Letter to my future self

Dear Brenden,

wherever you are in life, find a way to love it. They say that the grass is always greener and this hasn’t been more true than in the last few years. I know, you are always looking for ways to improve your situation and use your time more wisely. Sometimes life is not under your control, just how you react to it. So stop trying to make everything better. Try taking a step back and look at how you view what is important. Maybe what you feel is important isn’t really so important. You have to continue to examine yourself on this so you stay balanced and mentally sane.

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Brenden’s Life Update Mar 18

Well, I’m married now. I love it. Lacy is my best friend and we’re having a ton of fun starting our new life together. We are getting all the basic essentials for our new house here in Las Vegas. We’re keeping it simple, though. A lot of our friends and family gave us very nice gifts, money, and mismatched furniture. It’s been great. We also had an awesome honeymoon in Catalina Island, Ca.

Besides all that, life is good in general. I am slowly working on Small Presence and reconsidering other projects of mine like osdever.net, cinemastix.com, mobileflip.com, and so on. I’m trying to see what can be done with this blog as well. I think I’d like to try to develop it in to a community for new entrepreneurs. We’ll see how that goes. My own goals are not as ambitious as they once were. I’ve found my own  goals in life are rather simple and consist of making enough money to pay the bills and save up for other things like world travel and my ministry(which is an important part of my personal life, that is my faith).

I’ve been a little behind on posting here first because of my honeymoon, but second because I’ve been sick with a nasty cold. I’m back to 90% capacity, though. I’ll be posting here more soon. I have plenty of drafts, just need to find time to finish them. I’ll probably start re-posting relevant articles from other blogs soon to start building awareness of my own blog here.

This blog still serves as my epicenter for escaping the rat race of daily secular work. I live a simple life, plan to continue living simply, and desire to provide for my wife and myself. I hope I can develop this vision of my ideal life sooner rather than later as I am still involved in a full time work week.

What about you? Do you have any aspirations for working less or living more simply?

How It Works: Small Presence

Today, I spoke with Kyle Rehm from Ono Mojo, a Hawaiian web development studio. We had met through a craigslist posting I made requesting a contracted PHP developer to assist with Small Presence. What follows is some insight I gained today on my own goals for Small Presence, as well as future opportunities that can be incorporated into it. I have a clearer view of the internals of Small Presence and I and going to outline it in this post.

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Small Presence Update Feb 25

I’m going to stick with DBA for now. I’d have to redo my bank account if I changed to LLC. I’ll go to the end of the year and see how things turn out. If everything goes as planned, I’ll setup the LLC and and new bank account and new merchant account and then switch over with no down time.

I’m also putting the Small Presence client interface on hold for a week or so so I can focus on my neglected clients. They have work that needs to be done. No point in having a client interface if I have no clients to use it. The interface has been built out pretty far, though. I have a good amount of user needs defined and a nice template to work with. Still thinking through the whole business process to ensure I’m covering all the bases.

I have the VPS setup with virtual email users using postfix and dovecot now, too. I still need to make some adjustments, but I’m that much closer to accepting Small Presence-specific emails. So yay.

Another note, I’m reading some good books on business and usability. I’ll post some reviews and my thoughts on them soon.

I’d like to get some interviews posted soon, too, but I haven’t had a lot of spare time. I’m getting married next Friday! Too much to do, no time to do it.

Small Presence will be going full throttle by this September. My goal is to have 20 clients going by October. I’d like to have at least $40,000 revenue in the first 12 months. We’ll see how that goes as I continue to refine the business and marketing model.

Also, I received the debit card and checks. Checks had ‘Small Prence’ on it though, so I had to reorder them. Not sure how they messed it up that badly, but whatever.

More to come soon.

Small Presence Update

This is quick update on what I’ve been doing with Small Presence. Some of what follows is somewhat technical. I’ll try to highlight the main points for each.

I have been messing around with BIND 9 DNS for ns1/ns2.smallpresence.net which is where all our client sites will be pointing their domain names. I have worked with DNS before, but it’s been so long. I’ve now been able to get everything resolving well. I’m going to be looking into getting a 3rd party DNS server somewhere on the East coast of the US so that SP can take advantage of geo-diverse redundant DNS lookups. Yay. Till then, using the same authorative server is working for both ns1/ns2.

Tonight, I setup and tested a very basic Asterisk setup. Made an outgoing call on my laptop with its built-in microphone and everything was great. Asterisk didn’t even register 1% CPU usage on the VPS, which is awesome. Next, I need to do some voice prompts to build the interactive voice response menu. I also will be recording ALL calls with clients for both our records. I feel it will be a huge benefit of using Asterisk for phones. Being able to hear what we discussed will alleviate me having to talk and type when it’s not convenient. What I learn here will correlate directly to providing VOIP services to my small business clients in the future as far as a simple IVR system for their use. At that point I would use a dedicated Asterisk server. But ya gotta start somewhere.

I also have been working more on the work flow procedures for new clients and projects. Some of what I’ve come up with has been heavily influenced by my experiences at Raster Media. Right now I’m using a wiki-based system called WackoWiki for my initial client, project, and internal organization. I’m actually enjoying using such a flexible and abstract system. It’s helping form my vision for what SP will need as far as a custom management system. Very cool.

I’m still waiting to get my SP debit card in the mail. I should call the PMB center and ask if I have anything in, heh. At least the bank account is open now, though.

In other news, I’ve decided to open SP as an LLC as opposed to the current DBA structure. I’ve consulted with my Boss, Michael Smith from Raster Media and The Neo CEO, and he suggests that an LLC is worth the extra money since it buys me legal separateness from SP. I don’t foresee legal issues ever arising from SP clients, but no sense in pretending it doesn’t happen, especially now that my new home is almost closed(my first home actually). I don’t think my FiancĂ© would like that. Oh ya, I’m getting married March 6th. So that’s one reason why I haven’t finished editing my drafts nor publishing them lately.

That’s it for now. Keep coming back for more. Be sure to leave a comment if you have any suggestions or words of wisdom!