Archives for posts with tag: Chris Guillebeau

Happy End of May Readers!

I can not believe tomorrow is June 1st and that I barely have any articles to share. I’m still half-way through the May issue of Inc Magazine, but I was behind on several magazines and am just catching up.

I also started reading a book that I’m really excited about, “Making Good” by Billy Parish and Dev Aujla. I’ll share my thoughts on it when I’m done. I just started and I can not wait to dig in, especially now that I’m almost caught up with my magazines (I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to stacks of magazines).

Anyhow, here are my suggestions for the month:

YOU

Are you an athlete or an artist? What about both? What am I? I’m kind of both. This is quite an interesting read.  http://www.women2.com/are-you-an-athlete-or-an-artist/?utm_source=email

Do you have these 10 competencies? Do I for that matter? I’m not sure, and I don’t know that I agree with all 10 of them, but they’re worth reading and acknowledging. http://www.women2.com/10-competencies-of-successful-women-entrepreneurs-in-developing-countries/?utm_source=email

BUSINESS GROWTH:

This article really got me. I love that it’s a female owned and run business; I love that it is all about natural and healthy foods for babies and I love that she talks about Social Responsibility in her business structure. She is a woman after my own heart! I hope you find inspiration behind her, too! http://www.nyreport.com/shazi_visram

Oh, Chris Guillebeau. Have I told you that I’m going to his World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon this July? I’m so excited! It was one of the BEST last minute decisions I made in a long time. It cost me an arm and a leg, but I have a feeling it is going to be oh, so, worth it! Anyhow, Chris recently published a book that I have yet to ready (BUT WILL!), and he’s touring around the country and internationally on a book tour. I missed the NYC stop only because I had work to do, and figured I can make it up in July when I go to Portland. Anyhow, I’m rambling here, but my point is that you should read this article. It goes nicely with a personal article I posted earlier this month on debt (I get real about mine and who knows how many others debt) and how we all think we need so much more than we really do. That is the truth behind capitalism and the American Dream, not what the politicians have us fighting over. Chris knows the truth. Read on my friends, read on! http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/the-decision-to-go

I share this article from the April issue of Inc Magazine because it is good advice for small businesses, especially small Etsy businesses. Yes, we all want the views and the big sales, but what if we instead focused on being more local, more niched, more selective of the customers we take on, and get to know our good customers better and potentially view them as employees? The five stories in this article hit upon each of those points and it helps me focus on my strategy. http://www.inc.com/magazine/201204/jennifer-alsever/fast-growth-in-a-slow-economy-5-case-studies.html

In business, we talk a lot about finding your target market. We want the customers that are going to pay for our items and we’re told in target market discovery assessments to envision who we consider our target markets, down to what they look like. But what if you can’t say what they look like because you want the same level of customers from all ethnic backgrounds to buy your stuff? No, I don’t mean having pricing points for all these people, I mean making sure your high quality product attracts not just the high quality loving blonde woman with disposable income, but the hard working, brown stone owning black family from Harlem who also loves high quality and has some disposable income.  This article does a great job of discussing what are the points for marketing to a multicultural society. I think it’s an important thing to consider when figuring out not just growth, but your markets. http://www.delivermagazine.com/2012/05/multicultural-marketing-roundtable/

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY:

Okay, so I have a confession, Dr. Bronner’s is in my rotation of soaps, but I don’t love their soap for my body-it dries my skin out, actually. However, I love the company and after reading this amazing profile of where they are now and their kooky, but deep history, I’m quite proud to be a customer of theirs. I love how the company is balanced and how it’s roots of activism are stronger than ever now. Go Dr. Bronner’s! Lead the way! http://www.inc.com/magazine/201204/tom-foster/the-undiluted-genius-of-dr-bronners.html

Lastly, as 2012 has proven to be quite a year of change already, I’ll be in and out of the blog this month. I am behind on posts and hope to get on a better schedule in June, but I have quite a few things going on and will be posting as I can.  Don’t leave. Just hang on. I promise I’ll be back. I just have some changes to deal with.

Oh and share some of your favorite business articles below if you can/want to. I’m interested in knowing what good articles you’re digging.

More articles in June. Stay tuned!

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

Ahhhhh it’s the end of January! How did it happen so fast?

Maybe I was having too much fun? I mean, yeah, I guess I was. January was a BIG month for the S2 of S2 Stationery and Design.  The best part, I made it out of January just fine- a bit broke, yes, but I didn’t die of starvation, or lose my apartment so we’re good!

I mentioned last year that I wanted to spend 2012 reading more and not just business magazines and articles, but books and fiction. I am pleased to say that in January I read two books and started another. Go Sara! I’d say I made a step in the right direction and I’m excited.

Even so, I did manage to read some great business related articles this month and so you know the drill, here they are:

MARKETING:
So this article from Deliver, the USPS’s magazine about direct mail marketing is really about marketing and selling to Millennials, but I think it’s a great way to view marketing in general. Although, I am a generation X member, I also have traits of Millennials and therefore see and shop the same way they do. I base my marketing on how I like to be marketed to, which is also how Millennials like marketing and so maybe we should consider yes, the Baby Boomers, but also shift as business owners and marketers into the realm of openness and no gimmicks and outstanding customer service. All of those would help ANY potential customer regardless of age and generational differences. http://www.delivermagazine.com/2012/01/making-sense-of-the-millennials/

Megan Auman of Designing an MBA posted this article today, January 5th and I love it! I don’t always love her articles, but this one, well this one is a real gem. Good luck for amping up your business in 2012.  http://designinganmba.com/2012/01/04/4-steps-to-your-best-business-year/

BUSINESS:
What is YOUR relationship to your business? I’m not sure what mine is just yet, but I can tell you this, there are days where I feel absolutely overwhelmed by all that I’ve taken on. I’ve evern thought, maybe I should try to be normal and happy with a regular job, but I know that that is a lie. If I don’t try to make it on my own, I’ll never be happy working of anyone. So here I am, glad that I read this article because Damon Gersh offers some great tips and insight into his own experience and relationship with his business and well, I think everyone should give it a read. http://www.nyreport.com/improve_your_relationship_with_your_business

I love this article. I continue to consider my business a start-up and because of that, the points int his article are quite relevant and gave me a fresh blast of air that I needed to review and be aware of. http://www.women2.org/women-starting-tech-companies-brilliance-is-mandatory/

Mayi Carles wins the prize for favorite post of January. No lie! Not only does she give a honest account of first-hand lessons in making money, she gives you tips on how to get better at it AND a free money making planner. No lie! If I could give her a hug, I would. :) Enjoy! http://www.ohmyhandmade.com/2012/contributors/money-making-party-plan-free-planner/

ENVIRONMENT:
This guy, Andy Keller, is seriously my hero! He goes around to cities dressed as the plastic bag monster. How cool is that?! As an eco-warrior, I love that he’s doing this – going around showing the hazard of plastic bag usage and helping educate the masses. Go Andy! http://www.oprah.com/blogs/Can-an-Outfit-of-500-Plastic-Bags-Change-Your-Behavior

PASSION:
I LOVE the truth in this article. Mostly because she is correct – passion, persistence and hunger are great, but you need more. You need the skill. If you are truly passionate, you’ll find the skill and good things will come. http://ht.ly/8ydwz

I’m sticking this under passion because I read it as what is your passion that will leave a legacy and make you happy. Chris, has a way of saying things so straightforwardly and clearly that things just make sense and click. I hope this clicks for you the way it clicked for me. http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/1000-days-after-overnight-success/

YOU
Dr. Oz gets a virtual high-five from me! I love this types for renewing your body, mind, and soul in the new year. I don’t make resolutions, but this year, I’ve been focusing on making small goals happen.  By the time, I read this list, I realized that I had successfully started doing a few of them beforehand. Yay! You don’t have to try making all 28 happen, but maybe just one or two. Good luck! http://www.oprah.com/health/Dr-Oz-on-How-to-Renew-Your-Body-Mind-and-Soul

I really appreciate Britney Haas’ perspective on juggling a full time job and a business. I’m not quite as organized as her, but I’ve learned that I need a day that is just for me and that I need to keep things together in order to get things done. The one thing I do know is that I changed the lack of sleep thing this year. I go to bed earlier and wake up earlier to get work done and to feel more accomplished. In the end, her company is a bit larger than S2 Stationery and Design, but I totally get where she’s coming from and I appreciate her honesty. I have considered getting an intern in the past…I may just do it! http://www.women2.org/juggling-ft-job-and-startup/

 

More articles in February. Happy reading!

Ahhh, I am a day late here. Oops! I guess this girl had to get ready for the new year and in doing so let the ball drop. Alas, the end of the world did not strike thanks to my tardiness and so yeah, here you go…my favorite articles in December 2011! This list is naturally incomplete, but these are the juicy bits. Enjoy! Oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

MONEY

I have a love/hate relationship when it comes to Dailyworth.com. I love most of the articles, but I hate that they’re in partnerships with companies and send emails that are really offers to try the company’s program. I mean, they may be great, but I want the content. The REAL truth of debt and financing. This post dated November 30th, does just that. It was a great thing for me to read given my decision to shape up (FINALLY!) in my 31st year. Here’s to feeling inspired. http://dailyworth.com/posts/1003-The-Truth-About-My-Debt

Tara Gentile is awesome! That’s really all I can say about her posting on profitability. As I’m gearing up to plan my stationery business future, or rather, I already did it (as you’re reading this the last day of December), this article played a huge role. As a matter of fact, I printed it out and added it to my budget/profit planning folder. http://www.taragentile.com/what-makes-a-tiny-business-profitable/

YOU

So the day after my birthday, I received the following post from Chris Guillebeau’s blog, The Art of Non-Conformity about what to do with your life. I find the message important not just for us as individuals, but as entrepreneurs and business owners. You should always follow your heart over convention. Enjoy! http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/what-should-i-do-with-my-life/

PASSION: 

I love Paulo Coelho. If you’ve never read “The Alchemist” I highly recommend that you do. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. Which is why this posting, while from earlier in 2011, came to me today, December 5th and rings so true I’m glad I found it, or it found me. It’s about killing our dream. I refuse to kill my dream. Absolutely refuse. How about you? http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2011/02/20/our-dream/

This article is exactly why I’m going to focus on pleasure reading in 2012. Well said, Deena Varshavskaya! http://www.women2.org/stop-reading-startup-advice-learn-by-doing/?utm_source=email

I was reading NY Magazine over the Holiday and came across an article about a bread maker in NYC named Jim Lahey of Sullivan St. Bakery, called The Mad Baker of Sullivan St”. As I read it, I couldn’t help but understand exactly where he’s coming from as a passionate bread craftsman. I love bread probably more than any other food, so I really really loved reading and learning about him, but also his history. I highly recommend it to all those trying to make it on a passion. It’s possible. Jim Lahey is proof. http://nymag.com/restaurants/features/bread-jim-lahey-2011-12/

BUSINESS:

This article is from November, but I found it a month after it was first published. I’m so up-to-date! I realized while reading it that I have used “think-outside-the-box” a few times and while I have used it int he way to think differently, I understand exactly what the guy means when he says you can’t think outside of the box if you don’t know what the box contains. Food for thought indeed. http://blogs.hbr.org/pallotta/2011/11/stop-thinking-outside-the-box.html

That whole idea about balance? Well, I still think it is possible, but I also think it takes work, just like running a business. The one thing I know for sure about work-life-balance is that if you don’t stop to take care of yourself every once in a while everything will stop working. Nobody wants that. http://nyreport.com/articles/82461/embracing_the_unbalanced_life

The following article should probably be under the heading of Entrepreneurship, but I’m too lazy to create it for one article, so it will be housed here, under business. I found Clay Mathile’s comments about entrepreneurs and small business success to be incredibly enlightening and truthful. You can decide what you think, but I think you should read it. http://www.forbes.com/sites/brettnelson/2011/11/09/the-billionaire-business-owners-playbook/

STATIONERY RELATED: 

I need to find the time and a way to go see this exhibit on the USPS! I really enjoyed this piece because of it’s reflective take on the USPS. It’s so important to know and understand your history in order to make steps for the future. I think this is a great piece for entrepreneurs looking for ways to not find themselves in the same pattern as the USPS. Lovely. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/12/tech-has-saved-the-postal-service-for-200-years-today-it-wont/249946/

Whew! November flew by. Where did it go?

But I’m excited because tomorrow is December 1st. My birthday is December 1st! Tomorrow is a big day! Yay!

I’m turning 31 and at first I thought I wasn’t going to blog on my birthday, but then I realized that I MUST share my story about the hawk from Monday night/Tuesday morning.  So stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog and then you won’t hear from me again until well, the following Monday.  To tide you over in the lull of the Friday through Monday no-S2-news  I share the following must read articles for November.

YOU:

What is your motivation style? Oprah Magazine has a quiz for you and I think you should take it. It’ll help you figure out what it is your seeking in life. When I took it, I didn’t agree with the answers at first, but then I realized that I did. I am after enlightenment more than anything else. I love my friends and the support I get from them, but I’m not always looking for love and adulation. I’m also not looking for recognition, I’m looking to make a difference any way I can and that could be as simple as someone reading this blog and taking this quiz. So go take it and hopefully you’ll see more light on what you should and can be doing. http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Determine-What-Motivates-You-Motivation-Style

Tips that men know from dating that women should know for their start ups. I likes the ideas a lot, but even more, I like how they transcend all areas of our lives. Learn these tips women not just for business, but for life! http://www.women2.org/crucial-skills-female-entrepreneurs-can-learn-from-how-men-date/?utm_source=email

I’ve written quite extensively about mentors and finding a mentor and being a mentor. This article really made me smile because it shows how sometimes the mentors we have in mind aren’t the ones that are tangible-they’re the ones who inspire us from a distance; often times their lives even after they’ve continued on, inspire and push us. That is leadership and one worthy of the mentor label. http://www.forbes.com/sites/women2/2011/11/02/66/

Strange places? I’ve been to a ton and seen a lot, at least I think I have. Chris’s version of strange places, thinking on your feet and traveling is great, but as I read it I saw it as so much more than just travel. I see it as life. What happens when things don’t work out. What do we do with that experience and strange place? It’s definitely food for thought!  http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/strange-places

Burned out? I will be if I keep trying to go at the pace I am without stopping and thinking about things. This article is from March, which I just got around to reading in late October/Early November, but it’s well worth saving and rereading a few times, when you’re beginning to feel the burn. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2011/0314/entrepreneurs-ask-an-expert-steven-berglas-prevent-burnout.html

Okay. So this could fit in any of the categories below, but the important thing here is whether or not you’re using these self-sabotage mantras. If you are, STOP RIGHT NOW!, read this article and focus on the good. Then you’ll want to create a system where you remind yourself of all that you are doing and create action steps as proof of your commitment. http://www.brasstackthinking.com/2011/10/three-self-sabotage-mantras-that-you-need-to-quit-now/

BUSINESS:

Time management. I wonder if it should have it’s own area? Maybe. Hmm..for now, it’ll be filed under business, but only because time management effects business, or rather our time management effects how we run and complete our business. So with that, I highly recommend Mayi Carles’s post about time management and using the “Touch It Once” strategy. I make no http://www.heartmadeblog.com/blog/touch-it-once

This article by Chris Guillebeau is really about life, but it rang true for me as a creator, maker and business owner. How much of my life do I put on hold to do other things that I think are more important and they aren’t. So here’s to making decisions and not putting things off.   http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/how-to-put-off-making-decisions-about-your-life

I have yet to deal with a refund request, but I think this is a good article for dealing with any sort of rejection when dealing with your business and/or product. http://www.themogulmom.com/2011/11/refunds/

DESIGN:

Funny thing about this article is that I walked past the Pentagram building the other evening on my way to a design function. How cool! I love this gentleman’s ideas for design, especially the part about researching to truly understand. How simple, how genius! http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665451/8-secrets-to-creative-thinking-hint-steal-from-others

I happen to like my brand. I like my logo, too. I designed both. You should also know that I did that months after deciding to start my business. Yes, it took a few months after, but I knew it was the most important element to base my business. http://www.fastcompany.com/1794324/brand-early-not-often

I know I’m collaborating. Are you? http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665471/what-good-does-design-do-for-business

Fast Co. is quickly becoming my go to place for well everything these days. I’m sharing this article with you not because it directly had to do with stationery, but because it has to do with design and what I think is basic business awareness and strategy. If you’re building a company that offers a product or service, are you open to where the flaws are? Are you anticipating them?  Have you accepted them and are working on them? Do you really want someone to write a blog about your products faults and their opinion of them (like this article)? I say use this article as a template  for every piece you design and create. I know I am. http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665491/the-jawbone-up-fails-but-teaches-3-golden-rules-for-experience-design

LEADERSHIP:

This posting I’m already at odds with. First, I don’t think President Obama is the worst Presideny in the US history and second, I disagree with this article way more than I agree, but the author, Paul Johnson, sometimes wins me over with his horrible thoughts with some solid wisdom. In this case,  his sentence, “…seem more spectacular had it not coincided with a general slump in leadership throughout the world. Ineptitude at the top is clearly responsible for the ugly fact that the banking crisis of 2008-which old J. Pierpont Morgan would have solved in one all-night session in his library-is now lengthening into the most serious economic downturn since the 1930s.”  I think he’s spot on about the slump in leadership, but I think he fails to realize that the slump in leadership dates all the way back to the time of Ronald Regan (and most definitely before), every Republican’s hard-on President. But we’re not talking politics here,  we are talking leadership and the fact remains that we have many open leadership spots in the world that people need to fill. So I do agree with Paul Johnson, on questioning who can lead us to safety? However, I’m smart enough to realize it’s none of the current leaders gearing up to “save-the-country and the world”. No, we need REAL leaders and I’m going to say that I think there are some powerful individuals out there, we just have yet to see them. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2011/1010/opinions-current-events-worst-president-obama-paul-johnson.html

AND speaking of leadership, here is an article about someone doing amazing things with no recognition, but clearly being a leader. I’ll forget that he’s in the energy business only because he’s committed to doing so many incredible things for the sake of humanity and educating humanity. Go George Kaiser! Not only am I inspired by you, I’m inspired by Forbes for getting the stick out of their ass long enough to focus on positive social good. http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2011/09/21/george-kaisers-10-billion-bet/

Finally, if you’re like me you don’t have any employees, you only have YOU, but that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t motivate yourself. This article is great on tactics to use to motivate employees. I say turn them around to motivate yourself! http://www.inc.com/ilya-pozin/9-things-that-motivate-employees-more-than-money.html.

That’s all I’ve got for November. See you next month!

I did a lot of reading this month, I just don’t know that it’s properly reflected in this month’s list of favorite articles.

In the process of reading, I discovered that I am always behind and not reading the things I want to read like “War and Peace”. So I’ve decided that come 2012, I’m going to go light on the business reading and heavy on the personal reading. While I enjoy the materials I read for business purposes, I really need to expand my brain and vocabulary more on the personal front.  Moving toward 2012, I’ll make sure to step up my business reading game so you guys know where and what to read. Not only will these issues will be lighter and more reflective of not everything that gets me excited, but what I consider are must reads.

Below are my recommendations for October.

BUSINESS:

What is YOUR brand? Have you got it figured out? Maybe you’re on the cusp of having a brand? Wherever you are, read this posting and get your brand together! http://www.themogulmom.com/2011/10/your-brand/

Megan Auman of Crafting MBA discusses the importance of images and why they are so important. http://www.craftmba.com/2011/10/04/image-is-everything/

I need to read this and reread this and do again and again until I’ve got it. Some great PR tips for a new company. http://mashable.com/2011/10/10/pr-startups/

Raising your rates. A topic we all despise. I think because we don’t want to lose existing customers, but Tara Gentile is here, along with DailyWorth to give some insight and encouragement to those who are considering raising their prices and who want to raise their prices. Good luck! http://dailyworth.com/posts/935-What-to-Expect-when-You-Raise-Your-Rates

The List of things to Not Do, courtesy of Inc., Magazine. I love quite a few of these, especially the bit about presentations. Awesome! http://www.inc.com/magazine/201110/the-dont-do-lists-for-running-a-business.html

This is more about networking and specifically for women, but I love the humor behind the article and the voice of the author. Larry’s points about promoting, breaking into rooms you aren’t invited to, and focusing on one person at each event to remember are great things to remember as you try to work through the networking ladder. Every event I attend, I give out cards, but really focus on talking to the same people throughout the session. I also try to email them as soon as possible after the event to not just remind them of me and my company, but to let them know I remembered them. It’s a good balance.  http://www.women2.org/networking-as-a-woman-a-mans-perspective/

This article has some GREAT tips for entrepreneurs. I’m attached to the author’s second tip about not being afraid of experimenting. So glad I read those thought-provoking questions- it kind of kicked my butt in motion to get moving BIG picture with small action. http://www.women2.org/build-your-business-empire-by-thinking-big-and-starting-small

I seriously HEART this article by Blacksburg Belle about following trends. She’s spot on about why not to follow them, unless you have trendy clients. So read it and if you’re like me, be smug in your quirky self and business. http://www.blacksburgbelle.com/2011/10/one-big-way-creative-entrepreneurs-waste-time-how-to-stop/

YOU:

I suffer from “superwoman/hero” syndrome. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s damn hard. But I like this article, a lot because it reminds me that it’s okay not to be super woman. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to make priorities rather than just try to make everyone happy. So read this if you’re like me and sigh a little sigh of relief. It’s easier once you realize you can’t do everything. Woot! http://www.themogulmom.com/2011/10/the-best-you/

This one is good! I love Heather’s 25 tips to nurture yourself. So true and so awesome! Start them NOW. Okay, maybe not now (I haven’t started mine yet), but you know gradually. First on my list wake up 30 minutes earlier. Yay for me time! http://www.themogulmom.com/2011/10/nurture-yourself/

I’ve talked on other sections of my blog about my debt (it’s kind of an irritant), but what’s more is my desire to rid myself of my debt and this time I’m SERIOUS. Some of these tips are awesome and help give you a jumping pad for ways to start saving/cutting back/killing debt where it matters. Good luck! http://dailyworth.com/posts/934-Top-6-Budget-Tips-from-Readers#articlejump

So I love that this woman is happy with her full-time job and is still pushing away at her side business. I think that is normally the case when someone loves not only what they do, but who they do things with. If you’re not lucky like that and the fire has gone out for you and you REALLY want to leave and pursue your passion and dream company, I say DO IT! If you fail, well you can always look for a dream job in an office already established, or try again elsewhere.  http://www.lauraroeder.com/2011/10/follow-your-passion-and-keep-your-day-job

This should have it’s own topic heading as well, but I think the quotes from some incredible rising women in business are more great motivators and inspiration for you as you move forward. http://www.women2.org/10-tips-to-rise-to-the-top-dare-to-dream

ENTREPRENEURSHIP:

This article single-handedly describes how I feel about working in Corporate America. I’ve realized that I do want to offer skill-based education and jobs, but they won’t be as earth shattering or staggering as Google, or any other large company and for the most part, I seek to do better for the planet, but maybe this will give people an idea of why so many are leaving Corporate positions to seek their own happiness. Furthermore, I’m interested in how Corporations will view this flight. Hmm… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-15082998

CUSTOMERS: This is a new topic, but I felt that I couldn’t just keep adding to business this month.We’ll see if “customers” manages to stick in future months.

Anyhow, this article about learning how to change the way people behave, really caught my eye. I believe that success comes to those that are transparent and really work with clients. I also believe strongly that things happen when consumers and people alter their habits and thought processes, but I don’t know that it should be up to the companies to change the way a person thinks. That mentality has led us to an extremely wasteful culture. IF a company has good intentions, then I’m okay with it. If they don’t, I’m a bit unsure that I agree.  http://www.women2.org/startup-lesson-learned-how-to-change-the-way-people-behave

ENDINGS:

This is a new topic! Chris’s post about what to do when a big adventure comes to an end really resonates with me. If you’re a goal oriented person like me, even more so. I’m always looking for a new adventure and path to take after closing another chapter. http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/the-sense-of-loss-in-a-big-adventure

LIFE:

I put this under life because really, who does make the rules? More importantly why do we follow them ( societal standards aside)? http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/questions-to-ask-of-the-people-who-make-the-rules

I really like these ideas for life practices, not just business practices. Knowledge is the basis of everything, any good, smart Sagittarius (like me) will tell you that, so keep trying to learn, constantly in every area of your life. You’ll be better off for it. http://smartblogs.com/leadership/2011/10/21/improve-your-knowledge-daily/

FINANCES:

http://www.themogulmom.com/2011/10/common-financial-pitfalls-entrepreneurs

DESIGN:

I read this article and I really didn’t like Jen Bilik or her company Knock Knock. I’m not just saying that because I view her as competition. It’s rare that I view most people in “stationery” as my competition. I don’t say that out of cockiness. I say it simply out of a sense of I make what I make and they make what they make. Some people will like my “competitors” work more than mine and that’s fine. I’m not trying to appeal to the masses. I’m trying to appeal to the different and quirky people. Knock Knock’s stuff is cute, but it’s Jen’s persona that I don’t like. I don’t think I’m being judgey either. The tone of the entire article threw me off and wasn’t endearing. Maybe it’s just me, but I put it under here because she’s a designer and she runs a design operation and so it’s worth checking out. http://www.inc.com/magazine/201110/the-way-i-work-jen-bilik-of-knock-knock.html

What are the characteristic’s of a leader? This article helps, but I tend to think every leader is a bit different. Either way, if you’re searching for leaders and what makes leaders, start here.  http://www.inc.com/magazine/201110/the-characteristics-of-a-great-leader.html

I’m an optimist and a designer and an entrepreneur, which is why it makes sense that I dig this article. I think the points made are valid and worthy of deeper consideration. The design community can make waves as they have been for centuries. Rise up!  http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665120/designers-are-the-new-drivers-of-american-entrepeneurialism

This GEM could go in any topic, but it’s under design because when it comes to designing and being creative, you shouldn’t wait or put things off. Even if it’s a failure, it is worth working on and working on until you get it to your liking. The more you practice the better you create. Sometime I must keep in mindhttp://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/never-save-it-for-later/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=JNw1ZHdA5snt7W

Until November’s list, brush up on these. Oh and share your favorite articles, too. Please? You never know when you’re helping someone out!

September ends today. October, well, I’m not quite ready for you, yet. But I’m excited that Fall is here and that pumpkins and squashes are making an appearance. I’m also really excited for what the remaining three months of the year mean for me, personally, and S2 Stationery and Design.

This month, I start out with a great article from the Forbes “100 Most Powerful Women” issue. The article is actually an interview with Anne Sweeney from Disney. She starts off by answering the question, “How do you define power and influence?” with, “I look at power and influence differently. I look at power as the ability to get people motivated and to get them to do things that maybe they don’t think are important but, in the end, are in pursuit of something greater than themselves. But influence, as distinct from power, is really something quite different. To have influence, you really don’t need to have power. But what you need more than anything else is to have that almost uncanny understanding of what matters to people.”  That pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the article. I think her answer is great and I agree with her 115%! Power and influence are two very different things. I’d rather have influence than power any day.  Read on here:  http://www.forbes.com/2011/08/30/powerful-women-interview-disney-ann-sweeney-moira-forbes.html

YOU:

I’ve mentioned Sherry Ott before on this blog. She’s an inspiration! She is a freelancer, photographer, blog and travel writer, adventurer, do-gooder, and many, many other things. On the last day of August, she posted the following article about Career Breaks and I loved it so much, I have to share. I am eyeing a career break at some point in my future. Whenever I’m down about not being able to take a break now, I look at this article and feel renewed with hope about when I do take it. Life is amazing and we get from it what we want and by what we give: http://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/how-a-career-break-changed-my-life/

Chris Guillebeau strikes again! This article is BOMB.COM. Seriously. I want to share this article with everyone. Even more importantly, I want to print copies of it and give it to people on the streets, I want to turn it into a Christmas card (hmmm..maybe I will!) You’ll have to read to find out why, but the premise is simple and while he’s speaking about writing, it is easy to adopt for whatever is your passion/art. Enjoy!  http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/how-to-write-300000-words-in-1-year/

SUCCESS:

I really enjoyed this article! It’s a great read on the men (yes, they’re all men) who are well-known in history for being sharp, successful, and victorious when it mattered most (history dictates this). I especially love that the author, Paul Johnson, points to learning from history (something I wholeheartedly believe in) and to having a vast network of people to learn from as tools for success.  http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2011/0822/opinions-paul-johnson-current-events-lessons-from-great.html

What is an entrepreneur? I like Craig Dwyer’s answer: “Two words: action people” in the article “Our Startup Summit With Michael Dell” in an August issue of Forbes Magazine (I know, I read a lot of issues of Forbes this month!).  I think the open communication approach between Michael Dell and this young group of entrepreneurs is insightful and inspiring. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2011/0822/best-colleges-11-dell-noer-hamilton-dwyer-fu-startup-summit.html

WORKING HAPPY:

I think this article is extremely important. Why? Because I’ve learned recently that being happy matters. Not just for your personal life, but for your work life. After all, many of us spend 8+ hours a day in offices, so we should be happy about that time. When we’re not, it’s often a sign that we need to move on and in a new direction. This article just confirms it, but I think it shows more of what is necessary for companies with unhappy employees than employees themselves. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/opinion/sunday/do-happier-people-work-harder.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss

What do companies that have the happiest employees have? They have great working environments! This article on Harvard Business Review does a great job of pointing out the 12 attributes of a great working place. I realize that a lot of companies aren’t going to go this road, especially if they are steeped in “old” ways, which is why it’s so important that entrepreneurs and individuals opening small businesses that they hope to expand in the future, take heed and figure these details out at the very beginning: http://blogs.hbr.org/schwartz/2011/09/the-twelve-attributes-of-a-tru.html

WORDS:

I put this one under words because it has a lot to do with the language we use and how it affects our thoughts and actions. http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/this-time-its-different/

Following up on the post by Chris is this post on American Express Open Forum. Talk about the power of words! I think you should all read this and adopt the practice in everyday life. I know I definitely have used these words when I meant to have more action behind them and I know I need to stop. Good luck changing your tone and creating action! http://www.openforum.com/articles/the-power-of-language-5-wicked-words-that-are-sabotaging-your-success?extlink=em-openf-SBdaily

INSPIRATION:

What is an “a-ha!” moment? I know I’ve had one, maybe even a few. The one that broke everything has me in my current position – as an entrepreneur, business owner, stationer, designer and artist. Yep. Incredible isn’t it? I think my experience was a bit different and my “a-ha” moment was definitely a dream, but I think that I was open to the three ways that the author suggests in this article. Be curious and open, that’s my take! http://www.openforum.com/articles/how-to-get-insights-and-why-its-important-that-you-do?extlink=sm-openforum-tw

Speaking of “a-ha” moments, the October issue of O Magazine is about changing old patterns and finding breakthroughs to make your goal and dreams  a reality. The first article that definitely inspired me was the list of 15 people who O Magazine has been wowed by and has labeled them “Thinkers, Dreamers and Doers”. Maybe it’s because I see all three of those in me. Regardless I hope they inspire you, too. http://www.oprah.com/spirit/The-2011-O-Wow-List

The second article from the October issue that I think is worth reading is titled, “How to Spark a Breakthrough”. It’s 9 tips to help. I’ve earmarked the pages in the magazine to review them time and time again, but also to share with friends of my own who are stuck and unsure. This IS a must read and I’m including it in the September issue of my favorite articles from the month because you shouldn’t wait to be inspired.  Get going! http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Making-Your-Ideas-a-Reality-Whats-Holding-You-Back

SOCIAL MEDIA:

I read this article this morning on the bus (9/21/11) and got REALLY excited. It’s not that amazing of an article, but I really like it’s points and I think they’re helpful to the small business owner who is still scratching their head about social media. The Forbes site for the article isn’t that friendly and I was a bit confused by the layout, but just click to be taken to the second, third, etc pages and you’ll see the five points the author is making. You’ll be glad you did, even if you’re whispering under your breath how Forbes.com should get a better web design/layout. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2011/0926/entrepreneurs-social-media-myths-expert-rodriguez.html

BUSINESS:

I love DailyWorth! They give some great concrete tips and I love that they are open to sharing money stories between women. It is important that women  talk money and talk about it honestly, so I’m glad that they are building a community of sharers and of action.  This post on the other hand is more about helping you find ways to make your business aspirations happen. Quirky, Kickstarter and Indiegogo are all platforms I’ve heard of recently and I’m excited that they help entrepreneurs and artists make things happen. Check out the DailyWorth posting and the sites after. http://dailyworth.com/posts/909-Monetizing-Your-Big-Ideas

Ah, Steve Jobs. His leaving Apple has left a lot of speculation and a lot of people wondering what is next for the company. I’ll have to say that I’m not sure what to expect from Apple in the coming months. I hope that the legacy of Steve Jobs does continue to push the company in a creative and innovative direction, but I, too, am wondering what the future holds for a company I regard highly.  While this article is about Steve Jobs, it is also about the role of the creator and founder of a company, which is why I’m marking it as a top article for the month. Yes, I believe that serial entrepreneurs should walk away from projects as they both grow, but maybe that’s also a sign that the time for that company and idea have ended and maybe it’s time to move on completely rather than bring in a new CEO? Not sure. I just know I’m glad I’ve got a small business that I hope grows, but never at the expense of its founder and/or future employees. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/09/steve-jobss-law-why-founders-make-better-leaders/244439/

ENVIRONMENT:

For every good thing I said above about Forbes Magazine, I have one article that I read and it really made me mad – Drilling Into Eden. It’s about Chevron drilling off of Barrow Island off of Australia. They claim to be taking all the precautionary measures, but forgive me if I don’t believe them or any BIG OIL company. At the end of the day, they want money and nothing is going to stop these companies from going after it, even if it is the possibility that an entire ecosystem could die thanks to their greed. However, I’ll let you read the article and make your own decision. Just know that we have a responsibility to this planet NOW, not later when the damage is done.  http://www.forbes.com/global/2011/0912/barrow-island-drilling-into-eden.html

There you have it-September in a nutshell! I wish you the very best and most awesome October. Trick and Treat your loved ones and get ready for an awesome fall!

Until next month, be inspired and do great things!

“My dad’s advice was very helpful: Be good at something. Add value to that. Don’t get distracted.” – Scott Malkin, Forbes Magazine.

This past month, I read a lot. I wish I could say I read more personal interest books, but I did not. Instead, I read both the May 23rd issue of Forbes Magazine and the June issue of Inc. Magazine from cover to cover and a ton of blog postings (see below).  Under the Success category, I discuss the article in Forbes that roped me in: ” Like Father, Like Child: Is Entrepreneurial Success Inherited.” As I continued to read the magazine I became more and more enthralled with families of entrepreneurs and I discovered that my streak comes from my dad. I think. It makes sense. He opened his own trucking company and was successful until he got ill.

I followed that read up with Inc’s June issue which boldly states, “How To Be An Extraordinary Leader.” I recommend that you read the entire issue if you can get your hands on it. If you can’t, you can read the articles online. I highly recommend the cover article:  “Core Values of the Top Small Company Workplaces.”  I know as I start to develop my long-term business plans, the first thing is the core values of S2 Stationery and Design. After all, the values that I’ve kept to myself so far, are the reasons behind me moving in the direction I have followed and continue to follow.

With that, I leave you with the rest of my suggested reads for June.  Enjoy!

YOU:

I really should just have a section that is dedicated to Chris’s articles because I post at least two every month. Here is the first one. He’s talking about his World Domination Summit that I chose NOT to attend because I thought I was going to Japan (oh Universe, how unfair you can be sometimes!), but I’m excited to see how it goes for him and everyone else who attends and maybe I can go next year? We’ll see. Maybe I should schedule it now. Alas, my favorite part is his comment at the end: “Whatever your own venture / adventure is, don’t hold back! Don’t wait until you’re completely certain. It usually works out in the end.” That’s exactly how I feel!
http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/preview-of-world-domination-summit/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1fmi.yxmgsnt7W

Now, read Sherry’s take on the event. I love that she wrote her favorite statements down. That’s something I’d do, too. Also, most of them are great. So great, I printed a copy of the article to have in my journal/planner. http://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/finding-inspiration-in-others/

EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS ARTICLE! I know I’ve fallen into this trap in my younger days, but not anymore. Now I can accept when I should step out of the trap and I do so happily. I know so many people who could benefit from doing the same thing. http://zenhabits.net/trap/

CREATIVE:

THIS is an argument I’ve heard a lot about in the crafting community. I’ll write a posting about it another day, but for now, I think it’s really important to think about copying and theft of art and what it means for the art world and the artist. http://www.scoutiegirl.com/2011/06/bad-artists-copy-great-artists-steal.html

TRAVEL:

I mentioned Sherry Ott two months ago, I believe, and she’s back on this month’s list thanks to a SPECTACULAR article about your personal tipping point. I read it and completely understood where she was coming from and appreciated her experience and how it will inspire my experience. Good stuff! http://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/the-career-break-tipping-point/

SUCCESS:

I finished my Forbes Magazine dated May 23rd and loved it! There is this great article about entrepreneurial success highlighting Ralph Lauren and Dylan Lauren called, “Like Father, Like Child: Is Entrepreneurial Success Inherited,” but then continues in sharing father/son and father/daughter accounts of entrepreneurship. It’s a great read! It also made me wonder about my own entrepreneurship. My Dad started his own company after years of working as a dispatcher for a trucking company and this was years after working as a bus and truck driver. He drove constantly and to the point of unhealthiness, but he did not like working for anyone, listening to anyone’s rules and restrictions, and thrived on being his own boss. Years later, I find myself in the same shoes. So maybe entrepreneurship is genetic after all? Or maybe it’s just learned behavior, but we learn to take and enjoy the risks, from the people who create our foundation, after all. Makes total sense.

I ask for feedback. I rarely ever ask for validation. This is an important article to read if you always feel the need to ask for other’s opinions about things. Yes, it’s a good idea to see how other people can help, but it’s always more important to follow with your own feelings and thoughts. It is your life after all. http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/an-important-thing-no-one-will-tell-you/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1bO25YlBksnt7W

I hate having too many choices. Ms. Megan sums it up quite nicely here on what it takes to be a successful sales person and offer choices. http://www.craftmba.com/2011/06/09/the-paradox-of-choice-and-the-powers-of-mind-control/

This article can also fit below in Business Development, but I’ve chosen Success instead, because collaboration is key especially when you’re building yourself and your company.  http://mashable.com/2011/06/23/small-business-collaboration-economy/

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT:

I’m so glad Megan wrote this article! Here I am expanding and creating lines with all of these questions in my mind. I realize I’m a bit different as I’ve never had collections to expand upon before, but it was nice to read that I was headed in the right direction after all. http://www.craftmba.com/2011/06/08/5-questions-to-ask-when-expanding-your-product-line/

This is a long article, but I had a conversation on this topic last night. At the end, I was told by a fellow documentary loving woman, “stay idealistic.” Lets hope I do. I hope you make the right choice for your business, too! http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/build-company-sell/

CRAFTING FUN:

If you’re ever on the market for rubber stamps and what to do with them, check out this list courtesy of Paper Source. Some great ideas here! http://www.paper-source.com/cgi-bin/paper/howto/rubber-stamping-recipes.html

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Very good article about using Twitter, which I recently signed up to use and am loving! http://www.openforum.com/articles/6-ways-to-monitor-your-brand-on-twitter?utm_source=The+Mogul+Mom+Subscribers&utm_campaign=f6ce762634-6_Ways_To_Monitor_Your_Brand_On_Twitter6_20_2011&utm_medium=email

 

Another amazing article from Ms. Tara Gentile from Scoutie Girl about the whys behind using social media. It’s a good read and one I encourage everyone who spends time and effort developing and cultivating a social media presence and plan to look into.  http://www.themogulmom.com/2011/06/why-are-you-using-social-media/?utm_source=The+Mogul+Mom+Subscribers&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=13570fef9d-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN

PASSION:

I most definitely found my passion, when I wasn’t expecting it. Which I think is how things tend to happen, but in the case that you are trying to find it, you may want to read this article. http://zenhabits.net/the-short-but-powerful-guide-to-finding-your-passion/?utm_source=The+Mogul+Mom+Subscribers&utm_campaign=c31e38442d-Cash_In_On_Yo_Passion6_10_2011&utm_medium=email

Not a recent grad, but this article rings true for anyone of any age seeking for their next steps. http://www.openforum.com/articles/for-recent-graduates-many-paths-to-a-career?extlink=sm-openforum-tw

I am putting this under passion because I think what Sherry is getting at is the pros and cons to following your passion and dreams. Yes, there are success stories, but as a good friend told me the other day, it takes a truly special person to really follow your dreams and make things happen. I also add this posting in this section because I really believe that Sherry hits upon areas that sum up how I feel as well. http://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/blogging-i-love-it-and-hate-it/

Following the same thread as above, here’s an article about what to do once you’ve found YOUR passion: http://zenhabits.net/passionguide/?utm_source=The+Mogul+Mom+Subscribers&utm_campaign=c31e38442d-Cash_In_On_Yo_Passion6_10_2011&utm_medium=email

That’s all for June. See you in July! Oh and have a happy and safe Independence Day weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Hi Readers!

This post was meant to go out yesterday, but in the flurry of, “WHAT?! It’s already May 31st?!” and my cousin graduating high school, I got a bit behind. Regardless, May was a doozy and you’ll soon find out! I can honestly say that all the printing, cutting (I don’t have cuts on my hands to show how much I’ve been cutting, but I did grow tired of the cutting machine soon after beginning), I am seeing the fruit of my labor.

Between Sunday and Monday morning/afternoon/evenings I found myself wrapping some stationery product in the wrappers I’ve created and sealing with my new labels. All I can say is that it was/is one of the most gratifying and exciting feelings EVER! Well, one of them.  See, I often feel this way after completing a customized stationery order. The difference here is that these products haven’t been tested. I’m taking a risk and accepting my love for them and hoping that people, especially people who attend the concerts at Celebrate Brooklyn!, will love them, too, or at the very least like them a bit more than just like and a little less under love (I think that’s a happy medium!), to buy them.

Anyhow, in the mix that was, and still is Celebrate Brooklyn! production and completion (I have less than a week! Eeps!), I have done some great reading and the links are all below. There should be more, but I’m running a bit behind on my reading schedule and so c’est la vie, until I change that. Until then, enjoy the following. Oh and happy June!

FUN

I LOVE to knit! I’m currently knitting right now. I think this is a great idea for anyone who knits and loves to throw parties. Fun, fun! http://www.designspongeonline.com/2011/03/hunt-gather-and-host-a-knitting-party.html

I LOVE this idea! What if I made you a recycled newspaper scarf (there goes that knitting again!)? http://greenupgrader.com/2138/handspun-recycled-newspaper-yarn/

SUCCESS:

Funny isn’t it how when you’re feeling a certain way things have a knack for finding you. Or better yet, the way you feel brings you the things you need the most? This section is all about dealing with what I experienced earlier this month. I didn’t feel like a failure as much as things aren’t happening as fast as I want them. Alas, I got things under control and reigned in my emotions, but the day I decided to man up, I read these articles and was wowed at how timely they were.

I don’t know that I suffer from these three obstacles, but I can see how anyone can and it’s important to know that there are out there and that you can stop them. http://handmadesuccess.com/2011/05/the-three-obstacles-in-your-way-to-success/

I need to print this and carry it around with me always. Some great tips! http://zenhabits.net/small-scale/

ANY article that starts off with, “Ignorance and arrogance are the artist and entrepreneur’s indispensable allies. She must be clueless enough to have no idea how difficult her enterprise is going to be—and cocky enough to believe she can pull it off anyway.” has my vote from the beginning. My other favorite, “Fear saps passion.” Don’t let it sap yours! Keep reading!  http://the99percent.com/tips/7017/Overcome-Resistance-and-Get-Out-of-Your-Own-Way

I am a loyalist to Chris’s thoughts and philosophies. Maybe because they are like mine. Either way, this article is for everyone struggling like me to get out of bed and do a job that you’re not so passionate about. http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/the-good-job/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1gDDRXsrPsnt7W

This article is SO SPOT ON! READ IT! http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/redefining-risk/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1gFN.uLhPsnt7W

Practice, Practice, Practice and wake up loving it! http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/rain-running/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1fnpF3zDjsnt7W

This one goes under success because it’s about how we place value on what we’re selling. Very important. http://www.craftmba.com/2011/05/25/what-are-you-really-selling/#comment-28538

Megan is just spot on. Really, I just just make my monthly favorite’s a dedicated spot for Megan because I post a lot of her articles. This one is just as true as the above. As someone who is in the “stationery/paper” industry, I know how easy it is to do what other people are doing, which is why I try not to. I know it’s not just my industry either, I know it happens in jewelry and clothes. So ask why and then stay focused on that way. I know that’s what I’m doing! http://www.craftmba.com/2011/05/17/standing-out-by-starting-with-why/

LANGUAGE:

Oh, Irony. Do you know how to use it? http://www.prdaily.com/writingandediting/Articles/8206.aspx

YOU:

I definitely over think. It’s not good. However, I also know that without overthinking about somethings, I would not have grown as exponentially as I have in the last year. It’s a give/take. Some things definitely need to be overthought, most does not. The question is how do you figure out which do and don’t and how do you stop it from taking over? This is powerful! http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2011/05/do-you-fall-into-the-trap-of-overthinking.html

I have always been 100% behind being Sara. Always. I hate being grouped. I hate being asked what where I come from. I really dislike when people label me in general. Which is why I’m adding this article by Chris Guillbeau, of course, to the list this month. When you’re an entrepreneur, you are different and it is a good idea to come to terms and accept that you’re not going to fit into any one particular box. http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/hello-my-name-is/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1dQ9gJL1Msnt7W

And just when I wanted to go out and buy something pricey, I read this and remembered why I love, and have always loved, that full-of-himself man named Thoreau. http://www.dumblittleman.com/2011/05/thoreaus-guide-to-living-more-by.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DumbLittleMan+%28Dumb+Little+Man+-+tips+for+life%29&utm_content=Google+International

BUSINESS:

I didn’t graduate from Syracuse, or in May of 2011, but I swear he was talking to me! http://mashable.com/2011/05/16/dennis-crowley-syracuse-graduation/

I tell myself “Sara, YOU are an artist” almost every day. It’s worth it and it reminds me why I love doing what I do. http://www.artbizblog.com/2011/03/art-has-value.html

I’m always thinking about sustainability and business and how S2 is going to be a sustainable business. I love articles that show how you can keep being sustainable, doing good and make profits. THIS is the area all businesses should REALLY be looking into. http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/20/how-many-business-models-can-one-company-have/

This posting is so good! I am a knitter by hobby, which means I enjoy the entire creative process involved and end up making blankets and scarves and the like for friends and loved ones, but more than just enjoying knitting, I love how Tammy writes about the lessons behind knitting. As I read this posting, I definitely agreed with what she has learned and realized that I’ve never truly explored all then ways and things you can learn from knitting. Often times, I talk about lessons I’ve learned from running, etc, but there are lessons to behold in everything we spend our time exploring.  http://rowdykittens.com/2011/04/knitting/

This one is GOOD! So good! When I read it early in the month, I was struck at how timely Megan is with the two ceilings that an entrepreneur can hit. The question is how will I tackle this? Working on a strategy! http://www.craftmba.com/2011/05/04/growth-ceilings-and-scalability/

Do you sell on Etsy? Are you curious about finding certain data in your analytics? READ THIS! http://www.etsy.com/storque/seller-handbook/web-analytics-whos-found-you-through-the-taste-test-12747/#comment-507008

I wrote a blog last week about scarcity and the implications of it and then Ms. Megan went and wrote about making one-of-a-kind products. Go figure! She’s right, though! http://www.craftmba.com/2011/05/18/turn-your-liability-into-an-asset-or-how-to-wholesale-limited-edition-products/

To trade show or not? I’m not nearly trade show ready, BUT I really enjoyed reading Megan’s (yes, another article by her) take on this and I also really loved her comment, “Despite all our reliance on technology and social media, we still crave physical connections with people and objects. ” Read the full article and watch the video response: http://www.craftmba.com/2011/05/20/icff-innovation-and-the-future-of-trade-shows/

MONEY:

Yeah, what does it mean to have money? I’ve never really had money, just enough to keep paying debt. But what about when I do (because I will!)? What then? Tara Gentile, gives a great thought about this on Daily Worth. http://dailyworth.com/posts/756-What-Does-It-Mean-to-Have-Money-#articlejump

SOCIAL INTERNET:

I came across this article on The Atlantic on May 12th and understood it immediately. I have used Groupon and I’ve definitely overspent in the case of restaurant coupons, but I’ve often wondered how exactly do both parties benefit from the program. I’ve also noticed that the deal that roped me in is not the same caliber of deals that are being offered currently and so I end up deleting the emails and paying less and less attention to the whole online discount coupon programs that seem to be popping up every way you turn. Needless to say, I think this is a great way to begin really looking in-depth at the cases of these programs, especially for small and new business owners.  http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/05/why-does-groupon-work/238706/

Following the article above, I present this article, which you can find in the above article. This is a first hand account of a business owner who used Groupon last year and lost big time. Sometimes it’s important to hear about experiences especially when they are open and honest. It’s also a great way to learn that somethings are not always what they seem. I’m curious to know how many other businesses have stories like this and if they’d be willing to share them. http://posiescafe.com/wp/?p=316

Just 29 days until the next list of articles!

I have to admit that I barely read in April. Actually, that’s not true. I did read. I read a ton, but I don’t think you want to read a recap of my romance novels that I plowed through several weekends in April. Instead when you get below, you’ll see links of all the blogs and articles I did read and did enjoy reading and think you can learn from. You know the drill.

But before I get into those articles, I want to include a blog posting written about yours truly, ME, and my work space. I credit the amazing Katie G., who was here, visiting that weekend, and took the picture of my messy, messy space with me in it and the wonderful Stephanie of Metalicious, who also happens to be a member of my Etsy Team, The {NewNew}.  The article, titled, “Workspace Wednesday: Featuring S2 Stationery and Design” is from May, so really should be included in the May Favorites issue of this blog, but since I’m late with April and the posting came out yesterday and it is about ME, I decided to just include it in April’s. It makes perfect sense to me even if not to you. {Insert image of me sticking out my tongue at you, reader who disagrees.}  I think it’s a wonderfully done article and getting Stephanie’s kind words are just the encouragement I need. Thank you, Stephanie!

Now on to my favorite’s of April:

BUSINESS:

Mogul Mom and her article about comedians sharing rather than competing got me REALLY thinking about how businesses can really band together and learn from the simple concept of sharing. I know as a female I’ve often times wondered how much more awesome women would be if we stopped hating each other based on looks and instead decided to share our secrets, history, and lessons with each other.  I don’t just mean sex story swaps either,  I mean, debt story swaps and heartbreak swaps. After all, this is the basis behind any good knitting group or book club, so why not in small business/entrepreneur endeavors? This article made me so happy to have my community of fellow {NewNew}ers because we already do something like this. But what if I got together with another group of stationery makers and created a group where we could share and complain and partner together? Not something that can’t be done, but definitely something that MORE of us should be considering. http://www.themogulmom.com/2011/04/bonding-over-business/

This is a FREE ebook from the wonderful Megan Auman of Crafting an MBA. It is her best articles from the site. I actually have many of them already in my “light reading” binder for S2 inspiration, but I highly recommend that you read this thoroughly and share amongst your friends and family and anyone else trying to make a go of entrepreneurship. Also check out her site. It’s well, great. http://craftmba.com/downloads/bestofcraftmba.pdf

This is incredibly important for all entrepreneurs. I know, especially as a designer that we can get hung up on things such as how perfect our logo is and the reality is that a logo should be noticeable and stand out a bit, but it shouldn’t consume the real nuts and bolts of your business. Megan shares her thoughts here. She rocks! http://www.craftmba.com/2011/04/25/promote-your-product-not-your-logo/

I’d like  a cupcake right now. To eat. Not to learn from. But I did learn a few things from this article. Enjoy!  http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/12269/Marketing-Lessons-From-the-Cupcake.aspx

YOU:

Successful businesses are caused by a variety of different things, but ultimately it comes down to YOU. This article really was a jolt for me to stop being unmotivated or unhappy about things not moving in the direction I want them to, when I want them. Maybe it’ll help you, too: http://rowdykittens.com/2011/04/fearless/

How do you keep the excitement? Chris can tell you how! http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/opening-night/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1a6rhPMhosnt7W

Yoga! It is the way to go! And it can help in so many ways and places as you’ll find out. http://www.good.is/post/how-yoga-can-improve-your-looks-and-your-sex-life

THIS article of all the articles is important. What happens when YOU (or ME) don’t have the motivation, or believe that another road is the best road, or better yet that we’re not good enough?  What happens when we just stop? When I’m down, I realize I have to feel the feelings, but then I need to get back up and move because life can be tough, if we let it.http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/the-starving-artist-solves-the-problem/?awt_l=8ByzZ&awt_m=1ZED7h6kpsnt7W#comments

Ah, what is it about O Magazine? I know I’ve written about how inspiring I find Oprah Mag, and once again, it left me breathless. This article is a MUST read for anyone and everyone. Please, share it with everything you know and love. We all have people and situations and even ourselves that we have to forgive. This article will help you take steps to learn forgiveness.  http://www.oprah.com/health/How-to-Forgive-Others-Health-Benefits-of-Forgiveness-Fred-Luskin

CREATIVITY:

Remember how I took a calligraphy class? Well, this article talks about the art of learning handwriting and why it’s so important to not just give into the touch screens and key pads of your electronic gadgets. Another way to think of it that your brain will thank you later! http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/04/handwriting-is-a-21st-century-skill/237998/

I present, “A 12-Step Guide to Fostering Your Creativity” from Mashable because sometimes even us creative types need a refresher on exploring + channeling creativity.  http://mashable.com/2011/04/12/creativity-guide/

TRAVEL/INSPIRATION:

I read a blog by Sherry Ott pretty regularly. Her website is called Ott’s World and she is a nomadic traveler and photographer. She once sat in a cube, but for the past four years has been wandering, learning and sharing her experiences via blog and photos. She’s got amazing talent and I love reading her updates. With that said, she is part of this great and FREE ebook called: “Around the World with 40 Lonely Planet Bloggers”. She shared it with her readers just the other day and so now I’m sharing it with you. (If you like what you see, I suggest you check out Ms. Sherry and learn about her amazing decision to do the Mongol Rally 2011 to help raise money for Christina Noble Children’s Foundation, a charity helps homeless and abandoned children of Mongolia.)  The book inspires me in more ways that I can tell you and I thought it might do the same for you.  http://media.lonelyplanet.com/pdfs/Around_the_world_40_Lonely_Planet_Bloggers.pdf

Travel far and wide, never forgetting to learn along the way!  That’s my motto.  Happy May! More posts soon.

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