When last we checked in on Our Hero, he was taking a sabbatical after a long and bumpy startup ride and had lots of plans and ideas for his newly-found spare time. Results were mixed, largely because consulting work started finding me almost immediately. At the same time, we were flirting with perhaps picking up stakes and moving to Chicago, Philly or New York. Between consulting and interviews, I’ve traveled more this year than I have in any five years to-date.
The stars didn’t align on any of the move options and along the way, we realized how much we like our Dallas home — both the OrWell compound itself and the community that’s embraced us here over the last fifteen-plus years. So, for the foreseeable future, we’re entrenched. And my business for now is my consulting business, which I’ve been operating under the name Just Be Amazing. As goes with the cobbler’s children, the JBA site may someday be updated with clients and case studies and such, but for now suffice to say that I have a half-dozen clients, most of whom are media companies who don’t want me talking about The Work until it is released into the wild. I’m hoping to ramp down that work in the fourth quarter in order to focus on an exciting local B2B startup that I’m cooking up with some really smart people. That said, I have a nasty habit of being unable to turn down paying work, so if you have a need, I’m still listening.
The thing that I am committed to in a big way is a “book-umentary” project on the Prison Entrepreneurship Project. Longtime readers will remember the final piece I wrote for Pegasus News on this unusual and effective program for reducing recidivism and putting felons into better jobs, even if that means creating their own. Based on good response to that, and my sense that there was even more to tell, I hatched a plan to do some longer-form work and enlisted others to help me with the parts where I was less-versed.
So today, I’m announcing the “Untitled Prison Entrepreneurship Program book and documentary.” From now through June, I’ll be following PEP’s 17th class from recruitment through graduation, while simultaneously tracking graduates making their way on the outside. The end product will be a book to be released next fall.
At the same time, I’ll be working with my friend Neil Foote to supervise students at the Mayborn School of Journalism who will simultaneously produce a documentary. We’ll also be regularly posting work-in-progress and b-roll material in a soon-to-be-launched community site for supporters of the project. Speaking of which, you can support the project, effectively by pre-ordering product, on Kickstarter.
I’ve been trying to pull this bookumentary project together since January, and the pieces are all falling into place. I hope you’ll follow along. I’m also intending to ramp up writing here again during the process because this year has left me a bit rusty.
So, that’s what I’m doing. What’s up with you?