Tag Archive for: New Career

A new gig

13 May
May 13, 2010

Edit: Since I posted this I have come to realize that the Examiner position isn’t exactly what I’m looking for. It wasn’t clear to me that they were looking for a journalist approach to writing and that’s just not my style. It may be selfish but I get more joy from writing when I can include my own opinion. At least a little bit…..

I have been loading my plate with projects lately though it’s not at all haphazard as it may seem. I’m actually following the plan that I setup at the end of last year. The loose goal is to surround myself with the things that I truly enjoy, instead of convincing myself that I enjoy the things I’m surrounded with. Make sense?

Anyway, the newest project just materialized this week. My friend James passed on a link to job openings to write for The Examiner last week and I applied for a few spots. Found out this week that I was chosen as the Reno Wine Pairing Examiner!

It’s not a full time job, in fact I won’t really make much money at all from it. The end goal is to develop/expand my reputation for writing about food and wine to land bigger and better gigs in the future. Buried way back in the depths of my brain for many years has been the thought that I could write about food for a living. Something along the lines of Anthony Bourdain, traveling the world eating and drinking, writing it down and getting paid for it. Good idea no?

Warning- I’m going on a tangent here….. If you haven’t read his book Kitchen Confidential (That’s an affiliate link right there, if you click and buy then I will get about 56 cents. Why not right?) you should pick it up. Even if you’re not a foodie it spins an interesting tale of his passion and journey along his career. I agree with about 99.9% of what he says regarding food so it would give you a better understanding of me as well, if you care.

And back on track- So, I see the new gig of writing for the Examiner as a stepping stone towards that goal. Anything I can do at this point to engage in my passions will push me further ahead.

I am also planning on using it to gather together the wine snobs of Reno. I have talked in the past about getting a group together for a trip to Napa and this would be a good way to gather those folks. It is also a great way to help out my friends in the wine business by letting the group know about wine tasting events around town. If you’re interested in getting in early, not that you get anything extra for that, then sign up for my new email list and join us for some fun.

If you would like to get all the articles then go to my page and hit subscribe. I am working on some new posts now-

  • Wine and cheese pairing
  • Exploring the five flavors
  • Balancing flavors in wine pairing
  • BBQ and wine
  • Reading wine labels
  • And many more as I’m shooting for 3-5 a week

Time to start writing! Help me out a little- what questions have you always had about pairing wines? Give me some ideas and I’ll get them answered for you. Thanks!

The coming year and what I plan to do about it

31 Dec
December 31, 2009

The year is finally about to close. Not sure why I say “finally” as it seems to have passed by quicker than others……

It’s that time again for most of us to come up with their list of resolutions. I’ve never been one for resolutions, mostly because I have never been able to make them happen. I guess in essence they seem limiting to me, one goal without much of a plan to get there.

The other day I stumbled across a post on Chris Brogan’s Blog titled “Wiring Yourself for Success”. His post struck home with me regarding resolutions, instead of defining the end result you simply define words that represent the path to reach them.

After a few days of thinking about what I would like to accomplish in the coming year I have them down. Of course part of following through is writing them down, so here they are in perpetuity-

Close
As in keep your enemies close, not close the door… Family, friends, dreams, aspirations, values and more. All of these need to be kept close to me and my daily life. Staying close to the things that are important in life helps us stay grounded. Keeping a running list of dreams and aspirations close at hand will keep me on track and make anything attainable.

Take
Take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. Take nothing in life for granted. Take “things” from others with graciousness. Take the time to enjoy all that I have in life. Take time for myself to do the things that make me happy. And of course there is a lot of give in take….

Expand
Expand my interests deeper into the things that interest me. Let my thoughts expand to their full potential before acting on them limits the outcome. Expand my network of people that I get satisfaction out of knowing. Expand my knowledge in areas that will be useful to me in the future.

That’s it, these three words will be guiding me for 365 days. I am sure the list of examples in each word will get bigger and bigger as the days pass by. I guess that’s just taking advantage of the expansion of those things that I hold close to me.

So what are your thoughts for the new year? Did you make resolutions?

Can do vs. Want to do

23 Dec
December 23, 2009

If you’ve been reading my blog the last few weeks then you know that my career life has changed drastically.

Over the last month or so I have spent a lot of time delving deep into my personality, learning more and more about my values, desires, passions and goals as they relate to both my work and personal lives.

It is really very interesting to spend some time doing this. We all feel that we know ourselves well enough, but when you learn to consciously think about what makes you tick and relate that to your everyday interactions it opens up a whole new understanding of how you are perceived by others and why your life naturally follows a path without your active input.

The other interesting thought that relates to this self exploration is that if you spend your career doing something that you love it doesn’t seem much like work anymore. I spent years of my life working in the foodservice business, cutting meat, cooking, selling, managing, marketing and more. The whole time I felt as though I was doing what I loved, and at the time I did.

Over the years it seems as though my real passion for what I was doing came from a few different areas-

  • Helping people with buying meat, preparing dinner, planning parties
  • Developing and executing marketing plans to increase business or customer loyalty
  • Resolving issues with operations, employees, customers, etc.

The common thread that runs through all of these is problem solving. Turns out I’m fairly decent at it too…..

It wasn’t the act of cutting and wrapping the meat, or preparing a dish for a group of folks, as much as it was the act of creating a plan to solve whatever “problems” needed to be resolved. These problems ranged from a customers recipe that they didn’t quite understand to figuring out how to cook fried chicken on a beach in Tahoe (and keep it hot and crispy for hours).

In the search for a new career I have started writing down two lists, one of things that I CAN do and the other with those that I WANT to do. Hopefully I can find a great opportunity in making a living by doing something that I want, or love, to do.

Here is part of the list of “Can do’s”, I picked the ones that most people don’t know about me….

  • Woodworking
  • Carpentry
  • Residential electrical, plumbing, tile, landscaping
  • Auto repair, customization
  • Welding- structural and artistic with MIG and Gas
  • Custom car stereo design, build and installation
  • Custom build PCs and basic networking
  • Intermediate graphics design
  • Basic web design
  • Navigation by map and/or GPS
  • Digital music recording, editing and production
  • Digital video editing

The whole list is about 80 items long at this point, and growing. Now the interesting thing is that out of 80 things on the “Can do” list I have only a handful on the “Want to” list. Out of all the hobbies and interests that I have in life there is that one recurring theme that keeps me coming back to each one- the creative problem solving.

Right now I see my future career lies in something where I can bring others together to solve an issue at hand, most likely in a small business atmosphere. Whether it is in marketing, management, pricing , etc. the new career will involve working strategically with others.

So, what are we working on? What can I help you with?? Let’s create something great!

Time for a career change….

15 Dec
December 15, 2009

Up until 2 years ago I thought I had life fairly well figured out…..

Had a good career with the family business that had been going strong for many years, live in a modest house, had the money I needed to do what I wanted to do for the most part. Then the family business started getting a little rocky and the salary got cut back. No biggie, it will turn around. Well it didn’t.

Two rough years of balancing checking accounts every day, asking for more credit, putting out fires. Eventually it started getting to me to the point that I didn’t feel successful anymore. Every day at work was a dreaded one.

When we finally realized the business was going to close it was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Funny how that worked….35 years of successful business going down the tubes and it’s a relief?

It gave me a chance to sit back and think about what I really wanted out of life. I started working with Andy Hill at Life Compass to really get down deep inside my personality and figure out what drives me. We haven’t found all of the answers yet but I can tell you that I feel super confident that nothing will hold me back now!!!

So here I am, no income, house payment is behind, sold off some toys (bye bye Firebird…..), yet I am happier than ever for the most part. I guess it all comes down to confidence in myself and knowing that the future will hold better things.

Now that you know where I’m at here are some of the projects I’m working on, in no particular order-

  1. Building my personal brand- a la Gary Vaynerchuk
  2. Finding new and interesting networking venues- both online and real life
  3. Developing my pet project at buylocalreno.com
  4. A few new website ideas- a wine and food tasting social site will be the first focus at babblewine.com and/or socialsavor.com
  5. Spending more time with my dog
  6. Working on a better relationship with family and friends
  7. Going to talk with Lotus Radio about helping them with some internet marketing
  8. Helping some business colleagues with social media marketing
  9. Working on a restaurant consulting idea
  10. Enjoying the hell out of the free time that I have to work on new projects!

Seems like a ton, but that is one of the very true things that I figured out about myself in working with Andy- I need change, lots of it, and frequently. So that’s where I’m at- what’s new with you? Anything fun and exciting that really gets you thinking lately? Please share your thoughts….

And if any of these projects sound interesting to you, let me know and we will find a way to work together to make it great.