Author Archives: jennifer

Wandering around cyberspace and enjoying the adventure!
Walk Talk Challenge podcast header showing four women walking

Walk Talk Challenge

The Walk and Talk Challenge is for Women Entrepreneurs:

A 30 minute walking discussion of open conversation around your entrepreneurial goals and challenges.

It’s an Entrepreneurial Brain Jam!

So get ready to lace up your shoes to walk and talk about your business.

Subscribe/Follow the podcast on the following services or wherever you listen to podcasts:

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logo for Texas Podcast Conference aka TexasPodCon

Shhhh….TexasPodCon is Coming!

Anyone who has known me from the early days of podcasting and social media will remember the whole host of user-generated conferences (camps) I spearheaded  back in the 2007-2010 time frame. From the very first PodCamp San Antonio to Barcamp to Startup Weekend to TweetCamp to MobiCamp and others. These events were how the early adopter new and social media community came together and how the overall community in San Antonio came into being. By late 2010 the community in San Antonio was robust and thriving. So I stopped hosting events.

Fast forward to 2019 and podcasting is hotter than ever. Something kept poking at me that is was time for another event. However, instead of a camp, it was time for a conference. A podcast conference to be exact. That’s right it’s time to go back to the beginning. I think it was Inigo Montoya who said that, but wasn’t he just quoting Vizzini?

So, let me introduce you to the Texas Podcast Conference aka TexasPodCon

logo for Texas Podcast Conference aka TexasPodCon

Official launch date is August 1, 2019. I’ve been bursting at the seems to share this with the world, so in honor of birthday which is in a couple of days, I’m sharing the news a bit early. More details to come once August 1st rolls around next week. Be sure to block your calendar for TexasPodCon on October 25th-26th.

Plain wooden block truck child's toy

A Season of Busyness

I am most busy during the January – May part of the year. A fun ongoing client project means that I’m traveling across Texas to cover weekend events.

Is it tiring? Yep.

Do I love what I do? Most definitely.

Do I believe in the mission? You betcha!

What that means is that there isn’t much time for much else. Which in a way is actually a good thing. For those five months, I am hyperfocused on a single project. It’s oddly liberating. I’m glad that it isn’t this busy all year long, because I do like to work on other projects and this feeds my curiosity and wanderlust nature. It’s truly the best of bother worlds and one of the reasons I enjoy being an entrepreneur.

Blah Blah Blah image by Geralt

Where’s the Conversation?

Blah Blah Blah image by GeraltThere was a time when the majority of what I saw online was more conversation and less self-promotion. I miss those days.

I belong to groups where the conversation is almost non-existent. Folks pop in to promote their most recent sponsored blog post, podcast episode or video creation in order to ask for likes and shares or to subtly market themselves through a question masked as a request for group help. It’s exhausting.

Where is the conversation?

Speech BubbleWhere are the spaces where smart and innovative folks can talk about ideas, overcoming challenges, share the ins and outs of what they do in a true learn, share, grow model?

Authenticity, Transparency, and Attribution

I come from the early days of social, podcasting, video. When only a few geeky folks were in the space. These were the days of user-generated conferences aka “camps” and community building. It. Was. Glorious.

While I am thrilled that this geeky thing which was on the fringe of society has been adopted by the world. I do miss the community aspect of it all. I know things change. Truly I do. We early adopters helped to fuel the uses of these tools and platforms so that they could become mainstream. Of course, we’re happy everyone else is on board. However, now that social media/podcasting/online video (which at one time was called new media) is an industry, and no longer a grassroots community effort, it seems the promo and influencer model has taken over. People have to make money. I know I do. But, does everything have to be about promo? megaphone marketing image by Geralt

New groups are popping up all the time. I join some in hopes they will be a community based on conversation. Instead, it’s more of the same. Post after post after post of people only posting in these groups to get likes and shares for their content. Where are they when they don’t have something to promote? Please don’t misunderstand me here, there certainly needs to be a place to do these types of things.  I know I certainly need places to share projects, posts, or client events that are happening. But is that all there is?

Frustration and Fatigue

You may be thinking, “Hey Jennifer, if you want a group like that then why don’t you create it?” I have. Several as a matter of fact and it was great. The challenge? I have been running groups since 2005 and I’m at the stage where I’d like to just be in a group without the time commitment and responsibility of running it.

My business is booming. I work with great clients on projects that I’m totally jazzed about and life is truly wonderful. What’s missing then? A community where I can brainstorm, idea share, problem solve and just be at ease with one another without worrying about our influencer, follower count, or sponsored ad posts. In other words, a place where I can let my hair down and talk shop or not.

What’s Next?

Rock Art Craft Holding Hands Team by WokandapixI guess what I’m looking for is Thought Leader Community. What is that? In my mind, it is a trusted space where honest helpful conversation happens. Where being authentic and transparent are treasured. A community that embraces the concept of “learn, share, grow” in its truest form. Does it exist? I sure hope so.

sunrise coming up beyond snow capped mountain tops

Beginnings, Transitions, Goodbyes

sunrise coming up beyond snow capped mountain tops

At this time in life, there are chapters and versions of my story that require saying goodbye while others are merely transition points and even more are new beginnings. Which ones are which? This may or may not be the time and place to unpack it all, but I will say that I’m probably at the most peace than I have ever been in my life. This feels like a beginning. It’s certainly a departure or good-bye of what has come before.

You may be reading this and thinking, “Vague much?” <- You wouldn’t be wrong in thinking this at all.

I saw a post titled, “This Autumn Let Something Die” by Willow on Tumblr and it made me pause. The title alone demanded I take the time to read it. So I did. It goes like this:

This Autumn, let something die.

A worry, a relationship, a project that has run its course. Let go of anxiety over the future. Let go of guilt.

Let go of other people’s dreams for you. Let go of the fear that happiness or success or love or joyousness somehow isn’t for you.

Let go of feeling unwanted. Go outside, can you feel how deeply your presence is craved here?

Let go of the small and burdensome things. Gifts never opened. Keys without a lock. Broken earrings, old love letters, the ephemera on your fridge.

As David Whyte writes, “Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.” This Autumn, let go of all the clothes you have outgrown.

Let go of comparison.

Let go of doubt.

Let go of the feeling that you are somehow not good enough.

Because every imperfect apple that lays soft in your hands, and every ray of low Autumn sunlight that warms you through woolens will tell you a different story, a much truer story. The story that you are more, much more, than enough. That you bless this world simply by being alive.

These words written by a 22-year-old young lady out of North Carolina had the kind of wisdom we can only hope to acquire through experience and age. It would seem that wisdom knows no age. A special thanks to the rabbit hole I wondered down during a random perusing of the interwebs for it led me to this insightful post.

But I digress. As I near half a century of spinning around the sun, I am more myself and the person God meant for me to be. I’m not sure why it took me so long to get here, but damn am I grateful to have finally arrived. I have such a sense of wonder about this next part of my life.

As a woman, it seems like we are constantly living for others and now I am ready to live for myself. It’s a fine place to be in life. The adventure is truly just beginning and I can’t wait for all the future adventures which will shape me to be even more me.

Stand Back I'm Going To Have To Social The Sh!t Out Of This

Space – The Final Frontier

After a day spent at Johnson Space Center for the State of NASA 2018 event, I was even more in awe of what the men and women at NASA are doing right now to further the mission of human space travel. It’s easy to fall in love with the final frontier of space. It has a new world westward expansion feeling to it. To quote  Star Trek’s opening sequence,

“To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations.

To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before!”

Gene Roddenberry had it right all those years ago. Back in the 60’s, it was easy to get excited about space. Orbiting the earth, traveling to the moon and back. It was all so new. The Apollo missions sparked the imagination of the world. Each spaceward moment was history in the making.


Reuters Photo and Article: "The space shuttle Endeavour, atop NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, flies over Houston, Texas in this September 19, 2012 NASA handout photo. REUTERS/Sheir Locke/NASA/Handout"

Reuters Photo and Article: “The space shuttle Endeavour, atop NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, flies over Houston, Texas in this September 19, 2012 NASA handout photo. REUTERS/Sheir Locke/NASA/Handout”

The next big leap forward happened with the shuttle missions. In the early, to mid-90’s I was working on the 47th floor of a skyscraper in Downtown Houston and remember looking out of my window seeing the shuttle piggyback on a jumbo jet as it flew from the California landing site to Florida where liftoffs occurred.


Once the shuttle program was dismantled, it seemed like the excitement of space travel was muted. Or at least that was how it felt to me. That doesn’t mean there weren’t big scientific breakthroughs occurring. Afterall, the International Space Station is pretty darn exciting. What was missing was the key visuals and unifying experiences that Apollo and Space Shuttle missions inspired in the world. Experiences that would inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers to “boldly go”.


Let’s fast forward to 2018. Space X launches a red Tesla Roadster inside the new Falcon Heavy rocket and once again the world is captivated and inspired by space travel. Do we as human beings need spectacles like a car in outer space? Sure, why not? Were we as a global community unified for a single moment by witnessing Falcon Heavy launch, dual side booster landings and the deployment of Starman inside the red Tesla Roadster? YES!!!

It was a reminder that humanity can still do amazing things. A reminder that we are one people. Humans on a single planet called Earth. And together there is nothing we cannot accomplish. We’re kind of awesome like that.

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ladies fedora hat

Prepping Social Engagement for #StateofNASA 2018

ladies fedora hatOne of the things I have enjoyed doing as head of Social Media Breakfast San Antonio has been to put my Social Media Reporter hat on for community and nonprofit events across the Alamo City. It’s my way of giving to my community. It’s been an honor to share my knowledge, expertise and social reach to shine a spotlight on events which are uniquely San Antonio. So, it should come as no surprise that when I found out I would be part of the State of NASA event, I was pumped up and ready to don my Social Media Reporter hat again.

Prepping the List

NASA knows a thing or two about making things happen. If they can land a man on the Moon and a rover on Mars, then a social media event is a walk in the park. In the first communication, I received a list of hashtags (#StateofNASA and #NASASocial) as well as social media handles for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The first step was to make sure I was following all the social profiles on all three social networks. Want to follow along and join the fun? On Twitter, I created a NASA List. Feel free to subscribe to follow the #StateofNASA conversation happening on Monday, February 12th.

Next, I created a list of all the social media handles so that I could copy and paste as needed. One of the things I’ve learned over the years at live events is to create as many shortcuts as possible. While Twitter, FB, and Instagram should auto-populate the handles as I type, I’ve learned it’s always best to have a Plan B in your back pocket.


TWITTER: @NASA  @NASASocial  @Space_Station  @ISS_research @NASA_Orion  @NASAedu

FACEBOOK: @NASA @NASAJSC @ISS @NASAOrion @jsceducation

INSTAGRAM: @NASA @nasajohnson @iss @explorenasa

Mobile Keyboard Shortcuts

Then, I created keyboard shortcuts on my iPhone for the #StateofNASA and #NASASocial hashtags. Live tweeting isn’t for the faint of heart or the slow-fingered. Having these two hashtags which would be used in every tweet, post and photo would certainly save me time.

Keyboard Shortcut for #NASASocial

Wondering exactly how that’s done? This keyboard shortcut is a trick I learned from Rebecca Council at an event we were working at last year. Here is how it works:

iPhone > Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement > + (upper right hand corner) > Phrase (#StateofNASA) > Shortcut (sona) > Save.

Now, every time I type the shortcut: nso the hashtag #NASASocial or sona #StateofNASA pops up on my screen.

Do you have some tried and true tips to keep yourself organized at social media events? Drop your idea in the comments below. I’ll be sure to give you a shoutout in thanks. Cheers!

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Stand Back I'm Going To Have To Social The Sh!t Out Of This

WOOT! Invited to the State of NASA at JSC

On the off chance you missed my announcement earlier this week:

For the last few years I have been wanting to attend a NASA Social event, but my schedule never quite meshed with the available opportunties. Well, this time I was in luck. Not only was the State of NASA event close to home (a short 3 1/2 hour drive), but I also had nothing else scheduled for that day. The bonus was the chance to head to the Houston area early to spend the weekend with my family.

In preparation for the big day, I am totally space geeking out and loving every minute of it. I have 10 days to plan out my social media reporter strategy and I’m going to take you along on the journey. How? Keep an eye out for more blog posts as well as audio and live video segments.

In the meantime…

Stand Back I'm Going To Have To Social The Sh!t Out Of This

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Zen stones being knocked over by black ocean waves

Time | Team | Tools & Reality

Best Laid Plans

Exodus-Moses-Parts-The-Red-SeaWhen it comes to any project planning, recognizing your limitations is key to accomplishing realistic expectations. We all have pie in the sky ideas for what our incredibly amazing, life/world changing project is going to be and all the phenomenal success we will have as a result. None of this will come to pass unless you give some real thought to the actual time it will take to accomplish the project goals, the team you will need to make it all happen in a seamless way with all the tools right at your fingertips. In an ideal world, everything flows and blends together. The Red Sea parts and the world is your oyster.


This. Is. Not. That.


The Reality

Yellow Sea Horse in Aquarium

Our pie in the sky vision is exactly that without hardcore tough love decision making. I’ve been a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants gal my whole life. And for the most part, it has worked out pretty well so far. There were big opportunities I missed out on because long-term planning wasn’t “my thing”. Sure, it’s easy to dream. It’s easy to set your sites on a goal. How to get there? You can probably eyeball that, too. How to get there exactly as your ideal vision has pictured? Well, that’s a horse of an entirely different color….or type.

The Cold Hard Truth

When it comes to actually seeing your vision become reality you’re going to have to face some cold, hard truths. Your ideal plan is not going to happen with a team of one. You will need a team in order to fill in the gaps in your knowledge and expertise. Or even to just do the tasking that is required, but perhaps does not require your specific time and talents to accomplish. Hire outside of yourself. On a shoestring budget? Consider a trade of in-kind services. We all have special skills that are valuable to someone else and vice versa. Still not able to find someone? Then consider hiring small. In a perfect world, you would have the financial ability to hire your ideal person full time. What about for just a few hours per week or month? Get that ideal person at the front gate. Let them get to know you and your business. By the time you are ready to bring them to full-time they will already know the ins and outs of your business. They’ll be ready to dive into the deeper aspects of your projects.

Plain wooden block truck child's toyNot ready to bring anyone else on board? Is a team of one your motto and words you live by? Then it’s time to get out the red pen to your project. What can you do realistically each and every day? Be tough and honest with yourself. Pare down your project down to its very basics. We’re talking the framework of a car without all the bells and whistles. A plain, standard model to get you from point a to point b. Does it have an engine and wheels that work? Then that is all you need to get started.


Chin up

It’s easy to get discouraged at this stage. You know the ideal way you want this idea to come to fruition. Taking the Ferrari in your mind down to the Ford Truck is hard. Here’s what I want you to remember, getting started is more important than holding on to the ideal version of your project and not getting started at all. Keep those little pared down darlings close by. As your project continues to develop there may be opportunities for them to be brought back into the plan. Some of them will make a comeback and others will not. Timing and the growth of your project will indicate when if their time has come. Some never will. Others will turn into Phase 2, 3, or 4 additions.


The Lessons Learned…….The Hard Way

I share these tips with you because of my own epic pie-in-the-sky planning failure(s). Most recently, I planned a repeat of something I did a few years back: Three different daily podcasts for National Podcast Post Month in November aka NaPodPoMo (30 podcasts in 30 days).

I was able to accomplish this originally in 2015. I recorded three shows a day for a total of 90 shows in the month of November. When I tried to reattempt this in 2017 as part of the 10 year anniversary of National Podcast Post Month, I failed miserably. Why? I set unrealistic expectations on the time I had available, the team who would help me accomplish this goal (me) and the tools I would use to make it all happen (1 live show and 2 shows prerecorded with post-production edits).

So, why was it I was able to accomplish this so easily in 2015 and yet stumble through the entire month in 2017? It all comes down to Time, Team & Tools.

Back in 2015, I was just coming back into the world after a health scare with my youngest son. NaPodPoMo was what I needed to get out of the medical brain fog that had been the previous months of my life. Plus, in 2015 all three shows were done live. Recording time was all I needed which made keeping the three times daily podcast sessions easy to keep up with. Due to months of being out of the loop, my workload was almost non-existent. I was just in the process of on-boarding a repeat client. Which meant my attention wasn’t split in too many directions. I had a simple calendar and it was easy to keep track of everything.

You can talk sense to a fool and he will call you foolish - Euripides quote

Fast-forward to 2017 and I had several client projects, am teaching courses each month to students while also taking a few courses myself. Out of the three podcasts, I scheduled for NaPodPoMo, only one was live. That single podcast is the only one which accomplished the goal of 30 podcasts in 30 days. When push comes to shove things fell into the cracks. I was so in love with the idea of doing three shows for the 10 year anniversary, I refused to see that the reality was there was never going to be an opportunity at success given that I did not plan for any deviation to my vision. I also did not bring in support to help with the prerecorded shows. This was the fatal flaw to my perfectly laid out plan. I should have known that I would become the bottleneck to success. Yet, I persisted with the idea that I could do it all.

The Rub

You would think I would have gotten wiser by this experience……I have and I haven’t. I had a 2018 planning session with my business coach to lay out the course of my business. I narrowed my focus down to three main pieces, which is quite a feat considering how much Shiny Object Syndrome plays out in my life. I had pushed back one of “my darlings” to later in the year instead of creating a big bang launch in January. This made complete sense in the overall planning. Yet, I realize I still need to thin the herd a bit. In order to be successful at some, I will sacrifice others. These are sound decisions. They make black and white sense. Here’s the rub, the things I am sacrificing are my own personal growth and pet business projects. Zen stones being knocked over by black ocean waves

As a mother, this is nothing new. You always sacrifice what you might need or want for the greater good of your family. It’s just what you do. We can always wait until later when it’s a better time…..or……

The logical part of myself says, “Grow up, there will always be time to get these things done later. Take care of these other things because it will help you in the long run.” <-This grown up is not wrong. Yet, I can look back and see the many times I was on the precipice of something truly amazing and the reality of life forced me to reconsider the bigger picture. Some things absolutely needed me to stop, drop, and roll for something or someone who had needs greater than my own. But not all. There were several I have a very strong feeling would have changed the whole direction of my life. There is a definite feeling of “Rinse and Repeat” present. A deja vu of opportunities slipping away…..again.

Silver Linings

This is not a tale of doom and gloom. Not by a long shot. My life is my own. I work with clients I like on projects I enjoy and on a mission I believe in. My motto which can be found on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn et al.. is “Living the Dream” and I am no matter what you’ve read above. Just because I am living a life of my choice doesn’t mean I’m still not challenged. I’m still growing and learning and yes, also still compromising along the way.

yellow and white paper origami ship on waterThe silver lining is that I am in charge of this speedboat. Sometimes my plans will have to be docked or perhaps I trade in that speedboat for a leisurely ride on a pleasure cruiser or ocean liner. Slow to maneuver, but they will eventually get to their destination.

At the end of the day when I look at 2018 or any year for that matter, I see an ocean of possibilities which are ripe with opportunity. It’s up to me to chart my course in whatever mode of transport fits the situation to see success in all its forms as they manifest themselves on the journey.

black and white photo of a baby with drawn sideburns and a black top hat with the word BAH-HUM-BUG!

New Year Resolutions…..not so much

When midnight strikes we all look forward to the promise of a new year. A promise that we will have more of what was wonderful in our lives and less of what pained us in the old year. We promise ourselves that this year things will be different. This will be the year we finally get everything right. This will be the year we get to actually live the perfect life we have envisioned for as long as we can remember.

Eventually reality sets in when we’re just as busy as we were the year before. Perhaps, even more so given the new resolution list we’ve added to our already busy schedule. But those resolutions are supposed to be what will give us our best life ever…..right?

New Years Eve Sparks Stellina by Giuliamar

New Years Eve Sparks Stellina by Giuliamar

In truth, those “life-changing resolutions” are much like a sparkler given to children on New Year’s Eve. A white-hot thrill which starts off exciting enough yet is too short-lived to truly meet our need for an improved life. Let’s face it, sparklers have zero staying power.

There is a point from about the middle of January to late February when we chuck all those crazy resolutions (gym membership, new fad diet…) and get back to our regular lives. Who has time for that stuff anyway? We’ve got things to do and family/friends/co-workers demanding our time. Resolutions turn into something more like “making a mess-olution” of our lives. So, we drop those promising resolutions like the proverbial hot potato and carry on with our lives. Our same old unsatisfying lives. Yep, that’s exactly what we do…..

Every. Single. Year.

What if there was a way to actually make a promise to ourselves and keep it? What if we didn’t need a new year to create a resolution? What if we could actually lead our imagined life? What would it take to make such a transformation happen?

It’s all about baby steps.