Two Days in San Francisco and What to see in Chinatown!!

Getting up super early lets you see the city like no other way…

This trip was so quick but so fun. I was flying solo which allowed me to get up super early and see parts of the city in ways most people don’t get too.

You Don’t Have to Be an Expert to Write

Sometimes it’s better if you’re not…

Sometimes it’s better if you’re not…

At one point in my career I thought I needed a PHD. I had thoroughly enjoyed my Master’s degree and thought that if I wanted to set myself up for a second career, I should pursue a PHD in the same field. My last research paper was published in Proceedings Magazine (the actual printed one), and I had even garnered enough attention to warrant a public radio interview on said published article.

I obviously should keep learning more right? Furthering my education at the doctorate level was the logical next step.

But then I started researching what kind of jobs PHDs got you.

Research, teaching, and more research.

Photo by David Travis on Unsplash
Photo by David Travis on Unsplash

Don’t get me wrong, diving in to a problem or topic that I find interesting is one of the things I love to do. But being a “researcher” or teaching in “academia” are not careers I am currently looking for.

Before Moving Forward – Step Back

Pause a moment and consider your goals when you write something for publishing?

  • Is it to teach?
  • To entertain?
  • Share a thought or perspective?
  • Help solve a problem?
  • To earn money?

Regardless of what your goal is, I have realized that the majority of what I read online is not from “experts”. I can learn just as much from someone writing about what they don’t know as what they do. My most read story on Medium is me recounting how I almost died (or could have) when climbing El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. My other articles that were picked up by Medium publications were either my perspective on career goals, or what lessons I have learned as a leader.

No PHD required.

Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash
Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash

What it Takes

Passion is more developed than discovered.

Dan Miller

I found this quote recently and love the implication behind it.

Our interests are where we dip our toes in to the water. Our passions are where we have waded out chest deep and finally dive in and start swimming for the other shoreline.

Writing skills take time to develop. Being an expert in an area can often be viewed as being seen as someone with an immense passion for something.

So remember, you don’t have to be an expert to dive in.

Photo by anouar olh from Pexels

Quote to Live By (Passion is…)

Passion is more developed than discovered.

Dan Miller

I saw this quote and was struck by its simplicity and real truth. Think about it. Those we call “passionate” are most likely only called that because they have developed a work ethic towards that project, topic, sport, profession, etc.

Think about your hobbies and interests…there’s a difference between an interest and a passion. Our interests are where we dip our toes in to the water, our passions are where we have waded out chest deep and finally dive in and start swimming for the other shoreline.

Links of the Week (01/27/2020)

Taking time to think, 2019 must have apps, and how mind mapping helps writers…

Just thinking is harder than it seems in an age of constant stimulation, but not impossible. Thinking about things is not the same as letting your thoughts run free; it takes practice and attention to what is going on. Otherwise, there is a genuine risk or “miles away” from those around you.

I enjoy the way Greg writes and thinks out loud at times.

Just Thinking – Greg Morris


I’m not too fond of ads. I promised myself I would never show them on my blog and hate the way they looked on websites that did. With all this said, I have turned some on for a little experiment and wanted to share why.

​I appreciated this short post from a writer/blogger I found a while back. His intent to create a little income from his site is similar to mine.

I Have Started Showing Ads


This entire story features a collection of the 50 apps I consider my must-haves on the iPhone and iPad, organized in seven categories; whenever possible, I included links to original reviews and past coverage on MacStories. As for the traditional list of awards for best new app and best app update: those are now part of our annual MacStories Selects awards, which we published last December and you can find here.

Let’s dig in.

An article I look forward to every year. SO many good apps here.

My Must-Have Apps, 2019 Edition


Don’t Skip Straight to Create

When it comes to developing your ideas, you cannot skip straight to the creative part.

Many folks do this, and it’s a rookie move, to be honest. Because without more clarity about your idea, you will hit the blank wall.

So, while it is great to have your list of ideas, there is still a critical part of the idea system that cannot be skipped over.

You need a way to develop your ideas before moving on to creating and building them.

It’s funny I never thought of using mind mapping as a tool for writing here on the blog. I used it extensively when writing basically anything for my Masters Degree…I think I’ll bring that habit back here and see how it works out.

I highly recommend mind mapping for the reasons they spell out in this article.

Why Mind Mapping Works – The Sweet Setup

New Year New You…According to Amazon

New Year, New You…

This is a link to the New Year New You storefront. I think I get these emails from Amazon because of my affiliate account. I’ll be honest…most of the stuff on there is pretty generic and I’m not sure if there are any good deals. I did spot a few products that are marked down…

However, I would not go there unless you are already looking for something that you need. To be honest, most of the stuff on there looks like typical Amazon stuff.

One thing I wish they would discount more is Audible Memberships. A couple years ago it seemed like I was getting 3 months for the price of 1 emails every other month. This was great and I was able to stock up on The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan…if you enjoy reading sci-fi/fantasy…you will LOVE this series. It’s super long, so the audio books have been great for me as I commute a lot.

Anyways, I just wanted to share some shameless plugs for things that I own and enjoy. Perhaps it gives you a little bit more of the picture of who I am and what my interests are. (Plus how you can literally buy anything on Amazon)

SEO for Small Websites

You interested in SEO? Perhaps you should be…

One of the things I mentioned in my Sunday post about my current Amazon Affiliate failures, was the fact that I’ve never really done my homework on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

As this has finally caught my attention, I will be sharing what I learn as a complete and utter newbie in this arena. One thing I’ve seen quickly, is that there is TONS of experts on this.

Another YouTuber (Irene Iron Fitness) and I have emailed back and forth a bit after we stumbled across each others’ videos. If you are curious about RV travel around the US and how to cook and stay fit at the same time, this is a great channel to check out.

Aaron (the husband) was gracious enough to shoot me an email with some research he did on YouTube/Website SEO…I’ll be writing about his advice soon. One person (on YouTube) he pointed me too was Neil Patel.

Rather than re-hash what Neil says in his video, I thought I’d share one in which he talks about a bunch of free tools – some of which I’d already discovered, some not. His titles are a bit click bait-ish…but his content is good and broken down well.

These free tools seem like a great place to start. If you have any others please let me know!!

Links of the Week (01/20/2020)

Welcome 2020!! Here are your first links for this great new year…

The point is there are a variety of reasons it’s called adversity, and a variety of outcomes based on how you choose to handle it. Running through it all is one common thread, a brutal truth that you must eventually embrace if you want to plow through setbacks and succeed.

No one cares. Work harder.

​There’s more to this article than a blunt truth headline. This is just the kind of read that is good for you early in the year.

Why You Must Accept the Harsh Truth That Nobody Cares and You Need to Work Harder


Thirty states in the U.S. have coastlines, so what makes California so epic that you should devote an entire road trip solely to its splendor? For starters, how about redwoods, amazing beaches, waves, trails and, oh yes, just a couple of epic campgrounds.

​Obviously I’m a bit biased when it comes to touting a California road trip…they even list some places that I’m not familiar with on here. Great write up if you want to start a checklist of places to go in the the Golden State.

California Road Trip Planner: The Best Views, Trails, and Campgrounds


Some trips are, shall we say, more eventful than others. And one man’s account of what was meant to be a short, 24-hour trip will certainly make you grateful for your last forgettable travel experience.

I don’t care if I’ve linked to this crazy adventure story before…go read it again. It’s hard to believe this all happened in 24 hours.

This Man’s Unbelievably Dramatic Trip to Mexico to Keep His Airline Status Might Be the Best New Year’s Eve Story Ever


Given a steady dose of jaw-dropping beauty and a freedom from the routine of daily life back home, it’s amazing what flows from the mind if you’re only willing to catch it and take the risk of putting it into words.

​This engineer documented his hike of the Pacific Crest Trail over on his own site Stone and Sky. He uses my absolute favorite writing app…Ulysses and talks a bit about that app usage on the trail here.

The Modern Day Adventures of Ulysses