Friday, August 27, 2010

Ignore Everybody by Hugh Macleod

I stumbled upon this inspiring business blog post by cartoon artist, Hugh Macleod.   He launched his business advice book “Ignore Everybody” in June 2009.  This post he elaborates on the first 12 points as a teaser.   It takes about 20 minutes to read by it’s worth the time.  I’ll definitely be buying this book!


  1. Ignore everybody.
  2. The idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours.
  3. Put the hours in.
  4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.
  5. You are responsible for your own experience.
  6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
  7. Keep your day job.
  8. Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.
  9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.
  10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.
  11. Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.
  12. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.
  13. Never compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.
  14. Dying young is overrated.
  15. The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do, and what you are not.
  16. The world is changing.
  17. Merit can be bought. Passion can’t.
  18. Avoid the Watercooler Gang.
  19. Sing in your own voice.
  20. The choice of media is irrelevant.
  21. Selling out is harder than it looks.
  22. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.
  23. Worrying about “Commercial vs. Artistic” is a complete waste of time.
  24. Don’t worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.
  25. You have to find your own schtick.
  26. Write from the heart.
  27. The best way to get approval is not to need it.
  28. Power is never given. Power is taken.
  29. Whatever choice you make, The Devil gets his due eventually.
  30. The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it.
  31. Remain frugal.
  32. Allow your work to age with you.
  33. Being Poor Sucks.
  34. Beware of turning hobbies into jobs.
  35. Savor obscurity while it lasts.
  36. Start blogging.
  37. Meaning Scales, People Don’t.
  38. When your dreams become reality, they are no longer your dreams

Monday, August 23, 2010

It was Elizabeth’s Birthday!

My daughter made a birthday card for her cousin Elizabeth last month.  She told me she’s going to draw her family and said, “I won’t forget to draw the baby!”  I thought she meant her cousin but remembered thinking that was weird since Elizabeth was turning 2 and not a baby anymore.  Nope, she drew her future cousin as her aunt is expecting!

[2010-07-24 (2)[7].jpg]

Friday, August 20, 2010

Parody Movie: I want my widgets now

If you work in Supply Chain or in a manufacturing environment like I do, you can completely relate!  Even if you are not, I still think you will find this hilarious!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Meetings Meetings: Not a Waste of Time


It's been great returning to work and finally getting into the groove.  However, one thing I didn’t miss during my leave were the amount of meetings!  They take so much time out of your day. 

While I was sitting in one, I was contemplating the tasks piling up, I realized I should count my blessings.  I once had a manager that held the most ineffective meetings.  Many ran over, some booked late or during the lunch over  There was one interview he had that ran over 3 hours.  (I feel sorry for that poor soul).  He wasn’t in control and wasted allot of time that caused us to work off hours to catch up.

I was so tired of not having a life, it got to the point that I would leave when the the meeting was supposed  to end or leave if he was more then 10 minutes late.  Remember, this is my manager who had a say in my performance to my boss.  I figured if I was ever called in, I can show him my results and compare it with my outlook calendar over the same period of time. If I got let go, then it would be an opportunity to find something better.

This person is gone now, which was best.  However, there is a positive side, it was because of him I make these considerations when I need to host a meeting myself.  I don’t want to become that guy. 

  1. Avoid scheduling at bad times. 
    • convening a meeting that is outside normal working hours should only be done for emergencies.  Hosting a meeting in the evening and expecting everyone to give up their downtime won't go well.
    • No one likes to have a “must attend” meeting at scheduled last minute before lunchtime.   No one will make a good decision when they are STARVING.
  2. Take control so meetings don’t run over the allotted time
    • If you underestimate the time you need, schedule up a follow-up or at least ask participates if it’s okay to run over when the end time comes.  The clock’s is supposed to keep you on track, not a rough guideline
  3. Use an Agenda
    • One of the key importance of any meeting is that there must be a purpose and desired outcome at the end of every meeting.  Having that purpose documented helps everyone to keep focused on the ultimate goal and keep the meeting within the allotted time.
  4. Consider the costs of doing nothing
    • I like to think of myself as a consultant and what would I charge for my time.  I’m not basing this on my actual salary, I’m basing on what value I that I can offer.  If 10 people are in a room for one hour, each paid $100 / hour.  That meeting cost your company $1000.  What value is the company is getting? 
    • How many of us were in meetings where topics keeps going around in a circle with no decision to be made.  If a decision isn’t made or there is no progress, then the company just wasted $1000. 
    • If you find a meeting not valuable to you or only part of the agenda valuable, don’t be afraid to talk to the host to opt out, provide updates for the host to present on your behalf or only attend that part.  You can spend all or part of that hour working on tasks which is a better value of your time.

Anyhow, that’s it for now.  For the record, I’m writing this on my lunch hour because I do have a meeting right after lunch  :) 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Daughter Turned Four Years Old!

It was last week.  We were planning to host a BBQ but of course the weekend we wanted to have her party, it rained heavily for the first time in weeks.  We ended up having it indoors and made pasta for the guests instead.  It didn’t matter for my daughter, she was so happy just to have a party and see her friends.  She didn’t care if there wasn’t a inflatable castle or a bubble blower.  As long as there was cake and friends to play with, she was happy. 

[Andrew (2)[6].jpg]My brother got her a balloon monkey as a small part of his gift to her.  She loved the monkey.  This is what I love about my brother.   He always knows how make kids so happy with such a simple thing like a balloon monkey.[Angie&Sean[7].jpg]

My sister and fiancĂ© got my daughter this scooter.  We already have one, but it’s old and not as safe. I like it as it’s designed to grow with your child.

A really nice present was this personalized name train set.  This is my personal favourite and it’s handmade!  It’s proudly displayed on our mantel until we find a nice spot in her room :)


She also got some wonderful handmade birthday cards!  The picture of the cat is actually my brother’s drawing on the envelope.

Friday, August 13, 2010

My iPhone Addiction


Haha, I was thinking of writing this post on my recent addiction to my iPhone and then I was emailed this cartoon from business cartoonist Hugh MacLeod.  If you ever watched the movie or read the novel Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey", you’ll recognize the shape of the monolith.  The monolith is supposed to represent an unseen higher power or alien life form that influences history and progress.  Kind of like a religion. 

I got my iPhone 3G for my birthday a few months back.   This phone is such revolutionary product.  I’m able to access my work and personal calendars and emails 24/7 and access the internet when there’s free wifi. I yet to loaded music and movies!   I’ve realized that this isn’t necessarily a good thing.  I’m so connected and constantly looking for new cool iPhone Apps, that I’ve actually neglected my creative outlets like my graphics, sketches and even my first love, origami.     darkow

I thought this cartoon was so fitting!  It’s funny as this is not the latest iPhone model.  I was privileged to hold a friend’s iPhone 4, but honestly my 3G is more then enough for me.  I just hope that novelty wears off soon but it’s been 3 months already!

Please give me strength!  :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Google Analytics and How Your Buyers Found You

analytics_logo This is directly from a forum post on the Etsy forums by cindylouwho2

Google Analytics and How Your Buyers Found You

Her post is geared towards sellers on Etsy, however this information is useful for anyone who would like to know how a site visitor found his or her website.

I’ve copied and pasted her post but put her screen shots where appropriate:

Google Analytics and How Your Buyers Found You by cindylouwho2

Google Analytics is not perfect, but most people can use it to track where most of their buyers found them.

First, if you haven't already, sign up for Google Analytics:

Make sure you also enable the "Site Search" option, which tells you how people searched for you on Etsy:

Then, after you make a sale (remember that it can take 2-3 hours for GA to update)

A] log into GA, change the date to today (top right) and find the buyer's location by clicking on Visitors--> Map Overlay--> Country (menu on the left), then the region and/or city.

TIP: not everyone will have exactly the same postal address as GA shows them from. Look for nearby cities. You may have to Google the town or city name they gave you to find out what it is close to

B] if you find the city or town, click on it. You will see a screen like this:

Note the little arrow pointing to the drop-down menu that says "None" - that is called the "Dimension" menu

C] click on the menu that says "None" - your screen will now look like this:

D] if you click on the menu option that says "Source", you will know which website they entered Etsy from.

If that is a search engine (like Google, Yahoo etc.) click on "Keyword" to see which terms they found Etsy with. Sometimes this will answer your question!

E] Unfortunately, GA only shows how people entered Etsy, not necessarily your shop, so if the source & keyword do not make sense for your shop, or if the source is "direct", you need to click on "Landing Page" to see what page they first arrived on.

Often you will get a result that looks like this:

(hover the cursor over the shorter title to see the long one in the box)
In that result, the person searched "In Canada" in the Jewelry-->Necklace category on Etsy, & found my "paua-abalone-shell-and-crystal-necklace" on page 54 of the search.

This page can help you decode the landing page data:
although it isn't 100% up to date. Usually the codes are clear once you look carefully

F] If you could not find the city your buyer listed as their address (maybe they are on vacation & shopping from another location), then you can still try to find them by going to the "Content-->Content By Title" menu (on the left), & locate the item they bought. You can use the "Dimension" menu the same way as before to find out how the people who looked at that page today entered Etsy, & which page they landed on to find your shop.

Sadly, GA cannot track every buyer, as people can block the tracking, & some computers don't have the correct software installed to track through GA. Also, if you have a very busy shop or generally get a lot of business from one region (like New York City) then it might be tough to narrow this down. However, I can track at least 90% of my buyers this way

Try it! it is easier than it looks!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How to build a Facebook Fanpage

1568_computer_instructor_clipart I posted this on my origami and craft business blog in April 2010.  I thought it might be nice to share my thoughts with you!

Thank you for reading!

How to Build a Facebook Fanpage

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It’s was Elizabeth’s Birthday

Last week it was my niece’s birthday.  I’ve been so busy for little errands like buying birthday cards these last few months so I’ve been getting my daughter to make them for me. 

She asked me what to draw, so I suggested their family.  She said, “Okay, I won’t forget to draw the baby!”  I thought she was referring to my niece though oddly since she’s turning 2 and not really a baby anymore.

Nope, she meant the unborn baby.  My sister-in-law’s expecting and my daughter knows that babies grow in the tummy.   Never underestimate the intelligence of an almost 4 year old!

Has anyone pleasantly surprised you lately?