Monthly Duty Days

Ask Anything

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about the “business” end of my work week and how I manage everything. Well, since I don’t have an intern or a paid assistant, I have to be on top of my game… constantly. And that’s hard work.  Running a small business is like raising a child. (Obviously I don’t know what it takes to raise a child but this is the best comparison I could think of!). Why? Because it’s constantly growing, needs DAILY attention and supervision, is constantly out growing itself and the work is NEVER done. Ever. You can’t turn off being a parent and you can’t turn off being a small business owner.

The job follows you home and it never disappears. It’s tough and it takes discipline. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m still learning how to be disciplined in my business! You all see me blog everyday but that doesn’t mean that I’ve always been consistent with things behind the scenes. It’s really a miracle that my business made it past the “college” phase.  When I started in college and was working out of a dorm room, my organizational skills were the bare minimum. I’m happy to say that after 2 years of being full time, I finally have some systems down!! I’m going to share about one them today and I hope those of you that are managing LIFE and a business find this helpful!



 About 6 months ago, at the beginning of the new year, I wrote out a massive list of things that went REALLY well in 2012 and things that didn’t.  I then went through that “things that didn’t go so well” list and I came up with solutions! Here were some things that I needed help with:
– Not keeping up with mileage records
– Not filing sales tax on time
– Forgetting to blog goals until it’s the middle of the month!
– Not updating and recording expenses regularly
– Realizing the mortgage was due 2 days late
– Not planning my blogging
– Paying bills and paying off credit cards
I realized that most of the things that I wasn’t keeping up with were MONTHLY tasks. The issue was that I would put them off and then all of a sudden, 3 months had gone by and I was so overwhelmed at the thought of these tasks that I just continued to ignore them.  These monthly tasks in and of themselves are not HARD tasks, they just take about an hour to accomplish. So I implemented this new system for my business called “The Monthly Duty Day”. Basically, I made a spread sheet with a list of monthly tasks that HAD to be accomplished on the first workday of every month. So for example, this month’s duty day fell on a Monday. So Monday July 2nd, I got up, blogged about my goals for the month and I completed this month’s checklist of duties. I entered the mileage for June, paid sales tax for June, sent the mortgage check, updated my business Mint account with any expenses that needed to be categorized, printed and filled in a new blogging calendar for July and mailed my client gifts.  (I also gave Bokeh his heartworm pill and frontline treatment).
These are all monthly duties that were getting jumbled up and overlooked in 2011 and so this SIMPLE system has given me a way to keep everything under control! My CPA is going to LOVE me at the end of the year!! It seems like such a simple concept to gather all of your monthly “to-do’s” and just accomplish them in one morning but I had never thought about it before this past winter! It’s not always fun, I actually dread it but when I check those things off my list, I feel like my “July” is off to a good start!! Speaking of to-do’s, I’m off to take this fluffy boy to the groomers. He’s DYING in this 100 degree weather so we’re saying goodbye to the fluff until the fall. :( I’ll miss the fluffiness but I know he’ll feel so much better on our walks! Happy Monday!


Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Introducing Everett Hill Alsop His Birth Story

It’s hard to believe I’m writing this… my fourth birth story in four years. I’ve given birth in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Just typing that makes me tired….. and so grateful…. unbelievably grateful.  These last four years have been the best and hardest of my life. We cherish being parents and welcoming a new baby is hands down the most incredible thing we have ever experienced in our 18 years together. I’m so excited to introduce you to our newest member of our family and tell you the story of how he came into this world!


Whether you’re brand new to business or have been in business for quite a while, this brand new Youtube video is for you! Michael and I, early on in our business, struggled to relinquish tasks to other professionals outside of our business. Really…. It was more of MY STRUGGLE than his.


Quick end-of-year tips from Michael!

Ask Anything

Student Spotlight December 2020

Welcome to December’s Student Spotlight!! It’s a new month and we have new photographers to celebrate!! I’m so thankful for them and for their willingness to give of their time and share their stories!!!


Tyler + Abby | Engaged A Washington DC Capitol Engagement Session

This shoot was supposed to happen about a month earlier on the exact day that leftover rains from a hurricane swept through Washington. I’m so thankful we rescheduled! Our reschedule date was absolute perfection! The temperature, the glow, the locations…. it was beautiful! Tyler and Abby’s outfit choices were wonderful and the leaves were full of color and still hanging on the trees.


When Michael and I were in our early years of dating, I would go on trips with his family for Thanksgiving and summer trips to West Virginia and I spent time with his cousins! “Bri-Bri” was so little! He’s the youngest of all of the cousins and it’s crazy to think that he’s old enough to be getting MARRIED! He’s actually older than we were when we got married!! We have known Shannon for years and we were THRILLED when we heard that Brian had proposed because we always hoped that would happen!!!


Brian + Shannon | Engaged Virginia Arboretum Engagement Session


KJ Student Spotlight November 2020

Maybe it’s just me…. but I feel like this fall is FLYING by! It seems like just the other day that I was sharing about three more KJ Students who are doing amazing things in their businesses! Well, this weeks marks the beginning of November and I have three amazing students to introduce you too!!!




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