Photo of Glasses and swimming pool

What Software Tools Do You Launch at the Start of Every Day?

Staying focused and preventing distractions starts with a strong daily anchor point. For me, it’s quickly loading four website dashboards (via a bookmark tab) to give me visibility of the horizon, what needs to happen next and a pulse of what’s going on in my freelancing Business. 

These four daily startup tools include my habit management tool (Habitica), my freelancing dashboard (Airtable), my time tracking software (Timecamp), and my great finance and invoice manager tool (Harpoon). 

These apps help me stay focused and move forward. They stay open on my second screen all day, so I can easily access and update them throughout. Below, I dive into these four dashboards and how each helps me perform at a high level. Let's star with habit management.

Explore my four tools for getting stuff done and staying focused

Luke Skywalker Confronting The First Order at the end of The Last Jedi

Three Problems With The Last Jedi Backlash & How We Fans Can Become Stronger Thinkers

What did you think of The Last Jedi? Did you love or hate it? Do you know why?

Since Star Wars The Last Jedi came out in December, I've sought out numerous takes (online and offline) on the film from people who loved it and people who hated it to better understand the movie. Much of this was driven by my love of Star Wars and initial trepidation of the film. While I moved towards liking The Last Jedi, there is an abundance of fans who despised it.

In January, I explored why the film's expectations divided fans, why it's so hard for people to embrace something different, and how we don't remember well (and criticize way too easily). It was my way to inspire Star Wars fans to become better people. Much of the polarizing and drastic response was driven by expectations, and I was no exception. Many fans were able to parse out our expectations and evaluate the movie on its own merits (not based on what we wanted).

In the following article, my aim is to encourage fans to become stronger thinkers and critics when we evaluate creative endeavors we like and don't care for.

  • Is what we're watching something we personally don't relate to or is it actually of poor quality? Is what we experience in the film more driven by our expectations and the worldview we bring to the watching experience?
  • Is it possible for a film to be well done and still not like it?
  • Is our perspective limited? Are we ignoring problems or twisting what we experience? Is there more to the story?

What we value, matters. What we don’t, feels like a waste. What we expect, taints our perspective.

We humans quickly and shallowly judge people, places and things like many of the characters (Rey, Finn, & Poe) in The Last Jedi, and few people appreciate or understand the nuance in these questions when reflecting on a creative endeavor. I aim to change that through the insight and inspirational examples below. Let's strive to become thoughtful and thorough evaluators.

Continue reading my disection of the problematic and shallow criticism of the Last Jedi

A robot and a girl

Leverage Automation Technology To Grow Your Business & Eliminate Unnecessary Staff Labor

As a strategist, I enjoy a good game of chess. In the professional chess arena, there’s been an ongoing feud of human players competing against computers with the latter usually winning. But it turns out the most competitive player is actually a team up of humans and computers. Neither on their own is good enough to defeat this hybrid group of man and machine. 

When it comes to marketing, the same approach is also the most powerful. There are tasks which are best suited for people and those that a computer can tackle without an ounce of sweat (haha!). And if we embrace new automation technology, companies have the opportunity to perform at the highest level. 

Automation done well also provides opportunities to eliminate hundreds of staff hours, accelerate income generation, and effectively get people the information they need when they need it. Automation done right allows you and your staff to focus on customer relationships and growing the business

Have you tapped into this powerful system yet?

Explore ideas on how you can leverage automation to move your business forward

Graphic: Freelance Compensation Is Set

To Succeed As A Freelancer, You Need To Get Clear On Your Offering – Here's How [For Steemit]

As part of one my experiments for the month, I'm testing out Steemit, a platform like Medium where writers are compensated with a form of cryptocurrency for creating content the community views and engages with. With my first article, it was both a new topic of satire and platform to publish. It turned out to be a success and looks like I may end up with a payout of over eighteen dollars.

With this success in hand, I wanted to publish a second article and discover how I faired on the followup post to help create a realistic picture of the rewards. As I was thinking about what to write and learning about the community, the topic of freelancing seemed to be a sweet spot for this network of independent people. Since I wrote a book on the topic of freelancing, I thought it could also act as a way for me to write and share concepts from the book while also promoting it at the same time. Since I tackled the topic of creating a stream of clients for a guest blog post I submitted to the Freelancers Union, I decided to tackle the topic of packaging our services in a compelling way for this second Steemit article. It's now live on their platform to help other freelancers make progress on their journey.

Click here to view the Steemit article, To Succeed As A Freelancer, You Need To Get Clear On Your Offering – Here's How

Woman With Absurdly Large Hand Laughing

Millennial Permanently Paralyzed After Being Subjected To His Own Question About Passion [Satire For Steemit]

Earlier this month, I shared my intent to experiment with the new to me platform Steemit. This website is much like Medium, but contributors actually make a share of income (via a form of cryptocurrency) from the success of the author's article. So, I applied, was accepted to join the community, and I have now set up my Steemit profile. 

I was also getting the writing garden moving along for my April writing push, and I came across the satirical draft inspired by my friend Addison Blu's article on creating better satire. I finished it up, asked for his feedback to make it better and published the finished piece on my Steemit page as the first of my posts. If you like satire or know a millennial, check out the funny following article below.

Click here to read "Millennial Permanently Paralyzed After Being Subjected To His Own Question About Passion"

Top View - Containers

When You Hit Capacity, Which Of These Two Ways Will Your Business Respond?

On one side of the spectrum, there’s launching a new venture and the struggle to find and land enough paying work to sustain our business. But, after we persevere long enough, we’ll hit a capacity wall. It’s at this point when we face two choices on how we grow. 

The first option is growing a team parlaying the increased demand with more people (or automation). The second approach involves increasing prices as a way to tame the demand and increase income. What are the differences in these approaches?

Explore the two options for expanding your small business

Pink Tennis Ball Stuck In The Fence

How Having A Designated Side Project Facilitates Movement When We're Stuck

At the end of last week, I was having a hard time writing new content for the blog. My first two articles of the month looked back at March and looked forward to the end of April. Those two monthly articles are fairly structured so it doesn’t require much creativity or energy to draft and publish them.

But there I was stuck and unable to move my writing garden forward. It actually happened twice last week. I just couldn’t muster up the energy and motivation to write, but I wanted to move something forward. 

Read how I overcame getting stuck writing my next blog article

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Jason Scott Montoya, Atlanta Georgia - Copyright © 2013-2018 
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