Someone sent me a link to a blog written by a writer named Karen who has her own blog at wordsforhire.blogspot.com. In it, she uses my article "Clients or Grinders: The Choice Is Yours" as the jumping-off point to show how some businesses suffer what she calls "welfare mindedness." Her article is quite insightful and I am honored and flattered that my piece inspired her to write her own ideas, found in the article you can read here.
In the article, she says:
Many small business owners are standing in the welfare line and not sure how they got there. They work hard. In fact they may be working longer hours than CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. They deliver high quality work. Yet, they are barely making ends meet. These businesses are well intentioned but are not appropriately targeting their market or pricing their services.Other small businesses are locked into a mentality that says they can only compete on price. To win against the “more established,” or “the “larger competitors” they have to compete on price. Does this sound like you?Still others believe that volume makes up for low pricing. These business owners proclaim “yes our pricing is low but our volume supports it.” These same business owners would like to convince you to work at a fraction of your normal fees because they’re going to give you a large amount of work.
Check it out here, she makes some insightful points regarding things that can mentally trap business owners and negotiators.
It always strikes me as odd that here we are in 2008, still relying on print to communicate many of the same ideas that are found in-depth on the web.
Is the immediacy of the web -- along its powerful information sources like Google and Wikipedia.org (to name just two) -- simply not enough?
Tim Wilson and I talk about this phenomenon from time-to-time and we think that it's one that shows why Creative COW Magazine has become so popular among its readership; a readership that grows daily and is already equal to that of many magazines that have had decades of lead on us. The same phenomenon is also seen in the book series of Harry Potter. (Are we saying that we are like Harry? We wish!) It's funny that people cite today's young as suffering Attention Deficit Disorder and that they are so saturated with "TV Mindset" that they can't keep their focus long enough to read anything. But Harry Potter has outsold everything else in its generation and is the biggest selling book series of all time.
Give readers something worth reading and they will read it. Make it of value and they will hold onto it.
We get letters over and over again from teachers and readers who tell us that they keep every issue we make. We are honored by their words and are grateful that they recognize the work that goes into an issue of Creative COW Magazine.
We believe that the COW is full of great people and stories and it's our job to sift through the overwhelming "mountain of information" that is CreativeCOW.net and present it to our readers in a logical flow of information that is of value to our readers. We don't just back up a dump-truck and drop a mountain in their yard. We work hard to take a concept and dig down into an idea and explore the idea in ways that our readers will draw benefit from.
The COW is a wealth of information and it can be quite overwhelming to people, at times. By exploring definitive concepts in print in Creative COW Magazine, we give our readers something worth reading that is more than the "here's a box with a knob and what the knob does on the box" journalism. Sure, there are times that we get technical but we try to make the technical within the scope of the concept being explored.
So, for those of you who write us or call and ask: "Why do you make magazines? They are a thing of the past." -- there's your answer.
Oh, and thanks again to all of you who take the time to write us and give us your feedback. We really do appreciate your time and reply.
I have been meaning to get over to the blogs and add my reflections on the recent Genesis reunion tour. I've been a longtime fan of Genesis since the days when Peter Gabriel fronted the band. And I am one of those people who actually thought that Genesis was better (at least on "A Trick of the Tail" and "Wind & Wuthering") without Peter Gabriel, and that Peter was better without Genesis -- well, some of the time, anyway. So, when I learned that Genesis was hitting the road again, I immediately set out to get tickets and secured two tickets for the San Jose show and two for their first night at the Hollywood Bowl. Being a drummer since I was 14, there's simply nothing like seeing the double drummer attack of Chester Thompson duking it out with Phil Collins. As I told Kathlyn prior to the show, these guys make non-drummers understand why drums are such an incrediblly fun instrument to play.
That said, and while I will always be glad that I had a chance to take Kathlyn to see Genesis, a band she had never had the chance to see before, it really was not the same. I began jokingly referring to the tour as the "Bleed 'em Until They Drop" tour and the "Our Fans Are In Their Peak Earning Years" concert series. While it was indeed fun, it was quite apparent that this was not as much a concert for the fans as it was a concert for Genesis. Or maybe, for their bankers...
For an extra few grand, you could join them for dinner at one of the shows. You and about a hundred or so others, as we saw at the shows we attended. I jokingly told Kathlyn that I'd feel like a real idiot sitting there at a table in front of the band while they sat eating over at their table, perhaps muttering under their breath, that "Man, look at 'em all, we're making more 'take-home' on this dinner than we did during the whole 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' tour. And so, I know what I like in your wardrobe, indeed..."
For a hundred grand or so, you could tour around with the guys and perhaps even be given a "complimentary" t-shirt from the tour. I suggested to Kathlyn that an appropriate tour gift might be a new and empty wallet. (Not real leather, mind you; vinyl, the kind you give kids when you are trying to teach them the value of money.) Or, if a t-shirt is your preference, perhaps a t-shirt with a huge target printed on it, with the words "I toured with Genesis in 2007" emblazoned on it. Think of it as the ultimate premium paid for designer dresswear.
But was the concert fun? It was a lot of fun and short of "Mama" -- a song that I have always hated in every possible way -- it was a remarkable show. Chester and Phil drove the band like a cattle stampede (hey, this is Creative COW afterall) and Kathlyn now understands far better my passion for progressive rock. (While songs like "No Son of Mine" are real crowd pleasers, I'll take the big sweeping multi-faceted epics like the Duke suite that they did, along with the 20 minute medley they did of many of their earlier classics.)
But in the end, I left the shows with a burning question: Did they make more from the concert, or from the $35 t-shirts, the $25 dollar programs, the 2k a head dinners and the 100k "Patsy Tour" tag-alongs?
I know it's only rock 'n roll but i like it.
We recently moved eastward across the coast mountains, inland 30 miles or so, to the wine country of Paso Robles, California. This, after living for 20 years on the California coast in Cambria. We loved Cambria but its 340 days a year of temperatures that range no lower than about 50 degrees fahrenheit (at night), with a high of 72 degrees fahrenheit in the day -- again, for 340 days a year -- is the perfect breeding ground for mold and fungus. Did I mention that I am allergic to mold and fungus?
So, following a stressful move, we settled into our new digs in Paso Robles. We love the new digs as they are in a rural area, in an almond orchard that was planted over a hundred years ago. Paso Robles is a great town with a rich history and we really like being here.
But one of the side effects of moving has been pretty stressful...telemarketers and collections agents.
It seems like the phone company no longer keeps previously used numbers out of circulation for a while, as they once did. Now, they are thrown almost immediately back into the hat and if you are lucky -- did I mention we haven't been? -- you won't get the number of someone who just ran out on their bills. We have had two numbers so far; one, we got rid of immediately as the phone stated ringing the day that the phone company turned it on -- with harrassing calls starting soon after daybreak and going into the night. Then the next number was quiet for about a month and a month and then all of the sudden, collections agents began calling for some woman we have never even heard of.
Unfortunately, asking to be pulled from their list hasn't worked and they've been calling for days. So, I took the numbers that have been showing up on caller-ID and have Googled them and started calling the companies after filing them with a Form 1088 complaint with the federal government. Once I told them that, they became a lot quicker to listen...
Beforehand, they didn't care and just kept asking for the woman. But when I mentioned the form 1088 filing, they become a lot more willing to talk.
Hopefully soon, Kathlyn and I can get back to enjoying the peaceful Paso Robles countryside.