Shameless Promotion: Post Summer Cold Edition

Shameless Promotion: Post Summer Cold Edition

Last week, I was slammed with the classic terrible summer cold. I am feeling better now but it did make me miss having sick days just a little bit...

Here are some interesting things I've read:

Pay What You Want Taxi @ Boston Gal's Open Wallet
'Freakonomics' originally found that pay-as-you-go systems were actually profitable and here's another example of that.

Sold! @ Rural Runway
I am often guilty for forgetting about eBay. Boy am I happy when I remember though. Just last week, I scored a fantastic brand new Anne Klein silk dress for $40. A fellow Maine blogger, the gal at Rural Runway talks fashion and how to sell it for fun and profit on eBay. Great tips.

This Week In Business: Tough Love

This Week In Business: Tough Love

Ideally, we all want feedback. We just want it to be good most of the time.

Sometimes though, a business has to be able to listen to honest negative feedback and step back from what they are doing to improve. And that is what I learned, or perhaps more accurately re-learned, this week.

Anything worth doing worth doing well? I hope so... because my video still isn't ready!

I got honest feedback about my video, and I'll have to reshoot portions of it. This is discouraging but good.

I pushed through and mostly finished the video for my site, or so I thought.

Something about it though didn't seem quite right. So I emailed it to one of my most critical but kind friends. He called me half an hour later.

After some small talk, I asked, "So how was it?"

Pause. "You aren't going to like this." he warned, taking in a deep breath.

Too Cute Tuesday: Tie Dye

Too Cute Tuesday: Tie Dye

I once made this rubber band ball while being locked out of someone's apartment. Tonight, it came in handy.Christy, last week's birthday girl, requested we do a special tie dye Too Cute Tuesday. "I'm going to tie dye everything!" she proclaimed. This we had to see!

Well, that and we enjoy those more passive crafts on occasion...

Rit Dye (by the way, if you are stuck on how to do your tie dying, check out their website)
Hot water
Light colored items
Skewer (for poking)
Elastics (for designing)

Cocktail of the Night: Lemon drop martinis (mix plus lemon vodka, shaken to fantasticness)

1. Realize that you have nothing white you want to tie dye right before Too Cute Tuesday. Show up at Craft Central and figure other people will have things they want to tie dye.

Marketing Monday: DC Goodwill Fashion Blog

Marketing Monday: DC Goodwill Fashion Blog

I've been following the DC Goodwill Fashion blog for over a year. I'm what we'd call in the online world a 'lurker' on this blog, meaning I never leave comments but totally read and enjoy it. Here's a few reasons why this blog is a great marketing tool.

Even with a free Blogspot blog, you too can make a marketing impact. Really!

Genius Idea #1: The blog has a consistent (and actually interesting) voice.

The DC Goodwill Fashionista Em Hall (the blog's author) is someone you want to be friends with. She's fun, upbeat, and intelligent. Corporate blogs can feel stuffy, but this one never does.

Here is how Em explains the DC Goodwill Fashion blog (from an interview with Righteous (re)Style):

"The DC Goodwill Fashion Blog is all about vintage and contemporary fashion with a Goodwill twist. The blog emphasizes mixing high and low, old and new in attempt to help every reader discover his or her own personal style. And, at the end of the day, all money raised through the blog and help to support Goodwill's mission of training and employment for people with disadvantages and disabilities. In that way, one can look good and do good."

The Value Of An Online Versus Traditional Education Environment

The Value Of An Online Versus Traditional Education Environment

Someone asked me to write a post about online degrees. Since I had no experience, I put it out to my Twitter followers. The following is a guest post from Ginger, one of my Twitter friends. She asked me not to link to her account because she wanted to be really candid about her experiences. Here is what she had to say about getting an online degree:

Degree attained: Masters of Instructional Science and Technology
Time it took: Two years, full time online courses
Total cost: Approx. $8000 (not including books) (cost to me, after employer paid for tuition: $1000 plus books)

Financial aid: I was lucky enough to have my employer pay for my Masters. I paid only for student fees (around $250/semester) and books (varied). Thus, I definitely felt it was worth the financial and time investment, even with working full time (and sometimes overtime) and going to graduate school full time. So no, I don't think my employer paid more for the convenience of online classes.

My program was at a state university, and was what is called a "blended learning environment," that is we were mostly online (throughout the semester) but at the beginning of each semester (and the end of the last one before our capstone presentations) we met face-to-face. These were required sessions. So our program cost the same price another traditional graduate program on the same campus would have cost.

This Week In Business: Streetcorner Market Research

This Week In Business: Streetcorner Market Research

As I continue to work on my business plan and video (and, you know, paying work), here is what happened in Breaking Even Communications this week:

I tried my streetcorner market research.

A couple weeks ago, I vowed to stand on a street corner ask people the market research questions I needed the answers to in order to get my business plan done. Here is a moment by moment account of what happened when I actually did this on Tuesday:

9:00 am- Check my Facebook and see via a friend's status update that today is a 'boat day', meaning there is a cruise ship docked in Bar Harbor. More foot traffic is good for me!

10-11 am- Make my sandwich board with my almost out of ink printer and a spare piece of particle board I have from a previous Too Cute Tuesday project. I put on a cute but professional blue dress and walk into town.

11:45 am- I set up my sandwich board on the Village Green in Bar Harbor. 'Want to get more out of your website?" is the only text that fits. The words 'free consultation' do not. Oh well, I can tell people when I talk to them. I tweet what I'm up to and call my lady Anne at SCORE to let her know I'm doing it!

11:55 am- Board blown down by wind. I whip out my duct tape and to the amazement/amusement of a few nearby tourists, I duct tape the sign to the granite sidewalk. I try to make conversation with them, saying that between my duct tape, water bottle, and sunscreen, I am ready for anything. The woman is not amused but her son is. She clearly thinks this 'saleswoman' is too friendly!