What is it that you do?

Thanks to the random and varied posts that I add to Twitter, that then get transmitted to Facebook, I have been getting this question quite often. What exactly do you do? I understand how it is difficult to figure out as I just can’t say “Insurance Salesman” or “Radio DJ”. The catchalls that I have been using lately are “self-employed” or “professional freelancer”. But, to truly understand what I am doing now, let’s take a quick look at where it all started.

Upon leaving college, it was the dream to get into radio. At that time, I wanted to do it for life. Who knew this little thing called the internet would disrupt the whole world of media, but I digress. I spent over 10 years in radio working at some great stations like Radio Disney, KTAR, 98.7 The Peak and some that no longer exist. As our family grew and the market share of radio stations shrank, a couple of things happened:

  1. I was away from home, A LOT. I did not want to miss my daughters growing up so I could stand in front of a mobile phone store handing out station T-shirts or spending all night at a bar with people I really wasn’t that fond of.
  2. When I first started in radio, it was fun. Sure, there were issues, but the fun was more plentiful than the issues. After a while, that tide turned and there were more issues than fun. This helped make my decision much easier.
  3. The internet happened and I was smitten. As I felt about radio in my young adulthood, I fell in love with the new frontier of new media. I knew from the moment that I started programming that I needed to be involved with this growing field.

In 2004, I began my own business, dabuzz media. While I have never been accused of being too bright, I left radio with very little plan. I did not have a ton of capital and just a bit of a business model, but for the mental health of myself and my family, it had to happen. And I have not regretted that decision once. EVER. Has it been tough? Sure, there are times when I wish I could look forward to that paycheck on every other Friday, but never regret. I even went back to radio for about 18 months before I was thankfully laid off to remember why I don’t want to be there anymore.

Now, to answer the question in the title. From the beginning of self-employment, I have been able to put together a lot of different projects that come together to make a living. God has blessed me with a lot of different skills and I am thankful that I get to do such a diverse group of activities and get paid for it! The include:

  • Setting up and designing websites using WordPress and Joomla. One of the projects that I am most proud of is pvcstudents.com, the site for the Junior High and High School ministry that I serve in at our church.
  • Sports radio engineering. Basically, I set up the equipment, headsets and telephone line for sports radio play-by-play. Almost all of the visiting teams in basketball and hockey hire a local engineer in all the markets that they go to. When they come to the Phoenix area, I am one of those guys.
  • Assist in managing events for these guys. I have gotten to work on some really cool events including the Fiesta Bowl Block Party, Rock & Roll Marathon and the Tempe Music Festival. Essentially I help set up the events and then manage areas of the event to make sure everything goes smoothly. I work with a bunch of great people, it is a ton of fun, but it is really hard work to entertain thousands of people. Highlights include meeting The Fray and ushering around Fergie. Those are just a couple. The rock band made up of the coolest guys ever would probably have to go to Everclear.
  • As I mentioned earlier, I serve in the Student Ministries at Palm Valley Church. If you see a status or tweet regarding church leadership or pastors around the country, that’s why. It is one of my passions.

Finally, I am working on a couple of projects under the dabuzz media banner that I will post on separately in the next couple of days. I am very excited where all this is going and I appreciate all the friends and colleagues that I have had the opportunity to be around the last 20 years. Thanks, and I hope that helps clear up exactly what I do for a living. Talking to an old friend yesterday who is in a similar situation, this is becoming more common than ever. If you find yourself in a similar situation and have any questions, I am happy to share my experience. Now, on to the next project…


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