Monday, September 28, 2009

A Green Business Model

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For those of you who went to, you went to a site with little content and some broken links. I announced it before the world was ready to know about it. On the one hand, this is a blog and not CNN. On the other hand, anyone can see it. With that said, the site is up, so peruse it, but it’s not finished. It should be ready in just a few days.

Yesterday, I had lunch with my sister, who is about 6 years my sr. and therefore (in all of her wisdom) knows better than me. During lunch, she asked me about an e-zine that I helped launch ( I told her that we had taken a hit a few months ago, in that our publisher left without notice, bringing another key member of our team with her. In business, that happens.

Now, after the loss of four of the six people one our team, me and one other person are attempting to rebuild. For anyone whose followed that, you know that we were down for a couple of months. My sister asked why those two had left, and I told her that in their charade of appearing green they merely wanted to use the title ‘green’ to find investors. She rolled her eyes, and said, ‘That’s how business is done.’ Well, perhaps. But last I checked good business was not about deceiving your partners.

Then, she asked me how we planned to create revenue and grow. I tried to explain our economic model, which includes a more organic method of creating an audience and revenue, rather than just relying on a few investors. Rather than listening and asking questions, she (don’t get me wrong I love her with all of my heart, but she has the listening skills of an ear of corn) insisted “that’s not green.” Of course, if she would’ve asked questions, I would have been more than happy to explain that that was our economic model not our green business model.

Our method of creating revenue was no more or less greener than trying to find investors; though, at the same time, Laura (my business partner) and I feel that our idea for creating a steady stream of revenue will allow us to generate a client base and an audience of readers at the same time.

Part of connecting with people, and my sister is a savvy business person (just not when it comes to communicating with her younger Brother), is listening and asking questions. Had she asked me if that was our green business model or our economic model, I would have been more than happy to explain to her that we intended to use it to generate revenue.

Today, I encourage you, whether it’s dealing with a business partner, a sibling, or your competitor, to listen. And when you don’t understand something or you want more information, rather than cutting that person off mid sentence, listen and then ask questions. Active listening requires the listener not to think about his or her next point. If it’s really that important, write it down. I find it helpful to not only look that person in the eyes, which I’ve discovered throws most people off, but to repeat word after word what they say to yourself.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Connecting Readers and Writers

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Today I wanted to let everyone know about my latest efforts at connecting with others here in the San Diego area. Many of you know that I am a writer, and somewhat connected in the local writing community. Of course, I have a long ways to go, but I am a voracious marketer, so it’s just a matter of time. This last week, after several months of working with other local authors and publishers, I and other local writers, along with Monkey C Media launched

From the very beginning, this NPO's focus has been to use various marketing tools, such as author readings and signings, to bring local readers and writers together. For the last several years San Diego has boasted of thriving yet disparate writing community. You would not need to look far to find one or another writing organizations. Read Local San Diego seeks to bring a cohesive effort to all of these writing organizations, as well as those authors and readers either involved with or not involved with those various writing organizations.

For anyone in the San Diego area, here is a list of writing organizations where you can connect with other writers.

Read Local San Diego

Publishers & Writers of San Diego

San Diego Writers Ink

San Diego Christian Writer’s Guild

San Diego Writers Cooperative

African American Writers and Artists

Fantasy and Science Fiction workshops

San Diego Writers Conferences (Includes Los Angeles and Palm Springs)

Romance Writers of America, San Diego chapter

San Diego Book Awards Association

San Diego Professional Editors Network

San Diego Science Writers Association

San Diego Writers and Editors Guild

UCSD Extension Classes

Words Alive

San Diego Writers Online

So, those are many of the groups that Read Local San Diego (The first on the list) seeks to brings a cohesiveness to. I’m sure if you looked you would find various writing and reading groups within the pages of the websites I listed. Peruse them and enjoy. I am not involved with every group or many; though, I have gotten to know some wonderful writers through those organizations I am involved with.

And if anyone from RLSD, PWSD, or SDWI, as well as anyone else who loves stories and is in San Diego, reads this, make sure to come to the DimeStories anniversary party on Fri (10/2).

Until next week keep connecting,


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

WARNING!!!! WARNING!!!!! The Swine Flu is not the Super Flu!!!!!!

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Today, I am going to end my eight week series about my childhood A.V. Malformation; though, I am going to transition into talking about the Swine Flu Vaccine. Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the day drs. released me from the hospital, and needless to say after having brain surgery, very little scares me—including global pandemics. For the past several weeks many of you have read the stories of my days in the hospital, as well as the weeks, months, and years following. I woke from my coma on the same day drs. warned my parents I might never see again, I started saying the alphabet the day after that, I started walking just weeks after drs. said I would not start walking for two years and I might be a vegetable for the rest of my life (I am two ranks from my black belt, so I’m one Bad Veggie). So, you can imagine after personally defying one medical expectation after another, I take the medical warnings that I need to get the Swine flu vaccine lightly.

Before I go on I want to set the records straight—I am not a medical professional. With that said, the swine flu is not the super flu. The flu is common in humans and animals, and this strain of flu started with pigs. So, if anyone sees a pig flying above their house, wearing a Super Pig cape, please report it, so the world will know this is the super flu. Until then, the Swine Flu is just a strain of the regular ol’ flu that is more uncommon. So, why all of the mass panic? Well, again, I am not a medical expert; though, according to my rudimentary research, as well as my own personal opinion, it’s because our collective immune systems have not had a chance to adapt to this type of flu.

If you still don’t believe me, and you’re thinking, ‘you said you’re not a medical expert, so I think I am going to listen to my Dr. first,’ I highly suggest you do, but I also suggest you don’t get the Swine Flu shot until you know all of the facts. I pasted articles throughout this blog for you to do your own research. According to the Yale Center for Public Health Preparedness, 5 to 20% of people in the U.S. contract the flu every year, and up to 35,000 of those die. Thus far, only 1%, or 300 of people in the U.S. who have contracted the Swine Flu have died from it (Warning!!! This article comes from FOX News, so it is either the absolute truth or a dirty lie. Depending on your political predisposition).

I do not intend to get the Swine Flu vaccine. The Swine Flu vaccine has side effects, and historically those side effects are more deadly than the actual Swine Flu. As I said, the Swine Flu is an uncommon type of flu; though, it is not a new type of flu. For those who have heard or read otherwise, I scoured through Google's archives, and found more than 2,500 hits (Archived Articles) from 1976 that talk mention the Swine Flu. According to good ol’ Wikipedia, as well as several of these article, the U.S. government halted the Swine Flu vaccine because of cases of GBS (paralysis) that led to death.

According to two letters from the UK’s Health Protection agency (I haven't found the letters, but I've found articles referencing the letter), the Swine Flu vaccine could lead to a fatal brain disorder called Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome (GBS). This involuntary paralysis, which can lead to cardiac arrest, is the exact reason they stopped giving the swine flu shot in 1976. This letter written by the HPA and leaked to a British newspaper warns of the possibility of GBS tells me that scientists have done very little, perhaps nothing, to ensure that an outbreak of deaths from GBS would not happen again. Perhaps you’re thinking, “Well, of course, they can’t guarantee there won’t be side effects.” Honestly, I have no verifiable data, other than the thousands of articles I’ve found on-line warning of this letter, but that’s enough for me to decide that I’m going to take the risk and not get the swine flu vaccine.

Throughout my entire life, I have only gotten the flu twice, and the last time was 24 hr. flu0 15 years ago. I have never gotten the flu shot, so I’m not about to start now. Considering those circumstances, my immune system is strong enough to survive the swine flu . . . er I mean the super flu (stop treating this thing like it’s Venom and your Spider Man/Woman). Though, as I said, I am not a medical expert, so consult your Dr. about whether you should get the Swine Flu vaccine. I’ve come to an educated conclusion that the risk of developing paralysis and possible cardiac arrest is too great for me to consider getting the Swine Flu shot worth it, especially due to my childhood A.V. malformation.

Oh yeah, keep connecting, but also keep washing your hands. Maybe even more often, during this cold and flu season.

Erick | Contact us | P: (916) 709-6101 |