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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 =]!