Archive for March, 2009

Set Yourself up for a Little Criticism

Posted in Loaded Bow: Following Our Story, Resources with tags , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by loadedbow

I realised this week that I have not let my community be honest with me in awhile and that I am ready for some growth. I need to expand and improve and cannot do this on my own. Our coach, Heather White says, “The death of the entrepreneur is solitude!”

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This was two years ago…outdoors…and so fun!

Last Sunday I taught a painting class. I love teaching and am learning how to be a better teacher. One way to do this is to send out a questionnaire. A questionnaire is a request for feedback and the odd comment about what you could improve on for those students brave enough to say that they had a complaint….scary for a new teacher but ABSOLUTLY essential.  I also invite my coach to attend for free so that she can give me the invaluable advice on how to run the class better not only as a teacher, but to improve my profits.  It was scary for me to have her there and expose myself like that, but no scarier than her having to paint for the first time since she was a child…tehe.  SHE DID AWESOME!

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Feel the fear and do it ANYWAYS!

I also recently called upon all the artist that I admire and respect in the Vancouver Area and asked them to come and critique my work at my upcoming solo show. That’s right; I invited them to critique my work. Though in other fields criticism may not be a common way to grow, it is as inherent in the arts as the use of paint. Art school is particularly concerned with crits and the assembly of twenty to thirty peers around a few canvases in an art school studio is about the most common use of tuition dollars. For better or worse, the crit is a bit part of growing as an artist and learning the language of how to discern that which is cohesive and essential in your work and that which the budding artist can eliminate in order to achieve maturity.

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Some Things I have Learned This Week

Posted in Events Attended, Resources with tags , , , on March 20, 2009 by zoepawlak

I learned some things this week.  A big part of the idea of this blog is to share what we learn with each other, so here are a few things I learned this week in no order of importance, but all equally important:

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Catching the Land, A New Painting by Zoe Pawlak

Get a good accountant. Our personal trainer recently got a new accountant and they got her money back from the past two years. I would not do business taxes alone. I pay $120 but I know there are better people out there who are more expensive. If paying $300 saves you $1000, it is totally worth it to shop around. Also, get a list of what your accountant will do for you before you go ahead with their services. My girlfriend can literally drop off a shoebox of receipts and that is worth it to her, whereas with mine, I have to be really organized but I pay much less for the service.

And don’t forget to save money in a savings fund (Do NOT touch this money!) for your TAXES so you don’t get a total surprise at tax season!

Be good to yourself. Remember that you are doing a lot and there is often no one above you telling you this! I ask my partner to tell me I am doing a good job. I am a big fan of asking for what fuels you and this makes me happy, more productive and a better worker. I don’t rely on him to build up my entire professional self esteem (which is not as strong as I had thought it was) but I do get him to tell me I am workin’ it for our family, so that I can go out to the studio with his positive words in my head and produce really great work!  Really great work leaves really great money!

Being sick with children is not as fun as it was without children. Period.

Keep trading. I love trading services for my paintings. Your babysitting time can be traded for business cards. You have things or time to trade, so do it. I need models for an upcoming photo shoot for paintings and so I have offered each person a trade for their time. For one, I will look after her son so she can go for a jog, for one I will coach her for an hour for her business and for one I will paint a mural for an hour she needs help with. You are valuable and have lots of valuable skills others may need, just ask. Make sure they are commitments you can follow up with. If you are worried about up keeping your part, or have extra cash hanging around, sometimes it is better to just pay for something!

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Engaging Your Customers: Life´s for Sharing

Posted in Loaded Bow: Following Our Story with tags , on March 20, 2009 by genennis

I love the metro.  I don´t usually take it in Vancouver (because the skytrain is a sorry excuse for one), but I´m currently in Europe and so have been zipping all over the place via the subway.  Thus, my inspiration for my second train post of the week.

My mom sent me this video last week.  In January, T-Mobile hired 400 dancers and snuck them into Liverpool Street Station disguised as (*gasp*) regular people.  They had them dance to a series of classic dance sets, turned on the hidden cameras, and held their breath.  They could not have choreographed a better response for their ad.

The concept of the commercial is: Life´s for Sharing.  And the commuters did just that.  As the dancers kicked it into high gear (with many ´regular people´joining in), you can see people pulling out their phones to video and photograph this change in their daily routine.  Brilliant.  And so much fun that you can´t possibly be resentful of this mega telecomm company orchestrating the whole thing.

So, granted, I´m fairly confident you don´t have the same budget as T-Mobile, but I want you to think about how you engage your customers.  How are they interacting with you?  How are they having fun with your product or service?  And will they be willing to share?…

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The Story of the Chair

Posted in Loaded Bow: Following Our Story with tags , , on March 14, 2009 by zoepawlak

As you well know, last month we focused on Technology.  Gen has now taken her sweet self to Europe where she is supposed to relax and do a bit of work on Kev’s business.  I am sure we will catch her posting from a cafe or two, so keep with us this month to read her posts on posing as a European fashion model.  tehe.  I will be a little less exotic, yet aim to make up for my stable location with jokes and the odd moment of meaning ful content.

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My New Years Resolution since I was 12 was to be a better listener.  Seriously.  Every year I would make the same resolution becasue I interrupt people and wish I could learn more by more listening.  This year I just decided to pick a new resolution.  This is a story I found about listening.  Now that I am working with my husband, I know that I could stand to learn more and more about him and how he sees us working together for our business and family.  This is The Story of the Chair.

Can I also mention that I just discovered the Canadian mp3 blog Said the Grammophone…awesome. 

Have a great Sunday!

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/75227299@N00/298439869/

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zoe+loadedbow

The Obstacles to Discovering Beauty

Posted in Bended Bow with tags , , , on March 11, 2009 by genennis

I have a day job.

I teach at one of the most beautiful universities in the world. I teach because it provides a touch of stability in our lives as entrepreneurs. More importantly, I teach because I am passionate about education and because I feel like my students have far more to teach me than I could ever teach them (please don’t mention this to them).

Last night I was reminded of this.

A student named Mohammad gave a presentation on The Obstacles of Discovering Beauty. Given that this young man is doing his PhD in Mechanical Engineering, I was surprised on his choice of topic. It was a lovely surprise. He focused on how our expectations limit us and how the pace we keep can prevent us from seeing beauty. Among the numerous studies and anecdotes he provided, he told us the story of Joshua Bell.

 Joshua is one of the most renowned violin players in the world, a highly sought after classical musician. The violin he is plays is worth a whopping 17.3 million dollars. That’s 17.3 million. Just in case you thought it was a typo the first time. Joshua consistently sells out concert halls with tickets going for hundreds of dollars. Recently, he played in a subway station in Washington, DC. 1,097 people passed him by. 27 people stopped to throw him some change, while the majority of the others streamed past him without registering the performance.

While Mohammad acknowledged that there are multiple factors that would have affected the commuters reactions, he eloquently described how they were likely in a rush to get wherever they were going and that they were looking at Joshua through a lens which dictated their perceptions of the relationship between beauty and context (in this case, the validity of a subway station as a musical venue).

Mohammad went on to say that there is beauty in problem solving. That the development, analysis and evaluation of solutions can be parallel to the commuters’ reaction – that sometimes we need to slow down, acknowledge the context that we are working in, and single out our solutions without being hindered by our own expectations. 

What are your expectations? How are they limiting you? And are you keeping a pace that allows you to recognize beauty when you see it?…

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gen+loaded bow

Watch Gwen Bell GET MARRIED TODAY at 3PM MST

Posted in Tech Talk (Social Media for your Biz) with tags , , , , on March 6, 2009 by zoepawlak

Gwen Bell is a partner at Kirtsy, Social Media Instructor, World Traveler, Business Owner, Budding Photographer and Lover of Pretty Things. Today Gwen is getting married in Boulder, Colorado 03.06.09 and live-streaming the entire event.

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Gwen Bell

Loaded Bow has scored BIG time…really we think the world of this lady as we may have mentioned in our intro to Tech month. Five reasons we think Gwen Bell is someone to look to as an entrepreneur and social media goddess-of-goodness.

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Joel is not only SO cute, HE IS SO TAKEN! 

1) Gwen is a partner at Kirtsy. Kirtsy is the place to find and/or link to anything and everything on the Web that you’d like to share. It’s like “digg for chicks.” If Kirtsy users like what you submit, they’ll click on it. The more clicks, the more likely your link will make it to the Popular section on the left-hand side of the front page. The right-hand side of the page shows the Editors’ Picks links. Links on the front page are seen by everybody and get lots of love. The front page content is ever-changing and always cool.
2) She was one of the Social Media Specialist at The Mom 2.0 Summit which was just a few weeks ago. The Mom 2.0 Summit was a place for marketers, bloggers, and mompreneurs to get to know one another and hear the best of the best on topics for moms for whom the market is more than a place to buy veggies.
3) She salsa dances in heels.
4) Gwen was named by her peers as being ‘one of the 50 most powerful and influential women in Social Media’ on Ron Hudson’s Immediate Influence blog.
5) She dreamed up Chicks Who Click. This is a Conference Gwen puts on with Denise Smith. It’s all social media and skiing and fun!

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KIRTSY ladies!

Interview with  Gwen Bell:
Loaded Bow: ‘Social Media’ is a fairly new term to some business owners. Is it advantageous for everyone to be using Social Media?

GB: I think it’s advantageous for every business owner to know about the impact of social media on our daily life – last week the Rocky Mountain Newspaper closed its doors after 149 years in business. This is the latest in a string of newspapers shutting their doors – and it has a huge impact on business owners, small and large. I think it’s indicative of the fact that people are producing and consuming their media differently now than they were even five years ago. User-generated content sites make it easy and fast for us to all be “citizen journalists” and “eyes and ears on the ground” for one another. We are responsible both for what we produce and consume now. What is social media? It is the heartbeat of what’s happening around the globe, minute-to-minute. Who participates in social media? Whether you’re aware of it or not, all of us.
LB: I spend so much time online that actually have to time myself in order to be most effective and cost efficient for my business. What is the biggest waste-of-time mistake people make online?

GB: I can answer that question in two ways: if you’re spending time developing relationships online, I wouldn’t call it time wasting. Especially if your end game is to continue to grow those relationships offline, in real life. Also, if you’re spending that time sharing valuable information, even if it doesn’t come back to you immediately, it will have a positive impact. I see myself as a web scavenger and spend much of my day commenting on blogs, tweeting content that (hopefully) matters to people, writing blog posts about the topics I see are relevant. No day is a day wasted – we’re all experimenting here.
LB: In a recent post about being at the Huston Summit, you mention a love of teaching. The photo is a gorgeous shot of you teaching a fellow woman. Since the field you are in is always evolving, I would suppose there would be so much demand for specialists in social media. How has teaching been a part of what you do?

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Thoughts on Social Technologies: Charlene Li, Co-Author of Groundswell

Posted in Tech Talk (Social Media for your Biz) with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2009 by genennis

My, oh, my.  How does one best introduce Charlene Li?

As one of the most influential women in technology?

As one of the most creative minds of 2008?

As one of the most influential people in Business IT?

As visionary of the year?

As the co-author of Groundswell, which has received equally impressive accolades?

As the thought leader behind the Altimeter Group?

And, just as importantly, as a mom and wife to Côme Laguë?

Needless to say, we are very happy to have Charlene take a time out to chat with us about social technologies and her experiences.  We are honoured!

Charlene Li

Charlene Li

Loaded Bow:  Can you tell us a little bit about how you entered the world of social and emerging technologies?

Charlene Li:  When I was the Internet Publisher with Community Newspaper Company (a group of weeklies and dailies in the Boston area), I started townonline.com, which included self-publishing by community groups and people. That was back in 1996, before there were even digital cameras! So I was an early believer and adopter of “social” technologies.

LB:  Why are you passionate about social technologies?

CL:  I’ve long believed that the real power of the Internet is the ability for each person to reach out and connect with each other. After all, we are social creatures and it’s in our nature. Social technologies like forums, blogs, and Twitter make it very easy to do this — all you need to do is fill out a form to connect. And it’s those connections that can be life changing, from staying in touch with friends and family to making new ones.

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