In Pt. 1 of the "lessons from a rookie" post on crowd funding, I touched on a few (3) of the challenges of running my first crowd funding campaign. For this post, I resume with 1 more challenge and then a few successes. Keep reading ...
I recently launched a new product manufacturing company that seeks to develop and sell products that directly benefit widows and orphans in developing countries (wodesign.com). We (my wife and I) had recently invested in opening a 2nd location for our retail business so our extra cash reserves were not at a point to fund a new project such as this, but we felt called to do it now. So, I decided to move forward with a crowd funding campaign to fund the first product of WO Design, a dog toy called the WO Bone. It's been a bit of an experiment and a blast learning about a new way of doing things. Keep reading for some challenges we experienced ...
This past week, we were traveling for work. We attended a Pet Industry Trade Show in Orlando, FL (for our business, Dee-O-Gee) and brought the whole family (our 2 boys + Grandpa and Grandma). As part of the trip, we made the most of the proximity to Disney World a few times with our kids. And, Grandma and Grandpa watched our boys while my wife and I attended the show and "worked" during the days.
During one of the evenings, we were making our way across the "Disney Boardwalk" area trying to find a place to eat dinner and enjoying some mellow family time. We found a "carnival" type game with a water gun race (similar to the image accompanying this post). You know, the one where you shoot your water gun into a tiny hole and your car on the big board races ahead, speed dependent on how accurate you shoot your water gun. There is usally 3-8 people racing at a time.
So, we all line up to "race". I win the first "round" and Grandpa agrees to buy another round so we can all compete for a larger prize. Mason, our almost-4 yr old, was kind of defeated by his inability to shoot his water gun into the small target. So, all the others teamed up to shoot their guns at Mason's target and help him win the next round (I was unaware of this ploy to defeat me). In spite of this, I was just about to win the second round when the carnival worker physically grabbed my gun and pulled it off line. I missed and Mason ended up winning! My initial reaction to this was very humbling, in retrospect ...
Some of you readers may have seen this project that I've been working on ... the WO Bone. More about why and how this got started here. I had a few setbacks and I've made some progress. Keep reading below about where I am at on this new venture and some next steps I am taking toward the launch of this new product.
And, that's the first public photo of the WO Bone, over there on the left ... pretty cool, eh?!?!
There’s been a lot of Social Media buzz about Richard Sherman, cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, and his questionable comments following the Seahawks big win to advance to the Super Bowl. This post is not to draw attention to those comments, but to contrast them with some quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.
I had breakfast with a close friend of mine this morning that said, “One thing I hate even worse than a “sore loser” is a “sore winner” when talking about Richard Sherman. I have to agree. Sherman’s quotes and “buzz” tend to be very “me first”. But, he is an amazing football player and he has earned the right to speak his mind.
In contrast to Sherman’s general “tone”, I give you a few of my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quotes below. Isn’t it interesting that our annual Holiday celebrating the life of this amazing man was the day following the controversial quotes from Richard Sherman? To me, it seems like great timing as a reminder of a better perspective …
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” - MLK
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” - MLK
For me, there are stark differences between the hope and humility exhibited by MLK, with respect to the brash, disrespectful, ego-centric nature of Richard Sherman’s comments.
Personally, I choose hope and humility … you?
I believe there is an inherent need built within each and every one of us to belong ... belong to something, belong to someone, to feel connected and known. We were created to live in society and to be in healthy, effective relationships with others. Being connected with others and belonging to various groups (social, or faith-based) is one of the 'cruxes' of being an excellent leader and I believe our society is getting worse at it.
I have previously wrote, in general terms, about viewing the 'balance' of your life through the lens of a triangle shape; where 1 corner represents "UP" (your relationship with God), one corner represents "IN" (your relationship with other like-minded individuals), and one corner represents "OUT" (your relationship with others outside of your sphere of like-minded folks). The idea (modeled by Jesus in the book of Mark) is that we would live an integrated, balanced life that is thereby optimized for effectiveness. For this post, I'll dive into the "IN".
What does a healthy "IN" look like?
For some reason, this "post-Christmas" season, before the New Year is upon us, I am feeling retrospective about the past year and intentional about goals for the upcoming year. This is not regularly like me. Normally, I have a stream of on-going goals running in my mind that I don't need to write out. And, I don't look back into the past too often. I'm generally just "full steam ahead" on whatever is in front of me at the moment. This year is different.
'Bring Love In' (BLI) is an amazing organization in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia that you need to know about. I connected with them on a trip to Ethiopia in October of 2012 (more about that here). I'm really excited about the connection between BLI and WO Design that hopefully "takes off" in the near future.
BLI just posted an update on their site (here). I am amazed at the work God seems to be doing through Levi & Jesse (the BLI founders) and their staff. We are humbled to be able to support one of the "Keep One Home" families and we plan on doing more in the future.
I REALLY like what BLI does for a few reasons ...
Each year, as December starts, we try to be conscious of the Advent season.
What do you think of when you hear Advent? A few years back, I would have said, "Old traditions" "Christmas Candles" "Old Church Stuff" ... etc, etc.
What is Advent? I've learned a lot about Advent through our local church over the past few years. These days, I have a much different opinion of Advent ... It's a season of celebration in anticipation of the Birthday of Christ (Christmas).
What am I doing about it this year? How about our family? Good questions ...
This probably happens to most small retailers ...
The first few weeks of November are pretty slow as most people are waiting to spend their holiday shopping dollars until after Thanksgiving.
This post is part of a series about an illustration of balance in your life by using a Triangle, with each corner of the triangle representing UP, IN and OUT. I started it a few weeks ago (here) by "talking" through the goal of living a balanced, integrated life - represented by all 3 corners of the triangle. This post is focused on the "UP".
If "UP" represents my relationship with God, then I have personally been lacking in that department in the past few months (as I've stated previously on this site). I don't mean that to say I have lost that relationship (not sure if that can actually happen) but, I haven't been holding up my end of the bargain.
The principle of having a healthy "UP" relationship with God is hard, yet simple ...
As many of you B+H+L readers know, we recently opened a 2nd location of our retail store in our town - Bozeman, MT (Dee-O-Gee). We've been open for a little over 3 weeks now and most of the "wrinkles" are figured out ... including, having no heat for 4 or 5 days while Northwestern Energy fuddled around figuring out how to turn it on and a massive flood in our space. Nonetheless, we are really excited to have our big "Grand Opening" Celebration on Friday and Saturday of this coming weekend.
This is only the 2nd time we have done a "Grand Opening" type of promotion ... so, I've decided to list out a few of our strategies below and maybe you can relate to a few of them. Next week, after the Grand Opening celebration, I'll do a follow up post and let you know how our strategies worked. Keep reading for details ...
Much like this dog to the left, the new 2nd location at our business (Dee-O-Gee Downtown) was flooded last week ... sigh. As I was driving to work last Thursday morning I answered a call from the property manager at our brand-new retail location ... "Josh, we have a pretty major flood going on here ... ". Not the best way to start your day, right?
We are currently facing ...
~ An estimated $100,000+ in damages for us, the building and the adjacent tenants.
~ Our new self-service dog wash (which was just starting to gain some momentum) has been non-functional ever since. Hopefully this is only disabled for a few more weeks.
~ Recoup of reputation and momentum on the East side of our town, where the 2nd Dee-O-Gee is located
Read more below about my initial thoughts (some of which you may be surprised with) and what my strategy is with the balance of our business and family related to this flood, and how my hope/faith seems to be in the mix heavily.
Recently, I've been learning about living a balanced, integrated life. It sounds great, right? But, it's really hard to do ... and, to be honest, I'm not very good at it. Part of the genesis of this very website was aimed at an "optimal" version of living a balanced life with respect to your business/career, your family and your faith walk ... heck, even the B+H+L logo has a Triangle as part of it! But, for this series of posts, I'll be thinking through living a balanced and integrated life within yourself, within your spirit ... and, how that translates into the rest of your life.
Over the past year or so, my wife and I have been learning form a group of people that intently focus on this "balanced and integrated life" (disclaimer, this group is via our local church). One of the "cogs" of this learning is "The Triangle".
At first glance, the Triangle is ...
Recently, I wrote about a few things I have learned while working to open a 2nd retail location for our business in Bozeman, MT (here). That was 12 days ago and we have now been a functional multi-location business for 2 weeks ... wow!/sigh. I have learned more things related to operating this business in the past 2 weeks ... and, I've had some other things reinforced. Read more below for details. Image on the left there is of the front desk counter at the new location.