The Space Science and SciFi Summit is Live!

After months of preparation…

The online Space Science and SciFi Summit is now Live!!!

The S3 Summit is a FREE, 5 day, ONLINE event featuring 30+ science communicators, bestselling science fiction authors, former international space station commanders, Hollywood SciFi screenwriters and more…

Plus get 13 Free SciFi eBooks just for signing up!

Get your free ticket by clicking the link below.

This summit is 100% online!

You can watch it from the comfort and convenience of your home… Or from your phone wherever you are!

Some of our speakers include:

Andy Weir, #1 NY Times Best-selling author of the Martian

Leroy Chiao, Former astronaut and Commander of the International Space Station

Anthony Lemke, AKA 3, AKA Marcus Boone: Actor on Dark Matter, White House Down, and RoboCop:PD

Ann Merchant, from the National Academy of Sciences, and The Science & Entertainment Exchange

Marc Zicree, AKA Mr. Scifi, screenwriter for Star Trek: TNG, Babylon 5, and creator of Space Command

And citizen scientists, bloggers, community managers, indie authors, and MANY MORE…

Sign up HERE, Enjoy your 13 free eBooks, and I look forward to seeing you on the summit!!

Tom Scarda Interviewed by Bill Hargenrader – Next Level Life – Lifestyle Entrepreneur Edition ep4

tom scardaToday’s interview is with Tom Scarda, Motivational Speaker and Franchise Expert.

The Next Level Life show, Lifestyle Entrepreneur edition focuses on helping people from all backgrounds design and start a fulfilling lifestyle business so they can do more of what they love and make a difference in their lives and those they care about, sooner rather than later.

Tom has written two books, The Magic of Choosing Uncertainty: How to Manager Change, Embrace Fear and Live a Fulfilled Life, and the #1 bestseller, Franchise Savvy.

As a small business and franchise expert, Tom is often quoted and featured in magazines and newspapers and often appears on business news TV shows. Tom is also an official Certified Franchise Expert.

He has owned and operated both franchised and non-franchised businesses. Tom was the #1 franchisee of the year in one concept and failed miserably in another franchise concept. The lessons he learned from the failure is what makes him such an expert. In Fact, he was recently named one of the top 50 business leaders on Long Island. Tom was also voted worst dancer at his daughter’s wedding last March…by his wife of 27 years, Gina.

Check out the Books by the author and host:
Franchise Savvy: Six Strategies Pros Use to Pick Top Performing Franchises
The Magic of Choosing Uncertainty: How to Manage Change, Embrace Fear and Live a Fulfilled Life:
Mars Journey: Call to Action

More about our guest:

Connect with Tom: for speaking information for Franchising and my books.
@tomscarda for Twitter
Tom’s youtube Channel:
Tom’s Motor Cycle Gang Story:

Here are some of the books by authors and individuals discussed on today’s show:

Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss:
Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!

What did you think of the interview? Do you think Franchising is a viable means to start a lifestyle business? Leave a comment below:


How to get a Job in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity JobI was recently interviewed for a CBS News article on finding a career in cybersecurity, but they had to cut some of my response for length considerations. So I am sharing the full interview in this post. Let me know your questions, or best advice in getting started in the cybersecurity field in the comments. -Bill H

What kind of degree is needed to secure a job in our field?

The field of cyber security encompasses a wide array of roles to include: computer network defense, ethical hacking, secure systems design, cyber security management, and many more. Because the roles are varied, there are a number of ways that you can secure a job in the field. I know a number of excellent cyber security professionals who have made a great contribution to the field without a degree.

That being said, a degree will open you up to many more job opportunities, higher pay rates, and make it easier for an organization to hire you. Obtaining a Bachelor’s of science in information systems, computer science, or a specialized information security degree is a safe bet. It is possible to make the case for a business or finance based degree if for instance your aim is to specialize in risk management.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?

Some of the most challenging aspects of my job are solving tough client problems, managing and working with teams over long distances and in different time zones, developing applications to automate cyber security processes, and working long hours when a cyber security incident occurs or if a critical project requires it. Though these present challenges, they are also what make the job fun and worth pursuing in the first place.

Even though the cyber security profession has been around for a while now, as a society we are now realizing how critical the role is. Almost every aspect of our life is connected to the internet. This includes our banking information, our identities, our family’s’ personal information, cell phones, and medical devices. Cyber security professionals are the new breed of defender that work to ensure that we are preparing ourselves to face these challenges. It’s a very exciting time to get involved in the field.

After graduation, how hard was it to transition into the working world?

By the time I completed my degree I was already working in the cyber security field. I joined the Army National Guard as an Information Technology Specialist after the terrorist attacks on 9-11. After being activated during Operation Iraqi Freedom III, I spent a year in Iraq where I worked 12 hours days, 7 days a week in a network operations center where I honed my skills and improved my knowledge considerably. This allowed me to pursue my cyber security career path when I returned home to the United States. Deciding to perform military service is a very personal choice. I chose to sign up out of patriotism, however, I am very grateful the training and experience the Army provided me has lasted well beyond my years of service.

What advice would you give someone who is pursuing a career in Cyber Security?

One thing to be aware of is that certifications are big in our industry because they show an employer that you have a standard level of knowledge in a focus area. My recommendation for certification obtainment in order of increasing value (and difficulty) are: Network +, Security +, and the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). The CISSP is an advanced certification, but it’s one you should keep in mind as you grow into your cyber security career.

The final piece of advice I have is the advice I give to anyone with questions on what career to pursue: do what you love. Work at something you are passionate about. There is a lot of learning, hard work, trial and error, reading, coding, testing, and working on nights and weekends, so you will serve yourself best to make sure you are going to enjoy the journey. Not sure what you are passionate about? Jump into cyber security and give it a go. You can always change up later if you decide it’s not right for you.

Love, Forgive, and Never Give Up!

Young Bill Hargenrader - Trapped in the Mental Institution

I come from a big family. I’m one of 7 kids. All boys and one girl (my poor sister I know). Life early on could be viewed as tough for my parents with my dad working tons of over time, and my mom contending with all of us unruly kids running around. But they made it work. We had big Christmases and big birthday parties. I remember Captain America and Rocky action figure presents for my birthday, and dressing as Mr. T for Halloween. Though I remember the good times, there were plenty of times that were not so good. And then something happened that changed the course of my life forever.

When I was 8 years old I was sent to a mental institution for 3 years for a crime I didn’t commit. 

There was a house fire I didn’t set, but received the blame for. The more I protested my innocence, the more my parents, the doctors, and the police didn’t believe me.

The first night I spent alone in the padded cell was pure mental and emotional torture. The room was covered from floor to ceiling with rug that was dirt brown in color, and the smell of mold permeating throughout. There was one small wire mesh window on the door where the occasional face or two would look in at me like a lab rat.

An old worn out punching bag lay on the ground for those denizens that had pent up rage. Well, I had plenty to rage about. And I punched, and beat, and kicked that bag, with spit and snot flying from my mouth and nose, until I collapsed on top of it exhausted.

It was then that I had a very clear thought and prayer.

God, please get me out of this. Get me out of this and I will do whatever you say. Please god. And if you don’t I will stop believing in you, and I will know that I am all alone.

I awoke the next day, and I was still there. And at that young age something hardened in me, resolve, determination, death of innocence, and a realization that this was going to be very, very difficult. But realizing that I was on my own gave me strength. It said no one is coming to help me. It is up to me to figure this out.

I’m still figuring things out to this day, always improving and learning and growing. I’ve dedicated a good portion of my life to figuring out how we can change our lives based on a vision of where we want to go, a vision of the Next Level Life.

At the time, this experience of my first night in the mental institution was extremely painful, and when I relive the experience in my mind, it still is.  A boy whose mom, dad, brothers and sister all thought he tried to kill them in a fire… a god who would not answer his prayers. There were cops, firefighters and doctors who believed I was an arsonist that hated my family. But I was able to consciously use this moment to give me strength.

Love, Forgive, and Never Giving Up

It took me many more years to realize this truth: “Your darkest moment can be the source of your greatest strength. If you choose for it to be so.” There were three guiding principles that acted as lifelines along the way: Love, Forgive, and Never Give Up.

The love of my parents sustained me through these difficult times. I knew in my heart that they were doing what they thought best for me. That there was some twist of fate that had me trapped here. My parents got me the best care they possibly could, despite it being a huge financial burden to the family. One of my primary drivers was to get back to my family because they gave me the love I needed not give up all hope.

When the truth came out around the time I was 15, with tears in their eyes my parents asked for forgiveness. I told them I forgave them, and I truly did, and that was crucial for us to come together and heal. Forgiveness frees us up to heal ourselves, heal others, and to move forward. “Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves” is a great quote from Tony Robbins that captures the power of the act of forgiveness.

Never give up. This is critical. Never give up on yourself. If you’re a parent never give up on your child. Every situation is different and every choice one makes is personal, and sometimes the choices are painful, but never lose faith that a better day is possible. Never lose hope that things will get better.

It’s true, not all things we hope for come to pass, but we have a greater chance of experiencing better days if our minds are open to the possibility of them. We have an even better chance to get to those better day if we expect and know in our hearts that we will get there. Never give up.

I’ll go more into my story of how I ended up in the mental institution and how I got out, but for now, leave a comment below letting me know some of the ways you were able to turn adversity into strength.

Tweet: Your darkest moment can be the source of your greatest strength... if you choose for it to be so. @billhargenrader
Your Darkest Moment Quote from Trapped in the Mental Institution

The Next Level Life Blog

Bill Hargenrader the Next Level Life

What is the next level life?

Like most people, I have had many ups and downs in my life, many failures and many successes. Through it all, there is one belief that has served me well; the belief that we all have the ability within ourselves by using our thoughts and actions, along with the right strategies, to truly transform our lives. The ability to take our life to the next level despite our current circumstances.

I got my first taste of this truth at the age of 8 when I spent 3 years in a mental institution for a crime I did not commit. This (unknowingly at the time) set me on a lifelong quest of learning and discovery to figure out what the best tools were for us to truly change our lives. The Next Level Life is the culmination of those experiences.

The Next Level Life is many things to many people. For some it is getting yourself out of a hole that was dug for you by circumstance, or by your own actions. For others it is aspiring to live a life at the next level, with more meaning, passion, purpose, and freedom. For others it is advancing the aims and progress of humanity, actively improving the quality of living for our brothers and sisters, and raising the consciousness of the collective human identity of the planet.

And for some it is a combination of all these elements. 

Maybe you feel an uneasy stirring. A whisper in your thoughts. You might be fed up with how life turned out, or maybe you are successful but know you can do better. Not just better as in more efficient and productive, but better as in you know there is more to life than this, that you can do more, be more, and go to bed proud of the person you were today because your actions this day meant something more than just checking the box or advancing someone else’s agenda.

Living the Next Level Life is standing up and saying I’m tired of mediocrity, the status quo, the self-sabotage, and deciding to do something about it. I will model those who have come before me who have gotten themselves to the next level in life and business, and I realize that in order to get to the next level, I need to live my life at the next level right now.

My intention with this blog is to do my part, to contribute my knowledge, experience, tools, and relationships to show how you can live the Next Level Life. In doing so you not only improve your own life, but give permission to others to do the same for themselves.

I’ll post more on my experiences in the mental institution in another blog,  but for now leave a comment below letting me know what the Next Level Life means to you.

And remember, if you want to change the world, you have to start by changing your world.