Mark D asked: What is your best financial advice to pass along to those of us just starting out? Cover your costs. No, seriously. Cover. Your. Costs. When you’re just starting out, make sure you have enough in the bank to get you through the first few months. Think of things like office supplies, payroll, taxes, personal living expenses and on and on and on. You also need to be sure you pay your bills on time. Vendors won’t work with you anymore if you aren’t paying them in a timely fashion. Never rob Peter to pay Paul. Dinner out can wait. That new pair of shoes can wait – even if you’re barefoot. Pay the invoices when they’re due or you’re going to be sunk before you get started. What about all of you? What’s your best financial advice for those just starting out?
Patron John Whittaker is curious about moments in time. You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions! If you could free time for one hour, what sort of mischief would you get up to? Also, if you could freeze an hour or day of time from your past, at what point would you freeze it – and why? I’m going to sound like a fuddy-duddy, but I’d freeze time right now and give me an extra hour to get work done. No, seriously – I’m tired, and it’s 11:24pm on a Sunday evening. I’m pushing through answering questions. Am I getting old?! If I were to freeze an hour in my past, it’d probably be one of the first times I was ever in Hawaii – but not for reasons I’d care to get into right now. What about everyone else? Where would you freeze time from your past, and what would you do if you could freeze time right now for an hour?
Patron Johannes is curious about famous people! You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions! Who is the most famous person you have met/seen/talked to? I’ve actually been fortunate to meet several. However, I’d have to say “Weird Al” Yankovic – only because he truly remembers me, and that makes all the difference! What about all of you? Have you met anyone famous? If so… who was it, and how did you meet?
Patron Ryan Reeves must be a craft beer fan! You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions! Have you been to any of your local craft breweries? And if so, which one had the best brews? I haven’t, really – I’m not an “expert” beer drinker. I know what I enjoy – and when given a targeted opportunity, I’ll explore. It was at a local brewhouse that I first discovered that a porter fits my flavor profile best. Most non-milky stouts make me twice as happy. What about all of you out there? Are you a fan of craft beers? Have you toured any local breweries?
Aaron Michael Solomon is apparently anxious for the new Star Wars movie! If you were making your star wars movie/series, who would you cast and who would be your executive director of the movie/series and why? I’d cast complete unknowns. As such, I don’t know who they’d be. I don’t know who I’d choose for an executive director, either – since film is not quite my area of expertise. I could pull a favorite name out of a hat, but that may not help. As you already know, I’m VERY happy that original actors will be in the movie! It just… wouldn’t be right without them. You know? Who would YOU cast in the new Star Wars movie?
Patron Tom is unsure which service he should use. You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions! Have you ever used spreecast, and What are the main differences between this and google+ hangouts, which would you pick to use more regularly and why? I have not used Spreecast – so I can’t answer your question to the fullest. Hopefully, we have community members who HAVE used it and will be happy to weigh in. Google’s services work well enough – but there are times that you don’t want to be tied to any bit of Google’s infrastructure. That’s when it’s a good time to look to alternatives. How about it, everyone? Are you a fan of Google Hangouts or Spreecast – or are you using something completely different? What do you prefer – and why?
Keegan Hall wondered: What type of tech device/software would you support via crowdfund in a heartbeat if they had a working prototype? I wouldn’t. I’ll wait until it’s truly shipping. I’ve been burned too many times. Crowdfunded hardware / software / tech has produced more disappointments than it has successes in the eyes of the people who went the extra mile to fund an idea. Most of my own crowdfunding efforts will more than likely remain in the realm of media-related support. You typically know what you’re getting there (and, sometimes, the impact is immediate).
Todd Donna asked: Do you ever wish you made different decisions in the past from where you are today ? Or are you on the right track ? Of course, I think we would all make different decisions if we were given a chance to do so. But what would that do? If we zigged instead of zagging, we may not be in the place(s) we are now – for better or for worse. I could wish that I did something else, but would I know (truly) if that would have made a difference for the better (overall)? Nobody knows. I don’t know if I’m on the “right” track, or if I ever would be even if I thought I could have made a better decision at some point in the past. You have to keep in mind, as well: if you changed even one tiny thing about your past, you wouldn’t be who and where you are right now. Everything would be different. I’m pretty happy with who I am, who I’m with and where our life is at. I wouldn’t actually change a single thing. What about you? Are you happy with all of the decisions you’ve made […]
Thady Senior is curious about my thoughts on monetization. Buckle up, buttercups. We may be here a while! Do you think monetization of content has gone too far? It used to be that everything could be watched for free and advertising revenue covered it. Now it is the case that internet streaming services (Patreon, Netflix, etc.) and satellite / TV services are chargeable. Do you think YouTube will integrate a pay-for-content facility? First, YouTube already has a PPV option. It’s rarely used because it’s rather inflexible for both would-be supporters and existing producers. Second, I don’t think monetization can ever truly go “too far.” If someone’s getting a piece of content for free, they have to support (or, in some cases, “suffer through”) whatever needs to happen to make that free transaction worth doing for all parties involved. “Too far” for one person is not “too far” for another. I’ve gone into this topic in depth at various points in the past, but advertising has never been a stable form of support for valuable content – and you’re blind to assume otherwise. Take, for example, the cancellation of one of your favorite TV shows. Why? Because a network decided that […]
Patron Christopher Micallef is curious about a proposed huge hike in minimum wage. You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions! How do you feel about the $15 minimum wage? Do price floors make you sad too? I spoke about this briefly in a TLDR episode. I feel that you should get paid a fair wage for fair work, but I’m also very well aware of costs that employers often assume on behalf of their employees. Who wouldn’t want to be paid more for the work they’re doing? But that’s not the problem. Who is going to pay for those employees to get paid more? How are costs going to be offset now that they’ve increased across the board? What potential new hire isn’t going to get the opportunity to work? There aren’t definitive answers to these questions, either. It’s like people who watch a “free video” on YouTube and assume that it came to them for free simply because they didn’t pay anything to see it. A $15/hr minimum wage is outstanding for those who deserve it, but it also increases the chances of an employer burning through more revenue due to making a […]
Patron Aaron Linson has a bit of a morbid curiosity. You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions! What would you do if you suddenly went blind or started to go blind due to cataracts? How would you change what you do for work? I believe I explained this in an earlier WWYD for patrons, but I do believe I’d double down on my other senses – using every one of them to my advantage. Imagine me talking about how I experienced the latest piece of “life-altering” technology without the ability to see anything. I’d spend more time talking about how it actually feels in my hands, how it responds to the commands I give it, how I’m able to navigate it. I’d modify how I approach this industry, but my perspectives would be just as strong (coming from a strong-willed individual such as myself).
Patron Veronica Cruz is trying to give me heart failure! You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions! What would you do if you had to get rid of all of your Vaders? First, I’d have heart failure. And then I’d probably curl up in a corner somewhere and cry while rocking back and forth. And then…. I’d probably find something else to collect. It’s always been a part of my DNA, I think – the inherent need to assemble and organize. So, even if my array of Darth Vader memorabilia weren’t surrounding me, it’d probably be something else at this stage in life (even though, you might know, the Vader collection didn’t even begin until 2004). My collection, mind you, is far from complete – but it’s a thematic comfort that makes life a bit more interesting for me. You can see much of the collection here:
rrm74001 asked: I always freeze up when I get asked this question. Especially with simple jobs that do not require any skills like customer service. The only thing I can think to say is “Because I am amazing.” When an employer asks you that question you want to respond with an answer that makes them feel as if they’d be missing out or would hinder their company by not hiring you. Tell them which of your abilities and experiences will enhance the company and how having you on board would benefit everyone at the workplace. Use emotion and emphasize words that describe how much you want the position. Let them know that you’re a very motivated and dedicated individual that works diligently and always puts in complete attention in everything you do. Words are very, very powerful tools; be sure to practice your own responses before going to interviews as well. Be prepared and don’t be nervous, everyone goes through it. You ARE amazing, right? Tell them this… but be prepared to back it up with specific reasons why. Good luck!
BDK asked: My 80-year-old, technically challenged mother with poor eyesight would like to communicate by email and do some surfing, possibly even use Facebook and view pictures. It should be light, rugged, and intuitive. I’m thinking about a tablet using Siri or Google Voice. I spoke with someone recently who actually teaches a tech-learning class for elderly people. His best advice is that most of the older people should be using an ultrabook or netbook, simply because they do much better with a physical keyboard. Take speech to text, for instance: “She speaks & it’s wrong. She tries to fix it & can’t. She gets frustrated, feels incompetent, & stops using it. Not being a downer here, but I see this a LOT. Consider it a heads-up. Your grandmother may be fine with an iPad. If there’s any way to test run it (borrow for a few hours from a friend), do that. Then try a small ultrabook. See how it goes?” This is a perfect point. Many elderly people do great with an iPad or other touch-screen device. But there are many who are technologically challenged – and let’s not forget: there are plenty of younger people who are, […]
Patron JC Ernsd is worried that real work can’t be fun! You, too, can become a Patron and receive priority answers to your questions! Is it possible to have a serious business and still have fun? I am so driven that working for myself tends to stress me out but I have a low tolerance for stress. Can you have fun at your job and still be successful? Do you have any tips? Let me ask you this: do you actually really LOVE what you’re doing? You may love working for yourself. You may be pushing yourself to succeed. But do you even enjoy what it is you’re doing day in and day out? If not… there’s the simple answer to your issue. If you do, and it’s just a matter of overwhelming yourself and stressing out, you need to step back a little. Where can something “give” a little? What can you put off for another day? What is crucial to the success of your business and what are things you just hope to do? Prioritize. Figure out what must be done, make a list and go from there. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a million things that turn out […]