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.
Check out the site here, subscribe in iTunes here.
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).
(note the note-book corners captured when the image was scanned)
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.
I’ve been enjoying drawing lately. It started out when I tried to create some original art to illustrate episodes of Japan Podshow. As the series has progressed so I’ve spent a little more time on the pictures. It was inevitable in a way that I would find myself drawing elephants again – something I’ve done for many years when doodling.
I’m now in the process of creating a whole series of pictures which may or may not then have little messages added in Japanese and English, before being printed as postcards. Most of the drawing takes place on the Hibiya Subway line – my creative space. This means it doesn’t eat into the time I need for podcasting, allowing me to do it without stress.
Also, later today I’l be going out with Pepe and my friend / Japanese teacher / ideas guru @naminamy. We’ll be taking photos with Pepe for a book that I’m going to publish. Whether this means self-publishing or pro-publishing, at this stage I don’t know.
I’m also working on a more ‘professional’ podcast aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs / artists etc in Japan. The website’s nearly complete, and I hope to launch in the next few days. Initially, it’ll just feature the interviews I record for Japan Podshow (without all the bumph). It’ll be interesting to see where it heads.
One thing I’m enjoying is seeing that a lot of what I read in literature on achieving dreams is ‘correct’. Life has a truly uncanny way of working out for the best. It’s just a case of making a decision, acting on that decision, and having faith that those actions will lead to the goal (which of course may be somewhat different from that initially outlined). Whilst all these elements are vital, if I was to write a ‘keys to success’ book it would only contain two words:
Books such as The Secret are all very well and good, and I agree that it’s important to align thinking with desired outcome, but at the end of the day, the single biggest factor that will determine if you reach a goal is whether you act on your ideas.
(Wow Joseph. What groundbreaking stuff!!!)
I have to laugh at myself for having put up all these imaginary barriers that ‘prevented’ me from doing what I wanted to do, whether it was a lack of time / lack of contacts / lack of money. It’s nothing that can’t be changed through action.
Life’s generally pretty cool at the moment. I’ve applied for a renewal of my spouse visa, which should be a three-year visa this time. I’m eating banana-and weetabix or banana-and-muesli milkshakes most mornings – it’s incredible how much easier 5 bananas slip down when drunk as opposed to being eaten. We’ve entered two teams for the next ekiden (relay race) in November, and Tom and I have submitted our entries for the Tokyo Marathon – being oversubscribed we get put into a lottery for places (result October).
Work is going OK. Now I know the basics of most things I’m not having such a hard time. I’m extremely busy most days, which is a good thing (no overtime so I just do what I do).
I grew a magic bean this week. It really was magic. This is what happened in 4 days.
With so much to do for the podcast I don’t have a social life as such, but that’s OK for now. I do of course meet people in the process of gathering material, and am always making new contacts.
Anyway, I’m feeling quite hungry now. Time for breakkie, then editing – we recorded episode 9 at the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building this week. It was a lot of fun but there’s a fair bit of material to wade through!
In news that I’m sure will disappoint at least one Mumbler out there, my Susan Boyle Video has given me my first big(ish) break.
This evening I met with the producer of a very well-known podcast, a podcast which sees thousands of downloads every week. It’s a podcast I listen to and enjoy, and a podcast that I did always want to be on. It was also one of the inspirations for my own podcast.
As of next month, I’ll be presenting a new regular feature on the show.
Details will follow in due course.
This is really exciting news for me. As many of you know, I see my mid-term future as being in the media industry, whether that be podcasting, radio or TV. This is not for the sake of becoming ‘famous’ etc, but because I believe that I can make a big positive difference to the world through the media. I’ve always felt drawn towards this field, but until recently have not made any real steps to create a reality in which I am working within it.
It’s only having read stacks of self-development books and having listened to hours of biographies from Audible that I appreciate that there is no secret to fulfilling my dreams. It’s simply a case of taking positive steps, acting on acquired knowledge and accumulated passion to make them a reality.
Becoming successful in my chosen field is no different from becoming successful in, say, obtaining the right to remain in Japan – in that case I invested 5 years of my time in study, $40,000 in school fees and expenses, and a lot of time and effort to persuade *Twinkle* to marry me ;o)
I don’t believe in blind ‘luck’ – I believe that we draw things towards us that we need at a given time – but we have to be in the right frame of mind and give out the right energy to draw the right things towards us (and if the ‘wrong’ things appear in our lives, they are ultimately the ‘right’ things. e.g. having unreasonable demands made of you in a job might piss you off so much that it becomes a trigger for you to pick up some long-held dream of yours that until now you’ve neglected out of fear).
So it’s good to see that my plan is working. Whilst my podcasts may take up every waking moment I’m not in my day job, whilst they may not pay a single penny, and whilst the resulting mp3 may be judged by some as a pile of pants, it doesn’t matter. They are what I have to do now. They are the natural next step.
The alternative is for me to sit here and wait for the day I’m ‘discovered’ by Fuji TV.
It’s only too easy to sit on our dreams. I’m happy that there are not so many of those kinds of people around me; most I know are either happy in what they are doing, or they are taking steps to change those parts of their lives that they are not happy with. They do this year round too, not just at New Year.
Anyways, best get on with the editing. Watch this space for future announcements.