Quarterly Review: Q3 2021

Aloha! I’m Krista Aoki. The post below is from my public notebook. My pile of unfinished essays started growing quicker than my reading list.  Instead of continuing to let my pile of drafts grow, I now work in public to develop my ideas. The post below is an example of drafting in public.

If you feel inclined, leave a comment with any questions or thoughts you have. Your thoughts will help me take my ideas to the next level!

With love, 

Wow – it’s pretty wild looking back at the past few months.

At the end of July, I made the move from Vietnam back to the USA. It was a hard transition to make, but in retrospect, it was a good decision. I’ve spent quality time with family – and I’m in a closer time zone to my clients. We’ll talk more about that later.

I’m a little bit lost right now. I can’t visualize what my life is like beyond Thanksgiving, let alone the next year.


Although I started Q3 crushing my fitness goals, everything has slowed down at the end of Q3. I’d love to make it work better in Q4.

I’m looking at life beyond running. Where I live right now, there’s a lot of hills and I find it tedious to go anywhere else… but the hills have a huge impact on my knees and mental health.

Interpersonal Relationships

I left Vietnam in a hurry. But one thing was certain: I made a family away from my family in Hoi An.

Since returning to the US at the beginning of August, I’ve committed to prioritizing relationships with my family. Thanks to the encouragement of a neighbor, my dad joined me on a hike (his first in about 10 years!). I also took a few days off for my mom.

Building an Agency

This year, I started building a brand agency with my business partner, Alexis.

We’ve worked with two clients so far, and in July we onboarded our first client on a quarterly retainer. These were both great opportunities for us to see how much time we spend on tasks, how we can streamline our processes, and the value that working together long-term brings.

What I love about working with a partner is the way it stretches me. Just like building a relationship, I see the business partnership as a mirror. It’s an opportunity for me to trust my partner, be open when she points out my blind spots, and communicate in a gentle but assertive way.

  • With pricing, want to make sure we are not over or undercharging.
  • Decided on a 3-month minimum contract. This was recently validated as we looked back at all the accomplishments our client was able to hit with three months of working together.

And this is one reason why it’s important I’m working in US time zones right now. Alexis and I meet at least once per week, and it’s so much more sustainable that we meet during the day versus one of us staying up at night!

I’m excited to transition to running an agency. Right now we are doing most of the work, but…

Side Hustles

  • I put a lot of my time and energy into ideation for the agency right now
  • I still maintain a few other freelance contracts and am training an assistant to help me take on these contracts and keep organized
  • My content websites have taken the backburner, which feels sad. I would love to make space for them in the future.
  • In the future, I would like to take on Elementor contracts through the kapwa studio agency.

Goals for Q4

In Q4, I’m still learning to balance two businesses. I’ve learnt to identify tasks that I can outsource.

To be honest, my goals are still a work in progress. But here they are so far —


  • My goal for the year was to run 1,000 km. I am on track to do so and hope to finish the year with my first 1,000 km year!
  • Next year, I have a few other activities I would like to get involved in. Q4 goal will be to build the strength to do so.


  • At the recommendation of my business partner, I bought the Parents are Human deck on Kickstarter. I would like to use that to get closer with my parents over the holiday period.

Work & Side Hustles

  • I would like to publish 3 articles on Medium in Q4. This feels sustainable.