Jumping Back Into The Public Ethereum Pool

Greetings from a nondescript coffee shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s Friday and my day is wrapping up after writing a few freelance blog posts and it felt like the right time to finally write a blog for me — to all of you.

I’ve been laying low mostly lately after about two weeks ago completing my final day at BlockApps after deciding to make a career pivot into projects I feel more personally compelled by, specifically related to public-net Ethereum. I’ve seen so many leaps in capability, adoptions and overall quality of ideas in just a couple years since getting involved with the space that I figured placing a bet on myself and the projects that keep me up late at night with excitement should be what I focus on.

Sometimes I feel like I am on one of those far far away planets depicted in the movie Interstellar. The kind where parts of reality that I’m used to are relatively the same — gravity, water, breathable air, etc. However there’s a great deal different from what I had considered to be reality a short time ago. Especially working in this space of cryptocurrency and blockchain business — a matter of months can change so much about what we conceived to be inalienable.

So as I saw many things change, evolve and develop in the enterprise and private blockchain related space, I was seeing a divergence from the types of projects being built on public net and off-chain. I wish I had the prediction powers to say what will happen definitively on either side, but I really wanted to be a part of the public net initiatives while I saw a place for my contributions.

In addition to this what I saw to be a necessary shift in career, I felt compelled to also greatly pare back my social media presence and actually try to expand upon my actual societal presence. While I miss daydreaming on Instagram and Facebook occasionally, the deficit of attention isn’t something I lament at all. It’s given me back the headspace that I once enjoyed where I was able to dream up all sorts of silly things and experiment with them. I did however keep my Twitter and Linkedin profiles, mainly for practical purposes as they’re the most focused specifically on my professional network. Additionally it’s given me what will probably amount to be hours back to my personal relationships and the time spent being active and healthy. The seemingly small things really do add up. I’ve also been able to reconnect with some folks I haven’t seen in a while at local New York blockchain related Meetups, which was really nice.

I haven’t joined up with a full-time job at any one company yet as I wanted to make sure I had distance from the role I was departing from to what would be best suited for my interests. Like a big purchase, I’ve learned that a big long-term commitment such as a job is best slept-on. So for the past couple weeks I’ve mainly been doing contract content production and community management work on various crypto/blockchain projects and exploring what opportunities are out there that really align with what I’m looking for. Also, getting some extra time to spent with my wife and take spontaneous road trips is hard to beat.

I have a lot to be grateful for — specifically to BlockApps for providing me with countless opportunities to jump into roles, projects and tasks that I wasn’t previously comfortable with outside of my background in content marketing and community. It was great to be learning as I went through new challenges and being exposed to parts of the industry I previously had no insight into. Particularly, cutting my teeth in enterprise blockchain sales, building a small team around me, business/partnership development and working with partners and consortiums looking to make big impacts in the space was very rewarding.

Thanks to everyone who has reached out previous to making this “news” public and for the unsolicited job referrals. I am flattered and so grateful.

Let’s keep pushing this industry forward!



Have Skills – Will Work For Bitcoin

Does a restaurant, bakery or cafe that is cash-only make you want to go there more? What factors do consumers take into account when they decide how and where they want to spend their money if they have lots of options to buy in a crowded seller’s market? Would you consider hiring a freelance copywriter or designer just because you knew you could pay them it Bitcoin?

Being a freelancer is sort of like being a lone ranger. Some freelancers like to consider themselves entrepreneurs and others like to simply consider themselves service providers. The line between those attributes can get blurry, but what all freelancers have in common is that they like to get paid often and on time. Rustling up new work can be a hassle and time consuming, especially when those hours when you’re pitching and selling, you’re not getting paid, so the pressure can get intense in order to differentiate in one’s market. Is it possible that changing your primary payment method of choice to Bitcoin has advantages? Let’s take a look.

One of the most challenging things about offering general services as a freelancer, especially in the content production and marketing realm, is that there are plenty of websites where there are many people offering similar services and drastically undercutting each other on the price of the service. In doing so, many services offered on a freelance basis are viewed as cheap or lower value because businesses feel they can get them for cheap, cheap, cheap. But the quality often isn’t there when you go so low on the price.

In an already challenging field, here are some thoughts current freelancers who work only for Bitcoin had to offer on their experience.

Michael Scott, a journalist who covers the digital economy beat from Denver, Colorado currently receives up to 60% of his income as Bitcoin. He believes he’ll increase his overall income to around 90% Bitcoin in 2016 and spoke to why he prefers accepting payments in Bitcoin so much over other options.

“As a freelancer, getting paid by check  was slow and cumbersome. Between the check processing time, slow postal delivery and the check clearing the bank, the length of time needed to receive my money became unacceptable. So I began pursuing writing opportunities with digital publications that pay in Bitcoin.”

Another digital marketing professional who goes by the name of Jana has worked for Bitcoin for over a year and commented on the transactional benefits of accepting Bitcoin for payments.

“Bitcoin is ideal way to pay for digital products. There are no recurring payments, it’s fast and instant, and Mycelium Gear easily allows to collect email address with the order so that the merchant gets a list of people who are interested. A nice surprise was also that it will be quite hassle free legally (EU).”

So, are you ready to get started? Are you ready to have that first surprising conversation with someone ready to hire you to tell them that you only accept Bitcoin for payment? For freelancers looking to dip their toes into earning Bitcoin, Mr. Scott also offered this advice:

“I was stunned to discover via a web search that a growing number of companies that are now paying freelancers exclusively in bitcoin. Two thoughts here. For starters, check out XBTFreelancer.com. It’s an amazing repository of bitcoin paying gigs. I receive notices daily requesting project bids. “

“Secondly, think globally. In  particular, countries overseas are begging for American experts. One of my biggest clients is in Eastern Europe. These countries seem light years ahead in terms of their adoption of bitcoin and thus are more willing to pay you in it for assignments”

Do you have any tips on where to find clients that pay in Bitcoin? Have you tried to make the payment transition already? Please let us know in the comments!


No Blank Check With My Time


Okay, some details updates:

  • When I lived in Prague there were some amazing street foods that I became quite addicted to… street sausage (no, that wasn’t my actual nick-name), Christmas Carp, smazney cyr and other assorted goodies. Korea has some good street food too! See the picture above… yes… street fire roasted sweet potatoes!
  • I’ve been sick a good portion of the time I’ve been here. I think I got the flu my first week and then got a cold a couple weeks later that hasn’t let up. I got an ear infection yesterday which prompted me to have my boss bring me to a clinic today for some antibiotics. Luckily they are already working and my ear doesn’t feel like there’s a drill bit stuck in it anymore.
  • I’ve traveled almost every weekend that I wasn’t sick. I’ve been to Seoul (the Itaewon area) twice already and went to a poetry open mic in Ulsan last weekend. I’m not sure if I’ll be up to traveling this weekend as I’m still feeling crappy, but we’ll see. I have a long list of places I want to go.
  • Things are still good with the job and the kids. They challenge me, are wicked cute and it’s a massive learning experience that is invaluable.
  • Still hoping to make some more friends to do stuff with that doesn’t involve a ton of drinking. People love to drink here… it reminds me of how I was when I was in my 20’s. I have some fun memories, but not looking to get sucked back into that lifestyle. I’ll keep putting myself out there in those regards.
  • My apartment is pretty much all squared away. I convinced my boss to loan me an extra TV of his and my clothes are all put away. I’m living a minimalist’s wet dream right now. A true bachelor pad.

Coming to teach ESL in Korea I sort of wrote myself a blank check for figuring out what my “next” step would be. I was not sure if teaching would be my end-goal or if I’d find something else out of left field that would inspire me to rush back to the United States to continue on my career development journey. After being here for about a month I’m feeling it’s a bit of column A and column B.

I want to enjoy my time here without putting too much pressure on myself to decide my long-term goals in a specific time frame. Luckily for me, inspiration hits when the pressure is off. Considering I’m an unattached, single 30 year old man, I have the ability to take a lot of different paths of interest.

Within about a week of getting to Korea I stumbled across an NPR episode on the growth of wind energy technician jobs and how there are only about half as many candidates with the necessary skills to fill jobs right now. I’ve wanted to work in renewable energy for a long time, but never quite made it happen. Not for lack of effort, but I’ve always had a distinct shortage of education and experience when it comes to technical skills and renewable energy in particular. That, matched with the fact that every job I’ve had as an adult has been as a white collar marketing guy, lent zero credibility to my desire to work in an industry that was physically demanding and blue-collar-ish.

So, it slowly started to dawn on me that if I really wanted to take this path and if it was still burning a considerably large hole in my chest, I should give my best effort to see it through. Granted, there will be boundaries and challenges to making a career in wind energy possible. First is, as always, money. I’ll have to go back to school for at least a year, maybe two. This isn’t some super expensive degree from a four year university, luckily, but it will still require I put a significant amount of money aside while I’m working in Korea for the next year (or two) to be able to afford this type of degree. I doubt I’ll want to or be able to take another student loan to get this certificate or degree so we’ll see how that part pans out.

Also, there’s always the wild card. Will I discover some unknown passion or love here in Korea that will make me say “fuck-it-all” and choose another path? I’ve done that before, so I won’t write myself off yet.

Regardless, I think it’s important that I didn’t write myself a blank check with my time. I came here to enjoy, but to also learn about myself and make some decisions at this pivotal point in my life so that I don’t wake up one day when I’m older and say that I let opportunities slip by while I wandered aimlessly.

I’m looking forward to seeing what unfolds from this whole experience.

Cheonan or Bust!

OK, here’s the update. I just accepted a job offer teaching in Cheonan, South Korea at a school called ILS (International Language School). It’s pretty close to Seoul, the water and a bunch of city life that I’m excited to explore.

I start November 3rd, so I’ll be hanging around the USA a bit longer than I originally planned, but patience is a virtue. Hoping to be productive, get some more freelance work and maybe travel a bit domestically in the meantime.

I must say, I’ve been very lucky to have a lot of advice given to me along the way by people who have been there and done that with the ESL teaching thing. I wouldn’t have figure it all out on my own in time, I’m sure, so thank you! You know who you are!

If anyone’s interested in checking out ESL teaching jobs in South Korea, I’m pretty much an expert at the process now, so feel free to ask me!

Anyways, that’s my news for now. I’ll be updating more as time goes along.

Your Social Media and Community Best Practices Are Bullshit

As I’ve spent a lot of hours interviewing with a lot of companies over the past few months, I’ve realized a trend in the types of companies and people I’d potentially like to work for and the ones I have to fight the urge to roll my eyes at.


When I get pressed to discuss industry best practices in social media, I’ve literally started responding with “I don’t care.”

This might seem abrasive or arrogant, but frankly, people who ask these questions are the types of media professionals that don’t “get” the new waves of digital technologies that are constantly evolving. It’s like trying to keep up with SEO. If you introduce me to someone who’s been an expert in ever single change and best practice in SEO over the last 8 years, I’ll point out someone who is either full of shit or on some Rain Man level of information retention. You don’t want a historian who simply tracks changes over time running your social and community building programs if you’re trying to do anything interesting. You need someone who’s willing to learn, absorb and try new things, regardless if they are or are not in vogue with the rest of the industry.

Everyone is making this shit up as they go along. EVERYONE. I don’t care how much of a savant someone might seem in articulating the current state of social media, when it comes to predicting how tight behemoths like Facebook and Twitter make the collar on marketers, it’s anyone’s best guess until algorithms are changed and everyone sees how bad their marketing reach really is.

I suggest employers ask candidates what their thoughts are on specific problems. How would they solve them? Ask them what annoys them about the current state of affairs in marketing. Don’t ask them to recite what Brian Solis  Gary Vaynerchuk are going on endlessly about lately.

If I, or any of the other candidates can’t look at your product or service with a fresh, objective, un-biased set of eyes and figure out a unique marketing strategy or approach, their value to your organization is and always be limited.

The companies I have been most excited about are the ones who don’t want anything to do with the status quo. Those are the places to be.

Witnessing and Admirable Obsession

I have a good friend who as of the past few years has more or less inherited an opportunity to farm land that his family owns. I’ve seen him dive headlong into this farm of his with passion and conviction that is rare. He had the support he needed  and all the things lined up that made his ability to focus on one thing he loved absolutely paramount.

It’s inspirational. Sometimes I’ll leave work in the middle of the day (his farm happens to be a mile from my office) and go help him pick produce or move heavy stuff. I feel a basic satisfaction tasting the hard work he does on a daily basis. I want to be involved. I call him and ask him how I can help more. Can I pay into a CSA? Can I help him build a website to promote his farm dinner projects? What can I do?

I was honored to know this friend before he came into this farm. I am even more inspired by him now.

I hope I can be that for someone someday.

Know Your Audience

You can be something to everyone and be pretty mediocre in your career and life. Or, you can be who you truly are and be the perfect fit to certain people and utterly reprehensible to others.

If you choose the path of definition versus assimilation, beware that your audiences will be more polarized negatively or positively towards your character and opinions.

Do not ask of things from groups of people who are not your own. If you must, be prepared for a fight and hurt feelings.

Rejection is a by-product of not knowing who you really are, or who you’re talking to.

The Morning After…

Days and weeks that have sort of blurred all together. Very late nights in the office, sneaking away for me time, for relationship time, for BJJ time whenever possible, but far too little…

No real time to bask in the success and fruits of labor. Not yet, anyways. We did good work.

But as I say this, here comes another wave.

Where’s My Gas Tank?

This week has been one of those… well let’s just say it’s referred to as “Reporting Hell” internally. I’d say that’s accurate. As of yesterday (Thursday) I’ve already spent well over 40 hours glued to my desk chair working and working and working on reports. It’s that time of year. It’s what we do.

So guiltily, I didn’t go to BJJ all this week until last night. I managed to slip out of the office around 6 and make it to the 6:30 and 7:30 PM classes. As I’ve said before, back to back classes can be really hard depending on what the first class brings. In the first class yesterday was half wrestling double legs and half arm bars. Pretty intense stuff, but I felt good at the end.

Once I started the warmup for the second all-levels class, I knew I was in trouble. I couldn’t catch my breath, my muscles wouldn’t work the way I wanted them to and eventually I had to take a break (which has never happened to me). I felt dehydrated, but drank water all day at work and right before practice. I guess it wasn’t enough. However, I got back in class and we practiced omoplatas and then rolled.

Rolling when you’re exhausted is a blessing in disguise. Mostly because you can’t pull shit off that involves strength. It’s all about technique and staying calm so you don’t pass out. So, I just worked on that and it was good.

I’ll tell you this, I’m glad it’s Friday. It’s a good soreness in my body that’s taking my mind off the work week.

Happy Weekend to you all.