I was working on a project this morning when I came across a massive blocker. I could try to force myself to sit there and think about it directly, but that has never worked. I fell back on a time honored tradition, “if you don’t know what to do or have nothing to do, start wiping down counters”. I decided it was high time I dove into cleaning up my Google Drive. After all, the project I was working on involved storing knowledge away.

This post is about some of the practices that help in revisiting old documents, sheets, and presentations.

Continue Reading Use Context – Your Future Self Will Thank You

Several months ago my wife and I implemented a weekly shared schedule (Pictured below). This was part of a larger goal to become more inter-dependent as a couple. We’ve found that establishing the process of the board has been the most useful tool towards that goal.

Every Sunday we sit down together and walk through our week.

Continue Reading The Weekly Board

It’s been just over a month since my wedding day and just one month since I had a life altering experience on my honeymoon. Our trip, aptly named ‘Tour de Food’, was a culinary enterprise at the best foodie spots Seattle had to offer. This post is about the second contrasting experience that changed how I see human relationships. This is about our night at The Herb Farm (http://www.theherbfarm.com/). You can read part one here.

Continue Reading Value of Details Part 2

It’s been just over a month since my wedding day and just one month since I had a life altering experience on my honeymoon. Our trip, aptly named ‘Tour de Food’, was a culinary enterprise at the best foodie spots Seattle had to offer. This post is about one of the 2 contrasting experiences that changed how I see human relationships. This is about our night at Canlis (https://canlis.com/).

Continue Reading Value of Details

3 years ago I had no idea I was standing at a life altering decision. Either I started full-time as a support rep for a very large video game producer based out of Japan (You know the one) or take a part time internship at a “blogging” company.

3 years ago I had just met the previous COO of LexBlog. It was the single greatest interview of my life. We discussed at a high level what the internet has become. We talked about walking into “the room” of the internet, meeting people through a “digital handshake”. We barely talked about what the job was or entails.

I didn’t know what to expect with the job at LexBlog, but I was enticed.

A few days later I was surrounded by images from the Mushroom Kingdom. I took note of the people I would be working with and environment that I would spend my time. Between the gross NDA and meeting the drug-induced team, I decided that I didn’t want the job that badly.

Based on the title of this post, you can guess what happened next. I rolled the dice and took a chance. It was a big deal considering my food budget for a week was around $20-30. I also only had enough money to live for another 2 months before needing to move.

Since starting at LexBlog, I’ve had several titles alongside multiple hats. I’ve worked with some famous attorneys, fantastic firm marketing people, and even greater set of coworkers. I’ve become the person capable of becoming the person I want to be. I know it sounds confusing. It means I have learned how to be a better person that’s capable of more.

As I look back there have been some hard times. I had to learn how to not be “work”-centric. It’s been difficult to learn how to live in accordance with my values, but I’m getting closer to that goal. That’s important because I couldn’t have told you what those values were 3 years ago.

I’ve also learned a great deal about taking care of myself, looking out for others, and being an advocate for positive change. I value growth. That sometimes means I’m the coach. Other times, I’m the cheerleader. Most of the time it means I’m the parent that brings orange slices and waves awkwardly to the kids as the Coach finishes talking to the team.

I’ve learned that the best teams have someone thinking about those orange slices. I hope that I didn’t push the metaphor too far.

As a coworker stated last week, “You’re a real 5th outfielder. You know, someone that can play every position when needed, that isn’t the best at any one single role”. I had to google that. It’s supposed to be “5th infielder” and means something completely different than what they were getting at, but I get what they were saying. I also appreciate it greatly.

It will be interesting to see what this next year looks like. I hope I can grow just as much as I have this last year. If anything, it will be neat to see what happens with LexBlog.

For all my coworkers, know I value all of you. For everyone else, thank you for your continued support. I hope that you found something valuable in this post, something to add to your everyday rhetoric repertoire.

Thank you for reading.

I have a terrible habit when it comes to gaming. I genuinely think I’m a good at playing games. This is just not true.

Time after time I find myself playing some video game that requires skill or strategy to progress through to the finish. Quite often I find myself losing a round, a turn, or missing some experience points based on the game mechanics. Struggling to overcome the situation I become frustrated. I become frustrated enough to quit, uninstall, and walk away.

Continue Reading Freedom to Fail

Project Description

After working to rebuild the details of each product, leadership wanted to rebrand the names of each product and plan level (10 names). This also incorporated sunsetting a blog plan level and collecting contact info for those respective clients.

Teams

Company wide initiative – Product, Success Team (Support), Publishing (Marketing), Sales, Senior Leadership

Scope

  • Project Timeline span – 4 weeks
  • Deliverables – Updates to each of the following:
    • Product Pages on main Website
    • Support Center Articles
    • Resource Center Articles
    • Email Macros
    • Support Ticket Fields
    • Sales Sheets / Slide Decks
    • Drip Campaigns / Email RSS Campaigns
    • Contact Forms
    • Invoices
    • Contracts
    • Platform wide backend Dashboard – 1000+ websites
  • Identified Risks
    • Potential for decommissioned plan clients to cancel
    • Existing clients reevaluate current plan offering and lower plan
    • Internal communication confusion that may result in providing incorrect info to clients

Project Narrative

This was the first time I submitted a project proposal with a gantt chart. Previously, the company did not operate on a deadline basis. Past work was completed by individual prioritization. That past workflow would not work with an initiative that had every client touch point to consider.

Figma Gantt Chart used

 

What Went Right

Quick turn-around – Once we got the ball rolling, it took nearly 1 week to have everything updated. There was only a couple straggling tasks that spilled over into week 3. We were also able to make a list of everywhere our product names were listed. This was important in the case we add a new product offering.

No Ghosts – Repeated check-ins were accepted without issue. No one became defensive or failed to reply.

Zero client backlash – We didn’t receive negative feedback from clients. For the discontinued plan level, we only received one reply in acknowledgment. We did anticipate this as we grandfathered them into the plan. This meant they were the only ones that could buy more websites of that plan.

What Went Wrong

Initial Delays – The first phase was the hardest to get down. There was some confusion about the specifics with multiple leadership needing to be consulted. The deadline for the project was moved back nearly 2 extra weeks as a result.

Vacation – Due to the several delays, the project ended up landing in the middle of multiple people’s vacation time. This included myself. Upon returning, senior leadership had made several key decisions regarding the scope of the project expanding into a full rebrand. While it did not affect the overall outcome, it did affect the timeline by adding 2 weeks which was acceptable.

Failure to utilize Project Board – A gantt chart was created using Asana software. While several participants used the board to its full effectiveness, there were several who failed to use it at all. This resulted in them relying on constant check-ins and a failure to prioritize their portion of the work. This was more of a missed opportunity to make up for lost time.

Conclusion

I learned that a rocky beginning can result in people not taking the rest of a project seriously enough. Multiple delays set lower expectations for quality project management.

I also learned that a RACI chart does very little use for straightforward tasks that don’t require feedback. This turned out to be a positive as it meant participants could focus on making updates without the need to consult or inform a multitude of others.

Finally, I learned that my team is incredibly understanding. I laid out when I was going to check-in and when everything was due. I did not get any complaints, defensiveness, or ridicule from anyone in the company. I believe that my constant offer to help also added to the trust and understanding. They knew I was doing my job and that I was also a resource.

Overall, the project went very well considering some of the major time sinks.

The essential infrastructure of the internet has hit a critical juncture via the World Wide Web. The ability to create a web presence is easier than ever with a growing focus at building more faster. In the matter of an afternoon, you can create a blog, social media accounts, and begin posting on anything. Within a couple of days, you can set automations to share, like, retweet, post, email, and syndicate everything you write. Continue Reading Do Digital Lawns Need Lawn Mowers?