Not Just a Hat Rack, My Friend

Last weekend, on the flights home from Choi’s stateside wedding reception, I had the surprisingly pleasant experience of watching ‘PS I Love You’. (SHUT UP. I have already heard every possible joke or insult about being a dude who sometimes enjoys chick flicks, so save your breath – it won’t change anything.)

… puts down his hackles …

Anyway, Hilary Swank loses her husband & basically starts her life all over based on letters her hubby left for her before the tumor got the better of him. One of the new parts of her life is actually being the creative, productive artist she wanted to be, working for herself as a shoe designer. Of course it goes perfectly well and she doesn’t have any problems at all getting the business off the ground… that’s not what the movie’s about, so they sheen over it. But it did get to me… you sometimes need a kick in the pants, mortal or not, to get your sh!t started. Between that part of the movie and our recently accumulated collection of entrepreneurial magazines, my sh!t got started.

I made a list of all the possible sources of revenue that I think would be a) fun to do; b) less than a full time job taken one at a time, but certainly a full day’s work if all of them ran simultaneously; and c) NOT require me to work in a cubicle & use words like ‘go-getter’, ‘the net is…’, and ‘let’s not get lost in the sausage-making.’

Taken piecemeal, NONE of these are fully able to support our current lifestyle (at least I’m not letting myself think that they could). However, if I get a few of them moving, if I stop spending my spare time on ‘non-contributing’ activities (such as making lists of things I’d rather be doing & then not doing them), one or two or three of them COULD actually become substantial, and the sum of their substances COULD, in a few years time, get me close to the bi-weekly payments I currently receive for small parts of my soul.

One of these ideas is blogging (surprise!). You probably ignored them on purpose, but hopefully there were one or two text ads from Google on the banner above my Twitterbox. I am aware that ad revenue requires eyes on pages and, more importantly, clicks to other pages where consumerism takes over… so I figure I need to:
1. Blog more often
2. Blog in a voice that’s my own – not that I use anybody else’s, but I mean a voice that’s distinct… signal, not noise
3a. Consider ‘re-branding’ the blog, or basically just change the name to reiterate the voice I’m using; and
3b. Promote the ever-loving crap out of it without pissing people off. I already link to it at the bottom of every Gmail I send, and it’s often in my GChat status window, and I do update it on Facebook using MirrorBlog… but those are all fairly passive. Once I’m satisfied with my frequency & the voice I’ve created, I’ll probably need to be A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E (whoo!).

The rest of the list is below, with a pittance of exposition on each one.

Idea 2: Create my own Improv group/troupe/trifecta. I seriously love doing what I’ve been doing on the improv tip. I think I’m actually fairly decent at it. I know at least 3 other people who are fairly decent at it but are better at things that I suck at and vice-versa. So I think I’ve got the raw materials, just need to put the product together and get out there with it. Worry about finding a stage & all the business pieces after we test the product out a bit (market research, folks… who says Penn State only teaches you to drink?)

Idea 3: Launch my own t-shirt shoppe, a la Busted Tees. This one’s easy & would take next to no time but might actually produce revenue. If you’ve known me at any point since I got to college, you know I enjoy me some funny t-shirts. Well, I’ve got at least a dozen ideas for new ones that I’ve never seen online or on you, and all it takes is putting some graphics & text together and either a) send it to an online insta-fab shoppe to have them made & sent to me to sell myself; or b) sell the designs/ideas to an already existing shoppe, i.e. Busted Tees or Snorg Tees or whatever. YES, this idea is simple and easy. NO, not everyone can do it, because not everyone is funny, and those that aren’t funny are sometimes also not clever, and those that are neither funny nor clever are also sometimes too lazy to do sh!t like this. You need to be funny, clever, or at least not lazy to make your own t-shirt shoppe. (BTW, I’m bringing back the unnecessary e’s at the ends of words. Kickin’ it Olde Schoole.)

Idea 4: Start a corporate presentation consulting firm. Hear me out. This is not me continuing to sell my soul behind a cubicle, but it IS more focused on dolla-dolla bills y’all. This is a hybrid idea of what I currently do and Idea 2 – basically it would be me teaching other people presentation skills. I went through 4 days of this training with my first company fresh out of school, and I know they a) make mucho dolares, and b) have almost NO capital invested in their business. While I don’t know as many fellow corporate slaves that would be interested in doing Improv-ish type stuff every day, I do know that, at the very least, I rock the presentation scene like whoa. I’ve gotten VERY comfortable in front of crowds, and am most fluid when I’m just talking about general crap… that is, when I’m not trying to justify my decisions or make a numbers-based recommendation. And maybe you’ve never seen a corporate presentation consultant speak, but these guys NEVER have to get into decisions or numbers unless they’re selling their own services. (At this I migh