Readers!

It’s taken me some time, but I’m back with my favorite articles for the month, except this time it is for two months. Woot! There are still quite a few articles I haven’t included in here, but for the most part I’m getting closer to catching up. So stay tuned. May is tomorrow….ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

YOU:

This article is short, sweet, and AWESOME! I’ve often suffered from resentment and feeling burned out and this article has me ready to sit down with a notepad and figure out what is “my resentment”. What made me hate my old 9-to-5 and what makes me feel unmotivated and unhappy in any office environment. It also has me wanting to figure out what makes me resent my own business. Everyone should do this. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-12/how-to-avoid-burnout-marissa-mayer

To stress or not to stress? This article is all about letting stress flow and you know what, I kind of agree. http://blogs.hbr.org/schwartz/2012/04/stress-is-not-your-enemy.html

DESIGN:

As a designer, creator, consumer, individual and artist, I really believe in the power of using design to help shape better life choice consumerism. Completely and wholeheartedly. This is worth a read! http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669055/designs-next-frontier-nudging-consumers-into-making-better-life-choices?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

How to design a logo. Very interesting stuff and some great points too about whether you actually need a new logo, or just need to change up your marketing. Something every business whether large or small should consider and be aware of. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-12/how-to-design-a-logo-sagi-haviv?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

This article isn’t so much about design, but about stuff and art and needing stuff and minimalism not working. It’s a great way to describe how I feel about making “stuff” and having “stuff”, but making sure it is all stuff that matters to me. Design plays a roll in that. Read it my friend.  http://www.scoutiegirl.com/2012/04/the-antidote-to-consumerism-isnt-minimalism-its-art.html

PROFIT:

Megan Auman of Designing An MBA, punched me in the face with this article. Having recently figured out how to separate my service profit from supplies and fees, I’m on the path to creating profit, hopefully, and better than I have in the past 2+ years.  http://designinganmba.com/2010/06/07/creating-a-culture-of-profit/

Dailyworth is on point and I love reading their short and sweet articles. Recently they had one about knowing your worth and value and it ties in very nicely with Megan’s article about creating profit. This is something that I’ve recently figured out and have started to price accordingly. I mean that I’ve always known my value, but I get full of fear when I talk price and that’s NOT COOL. This article helps me to remember that every time I sit down and figure out price. Hopefully it will for you, too!  http://dailyworth.com/posts/1177-Know-Your-Worth-AND-Your-Value

CRAFTSMANSHIP:

I MUST meet this man. I am planning on emailing him. :) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/timothy-barrett-papermaker.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Cellulose%20hero&st=cse

ENTREPRENEURSHIP:

What motivates you as an entrepreneur? I kind of new what motivated me, but I wasn’t too sure and so I jumped at the opportunity to take this quiz last month after reading the March issue of Inc Mag. This is what motivates me. Of course I one of the options I chose fluctuates with a few of the other options, but altruism and autonomy stay definitely. Here are my results:  http://www.inc.com/motivation/results.php?one=0&two=4&three=5.
I highly recommend you take the quiz, too and find out what motivates you: http://www.inc.com/magazine/201203/motivation-matrix.html

From the same pages of Inc comes Norm Brodsky, the veteran entrepreneur who writes a column called Street Smarts, where entrepreneurs can send in a question and he gives them his advice. He recently invested in an industry that assists the fracking business and while I’m 100% against fracking, I do enjoy Norm’s no-nonsense opinions on business approach and strategy. Anyhow, while reading his column last month, I whole-heartedly agreed with his thoughts on “the new breed of entrepreneur” – the ones like me and many others out there. We can be called the etsy/ebay/online business breed-the ones who have full-time jobs and run a business on the side that depends on the internet. He’s absolutely correct that because they are less difficult, less expensive, and less risky they are troubling. You can read the full article here: http://www.inc.com/magazine/201203/norm-brodsky-on-the-new-breed-of-entrepreneur.html. What I can say about my agreement is this-I am running a half-assed business on the side. It’s rewarding, but it’s difficult because it doesn’t require all the risk. Stepping out of my comfort zone to make this happen on my own is more risky that staying at my old 9-to-5 while running my business. There comes a point where in order to be a real entrepreneur, you have to take the leap. Read the article here: http://www.inc.com/magazine/201203/norm-brodsky-on-the-new-breed-of-entrepreneur.html

INSPIRATION:

This article made me happy. Why? Because I like when things that people fawn over are perceived from the other side.  As much as I have enjoyed TED talks and other videos of inspiration, I find that verbal communication is the bedrock of our foundation and it is something that is free. While the video’s are free to the masses, the actual events are not and I have a problem with that.  Yes, many of our greatest leaders have inspired by the masses through speeches, look at how many quotes I turn to in moments of encouraging need, but an 18-minute speech should not be a reminder of the class issues in our country.  I think this article does a great job of sharing the history and the current status of the TED program and the competitive business model it has inspired. Much like any commodity it has reached it’s peak, not just in the form of content, but in the amount of other talks created and in the skepticism in the program itself. Okay, maybe I’m the skeptic here. I don’t deny that TED video’s have definitely created a cultural phenomenon, but if you’re going to speak in inspiring manners, it should be open to everyone and not everyone on the internet. http://nymag.com/news/features/ted-conferences-2012-3/

I’ve never really been a fan of The Wizard of Oz, but I do admit that it is a wonderful story full of important life lessons.  This article written by guest writer Pamela Wilson on The Mogul Mom, April 9th, is phenomenal! As I read it, I went through a mental checklist of my peeps and I have to say, I’m so lucky to have them.  Who is on your journey? Do you feel lucky to have them? If you don’t, you should find the right peeps-they’ll make the road all the much better.  http://www.themogulmom.com/2012/04/whos-going-with-you-to-see-the-wizard

Chris Guillebeau strikes gold, AGAIN! This article is a must read for everyone. Really it is. It’s his 34 lessons life had taught him and he opens up the floor to everyone to create their own list. Of course, I’d needs days to put mine together, but I agree with every point he puts up there. I went ahead and added my own about allowing ourselves to feel everything. Regardless, this list is something that needs to be hung up to remind ourselves of what makes our lives unique and worth living and fighting for. http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/34-things

BUSINESS:

LOVED this article! Mostly because it sums up what I mentally debate about myself and my business all the time! http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/adam-davidson-craft-business.html

This article gives me the spooks! I know that we’re being watched, but I’ve never really wanted to believe the hype of big brother . This article proves it is reality and why consumers and small businesses, while yes should market to the right target, should also never so freely give away their personal business. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html?pagewanted=all

I can’t believe I am saying this, but I miss my weekly Forbes magazine subscription. Alas, it’s just me and the website and that means I don’t read nearly as much as I used to of the magazine that used to make me mad.  Anyhow, this article about the instagram buyout by Facebook and the greatness of small businesses really made me smile. As I sit aware that I need to put my head down to create results for my own company, I am glad I read this article. It’s a great kick in the butt. Not that I’m trying to be acquired by Facebook or any other large company for that matter, but it gives me pride in what I am trying to build. Definitely a must read! http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevecooper/2012/04/17/instagrams-small-workforce-legitimizes-other-small-start-ups/

What’s the difference between a company that tries to be everything to everyone, versus a company that focuses on it’s niche and core? This article will tell you! Using a comparison between Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s a great summary of what everyone starting a business should know and learns time and time again-you can’t be everything to everyone. http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/linkedin-vs-facebook-which-will-survive.html?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

LEADERSHIP:

“Elegance requires that you subtract.” That’s Matthew E. May’s strategy for being an effective leader. I’ve ripped this article out of the magazine and added it to my purse as a reminder of the kind of leader I want to be- efficient, make an impact, and be a minimalist. It IS possible. http://www.inc.com/magazine/201203/leigh-buchanan/matthew-e-may-how-to-be-an-elegant-leader.html

What makes an extraordinary boss? This list is a great resource for all bosses to read. Of course, not everyone can be an extraordinary boss, but if you try to practice some of these, you can be a great boss for any employee. I also find this interesting because I come from having one boss, to having another and it’s quite true how they describe the average boss to the extraordinary one. http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/8-core-beliefs-of-extraordinary-bosses.html

RANDOM:

I don’t know when this was published, but I read it the last full week of April and so it counts for this month’s articles-to-read. It’s amazing how irrational and illogical we are. This is good to keep in mind, given that we are sellers and buyers and we’re constantly looking for our “target market”.  http://uxmyths.com/post/2607991907/myth-29-people-are-rational

Until next month…keep reading!

Sara

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