Play Your Own Game

When I worked in Hollywood, I met an actor who could, literally, play any part.  He also had the “looks” to be a star.  He spent his time as a character actor in supporting parts.  He did get offers to go higher, but always refused the opportunity.

Why?  He played his own game.  As a character actor (and voice actor), he had more opportunities to explore his talents and sharpen his craft.  Being a star, he felt, would close those doors.

When it came to becoming a character, few could touch him.  I watched him develop a character for a cartoon project and was amazed at how quickly he got connected with the voice and personality of the character.  His transformation was almost instantaneous.

Being a character actor was a game he could play and play very well.  Being a “star” meant dealing with a completely different level of Hollywood politics and expectations.

We all do this.  Sometimes we adopt a personality to go along with the expectations of others.  In private we are completely different.  Its rare to create a business where who we are is expressed, almost without restriction, through what we do to make a living.

It’s a matter of finding our personal comfort zone and finding a way to stay within its protective bubble.

There was a local Seattle DJ who discovered that he could make a lot more money voicing commercials.  He could often sight read the copy and do two or three versions in less that fifteen minutes.  His fees and royalties provided a very comfortable living and on a healthier, more comfortable schedule. 

What is your game?  How well do you play it? 

Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

Validating Who You Are

Creating a business can validate who you are.  You can share your talents, skills, pesonal experiences and accumulated knowledge with those who want to share your journey and are willing to pay you along the way.

Most of us have some kind of talent.  It can be something specific, like acting, writing, carpentry, etc.  It can also be the capacity to learn something new easily and quickly.  Whatever your talent or skill, build a business around it, full or part-time.

Working at a 9 to 5, while necessary to pay the bills, is not always fulfilling.  You are there to do a job according to the rules of the game set down by management.  If you are fortunate, the job can be fun, interesting and even profitable, but who you really are may not be allowed to grow and develop.

I have a friend in Boise, Idaho who worked for a major corporation for several years to pay the bills.  He ran a side business, consulting small and medium-sized businesses about cyber security.  While he had the knowledge and experience, the company he worked for would not consider giving him a chance to use his expertise because he didn’t have the necessary degrees.

When he retired, however, he moved into the cyber consulting business full-time, based on his personal reputation and has developed a substantial client base.

Is starting a side business easy?  Its like anything else we do in life.  Its as easy as we make it.

Starting small, making connections and developing a scalable business model is the best solution.  Create a list of 100 to 200 passionate supporters, people who will buy your products consistently, then build that relationship into a multi-million dollar project (if that’s how far you want to go.) 

Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

Creating A Lifestyle Business

What do you like to do?  Cook, enjoy wine, travel, review movies?  What, after a hard day at work, reignites your imagination?  That subject, whatever it is, is the key to creating a lifestyle business. 

Speaking only for myself, at the moment, I have a love of the Pacific Northwest, its history, its people and its future.  I’ve lived in several cities throughout my journey, here, and have loved every experience, good, bad and otherwise. 

Ask me about my time in Medina, Washington and I’ll tell you about the late John Frost, who owned the local store.  Ask me about my time at Bellevue (Community) College and I’ll tell you about the late Dr. Willard Geer and his color picture tube.

How about my time in Vietnam?  Most people there could speak their own language and French.  While not great at speaking either language, I managed to get my ideas across.  Of course, I would I just happen to meet the one person in the entire country that insisted on speaking German (it didn’t matter, the generator blew up anyway.)

Then there are also the local special events.  For example, Port Orchard has the annual Seagull Calling event.  I tried it one year and kept getting the message “the voice mail is full and cannot accept any more messages.”  I also got lots of busy signals (who could Seagulls be talking to for three hours?)  I finally gave up.  Maybe next year.

My point is simple.  Depending on your passion, there are hundreds and, perhaps, thousands of stories.  Take pizza.  How may ways can pizzas be made depending on locations, cultures and personalities?  How about eggs?  Are there really one-hundred ways to cook them?  Sharing your passion for these subjects could turn into a financially viable lifestyle business.

Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

New Project Starting

I just bought a new domain with the idea of turning it into a positive and creative challenge.  This whole thing started one morning when I woke up with a brainstorm.  I started listing all the domain names I could think of that would have stories attached to them.  A lot of them were Seattle neighborhoods I lived in, like west Seattle, Bainbridge Island or Port Orchard.  In all came up with something like thirty-five different domain names.

What I wanted was a domain name that would open the doors to almost unlimited story ideas.  After searching all kinds of domain names, I finally found one that is all-inclusive, at least as far as where I live is concerned.  And, while I wanted to still write about all the smaller neighborhoods of the Puget Sound region, my webmaster pointed out that I could get the same results with subdomains that were connected to the main website, saving me a lot of time, energy, effort and especially money.

I now have a domain name that allows for almost unlimited story ideas and advertising potential.  I can now write stories about events, locations and people throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho, since this is where I live.  Of course, if a story comes along about an event, city or person in California, Nevada, Utah (or anyplace else for that matter) I can share that, too.

At this writing, the new domain and website is not active.  My webmaster is sending me samples of ideas for my review.  I am looking forward to launching a few stories on July 4th, 2019, but that is just something on my wish list at the moment.

Why this project?  I don’t know how to retire, and I like to write.  I also like to travel.  I will tell you more as things develop over the next few weeks.  Stay tuned.

Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC

R E S P E C T

I need to fly from time to time.  I don’t like to fly, not because of the inconvenience at the airport, but because I just don’t like to fly.  However, because I need to fly, I tolerate being nickeled and dimed to death.  Its just part of the experience.

When it comes to staying at a hotel, however, I am less tolerant.

I stayed at a hotel recently that charged me an amenities fee.  The fee was to cover parking, internet service and breakfast, as well as a few other benefits.  I would not have minded so much, but the internet didn’t work.  It was spotty.  Breakfast was OK, but there were restaurants within walking distance that had better fare.  As for the parking, while it was convenient to park underneath the hotel, there was more than ample free parking across the street.

I may or may not stay at that hotel again.  It depends on what else is available with free internet, free breakfast and free parking available.  In fact, if the internet is spotty, but I am not being charged extra I am more willing to tolerate the inconvenience.

Trust begins with the old saw, say what you’ll do and do what you say.  Be consistent and honest and customers will come back again and again.  Over the course of time, they may even let a few mistakes slide because they know you will fix them.

As for the hotel that charged me for internet, I checked with a few friends of mine who stayed there in January, February and even May.  Five months into the year and the internet access, for which the hotel was charging still didn’t work.  Guess they don’t want to do a lot of business.

Copyright © 2019, Moody Publishing Co., LLC