Coming to Chicago Dec 13-18

I’m coming to Chicago for a small release party for the Love is an Orientation DVD curriculum on Saturday December 17th… so ¬†I thought I’d expand the trip a little by coming Tuesday night and leaving Sunday evening.

Here’s what is scheduled so far:

December 17th – 2 classes now open for registration

10 -12 pm – Growing Your Business with Mailchimp

2 -4 pm – Blogging 101

That’s right. That means I have all of December 14th, 15th, 16th, and most of the 18th wide open.

I’m spending a couple of nights with my cousin in Oak Park and a couple of nights with Andy in Wrigleyville.¬†Kristen and I lived in Chicago for 8+ years so I don’t really want to fill my days sight seeing or visiting museums, I’d much rather spend my time connecting with you. (Though I am willing to attend the Bears game on December 18th, just tossing it out there!)

Let me be blunt. Since I’m already going to be in Chicago and I have so many free days, that means that you can get my services pretty cheap. Some things you could have me do at a cut rate.

  • Come to your organization/church to lead a workshop on any variety of things I teach regularly on. Social media for churches, Mailchimp for non-profits, Blogging 101, Creating a sustainable online strategy, Free and awesome communications tools for non-profits, or a hybrid of any of those to meet your needs.
  • Spend a day or half day consulting with your team regarding your website or online engagement strategy.
  • Teach at youth group or even fill your pulpit (free or nearly free)
  • Meet to discuss a possible project for The Youth Cartel or McLane Creative

I’m open to spending up to a full-day outside of the city, as well. Maybe you live in Northwest Indiana or Southern Wisconsin or downstate Illinois and would like me to come teach my classes? I’d actually love an excuse to spend a day in the South Bend area.

Of course, if you want to hang out and grab a cup of coffee or an italian beef… let me know. I’m obviously down for that.

Drop me an email and let’s connect.

San Diego Living

Rules for Public Transportation

We are a one car household. Fortunately for us, we live in a city where you can get away with having just one car because we have a decent public transportation system.

Our transportation system, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, also has a policy that permits bikes. This allows me the daily privilege of riding my bike to the trolley station, than taking my bike on the trolley with me, than riding the rest of the way to work.

But riding public transportation definitely has some rules. Social norms that make the experience much more pleasant.

  1. Always wear headphones. Even if your headphones don’t connect to anything but your pocket, always wear headphones.
  2. Don’t stare. Look at your phone, look out the window, or stare at the floor. Just don’t look at anyone unless you want to talk. Making eye contact is an invitation to conversation.
  3. Don’t eat. It may seem like an efficient thing to do. But you never know when you’ll see something gross, smell something really gross, or have the awkward opportunity to eat in front of someone who clearly hasn’t eaten recently. Just don’t eat.
  4. Help people who are obviously lost. This is the joy of living in a tourist town. I never mind helping someone who is genuinely lost. They all have “the lost look.” example: My home station is San Diego State University. The funny part about helping people from there is that they have to really listen to understand why I am telling them to go a certain way. If they are going downtown it might make sense to go two stops further away downtown and transfer to a different trolley line. When you look on the map it looks further and the wrong direction. (It is) But it is actually significantly faster because the other line goes directly where they want to go with fewer transfers. Riding the trolley isn’t like driving. You want the fastest route, not the shortest.
  5. Be aware of what is going on. I’ve taken public transportation both in San Diego and Chicago frequently enough to know that there are sometimes dangers to be avoided. The general rule of thumb is, “If it feels bad, it probably is bad.” The good news in San Diego is that they have closed circuit cameras everywhere. If something did happen (I’ve never seen anything truly bad happen) there is a good chance it got caught on camera.
  6. Discretely take pictures or video to giggle at later. Oh, I know this is probably a social faux pax to mention. But I have seen it all on the trolley and sometimes people don’t believe me.
  7. If you ride regularly get to know your riding partners. The funny thing about this is that you “know” people but you might not know their names. But you know that one person gets on at this stop and reads a book every day. And another gets on and always sits near you. Or one lady is always in a hurry but is claustrophobic so won’t ride the first elevator because it is too full. You may not “know” these people, but regular riding partners will make you feel more secure.
  8. Know your schedule. If you ride for a while you get a sixth sense about when your bus or trolley runs. I know if I leave my house at 7:58 I have a good chance of catching an earlier trolley. Or if I don’t leave right at 5:00 PM from work, I might as well hang out another 10 minutes.
  9. Keep smiling. Sometimes the trolley drives me nuts. But any time I’m a little delayed or stressed out by a minor inconvenience (like a person dying on the trolley and delaying it 2 hours) I just remember that I don’t have the expense of a second car and I’m not sitting in traffic thinking about my next oil change. Taking public transportation has limited stress in my life– and for that, it’s awesome!
family hmm... thoughts Travel

Take me home

There is no glamor in business travel. I would never want anyone to think that I don’t genuinely love my job or meeting so many cool people, because I totally do. And I am always fully aware that a ton of people would die to do what I do every day… God continues to grant me undeserved favor. Yet, there is nothing quite as wonderful as knowing that today is the day I am going home.


Romeo people will jump on that. It is true, San Diego is now where I think of as home. Forget that idea that “home is where you hang your hat.” Well, it is true if by hat you mean my wife and kids! It’s not like I hung Kristen, Megan, and Paul on a hook and they just chill at the house waiting for me to come back. They are home doing stuff while I’m away… doing really fun stuff like going to the zoo, or a museum, or taking the dog to the vet. Their life doesn’t stop… it just carries on without me.

Another thing about going home is that I need to take care of stuff. I’m sure hard core business travelers are better at this than I am. But when I’m away I always forget to pay my bills! While I think that is funny, something tells me that there are some companies kind of wishing I would send them some money.

So, in just a couple hours I head back to Midway and fly home. Loved Chicago. Loved Planet Wisdom. Ready to get 10 days at home before Pittsburgh.