Back when my life was falling apart in Milwaukee and I made the decision to run home to momma, I decided to met up with MilTownKid for coffee and a meeting. During this meeting, we talked about where we were going, but mostly where the heck I was going to go. Master Pain is awesome like that, and while I’ve yet to repay him in full for what he’s given me over the short time we’ve known each other (promoting my work, finding me a home, listening to money and girl troubles, etc.), he ever continues to give. Time to catch up on things.
Master Pain recently got out into the world once more (ever an ongoing process for us all), and he’s gathering up his crew the MilTownKlan for some epic projects in the near future. Putting the Band Back Together, Avengers Assemble, you name it. Being a self proclaimed member, I’m ready for the charge. And what is it? Well…? We are still in the process of trying to figure things out, learning who we each are and our talents, and that’s something which requires individual efforts on all parts. My own has been lacking, and I’ve yet to even see how I did with the goals we laid out that day in the coffee shop. This blog post is a means of catch up, and make sure I continue to be Pwning Life.
As already noted, I’ve been meaning to give this to Master Pain for awhile, but other projects and pretty colors have kept me away. I also somewhat lost the checklist me and him made that day in 2011, but now that I recently found it, I can finally evaluate my progress since then. Instead of an email, however, how about some full disclosure for the sake of awesome? Because pickles. And thus I present my “HOW CAN I HAVE A STABLE AND SUSTAINABLE INCOME WHICH MAKES BANK BY 10/31/2011???”…list. And there are symbols next to some of these items, so here’s how they work…
* = A Master Pain selected item to focus completely on, for it would directly effect the outcome of the list’s stated goal.
** = Items of secondary importance to the major ones, though noteworthy enough to merit work once main focus was complete.
+ = Items written by Master Pain and not myself.
Now onto the list…
Move Back Home with Family*
Done did that. And a good move it was. My mind is in a much better place (regardless of current depression), and the lowered stress allowed me to figure things out and get into a groove which (will eventually) makes me happy. There’s more to say in my regular vlogs and especially my Living With series, otherwise…it’s been an experience, that is certain. One year later and it still feels like I’m on rock bottom, even if I have more dollars in the bank.
Work with Temp Agency’s in Hometown*
In the mind to get instant income, I contacted a few temp agency’s about a job weeks before I moved back in. The planning paid off, and I had something stable within a few weeks. While the work was eventually given up, I stuck around with the temp agency which has since given me the job I have at this point. And ever thankful I am, despite how bitter I tend to sound about the work these days.
Focus on Film Production for Clients*
This never panned out, period. I’ve long come to the conclusion no one wants the work I’m creating, even if they are aware of me. I get plenty of support with people telling me how awesome I am, but good vibes don’t pay the bills and neither does YouTube. I knew the latter back in 2011, and yet I sought out no clients to give me work. Just pretty much doing things for free.
Mind you, I know it has a lot to do with hustling as well, and making people not only aware of who you are, but making them believe they need you. Master Pain recommend I check out Siide (now defunct) and Elance to find freelance work, which I didn’t check out because I wasn’t quite in the game yet, and when I was I already became too involved with my own stuff. Now that I’m somewhat free to work again…?
Make Use of YouTube Monetization**
I did this, but as already stated above, YouTube doesn’t pay the bills. At most I have been getting a few dollars a month, but it took close to two years to get the $100 minimum to get a check. And that was only because I already had some unclaimed money in the Google Adsense account. Though maybe it’s only because I’m not getting the proper number of views to make it worthwhile? Regardless, focus should be put on making my own money, because expecting money to be made just by having my work sit there is silly…unless…
Go the Extra Mile and Become a YT Partner!**
Become like Master Pain, you know? Or Chris Sanders to be more recent (congrats bro!). This is a status all the YouTubers envy, because it means you’re the elite among the millions of video producers, and given special privileges (or at least it’s assumed as such). After only two years of constant work and networking, Chris managed to catch the eye of someone. And while I would say it’s all luck, the man (like the esteemed Master Pain) has a charisma that grabs you. The most attention I seem to grab is those from the Malt Liquor crowd. Suppose it’s nice to be noted now and then, but I wonder if that makes me Partner material?
Master Pain also made a point for me to check out AtheneWins, and I abhor those folk. They got their popular in the early days of YouTube by taking advantage of the thumbnail trick. Way back when, you couldn’t make custom thumbnails for your videos while fellows searched the site. Instead, pictures from the middle of the video showed as the thumbnail. AtheneWins took advantage of this by having a clip of one of their female cast posing provocatively, making users believe they were going to see a full video of a woman being damn sexy. They clicked, got pissed when it was about something else, and either kept watching or angrily spread their hate for AtheneWins…which got them more popularity anyway.
And here’s the thing about AtheneWins! They make good content. I’m not going to bullshit you and say they suck, because they really don’t. That’s why those who were tricked keep on watching, because it is entertaining. I just despise the method that brought people in. They are GreenTeaGirlie with actual entertainment value, but still a bunch of swindlers. It’s always ethics, principles and all that goody two shoe jargon with me. Will go to the grave disdaining AtheneWins…and hopefully not myself, should I break down and do something similar. Still plenty of time to live that lifestyle, that much I know.
Cut Expenses, Only Essentials**
This goal was a given, what with moving back home in the comfort of a home somewhat owned by family, a shared fridge, reduced rent, etc. to keep my head level. So…mission accomplished? I still find myself buying random things and making extra trips just for a snack, but I’ve come a long way, this is certain.
Work with Friends/Family upon Projects
The intention was to make myself more sociable with those I have neglected while in Milwaukee, and keeping in touch with those I left behind. The result? I have not worked or spoken with either on any grander scale than it was one year ago. A failing of mine, and I’ve let myself become wrapped up in my own business. Heck, I don’t even know what the goals are for my parents, and I live with them. This needs to be looked at…
Utilize D&D Skillz to Create Adventure Modules*
Can you imagine this was actually a Master Pain approved item? I think it’s because I hyped it up to him, and I gave the impression I was working upon my D&D writing more than I actually was. For the record, even though I write about D&D and now have a video series in which I talk about it, I am a fairly bad DM, PC, and producer when it comes to the game. I’ve yet to even DM through a single adventure module to see if I can even manage that. And I thought I could create products for other people to buy? Heck, I didn’t even level up my PC for this Sunday’s game yet.
I won’t discredit this idea completely, however. There is still some value to be had from the idea, but I just have to apply myself and not fudge about reading and dreaming. It’s the work that has always bothered me, and now that I’m getting more used to the process of creation, going back to this isn’t out of the picture. A fall back plan should I ever get rich, and want to mess around for some petty cash. Lottery wins happen.
Finish Novel with Brother
I forget the exact time it happened, but sometime before 2008 my brother and now wife came forward to me with the idea of a novel. They had a good idea, but needed someone to write it, and given I was unemployed and apparently wanted to be a writer, we had weekly meetings to check on my progress. I obviously failed to keep up on it, and talk of the project dropped. I always intended to finish it though, and now that I was moving closer to my Brother, we could restart the process and make millions on top of all the other writing I was going to do.
And where is all this supposed writing? Nowhere in sight, that much is known. I can’t even finish a crappy novel in one month. But as with all things, will get down to it eventually. I actually have a few hundred papers from old writings critiqued by the Christian Writer’s Group sitting not even five feet away from me. The hope was that if I saw it, it would get done, and I would have that much more desk space to work with. It was the same principle I have with all the books I need to finish, and why my carpet is littered with them. Both goals have been neglected. As always, soon. Priorities allowing.
Promote Toast in Musical Endeavors**
Toast is a friend of mine who works Hip Hop on his free time. Like me, he does what he does because of passion, and (as far as I know) gets no monetary value out of his work. Which is bogus, because the man has skills. Hell, just hearing his voice as he talks is enough to make me smile,so you can bet how strongly I feel for his music. However, my passion to support him is ever weighed down my ability to follow through, and it took over a year to get him projects filmed months before my meeting with Master Pain (#1 and #2 of Tao of Toast), and exactly a year after the Jake’s Going Home filming.
And in regards to me being a friend, I can count the number of times I’ve seen Toast on my hand. With fingers left over. Maybe I got it wrong, and that’s actually a lot in comparison to other relationships, but it doesn’t feel like enough. The man deserves better than that, and better than me if I wish to be harsh. If I can take any solace from my incompetence, I am getting a handle on things and can not only produce better than I have, but make the time for not only Toast, but others. And speaking of other friends and their business…
The Same for PANDAstar!!!**
Oh PANDAstar, the chiptune artist and friend I ever continue to tout and uplift. Ever does she need it, not only because her work deserves notice but any support her way helps her out of her funk (financial, emotional, etc.). Given PANDAstar lives so close to me (no farther than Toast), I always thought we would work together more, because we’ve been talking about making just a single music video for as long as I’ve known her. Like it is with Toast, I haven’t seen her much at all, and it ever saddens me to know I’m not a bigger part of my friend’s lives.
But I keep trying, and I must say I’ve done something with my video production to assist PANDAstar. Weeks after the Master Pain meeting and right before the move, I released live footage of her (and others) playing in my first Basement Show, promoted another live performance with my antics, used tracks for background music in some of my vlogs, and most recently made a promo for her new release TROPOSPHERE. There is more on the way, and bigger plans that have really just been in my head waiting for things to click. I’m just hopeful they mesh with her own. Fingers crossed as always.
Be a Producer, Not a Consumer*
I did this before 2013 came round, and let me tell you something…it was so worth it. Every time I break away from my addiction to any consumerism entertainment, my life becomes enriched. That I was able to do without it for so long gave me such appreciation at what I could do with my time when I just give myself a push. Find myself still consuming these days, but I at least know I can quite whenever I want. And does magic ever happen when I do. Will be doing it a lot more in the coming months, what with things needing to be rolling for me if I hope to make anything for myself. Progress!
Promote Self, Others and Ideas through Blogging*
When I’m on the ball with writing/blogging, I can usually put out an article every week, akin to the goal I seek with my video production. Topics focus mostly on pop culture and whenever I BAWW about life. For the most part, I think I’m doing pretty good at expressing myself and discovering my mind by ironing them out for the world to observe. Now like it is with my YouTube, I need an audience to give feedback, which I do not have period. Though I suppose it’s better to have a tight knit group of folk than the ilk of 4chan breathing in your face? Recently got a flood of views and comments from some board, and let’s just say my responses rustled some feathers. Apparently manners are discouraged in this new world.
Commute and Work with Community*
The community being the the city I live in. Nothing happened. Moving on.
Have a RUMMAGE SALE
Didn’t happen either. Though I did give a lot of my possessions away as gifts. Don’t know if the folk appreciated them (limited feedback because talking to people scares me?), but I do know I appreciate the items out of my life. May they have a better home.
Make Parents and “Home Base” Stable
My choice to move back home not only worked for me, but for my family. Medical issues and other matters came up right when I returned, and the rent, physical and emotional assistance was needed, rather than the stress of me living poor in MKE weighing down on them as well. Problem being, that’s pretty much all I do. I’m otherwise a dick to my parents, despite giving a public apology about the matter. Twice. I don’t use the word “love” often, because I believe too many people overuse it and don’t understand the emotions it invokes in others. Love is irrational, and it causes great pain when the proclamation of love isn’t true.
Point being, I love my parents, and I loathe that I fail them (in many ways). Master Pain may not have checked this as a priority in any fashion, but it’s a matter of respect, honor, etc. that I need to get my act together and make right with them. Feels that way at least, but as already stated, love is irrational, so…*shrug*
Write Scripts for Shorts/Films
Did you know I’ve been sitting on a project idea for over two years now? Which is why I’ve grown a beard to begin with? Two years I’ve had this beard, because of this sketch I’ve written, and not a thing was filmed yet. And guess how much I’ve written since that time? Nothing. This needs to change, but I’ve already noted that, so moving on.
Promote Shirts on Skreened**
Way back when I got into YouTube and began following big names and those having a relation to big names, I discovered Skreened, a print as you go t-shirt design shop which gave users the ability to capitalize on their work. Was an easy setup, and to date I have 18 designs in my store. Not a one has sold, and I haven’t updated it in such a long time. Will need to look into it at some point, especially to see how it fairs against its competitors, because Skreened has changed, and with my lack of the market I don’t know if it’s for the better. Yay money!
Sell the Rest of “The Buttons”
I have these buttons a friend of mine made for me to sell at the Art Show. Sold a few, still have a bunch sitting in my drawers. Should anyone be interested, $2 each, $3 for two. Seriously, would like to get these out of my stash.
Find Work that Doesn’t Use Car
I worked a dead end job which beat up my car more than it was worth. Worked that job for two and a half years, which equals about five years if I used it like any normal man should have done. It is now a piece a crap falling apart at the seams. Thanks for that former employ! Now I have to make sure I find work that is within walking/biking distance. Oh wait, I have that, but I still drive everyday because I’m lazy? Just one of the many things to change, as ever.
Study Internet Marketing**+
Master Pain is big on this. I never was, and I think that’s why he pressed it? Not like it’s against my ethics or anything, because it’s really just another name for networking. Problem being…I’m not too good a social creature. Big surprise!? Simple things such as talking to friends or friends of friends to get help in any fashion seems like too big a stretch to me, and that’s Hustling 101. And given the realization I’ve had as of late, I need to change things quick. Or hire someone to do the work for me? Seems easier, though easy doesn’t mean the correct route, and I’d prefer to fight my own battles regardless of the number of failures I get. Will one day be able to hold a conversation without any anxiety or alcohol!
Become YT Expert+
Having been part of YouTube for so long, I think I have a feel for who is there, why they are there, and what worked for them. But given the talk I’ve already had on YouTube thus far, it hasn’t helped my own station. Knowledge is power, however, and I’m certain I’ll figure out what to do with it soon enough.
Work with Art Community+
Not a sanctioned goal by Master Pain, but one written by him all the same, and he will be glad to know I found a community to work with in Project Famous. Granted, I’m unable to work with them as much as I want, because I work full time during the week, making my weekends the only time I’m available. And what with all the projects I neglect through the week, and all the friends I never see or talk to…yeah, it’s no wonder I’m depressed these days. But I manage with what I can, and I can say for certain this year will be different than the last. World will work in my favor, you’ll see.
“Find Job” is my Job+
And I did that. Like a boss. But After working this long, I’ve found that making money isn’t all I care about. I’ve said it before, but the best job I ever had also paid the least, and while it killed the idea of me ever working such an environment again, I still miss it. I’ve yet to find the social element in other work that made that one job so stimulating. As of now, I am making more per hour than any other job in all my working years, and I’m incredibly bored and miserable. I don’t know if I can afford the concept, but perhaps it should not just be about finding any job, but the job? And it’s well known I’ll never have enough money for everything I need (not just want), so maybe a little acceptance is in order? Or become a hobo, which sounds strangely appealing at times.
And that…is the lot of my goal list from October 2011, with the intention of the lot of them being completed by October 2012 (because Master Pain said so). Tallied up and giving myself credit by being positive about things, that’s 5/7 Primary goals complete, 4/7 Secondary Goals, and 2/10 Miscellaneous Goals. Hopefully Master Pain will see it the same way? If not, it’s all good, because I’m content with what’s been done, even though there is so much more to be done. But I relish the work, at least when I’m somewhat chipper like I am right now. It’s the rest I got, and it was on the floor of my computer room if you can imagine that.
Anyway, that’s one step closer to Pwning Life, MilTownKlan Style. Weekend of getting things done awaits me. Need to wrap this up along with some other items to send to Master Pain, call some friends, do some laundry, and eventually level up my PC for tomorrows D&D game. Been on Level 2 long enough, what with going through a whole adventure where I needed to be Level 3. Onward!