My Non-Standard Professional Life

I’m an unconventional employee.

I got my GED after 9th grade because high school wasn’t interesting to me.

I volunteered for years after that at a non-profit because I wanted to help make the world a better place.

I fell in love and volunteering didn’t pay the bills so I got a paying job at a different non-profit.

Along the way I’ve had side-projects and side-hustles that have taught me valuable lessons about customer service, technical support, public speaking, crowdfunding, product management, influencer marketing, and more.

I don’t have that high-end degree many others do, but my experience lets me shine above the rest.

If I don’t know how to do something… I learn how. 

If I have a deadline… I beat it. 

If I have an idea… I run with it. 

In my life:

Sleep is optional. 

Learning is constant. 

Networking is fun.

Shit. Gets. Done.

Let’s grab a beer.

Find a Brewery Job / Share a Brewery Job Opening (for Free)

There are so many job sites out there it is mind-numbing. Only a few are focused on beer and none of them are dead simple to use. I started a curated brewery job board and weekly email list to cut through that noise and share the good stuff.

What do you think of when you hear brewery job? Probably a brewer, bartender, and maybe a front of house manager. But there are so many more positions out there at breweries across the US: Graphic Designers, HR Managers, Electricians, Payroll, Packaging Technicians, Sensory Coordinators, Tour Guides, Brand Managers, Events Coordinator, Delivery Technicians, IT Support, Website Managers, Chefs, and so many more.

Brewery.Work is the answer. Every Monday morning an email goes out to our list of job seekers featuring around a dozen of the most interesting job posts out there in beer that week. The website is typically updated with 70-100 jobs throughout the week from breweries around the U.S. with a few cool opportunities thrown in from Canada and the EU.

It’s free for both job seekers and job posters. Go ahead, sign-up for the email list and check out the job board. You’ll be glad you did.

We’ve got you covered if you prefer a LinkedIn Group or Facebook Group to follow the job openings too.

Cheers!

Adding “Read Time” To Your WordPress Posts

Let your readers know what sort of time commitment they are getting into before starting to read your posts on a WordPress based site. People are busy and need to have a reassurance that they can read your post and move on in an expected amount of time. Reading Time WP is the plugin I use to get this done automatically every time I post something new.

Install the Reading Time WP by going to your Admin Dashboard -> Plugins -> Add New.

Search for “Reading Time WP” and click the Install Now button. Now, then click Activate.

Once the plugin is installed you can look at the settings for the plugin by going to Settings -> Reading Time WP. You should see this:

The plugin automatically adds the “Reading Time” to the beginning of your post excerpt and main content. If you don’t want this to happen simply uncheck these boxes and click Update Options.

The basic install and activation could use a small tweak in it’s look.

I like adding a line break after “Reading Time” to give the content below it some space to breath. I also like making “Reading Time” bold.

This edit can be done by editing the plugin. Remember to make a backup so you don’t lose anything on your site before editing any plugins or themes.

Go to Plugins -> Editor.

Select the Reading Time WP plugin from the drop-down and hit Select. Now go to line 169 and find this code:

 $content = '<span class="rt-reading-time" style="display: block;">'.'<span class="rt-label">'.$label.'</span>'.'<span class="rt-time">'.$this->readingTime.'</span>'.'<span class="rt-label"> '.$calculatedPostfix.'</span>'.'</span>';

You’ll want to change it to this:

 $content = '<span class="rt-reading-time" style="display: block;">'.'<strong><span class="rt-label">'.$label.'</span></strong>'.'<span class="rt-time">'.$this->readingTime.'</span>'.'<span class="rt-label"> '.$calculatedPostfix.'</span>'.'</span><br>';

If you get an error that the file cannot be updated while doing this edit just deactivate the plugin, make the edit, and reactivate the plugin.

Now the top of your posts will look like this:

If you’re more technically minded and want to add a custom PHP line to your site’s theme to more strategically place the reading time you can get details on how to do that on the plugin’s official WordPress Repository page.

Hope this walkthrough was helpful. If you’d like to say thank you please consider become a Patreon supporter

Excited About 2018

Let’s face it. 2017 was shit for a lot of people. I won’t go into details, but anyone who reads the news knows what I’m talking about. Beyond having my beautiful second child I wasn’t so impressed with what the year brought.

Right now, I’m choosing to take a positive look at the near-ish future and say 2018 will be better. I don’t know how much. I just choose to do what I can to make it better than 2017 was for me. Things like:

Re-Launching DadBlog.Ninja

Tripling down on BreweryFinder.org

Posting more consistently on DaddysGrounded.com

Doing more interviews on FriendsBeer.Coffee

These are not hard and fast rules. They are general enough to give me wiggle room based on schedules. Being a parent takes up a lot of time in my weekly scheduled. The same can be said for the day job, part-time college classes and my travel habit.

I’m setting myself up for success in 2018. What are you doing?

FoBAB 2017 Volunteer Signups Now Open

I’ve attended FoBAB (Festival of Barrel Aged Beers) a few times now. Each year it seems to get bigger, better and even more fun. Wood & beer make a great couple. There are also ciders, meads and a few surprises on-deck each year.


View from the stage during a session last year. 

I was introduced to Off Color Brewing’s “Dino Smores” a few years ago at FoBAB. Goose Island’s Proprietors Stout is usually there and I sampled a Samuel Adams Utopia once. Here is a video I shot at last year’s event to give you an idea of the scale and level of activity that goes on during one of the FoBAB sessions.

The 15th Annual FoBAB happens this Nov. 10 & 11. That is a 4-hour drinking session on Friday afternoon, on Saturday afternoon and on Saturday evening. It is one of many events put on by the IL Craft Brewers Guild. FoBAB 2017 will involve over 150 breweries. Nearly 350 individual beers will be pouring at tables within the expanded 24,000 square foot space at the UIC Forum this year. Tickets are $85 each, but you can get yours for free if you’re willing to volunteer.

The National Wood Aged Beer Competition also happens during FoBAB. Wood and barrel-aged beers are submitted from around the world and are professionally judged by industry leaders and certified judges. If you can’t attend the awards ceremony you can totally watch the live stream. Here is last year’s feed (audio starts around minute 9).

Volunteer slots are open for the entire weekend.

Interested? Pick your preferred volunteer slot and corresponding session attendance time. Make sure you can make it to the required training date(s) before the festival. Submit! Then cross your fingers for acceptance.

Just like it said in the volunteer email that went out this week: “All slots are on a first come, first serve basis so do not delay in signing up.”

Cheers! And see you there?

Don’t Waste Your Money When Donating to Relief Efforts

Looking to donate your hard earned money to various relief organizations, but want to make sure your money is going to a reputable outfit? Check out Charity Navigator. They provide hard stats on various charities yearly financials, how much goes to actual relief efforts vs overhead costs, etc.

Charity Navigator has been around for over 15 years. They’ve rated nearly 8,500 non-profits based on various factors that judge how much money that a group takes in and how much of it actually goes towards the organization’s stated goals. Here is a snippet from their website:

Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator has become the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. In our quest to help donors, our team of professional analysts has examined tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents. We’ve used this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 8,000 of America’s best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities.

 

Specifically, Charity Navigator’s rating system examines two broad areas of a charity’s performance; their Financial Health and their Accountability & Transparency. Our ratings show givers how efficiently we believe a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time and their level of commitment to good governance, best practices and openness with information. In the not-too-distant future, we plan to also rate charities’ reporting of their results. We provide these ratings so that charitable givers/ social investors can make intelligent giving decisions, and so that the nonprofit sector can improve its performance.

One of the best things about Charity Navigator? They don’t solicit donations from charities they rate in order to avoid impact or perceived to impact on said ratings. Various annual reports and articles are published by the group that can be helpful to donors and potential donors as well including the CEO Compensation Study, Metro Market Study, and features on groups helping with various tragedies in the news.

Go. Research. Donate.

Refocusing

My friends know me as the guy with more than enough to do. Between family, hobbies, work and responsibilities there is never an unfilled moment if I want it that way. I’ve hit exhaustion and burn out several times and come back stronger. Smarter. More prepared for the future. It always seemed less in focus to me than I would have liked. That changes now.

This redesigned and relaunched website about me is just that. I’ve dumped some great things that I was involved with for years. Things that I enjoyed, but didn’t get me closer to where I want to be in the future. Others are less important projects I’ve set aside to focus on my main three: BreweryFinder.org, DaddysGrounded.com & Cheap360Tours.com

I can’t wait to find out what the future holds. Let’s find out together. There are a 1,000 reasons my life’s tagline is Always Learning,

Budweiser’s Bud & Burgers is in Chicago This Week

I got a sneak peak at Budweiser’s Bud & Burgers in Chicago. It’s in town this week for a three-day, burger and beer-centric restaurant event. This pop-up concept invites diners to pair Budweiser with a rotating menu of creative burgers created by some of Chicago’s own chefs including Graham Elliot and Art Smith. You can find the ticketed event at 151 W. Erie St. at North LaSalle Street. It’s being held in the space that Tavernita used to be located on Tuesday, July 26 through Thursday, July 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

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Bud & Burgers has partnered with the Folds of Honor Foundation to provide one hundred percent of the event’s proceeds to its mission to honor veterans through future education. Folds of Honor is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to families of military men and women who have fallen or been disabled while on active duty in the United States armed forces. Their educational scholarships support private education tuition and tutoring for children in grades K-12, as well as higher education tuition assistance for spouses and dependents. Founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, an F-16 fighter pilot in the Oklahoma Air National Guard who served three tours of duty in Iraq, Folds of Honor is proud to have awarded more than 10,000 scholarships in all 50 states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, including more than 2,500 in 2015 alone. For more information a Folds of Honor scholarship, visit FoldsOfHonor.org.

 

#BudAndBurgers media preview in #Chicago. @Budweiser @redeyechicago @chicagotribune

A post shared by Brewery Finder (@breweryfinder) on

 

Inventive variations on burgers and French fries will be the starring attraction, while vegetarian options will provide tasty choices for everyone. Live DJs, bags games and cooking demos will add to the overall upbeat experience, offering guests an opportunity to spice up their lunch routines.

There is no cost to attend the pop-up, however registration at the event is required and will include a ticket fee of $4.50, which will benefit Folds of Honor, as well as a $1.50 processing fee. Bud & Burgers is sponsored by Budweiser, Redeye, Chicago Tribune and Metromix Chicago.

Five Remote Job Sites You Should Be On Right Now

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Looking for a Remote Position? Here are the websites to focus on when searching for that perfect remote employment.

There are hundreds of job sites out there for everything under the sun (and a few up in space). I’ve spent far too many hours jumping from site to site without finding exactly what I’m looking to do. That changed when I started spending some time on the sites listed below. Sign-up, apply and find a new gig today. Just remember to move fast. Some of these jobs won’t last long:

Remotive.io

Remotive.io is a newsletter on remote tips & jobs sent every two weeks to 20,000+ remote workers. They also regularly update a list of 200+ startups that are currently hiring remotely. They have a jobs board [free] and a Slack community [paid.]

We Work Remotely

We Work Remotely is the “best place to find and list jobs that aren’t restricted by commutes or a particular geographic area.” They have RSS feeds for each remote job listing category that you can use with your favorite RSS reader or IFTTT to send you an email if you don’t want to remember to visit the page every day.

Angel.co

Angel.co is the place to connect with startups around the world. They have both remote and in person positions so remember to have the “Remote” filter on when searching. You can use the site to apply to jobs privately. Only the companies you apply to will see you’re looking for a job. Salary and equity options in the company are displayed before you apply. There is also a useful startup salary tool. Angel.co is great too because there are no recruiters to deal with when applying. Your application goes straight to the startup’s founders.

RemoteOK has over 500,000 user visits each month searching for remote jobs listed from companies all over the globe. They also offer a daily/weekly/monthly email list featuring all of the new jobs added to the site. It can be a bit tricky to navigate, but the jobs listed make it worth it.

Velvet Jobs

Velvet Jobs covers all sorts of positions, but has a listing of currently over 1,300 jobs classified as remote. The service is free when creating your profile and searching. It does push a subscription fee in order to apply for jobs, but I have been able to search Google with keywords in job listings on Velvet Jobs that I like and apply directly to the company for free.