Peek’s Picks: SwitchPitch Lets Larger Companies Pitch Ideas to Startups

Peeks Picks

I’ve been stewing on possible startup ideas recently. Who knows if I’ll ever come up with a home run idea, but a brotha has to give a shot right?

Aric then told me about SwitchPitch, a cool concept that lets companies pitch startups instead of the other way around. This allows companies to avoid the onslaught of startups vying for their attention. These reverse-pitch meetings are also face-to-face, allowing for more personal interaction. This sounds like a pretty awesome way for companies to partner with the right people. Take a look if you’re interested and, as always, thank you, Mr. Peek!


Previously: Hello Hubs Is a Community-Built and Owned Internet Kiosk

Lessons from a New Self-Earner: Embracing Your Strengths

Photo Credit: Amir Jina
Photo Credit: Amir Jina

During the 33 years of my life, I’ve started more ideas than I can even remember. My first business venture started when I was ten years old. My buddy Ahijah and I began drawing our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics and sold them for a quarter.

Copyright infringement FTW.

Since then, I’ve had more ideas die and go nowhere than I’ve had successes. Many more. Over time, I began realizing what leads to a big part of failure: not embracing pre-existing strengths.

There was a point in my life when I was building websites as a part of a business my buddies and I started up. We got a couple clients, but I was way in over my head because I was learning as we went along. Eventually, I couldn’t fulfill requests and, unsurprisingly, the business died. This trend repeated itself numerous times until I finally broke out of it recently. Why was I trying to learn how to do things myself instead of partnering with people who could compensate for my weaker areas? Why was I even pursuing ideas that didn’t take advantage of my talents?

Every self-earner should be keenly aware of their skills and how to apply them to a money making idea. Sure, enjoyment should go into it as well, but skill is essential. Otherwise, you could easily lose momentum because you’ll eventually reach some hurdle that, for one reason or another, feels too daunting to overcome.

Embrace your strengths and exploit your skill set. If you want the challenge of learning and creating something new, good on you. I’ll worry about that later when I’m more established. For now, I’m just going to continue doing what I do best.

Peace out, party people.

Previously: Is Being a Self-Earner Right for You? All You Need Is One Rule

My Journey Toward Financial Freedom: NY or Bust


My girlfriend and I went to Central Park over the weekend and had an awesome time. After we got back home, bellies full from vegetable tikki masala and authentic New York pizza, we wondered what it would cost to live in New York for a while. Not permanently, mind you. Remember, I want to see the world. This would just be a cool start to a journey.

Here’s the thing: New York is expensive. Rent can get as high as nearly three times the national average. That’ll put a damper on a freelance writer/blogger’s wallet pretty quickly. But some people are doing it. Can I do it?

Well… I can, but I need to up my game when it comes to income.

With my previous income, I could easily afford a $3000 apartment. Now? I want to go for something more around $1200-1600. But I can’t do this haphazardly. I need to make sure I have a budget in place – one that still leaves wiggle room for disposable income. One tactic that I was using a few months ago, but have moved away from more recently is tracking how much money I need to make per day in order to hit my financial goals. This is a practice that worked for me exceedingly well when I first began freelancing. Otherwise, I’m fairly horrendous when it comes to budgeting.

The next thing I need to do is have a list of my monthly necessities/bills (Some of these are over-estimated):

  1. Rent ($1600)
  2. School Loans ($1000… sigh)
  3. Internet ($80)
  4. Cell Phone ($50)
  5. Metrocard ($112 30-day unlimited)
  6. Groceries ($200)
  7. Laundry ($50)
  8. Utilities ($100)

So this brings me to a total of $3192. I also want to save $500 a month and have $500 a month for random expenses (not just for going out but also pursuing other business ideas. That brings my final total to $4692. Let’s just round that up to $4200.

This means I have to earn about $157 a day (including weekends). That number doesn’t seem nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I’m going to do more research and return with a tighter estimate, but this seems doable until I feel like moving somewhere else.

Going forward, these posts will be super-focused on getting to that number (we’ll just say $160). Earning that per day as a freelancer will be a challenge for me at first, but I’ll be showing my progress and will be pushing to make this happen as soon as I can.

Stay tuned for more.

Peace out, party people.

Previously: Redefining Wealth

Lessons from a New Self-Earner: Is Being a Self-Earner Right for You? All You Need Is One Rule

Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond
Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond

Good morning, potential self-earners! Let’s talk motivation, shall we?

I already spoke about the power of persistence, but that was more in reference to maintaining momentum when you already have something going. But how about folks that have yet to start on their journey? Is this right for you? If so, what’s your motivation?

Here’s the thing with being a self-earner: the road is tough. Trust me on this one. It’s not all pots of gold and sunshine as some would have you believe. It takes hard work and dedication, especially in the beginning. Therefore, there is only one rule in determining whether or not this life is right for you.

If there are other things in your life that are more important and require as much or more time than being a self-earner, don’t bother.

I’m being serious here.

I mean, you can do it, but it will be that much harder to actually make any progress. Passion has to be your motivation. Without that, this becomes a less secure version of a job. Do you really want that? If this is your passion, there’s a much greater chance of success, enjoyment, and peace of mind.

Sounds awesome, right?

Don’t buy into the hype where people try to sell you on the dream of making millions by just quitting your job and following their secret tips. Sure, some are legit, but many of them are just self-earners on their own hustle. As for you, my best advice is for you to weigh your options and if things feel right, just dive into the pool. Throw caution to the wind and chase that dream like you never have before.

Would you be okay being a half-assed parent? Probably and hopefully not. You’d do the best job possible, even if you make mistakes along the way. This is no different.

Peace out, party people.

Previously: The Art of Letting Go

The Ramblings Podcast: Episode 29 – Foodie Talk, Grassroots Activism, and Dre Rants about Contradictions in Society

The Ramblings Podcast: Episode 29 - Foodie Talk, Grassroots Activism, and Dre Rants about Contradictions in Society

After my Cinnabon experience last weekend, Leaf and I kick things off with some foodie talk, why healthy food is more expensive, large scale grassroots activism, the BS game of inequality we have as a global culture, and Dre enters rant mode. Sounds like a great way to spend a Thursday to me!

Run time: 1:28:54

Download Here | iTunes | RSS Feed

Previously: Episode 28 – eSports, Eliminating A**holes in Society, and Why Leaf Is a Cranky Old Man

The Ramblings Podcast: Episode 28 – eSports, Eliminating A**holes in Society, and Why Leaf Is a Cranky Old Man

The Ramblings Podcast: Episode 28 - eSports, Elevating Poor Communities, and Leaf Is a Cranky Old Man

Leaf actually made it two weeks in a row. Cue slow clapping. We endure Leaf’s bad jokes and find out why he’s a cranky old man, dive into the wild world of eSports, discuss my desire to make Paterson, NJ a better place, and wax political on the rise and downfall of a**holes in our global culture. Click play. You don’t want to be an a**hole.

Run time: 1:13:45

Download Here | iTunes | RSS Feed

Previously: Episode 27 – Cinnabon, the Craving for More, and Non-Voting

Project Update: ZenHacked – Finally Posting Again!


About six months ago I started two blogs. The first one is the blog you’re currently viewing ( The second was largely dormant, but it’s finally making a comeback.

ZenHacked ( was an idea I had to bring the concepts of balance and inner peace to people who still think it’s all about meditation and hippie mumbo jumbo. I wanted to present these ideas in a simple fashion and provide actionable steps toward the end goal of, well, simply being. It was also supposed to be the foundation to a book I planned on releasing. Unfortunately, in typical fashion, I wasn’t prepared for the amount of work demanded for two blogs, especially when I’m the only writer.

ZenHacked slowly fizzled while this blog grew.

No more!

Now that I have a good groove going (say that three times fast) with, I want to get going as it’s a passion of mine. I initially thought about posting there three times a week, but I’m going to start slow for once. I’ll be posting once a week on Wednesdays, a day that shall be known as Zendays going forward.

Shut up. It’s an awesome name.

Also, I’m going to use this as a litmus test for my own promotional skills by building an audience from scratch instead of involving my current social media audiences. So, yeah, wish me luck on that one.

Check it out if you feel inclined to do so. I won’t be speaking about it much here save for various updates. In any case, check it out this Zenday…

Ugh… never mind.

…I mean Wednesday, for my return to blogging about zen concepts. If you like what you see, tell a friend!

Peace out, party people.

Previously: Blog Update: New Post Schedule