Browsing articles in "General Observation"
Nov
3

EVofC Search Term Going Nuts

I’ve been getting a TON of hits for the search term “evofc”. Now, at first I thought there had to be something else that was picking up the audience and mis-guiding them to my site. So I took a look at the results, headlamps and a soccer team… college enrollment codes…. hmm. But you’ll notice, the first two pages or so have a ton of all my personal accounts from flickr to myspace. Perhaps people just want to know what EVofC means? E-Visions of Creativity, my friend.

There was a year between high school and college where I was VERY lost as to what I wanted to do as a career. I had always had a love for the web and had been creating websites for myself and friends for a couple of years at that point. Tiny geocities, not awesome to look at, sites. In my search for a career, something to do for the REST of my life, I wanted to make sure that what ever it was I would love, I would want to do, for a lifetime. This kind of decision was very hard for me to conceive at the age of 18. I spent most of my time online, gaming, building sites, playing with photoshop and wondering what I was going to build the rest of my life on. In a particularly heated discussion with my father, I exclaimed, “Dad, I know you want me to go do something.. but I’m not sure what I want to do! I want to love it, I want to be it, for the rest of my life!! That’s hard.” My father shook his head, “April, why don’t you just build websites for a LIVING.”

DING, DING, DINNNNNGGGG!  We have a winner!!! An epiphany then crossed over me, like a cold shower. ” You mean they pay people to do this?” Finally, I had found my answer, this wonderful morsel of personal honesty and self-realization. The answer to the ultimate question after high school, “What do I want to do with the rest of my life.”

So, instead of working at a burger joint or a movie theater through college, I started my first freelance company, E-Visions of Creativity. And now you know the rest of the story behind what EVofC stands for. 🙂

Oct
9

Self Portrait through Trash

I was surfing some of my more design-related RSS feeds when I came across a very interesting artistic work featured on Quipsologies.

Tim Gaudreau has made a huge photo collage out of all the trash he’s thrown away in the last year to make a statement regarding America’s waste and energy consumption. After 365 days of photographing everything he threw out, he amassed over 5,000 photos of his own trash.

Check out his website to learn more about this interesting artistic expression of America’s consumption. Perhaps we can all take something away from this personal experiment and use less.

Self Portrait as revealed by trash - Tim Gaudreau

Aug
21

Savage Chickens… Need I Say More?

Found this really nifty cartoon illustrator (Doug Savage) that I thought I would share… he creates cartoons on postit notes.

This first one, worries me, because, well… it’s what I do.

Life in Eight Easy Steps

Aug
3

Brand Aversion

I walked into Target yesterday to buy a flip top water bottle for my trips to the gym. I was READY to buy this product. I NEEDED one.

I walk down the isle to the selection of water bottles in the sports area. To my amazement the only water bottle on sale was branded by Eddie Bauer. Now I dunno what Eddie Bauer’s marketing staff tries to portray in their marketing, but my brand sence about Eddie Bauer strongly categorizes it with blonde bimbettes who drive the BMWs their rich husbands buy for them. I personally do not want to be associated in any way shape or form to that type of person. Thus, I have an aversion to the Eddie Bauer brand.

I frantically search the isle for ANY water bottle that doesn’t have the branding… the few that don’t are the wrong style of bottle. So instead of breaking down and just buying an Eddie Bauer water bottle… I left the store without one.

I found it very interesting that I could have brand aversion to such an extent that I would choose NOT to buy a product that I had FULL intentions of buying when I entered the store. Then I started to think about all the other brands out there that if they were the only product available, people would actually choose NOT to buy the product even if they NEEDED it because of brand aversion.

Take for instance, Ford. If you ask many Americans, Ford is probally not one of their top brands when it comes to cars. In fact, I bet there are quite a few people that would choose not to buy from them, even if they were the only car company.

So what creates brand aversion? I’m sure many factors come into play, such as quality, branding, marketing, selected market, etc. In addition, even though a brand might be strong in one area, such as marketing, if their quality isn’t up to par word of mouth is going to overcome all attempts to positively market the brand.

Brand aversion also plays a huge part in fair market and the consumers right to choose, if you feel so strongly about not buying a particular brand, you’ll try any other brand over them. This leads the way for new upcoming brands to take hold in markets even when large competitors exist.

Next time you’re in the market for a particular product, make note, because your choices on brand selection might have everything to do with what you don’t like about the other guy rather than what the selected brand can do for you.

Jul
11

Life Plans and Success

Last night I attended the Refresh Phoenix speaking event featuring Pam Slim, author of the blog Escape from Cubical Nation. Pam focuses on transitioning corporate employees to the freedom of entrepreneurship, and gives us some simple steps to freeing ourselves from the bonds of the cubical.  

  1. Create your life plan: Visualize where you want to be and what kind of life you want.
  2. Find your passion: What do you love to do and are great at?
  3. Find your market: Who do you want to help and market to?
  4. Execute and Implement: Don’t focus on making it perfect, just start working on it.

Pam instructs that your life plan should always guide the rest of your decisions regarding making the rest of the decisions regarding your new business or career. Make sure to always regroup and say to yourself, “Does this help me get to where I want to be?”  

Regarding selecting a passion and a market Pam says to truly be happy in your new career you should only accept “projects you would do if no one paid you.” This insures that you won’t be overworked and will be able to truly enjoy the life plan you’ve set out as your goal. Joshua Strebel, owner of Obu Web Technologies, suggested to double or even triple your prices to create value of your service as well as to be able to hand select the cream of the crop of your clientele. Pam related this comment with that of high school romance. “If you seem desperate no one will want to date (work with) you. Being secure in your value and turning away clients will make clients see value and be drawn to you.” 

Pam discussed team building and how to successfully build a great support team. She suggests finding a balance between your “big picture thinking” by finding employees who are detailed oriented to compliment you. She warns to not select employees that are exactly like you. If you have trouble on trying to find excellent employees, try finding a mentor in your field that is just a few steps above you in their business and ask for guidance. She sited Bruce Tuckman’s Four Stages of Team Building as a good model to follow as well as mentioning real value in Myers & Briggs personality inventories as good ways to find a truly balanced group. 

Pam also touched on making sure that you keep with your life plan, don’t feel pressured to work a straight eight hours because that’s how you were “taught to work in the corporate environment.” Make sure you take the time to do what you set out to do in your life plan so as to not burn out. Also, during the course of your business, feel free to take a time out and make sure your business is aligned with your life plan. 

I really enjoyed Pam and her opinions, and even though I may never start my own business, I feel a lot of the discussion can help people shape their careers, regardless of whether or not they’re self-employed. 🙂 Thanks Pam!!

Jul
6

Love this site!

I love imagination  and creativity in advertising. If you do too, check out ScaryIdeas.com for the latest and greatest in print and video advertising that makes you really think, “That’s GENIUS!”

Jul
4

RSS Catching On?

I think I’m seeing an increase in the popularity of RSS feeds. With the advent of digg, delicious, and technorati tapping into your favorite stories and interested topics are easier than ever. Also the google desktop and the Vista widget bar allow super easy access to your bookmarked favorite reads. I see RSS feeds poping up all over and with more attention being drawn to them. LOOK I HAVE AN RSS FEED!

Aug
25

the.way.i.see.it

I always read these on the side of Starbucks cups everytime I get my Venti (some silly word for large) Vanilla Latte. However, they usually never express the way “I” see it. Which may be the point, to expand the WAY I see it.

Anyhow, I read the one on my cup today, and I think it really does have merrit.

The Way I See It #150

All unhappiness and stagnation result from a feeling that you are at the mercy of the world and the people in it. But what a joy it is, what a major shift to strength and power, when you no longer wait around for others to favor and love you, for others to flatter and reward you. Reward and flatter yourself, favor and love yourself.

— Kira Salak, Writer and National Geographic Emerging Explorer

This is what I aspire to be. Self-loving and self-rewarding. I don’t like depending on others to give me the satisfaction of joy and happiness. What I don’t like even more are those people who feel that you shouldn’t be joyful over the simple things in life. What happened to contagious happiness or laughter? Are we all so cynical that life’s simple pleasures can’t be enjoyed?

Aug
3

grrr

My Trillian messanger has a built-in plugin for Wikipedia. I just found it funny that you can find the word “Grrr” in there…

”Grrr” is an onomatopoeic word which imitates the sound of predatory animals, and is often used with other, related meanings. It is one of the rare pronounceable words of the English language that consist solely of consonants. Its most simple use is by children imitating animals, “Mommy, look at the lion, Grrr!”.

Jul
30

hooray.beer

I love the new Red Stripe Beer commercials! They really do a great job of really saying nothing about the product, but the spokesman really does (some how) help you remember which product they’re talking about.

Boo! Creepy foot doctors. Hooray! Beer.

What is this?

This little blog happens to be the personal ramblings of one April Holle - I'm female, outspoken, webbie, a community evangelist, and Principal of Made Better Studio. Check out the about section for more info.

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