What Would Leo da V Do?

Instead of publishing in 5-steps, he said the real world journey may circulate a dozen times among the steps back-and-forth before the process is complete.

Photo credit: marsupium photography on Best Running / CC BY-SA
Musing what Leo da V would do triggers a meandering tour through unconnected feelings, thoughts, ideas, memories and fragments of story ideas.

I’m cursed.  

I find it very difficult to stay focused.  

And, to follow a linear process when it comes to writing.

You know the sequence “they” teach.

  1. Prewrite
  2. Draft
  3. Revise
  4. Edit
  5. Publish

Matt Renwick in his blog, “Reading by Example” made me feel it was OK for me to skip around.

Photo credit: marsupium photography on Best Running / CC BY-SA

Instead of publishing in 5-steps, he said the real world journey may circulate a dozen times among the steps back-and-forth before the process is complete.

On a good day, here’s my path.

  1. Prewrite,
  2. Draft,
  3. Revise,
  4. Draft,
  5. Revise,
  6. Draft,
  7. Revise,
  8. Prewrite,
  9. Draft,
  10. Edit,
  11. Revise,
  12. Publish,
  13. Revise,
  14. Edit, and finally
  15. Publish.

If That, Then This … 

Do you need to take classes or earn certificates before you can write? 

No says Helen Jackson in an article from The Writing Cooperative. 

But, then how do you get started?

Helen recommends journaling.  

Photo credit: r.nial.bradshaw on Best Running / CC BY

I began journaling long-hand in spiral notebooks years ago and noticed how life passed through my pages.

It was exhilarating.

It became an obsession.

It became so important that I forced myself to walk away for breaks.

I had become addicted to forgetting to live my life unless I took the time – hours – to write-up a memorable 15-minute experience. 

Today I’m happy to say my journaling is confined to answering one question.

What would Leo da V do?

Not Michelangelo, but Leonardo da Vinci.

Leonardo kept stunning notebooks which revealed his wide-ranging scientific, artistic and human anatomy curiosities.

Walter Isaacson wrote about Leonardo’s genius, but didn’t gloss over how, due to his unrestrained creative inquiry during the Renaissance, Leonardo left many sponsored projects unfinished.

Musing what Leo da V would do triggers a meandering tour through unconnected feelings, thoughts, ideas, memories and fragments of story ideas.

Or what might be called my Prewrite.

“What would Leo da V do? Relish what the interviews reveal in Judd Apatow’s book, “Sick in the Head”. Like Marc Maron’s WTF podcast interviews, these are people who are in their 40s and 50s who are established in their careers – Gen-X – and reveal what it’s like to keep going, be creative, take newer risks, reflect on what’s going on around them now.”

If That, Then This …

Helen says, “Anything that comes to mind that you don’t want to forget — note it down. Sometimes re-reading your ideas can trigger another idea and it just snowballs from there.”

Leo led to a couple of surprises.

“Two organizing principles – Legacy and Taxes.”

The taxes symbolized a reminder that it is that time of year.

And, working on those taxes points out a need for making money – different business models to explore.

Legacy reminds me I need to return to my tagline – “How to Live, Love, Work, Play, Invest and Leave a Legacy” – and flesh out what it’s like to keep going and developing in the latter phases of artistic lives.

If That, Then This …

I may be cursed.

But, I’m also lucky enough that I recently took time off to trace Leonardo’s footsteps in Italy.

There’s Nothing in your Spam Queue at the Moment

Comment: “Post writing is also a fun, if you be acquainted with afterward you can write if not it is complex to write”

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My Response: Greetings Alysa. I’m pretty sure Siri said it best.  “There is no AI in team!” Yours in SPAM

Akismet has protected your site from 67 spam comments already.
There’s nothing in your spam queue at the moment. But, here are some of my favorites from across our network of six knowledge enterprises. Hope you enjoy these Spam treats!

Freelancing Anywhere You Want – Visual Hunt

Freelancers

Comment: “2019”

My Response:

Thank you for your contribution to “Freelancers.”  Yes, we all will be older then. Wait, maybe not all of us.  But that’s another topic.  I’ll let you know when I publish it so you can so wisely contribute to it.  Yours in SPAM

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Mooning the Merry-Go-Round

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Thank you, Albert for sharing such a thought-provoking query. I can only respond by pointing out that  “… sometimes we blame others for not giving us what we want when the real problem is that we’re just not letting ourselves have it.” Yours in SPAM

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Two Ways to Stay Home

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No, you’re so cool, Monet and/ or Ebonie!!!! Yours in SPAM

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Hi Majorie and/or Vance. Give my regards to Monet, Ebonie, Jonah, Karen Keith and Cole!!! Yours in SPAM

Photo: Visual Hunt

Demographic Lifestyles and Buying Power

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Photo: Visual Hunt

Find Experts for Sophisticated Financial Strategies

Group Response:

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Image credit: Getty Images

What Do You Need To Know As AI Changes Your World?

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My Response:

Bon Jour, Maurice, See my new friends from north of the border (above).  They can probably answer all your questions about inflation and vibration.  Me? Not so much.  Yours in SPAM

Image: iStockphoto/metamorworks

If a New Era of Technology is in the Driver’s Seat, Where Are We Going? 

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Hi Stuart. nice one.  You connected the “Driver’s Seat” to your free auto approval list.  You should take a spin with Aimee, who said …

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Composite; Shutterstock; iStockphoto

The Future’s Arriving Faster than You Think. Now What?

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GETTY IMAGES

Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing and the Future of Work

Comment: “Post writing is also a fun, if you be acquainted with afterward you can write if not it is complex to write.”

My Response:

Greetings Alysa. I’m pretty sure Siri said it best.  “There is no AI in team!” Yours in SPAM

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Photo: Visual Hunt

Itineraries

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In 2019 look for a special edition of Spam conspiracy recipes.

What happened on your journey so far?

You need to build a platform to establish your authority and visibility, but what works and what no longer does?

 

Drawing a curious crowd
Maybe the original estimate of how many patrons or fans it takes to succeed just doubled.

 

Final Installment in a three-part series.

Part One: What’s Going On? Why?

Part Two: Where Are You Going?

What Happened on Your Journey So Far?

  1. What did you discover?
  2. What surprised you?
  3. What insights have you learned?
  4. What are new opportunities you are better positioned for?

What did you discover?

Well, first off data and information ages.

If you are like me articles randomly pop up that I believe will be important when I have time to review them.

One source for me is Medium.

Another is Flipboard.

Oh, and another is Apple News.

So you save them, tag them, and retrieve them sometime in the future when you’re ready for them.

When you can apply  the tips or secret know-how they describe.

And, of course by then, you discover the source disappears.

Which is a hard lesson to learn.

If you curate back up the originals, or lose access to pearls of wisdom you so desperately need now.

The best example?

Sign Up Before It’s Too Late

AnyWired missing in action.

Next discovery?

Figuring out which tools you should  use.

Do the “aging” tools still work?

Are they evergreen?

You need to build a platform to establish your authority and visibility, but what works and what no longer does?

Turning to crowdfunding, what did I learn?

I discovered I was at least 6 months behind.

While riffing on  self-publishing and marketing in 2016 Katherine Milkovich summed up  my journey so far.

It all just takes trial and error.

What works for somebody else, may not work for you.

What surprised you?

Maybe the original estimate of how many patrons or fans it takes to succeed just doubled.

The initial number ballooned from 1000 raving fans to 2000.

Behind again.

The biggest surprise?

At the beginning of 4th of July summer weekend, roughly a month and a half ago, I logged in to one of my 6 sites.

Clicked on its dashboard like I do everyday to write and rewrite and upload photos and link and …

WTF?

Out of nowhere I received 10 times more views than spam comments.

I’d been running an experiment on Flipboard and LinkedIn.

How did my post attract 592 followers of KnowLabs on Flipboard; 840 in LinkedIn.

It’s still a mystery how 404 people visited my site when only 10 to 12 on average bother to stop by.

Take a look for yourself. I’d love to duplicate it somehow.  Let me know what you think.

What insights have you learned?

WordPress help and support sites are outdated. 

It takes a long time for me to understand why things don’t work.

Administering the technical aspects of the six websites drains my energy.

That continuing steep learning curve steals time away from writing – what I love to do.

And, puts me into a failed-problem-solving frame of mind.

Not so conducive to creativity and clarity. Or maintaining a consistent 60-minute writing habit.

But, writing about the trial and errors encountered (know banking process) help me understand why something goes wrong. 

Those lessons could provide how-to steps for Millennials, 45+ Empty Nesters,  55+ year olds and Baby Boomers ready to move to a resort, quality-of-life community.

And, take their mobile, remote work with them.

What are the new opportunities you are better positioned for?

In the original book content, I skipped over the details for making money while you sleep. 

I assumed readers would already know how to do that, but not how to pick out the best place  to live – where other birds-of-a-feather liked them flocked. 

When this knowledge laboratory is more complete the content guidelines will be more detailed and maybe more marketable.

Some future topics – how to:

Business Ideas
  • Conduct a laboratory.
  • Bank new knowledge and expertise mastered.
  • Package and repackage your deposits into new products.

Next Steps:

  1. On Amazon / Kindle publish “On Your Own Terms: Pack More Meaning and Passion into Your Life” 
  2. Promote it as Book One of a five-book series in Volume One on all of my sites and on Flipboard and LinkedIn. 
  3. Join the Writing Cooperative and take their challenge covering all the mistakes I made in my first year (plus or minus) as a reluctant website administrator. 
  4. Repurpose those and drafts from The Knowledge Path – Volume Two and Three on Patreon. 
  5. Get MailChimp working as my primary vehicle for getting subscribers and supporters to review and leave comments on Amazon. Add Patreon link to my websites and my email, Flipboard and LinkedIn. 
  6. Automate a consistent process of content aggregation, curation, composition, and circulation. 
  7. Master the chain reaction  of Awareness – Interest – Liking – Desire – Trial – Repurchase and Regular Use. Make it easy for your fans to buy a piece of you, and then advocate on your behalf.
  8. Achieve the long-term goal of subscribing, sponsoring, then buying books and reports, joining membership.

What have you discovered on your journey?

Where Are You Going?

I strongly feel you have to stay relevant and more marketable than your competition.

Periodically I revisit my approach for creating new (for me) knowledge that I can apply more efficiently and productively.

 

My approach unfolds in three phases:

  • What’s Going On? Why?
  • Where Are You Going?
  • What Happened on Your Journey So Far?

Part One: What’s Going On? Why?

Where Are You Going?

  1. What if?
  2. What will you be able to do?
  3. What are your expectations?
  4. How will you feel?
  5. What will you know or understand?

What if?

With so much stuff out there, how do you know what to trust?

What if I apply the research I’ve already deposited into my knowledge bank over the years?

The Knowledge Path Series

What if, then, I can engage a following, both locally and online?

What if I can attract a large enough fan base to build other products they find unique and valuable? The second volume of “The Knowledge Path” series will be about finding the right fit in company cultures for you as you compare 16 organizational talent cultures.

What will you be able to do?

Cultivating “True Fans”

Subscribers, members and patrons learn from my experiences and follow step-by-step details for packaging and repackaging their expertise to generate passive income.

By creating a community, I’ll be able to learn from their experiences too.

We’ll find out what worked and what didn’t work together. 

They’ll follow along to learn from my mistakes and I’ll be able to incorporate lessons they learned as well.

What are your expectations?

Only modest income once the websites are fully functioning and attract enough followers.

Mostly from crowdfunding rather than from book sales. 

This lifestyle business serves as startup with tax write-offs and low initial costs.

My ROE (Return On Effort) slowly and incrementally builds to a longer term sustainable income stream.

How will you feel?

Knowledge Products for Making Money While Your Sleep

Email subscribers will become more accomplished having mastered social, digital media, crowdfunding and self-publishing skills.

I’ll feel gratified, helpful and proud.

What will you know or understand?

As an amateur muddling through and testing my self-help, do-it-yourself process I’ll finally figure out how to offer websites as products through WordPress multisite.

By following along email subscribers  can profit by following my steps and missteps.

With a member community we can refine our learned lessons and offer in the virtual world what I offer to executives in the real world.

Conduct a laboratory. Bank new knowledge and expertise mastered. Package and repackage your deposits into new products.

Where are you going?

Part Three:  What Happened on Your Journey So Far?

 

 

What’s Going On? Why?

Even though it’s a cliche I hear frequently from almost all of the mentors I’ve recruited over the last decade, I too  want to give back.

 

“… I would suggest trying EVERYTHING and testing what works for you. This is what works best for me.”

 

Time Out.

Can we talk?

About what’s going on?

And a little later about where you’re (I’m) going with this work-in-progress.

And, maybe still later about what’s happened on your (my) journey so far?

Katherine Milkovich left sage advice in a comment about self-publishing:

There are always some new strategies, some of them are good while the others are not really worth my time because I saw no results. 

I believe what Katherine did was to simply define what I mean by “conducting a knowledge laboratory”.

We don’t always know what to believe and what not to believe when we cross into new territories (real and imagined) – territories filled with fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD).

“… I would suggest trying EVERYTHING and testing what works for you. This is what works best for me.”

Periodically I revisit my approach for creating new (for me) knowledge that I can apply more efficiently and productively.

I strongly feel you have to stay relevant and more marketable than your competition.

My approach unfolds in three phases.

What’s going on?

The Knowledge Path Series
  1. What is your situation?
  2. What are the knowns?
  3. What are the unknowns?
  4. What are the threats?
  5. Why?

Where are you going?

  1. What if?
  2. What will you be able to do?
  3. What are your expectations?
  4. How will you feel?
  5. What will you know or understand?

What happened on your journey so far?

  1. What did you discover?
  2. What surprised you?
  3. What insights have you learned?
  4. What are new opportunities you are better positioned for?

So how does it work? Here’s what I’m experiencing in this journey so far.  Call it part one.

What’s going on?

What is your situation? I’ve been in the advising, consulting and expertise peddling business for more years than I’d like to reveal.  Here’s what I realized.  And what I wanted to do.

Make a Million Dollars
  • You either work for someone else or for yourself. 
  • What every consultant I know wants is to make money while they sleep.
  • They already sell an expertise. 
  • They need  a website to attract new clients. 
  • If so, why not combine their online marketing with a way to earn income from it – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year?

What are the knowns? In my day job at the business school I developed a curriculum, but realized most executive students weren’t attempting to build a lifestyle business.

I’m guessing you aren’t an executive.

You might play one on TV.

But I do know plenty of ex-executives who have been put out to pasture in their late 40s and mid-50s and now face these choices.

If Only. What if?

How to choose the ‘Preneur’ business model by weighing the pros and cons:

What steps should you (I) take?

I’ve already identified 12 steps (from the master list of 34) described and illustrated in Volume One  of “The Knowledge Path: How to Live. Love. Work. Play. Invest and Leave a Legacy.

Phew.

Start down a path with a  lifestyle business that you can take anywhere in the world “at the intersection of passion and quality-of-life“:

  1. Choose a business model that brings out the best in you.
  2. Conduct a preliminary marketing study about the  best places on your bucket list
  3. Activate a “Brand-as-an-Expert” campaign
  4. Maintain a consistent process of content aggregation, curation, composition, and circulation.
  5. Engage and nurture your audience of followers.  Grow to 1000 (2000?) raving fans
  6. Make it easy for them to buy your expertise and advocate on your behalf to others.
  7.  Automate the chain of awareness, interest, liking, desire, trial, repurchase and regular use.
  8. Practice daily to master your story telling process to engage your customers imagination.
  9. Cultivate a voice that is uniquely yours and delivers on your “Brand-as-an-Expert.”
  10. Sketch scenarios in five-year time frames to highlight potential risks and rewards, threats and opportunities.
  11. Prepare to pivot and thrive when key moments during your five-year scenarios arrive.
  12. Monitor and anticipate shifts in your environment.  Swim with the new currents and clue your fans in to what’s changing.

What are the unknowns?

Building a website that will describe my work-in-process.

  • Figuring out a way of capturing the knowledge and experience in a way that results in another knowledge product.
  • I didn’t know how to write and publish a book. 
  • I knew I had a story to tell.
  • Figuring out what the step-by-step process is for self-publishing, hosting a website and blog, submitting a book to Amazon, determining all the moving parts to a social media strategy and crowdfunding campaign.
  • If the return on my effort ROE may not be worth the time to master it from scratch. (Or, for you). 
  • Costs: Incurred expenses for registering domain names over two years with additional for confidentiality, hosting my 6 sites  

What are the threats?

For example:

  • My learn-as-you-go DIY project takes too long.

    Rearranging Creative Ideas
  • Is it analysis paralysis?  The research and writing parts vary between the extremes of terror and bliss.
  • My book content ages by the time it takes to successfully self-publish the series. The perceived value tanks and no-one buys my books.
  • I lose focus and move on to Volume Two prematurely. I self-sabotage as I near the end – what’s that old song – Slip Sliding Away?
  • The content business isn’t sustainable and you can’t really make a living following this business model.

Why?

Even though it’s a cliché I hear frequently from almost all of the mentors I’ve recruited over the last decade, I too  want to give back.

And, I wanted to learn something new by testing the process for creating new knowledge and innovation – called knowledge banking.

  • How you can choose the right resort community just for you in the Western Region of the United States – all you needed was fast wifi connection and a method.
  • Write Volume Two as a new series of books – selecting the type of organizations with talent cultures as clients or employers – that bring out the best in you. Optimize the entire process by applying what I’ve learned so far.
  • Integrate a project plan. Test what works and what doesn’t.   Grow your reading audience by igniting a marketing plan and social media campaign.
  • Pick the best crowdfunding platform.
  • Publish on Amazon – give it a way individually and as a five book series to experiment with pricing (Volume One) – creating a bucket list of best places attracting people like you in quality-of-life communities.
  • Offer exclusive reports and bucket list updates.

Conduct a laboratory. Bank new knowledge and expertise mastered. Package and repackage your deposits into new products.

What works for you?

Part Two: Where Are You Going?

Bill from Colorado Springs, You’re on the Air!

I have to admit for an amateur like me, it felt good when LinkedIn analytics showed I reached 487 views of “Are You Ready for Natural Beauty and Awesome Adventures” .

 

 

Akismet has protected your site from 40 spam comments already. There’s nothing in your spam queue at the moment.

 

WTF?! Apologies to Marc Maron.

In my amateurish way it felt like capturing lightning in a bottle. 

The electrical charge felt good, I have to admit. 

But, then it propelled me into new territory where I felt uncomfortable, unready and anxious.

You know, 30 steps forward, 360 steps backwards.

Goal:

Build an email list of opt-ins of 2000 fans.

Objective: 

Figure out how.

Gap:

I don’t even have a network of 2000 people, let alone raving fans.

  • Not in Facebook.
  • Not on Twitter.
  • Not on Instagram or Pinterest.

Not on …

Wait a minute.

What about LinkedIn?

What about Flipboard?

What if I combine them?

How would I … ?

Honestly, I’d been too busily curating, composing and publishing organically without drawing any visitor traffic to speak of.

Not focusing on building a network as an urgent, gotta have it done today task on my project plan.

Here, I’m juggling too many balls in the air already.

Self-publishing kept me busy.

FREE ignites your WOMB.

Your Word of Mouth Buzz.

Marketing isn’t my strong suit, but I convinced myself I’d better figure out how.

Conventional wisdom in self-publishing says I should offer free pdfs as incentives to join my opt-in email list.

Right?

So a whole bunch of questions flooded my strained brain.

  1. I need pdfs ready to go – better finish them.
  2. When they’re done how do potential fans find them?
  3. If they find them what has to be set up in advance so they click on something to unlock access?
  4. Do I set up a page on my site with a special code, or what?

My brain ached.

First things first, I thought, finish the pdfs and worry about 2, 3 and 4 later.

It’s not like any of my sites draw volumes of traffic anyway.

So my works-in-progress:

Why what you thought you knew about tried and true career development may actually prove to be harmful to you.

This approach challenges the myths of networking that everyone hates anyway in favor for cultivating introductions and referrals to decision-makers without any competition.

In favor of being passed along from one circle of trust to another. Taps into the secret value-producing combination of doing what you enjoy with what is marketable to your new boss.

 

  • Major disruptions in our lives force us to change our normal habits. …
  • dictate where and how you retire,
  • the value of your house,
  • where you live,
  • your children’s education
  • and career choices,
  • your hobbies,
  • whether your are starting, buying, or selling a business,
  • your estate and tax planning, and even your charitable giving.

 

I discovered that mastering new rules is like trying to cross a swift moving white-water river.  

How far upstream do you need to begin?  You don’t don’t want to be swept too far downstream past your destination.

We drove over 3,000 miles through portions of California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Utah, having hatched the idea sitting on the beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

 

What was her biggest fear when she left her old life behind in the big city? Becoming isolated and irrelevant.

With the right knowledge products producing multiple streams of residual income, you can overcome the challenge of having to make it in local rural markets.

Stories about Wireless Resorters and High Country Eagles leaving urban life.  

 

Craft a vision and challenge the early change-adopters with a call-to-action.

These leaders sponsor strategic, enterprise-wide changes required to reinvent the fortunes of their organization. 

Secrets of introducing enterprise-wide change into a cultural immune system by designing Knowledge Laboratories as small, incremental experiments designed to create new knowledge.

Get in on the ground floor of an emerging trend where there is very little competition.

 

Back to my anemic social media efforts.

What about LinkedIn? Here’s what I said to myself.

“Maybe, I’ll post this post on LinkedIn just to begin the process and see what happens.”

I wasn’t prepared for the jolt when I logged back into my Know Laboratories dashboard to edit and publish my next essay.

Why?

Here’s how I’m routinely greeted:

Akismet has protected your site from 40 spam comments already.
There’s nothing in your spam queue at the moment.

From “Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing and the Future of Work

“Hi Steve, I first noticed your name as a good friend here in fort Collins, now a local judge shares your same name.

Then I started reading your bio and saw some really interesting overlaps in our work.

Notably: 1. I have been applying new economy skills since 1990 and the lessons learned are still lessons corporations have yet to figure out today.

2. I have been toying with a great AI platform “Shaping Tomorrow” and love how responsive it is and its range of cognitive search.

But I already theoretically shaped 2 major uses that would put AI in a very positive light by enabling millions.

One connects education and industry on an even keel so students graduate with current or advantaged skills. The other provides startups with a far better option than incubators or accelerators by creating a complete online support ecosystem.

Love to at least chat with you by phone. I am in Fort Collins, CO and was strongly advised by digital guru and author Brian Solis to hold off retirement as he says the brightest people out there are trying to figure out,

What I experienced between 1990 and 2002 for my last 12 years leading a more conscious marketing effort for HP. Have advanced well beyond that now.”

What the … ?

It took me awhile to read and reread it and to double-check Akismet.

Looks legit,” I concluded.

Wait, if it is, then I’ll have to respond, right?

All I could think of was Amy Poehler’s description of improv work.

To whatever you acting partner throws out at you in the scene, you come back with “Yes and …”

“Thank you for taking the time to comment.

Sometimes I feel it’s like that old joke that if it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all – only in my case it’s spam comments.

Yes, I agree we traveled some of the same paths with many overlaps. For instance, I’ve been a member of Shaping Tomorrow for years and recently rediscovered a cache of emails from Michael Jackson which updated me with major leaps in their service and access to their AI robot, Athena.

Your two initiatives sound fascinating, timely and very worthwhile, Bill. Oh, and Fort Collins is one of my favorite places in Colorado.

If anyone else is interested, here’s the link to Shaping Tomorrow”

Where did that comment originate?

Organically, here on WordPress?

Or, from LinkedIn as I’m building my audience to 2000? 

I’ve been inviting roughly 100 at a time on my LinkedIn’s gallery of “people you may know.”

So far, I’ve doubled my network from 800 to 1612  “Followers”.

Good news.

In LinkedIn I’ve been consistently getting hundreds of views. 

But no difference on my site. 

One of my Executive MBA students lamented the same thing to me recently.  

She’d circulate her blog articles, but was consistently disappointed when very few readers actually clicked through to her website.

Though still anemic, the spike from my normal “views” in the teens to hundreds of views on Know Laboratories wasn’t normal.

To be honest, I paid little attention to my site analytics.

Hmm.

Was Bill from Colorado Springs non organic?

So, I continued posting  curated articles (same type of post) but one from Know Laboratories and the other from Best West Road Trips to LinkedIn.

First, Best West Road Trips.

My LinkedIn viewership sky rocketed.  

I have to admit for an amateur like me, it felt good when LinkedIn analytics showed I reached 487 views of “Are You Ready for Natural Beauty and Awesome Adventures” .

 It didn’t last very long.

It was quickly back to reality for me when after returning to the dashboard in my Best West Road Trips website:  only 29 visitors read the curated article.

Well, what if I join some LinkedIn groups, maybe that will stimulate site traffic, right?

I searched  LinkedIn Groups and discovered two.

Hospitality & Travel Forum with 291,014 members and Travel & Tourism Industry Professionals Worldwide with 284,820 members.

Second, Knowledge Laboratories.

Back to Bill from Colorado Springs.

He left a comment on Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing and the Future of Work

Something was different.

Why?

Now that I’ve been paying more attention and comparing analytics, something flipped the pattern.

Almost always viewership on LinkedIn is orders of magnitude more than on Knowledge Laboratories.

But there it was:

Know Laboratories website: 404 views.

From my LinkedIn audience of 1612: 360 views.

Now, what’s that all about?

It’s all good, right?

Still, why?

Steps:

11) Maintain a consistent process of content aggregation, curation, composition, and circulation.

12) Nurture your audience of followers striving to increase the number of your raving fans to 1000.

13) Make it easy for your fans to buy a piece of you, and then advocate on your behalf. 

14) Synchronize your selling process to your their buying process — master the chain reaction  of Awareness – Interest – Liking – Desire – Trial – Repurchase and Regular Use.

 

 

 

 

Skip These 6 Self-Publishing Truths at Your Own Peril

FREE ignites your WOMB.

Is it just “Phake Gnus” picked up and circulated by unsuspecting wannabes like me?

 

So far I’ve made it through Day Fifteen, halfway through AnyWired’s 30-day plan for building a viable freelance business.

Then I nearly lost it when I found out I was 180 to 365 days behind in my crowdfunding campaign.

Seriously.

I had to ask myself,

Why was I going through this grind in the first place?

How did this all start?

What was I thinking?

So, this was my dream.

Follow my passion.

Write a book.

Somehow get it published.

And, live happily ever after.

Look it was a dream, right?

Apparently, you can’t just publish a book and then do nothing.

In my field of dreams, I so wanted to believe that I could publish an awesome book and that would be enough to sell it. 

But, it doesn’t work that way out in the cold cruel world, unless you’re already famous. 

And I’m not. 

So what should I do?

Wake up.

Get out of bed.

Drag a comb across my head.

Make my way downstairs and drink a cup.

Or two.

And …

1. Give it away for free for a limited time, such as 30 or 90 days. 

Why, are you crazy?

Yes, but …

FREE ignites your WOMB.

 Your word of mouth buzz.

And momentum to boost your confidence and kick off your covert authentically real sales process.

But, wait there’s more. 

Seems like everyone quotes Seth Godin’s unconventional wisdom.

Is it just “Phake Gnus” picked up and circulated by unsuspecting wannabes like me?

Or a purple cow?

Yes.

Anyway.

You may not be as good a writer as you hope you are.  

The best way to find out is to ask your friends and relatives to share your FREE book.

If they decline, maybe you aren’t ready for prime time just yet.

But if you ask them “pretty, pretty please” to share with twenty of their friends, and they do.

And if each of their friends shares  your work of art with twenty more of their friends. 

And if each of them do too, and so on and so on, then the multiples of readers you can reach can be staggering.

In theory, right?

20 x 20 x 20 x 20 = 160,000.  

Not bad, eh?

If all goes right, when you bring your next book to market, you’ll have a strong, raving fan base.

Since it’s free with a capital FREE you can test your content without draining your bank account.

Especially if things don’t go according to plan.

Or your friends aren’t really your friends.

Or you relatives still haven’t gotten over your gaff during last Thanksgiving dinner.

But, realistically it’s the only way a first time author can publish successfully.

Or so I’m told.

What else?

2. Amazon sets the price structure.

On Amazon most ebooks fall under the $9.99 price ceiling. 

Pricing matters.

Low pricing attracts readers. 

At the right price point it motivates your potential audience to take a chance on your book.

Treat pricing as a knowledge laboratory.  

Huh?

Experiment with it over time to assess your readers’ response rates.

For you (and me) the price may have to be $0.99 to encourage (fake ) friends and non-friends and relatives to take a chance on you, an unknown author.

If your first time readers give you rave reviews, then you may succeed with a lower price but at a higher sales volume.

You may not make mortgage-paying income (yet).

But with an enthusiastic base, you’ll be better positioned to receive a publisher’s advance next time.

And pay off some of your growing credit card balances.

Or at least offer your next book at a much higher price.

3. Partner with the In Crowd 

Find and participate with large-traffic blogs, websites, newsletters, and social media writers.

On July 9, 2013 almost 5 years ago Rob Eager, On Digital Book World, wrote “How to Sell Ebooks: 5 Proven Tips” and listed seven of the most influential back then.  

According to Eager in 2013, getting your e-book mentioned help gets the word out leading to more downloads than you could have grown organically on your blog.

Basically, he said, “You can write to the administrators of these e-book blogs and request a feature on your book. 

Look for sites with free listings.

Or those that will feature your book for a fee. 

He also  said “Kindle Nation offers author sponsorship opportunities to promote your book for $99 to $400” (check for today’s fees).

Don’t overlook web-based ads.

You can run them on GoodReads and IndieReader.

4. After experimenting with all avenues  of “Free” and “near Free” check out  paid book reviews.

Besides book mentions and paid advertising, independent authors can pursue literary reviews of their work for a fee. 

Why?

You boost your legitimacy as an unknown author. 

While a lot has changed over the last five years, here are two of Eager’s recommendations to get you started on your trial and error testing:

If you’re like me, I hope you’re not for your sake, you’ll find that writing a book takes so long it impacts your ability to make a living. 

And apparently that’s not the half of it.

5. So wouldn’t it make financial-survival sense to find a sponsor? 

Like receiving an advance from a traditional publisher someone pays you to create your book. 

Even better than crowdfunding.

The mutual benefit accrues when you agree to offer your sponsor advertising space or promotional activities for them. 

Eager profiled Al Pittampalli who “landed Citrix Systems as a sponsor for his new ebook called, Read This Before Our Next Meeting. 

Citrix invented the popular GoToMeeting videoconferencing service (www.GoToMeeting.com), which is used by companies around the world. 

As a sponsor of Al’s book, Citrix got exposure to thousands of potential new customers. 

Likewise Al got funding through Citrix, legitimacy from their brand, and exposure to a much wider audience”

Great gig if you can get it, right?

How do you get it?

Begin by jotting down all the likely suspects you can even loosely associate with your book’s content.

  • People. 
  • Companies.
  •  Nonprofit Organizations 

Oh, right, you may need to do a little Googling or ask Siri and conduct a little market segment research too.

The key is to surface what each might have in common with you.

Like they want to reach their customers or donors with something new to keep them engaged, that you want to reach as readers and purchasers of your book. 

Then you contact  those organizations and pitch your value proposition.

That you’ll become a spokesperson for them.

Or your book is the ideal product placement opportunity for them. 

Really? 

Wait, what’s in it for them?

An avenue for marketing in a non-threatening, more authentic manner to their potential customers or donors. 

Seriously, you can do that?

Yup.

But the burden of proof falls on your shoulders. 

You have to convince them that your book’s audience appeals to their target market.

And that you can sell a lot of books.

6. It takes a knowledge laboratory to test what works and doesn’t. Now you tell me.

According to Eager:

“There has never been a more interesting time to be an independent author. The opportunities to self-publish and sell books are unprecedented.” 

Is interesting time enough?

Run a Knowledge Laboratory

What worked well 5 years ago may end up wasting your precious time  today. 

In fact, what worked well even a year ago might not cut it.

However, some of the fundamentals probably remain the same. 

  • You must write a great book that provides tangible value to the reader. 
  • Test that assumption with 20 of your friends and relatives.
  • Start small, use a low-cost pricing approach to gain new readers, 
  • FREE or near-FREE.
  • Grow your platform.
  • Connect with the in crowd of influencers. 
  • And if you dare, find a sponsor.

But,  keep Katherine Milkovich’s comment in mind (written in 2016).

There are always some new strategies, some of them are good while the others are not really worth my time because I saw no results. 

But there are some basics that never change, such as starting your blog and building your audience, using forums, guest posting… 

There are some useful tricks on https://katherinemilkovich.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/marketing/

(Oops, no longer.)

But I would suggest trying EVERYTHING and testing what works for you. 

This is what works best for me.”

What works for you?

Steps:

4) Nurture your passions and express your uniqueness — no one else can or will, for that matter.

11) Maintain a consistent process of content aggregation, curation, composition, and circulation.

12) Nurture your audience of followers striving to increase the number of your raving fans to 1000.

13) Make it easy for your fans to buy a piece of you, and then advocate on your behalf. 

14) Synchronize your selling process with their buying process — master the chain reaction  of Awareness – Interest – Liking – Desire – Trial – Repurchase and Regular Use.

How To Choose the Best Crowdfunding Platform for You

I Wikipedia-ed “crowdfunding” and stepped into a fire hose of choices. There were a gazillion. Oh, okay maybe not a gazillion. But a half a gazillion.

 

Funding Your Creations
Luckily, Jamey summarized the pros and cons of nine in addition to Kickstarter

 

On Day Fifteen, halfway through AnyWired’s 30-day plan for building a viable freelance business,  it recommended:

 “Read ‘Freelance Switch’s guide to Getting Started as a Freelancer.’”

Which, to tell you the truth I couldn’t find, but this seems to be a pretty comprehensive replacement, The Ultimate Freelancer’s Guide.

Emphasis on “Seems.”

I can’t really vouch for it.

But if you’ve joined me by taking the fork in the road at Jellystone Park on your way to “Crowdfunding Town,” then here’s one more thing to put on your to-do list.

I recommend you begin reading, “A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide: Build a Better Business by Building Community” by Jamey Stegmaier, sooner than later.

Why?

His 8 crowdfunding campaigns have raised over $3.2 million, and he shares his insights, mistakes, and lessons learned on this blog.

Stegmaier advises you to start building your crowd six months to a year before you intend to launch your crowdfunded product.  

Oh no.

I hadn’t completed the first 30 days and now he’s telling me I’m already 180 to 365 days behind?!

Look I knew crowdfunding loomed ahead in my not-too-distant future.

It was another lower priority get-smart-about task on my project plan.

Now what?

But, how are you supposed to catch up?

What are you supposed to do in the meantime?

Jamey moonlighted until he created a working prototype for a new board game.  

By the light of the silvery moon before and after his normal work day he practiced what he called writing long-form content and connecting with people online.

He had a goal in mind.

Build an email list of opt-ins of 2000 fans.

For Jamey, blogging established an online presence and a symbol of commitment and legitimacy.

As he explains it, context gives your growing opt-in fan base something to share while keeping them in the loop about your progress. 

And, of course strangers who aren’t already in your Facebook or LinkedIn networks can find you using search engines and finding your blog.

He highly recommends joining your chosen crowdfunding community to back other projects like yours and to actively participate without promoting yourself.

Spend time every day in forums that cater to your product.

So on top of following AnyWired’s advice of spending at least an hour daily just developing your skill, I’m supposed to spend even more time writing comments in a community?

Yup.

Why?

You’ll be building a trustworthy reputation over time.

And, it’s not just a numbers game.

Notice he upped “the game” to a goal of 2000 “opt-in” fans.

How?

You earn it the authentically old fashioned way.

By generously supporting other projects. 

While you do you pick up clues from other “creators in their backer communities.”

And you experience how they’ve built their high levels community engagement first hand.

It’s all good.

When it comes to crowdfunding, almost everyone recognizes Kickstarter, right?

Which is where Jamey funded his game.

But is Kickstarter right for you?

One of your first choices is to pick the best crowdfunding fit for your product, project or cause.

Until you do, you can’t build your reputation over time in its community, duh!

I Wikipedia-ed “crowdfunding” and stepped into a fire hose of choices.

There were a gazillion.

Oh, okay maybe not a gazillion.

But a half a gazillion.

Luckily, Jamey summarized the pros and cons of nine in addition to Kickstarter in his book on pages 21 through 23.

  • Kickstarter
  • Indiegogo
  • GoFundMe
  • Patreon
  • Crowdrise
  • Quirky
  • Ulule
  • Tilt
  • Pozible
  • Crowdfunder

Let’s start with Kickstarter. 

  • Jamey points out it’s easy to use because backers can quickly browse and
    Funding Your Creations

    discover new projects – yours, right?  

  • He likes the sense of community.  
  • It feels like all the crowdfunding backers come together to make you successful – their common goal. 
  • Compared to some of the other platforms, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing funding community.  
  • You set your goals and timeline and nobody’s credit card is charged if you don’t meet your milestones. 
  • Oh, and it is reward-based.  Supporters actually get the product you create.
  • The next closer to Kickstarter may be Ulule since according to Jamey is a “Kickstarter-like” European version. 

Similar to Kickstarter, Indiegogo offers a little more flexibility.  

  • You can fund your life and charity projects in addition to products. 
  • But your backers will find charges on their credit cards when they decide your project, product or cause merits their financial participation. 
  • So money flows to you even before meeting your goal. 
  • A little less important difference concerns your project page.  
  • You can move your current featured level to the top of your sidebar.  
  • That may seem cosmetic.  But, just the position may turn out to drive more funding your way.

Before moving on to other life, cause, or charity funding platforms, lets review Tilt, Quirky and Crowdfunder for idea people and entrepreneurs among us.

Got what you think is an awesome business idea or new product, Quirky might be for you.   

  • Especially, if you’ve got ideas but are clueless like me about how to design or actually manufacture it.  
  • No problem.  Here how it works in a nutshell.  
  • You participate in two basic ways.  Propose your epic idea.  
  • And vote on ideas that other members submit. 
  • You get to influence product designs. 
  • And if Quirky’s team actually manufactures and sells the product, you earn a stake in its future revenues.

Crowdfunder operates essentially an equity-based platform most similar to what traditional angel investors do.

  • And, you get to participate in startups, but for a pledge of several thousand dollars – traditional angels need to pledge $50,000 or more.  
  • So while it’s not a cheap date it Crowdfunder gets you in the game for considerably less out of pocket.

We haven’t mentioned fees for creators using platforms to attract supporters.  

  • Tilt, what Jamey calls a tipping point-focus resembles Kickstarter in that no charge hits your backer’s credit card until your goal is reached.  
  • But the fees for creators are low — free or 2.5% versus what other sites may charge in the 8-10% range. (The platform is being retired in June 2018 having become part of the Airbnb family)

More like Indiegogo than Kickstarter are three platforms that allow creators to keep donations and pledges – GoFundMe, Crowdrise and Patreon.

GoFundMe allows any kind of project – product, charity, life or causes.  

  • You aren’t marching against a set time for a deliverable and you don’t offer rewards for funding support.  
  • As donations flow in you get to keep pledges almost immediately.  
  • And some creators appreciate the option to accept pledges through a widget that you can include on your own website.  
  • No need for potential supporters to visit your GoFundMe page on their site.  
  • If they land on your website, they can pledge on your website.

What about Crowdrise?  (by gofundme, now?)  

  • If you’ve got a cause or a charity campaign this platform might be for you.  
  • Like GoFundMe you don’t offer rewards for supporters.  
  • You don’t need to develop funding goals or campaign time limits.  
  • And, you get to keep all funds.

What about Patreon?  Who is it for and what is it like?  

  • Turn to Patreon if you’re creating something new like the others.  
  • Or, if you want to raise money for continuing making content you already produce on a regular basis.  
  • Like subscriptions to a podcast.  
  • Jamey wrote about the “Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast” campaign.  It generated almost $550 per episode produced from just over 225 patrons (supporters).  
  • You may consider $1 a month request for a subscription to help defray software or hosting costs.  
  • Once patrons pledge their small amount to support you, they are charged in small increments on their credit card which continues on an ongoing basis.

And finally, how does Pozible stack up?  

Pozible combines some of the elements from both Kickstarter and Patreon.

  • In the Spring of 2015 Pozible claimed a 57% project success rate.
  • Much better than some of the most popular platforms
  • It supports one-time pledges.
  • Like Kickstarter, projects include rewards for different levels of pledges.
  • It also supports a subscription model like Patreon in a flexible payment system.

So, some crowdfunding platforms are changing.  Being repurposed like Tilt which is now part of the Airbnb family or Crowdwise operated by GoFundMe. 

Lessons are being learned driving pivots to emerging business models.

And competition is making products more efficient and productive for creators and sponsors.

Popular functions and features on one platform show up on another.

But, unless you’re in the business of reporting on the changing scene the best advice still boils down to moonlighting.

  • Choose the platform tailored to you. 
  • Participate as a supporter 
  • Engage with other creators in your niche category.  
  • Learn how they convert a crowd into their community.  

While you activate your before, during, and after launch campaign strategy.

Oh, and  travel six months back in time to when you were younger, smarter and build your opt-in fan base. 

Day Eight: With Two Yogis at a Fork in the Road

Day Seven:  Is It Worth All Those 3 am Wake Up Panics?

Day Six: Who Should Take the First Step the Chicken or Egg?

Day Eight with Two Yogis at a Fork in the Road

Oh, and if you come to a fork in the road at Jellystone Park, be sure to take it!

“Work online, work anywhere, live free’ … will be a blog for anyone who works through the web (freelancers, entrepreneurs, bloggers, webmasters, telecommuters etc).”

 

AnyWired’s Day Eight: Write your portfolio’s “About” page.

“When you come to a fork in the road, ” Yogi Berra once famously said, “Take it.”

No, not that one in Jellystone Park with his side companion, Boo-Boo Bear.

But that famous Yankee catcher from a time before you were born.

Baseball.

Check your collector set of most valuable baseball cards.

Unless someone you love dearly threw them out lo those many years after you left home.

I took the fork when I decided not to follow all the good advice that AnyWired recommended for establishing a side gig or full time business freelancing.

I began a new meal not called freelancing when I had to repeat the 1st grade.

Or maybe I chose a path that required me to cut back on meals – at least on a regular basis.

But one that AnyWired inspired.

“Work online, work anywhere, live free’ … will be a blog for anyone who works through the web (freelancers, entrepreneurs, bloggers, webmasters, telecommuters etc).”

Here’s where the blog’s message inspired me:

  • Work at home, but live where you want instead of where you are forced to.
  • You are in demand, but you don’t know where.
  • Customers, clients and consumers all over the world are searching for the insight you have accumulated.
  • It used to be that you had to be local to work with clients or an employer in a specific location.

Not anymore.

I figured that there were more than enough detailed instructions for earning a living online.

My contribution?

Quality-of-Life Lifestyles
  • If you are already making money as a freelancer or an internet entrepreneur, why not move to where you will find the most inspiration?
  • How do you find the highest quality-of-life communities with people who are just like you?
  • Those that offer everything you enjoy?
  • Plus affordable real estate, shopping, dining and entertainment with award-winning schools?

Wait, maybe Jellystone Park is relevant after all.

For Day Eight AnyWired said:

“Include your current location, any relevant qualifications you have, previous work you have done in the industry and previous clients you have worked for (don’t worry if there are none).” 

“This is particularly relevant if you’ve been working in your field before going freelance.”

If not, then you’ll have to fake it until you make it.

Or, on Day Eight, “You should spend at least 1 hour per day just developing your skill.”

And, on each and every day going forward.

So what lies ahead over the next seven days according to AnyWired?

Inspired, Refreshed, Ready to Take on the World
  • “Day Nine:  Create your Contract Form.
  • Day Ten: Design your invoice template. 
  • Day Eleven: Set up your home office space.
  • Day Twelve: Create a logo OR commission a logo OR work more on your skills.
  • Day Thirteen: Start work on a portfolio item – you will have 5 days to complete this. 
  • Day Fourteen: Add a page to your portfolio describing your one service.
  • Day Fifteen:  Read Freelance Switch’s guide to Getting Started as a Freelancer.”

So, back to Pages in WordPress.

You are supposed to write your About page.

Being such a clueless DIY bumbler I didn’t understand the differences between “Posts” and “Pages”.

Here’s what I found out.

What you are now reading is called  a post.

Like your resume they appear in reverse chronological order, unless

  • You know what you are doing
  • You change the default setup
  • You can see I don’t and didn’t

But we’re not here to wax poetically about posts.

No.

We’re after those non-chronological and often hierarchical content on pages.

According to the WordPress Codex:

“Pages live outside of the normal blog chronology, and are often used to present timeless information about yourself or your site — information that is always relevant.

You can use Pages to organize and manage the structure of your website content.

In addition to the common “About” and “Contact” pages, other examples include “Copyright”, “Disclosure”, “Legal Information”, “Reprint Permissions”, “Company Information” or “Accessibility Statement”.”

Pages don’t change dynamically.  They aren’t time-bound.  Their content doesn’t perish or become outdated like in posts.

A little more from WordPress:

  • Pages can use different Page Templates, including template files, Template Tags and other PHP code.
  • More sophisticated themes may provide a wider range of adjustments or display options for individual pages.
  • It’s quite possible to make a website using WordPress which only contains pages.

So with that cleared up, what about, well, The About Page?

Here’s what I found buried in my dashboard that came with my Twenty Seventeen theme.

“Most people start with an About page that introduces them to potential site visitors.

It might say something like this:

Hi there! I’m a bike messenger by day, aspiring actor by night, and this is my website. I live in Los Angeles, have a great dog named Jack, and I like piña coladas. (And gettin’ caught in the rain.)

…or something like this:

The XYZ Doohickey Company was founded in 1971, and has been providing quality doohickeys to the public ever since. Located in Gotham City, XYZ employs over 2,000 people and does all kinds of awesome things for the Gotham community.”

So how do you arrive at your About page description?

It flows from your site’s mission statement.

Your answers to each of the following question will provide a summary you can fine tune.

  1. What am I going to do with this?
  2. Who is  going to read this?
  3. What kinds of information will I be posting?
  4. Who am I doing this for?
  5. How often am I going to be posting and adding information?

Here is a draft that I’ve been working from which will be my bio displayed on the inside cover of each of my five books in Volume One of The Knowledge Path Series:

Steve is the founder of the Knowledge Laboratories and its network of enterprises.

He’s been mooning for years. Mostly in the dark.

Write. Write. Write.

Before first light.

Crafting messages “literally bottled and set adrift from KnowWhere Atoll.”

It’s taken him eight years just to bring Volume One: The Knowledge Path Series and its five books into the light of day.

Is it because he’s ADD? Maybe.

While he doesn’t see ghosts in the dark, he sees patterns. And opportunities.  And, well, ways of tying people, places, things, ideas and trends together in new and original ways.

All of which come in handy during his day job in the Executive MBA program for The Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine.

He advises millennial, midlife and empty-nest executives pursuing new career, entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial opportunities. Helping them get unstuck by seeing their situations differently.

“How to Live, Love, Work, Play, Invest and Leave a Legacy.”

Oh, and if you come to a fork in the road at Jellystone Park, be sure to take it!

Day Seven:  Is It Worth All Those 3 am Wake Up Panics?

Day Six: Who Should Take the First Step the Chicken or Egg?

Day Five: Repeating 1st Grade

Is It Worth All Those 3 am Wake Up Panics?

Here’s what WordPress describes when they say a theme is a system to “skin” your weblog, but so much more.

Gotta Get Back To Sleep
Luckily, the new WordPress theme, Twenty Seventeen, was announced and launched just in time to make my progress less like 3 am and more like 2 am.

 

Anywired’s Day Seven:  Choose a WordPress Theme.

Stealing time from here and there causes major disruptions in concentration.

First Cup at Zero Dark Thirty

The next morning or at lunch you try to pick up from where you left off.

  • What did you have in mind when you wrote that?
  • Where did you file your draft?
  • And, as any writer will tell you that’s the nature of the beast.
  • It comes with the territory.
  • However, you don’t unnecessarily over-complicate things like I do.

Only those with the same Myers Briggs tendencies – ENTP on a good day and INTP on a bad day will recognize the problems.

Oh, and in my Volume Two set of books I’ll reveal similar but different coded temperaments.

For figuring out those internal organizational cultures made up of competing tribes.

Talent Cultures.

ENTP is also known (in my original research) as PMBI which is short-hand code (actually this is the code – 101HDIHHS) for Paradoxy-Morons, Breakpoint Inventors.

The disrupters, usually found in tech companies.

Or possibly, INTP aka SPURCs, the Systematic-Professionals (113MEKHIMM) who are typecast as Unbiased Research Conceptualizers.

The people antidotes for the fake news disease, aka knowledge workers.

And running Knowledge Laboratories as a way to grow and learn through short trial and error, experiments.

See I can’t help myself.

Where was I?

Day Seven.

Right off the bat I was confused.

Themes?

Templates?

Pages?

Posts?

Pluses and Minuses, Discuss – Talk among yourselves.

WTF?

And, on top of the confusion I recall AnyWired recommended showcasing your portfolio.

Shouldn’t that be in the mix as you try to choose which theme will make your life easier while giving you a solid platform to add more functions and features?

One last note.

You know when you wake up at night and you look over at the clock and it displays 2:00 am?

I feel some comfort in knowing I can get up, turn the lights back on and jot down the brilliant flash of insight or fleeting dream sequence, turn the lights back off and climb back into bed for pretty well- rested continuation of blissful sleep.

Contrast that with 3:00 am.

Gotta Get Back To Sleep
  • That, to me, presents a no-win proposition.
  • Anxiety.
  • Problem unsolved.
  • No win set up for an exhausted nights sleep and the energy depleted next day.

So my trick.

I began noting comments about where I was when I left off in a running journal under the heading of “2 am”.

It helped me pick up where I left off at zero dark thirty, or at a faux breakfast meeting before work or at an extended lunch during work.

Satan in the Inferno is trapped in the frozen central zone in the Ninth Circle of Hell, Canto XXXIV (Gustave Doré) – Wikipedia

And, where I felt the bottom had been pulled away from my floor and I fell free fall into Dante’s Inferno, as “3 am”.

The gawd awful technical issues that prolonged the progress on my goals I clearly tagged as “3am”.

And, it began with a pretty reasonable first step.

 

Review wordpress.org’s themes in its theme directory, right?

Oops.

This might take time.

Why?

You can choose among 2,883.

At least, you can view by Featured, Popular or Latest and use their “Feature Filter.”

Those filters help you choose among layout, features and subject to narrow your selection choices.

TMI

Let me go back to find out just what a theme is.

Then figure out what I need and why.

Here’s what WordPress describes when they say a theme is a system to “skin” your weblog, but so much more.

“A WordPress Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying unifying design for a weblog.

These files are called template files.

A Theme modifies the way the site is displayed, without modifying the underlying software.

Themes may include customized template files, image files (*.jpg, *.gif), style sheets (*.css), custom Pages, as well as any necessary code files (*.php). For an introduction to template files, see Stepping Into Templates.”

But, even today, some of WordPress instructions are hopelessly out of date.

“WordPress currently comes with three themes: the default Twenty Fifteen theme, and previous defaults Twenty Fourteen theme and Twenty Thirteen theme.”

Now four (Twenty Seventeen theme).

“You can switch between Themes using the Appearance admin panel. Themes that you add to the theme directory will appear in the Administration Screen > Appearance > Themes as additional selections.”

Of course I didn’t know it at the time.

I felt I should record this under “2am”.

Here’s where “3 am” drained me:

“If your host offers the cPanel control panel, and the Theme files are in a .zip or .gz archive follow these instructions.

Note: This assumes the Theme you download is a compressed (.zip) file containing a folder under which all the Theme files reside.

1  Download the Theme .zip file to your local machine.

2  In cPanel File Manager, navigate to your Themes folder. If your WordPress is installed in the document root folder of your web server you would navigate to “public_html/wp-content/themes” and if you have WordPress installed in a sub-folder called wordpress, you would navigate to “public_html/wordpress/wp-content/themes”.

3  Once you’ve navigated to the Themes folder in cPanel File Manager, click on Upload file(s) and upload that .zip file you saved in Step 1.

4  Once the .zip file is uploaded, click on the name of that file in cPanel, then in the panel to the right, click on “Extract File Contents”, and that .zip file will be uncompressed.

5  Follow the instructions below for selecting the new Theme.”

As if.

Again, where was I?

Choose a theme and showcase your portfolio.

Seems simple enough.

Here’s my initial strategy.

Realizing I’m an associative thinker I needed to discipline myself.

I’d only worry about activating the first few of the websites in my network of enterprises.

Know Laboratories – knowlaboratories.com

The Knowledge Path – theknowledgepath.com

Knowledge ATMs – knowatms.com

And, then later

Knowledge Banking – knowbanking.com

Best West Road Trips –  bestwestroadtrips.com

Western Skies and Island Currents – westernskiesandislandcurrents.com

I felt the last two sites clearly needed a way to show travel photos and videos and might require a theme that showcased my content as a portfolio.

From the WordPress Theme Directory I found two themes Shapely and Travelify from Colorlib.

And, for now, know that most of my notes about them filled the “3 am” categories.

But, here’s where after the first few months of floundering I found many tips and definitions that helped me make enough sense to move forward, https://codex.wordpress.org/Administration_Screens#Categories

The Initial Theme for Knowledge ATMs

Luckily, the new WordPress theme, Twenty Seventeen, was announced and

And, launched just in time to make my progress less like 3 am and more like 2 am.

Oh.

By the way, shouldn’t WordPress and “Twenty Seventeen” to their list of themes they offer?

Just saying.

Day Six: Who Should Take the First Step the Chicken or Egg?

Day Five: Repeating 1st Grade

Day Four: Packages for Producing Profits