What Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Taught me About Teaching

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, you already know I love Disney. Now that I have a daughter, I’m super excited to introduce her to this world that brought me so much joy as a child, and continues to today. We’ve started watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the morning, and while she’s too young to really understand what’s happening on the show, it’s a fun thing we do together (she does like the colors, and seems to recognize characters now). The other morning, while watching with her, I came to the realization that it wasn’t just teaching her problem-solving skills. It was also teaching me.

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Delivering More for Season 4 of How I Built It

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Season 3 isn’t wrapped yet, but I’ve already started thinking of better ways to deliver for Season 4, coming in January. When I started How I Built it, I didn’t think I would see the success the show has had. It’s a formidable part of my income, it’s got over 100,000 downloads, and it’s growing in popularity.

When you first start anything, you are just finding your sea legs. Over a year in (and a fun obsession with this project), and I’ve got my bearings. I’m ready to go to the next level.

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Switching to Apple’s Native Apps

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Since iOS 11 came out, I’ve been forming new opinions on apps and what I want to use on my phone. When I was an Android user, I would try not to pay for apps, and had reasonable success doing so. Call it the open source mentality, sure, but Google also had pretty great native apps — especially when they rolled out Material Design. When I switched to iOS, I went a little app crazy. I wanted to try everything. I was also more willing to pay for apps, mostly because more apps cost money. But recently, I’ve decided to cut out most 3rd party apps and focus on the native apps Apple sends with the phone. Here’s why.

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CaboPress: The Business Conference I Needed

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When you tell people that you’re going to Cabo San Lucas for a business conference, you get some funny looks. Well, you get one specific look: “Oh sure. I bet you’ll do a ton of work there.” It’s easy to think. I mean, we are in paradise. Our sessions were in pools. We had afternoons off. But let me tell you: CaboPress is the best business conference I’ve ever attended, and exactly what I needed.

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Transitioning to Full Time Freelance

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Note: this is an update to an article I wrote in 2010, when I went from college to full time freelance.

I started freelancing all the way back in 2002, when my church came to me looking for a website. As a junior in high school, I used
Frontpage, and GMail had yet to grace me with it’s presence. And this seemed like a really good opportunity for me to run
the business I always wanted. I freelanced all through high school and college. It was at the end of my senior year in 2007
that I realized I wanted to keep doing it. So I went to grad school to learn more about my trade, and better prepare myself full time freelancer. I stuck with it for a time but sought full time employment for 6 years before coming back to self-employment.

So what does it take to transition to full time freelancing (from school or employment)? Let me tell you what I’ve learned.

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The Hunt for Good Webinar Software

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Yesterday, I gave a fantastic webinar on creating an Event Registration Form with Gravity Forms and decided to try something other than Zoom Webinars. I love Zoom and use it for all of my meetings, but my goal for attendees is to make is as easy as possible without the need for them to download anything extra. So far, I’ve looked at 3.

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5 Things to Consider when Creating an Online Course

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Think about the last conversation you had via text or phone. Now think about the last conversation you had in person or via video. Consider the differences. How well were you able to pick up tone or meaning? Were there subtle communications you missed over the phone that you likely would have picked up in person? How much is lost when you’re not looking at the person you’re talking to.

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5 Steps to Giving a Great Conference Talk

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When Steve Jobs presented the iPhone for the first time, he didn’t get up on stage and say, “Hey this is an iPhone.” Instead, he told a story – specifically the story of Apple. He built up the iPhone in terms that people understood. This made for an excellent presentation. It sucked people in, it made them invested in what it was talking about, and ultimately, he announced the iPhone to huge cheers. Steve Jobs knew how to give a great presentation.

Now, I’ve been speaking in front of people for a long time. My first on stage performance was at 7 years old, when I was in 2nd grade. I love being in front of people, whether I’m acting, teaching, or just talking. But giving a good conference presentation takes practice. After professionally speaking for almost 10 years, I know what works and what needs work. Here are my 5 steps to putting together a good conference talk. 

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