The process of developing WikiMapping together with John has enriched my life. People near and far are influencing me. I want to mention a few people from this week. This is going to be a list.
Re-reading and listening
I’m inspired by authors and mentors like Brad Feld, who has written about being an entrepreneur. And he cared enough about the work-life balance that he wrote a book with his wife, Amy. It’s because of the book “Do More Faster” that I called up John and asked him if he’d like to be a partner. Work-life balance is difficult when I find myself waking up at 3:00 am to start working and getting my ideas down.
Along the lines of business books, I listen to Pat Flynn’s podcast Smart Passive Income. I have told a lot of people about his podcast, and I bought his book. I read Crush It this week, which was a book he mentioned. Both Pat and Brad have emailed back to me when I’ve contacted them, and I think this says a lot.
Let me jump to Monday. I talked with Jennifer Molina, who I recently sent a book called “The Lean Startup”. We met at a conference after corresponding. She’s researched crowdsourcing. Funny enough, I haven’t, but it’s nice to know that she and others like WikiMapping. I’d love for Jennifer to be involved with our Delaware Beach Map projects, where we are going to compare low-stress bicycle analysis to crowdsourced data in the coming months. We’ll see if she has time.
I tried to put Jennifer in touch with Neelakshi, who is in Germany but created a WikiMapping project in Bangalore. Neelakshi’s project will be an interesting test. First of all, this is the first WikiMapping project outside of the US. And secondly, it’s not being done for a government or large organization. This is a first. I would like to see university students using WikiMapping.
Closer to home
Closer to home, I get grounded by having lunch with Kevin when he’s in town or my wife Sandi on her day off. Kevin is the person who knows how to make things happen. He’s full of ideas and encouragement for WikiMapping, but his heart is totally with his company, PW Campbell. He travels all the time and is another of my friends who has grown his support network within his company.
I live in a walkable town. And I stop in at the Art of Framing to visit my friends Sok and Melissa. We talk about books too, like E-Myth Revisited. They hired an employee this week, and it seems to be a great dynamic. At our local bank, I enjoy talking with Louise, the branch manager. I go to the bank a lot because we have been collecting checks for Jenkintown’s holiday decorations and for the School Playground.
I’m president of a 501c3 non-profit here in Jenkintown called… Jenkintown Community Alliance (JCA). So on Tuesday morning I met with Chris Bashore, the Assistant Borough Manager. Chris is working with Montgomery County to help us close out a facade grant project from when JCA was a Business Improvement District. Chris is the kind of person who stays on top of a problem until there is a resolution.
So, today Jonathan Frankenberg and I had coffee at Velvet Sky Bakery. Jonathan has put a lot of energy into Jenkintown and coordinated the music at the Jenkintown Festival of the Arts as well as other leadership roles. I said to Jonathan, “Jenkintown is a community of leaders.” And I think he’s got a strong brand for reaching out to people, so we talked about him doing a regular podcast about Jenkintown, Abington Arts Center, and the surrounding area.
Jonathan’s our Communications Director. He cares about what he does and I give him little direction. He manages the website, and since I’ve been reading Crush It, we talked about a strategy for improving outreach via many social media outlets. I was thinking about what we could do to make him more effective. “You shouldn’t have to learn to do everything yourself. It will take too long. Of course you should learn as much as you want to,” I said.
So, to make Jonathan more productive, we made a couple of purchases while sitting at Velvet Sky. First, we upgraded his computer from a six year old iMac to a 13″ Macbook Air. Then we got him a month subscription to Lynda.com so he can watch videos about SEO, Illustrator, etc.
“What do I need in order to make a bike map?”
Two people emailed me asking about how to make a bike map. I wrote back, and if anyone ever wants my thoughts or help making their own map, I’m glad to share what I know.
Helping and working with people makes me happy, and so I wanted to share just some of my week.