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From one to five to five at once

As my kids edge towards career age, I’ve been thinking a lot about work. There’s a momentum that everyone entering or already in the workforce should think about as they prepare and pivot.

My parents generation often worked one or two jobs for their entire adult lives. My generation (I’m 50 now) work an average of five different jobs. Millennials work five jobs at the same time.

This might sound exhausting – five jobs at once? – but it’s really no harder, it’s just different. Millennials are (or must be) more entrepreneurial than previous generations. So five things at once could be a part time job, plus designing and writing or programming on the side, and crafting something they sell on the weekend. And probably working with some friends on a start up in the middle of all this.

People entering the workforce now are already multitasking genius’s, so it’s not a leap to pull off this kind of life. It’s normal. And the reality is, this is what it will take for many of them to find a fulfilling, sustainable work life.

I’ve already changed and followed the flow. I write books, I work in Hollywood on TV scripts and screenplays and producing projects, I design packaging and marketing material, and I’m working on two start up companies. Bonus, I’m more fulfilled than I’ve ever been. The shift from one job to five to doing five at once is challenging, exciting, and best of all – you’re always learning new things.

Where do you fall on this spectrum? I wonder if, even if you have one job, it’s really five. Today’s employers expect employees to have highly diverse skill sets. Listen up newbies! Be great at many things and you’ll fit into the new economy just fine.

Thoughts on where media is going

I consumed a lot of content while I was on the long tour across the country (also a lot of Chipotle bowls). I must have listened to 100 hours of podcasts, watched a ton of movies and TV shows, and read some books. Six weeks on the road mostly alone clarified the reason why some entertainment media is crushing it, while others are either losing ground or stagnating. Here’s what I think is happening – I’d love to hear your opinion. Am I right or wrong? Do you see this happening in your own family and friend group? Let’s talk about it!

Let’s start with active/passive vs. active/active. Lots of entertainment media is active/passive. So this means you can do it while you’re doing something else at the same time. Some of them you can do while you’re driving or walking or cleaning your kitchen. And you can multitask in a million different ways on your phone while you also do all of the following:

Watch a movie or a TV show, listen to a podcast or the radio, play a video game, watch Youtube videos, and scroll through Facebook or Twitter posts on your laptop.

Then there’s active/active entertainment media, something we all enjoyed more before the Internet. These are forms of entertainment where we can’t do something else while we’re doing them, and reading is chief among them. When you’re reading a book, you’re locked in. You can’t do anything else.

Now we get to the heart of the problem, the reason why active/active pursuits are such a tough sell the farther down the technological rabbit hole we go. Kids, teens, and adults have entered a state of continuous partial attention (I’m sure someone else said that first, but I don’t know who). Our brains have been re-wired by our smart phones. We are much more comfortable giving a little bit of attention to many things on a continuous loop, and this is especially true with teens and millennials (all the people who are driving entertainment media).

This last point is for my buddy Jeremy Gonzalez who keeps telling me virtual reality is going to be bigger than anything that’s come before it. I have never agreed, and the above paragraphs are why. It’s the same reason 3D never took off in homes. If you’re watching 3D, you can’t do anything else – you’re locked in. The same is true for VR. If you’re in a virtual world with a headset on, you can’t do anything else, least of all check your phone. VR will go the way of 3D – it will carve out a nice niche, but it’s not going to be as widely consumed as a traditional TV show or a movie you can watch at home. It’s heading in the wrong direction – active/active – a critical flaw in it’s DNA.

And books have this critical flaw as well – reading is possibly the most active/active thing a person can do. This was one of it’s great attributes for centuries, but the world has changed and people have changed along with it. For most people today, reading is hard because it requires complete focus and we’re not wired that way anymore.

I still love a great read, it’s one of my favorite things. But if I’m honest, 20 minutes of uninterrupted reading is a lot for me – and I’m a reader!

Fizzopolis is here!

My first graphic novel is out today! If you’re looking for a goofy, fun, silly time with a book, look no further. Over 100 illustrations, and just as many laughs! Read on!Fizzy cover

Voyagers III – OMEGA RISING – is out!

CX-2moZWkAA9y8LThe Alpha Team has arrived at the third planet, and as you can see by the book cover, it’s all going to be just fine. Not! Aqua Gen is a planet completely covered by water, and the element our teams need to find is at the bottom of the ocean. They’ll have to battle pirates and sea monsters and ride super cool water crafts in a race against time if they want to find the third element.

If you haven’t boarded the Voyagers mission yet, the Alpha Team needs you! Find out all about the series at www.voyagershq.com where you can log on, join the team, and save the world. Let’s do this!

It’s time to reveal the cities for the big tour! I bet I’ll be somewhere near you very soon, come on out and see me for aliens, planets, and mayhem.

FIRST LEG VOYAGERS TOUR – stay tuned for locations and times!
Charleston – Thursday, January 14th
Savannah – Friday, January 15th
Jacksonville – Tuesday, January 19th
Orlando – Wednesday, January 20th
Miami – Friday, January 22nd

SECOND LEG VOYAGERS TOUR – mid February, final dates and times TBA
Santa Clarita, CA
Burbank, CA
Pasadena, CA
San Diego, CA
Phoenix, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ

THIRD LEG VOYAGERS / FIZZOPOLIS TOUR
Kennewick, WA – Friday, March 4th
Seattle, WA – Monday, March 7th
Portland, OR – Wednesday, March 9th
San Francisco, CA – Friday, March 11
Salt Lake City, UT – Monday, March 14th
Denver, CO – Thursday, March 17th
Dallas, TX – Monday March 21st
Austin, TX – Wednesday, March 23rd
San Antonio, TX – Thursday, March 24th
Fayettville, AK – Monday, March 28th
Nashville, TN – Wednesday, March 30th
Atlanta, GA – Friday, April 1st
Chapel Hill, NC – Monday, April 4th
Raleigh/Durham, NC – Tuesday, April 5th
Washington DC – Firday, April 8th
Columbus, OH – Monday, April 11th
Chicago, IL – Wednesday, April 13th
St. Louis, MO – Monday April 18th

Voyagers has launched!

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The Voyagers mission has launched! This is the most ambitious series I’ve ever created for kids, so if you know an educator or a young reader or parents of middle grade kids, this is going to be big! Please spread the word and help us get this mission off to a great start. And if you have a young reader in your life, ordering this week would be hugely appreciated. Thank you thank you thank you!

If you want to share the series on your timeline, here’s the main info:

About the Voyagers series, with a new book every two months for a year.

Earth is about to go dark. Without a new power source, life as we know it will be toast. A global competition is under way to determine who will join the secret mission that might just save us all. Project Alpha is a contest of physical challenges, mental puzzles, and political alliances. The battle is fierce, and only four kids will make the cut. The Voyagers will journey to the far reaches of space, collecting unique elements and facing unbelievable dangers. The future of our planet is in the hands of four kids. Sure, they’ll be the best in the world . . . but can they save the world?

Do you have what it takes to be a Voyager? Find out atwww.voyagershq.com.

About the experience

The Voyagers experience includes a vast world of digital assets for kids to plug into. At www.voyagershq.com, kids can create their own robot commander, discover hidden secrets in the printed books that unlock tons of cool stuff, join the crew, and much, much more. And the Voyagers game launches in just a few days, where kids can collect robots, play cool games, and learn a ton of science, technology, engineering, and math. It’s a STEM teacher’s dream come true for young readers!

Thank you again for sharing this bold new series. Heading out into space is going to be amazing. Onward!

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New Comments

  • Diana (concerned reader)
    Can I quote you in a college paper I am writing. I am writing about the need for warning labels on books. Not just for p ...

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  • Eva
    The book floors is really good ...