August 06, 2004

possibilities

Quote of the Day: At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.

Today, as I engaged in vibrant dialog with a business associate I was meeting over coffee for the first time, the creative energy flow was palpable. It wasn't the caffeine and it was fanned by our laughter. It was marvelous as we explored possible synergies in a working partnership.

I thought about how great possibilities seem in the explorative stage of a project or relationship or business engagement. The less one has ventured in, the less doors have shut, fewer ideas have been quashed, and less passion has been squandered. Conversely, the more experience one has with a thing, the more expertise on a topic, the more safe and stodgy one tends to becomes. Safety kills in marketing.

I started Fresh Air Studio because all my life, I've been able to do what I'm passionate about. That passion is fueled by seeing alternate possibilities in the way marketers interact with customers. That passion is sustained by never being afraid of fresh thinking and consideration of fresh ideas whether they are mine, someone else's or never been done before.

That's why I chose the tagline: fresh ideas - fresh approach - fresh results. Because on the other side of possibilities are fresh ideas realized, breakthroughs, and high-impact results. That's my vision. It just happens to be my passion, too.

August 05, 2004

top 10 list

From the home office in Des Moines, Iowa, the top 10 reasons to try working from home:

10. It's fun to read the comments the cat has added to your proposal after she stepped slllowwwly across your keyboard.
9. You can finally drink 8 glasses of water a day because the bathroom is just one door down from the office.
8. The cute Indian children next door jabbering in Hindi are almost as intelligible as that market researcher droning on and on about their data collection methodology.
7. No one pops their head in your cube to ask you to turn down CNN.
6. You can paint your fingernails and review client material at the same time.
5. You never lose your place in the "corporate parking lot" when returning from lunch.
4. No one complains that your Farside calendar or the taped-up Boondocks cartoon is not politically correct.
3. No mega-monstrosity-printer paper jam holding your report hostage in the stapler, sorter, collator thingamajiggy.
2. Your can get both business and personal email without any corporate snooper snooping in on the fun, and
1. When you spill salsa on your pants at lunch, you are just steps away from a clean pair.

Yet, despite all these great reasons, I shall footle the day away as I celebrate the outright courage of turning 46! (Word of the day courtesy my wise friend Scott. Isn't it scary what HR guys know?!) Wanna know what footle means? Click on the hyperlink, I say. Otherwise, web footle is best found at Footle.com: an index of user-written reviews, views and comments about books, film, music and cool things web. Ciao!

August 04, 2004

slide and glide

As I feel conviction, creativity and confidence pulse thru, I am reminded that if you do what you love, you will love what you do. I love the life energy that flows when a few time "compartments" dropped off the map. There isn't a time to get ready for work, commute time, endless meetings time and personal time off. I have a whole, integrated life. I love my home office. I don't begrudgingly step into a laminated cubicle with corporate cafeteria coffee, I glide on my purple goody goody shoes (#1181) and start the day with my favorite ritual -- Henry's coffee, shot of Toriani Hazelnut, steamed milk, splash of cinnamon and swirl of chocolate.

My time slides purposefully. I can work on a client proposal at 8pm, take a shower at 11am, pickup groceries at 2:30pm and meet a client at 4. I can wear shoes that don't match my shirt in the office. Okay, so it feels great right now. Someday, I'll feel stressed out with a deadline or too much business (or too little) but what I love about it, it's MY life. Not my job. I'm doing what I love.

Today, that means I have to figure out how to structure a retainer agreement with a new client (yippee), price a proposal and determine how much of my time I should devote to a cool opp to work as an associate with a great SF marketing consulting firm. Yeah it's scary qualifying clients and opportunities for myself and not for some MegaEmployer. It's personal. But I don't dread any bit of it -- business development, proposals, execution -- it's all in one happy daily flow.

It also means this is my goddamn P&L -- for better or worse. It goes in my business checking, it goes out. I'm kinda proud of my discipline in keeping upfront expenses in line. Printing brochures on my printer "on demand" instead of upfront production. Forgoing Quickbooks (for now) while using Excel in a manner my husband marvels he has never seen. I'm thrilled my accounts receivables for work in July are already all paid except for one invoice (may THAT luck continue!).

Word of the Day: So (take note Scott) today's word courtesy Scott Johnson @ feedster.com is: neo-maxie-zoon-dweebie meaning the highest notch on the comparison scale. As in, I'm having a neo-maxie-zoon-dweebie day!

August 03, 2004

here it goes

Blog this, I kept telling myself. I usually capture the fabric of life thru poetry and photography. It seemed too sappy to write poetry about starting my own business. Short of a webcam showing the incredibly boring detail of cats at my feet while I design business cards, brochures and do business development -- a blog seemed the best way to capture the raw sinews of this endeavor. After all, this isn't a private event. Trusting myself enough to hang out my own shingle -- sell me, create my own business model, pricing, and services isn't something that will be successful in a vaccuum. I want to shout from the rafters, I'm here here, are you ready for me?

I designed my logo along with my biz card, brochure, letterhead, contracts and all the other documents I'll need to interact with clients. I wanted the logo, colors and tagline to convey creativity, structure and to imply you can be confident in doing business with me. Hope it kicks butt.