Posts Tagged life
It’s certainly been an interesting one today, with a meeting in Starbucks, another at the Foreign Correspondents Club, another in a pizza restaurant and another by a bench outside a supermarket near home.
There were revelations, probing questions as well as frustration, outrage, big decisions, action steps …and a dead rat.
I got a phone call this morning from an acquaintance who asked me if I had time for a coffee. It wasn’t about business, I wouldn’t need to take anything. It was just going to be about *me*. I was intrigued.
And it was. I was asked what I wanted to do with my life. I laughed. “I ask myself the same question every day!”.
It’s not that I have *no idea*. It’s more that there’s an abundance of opportunity, I’m diluting my efforts, and perhaps ultimately setting myself up for prolonged frustration.
I took an important step at the end of July by leaving my full time job and going freelance.
Since then I’ve been offered more work than I can take on – and that’s been without asking.
I’m thinking it’s time I took another big step.
Everything happens for a reason – and meetings like today’s are pretty rare,
I’m reminded of that quote: “What would you do if you *knew* you couldn’t fail”.
Today was a very good day.
It started off as most Monday’s do – volunteer work at city hall. I went extra early today, in order to finish early and meet George an hour before our lunchtime appointment at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo re. Japan Podshow – George and I deserve a break at the end of our 6-month stint! It was about then that I posted this photo – note Tokyo tower in the background. I wrote a short blog to accompany this on dannychoo.com.
I also briefly posted the following photo to this blog by mistake – I’m posting by email a lot of the time and made a little mistake with the email address, sending it here instead of just to Flickr.
I tell you, that place is incredible. Lunch is pretty reasonable too, starting at 3,500yen. We had the Chef’s special which would have been 4,500 yen (had we been paying More info here. Mondays are Ladies Day – 4 for the price of 3.
I note from the site that dress is ‘Casual Elegance’ – George and I were there in our jeans and T-shirts!
The staff were extremely friendly. Linda, the pr manager whom we’re working with to make this happen, is very kind. The catering and restaurant managers knew that we’d be visiting and came out to say hello too, which was nice.
We have a preliminary date set to shoot the last episode of Japan Podshow for late next month – our venue may well be the most expensive suite in the whole of Tokyo (and possibly Japan?) – it’s 3,300 metres of floor space, over 50 floors up. Whilst we’re pencilled in, if someone books it, we’ll use another suite.
We’re thinking this will be something along the lines of Cirque du Soleil.
Following that I spent a few hours getting shots of the exterior of the hotel. I tell you, I am loving this camera, and the new wide angle lens is fabulous.
Sat down at starbucks, posted another live blog to Dannychoo – and then later got an email from a stranger – who turned out to be the person who sat at that table just prior to me, had read my post on DannyChoo.com and also coincidentally had discovered Japanpodshow, and had seem me walking around with a tripod – small world!
After doing a bit of podcast editing I met up with Kamasami Kong of the Metpod, and together we attended a Media Tectonics gig at which Twitter/real life friend 1rick was presenting. Great stuff. very sexy keynote.
Also bumped into Christine there who presented with me on our podcasts from Wireless Japan Expo. Oh, and Lem Fugitt of Robot Dreams – whom we’ll be working with to make some videos at the international robotics expo in November – very excited about that!!
Also met Ian Thomas Ash, producer / director of The Ballad of Vicki and Jake – a hard-hitting documentary which will have its Japanese premier this Sunday in Nakana Zero Hall. The second film in this series will be out in December.
Anyway, Ian, a very nice man, lives not all that far away, and could do with a hand getting his work out there, and we could learn a lot from him and possibly borrow some equipment, so I hope we’ll do some work together.
All in all it’s been a fabulous day. Opportunities are continuing to present themselves as and when needed. I think we’ll be able to do some fantastic stuff this autumn, and hopefully start to benefit financially from the effort too!
Anyway, back to the full time job in 8 hours!
(p.s. ‘Sutarto’ is japanese for ‘start’!)
Yes indeed. The world’s first Moled space flight. Captured on the Hibiya subway line.
So, it’s been a pretty full-on week this week. The day job has been hectic as we’ve had a lot of new contracts starting, and I’ll be out of the office most of next week teaching at a major electronics manufacturer. Still, it’s going much better than earlier in the year as it has been established that I know what I’m doing, and whilst I may occasionally make small mistakes I’m indispensable enough to treated with respect at all times (I don’t mean that to sound arrogant, it’s a true reflection of my reality of the situation). It’s good not being the office idiot.
I’ve also been trying to get my new podcast, Making it in Japan off the ground. It took about 25 hours to get it to look and behave the same way as the one I had in my head at the start. That includes time spent designing and creating original images, adjusting the template layout / design, re-recording the audio intros and outros, getting the feed sorted and submitting it to the iTunes Store etc.
I’m quite pleased with the result. It’s the most minimalistic (wp-driven) website I’ve made to date, with deliberately few distractions and only a few things for people to click on. Very different from Japan Podshow which is all php whizzy bangs and html ferris wheels.
The simple layout is echoed in the audio content. It’s just interviews. Interviews with inspirational English-speaking entrepreneurs and artists here in Japan. The idea is that it will appeal to those who don’t like long podcasts / don’t appreciate the humour of Joseph and George / just want to learn. Whilst most of the interviews will be repeats of those featured in Japan Podshow for the time being, those on Making it in Japan will be fuller in body, more detailed, and of course will continue past the end of Series 1 of Japan Podshow (episode 12 will bring it to a close in October).
By re-using content (in a way that I believe serves a different audience), I feel that I am not setting myself up for failure, as I am not having to do the main job of interviewing people twice over. I’m not creating a whole load more work for myself. I hope it’s a success.
I spent several hours today preparing for the next episode of Japan Podshow. This involved calling a stranger in London for an interview (successfully captured) – I can’t give any more details as it’s a surprise but I hope people enjoy it when it goes out. I also edited the interview I recorded with Kat McDowell at Sony Music – I find her very inspiring, and what a great voice (video).
I also began work in earnest on the Pepe photo / book project. This is something I’ve talked about for two long. Something that everyone says “ah yeah that would be great!” when they hear about it. And I say, “yeah, I’ll do it sometime”. I’m going to treat it as an experimental project, utilising all the online and offline tools I use all the time anyway (social networking sites / blogging platforms / photo sites / iPhone 3GS / MacBook Pro / Adobe Lightroom etc) I was looking at the cost of printing earlier today, and it’s pretty affordable now.
Also, this will be a bilingual project, meaning that I have another reason to use my Japanese. I hesitate to use Japanese on Twitter etc at the moment, as I’m aware that most people who subscribe are not able to read Japanese. However, the Pepe sites will be bilingual from the start. And of course being a penguin, Japanese is not his native language = mistakes make it more realistic.
I’ll announce the links etc when they’re all set up.
Speaking of Japanese, it was quite funny when I was editing the interview with Jeffrey Rowe for Making it in Japan. In that Jeffrey was asking me about learning Japanese, and I was talking about how much of a difference it made …and by the time I’d finished editing I’d re-sworn to study on a regular basis (I’ve since started using my iPhone flash cards again)! Wow! I really am a motivational speaker!
The week ahead looks interesting. Tomorrow I’m doing my regular voluntary work at the city hall – then meeting an old course-mate who’s just arrived in Japan. After that I’m meeting a chap from Australia who I’ll be helping out for an interesting little video project on Wednesday… more on that in due course. Then it’s back to Tokyo 2.0 for what sounds like will be a very interesting talk by futurist, blogger, digerati, writer, speaker and advisor Gerd Leonard. Thursday it’s my Japanese class time, Friday I may be interviewing the founder of one of Tokyo’s most well-respected media production companies, whom I personally am a big fan of.
Overall, things are progressing well. The one thing I’d like to change over which I feel I have little control is the workload in my day job. It’s set to become pretty stupid come the autumn when our main season starts. I guess I just have to remember that I can only do what I can do. It is not to take over.
Anyway, I’d best sleep.
P.s. Music really is a wonderful thing.