I Made it on the Newspaper’s Frontpage

Since owning the copter, I’ve had many opportunities to share in the hobby, film videos from a unique perspective, grow as a GoPro user, and now receiving some love from the Everett Herald. A few weeks ago, Dan, a reporter from the Everett Herald, reached out to Mickie and I regarding our real estate videos and use of a copter … aka drone.

I met with Dan and discussed the FAA exemption process, safety and privacy concerns, piratical use of a copter, and the future of the industry. While I felt the interview went well and had hopes of getting a mention, I wasn’t holding my breath. However, at the end of the interview Dan asked if there was going to be a home filming in the near future. It so happens, there was.

Everyone met at the seller’s home, a detached Bothell WA condo, and pictures and an further interview commenced. After the photo-shoot, Dan said, in what I perceived as a jokingly manner, how about the front page. We all chuckled.

After being notified via Facebook tag at 7:30am, I was shocked to learn the article made the frontpage, and was above the fold. Holy cow! I’ll put that on the resume.

Is wrong I’m still celebrating this success? I sure hope not.

Here is the pictures from the shoot.

Here is the home’s video tour.


My Side Work Project is Coming Along

After college I started getting into SEO and social media market, even before there was such a term, and it lead to doing off-site SEO for startups, myself, and friend’s websites. After a period of time and with all Google’s algorythym updates I became less interested in doing SEO for others.

Since then, I’ve doing it for my real estate business, the day job, and started working on a new project which is just over a year in the works, WashingtonWeedSales.com.


When the State’s law began to change, meaning the public was set to vote on I-502, I started thinking of a new business venture. Knowing there has been interest from VC and pviate investors, business owners, and the general consumer and a website was my answer to get into business. While the site is fairely young, the site’s traffic numbers are relatively consistent. See below.


One thing I’m having challenges with is creating consumer and user engagement. WashingtonWeedSales.com has a blog, with zero comments, and forum with just two users, myself and another. Not what I would call a booming community especially since there are websites that trump mine in traffic, users (which is the key segment), and content and content writers.

More will be needed and probably getting more involved with Washington’s marijuana community would help. I could create an investors page, privacy policy page, and see if that helps promotes the site’s legitimacy.

More time will have to spent on the website and right there are only 3 websites I work on.

So I have Been Thinking Again

My hair brain idea to start a weed site has started to take shape. The designer has been hard at work and the site is set for a second design meeting. The shape has come along and I think it will do well for marijuana sales in Washington.

Why I know people who don’t approve of this business I personally feel it can be a great opportunity and a viable side business. I’ve tried screenshotting the website but with this new software, Windows 8 Pro, lol, I don’t know how and don’t have access to my Jing account login. Ah well. Soon. So visit the site if you have a change and tell me what you think.

Cheers, – Toby

Daily life can be a complete challenge

Well I am still looking for a new job. The real estate industry seems to go from bad, to worse, to completed messed up. It makes it hard to stay motivated when there is really nothing going on, hence blogging from my office. I’ve been applying at Microsoft and looking at their career website almost daily to see the new jobs, submit resume and so on but haven’t had to much good news.
To help with the finances I have joined a networking group in Mill Creek/Bothell for my small business marketing company. I have gotten one job out of it, a website for a furniture management company and hoping to have a few more in the coming months. Tuesday I meet with the Lake Stevens chapter to review a proposal and hopefully get them to commit and sign the document. Their site will be awesome if I get the job but for now its just a waiting game.
A part of me resents some of my friends. They are all doing really well with their jobs, making money, climbing the management chain while I sit back with a BA and struggle. What is it? Am I not good enough, savvy enough, or out going enough? Not sure but it is frustrating to say the least. I feel bad for resenting my friends and not wanting to hear their exciting stories of promotions, traveling and pay raises. Maybe things will change in the near future and I can stop feeling this way.
Well, instead of pouting I better get back to work try to do something productive.

Fuck a Payday…Grab an AK

Why does work think it can just butt in and take up all my free time? I do not know but lately there has been little time to do fun things. Well that is not totally true but pretty darn close. I have been working on projects, joining networking groups, hitting seminars and trying to work at my day job to. So far I am doing nothing really good and stress is really high. Today it took me forever to get going between dropping of a lawn mower, forgetting my documents on home computer and driving all over town. I finally got settled, oh yea the power cable for my tablet went out which costs $160 after tax, and powered through an articlem proposal and emails. Not bad and een did an artlcle when I got home. Well its hella late and I am going to bed.

Looking for a new jobby job

Lately I have been opening my options to leave the real estate industry and pursue a marketing position elsewhere. It sucks looking for a job, filling out profiles, uploading resume (which never formats correctly), search job listings, add to job cart, submit and rinse and repeat. I started in January 08 rewriting my resume and now it is top of the line, which is pleasing. I should be submitted to jobs right now but got lazy and now blogging about how much of pain it is :)
Some good news has come through though. Thursday of last week I recieved an email from a company, where I would love to work, asking me to answer a few regarding a marketing manager position. To say the least the questionnaire was difficult but got it done Monday afternoon and submitted it back to the recruiter. I did hear back a few minutes after sending it which gives me hope and here are my theories of what happened.
  • They sent a curtousy email just to let me know the questionnaire was recieved, or
  • They liked what the answers on the questionnaire and responded back immediately to let me know that have received it

Either way I am happy to have heard back from them…well I better do something :)


Work is so tough fight now and my stress level is just about to break me down. The office is struggling because of current market conditions and in combination of a handful of crappy agents. Don’t get me wrong, the office has some great people and we do business is just that it isn’t enough to sustain the company right now.
I have been working on some customer relations management all last week and this week. it has been building a database of all our past clients so we can do follow ups and keep in touch as the years pass along. Also, I have been continually to work on our online presence to keep bring in the leads for our agents.
You know I feel like I am failing the company though I know it isn’t true. Total sales have increased since I started, our internet presence is unmatched in our area (at lease in Marysville), I have created processes and systems that were nonexistent. These things have enable us to start competing more fiercely in our local market but it is still challenging when deals fail, clients flake out and moral gets down.
For the most part it is a tough burden to bear and when shit hits the fan and things swirl around like a toilet the owner and manager feel the true force of what is like to go month to month. I struggle with going after another employment but can’t bear to give up and walk away from family. My brother depends on the success of the company as well as mom and I (and the host of agents that we have).
I would love to sit here and talk about how my strategies are the bomb and work and are making me tons of loot but today that is not the case. Shit is in the toilet and all I can do is get up tomorrow and go back to work, with the hopes of making something happen for everyone benefit. How does a company get immediate cash? Small business loan is all I can think of but right now that doesn’t seem like the smartest option.
But there are some items that still bother me. One is that the marketing strategies I have written about to our agents haven’t been acted on, at all. Two, everyone thinks in the time frame of now and not in the preplanning way of generating a long term revenue stream. It is only in times of distress that people start to act, man that bugs me. Third, everything I preach works because I do it and have the stats to prove it yet nothing is nothing ever taken advantage of.
All I can do is keep on keeping on with the hopes that one day our agents, and/or others, will come on board and take advantage of it. It makes me feel like a failure as a manager/leader and going through business school all the principals I am trying to practice but fail to get my peeps on board. Maybe I should go audit some courses at the UW to see where I am making my mistakes.
I just had a thought when writing that last sentence…I am going to look up my old leadership professor and seek his consultation.

Work Overload

Blogging has become a way of life for me over the past two years and from it I have met many awesome people. This blog was my first one and since then I have expanded to create a local real estate blog, two MySpace blogs and two YouTube Vlogs (though it is used more for fun videos and local media content than Vlogging).
My real estate blog is on a network that is geo targeted so it is easy to meet others in my state that posses a similar interest in technology and blogging. This last Tuesday I arranged an off site meeting for members of the network. We stayed up to late talking about tech and socially networking which was so much fun and interesting; it was a geek night out.
I really like working on the web anymore because it shows results in real time (well almost) and it can strategies can be measured with tracking for months. But lately my mind seems to be stretched thin and ideas are harder and harder to come by. I hope there is not such thing as exhausting brain ideas or there is a limited amount otherwise I’m toast and soon will be seen on the net dead in front of a pc.
Toby Barnett: Death by blogging
He worked so hard and for extensive periods of time that it ultimately lead to catastrophic failure.
Now that would suck if that really happened! But anyhoo I am off to go work on something…what it is I have no idea…yet…
Peace and love…BTW…I finally have a girlfriend!!

TW Resource Group

Chris and I have been working on our small business marketing website/space for the past week. It has come along ways since its first conception and finally is starting to look like something. In recent months it didn’t get a lot of attention because Chris and I have been busy in other areas of our lives. Chris recently got married and me, well I have just been working a lot on some other websites.
So far we have finished our privacy policy, disclaimer, personal bios and the about us page. There is still a lot of work to be done before we will feel like it is complete or has the foundation content in place.
One of the biggest and most difficult sections to build is our services so far there is only one page under the service category, SEO, and it is isn’t even complete yet. This is where the meat of the site will so it is imperative that we get it right. But the nice thing is we can always go back and edit it.
Working on the services section brought up an interesting thought. The site needs to have payment options on it so people can purchase services directly from the website. So this weekend I am going to see if a Paypal account can be incorporated somehow with our business account. Maybe I should wait until the rest of the site is in order? We’ll see.
TW Resource Group is now on the world wide looking for work. What could be more fun than spending a Friday night or weekend working? Hahaha…peace out playas!!

Today I got a call…

Today I got a call from a client I have been working with regarding the website my biz partner and I are designing for her. She is completely unhappy in the way I have been designing the homepage and is disappointed because she does think she has gained no value from my services.

It is pretty disheartening because all the work i have done she has not liked. The only information provided by her for our use has been a half a page of chicken scratch. So am i supposed to create a functional site from chicken scratch and have it be eaxclty what she is invisioning.

For the first time in a while I don’t know what to do. It looks like I will get fired. The good news I got a new lead for another website today and will be talking the person soon.

Failure is diffucult to manage but from what I have heard you have to "learn to fail before you can learn to succeed". At least that is what I am trying to tell myself. Only time will tell if that is what truely happens but for the time being I am miserable.

Winter Blast Dec 1 2005

It is finally snowing here in Kirkland and I just made plans to go up to Stevens Pass on Wednesday!! YEA BUDDY!! My walk around town was enjoyable and it gave me time to take a few pics. If it keeps coming down I will go out there and take some more :) With any luck we just might see a white xmas here. Now that would be cool!
The real estate course I am doing now is going ok. I know most of the material so it is just a matter of clicking through to the exams. Things are going well at the new job. It has taken some getting used to but they are coming together. The re-design on Barnett Associates website came together nicely. Our pages finally seem to have uniformity and a clean look. I find it difficult to do every aspect of the site from imagination –> materialization. Refining our marketing strategies I hope to have a usable site for people. I would like to interview the people on our site or get a critque from a SEO firm.
Agent recruitment starts shortly and the pages have already been created, click here. So if you are an agent already in the Snohomish County area or the surrounding and would like to change offices email me. On the career page you can find info on the different options.
If that wasn’t a shameless plug :) I just couldn’t resit.

It’s Official

Today was my last day with Starbucks Coffee Company and I have to say that I have never worked with such fine people. They were everything I could ever have hoped for and treated me very well.
I knew earlier this week that they were throwing me a pizza party. That was cool in itself but when they surprised me with a going away present I was totally shocked, flabergasted is a better term. It came with a pound of my favorite coffee, Sumatra, a new coffee cup, card and 80 dollar Starbucks card. It is one of their new ones that you can registar and if gets lost or stolen Starbucks will replace it for free.
Only being their 9 months I didn’t they would bat an eye to my departure but once again I was proved wrong. It made me feel real good and it makes leaving difficult. I have never left I job I liked before so it is a little weird. But our team manager put it this way, "Toby I am glad it didn’t work out here permanetly…you have a much brighter future ahead of you". It’s a great boost of confindence going into my new position as a office manager and that my co-workers believe in me.
So as I write this I <tip my hat>, <raise my beer, Pyramid Apricot Ale> and I Solute YOU GUYS!!!
Thanks. Thanks for taking me in, showing me the ropes, letting me make mistakes, be apart of the team, allowing me to take on projects, implement processes and most importantly, be your friend.
Now the future is upon me and there is no turning back. What challenges will the next adventure have and how will I over come in order to succeed? I am accept the mission captain and will do my best but I have to give a heads up. I just might make a few mistakes on the way but I hope that is only human. 
This weekend should be great to say the least but this is futurespect. Tonight I am meeting up with Mom & Grandma for dinner and then going to my mom’s house to do some super vegging. Then on Saturday I am meeting up with a buddy in order to finish his research paper I have been coaching him on. On Sunday it is my nephew’s birthday, Aiden YOU RULE!! He is going to be the big UNO, number 1. So my weekend is already filled up but hopefully Monday I can provide some sort of recap.
Onto other matters. Thanks to every one who has posted a comment especially the ones that help me through the difficult times. It isnt easy for me sometimes and i am not devoid of issues. My love life is one big issue but right now it makes me smile instead of sad. So Thanks <raising my beer> mmmmm that was good and just cranked up some Mike Jones!!
I will try to get around the net this weekend but I am not quite sure if I will be able to.
To my friends in time I thank you and keep it real,