search verbally (almost 50% of searches), SEO companies are changing their strategies to better incorporate voice queries.

Here are the top 4 ways you should refresh your SEO strategy to better reach voice search queries.

Changes in Keyword Research for Voice Search Queries

Did you know that 20% of voice search queries are made up of the same 25 words? Of course, most of these are question words – what, where, when, who, why – because these are easy questions to both give and get answers to.

In your keyword research, you might usually be skipping question words or question phrases, however, if you want to nab those voice queries, you’ll need to incorporate at least a few question phrases and words into your targeted keywords.

If you’re looking for a good way to find these question words and phrases, then consider a tool like Answer the Public, which is a free visual keyword research tool, or the paid version of Semrush which provides both keyword research as well as reverse research where you can see what pages are ranking for which phrases.

Changes in Content Depth & Layout

Voice search isn’t just about content depth, but it sure helps – as you need to have comprehensive content that fully answers your searchers’ questions in order to rank. Of course, having in depth content is a good idea on every page, whether you are trying to target voice search queries or not, but it’s especially helpful when trying to answer questions.

Consider two pages, one has deep, inclusive content that answers a voice search query and sits right around 2,000 words, the other answers the question as well, but only just and has only 600 words. Which one will the search engines use for their answer?

I bet most of you are banking on the first option, and you’d be right!

But there’s another reason Google would choose the first option beyond just the content depth and length, and it’s the perfect segue into our 3rd strategy tip:

The #1 Spot is the Only Spot

If you aren’t number one, then you most likely won’t be chosen, as most voice search answers only give one answer – the first one.

This means you should be focusing your voice search keywords and optimization efforts on pages you rank #1 for. Much like snippets, you won’t get featured if you’re not ranking well, however with voice search, it goes a step further. Instead of having to be on the first page, you have to be in the top spot.

This connects with our previous tip perfectly, as deep and comprehensive content will help you rank higher as well.

So really, for your voice search SEO, you need to be practicing good general SEO habits first.

Mobile-Friendly = Voice Search Friendly

Our final tip is to make your site mobile-friendly.

This is something you need for good SEO in general, but especially for voice search, because almost all voice searches are done through either mobile devices or home devices. Which means you’ll get very little traction if your voice search answers aren’t compatible.

Usually, when we use voice search, it’s for hands-free searching (like when we are driving), which means we are most likely using our phones to do the searching, not a laptop, desktop, or even tablet.

Having a fully mobile-friendly site means you are at least in the running for that voice query answer, but it also means you will rank better, which means it’s always a good strategy.

Is Your Website Ready for the Voice Search Revolution?

AT JSL Marketing & Web Design, we not only perform in-depth keyword research, but we also create great content, rank high, and always make mobile-friendly and optimized pages.

What we mean by all of this is that we follow our own advice and perform well in ‘traditional searches’ as well as voice searches, snippets, and more.

If your website or rankings could use a boost, reach out to us for a free consultation and SEO audit today. Want to learn more? Check out our resources or blog.

6 Ways to Be a Lifelong Learner

Being a boss, CEO, or the founder of a company doesn’t make you know everything, in fact, the more I grow in my business, the more I realize there is so much more for me to learn! This is where the concept of being a life-learner comes in – or, the idea that you never ‘finish’ learning like you finish school.

Here’s what good ol’ Google has to say about being a life-learner:

Let’s look at the 6 ways I’ve worked to become (and stay) a lifelong learner – maybe you’ll want to do the same!

1. Read Deeply & Frequently

Reading is the best way to learn in my opinion. Whether it’s a specific subject or skill you want to gain, or simply remaining sharp, reading can get you there.

Reading comes in many mediums (online articles, books, newspapers, etc.) and covers every subject in the world – and that’s amazing! So, the next time something interests you, just perform a quick search online, even just from your phone, and read up on it a little – that’s the true purpose of the Internet, to have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips.

2. Teach to Learn

Whoever said, ‘those who can’t do, teach’ didn’t quite get it, because, in fact, it should actually read ‘those who want to learn, teach’.

The best way to be sure you fully understand a subject is to teach it. Then, you receive questions about the subject that you have to either learn or answer, and you get to lay out the steps in your head as you explain them to another.

Both the teacher and the student benefit from teaching by both learning, which is something I never fully grasped until I began teaching others.

3. Engage in Deep Conversations with Others

Sometimes it’s easy to only stay in banter-form when speaking with others, and sometimes people mistake deep conversations for intense, or scary, conversations. But in reality, a deep conversation can open your eyes to how others view the world, their values, perceptions, and quite possibly teach you a great deal.

Speaking with others deeply is a lot like reading deeply – it can open new worlds for you and show you something you had never thought of, or never realized was even an option. Even if you don’t agree with someone you have a discussion with, you’re still understanding more and learning more.

4. Keep a ‘Learn List’

This can be as informal as a note in your phone or as concrete as a ‘learning notebook’, but keeping track of the areas that interest you, or the areas you want to pursue in the future can help make sure nothing falls through the cracks.

Learning about things you are passionate about is one of the ways I keep up my enthusiasm for always learning and improving.

5. Join a Group

Learning on your own is great, but schools had the right idea too, as group learning can include new ideas, new books, and new views – essentially doubling your ability to learn.

Plus, being with a group of individuals who are all passionate about the same area or interested in the same subject is a beautiful thing that promotes growth.

6. Make Learning a Priority

This is something you have to remember in all areas of life – the things you make a priority are the things you’ll always have time for.

If you say ‘oh, I don’t have time to read’ or ‘I’m too busy to learn a new hobby or subject’ then you’re right, you won’t have time for it. But if you make learning a priority, then you’ll make time.

Just like I’m never too busy for my family, or church, and I somehow always get in my working hours and find time to eat – that is how you should be viewing your learning time as well – a necessity, not just an option.

Ready for the Launch?

Now that the new JSL Marketing site is live, we’ve turned our attention to my own personal site for sales coaching, mentoring, and startup guidance.

Check back soon for my launch date – but, until then, contact me here, or call me at 817.435.1350.

7 Tips to Make Your Email Marketing Efforts Worth It

Email Marketing has great potential both in ROI…and in annoying your customers into hitting that spam button and never looking back – let’s make sure you’re getting the former, not the latter.

If you are serious about Email Marketing, then the first thing you need is an email list, or, someone who actually wants your emails.

I repeat – do not buy names, emails, lists – because those people clearly do not want to be reached by you. Buying email addresses will only get you ignored at best and blocked at worst – so, don’t do it.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s jump into our top 7 tips for doing email marketing right!

Your Subject Line Should Be Your Top Priority

Your subject line is like the title to your book, and it needs to be good if you want your average reader to pick it up and flip through it. Oftentimes email marketers ignore the subject line or make it something nondescript that doesn’t intrigue or entice the reader to open it – this is your first mistake, but it’s a big one.

Preview Text Matters (A Lot)

Right after your title, there’s preview text, and again, this is important. This preview text on your email tells what the email will be about, and you should craft it with these tips in mind:

  • Don’t let your preview text get cut off right when you’re getting to the point
  • Don’t make your email preview text bland and boring – no one will click
  • Never let your preview text sound spammy as it might not even make it to their inbox


Speaking of sounding spammy, nothing is worse than multiple exclamation marks, all caps, or other clearly spammy-marketing techniques. Avoid these telltale signs of bad email marketing and instead, opt for truly attractive subject lines and preview text to interest your readers.

Write for Real People

Now that we’ve gotten past the text you can see without opening the email – let’s dive into how you should craft the actual content of your mail.

Make sure it’s conversational, educational, or gives value to the reader, much like when you write content, blogs, or articles online. It’s the same audience (people online) so you should hold to all the same principles.

Remember that you don’t want to ask them to give something (time, money) unless you are giving them something as well. And in email marketing, you are giving value and information in exchange for their time and their contact information – don’t make them regret giving it to you!

Psychology Has a Place in Email Marketing

Did you know there is actually a lot of psychology in email marketing (and marketing in general)? If not, prepare for a crash course:

  • Time-limited discounts actually work very well, because as a culture we never want to miss out on something good. This means that (within reason) use scarcity and urgency in your email to encourage clicks or your specific CTA
  • Humans are very curious creatures, this means we will most likely give you a click if it means we can finish the story, blog, or are intrigued into wanting to know more. Consider not posting your entire blog in your email, or beckoning your readers to finish the story or article on your website
  • Colors can have a large impact on your reader’s feeling about your deal, product, even business, check out more on color psychology here, and remember to make your CTAs pop by making them a different, vibrant color
  • We look where others are looking, this means using faces or pictures of people who are looking towards your CTA or products can be helpful in increasing your click through rates
  • Personalization is a huge influencing factor that merges both psychology and email marketing…in fact, it’s such a great tip, it should get its own category…

Personalization Goes a Long Way

Have you ever read an email and just know, deep down in your gut, that it was sent out to 1,000+ other people too? How’d you feel about that?

Sure, if it was a huge store like Walmart sending out an email about back-to-school specials, I don’t need it to be personalized, because I know they aren’t sending it just to me. But if you’re sending out an email to see if someone wants to do business with you, or partner with you, it better be personalized.

Mention their company name, their area, their own name, or at least make sure the email caters to their specific and unique needs.

Choose a Goal & Stick to it

Too many CTAs can be messy at best and confusing at worse, make your email clean and clear by only including a single goal.

Want them to visit your website? Have a button or two, anchor text, and pictures that link back to your site. You don’t have to have only one CTA button or one form of CTA in your email, but you should avoid housing multiple CTAs for different goals in the same email.

Do You Need Help with Your Email Marketing? JSL Marketing & Web Design is Happy to Assist!

We love email marketing and we love the ROI we’ve seen first-hand, but if you’re still struggling to make your email marketing strategy work for you, then let us help you create the perfect strategy for your online goals!

Contact us at 817.435.1350 or fill out a form here!

Who Do You Look Up To? [4 of My Business Inspirations]

Everyone looks up to someone, whether it be a sports star, academic, or artist. And though it’s important to not place people on pedestals, as everyone has both strengths and weaknesses, I wanted to share some of my business and entrepreneur inspirations.

Here are four of the men I either grew up admiring or am currently impressed by. Although none of them are perfect, each gives us lessons to learn from, and personal as well as business success to strive for.

Truett Cathy, Chick-Fil-A

Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-Fil-A not only was a great businessman, but a great family man, which is what I hope to be as well, especially with the newest addition to our family this week, baby Quinn.

Truett wasn’t just a savvy businessman in the mid 1940s, he was also a strong Christian man who believed in rewarding hard work and closing on Sundays – two things I can fully get behind.

In addition to his work success, family life, and beliefs, I also admire that Cathy was always a teacher. He wrote numerous books (Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People, It’s Easier to Succeed Than to Fail, It’s Better to Build Boys Than Mend MenHow Did You Do It, Truett?, Wealth, Is It Worth It?) on topics ranging from wealth and success, to inspiration and parenting.

I hope to one day make as many waves, changes, and have as far of a reach as Truett Cathy did during his lifetime.

Steve Jobs, Apple

Steve Jobs hardly needs an introduction, but he has often been the individual I think of when I ponder innovation and creation in my lifetime.

He had such a unique story and such a gift for producing, marketing, and creating true usable technology for the masses – and that is something I greatly admire.

Though I work more in the digital field, rather than with physical tech, I still find many of the lessons Jobs spoke and wrote about pertinent to myself, my team, and my company.

Additionally, Jobs was a true entrepreneur who never gave up, never slowed down, and because of that, I find his drive motivating.

Larry Ellison, Oracle

Larry Ellison co-founded the software firm Oracle in the 1970s and created a true customer relations management database, in addition, his company has pushed into cloud computing, acquiring the cloud-software Netsuite 2016 for almost 10 billion dollars.

Not only do I respect Larry Ellison’s ‘5th richest person on the planet’ label, but I respect his charity work. Though he is sometimes said to have an ego that matches his wealth, he is humble when it comes to giving, sharing, and putting his money into causes he cares about.

I find that successful business owners and moguls who do not use a considerable amount of their wealth for charity are squandering it – but this is certainly not the case with Ellison.

Pierre Omidyar, eBay

Pierre Omidyar is the founder of eBay and later bought PayPal. He now owns 5% of eBay and 6% of Paypal – making him a great investor and someone to watch when it comes to money markets.

He also has a great love for the truth, which he supports by donating large sums each year to journalism, fact-checking software and sites, and press-advocacy groups and movements. And though Omidyar and I may disagree on some political issues, I certainly support his search and protection of the truth, reporting, and public news.

Omidyar and I have another thing in common as well, besides our love for the truth, and that is a lovely, smart, and driven wife by our side.

Speaking of my wonderful wife and family, I believe I hear baby Quinn in need of her dad, some rocking, and a story.

So, until next week I’ll leave you with this: Who do you look up to, any why?

Sometimes, that question can tell us a lot about ourselves. Coming Soon

Where is Social Media Going? [The 6 Platform Giants + Trends]

Social Media is just as important now as it was 3 years ago, but it sure looks different! One of the beautiful things about working with online sources like social platforms or digital marketing in general, is that there is a constant flux and the feeling of change is always in the air.

Unfortunately, it also means that sometimes you bet all your marbles on Myspace and get into some trouble.

So, instead of taking that gamble, let’s do the research, look at the trends, and see where social media is going according to the current giants (here’s looking at your, Facebook).

#1: Facebook, Of Course

Facebook is currently the largest social media platform in the world. With over 2.4 billion monthly active users. Essentially, if your business is online – it better be on Facebook. Because of this, Facebook is a great social media platform to market from – even with the saturation rates.

Since you have a massive audience at the end of your mouse and surely your target audience can be found on Facebook as well, it’s a superior platform for brands to promote or market their services and products to a huge audience – the only downside? The prices of Facebook can often match their user-ship.

#2: Instagram – Do It for the Gram

Instagram reached over 1 billion monthly active users in 2018. And though it might not be as large as Facebook (yet), it is the fastest-growing social platform, especially in the app-world. However, the marketing and uses for Instagram are considerably different than its super-giant of a relative.

Instagram is a fully-visual platform, and though there are captions, the main event are the pictures, videos, and visual material. Instagram is also considered to be more personal, especially with the addition of their live videos and stories.

Instagram is most popular among the younger generations – Gen Z and Millennials. So popular, in fact, that 32% of users are between 18 and 24 (Gen Z) and 33% are aged between 25 and 34 (Millennials).

#3: Twitter – From Presidents to Pop Culture

Twitter has over 326 million monthly active users, almost all of which are highly engaging – meaning they actually get on, post tweets, and interact with others on the platforms.

In fact, Twitter is so engaging that its users send out about 500 million (half a billion) tweets every day! That’s a lot of potential engagement, replies, and retweets.

So, if you plan on being very active online with your brand, Twitter might just be a great place to make a splash without overwhelming your followers with too many posts.

#4: Tumblr, 168 Billion Posts & Growing

Tumblr is great for fandoms (i.e. groups of people who all like the same show, music, pop culture icon, etc). This means that marketing a themed product can be great on Tumblr. Additionally, humor, witty banter, quirky style, and short-chain replies are popular on the site.

Tumblr Joke screenshot

So far in 2019, there are over 450 million Tumblr accounts – but get this – they’ve posted over 168 billion times! And about 1/3rd of Tumblr users hail from America

#5: LinkedIn, the Social App Built for Work, Not Play

LinkedIn is for professionals and the B2B audience – not like the above (and below) social media platforms which are usually more for play.

Luckily, this gives marketers a unique advantage as you gain access to a usually hard-to-find group – working professionals looking for industry connections. Also, LinkedIn users on average have a much higher income than the users of other social media platforms, which often means more disposable income. Of course, for B2B allows for much larger budgets than individuals, which makes LinkedIn a great option for business services.

#6: Snapchat – Like Instagram, but Less Permanent

Snapchat is visual, similar to Instagram, but where Instagram is meant to be permanent, Snapchat is transient. And, like Instagram, Snapchat is most popular with the younger generations, especially Generation Z who have grown up with it.

Snapchatters can send ‘snaps’ to each other or on their 24-hour Statuses much like WhatsApp or Instagram – but Snapchat did it first.

Snapchat currently has over 186 million daily active users, not monthly, daily. And they are highly, highly active. As of mid-2018, Snapchatters were sending out more than 2 million snaps per minute. And their daily videos often get over 10 billion views!

Got All That? Ready to Tackle Your Ideal Social Media Platform? If Not, Contact JSL Marketing & Web Design for Some Help!

We love social media, social media marketing, and social media research! Let us help you create the perfect strategy for your online goals!

Contact us at 817.435.1350 or fill out a form here! Want to learn more first? Check out our other articles on Social Media (and our Infographic)!

Having a Baby & Working from Home (When Your Wife is the President)

Many people talk about work-life balance, and how it is a difficult teeter-totter balancing act – but what happens when you throw working from home, working with family, and a newborn into the mix? Well, you learn how to handle that work-life-family-house-baby balance really quickly.

I am pleased (and a little nervous to be honest) to announce that I am at the very cusp of fatherhood!

My lovely wife (and the president of JSL Marketing, the company we started together) is about to have our first child, a little, lovely girl.

Now, of course, being a first-time parent is stressful. Being a business owner is stressful. And getting a new house (in preparation for the baby), growing a booming business, and working from home while all the chaos of the above surrounds us can make ‘work-life balance’ a bit of a joke.

But we didn’t want that. We didn’t want to miss out on the fun because we were buried in the stress, so we worked hard to make sure we were still healthy, balanced, and happy, even in the midst of all the upheaval of the last few months.

Keeping Your Calm

There are two parts of work-life balance – the work and the life, right? But because we have so much happening at once, the ‘life’ portion of our battle with work-life balance is really about finding calm, quiet times to unwind, to breathe, and simply be together.

We do this two ways – by turning chores into dates, and by carving out time for ourselves, even if it isn’t a lot.

First, there are so many appointments, errands, and necessities of life pulling us in multiple directions when you’re expecting a baby, closing on a house, and selling another house. We could have looked at these doctor appointments and bank meetings as chores…or we could see them as little dates.

Grabbing a coffee (decaf, of course) together before a signing, or going for a stroll after we park and before a doctor’s appointment can make a ‘chore’ feel more life quality time. Plus, you still get to accomplish your errand!

The second way we find our calm is by trying to consciously slow down and make time for each other. It might only be a 60-minute show, or 30-minute devotional together, but it is something we plan for, look forward to, and fiercely protect.

Keeping Your Drive

The ‘work’ portion of the work-life balance can be overwhelming too – as burnout isn’t uncommon, especially for startup presidents and CEOs. Luckily, we find our motivation each and every day not only for our clients and each other, but for our desire to be the best and to turn JSL Marketing into a household name.

Focusing on your future goals, without losing sight of the present, is a huge part of keeping your drive strong.

Both my wife and I are hard workers, which makes our teeter-totter often lean more towards work than ‘life’, and maybe you’re the same way. Whichever direction you tend to lean, make sure you have people around you who can pull you back to the center with a kind word or a logical argument.

My wife and I motivate each other to keep our drive (and having a little one fast on the way helps too). Think about why you do what you do, and then hitch that thought to your drive for the future when you need the boost.

Understanding Balance

All of the above is really just about finding balance, your own personal balance. And whether you have a new house, baby, job, city, and business, or just one of those things, your balance won’t look like everyone else’s.

That’s why it’s important to remember that balance isn’t something you ‘get’ one time and then never have to work at again, and it isn’t like riding a bike. It is something you constantly have to tweak, relearn, and monitor.

So, don’t get upset if you fall off that teeter-totter sometimes, just dust yourself off, hop back on, and try it again.

Check back next week for my first article as a new father! Coming Soon