Thursday, 19 July 2018

Hustle While you Wait

"Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits" Thomas Edison

Is the quote I think of as I write this follow up to my Attitude of Gratitude post.

By no means did I want have a presence on social media... if there was a visual representation of my resistance to getting connected, it would be that of a toddler tantrum.

One of the things that saw me hit "Publish" on my first blog post was because I felt that my experiences meant I had some insights of value and a story worth telling... I've been working on the same story ever since I hit "Publish" on that first post... and feel progress is being made.

Through reading "New Power" I am in a far better position to both articulate what I was trying to achieve, and see that the ideas were not wrong... Just a case of "being in the wrong place at the wrong time," as one critical friend put it.

As I've highlighted in an early version of a Tech Story 2: The Wild West of the Internet, article which I hope raises awareness of New Power to educators... we're still getting to grips with social media, the impact of tech in the workplace, the gig economy etc.But

  • What happens when you want to bring your whole self to work (or in my case 'work')? 
  • What happens when things are not going to sell IRL? 
  • Do you just put a brave face on with your online persona?
  • Or do we take the lead from political leaders like Trump and shoot from the hip and don't mince our words?

Anyway, I'm getting praise for my ability to either connect people and/or get stuff done in a short period of time, here's an idea of the amount of effort that's gone into making some of the projects that have been successful "Just work" in the way that they have:

EdTech Report - Developing Relationships & Delivering Value 9 Months
(Research & "Mind dump" only took 3 months but two complete rewrites took a little longer)

SaveEdShelf $30,000 (in 6 Weeks)

Edchat Resource Plan (And adding chats to Chat Salad) 3 months

Get2ISTE 5 people to ISTE

DigCitSummit 2 months

Declara (Volunteer for 12 months)6 months

(3 additional months supposed to be paid but - despite being told 5 times by 3 CEOs that it would be = $0)

Curating ISTE resources 2 months (Over 3 years)

Pokemon Go in Edu Report 2 months

Scottish Schools on Twitter (2015 & 2017) 4 months

Skypeathon & MIE Experts maps 4 months

Edcamp Maps 2 months

Bloodhound Maps 2 months

That's over 3 years of work - work that regardless of what others think about it - I've felt is important enough to do (And IS getting results) to forego the stability and security of a wage and, as Biz Stone might have put it I was

"Betting on my future self being able to pay for it all"

But it hasn't worked out quite as planned

I thought that the short term pain for getting out of sales and reskilling to community management would pay off, and it may still yet... I can certainly put a compelling argument (And references) forward for being able to demonstrate that I can get the same done in 3 months as it would for a full time sales person.

But it's all a little new ...and/or 
My ideas are a little ahead of their time... and/or
No one in EdTech has any money... and/or 
I live to far outside of the EdTech hubs... and Scotland/Glasgow isn't the best place for people to live 

But the new reality is difficult to accept/adjust too, not least because that:

1) The level of non-payment that I've encountered would be enough to resolve a rather pressing issue
2) The cause of this issue is one of the banks that got bailed out by politicians
3) At a modest rate the value for my time on these projects would be £90,000
4) I KNOW that what I am doing has value! I KNOW how incompetent government backed projects are

5) The system has made me and my efforts feel pretty worthless.

I wonder how much hustle I have left in me... Can't imagine there will be all that much when the only home our kids have known gets repossessed on the 2nd Aug. 

I wonder if it's too late to give a crowdfunder a try... if some guy can get $55,000 for potato salad?!

In the mean time, here's to the 'Leaders' in politics and the banking industry... Two professions that I hope my kids never get involved with, opting instead to take Chris Sacca's advice from his 2011 commencement speech and that they: "Be Helpful" 

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