Today's Soundtrack

22-12-19

Level Up

  1. Be true to your word & walk your talk (integrity).
  2. Learn from experience and act in spite of fear.
  3. Stay true to yourself and take 100% responsibility.
  4. Give more than you take.

Midnight Blue

I used to follow, yes it's true. But my following days are over. Now I just have to follow through. (From the song Midnight Blue).

New Music

Let's Get to Work

Mission Statement

everything is connected and I am a connector

Everything's connected and I am a connector. I enjoy advocating for others. I internalize & amplify my client's enthusiasm by infusing creativity & making new connections. Together, we make a greater impact and open doors. As an inbetweener, my role is to bridge the void creating new possibilities. I am a catalyst for miracles.

Writing-in-progress

These are early beta versions of topics I'm working through.

Wins & Ships

Recently Published

Audiobooks

Tools

Web Development

Nailed all greens on Google's PageSpeed Insights benchmark for a PubWriter website:

Fast Goals

Better than SMART Goals?

A F.A.S.T. Goal is:

F: Frequently Reviewed (Written Down)
A: Ambitious (BHAG)
S: Specific (Metrics, Milestones, Deadlines)
T: Transparent (Shared)

Related: SQA - Scope Quantify Assign

Each project you start has a series of events. Each event can be viewed as one long email thread. As you complete the objectives of each event, you complete it it out and move on to the next.

Unfinished events must be dealt with through personal action or delegation. As long as the person you are delegating to has access to the system, and has all the information, knowledge, and experience they need to accomplish the task, you should leave it up to them (avoid telling them HOW to do it, just tell them what needs to get done).

Sometimes you need to 'clear the decks' and start fresh.

Here's the SQA system as it works (which is built into the AuthorDock system)

  1. S: Scope it out (clear objectives, and all the information we need to do the job). Clarify the goal and work intelligently. This is where you think before you act.

  2. Q: Quantify it - This is where you make space to accomplish the task. It should be scheduled into an increment that is available in time & space. There is a transactional view of task completion that demands the effort is budgeted for in both time & money.

  3. A: Assign It (create a ticket and assign it to an agent) - Here’s where you hand it off. By this point, you’ve already defined requirements and can drop the job into a work order. From here, it's time to hand it off and track it to completion. All you need to do is monitor the number of open cases for an agent.

So you can see how SQA & FAST are close cousins:

  1. Frequently Assessed: Keep 'em top of mind all the time! (Leverage Deadlines)
  2. Ambitious: Create Tension & Conflict
  3. Specific: Focus on the metrics: Goals Specific With Metrics and Milestones (OKRs)
  4. Transparent: Make your goals transparent.

Putting it into action

From ideation to completion

Step 1 - Define the Scope (S)

It's all about the your choice of words. Ideally, I try to use clear and concise language that drives action. I am motivated to complete the incomplete and work on tasks that make an impact. I'm motivated to act where we can provide the greatest value and money is a tangible form of gratitude that validates value. Thus, I tend to prioritize the things I am paid to do. When my money needs are met, my next motivation is love. When I am doing something for the love of it (or doing it for someone I love), it's the most rewarding (and often doesn't feel like work at all). This is also where flow often begins.

Step 2 - Quantify the Result (R)

Step 3 - Assign the resource (time & money)

Is there a deadline? If not, can you assign an arbitrary one? Is there a budget? When will it happen?

EXAMPLE (coming soon)

FOCUS

Projects / Roles / Commitments / Partners - What (& who) Matters to Me

WIP (Writing in Process)

This page also contains links to thoughts, observations, and reflections. I write everyday. Most of what I write is never shared and simply a way I gain some clarity in an over-active mind.

Most of what I write is a constant 'WIP' (Work in Progress) and continually updated. Like many bloggers, what I'm sharing are things I need to refer back to on a future date. Putting it all online is a great way to unlock deep searches later (plus, you never know when someone else might benefit):

Recent Writing

Implicit Bias - A Self Exploration

The most profound sentence I read this weekend was "His enthusiasm for the project undoubtedly biased his subjective observations." It made me think about the filters we have that we are unaware even exist. Read more about bias.

SEO TIPS FOR PUBWRITERS

There are millions of pages written on the topic of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This page is my effort to curate the best usable advice I've found and continue to find as I learn by doing. (and keep in mind there is no shortage of bad, outdated advice out there as well).

Projects

PubWriter
AuthorDock
TechBrew
Self Publishing Expert (SPE)
50 Interviews
Audiobook Publisher
Ukulele Teacher

Brian Schwartz - Self Publishing Expert

2022 Goals

In 2022, here are some areas I'm focusing.

  1. Publish ten more audiobooks.
  2. Produce a podcast.
  3. Increase adoption & users on PubWriter & AuthorDock.
  4. Take a 2-day 'mini retreat' each quarter.
  5. Create a Ukulele 202 Online Course.
  6. Return to live in-person events at Tech Brew.

1. Audiobooks

May-2022 Update

1 complete, 2 in production. I need to reach out to more of my past clients whose books I feel are good candidates for audiobooks.

I'd like to find a way to streamline adding soundtracks.

2. Produce a podcast

First Episode is live

3. Increase adoption & users on PubWriter & AuthorDock.

AuthorDock continues to be a cornerstone of my consulting practice. It's tied to the services I offer, but I've yet to convince others to adopt it for their own practice. This is an area I'm going to refocus because I find it such an indispensable aspect of my own success.

PubWriter is still an amazing tool I've been using for nearly 10 years - but it's primarily used to manage the websites I host and effortlessly publish & update this blog. It's still the most effective way I've found to build secure and effective websites quickly. In order to grow it's adoption, I need to create onboarding tutorials. I also have a Chrome extension I need to publish - it should help the adoption as well. I need onboarding videos for PubWriter as well.

4. Take a 2-day 'mini retreat' each quarter.

5. Create a Ukulele 202 Online Course.

Complete. But I need to create a promo video.

6. Tech Brew events (live)

Yes, they are back! It's been hard to get people back however - but we are in the process of exploring new locations and new formats to bring 'em back!

Self Discovery

For most of my life, I've been a self-inflicted self-improvement junkie. I've carved out a significant portion of time & money on 'self-improvement.' However, of late, I've determined that self-improvement is a carrot you can never reach... by design. The multi-billion industry is built upon the premise that you can always do better (no matter how much you accomplish, we'll try to convince you to accomplish more).

So my shift this year is away from self-improvement and towards self-discovery. Here are a few programs I'm currently working with:

History

Cal Poly Grad (IT '94). Lived (& loved) in Fort Collins, Colorado from '99 - '13. Moved back to the central coast (San Luis Obispo) in 2013. This is where I plan to stay.

As the 'Brew Master' for TechBrew (a tech centric business collective), we meet the 2nd Monday of each month in San Luis Obispo.

I write a column for SLO LIFE Magazine on local authors and provide consulting & services for authors and small businesses. As of May-2022, a core focus is on PR for authors.

I teach ukulele for fun and created a workbook.. Yoga, meditation, and music are the most cherished activities of my life, and I'd go as far as admitting that my entire life revolves around them. I am happiest when all 3 are integrated into my life. While I can skip a day now and then, I rarely do. My mantra of 'Self-care is Healthcare' reminds me of why the time I care out for yoga, mediation, and cycling is justified. I ultimately see health as a personal responsibility to avoid depending on others for my health (I see evidence that the healthcare system in America not what it once was).

Exercise has always been a key aspect of my existence.

From '94 - '08 I worked for a variety of tech companies (including IBM) beginning in the contract manufacturing for microprocessors & chipsets, I transitioned to I.T. hardware, services & software in 2004. working in a sales capacity from 2004-2008, I covered the northern Colorado territory from Denver to Cheyenne.

In 2008, following a severe episode of burnout from corporate sales, I began interviewing entrepreneurs and launched a publishing company, 50 Interviews in 2008 (going full-time in 2009). I ultimately pivoted to an author services consulting practice which has kept me busy ever since.

My expertise is rooted in working with over 500 authors since 2009. The majority of my business is repeat and referrals. In 2016, I launched AuthorDock and PubWriter.

Today, my primary focus is serving a small number of indie authors who have enrolled in my AuthorDock VIP program.

Through AuthorDock, I have established myself as a trusted publishing partner for hundreds of authors.

As a self-taught publishing consultant and instructor, I teach several topics on self publishing and promotion. Many of which are available as condensed curriculums packaged for for writers who attend conferences, university extended/adult education programs, and community/recreation programs. Teaching is something I've always enjoyed.

I've published three books: 50 Interviews: Entrepreneurs Thriving in Uncertain Times, Finding Speaking Success (Wise Media Group), and the Ukulele Playbook. I was also featured in Wild Ink: Successful Secrets to Writing and Publishing (Prufrock Press).

While in Colorado I wrote a monthly column for the Northern Colorado Business Report, based on my book 50 Interviews.

As Vice President of Tech Brew at Softec, my job is to coordinate our popular monthly meetups.

Need to send me a large file?

Upload your file(s)

Need to schedule a time to chat?

Schedule a call

As much as possible, I try to limit email in favor of PubWriter and AuthorDock (which each serve as better alternatives).

About myself and my philosophy

Since 2009, I have worked with over 500 authors. I served as the president of the Colorado Independent Publishers Association in 2012/2013, and am a member of the IBPA and SLO Nightwriters. I speak at a few writing conferences/year and I taught publishing at Cal Poly University in the writing program offered through extended education. I've been writing consistently since 2014, much of which you'll find on this site.

Outside of work, my passions tend to center around Yoga, Ukulele, Meditation. I call it my YUM fountain of youth!

I am extremely grateful to wake up everyday on the California central coast.

Recommended Tools

I only recommend products I actually use. Often you'll get a discount through my referral link. While I may also get some compensation when you click, it's not the reason I am promoting them. I promote them because they've had a positive impact on my business.

Indispensable

Other Tools

New tools & strategies I am testing

Social Media Profiles

What am I currently writing?

Much of what you read on this site is what I'd call beta writing. Still in progress with some editing, rework and proofing to be done. It's a glimpse into the mid-point of my writing workflow - the phase between unfinished and finished, between unpolished and polished work. Your input is a valuable part of the iterative writing process I teach:

Prince is said to have thousands of unpublished songs, because they are what I would classify as his 'beta' work. I've read that he wrote a song/day. Is there any better way to hone your skills? I am sure some of those are so short they would hardly constitute a song and much of it was just practice. He was a creative genius. If his song writing technique is similar other songwriters, you will hear the influences of whatever he was listening to at the time he wrote the song. I would even speculate that a lot of his unfinished work that he never released is too close to the work of others. We ALL pull our ideas from somewhere. Perhaps it was from his own music, which makes me contemplate the idea that the more we create, the more we can pull from our own creations for inspiration.

Price was also highly protective of this 'unpublished' work, likely because we never wanted us to hear anything less than his best!

The backstory of Vincent van Gogh is similar. He painted over 2,000 paintings in just 10 years. And while hundreds went on to become invaluable works of art, many more would be considered 'practice.'

PubWriter provides writers with an ultimate canvas for unfinished work. It's my beta writing, and it's often influenced heavily by something I'm reading.

Common themes in my writing

Meditation is the opportunity to rediscover the omnipresent peace within yourself.

People I admire (& who inspire me)

I will create a (dedication) page to elaborate how each of them inspire me!

Favorite bands/musicians

Favorite authors

Books Published

Milestones

The events that shaped who I am?

Feel free to leave a comment below