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This is my Now page and here’s what’s up for me these days (as posted on 05/04/2020).

I’m grateful to say that I’m doing fine through the continued pandemic. Yes, I had a scare in March, but I’ve been out of self-quarantine since then. All indications are that I was not sick from Coronavirus, though I will get the serology test as soon as it becomes available in my area, and I don’t regret playing it extra safe. My popular blog posts here and here describe my direct experiences in March.

More recently, the last of my grandparents died from COVID-19. My 92-year-old grandmother Mary Jane Garcia never did get a respirator. The shortages are undeniably real, folks.

I continue to go out once a week, mask and all, to gather supplies and run errands for my immuno-compromised partner and her 84-year-old mother. Other than that, I don’t go anywhere. But that’s actually alright, because I live in a beautiful place where Spring is springing, the birds are chirping, the garden is growing, and life is actually very good.

So I alternate between being outside and being behind a computer. It’s generally more computer time than I prefer, especially since they keep breaking on me (again!). Here’s what I’m working towards in May:

  1. Hosting online conferences & events I’ve been producing sessions for training industry legend Bob Pike, with several more trainings and webinars coming up soon. This weekend I’m helping produce The Alchemy Lab conference, as well as moderating a panel on podcasting and delivering a session on video production. And next week I’ll be deep in delivering the STC Summit conference. More on the horizon after that! In between, I’m helping musician/teacher/author friends make their tech work better for online delivery. I’ve got a ton of experience livestreaming, leading webinars, and teaching online. I never thought it would be the main thing I do, but I guess this is the main thing I’m doing in May. How ‘bout that now?
  2. Marketing & Coding for Energy Utility Group an energy broker startup in Austin. My title is Marketing Director, but I’ve been banging my head against some code for over a week now. So I’m hoping it will give way soon so I can get back to the marketing part of Marketing.
  3. Writing/Consulting for Cox eLearning Consultants, providing marketing content & strategy to learning & edtech companies. I’m writing blog posts, providing marketing strategy, and advising an LMS company on structural gamification.
  4. Reworking my network because my Razer Blade 15 melted last week. After frantically rebuilding and recovering data, I’m back to a 2011 MacBook Pro for the moment, which I’ve suped up with a new SSD and 16MB of memory. As I wrote about recently, I’m rethinking everything now, and will likely be building my own desktop PC soon. I did just get my NAS up finally, happily running TrueNAS (formerly FreeNAS) with Plex, Nextcloud, and BackupMyPC plugins — just not very well yet. And I’ve failed to keep my Ironic Chromebook running my Pi-hole reliably, so my Raspberry Pi is still doing that for the moment. I hope to get all this straightened out this month sometime!
  5. Taxes & Finances are still looming from 2019. I really needed that extension, but I also really want to get all that cleaned up to current by the end of the month. Like many of us, I’m living on borrowed money now. In times like this it is critical to keep on top of the money flow. I have some work to do here, pronto.

Hopefully I’ll get to do some fun stuff this month too, like maybe venturing up the canyon and camping out while looking for my long lost drone. Or making some more new music.

How are YOU doing these days? I’d love to know. Hit me up or leave a comment below.

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This is my Now page and here’s what’s up for me in this, uh…perfectly normal month of April 2020 (as posted on 04/06/2020).

First off, yes I’m alright :) I’m happy to say that I’m out of quarantine for a few weeks now. Turns out I did not have anything newsworthy, just a very poorly timed but non-pandemic seasonal flu. I was in self-quarantine because there were no tests available at the time and I wanted to play it safe on behalf of my more vulnerable loved ones. My popular blog posts here and here describe my exciting adventures in containment.

I live in a beautiful place between a state park and a national forest in the middle of Utah that’s pretty isolated. Basically the kind of place that everyone else wishes they were right now. We are way more prepared than most, and will be just fine distancing ourselves here indefinitely.

What am I doing from here? Trying to make ends meet. Here’s what I’m focused on this month:

  1. Director of Marketing for Energy Utility Group an energy broker startup in Austin. This month I’m migrating their website to a new platform and launching an exciting new business channel.
  2. Content Developer & Strategist for Lance Allred, TEDx star & author (also the first deaf player in NBA history). This month I’m creating & launching his new courses and webinars and website enhancements to accompany his newest book The New Alpha Male: How To Win the Game When the Rules are Changing
  3. Writer & Consultant for Cox eLearning Consultants, providing marketing content & strategy to learning & edtech companies. I’m writing blog posts, providing marketing strategy, and advising an LMS company on structural gamification.
  4. Business Consultant for Masaca Translations one of the world’s premiere Korean & Japanese translation companies. I’m helping them reconstruct their business model and internal workflows for scale.
  5. President of Clear Mind Publishing, a boutique publishing company that my business (Snap Synapse LLC) purchased a few years back. We have a small and largely ignored catalog that I’m finally getting around to modernizing this month (I hope!).

Music-wise, I’ve been holding off on livestreaming anything so far, but I’ll give in this month I’m sure. Probably going live at the last minute on my personal Facebook page or something. Oh and I’m teaching live looping classes on Lessonface now so if you’re musically inclined and on lockdown, you should totally check out this great way to play on your own and become a better musician in the process.

Of course I’d always love to hear from YOU about your thoughts on any of the above. I’d also love to know what you’re up to. Guess what the comments box is for?

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This is my Now page and here’s what’s up for me as we march forth in to March 2020 (as posted on 03/03/2020).

Btw, today’s date is unusually fun to say, isn’t it? Oh-three-oh-three-two-oh-two-oh, oh-three-oh-three-two-oh-two-oh, oh-three-oh-three-two-oh-two-oh… Say it at about 120bpm and it’s like a freight train of rhythm! But I digress.

I’d like to tell you more about what’s really going on for me than I will be able to at the moment. Please check back in a week or so for some scary honesty about that. Here’s what I can say today:

I’m acting as if = Due to my own choices, I’ve been without paying work for about six months now. When making those brave/stupid choices (not sure which yet!), I had about a six month financial runway to make some new things happen. Now that has been used up. But rather than going into debt with credit cards or personal/business loans as I have in the past, this time I’ve decided to take a bridge loan out against my 401k. Soon I’ll be paying myself a monthly stipend from there to relieve the financial strain and bypass the fear/scarcity that has been mounting. Rather than hunting for work with increasing urgency as I have been doing, I’ve decided to prime the pump by just showing up and doing some for real. I’ve been helping some folks with their businesses for the last few months, but without the “all in” serious commitment or professionalism that I would if it was a paid engagement. It’s a bad practice that weakens my value and dependability. I’m working out some back-end revenue share deals that give me the ability to pay back my loan with interest over time for work that I’m doing today. This makes it easier for people who need help scaling up to do so without paying for it upfront. So now I’m:
  1. Acting Marketing Director for Energy Utility Group an energy broker startup in Austin
  2. Content Developer & Strategist for Lance Allred, TEDx star & author with a major new book coming out next week (also the first deaf player in NBA history)
  3. Business Consultant for Masaca Translations one of the world’s premiere Korean & Japanese translation companies
  4. Writer & Consultant for Cox eLearning Consultants, advising companies in the L&D industry and writing some blog/marketing content
I do still have some other projects that I’m juggling in, such as:
  • leading xAPI Cohort Team Podcast = We’re working toward creating a new xAPI profile to allow user-specific tracking of podcast behaviors for internal corporate podcasts. Right now our all-volunteer team is working behind the scenes to get proof of concept, but check in on PodcaXt.com for more info as it becomes availalble.
  • grantwriting for Tiffany Papageorge = There’s this book called My Yellow Balloon that has quietly been making a huge difference for tens of thousands of children and adults around the globe. It helps families come to terms with loss, grief, and letting go. I’ve been loosely affiliated with this effort since before the beginning, advising at several key moments of the publishing & marketing processes. Now the author would like to scale her institutional educational training curriculum nationally, and I’d like to see her succeed! So I’m helping a bit as I can, because this is something powerful that deserves to exist in the world.
  • applying for other jobs = I just got some bad news about a job I really wanted. Hiring freeze, nothing personal. I’m “top of the list” when they start hiring again, which kinda feels good but really doesn’t help me. I still haven’t stopped looking for more direct paying work, but after putting hundreds of applications out this year, I’m scaling back to only one per day and making them much more targeted.
  • taxes 2019 = It’s that time of year again, and 2019 was the year that I adopted the Profit First methodology and changed everything about my business & personal finances, including my team. Still some kinks to work out in that transition, but I’m happy to say that this new process is working out.
  • networking infrastructure improvements = I’m getting deeper in to being my own Network Administrator. Last month I got my DNS sinkhole working, deduplicated about 500GB of mess, further optimized my PC for stability. This month I continue by diving into BIOS edits on an old machine to in order to get my 10TB CentOS server up and running. Whee!

So as I look at all that, yeah I guess I’m pretty busy.

One thing I will not be doing is going to Orlando for Learning Solutions & Realities360 as planned for later this month. I’m very sorry, but I’ve had to cancel my workshop, sessions, panel discussions, and the whole trip. I really, really hate having to cancel anything. Why did I? A couple reasons that you can probably extrapolate from this post and the current news headlines.

Of course I’d always love to hear from YOU about your thoughts on any of the above. I’d also love to know what you’re up to. Guess what the comments box is for?

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Sam Rogers
I took this as a passport photo recently, and it didn't work for that. But it's not a bad picture, I guess.
This is my Now page and here’s what’s shaking for me in Feburary 2020 (as posted on 02/03/2020).
  1. Hunting for The Best Work = I sunset all my existing clients last year and stopped accepting work I didn’t want to do. Infected by my experiences in Seth Godin’s altMBA last August, I now only want to do work that matters for people who care. Since then, I’ve been focusing on doing the work I do want to do and working with people I really want to work with instead. Though this work has not yet been forthcoming, and I’m starting to wonder if that was brave or stupid of me. So I continue to seek both consulting and employee positions that inspire me forward…and I might not be able to afford to be that picky next month. If you have an Sr Instructional Design, Learning Tech / Ecosystem, or LMS implementation opportunities for me, do tell. I’m also actively seeking work that allows me to expand my data & analytics skills and exercise my workflow design chops. Thanks!
  2. xAPI Cohort = Starting up a new xAPI profile for podcasting. Stay tuned to PodcaXt.com for info ;)
  3. Network upgrades = I’m improving my home/office network. It’s rather complex, involving several routers/hubs/switches/repeaters in two locations about a quarter-mile apart. I’m making it more stable, more secure, and hopefully more simple — we’ll see about that part! I’m also actually practicing what I preach and documenting everything for the first time.
  4. Performing = I’ll be back in the SF Bay Area to perform at Raise The Roof – A Party to Uplift & Inspire at the end of the month. My good friend Alyssa DeCaro is putting this epic event together for February 29th, and I’m stoked to be teaming up with my former SoVoSo bandmate Bryan Dyer for some two-mouth band funky grooves!
And there are other projects that sneak in around the edges, such as:
  • consulting about structural gamification for an LMS client
  • advising my neighbors about how to scale their Korean/Japanese translation business
  • serving as the acting marketing manager for an alternative energy broker in Texas
  • supporting my Mom deal with insurance/medical/legal issues from a recent car accident
  • getting my 2019 taxes done & 2020 financial structure in place
  • helping lead productivity events & communities online

Of course I’d always love to hear from YOU about your thoughts on any of the above. I’d also love to know what you’re up to. Guess what the comments box is for?

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Welcome to the next decade! I hope you’ve got a powerful Vision2020 to guide you forth into this brave new world (and if not, go check this out).

What’s up in your world these days? Please leave a comment below to tell me. This is my Now page and here’s what’s shaking for me in January 2020 (as posted on January 3rd).
  1. Vision2020 / Doable Change = The Doable Change reboot is well underway! I’m now helping people craft their vision for the 2020 year, I’ve just launched a Daily Productivity Text, and am gathering mastermind participants for the next Weekly Strength Group. All of this is to help people live with more awareness and consciously make better choices.
  2. Hunting for Work = I stopped doing work I didn’t want to do back in September, and since then have been focusing on doing the work I do wan to do instead. Infected by my experiences in Seth Godin’s altMBA, I now only want to do work that matters for people who care. However, this work has not yet been forthcoming. I continue to seek both consulting and employee positions that inspire me forward…and I might not be able to afford to be that picky next month. If you have an Sr Instructional Design, Learning Tech / Ecosystem, or LMS implementation opportunities for me, do tell. I’m also actively seeking work that allows me to expand my data & analytics skills and exercise my workflow design chops. Thanks!
  3. Turning FOSS = The Free Open Source Software (FOSS) world has been calling my name for some time, and I am finally heeding the call! I’m learning a ton about SysAdmin in the world of Linux. I’ve gotten off everyone else’s clouds, for the most part, and am now building my own. If this is stuff you know about, please tell me! I’m doing this 100% solo so far, and I’d love to change that.
Some things I’m not doing in January include:
  • musical performances
  • speaking at conferences
  • video projects
  • livestreaming
  • traveling

I’ve got other priorities to keep me busy, and this time of year (in the Northern Hemisphere at least), there’s just not as much of these things to go around. The world around me here in the middle of nowhere in Utah is all snow and ice.

By the way, I do have my projects for this quarter all picked out here already :)

Of course I’d always love to hear from YOU about your thoughts on any of the above. I’d also love to know what you’re up to. Guess what the comments box is for?

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