Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Elwin 3.0, Year One

I am approaching an anniversary, and I don't know how I feel about it.

February 21, 2011, was my last day as a reporter with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I had started there in September, 2004, so I was just shy of six and a half years there when I left.

When I took the buyout being offered by the PG, I told myself that I was finally gaining the time I needed to do some things that were crowding my plate. Things like:

  • publishing my first book
  • publishing my second book
  • completing and distributing my first short film
  • completing and distributing my second short film
  • shooting my third, fourth and fifth short films, and getting them completed and distributed.
  • building my website, "Homewood Nation," into THE primary source for all Homewood-related news.
  • completing my first feature film script
  • completing my second feature film script
  • becoming competent enough at day-trading stocks to make a modest living from it
  • launching and managing an LLC for investing in Homewood real estate
  • selling memberships to Pre-Paid Legal (now Legal Shield)

...and other stuff, but at this point the list becomes kinda embarrassing, becuase I have done none of those things. Not one.

What have I done?

  • I have become chair of the Save Race Street Committee
  • I have become chair of Block Watch Plus
  • I have joined the board of Operation Better Block
  • I have joined the Bridging the Busway steering committee

In short, I have accepted pretty much any invitations that came along that I thought would help me to serve my neighborhood.

That hasn't worked well economically (I could also question how well it has worked in other ways. One thing at a time.). Nearly all of the things in the first list would have been done with the expectation of making money. None of the things in the second list have that expectation.

I'm not rich enough yet to spend all of my time not earning money. Or more precisely, not even trying to.

Which brings me to PeaceBuilder: Homewood, an online game based on Homewood. It has been in development since July or August, and we're just about to do the public rollout. I am nervous because I've pretty much placed all of my marbles in the PeaceBuilder bag - savings, home equity. If it takes off, I pay off credit cards, replenish savings, pay off the home equity line of credit and then begin to experience genuine profit. If not....

Well, if not, I publish my first book, then my second. I complete and distribute my first short film, then my second. And I keep building "Homewood Nation" into THE primary source for all Homewood-related news. And I day-trade stocks. And I manage an LLC for investing in Homewood real estate. And I sell memberships in Legal Shield. Not necessarily in that order.

In other words, I get back on track to do the same things that I set out to do, and the same things that I would do if PeaceBuilder succeeds. I refuse to go broke again.

So, the anniversary simply means that time has passed. I have not achieved intentions within their desired timeframes. I have allowed myself to get distracted. Sometimes, I have not merely gotten distracted, I have sought out distraction.

The anniversary reminds me that I must work to learn un-distraction. I must keep asking, "How can I create value today?" Asking that question, and living the answer, will lead to making the money I need, and then some. Just like it says in Ephesians.
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