My Home Office Life - Steph Nelson

 My dog, Simon, has claimed this spot as his in my Home Office, right under my whiteboard.

My dog, Simon, has claimed this spot as his in my Home Office, right under my whiteboard.

What do you do in your home office?

I’m also the co-creator and guide for The Home Office Project. And together, with my business partner, Kathy, we create online courses for individuals to help them share their idea or expertise with the world.

How long have you been working from home?

12 years

Where is your home office?

Johnstown, Colorado, USA

What do you think contributes the most to your success?  

What helps me the most is my ability to manage my time and identify “why” I’m doing each task. Each day, I'm able to focus on what’s most important rather than getting lost in working for the sake of working.

 My home office set-up. Not elegant, but it's perfect for the way I work. 

My home office set-up. Not elegant, but it's perfect for the way I work. 

What is your top productivity tip for getting things done in your home office?

When I feel like I am lacking focus or am starting to procrastinate, I make a list of 3 specific tasks I want to get done today and then start my first pomodoro. For me, this is a can’t fail productivity trick.

What tool have you recently discovered that has been a game-changer?

Although not recently discovered, there are 3 tools that I have been using for years on a regular basis. Here are my 3 game-changing tools:

  1. Trello: Kathy, Patrick (my business partners) and I use Trello extensively to map out projects and plan our weeks and days. We create very specific cards in Trello, add target dates, assign the appropriate team member to the card and watch the magic happen (in Trello-lingo, that means moving a card to “Done”).

  2. Remember the Milk: I have used Remember the Milk for years to manage all of my tasks. I manage my life tasks there, I add lists of ideas, and my work tasks that I’m not collaborating with anyone else on.  I have tried other task managers and always come back to Remember the Milk because of the ability to add time-estimates (Do you want to know if you have too much on your plate, when you see that you have 10 hours of tasks to do, yes, you might be biting off more than you can chew.) and create smart lists that help me hone in on what is most important.

  3. Evernote: Evernote is my brain. I put all of my thoughts, ideas, meeting notes, workouts, journals, recipes, meal plans and pictures of my whiteboard scribbles in Evernote. I would truly be lost without it. I use tags extensively. So, if you want me to find a meeting note where we talked about PHP, with our advisory team, I can find it in 45 seconds.  It’s not because I’m smart, it’s because Evernote is. One of my biggest joys in life is when my friends start using Evernote. I think they start because they are tired of me asking them if they are using Evernote yet. :-)

I love to talk about “tools”.  Clearly. :-)

Do you have a mentor or team you rely upon for advice?  What is the most valuable aspect of that relationship?

I have a great team of people around me that I work with on a daily basis (great business partners). We also have a group of people we reach out to that are embarking on projects that are similar to ours. To be able to share our “best practices” and then ping someone when we get stuck and don’t know which way to turn is priceless.

Do you have a morning routine or ritual?  If so, what is it?

My morning routine is ever evolving and I’m okay with that. I start my mornings slowly, sitting on the couch, sipping coffee (usually Bulletproof). I play Word With Friends in the morning. I’m not sure why, it’s just a routine that I’ve done for a long time. Maybe it is waking my brain up slowly and I don’t even know it? After that, I try to spend time every morning reading a few verses in my bible, then writing a gratitude list and then I’m out the door with my dog, Simon, for a walk.

On average, how many hours a week do you work?

Probably 40-50 right now. Although, like most people, sometimes that number goes higher. I am really trying to find balance and am trying to cut those work hours back.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of your home office?  

Escape to the mountains, walk with my dog, meet up with friends for coffee, watch the Rockies at Coors Field, spend time at the gym. Although not a serious mountain biker or cyclist, I enjoy getting out on the trails in Fort Collins, Loveland, and Boulder and sweating a little.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

From someone I don’t know, although the author of one of my favorite books, “Burn Your Goals”: "Authenticity comes from choosing to operate out of love instead of fear."

Today's Challenge: Restore

  Remind yourself that you cannot fail at being yourself. - Wayne Dyer

Remind yourself that you cannot fail at being yourself. - Wayne Dyer

Sometimes, do you find yourself watching and maybe even feeling envious of the other people that are doing, what looks like, great work and running, what seems to be, successful businesses? Maybe you feel a little inadequate and then you start to spread yourself too thin by doing too much to catch up with the rest of the ‘pack’? This week’s challenge is about going back to you, back to what you are good at, your strengths, your uniqueness. Doing the next best thing for you, even if it isn’t what everyone else is doing or telling you to do.

So this week, we challenge you with this: If you could share anything with the world and you weren't afraid to be judged or you didn't care how much money you made. What is that one unique thing you would share with the world?

Truly, we would love to hear the story of this unique thing you would share! Send us an email (or add a comment) and let us know and we will share ours with you!

Here’s to being you!

How a Dietitian Nutritionist Opened Up An Additional Revenue Stream With an Online Course and Membership

 Esther Hansen, additional revenue stream, dietitian nutritionist, build and launch an online course

Esther Hansen is a dietitian nutritionist in Fort Collins, Colorado. She is the owner of Fort Collins Weight Loss & Nutrition and has always been passionate about helping her clients eat well without crash dieting. In addition to running a private practice, she is also the creator of SugarWise, an online course aimed at real foods to balance blood sugar (energy), Gain Peace Not Weight, The Third Option, an online membership and community helping you find your nutrition path, guided by intuition and intellect, fueled by kindness to self.

To get started, what brought you to your career as a dietitian nutritionist?
My first exposure to the field of dietetics was a caring Hospice dietitian who helped my aunt in her late stage breast cancer.  I was 7 years old and knew dietetics would be my career.   

What was the moment that made you realize there was another revenue stream to add to your current operations?
My practice grew to the point where I had a month waitlist.  I was working long hours and loving every minute of it.  As my family grew, my priorities shifted and I knew there was a way to serve more people without compromising family time.  

Stephanie (of BKG) and I had been friends for years and when we were walking one day, realized our skills aligned and we could create something big together.  

What was your favorite part of the process?
Just one favorite part?  Working with Stephanie!  She is top notch and has a patient, centering presence.  Also hearing clients’ testimonies about how their dietary and mindset changes have made a profound impact on their health.      

If you had it to do over again? Would you have done anything differently?
I would’ve listened to my clients first, to see what they want and need (vs. what I want for them to want, or what I think they need).  They are the experts on their lives.    

What is your dream for The Third Option and SugarWise?
I envision The Third Option as a thriving community of people encouraging each other to eat well and think well.  Who put crash diets and body shaming aside, who allow themselves to take small steps and re-learn to take unabashed satisfaction  in food.  Because food is pleasurable!  It is a movement, a revolution that America desperately needs.  

What do you look forward to next?
Oh, we have 3 other projects in the works and countless more dreamt up!  Our projects will primarily be offered to our community so get in now!

Have questions about The Third Option? Email Esther for more information!  


10 Things We Learned While Having Coffee With Strangers This Week

 We're having coffee with strangers and learning
  1. Start your mornings off on the right foot. We heard about meditation, affirmations and a helpful book, Miracle Morning.

  2. Make time to get up from your desk, even if it’s to do 20 lunges in your living room.  Quick workouts throughout the day are better than no workouts at all.

  3. Travel can help your business and personal life

  4. Having a group of people support you as you are setting your goals and then keeping the momentum to achieve them is important

  5. If you show up to work in your home office in workout gear, you are more likely to not skip a walk or skip a workout

  6. It’s okay to take a break from the intensity of a work day to do something good for yourself. Take a walk, run to the gym.

  7. People are doing some pretty amazing things in their home offices. (more to come on this topic)

  8. Great perspective and advice on how to recover from setbacks:  “I always talk positive things to myself about  the setback and believing that everything happens for a reason helps knowing that a setback is just something to learn from.”

  9. Surround yourself with people who lift you up.

  10. “In my “day job”, I talk to people on the phone all day long.  After participating in the coffee chat, I realized how valuable the conversation was with others.  It was just the boost I needed.  Although I talk with people all day long, this was different.  It was nice to talk "face-to-face" and share ideas.”

Thanks to all who joined us for coffee this week!  We met some pretty amazing people who now we consider friends (Jessica Brown,  Bianca Willis from Learning to Live Movement and Esther Hansen from SugarWise).  

Are you craving REAL conversations? So are we.

Let's Meet (2).png

When Steph and I decided to team up under BlueKey Group, we knew we had so much to learn about marketing in an online space.  We dove right in.  Off the deep end.  We started following all the experts, signed up for every free ebook, challenge and webinar.  Absorbed everything people were saying about lead magnets, sales funnels, building tribes, etc.  We listened to them about how to connect with your audience on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn.......and we've been doing that.  Like crazy.  And we'll continue to do that. 

But recently, we came up for air and realized something was missing.  REAL conversation. Like get up, shower, dry your hair, put your makeup on and look-the-other-person-in-the-eye conversation. So we're trying something new.  The best conversations, ideas, solutions happen with friends over a Venti Latte, right?

Welcome to Earth Dog Coffee


Virtual Coffee Chat.  Have authentic conversation with 4 (or so) people you don't know for one hour.


  • When's the last time you sat down to have coffee with four people you've never met?
  • The best ideas and solutions happen over a cup of coffee with friends.
  • You never know who you might meet but we’ll make it easy.
  • Share your story and learn from others.
  • Gain new friendships and business opportunities.
  • You'll have a really good time.


At Earth Dog Coffee (we connect virtually via Google Meet).   We’re everywhere you are.  The only Online, Earth-friendly (and dog friendly) Virtual Coffee Shop. Bring your own coffee and conversation, we'll facilitate the connections.


You pick the day and time (or times).  Have as many re-fills as you’d like.

View upcoming coffee times here

Details and what to expect:

  • Once you select a time and sign up, you'll receive an email with more details.
  • We'll ask you a few questions to get to know you prior to the coffee chat.
  • A few days prior, you'll receive more information about who you will be chatting with.
  • We'll always be on the call to help guide the conversation.
  • We use Google Meet (voice + video), it’s free and easy to use. 
  • After coffee, you choose whether to stay connected to the friends you meet.
  • There is no selling happening here. Just pleasant conversation to generate ideas, solutions and friendship.

Want to join us?  Sign up here

If you're a little curious but fear is stopping you from taking the next step.  We get it.  We've been there and sometimes our introvert nature or the voices in our head are stronger than our ability to reach out.  So, simply email us and we'll make it easy.  Or, invite a friend.  We'd love it if you shared this invitation with your friends so we could get to know them too.  

Just do it.  Take a small step.  We'll be there waiting for you and we simply can not wait to meet you!

Kathy (and Steph)

5/01/18 Update:  We don't have any Coffee Chats currently scheduled. If you feel like you have missed out and want us to bring them back, email us!