Monthly Archives: November 2012

You Don’t Get to Decide When You Die – Live Accordingly

These are some rough sketches that my dad did for me. I think he’s an incredibly talented artist who’s creativity has been oppressed by other responsibilities. I hope to incorporate his artwork into this blog and eventually offer prints and original paintings for sale to help keep you motivated through your hardships. Whether it’s making it through the day, growing a business, getting out of debt, or creating the life that you have always wanted. Or a combination of a bunch of things.

We waste a lot of time. Doing something tomorrow or one day turns into doing it never. We think we have a lot of time and that we’ll live for many more years but the truth is, we don’t really know. We don’t know when we’ll die. Part of what makes life exciting is not knowing the answer to that question. But it also makes us take a lot of things for granted. We don’t really live as if we’re dying.

But we are. We die a little more each day until our time is up. Don’t be afraid to live the life you’ve always wanted to live until its too late. Life is for living, not for working. There’s more to life than spending most of your life working in a building being surrounded by people that you probably didn’t choose to be around. You should spend more time with friends and family and not your annoying co-workers who don’t add value to your life.

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Bob Dylan is One Smart Dude

This quote resonates with me particularly well because I totally agree. This is the lifestyle that I’m searching and yearning for. It’s why my priorities are what they are.  It’s the reason for this blog.

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Business Advice to a Friend

A friend of mine wants to create an online furniture store and a few of the questions he had were:

  • How do I turn it into a legal entity.
  • How do I deal with copyright issues if I want to use the same name of a company that’s in a different industry?
  • How should I get the word out and promote the blog?
  • Is there anything else I should think about?

I figured others would have the same questions so this is why I’m posting my brief conversation with him.

* * *

First and foremost, I suggest that you turn your venture into a legal entity other than yourself. This turns most of the liability and risk involved to your business instead of your personal self. If someone sues you, they can only go after your business’ assets instead of your own like your house, car, etc.

If you will be the only owner, I suggest you become a sole-proprietor limited liability corporation (LLC.) Along with the protection against possibly getting sued, you get tax breaks and a resale number/tax ID number that you can use to get supplies and other stuff at wholesale prices.

We used our accountant to set everything up for us. There is a specific site for each state to do it as well. Sunbiz.org is the site for Florida. A little exploring and you should be able to find one for Pennsylvania. There is a fee to renew your entity each year. This varies from state to state I think.

I’ve heard that legalzoom.com is a good place to set things up but haven’t used it myself so can’t tell you what I think about it.

I have no idea what the copyright issues would be if you try to use the same name as another company that is in another industry. That’s something you’d probably want to ask a copyright lawyer about. They are expensive so have you thought about maybe using another name to avoid the issue altogether?

Once you have a legal entity set up, I’d suggest creating a PayPal account to make it easy to do accounting for the business and create an easy way for customers to pay you.

I’d use godaddy.com to buy a domain. We’ve used it for all of ours and it’s a rather simple process….if the domain is available. The domain should be as simple as possible, something catchy, something easy to remember, or better yet, a combination of all 3.

Next you’ll want to find a site to create your store with. We use shopify.com for our original store. Rather simple but a bit pricy. Thebigcartel.com is cheap but you can’t do as much. Etsy.com would probably be a good site as you’ll be making handcrafted furniture and such. That’s what I was going to use for my furniture store. I’ve heard good things about the community as well.

You’ll definitely want to have a blog along with the site. I wouldn’t suggest Facebook as it whores itself out to companies for money. I get bad vibes from companies who promote on FB and personally pay no attention to them. A waste of money if you ask me.

I’d definitely create a Tumblr as people like to reblog pics and what not. Talk to your followers, ask them their interests, why they follow, etc etc. Be a person; not a company.

Look into thefancy.com and pinterest.com as well. You could create usernames on these or you could just have people post your pics and stuff on these sites because they want to. Focus all your attention on a social network or not at all. Twitter is ok but I’m not much of a fan. You’ll just have to test it out for yourself. It could be a good way to network with other furniture builders and learn from them.

You’ll definitely, definitely want to have great pictures of your furniture and goods.

Don’t ever pay for advertising. Let things grow organically through word of mouth.

You’ll need to figure out how you’re going to ship and with which provider. We use the Postal Service 99% of the time and have hardly had any issues.

Packaging is something that you’ll want to think about as well. Everything is intertwined when you build a brand and shitty packaging won’t help.

Pricing is another interesting point which will take another day lol.

Recommended readings:

$100 Start Up by Chris Guillebeau

Trust Agents by Julien Smith and Chris Brogan

* * *
We’ll probably be exchanging more messages so stay tuned to see how things turn out. Do you have any other suggestions or tips for him?

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Where is Your Current Path Leading You?

Life is linear.

It’s full of cause and effect.

Everything happens for a reason.

What you put in is what you’ll get out.

 

I ask myself the following questions everyday when I’m on my lunch break at work:

  • Why am I here?
  • What am I doing this for?
  • Do I want to do this for the rest of my life?

I can’t answer the first 2 questions yet, but the last question is always answered by a resounding “NO WAY.”

I had a meeting with my manager last week and he said that I can do whatever I want within the company because I definitely have the skill set to do so. I take that as a great compliment but do I really want to do whatever I want within the company? Do I want to turn into him?

My best guess is that he’s in his sixties. I know he has gout which affects him greatly. I know he’s on salary so he gets the same wage regardless of how many hours he works. He’s working 50 hours next week which means he opens and closes everyday.

I hate working 35 hours a week and opening and closing the same day twice a week.

What he’s doing isn’t called living; it’s called working way too fuckin much. I often wonder, “why is he doing it?” or “why can’t he retire yet?”

Everyone I work with is miserable. One guy keeps on having kids because he gets 3 months of paternity leave. I wish I was joking…

Two other people constantly wonder if they’ll get fired soon. Another is trying to get a job somewhere else. Another is around 50 and is still living paycheck to paycheck.

I don’t want to turn into these people. I don’t want to live to work and work to live. I want to enjoy living, meet interesting people, and experience incredible things throughout the world. I don’t want to wait until I “retire” either.

I won’t have the opportunity with this job. I won’t have the time. I might have the money but I won’t have the health.

How about you? Where will you be in a few years if you continue on the same path? In 10 years?

* * *

If you’re scared shitless at that question like I am, stay tuned to the blog. I’m getting everything together to do a complete relaunch at the beginning of next year. Until then, stay positive and keep moving forward.

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