“Dude,” Mark said to me, “you need to start a blog.”
Whenever Mark starts a sentence with “Dude,” it means he’s about to give me advice about my life.
“You ought to be at this Dad 2.0 thing*, not here**. You’re funny. You have a great perspective on things. I’m telling you, man, start a blog.”
* Which I understand is some sort of conference for people who make a million dollars off their blogs.
** “Here” was a press junket for a new hybrid car called the Kia Niro in San Antonio, TX. Er, that is, the junket was in San Antonio; the Kia Niro, as far as I know, is called the Kia Niro every place in America, though it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s called something different in Buffalo. Press junkets are one of the things I do for a living. I don’t mean that I attend them for a living, although I sort of do. The junkets don’t pay, but the resulting articles do, at least when I can get them sold. Speaking of which, if anyone wants to buy an article about the Kia Niro, drop me a line.
Mark and I have been friends for about… holy crow, I think it’s eighteen years. I’m the godfather of one of his kids, although I don’t think I’m terribly good at it. I haven’t seen the kid since he was five, and I think he’s something like eleven now. If I was a better godfather, I’d know exactly how old he is. I’d also remember the kid’s name. Of course, if Mark wanted me to be a better godfather, he wouldn’t live 65 miles away in Orange County. I live in Los Angeles, so that’s about a four-day drive. A week if you hit rush hour.
Anyway, I always listen up when Mark says “Dude,” because he is a friggin’ bloodhound for money. He sees profit in everything. I’ve never seen anything like it. You name any given situation, he will instantly tell you how his company is going to get involved and turn a megaprofit I, on the other hand, have none of Mark’s business sense. Seriously, not one iota. I tried to tell Mark this, explaining-slash-complaining that I had to be careful about taking on new gigs that aren’t going to make money right away.
Unlike Mark, I don’t own my own company; I don’t even have a real job. I’m a freelance automotive journalist with a mix of clients, some who pay beans and a few who pay a crap-ton of beans. (Unfortunately, what beans I do make are mostly consumed by outrageous rent and my wife’s horse.) I have hobbies, I do some volunteer writing gigs, and I have a secret web site that doesn’t make any money, although it probably would if I could figure out how to promote and monetize it, which I would be able to do if I was (were?) Mark. And it’s this latter bit—not knowing how to promote and monetize, that is, not not being Mark—that convinces me that a blog about my life isn’t going to make money. At least not a million dollars, and not in the next month or two, which is when I could use it the most. (Not that I’m in trouble or anything; I don’t mean to imply that I owe money to a gangster named Tony “The Thumb”. I just mean that if you’re going to have a million dollars, you may as well have it now, right?)
“Dude,” Mark continues, “you gotta do it. The money will come. And don’t make it about cars. Don’t even put cars in the name. Make it about you.”
If it wasn’t Mark talking, I’d poo-poo the idea. I guess some interesting stuff does happen to me. I travel a lot. I drive a lot of cars, although, according to Mark, I am not allowed to talk about that. I have a wife who loves to laugh at me when I make a fool of myself, which I do with alarming regularity. I have two sons who couldn’t be more different if one was a Martian* and the other was a turnip. I have an overly sensitive dog who throws up at the slightest hint of tension. I am very close to setting a record for the second-highest number of guest appearances on The Smoking Tire podcast. (Oh, crap, that’s about cars. Sorry, Mark.) And I am a geek about so many things that I can actually geek out each and every one of my geeky friends, no matter how geeky they are.
* I have not ruled out the possibility that one of my children actually is a Martian. It would explain a lot, not least of all his apparent ability to go for abnormally long periods of time without water. Notice that I am not specifying which kid is the Martian. They’ll each think it’s the other one, and with good reason. Now that, my friends, is good parenting.
“Dude, trust me. Do it. Write about your life. Call it… call it the Ambitiously Lazy Guy. That’s it. AmbitiouslyLazyGuy-dot-com.”
And that’s how this here got started.