Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

The Challenge of Telework Consulting and a New Direction for Me

During the course of blogging about telework and topics related to modern work-life issues, people who’ve recently connected with me have received the impression that I “have it made,” making a living doing what I love. This isn’t the truth, so I’m setting the record straight about my experience with, and understanding of, consulting in the area of facilitating remote work arrangements at organizations. Additionally, as I hinted about undertaking a personal YouTube content creation project in an earlier post, I’ll hereby provide readers with more information about this as I’ll be integrating it as new subject matter in this blog.

Having been a member of the Better Collaboration consulting group and having connected with other telework advocates, I’ve acquired more knowledge about more established telework consultants who have been working in this area for decades. The unfortunate truth is that clients are few and far between even for them. Naturally, professionals in this area provide consulting services on other matters or perform other work to make a living. As such, towards the end of 2014, Better Collaboration went on to expand and focus on other services in accordance with members’ expertise while I, too, decided to branch out and explore my other interests. I’ll turn now to a couple of questions that some of you may be asking.

  • Do I regret devoting time and energy to an endeavor that hadn’t borne fruit? Nope! I’m of the mind that it’s better to try something and fail than to not try at all or, alternatively, be dissuaded from trying by naysayers trying to protect you from failure. As I’ve learned a lot from this experience, I’d say that I’ve gained something instead.
  • What does this mean for the focus this blog? My intention is to continue being involved in projects like the Flipside Workspace user experience research and featuring the same subject matter. However, I’ll also be integrating some seemingly unrelated content – but it’s really related as I’ll explain.

Those who follow this blog closely know that I value individual freedom and autonomy as I’m frequently going on about online tools and media facilitating working from anywhere. Naturally, I’m exploring other ways of opening up opportunities that offer more freedom. So one of my current projects is exploring the process of generating opportunities through YouTube content creation.

As many know, YouTube has become known as a potential vehicle for those wishing to self-promote, open up professional opportunities, and generate passive income – however meager this may be (through advertisements, partnership with YouTube, and voluntary contributions from fans via sites such as Patreon). Of course there’s nothing easy about the process. It helps to be talented, work hard, produce high quality content frequently, and generate rapport with your audience. Then, there’s also an element of luck when it comes to getting noticed.

In a few months or so, I’ll begin exploring the process of starting and maintaining a YouTube channel as well as the challenge of opening up any opportunities from running a YouTube channel. So, for anyone who’s wondering about the reality of all this, consider my journey a case study. To begin with, I can already attest to content-related decision-making and preparation being arduous.

Decisions to make and prep work for the channel:

Content-wise, I’ve chosen to go with an activity I have a strong background in: piano. I’ve studied classical formally from about the age of 5 to about 16 and have played, leisurely, for somewhere over 20 years total (on and off). During the last few years of formal lessons, I received the honor of studying with a Master Teacher (thanks D.H.!) who’s accredited with turning out several world-class concert pianists (though, obviously, I’m not one of them, ha!).

Another reason why I figured this is a smart decision is because I would, at least, have fun even if I received nothing else out of this. I’ll play some classical (Bach and Chopin) but intend to focus on video game (expect some Final Fantasy Piano Opera pieces as arranged by Hiroyuki Nakayama at the outset), anime, and popular music of various genres.

As far as preparation goes, it’s taken me a few months to see if I can get my fingers moving sufficiently (after a 3-year hiatus) before announcing my intentions. I’d also count coming up with proper equipment for recording high-quality video and audio (as well as a digital piano in my case) as preparation work since I’ve been undergoing the process of saving towards my big purchase.

The following information is geared towards those interested in piano and beginner to intermediate level pianists:

What I’ll also be offering through my YouTube channel is a demonstration of how a small-handed pianist problem-solves with regard to playing large chords. Those of you familiar with piano probably know some common solutions: (1) playing 2 adjacent white keys with one finger in order to free up your hand to stretch and cover the rest of the chord or (2) if the timing in the music and distance between your hands permit, reaching over with the opposite finger(s) to help the hand playing the chord.

There are also solutions I’ve come up with on my own with regard to playing adjacent black and white keys with one finger (as a variation of #1 above) and playing adjacent black keys with a finger or palm despite the gap between the keys. Finally, there’s the well-known solution of “rolling” the keys of the chord (usually the option of last resort for me since I like playing all keys at the same time if possible). Here’s a great demonstration of that:

Thanks to all who’ve been following this blog. I hope that I’ll be able to breathe new life into this blog with added variety.

15 responses to “The Challenge of Telework Consulting and a New Direction for Me

  1. Lisa Duncan | Alternative Workstyle Enthusiast March 11, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Thank you Lynn for your candid post! I am thrilled for you to explore this next journey. I am a big believer in finding ways to mesh interests and talents in one’s career, and I look forward to reading about this next “case study” of yours on this blog. I’m certain this decision was difficult, but the excitement of what may be ahead for your makes me smile. All the best!

  2. Steve Riddle March 11, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Hi Lynn – thanks for expressing in words what many of us feel within the world of owning and running our own businesses. As an owner of 2 businesses and 2 other partnerships, with one focusing on Telework, I related strongly to your points of view. I also relate to your point about autonomy which for me is a core value. Keep on doing what you love otherwise you won’t persist! I look forward to continuing to stay in touch via our various ramblings on our respective blog-sites. Steve Riddle

    • Lynn Patra March 11, 2015 at 11:33 pm

      Hi Steve! Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. What a world we live in as either path we take (as self-employed business owners or employees) has its own set of difficulties. My parents were small business owners as well, and they encouraged me to take the more conventional path of regular employment early on but, lo and behold, they (like many others) didn’t expect self-employment to have more potential to offer long-term security (once established) than being an employee… however, here we are now! I will keep trudging along and pursuing that which fulfills me.

      I look forward to keeping in touch via our blogs and social media postings as well! 🙂


  3. cindy knoke March 12, 2015 at 1:29 am

    Oh why I am not surprised you are a classical pianist? My grad school partner was a Julliard pianist. Incredibly talented. Like you. Now she is an remarkable painter and artist. You let your creativity, I can’t wait to watch where it sends you to soar~

    • Lynn Patra March 12, 2015 at 2:00 am

      Thank you Cindy! Wow, I would’ve so loved to have studied at Julliard – though, as children, many of us don’t have as much say about what we’re doing early on. I was shipped off to college and expected to be a doctor or lawyer instead (which of course didn’t happen). However, now that I’m older, maturity has really helped the way I play.

      That’s one of the wonderful things about the arts – you can pick it up later in life and find that inspiration, maturity, and new perspectives allows you to accomplish great works! I look forward to playing for you! ❤ ❤

  4. Mike March 12, 2015 at 2:29 am

    ☺ interesting! I’m looking forward to the teleconcert. All the best to you, Lynn!

  5. Thomas March 12, 2015 at 3:35 am

    What a creative twist! As a music lover of long standing and eclectic tastes, I’m eagerly awaiting the debut of your YouTube channel.

    • Lynn Patra March 12, 2015 at 4:14 am

      Thank you Tom! Speaking as a former perpetual lurker on the Internet, I can’t believe I’m actually excited about performing on YouTube. I’m grateful that I have readers on this blog, like you, who’re interested in my endeavor. This makes me even more eager to perform! 🙂

  6. Malcolm Greenhill March 13, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Lynn, good luck in your new venture. Here in Silicon Valley it’s mandatory to change jobs every two years or so 🙂

    • Lynn Patra March 13, 2015 at 2:28 am

      Thanks Malcolm! That’s a great point, and one that I’ve been living out ever since I started working. Aside from providing potential benefits to professional career, life itself would be boring if I didn’t try something new and keep acquiring skills and knowledge. 🙂

  7. Pingback: Blogging Hiatus: December 2015 – May 2016 | Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

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