DAILY REAL TALK: Be you, not them and How I Make My Money

Companies have basically cowed a large percentage of bloggers and YouTubers into being unpaid infomercial hosts. You really can’t trust what you read online anymore.

Look, I get it. It’s pretty awesome to get stuff for free. People send me free stuff all the time but I make it very clear that no amount of corporate cheese is going to get me to lie to my readers. I only take opportunities that I like and I only work with companies who are open to constructive feedback. I approach it like a collaboration. I look to how I can best help them while also translating their good work to my readers. If I don’t like something but it’s great for someone else, I translate to who would love it. I have no desire to put anyone on blast. That gets reserved for the rare times that someone truly goes above and beyond to screw me and others.

But yeah. Free stuff in exchange for your being an unpaid infomercial host.


It’s a trap, guys. First it starts out innocently. You get invited to parties or given free tickets. They don’t tell you what to say, but everyone there knows that if you don’t regurgitate the corporate PR materials you won’t get invited back to the great party with the free food and booze and celebrities. I’ve been to a few of these events for various companies and you can almost feel the desperation at some of them.

Quite often Mommy Bloggers are the best target. Why do I know this? Because I am actually a freelance Marketing Director during the day – soon to be Marketing VP. It’s how I get paid. One reason Marketers target Mommy Bloggers is because quite often they are stay at home Moms. They also have kids. Kids cost money. This means that they may be short on cash. Those free parties and toys and swag are ever so much harder to turn down when you are a single income household.

You see how it starts? They get into the cracks of good people. It’s completely innocent at first. Then you realize how insidious it is once you’ve seen it enough times. It started out as a cool thing for some very hard working Moms and others but it can become a desperate clique of people too afraid to say anything negative about whatever company they are working with.

BOOM. That company now has their infomercial hosts. They just have to pay them with the low level fear of losing what they have achieved.

I have been lucky. The companies I work with get me. They are on board with the fact that I will give them constructive criticism and they appreciate me for it because when I’m done they have a much better product. I only work with the best and the most ethical.

My advice for anyone coming up in blogging is to be careful of these traps. They seem great at first but they lead you to a plateau. You’ll become handcuffed by it. Your readers will smell it and no longer trust you to give them the Real Talk because they will be able to see through it.

Nobody trusts anyone who always thinks everything is perfect, guys. Perfect isn’t real life.

My Advice for Working with Companies:

When a company contacts you talk with them and make sure they are OK with constructive feedback. You don’t even have to post that online – if you are working directly with them you can give them the feedback one on one. This gives them a chance to fix whatever it is and then once they have quickly fixed it you can post about it. In many ways I view bloggers as beta testers. I really take my role seriously. Everything I say or do I like for it to be helpful to whomever I am working with. I write as if it were what I’d want to read critiquing my own work.

So where does that leave those of us who refuse to be unpaid slaves for The Man? With CASH MONEY on your own terms if you know how to play it right.

They way I play it is The Long Game. Do not expect to get to this point for at least 5-10 years. It’s not easy. Sorry. Nothing worthwhile is. But it is possible.

My blog is kind of like a combination resume and networking tool. Since starting this blog I’ve quadrupled my yearly income. I am also now debt free after paying off close to 6 figures of debt that was on 25% interest. Yep. That happened just this week. BAM.

How I Make My Money (for now):


Currently almost 100% of my income comes from freelance work (Marketing, Project Management) that I’ve gotten because I write here. “Art Sales / Internet Donations” also encapsulates paid artwork, image licensing payments, and guest speaking payments. I don’t have much time to do a lot of this stuff just now due to how lucrative my other freelance work has been.)

Having created Intervention and (Re)Generation Who from this blog is physical proof of how influential my work has been. I literally just did almost every desirable skill anyone in my field could want on my own with no outside help.

That answers all of the questions before they are even asked.

If your current day job isn’t giving you the opportunities you need to broaden yourself – make them yourself. Volunteer. Contribute to local events. Start your own event. Write a book. Take your future into your own hands. If I had waited for my company to walk me through all of this I’d still be a receptionist.

For example, in one interview I was asked if I could influence people. My reply was, “After 5 PM I have 120 unpaid volunteers standing by to work with me. How many do you have?”

There was no question. I got that contract immediately.

So I urge you to be yourself. You will lose opportunities over it, but you will lose the wrong opportunities over it. Eventually you’ll build something you love on your own terms.

I’m almost there. By 2017 I’ll have pulled out at least 2 or 3 more areas in which I’ll be making money and I’ll likely have more time to work on creative projects and do more speaking engagements. This pie chart will not stay this way for very long. It always changes as my schedule changes and I can devote more time to different things.

Remember one thing – I started working toward this in 2003. It’s 2015.

Stay the course. It’s worth it. And don’t be afraid to mess up or try things that don’t work. Be you. Your voice is the only thing that will cut through the chatter of bullshit online.

Use your voice. Anything else isn’t that special.

Please bookmark and subscribe to my blog. Also:

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- Comments are closed because I was tired of Marketing departments sending their employees to make fake comments on my site to sell their products. Email me or comment via social media.

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 Life is odd; register for Intervention 6 in Rockville, MD this August and hang out with me!

I have had a really good and really bad 2 weeks at the same time, guys. It’s time to break out the photo of me with my fish gun:

fish gun

(Re)Generation Who registration launched and the sales are off the charts. Some VIP ticket options sold out in less than 24 hours. I have 9 Tier 5 Time Lord VIP donations @ $1500 each. This is way beyond what I ever expected. That event is a very expensive event to produce, so this is very important! It’s because of your donations and support that I can make this event happen.

I don’t even have words to thank you. I’m that stunned. You guys are the absolute best!

In other news, I am dealing with a rather scary eye issue. I see a surgeon this Thursday because contacts and glasses both no longer seem to work. My doctor tried to produce some glasses for me but the first 2 tries failed. I’m that hard to fit. I’m afraid that I am losing my vision in one of my eyes and I am trying to remain calm. Hopefully it’s just an issue with those contact lenses. There’s some other tough stuff going on as well. I guess nothing can happen easily, can it?

I have some cool stuff coming up that you will not want to miss.

I’m really excited about my Marketing Classes I’m teaching at Intervention in Rockville, MD this August 14-16. If you have a dream but don’t know how to get people to adopt it, you’ll leave these classes with a good idea of how to get to where I am. I’m literally just telling you everything I know as simply as I can so you can use it on your own business.

Terry Molloy (Doctor Who’s Davros) will be teaching voice acting classes, my assistant and Community Manager Kara Dennison will be teaching How to Get into the Anime industry.

That’s only a small taste of what we will have at Intervention. Add to that round-the-clock video and board gaming, many local guest speakers teaching you what they do, artists displaying their works, a film festival, children’s programming, and the best parties and networking you’ll ever encounter. I received a call from a CEO last week who told me that if the person was involved with Intervention and they saw that on their resume it would be an insta-hire situation. Wow.

I am really glad that I’ve been able to help so many people and have fun at the same time. Hope to see you at the con this year for our 6th year of mayhem! I’ll be ther all weekend and more involved with teaching so you can easily find me to meet me and ask any questions. The entire point is to help people and have fun so yay!

Please bookmark and subscribe to my blog. Also:

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- Comments are closed because I was tired of Marketing departments sending their employees to make fake comments on my site to sell their products. Email me or comment via social media.

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 DAILY REAL TALK: Assholes are nothing special



DAILY REAL TALK: I had a day awhile back in which I did everything right, was polite, and gave over 100%. A person nearby was having a bad day and took it out on me. Bad.

I know that I talk a lot about kicking people’s asses but I only do that if I have to save someone’s life or get someone’s hand off of my ass. You can’t do that shit in real life and not be a trashy moron.

At first I felt blinding anger and powerlessness. I could not do anything about this person’s unfair assessment of me and the fact that in the context of what happened, their opinion actually did matter. We all are put in situations like this where someone in some sort of power around us will put us down. I get asked a lot about how to deal with this.

It’s simple: Remember that assholes aren’t special.

Assholes are common. Humans are animals. Maybe they are having a bad day or are in some sort of pain. Perhaps they are too weak to deal with that and it has to come out as aggression, like a marmoset or something. Aggression is really for weak individuals. You want to see strength? Look at the person who keeps getting shit on and still manages a smile throughout the day.

The way that I speak can seem jarring to some. I have a rough, northeastern way of communicating. Many people around me actually find hilarious so I keep it around as a source of comedy.

My actions are extremely kind. It’s not unusual for me to tip 100% at a restaurant. That gives me joy. I used to wait tables. I understand.

Always choose kindness.

Assholes aren’t special. Kind people are special because kindness is harder to do when you are having a tough day.

It’s hard to hold onto this when your life seems dark and when someone in a position of power is marginalizing you. Just remember that when one door closes, another DOES open. That’s when you’ll be at the next level of the video game. Inside that door will be more un-special assholes that you’ll sail right past if you hold onto the same kindness that you’d like to receive from others. No one has the right to tell you what you are worth. Assholes also are not psychic. You are only seeing a reflection of their own mental issues manifesting as sad gorilla cries for help. Even if you have to see this person on a daily basis, that won’t last forever.

Outclass them with kindness.

At least that’s what has worked for me.

Please bookmark and subscribe to my blog. Also:

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 My fucked up life: Art, Music, Collaboration, and Isolation

I finally got back into the studio yesterday after having so much awful shit go down last November.

I realized that I actually don’t like it. I also realized some fucked up shit about myself that I am changing immediately.


By nature, I am social. I enjoy talking, laughing, and hearing about things other than myself. When I am isolated I start to become depressed. I think that’s why I stopped creating art regularly. I just don’t feel like being alone with myself all the time anymore. I am an over thinker. I am an obsessive researcher. I legitimately have mild OCD. Emails drive me crazy such that I become obsessed with being “always on”.

The reason many of you get replies from me within seconds is because I AM always on. I can’t close Facebook out if there are any new message indicators lit up. That’s not good considering I get thousands of them per day and they never stop! Hamster wheel.

When I am alone this manic behavior increases and I start to second guess myself and then I just undercut myself far worse than anyone else could ever do to me. I am my own worst enemy.

When people started dying and worse last November, It knocked me. Hard. I’ve had knives pulled on me back in the day so to say that last November was the worst month of my adult life is a pretty huge thing. More shit happened that I didn’t even post. I’ve recently developed a distaste for even updating here.

Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.

I just will be writing what I feel like writing when I feel like it. I started this blog just to write about things I liked and thought. I wrote it to reach out to other people. I didn’t start it to be a vertical or a niche. As my traffic and notoriety grew I became obsessed with trying to formulate a pattern to what I was doing to take it to the next level. Because apparently I have the ability to even turn my personal vacations into a structured PR campaign with multichannel integration.

I need to cut that shit out.

Furthermore, the concept of a tight topic and editorial calendar isn’t a concept that works well with me. I’m not terribly cool. I don’t like things that fit into a single niche. I like cooking and metal guitar and art and Doctor Who and I fucking love me a shopping trip to Sephora and White House Black Market. I also love MMA and Kurt Vonnegut.

I doesn’t make sense on paper. I like what I like. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I’m trying to simply live the adult life that I want.

So what do I want out of life? I want friends. Art. Collaboration. Good discussions.

I realized that I had been doing a great job of preventing that. You guys know a lot of shit that I do well. Well here is something I suck at.

I suck at letting people in.

Those of you who have met me at a con won’t get this because at a con I am “on”. But then I leave and go back home to New Jersey and you won’t see me until the next con. It’s the days in between cons that you’d see it.

If I suspect for a second that someone doesn’t like me, the metaphorical metal door immediately slams shut. And what does that do? It teaches people who don’t know me that I am not nice because I’m not speaking to or paying attention to them. They get to write the story about who I am without me having any part in it. I forfeited it in exchange for their worst assumptions about my character.

I do this at work or in my day to day errand running a lot and I’m stopping it. I’ve already stopped it. A few weeks ago I made a resolution. I always keep my resolutions. Every day I try to do something nice for someone at random. Every day I try to have a conversation with a stranger. That last part is enough to give me hives. But I’m forcing myself to do it.

It’s actually darkly funny to see some of my co worker’s scared faces when I say “hi” for the first time after working in the same office for months and months. That drove it home. Some of these people were legitimately afraid of me because I don’t speak much when I’m not at an event that I’ve created. They feared me. Me! I’m the kindest person ever. I’d actually hurt myself if it meant that I could help someone else. That’s how much I care about other people. I’ve seen a lot of bad shit. I don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone else.

But again – they got to write the story of who I am without me having a say in it because I was hiding behind my metal door.

The fear I saw when I finally said hello is what made me realize that I needed to immediately take action. I caused that. Me – the person who finds rudeness and unkind behavior the height of ignorance. What the fuck is wrong with me?

I know what is wrong with me. I’m terrified that I am going to be hurt again because in the past I have been hurt a hell of a lot. It’s my self defense mechanism. I’ve spent several years systematically analyzing and dismantling any bad behavior that I had learned back in my darker days. That was no small feat.

I guess I missed one.

It’s gone. I made the change immediately. I’ve already purchased a meal for a stranger, got some experience doing this thing called “small talk”, and listened to a woman tell me about her sewing projects in a craft store for no particular reason.

I just didn’t grow up with that. I am so straightforward and I’ve always been so stressed out that I felt I had no time in the past.

My life is much better now. So why am I holding onto that stress and running around like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland still?

I used to feel that I had missed so much in my life that any further loss of time was a waste, but I’ve come to the conclusion (thanks to an air conditioner salesman of all people) that “I don’t waste time. I invest time.”

The cycle of me pushing myself around and feeling like I’ve wasted a day and “lost” is over. I killed it. If it comes back to life, you have my permission to remind me to kill it again. Please.

When I feel this urge, I will cue myself mentally to act in the exact opposite way that I may naturally want to. If I want to be quiet, I’ll talk. If I want to hide, I’ll go to the party instead.

I’m taking some time to study art and music on my own terms and then I’ll be looking for people to collaborate with on projects. You’ll see some fun stuff about that journey here of course.

And you know what? We’ll be absolutely amazing.

Please bookmark and subscribe to my blog. Also:

- Follow me on Twitter @Onezumi.

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- Comments are closed because I was tired of Marketing departments sending their employees to make fake comments on my site to sell their products. Email me or comment via social media.

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 PHOTO: 3 professional nerds make geek cons happen!

This photo was taken by Robert Rukrigl‎ of me (Onezumi Events CEO), James (CFO/CIO), and my assistant Kara (Community Manager).


The 3 of us are who you will recognize most working on (Re)Generation Who and Intervention, but there’s a team of 120+ behind us who all work just as hard.

I am C-Level over Marketing and anything that involves getting people to come, designing the cool stuff that they are going to do at the events, and figuring out scalable solutions. James is C-Level over Finance, Ops. We actually both cross over and work as a team, but primarily we are weighted toward these types of positions.

Kara is my right arm for social media, trade show tables, and blogging on the con sites because there’s only so many hours in the day and I can’t be in 2 places at once! She leads @RegenerationWho on Twitter and Facebook. She’ll soon be doing more with @interventioncon Twitter and Facebook. You should follow all of that because we kick some ass!

Please bookmark and subscribe to my blog. Also:

- Follow me on Twitter @Onezumi.

- Friend me on Facebook.

- Comments are closed because I was tired of Marketing departments sending their employees to make fake comments on my site to sell their products. Email me or comment via social media.

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