Thursday, November 26, 2009


The word passion is popping up a lot. I've been spotting it online on twitter, reading about it in Idealog (my favorite NZ mag) and in blog posts of various geeks.

At the moment I'm reading a book -bits of it at every opportunity- about motivation, career changes, drive, psychology and work satisfaction. The main question is: why do we do what we do? And muy importante: how to stop working! When you have passion then work is no longer 'work', as the drive has taken over the conventional 9-5 stamina attitude. It's about actually wanting to work as it becomes what you love to do.

Also great work is about getting back to the grind instead of living it up after one success (example: Coco Chanel). Read: dedication baby. The new generation seems not to like to work diligently -generally speaking- because they are used to immediate gratification. Everything HAS TO BE now. Why wait later to finally drive that flash car? Why not have money now? But I want to go overseas NOW?

Most of us envy the people who absolutely love what they do. They get up happy in the morning and bounce around exuding an aura of satisfaction. They inspire others by simply enjoying their life. They set an example, they raise the bar and they inspire. I guess the combination of possessing that good karma to know what you love, to dedicate yourself to your cause and to appreciate that which you already have unify the pleasure of work. (Also it pays to find out if you are a dreamer or a visionary here -article by fellow Businessblogger Charles)

Believe in what you do, share the joy and knowledge around and support others in their search and you will contribute more than you think. Be passionate! Find out what your zesty thrill buttons are - what really spins your wheels?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Interesting. Seth Godin makes a point on his blog today that differentiation shaped by your accent can work as a disadvantage if you're not aware of it... He refers to how you speak, not necessarily your accent as such. It's about "the way you write and act. More than geography, accents now represent a choice of attitude." (read Seth's blog post here)

His point is that if you are different from him, he is less likely to trust you. This is where it gets interesting. Naturally we all relate to people we can easily connect with as they seem to be LIKE us and we all know like attracts like. The question should be: which kind of people would be open to the conversation on your particular accent? It's a mistake to want to appeal to everyone, you want to appeal to certain someones, and you should know who they are.

This natural selection process can work as a means of navigation in this crowded world of voices that: want to be heard, are looking to find answers, solutions and meaning. Instead of screaming loudly on twitter that you should be followed because you are so darn special, it would pay to listen first. They may listen if you have a news worthy accent and bring a remarkable story to the table. So the accent is not just a 'front' which enables you to connect to similar accents, but to lift this accent in such a way as well that it becomes something that by nature will attract attention, not because it's aiming to find it.

An accent is only interesting if it has value because people want to know about what story it is telling, not because they need to hear it all. Listening however is more of a factor in connecting with others then it is to speak. Put your ear to the ground, talk later.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Summer is here!

Yay! We are ready for some serious sun and icecream action over here!
Hemptech has realeased upholstery fabric 'Cows and Couches' and the cushion prints of 'Summer' featuring Pukeko birds and jandals I designed for them.

The Summer design is available in 2 colour ways! Don't they look snazzy summery perky?

Cows and couches upholstery fabric:

I think they look awesome!

I get asked sometimes, where do you get your inspiration from?
Well... ask Kate (below) and Kuddles. Nieces Cutie and Sweetie also make a dashing note. Their dad Carlin is a fullbreed Highland bull and has a face as broad as a pickup truck's wheel. Many people think he's scary, but he's quite a softie bless him.

Then of course there's the fanclub....

And my personal advisor Diva Spunky. It's true, pigs are very intelligent. She wasn't sure about those funny blue birds as she had seen them just now and again in the fields below, but she was tripping on the jandals. Get me some pink ones she said.

So finding inspiration is definitely not the hardest part of designing, it's finding the time to do it, and to make squishy cushions that are fun for you in your home.

Monday, November 16, 2009

goats man, that's what

In case you were wondering: goats rock the kazba. Oh yeah.

It may seem incredible: much of the story behind the new feature film The Men Who Stare at Goats (featuring Jeff bridges, George Clooney, Ewan McGregor and Kevin Spacey) is based upon secret U.S. government programs to turn paranormal phenomena into operational intelligence.

For more on the story behind the goatstarring:
movie trailers and writer Jon Ronson

Friday, November 13, 2009

the busy-o-meter

When do you hear anyone saying these days that they’re quiet, have nothing to do and are bored in the weekends? That’s right: NEVER. Our lives have become trends of busyness: the more worn out we are, the more we seem to score. But do we? Maybe it used to look interesting, but only till we reach the point of actual exhaustion and have a Burn out, then all of a sudden the busyness does not seem so cool anymore.

This morning I heard that yes the newly printed Pukeko cushion design AND the full upholstery fabric samples will be send to me today, they have been so FRANTIC at fabric manufacturer Hemptechs (excuse the pun) that there was a delay in getting the samples to me! But, all good things come to those who wait, and even better: to those that ASK.

What have you done so far this month that puts you on your brownie-points-yeehaa-achievable-meter and what have you organized that actually ensures continuous sanity and YOU-time?

It REALLY doesn’t matter if you’re busy or not, it does matter what you do with your time….

#1 be effective
#2 work smarter, not harder
#3 know your priorities
#4 set your boundaries (preserve you-time)
#5 have fun

Thursday, November 5, 2009

re invention

Do we continue to re-invent the same wheel? Yes and no.
Yes we do go in circles and no, we discover a new way by spiraling out of the box we were in.

The good news is that there are always ways around something or to just take a left and get off that busy highway of 'destined life'. We can choose not to churn out another 2 years at the same job or to finally decide to take fate in our own hands and design our website ourselves, learning WordPress and figuring out how to earn a revenue online. It just takes a bit of time to get our head around learning something new. The decision to change, is made more quickly.

I've decided to turn a leaf in my book. Not because I don't like the book, but because I think it's time to redevelop my abilities. Adding on to my experience seems to be a more interesting pursuit opposed to accepting the status quo and putting myself in parking mode. By more then one person it was suggested to stay with a certain action plan just because it would be easier. This I do not understand because of the reason stated above. I wouldn't learn anything new. To me, no progress equals no life.

I keep having very interesting conversations online and offline. They give me ideas; I find information which takes me further. You see, there are always going to be people who do what they do better then you. That, however, is not the point. If you have the predicament like me, to find yourself unable to cram yourself in a box so others can understand and label you, then it's time to assess the box and see whether it's necessary to establish any parameters for such a box. Do we want the box? Is the box useful? Do we really need one?

The problem with being an outsidethebox-er, is that it will also be more challenging to identify the 'target' audience, and therefore it will be harder to market to them. A consistent story gives a clear image and result. People are getting smarter though. They may find what they are looking for, but in this day and age the trend develops of your interests finding you. As a consumer, we need a more proactive approach to regulating what we let into our lives unless we are happy to let a stampede of media in.

The more complex the technicalities of our modern world get, the more interesting the conversation becomes, and the easier it is to connect. The contradiction is that there is so much on the market, yet it also becomes easier to pinpoint who shares your interests. The downside is that it's challenging to disconnect yourself from it.

As Chris, a commenter on Gapingvoid's blog said: "For me, the BlackBerry has become much more of an intru­sion than a pro­duc­ti­vity tool. I know plenty of peo­ple swear by their BB’s and ipho­nes. If that’s what they need to get their job/life mana­ged, so be it. I still have my Mac Book, etc, but I need SOME space/time when I am not wired in, and igno­ring the BB when it chirps and buz­zes isn’t wor­king. Plus, about $75/month savings!"

Hugh Macleod is a great example of a Creative who is knotting out his Niche. He is a business card cartoonist, a CEO of a South African winery, he's written a book on (social media) marketing and has -very successfully- build a Tribe of followers: the Crazy Deranged Fools. What he has nailed is combining his talents and uniting his activities under one banner. Basically he is now selling Stormhoek's wine in Texas through promotion (conversation) which shows his famous cartoons on the bottles and through both his website as well as his promotional work he sells Art prints of the cartoons, and selling his book on Marketing. I find this fascinating, as he successfully blends all his talents, which is not an easy thing to do.
These Renaissance people are on the rise: they blend their multiple talents into one brand. And the interesting thing is that the brand is personified: it's about the story, the unique product and the person behind the work. We will see more and more of this Niche type brand building then ever before. I'm also trying to knot out how to fit my interests and abilities in a format that makes sense to others, and how to present that.
And I know this: Business has become personal. Is there any other way?