A blog in 30 days: Challenges and Lessons from a project oriented mind

Challenges that even an army of stormtroopers couldn't handle.

Challenges for stormtroopers of all ages and sizes.

Life is filled with personal challenges. You know those little resolutions that we give ourselves. Among which you can hear yourself saying, “I’m going to gain/loose “x” number of pounds this year”, “This is the year I’m going to < insert country here >” or best one yet, “I gotta get out of debt by this time next year or I’m screwed.”

These personal challenges, though often self-imposed, show what kind of character we are and what we’re made of. When you take one of these inner voice adventures you just never know how it’s going to end. But in an effort to really believe that what I have to offer can entertain or even enlighten others is what this web journal is all about.

Throughout my life, I’ve set up minor challenges in my mind: I’m going to Graduate School, I’m going to get out of debt within 3 months, I’m going to help my mother’s retirement, I’m going to pay for my nephew’s education, I’m going to Egypt, China, Japan, fly an airplane, learn to ride a motorcycle, head a volunteer group, start my own web audience, etc.. Each challenge has brought some reward and I’ll use this soapbox to talk about what I did – what worked and what didn’t. But with each one, it started with a personal challenge. This blog is a personal challenge. It’s a blog in 30 days to share my young wisdom to an audience that’s seeking.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. – Matthew 7:7

Your mission should you choose

to accept it:

Interested in taking a personal challenge, here are a couple of simple rules & hacks.

1. Define the task and give it a time limit.

Take the mission

Take the mission

First consider the task, say it’s exercising, then

define, who, what, when, where, why and how. Get granular.

Formula: [who] is going to [what] [when] at [where] [how].

[I’m] going to [exercise] [every day] at [home] in the [morning] right [before my shower] with [this routine].

[I’m] going to [make music] [every other day] at [school] in the [afternoon] from [3-4pm] with [a guitar and a laptop].

2. Do it and do it consistently.

Revoltech 019 Optimus Prime

You can do it!

Whether it’s 10 minutes or 2 hours – do it. But do it daily. Take a day off when you want to but never more than 2 days in a row. The third day getting back on track will be difficult but if you do it you will persist. Wait more than 3 days to get back to a task – forget it – it’s gone and your interest in it has withered and died. To get back on you’ll either put yourself in a world of personal shameful guilt (telling yourself, “Really? Pizza? I haven’t worked out since Sunday and I’m eating a pizza?”) or inspiration (“Yeah, I’m hitting the gym tonight because I miss the personal ‘me’ time!”). Bottom line – do it everyday if you want. 2 day max limit off. This blog is written by an article every other day until I get to

3. Find an audience

Check this out!Nothing works better than personal shame. Tell a number of your closes friends and confidants your challenge and have them hold you to your challenge. Keep reminding them and at a certain point they’re going to remember you with your task raising your personal value. Say it’s exercising, it won’t be long after 14 days that it’ll go from “How’s the working out coming along?” to “Wow, I noticed, you’re looking better! It’s working, huh?” The guilt sucks the life from you when you know you’ve been slacking. Find an audience

and have them come along for your ride.

4. Help someone else

What are you doing Saturday?“If you want to learn how to do something well, then teach others how to do it.” As a teacher for over 7 years I can tell you I learned the basic essentials of coding, graphic design, public speaking and presenting by doing it. Better yet, teaching people how to. Understanding your talent/skill is one thing, but helping someone of a different

mindset to understand how to do the same thing is as gratifying as

planting a tree and watching it grow. The positive appreciation does wonders to one’s self value. Like your finances, 10% of your time should be contributed in some form of charity – and by that I mean is that you take the time to offer your time to someone who wants to learn what you’ve been doing. If it’s exercising – spread the challenge and challenge one of your friends who needs it to join you at the gym or that you’ll come to their place and run in their hood. If it’s belly-dancing, offer to pay a class or 2 to get them into it. Why do it alone when you can take a partner along for the ride. Like drinking – it’s better with a buddy.

Been bored lately. Feel like your job isn’t fulfilling your life? Then what’s your challenge? If you have a successful challenge to share, please comment below. Any that are 30 days or less – please contribute!!!!

Time travel and making side money

Old Belongings

Time Travel into your past

Earn money on the side while spreading your message and build a fan base. All you have to do is check your closets.

It was 2007, Barb and I were getting on

the stage and performing to a bunch of Florida festival-goers for this gig called Earthdance. It was the first time we were playing together live in front of an audience. I’d done it before but it was at least 4 years earlier. Dressed in

our lab coats we hit the stage and jammed it! Spinning from 2 laptops, mixer, guitar, bass, keys and, drum-roll please, a theramin! The crowd jammed along to the electronic downtempo rhythm as “Strange Particles” took the crowd on a musical epic journey

Fast-forward to

today, Sept – 2013. It was a very creative time in my life and I still rock the guitar from time to time but with excuses in the

way – who’s got time. I’ve decided to rehash my tracks from 2007 and put them up on CD Baby. I just did a comparison
between a number of services and figured that CD Baby was the way to go because I prefer paying anything up front and NO Yearly Service Fee!

Publish your past

Rather than discard the past and put it in the attic waiting for 20 years from now to come across it, I’ve decided to publish it legitimately through CD Baby so my friends can hear it on Pandora, Rhapsody, Itunes, Amazon Store and more. How cool is that?

Keep in mind that with Net 2.0 – Content is King. The more content you produce – the more you can set it out there for the global market to buy. There’s over 5 billion people on the planet. All of them have tastes based on trends but their experiences are unique. You might be surprised how some of your past intellectual work (college papers, research, music, art, photography) you can rip or scan and re-distribute it.

Need some side cash from nowhere?

Who doesn’t like surpise checks in the mail? It’s my habit to figure out as many possible ways that I can make money

on the side that one day I can just sit back and let these various avenues support my life! Who wants to work a 9-5 for 35+ years? What if you could re-sell some old fiction that you wrote back in High School? You had a voice back then and chances are it’s not far off from the thoughts of a High-Schooler today. You can be the next J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer. Who knows if the music you wrote to your Freshman year girl-friend back in college can sing the same song today in the dorms of NYU or UM?


Time is irrelavent with content. Everything is dated – from instagram to the Library of Congress. We all are constantly living in the past, present and future. Consider going back in your closet of stuff you never look at and see if you can find some of this old work when you had imagination and put it to use (thank you High-School/College!). It’s time to bring it back to life.

Maybe there might be a day to get the band back together. Ah….road life! Trade it all in. The Project Manager role at Royal Caribbean. Spend my nights writing and sleeping my days. I’m going to start envisioning that again. I’d like to see what the universe throws my way.

If you want to learn more about my music: Strange Particles.



photo by: striatic

A Marketing Plan for Promoting a Club or Bar

Getting your club packed.

Getting your club packed.

For the past several years, my main specialty has been online marketing. Being from Miami, this town runs on marketing. The club scene (known worldwide) are heavy hitters here in the world of marketing and there are some who have sparked movements of music down here. I’ve followed some

of these people for years and learning what they do that shakes up the scene around here and I’ve taken notes. Recently, a friend of mine asked me for a solid plan to get his club up

and running. Following what these movers and shakers have done around town I’ve compiled a quick marketing brief as an initial marketing plan. We plan on following the plan below and I’ll update from time to time how this plan is redefined and shaped as an outcome. I’m sure there are a lot of you out there that want to start your own promotion company and are sick of handing out flyers as a “promoter”. From someone who’s full-time job is online marketing, try using some of these as pointers.

Marketing Plan for a Night Club

1. Twitter 2 messages a week (between 10am – 2pm as that’s when most activity online is happening). People are stuck in their cubicles so it only makes sense that they rely on email, text messages and twitter as a form of entertainment.

2. Website Facebook/Myspace profiles. Create a profile in as many social networking sites as you can. Even if you don’t have a website, buy a domain and redirect it to your Facebook or Myspace pages.

3. Partners – Find yourself some online partners (online stores that sell fashion for the type of club or bar you are promoting. Exchange links with them so they have a link to your party night and they have a link on your website back to them. Try your best to make the links promotions like “MY NIGHTCLUB – buy one drink get one free with this link.” This makes the link time-sensitive and appealing.

4. Pay for online/offline marketing. Don’t rely on your friends to bring people. If you are looking to make a successful night, you need to invest some money.

4a. Google Adwords – $50/month budget
4b. Facebook Ads – $50/month budget
4c. Myspace Ads – $50/month budget
4d. Paid space advertisement

in local alternative news press (2-3 weeks in advance of your party)
4e. Get

an advertisement on your website through Google Adsense so you can make some money from the website.

5. Audio mix for the week as a

Downloadable/Streaming Podcast. Get your resident DJ to record some of their mixing that night or ask them to make a mix at home that you can use to promote the club night. Most importantly, take down each show as soon as the next club night finishes so the mix is no

longer available. Once again, making it time-sensitive forcing people to constantly return to your website.

6. Sell Locally. Get a local store to work with to sell your stuff (mixes, videos, flyers, etc…).

7. Locals Help Locals. Get a local store to sell their stuff at the club. Let’s say you work with a local fashion store, try to get them to set up a stand (which is basically a 6-ft. table) at the bar, club and let them sell some of their stuff to patrons of your club. This allows the club to offer more to your patrons other than drinks and music. This

also entices tourists to buy something before they leave. When else will you be in a nightclub in this particular city.

8. Online Video Commercials. Post videos and create a Youtube channel of clips of the club night. Show off your sexy crowd and get people to come by making music videos/commercials of your best night.

9. Get your photos out there. Get a dedicated photographer for the event. Don’t ask your girl/boy-friend to do it (unless they are photographers). Get someone who actually likes photography and offer them free drinks and free admission for them and a number of guests. Most likely they know some photogenic people who will come with them to the club and make the nightclub look better in the photographs that they take. There are many photographers out there and it’s their trade to make things look good. Take care of them. Also, allow them to have rights on the photos so they can promote your night while distributing their work as a portfolio. You never know where you will attract new fans.

10. Do the show in another city. Try taking your best night and throwing it in another bar in another city. This will give your nightclub a sense of being more than

just a local night. Think of it like Hard Rock Cafe. It does seem impressive when you see so many shirts with so many cities labeled on them (e.g. Moscow, Miami, Seattle, Los Angeles). If you work with a local fashion shop and sell these during the club night, you may generate even more profit. Once again, pay particular attention to young tourists. Ask yourself, will they want a t-shirt saying “New York” from the airport or from your club night.

11. Email. Send an email at least 1 time a week that advertises your partners, photos, videos, music and your future events. Adhere to the 10am – 2pm rule I’ve noted in #1 above. Email marketing works. I’m not telling you to spam. Collect email addresses from your patrons at the door and offer them $1-2 off (if you charge at the door) for offering their email address. This entices them and your list will grow with time. Concentrate on this list to send email promotions and offer a link to Forward to a Friend.

Following the above plan we estimate growing at 10% each and every month. Try this plan yourself and let me know how it works for you. If you are a seasoned promoter and have more to contribute to this please contribute in the comments section and I’ll update this post.

photo by: Ralph-Thompson

New Years Resolutions

What up party people. Time for change!

What up party people. Time for change!

This is an article about how

to finish your New Year’s Resolution

– pick something fun.

You know, if I can look back on this year, I can see that it is definitely a year of many accomplishments. All of this starting with one goal – I’m going to learn how to ski. I learned how to ski, I learned how to SCUBA-dive, I learned how to Dance Cha-cha, Tango, and re-learned East Coast Swing and in all these learning I’ve discovered a lot about myself. This has been a good year and a lot of it I believe is to my mindset.

To the people I give a message, if you got some free time, take some time to learn something new and exciting. It’ll end up paying itself off in just offering you a new experience in the world. I’ve always wanted to be an Astronaut but just learning how to SCUBA-dive I’ve learned what it’s like to be in another world (“in”

being the keyword there). It’s really incredible to immerse yourself in what 70% of this world is covered with – in essence, the real planet Earth. So when your New Year’s Resolution comes around to haunt you – like loosing weight or going back to school – try for something a little more positive and fun. It’s a goal you are establishing – not a debt that you’re going to try to pay. Make something positive of your life and live a little – go to your nearest community college website and see what community education classes they may have to offer. Perhaps this is the year you learn how to

use Photoshop. Good luck and have fun.

photo by: JD Hancock