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First things first. You have a Guinness Book of World Record for the most prolific blogger on the planet. Tell us more about that?

Having that record is so surreal. I published an article at Engadget, on average, every two hours for four straight years. That’s weekends, holidays, 24/7/365. To date, it’s over 25,000 stories. I was fortunate to find my passion during what I believe was the golden era of tech blogging. When I began, the original iPhone didn’t exist. Once that emerged, technology became a household attraction almost overnight. I was working alongside a remarkable, one-of-a-kind team, and there was never a dearth of topics to cover. A former colleague, Chris Ziegler, persuaded me to apply for the record – I never set out to attain it, but it’s an honor to have it now.

So you were writing for Engadget. What were the early days like back in 06 and 07? How has the media/blogging world changed?

The halcyon years were hectic, frenetic, and thrilling. In many ways, we defined what it meant to be a tech blog. Establishing the rules while trying to keep the lights on was both harrowing and hilariously fun. We were such a scrappy bunch; we felt that we had to prove our place in the media world with every post – every quip, even. Back then, speed was king, and the homepage was the only destination. Now, there’s infinitely more pressure to push traffic figures skyward at all costs, across all platforms, which takes its toll on the writers behind each article. The art form isn’t lost, but it’s being tampered with on an unprecedented scale. The upside is that it’s not too late to solve. We’re living in curious times as publications grapple with staying true to the readers that matter while managing investors’ insatiable desire for ever-increasing revenues.

You've moved on and published your own book? What's that process like?

I left Engadget in 2013 to pursue a career in media consulting and product strategy, which also gave me the breather I needed to write a book about the wonders of working remotely. It’s an all-consuming fire, really, though it offers an incredibly rewarding conclusion. Living The Remote Dream had no architect beyond myself, and I didn’t put away my full-time work to write it. That meant that it was fully my responsibility to etch chapter names, write the most compelling and useful material I could, and find the right partners to design the cover, pen the foreward, and distribute it. I’ve written books for a publisher before, and in comparison, I love the ability to edit yourself on a self-published title.Having something stay on your to-do list for months on end is grueling. But, now that it’s a finished product, I’m able to use it to break the ice with clients, employees, and employers on the benefits of a distributed workforce.

Tell us more about your book. Who (what type of person) will be most impacted by reading it?

It’s best suited for Type-A individuals who feel stuck in a commute that adds no value to their work, or those who are seeking more satisfaction out of life by working in an environment where they are most comfortable and productive. Generally speaking, remote workers have to exert more effort than their counterparts in the office, so I’d recommend being willing to work harder for the luxury of working anywhere.The real secret is this: all-star employees don’t necessarily have to change careers or hunt down “a remote job.” Most sane employers would rather keep their best talent, even if that means agreeing to a more flexible work schedule. It’s less about finding a remote job and more about adding a remote element to the one you already love.

Any advice for someone stuck in an office job they don't enjoy?

First, ask yourself if it’s the job you dislike or the elements associated with the commute. I’ve found that a lot of mediocre jobs become fantastic ones when a worker is allowed to work from home, a coworking space, or a rental flat in a different continent. It’s far easier to transition your existing job to a remote one than to quit and find an entirely new career that cares not about location.If you just have to get out, I’d recommend starting a side project first. Be it your own business, a writing gig, taking up photography – whatever. Get your feet wet and take a few risks while you still have stability in the background, and if you stumble upon a hobby you’d like to make full-time, then take the leap.

What about a piece of advice for someone who has already set off on their own and is looking to get traction with a blog or consulting business?

Blog traction takes time. Commit to a regular, reliable, sustainable schedule of posting, even if it’s just once per week. Focus on publishing actionable content that matters to your audience, and lean on social sites and email newsletters to get the word out. Remember: the goal of a business blog isn’t to set traffic records. It’s to provide a glimpse inside of your brain for prospective clients.Building a consulting business from scratch is exceedingly tough. Your best bet is to leverage contacts you’ve made along the way in your career. Ask people you trust if they need the services you’re primed to provide, or if not, if anyone in their network does. All these years later, it’s still about who you know. Reach out, ask questions, and be proactive.

You have a strong support system. Family, wife, friends. How do these relationships play into how you've set up your career?

For me, they’re essential. My wife and I have a dog, and I’m often asked how we deal with that when we’re on the road for up to half of each year. We have both sets of parents within an hour’s drive of our home, and they just so happen to love puppysitting. Without that support network, everything begins to fall apart. I’ve seen true nomads go at it alone – no permanent place to call home, no significant other, and a questionable network of friends. It can be done, but the effort exerted is immense. It pays to have people around you that support you, and moreover, it pays to support those same people when you are home and able to return the favor.

What are your two favorite hobbies (and how do they make you feel)?

The first is travel. I’m an unashamed addict at this point, and I become anxious if I don’t have at least a couple of trips on the horizon. Traveling makes me feel alive. My ideal destination is a National Park – close to nature and far from manmade contraptions. I feel most creative and energized when I’m hiking or photographing an incredible vista. I also feel a tremendous sense of gratitude to cultures different than my own. I honestly believe that the vast majority of the world’s unfounded fear and intolerance could be solved if we all just met each other.The second is reading. I credit most of my accomplishments in the writing space to my love of reading. Be it a respected blog, tips on productivity, a sermon, or a long email from a friend that I haven’t seen in far too long, reading makes me feel as though I’m not squandering my opportunities to learn.

I'm also a huge fan of muscle cars due to my dad's love of them. He grew up in the muscle car era, racing 60s model Mustang and Galaxy cars down the quarter-mile.  I just purchased "the one" to keep in my garage as a collectible (2011 Mustang Roush 5XR, #55 of 136 ever produced).


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What's the future look like? More books? More travels?

Definitely more travel! I’d like to go everywhere once, so I suspect I’ll be tied up trying to accomplish that for the rest of my natural life. I’ve five trips inked for the year ahead. I may write another book at some point, most likely on the tips I’ve learned through nearly a decade of wandering. More than that, I’m hoping to take a few more deep breaths, hug the folks around me more often, and meet as many new cultures as I can.In terms of work, I plan to consult with tech companies looking to make an impact on the market and garner the attention of the media. I’m also itching to get back into an editorial role where I’m able to write a lot more, uncover fascinating stories, and travel to tech events the world over. Thankfully, writing and consulting are both well suited for remote work. Wherever one has a phone and an Internet connection, these jobs can be handled.

What do you think of your Wool&Prince shirts?

They’re the best shirts I’ve ever owned for a few reasons. For one, it fits as if it’s tailored. I’ve received compliments on the fitment, and I’ve never received such compliments from perfect strangers on any other piece of clothing I’ve worn. Second, it’s comfortable in all climates. I’ve photographed a wedding in a heat wave and I’ve hiked through a chilly, shadowed canyon, and felt comfortable in both situations. Lastly, I adore how wearable they are without the need to tuck it in.Perhaps most telling is this: each time I wear one, my wife expresses a great deal of sadness that Wool&Prince doesn’t make an equivalent shirt for her. When’s the last time you heard of a men’s shirt being longed for by a woman?

Darren is 5'8", 150 lbs, and wears a size S button-down.


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