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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When The Circus Is Not So Serene…

Jan 30

It's A Flourish!

Sometimes, serenity just doesn’t co-operate.

For most of 2012, the circus that is my creative life and business was anything but calm and placid – turbulent, demanding, and disruptive yes, tranquil and productive, no.   None of the business plans I had in place saw fruition, the blog fell silent, my freelance clients dwindled, and even the weekly #QuirkyBiz tweet chats suffered.

What’s behind the tornadic upheaval?

My husband and I lost 3 immediate family members in 7 months, all three of them after lengthy illnesses and hospice stays. As a result, I spent a lot of emergency nights, weeks and even months away from home.

There was simply no way to balance the new demands of family with the demands of a just-starting-up multi-faceted creative business.  Because both my family and my husband’s were involved, there was no one free to lean on for extra help.  And now, when things should be settling down, I’m having to take on a much bigger role with the estate than intended.  It’s keeping me off-balance, and all I can say is thank-the-circus-gods for safety nets!

I’m not writing this looking for sympathy.

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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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The Squid Of Second Guesses (a coloring book page)

May 02

It's A Flourish!

Yes, I’m breaking my long silence to bring you a near random absurdity:  The Squid of Second Guessing.


How’d we end up here? What’s it all mean?

What is it, exactly, that the Squid is second-guessing?

And what are you supposed to do with this?

Good questions.

I’m wondering that myself.

Unfortunately, I have to dash off for a memorial service today, followed by a 91st birthday dinner, so I’m a bit too flustered and see-saw-ish to make sense of it all.

But know what I’d love to come back to, tomorrow? A bunch of squidish speculations in the comment section! In fact, if you’d like to answer those questions yourself, name the squid, or make up your own mini Tales of the Squid, that’d be awesome!

Or you can download the squid, print it out, and color/paint/bead/sequin it to your heart’s content.  And I’d love love love it if you’d link to that in the comments, too! Squid of Second Guessing: The Printable Version

But whatever you decide to do, or not do?

No second guesses allowed!

Squidly said so.

It's Another Flourish!

UPDATE: Some folks reported problems downloading the larger image, so here it is again:
Squid of Second Guessing: The Printable Version

(and Squidly still says so!)

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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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Of Red Dresses, Quirks, and Way Too Many Jennys.

Feb 02

Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know I’m a shameless fan of Jenny Lawson, @TheBloggess.  What you don’t know is that it’s not just her absurd humor, Texas-sized heart, or habit of adopting stray taxidermied animals that makes me feel so connected to her.

It’s things like this tweet:

This is a tweet from @TheBloggess. I screen captured it for you. Don't call the police. I'm not holding it against it's will.

And my twin brother:

My brother's best sexy, sultry look. I think he nailed it.

You’ll need a bit of backstory to see the connection, so bear with me, k?

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