On comments and tedium

The previous post here covered finding time to work on your business. And, of course, I’ve been talking about business plans a lot lately. In spite of all this, I’m doing an awful lot of work *in* my business right now. And some of it is just…tedious!

For example, here at Consultant Journal, I’ve been on a mission to get my comment moderation in order. Spam comments have been so fast and furious that I was losing real comments in the fog. I just blasted away more than 25,000 spam comments and I approved a ton of comments that had been caught in the queue. Yikes! I also popped over to several sites and thanked people for linking to my posts. Good grief! I hope I never get caught in that sort of comment storm again. I’ve got a new process in place, so I think it’s unlikely.

I’m also in the process of updating my personal website: AndreaCoutu.com and Vancouver marketing consultant blog. (Nothing new to see there yet, folks.) When I started that site, it was the focus for all my business endeavours. However, for many years, I’ve run my business under the Trustmode Marketing brand. There’s just one problem. AndreaCoutu.com remains popular in search engines and brings in a huge amount of traffic and queries. Yet I haven’t updated it in years. (I look like I’m 16 on the main page.) Recently, a major US publishing company found that site and hired me to do some work. And it’s occurred to me that I need to make it look a lot more modern, even if it’s not the site I use most often.

I printed new business cards and I’ll be changing some of the Trustmode brand to match up with the new AndreaCoutu.com site. No sense confusing people by greeting them with one brand and then switching things up.

Oh, and then there’s my newsletter lists, my search for better customer relationship management programs, interviewing a new subcontractor, doing lunch and so on…

Some of that is boring. It just is. There’s no way around it. But some times, there’s just stuff to do. And, since I’m the boss, I get to decide what I want to do and what I want someone else to do. I know I could have let someone else blast away the spam comments. I do have someone else building my website redesign. And someone else worked on the graphics for my new cards and branding. But, sometimes, even when you’ve grown your company, you still need to keep an eye on the little details, even the boring ones.

That’s because there can be benefits to knowing nitty gritty details. For example, by combing through my comments, I have a much better sense of what readers are interested in and who’s been writing about Consultant Journal. (I also learned a lot about weight loss drugs, SEO consultants, adult businesses, and certain pharmaceutical products.) And, there’s just no way my personal website could still be personal if I handed over the entire project to a web team, even if they’re my trusted in-house team.

But there’s another reason I’m doing all these bits and pieces. It’s because I’m working from home, while my son sleeps on the sofa. He’s sick and we were at the ER last night. And there was no doubt this morning that he’d stay home from school and that I’d be able to be with him. I didn’t need to ask anyone for permission. Fortunately, today, there were no meetings to reschedule and I’ve let everyone else know that calls may be interrupted. Most people understand. In 15 years, I’ve only ever lost work once when someone couldn’t understand that sometimes life gets in the way – and, honestly, they just weren’t the right people to be working with.

The thing is, though, with running my own company…life seldom gets in the way. My work and life just meld together. Mostly, I work my work around my life, rather than working my life around my work. So, blasting away comment spam and doing the boring stuff works for me today. I’m not heavily invested in any of it and I can drop anything to go grab my son a glass of water or give him a hug.

How about you? What’s it like to work *in* your business?