Monday, November 26, 2007

How to Test-Drive Friends and Irritate People (art of irritation.. or just finding humor in the every day)

Here are some tips given by Timothy Ferriss, author of New York Times Best Seller THE FOUR HOUR WORK WEEK, on the art of irritation
Sometimes you need to make friends and influence people (The Story of my LIFE).
Other times, you should just test drive them and push their buttons. The art of irritation can, in fact, be just as valuable as the art of persuasion. How so? Let’s start with the problem: people are good liars and actors… up to a point.What if it were possible to fast-forward relationships, whether with new friends, business partners, or romances? To get past the honeymoon facade of niceties and see their true tendencies underneath all it all?"

"Adversity doesn’t primarily build character—it reveals it…Therefore, by putting someone under pressure or in an adverse situation, you can pull back the covers and get a glimpse of what’s in store a few weeks or months down the line."
"Here are a few options for doing your own behavioral cross-referencing with a new potential friend, partner, or mate.
1. Meet them for dinner or lunch at an appointed time, and indicate upon their arrival that you made a mistake and set the reservation for 30 minutes prior. See how they respond to the change in plans. (Testing: how they contend with mistakes on your part)

2. Same as 1, but tell them that the reservation was accidentally made for 30 minutes after their arrival. Alternatively, travel with them and purposefully orchestrate things so that you miss a bus or train. Obviously, you then fix the problem and cover costs. (Testing: how they deal with waiting and unexpected changes in plans)
(Savage-girl's response)
This reminds me of when my friend Fabian came up from Portland to visit last month, while riding the train around downtown and tromping through markets and street shops the day was wearing on us and we couldn't find the Duct tape wallets!. Were we tired or stressed out from the long day? NOOOO In fact we were laughing the entire time... Especially when we happened upon this photo opp taken by Gesenia..... This is why we love MAX
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

3. Take them to a restaurant with good food but bad service. (Testing: how diplomatically they contend with and resolve incompetence, which is the default mode of the universe)

4. Invite them to an event or function and then profusely apologize when you realize you’ve forgotten your wallet. Offer to repay them later or treat them the next time out. (Testing: how they relate to money issues. Wonderful people sometimes turn into irrational monsters as soon as even a few dollars are involved. It drives me crazy to keep a running ledger of who owes whom for a few dollars here and there, especially in social settings. Repaying the favor is mandatory, but dwelling on differences of pennies is tiring.)

5. Take them somewhere extremely crowded where they’ll be inadvertently bumped, preferably where they are exposed to people of different races and of lower socio-economic classes. Large outdoor markets are good, as are subways during rush hour. (Testing: biases against specific races and social classes, which are usually fast to emerge after there is any physical contact.)

6. Explore the most controversial topics until you find something the two of you disagree on. Ask them to explain why people have the opposing viewpoint. I use this mostly for potential romantic partners and potential travelmates. (Testing: how well they listen and both consider and summarize points-of-view or feelings opposite their own. I always look for both friends and girlfriends who fight well. Not in the physical sense, but in the intellectual and emotional sense. If I travel with one of my best friends for even a week straight, there will be times when we butt heads and fight. It’s inescapable. In those cases, are they civil and good at listening and finding compromises? Good at identifying common ground, picking their battles, and laughing off the unimportant? Or, do they lose control of their emotions and make hurtful personal attacks or generalizations? Do they use guilt or other negative emotions instead of taking time to discuss things logically? Hold grudges?)

"Needless to say, I’m not recommending you cram all of these into a single meeting (not unless you want a punch in the mouth), but the premise is simple: life is both too long and too short to suffer through toxic relationships. The sooner we have an accurate read on someone, the better.Rather than hoping for the best and getting trapped in relationships you are unwilling to end due to guilt and inertia, you can test drive using a few specific situations and get a taste of what’s in store. I realized how revealing the above scenarios were while traveling, as they came up organically with the inevitable mix-ups and occasional bouts of bad luck. The question then became: can you go about glimpsing someone’s true personality in a more reliable way? That said, there is no need to orchestrate bad service at a restaurant, for example, if you can achieve the same end doing something fun but uncontrolled. A good long weekend of getting lost with someone will reveal most of the character you need to see. Just ensure you expose them to adverse conditions or awkward situations"

"Most people spend more time planning their weekends than their relationships. Don’t make that mistake. You are the average of the 5 or so people you associate with most. Choose wisely."

read more | digg story

Don't worry bout what you don't know

Been Awhile.
WOW... I have procrastinated.
Here is a list of what I've done in the last 4-5 months...
  • Put together a summer music series
  • CANCELLED the summer music series
  • Was tempted back into banking/business development, not once but three times a lady...
  • Didn't do it
  • Lost my wallet in San Francisco... talk about a ME thing to do.. took an hour for a security clearance in the airport.
  • Been accused of being BRILLIANT... but when I screw up, man , I screw up huge (whatever would this person be referencing...the world may never know)
  • Put all my music/art consulting on hold
  • Partnered up with a Doctor and a small group of IT guys to come up with a new business plan, having to to do with Real estate and lending
  • In the middle of locking an investor with our new Business plan/model/executive summary/marketing plans
  • Currently looking for $700,000- Any takers? contact me and I'll give you the executive summary... (real estate/lending lead generation etc... AMAZING.. I'm tellin ya)
  • Trying to lose weight, as I know O magazine or WIRED is going to be contacting me in a few months for a personal interview and photo shoot... Gotta look good for the camera!
  • Did a couple 5 & 10k short marathons... nothing to write home about...but hey I did em.
  • Rapped (yes 50 Cent) my food order to a waiter...something about pad thai, and him needing to check his fly...
  • Read the Four Hour Work KUDOS! (or as my friend Terri would say HOLLER- not to be confused with HOLLAH)
  • Fantasizing daily about my next trip to Europe (next SPRING), and my house somewhere in Panama, Costa Rica, Belize, or Buenos Aires...
  • Made the decision to do more jumps this snowboarding season.. quit wimping out on them.
  • Waking up every day grateful that I'm focused on what I want to be doing with my present and future, and not looking back out of fear of the unknown...

Monday, July 9, 2007

Don't let anyone talk me out of this : )

It's been nearly two months since I wrote anything.

I have been entirely too excited and burnt out to do anything! My vision is still pretty clear... and unfortunately with the lack of funds that occurred 3 months ago... I have had to take on some other work that is keeping me (time wise) from building my business.. but it will be providing ample funds to put 100% focus into it... within about 6-9 months.

That is the plan. I am not waivering on it at all. I am just ready to begin and devote 100% to this... I will very soon. I'm learning so much about time management... and realizing that what I want to do is something I can not do alone. I need people's advice, ideas, help/planning/work. I can not believe how big this vision of mine has gotten. It has to be done.

I almost wish that there was something like it.. identical in fact, in another city in which I could go and copy.. C'mon- do I really seem like the girl to "re-invent" the wheel? But where the heck is this wheel? We all know that it's recognized to be a pioneer of something.. but the pioneer is usually the guy paving the way for everyone else to succeed... not as much as themselves. It's almost as if they are building the vision and dreams for others, yet I want to reap the rewards of this, not just pave it for everyone else!


Art, music, photography, design... those are all the aspects of this idea I want to surround myself with.

I am planning on building a consulting firm, which supports local (NW based) Art, relating to all areas. We all know the mantra "Think Global, Support Local".

I need to find my niche though. I have lots of potential clients that would love to work with me and I still can't figure out who and what to charge. For some I just set up contracts to be paid on commission for business accounts developed. Meaning I don't get paid til my client (the artist) gets paid. A lot of what I want to do though is consulting.... and I need enough money to live on for 6 months to a year while I'm getting the business development side set up...

So I'm working with contacts still @ Umpqua Bank for the summer concert in support of local music. Thats going well, other than bands who have been together for at least 2 years + were breaking up right before we are scheduling the concert. Learning that some art forms can be a dime a dozen... even when you think you've found a rare coin. You realize the coin itself doesn't really care that its rare.
I have a few other clients I've started relationships with, I unfortunately have to spend my time making money to get this spaceship off the ground. It can be very frustrating.

Then let the good times roll.
I can NOT wait for this to fully form. The only reason I am waiting is my lack of time...

"The number one problem that keeps people from winning today is the lack of belief in themselves."

Well I decided a few months ago to stop contributing to that problem. : )

Friday, May 11, 2007

Day by day

Well, I am still not launched, fully, nor will I be in June. I do not mind however! I have full plans to be launched within 6 months- come rain or come shine.
My overzealous nature is learning a lot about making sure this isn't some slap stick operation. I'm learning all kinds of things about web development... lingo like Perl & Python (outside of our narrow view of html & java) and ruby.. and ruby on rails are actually starting to make sense to me. I feel like when I'm "interviewing" web developers to assess if their tricks and tools will be worthy of my pocket book I actually am starting to sound like I know what I'm talking about (well maybe it's just a few ingrediants I have down such as SEO, tracking e-commerce BLABLABLA and the rest is bullshit) Ha. I might sound like I'm getting the hang of it, but it's more like a hang nail on my thumb is what I get.. At least I'm aware of this and I'm still at it. Every day my vision gets more clear and every day I'm getting more excited. I've thought of two other projects I'm going to tackle once I get the company off the ground and it's mind boggling that steam isn't coming out of my head... or maybe it's just invisible. : )

So all I'm doing now, is continuing to research.... deal with a "I'll be three in June" little person who needs a lot of my attention and trying to create marketing plans for my existing clients... oh yeah I'm thinking about doing some VERY time consuming financing as a way to generate the income I need for this huge website investment I'm doing. I already know it will generate all the cash I need, I just hate taking time away from what I really want to be doing. Oh well... it IS an investment and I'm going to give myself 6 months of doing this financing. Once 6 months comes, I'm done with it regardless of how much I have for my website and other investments needed to really launch this with a little dignity.

Other than getting bogged down some times with the how.. and obviously juggling a 2 year old's demands (which I feel like I'm her slave sometimes). I am LOVING life. I can not begin to explain the freedom of expression and control I have over my life right now and I am so happy to share this with everyone, and continue to be inspired by all of my friends and family's support and insight.... as well as stranger's.

The big picture is so exciting when I think about launching. I can not WAIT to promote my company. I was sitting with a friend at the Green Room on 23rd & Thurman the other night, listening to Stephan Ashbrook. My friend was making fun of me because I normally walk up to people anytime to introduce myself or talk to them and I wanted to talk to Stephan SO badly about what I was doing and to give him a heads up. Instead I was hemming about it... but at the same time I feel silly when I'm not ready to really promote it yet. I don't want to sound like some re re saying "Hi I'm like... so in love with your music.. I'm starting a company and I if you are interested I can help you with publicity and or sales! I don't have a card on me, and I don't have a website either.. my space? No I haven't done anything... But don't forget about me!"
How awful!
The only reason I don't have any of those things is because of how freaking cautious I am being. I've realized the value of putting more of my focus on working with my currently clients and doing a great job with them, before I can bite off more than I can chew... SO instead what do I say to Stephan Ashbrook? "Can you please play whiskey and a gun?" He smiled ever so genuinely and says no worries.. I'll play "Scotch and a Hand gun next (wink)"

AHHH!! I'm such an ass. Grrr...

Friday, April 27, 2007

Update to a former Boss/ now friend

(He asked me in the latest email) How are the the kid and the hubby?

My email response which seems to be a decent update:
AHH I swear I thought I told you that "Yat " and I separated. Maybe I didn't. Who knows. We are good friends though and I'm very close to his family.
How much does a supervisor/manager make under you? Ha ha... no I am starting my own company, going after what I really want. I have no idea where and how I'm going to make lots of money. BUT I WILL!!! Hahahaha! I'm in a really good mood about it. I have my house/ mortgage payment, and Gwendolyn so I can't just up and leave for a job across the country... especially BUFFALO (What the hell would I do in Buffalo, besides freeze?) in addition to the fact that I want to be my own boss now.

I'm really excited about my new company. I'm calling it Savage Artists. Essentially It will be a consulting firm, providing creative solutions (connections) for all artists in the Northwest, specifically Portland, Grass roots. I have two clients right now, but I don't get paid until I produce for them, so I am scrambling! I'm currently working on a proposal with Umpqua Bank, for Savage Artists to present (and Umpqua, along with other merchants) sponsor a summer concert series for Local bands, it will be a fundraiser for 2 large local charities in which all proceeds will go to (other than my cut for organizing it).

I am also working as a gatekeeper, business developer for an outstanding but very small design firm based out of Bellingham Washington.

Once I have some projects completed with these guys I will be launching my website, which I am working with another small Portland design company on...
My goal is to create a website, similar to Craigs list..( well not QUITE so community based, but it will have a similar feel) - specifically for Northwest Artists. I will have a gallery for fine artists and photographers, I will have an events/promo and booking area for bands and links to designers and photographers. It will be a semi-community website, however, I have to make money somehow, so I will be paid commissions on services rendered, organized through me, products sold, events organized and booking and promoting of musicians and other artists. I will be promoting and fundraising for charities in Portland as well. I haven't figured out if I'm going LLC or non-profit yet....

My business plan isn't really off the ground yet, so as you can see I'm somewhat floundering my way through all of this... BUT I love it!!!! We'll see where this goes!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Quit planning for a minute?

Business plan, SOFTWARE, set up, organization... contact list, database, estimated costs. Yeah Yeah yeah... So I'm trying to work on all of that simultaneously and I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. I think it's because my other two sources of income are STILL in question, so I'm freaking myself out a little.

I can liquidate a couple small stocks, BUT I really need that for the business as leverage... not living expenses. So yeah, I am trying to figure out two huge obstacles while getting this off the ground.

I talked to my brother the other day and he basically encouraged me to take a moment from the planning and setting up, to just DOING it... We are all brainwashed into thinking that everything has to be ready and perfect before we take action... but it doesn't. I still don't even have my website up yet! Yeah, I need to get on that. I honestly don't think I've put it up, because I am not ready to sort out the content yet, I'm getting a feel for how I'm going to do this.

I put myself out there, checked around on craig's list, posted some services and I already have my first client! Not a musician, but a small design firm in Washington. Now how do I produce something for them? They loved my "fabulous" resume as mentioned many times (HA HA). I'm a networker and sales person. I can sell anything I'm passionate about. This design firm has got amazing talent. I love their work and I can get a little critical when it comes to design. I know what I like. Well I don't have much time for this blogging, so I've got to get on this.

I'm hoping once my finances get sorted out a little more I will be able to be a bit more linear in my thinking (I hope?) We will wait and see!

Monday, April 9, 2007

My KEY to success???

Two of my sources of income, for the next six months are up in the air. I can go on believing that it will all work out, but reality is, I need to KNOW that my mortgage will be paid... etc.
I try not to think of myself as a control freak (try is emphasized here). It is very difficult for anyone to find out that what they thought was their plan... could disintegrate right before your very eyes! I really don't need that stress right now.

I can be that fluffy white cloud dreamer, but you can't pretend that it's not raining, when you are drenched...

Instead of hoping and believing for the best I decided to go on this Interview that ANOTHER bank was recruiting me for!! Ha, I know you're all rolling your eyes thinking, "What?! I thought she just went off on a tangent about not being stuck in banking!" I know, I know! I felt like I was betraying myself just by telling them that I'd come to meet with them. I didn't even know for what position!

I'll tell you why I did it though.
This bank actually has a phenomenal reputation in the banking and entrepreneurial industry, very unique, very simplistic. I have honestly NEVER heard anything negative about them (kind of odd for a bank) They are not aggressive. They seem to be the "silent, but deadly" type.

I was still skeptical... NO, I'm going after MY passions now. I talked to a couple friends Saturday night when I was out for a Birthday party. The couple was very supportive of what I was doing. One of them is a bank manager for Bank of America and the other a chick who has worked her way up the corporate ladder and travels around the west coast doing presentations and speaking for large audiences. They loved my passion. Then I mentioned that this other bank was trying to recruit me and the other bank manager just gave me this look. The "that is a really good bank, are you sure you want to pass them up?" look.

No! Don't do this to me "C"! He encouraged that I might be able to do both at the same time. I didn't really see it that way. I started getting worried that I'd go on this interview, get offered a good amount of money and give in, because I am currently worried about my two other sources of income.

I went on the interview. Amazing! They talked about all the things I really was passionate about. Community involvement, relationships, culture. The woman interviewing me came from the same company I just left. She understood! I don't want to be tied to my branch. I want to be involved in the community. I love coaching people, but I'm a net worker at heart. The management position they want me for is 50-70% networking. She told me some really personal stories on how they take care of their employees. Things that made me get warm fuzzy's.

I was still skeptical, I've heard some of this feel good crap from corporations before. I started asking for examples, ways they promote and measure these objectives. They actually had them. Management reviews were a qualitative approach, they actually measure my review for a large part based on how involved in the community I am, and the community's response to me. Of course there are some numbers in play, but they look at the other part first. I want accountability here guys, and I find it hard to believe that they would flat out lie.

It would be nice to have my benefits while I'm trying to get my start-up off the ground.

They already have a great location in mind for me... They confirmed my minimum offer for the job (which sounds like I may get)

I called my brother... what do I do?? I don't want to give in!
"B" made some great points- I am young, I am just starting out... I can create my business development for the bank surrounding the art fields that I need to build contacts with. I will have a flexible schedule. I can use volunteering in Gwendolyn's preschool (once she gets to that age) as my volunteer time through the company (which is required by ALL management!).

I already told this company that I am starting this up, and they loved it! It's not a conflict of interest by any means, and as my brother pointed out, I may be able to create banking relationships for this bank through the work I'm doing on my start-up.

After the last week, I've realized that I only want to start with bands and musicians, but I want to expand to all arts in Portland. I may even classify it later as an Non-profit agency.

I am still excited. I am also excited about the idea of a steady income and benefits. What was I going to do about that? (I put my blinders on for a few weeks, trying not to think about anything else) Am I a sell out? One part I was really bummed about was any time taken from Gwendolyn, I got excited over the idea of being at home with her more. Even the last two weeks proved that my work load was still similar to the other bank and I was still going to need help with her during the day.

So maybe I'm selling myself the idea? (Am good at convincing people of ideas.. including myself).
I just have to believe that my positive energy is only going to bring good, and what is right for me.

Well I have a ton to work on, Enough of this blogging. I am still working on my business plan and tweaking it. I'll probably post it on here for suggestions.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Day 2

So I've really got my work cut out for me.
The hardest part for me is not to get ahead of myself. I'm trying to get organized, research, and get started all simultaneously. Call me a kamakaze, I feel like the tazmanian devil sometimes until my brain turns off and I end up just blankly staring off into space while the left over caffeine from Java Nation is still vibrating through my body...

Today I went to what I thought was my ORIENTATION to pick up some bartending shifts at one of the largest venues in Portland. I need to supplement my income for the next 6 months in addition to what I've already got and I really need the tips.

Well I show up and realize its actually an INTERVIEW! Ha ha, I didn't even realize this until "K" says, ok, well we are interviewing all day and I'll call you Tuesday.
I'm thinkin "Huh?" I thought I HAD the job! Only because the communication was not clear and one of my closest friends supplements her income by bartending one night a week. Me and my assuming mind always get into trouble.

I told these guys how I was overqualified for the job, but earnestly explained that I don't want to be in banking anymore. Told them about my campaign work again... mentioned all the right Stuff on my "fabulous"
I then told them that I really need the in, because I'm trying out this start-up and I'm really excited. Ofcourse I would work hard, thats what I do- but I really need this.

I then sent him a polite email explaining that if I didn't get this position then I would bug them until I did get something. I'm very determined.

I hope I didn't piss them off. Ooops.

SOOO I left that venue and went to a few other large venues around Portland gathering contact names and phone numbers. Most of the people were surprisingly nice. The funny part is I finally grabbed a publication that listed alphabetically all the contact info I needed, so I didn't really need to stop by those places- but I figure this is business development (even though I don't even have a name or business cards yet) I just need people to like me!

I checked out some of my competitions websites and myspace - Pfsssshhh, I can do sooo much better and offer MANY more services. My biggest obstacle is one of these guys has been booking and presenting bands for over 10 years... I'm like a 2nd grader to him.

So you can see that I was pretty much all over the place today.

Tonight I'll be writing out my to do list such as the books I need, researching the software I need, a new computer, fax line etc... Setting up my database in google-
Analyzing my costs, then figuring out exactly how to add that into my budget which already includes a mortgage and too many student loans...

Deep breath,

I can DO This.. I need Organization!!! If I can manage a bank and lobbying teams, I can do this, right?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Today is first day of the rest of my life, or is that tomorrow?

I feel like some crazy person! I'm going to start my own business... yeah yeah, the chances of it being successful are one in a ten thousand, right? Most businesses fail in the first 2 years... or so many are brainwashed to believe.

According to Why not not start a start-up They blew those age (or maybe 20-30 year old) sayings out the window. Y Combinator, which hosts essay's from University of California at Berkeley claimed that 4 out of 8 start-ups they followed for nearly two years were successful. "So here is an even more striking statistic: 0% of that first batch had a terrible experience. They had ups and downs, like every startup, but I don't think any would have traded it for a job in a cubicle. And that statistic is probably not an anomaly. Whatever our long-term success rate ends up being, I think the rate of people who wish they'd gotten a regular job will stay close to 0%." -

So that guys, tells you a lot.
I have been a branch manager for (ahem) the 6th largest bank in the nation for the last year, and regardless of how great and admirable of a company it is, I can't stomach the thought of working "for the man" anymore.
A friend of mine said "M, you are going to find your dream job. I just know it" I argued with her, telling her no, I'll find another job that gives me valuable experience in a creative industry, but it won't be my dream job (I'm sorry guys but regardless of my enthusiasm, how excited can I REALLY get over direct deposit and overdraft fee income?) because it isn't out there, I don't want to work for anyone else anymore. I want to run my own consulting firm eventually, or just be an investor. In my perfect world I'd be heading my own campaigns for possibly non-profit or at least some cause that I really believed in. I'd still be the boss, but as any of my branch employees would tell you (and my former boss) My employees would have one helluvah fun time with me.

I got a little bummed, trying to figure out how I was going to make my break from banking in finance to pursue a more creative outlet. Other than writing, I am not an artist. I am not super talented in the fine arts (I can hold my own) I am not a musician (I can play piano, but playing by ear and no patience to practice isn't saying much). I do have an ear and an eye for beauty. I am an idea person and I can sell my ideas. I am passionate and I want to help people.
I knew deep down I was the creator of my destiny, I just kept being wishy washy about what it was...Law school? No, knowing me I'd pass the bar and opt to become a photographer. Writing? Thats a hobby, I have to make my money somewhere else first...

I even put together this fabulous resume. I designed it like a magazine article, or newsletter. I thought wow... who is this person? I want to meet her! I outlined my work in parliament's house of commons in london and lobbying in D.C. bragged about my leadership skills. I mean I was really full of myself in this piece of work. After sending it to a couple PR firms I actually called my mom a day later and said "umm.. yeah, why is no one calling me? can't they see how great I am, I mean whats there not to be impressed by?" LOL. My mom laughed at me.

I laughed too. I know I'm great. Not that great, but kinda. lol.

I felt like I had so much potential that I wasn't living up to! I mean... I remember being a college level student body president, working 30 hours a week for another bank, maintaing a full school schedule, a boyfriend and a fairly active social life. What the hell happened to me?
Life happened...I got recruited back into my "back-up" plan.

Well I'm done with that. At 26 years old, I'm too young to be working my "Back-up" plan.

I've helped people with PR and marketing ideas, hell I've volunteered free time for locals, non profit documentary, music etc.... I asked another band I knew of if they needed any PR help the other day and they jumped at the chance.
I love PR, I love image, I love music, I love helping others succeed.
I want to run a consulting firm, I want to own lots of real estate
I want to be an impact on the community...
Am I an idiot giving it all away for free?

DUh, so I'm going to put together my business plan, get ahold of my contacts (which of course there are many) get my fabulous software together and try launching my first of many business ventures. Grass roots booking agency for local bands. Aha! A hobby that I would love to do full time.

This is going to effect my life in so many ways that I really don't feel like talking about right now....
But I've decided I'm not going to waste any more time.

This "M" is the first day of the rest of your life.... muwhahahaha!!

I'll keep you all updated on this tulmultuous, but aspired ride.