Monthly Archives: January 2011

Local Bookstores – alive and thriving!

Our local paper highlighted today the strengths and sustainability of our local bookstore in this great article!

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Filed under Business, buy local, Community, Fun, Local, Minneapolis, Minnesota, St. Paul

The Perfect Package (via Footbridge to the Feast)

Great list, managing expectations is so crucial!

Things with Little Branch are progressing, even if it's at a slower pace than what I had originally hoped for. My sister, who also acts as my business mentor, recently sent me this article in an email with the subject line: READ THIS. For those of you who don't care to follow links, here's the gist of the article, or, the Eleven Harsh Realities Of Being An Entrepreneur: Your First Iteration of an Idea Will Be Wrong Your Friends And Family Won't U … Read More

via Footbridge to the Feast

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Filed under Business, Leadership

Site-Member Profile: 3232 Design!

Year Established: I’ve been doing freelance web design on the side since 1996, and in 2007 I created 3232 Design and started treating it like a business. In January 2010 I quit my day job of nine years as a Creative Director to concentrate on my business full-time, and it’s been nothing but awesome.

Business/Organization Name: 3232 Design. ‘3232’ is my address, possibly the least imaginative business name but I currently dominate the market for people searching Google on ‘3232’. Take that, RFC 3232!

Owner/Executive Director Name: That’s me, Richard Mueller. No full-time employees yet, and I’ll always keep it small because that’s how I can deliver the highest quality design with the most minimal costs.

Product/Service: Graphic Design, specializing in web design but including brand identity, print, and advertising for small and medium-sized businesses. I love working with creative types.

Unique Features/Competitive Advantage: I’ve won design awards, yet at the same time I’m a great web coder. Finding both in one person is highly unusual, and it allows me to look ahead to take advantage of coding tricks in my designs that save tons of time and money for my clients while delivering agency-quality design.

Contact Information: http://www.3232design.com/

Notes/Misc other: Though my design is often envelope-pushing, my business is very conservative. It was getting obvious that I wasn’t going to get laid off and if I wanted to do 3232 full time I’d just have to quit. I’d spent two years saving everything I made on the side into a capital cushion so I wouldn’t have to take out a start-up loan. Still, it was one of the scariest decisions I’ve made. Would I lose the house? How would I feed my family? The net result is, I’ve been profitable from my first day, and the freedom is very rewarding.

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Filed under buy local, Site-Members, Social Media

New focused twitter account – ClaritySol_SocM

I’ve started an additional Clarity Solutions twitter account, because my involvement in the Brickfish contest has brought me in to contact with new twitter folks, and many of them focus on Social Marketing. Much of my regular Clarity Solutions content is on subjects other than social marketing, so I thought I’d provide a more focused channel to help keep the signal to noise ratio as high as possible.

My specific goals for the account (and my social media process in general – not counting the contest) are:

1. to learn about social media, while providing interesting/informative content to those I’m in contact with
2. so that I can eventually interact intelligently with social media processes in my work life, especially with clients

I hope if social media is an interest of yours, that you’ll follow that account. Promise I’ll follow you back (unless your account seems spammy of course!). And there’s always the regular account: ClaritySol – for everyone generally! Thanks!

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Filed under Business, Marketing, Social Media

Late Fun Friday item – Music!

This links to one of the other Clarity Solutions blogs I’ve also just established.. am figuring out which content will go where even as we speak. But thought I’d make it available.

And what the link is for is a brand new song by the group CrossTex out of Germany! My cousin there is in it so there may be further postings as well, and there are some past songs I may also post.

CrossTex: Freedom

Enjoy!

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Filed under Fun

Sole entrepreneur websites – Then and Now

Back when I first had a consulting practice, in the 1997 – 2000 period, online marketing was very different.

I put up a website (had worked at an ISP, learned a bit there) using one of those do-it-yourself software programs (will post the name when it comes to me), managing all the linkages and parent-child relationships, choosing the look from the set options, etc..

It was a lot of work, but fun too. Then, I published it!

On to my domain that I had registered, via an ISP I had a relationship with.

And then I waited, hopefully, for people to find it!

It was like constructing this beautiful, elaborate structure.. on the edge of a cliff. Then, standing beside it, staring out into the vastness — hoping that some human energy from somewhere would boomerang back in return. Certainly that did happen, sometimes, for some people. Not so much for me though. Accounting services just aren’t all that compelling, really. Lesson learned, now all sorts of other content as well. Still – so nice to not have that chasm-staring thing going on any more!

I didn’t know anything about whatever search processes were in place at the time. There certainly was no online blog community like this with any ‘dashboard’ or ‘followers’ or anything.

Just had to hope that somebody would click on it from my web address in an email, or from a posting on an online forum.

Things are *so* different now.

I tend to look askance at some aspects of social media – the inserting of commercial relationships in to other social contexts, the privacy issues, the manipulations. However, the ease of access itself is so wonderful now. Remembering back makes me that much more grateful for all that is in place now. Definitely worth the struggle of minimizing the bad to have the good!

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Filed under Business, Community, Infrastructure, Resources, Site, Social Media

chocolate pot de crème with caramel pretzel crunch (via The Moonlight Baker)

And more wintry treats! Mmm..

chocolate pot de crème with caramel pretzel crunch A few years ago, my grandma wanted to take me into New York City for a fun, relaxing girls' day out.  I was responsible for planning the entire day – from what we'd do to where we'd eat.  At the time, I have to admit, I wasn't a huge fan of the city.  I didn't see much excitement in going there.  Too many people, too many buildings, and not nearly enough fresh air.  In the land of "so much to do, so little time," I struggled to think of activitie … Read More

via The Moonlight Baker

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Filed under Cooking, Food, Fun