January 13, 2012

A Collection of Short Poems

For some reason tonight, I found myself in a zone and just felt like writing. Somehow, it came out as poetry. It wouldn't stop. Sometimes I feel I am only a messenger, a puppet. Someone uses my hands to transfer to paper and song.

I wanted to share. Make of them what you will. Maybe you'll find meaning.

Tomorrows pour in, over and over. Some may exclude part of us... and we may exclude some parts of them. We decide, but not alone.

Running around all day with coins in our pockets, jingling, falling out. Lemonade stands, long days waiting. Leaves on the ground, wet ground, cold ground. Yellow buses too loud. Day after day, so much new, so much changing, but very slowly. Break a while, then back to it, day after day after day. Final bell rings, gather our things. Put some coins in our pockets and run around all day.

Day glows. A far cry from a long stride that lasted all night. Thoughts linked together like chain. Endlessly different but tied. A circle, confused by a break in the line. Sleep.

If only! But it won't change. "Ifs" are all there are. "Nothing" is definite, nothing will change. Stones remain cold, quickly reverting after a slight rise. He sees but doesn't understand. He's lucky. He. It had to be him. No one else would fit.

The aftermath will be slow, shaken, dripping. Pools will gather, clear as from cracked Northern rock, but salted. Another chapter ends to make room. Another door opens to the bright.

I look through the glass, storms began raging to drive me away. It's time to get serious, bent over kneeling and folded like clay. I run towards the light as fast as I can to escape from the war. Thirteen steps, one more to go. Now I am free.

New to us. Barely here. The mist is gone, risen with the heat of the sun. Hungry and tired, crying. Shocked by opening eyes. Outside there's happiness. Strangers smiling… but what IS laughter. Words misunderstood and out of context or a glimpse of things to come. Here. Now. Oh so bright.

One more? Can't be sure. Sandman's knocking. There he sleeps, dreaming, questioning. "What if he leaves and doesn't return?" Will he remember? Will he be reminded? Will he even want to remember? A trail of breadcrumbs, yes. It will be set out.

January 12, 2012

What's it gonna take?

This morning I was putting my little 3.5 year old buy Aden into the car to drive him to preschool. He looks at me, puts his hand on my face and says, "Daddy, your face is hairy, you need to shave!" After I finished laughing my ass off, merely at the fact that this little boy spurted out such a thing, it actually got me thinking.

I got into the car and I remembered that not too long ago, I was living in New York, with only the dream of having a child of my own and the dream of getting out of NY. Back then, I can remember actually role playing, when I would be driving in my car alone, I would sometimes look at the passenger seat and imagine talking to my then non existent son. ( WOW! that's kind of embarrassing to say). Well here I am, 5 years since I moved to San Diego, with a completely different life, but more than that, a very different mindset. To my family and those closest to me, it wasn't hard to see I really wanted to get out of NY back then. I just didn't have the opportunity. I was running two businesses and really, as I thought, couldn't just uproot them.

The truth is, looking back, I could have. But it took a very powerful motivating factor for me to change that outlook. An opportunity had presented itself and I latched onto it and figured out what I had to do.

What it took me, what motivated me to get going, isn't what I want to express in this blog.

Recently someone close to me has been having difficulties in his life and as I see it, he's just lacking that one thing, that one really strong motivating moment, where he can draw the strength and pick up the pieces to move forward. Lately, it's just been a bunch of sidestepping, avoidance, unclear paths and very poor time management. Sure I've tried to offer some constructive advice, perhaps he can benefit from things I had gone through and possible learn something from MY mistakes. But when you're speaking with someone who thinks they have all the answers even before the questions were written, well as you can imagine, it's really hard to make a dent, let alone, try to convince them that I might know something they don't.

The opportunity that presented itself to motivate me to move was very fortunate. But I think if we look, try to find motivating factors in our lives, we can accomplish what we need to. This was a free but very valuable lesson that I learned and still apply in my own life. The thing is, how do I get this across to someone who thinks they know everything, whose ego is constantly in the way, who will never admit that they don't know the answer to something. How do you get through to someone like this. I really only want to help but it's so damn frustrating when they won't even listen, to anyone!

I have already suggested that he get into some psychological counseling but I'm pretty sure that will never happen! That would mean admitting that they don't know how to solve their own problems, which in all sincerity, is the essence of their issue, and he definitely won't admit to that.

There's something that I have learned in my life when trying to figure out a solution - and I am a VERY firm believer that there is a solution to every problem. It's not to worry about the "How?" The key is to begin taking steps, big or small, in the direction you need to go and you will find that the "How?" will present itself along the way. For example, one issue I had to deal with was packing up my home and my businesses to move to California. Initially, I looked at it as "How the hell am I going to do this, pack all this stuff up?" Then I remembered to stop focussing on the "How?" and just start taking steps. I packed the first few dishes and before I knew it, the house was packed. Then I kept moving, I had that momentum cooking! The "How?" was simply to do it.

I think if this person would just start taking steps in the right direction, things might begin to change and other doors might open up. But I can't "reach" him. On the outside, he puts up this facade that everything is great when I know good and well that the is suffering in his life.

What can I do?

Maybe you have some ideas or suggestions. Feel free to comment.

January 11, 2012

Brandy's Attic - Coming Soon!

Coming soon to The Village Shops and Club Graffiti

Coming soon to The Village Shops and Club Graffiti (Brandy's and my own build in Second Life) we plan on opening a vintage clothing store. We'll be asking some of the top known SL designers to provide two well designed vintage articles of clothing.

We're hoping to have between 20-30 designers to provide these vintage designs ranging from 1900's through the 1970's and all clothes will be priced under $L200. Designs will include both men's and women's.

We are well underway planning the design and build of the store and we'll be announcing the Grand Opening hopefully in 2-3 weeks.

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January 8, 2012

The Business Side of Second Life Music - For The Struggling Venue

Back in 2006 when I first joined Second Life and started performing live, there were already many, many venues holding live music events. After performing for a while, I noticed something, common among the many that were disappearing: Lack of a plan.

As a business owner in real life, one of the first things I did when forming my businesses was to create a short business plan. It was by no means elaborate but identified the key elements of the goals I was hoping to achieve. Of course making a profit was first on the list, but among the other top contenders for the higher bullet points was Successful Marketing. I know I've mentioned this in a previous post but I just wanted to elaborate on it a bit and offer an idea.

Many would contend that "Second Life business is not like Real Life". I completely disagree.

Running a business in Second Life is very similar to running a business in real life. There is overhead, staff, payroll, profit and loss and if you've formed the business legally in your state or country, there are taxes to consider from the income you earn. You create a or offer a product and/or service and hope the public will get on board, like it and purchase it. If you've incorporated, there are other facets of the business to consider. I won't get into business law and I'm by no means a pro on it, but among all, there needs to be active and continual marketing. Without at least a plan on how a business is going to get the word out about themselves, well as the saying goes, you might be "pissing in the wind"!

When you first start a business, SL or RL, a business really needs to focus on the "how's" of spreading their name to let the world know they "exist".free, free, music, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, marketing, blog, free, free, free, music, pr, baby, son, kid, child, love, seo,blog,free,free,free,free,free, live music, make money, money, free money, gift, gifts, seth regan, mankind tracer, secondlife, second life, sl, facebook, twitter, social, alexa rank
Here's an idea that might help offset the overhead of owning and running a Second Life venue. There are many different kinds of businesses in SL. Some happen to be quite successful. Before a venue can implement the idea that I'm offering they must first and foremost be professionally organized, complete with a solid, professional and current logo or brand identity and of course some marketing needs to be in place and continued. The one main rule about marketing is repetition. So once these are in place and the venue has built a solid name, they might consider this. Why not approach some of the more successful brands in SL and offer an Ad Board inside the venue. Nothing too big but definitely noticeable, likely nearer to the stage, visible. (I wouldn't suggest the venue overdo this or the venue itself will be a clutter of ads, like a fashion magazine like Vogue or Cosmo. First the venue will need to figure out how much money the ads will need to cover monthly... what is the current monthly deficit?... so they can assume to know their outstanding monthly needs. Then they can assume what the cost per ad should be at the point of sale. So for example, the venue gets 5 ads at 10K/mth each equals 50K/mth. They can then offset the balance of the tier, rent or whatever over head they still need to meet by adding in the tips they may receive from the events they hold. 

This is just an example and many models will differ and venue owners may have other ideas on how to implement it. I'm only trying to offer a possibly viable solution to what might be a good way to offset the losses the venue might be experiencing monthly. The ads offered can be of many different kind and of different pricing of course. Some may offer a landmark to the advertiser's business, or another might be a full 3-d interactive "something" that does more than just give items when clicked.

If you are a successful Second life business, then conversely, you might, among your marketing efforts, reach out to a venue to branch out into a different market, by offering an ad they can post for your business.

Again, these are just ideas I'm throwing out but at the root of it, I think the idea of offering ad space at the venue may work for some. If the venue hasn't become a "popular" venue, then perhaps they might consider going back a few steps and get some more marketing under their belt. I honestly feel badly when I see venues struggling. Many owners of the venues I play, even many I don't, happen to be friends and I don't like to see friends going through hard times.

If this idea seems reasonable, then I'm glad and I hope it will work for your venue. If not, and if you have some other ideas, please by all means post it as a comment on this blog.

Just please try to consider that a business owner MUST invest in their businesses to succeed.  These are investments of both money and of time. If you haven't invested in marketing your business, then it doesn't make sense to question why it's not succeeding. If you do have marketing in place and still aren't having much luck, the just go back to marketing drawing board. Many sales pros and even sales training books will tell you that when you're in a slump in sales, go back to basics. Just go back to the start and follow the map again. I can honestly say that I have practiced this myself.... and it really does help! I would rather take two steps backwards to find the right direction, than keep going down the wrong path that only get's me even more lost. So don't worry... there's always and exit ramp that leads you back to the start.

As always, I wish you the very best of success in whatever you do and I am available if you have any comments and/or questions.

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