Hey friends, Josh here popping in with a bonus episode sharing a mid-year update for both personal and business side of things.

Together we’ll cover:

  • An update on my daughter’s recovery (thank you for the thoughts, prayers and support!)
  • Updates on the business side of things including:
    • which courses I’ll be revamping this Summer,
    • what projects I’m working on
    • thanking my VA Kam (who’s moving on) after 3 1/2 years of awesome service
    • and a look ahead at what I have planned for 2024

Hope you enjoy this personal mid-year check in. If you have any thoughts you’d like to share, send me a note here

You can also view the full transcription of this episode below.


Links mentioned:

Episode #328 Full Transcription

Josh: 

Hey guys, great to be with you here. This episode of the podcast is kind of a bonus. I wanted to just pop in and give you an update, kind of a two for one. I wanted to give you an update on some personal things, give you an update on some things that are affecting directly how I show up for you and just an update on how everything’s going with the fam. And then I also wanted to give you a business update and give you a look ahead at what projects I’m working on, what to expect for the rest of this year, in 2024, particularly for those of you who are members of my community. Web Designer Pro and students of mine shed some light on some revamped courses and things ahead that are really exciting. But I also did want to take this chance just to give you kind of a half break of the year update. That’s not the right word. What am I looking for? A mid-year update? I can’t believe we’re already heading into June.

Josh: 

So, yeah, I want to start off with a personal update, starting with the big one which a lot of you have asked about recently and I so appreciate that, and that is my daughter’s recovery. So if you didn’t know, let me fill you in real quick or maybe as a reminder if you happen to not know exactly what happened a year and a half ago, in the fall of 2022, my oldest daughter, bria, who is six now. Can you believe that she is first off to fill you in even more if you didn’t know, she is a special needs kiddo. So Bria has a rare chromosome deletion which we found out before birth. So she has had just a poor thing. I mean, she has just had a journey in her six years so far between she did she was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. So we’ve had four major surgeries, uh, in in the first few years here and she has just gone through so much. But she is an absolute joy and such a fighter and just an absolute badass little sweetheart, quite frankly.

Josh: 

So in the fall of 2022, bria had a prolonged seizure which left her completely paralyzed on her left side. She had a, like the entire left side of her body was affected. Um, we had. We saw her on the monitor throughout the night. We’re assuming that the seizure started and happened, probably like it must’ve happened early in the night, right away, because we’re assuming she had gone through a seizure the entire night. Um, and that morning, you know, we saw her on the monitor. Just to get you catch up If you didn’t know, if you haven’t heard this before.

Josh: 

We thought she was fine. Uh, she just looked like she was sleeping in, so I kind of got my day started. It was a Monday morning. My wife got her day started. She was pregnant very close to birth at that time, but really close to having our third kiddo and, uh, she had started breakfast for my daughter and we just kind of went about our day assuming she was sleeping in and she would get up. She was not feeling well prior to that. So, um, long story short, my wife ended up saying she’s still not waking up. Josh, can you go check on her? I went in and we found her in this state, which was completely traumatic and it’s something I relive daily. I mean, we’re still in the recovery period for her a year and a half later. So just an absolute traumatic event for the whole family and for poor Bria going through this seizure.

Josh: 

One thing I will say as a father of special needs is, I would say anybody who has a special needs kid or eventually has one, monitor their sleep, because when they have a fever. Or, in this case, we actually caught COVID, which there was no official diagnosis other than her officially being diagnosed with epilepsy. But I can only imagine that is what triggered this event, because we all, the day that happened, we all came down with COVID. So special need kiddos need to be monitored, especially when it comes to watching their fever. This is why, by the way, if you’re not a parent of a kiddo with special needs and if you know anyone who’s very leery about bringing them out in public or them getting sick, that’s why Because a lot of things can happen when there’s sickness and you’re not prepared for it.

Josh: 

So we found her that morning. We rushed her to the hospital, we called the squad it was the first time I’ve ever been in the ambulance, rode with her to Children’s and luckily they gave her some medication immediately, pretty soon after she got in, that snapped her out of the seizure. But she slept for 48 hours straight and when she came to a couple of days later, that’s when we realized her entire left side of her body had been affected by this, because we didn’t know how long she had had this seizure, although she did have plenty of signs that had been going on for a while. So at the same time, while she’s at Children’s Hospital recovering from that, initially we’re trying to figure out what the heck is going on, because the doctors thought she would recover quickly. Know, it’s typical with seizures that you would have a little bit of a down period or even some like short-term paralysis, but she just was not snapping back and recovering quickly from that.

Josh: 

My wife, as I mentioned, was very pregnant at the time, had my son while my daughter was at Children’s Hospital. So my wife was in one hospital having our son Drexton and daughter was at children’s hospital. So my wife was in one hospital having our son Drexton and I was at children’s with with Bria and then my other daughter, annie. Thank goodness, our family’s nearby they were. We had grandparents staying here and helping out. So it was just an absolute life, lifetime movie style script couple of weeks there and then, after we got home and all of us got home, my wife had preeclampsia and a really, really serious situation there. So it was like, good Lordy, a year and a half later, it’s still a while. I still feel like we’re rebounding from that. So that all happened in the fall of 2022.

Josh: 

Now, I mentioned that primarily because, for those of you who are curious about how Brie is doing, she is doing awesome. She is recovering slowly but surely. We’re a year and a half out. I’d love to say that she’s back to a hundred percent and that we she’s recovered. But that’s not our reality.

Josh: 

Unfortunately, that seizure did cause a brain injury and what she’s struggling with right now is the technical term, if you’re interested, is called spastic hemiplegia. So she did recover in the sense of she is able to walk and she continues to do more and more with her left arm and left hand. She is able, like facially, she kind of got her normal, yeah, like facial muscular stuff back. But she deals with a lot of stiffness. So we’re actually on medication for that to help loosen her up a little bit. And she does require weekly therapies of different sorts between physical therapy, occupational therapy. We did swim for a while, which was really beneficial. We’re going to do another round of that.

Josh: 

She actually just got done with being casted. So her little left foot because of this spastic hemiplegia, her left foot we’re not sure how much she feels in that and she tends to kind of walk on it a little bit crooked. So occasionally we’ve gone two rounds of casting to basically just help her train that foot to stay straight and she’s got what we call her power legs, which are these two little if those of you in the special needs world you probably know of AFOs, the little assisted devices that can go on hands and arms and legs and stuff Um, so we call those her power legs. We, we put those on as much as she’ll let us to just keep her walking straight. But yeah, you know, thank goodness she is walking again. Uh, and despite her stiffness and um stuff on her left side, she’s doing a lot and she is continuing, week by week, to do more and more.

Josh: 

So that’s kind of where we’re at with the recovery it has been. I mean, for all the frustration and sadness and just exhaustion and I don’t even know what else to put it. Exhaustion, and I don’t even know what else to put it. Yeah, for all the hardships that we’ve gone through as a family during this recovery, because it has been a lot, thank goodness for what I do, quite frankly, and for being in this industry of web design and entrepreneurship, because I don’t know how somebody working a nine to five would be able to do all this or God forbid trust somebody else like drop her off somewhere, expecting someone else to take care of this unless a family member was able to. And with with with her being a special needs kiddo she’s nonverbal and she needs a lot of assistance with eating and things like that. It’s extremely challenging. So this on top, on top of all of that, this has been a very, very hard year and a half in that little regard.

Josh: 

But here’s the thing, because anytime I go there, I always catch myself because there’s one person who I don’t want to say doesn’t seem to be affected by it, but there’s one person who doesn’t seem to care and just goes forward and just takes it day by day and just doesn’t look back, and that’s Bria, my little sweetheart. I am going to write a book one day about her and what I’ve learned from her. Um, uh, before I get choked up, it’s amazing, like that is what keeps us going through. This is her determination and her will, her will to see this through and just to keep going despite everything that poor little sweetheart has gone through. So, um, yeah, yeah, that’s where we’re at with her. She’s doing awesome and I’m so blown away by her. So, um, yeah, dang, um, sorry, I’m just going to collect myself here, cause I I thought it might be kind of tough to do an update, but I think it’s important because it you know it directly, um, it directly affects how I show up for you guys to uh, both with content and just everything that’s going on. So, all right, shit, all right.

Josh: 

Anyway, despite that she is, bria is a badass rockstar little sweetheart. I hear her downstairs right now going wild Like she is just amazing. So that’s where we’re at. She’s done amazing in her recovery to this point. We still have, you know, a long way to go, and and and the reality is, uh, we had hoped in the doctors had hoped that she would recover within six months to a year fully, but we, you know, just didn’t quite get there. But she’s still continuing to do more and more and more, and she’s using that left arm and that hand and and doing more. So that’s where we’re at the recovery.

Josh: 

But how that affects this and you guys is, it is a lot, it is a very, very lot. So there’s plenty of things I wanted to get done, quite frankly, to this point, that I just have not been able to do, and I’m giving myself a lot of grace. I know you do too. I know no one’s expecting me to to, you know, um overshadow or or get in the way of of family, because I also have two other kids. Drex is a year and a half now and he’s four. So life is wild, life is awesome, but uh, yeah, there’s just a lot going on. So we’re managing it and again, thanks to you, uh, those of you you know being in my community and being a student supporting me, and those of you as a listener of the show being in my world, you guys are making it possible for me to take care of my all my kiddos and my wife and my two golden retrievers who are in my office with me. So, yeah, that’s a little personal update, mainly about Bria and her recovery, and I’ll continue to keep you updated. I appreciate your guys’ thoughts, prayer, support and everything going on there.

Josh: 

It’s also just been a wild season of other things too. My golden retriever, daisy Lou, my oldest, she’s eight. She was recently diagnosed with cancer. She had some spots. We got checked out. She did have surgery to get those removed and that’s really good. She’s awesome. Now she’s recovered from that. And then we had a couple actually deaths in the family over the past couple of months between my wife’s grandma and my aunt, so there’s been a lot going on.

Josh: 

That’s not a pity party or anything. I just wanted to share with you. You know Bria’s recovery and then a little bit of a wild season we just went through between some you know deaths in the family and then uh and Daisy Lou, but she’s doing awesome, so all is looking good. I feel like we’ve turned a corner for me personally in the family, like I really feel like I’m excited to hit the summertime. I’m really, really excited. It’s been a good year so far to all around, even with everything we’ve gone through with Bria and everything and our golden retriever and everything else. Like it’s been, it’s been all really good. So that is an update on the personal side of things and I’m sharing that with you because again it does directly affect how I show up for you and just know there’s plenty of things I want to do. You go to my website and say I’m surprised Josh hasn’t fixed this or done this. That’s why there’s um, there’s a shitload of stuff going on right now, but I am so excited about what’s ahead and I feel a little bit reinvigorated. We just got done traveling briefly throughout Memorial day, so I’m feeling really pumped about what’s ahead, which is 2024, the rest of this year let’s go.

Josh: 

Let’s start with courses. There are some courses I have in my suite, which of courses which is inside of Web Designer Pro or you could currently still access those one-off if you just want lifetime access to the courses. My SEO course I’m going to be revamping that as soon as Google kind of completely rolls out the new generative search experience and some of the AI stuff they’re working in. I didn’t want to revamp that course until that was kind of officially rolled out, because that is going to be included. It’s a big deal. So I’m going to be revamping my SEO course this summer.

Josh: 

My design course, which is my conversion-based UX how to design websites from the design perspective. We don’t get into coding or process, this is just the design piece. I’m going to be revamping that excuse me as well because even though everything in there is pretty evergreen, it could use some love and I’ve learned some new tactics for conversions I’m really excited to put inside of that course. So it’s really a conversion design one-on-one course for web designers. So I’m going to be revamping that as well, and then my it’s kind of a mini course my C panel course, which is newly revamped and titled under the hood I’m trying to think of a better name when it comes to DNS and stuff like that but uh, that covers the scary part of web design.

Josh: 

That covers a records, mx records, security, file structure, everything that is going on behind a website and under a website. That is what that course is all about. It was named C panel originally because I based it off of what my website was on on site ground, which was C panel. But now even site ground has rolled out their new backend over the past couple of years, so I don’t think anyone’s on cPanel anymore, but everything that you learn currently in that course, if you are in that course, it translates to the new backend. It may look different, it may not be called cPanel, but the way file structure works and phpMyAdmin for WordPress users and security, email domains, dns, all that stuff that all still works the same. So I am going to be updating that as well.

Josh: 

So some course updates. And then I have got a string of playbooks I’m going to be rolling out this year, which are basically like many courses. I’m going to be doing a playbook on YouTube for web designers. Uh, these may eventually be more bigger courses, but I’ll tell you right now it’s very difficult to keep up with a lot of courses. I have nine in my suite of courses right now that I update, so like that’s plenty, that’s enough. But I like this idea of having like little mini action playbooks that are going to be inside of Web Designer Pro so, doing one on YouTube, doing one on hosting an interview series are going to be inside of web designer pro. Um, so doing one on YouTube, doing one on hosting an interview series, going to be doing one on creating a newsletter for your business. So I’m going to be doing all those here and rolling those out. And web designer pro so members of pro heads up, there’s some exciting stuff down here on the pipeline and a pipeline and we’ll probably link like a challenge inside of there that we’ll all give each other accountability to go through that, to go through those as we get ready to roll those out.

Josh: 

So, really pumped about that and aside from that, I am really just refining everything that’s going on right now with this setup and with my community, with the courses, keeping the content going here on the podcast and on my YouTube channel, I’m in the middle of revamping a bunch of graphics because some of my graphics were a bit dated, so I’m really excited about that. You’ve probably seen some of the new podcast graphics roll out, uh. So, yes, really really excited about just kind of doing a bit of a refresh. And, yes, I have so much work I want to do on joshhallco. Uh, that site was the. The essence of the site was initially built in 2017. So I’m definitely ready to bit of a do about a bit of a rebrand not a rebrand, a refresh. Let’s call it a refresh. So I’m going to be doing that and, uh, really excited about that as well. So, a lot of cool things ahead, mainly with re-embracing courses, and the new stuff I’m going to be doing are more action-oriented playbooks just to give you a very quick point A to point B kind of thing.

Josh: 

And I do have some more tactile free resources. A couple of them are out now. One is a guide to help you get your web design business started. It’s a guide on. It’s a 10-step action plan to build your web design business. That’s free. Some of you may have picked that up. If you have not yet gone through that. It is completely free. All you have to do is let me know what email to send it to. You can get that at joshhallco slash build. That is a 10-step action plan. It’s like a 50-minute video training. Kind of treat it like a coaching session with you and me, with a full post and a PDF walking through my top tips for getting your business going and building it, to lay the foundation.

Josh: 

And then I am actually working currently on kind of a mid-tier guide, a free resource, which is how to grow your business to six figures, specifically getting to six figures. So if you’re, if you feel a bit trapped at like 50,000 or under, this guide is really going to help you get to that six figure mark. It’s what I did and it’s what a lot of my students are doing. That are the proven strategies to get to six figures. So I’m working on that now, um, but yeah, I’m not going to tell you the URL yet because I don’t want you to go there and it not be ready. So look for that soon, though. It is going to be my middle tier, which is going to help you to grow, and then I have a free training on how to scale. So really the framework is build, grow, scale. Those are my free trainings that I have in place here and that one is available as well, my scaling training. It’s basically a lot of the highlights from my scaling course, which is inside of Web Designer Pro now, so you can get that for free at joshhallco slash scale. So if you need help with building your website, go to Josh or building your business, go to joshhallco slash build. If you’re just absolutely swamped and you can’t do it all on your own anymore, go to joshhallco slash scale. Students have been absolutely loving scale your way, which is my scaling course, because you absolutely can scale your way and I’m really excited to help you to do just that.

Josh: 

Last thing I wanted to mention as far as an update on this year on the business side of things is, I want to give a special shout out, as we wrap this up, to my VA of three and a half years, but no longer cam. Yes, my VA is heading off to greener pastures. She’s she did VA work on the side, so this was not, you know, a shock or anything, and luckily, cam was really cool about, uh, filling me in on where she was at and give me plenty, me plenty of runway and actually even offering to work even more during a busy season for her. But I said we’re kind of at a good point right now to where I am speaking of scaling and SOPs. I’m at a place where I’m putting new graphics together and revamping a lot of what we’re doing on the podcast and how it’s translating to YouTube. So I’m actually it’s kind of a good time to make a bit of a transition because I’m going through and making all new SOPs. So for those of you who have been through my scaling course, you know when it comes to SOPs, I recommend having a master SOP, which is where all of your SOPs go Video like loom video, walkthroughs, documents, templates, resources it all is linked there. That’s kind of your hub. So that’s what I have. I have a master SOP for joshhallco, which you’ll see when you go through scale your way, my scaling course and I’m going to be updating that the podcast section as cam is officially done right now. So I sent her a video saying just thank you so much for all her hard work.

Josh: 

If you didn’t know, cam was doing all of the distribution for the podcast. She was writing up a lot of the emails. She was setting up a lot of the emails. I should say. I do the writing, I do the show notes after I record an episode. I still love doing that, helps me remember the guests in the episodes too. But yeah, she’s been helping me tremendously with that and linking everything to the website and and doing a lot, uh on the VA side of things.

Josh: 

So there’s a couple of different options I’m looking at right now for for VAs as well. I do have a tech VA shout out Chris who’s in the Philippines. Um, she’s going to be assisting with some things, but there’s also some things uh that I, I’m I, I like having somebody stateside for time zone sake, if there’s ever an emergency and I need to be like, if I need to send a text and say, hey, we got to get this up, stat or there’s an issue, it’s kind of nice to have a VA stateside to communicate with Nathan, my editor of the podcast. So, yes, all that to say, I am currently revamping some SOPs which you’ll see inside of the scaling course. So I’m kind of excited to do that, to have all updated podcast SOPs together for my master SOP, and a big thanks to Cam for her countless hours of hard work to help bring this show to life. She does the transcriptions and really did a lot of work over the past three and a half years. I met her in 2020 when I sold my agency and she was working with Eric at the time, who took over my agency. And yeah, I’m trying to think did we sign on by the end of that year? I think she did VA work for me pretty quickly in an early 21 was when we kind of went full time for her being the podcast VA. So, yes, we are in that transition period which, by the way, when you scale, this will and often does happen at some point when you go through a bit of a transition. But that’s why we have our SOPs. In my case, it really time-wise worked out because I’m in the middle of doing a bit of a refresh on a lot of stuff. So it is kind of a good time for me to revamp some of this stuff, update my master SOP.

Josh: 

All I’m sharing that to say you might do the same or this kind of situation might happen to you too, and if you find really good help, like cam, they’ll let you know. Like hey, heads up, this is where I’m at which, by the way, I would do a proactive approach on doing this. It’s something I could have done better, although I’ve kind of sensed that Cam was pretty overwhelmed with some stuff and is just doing a lot outside of what the work she’s doing for me. So it wasn’t a shocker to me. I wasn’t blindsided. So if you feel like you have no idea where your team lies, like what they’re feeling and how they’re feeling about their work, then I would highly recommend that you do a check-in whether it’s a call or whether it’s just a personal Loom video or an email. Check in with them and get a feel for where they’re at. Most importantly, make them feel encouraged to share where they’re at, because I kind of the past couple of conversations I had with Kim were leading up to this. I knew she was taking more on and she was taking less and less VA work on. So that kind of shows you that at some point she’s probably going to step down. So we’re at that point now.

Josh: 

So, heads up for when you are hiring, or if you’re hiring now, keep in touch and be very proactive with how your team is feeling. Whether they’re subcontractors or full-time, part-time doesn’t matter. Ask them how they’re feeling, be really, really self-aware and honest about the sense of where they’re at and whether they’re interested in a different opportunity or a different role in your business. This is something I teach in my scaling course Scale your Way to follow up with them, because if I was not prepared for this, this could completely derail me. I could look at all these projects I just talked about and say, oh, shoot, now I got to hire somebody, I got to create SOPs, I got to train them. Ah, but no, we’re good, it’s all good. I’m going to update my SOPs and I got a couple options for for VAs I’m already talking with to to step into that role. So, um, yeah, be prepared, as they say, was it scar and Lion King? Be prepared for when your team leaves. Yeah, there we go. We’ll make like a really cheesy web design business version of Disney songs, but all the words are like business related. All right, that’s my next project for the end of this year. All right, guys, thank you for joining. Thank you for hearing me on this one Again wanted to share both the business update and the personal update.

Josh: 

Yes, I so appreciate your thoughts, prayers and support for my family and for sweet Bria, that absolute rock star who has gone through so much in her sweet little life as we’re getting used to the world of epilepsy and just what that brings in a lot of changes. And I actually just heard from somebody in pro recently who I had no idea also had a, a kiddo with a special needs uh, chromosomal deletion. So, um, if you’re in that camp, reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you. We’re actually looking at in pro setting up a group chat. Uh, cause we have in pro. When you join you’ll see like we have these group chat spaces that are topical and there’s quite a few web designer pros who are special needs parents and man. It would be really cool to have a bit of a support system for that, just because there’s different challenges when it comes to therapies and medical insurance and all the things like that. So if that’s the case, send me a note.

Josh: 

You can DM me inside of Web Designer Pro if you’re a member. If you’re not yet, you can hit me up at joshhallco slash contact. There’s a forum there. Let me know you heard this episode and I’d love to hear from you. Either way. How about that? Either way, I would love to hear from you If you have anything you want to share on the personal update side, or if you want to share excitement or questions about what’s ahead, I’m there for you.

Josh: 

I keep really good track of my email. It’s like the least of my concerns, so I shouldn’t say that I am backed up a little bit on some email, but most of it is stuff I just they’re kind of low priority items. So I would love to hear from you. Joshhallco slash contact and my friends. Make sure you’re subscribed to the podcast, because there are some crazy cool episodes up ahead. I’m not even blowing smoke. There are some really really good episodes coming up. So subscribe and I will see you soon, and I’ll hear from you at joshhallco slash contact if you’d like to send me a note. Cheers, friends, and here’s cheers to the rest of 2024. May we make it awesome together.

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