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27. Quote Dissection 1

Photo by Rohan Makhecha; Quote by Nelson Mandela

I’m going to add something new to my blog: quote dissections. As you are already aware of, I like to use quotes, and sometimes a few words can have powerful meanings.

So I am going to dissect them.

Today’s quote rings true with a lot of things. We live in a society where people are judged by the first appearance, the first handshake; that instant moment where you are superficially sized up.

Not everyone who has a weak handshake is a pushover.

Not everyone who seems distracted isn’t on the ball.

And not everything deemed impossible is actually impossible.

Waaaay back in the day, people might have not imagined that everyone would have access to a computer, whether desktop, laptop, tablet, or cell phone, or even a smart watch. Now, computers are everywhere.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day, people might have not thought there was anything better than a candle for light. Then along came some great discoveries and inventions, and now, whola!, you can flip a switch and light up a whole room.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day, people dreamed of a way to transport heavy materials, or just anything really, without the slow trudge of dragging it on the ground. Then one day, someone invented the wheel, and we’ve been building off that awesome idea for quite some time now.

People think something is impossible because they don’t have the solution; they can’t see the answer. 

Some people dare to conceive an answer, and bring it to life, to change the way society perceives something, even if it is just a better way to make a product.

Here’s to the dreamers: to them impossible is just a word and has no bearing on reality.

What are you dreaming about?

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26. Changes

Business is about strategy, and strategy requires trying new things to see what works best.

If you notice on my website, I have made some changes to the style, and have added a store. I’m in the process of incorporating my Black Cat Scribbles store, my Teazzed store, and my own organizational tidbits that I am in the process of gearing up.

This might be a temporary change, it might be permanent. But I am going to try it out and see how it goes. The other websites, http://www.BlackCatScribbles.com and http://www.Teazzed.com, will stay up for the foreseeable future.

Because sometimes you have to test a strategy to find the best approach. Let’s see what happens.

Feel free to look around and buy some products!

Edit: Yes the picture quote was wrong the first time around. I don’t catch everything, but I am working on it ;).

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25. Feedback

Photo by Neven Krcmarek; Quote found on Pinterest

Feedback is always appreciated. When I get criticism or evaluated, I always look at it as a chance to improve. I may not have the same opinions as the criticizer, but I will look into whatever the complaint is about.

Now, if you totally snub your nose at my stuff without having even looked at it, or just want to start an argument, I might take offense. I once was studying for a graduate school entrance exam and a teacher walked by, saw that I was doing math, and told me in front of other students that I should be more advanced than looking at geometry. She just glanced at one section, thought it was too mundane, and voiced her opinion without gathering more data.

So let’s amend this a little: feedback is appreciated when done in a nice, non-condescending manner, and you have actually looked at their stuff.

Bottom line: accept feedback graciously and adjust things if you want to. You can’t please everybody, but the more pleasing your stuff is, the more customers you might get.

So tell me, dear readers, what constructive feedback have you been given over the years that has helped you the most?

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24. This too shall pass

Photo by Darius Bashar; Quote found on Pinterest

Last month I sat down at my computer to do some marketing for http://www.BlackCatScribbles.com, and I had my breakfast shake with me. It was left over from the previous school year, but I had been having a shake occasionally from my leftover stash so I could concentrate on getting stuff done.

On this particular day nothing was out of the ordinary: I woke up feeling refreshed, did my usual morning stuff, and made my way to the computer. I would work for a few hours, then go pick fruit from my husband’s fruit trees.

I open my shake to take a sip

                                                           and was immediately greeted by solidified liquid.

I almost threw up.

Quickly leaving the study, I made it to the kitchen sink and rinsed my mouth out multiple times with water. After that stale, expired taste left my mouth, I settled on some oatmeal for breakfast instead.

Sometimes, things look okay and they are not okay.

Not everything presented to you, whether personal, business, or just random ideas, will be the best to pursue. Always take everything with a grain of salt, weigh the options, and decide on what’s best for you. I try to wait at least a day before deciding something, and I also try to never make any major decisions when I feel bad. If it doesn’t have to be decided right then and there, it won’t kill you to wait at least a few hours. Then after the emotional strings of that decision option have faded a little, you can decide whether or not to pursue with a more rational mindset.

As for me, I decided to not immediately throw away all the shakes I had left, and waited until the next day to check the expiration dates on the remaining ones. And you know what—there was one or two left that I could still drink.

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23. Project updates

Photo by Jeremy Lapak; Quote by Walt Disney

2 updates on projects:

That new invention idea I’ve been working on quietly in the background, the one with the headphones, has failed yet again. I’m pretty sure my theory is sound, I just need a good way to implement it. It’s a pretty cool idea that could be super beneficial, if it would just stop not working (said every inventor ever). One day it will work, and then everything will be awesome for a couple hours, before another obstacle rears its head.

For Teazzed, I’d been putting it on the backburner lately, because I was getting my book finalized. But I recently got back to it and redid the website and am gearing up to do some marketing. It is so cool to be able to make tea brewed to completion in about 30 seconds. I take my straw a lot of places, and especially on trips, so I don’t have to worry about making tea the old-fashioned way. Feel free to mosey on over and check out the new design: http://www.Teazzed.com

What are you currently pursuing dear readers?

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22. A little touch up

Photo by Danielle Macinnes; Quote by C. J. Cherryh

When I was doing freelance writing more often, I came across some bad writers. People actually sent me stuff that looked like it went through a grammar shredding machine. Those projects took a lot longer to polish and get back on track.

Some people had better grammar and sentence structure skills, and I could put together their stuff—editing, resumes, etc.—in a much shorter time frame.

Some people are better at business too. I would love to tell you I am a business master, but truth is, there are people out there that are better and have been doing it longer. But with the right research, learning, and polishing, hopefully I will be one of those people someday.

If your just starting pursuing something, or aren’t hitting the six figures you thought you would, don’t fret too much just yet. Keep polishing, keep learning, and hopefully you’ll land where you want too.

Keep going, dear readers.

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21. First Impressions

Photo by Patrick Tomasso; Quote by Charles de Lint

Many moons ago when I wrote my first novel and went to a writer’s conference to try to get picked up by an agent, I had to come up with a pitch to sell it. At the time, I thought that meant a summary of my work, and so I came up with this paragraph summary and told it to a few agents.

I did not get any follow-ups or returns for my inquiries.

What I didn’t understand is that a pitch is how an elevator ride is supposed to be: quick. It also needs to be attention grabbing and get the other person hooked on the concept, eager to know more.

Here are two examples of some great hooks I have read over the years:

“The hammer rang against the nail, piercing skin, cutting vessels. It rang against the nail, piercing muscle, chipping bone. It rang against the nail, anchoring arm to rough-hewn wood. It rang. It rang. It rang.” –The Visitation by Frank Peretti

 “Amanda Green died for a cigarette.”—Body Bags by Christopher Golden.

Now I strive to make things simple, grabby, and get people to keep my business card when I hand it to them, or keep reading my stories. Not everyone will be interested; the goal is to get most people interested, and thus, more sales, and ultimately, more money. It’s the opening act, and you want people to stay for the show.

Here is an opening sequence from one of my stories in Black Cat Scribbles Vol. 1:

“There is a creature that watches me shower. It has one large blood red eye with no eyelashes and five legs. It looks like a mutated spider that has seen hard times. The creature stares at me with the intensity of a predator hunting its prey, yet it hangs motionless, suspended by webbing from the ceiling.” –Sunday

Check out Black Cat Scribbles Vol. 1 at http://www.BlackCatScribbles.com.

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20. Kitties!

Okay, I have waited long enough to introduce you to some of the loves of my life: my kitties!

Here is Tiger:

And here is Rambo:

Aren’t they the cutest? Cats are awesome. I grew up with tons of barn cats, and one even followed me while I hiked to nearby places. I loooove cats. There is a reason cats have taken over the Internet people!

Tiger likes to go on walks sometimes, and I take him out on a leash (just short walks in the front or backyard). We found him abandoned in our boat when we moved into our current house. He was sooo tiny his eyes still weren’t opened, and I bottle fed him until he was able to eat regular cat food. Now he likes to follow me around when I do stuff around the house, investigates everything I do, and always demands to sit in any new box.

We got Rambo a year later from a neighbor a few streets down. He had parasites in his stool, and I took him to the vet and got him squared away. I put him in a large cage so Tiger could get used to him (Rambo was tiny, but older than when we first got Tiger), and Rambo had so much energy he practically climbed the sides of the cage!

Soon the kitties were allowed to play with each other, and now they wrestle and snuggle and are great brothers. Cats are the best 😊.

Oh, and by the way, my husband is a dog lover. Here are his dogs, Emma and Sammy:

We can talk about them some other time.

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19. Driving thoughts

Photo by Adrian; Quote found on Pinterest

I used to drive a lot for work, when I was adjuncting at multiple colleges in the area. I drove maybe 3 or 4 thousand miles a month sometimes. It didn’t bother me that much, because I actually love car rides. I tend to think really well in the car and like to connect the dots on ideas I’ve been toying around with. These are great times to come up with keywords for Google searches.

Sometimes, driving home late at night, my imagination sees connections that I was too busy to see previously, and my thoughts dance around, building bridges. I’m not the fastest thinker, but given enough time I can break down any subject with the best of them (thank you Internet for the loads of information to answer ponderings).

Sometimes strategy and pivots take a while too. I usually have long term and short term goals running side by side on my agenda. Check off enough short-term goals and I end up reaching my long-term goal. What’s working, what’s not working, and what I need to do next to get to my long-term goal.

Everybody talks about making a lot of money, but I consider that my end goal: I have several other goals I need to achieve to get there. I want to strategize well enough to learn along the way and eventually hit that end goal.

What do you tend to think about a lot? What are some goals you have set for yourself, or for your business?

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18. Falling down and getting back up

You know how everybody tells you to cheer up when your down? They say stuff like, “Everything will work out,” or “Just don’t worry about it.”

Well, truth be told: I believe it’s okay to feel down sometimes. Sometimes things don’t work out and it’s okay to be bummed about it—it’s a natural reaction. What’s not okay is to let it drag you down so low that you quit your job and spend the next 3 months doing nothing but eating potato chips on the couch all day long.

Not only is this not healthy, it’s counterproductive. Take some time to be down about whatever happened, then get back up. Keep fighting. Didn’t get hired? There are sooo many other companies out there. Didn’t land that big sale you were counting on? Maybe there is a bigger fish swimming your way.

I came up with a new prototype for Teazzed recently, and my partner immediately shot it down. Just flat out said it won’t work. We had a discussion about it, and I got bummed that he wasn’t on board and didn’t see any potential. So I moped about it for a couple hours, then he reminded me about all the other leads we had going on, and eventually I decided to focus on those while taking the prototype back to the drawing board.

Not everything is a win; not everything is gold (though if you have the golden touch—email me immediately). Just because you come up with an idea or strategy or some other thing you think is awesome does not mean it will change the world. Take everything in stride. Homeostasis.

But who knows? Maybe I can get this prototype to work and something will come from it. If not, it’s just another concept I get to learn from.

Stay tuned, dear readers.