Capture all your new media ideas, even if you can’t execute them today — New Media Tips #43

New Media Tips is an on-going series from Careers in New Media with Douglas E. Welch. You can find all the past tips — from myself and around the Internet — in the Tips category here on the blog — Douglas

Capture all your new media ideas, even if you can’t execute them today — New Media Tips #43

Many of the tips you’ll see in the coming days grew out of a discussion I had with a friend who runs an artisanal bakery near my house. I have watched this business grow over the last several years and have often discussed how new media could best be used in promoting the business and their products. For me, one of the most important ideas to promote with any business owner is capturing each and every idea they have, even if they can’t do anything about it — today.

Capture ideas as they occur

When you are just starting out with a new business, it can be a bit difficult to develop new media ideas for a number of reasons. First, you are so busy getting the business started that most everything falls by the wayside. You simply don’t have or don’t make the time to engage in new media promotions and that is a bit of a shame. Some of your best new media ideas are generated when you are in the heat of the moment, creating something new from nothing. Even if you don’t have the time to execute all these great new media ideas, you MUST take a few moments to — at the very least — capture those ideas that jump to mind, so you don’t lose them forever — or have to spend more hours creating anew when you finally have the time to focus on new media.

Analog or digital methods don’t matter. Capture all your ideas today!

Execute on this ideas when you have time and need

Again, you don’t have to EXECUTE all these ideas, merely capture them. Too many people get overwhelmed with the idea that they must do everything now and, in the heat of the moment, simply discard some of their best ideas because they are so overwhelmed with everything else. Don’t do it!

Capture new ideas every day of your life and business

Next, you often don’t know what you want to talk about, what you want to promote, what new products or services you’ll be offering when you first start the business. Like all good things, it can take time to develop your new media ideas. Sure, you might have a few ideas to get you started, but each day brings new thoughts, new challenges and can create new ways of promoting your business through new media.

Investigate each new service as it appears

Even more, new services are created every day, so you need to be watching for the next Instagram, the next SnapChat or even the next Facebook that comes along. Your new media work doesn’t exists in a static vacuum. It grows and changes every day. Be aware of new ideas, new services, new concepts in new media that can help your business. Capture new ideas that come along. Experiment with new services, their new concepts and the new audience it may bring you. There is a certain amount of “first mover advantage” that can be had by starting early with a new media service. You can easily grow to be a big fish in a small pond and reap all sorts of advantages, even if that particular services doesn’t pan out as an on-going part of your new media strategy.

You can’t execute on new ideas if you never capture them

Again, though, the same rule applies. Sure you might feel too overwhelmed to execute on even a fraction of your New Media ideas today, but you MUST — and I will repeat that — MUST — capture any ideas you have on a daily basis. I consider letting these ideas disappear a crime against you, your company and your future success. When you fail to capture ideas you are actively limiting your opportunities. Yes, I know it can all feel overwhelming, but why would you ever seek to make your life and work more difficult. If you fail to capture your great ideas today, you will find yourself struggling for ideas in the future, when you do have time to execute on new media projects.

Don’t let one of your best and most important assets drift away. Capture all your ideas each and every day. Execute on one or two of these ideas as you have time. Fill the well of new media projects, ideas, campaigns, contests — whatever — every day and you’ll never find yourself looking for that next, big ideas. It will already be there, waiting for you.

New Media isn’t Just for the Big Guys from New Media Interchange 20

New Media isn’t Just for the Big Guys from New Media Interchange 20

by Douglas E. Welch

Nmi big guys

It is too easy these days to focus on the big entertainment news coming out of New Media and ignore all the things that New Media can do for everyone else from individuals to freelancers to small companies and beyond. Sure, it’s great to see new shows with big name starts being picked up by Netflix and exciting to hear about one company buying another, but for me, this isn’t the heart of what New Media is about.

Eleven years ago, when I started podcasting, I saw it is an opportunity for letting the world hear the underheard and see the underseen. It was about giving distribution and exposure to millions of people who never would have made it through the gatekeepers of mainstream media. Mainstream media, by the very nature of its technology had extremely limited time available for shows, so the competition was fierce. This often drove content to the lowest common denominator, designed to please the widest range of viewers possible — and deliver the largest number of eyes and ears to advertisers — rather than produce great content.

New Media had no such constraints. You could do a show about woodworking, or knitting, or gaming, or butterflies and easily make it available to those who wanted to see or hear it. You didn’t have to garner 3 million viewers to stay on the air. You only had to create a show that served an interested and devote niche base of fans. We have lost of a bit of this idealism, though, as money and the influence it buys started to make its way into New Media. It took a long time — and much outright denial — for mainstream media folks — actors, directors, producers — to understand New Media, but now they are taking over.

Read the entire article on New Media Interchange

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New Media Interchange — Please subscribe, review and rate the podcast via iTunes

Project: UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Publication Party 2015

I shot and edited these videos from the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Annual Publication Party. I have been doing this program for the last several years.

Ucla ex pub party 2015Project: UCLA Extension Writers' Program Publication Party 2015

Watch all 17 readers in this YouTube Playlist

Find more great writing info on the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program YouTube Channel

Real World Example: Share your businesses’ “House Music” with Your Patrons via Social Media

Real World Example: Share your businesses’ “House Music” with Your Patrons via Social Media

Businesses using streaming radio services like Pandora and iTunes Radio have one more great item to share with their patrons, customers, and community through social media

I have had several new, artisanal food businesses open in my neighborhood over the course of the last year. I love to support local, non-chain, businesses whenever I can, so I often spend a lot of time visiting, shopping, eating and sharing the business with as many people as I can.

One thing all business owners try to establish right away is the mood, setting or feeling of their new business. Music is often used to establish this mood — from the raucous beats of pop and rock for a teen clothing store, to the more eclectic sounds of hot jazz or bossa nova for a hip and cool coffee shop.

Real World Example: Share your “House Music” with Your Patrons via Social Media

In the past, most business owners would have simply chosen a local radio station to play and left it at that. The advent of Internet radio services like Pandora, Spotify and iTunes Radio has given business owners an entirely new way to establish music and mood in their businesses while keeping the advertising at bay or removing it completely. Even better, Internet radio stations can be fine tuned by selecting particular artists, particular tracks and particular styles. Using these tools each business owner can create their own unique house sound which grows and changes over time.

Sure, you could buy each piece of music you would like to use and create your own local music “mix”, but playlists with less than 100 or so tracks can quickly grow repetitive for your regular customers (and certainly for your staff). Such a playlist also stagnates quickly without the constant influx of new material — something that Internet radio stations can provide automatically as new, appropriate tracks are added to the overall service. You can also develop different stations for different times of day and easily switch between them to set the mood for the morning rush, the lunchtime crowd or the late nighters.

Real World Example: Share your “House Music” with Your Patrons via Social Media

Finally, one great advantage to using an Internet Radio service is that it is one more item, one more unique part of your business, to share with your patrons. You can share Pandora and iTunes Radio stations via Facebook, Twitter, your company web site, or by using the direct link, anywhere and any anyplace you wish.

For example, you could have a flyer in your business that says,

“Enjoy our music mix in your car or home! Check out the MacLeod Ale Brewing Co station on Pandora – http://url/macleod”

You can, and also should, share this same information via all your social media accounts. You can even share each time you “Like” a new song or a new station and add it to your playlist or when you create an entirely new station to meet each particular mood or time of day.

All businesses are looking for unique things to share on their social media accounts and your Internet Radio stations are just one more piece of your unique brand and personality to add to the mix. Let your customers take a little piece of your business home with them and subtly remind them that they want to return again and again.

Video: Smartphones, technology and your career with Douglas E. Welch – Dog Days of Podcasting 2014 – 25/30

Video: Smartphones, technology and your career with Douglas E. Welch at OPEN (Outstanding Professionals Employment Network) in Simi Valley, California

An hour-long talk on how careerists (and anyone) can better use the technology they carry with them every day for OPEN (Outstanding Professionals Employment Network) in Simi Valley, California.

I talk about apps, using voice control, navigation, productivity and more in this wide ranging talk.

Video: Smartphones, technology and your career with Douglas E. Welch at OPEN (Outstanding Professionals Employment Network) in Simi Valley, California


Follow Douglas E. Welch and Career Opportunities on thees sites:

Noted: Keeping Readers Interested: 17 Things to Write About on Your Company Blog via Search Engine Journal

Keeping Readers Interested: 17 Things to Write About on Your Company Blog via Search Engine Journal

Keeping Readers Interested: 17 Things to Write About on Your Company Blog via Search Engine Journal

A company blog is a great way to engage your customers, showcase your company and demonstrate your industry expertise to prospects. However, you have to provide useful, engaging content for the platform to have real use.

Good blogs are a goldmine of value for both your readers and your company. To learn what successful online writers include on their company blog, we asked 17 startup founders and YEC members for suggestions.

Read More

“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

Find more Noted items here

Noted: How to Reduce Your Site’s Bounce Rate via Search Engine Journal

How to Reduce Your Site’s Bounce Rate via Search Engine Journal

How to Reduce Your Site’s Bounce Rate via Search Engine Journal

The searcher lands on your website. Browses through your content and leaves. No clicks, no conversions. Either he didn’t find what he was looking for or your web page was too difficult for him to use.

A high bounce rate says your website attracts a large number of visitors who are not your potential customers or what you are selling is not relevant to them.

It is a signal that your website and your marketing strategy needs a serious redesigning.

Read More

Find New Media-related products in The WelchWrite Bookstore

“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

Find more Noted items here

Hiding your light under a bushel – End of the Day for July 10, 2014

End of the day Logo

Originally published as part of the “End of the Day” series on My Word with Douglas E. Welch

i have been working on, what would be called by most people, market lately and it can be a tiring task. Most of us are so used to someone else handling this aspect of our projects and be forced to do it yourself has led to many failures over the years. We all know how important marketing is, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty we would rather crawl into a cave and ignore — myself included.

That said, I try to keep one important phrase in my mind when the going gets tough.

“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”


We all need to “let our light shine before men” even if that sometimes mean we need to do a little extra work. Our good works deserve to be noticed, to be shared, to be spread so that we can reach those that might enjoy our music, read our books or on some way be helped by them.  Our work cannot have any effect on the work until it is known, until it is shared among people and spread throughout the world. We have only done half a job by creating a book or writing a song. It must be read, seen and heard reach fulfillment — and our own fulfillment with it.

I was recently reading a web site on ho to promote your books and they said something that I try to remember each day and also share with everyone who consults with me.

“Focus more on discoverability rather than selling. Your work is important, so help those who can benefit from it, find it.” — 71 Ways to Promote and Market Your Book

Most of us, as creators, have an almost biological aversion to “selling” in any form. Selling anything conjures up the worst traveling salesmen stereotypes you can imagine. We imagine hucksters and cons and all sort of unsavory types and promise that we will never, ever become someone like that. It’s true, of course. We will never become like that because these extreme stereotypes don’t really exist. Sure there are unscrupulous people out there, but they are far outweighed by good people doing a good job selling things to people who need them — or, at the very least, want them. You can be one of these people, too.

Concentrate first on getting your project discovered by as many people as possible. Help your project to sell itself. I often quote Seth Godin on this topic. He says, “Make something worth talking about.” When you do this, your project gathers its own energy and attention and practically — even actually — selfs itself. You are simply nudging the snowball downhill, giving it a kick when it gets s but stuck and then starting over at the beginning with your next snowball — er — project — and sending it downhill.

Don’t think of it as “selling”, if that words turns you off. Think if it as discovery, introduction, promotion, whatever term makes it the most palatable for you. Then, go out an do it. Your project deserves it. More importantly, you deserve it. Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Let it shine! Let it shine! Let it shine!

Previously on End of the Day:

Noted: YouTube announces proposed new crowdfunding program – fans to get the chance to chip in to their favorite channels from Red Ferret

YouTube announces proposed new crowdfunding program – fans to get the chance to chip in to their favorite channels from Red Ferret

Youtube crowd

The YouTube phenomenon continues on and on, with no signs of stopping, with around 1 billion viewers now visiting the site every single month. That’s a lot of eyeballs, and it’s clearly exercising the attention of Google a lot nowadays, judging by the number of new initiatives which are arriving on the scene for the video makers and their fans.

One such set of proposals has just been announced by Google, which has the capacity to add an interesting twist to the whole synergy between fans and video makers. The company has just announced that it’s working on ways to add some form of crowdfunding feature to the service, so fans can elect to give cash to their favorite channels to encourage more of their most popular content to be produced.

Read More

“Noted” items are particularly good finds from my daily reading which I share via all my social media accounts.

Find more Noted items here

New Media Prescription: Think small. Get started. Don’t be overwhelmed.

It seems that every time I am at an event these days — Garden shows, Literacy Events, Business meetings — I am quickly pulled into a discussion of New Media/Social Media and how it can and should be used. almost universally, though, everyone I speak with is adrift in any new media plans. They might have a Twitter accounts, Facebook page or Instagram photos, but thy don’t know how or why they should be using them.

See more New Media Prescriptions here

One simple tweet

It is easy to set up accounts, of course, so nearly everyone has done that. Then the accounts site there, empty, doing nothing for no one. They could, instead be spreading your message, talking to clients, selling your products 24/7, but leave them empty and they are worthless, if not outright damaging to you. If people find your accounts online, they expect to find something there and will be disappointed when there isn’t. Don’t disappoint your audience when it is so easy to feed them the information, the products, the content they desire.

In an effort to help you jumpstart your own usage of New Media, I present this selection of small, doable actions that you can take — every day — to start making New Media work for you. If you like these ideas, please consider scheduling a consult with me so that together we can craft a New Media plan that is customized to you and the needs of your life, business and products.

1. Start small

Select one online social media source and concentrate your actions there. Does your life lend itself to a more visual presentation, start with Instagram, Flickr or other photo sharing site. Set a goal to post 1 new item each day. It’s OK if you don’t make it every day, but try. In most cases, I think you will fin that you easily have at least 1 item to share per day, if not more. You just need to keep the thought in your mind throughout your day. If you do, you will be more inclined to capture those photos you may have simply walked by before.

2. Collect ideas

If you are like most people, you will easily have more than 1 item a day that you would like to share. If so, collect up these “extra” ideas in a list so that they are available when needed. Maybe you had a busy day and weren’t able to take that daily photo. No problem. Find one of your “extras” and post it today. Problem solved!

This same idea works with any sort of content. Write as many Twitter messages as you can. Take as many photographs as possible, Write articles for your blog when you are “in the zone.” Then you can easily have those off days without feeling like you have failed. You shouldn’t feel that way anyway when you miss a day, but I know from personal experience that those feelings can creep in sometimes and actually prevent you from posting in the future. Keep a ready supply of content at hand and you’ll never have to worry about content again.

Need examples of the type of info you can/should share? Need ideas of how you can use multiple sites. Check out my social media accounts below and use me as an example.

3. Expand to new services one by one

Once your feel you have your rhythm down with one service, consider adding another. In most cases, you will find this much easier than starting in the first place. If you are already taking photos for Instagram, those same photos can and should be easily be shared on Facebook, or as part of your blog or Google+ page. You have different audiences in each of those locations, so don’t worry about duplicating content. Sure, some folks may see the same post in 2 different locations, but many, many others will be seeing it for the first time.

As you add new services, you will start to develop a system for sharing your content. I have a list posted on my monitor to remind me of the places I need to share content so that I don’t forget. As it stands now, I have about 13 places I share each piece of content I create. These services ebb and flow as I discover which ones work best for me and I am constantly trying out new services as they are introduced. This might sound overwhelming, but on average it takes me maybe 5 mins to share new content to all of my other accounts now that I have my system in place. I don’t spend hours sharing on New Media and you don’t need to either.

For more on this idea, read my previous post, Benefiting from the “New Media Multiplier”

4. Produce your content and help your audience find you

I often hear from people that they can’t imagine who would be reading their content, listening to their podcast or looking at their photos. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but this isn’t your concern. Your audience will find you, no matter what, if you put your content out there. It is nearly impossible to know exactly who your audience is, but you must remember that everyone has an audience — they just need to find it.

Your job is to produce content and share it so that your audience can find you. Make it easy for them to stumble upon you through referrals from other web sites, search engines, friends, family and random synchronicity. This is the biggest reason why any of us share anything on our blogs or social media sites. It allows our audience to find us and share us with their audience — and so on, and so on, and so on!

Don’t worry about your audience. Worry about your work, your writing, your products, your promotion, your sharing. Do this and your audience will easily find you.

Getting started with New Media is equally the easiest and most difficult part of the process. It is easy to set up accounts, but it can be difficult to discover what you want and need to share there. This takes time and a bit of thought, but the advantages to be found in using New Media, whatever your goals far outweighs the difficulties. Get started today!

Great places to start your New Media journey. Pick one and get started! :

Need help jumpstarting your New Media usage? Ask your questions in the comments, email me at or schedule a New Media Consult to help develop your own, unique New Media plans!

New Media 101: A Reason for Podcasting from “New Media Question Time”

Part of the New Media 101 series…

A quick clip from this 30 minute presentation — New Media Question Time for UCLA Voiceover Class.

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There is a benefit of podcasting that works for us all — and that is that it gives us control over our product. It allows us to speak directly to our audience and so I believe anyone can benefit from that. Anybody — regardless of their career, their job, their art, whatever they are trying to do — can use podcasting to talk directly to their audience.

We all have an audience. It doesn’t matter what we do. We can be a plumber. We still have an audience. We still have customers we are trying to reach, people we are trying to effect, policies we are trying to change.

Anyone can and should start podcasting to benefit their career.


Previously on New Media 101/Blogging 101:

More information on Douglas E. Welch and Careers in New Media:

Capture your “content” and share it! Please! – End of the Day for March 30, 2014

End of the day Logo

(Originally from End of the Day on My Word with Douglas E. Welch)

After an extremely busy day yesterday, we were all pretty tired this morning and got off to a rather slow start. Thankfully nothing required us to get up an moving — until we discovered that a friend was holding a boo reading and signing at Diesel Books in Malibu. Being that he is a very good friend of ours and I need little excuse to go to Malibu on such a beautiful day — we cleaned ourselves up and headed down.

As I usually do, I took along my cameras — both still and video — and figured I could capture a bit of the reading to share here on the blog and YouTube. I do this because I don’t believe in throwing away “content” that other people might enjoy. If I am going to enjoy an experience then it is a good possibility that others will, too. They might not be able to come to the event otherwise due scheduling or, more likely, because they live at great distance form where the event is happening. Why not share the fun when it takes relatively little work to do so?


You’ll be seeing the results of today’s event in a few days, but as always, it makes me wonder why more people — especially creative people — and businesses — especially bookstores — don’t make more of an effort to share their events in whatever way possible. For me, taking few pictures, grabbing some video — even with a smartphone — is far preferable to doing nothing. Events, once passed, are lost if you don’t do something to capture them. More importantly, everyone NEEDS to be capturing their content because this is the media you will use in selling the current book, song, movie, etc and also the media you will use to sell your NEXT book, song, movie, etc. If you don’t capture this content, you are crippling yourself, your sales, your promotion and possibly even your career.

It is so easy to capture and share content these days. We really don’t have an excuse for NOT capturing it. OUr smartphones take 1080 HD video and record CD quality sound. Our point-and-shoot cameras take pictures far better than anything in the past. It is the “will” that is lacking. Most of us have still not realized the deep importance in capturing our content. We don’t make it an automatic part of our life and work. We let things happen and then let them go without ever realizing the value these events carry for our future.

People often ask me why I go through the effort of capturing content for other people. First, I gain value from the content by sharing it online, on my blog and YouTube. The subject the event also gains value from increased exposure and the chance that an audience will stumble upon their book, music, etc and find they that they like it. Third, I also do it as a way of showing (and hopefully) convincing others of the value of capturing their content. It is “Real World Example” of how to capture it, how to package it and how (and why) to share it. By providing a good example, I hope to bring others along with me on this New Media journey.

The next time you are involved in a creative project, an event, a fundraiser, whatever — please, please, please at least consider capturing the content surrounding the event. Share your photos via Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and others. Upload the video to YouTube and share it on social media. Send links to the content to everyone involved and ask them to share it with their friends, family and business contacts. I think you will greatly — and pleasantly — surprised by the results.


Previously on End of the Day:

Video: Blogging and Content Creation with Douglas E. Welch – San Fernando Valley WordPress Group

Douglas E. Welch, writer of Careers in New Media  and several other blogs, presents on Blogging and Content Creation to the San Fernando Valley WordPress Group (54 mins)

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This talk contains the following topics:

  • Why you should be blogging for yourself, your career and your business?
  • Where do you find content for your blogs, podcasts and social media?
  • Capture the content that already exists in your life and work
  • Let people “behind the scenes”
  • Create “series” to make it easier to develop content
  • Read voraciously!
  • Share your content everywhere


Music: “Rocket” by Kevin MacLeod ( under Creative Commons License.

Audio: Douglas appears on the Bigg Success Podcast: Creating Video Content: Overcoming Objections

I sat down with George and Mary-Lynn over at Bigg Success recently and we talked about Overcoming business owners objections to creating video content.

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Video Content Douglas E Welch

Video content has become an important tool for reaching a wider audience, yet most professionals and small business people don’t use this form of media. Today, we’ll take on some of the biggest objections for not doing it with new media guru, Douglas Welch.

A complete transcript is available on the Bigg Success web site and you can listen to the podcast using the audio player below.

Listen to Bigg Success: Creating Video Content: Overcoming Objections

There is a lot of great content over on Bigg Success, so be sure to check out their site.

Subscribed 46: Scott Berkun – author and speaker on creativity, leadership, philosophy

Subscribed 46: Scott Berkun

If fine myself reading and sharing a lot of content from Scott Berkun, so it only makes sense to highlight him here are part the Subscribed series. Scott’s recent article, How to overcome cynicism, was a great example. It can be easy to fall victim to to cynicism in life and business and I salute him for taking on such a chronic issue.

How do you overcome cynicism in an environment determined to maintain it?

You overcome a toxic environment by walking out the door. Unless you happen to be a powerful person in the organization, it is not your fault that the environment is cynical, broken, dysfunctional, toxic, demented, twisted or incompetent. Managers and executives are paid a great deal more than the average employee and the main thing that comes with that pay grade is accountability. If the place depresses you, look upwards: the people in power make it this way. It’s uncommon for people in power to be motivated to make big changes since they like being in power.

Read the entire article

Scott berkun

From Scott Berkun’s web site…

I’m an author and speaker. My work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Guardian, Wired magazine, National Public Radio, The Huffington Post and other media. I taught at the University of Washington, blog for Harvard Business and BusinessWeek, and have appeared as an expert on various subjects on CNN, CNBC and MSNBC.

My latest book, The Year Without Pants: & The Future of Work released in Sept 2013 and was named an best book of the year.

Read Scott’s entire biography

 Get The Year Without Pants from

Other books by Scott Berkun

What are some of your favorite Subscriptions? Share them here in the comments!

Previously highlighted on Subscribed:

Subscribed is a Careers in New Media series  highlighting the Podcasts, YouTube Channels and Blogs that I follow on a daily basis. Check out this entry, and past entries, for some great New Media Content — Douglas

Video: “Writing the One-Hour Drama Pilot” with Richard Manning from “Inside the Room”

The 7th in a series of videos we produced for the UCLA Extension Writers Program to accompany their new books on television and screenwriting, Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room.

There will be 11 more videos from various chapter authors released over the next several weeks.

Ricky manning

Richard Manning, writer-producer; UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor; and author of Chapter 3 in Inside the Room: Writing Television with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program; talks about the difference between premise and prototype pilots, generating ideas for an original series, and how much character detail is necessary in a TV script.

Buy the books!


Dog Days of Podcasting – Day 28 – Video: Career Conversation: Andrea McClain of M Street Coffee

Douglas talks with Andrea McClain, owner and operator of M Street Coffee, an independent coffee bar in Studio City, California now entering its 6th year of business. I first interviewed Andrea during her first year of business, so in this interview we discuss lessons learned, challenges faced and the future of M Street Coffee.


Part of the Dog Days of Podcasting 30 Day Podcasting Challenge

Andrea mcclain

Watch my original interview with Andrea McClain from 2009

M Street Coffee Web Site
M Street Coffee on Twitter

Find more career interviews at the Career Opportunities blog and podcast


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Dog Days of Podcasting – Day 27 – Don’t let “feeling stupid” stop your from learning what you need — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

Career Opportuntiies Logo 2012

I have spent the last 30 years helping people to learn about technology in a number of ways and there has always been one, constant theme to this process — people hate to “feel stupid”about technology — or anything, for that matter. I think “feeling stupid” should be a diagnosed clinical physiological problem for all the damage it causes. Too many times, I have seen people suffer both personal and professional trials, simply to avoid the embarrassment and fear of “feeling stupid.” Let me tell you, though, avoiding the fear of appearing stupid to your friends, family and co-workers could be the most damaging act you take in your life and career. It can have far-reaching effects that limit your effectiveness, productivity and future success. Embrace “knowing what you don’t know” and then seek to learn.


Now available exclusively to Career Opportunities readers and Listeners.

Click for more information and pricing

Dog Days

It is often said that the most dangerous people are those that “don’t know what they don’t know.” They blunder from one crisis to the next, never knowing that their lack of knowledge is harming both themselves and those around them. They seem totally secure in their actions, even when they have no understanding of the problem at hand. Further, they often lash out at those who try to help them learn more — their outward veneer of security masking a deep insecurity beneath. Don’t be this person. Feel confident, yes. Feel secure, but also know that their are times when “feeling stupid” is the best indicator that you have something more to learn.

No one likes to feel stupid, of course, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t all face it — often on a daily basis. What is more important than the feeling, though, is what we do about it. Some of us are so affected by “feeling stupid” that we hide away and worse, hide our stupidity. Instead, we should take every opportunity to learn more when we feel we don’t know enough. Faced with an unknown word in the paper you are reading. Look it up! Don’t understand some monetary policy, do some online research. Can’t figure out why the roses in your garden aren’t blooming? Ask a knowledgeable friend.

The truth is, there is absolutely no reason for feeling stupid in today’s world. We have so many resources to help us understand the world around us, if we only took the time and energy to use them. From the immediate and handy confines of your smartphone you can find nearly any piece of information. Sure, you might have study deeper and longer to truly understand a complex topic, but getting started in your learning has never been easier. Even more, if you truly fear “feeling stupid”, no one else needs to know what you don’t know. You can step away, do a little research and return much the wiser.

Why then, do we still fear feeling stupid so much? Mainly this is due to insecurity. We fear being judged by our coworkers, our boss, our family, our spouse. We fear what they might think about us if they only knew how stupid we really are. I have a shocking revelation for you, though. They are just as stupid as you are. Sure they are probably stupid about entirely different things, but they carry around the same baggage as you. They fear feeling stupid, too. Perhaps by understanding this fact, we can all come together in our stupidity and move beyond it. We are not alone. We all share a common burden. If we start to collectively understand that fact, perhaps we can all move beyond our feelings of stupidity and move forward with our career and lives.

“Feeling stupid” is merely a sign that we have more to learn, not a sign of weakness. If we take this sign as an indication to learn more, we turn those threatening and scary feelings into a powerful force for improvement. If we move beyond our fear, we can move forward in great leaps. More importantly, if we all collectively understand that we are all stupid in something, perhaps we can move beyond the psychological angst we all go through whenever we are confronted with our own stupidity. Perhaps we can all start helping one another with the challenges in our life and career, instead of hiding behind bluster and intimidation, whenever we find we don’t know something. Imagine what you work and life could be like if we were all helping each other learn more, instead of demeaning and punishing others if they dare show their stupidity. It is as important to “know what you don’t know” as it is to understand the ignorance of others and understand that we all have something to learn, sometime in our lives.


Video: “Demystifying the Business of Feature Film Writing” with Laurence Rosenthal from “Cut to the Chase”

The sixth in a series of videos we produced for the UCLA Extension Writers Program to accompany their new books on television and screenwriting, Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room.

There will be 12 more videos from various chapter authors released over the next several weeks.

Uclawp rosenthal

Laurence Rosenthal, Producer; Development Executive; UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor; and author of Chapter 14 in Cut to the Chase: Writing Feature Films with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, talks about how to get an agent, how managers differ from agents, and why branding in important in a writer’s career.

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Video: “Pictures in Motion: Scenes and the Movement They Create” with Chrysanthy Balis From “Cut to the Chase”

The fifth in a series of videos we produced for the UCLA Extension Writers Program to accompany their new books on television and screenwriting, Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room.

There will be 13 more videos from various chapter authors released over the next several weeks.

Uclawp baylis

Chrysanthy Balis, screenwriter, UCLA Extension Writers’ Program instructor, and author of Chapter 9 in Cut to the Chase: Writing Feature Films with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, talks about “principle of movement,” where to start and end a scene, and how to deal with cutting a scene you really like.


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