Mark Askew Podcast Image

Mark Askew

Host, Producer & Editor of ApexThis: A behind-the-scenes…
Mark Askew is the founder, publisher, writer, speaker, producer, and overall the sole guy running things at ApexThis. Mark started his love of writing as a songwriter before joining the world of short stories and technical writing. Through a series of fortunate events, he discovered that his writing + podcasts = happy feelings.
Recent episodes featuring Mark Askew
February 2019 Update
Episode of
ApexThis: A behind-the-scenes podcast about creating a narrative podcast production company.
In This Episode This is the February 2019 monthly report. Links Austin PodcastersCashflow DiariesMicrocosm PublishingSmart Passive IncomeToggle Time TrackerTrelloGoogle Keep Show Credits Main show hosted, produced, mixed, edited & music by Mark. Blog Why Publish A Business Report? Publishing my business report allows me to reflect back on the month to see what I did or didn’t do so well. Lastly, I have read blog income reports such as SmartPassiveIncome and I like to see what they have tried. It is a form of motivation for me and I hope that this can be one for someone else. Be sure to check out CashFlowDiaries for bloggers that share their blog income reports. Or one that I’ve recently found from publisher Microcosm Publishing. February 2019 Business Report Disclaimer: Any income reported will only be reported as “cash” in hand. If it did not deposit into my account, or if I didn’t cash a check, then it does not count as income. Additionally, income will only be reported for ApexThis business and not for personal income. I may discuss side hustles for additional side income, but only income in which I represent ApexThis will be counted.  **Numbers in parenthesis are negative values. Revenue/Contribution Report Contribution – $4500.00 Expense Report RawVoice (Blubrry) – ($6)Google Domains – ($12)Google Apps – ($11)Adobe Suite – ($57)Xero – ($9)Shopify – ($333)Genuine Joes – ($33) Overall Owner Contributions – $4500Gross Income – $0 Total Expense – ($428)Total Net – ($4072) Hours Worked Time Logged – 19hrs What Happened? Finances Normal stuff – I added new funding for the year to pay for subscriptions, product sample costs, and maybe enough for the Podcast Movement conference. Though I will be adding another conference to the list this year that is back in my hometown but in comparison to last year, I may have budgeted just enough to cover the year. Let’s see how it goes. Time Breakdown If you’ve read my post It’s Ok To Breathe then you would know that I took a little time off for me. Since, it’s been a slow start to get back into the side hustle habit. That includes tracking time Blog – 1h 46m As an announcement of sorts, I wrote a blog piece called It’s Ok To Breathe and published it on Medium as well. To be honest – this blog was for me. I never intended to take such an extensive break from things but there were other priorities that needed my time. Business (Administrative) – 2h 13m This contains administrative time for answering emails, collecting finances and more. It’s all the boring stuff you never want to do as a business owner. I say boring as I rather be creative. I’m an artist! Austin Podcasters – 11h 20m My time for the Austin Podcasters was focused on workshop planning, hosting the workshops and building downloadable content for the community such as a planning book that I had originally intended for physical format. It’s pretty funny, I was actually prepping and planning to hand make a few legit books but I turned down my hype and I am very thankful for it because the production cost in money and time would have been expensive. Project Dollar – 1h 51m I started on draft 2 and I feel much will be a rewrite but I am down for the challenge. R&D – 50m A new category. I’d figured that I would track time also spent exploring other creative ideas and or opportunities. Small smaller efforts and others are potential projects after Project Dollar gets out the door. The time spent here was for a writing project in particular. Without Project – 1h 11m This is for Pomodoro Breaks. I’ve set Toggl to run the timer for 20 minutes and then to stop the activity and break for 10 minutes. This allows me to break out work into smaller chunks (sprints) and then take a break to get some tea, stretch the legs, or whatever. Of course, if I don’t want the break, I can just hit the “continue” option. Theme February’s theme was NOTHING Sorry, I didn’t work off a theme for the month. Goal Completion I had a few goals last month, so let’s see how I did: Complete first half of 2nd draft – FailRead of Atomic Habits – Success 1 out of 2. I get an ‘F’ for my February report card! What’s Next? Write Project Dollar For this next month, I am focused on completing the second draft. I am still at the same progress I was last month but it’s gotten better and I know the direction I want to take things on draft two. This next month I plan to: Complete 75% of the 2nd draftResearch book editor In Closing I am trying to focus on writing as much as I can as I truly need to get projects shipped this year. I need to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. In addition, it’s never too late to share – I will be cooking a few more episodes to share some of my favorites of last year as well as a shoutout episode. Until next time The post February 2019 Update appeared first on ApexThis.
October 2018 Update
Episode of
ApexThis: A behind-the-scenes podcast about creating a narrative podcast production company.
In This Episode This is the October 2018 monthly report. Links Austin PodcastersCashflow DiariesMicrocosm PublishingSmart Passive IncomeToggle Time TrackerTrelloGoogle Keep Show Credits Main show hosted, produced, mixed, edited & music by Mark. Narration Intro Teaser– Recorded at Spitshine Studios– Post-production by Mark– Ambience, Night Life by InspectorJ licensed under CC BY 3.0– Creature deep growl by vykroft licensed under CC BY 3.0– Creature Pant by JuliusMabe licensed under CC BY 3.0 Blog Why Publish A Business Report? Publishing my business report allows me to reflect back on the month to see what I did or didn’t do so well. Lastly, I have read blog income reports such as SmartPassiveIncome and I like to see what they have tried. It is a form of motivation for me and I hope that this can be one for someone else. Be sure to check out CashFlowDiaries for bloggers that share their blog income reports. Or one that I’ve recently found from publisher Microcosm Publishing. October 2018 Business Report Disclaimer: Any income reported will only be reported as “cash” in hand. If it did not deposit into my account, or if I didn’t cash a check, then it does not count as income. Additionally, income will only be reported for ApexThis business and not for personal income. I may discuss side hustles for additional side income, but only income in which I represent ApexThis will be counted.  **Numbers in parenthesis are negative values. Revenue/Contribution Report Contribution – $0.00 Expense Report RawVoice (Blubrry) – ($12)Google Domains – ($12)Google Apps – ($11)Adobe Suite – ($54)Xero – ($9)Sales Tax – ($8.39)Genuine Joes – ($33) Overall Owner Contributions – $0Gross Income – $0Total Expense – ($139)Total Net – ($139) Hours Worked Time Logged – 39hrs What Happened? Finances Things are getting back to normal regarding expenses. The two additional items outside of the normal are the Genuine Joes expense for booking room for the Austin Podcasters Meetup and state sales tax that I had to pay. Time Breakdown In comparison to the two previous months, I’ve worked fewer hours for the month of October and that comes in for a total of 30 hours. Here is how that breaks down: Blog – 30m I continue the trend of minimal blogging hours as I focus primarily on other things. This time was focused on creating a links page that I can use on Instagram and Twitter. This is a custom page on my website that consolidates any links I want to promote. Business (Administrative) – 7h 16m This contains administrative time for answering emails, collecting finances and more. ApexThis.Podcast – 4h 51m This is time spent recording and editing the September Monthly episode. Austin Podcasters – 11h 33m My time for the Austin Podcasters was focused on workshop planning, hosting the meetup and the “Friday listen” blog post and a custom consolidated links page.  Project Dollar – 4h 55m From 45 minutes in September to nearly 5 hours in October! More detail here in a few. Training – 9h In October my Post Production workshop classes started and will complete by the time of this post/podcast. The focus is on film post production but the concepts still apply. This training is great it helps me solidify and learn new things I didn’t know before. Without Project – 1h 11m This is for Pomodoro Breaks. I’ve set Toggl to run the timer for 25 minutes and then to stop the activity and break for 5 minutes. This allows me to break out work into smaller chunks (sprints) and then take a break to get some tea, stretch the legs, or whatever. Of course, if I don’t want the break, I can just hit the “continue” option. Theme October’s theme was EDIT Edit was my theme for the month as I honed in on completing my editing for Project Dollar. This didn’t really have any other meaning behind it than “Get your editing done!!!” And that, I did. Goal Completion I had a few goals last month, so let’s see how I did: Complete first edit – SuccessComplete first half of 2nd draft – FailResearch Editors – SuccessRead 75% of Story Craft – Fail 2 out of 4. I get an ‘F’ for my October report card! Another F for the second month in a row. Arg! What’s Next? Write Project Dollar For this next month, I am focused on completing the second draft. I believe that I’ve been so slow on the second draft because I’ve been really wondering if what I wrote is good or good enough. I’ve been looking at the structure and trying to figure out if it makes sense. Where do I need to expand or constrict the story? Does it make sense? Is this good enough for audio? Is this good enough for a book? Ultimately, I’ve found myself getting into my head and that is delaying progress. Buckle up, Mark, and get this done! This next month I plan to: Complete 2nd draftBook editor Learn I’ve lost interest in Story Craft by Jack Hart. I set a lofty goal to have read at least 50% of the book by September’s end and I was only at 20%. While I’ve made it to 50% for October, I am not enjoying the read anymore. I get what it is trying to do in regards to showing story examples and what reporters are doing to build and write a narrative but it’s just not sitting with me and I don’t have any interest in continuing the read. Story Engineering is a book I picked up briefly and have gone over the outline and have discussed this book with a few writers locally but I’ve shelved this to read a little later. My goal for November is to read Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass followed by Just Write. Why? I’ve seemed to have joined a writers book club in which we read and then discuss how the book applies to our writing and how we have or can use the information learned. Reading Goal Read 35% of Breakout Novel In Closing October was so great since I completed a big goal and that was completing my first edit. Now to climb the mountain of writing that second draft. Until next time The post October 2018 Update appeared first on ApexThis.
September 2018 Update
Episode of
ApexThis: A behind-the-scenes podcast about creating a narrative podcast production company.
In This Episode This is the September 2018 monthly report. Links Austin PodcastersCashflow DiariesMicrocosm PublishingSmart Passive IncomeToggle Time TrackerTrelloGoogle Keep Show Credits Hosted, produced, mixed, edited & music by Mark. Blog Why Publish A Business Report? Publishing my business report allows me to reflect back on the month to see what I did or didn’t do so well. Lastly, I have read blog income reports such as SmartPassiveIncome and I like to see what they have tried. It is a form of motivation for me and I hope that this can be one for someone else. Be sure to check out CashFlowDiaries for bloggers that share their blog income reports. Or one that I’ve recently found from publisher Microcosm Publishing. September 2018 Business Report Disclaimer: Any income reported will only be reported as “cash” in hand. If it did not deposit into my account, or if I didn’t cash a check, then it does not count as income. Additionally, income will only be reported for ApexThis business and not for personal income. I may discuss side hustles for additional side income, but only income in which I represent ApexThis will be counted.  **Numbers in parenthesis are negative values. Revenue/Contribution Report Contribution – $500.00WePay (Meetup) – $16 Expense Report RawVoice (Blubrry) – ($12)Google Domains – ($12)Google Apps – ($11)Adobe Suite – ($54)Xero – ($30)Trademark Fees – ($500) Overall Owner Contributions – $500Gross Income – $16Total Expense – ($620)Total Net – ($604) Hours Worked Time Logged – 46hrs What Happened? Finances We continue with big expenditures for the year that pertain to training, and legal work regarding trademarks. I believe this is the second time, especially consecutively, that I’ve blown the budget I set for the year. And yes, I did set a budget. Even though I have a budget of things I expect to pay for, there are other things that come up that I may think would be really good and helpful. For the past few big expenses, these are investment items; going to the conference is something that will be on my books every year. Trademark is something that wasn’t immediately necessary but something I wanted to get done. This doesn’t mean I have a trademark, I am just going through the process. Lastly, training is a big investment for ApexThis and as such it was something I felt that I needed to make happen. The last bit to hit last month was final payout in regards to the mini-workshop I held for Austin Podcasters. It was a great workshop and I really had fun with the everyone in creating and seeing their audiograms. I’m currently outlining the next workshop to be held before year end. Time Breakdown 46 hours! Like August, September sees a big jump of hours. Here is how that breaks down: Blog – 25m Very minimal blog time this month as I pushed out a Tuesday Listen blog post. Less writing here, more writing finishing other projects…you’ll see in a few. Business (Administrative) – 4h 31m This contains administrative time for answering emails, collecting finances for September.  Austin Podcasters – 12h 49m This time was composed of the audiogram workshop, meetup planning, and the monthly newsletter. Building workshop material or presentation material, in general, is always an expensive process but it can become evergreen content that you can reuse and update as time changes and present over and over again if it’s appropriate. Store – 7h 44m More time in launching the merch store. This was to write blogs for ApexThis & Austin Podcasters as well as prep social media posts and a giveaway for Austin Podcasters. The good thing out of this was that I had a bit of learning in how to format and organize content for anything I do that is similar to this in the future. Speaking – 5h 42m This is new! I have spoken at events before but I didn’t track this for time, just as I didn’t track time for Meetups.  For September, I had the pleasure to be invited to speak at a local Trello event that was being held at the HQ of Service Direct. The theme was how businesses use Trello. It was fantastic meeting the folks of Service Direct and seeing the Austin Trello leaders again. The time spent here was updating an existing presentation that I had and for participating in the event. Project Dollar – 45m Edits for the second set of episode chapters. Again – I’ve been knocking out the things I’ve been holding on to by Iterating. Now that those things have been pushed out of the way, October is going to be great! Training – 12h For September, I attended the Production Sound Recording weekend workshop that was being held by the Austin Film School. It was a really educational course for recording sound live. The best part for me was breaking down the basics and discussing what sound was. I’ll be rewriting my notes from these sessions to reinforce the knowledge. Here is where I will impart my knowledge for you AND myself.  INVEST IN YOURSELF! Whether it is for your full-time business, side-business, or a personal hobby, it is important that you invest in yourself. If it is for your business, then that could be training to improve your skills in that business. For me, that was taking courses in sound recording and post-production. This can also be personal as well. For me, I participated in a lettering workshop as it is something that I have gotten back into to destress. This could have also been a nice night out or maybe a good book to read for the afternoon. The point is to take time for yourself to relax or to improve your skills. Without Project – 2h 6m This is for Pomodoro Breaks. I’ve set Toggl to run the timer for 25 minutes and then to stop the activity and break for 5 minutes. This allows me to break out work into smaller chunks (sprints) and then take a break to get some tea, stretch the legs, or whatever. Of course, if I don’t want the break, I can just hit the “continue” option. Theme We continue on from Iterate, to Discover, and now Sprint! Sprint has many meanings; I’m sprinting towards my goal for Project Dollar and I’m breaking my work down into small bite size chunks and challenging myself to see how much I can get done in that time. The result? Two months where I’ve spent over 90 hours getting things done! Goal Completion I had a few goals last month, so let’s see how I did: Publish an article on my attempt to build branding with the Austin Podcasters Conference – FailRound 1 Edits of Project Dollar episodes 4-8 – SuccessBegin the second draft for episodes 1-2 – SuccessRead 50% of Story Craft – Fail 2 out of 4. I get an ‘F’ for my September report card! What’s Next? Write Project Dollar My plate is cleared and I am focused on this next quarter. Overall, I am behind in this project from what I originally estimated when planning for 2018 but I am back and have the next quarter (90 days) planned at a high-level. In the next 60 days, I will be heavily focused on writing and editing. My goal is to have Q1 2019 completed with this project in audio and print. This next month I plan to: Complete first editComplete first half of 2nd draftResearch Editors Learn Unfortunately, I am still reading Story Craft by Jack Hart. I set a lofty goal to have read at least 50% of the book by September’s end and I was only at 20%.  Reading Goal Read 75% of Story Craft In Closing September was a blast. The training and learning, everything! And I am EXTREMELY excited in getting Project Dollar done. Like an indie director – this will become a piece in the portfolio of ApexThis. Let’s make this happen! Until next time The post September 2018 Update appeared first on ApexThis.
July 2018 Update
Episode of
ApexThis: A behind-the-scenes podcast about creating a narrative podcast production company.
In This Episode A bit late is better than never. This is the July 2018 monthly report. Links Austin Podcasters Cashflow Diaries Microcosm Publishing Smart Passive Income Toggle Time Tracker Trello Google Keep Show Credits Hosted, produced, mixed, edited & music by Mark. Blog Why Publish A Business Report? Publishing my business report allows me to reflect back on the month to see what I did or didn’t do so well. Lastly, I have read blog income reports such as SmartPassiveIncome and I like to see what they have tried. It is a form of motivation for me and I hope that this can be one for someone else. Be sure to check out CashFlowDiaries for bloggers that share their blog income reports. Or one that I’ve recently found from publisher Microcosm Publishing. July 2018 Business Report Disclaimer: Any income reported will only be reported as “cash” in hand. If it did not deposit into my account, or if I didn’t cash a check, then it does not count as income. Additionally, income will only be reported for ApexThis business and not for personal income. I may discuss side hustles for additional side income, but only income in which I represent ApexThis will be counted.  Income/Investment Report Investment – $0.00 Expense Report RawVoice (Blubrry) – ($12) Blubrry is a service I used to host the podcasts for Admins of Atlassian and ApexThis. It has built-in integration with WordPress making it vastly easier to upload and maintain the podcasts. Google Apps – ($10) I use Google Apps for email primary, docs and drive. It’s also great to use my Google account as authentication to other services and apps. Adobe Suite – ($54) Zero – ($9) Overall Total Income/Investments – $0 Total Expense – ($85) Total Net – ($85) Hours Worked Time Logged – 21hrs     What Happened? Business Administrative – 2hrs 45m What is administrative? Oh you know, budgets, planning, and all the other non-fun stuff. I’ve been cleaning up a lot of mini-projects to get them out the door as well as reorganizing, planning, and idea dumping. This also includes research and work getting a sales permit. Which leads to the next thing…the store. Podcast – 5hrs 27m This is time for the June monthly update. For this time, I included this entire blog write up, recording and editing. I think the write-up should be separate since it aligns more with business functions as I am reviewing some goals (listed and unlisted) as well as other things. Going forward, I will track the compilation and reflection of data separately from the actual recording. Store – 3hrs 30m Last month I stated that I was creating a store, primarily to help support the Austin Podcasters community by selling awesome t-shirts. I will also be slipping into other basic t-shirt designs and hopefully in the future, other fun experimental projects. Though, I must say that this isn’t a big launch effort and isn’t really my main focus, therefore, don’t expect me to launch an Ugmonk or Johnny’s Cupcakes t-shirt shop. Project Dollar – 1hr 40m Rough draft? Done. I’ve printed half of the episodes to start my review and edit. There has been some time away from my writing to develop new eyes. The plan is that once I get the edit done, I’ll make those changes, and perform another review. I then plan to possibly work with an editor to ensure everything is good. Once done, the pre-production phase will be complete and I can then start production. Podcast Movement – Time Off In July, I took a week off to attend the podcast movement, and I had such a great time. Unlike last year, I am not making any dedicated podcast episodes for my experience but I do have a write-up! Why? This is a topic at the upcoming Austin Podcasters Meetup and I figured it would be good to write down my key takeaways. Turning Down Opportunities I was offering an opportunity recently and it was something that I was excited about. After taking some time to explore the opportunity, taking notes, crunching numbers, I found that I was saying yes to one more thing. After delaying work on Project Dollar for six months, I wondered how this opportunity would get me to where I want to be during its estimated 4-month project time? Unfortunately, I would not move one step forward for ApexThis but it would be quick money for sure. Not every opportunity is right for you at the time, and this one was not right for me, at the time! Saying no felt like the right decision, and I’m happy that I did. Hopefully, I can explore it again in the future since its already on my roadmap. What’s Next? Iterate For quite some time I’ve been obsessed with trying to make things perfect and in doing so those things never progress. I got caught up in trying to make sure something was absolutely perfect before I could move on to the next thing, but I would always inevitably find something else to fix and the cycle would continue. It took a while to notice this but when I did, I gave myself a big ol’ facepalm. What was I doing? I knew better than that! Somewhere along the way, I’d wandered off my path but I’ve found it through iteration. Lettering by Mark Askew Instead of focusing on making it perfect, I make it the best I can and release. I then look back on what I could have done better and what I did well and apply that on the next project. I think this is also where many people get stuck in starting their podcast. They believe that it needs to be perfect at launch not realizing that they will get better with each release they make. With each iteration. In short, iterate! Improve with each writing, each recording, and each project. Don’t get stuck trying to make something perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist. Speak I’ve given a few talks this year ranging from podcasting to system administration and I have another one coming up in September. The best part about giving a talk is interacting with folks after. I’ve been very lucky to have been asked and I hope to be able to do more in the future. Write Last month I stated that I would be finishing up some articles and getting back to Project Dollar. I’m happy to say that I’ve been getting those out the door! These articles had a mix of being cathartic for me since they allowed me to reflect, they’ve also allowed me to build keynote presentations based off previous and or upcoming talks, and they’ve given me the delight of marking something done. This next month I plan to: Publish an article on using Trello with your podcast, Publish an article on my attempt to build branding with the Austin Podcasters Conference Publish an article on Podcast Movement 2018 Recap Complete first edit/development edit of the first 4 chapters of Project Dollar Learn More and more I find myself saying to “be a student of everything” and I am finding more and more that it is true. I continue to seek out sources of information from other industries and professionals to see how they’ve done–and are doing–things. I’ve even reached out to entrepreneurs who I admire from a distance to seek their advice. Besides this, my pieces of learning have been from books. Last month I finished The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier and Published. by Chandler Bolt – I received at Podcast Movement. For this month, I am looking to complete reading of Out on the Wire by Jessica Abel. It’s been a good read and I think it is about time I finished it. Out on the Wire by Jessica Abel Podcast I’ve been thinking, what else can I do with this podcast? The first season of getting started has been in the books, and I’ve been thoroughly focused, or unfocused one could argue, with getting other things going. Though, I like doing the monthly podcast with behind-the-scenes updates. To be honest, I do have a list of ideas for a proper season 2, but the time it takes to write and produce those along with Project Dollar will not be possible. Therefore, I ask you…what do you want to see or hear about in these monthly updates? Email me at [contact] \@\ [apexthis] or tweet me at apexthis. I’d really like to hear your thoughts. Until next time     The post July 2018 Update appeared first on ApexThis.
June 2018 Update
Episode of
ApexThis: A behind-the-scenes podcast about creating a narrative podcast production company.
In This Episode This is the June 2018 monthly report. I catch you up on what I’ve been up to. Links Audible (I’m listening to World War Z & Malazan book of the Fallen) Austin Podcasters Cashflow Diaries Microcosm Publishing Smart Passive Income Toggle Time Tracker Trello Google Keep Show Credits Hosted, produced, mixed, edited & music by Mark. Blog Why Publish A Business Report? Publishing my business report allows me to reflect back on the month to see what I did or didn’t do so well. Lastly, I have read blog income reports such as SmartPassiveIncome and I like to see what they have tried. It is a form of motivation for me and I hope that this can be one for someone else. Be sure to check out CashFlowDiaries for bloggers that share their blog income reports. Or one that I’ve recently found from publisher Microcosm Publishing. June 2018 Business Report Disclaimer: Any income reported will only be reported as “cash” in hand. If it did not deposit into my account, or if I didn’t cash a check, then it does not count as income. Additionally, income will only be reported for ApexThis business and not for personal income. I may discuss side hustles for additional side income, but only income in which I represent ApexThis will be counted.  Income/Investment Report Investment – $0.00 Speaking – $100 Expense Report RawVoice (Blubrry) – ($12) Blubrry is a service I used to host the podcasts for Admins of Atlassian and ApexThis. It has built-in integration with WordPress making it vastly easier to upload and maintain the podcasts. Google Apps – ($10) I use Google Apps for email primary, docs and drive. It’s also great to use my Google account as authentication to other services and apps. Google Domain Renewals – ($12) Adobe Suite – ($54) Zero – ($9) Overall Total Income/Investments – $100.00 Total Expense – ($97) Total Net – $3 Hours Worked Time Logged – 23hrs per month average the past 6 months. What Happened? Where Have I Been? Working! Just not on the things I expected to work on. Like many of you, I have a day job and that limits the things I can do on nights and weekends. From a personal perspective, after getting the last podcast episode out, I was working on the next monthly update, but then I went out of town for work. Then I went out of town for family, twice. Then I went on vacation and got really sick. After that, I was knee deep in a few projects and efforts that I will detail shortly. Lastly, came the unexpected trip to Amsterdam for the day job which unexpectedly turned into a vacation. I say unexpectedly as my intention was to continue my side-hustle schedule but considering I’ve never been out of the country before, the jet lag was particularly vicious, and being in a new country, my co-workers made sure my nights were busy. Weekends, I toured the city and countryside. I visited museums and lovely restaurants and next thing I know, I was back on a plane to the U.S. So, what exactly have I been doing in the past several months? Business Planning & Structure While the first half of 2018 is over, the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 started off appropriately. I sat down and planned ApexThis. The planning was high-level with an outlook of where I wanted to be in the next five years and what I was going to do this year. I even broke down those plans quarterly! I also took the time to flesh out the type of work that I wanted to do. This, of course, was updated on my services page but to sum up; I primarily work on self-generated projects with a “script to screen” approach. Want me to produce a weekly podcast series? Not my type of work. Want me to produce a one-time podcast series? Or how about produce one episode out of an anthology series? What about writing an episode or assisting with script development? I’m your guy! Think of a movie or TV production house, or a movie director; They write, film, edit, and distribute a movie and they are off to the next project. They outline, and produce a TV series, and are off to work on the next project, but may come back for a few episodes. I like the flexibility of that type of work and a lot of the projects I have on the planning board are one-shots; meaning that they will be made and not touched again. Of course, this makes things very difficult in the world of podcasting as a lot of it is funding by advertising and sponsorship. Sponsors and advertisers would look more favorable to your standard weekly podcast or your serialized shows once they show they have a following which happens in season 2 or season 3. Does this sound like a smart plan? Probably not, but even if I fail, I have to push forward! ApexThis, LLC ApexThis is now incorporated! You read that right! Due to many projects, and a failed effort, I decided to incorporate ApexThis as a single member LLC. What does this mean? In short, an LLC is a Limited Liability Company whose main benefits is that it creates a separation between my personal assets and my business assets. In short, I would not be liable for my company. Of course, you can do things to make yourself liable, but that is the shortest non-legal way I can explain it. Many, typically, do not establish an LLC until they’ve dealt with a high amount of funds and business transactions, but given I was planning a big event, and other things down the road, I wanted to establish that separation up-front. In addition, since I’ve been running as a sole-proprietor for many years, my bank account, and everything else has been completely separate from myself, so it made the setup that much easier. Pro-tip; If you have a side-hustle and you are seeking to turn that into a profit, or business, I would start separating things out from yourself financially. What I did was get a tax-ID, establish a doing business as or fictitious business certificate with my county, and get a separate bank account as I operated as a sole-proprietor. This allowed me to easily track my spending and other activities because they were separate from my personal income. Disclaimer; I am not a lawyer and this is just my opinion. You should definitely spend thirty minutes or so and research this for yourself. Store I’ve been working on creating an online store. This has been primarily for the podcast community, but I’ve been looking to expand it beyond that. It has NOT launched, but I’ve been doing a lot of research, testing, designing, and legally formalizing my business and getting permits.  I make it sound more than what it is to just say that I will start t-shirt store (for now), but it really is laying the foundation for me to experiment and expand and do what I find fun. Project Dollar The big project for ApexThis leading into 2018 was project dollar. This project got shelved due to the focus change on the community. I’m very disappointed but I’m glad at the same time. Resuming this project will mean that I will be focusing on this, heavily. This project will take a lot of creative effort and will be another risk for me but I definitely want to make sure I do this project right. Not only will I be pushing something out to the world in a “big way”, it will be based on the way I defined how I work, and on my production platform. This project will utilize EVERYTHING that I have learned thus far and will be yet another big learning opportunity for me. Project Talent Another unannounced project that I am partnering with someone on. Currently in the discovery and planning phase. Nothing to share at this time. Austin Podcasters (Events division) For the past six months, all my time has been spent working on the Austin Podcasters community. That averaged to 23hrs per month since January 2018. So, here is what I’ve been doing: Design Nov 2017 thru Feb 2018 I was busy giving Austin Podcasters a design update. Before launching the Meetup community, I spent a while designing the initial logo. Despite not being a designer, I got it done. I liked what I could do with it and the “flexibility” I added to it.  A year later, I felt it needed some tweaking. After a few weeks of design and iterations of several images, I came to an update that I liked: Left = Old logo | Right = New logo No, the “few weeks” weren’t just for that logo. I decided to make a future post about this and will include the overall work I did. I must say, it’s always fun playing with type. It reminds me of my younger days when I dabbled with type, primarily from a web design perspective. Stay tuned for a full-featured post about the design process. In short, I’ve learned a lot more about branding as I’ve watched, studied, and followed many designers, and design studios. Primary with type (text, lettering). I can see how it can change the perception of what you offer, how you can tell a story, and how you can draw people to you. I would recommend that others hire, or grab a friend, to design their logos, branding, and everything else. I am a bit obsessive, and I like to understand the things I interact with and as such, I have a nasty habit of creating and doing everything myself. In full disclosure, the new logo wasn’t entirely produced by me. For the update, I got things as far as I could and then hired out to clean things up a big in Illustrator as it would have taken even longer to learn another tool on top of everything else. After this design, I started to learn Adobe Illustrator. Meetup I continued with planning, organizing, and attending meetups. Nothing changed outside of the normal event planning process. Conference I tried to plan a conference and failed! Yes, I really did. I was working with one other to do a one-day conference event in Austin. To gain interest, we launched on Kickstarter and started spreading the word. Unfortunately, the word didn’t spread very far, and I effectively failed at running a Kickstarter campaign.  There are lots of things that I am ruminating on to fully work out what happened but the number 1 piece of advice I can immediately offer is; Don’t go out of the country for a month when launching a Kickstarter. What’s Next? Write More articles, more project dollar. I have drafted a few articles to write but have been overwhelmed with so much that I have not gotten them completed. A few will focus on Trello planning and design. You will see what I did for the Austin Podcasters design and how that informs things I do in the community. You will also see the beginning process for the conference that never came to be. I will also get back to writing and editing Project Dollar so that everything is ready to record. I’m super nervous about this. Learn Continue learning. Lately, I’ve been learning a lot from designers about branding, and design in general. Don’t be afraid to expand to other fields to learn. There is always something that you can apply to the work that you do. Be a student of everything. Connect I am going to Podcast Movement again this year!  It’s going to be great to meet folks and learn from awesome podcasters as I did last year. I can’t wait. I hope to see you there.     The post June 2018 Update appeared first on ApexThis.
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Stats
Location
Austin, TX, USA
Episode Count
25
Podcast Count
1
Total Airtime
4 hours, 59 minutes