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Never a Day Finished – The Slow and Steady Journey of Moving Forward

So for 10 – 12 years maybe more I’ve been working on this series as part of my Compassion Project (which has since evolved into Zenratstudios, something that feels so much bigger than me). The series was an exploration of war, individualism vs. group think, persecution, and institutionalized violence and withdrawal (isolation on individual and collective levels). Its focus was characters in mythology and one soul at the source of it all whose increasing self-knowledge threatens her family. I put it aside for 3-4 years not thinking there was a place for such a book that tackles such things in the world, I thought it would be too traumatic for a western civilization which would burn it, if not because I feel like a horrible writer, but because it tackles painful issues we’d rather ignore.

But then ISIL happened, and the persecution of the Yazidis and thousands of others. And it has angered and depressed me. And I told myself I can’t just do nothing. I can’t just stay silent and shelve my heart even if no one ever hears me, even if no one ever cares.

So. I went back to take a look at the series and it’s mythological mountain, a symbolism of protection and isolation, and I realize now that I have to push myself to finish and put it out there. That there is a place for it and its message.

There are 24 hours in a day, even just 5 minutes to an hour of working on my multiple but interweaving projects per day is progress in the right direction. One is a game, part of a refugee series, that will put people in the shoes of the difficult choices refugees face every day. The other is a series of books that explores the darker side of being human and how to overcome it.

Sometimes I think what if I die before I ever get to complete this work. Then I guess I just die. But the life I have lived is one that has been spent for years trying to solve this problem, for years trying to heal my own wounds so that I could have the courage to take these steps, and I will spend another ‘years’ focused on trying to make this a reality even when I don’t feel smart enough to do what I am doing. It’s true a good leader is only as good as his or her team and I don’t have one of those yet. But sometimes you have to walk alone, speaking your truth to everyone willing to listen before you find the right group of people, willing to help you, help them make a difference.

Projects We Are Working On

Novels

My Medusa series was started around the year 2005 / 2006, the research for it began when around 2001 / 2002 during my time in Catholic school when I first began questioning who God is and what it is. I was a very inquisitive child who asked a lot of questions and one of my questions was figuring out who had the right God and where it all came from. My journey led me to spending many years of research, creation and self-discovery which turned itself into a series that has been my life.

I stopped working on the series around 2013 to focus on my mental health and in my attempts to go social. But at 2016 I feel that my Novel is about to make a comeback. One key thing about this series which is several books long, with its own language, encyclopedia and world lore is that it tackles war, systematic hatred and rape (how far back it goes), and a society that tears itself apart trying to keep outsiders from destroying it within. It also tackles self-discovery within a crowd, particularly a traumatized crowd.

When I initially wrote the novel I felt like it was too dark for the public. I felt writing characters who have been raped systematically was not appropriate for the world we live in today. I felt a lot of shame with this novel, because I wanted to tackle the issues using Medusa as a pinnacle for all my life’s questions but I also didn’t want to cause a backlash. Only now in 2016 do I realize that what I have been writing tackles real issues going on in the world, and I am positive that there is a place in this world for this book.

It’s a book that tackles: War, systematic Rape, Collective Consciousness, Self-Discovery, Healing Wounds (both individually and collectively), and more.

It is currently over 15 books long, broken up into series and follows the life of one soul from birth to end across parallel universes, and times, tying all these different worlds together. It has been my life’s work and the reason why I got into games in the first place. It was once nicknamed “The Medusa Project” a.k.a. “The Compassion Project”, using characters who have traditionally been used as Villains to show compassion in their perspective. The Compassion Project has evolved into Zenratstudios, and bled into “The Guardians of Life”.

Games

I am currently juggling so much work and have a list of things I’d like to release to the public, but I can only focus on one thing at a time. One service at a time. In another post I’ll go over a few projects that I am working on for the immediate future that I would like to release within the next 1-3 years, sooner if I can get together a good team.

These are just ‘rough’ explanations because the more time I spend writing here the less time I spend working on them:

Afterlife

The Game Afterlife is a Card game, that has its origins on a bot game I created during school and my original Medusa series. While I still plan to expand that game, due to my limited programming skills and my desire to create an RPG card game I began building this game. It’s a tool for self-discovery that allows users to travel through the underworld to discover who they are. This is a card game in need of some serious art design, and perhaps a second game designer who doubles as a writer to help test and brainstorm the game.

 

Winter Solstice

Is the first game I started for release before switching to Afterlife. It was built or is being built in Unity. I am an artist but I am not a game artist and not very good, I encountered many issues that prevented this game from coming through to the end. One major issue was the loss and break-up with my best friend/girlfriend. Working on a game about mental illness only exacerbated my mental illness, so I turned to working on Afterlife a tool that was meant to help me heal and find myself and I hope others too. For this game a programmer and a strong artist is needed.

 

Syrian Trail of Tears

By summer I wanted to create a text-based game called the Syrian Trail of Tears. I don’t just want to tackle Syrian crisis’s. But this is the first game of my Refugee and 4th world series. I’d love to create a card & board game for this game, but we’re going to start with a text-based game. I’ve begun working on this game in the background, and am looking for a strong team of writers to help with this.

 

Guardians of Life (ARG)

For this game an experienced ARG developer is needed, but a block chain developer is needed as well. This is part of our pay-it-forward game, and is much more global. It’s probably the biggest part of what our company is made of, and I am not entirely sure if I can develop it as one person.

 

Medusa’s Kingdom

Is a text-based Interactive Fiction game based on the Medusa Series I’ve been working on based on the novel. Medusa’s Kingdom has various versions both text-based and art-based. More on these to come.

 

Fundraisers

I have two fundraisers I am working on. Project Graveyard and Project Heart. I’ve been torn between which of my projects to focus on, we’re not ready to release details, but Project Graveyard is targeted towards people who struggle to let the past go, and Project Heart is targeted towards non-profits, activists, blog writers whose blogs are meant to make a difference, and more.

I’ve been torn because I am not sure where to start!

 

In a following post I’ll post more descriptions of the initial work we’re creating and some tools that help with the work flow when I get a chance. It’s somewhat hard to Market a Company, build games, and more on our own. I am looking for a solid and experienced team, who believe in this vision and would work with me on using games to make a difference. We need artists, programmers, marketers, and developers. Failing to find that I am continuing to work on these games and developing their scripts on my own. As a writer who is doubling as the programmer and collecting free or low cost art assets online I feel marketing at the same time is too hard. I don’t know how to single-handedly run a company as just one person, but I believe in this vision and this dream, and I am learning. I will continue to work on creating these games over the course of the next 1-3 years on my own or with a team, until I have a product that is ready for launch.

In the mean time I am exploring ways to raise money, funds, and awareness for Zenratstudios. This month of July I’ve somewhat decided to shift focus to bootstrapping and game developing because I have the bug, the itch to write and build some games. I’m yearning to create and get started on the roots for some of these projects.

One of my goals may be looking to build a compatible team of writers and developers on a per project basis. I am looking for kindred spirits, and a specific set of team members. I’ve reached out to friends and family but may try to branch out beyond those friendships to meet new people around the world who want to make a difference.

How To Change The World In 7 or more Steps

 

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. – Steve Jobs

 

Develop a Model

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller

It’s not enough to simply state that there is a problem or that something doesn’t work. You have to:

  1. Find the problem (you’ve gotta see the problem, stillness, quietness, solitude help)
  2. Get to the root of the problem (not the surface) [Ask a lot of questions, then question your questions, think of it like a puzzle, and you’re looking at pieces, the goal is to integrate the broken pieces into one whole and find the root, sometimes you have to ask a lot of wrong questions and fail to finally get to the right answer. It’s the same processes for solving a math problem]
  3. Brainstorm a solution
  4. Pinpoint and define the solution
  5. Propose and build a solution
  6. Put the solution into action
  7. Test the solution (this is your Alpha mode, your experiment)
  8. Find the problems with it (deliberately look for problems)
  9. Refine & Tweak the solution (like any program or piece of software)
  10. Make it official

Only then when you have a solution that makes the existing model obsolete all on its own do you have something. The main thing to remember that in order to develop a model you have to ask good questions, to ask good questions you have to find the right question, to find the right question you have to explore, to explore you have to take many wrong turns!

Developing a model is a creative process. It’s a puzzle, it’s no different from a math or chemistry problem, or some other problem like what socks will I wear, or who am I? It takes creative thinking, brainstorming.

It’s OK if you don’t feel creative, creativity can be learned, and problem-solving is a process. Brainstorming can make the process fun and easy, mind-mapping software and carrying around a notebook helps. But also listening to inspirational talks like Shots of Awe, TEDxTalks, anything that inspires you to think and move. Just ask a question, any question you have and question it into being.

One method I like to apply is the 10 point Question. Ask a question any question, then ask a question to your question, then ask a question to that question. You can make it 10 questions, or just 5 Questions. Another thing I like to do is simulate scenarios worst case scenarios and best case scenarios, what would happen if we did this, and what are all the ways it could go wrong, what about ways that it could go right. Some of it we can never know until it happens, but when it happens with mental and emotional resilience we can persevere, rethink our experiment, tweak it and carry on.

 

Grow Yourself

 

To change the world you can’t fight other people, apply a self-development model to yourself, build a growth box tool and commit. You have to view yourself as an expanding organism and grow.

  1. Reflection/ Meditation – take time to find quietness and reflect
  2. Focus – still your mind, find clarity and focus.
  3. Action – take action
  4. Commit – take your time to decide what you want to do and then commit
  5. Flexibility – leave room for adaption and change
  6. Persevere – don’t give up (mental endurance)
  7. Passion – remind yourself why you do what you do, create a passion board and read all the things that inspire you and keep you moving forward
  8. Habits – build good and healthy habits that replace the old ones
  9. Community – find a community that supports your dream, the community is a friend
  10. Emulate Success – research failures and successes and emulate the success, look for all the things that could go wrong and make an effort to work against it
  11. Like-minds – Look for others who have achieved what you have or similar.
  12. Keep Learning – Realize you will never be a master and everyone has something to teach you
  13. Open Minded – keep your mind and heart as open as the sky
  14. Purpose – create a mission statement and a purpose for your life and live too it, don’t be afraid to change it.
  15. Patience – Delayed Gratification. This requires some self-control and discipline. The ability to have patience. It’s tempting to want to jump 10 steps and eat the cookie NOW, but the ability to take 10 steps and to be in the moment, with each step that you have to take, to get to the cookie is important.
  16. Go Slow – take your time, each day, everything that is meant to be done, will get done, trust that.
  17. Schedule downtime – you’d be surprised at how much more productive you will be when you leave room to play and enjoy life, less tired and happier.
  18. Mini tasks and goals – it takes many small steps to get to the top floor
  19. Focus on the Fundamentals & Build up – Music/Instruments, Singapore Math, Martial Arts, it’s all about the fundamentals, perfecting the score, not moving to the ‘next thing’. In the same light, “You” and growing you works the same way. Focus on the fundamentals of your growth and build up.

Focus on being the change you want to be, be the light onto yourself, and know that your impact as just one person can go far “see butterfly effect”

Don’t have any of these skills it’s OK, these are things that can be learned!

Mental-Resilience is a process, it goes by different names: Mental Endurance, Mental Toughness, Mental Training, Emotional Resilience. Visualization, positive thinking, core beliefs, tolerance, and letting go of the past such that it is valuable only as a lesson and training, nothing more nothing less than that. Be here now.

 

Be Specific about What you Do, Define your Mission down to a T

Don’t just say you are an entrepreneur, a writer, a game company describe what you do, be specific!

I develop games! That’s great, what kind of games? RPG games. Great what kind of RPG games, Table-top RPG, western RPGs, jRPGs, board-games? Keep going.

Same works with books. I write books! That’s great, what kind of books? Fantasy. What kind of Fantasy? Dark Fantasy and History. What’s the message? What do you want us to get out of it—why?

Or maybe you’re a Mom or a Dad a homemaker, a worker. Why do you do what you do? It makes me feel good. Why? For everything you do, for every answer ask yourself why. Your life is a puzzle, and your questions help you get closer to figuring out your Why, your Who, your What of this moment. And each day, each interaction you get a little bit better at defining your core, and when you look back at how far you’ve changed you can see the collage of You over this entire lifespan.

 

Enjoy your Now, Be Mindful, Be Excited about Today

 

Make every moment of your life count. This moment is so completely different from the last moment and the moment before that. Everything around you is different. It’s changing. There’s something in your environment you haven’t seen before. Look in the mirror this is a new you. Not the same you for yesterday, and not the you from tomorrow. This is the You today. Nothing is constant, all life is impermanent no matter how hard you try to make it. Memories are fallible they fall apart, people change, they grow, we live, we die. Enjoy your Now, and give that Now your very best.

So that even if you were to die tomorrow without ever completing anything you had worked so hard on. You’d be proud because you knew you gave it your best and you enjoyed your life doing it.

Keep track of all your accomplishments minute by minute, now by now, your progresses daily, weekly, look back at how far you’ve come. One step at a time. That is how you grow until one day you’re there, you’ve arrived, and enjoyed your life doing so.

Nevermind tomorrow, be excited about Today. Get excited about your life today, don’t put off learning a new skill tomorrow, start it now, make a list, prioritize. Learn, learn and learn some more, embrace curiosity and grow. Find the time, make time, life’s not busy unless you want it to be. Make time for what matters to you and leave behind the things that don’t.

 

Turn Problems & Negative Criticisms into Challenges

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” – Muhammed Ali

For every naysayer, for every person who tells you it’s impossible, for every negative person. Turn it into a challenge. Ask why it’s impossible, and find a clear path, a clear solution. No one wants to believe you can fly, because they can’t fly themselves. Use their eyes to help you see the problems you may not have seen, and build your solution anyway.

 

Tell Yourself a New Story

“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” – Jordan Belfort

Envision how you want your life to be, and tell the story of how you got there. The steps you took. Interview yourself. Pretend that you’re in a room with your future self, ask them, how did they get there, what they do, how did they face the adversity?

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” – Eric Thomas

Trust that you can be successful. If in your heart of hearts you feel you have a gift for the world, and you feel that what you have can truly help make someone’s life better, that it’s worth developing. Then you do it and don’t let anyone stop you, even if it means you end up standing alone. If your dream is worth developing, nurturing caring for. Then you Nurture that desire, that drive, care for it and feed it as if it’s the only thing you’ve got.

The you from yesterday isn’t you, the you from today is it. Nurture and push yourself into a future where you are successful in all of your dreams and endeavors. Remember what is today, does not guarantee tomorrow. Who you are today, is not who you will be tomorrow. So find a way and keep carrying on.

 

Love What you do

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. – Steve Jobs

You have to breathe your work, love your work, live your work. Make every step one with intent and direction, focus, remind yourself and stay connected with everything you do and love. If you can’t remember why you love your work and you’ve lost touch with it, then step away, revisit it. Reflect on it. You will never make waves and be successful as you have defined in your life if you do not love every step and every breath of the work.

You have to have a lot of passion for what you do because it’s so difficult that if you don’t, any rational person would give up. – Steve Jobs.

Your work will be your lifestyle, your life. Will it be the 9 to 5 Job that society chose for you, that you just do to get by and pay your bills, that you would quit if you could retire today. Or will it be something that you would do until your dying breath if left to it. That is your passion, that is your love. It’s ok if what you love changes, but whatever you do, put your entire heart and whole inner being into it, it’s that special touch that makes your work great.

 

Believe

If you are truly committed to find a way you can have anything in this world. Dedicate yourself to your dream. Keep going until you reach the top. – fearless motivation

Believe in yourself and your vision and you will be unstoppable. Believe in yourself to be able to see the challenge, see your goal and find a way to success. Challenge yourself to believe and you are half way there to achieving greatness. Just make sure you want it and that your heart has good intent when you do, many worlds are destroyed when our beliefs are filled with bad and selfish intent. The belief you have is one that will add value to your life and those you encounter.

Embrace Death

Someday you are going to die, embrace that fact. If you were to die today have you done everything that you want to do? Think about Death every single day and use it as a motivator to live your dreams. Today is the last day of your life, do everything as if this were your last day. Love the people who love you, and even the people who don’t.

There are 24 hours in a day, what you do in your 24 hours determines your tomorrow. What will you do today? We are programmed to die, and in less than 24 hours our life could be over. What will you do today to make your day really count?

 

July 2016 Opening Company Developments

 

The first week of July has been a busy one. With part of our time being focused on raising funds through trading, the other part of our time being focused on building up zenratstudios one feature at a time, and the final part being focused on maintaining mental and emotional health alongside interpersonal relationships we’ve been very busy. Our main goal is to hone our message and build a solid website for people to explore who we are, and then to begin focusing time on raising funds and hiring independent contractors and specialists who can help us create the solution that we envision.

Website

The Main website has been an important focus for us. With most of the work out of the way from last month it is now beginning to ease its way into the back seat. Major accomplishment for us is that:

  • Site is now Mobile Friendly
  • Main Site content has been added

Goals

Right now everything on the main site is coded from scratch per post. This is because I am still not comfortable or strong with using PHP templates at the moment and at this point am just ready to move on from the site to actual development of roadmaps, content and projects/jobs for raising funds. The overall focus with the website has shifted less to coding and more to:

  • Having family and friends review and edit content
  • Strengthening front-end and back-end development skills

We’d like to also add a Mission Statement page, a full-FAQ, and an updated donation page but all those things are on hold, with a shift to content and editing. We won’t officially start marketing and putting ourselves out there until we have a fully functioning website that can describe more of what we do. So far we are pretty close, content is now our focus point. Networking and blog building isn’t on the list but it’s a goal.

 

Top Decisions This Week:

Raising Funds – Bootstrapping centric

This week we made a few decisions for how our company will be moving forward. In particular how we raise our funds as a blockchain-and-company start-up. Ultimately we decided the following:

  • No Angel Investors/Crowdfunding/Crowd sales – We will not be seeking out or accepting Angel Investors and will not be crowdfunding our company through crowd sales. Though we thought about it, ultimately we decided that offering ownership and control of our company and the direction we’re headed to people solely interested in profit and not on creating and giving back value isn’t the direction we want to go. Our goal is to self-fund ourselves as much as possible, to offer value to those who pay-it-forward and to reinvest our profit. Donations are accepted but we are a not for profit based company which does not typically work for the for-profit investor, the latter being the other reason why seeking angel investors is non-compatible with our goal. In normal companies this decision would be a given, but in the blockchain world there is the opportunity to offer crowdsales and tokens which can represent a return of interest. Karma Tokens and other types of tokens we create are only going to be given out to people who contribute to the system and play the pay-it-forward game and/or have a membership.
  • Fundraising Projects – to raise money we will create games and websites that offer utility to our users, every dollar given to use that service will go to our company. Fundraising is based on the million dollar website, where people paid $1 for adspace. We’re taking a similar but somewhat different more game-centric approach. Two fundraising projects that remain in pre-development are Project Graveyard and Project Heart.
  • Membership – At some point we will be offering membership to people with services and benefits attached. That membership will come with a fee and will include a book and publishing service once our platform is up and running. It cost money and time to create a functional membership service so a lot of our focus right now is simply raising funds. Our book and publishing service is a membership service, members get to be part of a community and determine the general direction of the company, to the extent that we are a hybrid decentralized company. More on this to come.
  • Individual Donations – While we won’t be seeking out angel investors we will openly seek out donations. Currently our focus is on digital currency because it is global and anyone can get into it. This in particular takes some problem solving as we decide whether we will accept Bitcoin only or also Fiat, and search for the service that is right for us.
  • Grants – Once we build a platform that people begin to use and creates value we’ll begin seeking out grants.

Our Goal is to be the “Angel” others seek and need in their lives, our mission is to save the world, and raising funds is a way to do that.

Central Strategy

This Month our central focus and strategy will be:

  • Developing Skills & Tools
  • Raising Funds
  • Editing and Creating content
  • Starting efforts on building our first fundraiser (may need to hire help otherwise the fundraiser will take some time as I program it myself)
  • Hiring necessary people once funds have been raised

Once we have a considerable amount of funds we can begin focusing more time on developing or game and book publishing services. Having a team member who excels at marketing and landing pages would be a bonus plus for Zenratstudios. More brain power needed to streamlight this to the next level. Though I must say snail pace is nice, it allows us to take time to enjoy the flowers along our journey, as well as to share the ups and downs, the strategies and tools we use that help or hinder our progress!

How to Run A Start-Up on less than $200s/Month

 

It’s been a busy month and we’ve been careful at work, building strategies and work. To make ends meet and raise funds for the business I’ve become an active trader in altcoins and cryptocurrency. The very technology I would like to use with Zenratstudios. There are so many exciting developments and implementations for the technology, and as the line between reality and digital blend we start to pave a way for ARGs to actually be worth something.

There’s a lot of work to be done and not a lot of capital to play with starting out, so without further ado here is a breakdown of what we’ve been doing:

June 2016 Company Developments

Website

For the first week or two of June I’ve spent my time focusing on building a proper website that attempts to properly address the vision and mission of Zenratstudios. To date building on wordpress has been my first attempt at building a fully functioning website live. The lists for why this was hard:

  • The Code – PHP isn’t my strong-suit,
  • The Art – Designing artistic elements and UI isn’t my strength,
  • The Styling Sheets – Dealing with CSS div boxes is just as frustrating as building websites with tables (though a tad less frustrating)

I spent much of my time researching free templates, and then trying to figure out what I wanted and why it wasn’t flexible enough, and where to go from there. Then I installed some training wheels. Naked WordPress was the most helpful because it was the only free blank template that I could find on a limited budget that step by step walked me through the PHP code of wordpress. After that I installed foundation zurb 6, and had to research how to implement that into wordpress.

Needless to say just the website alone took 2-3 weeks and still has some flaws that will take some time to work out. The hardest part was switching out of code mode and getting into ‘writing content’ mode.

The Work

The work from this point entailed:

  • Migrating from Zenratstudios.com -> zenratstudios.org to reflect our hybrid not-for-profit (NPO) mission (redirecting)
  • Creating subdomains to manage and organize the different themes of the websites
  • Finding a basic theme/blank template (Naked WordPress) (main site is the only site with it’s own theme)
  • Finding a basic theme for all other subdomains
  • Learning to understand WordPress and PHP (and create my own templates or modify existing ones),
  • Researching & Deciding on a grid system for quick building of webpages (Foundation Zurb)
  • Installing Foundation Zurb into WordPress (because wanted something up to date)
  • Installing Foundation Navigation into WordPress
  • Researching CSS and HTML as I go
  • Finding alternative to javascript and CSS solutions that I can’t get to work with my template
  • Implementing/Converting features from themes I like into my own
  • Deleting those themes to build from scratch
  • Writing and adding content on the website
  • Adding a Blog Theme
  • Exporting & Importing blog from old site into new blog
  • Finding and adding basic themes for the two other subdomains (to be revealed later)/no content yet to be added.

The Flaws

The main flaws are:

  • Doesn’t scale well on mobile,
  • Content still needs to be edited & added,
  • Footer needs work,
  • Page structures need to be converted into wordpress templates (instead of repeating html patterns on each page) / Have to manually copy and paste and code repeatedable elements.

The Gameplan

At this point I’ve maxxed out how far I am willing to spend time learning to design this website while neglecting other stuff. The main goal now that I have is as followed:

  • Fixing the basic mobile version
  • Fixing footer navigation
  • Hiring a web developer to convert that into something functional (maybe from fivver)
  • Hiring Content Writers

Marketing & Social Presence

Though I know about marketing strategy I don’t know much about social media. For the most part I’m not a social person. My aspergers-social anxiety-bipolar/depression combo makes it hard to build long-term relationships but easy to see patterns and integrate them. Even with this site I’ve struggled with trying to figure out whether I speak with “You” talk about Zenratstudios and refer to my actions as “we” “us”, or simply use the word “I”. Pronouns are big especially when marketing.

I also have many interests when it comes to Zenratstudios. Some days I want to talk about finances (the budgeting, the growth, digital economies and alternatives) and other days I want to talk about game development (game projects, what we’re doing, long-term goals) and there are some days all I want to talk about is Love and the spiritual side of things (the pitfalls, struggles, ups and downs). It just depends what I am focused in on and can’t stop talking about. I thought about creating a separate identity and persona, but it just became more work and I felt like I was misrepresenting myself. So ultimately Zenratstudios is a site that caters towards different audiences and as such my marketing needs to tackle these audiences.

The Tasks

  • Creating Social Media Accounts (Twitter, Reddit, Facebook)
  • Posting Actively on Social Media Accounts (Twitter so far)
  • Creating an Online Presence
  • Following People of Interest and keeping up with all their stuff (in the midst of all my twitter feeds and lists (some people post over and over again repeatedly drowning out the people I want to hear, I have to mute them even when they have good content and tend to just subscribe to their newsletter)).
  • Managing how much time I allow myself to spend marketing
  • Honing down the message and mission of my company and the strategy we intend to implement it
  • Deciding what issues Zenratudios talks about
  • Finding solutions to our worlds problems and broadcasting that
  • Modifying solutions as we go along and mentioning that
  • Dealing with multiple audiences and different messages and vocabulary (outreach)

Personal Issues

  • How much do I ‘share’ about my personal life and journey on my blogs vs. how much I keep private (am I being too intimate and personal/sharing too much about my strengths and weaknesses)
  • How I present myself to people of Interest who I follow
  • Protecting my personal identity while also trying to create a brand of trust and respect
  • Trying to think of things to say unrelated to my own personal business (things that are directed at others that can help ‘them’)
  • Multi-tasking
  • Managing shyness, anxiety, and withdrawal (the fear of putting oneself out there esp. in infancy, the performance, all eyes on ‘me’ now make what you say good)
  • Worrying that the content I am writing isn’t good enough and wanting to hire an editor first
  • Adopting a persona or name (do I write as Zenratstudios or do I write with my user account, and what name represents it—and do I have to stick with the same username?)
  • Standing up for my decisions in face of criticisms

The Gameplan

Current strategy as followed:

  • One day at a time – I don’t always post on Twitter and haven’t yet posted on Facebook. But I am constantly honing my message, and at the moment commenting on things in existence.
  • Explore – I do try to explore different forums and communities like Reddit/bitcointalk if at least to get a feel for how my thoughts are perceived. The different communities and reactions to the same or different thing is interesting. For example in some communities people are zealous, lack knowledge, and care nothing for logical talk and hate spiritual talk. In other communities saying what people don’t want to hear but seems logical gets me quickly down-voted. There’s a very active mob mentality floating around, and so I withdraw.
  • Bootstrapping/Fundraising to Hire – at this point I’m not going to try to do everything on my own. My main goal is raising capital to hire or bring in a strong team who believes in the vision of Zenratstudios. Hiring a campaign or marketing manager or someone to focus on the content on this site, or even just the website would free up time for me to focus on marketing elsewhere.

 

Bootstrapping / Raising Capital

 

Fundraising Projects

There are many ways to Raise Capital. There are two Fundraising Projects we have on the books:

  • Project Graveyard and
  • Project Heart. Both of these projects implement a hybrid strategy of the 1 million dollar page by which a grid system was used for advertisements. We have a hybrid more targeted version that we’re looking at.

We aren’t yet at the stage where we can build this, because this would take either hiring someone or setting aside some time to build and test a functional website.

Trading by Day

The predominate method we have been using to Raise capital has been investing and trading as part of the digital economy: Bitcoin and altcoins. I’ve followed the cryptocommunity for some time but didn’t have the mentality to take part in it. I was very much lurking and following developments. Every month since March we’ve invested a little bit of money and built up. At first it was just $16.00 as on $100.00/month to spend isn’t a lot. The goal was to see if we could grow it. Our investments grew to $100.00 after 2 months. Sometime at the end of May we encountered “The DAO” and based on our research and knowledge we felt that it would be a pump n dump initially and that the money made from it could fund our company. All the signals were there. What was unexpected was people on the inside admitting hours before release that there was a problem, and not freezing the DAO until it got hacked with several million worth of funds stolen, and now more vulnerabilities reached.

In many ways this was a blessing because it forced me to get involved in the community, explore different presentation strategies (find my voice), as well as to realize that if I am going to explore using blockchain for my company there are certain securities that need to be done. Hiring experienced developers as well as White Hackers to make sure our security is well is a must.

Trading is very fun for me. I love trading. In many ways it’s like gambling but where losses can be mitigated or lessened and gains can be increased. There is strategy to it, and it is really something I seem to be good at. Finding undervalued penny stocks and so on. I have had some losses, but I have had more gains than losses. But I can do better than this.

From my study of the patterns and research I put together some strategies for myself, and have been testing them. What works, what doesn’t, and what are some ground rules to stick by. I research everything that I do, and there are good things in every bad. The highest minimum I was willing to put into the DAO was $80.00. In Bitcoin you can hold sometimes and it’ll swing back up eventually (depending on what’s going on) it’s very volatile), you can make big gains in a day and requires you to be active. But with altcoins, if you hold for too long you can lose your money over time, and have to plan your exits accordingly. I learned that I have to develop a different strategy for altcoins than what I use for Bitcoins. You also need more capital to make real gains with Bitcoin whereas altcoins you can start small over a longer period of time.

I integrate psychology and Zen into my strategies and make a rule to meditate before a trade. I lost ½ of my investments as a result of the DAO, but I gained:

  • The minimum threshold of $80.00, that is the most I am willing to wager or bet on an altcoin, the most I am willing to lose.
  • Tolerance for small Losses
  • Honing of marketing strategies and persona strategies
  • Embracing who I am flaws and all and ‘sticking’ to it
  • An understanding of Whitepapers (and trusting my guts)
  • An understanding of crowdsales, what they are (angel investments that pick an arbitrary number for price), and created new ground rules for them (I never invest in a crowdsale, I prefer to look at things already in existence). Crowdsales come with the biggest amount of risk and are akin to gambling. There are alternatives to put your money in with more certainty and gain.
  • Honing my Enter/Exit Strategies for altcoins
  • It forced me to look back into Bitcoin as part of diversification
  • It helped me merge my ‘Investment’ (logical) mind with my ‘Trader’ (emotional) mind, and to learn to look past the ‘noise’ of the market but rather use it to get a feel
  • It helped me to realize that being ‘part’ of a community can easily make me susceptible to absorbing the anxieties and hype rather than sitting back and observing with objective lens.
  • It helped me to realize that I am actually impatient. (something I didn’t know about myself).

For this reason I’ve decided that my social interactions will be limited to beyond the herd but with leaders and people who are also sitting apart from the herd. It helps. Another thing I have learned is that often times my impatience can get the best of me. Diversification is also hard. I get anxious and will leave one market to jump into the next to be part of the ‘rise’ there, but then miss out on the rise somewhere else. No worries because cycles repeat and I’m still learning and building a strategy that continues to give me gains. This is being integrated into my trading strategy and rules so that I can build better and stronger and faster.

Parenting

This month I’ve been focused not only on working, but also being a single parent. I practice martial arts, meditate daily, and set aside time to work and time to play. Trading is exhausting. It takes a lot of work, and requires your mind be active. There’s a lot of daily research, gathering tools, but there are ways and even rules that can be made to make it easier.

In short this month it was a constant balance and battle between active trading and trying to give my child attention. And it still didn’t feel like enough. There were times when she would turn my face to look at them, I’d smile, look back at my computer and my child would turn my face again. Sometimes I would put my work down and play, and other times I would draw a line and focus on work with the promise that soon it will be worth it, not just for my child and me but for everyone who takes part in the community.

There is some sadness that I work a lot and don’t play as much. I rationalize this by reminding myself what I do now prepares us for tomorrow, still I find myself stepping away from the computer to enjoy the fresh air, drink tea, remember to eat, and play with my child. What good is tomorrow if I can never stop to enjoy the day; and most importantly, if I miss out on my child’s entire childhood.

I remind myself everything that is meant to get done will get done, so I do everything one day at a time. I build one day at a time. Sometimes I get a lot done, and sometimes I don’t. Parenting is a Balance.

 

The Depression

At the beginning of June I was very depressed. I felt lonely, my visions and dreams were seldom understood or supported by the people I interact with daily. I was reaching out for help from the community and people would not help without money or had their own projects. Being an entrepreneur is tough especially when you have low starting capital and severe anxiety.

If I had more capital I would hire a team(s), build a strategy, discuss the strategy and then delegate people to focus on their tasks like marketing, content, design, and games. We would work together based on our strengths. But right now my capital is $100/month and sometimes not even that. Lately I’ve been dipping into rent using some of my rent money in an attempt to grow it.

Depression has come from trying to grow my initial starting capital from $100/month into $300, etc. It’s a lot of work. It’s time consuming, and I need to do better. It’s having to grow my initial capital in order to hire more people on the bootstrapping end, and then it’s working on the website, writing and adding content, marketing and doing all these things and still needing to be incorporated and the fees of incorporation, and so on. In many ways when you include overhead I am operating at a loss even though I am making small gains. I need to do better. Depression comes when I lack the right support or team to help drive it forward.

Needless to say I know that it will pass, and my solution has been to take it one day at a time. And that’s great because what is today is not what will tomorrow will be, and these earnings add up as you gain time and more experience.

Conclusion

There have been times when I have had only $4 – .40 cents in my bank account. This month I may even end up with less. But I am working on it, bit by bit. My goal is to have a functioning website, successfully market and build a fundraiser, continue raising capital and to be a good parent. Budgeting, research, etc. are one of my strengths and patience is a virtue I am learning.

Coming Soon: Trading by Day, Game Developing by Night, Parenting Always