Challenge: Exercising my Strategy Muscle

Inspired by blogger (and, full disclosure, my best friend/boyfriend) Peter Koehler, I have decided to exercise my strategy muscle. He challenged his readers to quickly list 10 business ideas (good or bad) that you come up with on the spot.

This was a fun activity – I encourage you all to try it! I was surprised with some of my ideas (and actually really like a few). Cool to see where your brain takes you when faced with an unusual task.

10 BUSINESS IDEAS (Brainstormed from 10am – 10:15am):

– Personal finance website catered specifically to women in early 20’s. Extremely personalized and simple, growing with them throughout their lifespan and doing unexpected things (like personalized customer service reps joining in on client phone calls to banks, etc, and teaching good financial question-asking by demonstrating).

– Streamilined and robust platform for food/beverage distributers and their vendors to organize Purchase Orders, schedule Pick-Ups, track out-of-stock items, communicate with eachother, etc. Clean/easy to use. (Currently this is sorely lacking in the food business!)

– Book printing company that receives children’s artwork in the mail from parents and turns it into a beautiful children’s book with a narrated story (OR child’s original story turned into book with blank pages so children can do illustrations in the book to match)

– Trademark search website that is clean/easy to use (also app for phone) and explains implications of trademark law in different industries. Connects clients with lawyers who are experts in the field as needed.

– Company that makes re-usable race-bib chips (those who race often can buy once and use for every race by keying in their code, races can provide discounts to those who already own these, helps avoid packet pick-up hassle/expense)

– Design company specializing completely in “re-designs” — company name-changes, logo changes, packaging revamps, etc. Seeing this as a speciality gives companies confidence in the middle of what can be a stressful transition.

– “Luxuries” monthly box: You select how much per month you are willing to spend and your luxury categories of choice (anything from new athletic socks to expensive candles to fancy salt) and you receive a box each month with a surprise luxury

– Penpal Pledge — You receive pre-stamped, pre-addressed notecards in the mail each month to write to friends (you can sign up for 1-5 friends and key in their addresses ahead of time). You receive a 50% discount on the cost if you postmark ALL of these notecards within a pre-set time period (a motivation to actually write your friends like you pledged to!) You can choose a package to do on your own, or give as a gift to your friend so you write eachother).

– Minimalism challenge: A daily email for 30 days with challenges (get rid of 5 items of clothing and donate to Goodwill, unsubscribe to your junk mail, etc) so by end of the month your life is more streamlined

– Art printing platform that allows young age 18-and-younger artists to upload high-res images of their art — so anyone can log-on and purchase beautiful prints (from family members to community coffee shops to people who just want to buy great artwork from young people). Young artists get high percentage of the profits (they are given a suggested price to cover costs but can price higher if they’d like).

Would You Be My Roommate?

It’s been busy over here: Besides several weeks of recent travel, Wild Friends recently moved into a real office (no more work from home for us!) and Erika and I moved into new homes!

While it is definitely bittersweet that our five-year roommate relationship is coming to an end, we are both so excited for the next time in our adult lives — working at an office and no longer living with co-workers! (And don’t worry… we will definitely still make excuses to hang out as much as humanly possible).

My new home is across Portland, in a brand new neighborhood that I already love. I’m living with new people too — two gals and a guy who I met on Craigslist. I knew they could be a good fit when I saw their selection process for roommates included the below questionnaire (instead of the typical Q&A).

Below are my responses that (apparently) made me worthy of an in-person meet up… and then a move in. Guess it worked out pretty well.

1. What are your current craft/ man-craft projects?

I am painting a lion for my friends parents! Previous artistic works includes a life-size painting of a moose.

2. It’s your turn to cook family dinner- what are you making us?

I love to cook! Here’s hoping you guys aren’t vegetarians because my favorite food in the world (right now) is this amazing coffee-rubbed steak. I can hardly speak while eating it. But if you are vegetarian, no worries — I’ll make amazing mashed roast sweet potatoes on the side with a kale caesar salad. Oh yeah.

3. Pitch us an idea for our group’s Halloween costume.

Anything with hats/wigs/headpieces of some kind. I like to make my hair into ears (like young Nala in The Lion King, Broadway version… worth Googling if you want to see what I mean).

4. 5 Best movies in your collection

Mary Kate & Ashley’s collected works… Billboard Dad is a fave, but the smuggling plotline in Holiday in the Sun is hard to beat.

5. Are there any surprises regarding your personal hygiene?

Wow, I hope not. I take really short showers? That can be surprising to some people. I was on swim team in high school and perfected the 5 minute rinse.

6. What’s your typical bedtime?

10:30ish on “school nights”.

7. Your idea of an ideal low-key Friday night includes:

Popcorn for dinner, hanging out with friends, and laughing really hard on the couch.

8. What Hogwart’s house would the sorting hat send you to?

Ravenclaw! I’m pretty smart but not noble enough for Gryffindor.

9. How long would you last in the Hunger Games arena? What would your survival strategy be?

Befriend Katniss with the goal of being the last two left… even if she betrayed me at least my final memories would be of being friends with Jennifer Lawrence.

10. Do you have a solid plan for the zombie apocalypse?

Not in the least.

11. Clearly, we will be Facebook stalking you. Is there anything you would like to explain?

The girl in every single one of my profile pictures is my business partner/best friend/current roommate Erika. We’re not in a fight or anything, just moving out to get more work life balance. Also, you should probably stalk her too since you’ll likely be hanging out with her a fair amount.

12. How do you feel about wood paneling? Seriously, your room is wood paneled. See the picture.

Always wanted to live in a tree.

13. What does your typical week day look like?

Wake up, go run or do yoga, shower, eat breakfast — to our office downtown around 9am.

Inspirational Lady Monday + My Next Mission

6a00d83518cb2b53ef01156fc0d218970c-500wiThe inspirational lady on this rainy Monday is artist and author Keri Smith.

Author of several amazing books and collections of thoughts (as well as creator of unique challenges and illustrations), Keri has inspired people all over the world to approach the world in a new way.

keri smith journals

I followed Keri’s blog obsessively back in high school and only recently-rediscovered it. The little quotes she drops into her blog are so thought-provoking.

Keri has inspired me to seek a little more unexpected, irrational magic in my life this week! Reading her blog last night made me feel excited to leave a note in a public place, wrap a gift for a neighbor I haven’t met, give strangers kind compliments… What could be better inspiration than that?

tumblr_mudr7kFaVJ1qau7j6o1_1280So, my mission for the week (I’ll be traveling, but so much the better!): Do something unexpected and fun for other people every day. I’ll report back on Sunday with the little acts of magic I have done!