Wednesday May 31, 2023

21 Top Posts of 2021

We made it through 2021!

And holy shit…if you ask me, 2021 was everything that 2020 wished it could have been. It was one of the worst personal years for me. We took care of my bio mom because there was no one else. She has cancer. She recovered, by the way. I was constantly sick and we couldn’t figure out why. We thought it was long-COVID and, by and large, we weren’t wrong.

Our 21-year-old son (he turned 21 in October) was diagnosed with adult-onset Muscular Dystrophy. For several months, we weren’t entirely sure what going to happen. I worried day and night and cried a lot. He’s doing well and from what we understand, it is most likely he has FSHD1 which means he does have the capacity of living a full life span. He still has his love of cars. He can’t work as a mechanic anymore, but he can still turn a wrench and do things with cars for fun.

Uriel is back in school in person. He’s loving it which is good, but that hasn’t been without its worries for me with him being nonverbal. A year at home last year meant a much larger vocabulary, more spontaneous sentences even now, and he’s just overall more relaxed at school in general. I actually found a study about how a calmer home environment helps with that for all children, not just special needs children.

Our oldest son is doing his thing this year. Still enjoys living his life on his own. Loves his job. Enjoys having practically no social media presence. And I respect his privacy. He knows I post the general update about him here and there, but don’t use his name. He is his mother’s child when it comes to introversion. I appear more extroverted (online) than I am since I have a business to run and hope it inspires others who want to run a business to take the necessary steps and do it.

Dan Bull the Anvil was recently promoted to brown belt at Empire. He now teaches several classes there and at JFA. He also helps take care of my stepdad who is now dealing with low-dose cancer treatment via the VA. My doctor doesn’t want me going to various hospitals, doctor offices, etc., because of my immune system…or dealing with the stress of dealing with my mother. So, my sweet husband has graciously stepped up since my stepdad doesn’t drive (legally blind).

And if you missed it earlier on the blog, I had a long-standing lymph node infection thanks to Aunt Rona and then still wasn’t getting better. In September, right after our anniversary, I was diagnosed (again…the first time I was diagnosed, my adult children were toddlers) with systemic lupus which explained why I wasn’t getting better. So, I was actively ill for roughly 10 months in 2021. And I still feel like I can’t get enough sleep. Chronic fatigue is a bitch. The good news is that I have no organ involvement. My inflammation count was low…and so I’m left to wonder if it’s low now, how shitty will I feel if/when SLE becomes more active?

So that’s why I say I think that 2021 was everything 2020 wished it could have been…except that business was and is booming. I’m looking forward to a very prosperous 2022.

Without Further Adieu, the Top Posts 2021

I didn’t update the blog or the writing jobs list nearly as much this year. I was just too tired. I devoted my energy to work and my family. I’ve had several requests for guest posts. When I’ve responded, people flake.

They contact me by the contact page. I’ll respond. And it’s crickets.

So, anyway…here are the Top 22 posts (minus standing pages such as the WFH jobs list, resource page, etc).

  1. Morning Meltdown 100 – Day 1. This always makes me laugh. I rank really well for this. Yes, I completed the program. No, I don’t coach anymore. I loved the Morning Meltdown program. I didn’t leave Beachbody for any reason other than I got bored. I use Daily Burn because it has live workouts. I’ve been too tired to workout EVERY SINGLE DAY. With that said, one of the DB trainers also has SLE and she said something to me after I shared my diagnosis: we train hard when we can to make up for the times we can’t.

    And I agree with her. I was in great shape up until I got this sick. I think if it weren’t for this, I’d be a lot worse off than I am. I still work out when I can…including the occasional two-per-day. I can also be found on Map My Fitness. Same name as IG.
  2. How to Make Money on Upwork. Not to toot my own horn, but this is a great post. I am coming up on my eighth year on Upwork. My first payment was a whopping $15. I give you what may seem like common sense advice, but the truth is there is no magic wand.

  3. Zoom Fatigue: Why Online Meetings Suck. Let’s be real…they do. And they sucked before Rona. I had one client (had is the keyword) who wore me TF out with them. It started with, “Well we have them once a week…about 15 minutes.” Okay, cool. Then they became mandatory DAILY meetings and that’s a hard no for me because the majority of people do not know how to hold a meeting. They run off into the ditch. Now, I have ONE hard-standing meeting per week…and it is ON. THE. PHONE. We are usually off the phone in five minutes. It’s literally: do you need anything from me? Is there anything I need to do? (That’s the lawyer client worried he’s forgotten to do something I need him to do before I post his blog.) I tell him what I need, if anything. He tells me what he needs that’s new, if anything. Boom – done. I don’t even charge him because he doesn’t waste my time. He is a meeting champion.
  4. Work from Home Boundaries: Clients & You. You can replace “clients” with “employers” if you have an employer, BTW. If you work from home, you need boundaries. Yes, there are studies that show those of us who WFH are generally (keyword because I do know there are dbags that abuse it) more productive, work longer hours, etc. Please, I beg you, set boundaries. Set work hours. I know when you have tinies it can be difficult and you find yourself working weird hours. I did, too, when Uriel was little. Now, I work weird hours because I sleep a lot (thanks, lupus). But my favorite schedules are either 5 am to 2 pm or 9 am to 6 pm (although when I work 5 am to 2 pm, I still respond to clients until 6 pm).
  5. 5 Pieces of Advice for New Freelancers. An oldie but a goodies. It may need a good updating, especially since times have changed since I wrote it. However, the principles are still solid. I could add some more good advice to that.
  6. Sweatpants Unicorn Life Quotes. Man, I wrote this in 2020, but it is always a good life lesson. Theese are the quotes I’ve always lived my life by. I think you can learn a lot by them. I don’t wear a lot of sweatpants. I chose sweatpants because that’s how people visualize those of us who work from home. Usually, especially in 2020, I wore workout clothes or jeans. Now, it’s mostly jeans (compression braces over my knees).
  7. Handling the “Yeah, Right” Crowd. When you work hard to build your life and business the way you want it to be, which is what everyone sells to us as the ye olde “American Dream,” we hope it will inspire. We hope people will be happy for us…or at least live by the old adage: if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. But keyboard warriors? Nah. I have a thick skin. A lot of people don’t. I wrote about how to handle the assholes who basically call you a liar when you succeed.
  8. Productivity Powerhouse. I love being productive. Granted, 2021 made it really hard to do that for me. I mean, I try to look at it as my productivity was focused on keeping the business running, expanding it by adding a graphic designer (woot), and I count productivity as focusing on my own health. In this post, I talked about how I took “negative” parts of myself and turned them into more positive aspects.
  9. The Busy Freelancer’s Guide to Reducing Stress. I don’t think I really have to explain this, do I? Frankly, while I’m glad this is in the Top 10, I’m surprised it wasn’t further up the list.
  10. Tech Tuesday: Google Chrome Tip. I should really do more of these. It was totally a goal to do more of these.
  11. Consistency in Business: Be Smart about It. The only way your business can thrive, survive, and grow, is if you remain consistent. I haven’t been in business for this long because I just decided to work on it here and there. Frankly, for 2021, I wish I could have keep a better schedule.
  12. Unfuck Yourself – A Tough Love Essay on Self. You really cannot sit around waiting for the world, another person, the government, a therapist, a doctor, or a knight in shining armor to come and save you. The world sucks. Having a shitty childhood sucks (I know). Having come out of an abusive relationship sucks (I know). But it’s up to you to do something.
  13. Lessons You Could Learn From Girl Scouts. Those little kids can teach you a thing or two about business…and if you think they can’t then that’s your first problem.
  14. Is Freelancing Worth the Time? It’s an interesting question to ask. I’m surprised, honestly that it is a question people still ask. It’s not the right question to ask, though.
  15. “I want to work from home online…no scams!” I am glad to see that this important post is still making the rounds since the scams are still making the rounds.
  16. 4 Things to Do Immediately to Improve Work / Life Integration. This is an important read when you WFH. We don’t really get a way to separate the two.
  17. Why You’re Not Making Bank as a Freelancer. I hear it far too often: it’s impossible to make money as a freelancer. No it isn’t. You’re not taking the right steps.
  18. How to Write an Upwork Proposal Clients Can’t Turn Down. Here’s a hint: it doesn’t involve copy and paste…and it involves engagement.
  19. Learn to Own Your Shit When Dating. Because too many of you LOVE to play the victim and bitch about it online.
  20. 7 Lessons in 7 Years: What I’ve Learned Working from Home. I mean, I may know a thing or two about this WFH circus.
  21. Will Gabby Ever See Justice? Guess we know the answer to that now unless fuck head’s family face some kind of charges.

Robin Bull

You may not know me by name but you know my words. I've helped you connect with clients, educate audiences, and inspire loyalty. And I also LOVE helping people work at home, whether they are stay-at-home moms, retired professionals, or folks with disabilities.

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