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Learn WordPress through Code Oregon

One of the online training programs I’ve found on my quest to keep my digital skills fresh is Treehouse. When I heard that Treehouse would be teaming up with Code Oregon to re-skill 10,000 Oregonians, my curiosity was peaked. I signed up and have working my way through the various tracks. This week I spent more time on the Learn WordPress track. I’m about half way done with this track and should be completed by next week. There are more advanced tracks such as Web Design, WordPress Development, Front End Development. Last I heard there are only about 5,000 Oregonians signed up. I got an email update this week saying they’re putting together a job fair early 2015, so if you have any interest in updating your skills, take a look at Code Oregon and get signed up!

Introducing #fridayfinds

I’ve been told that one of my innate talents is discovery. I love finding new apps, music, & systems that inspire and simplify my life.  Beginning today, I’m starting a weekly wrap-up of my latest finds and sharing that with you. My hope is you find this helpful, and if you have any ideas, please send them my way. Starting next week, we’ll talk about creating simple, beautiful visual content with apps. Til then, make it a great day!


Use your vacation time

We just returned from a week in Hawaii and my first 10-day vacation in my professional career. G-L-O-R-I-O-U-S. I’m embarrassed to say this was my first “real” vacation in a decade. We’ve been using our vacation time to cover relocations for jobs, family events, or divvy up between a few long weekends. It’s easy to let those things take priority in your calendar and neglect setting aside time to rejuventate. For the first time, I feel bursting with creativity and energy after feeding our bodies with sunshine, exercise, and fresh seafood.

During this time off, I’ve been marinating over a statistic brought to my attention earlier this year that Americans left 400 million DAYS of vacation timeon the table in 2013!! I understand the fear. I felt it. Quickly checking email mid-week so you don’t come back to a mound of emails. This was the first year we personally bucked that statistic. I officially used all of my vacation days, and scheduled a full week-long vacation.

How does this effect industries that are reliant on Americans taking vacations such as travel and hospitality? I find myself wondering if the days of selling 5 of 7 days skiing are over. How many Americans (assuming 2 weeks) a year are willing to spend 7 days of that in one swoop?

We’ve heard lots of discussions about how skiing is getting too expensive. What if it’s not about the money? Has the issue evolved to being too time expensive? I see skiing time being the first to go with my friends that are parents with really young kiddos. There are just too many other time options to choose with Disneyland, grandparents, or family reunions to even consider skiing unless you live next to a mountain. (To be fair, I am one of the few of my closest friends that have relocated next to a mountain, so the time expense of commuting to go skiing is not as substantial).

I can understand the pressures of having too many options for how to use your PTO, but 40% of Americans are leaving vacation time on the table, regardless of the options. Is this the new normal? I hope not. Understanding your own energy cycles and re-fueling preferences is critical to bringing your A game to work and life. How can we use our influence at work to foster cultures that encourage creativity and regeneration?

I’m a newly converted believer that vacation time is worth the risk.

be remarkable

This is a topic I’ve been marinating on for a while. What does it take to be remarkable? As a person, a brand, a corporation? Have the rules of engagement changed?

My 3 words for 2014: Desire. Manifest. Hustle

I’ve been using an exercise inspired by Chris Brogan to help get focused for the last two years. My 3 words for 2013 were Create. Connect. Habits. My intention was to create useful content, connect with other world dominators and location independent folks, and form habits a.k.a. systems for success. I gave myself a C on following through with those intentions, mostly because of a lack of accountability. I met Chris in the lobby of the Newmark Theatre during the World Domination Summit, and he pointed out something about how I described my intentions. Apparently, I stumble into a lot of things. Opportunities, jobs, cities. Maybe it was a choice of semantics, or was it?

My 3 Words for 2014

Desire – I’m using this word to represent the clarity I’m seeking around my desires. We stayed in this New Year’s and I poured over my Desire Map e-book as a guide to help clarify my intentions for the year. Once I shifted my focus from what I wanted to achieve this year, to how I wanted to FEEL this year – decision making has been much easier to decide on what I want to spend my time doing.

Manifest – I wrote down in my journal on 9/12/12, that I wanted to move to Bend by Aug 1, 2013, run a half marathon by Feb 3 (Surf City), join Marie Forleo mastermind, and do a Surf Camp in Costa Rica. Here’s the crazy part. We moved to Bend Aug 9, 2013 and ran the Haulin’ Aspen half marathon Aug 11! I stumbled (see! <– I did it again!) on this journal entry recently and couldn’t believe it. Up until now, those were the most audacious dreams I had thought of and written down, even though I kinda of did them halfheartedly. I REALLY wanted to move to Bend, but my head didn’t know how to make that happen. Lesson Learned: Get Clear on Your Desires. Then your head can help you figure out how to get there.

Hustle – As in, Do the Work. Put in the Hours. Learn from the Masters. Practice. Practice More. Hang a Shingle. Own It. Build Momentum. There will be changes this year. Step Up. Step In.

2013: Bend, Break, or Pivot

2013 was a year of change. And surprises! I’ve been a sceptic of manifesting up to this point, but after this year…I’m exploring the idea that the Universe might be able to reciprocate energy we put out. One of my favorite books, The Alchemist, has a quote that I wrote down.

And, when you really want something to happen, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.

I wrote down in my journal a year ago, the vision I’d love to see happen for myself. A half marathon, move to Bend, a trip to Alaska to spread gramps ashes. Low and behold, I got the opportunity to make the move this summer. I’ve moved a few times the past 10 years, but none has compared to how soul filling this move has been.

I’m writing in the airport on my way to join the other #omniten for the #omnigames in Park City. It’s been such a worldwind couple months, I have a lot to catch up on. But for now, I figured I’d post a quick video of the highlights of 2013. What parts of 2013 caught you off guard? Are there unfinished pieces that have rolled over to 2014?

Become a Hybrid PR Professional

In the last 10 years, there has been an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G marketing revolution. It’s been exciting to watch. Or, downright frightening if you planned to get a MBA and spend the next 30 years progressing towards that corner office. In my short stint since college, I’ve seen the marketing pendulum swing from direct mail, to websites as brochures, to email newsletters, to tradeshows, to beautiful digital websites built on CMS, to SEO, to blogging becoming mainstream, to the birth of social media, to tablets, the rise of apps, to the rise of content marketing, video, podcasts, and yet more to come!

Last December, I sat on a webinar with Paul Roetzler of PR2020 where he was talking about his new book the Marketing Agency Blueprint. And while this is focused on on Marketing Agencies, I’ll add to the discussion of the need for more Marketing/PR Hybrids amongst companies too. Insiders that have the trust factor with the CMO’s and CEO’s and can help pave the way for Hybrid Agencies. What gets you more excited?