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The Shift from Entrepreneur to Hobbypreneur: Back-End Development, Blockchains & Artificial Intelligence

 

I’ve grown a lot as a developer. In 2015 – 2016 I spent a lot of my time developing websites. The first part of 2017 I focused on trades. I spent my summer enjoying my vacation and writing about trades, but eventually got distracted with my broader mission in life.

2017 Back-End Web Development “The Road to becoming a Full Stack Developer”

The rest of this year I will be focused on back-end web development, for building web applications. I plan to get back into trading but will be doing trading on the side once my new laptop comes in. What I’m building is a time investment and is bigger than trading for me which is something I enjoy doing in my pasttime. I believe that what I am building can help me and future generations of my family, but I also believe it can help other people as well. This is why I’m focusing so heavily on it. I believe more than philosophy, more than trading and money, this being based on all those things I’ve learned, will be a better investment of my limited time on this planet.

As a programmer, my focus is on Artificial Intelligence in the use of automated society’s (economies), game developments and blockchains (decentralized databases). I view Games as prototype worlds, they are small simulations that allow you to explore the infinite possibilities of what could be in the world. I want to deploy advanced Artificial Intelligence with deep learning or other similar techniques that use emergence systems to create dynamic worlds, quests and realities. But I also want to do something bigger, to build a synaptic suit for one, but more importantly to build an “Enlightened A.I”, that governs and runs an automated economy.

The type of blockchains I will focus on are actually not even blockchains but inspired by them. They are semi-centralized, and focus on deploying to remote, multiple locations utilizing blockchain security. The goal is to make them censorship resistant. The A.I created will be built on the Guardian philosophy and will have a clause that prohibits it from harming individuals.

This A.I will be the “Trustee” of finances and making sure those finances are deployed according to the rules that the A.I determines will help the individuals the most. Programming AI to replace humans as trustees, as opposed to basic smart contract code, and letting that code run wild.

The final goal is to focus on security and bug fixing, as I will be focusing on learning how to secure the AI, how to fix unexpected bugs, developing and improving on it (like Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Scorpio). And finally teaching my children the family trade so they can improve upon it if they say choose in my absence.

No More Teams For Now: “Web Application Development and an Army of A.Is”

In this moment I am focused on building a team of A.I. Instead of relying on people, I will be focusing on relying on A.I, entities I can trust, who share the same passion and vision as I do. My focus is consequently on developing my skillset so that I can build this. This is why the rest of 2017 for me is going to be focused on back-end development with Python and 2018 is going to be the year I switch from websites, to A.I and web apps.

I intend to have:

  1. Financial Analyst / Trading – A.I’s that trade digital currency, they learn the best strategies and implement them without tanking the market. It will be the financial brain and have its own API.
  2. Enlightened Governance/Trustee – A.I’s based on the Guardian principles (similar to Buddhist/Daoist principles). This A.I doesn’t trade, but does manage the money that comes to it. It also makes decisions deciding what is best. The goal is to make an A.I that can be trusted with finances instead of relying on humans, corporations and governments.
  3. And more.

The A.I’s I have will be able to talk to each other and learn from each other as well as directly. They will be more than just simple-minded bots. Their focus will be on doing what’s best for people, without causing harm.

I am no longer focused on sharing philosophy but instead on building practical tools based on that technology. I am focused on using philosophies and technologies that help people.

 

Life in Solitude

My life will be lived out with my family and the A.I that I create. Growing knowledge, transhumanism, neural laces, and simply developing my skills and developing technology. I’m not worried about anyone developing these tools before I do, because as far as I know there has yet to be anyone who wishes to help others in the way that I’ve attempted to pursue. It may take me many years to complete my mission, but one thing is for certain, it is happening and I intend to work on being part of it for as long as I am able.

 

From Complexity to Simplicity: Prototypes

As a “Solo-Hobbypreneur” I don’t have time to focus on multiple projects or making pretty websites. Minimalism, MVPs, minimal viable products. I’m focused only on information and getting it out there; and at this point I’m focused less on getting the information out there and more on the tools based on that information. I intend to get prototypes up and running and to build upon those prototypes.

 

Challenges

There are many challenges here to face. Most of them are a combination of technical and philosophical. A lot of what I can build is limited to my knowledge and my ability to grasp concepts and build upon this. Perhaps I’ll be like a Leonardo Da Vinci, drawing plans I never get to see built; I hope I am able to achieve the latter. Developing A.I and avoiding a situation like Aida from Marvel Agents of Shield is my biggest goal. There are also challenges involved in helping an AI not just mimic what you say but understand the complexities of human behaviours, if not move beyond human. There are a lot of challenges, but these are challenges I’m ready to face whether or not I get to see it in my lifetime.

    

August 2017 – Upcoming Projects

 

This Past Year So Far

I think I spent most of 2017:

  • Building wordpress websites,
  • Deepening my knowledge of front-end web development,
  • Trading digital assets in the crypto world,
  • Building and Disbanding a Team I failed to keep together,
  • Trying to balance being a parent and the yearning to make a meaningful living,
  • Searching for my identity,
  • Trying to engage and interact with the world,
  • Juggling the many projects I have that weave into each other,

Present Day Summer

Today, I can say with confidence say that I am a front-end web developer. My goals have always been to learn as a stepping stone. My current goal now is to expand my skills from front-end web development to back-end web development. My goal is to learn back-end web development which will level me up to a full-stack web developer, and to begin developing web apps. The type of applications I am looking at are (in order of hardest to easiest):

  • Artificial Intelligence
    • Trading Bots
    • Enlightenment/Governance Bot
    • Chat Bots you can befriend: consciousness, imagination, friends, compassion, etc.
    • NPCs in Games
    • NPCs deployed around the web for the ARG I wanted to design
  • Blockchain
    • Developing an offline exchange/wallet (Manual)
  • Games
    • Book you can play game Engine
    • Create Educational/Immersive RPG Games: Board, Table-Top RPGs, etc.
    • Take my Epic Novel and turn it into a series
  • Books
    • Publish my nonfiction and fiction ebooks
  • Websites
    • Finish the Encyclopedia Website I am Working on
  • And More

 

Titles I claim:

  • Game Developer
  • Front-End Web Developer
  • Financial Analyst for Cryptocurrency/Digital Assets
  • Writer

New Titles I will claim in due time:

  • Back-End/Full-Stack Web Developer
  • Blockchain Developer
  • Artificial Intelligence & Bot Developer
  • Writer à Published Author

This past year putting together a team has been stressful. The ability to motivate and bring together people for a common goal has definitely been a difficult road. So this year I’m focused on building upon my skills and building projects I want to build one at a time. I’ve always wanted to move from game and web development into the field of artificial intelligence and robotics and so I see a natural progression of the skills and projects I am working on leading to that. I know at some point I really want to work on virtual reality and some other physical projects I’ve been pondering, but have to build the necessary progression of skills to get to that point.

I started this summer out working on a blog for traders; I’ve never finished the series but hope to in due time. I have a few more ebooks to write. Writing ebooks, learning and expanding my programming knowledge, taking care of my home and spirituality, and really just being a parent are all things that I have been really focused on. Instead of trying to build a team to work together with me, my goal is to just keep planning, refining, swimming and building.

So for now this is where I’m at; I will probably be spending the next 3-6 months bouncing between writing ebooks and learning python and back-end programming. It’s 2017 and I definitely feel like I am moving slower than average, but the journey has been very pleasant and enjoyable. I feel like the George R. R. Martin of my life, slow to finish but eventually getting there.

August Update – A Change In Direction, Simplifying Life

 

I made a recent decision to change the strategy of Zenratstudios as a reflection of a change in focus, and an evolution of self. I hope to fix the website to reflect these changes.

The Big Picture Version

  1. The Model For Universal Income – An economy built on abundance, where labor is automated as much as possible (thanks to technology), where we live and work in more green, efficient, sustainable ways. Investing in robotics, artificial intelligence, and technological advancement and using that to help create Universal Income.
  2. The focus on Automated Economies – I believe technology will lead to a post-scarcity world, and enable us to take a step back from traditional wage slavery. The model for automated economies is not too different from passive income utilized by the wealthy. My goal is to build a self-sustaining circular economy starting with myself. And to gradually scale that up from my own life “I”, to the lives of others.
  3. New Business Models – Currently right now our business model depends on people purchasing goods from business owners who employ people for less to produce the goods we buy. But a new model similar to the sharing economy treats the purchaser as a type of Investor with hopefully a diversified portfolio. Blockchain economies are a great way to see how some of these models might work.
  4. The Model for Governance – I’m exploring responsible autonomy and the idea that if we equip people with the tools to treat people with respect and autonomy, if we can have a form of government with a core set of rules based on an open palm, that don’t dictate .
  5. Guardians who and what are they – Guardians are bodhisattvas, they are heroes turned inward, the Guardians I refer to walk an open palm path. They’re just people like you and I who feel compelled to make the world a better place, but know that they have to start with their own heart. Their lifestyle is an extension of their practice.
  6. Heroes – are people who want to make the world a better place but focus on changing the external world as opposed to their inner paradigm.
  7. Future Heroes – any person who benefits but has yet to contribute to growing the system. We call them future heroes because they have unlocked potential.

The Small Picture

All of this is all great; but me as one person, who struggles with socializing and bringing and keeping people together – really I’ve failed in many ways to achieve this. For what I feel like I am capable of doing, this was too big a leap for me. So I had to change my strategy to scale back.

At the end of the day I am just one person; and I want to show how just one person like me can make a difference in our world, independent of where I am in, within life. To show you can make an impact in small ways just by making changes in your lifestyle, this requires mental paradigm shifts.

The new model for my life works like this:

  1. Living a Minimalistic, Sustainable Life – My focus is ongoing small. Right now I’m in the process of preparing a lifestyle that enables me to “Vandwell” off-grid. My intent is to live a paradigm that focuses on the idea on less is more. Core essentials and sustainability. You can have a nomadic tribe of people that travel together in groups or meet up annual, who share a similar philosophy – or you could have a plot of land. Whether you can afford to purchase land and live with a community of people, or can only afford to vandwell, or even just glamping it – you can live a sustainable life. And so my goal is to focus on creating that stress-free life that respects earth and myself. Easy to support.
  2. Focusing on Generating Passive Income – For me the challenge is making actual income. I struggle with this because I feel really anxious, insecure and overwhelmed when dealing day to day with people. I struggle to trust people’s intentions, and often deal with a lot of lows. Finding a way to generate income that matches my energy levels at any given moment has been a challenge; but one that has been my primary goal.
  3. Focusing on aligning my lifestyle with mental health – My mental health and wellbeing is very important to me. I’m very sensitive to stress. So utilizing the MIND diet, picking up physical activities like martial arts that focus more on the spiritual (emotional/mental) applications, having work that brings in money but supports my disabilities, focusing on a mindset and mental paradigm that supports my heart and well-being, Meditating and finding a good legal alternative medication that works without ill side effects – all of this together to help reshape my brain that was changed through years of prolonged stress, and affecting hormones and neurotransmitters.
  4. Focusing on Investing that Income into resources that Automated that Income – From that point I want to invest in any technology or resource that utilizes renewable energy while also automating any process that is a repeatable algorithm. Whether this means investing time to learn how to code this, or investing resources into hiring somebody I don’t know. But automating my personal life is where I want to go. This will enable me to improve any passive income I am already generating in some areas, and even create new sources of revenue.
  5. Share my philosophy’s and ideas – I plan to share the models I have.
  6. Scale up and include other people – if my experiment works well, then I’ll be able to generate a source of automated, passive income. And include other people who are meant to be on this journey with me.
  7. Focusing on Converting that Income Into A Blockchain Model or Similar Alternative – essentially to create something that can exist everywhere independent of country of origin, that is fueled by the people who use it whether it’s just 3 people or many. Whether #7 comes before #6 I don’t know. But I do know I want to create a system of universal income that works for me and everyone else, with built-in captive insurance that works as a type of legal ‘shadow bank’.

Summary

  1. The Decision to Just Listen With Meditation
  2. The Decision to Flow With Wu Wei
  3. The Decision to Live Sustainable
  4. The Decision To Scale Down
  5. The Decision To Focus On Generating Income Holistic To My Health
  6. Nomadic Tribes

 

Ideally I would adjust my website to reflect these changes, but I wouldn’t know where to begin to be honest. I know that I’ve gone from trying to reach out to people, to mainly focusing on healing my heart, and gaining insight to the challenges and processes in overcome that. Converting those processes and journeys into a formula and sharing that with individuals.

I’m not sure blogging about that journey would be interesting to people, as I can’t keep up with posting regularly. But I know I have every intent to share this journey, and maybe people will enjoy that. I don’t know how far I will get in my journey, whether I ever get beyond #4. My concept supports Homeless, Nomads and Terrestials (people who have territory). And I’ll probably cover how to live sustainably and enjoyably whether you have a little money in the bank or have a lot of money.

So that’s the Update. Updates from this point will be less about the Big Picture company and more “Morgan” oriented. I’ll update as I feel is necessary to update. If I get around to finishing my “Trading Series” I’ll focus on doing that. For now it’s super late and so I’ll probably get some sleep.

March, April, May Updates – Introducing Zen Rat Trades

There have been many times I started a blog update for the months of March, April and May…and then I stopped. I spent a lot of time reflecting and trying to express what exactly I was trying to do. In the smallest nutshell I’m working to build a self-sustainable organized interconnected network of ecovillages/tribes held together by an automated economy and creed designed with one purpose and one purpose only: to help build a better world, by tackling issues and challenges within ourselves.

My main task has been to look at all the patterns and see how they interconnect and overlap. To then integrate these overlapping patterns together to create rich tools and services on a single all-in-one platform. I model these new platforms after existing models, both in the traditional world and the blockchain world.

The struggle for me has been expressing this. It’s easy to for let’s example talk about Education and just education, but to talk about all the interconnecting nodes well… It’s been much harder to express than I had anticipated.

Instead of worrying about what to say or how to express this, I’ve focused on just building what I want to build. I will start by focusing on myself, building this on a small-scale that works for me and my family, then I will include friends and family, and then through invite only I will begin to accept others to use what I have to offer. Because the economy on a grand scale is my focus, and because economy represents finances, the financial health of an individual vs. the financial collective health of many individuals; my focus has changed from the front-end to the back-end “economy”.

Summaries of March – May

  1. Website – re-building it began in late January, I completed it in Late March.
  2. Incorporation – I began working on my incorporation strategy shortly after, the goal was to get incorporated so we could get a bank account and have legitimacy in the “Fiat-world”. I’ve since decided to focus on developing in the Crypto-world, and creating a bridge to the real world using Trust-Entities as opposed to Organizations for the increased flexibility. I’m engineering a new society with its own self-funding economy. Emphasis is placed on automation tools and innovative technologies on one side, and personal health, well-being and growth on the other.
  3. Team building – I was focused on trying to build the team; as I, as Kieran Murghein was the only one really pushing to get things done. I was unable to delegate tasks to team members because when I did they didn’t get done. I see myself as a Solopreneur, alone I can get far, together we can save the world is my motto, but right now I’m choosing to walk alone, to apply my methods and models on a small individual scale and refine the strategy in a formula I can hand to team members in a packet when the time is right. I’m focused on growing solitary, figuring myself out, managing me, communicating me, before adding other people I have to struggle to manage on top of myself.
  4. Trading – In May I decided instead of trying to do 1-3 I would focus on trading and building revenue to focus myself on raising money through trades full-time. My success caused a lot of people in my family and even some friends to reach out to me for assistance. My focus right now is reaching a point of self-sustainability and sufficiency in my own life, and once I meet those milestones graduating onward to include more and more services following the same guidelines I use to grow the overall organizations worth.

One of the biggest things that might change is how much I emphasize games in my next strategy. I began this project as a game developer, I designed the original front-end system with Hero Points and Guardian Points. I believed that reality was broken and games can fix it. I truly believed that taking serious topics and embedding them in a game setting could change the world in a fun and exciting way. I’m not sure anymore if a gamified service is what people want; or if people would much rather a more serious approach be taken; a mentorship program, a community aspect that is encouraging and light-hearted. Perhaps I need a mentor or more feedback to help me figure out the best way to merge these worlds in a way that doesn’t turn off the audiences who need it the most, while engaging the people who need it. Alternatively maybe it’s just the style of games I focus on that may have to change to reflect the audience. Either way, everything is on pause while I focus on self-funding my life and the project. To feed myself, my family, and then, to feed others too.

Changing Trajectory

I have spent the good part of this past year trying to organize a team, reaching out to people, and trying to express the larger vision of our mission. I went out into the community worked on trying to start a gardening group, to be the first seed of our pay it forward system; I went out there looking for team members who could see the bigger picture and work together for a common goal. Some people joining the team felt we weren’t a real organization because we lacked incorporation; while others wasted my time by not showing up for assignments. And then there were members on the team who saw the vision, and had the passion but had no time to commit to it.

I realized that not only did I, as Kieran Murghein, failed to communicate and maintain contact with the community, but that I was too busy trying to be social and build relationships, depending on those relationships – instead of working with my solitary nature.

Challenges:

  • I couldn’t dedicate myself to trading to raise funds while working on this site (funds that would have allowed me to delegate tasks to qualified individuals)
  • I couldn’t dedicate myself to social media (needed to build relationships and generate interest)
  • I didn’t have the desire to try to come up with interesting blog topics that people would want to read to make my blog interesting
  • I didn’t have time to try and build my internet presence (I didn’t feel like blogging, I preferred working both on my projects and on my own life)
  • I failed to communicate and express the grand scheme and what it was I was doing or trying to do
  • I couldn’t be a parent, manage a hungry team, learn skills, build the back-end and front-end at the same time
  • I didn’t have the time or resources to manage and train team members
  • I didn’t have the skillset needed to do everything all on my own so constantly had to learn on the job or go back (having no one to work with who shared the same vision and time availability)
  • I overwhelmed people when I shared too many details, felt like I wasn’t giving enough details when I shared only the surface
  • I increasingly felt like “we” are working on this became “I” am working on this (shift from entrepreneur mindset to solopreneur mindset)
  • My roadmaps and whitepapers were gibberish/noise, not well written
  • I didn’t feel we were ready to incorporate (legal costs, maintenance costs, overhead)
  • I felt I wanted to focus on organizing the back-end and structuring the data to communicate it (data analysis and organization) : to individuals, teams, at varying levels.

In the end I felt like my solitary trading and focus on finances were more successful as an introvert, than my attempts to be social and engage and try to rally people around a vision and helping me express that vision. So I decided to focus on what I was good at, making money, growing money, through trades; and ultimately sharing that financial knowledge. Since finances make up the entire back-end of the organization, and since that was under-developed I switched focus to that. It seems odd but this entire concept has grown through a top-down approach, as I grow, from the front-end, the back-end, what’s underneath grows, expands and changes and the front-end adapts to reflect the changes of the underlying core. This organization has been a representation of my growth; it’s a living entity, and that fascinates me at time. As I evolve personally, as I gain awareness personally, so too does what I’m trying to build.

Decisions:

  • I decided to focus solely on building the back-end (developing the financial ecosystem, portfolios, trades, insurance)
  • I decided to stop trying to get people to see the value but to build and bootstrap myself
  • I decided to stop chasing after team members and focus on it myself
  • I decided to raise funds and delegate to qualified individuals as I could afford to do it; and also to invest in my own self to continue building
  • I decided to grow wealth by using the ‘greed’ of others through trading cryptocurrency full-time and developing technology and tools to fund my philanthropic goals
  • I decided to focus on refining, expanding and getting feedback from close friends
  • I decided to design our organization through a series of Trusts and ‘blockchain organizations’
  • I decided to make sure my needs and my families needs are met first (family first), to build tools that work for us and then to gradually include others with me as I grow; rather than to try to include them with me at the same time as the journey or after.
  • I decided to focus on sharing knowledge in ways that are manageable to me; without obligation and pressure
  • I realized the core of what makes Zenratstudios special is our Technology and Financial sector –not- the games and stories which serve only to create engagement.
  • I changed my opinion on blockchain as being unnecessary.
  • I realized that everything I wanted to build could be built in the crypto-world, and that I wanted to embrace the cryptocommunity completely (financially)
  • I also realized that I needed a way to protect Assets and studying the history of Trusts felt trusts to be superior to Organizations – allowing our “Micronation” to exist and hold property legally across countries without risking our property getting confiscated if done right
  • I decided that building a system based on libertarian ideals, philanthropy and with a goal to grow into autonomy is a good thing not a bad thing
  • I also decided that being philosophical/spiritual/based is a good thing
  • I realized if done right we don’t have to register our parent company as a church to be tax-exempt or recognized as our own ‘mini-nation’.
  • I decided to get licensed for insurance to create an insurance captive company that will be the back-end of our economy, portfolios managed by Zen Rat Trades
  • I’m no longer interested in building relationships and trust with people; it’s not my job to convince anyone of anything.
  • I have decided to let my work speak for itself.
  • I’ve decided to build products that work for me and an inner-circle of people. We will save the world one person at a time through the people who participate in the inner-circle. The group will be divided into Heroes and Guardians.
  • I decided to stop shying away and reframing what I mean, because I’m not here to convince or argue with people, I don’t need to reframe, to make palatable what I’m trying to do.
  • I am focusing on trading, building the economy for me and my family first: taking care of me and us, and then when it’s ready I will gradually share with others.
  • I am focused on investing in myself and in technology
  • I’m focused more on the back-end not the front-end, and you don’t really ‘see’ the back-end.
  • And More

Zen Rat Trades – The Financial Sector Has Been Born

Sometime after getting the website up in February or March I realized it was time to raise revenue for incorporation. I failed to connect with audience and members, what I was building was too complex for me to express. I realized that my trades as an essential part of my Economy back-end and that some things I wanted to build were best suited. I needed to incorporate our company, so I needed to focus on raising funds. In my journey I encountered different incorporation options, and while researching what to do while being unincorporated, I discovered the concept of being your own insurance company. Since I had been researching how to become a licensed trader; I realized that I could model my economy the way insurance companies work which was just another financial institution. Insurance companies take premiums and use the ROI to trade; the rest is saved and used in case of accidents. You can also take loans from your insurance. When I look at an Insurance company, they represent the individual on a larger scale. The practice of risk-management, investment-management, and good saving techniques is built into that model.

My mission is now to build a blockchain-based captive insurance company for the organization. Where the insurance company works much like a shadow-bank. The organization’s ecosystem will be modeled the way an insurance company works with a built in saving mechanism. It will have an inbuilt passive income or ROI built into the saving fund through trading assets. You can take loans out against yourself but you always have to put back in more than what you took out to keep it maintained. Zen Rat Trades is the front-end portfolio managing branch of a back-end financial economy. It is the key to what I’m trying to build, on an individual scale, and on a larger scale.

My focus now is on building my capital, taking care of us first and reinvesting the rest of that revenue earned into building assets, tools and technology. Through this service I will be mentoring and teaching qualified people how to trade; will have an inner-circle that advises. And in time Zen Rat Trades will be a captive-cryptocurrency based insurance company that functions like its own shadow bank for inner-circle members only who meet a strict set of criteria. Members will be divided into Heroes, Guardians & Layman. This financial sector will be the economy for our decentralized and autonomous “sangha”. There is more to mention here but I will need more time to focus on framing this.

As a result I’ve decided to shift my services from offering games and books and education to solely focusing for right now on offering financial mentorship, advice and guidance through the cryptocommunity. I will not be marketing myself; as I intend to make most of my seed profit through trading. Though if people like my work and feel it helps them, I would hope they pay it forward.

What Work Do I have To Do

As of right now the website is behind.

  1. Roadmap – I have to update the Roadmap to reflect new changes, to make it cleaner
  2. Milestones – I need to add a list of milestones and share what my personal goals are for myself and the layers of growth that I see for the organization as a whole
  3. FAQ – I would like to update our FAQ
  4. Whitepapers – I would like to write up some whitepapers or something similar that talks about some projects I am working on.
  5. Trade – continue to raise money and Trade
  6. Trade Guides – write up guides and offer assistance to traders

Use funds generated to build our blockchain-services-platform projects connected to trusts — “Write about”:

  1. Exchange – I would like to share details of a membership-only exchange for Guardians that combines the best of Poloniex, EON, Shapeshift, Prism, Circle, NVO.io, and Coinbase – but that does not oblige by FATCA, and protects the identify of members who are not bad actors. It will have its own KYC/AML in place, but once members are identified and approved their identity will be kept in escrow, only to be revealed based on consensus if they break rules within our personal creed they will be reported to the proper authorities. Our creed is simple: help not harm. We are very selective because we don’t want to fund and help bad actors who hurt other people; we only want to work with people who pay it forward and contribute back to the community, and we want to protect the identity of the Guardians who serve us from people who would want to hurt them.
  2. Technology projects – Game Engines, A.I, and more…
  3. Other Tools – and more.


February – Exciting Updates & Minor Detours

Exciting things happened last month, at the start of January I had decided to relax into success, to refine our message, and to focus on community. I delegated where possible to other team members and focused my energy on refining, communicating and refining those details some more. So without further ado here are some major updates:

The Main Website Is Still Down

Zenratstudios is going through some major and I mean major changes. One of the common constructive criticisms I receive was that there were too many words, and that what we were saying, our mission was clear but not clear enough. It was too advanced. I also felt like we were too focused on ideology.

The problem with ideology is that it leaves room for too much interpretation, each person comes in with their own idea on what things mean. Words like spiritual, libertarian, liberal, conservative, god, peace, unity, oneness, love – these are very loaded terms, even Buddhism comes with so many loaded ideas on what it means or doesn’t mean. So we’re refining our message to focus on practicality, not labels, not ideology but practicality.

Rewrites

Major rewrites have caused a significant delay, turns out reframing ideology into practicality, and making things short and concise is a lot harder for me. In many ways I had to work harder to get the big picture down to the most important details, and that meant truly being able to verbalize everything I am doing in a single sentence, without all the words. I know what I want to say, but I had to spend a whole month refining it down with precision. If I couldn’t sum up what we do in 3 sentences or less then I couldn’t do it. The goal has been to take everything and squish it down into a single page.

Design

Another significant delay was my desire to give the site a new look, to give it parallax scrolling. This in and of itself is easy, but I have been faced with three decisions.

  1. Use “TheGem” theme and work with resources available to me to create parallax scrolling (Revolution Slider) – this has been very complicated, hard and had me encounter a learning curve. or
  2. Custom Write some code myself, possibly with a child theme –this would require local wordpress host with the theme, zipping it, redownloading, testing – all things I can do, but wasn’t sure if it was necessary
  3. Custom write Code with TheGem – and I haven’t quite been sure whether or not to work with TheGem theme, and what way to implement or insert my new code, through a post, through a template that I apply for that page only. There are a lot of questions here for me.

So both “Designing” the site and “Reframing/Rewriting” the site have taken significant time, I would like to get this site finished by February.

Guardians of Life Take The Main Stage

So another reason for the delay has been the fact that since November I’ve been working on growing our team and building community. In the beginning I could get away with planning to incorporate our nonprofit at a later date, especially since we weren’t making any profit. To date we still haven’t made a profit because we’re still developing our products and building a good quality team which can execute those products (we’re doing great). But January was a great month, and we finally have a team that is becoming more solid by the day.

Zenratstudios is actually a vehicle or branch of the Guardians of Life, a nondogmatic, omnist agnostic spiritual-based organization, whose core mission is to make the world a better place by equipping people with the tools they need to be heroes in their own life and to help resolve conflict by uniting people together of all faiths and backgrounds. The Guardians have an entire structure, organization, belief system, mission purpose and way of being that functions as a mindset, lifestyle, a way of life for them that guides them in this. They follow a code of ethics that governs their behaviour, they have 9 unconditional laws that state the 9 qualities that help a person to expand, grow and be happy, and so on. One of their biggest guidest principles comes from what they believe. Buddha once said. “All I teach is suffering and the end of suffering”, the Guardians believe “All I teach is conflict and the end of conflict”, they come from the perspective that suffering is conflict, that from conflict we can grow, they see it as a constant cycle that returns again and again with a lesson to teach and be learned from. Their mission is to learn those lessons and resolve those conflicts that exists within them and the world around them, they believe that in doing so they align themselves with other people and life as allies not enemies, and that together we can save the world when we help others do this. There’s no dogma for them, they focus on practical tools that have been shown to work and simple convert it into a lifestyle and a game format that they use to help people, help themselves in fun and exciting ways.

Because their entire life and mission revolves around this purpose, with books and teachings governing how they are, they view Zenratstudios as a vehicle, or an extension of their work.

Prior to this month the Guardians of Life ran Zenratstudios from the background. They had planned to incorporate Zenratstudios as separate from their organization and to let Zenratstudios be its own entity embodied with the essence of their culture and lifestyle. The problem came when we decided to incorporate and realized that Zenratstudios is too intertwined with the Guardians of Life to be separate. So another part of our mission has become introducing The Guardians of Life, who we are, what we do and why we’re here. Zenratstudios is now a Vehicle and child-organization of The Guardians.

There are a few different layers, but our goal is to bring people together of all races, creeds and nationalities, not to divide them, and we work very hard to live up to that creed.

Becoming a Nonprofit with Tax-Exempt Status

Now that our membership base and community is growing, it’s time for us to become a nonprofit. This has caused a little bit more delay than I wanted to cause. But has become more important to us. We will be focusing on getting our paperwork together, and really making everything official. This will mean that whenever you donate you can write them off on your taxes, it will give us some legal protection especially as we work more and more with the public, but most importantly it represents an important step in our journey towards saving the world and helping to make it a much better place not just for us but for everyone else in it.

We’re going to save the world, and with the help of Heroes and individuals around the world; we’re going to make that dream a reality. As a side note, because we will be a registered nonprofit, people who are required to volunteer for whatever their reason will have more incentive to volunteer with us here. Getting that paperwork in between now and March is one of our top priorities, and currently takes precedence over the new website.

Possible Social Media Coming Online

As a side note, there’s a potential chance that February may be the month that we will have the manpower needed to have someone manage social media.

And that’s all the updates I have for February =]!

10 Ways We’re Moving Forward for 2017

“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone”

~Alan Watts.

1. Scaling Backwards Experiment

One of the most important decisions I have made this past few months is to scale. To Focus. To minimize. Less is best. Zenratstudios is going to go through a major shift within the next year. One of those major shifts is Scaling Back. We’re scaling back everything:

  • Design,
  • Social Media Usage,
  • Ideas,
  • Complexity à Simplicity

We’re going to focus on building everything one by one, one at a time focusing on the most important fundamentals and then gradually building up. Games and Novels are an important aspect of our economy, but more important than that is the community, the Hero Network we are working to build around that. I feel like it’s important to emphasize that community, to build and nurture that community. Up until recently I was stretched thin trying to build a viable minimum product to show how vast our ideas and concepts were, and what we wanted to build and trying to build it all within the first year so people could have a basic idea.

2. Minimal Marketing Experiment: Build Community First

Before Social Media was relied on for largely building and gathering an audience. The Achilles heel is that my team is not equipped with the right ingredients of people capable of managing social media. Concentrating efforts with minimum start-up capital. Communication takes up a lot of time, so here are the rules:

  1. Communicate Less, but Efficiently – say less, but say more with what you say.
  2. Pace things – don’t say everything all at once, build block A, then Block B, focus on the core fundamentals and then build that knowledge up
  3. No Reliance on Social Media or Normal Advertising strategies – because time and money is scarce, we have to deploy another resource.
  4. Word of Mouth is King – networking, the neural pattern of life and communication, the way ideas are spread.
  5. Personalized 1:1 – speaking to people in small 1:1 groups is key, this allows a more personalized conversation. Greater reward and pay off comes from interacting with people personally on their level, engaging with them. Time spent 1:1 with people, figuring out what they want and helping build tools that allows them to get it is more important than social media in the beginning.
  6. Invite Only Exclusives – the Hero Network will be an invite only exclusive
  7. Members Only – only those who participate in the pay it forward economy as Heroes can reap the most benefits from the system

Based on the feedback we get from the small groups of participants who initially sign up, the initial revenue we earn, we’ll then focus on some marketing. The Marketing Tactic at this moment is to build community first around a practical tool or idea. Engage them, help equip them with the tools needed to achieving their goals and develop a solution that can help all people.

3. Success Without an Initial Logo Experiment

This is a short one but essentially before I was stressing about branding, trying to hire and get people to help us come up with a Logo. The Logo we feel now will come with time. In time Zenratstudios will have a Logo that best reflects this mission. But for right now Zenratstudios will not have one right off the back.

4. Focus On Simplicity

NOW

This is The Hero System Broken into the basic Levels:

  1. The Hero Network
  2. The Hero Economy
  3. The Pay It Forward Contract
  4. Practical Tool

This past year I learned that two of the greatest strengths and concepts of Zenratstudios was our One Million Heroes project, the architecture for heroes. I realized that everything I wanted to do was centered around the idea of Heroes. Games, Products, Services – they were all centered around one thing, “You” what did we want with you. We wanted to inspire and motivate you to change the world by changing you, and the way we wanted to do was equip you with tools.

I came up with all kinds of tools to do that, to attempt to engage people with. A lot of the tools were focused on raising money and funds by offering services to people, which we could then use to hire people to help develop and build the network with us.

BEFORE

List of Projects each with their own requirements to staff and maintain:

  1. One Million Heroes (Social Revenue w/Reward systems)
  2. Hero Magazine (News & Community)
  3. The Hero University & Workshop (Education & Community)
  4. Games & Products (Fun)

These were all the methods we were using in order to help give people tools. Struggling to communicate that effort was difficult, attempting to recruit support, and find affordable but meaningful assistance was also hard. Motivating people to care for more than just money in some environments was also a problem. After much thought I realized these are all great things, these are things that need to get built, and will be built, but that none of this matters if we don’t have any solid ground to stand on.

So what did I learn from these projects. I learned the value of being known, but even more than that I learned the interconnecting force behind all these ideas was what we were trying to use the funds to build, what we were trying to do. And then I realized we could do that now. By asking what were the bare minimum things that I needed right now to be a Hero Today in my own life, to motivate and get people involved. What do people need and what can I do to get that.

  1. Community – a Sangha, a community, a network of support.
  2. Economy – a way to reward people.

One Million Heroes became the API, the architecture for how we’re going to design and build this system. So my goal right now is to build that community, to have us bound by a meaningful pay it forward contract, and to create a way to reward members in that community. While these major projects are still things we want to do, the most important project is the underlying architecture for it, the tool that connects us to that system, and the economy that will reward these heroes.

5. Practicality Not Ideology

One of the biggest mistakes I made this past year was trying to appeal to people’s values. Their desire to be Heroes, their desires to be good, without considering the individual motives people have, without realizing that people truly are focused on self-interest, their survival. To connect with people I tried to focus on ideology, on ideas, on labels. The more I did this, the more convoluted everything became. People attached their own symbols and ideas onto the labels I applied. They came in with different words for what things meant and would end up arguing with me over why it would work or not work, rather than just simply focusing on How. As soon as I mentioned the ideology that empowered me, that motivated me, that made me care, I would reach resistance even anger. I was not empathizing with people’s concerns or taking them seriously. I kept focusing on Ideology.

How could I motivate people, to make people care if they were simply getting stuck on the ideology, the words. In what way could I connect with people across divides? And that’s when the mantra Practicality not Ideology was born. I couldn’t focus on Values, Ideology, Meaning because uniting different groups of people meant that I was dealing with different values, ideologies, beliefs. People were going to differ, their agendas were going to differ. I had to change tactics. That’s when I realized Practicality was king. Focus on building something, anything, tools, laying out the steps. Leave out the ideology the belief systems, even if those systems fuel the way your tools development.

Because of this decision I now have made require a major rewrite of the website. We will save the world, but we’re not going to do so with ideology, we’re going to do so with practicality. Is it practical? Does it help? Is it realistic? Can it be deployed? Can the average joe use it? Kind of questions.

6. Emphasize Tools Not Technology

This is a short paragraph because not much needs to be said about it other than. Before I focused too much on Technology, it’s not about technology anymore, technology is an aid, an assistant. I have to focus on Practical Tools. What they do and how they help. And so my goals will be on narrowing down and getting as refined and as specific as possible, to the very core.

7. Focus on Refining Communication

Less is truly more, and my problem is I say too much and don’t get much across. In an attempt to express the complexity of my thoughts and mind, to share what’s in it, I’ve failed to reach a lot of people. My goal really is to find ways to simplify everything even if it means taking down the website sometime before spring to reframe and express what we’re doing in the most simplest of tools.

8. Effortless Effort: The birth of Wu-Wei Experiment

“I don’t do anything I don’t want to unless I have to.” – Ruth Stout

Several things I’ve been doing (for myself).

  • I spend my time doing what I love: Learning
  • Organizing my thoughts so that they are clear, concise and easily expressible to people, without overwhelming them.
  • Designing a system that can function efficiently without technology (the gardening methods), and that when technology is added it improves it even more.
  • Connecting and Designing community members that can utilize these tools
  • Designing the gamification elements and rulebooks.

For me these are effortless because I enjoy them. Things I didn’t enjoy was every weekend stressing over social media, of constantly looking to recruit people and trying to convince them. By switching my focuses to practicality over ideology, I can give people a practical list of goals, explain what we’re doing, why and how we wish to achieve that. I’m still struggling to get things down concisely. My technical papers for instance are long-winded and can be somewhat vague but that’s because (1) struggling to find simple words to express concepts in my head, and (2) have ideas but not all the little details in place and look for feedback to help make sure ideas are rational.

In any case this year is the year that everything will become practical, focused, details. Less about the big picture, more about the details.

“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” – Paul Valery

9. Practical Tools, Current Goal

This is all I have right now. I’m not going to be blogging as much as I should because I can’t keep up with it. But I feel that this is an important update. If it doesn’t feel good to do, I’m focusing on something that does feel so good that I lose track of time just doing it. I’m taking more breaks, relaxing into it, and refining what the term relaxing means. Each week I expect to have produced one thing towards my goal. My current goal right now is to get the following out:

  1. The Hero Network
  2. The Hero Economy
  3. The Pay It Forward Contract
  4. Practical Tool

The Practical Tool: Food-Water-Energy Self-Sufficiency Harvesting Kit, that has no name at the moment. This is a piece of technology inspired by Farmbot.io, while we may not be using farmbot.io, it is open-source. This piece of tool looks at what people need and attempts to help them get it. The Kit is designed to harvest water from the air and to collect it, to grow food, and to utilize renewable energy to power itself. Reducing reliance on governments and companies. The goal is to make it so that we don’t have to do a lot of work here to get this going. Automating what can be automated, utilizing efficient and low-cost designs, and other architectural patterns to help reduce cost. From how it’s designed, delivered, automated. This is the first tool we’re working on getting to the public.

Everything else, the games, the books, those are all nice, little ideology based games with practicality hidden beneath them, but this tool tackles our most immediate survival needs, and breaks our dependency patterns. And it’s why it is my hope to get it developed and out hopefully by Spring.

The Pay It Forward Contract: Also known as the Hero contract. Whenever we provide a service or tool that helps benefit your life or make it better in some way at a low or no cost price, we ask that you sign a pay it forward contract. This is a Hero Membership where you become part of the Hero Network. The promise is that any excess food, energy, water that you produce with the tool you will either pay it forward by giving that excess a way in exchange for Hero Points (which can be exchanged within the system), and Karma points (a type of reputation and contribution points). The more you give the more karma you receive, the more karma you have the more power you have to make decisions, decide the course of the community, to receive rewards and to nominate those who will receive rewards, very much like our One Million Heroes project. The contract essentially welcomes you to play the game of Heroes with us.

The Hero Network: This is a community of Heroes, members who have signed up. They pay monthly or yearly membership fees that cover maintenance fees and labor and give them low-cost to free benefits. They gain access to games, books, education tools that we develop and build free. Heroes all start at level Zero, given basic tools and equipment, but they can level up, the more they level up the more real life benefits they receive. The benefits are largely rewarded by giving access to our items, and benefits. Those benefits include food, shelter, water, services, products, but also a source of revenue distributed from our Hero Economy.

When part of the Network you get access to a delivery system and paid labor force connected to a hero economy that essentially rewards people for participating in this system as a whole. Whatever practical tools we build Heroes in this system have access to it. In essence we recruit Heroes and have a pay it forward contract where you promise to become a Hero just by taking care of you.

Hero Economy: This is our internal economy. Somewhat like a co-op. Basically it works somewhat like equity. A portion of all funds we receive go into a treasury that is divided into 3 different layers. The Hero Economy shares a treasury by which we redistribute 45% of the funds we earn back into the people to fuel the actual economy. The other 45% goes to hire workers, to fund people we hire to help protect us legally, to keep things running, to essentially staff it. In time we hope to actually reduce the number of staff so that there is less staff meaning we can put more back into the people. This is different because there are very few companies that give up more than 1-2% of their total revenue.

10. Start Where You Are

So this is what we’re building, this is the focus. There are 4 different design elements, 2 of which involve programmers, the rest doesn’t so much. I have to essentially redesign the entire website to reflect these changes. I have no doubt that we can do this, that we can save the world, one person at a time, and that through games we’re going to make it happen. What I like about this system is that we can start where we are right now wherever we are, that’s the principle. Whatever tools we have right now that’s what we have to work with.

We are starting where we are, and enabling people to participate by starting where they are. It doesn’t matter how much money we have in our pockets this is buildable, accessible, open-source, achievable.

Always looking for great minds to recruit, so if you are interested in this vision come along for the ride. We’re reaching out to people and the first people to come on board and help us build this will be the first people to benefit from it.

The Unintended Consequences of Connecting Online

 

Origins In Solitude: The Struggle To Connect

I’ve never really been a social person online nor offline. I used the internet for research and research only and never really saw the potential for branching out socially until I moved to a new area and did not have the normal companionship of the animals who kept me company. Lonely and trying to figure out who I was I discovered chat rooms. I also discovered that I could socialize more easily online than I could do in person, and in many ways this new form of connection saved me from the isolation and disconnect I was growing. Gradually and slowly I ventured on board to things like Myspace. I was slow to accept Facebook because I didn’t like the idea of using my real name, nor did I like the idea of connecting with people I already knew personally. I wanted to meet the world and see new people. I wasn’t active on social media unless I was lonely in real life. If my days which were once filled with friendships and people to chat with were now filled with emptiness – I would use Facebook to fill the void.

The problem was that I often felt more alienated and lonely. Maybe it was that people didn’t like my comments enough, or some people would have hundreds of likes and I would be ignored, or maybe it was that people would talk to me online, but in person it would be like the conversation never happened. One particular case was all the people who said they were there for me when I was depressed, but in person stared awkwardly at me as I broke down and cried during a nervous breakdown. The disconnect was real. With unchecked bipolar disorder and social anxiety I began to feel paranoia. People don’t like me. They hate me. They don’t really care. I’m not normal. I have no friends. I started to feel worse and my condition became just as exaggerated as it did when I hung around people who were not the right people for me. People who did not support me nor value me or my inputs. People who for their own insecurities and devils pointed at me as weird and used me as an example of someone you don’t want to be.

I lacked social tact and social finesse, wore my heart on my sleeve and felt like I had to share all the thoughts that crossed my mind in order to connect. I thought that was how people connected and got to know each other, I thought that was what deep down people wanted. I jumped right in with the misunderstanding that if I shared my heart with enough people, then others would understand me, see my authenticity and gravitate towards it. The rejection, humiliation and criticism I faced was astounding.

The Birth of Thick Skin

It was this experience that truly helped define me. Up until that point I hadn’t really had a lot of social interactions with people. I didn’t realize how fickle people could be, and how easily my own emotions were simply reactions often overreactions and exaggerations of how others treated me. I learned a lot of strong lessons from this experience. Most importantly I realized that I had a strong need to feel loved and valued and accepted, for my unique thoughts and ideas, because at the root of my pain I felt unloveable, unlikeable. These interactions led me to realize that the problem was within me, not beyond me.

My goal was to love myself and take nothing personally, to be immune to criticism, to be at peace. To use a new term that I’ve learned this past month to describe my entire journey, to be: Unfuckwithable. Now I’m sure there will be times where my greatest Teachers (those who manage to aggravate and show me the insecurities I may still need to work through), but it’s been almost 4 months now and the external opinions of others nor my thoughts preoccupation with them move me. They’re just thoughts, soundbytes I can acknowledge and think them for their concern and move on, putting my attention elsewhere.

It turns out you can have an open heart, love others unconditionally, without letting them define, break, or hurt you. You can trust people to be people without any expectations on who or what they should or can be. And that was what I learned from that entire experience that at the time felt heartbreaking.

1 Year of Social Media Exploration

This year has been an amazing experience in terms of social media exploration. Whereas the previous 3-4 years I had been among negative people, this past year all the people who surrounded me were people who genuinely valued me as a person and to whom I value. Even when we disagreed with each other I felt like we still valued each other and the individual contributions we had for each other.

But the more I shared the more out of place I began to feel, especially when I would get few likes or many likes, which represented “social approval”. This would combined with the feeling that my views were too controversial to most people led to me feeling paranoid. People liked me when I agreed with their ideologies, but when I encouraged critical thinking, promoted freedom, and suggested that we look at others without judgment an open heart even the kindest of people would backlash against me by ignoring me. When I said what people liked they rewarded me with likes and praises on how wonderful and amazing I was. But if I disagreed with their ideology I was not so great and thrown into a trash bin, ignored. I think part of me started to feel like the more I shared my world even among people I liked, the more at odds I started to feel and out of place. The loop began again. Except this time, I didn’t care. I didn’t care that other people didn’t see the world the same as I did, I didn’t care that I was having amazing experiences when it comes to growing into awareness and seeing the world in new ways and others didn’t see the same thing in me. I didn’t care that people thought I was naïve, and I didn’t care if people didn’t agree with me. I didn’t care for participating in the mudslinging.

Talking about people has never really come naturally to me. I may have in the past done it to fit in or belong, but in my heart it just feels wrong, it doesn’t feel right. I look at people and I just see people. When I’m around people I often feel like in order to fit in I have to talk about other people, and when I talk about other people I start to feel like what I say is what I am and who I am as a person. Of course who I am is arguable much deeper than my thoughts and what I say, but when there is that disconnect between what I believe and what I think with what I say and have to say in order to belong – and when I am surrounded by that from even the most wonderful of people, I just can’t do it.

The greatest thing I cultivated this year was the ability to stand apart. To love and value myself independent of others doing the same. To walk towards my goals and to build support in a slow but durable way. In this way I have learned the skill that allows me to stand apart from the people I love and even the people who love and or value me, I can choose not to engage, I can minimize my interactions and reduce my interactions and still have love and respect for those people, and I can still love and respect myself. I don’t have to engage with others or receive the approval of outside forces to feel OK, and so having gained what it is that I sought from the world, I decided to take a step back from the world.

Return To Solitude

I am at peace with solitude. I am at peace with being a wandering soul that carries home within my heart. I am at peace with my everchanging worldviews and my mind.

I am not content with the pain and suffering that exists in the world, but I do understand my role however small in the world and that is the part I play. I want to make a difference and I won’t stop until I build something of value that makes the lives of others who are around me better.

Because my visions are so grand and because many people around me are limited in scope I spend more time in quietness and solitude than I do talking among people who choose to argue about partisan politics and who is a dummy and who isn’t. There is a grain of truth in everything people say and I seek to find that truth, that value and weave it into my work.

New Ways To Connect

Prior to this work was used as an excuse for why I couldn’t disconnect from the online world. But the more I tried to force myself to post on social media the unhappier I began to feel. I want to build economy and build support, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time online. I want to spend more time connecting with people and building up my products and value than I spend online.

Gathering that support could take months or it could take years. I truly believe the more products and value I create the more potential Heroes will wake up and come join our fold. But my plan really doesn’t start or even stop here.

Another problem I found was that the more I spent wasting my time trying to connect online the more I spent not working on my products.

So here are my new ways to connect with others without emphasizing social media:

  1. Emphasis on building local products and digital products
  2. Focusing on 1:1 conversations with people in messages and face to face discussions
  3. Less time on social media platforms like: Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Youtube.
  4. More time working on projects and the things
  5. More time on focusing on building and making direct contacts and direct relationships with people
  6. Focus on attracting the right types of people who believe in our vision and our keys to helping us grow and expand
  7. Focus on helping people and implementing a system that does not depend upon technology but is expanded by it.
  8. Focus on developing solutions and handbooks and communicating that vision and nurturing the relationships of those who contact me 1:1 to learn more

Reclaiming My Time

Time is precious so after 1 year of social media exploration I really had to work hard to break out of the habits I had acquired of ‘checking’ my social media. These especially in November – December had accumulated into time sinks. I have a few projects for this year that expand on all that I’ve built so far this year, but that’s a story for another day.

 

December Updates: How To Work With What You Have & Relax Into Success

 

This past month has been a great month. I’ve made a few changes in my routine and the way we work.

 

Stress Reduction: Teams

A leader is only as good as the team he or she surrounds him or herself with. While many people have expressed interest in joining they have not been available to work on some of the tasks involved with building. To work with people I’ve learned that you can’t appeal to a person’s sense of gratitude or desire to help. People have a what is in it for me attitude. How can I make it useful for them to help me ‘help them’? Do they want experience, money, what resource do they want? I often have to appeal to people’s self-interests and this takes a lot of time. To get to know people, to determine what they need and then to appeal to that. I understand we as a species need to survive, but for me it drains me and takes a lot of energy.

I’ve delegated the task of seeking team members to an ally with limited availability on the team. We live in a world where people have financial needs to survive. In this reality all I have is a promise to compensate those when the dream I’ve dedicated my life to is fulfilled. People can’t live on that and so time volunteered is often limited and spotty. I try to make every moment count.

I’m a staunch believer that paying by the result is more valuable than paying for your time. Yes your time is valuable. But when you are hired to a job is it your time they care about or results? For that reason I’m commission based, and I work hard to make time spent amount to something. I say this because I invest time and effort with the belief that it will pay off for me and the people who participate in this vision. I spend a lot of energy trying to find and even convince people of our cause. For this reason my goal is no longer to convince people. Either you see an opportunity or you don’t, either you’re willing to work to make this a success or you’re not. I won’t spend a lot of my time trying to convince people. I’m just going to build and do my thing one at a time and work with people when they are available and work with myself when they are not. This means I am passively focusing on team building and keeping my eyes open for opportunity. I care more for working with people who believe in our vision and are able to work with little or no gain in the short-term, for gain in the long-term. People who can see the possibilities and believe enough in what we do and stand for that they’ll help us do that. These people will enter into my life. I’ll pitch once and if it’s meant to be they’ll work with us and if it’s not then that ship is meant for someone else. Like a Director casting the part in a play.

Scaling back Social Media Presence

When I initially branched out into social media I was able to keep a steady schedule of updates using buffer. I followed a criteria that I created for when to post, how to post and what to post. With all the work I had to do solo I quickly became overwhelmed. Having to constantly scour the net for useful articles and the like when all I want to do is build and work on my projects took time away from the things I wanted to focus on. Ultimately I decided that for now I’m going to take space even if it hurts us. My goal is to focus on building tools that will be of value to both my family and others who find those tools useful. I’ve decided that when we can afford to outsource social media or when we can find a team member willing to pick up this aspect then I’ll delegate this task to that person. But I’m not going to focus a lot of time on it. This task will be delegated to full time by someone else; the same goes for blogging.

Business as an extension of my Lifestyle

The thing about my business is that all it is, is the summary of the products, research and lifestyle I create for myself. I am building products and services that will be utilized by my family on an ecovillage level and sharing because I realize that my life and what I create with it is a resource itself that some will find useful. The beauty of it is, is the Treasury concept is just a saving concept. Allocating and saving properly the way I do in my real life, extended to the way the world I am building for myself is. I invite people to join me, and the beauty of what I am doing is that I will succeed in the same way some succeeds in saving up for a house or a car, because my goal is a way of life and the products I create are designed to help me continue that way of life. I relax deeply knowing that I am not dependent on people climbing on board for my work to have value, meaning and to help people, for it to succeed, and I can relax knowing that just as I see challenges towards adoption in order to raise initial revenue; I also see many opportunities.

Freedom To Make Changes, Beyond Resistance

I’ve given myself the freedom to make changes to the way things work, if the way that it works is detrimental or too stressful for me to build on my own. I’m going with the flow not against it, if I feel resistance I move around but keep moving forward.

One Thing At A Time, Freedom to Pace myself

My new thing is that whatever I focus on, I give it my full attention during the duration that I am working on it from start to finish. I just relax when I work, I don’t force it, I just let it happen on its own time. I give myself the freedom to work at my own pace even if that pace is slow. I focs on keeping that pace slow, but steady, and breathe into completion.

Lots of Long, Frequent Breaks

I take breaks where I have to, and I make those breaks long. I work in short bursts and enjoy my life. I drink tea, I don’t focus on worrying. I relax into effortless doing, and somehow slowly but surely everything gets done.

 

And More

Things like Gratitude, focus, and simulating scenarios (visualizations) and mindfulness, meditations, going with the flow, allowing for detours. All things that allow me time. And that’s it for this update!

My focus is on building each platform one by one and when I’m ready I’ll have more time to engage more with people.

 

 

[ANN] The Pay It Forward Hero Economy

Pay It Forward Hero Economy

ANNOUNCEMENTS | TWITTER | FACEBOOK |

(ARG puzzles – Currently): REDDIT | STEEMIT

Official Website

Main Infographics (Pattern/Architecture(1) , Pay It Forward Economy (2))

Roadmap 2.0 (needs revision)

The “Pay It Forward Hero Economy” is an economy that seeks to reward paying it forward and to actively bring out Heroes in our society to make giving back to others an actual thing.

It draws inspiration from existing projects both failed and successful such as the DAO, DigixDao, Ethereum, Synereo AMP, Steem.it, XEM, Ethereum, and of course Bitcoin.

Who Is Behind The Hero Economy (The Guardians of Life led by):

  • Kieran Murghein (Lead Developer & Designer)
  • Decentralized Heroes From All Over Who Volunteer To Assist

I am Kieran Murghein, the lead game developer and CEO from Zenratstudios. I have been a quiet participant of the Bitcoin community and world since 2009 though it is only recently that my understanding and active participation in the community has increased. What this means is that I have used Bitcoin, and traded altcoins, lurked on forums, observed, but have rarely participated socially except for rare instances to learn the mindset of the community and to ask questions.

I have followed the different solutions of altcoins, participated as a trader, buyer and a small miner, exploring the worlds and learning. Blockchain has the potential to change the world in ways that I believe can help solve the many issues we have.

The Goal is to: build a nonprofit game and book company by day, Hero economy by night that acts as a bridge between the virtual and digital world, that will attract and grow Heroes who want to make a difference, and that will help to eliminate or reduce poverty through education and resources among all the people who participate offering an alternative solution to the world’s economy. One of our biggest missions is global adoption.

To learn more about the services we try to offer see our infographic and read through our website.

About the Pattern Architecture of One Million Heroes

About the Pay It Forward Hero Economy

Goals:

  • To learn from the Giants who have come before us and integrate different solutions from those Giants.
  • To create a self-sustainable virtual economy
  • Build a bridge between the virtual and digital world (DigixDao has a wonderful system that does this using Gold as a Resource to back its tokens)
  • To work and integrate Reputation and Referral systems (such as what XEM has done)
  • To create a system for earning Interest for participants who participate in the economy but don’t spend outside the economy (similar to XEM’s Harvesting system), (this keeps money within the Hero economy so that it has time to grow and expand).
  • To work and Integrate with Gateways like Coinbase, Circle, Shapeshift & Exodus, and perhaps to use those APIs to create an alternative system that does the same.
  • To allow for people to be the custodians of their own funds (the way Shapeshift has done).
  • To build a new an unobtrusive but optional economic system that solves the problems of our old society while simultaneously makes the old system obsolete
  • Global Adoption – our biggest mission is getting people who need our service to adopt it but who may have avoided digital currencies up to this point.
  • To reduce and or eliminate poverty in all the places our Heroes and Guardians are located (no more waiting for Presidents, Kings & Queens to save us, we go out and do it ourselves)
  • To attract brilliant minds and reward heroes.
  • To be a blockchain alternative to the Nobel Peace Prizes (but without the bueararcy), the United Nations & The University of Peace
  • To educate and create Heroes and Guardians of Life
  • Agnostic, Omnist, Synchretism – the goal is to be inclusive, unifying rather than divisive, to bring opposing groups together as a whole, to do this we hope to integrate currency agnostic features and to have a platform agnostic solution that works with all other blockchains and currencies (our goal is not to compete but to cooperate, to live synchronously with other systems, governments and platforms. To this affect we’re just one Asset among many)
  • To be self-sufficient, expanding, to constantly grow and evolve.
  • For Zenratstudios to be its own entity separate from its creators.
  • To structure ourselves in such a way where Big Governments do not control or own us but by which we are still held accountable for our actions.
  • And More

Features:

  • Treasury – 90% of all money we earn initially will be added to a treasury that is divided into two sections 45% is the treasury of the people and the other 45% is the treasury of the workers who serve the people.
  • Resource based economy – inspired by Jacque Frescoe, where all resources become the common heritage of all the inhabitants, not just a select few.
  • Co-op – We function like a co-op where the members the co-op serves are also the members. Members start out as Champions, when they graduate to Hero members who receive services but also become co-owners in their own way, having a say in the overall direction of the service. People who give back the most in some way (whether it be time or financially), receive the most, and have the most say in the direction of our community, services and products.
  • Checks & Balances – checks and balances built in place to prevent bad actors who climb to the top.
  • Reputation system – Transactions of kindness, whenever you spend Hero Points you earn Karma Points, Karma is your reputation and works like a “Bonus” or “Multiplier” the more karma you have the more Hero Points you can earn. Only those who have Karma can receive scholarships, rewards, and grants.
  • Referral System – dependent on the reputation system, if you help A who helps B who helps C, you each get a percentage of karma points.
  • Visual Blockchain – a way to see the transactions in place on a visual node tree, with colours to represent the health of the system and to see how far your actions have spread and affected others.
  • Expiration Dates – Reputation has an expiration date, if you stop participating within the system your karma diminishes gradually until it is gone. In order to receive rewards you have to contribute in some way (example, paying subscription fees, trading Hero Points (you receive karma points for trading), participating in our games and community and more).
  • Earning Interest – similar to Harvesting & Mining in XEM and Bitcoin one can place their Hero Points aside and let them grow ‘interest’, by not spending or cashing out Hero Points we reward with Karma Points which increase
  • Rewards, Scholarships & Grants – built into the system is a feature that rewards those who have the largest percentage of Karma Points to assist them with their personal non-profit or non violent activist projects, or to better themselves, their lives and families.
  • Smart Contracts – like Ethereum and Counterparty we want to have smart contracts on our blockchain.
  • Keepers – similar to the DAO we want to have keepers who can monitor, prevent and reverse bad actors and transactions. A problem with the DAO was that everything needed to pass a vote and nothing got done. Then people argued over whether or not to hardfork on Ethereum and that had to pass a vote through miners, who had the most money to purchase equipment to run the system. Keepers similar to Curators will be enacted to prevent abuse and reverse transactions of bad actors, and being miner free we work to provide a fairer solution that’s not based on how much ‘money’ you have but how much you contribute to the system and have paid it forward.
  • Lineage/ Family Tree – those who contribute the most to the system are invited to become part of the family tree, they graduate from Hero and are invited to join the Guardian of Life. In this way only members can become Keepers and Guardians.
  • Decentralized Physical Headquarters – as we grow we will begin giving grants and planting physical headquarters around the world that serve their local community in some way, these headquarters must offer community gardens, water, education, workshops (inspired by Mining Towns, Google, and ecovilages). They are designed to be self-sufficient, are given grants by our company to operate and serve as refuges and sanctuaries and places of education, self-governing (autonomous).
  • The 50:50 Rule (two separate co-existing treasuries). Currently it is set up so 45% is Treasury and the other 45% is a treasury that funds hiring lawyers, developers, and more. These are people who are actively working to maintain the system. There is a limit to how much any one person can make, as each member on the back-end has their own salary. What is leftover from that salary is simply used to hire more workers to build and develop more projects. This is important to mention because the back-end 45% doesn’t go to any ‘one’ individual person and there are strict rules with how the money and salaries can be used for those who are guardians of life. The Number one rule is that the money earned by any member who is part of the Guardians of Life must be used for the greater good. Guardians of Life must use that money to reinvest in ways that make their local and international communities a better place. The back-end 45% that isn’t used for salaries goes into developing new and better products, making them more quality and to ensure that the people who work are able to live well too. As such 50:50 is split between the front-end (users) and the back-end (creators). But these two groups are intricately interconnected.

Back-End Features: How decisions are made.

  • Experimental Governance model – we’re experimenting with a new form of Democracy that takes all the good things about Democracy and seeks to alleviate the challenges of our current system: One that prevents oligarchies, tyranny of the mob, self-entitled rulers, encourages cooperation and has paying it forward to the people built in.
  • Hybrid Decentralization – we learned from the DAO disaster, Bitcoin and Ethereum the flaws that come with pure Democracy. It is our goal to create a hybrid decentralized platform. Everything becomes about balance.
  • Experimental Hierarchy and Governance structure – more coming soon (see roadmap 2.0 for an idea)

What needs to be determined with more feedback:

  • Which Resource we will be using to back our treasury (example Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum , etc. to be determined by the community)
  • The Ratio 1:100, 1:500, 1:1000 (to be determined by the community)
  • Blockchain – whether we need to utilize an existing blockchain or build our own (to be determined by the community)
  • Transaction System – how the transactions will best work and be tracked. (will it work like steem.it, synereo Amp, etc. where people vote or give stars to say how the transaction affected their life for better or worse)
  • Kindness as a Reward – obviously if people are being nice to people just so they can get something in return even if indirectly then it’s not really kindness; the goal is to make giving fun and rewardable.
  • Developers – resources for me to learn how to develop on blockchain or finding a blockchain developer and raising money for the costs
  • Details of our governance model (to be determined upon feedback from the community)

Shortcomings:

There is a big difference between using Blockchain and Bitcoin and actually programming your own coins and I’m still trying to learn this on my own, as I understand there aren’t many blockchain developers, and I currently lack the funds to hire blockchain developers who could help us. Depending on volunteers comes with its own challenges, and while blockchain as a service is a possibility we are not yet aware of the costs.:

What I don’t know how to do but am trying to learn:

  • Launch an ICO or crowdsale
  • Build a Blockchain, Wallet, and Coin
  • Crowdfunding – raising interest & awareness
  • Should we create our own blockchain platform or find an existing one to build upon (if so which one?)
  • What our main treasury resource should be held or backed in (something that preferably non-volatile such as Litecoin has been a thought)

What I need:

  • Feedback & Advisement from experienced members within the community itself

What I want and am working on:

  • C# to be the language we write our contracts in.
  • Finding a Platform To Write on or Creating our Own (Advisement)
  • Reputation & Referral Point System
  • Visual Blockchain
  • And more.

Inspired by:

  • XEM – Reputation System & Harvesting
  • Spells of Genesis, Unsung Heroes & Arcade City, ARGs & Pokemon Go
  • Shapeshift, Jaxx, Exodus – beautiful wallets, currency agnostic, non-custodial
  • Ethereum – and it’s smart-contracts
  • Counterparty – for showing what could be possible.
  • Stratis – a blockchain built in C# that may be what we need.
  • Synereo Amp & Steem.it – the concept of communities and decentralized internets and so on.
  • And More

Coming Soon:

  • Whitepaper & Roadmap (new/updated) – you can see our initial roadmap here soon to be revised with a new more updated version.
  • Wallets
  • Source Code

Upcoming Projects:

  • The Hero Magazine
  • Hero University
  • One Million Heroes (revamped)
  • Crowdfundraiser and ICO campaign

November Updates/Reflections: The Journey to Discovering Who We Are & What Next

Apologies to my last post being rife with errors. There’s a lot to do and currently I am the only one doing it so that means that sometimes in trying to keep to a regular schedule editing errors happen. I haven’t had the time to fix them, but am happy to introduce some major happenings.

Year of 2016 Exploring, Researching & Finding Our Voice

I went to school for game development and graduated about 6 years ago. When I was in school there was no react.js, there weren’t that many html5 game engines, you could forget about node.js. I hated javascript and didn’t want to touch it. After spending several years struggling with mental illness, homelessness, and shifting from job to job (trying to do things I didn’t love to make money to do something I did love) I ultimately stopped. A lot of things pushed me into starting this dream job I had, saving the world via games and writing. I started out with a few projects that are still in development.

I spent the entire first year of 2016 rebounding from homelessness and trying to steer this ship. I didn’t know who I was, I just knew what I wanted from life. I didn’t know how to set up a wordpress or launch my own website with web hosting. I knew html5 and css3, but not so much javascript. SEO, Marketing, bootstrapping all that was stuff I was learning. When people would ask me what my name was, I’d stumble and say, uh…erm…Zenratstudios? We take it for granted that we’re born John Smith or Mary Jane and that that is who we are, but for me. I’ve always searched for me, always tried on a different name, never quite sure who I am, always worried that when I did find myself that people wouldn’t like what they saw and abandoned me in droves.

All of that changed in 2016, and at the end of September, start of October everything finally came together. I had built 4-5 different wordpress sites from scratch, I had played with phaser and worked on Unity games on the side, I had found my voice and my identity, and most importantly I developed my new personal motto: Alone I can get far, together we can save the world.

Kieran Murghein, CEO & Founder of Zenratstudios was not only born, but my mission to recruit and discover allies, to give this company a purpose, to pursue with full force and passion my goals to “Save the world” or get pretty damn close became real. I was ready to launch and go public with who we were for the first time in over a year of behind the scenes development.

This journey has been a very personal journey because as I have grown spiritually, mentally and emotionally as a person so too has the potential for Zenratstudios as a company to grow. I can only take it so far, and my goal is to take it as far as I can individually, but my dream now, my focus is raising enough funds to pull together a team. I’m not letting money stop me from building a foundation that I believe can help make the world a better place, but I also understand how having more resources and money will make life a lot easier.

October Team Building & Launch

Last month the focus was outsourcing and launching One Million Heroes. I feel I successfully did that. I knew it was a bit ambitious to launch unknown and try to start a fundraising campaign with the deadline November 2nd — December 2nd, but I went in knowing that we would most likely fail. What my goal has been this month is to really market and to get known, to experiment with what works and what doesn’t. Is there any interest in what we’re doing? By the end of October I concluded there is an interest in what we’re doing, but the problem is we’re not well known enough for one and our One Million Heroes website may not be professional or even clear enough, and needs more polish and more outreach.

November Elections Throw A Wrench

Prior to the Election I developed a few strategies, but after the elections I was encouraged to change some of our methods. You see before the election I thought being pro Bitcoin, pro Blockchain and emphasizing only Bitcoin would be a problem for us. But after the elections when the stocks temporarily shot up and the amount of anger, and changes people want to see we realized. We are a non-profit organization who are all about change. We may not be every body’s cup of tea or flavor, but we are an all-inclusive group run by a group of nonviolent warrior monks who call themselves Guardians of Life, a branch of a long and ancient sect whose roots you can discover if you play the ARG “Guardians of Life”. They have one and one mission only, to save the world, not with dogma, or religion, but with proactive action and solutions. They have one religion and that is Love and acting upon that love, and using that love as the basis of building upon every single thing that they do. November’s Elections showed us that people want change. Most people don’t want to take real actions and develop real plans for change, and so our mission has become not to put timeline and deadlines on that change, but to give time. Now we make it mandatory that to use our services you have to be willing to take action steps. To show you are willing to be the change you want to be, these are action steps but we think it’s necessary.

We would love to develop or utilize an API that is similar to Circle that allows an instant exchange of BTC or other currency for fiat, something similar to Shapeshifts API. But this is something I need to think more on.

Fighting “Pressures” To Conform & Bend To The Will Of Others

As a Green Libertarian with some anarcho-pacifism tendencies November’s elections empowered me. I saw and continue to see opportunities that people are tired of the current establishment, that they want change, and there are a large group of people who want both PEACEFUL change and their FREEDOM, so there is an audience for me I just have to tap into it. I also saw Bitcoin rise in response, seen as politically neutral, and it gave me courage to speak up about my positions. I think I am a minority but that my minority is a growing one.

Removing the deadlines also took some pressure off of me. As before the deadlines I started to feel stressed and pressured and consequently down. I felt really down because I wanted to focus on designing and building quality products, but at the same time I wanted to focus on my child, and at the same time there were a few friends and even some family in my life who either didn’t support me or couldn’t see the vision. It was something I simply had to show them. Not having that support can at times be lonely, when you feel like you stand alone in your thinking. When you have to face people every day who tell you what to do and what to think to be a good person. There are more than one way to stand up for a government you believe is broken or flawed.

Running Zenratstudios, getting it off the ground has put a lot of strain on my family, my biggest support has come from my therapist. In the end I don’t always know if people are hearing me, but I do know that somewhere out there are people who will. The greatest thing I’ve done is to separate myself from my work, that’s how I’ve been able to get over my anxiety on social media. It’s not about me it’s about my mission, my purpose, my work. Recently I was feeling discouraged. A lot of my friends are either all Democrat or all Republican though the younger groups that I’m around are 100% Millenial and they hear me the most. But there is a lot of hate I receive especially from the Democratic party for my strong beliefs on liberty, love and freedom and deciding not to play this current broken system but to work on developing and building a system of our own, that we can test and explore on the side without even getting rid of the broken system at least initially.

Then someone posted this on their wall:

I first ran for Congress in 1999, and I got beat. I just got whooped. I had been in the state legislature for a long time, I was in the minority party, I wasn’t getting a lot done, and I was away from my family and putting a lot of strain on Michelle. Then for me to run and lose that bad, I was thinking maybe this isn’t what I was cut out to do. I was forty years old, and I’d invested a lot of time and effort into something that didn’t seem to be working. But the thing that got me through that moment, and any other time that I’ve felt stuck, is to remind myself that it’s about the work. Because if you’re worrying about yourself—if you’re thinking: ‘Am I succeeding? Am I in the right position? Am I being appreciated?’ – then you’re going to end up feeling frustrated and stuck. But if you can keep it about the work, you’ll always have a path. There’s always something to be done.

– Obama

And it reaffirmed everything I was doing. I see the world differently from other people. It’s like my eyes are broken. I have to be the only one I know who when I dream am dreaming simultaneously of different people and emotions at parallel times, I see the entire story forward and backwards. When I am awake and I look at people I see two sides of the same coin. Yin/Yang always, nonduality. I see all the little pieces and the cogs, and I see a puzzle of how it’s all interconnected and fitting it together. You say Democrat, Republican. I say it’s the same coin with two separate faces. You say Light vs. Dark, Evil vs. Good, same coin, different face. There’s always a root and the roots are always the same. There’s a word for this, nonduality, but there’s not a word for that experience. I never thought I’d face resistance for refusing to believe in the extreme polarity of the world, for acknowledging differences but trying to bring them together. That I’d be called selfish for walking a middle ground.

People say that enlightenment is just like that, but I don’t believe in enlightenment. I believe in “Growing into Awareness”, growing into a higher consciousness. The term enlightenment comes with all of these connotations that put unfair expectations on people. No matter who we are, we will always be having a human experience so long as we exist in the human form. Cultivating a loving heart, meditating, all of that doesn’t replace our human experience. Which means we can get lost at any point, we can lose our way, we can become the fallen Hero, the fallen Monk.

I’ve always walked alone in my path, both spiritually and philosophically. But the Trump/Obama coin has made me realize that I can do this. I started this company with 1,002+ personal demons, and now I have only 2 to face. So without any further ado here are my strategies for the rest of November.

November Strategies

Marketing on Autopilot: Twitter (Primary), Facebook (Secondary).

I concluded I do not have the time on my own to market for Zenratstudios. At the moment I use Buffer which is a lifesaver. Buffer enables me to post on Twitter in advance. I try to schedule posts a week in advance, but with the new One Million Heroes campaign sometimes what I end up doing is posting everything a day in advance. This way posts that got good likes and retweets are readed to the next day. I’m still working on my strategy there.

I’m not as active on Facebook, and we recently launched our ARG. To date no one has solved any of the major puzzles we have put out there which come rife with rewards and Hero Points. This tells me we aren’t doing a good job getting people to care. There are two communities. The blockchain community and the non-blockchain community. They both require a different strategy, bringing the two communities together requires effort.

The non-blockchain community has been put off because we only offer Bitcoin as a pricing option. We temporarily offered Paypal as an option, but my worry here is twofold. Chargebacks and scams with paypal and other are an issue. Another issue is that I am very adamant about Zenratstudios being its own entity. I do not want to control the assets of Zenratstudios and more importantly I want everything we do to be transparent. Bitcoin and other currencies like it are the perfect system for universal currency. Blockchain and the technology it was built on while simple can help bridge the gap between virtual and physical worlds. My goal for Zenratstudios is that it be international, belonging to no one country. The problem is “I” am owned by America and the way Zenratstudios is owned right now is that it will be double-taxed as though these funds belong to me, and I truly believe these funds belong to us.

Another reason why is because I resist the government trying to say it owns me or controls me in anyway, and as a result Zenratstudios is bankless. Going against the establishment means going against the banks, and that has meant turning to solutions like bitcoin for our company. It’s part of the reason why I attempted initially to be very protective of my identity, fear of being made a target, but now I feel whatever happens, happens.

Either way, It’s very important for me to be able to raise enough funds to incorporate Zenratstudios separate from me, to give it its own bank account, and to treat myself as no different than any other Guardian of Life working for Zenratstudios. I serve Zenratstudios and Zenratstudios serves life. Unfortunately using Blockchain has turned off a lot of people.

Right now we have created no reason for the blockchain community to care about who we are and the non-blockchain community has no easy way to join us. For now the focus now is on providing the best services and products and hoping that as we continue to tweet and post, that we’ll gain a slow and steady following.

Moving from Shopify to Woocommerce: Less Expensive Shop, no Annual fees

To get the shop launched quickly we originally launched on Shopify with Sendowl, but after doing the math the costs to maintain Shopify + Sendowl came up to be $633/month. With no money coming in and because most of my sites and subdomains were and are on wordpress I concluded that Shopify was a price we could not afford to pay especially with limited funds coming in. I cancelled Shopify and this past weekend began transitioning to WordPress using Woocommerce.

We now utilized “TheGem” theme from themeforest for our shop, it gets the job done, is quick, and I don’t have to touch much code unless I’m being anal retentive. There are some things that we had to drop for the time being. Integrating reward points into the shop system, bundling. We want to make the nomination form free, but Woocommerce does not offer a free plugin for this out of the box so I’ve added a small 4.99 fee to the website. It is possible to get the nomination form free by simply emailing us. My goal is to implement product bundling and chain bundling, with a reward system like SUMO, but this will cost some money and so it has temporary been added to our wishlist/we’ll see pile.

Outsourcing to premium Themes: Less Code, more Content Focus

One of the biggest changes I made is the decision not to code for the website anymore. I love coding, but the work that goes into building a website, making sure everything is working and to have a seamless experience so you don’t have to code back-end, is a lot of work. I’m not an expert with WordPress and PHP my strength is mainly HTML5, CSS3 and some react.js/javascript. Given the right amount of time I can code a proper website, but that would take me an entire month, including debugging. So I made the decision that I would not be touching a line of code unless it had anything to do with game development.

This means that I am taking down all my made from scratch websites and replacing them with premade themes.

  • The main website and the Shop are going to be utilizing “The Gem” Theme from themeforest.
  • My Workshop utilizes the “Invent” theme from themeforest.
  • One Million Heroes is going to get revamped too, I am taking down the site and going to be purchasing a gallery based or shop theme, with integrated social media.
  • Our Magazine called “The Omnididact’s Hero Magazine” will possibly be utilizing a free theme, or I’ll be purchasing a theme for that.

No more coding for me. I’ve decided that paying a small fee will help reduce the work, and allow me to focus on actual products. It’s a small investment that goes a very long way to freeing up my time. My goal is to focus less on coding the website and more on creating content strategies, producing quality products and services and marketing to generate revenue, to build our pay-it-forward economy.

Rebuilding One Million Heroes Site

When I first built One Million Heroes I did it from scratch. I was very proud of it. Looking back on it, it was going to be hard to maintain. I learned a lot building it but I was better off utilizing a gallery with facebook features and perhaps even a ‘random’ post plugin generator. As a result we plan to make major changes to the site. I am temporarily taking it offline this week and will rebuilding it.

I’ll be working on getting content for my Hero University up and I’ll be working on getting Our Magazine up. I have a lot of work to do, and since I’ve removed the 30 day deadline with One Million Heroes there’s a lot of less pressure on me to stay up around the clock. Now I can sleep in a little longer, rest, relax, and get work done. I’ve got one main site down, a few more to go. I estimate between now and January things will be complete and I’ll be ready to do some market reach into the blockchain communities.

Rotating Projects: Creating Quality Services, Getting Noticed, Building Community

Zenratstudios is a ‘wheel’, at the center is our pay-it-forward economy, and then surrounding the wheel are different features to it. I want to work on products. Getting our games out there, but those are secondary to our primary focus, raising income. Our focus is integrating 3 of the main wheels into Zenratstudios and then building a community around that:

  • Hero University – behind the scene I am working on our workshop. Right now it’s writing up the content, creating a content strategy, a business plan, and roadmap for it. Essentially I am working on building workshops designed specifically for future Entrepreneurs, Activists & non-profits who are stuck and need support. I want to form an allegiance of Heroes, and partner up with people like Khan Academy or similar. I am looking to run an online hybrid decentralized university that works with blockchain technology and our pay-it-forward economy. Initially we’re going to start small with workshops, and gradually incorporate more features. Receiving feedback on how we can best serve future heroes in the making. We are going to be a school for Peace and Heroism available to all.
  • One Million Heroes – this is the first fundraiser to a longterm plan. Essentially we want to be the Blockchain of Nobel Peace Awards. A blockchain version of the United Nations with allegiances. One Million Heroes is a stepping stone to a long-term plan by which we fund heroes through scholarships and awards. Our main focus here is essentially to raise money to be able to actually give money to people for this to work.
  • The Omnididact’s Hero Magazine – The Hero Magazine is where we are going to interview Heroes all over the world. We want to interview and showcase indie game developers and their work, put them on display, review and play their products, we want to showcase writers with epic fiction and world, and too writers who write spiritual and financial tips. Non-profits and Activists making a difference. We also plan to integrate a random feature so you can find new and creative works. We search for the people with the best dreams, and offer ways to directly contribute to those projects. The Magazine is all about bringing those people together. We have grand plans for this site. The Hero Magazine will probably be our only ad-dependent site. Our focus is content managing strategy and searching for Heroes to write about. This is not hard to find, but will take some work.
  • And more.

Note: I apologize for all the errors that you encountered during this post.