How do you define “being authentic”? For me it is a matter of being as open an honest with yourself and your friends but also with your goals and ambitions. For Alicia, Kaitlynn and I those are being summed up under our http://conventiontraveler.com website, magazine and travel guides dedicated to what we see as some of the happiest places on Earth: Comic and Specialty Conventions. In working “backstage” on the site, I came across this report I did way back in 2017 that was (unknowingly at the time) preparing us for the future that is now.
We do invite you all to connect with us via the website that will be chock full of info, tips, tricks, articles and interviews that can help you make the most of your convention going experience. This adventure of ours is one that we hope will encourage you to also consider living a life that makes the most of it that it can possibly be, collecting moments and memories just like the ones we did in this clip.
I hope you all have found or are seeking to find that type of path for yourselves sooner rather than later.
Taking a “Mego Moment” break… I sincerely love these toys. Unapologetically. The only thing I do wish I could put my finger on is “Why so much?” But then again do I really need to be so analytical in my thoughts? No. (I’m finally learning how to say that to myself btw).
Sitting at the home office and staring around at these little articulated anchors of inspiration just makes me smile. Its in those moments that I like to reflect a bit on them. Observe them. Embrace and enjoy the bliss they bring and the memories that they float back to the top of my mind.
Todays stand outs are such an unlikely paring but a perfect one for me nonetheless. Side by side and in front of me is the 50th anniversary Superman and his predecessor, a vintage Type 2 Supes with a split boot, frayed cape and long gone emblem. It’s easy enough to restore him but I choose not to because I genuinely love the colors and essence that he exudes in this natural state. It also reminds me of the incredible detail that went into the 50th. This feat is one that is truly awe inspiring. And then I turn to my right and see my latest pick up that I can now be considered “neo-vintage Mego” IMO… Tootie.
Back in 2018, I must admit I thought it was nuts to do produce that figure and her counterparts. I still bought her though and made a silly little commercial featuring her, Drac and Action Jackson, so there was some magic happening from Ms. Ramsey’s appearance on the pegs. I parted with that original one years ago just because it’s my collector habit of moving things in and out of the hoard. Didn’t think much about it until the 50th were announced and Doc’s words in a post came back to me; “We’re starting with the C team and getting to the A-team,” (or something close to that effect). The man obviously knew and knows what he’s talking about. it is in that appreciation I had to snatch Tootie back up when I saw her in the wild a week or so ago. I can honestly say she truly means something to me in the way that so many other MegO’s of old have for decades now who would have thunk it?
The final observation I was taking a mental note on came from the behind me position where Geppeto, Pinocchio and the Cricket never cease to amaze me with the exceptional display quality of the total package. When I first discovered it at a Walmart, I didn’t know it was coming but that big Mego logo on the front snatched my attention right up. Candidly I must admit that dropping $50 on a toy that day was not part of my plan at all. I was actually in super saving mode for other things in life… but… I couldn’t not bring this set home. It was just too damn good. The colors, the look, and the concept hit me on every level. Mind you I didn’t have a clue about the flick even being a thing at that point. This purchase was 100% about the Mego toy. Why? Because to me the idea of Geppeto and his little wooden boy is perhaps the most Mego like toy that could be made by what has become a personal obsession for my own 50th anniversary.
The toughest thing about entrepreneurship and authenticity that I’ve come to understand for myself in this leg of the journey? Breaking the old “programming” that I adhered to for the better part of three decades. The relief however is that I can identify it now.
Explaining myself a bit better, it’s not that the broadcast industry is geared to lying so much as “fluffing the truth”. So what does that mean? Simply put: in traditional lexicon nothing ever sucks if the client signed a check and even better, a twelve month contract. And it is to that truth that I was always conflicted. Why? Because I was an on air and production talent. Sales and sales people were something that were the necessary evil to allow for my career of screaming my lungs out for money.
Of course I came to respect “both sides of the building” as my career grew but in that I could never totally buy into many of the concessions I witnessed far too many acquiesce too. I myself am coming face to face with my own levels of acquiescence that I had thought I hadn’t done. Boy was I wrong… but I’m getting better. One Roman road at a time.
Consistent, far reaching content creation as easy as 1-2-3…
Having seen so many changes in the information and entertainment space over the past 30 years of my professional life, I’ve had the opportunity to become a dinosaur of sorts. Well, that is bad I allowed myself to go “extinct”. Instead, it was always a priority of mine to take the bill by the horns and learn and appreciate the pros and cons of all of the latest tools, techs and tactics that had come to improve or replace the last. It’s in this that I’ve come to understand that one thing is a constant throughout them all: the need for consistent content.
It’s in this that I have been wrangling for years with developing a method that would help those I had helped for decades in the broadcast space with content creation. Until the last ten years, commercial and non commercial copywriting, audio and video production and distribution especially where ruled by the gatekeepers of the transmitters. Those days are certainly long gone thanks in one part to the internet and the other 99 parts to social media platforms. There in lies a double edged sword for both myself and my former clients.
Recollecting the time way back in 2010 when Facebook, Twitter and even YouTube were still in their infancy (of sorts), I was thrilled at the possibilities. At the time, I was working at a small, sub market television station that even by then, was struggling for viewership. Shortsighted as I was, I saw the social landscape as a way to grow the audience by reaching more people. That was true of course but it was also like picking your own switch as we would say in the old redneck south (that’s a living term btw).
What I mean by that is that in pushing the social media platforms I was in effect poisoning my own waters. As my social media engagement grew, the demands and limitations of “must see TV” time commitments on viewers was becoming far more of a burden then before. I was fortunate in that I got to have one more “big broadcast hoorah” with an American Idol piggy back I put together. Just like the big guys version, folks could vote on that weeks talent roster following the airing of the program. I made it as simple as possible for them to do so by allowing folks to call, email, snail mail and even fax in their votes. The response was fantastic. Especially with the mail in option. I got stacks of letters in every day satisfying my feelings of success for the program and adding quite a few bucks into the USPS’s coffers for postage. Dopamine hits for likes are great and all but for me nothing can replace the feelings that came when the mail came to the office everyday. Digital encouragement can never compare to the physical for me. But I digress
Keep in mind you this was 2009 so even the smartphone was in its infancy among the masses in my region. But then came 2010 and things started moving at a warp speed as the smartphone quickly and rightfully so, made television and radios all the more irrelevant in instant information, this is where I get back on point with the need to evolve with the tools and tech. And why I at the time saw the benefits of social media outweighing the negative impacts it would have in an even shorter amount of time. Boy was that switch I picked far bigger and full of more thorns than I could have ever realized.
The positives however were really good at the outset. The social landscape actually helped sales for the station as the clients could then take the commercials produced and share them on their personal streams and they did… but… they then discovered that their customers were telling them how they saw their commercial on Facebook and not the broadcast airwaves. Uh oh. Oops. However, the opportunity still remained in producing the videos for the clients. That is until people really embraced that the selfie could be used for more than just duck lips. Welcome to the world the beginnings of the influencer. Oops and oops again.
The next few years continued to where we are today with all of the micro messaging hitting you from all sides. Now everybody everywhere is an influencer. The tech has allowed for anyone with a message to DIY the production and distribution processes. I won’t say if that’s any more good or bad because the outcome is in general, the same. Except of course for those who still remain scared of the modern tech. On some cases that even includes the most basic of websites.
As I write in free flow here, and the reflections of the past 14 years slamming into my mind like a hurricane season from hell, I must stop myself from recollecting too many details and getting back to the reason I invited y’all here today: the 1-2-3 Content Creation Method I’m now offering as a service or course. It stems from talking to many businesses around the state (Arkansas) that have the fears I mentioned. They also shared numerous horror stories of how they were taken by those who sold them web and content creation services over the decade that left them either cold or ripped off. In many cases those experiences left them as seeing only one option: just don’t do it. Period. That I feel and know is a mistake just as much as cutting advertising budgets during lean economic times. It’s in all of that I took to creating this stream lined and organized method that anyone can do and learn. Proof? It all starts with a story and I’ll guarantee that you have a million to tell about your business, civic organization or charity.
I truly loved telling those stories. Not just for commercial sake but more so for the human interest side of them. The good news if you will. It was and is great to learn about and taste test the offerings of the new BBQ joint on the corner but even more satisfying and flavorful for me was learning the story of how the place came to be. That’s where this modern era of information and entertainment distribution brings me lots of happiness: people are sharing those stories every day all day and available on demand. Sadly though there are those that I mentioned before gave up on this highway. Well, this is my way of helping them shake the nerves and embrace what they too can benefit from todays methods and tech if only they believed they could. I for one know they can. But I also know a little help is in order. In that is where I also know I can help.
Many a great mind have noted that it is wise to be aware of what is going on in the world about you. What they don’t stress, in my opinion, is how quickly you should do it and then get out of that cesspool of negativity, propaganda and in all too many cases, flat out lies. Sad state of affairs for those who get ate up in the arguments. I know because I myself was certainly guilty of that form of engagement. Never again.
The way in which I fight the urge to rant and rave about the latest “end of the world” , “it’s a conspiracy “ , “the sky os falling and it’s all XYZ politician / party/ ideologies fault is simple but admittedly tough. Here’s my personal thought process on it all that may help you with your own wrangling of perspective.
1. Spend your first waking moments revisiting your goals for the day and the bigger vision you have. Don’t have one? Well, here’s a great opportunity to start journaling and figuring it out. Seriously, even journaling, in private and not for social consumption, can help you break free of the spell that comes from the trappings of spoon fed programming of those who do have goals and visions that they are more dedicated to then you are to yours. The key to sales? Repetition. Pitch yourself what you want that makes for the ideal and dare I say perfect life for yourself, your family and your friends. Try it for a week.
2. Skim the headlines on the news websites that you feel have a sense of validity to them. I’ll add the caveat to also be mindful, even the ones you agree with have a spin and bias by design. One can easily note the same story told by two different “sides” have two different points of view. This is a normal thing in most matters but not to the point that it’s discussions should consume more time then it takes to skim.
3. As your blood boils, pull out the journal mentioned in point 1. above and ask yourself which of what your reading is more important: your goals or theirs? I’ve found my top pretty much every single headline from every single source skimmed far more often than not.
4. Once all 3 of the aforementioned steps are taken, move forward knowing that you are informed and knowledgeable as anyone would need to be on the topics of the day and then focus your attention back to point 1’s intentions and enjoy the rest of your day and life. Because you will.
Now, go imagine, believe, take action and never forget to play!
Here’s something a little different. A dream of mine would be to have a themed fast food joint. To this end I took some characters I created years ago, mixed in some Showbiz Pizza with a splash of Space Ghost Coast to Coast and pack it all into a location similar to the house that Kroc built and I welcome you to “Max’s Monster Burger” where you can test the menu by trying our decedent and delicious “Monster Meal” with a burger, fries, drink, ghost shaped monster nuggets and of course a toy packed up in a cute box for easy eating on the go. This is of course a tie in to the TV show; “Conspiracy Cinema”. Welcome to the show, foolish mortals!
Let your imagination fly and watch what happens! Jim 03/06/2033
Greetings dear readers and welcome to my ongoing journey of self actualization and adventure! Today I would like to share with you my plan of action that has in the past, always been a tried and true way to enjoy my day as an informer and entertainer: I am my own broadcast station. As such I am inviting you to tune in and enjoy the show and I feel pretty confident In saying that you will most certainly learn some new things because I know I sure have and can’t wait to share them with you so that hopefully they can do for you what they have done or me.
All of this stems from my words of previous writing. The post “Working with Intent” to which I shared my content creation pipeline, is one that at this time most certainly needs a bit of tweaking. Why? A better, more stream lined method has came to mind and as such, it forced me to take my own advice this not to be a hypocrite.
One such aspect of this is the “Learning from the Clock” series which is being worked on and set to be published soon. inside of that free course is a methodology that has on more times than I was even aware of, was a time management tool that I know will serve you well no matter what your vocation or hobby may be. So much so is my belief in it that I offer it here for free because it is one of those starting blocks that can help you become exactly who you want to be. I look so very forward to those reports by the way and the only type of “payment” I wish to request for the value gained.
“What spanned this post in particular?” you ask? Frankly put, this post is placing my own foot in my own posterior to embrace the things that I know to be true when it comes to doing what we ALL were intended to do and be. Ours are not lives to live begrudgingly day after day. Far from it. We are amazing creations that as far as I can tell, create amazing things that serve EACH OTHER in the most incredible and empowering ways. This effort is mine. For I am a writer, podcaster, video content creator and speaker by nature and with those skills I respectfully use them to add real value to your life though we may never meet in this 3D space we call reality. However I am most certain we will connect on a far higher and infinite level so long as we choose to.
My broadcast day is allotted as such:
1. Power Comics: This company is one that I have a massive amount for in its mission and it’s creator; Austin Hough. At the moment I must be a little hush hush on my particular role but will most certainly be sharing as soon as it’s appropriate. The few things I can tell you is you should certainly check out “The Masters” for a fun, clever and beautiful comic book adventure and also learn about all of the creators involved. It is truly an amazing collection of talent of the first, “A list” order.
2. A memoir project that while I can’t speak to its contents as of this time, I can share the process.
3. Jim’s Toy Box and the Quest for Super Powers: I have found so many incredible resources, teachings and philosophies that once discovered have launched this path that I’m now on. If you have struggled with confidence, commitment and completion, then this outreach is most certainly for you. Add to that it is also my playground for learning and sharing about some of the latest and greatest tools and tech that is rushing ever faster and reshaping society every day. Oh, and there will certainly be the occasional “toy talk” as a leopard doesn’t change its spots. 😉
4. The JAK Enertainment Road Trips to Happiness: This endeavor is one that came most directly from my quest for super powers in that the family and I are dedicated the time to enjoy the things that bring us happiness and may very well do the same for you. What’s that you say? Why comic con’s and all the joys that can come from the adventures before, during and after them.
5. Uncovering the Secrets of the Supernatural: The bumps in the night have always been a fascination of mine and in this pursuit I would most certainly like to share some of the research, findings and adventures that have come and continue to fascinate me in this study that goes beyond mere conjecture.
So in the end what does all this mean? It means I am so incredibly ready willing and able to be the best me that I can be to offer you tips, tricks and ideas that can do the same for you!
Welcome to the show!
P.S. the links below come from this weekends listening. I can and will tell you more later but for now…. Just do some clicking would ya? 😉
Time. The one thing everyone says they don’t have nearly enough of. In some ways that’s true but with the help of one of the greatest tools I’ve ever been exposed to, you can learn as I did how you can truly maximize every second. That tool? The “broadcast format clock” that has ruled radio and television stations and programs since 1922. And while those industries are pretty much passé in this modern era of on demand, whenever and whatever you want, when you want it, this foundational tool is still a valuable one that certainly has helped me in all things that go beyond the broadcast industry.
This course is totally free and for now only available through the website. I share this one as it is one that I’ve used successfully and feel it is my duty to share this insight and perspective to give you a very pragmatic way to achieve your goals, organize your life and spaces as well as many other uses in business and personal matters.
If this speaks to you then please follow Jim’s Toy Box and invite anyone you know to come along. The full course will be rolled out the week of March 6th.
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