Great News!

For the past several months now I have been putting myself out there, no – not visiting online dating sites – but rather have been focusing on my business. To that end I have been doing tons of networking. In the last two weeks alone I have been to nine 1-1 networking meetings and 1 leads group event where there were about 20 people.

The several weeks before that I had probably about five to six 1-1 meetings and 3-4 leads or general networking group events. All this effort to get my business name/brand out there so that I am a face people recognize and want to do business with.

Aside from all the networking I am doing for the web portion of my business I have been looking at web sites that work on just voice over (VO). I joined several groups through LinkedIn and saw the frenzy that occurred every time someone posted a new project that was looking for some new voice actors to be in it. It was crazy…and honestly aside from occasionally giving me some insight on specific industry how-to’s, was not very fruitful.

Last month I was largely convalescing from back surgery and was looking for some alternative sites that I could get in with that might use my VO talents. I came across ACX. This is the brainchild of Amazon. It puts writers and producers (me and those like me) together and allows for the writers to submit a written segment of their book to be recorded and submitted for approval by VO talents. If the writer accepts your proof, then you guys go through some legal stuff and are then working together.

This morning I got an email that 1 of the 2 books I recorded for has accepted my work and wants to have me record their book! I will tell-all about the project when I can but I am fairly sure it wont be until after the project is complete.

I still need to read all the fine print etc…before I agree. I have a couple days to decide if I still want to do the job. Until then the writer cannot offer the job to anyone else so I don’t have to feel rushed about making an informed decision to do the book.

So…THAT is my big news! I am very grateful that I get this opportunity.

Peace be with you.

More to come…

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Networking, Networking and more Networking

Since the start of my business Greenleaf Enterprises LLC I knew there would come a day when all my equipment was set up and software was purchased and installed and all my backup strategies were implemented that I would have to get to Networking. And that day was actually about six weeks ago.

I know, why the heck am I just getting to this tasty morsel of news? Because at first I wasn’t sure where it was going and didn’t really know what to make of it. However…fast forward 8 weeks, 1 surgery, 1 partial recovery and about 9 more networking events I am starting to get the hang of what I am supposed to do at them. More than that, I feel comfortable enough and believe enough in what I am selling (Me) that it doesn’t really bother me to speak in front of 100 strangers any more. Weird?

Initially I started going to JobGroup, then Portland Connect, then OAME then back to whichever was next. There is literally a networking group for everything you can possibly imagine in Portland. My experience, although challenging at first has become a part of what I do for my business. When I worked for “The Man” I came to work, punched in, worked my 40 each week and that was it. As the owner I have to do everything; research,  purchasing, setup, IT, sales and…networking. After having to do all these things for myself and not having anyone else to rely on I have learned some respect for those people who did all those things and had to listen me cry when something went amiss at all of the other places I worked.

Thus far I have met some really great people and got a few leads which I am excited about. Every single day is an adventure and I don’t know what the day holds but I am looking forward to it.

Peace be with you all!

More to come…

Posted in Career, Greenleaf Enterprises LLC, Voice Over Acting, Web Conferencing Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Post Op +5 – things looking good

It has been five days since I had what amounted to a laminectomy on two of my discs. No infection or swelling so far and I am off pain meds completely. Not to say that I am not feeling a bit tight or uncomfortable, just that I want to be off the narcotics as soon as I can and I feel like I am at that point.

I have been able to walk several blocks several times a day without issue and am feeling more confident with my recovery being swift and without incident. Not so say there wont be any negative developments, only to say that I am choosing to be optimistic and dealing with whatever issues arise from this than worrying about what may happen and letting fear control my actions.

To everyone who did wish me well and sent such wonderful notes of optimism, I want to say thank you once again. It does make me feel very much-loved and I appreciate it.

Peace be with you!

More to come…

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Surgery went well -recovering now

Surgery went well. Feeling pretty good right now. Surgery lasted about 3-3.5 hours and recovery for a couple more. Staff has been great. Provided everything goes as  planned, i will be heading home tomorrow.
I want to thank everyone for their tremendous show of support. I feel very loved and am truly thankful to have friends and family that are simply the best people in the world.
I will write more tomorrow once i get settled.

Peace be with you all!

More to come…

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The big day has arrived…

That’s it folks, the big day has finally arrived. And none to soon if you ask me. Surgery should be around 1pm and I should be under for 2.5 hours should everything go hunky-dory.

The surgical procedures being performed for my pleasure will be a laminectomy and a discectomy. I am positive I spelled both of those wrong, so sue me. As I have been saying for a while, this has been a long time coming and although I will endure some pain and discomfort in the short-term now, I am positive this is the best thing for me and my health long-term.

I should be convalescing at home tomorrow provided everything goes as planned. Things I can’t do while I am in a janky way: bowling, disc gold, sitting for more than twenty minutes at a time so gaming and Magic the Gathering are both out. No housework, mowing the lawn or any of that nonsense either. :) Things I do get to do: request a beer or some other tasty beverage from any available persons and they have to get it for me (I think that’s a law somewhere). All my meals prepared for me. Well that mostly happened already so that stays the same. I do get to watch a crap-ton of T.V. at first along with being able to write. If you have any suggestions of shows to watch I am all ears.

I will be up and walking around tomorrow once I am home. That will be my only form of exercise while the surgical site heals. No driving for 1-2 weeks. Physical therapy will start sometime in the next couple months after it is determined I am ready for it.

I think those are all the big buckets I can think of for now. Send your well wishes and good thoughts my way and to my wife. She is probably more nervous about this than I am right now. That will all end when I am a giant pain in the ass at home having her run around for me while I am recovering though.

Finally, I do want to say a heart-felt thank you to everyone that has wished me well and offered assistance during this time. I am truly fortunate to have such wonderfully loving friends and family.

Peace be with you all!

More to come…


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Odds and ends…

Big news first; I am scheduled for surgery on the 17th of this month. That is 1 week from today. They are going to be working on the discs at the locations of L4-L5 and L5-S1. There are a couple other bulging discs that later in life may give me troubles but for now they will be left alone because they appear to not be causing any of my issues right now. Keeping the surgery as short as possible is probably best anyway. I am really just eager to be done with the whole mess and on to physical therapy and recovery.

The doctor says that I should be in the hospital overnight and can go home the following day provided there are no complications. I should also be able to walk around and am strongly encouraged to do so to exercise the muscles so they don’t atrophy, making the physical therapy harder.

With any luck bowling will be in the cards this fall and maybe some actual hiking later this year. Also and because my mind wonders about, so too will this post. The doc mentioned that I should lose weight which will in turn make it easier to strengthen my core. I thought to myself that my core really isn’t the problem and that I DO work on it everyday before I get out of bed along with other stretches but rather it is likely the beer I drink. If they made a diet beer I am sure I wouldn’t be dealing with a pony keg right now. :) In all seriousness, losing weight is part of the overall health regimen that will help me steer clear of more back issues for the foreseeable future. Getting older sucks. When I was young being fit was called hanging out with friends after school. Now it is called working out or as I like to call it…torture. Honestly it has been so long since I have been able to walk for a long period of time without pain or jogged that I have become soft or more soft that I would have liked. Now I need to suck it up and do the work and get back into the game and back to fighting weight.

Something that just struck me; other than a piece of frozen steak (inside joke – I will tell you about it later if you ask real nice ;)) is that losing weight should be a gradual thing, like gaining weight. We however are becoming programmed more and more often to want everything instantly that the prospect of long-term never enters the picture.

I think that I have fallen into this same trap. I have worked most of my professional career in the internet conferencing industry and subsequently worked with computers and sat behind a desk for eight hours a day on average. Everything I did was always in the short-term and measured by how quickly I could get a project done and out the door. Gone were the days where I did manual labor for a living, often hours long jobs or all day. Also gone were the days I could neglect the slow creep of time upon my person because of it.

I guess we all have to grow up some time. :)

Peace be with you all!

More to come…


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Surgery is scheduled…at last.

It seems like things are finally locked down for surgery (later this month or sooner if there is a cancellation) that I will be having to correct, or (at the very least) alleviate, the problems I have been having with my back for over the better part of the last decade. Currently I have six bulging discs and of them, two are apparently herniated and need to be fixed. The fix will likely come in the form of “trimming” back the part of the disc that is bulging out and putting pressure on the nerves (sciatica). The scar tissue from this procedure is usually enough to keep the disc from bulging again but it is not a guarantee however so more rigid control over my activities and a lot more exercise is in my future to prevent or at least stave off any more issues for as long as possible. See look at that, I am already exercising with that last run-on sentence. Boo-ya! I still got it! Shut-up Ralph, you never had it! Bonus points for who can correctly identify who I am talking about.

I am a little nervous but not as much as you may think about the procedure. The surgeon is a very meticulous doc and has me run through a barrage of tests and procedures to accurately give detailed information on what is really going on with me, how my heart is, am I a bleeder and so forth.

I have had back surgery before 27 years ago and since that time have had four others, although not as serious. I am really just looking forward to getting it done so I can move on and start to heal. With nerve damage there is no telling how much, if any of it, can or will heal based on the trauma already sustained. All I can do is be excited about forward progress of stay positive.

For all of you that have given me well wishes and offered help and good thoughts and the like, I want to say THANK YOU from the very core of my being. It is nice to hear from you and know that you care. (Now I am going to get  a little mushy here) Often enough we don’t say what or how we feel to the people we care about. We use excuses like, “They know how I feel” and “I have said it before” or some other expression we have all used to hide our true feeling for those we care about because for some reason we have by and large as a society learned to hide our feeling from those we care most about.

Let me start a change right now (for myself for I feel I haven’t often enough said how I truly feel); I want all my friends to know that I love all of you and am deeply touched and honored to know that so many of you have been in touch offering help and support. I could not ask for better friends!

Peace be with you all!

More to come…

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