Red Velvet Ropes (plus a side helping of Mr. Spouse)

Apr 07

I think I was 2 years or more ago that I tried to lead a peer-group discussion around Michael Port’s idea of “red velvet rope” I was branded an elistist! Ok, really, it was more like a temporary tattoo, but even more temporary.policies.

Surprisingly,  the subject was a total non-starter – 2/3rds of the group branded the concept as elitist, exclusionary, snobby, and hurtful. At the time, I just changed the topic, and moved on, but I’ve never forgotten, and it’s been bothering me ever since.

Why? Because my own “red velvet rope” policies helped me shape the very peer group that now objected so strongly to the idea! The resulting paradox was more confounding than anything Marty McFly ever dealt with.

Plus, it gave me a headache.  I hate headaches.

But I may have found a  way to resolve the paradox, cure the headache, prove that “red velvet ropes” aren’t inherently elitist, and maybe even make you laugh at the absurdity that is my life.

Ready to hear about it? First, I’d better make sure we’re all on the same page …

Just What Is A Red
Velvet Rope Policy?

It’s pretty much what it sounds like… a policy that guides the right people inside your venue, and guides the wrong people away from your venue, so that neither of you waste your time, money or energy on something that’s not suitable.

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The Biz Viz Visualization: What’s It All Mean?

Feb 05

Why is the Ph of YouTube so stable? It constantly buffers!

That is one frickin' happy seagull!Quick Backstory:

This Business Visualization stuff? It’s something I learned from Jennifer Lee’s Right Brained Business Plan. The idea is to let go of expectations and let your creative process reveal new layers of what you want from your business, where you want to go, how you want to feel, and so forth.

Over the last few posts, I’ve rambled about feeling disconnected in previous visualizations, and I’ve shared the wacky results of a newly refreshed visualization.  Now, it’s time to look at what, if anything, it all means.  Mind you, not all visualizations need analyzing.  Some mean exactly what they seem to mean, and others just need to exist in their own existential, experiential space, without comment.

To be honest? My recent visualization attempts were likely the “Let them be” type, but I couldn’t resist.  So onward, fellow symbolism analysts and vision dissectors!

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Sky-Rats & The Man In Black (Big Business Visions, Continued)

Jan 17

Why is the Ph of YouTube so stable? It constantly buffers!

Back in October,  I wrote about a disconnect I’d discovered, having to do with the vision of my business – turns out, I wasn’t in that vision!  I sat down to correct the disconnect with a fresh visualization,  but the first go-round was unsatisfying. image

So I closed my eyes, and tried again.

Instantly, I was transported
to the seashore.

I sighed, in that long-suffering way usually reserved for characters in Jane Austin novels.   Why? Because this seashore image, like the previous studio-with-a-view one, had been popping into my mind quite a bit.

But I’m not a big ocean person, and the beach is hardly my dream work environment. I pushed ahead with the image anyway, to see what would happen.

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I’m Back! and With A Big Vision Visualization, Too.

Jan 16

Why is the Ph of YouTube so stable? It constantly buffers!image_thumb47

When last you heard from me way back in October,  I’d written a post about a problem with the long term vision of my business: I wasn’t actually *in* the picture.

So using one of the visualization exercises in The Right Brain Business Plan, I sat down to correct the problem.  I closed my eyes, and asked myself (and the dog siting beside me) what a picture of my success in business would look like, what doing the work would feel like.

The First Bit:

I saw myself in a beautiful, huge studio space, with hard wood flooring, glass walls, and a gorgeous view of trees and mountains in the distance.  It’s an image I’d had in my mind quite a bit recently, so it wasn’t surprising.

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The Curious Case Of The Biz Viz And The Missing Me

Oct 06

“People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.”  ― Neil GaimanLately, a lot of my energy is going into the background work of the big picture & other bits of biz planning – basically, that means staring at the walls, consulting with cohorts & staying plonked down in front of creativeLIVE workshops for days.  I’ve added bucketloads of ideas into the plan, and edited even more of them out of the picture.

You know the picture I’m talking about, right? The really big, Big, BIG picture-window view of a project or business?  The business visualization (also obnoxiously reffered to here as ‘biz viz’ ) that encompasses an organization’s goals, values and mission? A future-proofed projection of where the project & its leadership are going, and why they’re going there?  The picture that’s supposed to guide my choices as a leader, and keep me inspired & motivated as I build this thing?


I suddenly realized I didn’t have one.

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Today, On Alien Monster… #37 The Bipolar Blanket Fort

Sep 18

It's Another Flourish

AlienMonster #37: May The Fort Be With You

Wondering what this is about? <—click here

It's Another Flourish!

While sorting through the archives of Alien Monster comics, this one leapt out at me – probably because I’m having a blanket-fort-kind-of-week around here.

And seriously, who doesn’t want to hide away from the world in their own way from time to time? How many of us might choose to stay in that fortress-of-solitude, if other needs didn’t force us back into the world?

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What You Didn’t See On The Circus Last Week…

Sep 12

Things go wrong. Even with ballooons. Sometimes *especially* with balloons.

Sometimes? Things go wrong. The popcorn won’t pop. The flying trapeze won’t fly.  The elephants are arguing politics with the tigers, the star poodle is in the dressing room crying over a bad haircut, and the clown’s nose keeps falling into his breakfast cereal.

Last Week? Yeah.
All of That Happened.

Ok, maybe not ALL of it, and not exactly those things… but stuff did go frustratingly not-right.   I thought I’d give you a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes around here, so you don’t feel so alone next time you feel like crying over the clown nose in your soup.

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“Am I, Or Am I Not, A Geek? And What Does It Have To Do With My Marketing Plan?”

Aug 09

If you’re un-accustomed to my ramblings, the first part of this post may not seem relevant to you, but I get there eventually — I always do. You can skip to the point by clicking —> here, but all the fun bits and Easter Eggs are along the way.  Also? I didn’t write this for Geek Week.  That’s just a happy coincidence – a coincidence that I’ll take it as a sign of approval from the Net Gawds. Anyway, let’s get started, shall we?

Why is the Ph of YouTube so stable? It constantly buffers!

A few weeks ago, I spotted this video:

It made me smile. A lot.  A WHOLE whole lot.  See, I’m all about encouraging people to boldly be themselves, and refusing to being put into (or kicked out of!) boxes. It’s sorta one of my things.

So I dutifully shared the link on both Twitter & GooglePlus. I started to tag a few especially geeky friends, to bring it to their attention, and then it hit me… If I tagged my “especially geeky friends”  I’d have to tag pretty much, well, EVERYBODY I KNOW!

Here’s what my social media following looks like:

What do you get when you divide a Holstein's circumference by its diameter? A: Cow pi!

Huh. That’s weird.

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The Great Gmail Freak-out of 2013: An Open Letter To Email Marketers

Jul 24

It's A Flourish! Not much of a secret message, I know, but I can't be brilliant all the time.

Dear Email Marketers,

I wanted to share my experience from the last few days
with you. It went something like this:

“Oh look,” sez me, “Gmail has changed it up again; there are tabs on my inbox! Let’s see, here’s my main inbox tab, and here’s a ‘social updates’ tab for notifications of new Social Media stalkers — I think I like that!

“And what’s this one… Promotions? Oh, here’s a coupon from the craft store, great. A sales flyer, a newsletter, and, wait, what’s this?”

That’s when I saw it: a baker’s dozen of emails from various Marketers. Combined, they looked something like this:

Gmail Tabs: It's Like The Sharknado of Email Marketing, a viral unnatural disaster that's going to kill us all with bad CGI!

Seriously? I mean… SERIOUSLY?

For the love of MailChimp, take a deep breath and count to ten!  Remember who you are, remember the lessons you’ve been drilling into your audience for however long you’ve had an audience.

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Quirk-Friendly Biz Stuff To Buy: Rock Your Profits, The 2013 Tour

May 03

Since part of my purpose  is to steer readers towards helpful stuff, so I’m starting a new feature: A weekly periodic spotlight of quirk-friendly products & services to support your endeavors.  I’d meant to feature 3 different programs this week, but didn’t quite have all my ducks in a row (quack?) so I’ve tightened the focus on every Quirkipreneur’s favorite numbers guru,  our own Nicole Fende.

It's A Flourish!

Do you have a vague suspicion that you ought to be doing something business-like with numbers and ledgers and spreadsheets…  but don’t know exactly what? This is for you!

Rock Your Profits: 2013 Multi-Platinum Tour

Fluffy the Finance Feline Singing as ElvisWhat it is: A quirky, playful-but-practical course on what you should be doing with those numbers, and how to tweak them to make a profit (or a bigger profit)

Who it’s from: Numbers Whisperer, Nicole A. Fende. She has all sorts of fancy-pants qualifications & credentials, but it’s her laugh that people remember. Well, her laugh and that impressive collection of light sabers.  She’s great at putting people at ease, even on the scariest of numbers-topics.

When? The course opens on May 6th, but she’s promised me that you can join any time this next week without missing any thing.  The tour runs for 14 lessons and 12 coaching calls. It’s pretty in depth, so you’ll need to set aside time to do the work, and it’s limited to 10 people, so you’ll be getting quite a bit of Nicole’s personal attention.

How much? $525. And no, that’s not very much considering the time & attention you get!

Why I recommend it? I have taken this course, and gave it the (soon to be official) Circus Serene Stamp of Approval.  I learned a lot, laughed a lot, and left the tour feeling far more confident not only in my ability to run a business, but to make it profitable. 

The Alternative? If the course fee takes too big of a bite out of your budget, or know you just haven’t got the time to devote to it this month, you might just pick up Nicole’s book, How to be a Finance Rock Star (The Small Business Owner’s Ticket to Multi-Platinum Profits). You’ll get the core information, a taste of Nicole’s humorous, playful style, and it’s under $20!

So, ready to join the tour & rock those profits?

Reserve Your Tour TicketBuy The Book

It's Another Flourish!

PS: Those links above? They’re probably affiliate links.  That means if you purchase through those links, I’ll get a percentage & be able to buy a diet coke or two, or in the case of Amazon links, I’ll be able to buy a gumball, probably some time next year.

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