4 Ways to Keep your Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive

It’s a busy day today. What I really wanted to do today was help my wife’s business to reach an online market. I also really need to sand off three layers of ghastly paint off the outdoor setting. I am also waiting for the child inside my wife to make that final decision to enter this world!

But what I really wanted to was find inspiration for my wife and I to keep our business spirit focused. Some might find this odd – yet because we both run small businesses, and as our lives are getting more frantic – particularly with a baby on the way – I find it important for both of us to stay inspired.

Cooking with my Pregnant Wife

Yet I do all the reading, learning, applying and doing. That’s OK:  The baby is her most important focus right now. I get that. I’m looking forward to reading and cuddling!

So I turn to the internet where a plethora of people and their sites provide enough to keep me going!

So my late morning was spent reading and gathering information. I wanted to ensure the article followed a theme, so was impressed to find a group of articles that each provided four main ways for both online and real-world entrepreneurs to stay active and focused, and that every online entrepreneur should be applying to their business (and) life.

Read on to discover what I have learned today:

Four Important Lessons for every Entrepreneur

1. Do one thing extraordinarily well, and don’t apologize for it.
2. Aesthetics matter.
3. Ride the wave.
4. Leverage the unexpected.

Visit the workingsolo.com to read the details of each lesson.

Five Questions Social Entrepreneurs Need to ask of Themselves

1. Are you willing to bootstrap?
2. Can you look down the road?
3. Is failure an option?
4. Do you know your limitations?

5. Can you build a team? This last only applies to those who are not flying solo!

Visit the forbes.com to explore each question.

Telescopic View

Lessons learned from Quotes by Albert Einstein

1. “Try not to become a man of success, but try rather to be a man of value.”
2. “Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
3. “It would be better if you begin to teach others only after you yourself have learned something.
4. “I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.”

You gotta admit, those four quotes are enough to remind yourself that it is not the making of money that makes you a success, it is the creation of yourself and your business that breeds success.

Visit thenextweb.com to expand on each lesson.

Four Critical Traits of every Entrepreneur

These are so true! Without these, you are only being a business person. An entrepreneur is willing to help others around them, and possibly at their own expense without any financial gain.

1. Look for ways to make a difference.
2. Follow that overwhelming desire to take action.
3. Exert your influence as much as possible.
4. Help other would-be entrepreneurs.

Read the whole article by Glen Blickenstaff at inc.com to understand why these traits are important.

That is all for day – and it should be enough to hold you over until next week! To close off, watch this video to stay inspired.


Water-Drop vs Baby Photography

Whilst I wish I could find time to lift my camera to my eye, I am using my eyes to either sleep before the baby arrives OR to read about interesting photo techniques that I would really like to try one day.

Camera Strap Idea - S6 Tonight I stumbled upon Shayne Gray through Tumblr.com. Shayne has very easy-to-read tutorials explaining how easy Water Drop Photography can be for any level of photographer. This fun and interestting photo style I have read about before, but Shayne shows how easy it is to setup and do in the safety of your own kitchen.

Once you have read that, go check out how you can shoot a splashing strawberry at high speed! Shayne recommended this site that holds additional tutorials in highspeed photography which are great information!

That’s it for now. I expect I won’t get a chance to try any of these water-experiments until late July 2012 at the absolute earliest. Most likely between tomorrow (the due date of my first child) and then, I will be photographing bubbsie-wubbse getting fed, bathed and dressed in cute outfits as she/he grows out of them. Sorry, the wife has barred me from publishing those photos online. But if you are a current friend of mine on Facebook, you have a very good chance of seeing a few photographs. Stay connected and watch out for them.

The Intangible Benefit of Giving

In my last post I said I would write a poem each night throughout April. Turns out I write best when the incident or reason is recent and raw. So when the following happened last night, I wrote out the details during the train-ride home. Tonight, rather than poetry, I am writing a short story. Like any good short story, both the middle and the end relate to the beginning.

I gave about $5 to a homeless guy about 7pm last night, almost by accident. He quietly shuffled beside me as I was waiting the the North Terrace tram-crossing. There was I dressed in my corporate attire, and him wearing a combination of various attires.

Fresh Vegetables Hey Buddy, can you spare a few dollars. I need something to eat.”

I looked at him, looked at my new Crumpler bag – then reached in and brought out my coin-bag.

Put out your hand. Whatever falls out is yours.” … I poured out almost $5 in silver coins.

He was happy, and I must admit to feeling quite proud of myself. I give as often as I can, because NOW I can. I don’t earn a lot, but I remember when I earned a heck of a lot less.

I remember the time in my life when…

  • unemployment-benefits was my main source of income – for almost eight years!
  • … the fortnightly payment being just enough that the bank would fine me for having so little in my account. I thought I would never win.
  • … eating 5-minute noodles every night of the week, and sometimes for breakfast. At COLES, the more you buy, the less you pay. Bulk prices rock!
  • … I was invited to go scrounging in a COLES dumpster with a guy who claimed you can find amazing stuff or expired cans of food! You can, but you don’t want to keep nor eat it. (And the best I ever found was a miniature pine Xmas tree.)

Yet when I had next-to-nothing, I still managed to push myself every day. I found a way to get a cheap jacket, pair of slacks, shoes, shirt, and brief-case so I could look decent each day when I visited the job-centre looking for that illusive job. The brief-case rarely had anything in it – except my ever-growing CV and a bottle of water.

Bag of Lemons I was invited to atend all the free training and courses available at the Commonwealth-employment-service: clerical, computing, retail. Some proved superfluous before the ink dried on the certificate. I attended interesting finance courses. Futures marketing is most interesting when geeks with worse suits sit than me .

And in the end I got offered a 3 week temp job with a government department. I am now a 14-year veteran. After 13years of doing an interesting variety of duties within 3 roles, I now have a job that challenges me, actually enables closure of some of my tasks (whereby I can say at the end of a day or week that something actually changed because of my suggestion, teamwork or autonomous work/input).

So every so often I give of myself.
I give up 5 hours a fortnight to the govt, and I don’t care. Sometimes a job just has to get done.  I give a free smile and ‘Hello ‘ to anyone who serves me Coles where I used to buy my $10-pack-of-5 noodles. And when I am somewhat-sure the money isn’t going to buy drugs, I give a homeless guy money for dinner.

Lunch with Mentors = Motivation & Money

Mellissah Smith has written a great post with which I wholeheartedly agree : Never Eat Alone

The best line from the article is…

A lunch date with someone can change your outcomes.

Bar Balcony @ Hotel-Richmond, Rundle Mall I find that lunch with friends is often a simple way to get motivated. Being able to talk through one’s ideas, thoughts and any general chit-chat is a great way to both vent one’s mind and then refresh and rebuild.

I take every opportunity to have lunch with a local entrepreneur whom I call my ‘mentor’ (though he doesn’t really know that).

We use the opportunity to share our current and future goals, then discuss where things might be modified or amended. If the opportunity arises or is deemed necessary, we combine forces to complete ideas.

So I agree with the sentiment that lunch equals money, but I primarily use the time to stay motivated!

That being said, I also enjoy quiet time to mull over ideas. Not mull in a bad way, but so as to think through new ideas to determine if they are cost effective, ethical (and I mean in line with both my own ethics plus to some degree what society deems morally acceptable) and what I really want to do.

Being able to step out of oneself to see the ramifications of a new venture is always important. Asking yourself if you really want to do a thing is vital when in the startup stage; There is nothing worse than being halfway through a project to discover that the result is not what you had in mind at the beginning.

That’s my two cents for the day. Check out Mellisah’s site, she has many articles worth reading! This is one that has reminded me to stay motivated!

Any Interest Yet?

Is anyone pinning stuff from your web site? Have you been noticed, pinned, pined after, appreciated, venerated and been given the free promotion you feel you deserve? Apparently you can find out fairly easily:


For those who are utilising Pinterest to push products from other people’s sites, and least of all your own (cause the contract implies you shouldn’t do that), you should check if others are promoting your products, your photography, your business, your sense of humor.

Simply insert the URL of your site where I have put question marks. Remember to include the ‘http://www.‘ but not with wordpress blogs.

There you have it. Don’t worry if you find nothing. Whilst the term ‘reciprocal linkage‘ is still quite foreign to many, you will find that many people will eventually.

Alternatively, particularly if you are male, utilise http://gentlemint.com/ to find stuff that takes your interest and makes it more …well … manly. Mainly.

ABD #24

Using String in Photography

Some of you would have seen the following photographs within my last article ‘Online Therapy: How Blogging can be Beneficial‘ ; Others would have seen them upon my ‘Facebook Fan Page‘ ; and others would have seen through upon my ‘Flickr Gallery‘.

Either way, here they are again, including the descriptions that I published upon Flickr. Just figured a few more people might be curious to know what my thought process was for creating these two very unique and eclectic photographs!

Tied Ham Whilst doing a series of self portraits, I was checking out things in my office I could use as props. When I stumbled upon a ball of string, my head did somersaults on the possibilities.

When my mind was reminded of the string on a ham, I realised what I had to do:

Being the ham I sometimes am, I tied myself up.

I was going to tie it all around me, but it was starting to get painful at this point, and I was getting dizzy (as I was turning around to wind the string around me).

As I had lost all sense of direction, and my eyes were tied shut, I had to slowly turn to pick up the remote trigger!

When I finally did find it, I fired it once, turned toward the light and took two more shots before I unwound the string.

Self portraits can be quite painful!

Cable Tied
Yeah, my weird mind in action. Upon finding an power cable, I decided to replicate the string idea but on a grander scale.

This time I used one hand to wind it around myself, entrapping one hand with the remote-trigger. Starting at the ankles and heading up, I quickly found myself quite entangled. The professional in me wound it all around my neck, around my head, covering my eyes. I was pleasantly surprised when the male-end of the plug draped over my shoulder. Added the authenticity that it was truly a power-cable!.

Converting to a triptych was an afterthought in post-production. Gotta laugh at my ideas!

There you have it. More are on the way, though the next lot are not nearly so fantastic, yet still me. Because I’m into self-portraits at the moment. (Why? Because models are so difficult to find, particularly those that are willing to be subjected like this!)