Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Under the Weather

It's that time of year: Heading into November. Semester is heading toward the end. Final projects piling up. Stress mounting. Making sure the Etsy shop is ready for Christmas. It's a competition to see who can keep their head straight on the longest. On top of all that, it's flu season and lots of people on campus and at work are out sick.

Today I am feeling under the weather. Although I am not deathly ill, I'm just sick enough to not do anything today: 3 classes, 2 meetings, and 1 event. Good Providence got me out of my busiest day this week! So I was able to get some much needed rest and a restart. I also had a sale today which always perks my spirits up!

As far as the Etsy shop, I'm working on getting my Christmas merchandise up. I'm looking to make "the ultimate" Christmas card. What do you think would be "the ultimate" Christmas card? What would make you say, "Wow!" if you received it in the mail? I'm wanting to make them for my own personal use as well as selling in the shop.

As October winds down, I'm looking forward to a new month. A fresh start: November. October was tough and really trying. But I made it through!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Photography 101: What Makes a Good Picture?

1. prompt instant reaction- "Oh neat!"
2. evokes an emotion- tells a story
3. has an unusual viewpoint- viewpoint creates an image with visual impact
4. treats a subject lightly- the approach is simple but made dramatic
5. uses color distinctively- color is the subject as it creates a mood
6. has a singular composition- sense of completeness
7. takes advantage of the lens effects- lens choice affects the whole photo
8. captures a moment- a magic time

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Unethical Customers?

1990's- Cadence Design Systems is located in the Silicon Valley of California and produces software. Gradually, a group of employees left Cadence to form a new company called Avant!. Avant! is a direct competitor of Cadence. Avant! was somehow able to produce the same software Cadence sells in far less time it took Cadence. This automatically put a red flag up for Cadence's CEO. After some investigation, Cadence's CEO learned that the former employees who formed Avant! stole Cadence's software and started Avant! based on that stolen software. Everyone, employees and customers, eventually found out about the stolen software. But what did they do? When Cadence's CEO wanted to file a civil lawsuit, they told him to lay off, and it's not a big deal. Avant! was still making sales even though the customers knew the software was stolen. All employees involved in the intellectual property theft were prosecuted and fined.

Most people would look at the former Cadence employees and condemn them for their criminal they should be. Stealing is never right. But what about the customers? They KNEW the software was stolen, and yet they continued to purchase from Avant!. They just totally brushed off the whole criminal case and gave their patronage to a corrupt company. The employees were prosecuted, but the customers buying essentially stolen goods got no repercussions for their actions.

Now, take a look at Walmart. They are looked down upon by some for their business practices: buying goods from overseas made by employees paid next to nothing to produce them; using its bargaining power to negotiate prices for products far less that their worth. Yet people still purchase from Walmart. What is the difference between purchasing from Avant! and purchasing from Walmart? With the recession now, people need to stick to budgets rather than ethics, so they continue to shop at Walmart which has cheaper prices. The dollar has more weight than ethics.

In theory, customers of both Avant! and Walmart would be considered unethical...but society now does not call them out on it. Are these customers unethical, or is this just the way of life now? What is your opinion?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Time Management 101--Priorities Exercise

My Business Communications class did this last week, and I found it to be extremely beneficial. If you are serious about managing your time better, I encourage you to do this exercise. If not doing it will be just a gentle reminder of how precious time is. Do this in order so as to not to spoil it:

First, grab a piece of paper and draw a line down it making two columns. Mark one column as longterm job goals and the second longterm personal goals. What are your longterm goals starting right now with your perspective on life right now? Spend just two minutes writing down every thought. it?

Now flip the paper over and divide that side into two columns as well. Mark one column job and the other personal life. Now, if you knew you would be struck dead by lightening six months from today, how would you live until then? Spend three minutes writing down your thoughts.


Now take a look at what you put for both sides. It is amazing the difference between longterm goals and the things you would do knowing you were going to die in six months. But isn't that reality though? We do not know how long we have on this Earth. My results showed that I would spend more time with family and friends if I knew I were going to die soon. My whole class felt the same way. Take time to really pinpoint your priorities and what means the most in your life. Successful time management stems from having your priorities in order. I would love to hear what you came up with and your thoughts.

Next time I will post specific time management sure to stop back!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Song of Praise and A Cry for Help

Dichotomy has come alive to me this week. This week has been truly overwhelming. I do not think I have ever experienced a time with extreme high points and low points all at one time.

A song of praise: Classes are going extremely well. Although they consume most of my life, I am thoroughly enjoying them and somehow managing to finish all my homework! I have had success with my Etsy shop in recent days. I have received a couple sales, a couple custom orders, an inquiry for a large custom order, and great feedback comments. This just validates my work and tells me that this is what I am supposed to be doing. I also have been provided with babysitting opportunities that will bring in some much needed cash. All I can say about these things is, "Thank you Lord!"

A cry for help: I am still discontent with my part-time job, and it seems I will be stuck there due to the job market. I also had a situation that has been going extremely well, but something yesterday literally made my heart drop. Have you ever felt your heart literally drop? Then after dropping, the heart hangs helplessly heavy the rest of the day. Not a good feeling! I also got news that my best friend is going through some changes in her life. I haven't been able to talk in detail with her yet, but just knowing something is going on makes me worry of course. The Christian group on campus that I help lead is also frustrating me as well. All I can say about these things is, "Help Lord!"

God has been so generous to me with providing success in my Etsy shop and the babysitting opportunities I have. At the same time, He is testing my faith with difficult circumstances. This whole situation radiates of God's love for me as His child. He loves me, so he provides for my daily bread. He loves me, so he gives me testing times to make me stronger. My times are in His hands, so I can rest assured He is in control.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Shake Your Tail Feather!

This video made me laugh right out loud...perfect for Friday! Enjoy!