Thursday, May 6

1 2 3...Breathe...Breathe.

Yes this week my theme and topic is the art of breathing.

When I work out I have to focus on my breathing for the sake of control over the weight, my movement and my health (so I do not pass out). This is so important to any athlete while practicing or participating in his/her sport. So why should it not be that important in the building and growth of my business...

I have again taking time away from my business duties, such as blogging, creating and moving forward because I was suffocating in the here and now of that time. I started selling my cards on in 2008 and before I knew it I was making more cards then I was selling. I had a mess of material in one corner of my bedroom, driving my now fiancee' insane. At that time I didnt think she understood my desire, passion and goal in this craft... But as time went on I later found that it was me who didnt understand this business/industry. I was always told your first year you will most defineitly spend more than you make because you are building the business, but when the second year came to a close I noticed I was still doing the same thing, spending more then I made. I did craft shows, craft show promotions, joined teams, blogged with teams and FREE give-a-ways whenever and however I could, anything to get my name and product in the hands and faces of people.

So...I got myself prepared to re-focus on business.
My first step was to re-do my business plan. With the experinece(s) I have had in the previous years I knew more what I wanted, what my purpose was and how I wanted to get things done.

My second step was to focus and breathe...I began to again search my competiton and see what have they been up to. Has their style change? Are their designs still similar and/or the same as when I first enetered the industry.

My third step was to focus on where do I begin after the first 2 steps. So I organized what I already had in stock. Searched for a new craft shows to do this year (summer) and then relisted many of my best designs on This was not the end of it though. I also figured I could not just by and wait on the great creators of to market my goods to other hundrend thousands and/or millions of handmade buyers, I had to get up and go find them. There is nothing wrong with sharing buyers, because that is how business works, but sometimes you need all the focus on you when you are making the presentation. So I have again built a website and working on building that online presence. I am also still out searching for consignment shops and shoop willing to buy wholesale (which is a big long story I will pick up another day).

But through all of that I take a day or two to breathe... Sometimes I just go outside and smell the roses. I just like many of you want this with passion but if you drive yourself crazy when it comes you will not be able to enjoy it...

So BREATHE... 1 2 3 take a step back and BREATHE....

Tuesday, November 17

Business Journal-Day 1

Hey everyone.

I have been away too long. But through my time away from my wonderful blogging (lol) I have learned many new things about myself that has changed the way I think and do business. One of those things was I needed a journal. I wanted to start jotting my day to day/week to week/month to month actions down to be aware of what I am doing and what needed to be done. I am open to comments, ideas and advice if you so choose to share or offer.

So today I started a journal dedicated strictly to my card business. After spending sometime in the Business Library in NYC on 40th and 6th (by Bryant Park) I figured there were things I was not doing or doing but not correctly. Anyway started the journal and jotted down all the things I want to accomplish this month. On the first page I put what my goal was heading into the new year was.

"Have complete paper work for business complete (DBA and so and so). Open business bank account. Grow sales to 30 orders a month. Brand myself (logo) and market, market, market..."

So for November I broke it down like this:

Blog post
Social Networking
Research & Business

With each catagory I wrote what I wanted to do and how I thought I can do it and quick ideas.
So so far so good. Any start is a good start. So keep an eye out to see and hear what I am doing...

Friday, November 13

THE Smartphone War...

Heres a great read I found online about your cellphone. I personally have a Blackberry and love it. Yes it is very addictive, hence the name 'Crackberry', but its because its so easy to use and when running a business you need something that can serve as your assistant not a distraction like the iPhone and all the useless apps and gaming play (not that I would mind having one...LOL)

Great Geek Debates:
iPhone vs. Blackberry
By Curtis Silver
August 11, 2009

There are plenty of smartphones, but only two celebrities. Like other big celebs, they go by one name: Blackberry and iPhone.
Applications recently, a co-worker wrote an application for his Blackberry that would automatically ignore calls to his phone from a particular mail-order steak company. The application allowed him to command his phone to ignore any number he specified. The call still rang through, but was ignored immediately. I found this to be the most helpful application I’ve ever seen.That said, I’ve not been impressed by the application selection the Blackberry offers. While there are some free applications, most are second rate at best and the selection of pay applications isn’t nearly as robust as it should be. The Blackberry App Store is like a pawn shop that only sells used 8-track players.

Application development on the iPhone has been one of the highlights of the device since its inception. Even though there are several hundred useless applications, there are hundreds more to make life easier in the palm of your hand. Like the Remote application that turns your iPhone into a stereo remote so you don’t have to leave the comfy confines of your easy chair.

I have to mention this comment from @tmoney941:"Do you really need an application to help you decide where to eat, how much to tip, where you parked, and what to wear? I’ve got one of those … they’re called wives."

That’s pretty much my sentiment when it comes to most iPhone applications. That aside, due to the overwhelming availability of applications and the encouragement by Apple to design your own, iPhone takes this category by a wide margin. iPhone +1.

Physical Attributes
Early on, the iPhone had a bad reputation for being fragile because of the touchscreen face and slick feel. When dropped on the cement too many times, any phone would eventually break, but the iPhone proved that it actually is quite durable. As long as you don’t drop it on its face. Without anything protecting the glass, you are looking at a shattered iPhone.
The touchscreen and motion sensibility on the iPhone is unmatched by any other touchscreen devices. Bump to exchange contact information, play games by tilting the phone, zoom in with a finger slide motion. It’s simply amazing technology and even the touchscreen Blackberry Storm doesn’t come close. But you still wouldn’t want to drop an iPhone more than once.Since I drop my cellphones a lot, I strolled over to talk to my IT friends about the durability of the Blackberry. They are about split even on which phone they carry. There are either Blackberry phones or iPhones in IT. They are not split on the durability however. Several of them have had to replace their iPhones due to cracked screens. Many of them have dropped their Blackberry over and over with some scratches on the casing. The worst I’ve heard about the damage to a Blackberry is the scratching it gets on the back if you spin it around on the table too many times. Which is just too much fun not to do.Even if it gets run over by a truck the Blackberry still holds its form, avoids cracks and doesn’t lose a key. The Blackberry, built for business and travel, is a durable and strong phone. Blackberry takes this category. Blackberry + 1

The iPhone makes full use of the motion sensor and touchscreen to bring us dynamic games from flight simulators to action games to simple board games. Playing games on the iPhone is a fantastic and handy experience, especially multiplayer games. Plus, as mentioned before, you can design your own games if you have the know-how.Blackberry has Brickbreaker. No contest. iPhone + 1

Personal vs. Business FunctionalityCompanies run Blackberry server products. From the connectivity to Microsoft Exchange server and the ease of mobile e-mail, the Blackberry is far superior to the iPhone. Blackberry was created with business use in mind. While it may have a slower CPU, the Blackberry makes up for it with its office applications. There is a reason it’s nicknamed “the Crackberry.”

When it comes to security on the Blackberry, well, let’s just say it’s secure enough for President Obama to use. Official statement from Blackberry as to the security:
The BlackBerry® Enterprise Solution has been approved for storing and transmitting sensitive data by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as well as government organizations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Austria, Australia and New Zealand.The iPhone has more storage, a faster CPU and more RAM. All great attributes for playing games. As I’ve witnessed at work, the iPhone is the anti-productivity phone. Don’t pretend like you are holier than thou and don’t spend countless work hours downloading apps and playing the new Iron Man game or any of the thousand other games.
Recently, the iPhone became compatible with Exchange Server, which was a huge step toward integrating with business. The iPhone has made great strides in favor of business use. Many businesses are making the switch, however, there are still security concerns with the phone. It also doesn’t help the iPhone for business that it’s only available on AT&T in the United States. Companies like to price shop and AT&T’s service isn’t that great in all areas.
Apple is making strides in the security department, as all new iPhones come equipped with MobileMe, which allows you to find your lost iPhone as well as remotely wipe its memory clean.As for personal usage, the Blackberry is a sturdy and reliable phone. But due to the wide range of applications and amazing graphical interface and selection of games, the iPhone wins the personal use battle by a wide margin.So this category is a draw. Blackberry wins for business use and security, iPhone wins for personal use. Blackberry + 1, iPhone + 1

Never forget the Chuck Norris Factor.
The Chuck Norris factorReally, it all comes down to Chuck Norris, because if he doesn’t like it, he’ll roundhouse kick it out of existence. The Blackberry sports a great game simply called Chuck Norris: Bring on the Pain. Meanwhile, the Apple store rejected a Chuck Norris app, a Chuck Norris joke generator, because they claimed it ridiculed a public figure. Don’t they know that it’s impossible to ridicule Chuck Norris? More importantly, shunning Chuck Norris in whatever format is like challenging Superman to a duel by slapping him with Kyrptonite gloves. Or, it’s like slapping Chuck Norris in the face with your ungloved hand. This round clearly goes to the Blackberry as it’s probably what Chuck Norris is using. Blackberry + 1

The Winner? Final tally: iPhone +3, Blackberry + 3.

Listen, I carry a Blackberry. I’m not going for hip or trendy, I’m going for functionality. I want to be able to check my e-mail at stoplights. I want to be able to picture message without jumping through hoops. When it comes to functioning in the business world and having a practical phone, the Blackberry wins hands down. The iPhone is a fun phone and has a lot of cool features and applications. I really wanted an iPhone, but realized that it was a want. It’s a neat toy, but I can’t see it moving into the business world and becoming what the Blackberry is to business — yet. The best solution I’ve seen so far: Many Blackberry owners I know also have an iPod Touch for all their entertainment and portable gaming needs. So it’s a best of both worlds if you will. I’m sure that waffling answer won’t satisfy the masses.The bottom line is, we’re geeks. Geeks like awesome tech toys and the iPhone is certainly that. From its gaming to its thousands of unique and specific applications, it’s a device that every geek wants to carry even if they already have a Blackberry. So the iPhone gets a +1 for geek factor and wins this debate.Disagree? Agree? Feel free to discuss in the comments. Don’t forget to vote!