A Business Villain With Flourish!

Apr 02

It's A Flourish!

My creative-cohort TheNumbersWhisperer (aka Nicole Fende) has been having fun with the idea of Business Villains – personifications of the problems & fears we encounter as biz people & entrepreneurs. She’s got a lovely reader gallery of rogues started up, and at her suggestion, I decided to contribute a portrait of my chief Arch-Nemesis of 2012-2013:

The Drama Llama: A Business Villain With Flourish(click on the image for the full impact)

It's A Flourish!

At first glance, the Drama Llama seems innocuous enough…

Amusing, entertaining, maybe even a little charming. But don’t let his sweet face fool you — this woolen miscreant will rob you blind and leave cloven hoof prints all over your quirkipreneur heart!

He’ll  come to you in the guise of a family member, friend, or business partner, or he may present himself as a creative muse of your very own.  But beware, this “muse” comes with baggage, and he intends to make you his SkyCap!   Once he’s tricked you into carrying his full emotional weight, he’ll spit over-dramatic and irrational rhetoric at you, demanding attention and distracting you from more important business at hand — important business like, oh, I don’t know….  running your business, as an example?

How do you defeat this Ugly Ungulate?

Refocus the spotlight of your attention on profitable, practical tasks, side stepping the emotions and drama as much as possible.   If the Llama comes to you in human form, disengage yourself from them if you can, and if not, try to get them focused on small, simple steps forward. If the Llama speaks to you from inside your own head, learn to recognize his voice with its overblown statements and exaggerations.

Me, I find it useful to introduce a little Llama Logic — reminding him that his vision of the world is a wee bit distorted, seen as it is through a veil of llama wool  that’s been pulled over his eyes for so long he can’t remember what the real world looks like.

So here’s hoping for a Llama-free 2nd quarter of 2013, and perhaps, if we’re lucky, another Nemesis portrait, coming soon to a blog post near you!

It's Another Flourish!

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What, Exactly, Does Tori *DO*? Probably Not What You Think.

Jul 27

That’s a question I’ve heard all of my life.

I heard it most recently during an interview with The Word Chef, Tea Silvestre , while we talked about my award-winning branding. Not one, but two of her people asked exactly what I do—and as usual,  I stumbled out a vague answer — “It’s in flux!”

Seriously, I felt a bit embarrassed that my branding (while admittedly beautiful & effective) *still* doesn’t make what I actually do very clear.

That’s because what I do really *isn’t* very clear, much less concrete. Since I launched the Circus, the market has shifted and changed, and my direction has shifted and changed.  Most of the past year has been focused on developing the Quirkipreneurs concept and website – a project that has shifted me into a role of community builder and entrepreneur, and will hopefully lead to a lovely, clear answer to “What does Tori do?” very soon.

But I know a lot of you want to know just how I earn my moolah (Since it’s rather obviously NOT through the products & consulting I’ve never gotten around to offering ‘round the Circus.)

Ready? Ok!

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Using Pinterest For Fun & Profit (Without Being A Dweeb)

Feb 17

So. You bought into the hype about Pinterest (Um. Sorry about my part in that!) You got yourself all signed up, and you’ve pinned a cake recipe or two.  You’ve stared at endless wedding planner collections. You ‘ve declared that you WILL try the DIY lightbulb terrarium project, and maybe repaint your end tables a loverly shade of blue.

But you’ve got no clue how to make this work for your business.

Don’t worry!
I’m here to inspire you.
Or maybe confuse you.

But either way,  I’m here!
And I have a plan! Granted, it’s a mostly untested plan, because like almost everyone else I’m pretty new to Pinterest. But I have ideas, IDEAS I say!

Step one in the plan?

DON’T approach Pinterest as a “marketing tool”. Forget about the traffic you’ve been promised from Pinterest, and start a personal account. Use it as a tool for inspiration, for both work and personal projects. Use it for relationship building. Use it for research. Use it as the creative porn visual crack eye-candy curation tool it was meant to be.

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My Part In The Great Pinterest Pile-On

Feb 04

It's A Flourish!

Over the past a week or two, every Social Media guru, tech site and small business blog exploded with articles about using visual bookmarking site Pinterest to drive web traffic, each of them screaming “If your brand isn’t on Pinterest, you’re leaving money on the table, Baby! ”

And though I haven’t seen any stats, I’m pretty sure that there were more blog posts written about Pinterest than there are actual Pinterest users. Seriously. I can make up the statistics if you’d like…

Ok, fine. Since you asked:

(click to embiggen)

The Great Pinterest Pile-On of 2012! (Click to Embiggen)

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So, What’s With All This Big Tent Brand Stuff?

Jan 30

It's The Magic Of The Circus!

“I don’t see a big tent… do YOU see a big tent, Ollie?”

“No, Stanley, but I do see Tori standing there under a
striped umbrella, looking a bit like a wannabe tightrope walker expecting a thunderstorm…”

“Don’t look now… butted in a Marx Brother from outside the
frame, “But she’s trying to shoot an elephant in my pajamas!”

Thus endeth today’s absurd exercise in I-didn’t-know-how-to-start-this-post. No, there’s not a point to it, so you can stop looking.

But there IS a point
to this Big Tent stuff.

The last few posts here have offered an early glimpse of  the Circus Serene metaphor/brand, and where I thought the brand was going.  Many detours and a year later,  some of those ideas have become reality, a few were ‘red-lighted’, and others are still in rehearsal.  But one thing *not* included in those posts, or the early metaphor?

It's A Flourish!

The Big Tent.
It's Another Flourish!

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Origins of a Big Tent Brand (part 2)

Jan 23

As part of my plea for your vote as finalist the Tastiest Brand awards,  I’m sharing the origins of the Circus Serene imagery and concept, as described back on MindTweaks, in 2010.  My method? A combination of metaphoring, helper-mousing, and just a touch of piracy – enjoy!

It's A Flourish!

It's A Balancing Act!The other day, I told you about Havi’s Pirate Queen expeditions, how she lets a mouse provide metaphors for her business,  and then I announced that I wanted a metaphor of my very own.

A metaphor to help me better get a handle on this business stuff. A metaphor that  made it fun. A metaphor that made it not scary-and-over-whelming and HUGE.

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Origins Of a Big Tent Brand (part 1)

Jan 19

As part of my plea for your vote as finalist the Tastiest Brand awards, I thought I’d share the origins of the Circus Serene imagery and concept, as originally described back on MindTweaks, just about two years ago.  My method? A combination of metaphoring, helper-mousing, and just a touch of piracy – enjoy!

It's A Flourish!

image

I’m Running Off To Join The Circus!

(Pretty much as published on MindTweaks, with a few minor… erm… tweaks)

Yes, yes…  I know it’s St. Patty’s Day, not April Fools day.  And no, I didn’t get totally confused by the switch to Daylight Savings Time last weekend.   My run-away plans will all make more sense by the time I’m done explaining…  at least, I think they will.

But meanwhile?  I’m running off to join the circus.

This whole business is related to the renovations going on in the background of the site,  and it fits with my “Places, Everything!” theme for the year, too.  But mostly, it’s about the Metaphor Mouse stuff that Havi Brooks has been writing so much about over the past few weeks.   You can ignore the mouse part for now, if you like, and just focus on understanding the metaphor business.  After all, the mouse is…  just a metaphor.

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Guess Whose Site Is Up For Finalist In The Tasty Brand Awards?

Jan 14

It's A Flourish!
Well? Have you guessed yet?

Hint: Her brand is flavored with popcorn and cotton candy,
with just a wiff of  wild animals, calmed by meditation…

<cue the trumpet flourishes>

That’s right, it’s Tori Deaux & Circus Serene!

Tastiest Small Biz Brand Award

And guess who gets to vote for the finalists?
You do! (YAY!)

Here’s what to do:

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How To get Heard, Even During Holiday Launch Overload

Nov 29

"They've got stars upon thars!"
It’s the holiday season, and that means big, overwhelming things are afoot in the Internet Marketing world. Mostly, it means my email and social media streams are full of high-pressure messages, limited time discounts, big promises and offers from affiliates that pretty much pay you to sign up through them.

How can you compete with that, if you’re the newest Quirkipreneur on the block, trying to bring some attention to your quiet, reasonably priced little holiday offer?  Or as the loverly Michelle of Let’sRadiate put it yesterday,

“How do you promote your holiday special without slamming peoples’ inboxes and making them want to punch you in the nose?”

Damn good question.

Damn good question, with a lot of potentially damn good answers.

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It’s ALIVE! (The New Beta Community)

Nov 10

This? It's Emmit. And yes, he objects to being called an It.

Registration for the beta community is now closed, but phase two is expected to open Jan. 31st. You can wait ’til then, right? I knew you could!

Tada!

It's Another Flourish!

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