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39 Responses

  1. fyi says:

    Praying continually for you, Michael. Steps of faith are scary… and fun!

  2. Michael says:

    Thanks, fyi…I’m waiting on the “fun” part… 🙂

  3. dswoager says:

    Yours is one of the few blogs that I check in on daily, and the one that I most routinely enjoy reading. I don’t always drop a comment, but I always appreciate hearing what you have to say. I don’t even always agree with you (though it seems to increasingly be the case) but there seems to be a consistent thoughtfulness that goes into your writing that I appreciate.

    I trust that the Lord has good and interestng opportunities laying ahead of you.

    Big year of change on the horizon for me as well. Only a couple weeks or so away from adding “Dad” to the names that I go by. Exciting (scary) times ahead.

  4. Michael says:

    dswoager,

    Thank you!
    “Dad” is the greatest name of all…congratulations!

  5. Jean says:

    Michael, I wish you economic success this year from your writing here and elsewhere. I don’t have any problem with marketing or promotional activities.

    I will share three annoying things I see regularly on another very popular Christian’s blog, which can take a blog over the top: (1) There are adds that show up in the margins of the blog, which in some cases market irreverent products, services and/or images (for a Christian blog anyway, very weird); I don’t know, however, whether the blogger has any influence on add placements on his blog; (2) the author reviews so many books that one wonders whether he actually reads and likes them or whether he is simply hawking them (in other words, too much of a good thing); his reviews never say: this book is not very good, so don’t bother; and (3) he unabashedly recommends his own book often and gets guest writers to write on topics that use and recommend his books; perhaps a little too much of a good thing.

    I’m sure you see all these things, but I thought I would mention them as what I’ve seen as the darker sides of the “business” of blogging.

  6. AA says:

    Praying for 2015 to be successful in your endeavors Michael.

  7. Babylon's Dread says:

    Yes you CAN.

  8. Michael says:

    BD, AA…thank you both.

    Jean,

    Most of the time we don’t have approval for ads…I do because of the company I’m with…except the Amazon ads.
    I dropped the others because we had some weird stuff show up.
    My policy for the last few years has been that I won’t even comment on a book I haven’t read, let alone review it.
    We get a lot of free books for review purposes and could get a lot more if we wanted.
    I simply don’t have the time.
    In “real life” I’m very introverted and a bit of a hermit…self promotion makes me highly uncomfortable.
    Unfortunately, it’s also necessary…I need to strike a balance I can live with.

  9. Xenia says:

    I covet your prayers and ideas<<<

    If I may be so bold as to offer an idea or two:

    1. Be present here on the blog if you want it to continue as a vibrant place that will attract an audience for your book.

    2. Um…. how to say this. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound. Often, Michael, you respond to criticism with sarcasm. Your writing is not always as clear as a bell and when you are asked to clarify, you get very irritated. There, I said it.

    3. I guess you are discovering that writing a book involves paragraphs and you can't end every sentence with …. Blog-writing and book-writing are quite different.

  10. Jean says:

    Michael,
    From your #8, it sounds like you’ve got a good compass. And from Xenia’s #9, you’ve got some good friends if your compass ever needs calibrating. 🙂

  11. dswoager says:

    Xenia, your number three is true, but I find it somewhat humorous because the friend that actually directed me over here in the first palce actually pretty routinely praises Michael for the readability of his blog… not giving us giant walls of text to wade through. Interesting to think that style could be an obstacle to tackling a book.

  12. Xenia says:

    dswaoger, right! Michael’s writing style works very well on a blog.

  13. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    I receive those comments in the spirit they were given.
    In other words, you’re right. 🙂
    This past year much of what I’ve written, I’ve written in a hurry and then gone off to other things that compete for my attention.
    I do need to be more careful and I do need to be present more often.
    I’ll work on proper responses as well.
    Book writing and blog writing are as different as day and night and it’s been a huge challenge to do both at the same time…much more difficult than I had thought.
    Thank you, my friend…I’m grateful for your input here.

  14. dswoager says:

    Oh, and Michael, in case you think I’m gossiping about you behind your back, that came in the context of advice on my own wrinting (what little of it there is).

    The response is generally (among other things), “MORE PARAGRAPHS! Write more like Michael over at PxP, little chunks of information.”

    It’s a work in progress.

  15. Xenia says:

    Thanks, Michael for receiving in the spirit I intended.

  16. Michael says:

    dswoager,

    I wasn’t offended at all.
    My challenge is to translate that style to longer form writing…and it’s a real challenge, indeed.

  17. Michael says:

    One last word on the time I spend here.
    I will try to be here more.
    My primary responsibility is to my family…and the little guy has some challenges that require my presence and full attention at times.
    Things are getting better and as they do I’ll be more mindful of being here.
    I can’t promise a lot, but I think I can do more.

  18. mike says:

    I thought someone reported a couple of weeks ago that you had landed a job?
    Confused… Can you clarify?
    -mike

  19. Michael says:

    It was seasonal…and the season lasted two days.

  20. Jim says:

    Regarding the OP-

    Finally!

    Hallelujah!

    Now spend as much time as you can with other entrepreneurs. We are different breed. Not better than anyone, but different.

  21. Paige says:

    Good word. Thanks for being transparent and real. So much pretending in the church world..

    Don’t forget that FUN is right in the middle of dysfunctional. 😀 Enjoy.

    My son in law started his own business last year.. after several cycles of the usual IT hire & lay off, company downsize.. Apparently, IT typical job length now is 18months, tops, no perks, no benefits,contract only… My SIL is SO happy and God is opening doors for him. Hallelujah. He is such a committed disciple. Love him.
    Very proud of him http://www.trileaftech.com/

    As you know, Michael, my massive, cataclysmic change in life direction did include a name change….last name….new married name. I am beyond happy, but change is difficult.

    Additional prayers for you and the work situation. The Rogue Valley has ALWAYS been awful, but God can make a road way in the wilderness, streams in the desert.
    God bless you…. open doors, open windows, pour out blessings.

  22. Xenia says:

    The name change is symbolic of a change in identity and purpose, <<<

    This happened with me. My given name is Diane, an ok name, but it is the name of a pagan goddess. When I was received into Orthodoxy, I was given the name Xenia, which I use all the time now except on official papers (checkbooks, medical forms, etc). I am actually a little startled when I run into someone from my past who calls me Diane. To most people I am Xenia, Mom or Grandma. Even my husband calls me Xenia.

    The name change, in my life, really is symbolic of a change in identity and purpose.

  23. Linnea says:

    Michael…praying for the adventure of self-employment…it’s a noble pursuit that changes your view of everything, especially if you have employees. Rejection letters are tough, but are God’s way of showing you a new path. God has patiently trained you in a new direction and I know He will continue to direct you. Many prayers for you and yours this new year.

  24. Michael says:

    Thank you, Linnea…good to see you here again!

  25. mike says:

    If I were still a pentacostal, I would say God is actively blocking your employment.
    If I were a determinist, I would say “who can thwart God’s plan” to keep you jobless.

    Alas, I am neither so I will pray for open doors and your wisdom as to which to choose.
    -mike

  26. Linnea says:

    Good to be here again, Michael…hoping that this new year will allow me more time to pursue the things that are important to me…

  27. Scott says:

    I’m so happy to be self-employed again. I worked for myself practically all my vocational life until the great recession hit in 2008. I worked as a company employee until September of last year and became an independent (truck) contractor. Best move I could of made.

  28. Surfer51 says:

    I know the old axiom of “Do what you love and the money will follow” is tough to believe when your in financial need and don’t have a job.

    I have been fortunate enough to never actually feel as if I were “working” for the last fifty years because I absolutely love what I do for a living as a self employed man.

    At first it was a big struggle to support myself and my wife then a child, as I stuck to what I loved doing for a living.

    We were very poor and suffered.

    It is a life of faith, never knowing when the next paycheck will come.

    But over time, looking back, our needs were taken care of just enough to survive.

    Michael you are an excellent writer with an articulate writing style.

    Knock on that writing door hard.

    And you have a much better speaking voice then some of the Christian voices out there.

    Press in hard with your podcast.

    God can and does give us revelation when we ask for it.

    I believe that you are starting to get the revelation that you can be self employed and have just enough like other self employed men.

    (God opens doors and He closes doors.

    Some Christians take closed doors and opened doors as a way that God guides and directs our paths).

    And perhaps you may exceed that and have more than enough, so much so that you can fulfill your desire to be a financial blessing to others as you have demonstrated in the past.

    You have given to others out of your own need.

    I know this because you have done this with the blessing you received and shared some of it with others who were also in need.

    You have a great start and a great foundation.

    Self employment is all faith and few attempt it because it is scary with no certainty otherwise everyone would be self employed.

    It takes sustained effort to swim upstream.

    Dead fish float downstream.

    I pray all your dreams come true in this coming year.

    Especially that you may have just enough, and then some to pass on to others in need.

    To be honest, you are already prepared for self employment.

    All of the struggles you and Trey have been through and wondering how you were going to make ends meet etc, has fully prepared you to trust that somehow, someway everything is going to turn out alright.

    That is faith in action.

    And you have faith.

    Continued Blessings be yours in the New Year!

  29. Michael says:

    Thank you for the kind words, David…we’ll give it a shot. 🙂

  30. brian says:

    I must admit Michael, you shame me in a good way, when I go off on my stupid rants I see you, a human standing tall. I have been very blessed and I forget that and get selfish and stuck in self pity land. I have been unemployed a few times and it scared me to death. But nothing like what you have had to endure. What I have been good at is helping people get jobs for some reason. I am always applying for positions way outside my pay grade and talent just to get the experience. A few years back a job I had for over 23 years almost ended do to cut backs. Thats when I became rather adept at raising cane and public meetings. It really helped our program stay open so I will cross the 27th year as a teacher. I am very blessed and lucky. It does require I continually attend meetings, write letters, advocate with local and state politicians and policy people but its better than nothing.

    I dont know if this will help, I had the most success helping others get positions in the medical and care provider roles in our community. Group homes, aides at nursing homes schools with students with disabilities, rec centers etc. Also workers at local hospitals, some of those jobs are choice. In our area a good tech I E sanitize operating rooms instruments etc can make up words of 45-60 K a year. Of course in my neck of the woods that is chump change as the medium income is well over 110K per year. All most everyone I helped find a job did it through networking with individuals in a variety of industries. I have found indeed dot com and monster two good starting points. there is also ventureloop dot com. I put the dot to avoid the potential moderation when posting two many links. Hope it helps some. Brian

  31. Neo says:

    My theory: prospective employers see your website, Michael. They don’t want the scoop out on them. Your reporting is what gives them hesitation.

    A voice crying in the wilderness isn’t going to garner a lot of head hunters. Oh wait…

  32. Neo says:

    So as not to be a friend of Job without a job…

    I think if you devoted yourself to it, social media might be a way to go. My kids know people who have basically carved a living out of social media in the surf community. Have you thought about that? Not surfing. I mean parlaying PP into something to support yourself?

  33. Michael says:

    Neo,

    I’ve been told by a couple people that the site does me in.
    Too late to fix that now…

  34. Michael says:

    Neo,

    Advertisers don’t much like the PhxP either…too controversial.
    We average about 20.00 bucks a month in ad revenue.
    I’m going to put a lot of effort into changing that.

  35. Neo says:

    Controversy can and does sell. It’s just a matter of making it work for you, I’d think.

    That’s probably easier said than done.

  36. Alex says:

    It’s still hard to leverage social media and blogs and monetize them.

    Even with the big hit numbers, advertisers are reluctant to spend any serious money on niche blogs.

    I still think that you can monetize your blog expertise by helping people set up their own blogs. That’s a niche that might be marketable.

    Donations are the way to go vs. advertising. If you can broaden your donation base you may be able to generate some regular revenue, but you’d probably need to sell out and start a Prophecy Series or pick a more popular angle that feeds the desires of those who give money to a particular cause or emphasis.

  37. Alex says:

    Unfortunately, you’ll have to do a lot more self-promotion and you’ll have to broaden your donation base if you’re going to make any money at this.

  38. Jim says:

    Once you flip the switch in your head from job seeker to business owner, you’ll discover 100 ways to make money. My “problem” is that my bread and butter takes all of my time, and it still pays the bills. All of my plan B’s age out, as they are tech-based. Good problem to have.

    My primary source of income was once a plan B.

  39. Jim Vander Spek says:

    RE: Being self-employed:

    1. Writing a book may be what God is calling you to do, but it will not make you money. Even top tier authors with platforms have trouble making money with books.

    2. You are a blogger extraordinaire. A million annual viewers? Wow. Cultivate this fertile field.

    3. Invest what it takes to modernize your site. Add Disqus or other mechanism so that threads are done in a state of the art manner.

    4. Consider giving up on advertising and becoming an NPO. Donors will give to keep your site and you alive. FreeRepublic.com (a secular site) has no advertising and supports itself with non-deductible donations. That approach seems to facilitate usage of links/excerpts also.

    5. Your weekly “Links” are a valuable part of what you do. Consider expanding this into a separate page allowing comment threads under each link and inviting suggested posts from your readers. (again, see FreeRepublic.com) By using your moderating skills you can act as an “aggregator” of links your target audience will seek out on a daily basis. Comment threads will also flourish.

    May God give you wisdom, direct your paths and expand your ministry!

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