FWB – Creativity: Inherent or Learned?

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

I often get asked how I’m so creative.  I’ve tried, nay, WRACKED my brain to think of an answer.  Turns out I have no clue how I can just make things up out of thin air.  It’s hard for me to believe that some people CAN’T just come up with things on the fly.

Ever since I can remember I’ve been altering things to make them more uniquely mine – from giving my Barbies their very own mohawks to putting Lisa Frank stickers on nearly EVERYTHING that I called mine.  I’ve just never been happy with things as-is.  Something has to be tweaked in order to better represent ME.  I craft like a BEAST – all the time.  I see things differently than most people.  I’m told this is creativity.

I recently read an interesting article on the contradictory qualities of creative people.  I gotta say, I agree with most of them and see a lot of it in myself.  I think creative people are capable of being two polar opposites at any given time.  I’m both fickle (which lends itself to plenty of new ideas in frequency) and stable (which allows me to keep with an idea just long enough to see it to fruition).  I’m super outgoing but crave time alone as well.  I get bursts of creativity (partly due to the bipolar I’m sure) but also bunker down to try and hammer out the logistics of things.  It’s just the nature of the beast they call creativity, I suppose.

Anyway, it’s Thanksgiving and the whole thing that inspired this post is what I’m thankful for.  I’m grateful for the fact that I’m creative.  Whether I was born this way or it was nurtured, I have no idea.  Without my creativity I fear I would live quite a dull life indeed.

Hope you have a great holiday!  Enjoy this time with your loved ones and eat ALL THE FOOD!

FWB – Women in Business

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

This is a great place for resources – from business plans to accounting Excel sheets – super great!

I’m currently the Vice President of my local chapter of the American Business Women’s Association for the 2014 year.  It’s a lot of leadership skill practicing – in a safe and encouraging environment (I SO appreciate that!).  Through ABWA I’ve found a really great group of ladies to practice my business skills with – they taught from the ground up how to be successful and be taken seriously as an adult.  (I totally struggle with the whole adult thing. . . it’s so weird, I don’t feel like one so it’s more like I’m playing an adult rather than being one.)

If you happen to be of the female persuasion I highly recommend checking out your local chapter of really any women’s business group – there’s quite a few to choose from.  Even if you’re of the male persuasion most women’s groups accept men and it’s a really great opportunity to learn about other views and different skills.

That’s all I got today.  It’s short and sweet and hopefully HELPFUL!

FWB – The Business of Bipolar Disorder

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

Hi, my name is Jessie and I’m bipolar.

True story.  I’m Type II with rapid cycling and hypomania.  I’ve been medicated for a little over a year now and let me tell you, medication and health insurance have saved my life.  I’ve spent the majority of my life in some depressive state.  I’ve avoided making friends, dealt with a rather extensive list of insecurities (beyond the ‘normal’ amount), ruined relationships, missed countless opportunities, and just existed for so long it’s an amazing change to be balanced out now.  I finally love life and appreciate the majority of my days (no one is perfect).  I still struggle with depression from time to time – even all the medication in the world can’t fix everything.  

Bipolar, in my own little explanation, is an instability in moods.  I can’t control my ups and downs which range from feeling on top of the world to contemplating what life would be like without me in it.  It’s serious business and not a fun thing to struggle with on a daily basis.  I firmly believe in chemical imbalances – I think that I was wired this way and I thank the heavens for medication that can help alleviate my most interruptive (I made up that word) symptoms.  I go through cycles of a couple months of normalcy, a couple weeks of hypomania (less intensive mania), and a couple weeks of depression – all interspersed at random intervals and timing.  Truly it’s really annoying and I feel like it hinders my success to a degree.

So what has this meant for my various business ventures?  I haven’t functioned steadily – with predictable moods – in quite some time.  I love the customer service aspect of my job most days; making people happy makes me happy in turn.  However, when I’m in a depressive mood it’s a huge burden to get up the strength (yes, it takes strength) to get my tone to the level that it is when I’m doing fine.  I turn into Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh – it’s just ridiculous.  Most of the time I’m super upbeat and positive almost to the point of annoying my friends but as soon as the depression kicks in I withdraw from everything I love and cower in my bed for a couple weeks.  I can’t concentrate at work, I’m nervous about everything, I doubt myself, I don’t see a point in doing anything and human interaction becomes a huge stressor.  When I’m in a hypomanic phase I’m writing and completing to-do lists, I’m emailing like a machine, I’m confident, I plan for a bright future and I’m overall a super happy person – it’s GREAT!  I wish I could be in that state all the time!  (Side note: full on mania is NOT a good thing, I’m not trying to make a case for it – I’m talking about my own personal version of hypomania.)  When I’m functioning normally it’s a nice balance of reality with a slightly elevated mood (I truly am a positive person at my core).

So there you have it.  It’s so weird to have something that you feel like you need to admit to other people.  I wish mental health issues didn’t have such a stigma to them in our society.  It’s like a diabetic dealing with their diabetes – I take care of myself, am knowledgeable about my condition, and I take my medication.  I don’t feel that I should be judged any differently from someone with a balanced brain chemistry – we’re all the same when it comes down to who we are as humans.

And that, my friends, is my personal explanation for the day.  I hope you can appreciate my openness and maybe go forward with a little more knowledge than before – the more you know and such.

FWB – Different Generations and How They Impact Your Business

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

Good afternoon!  Today I want to share with you a few pearls of wisdom that I learned from a business presentation that I attended last night.

I’m part of the American Business Women’s Association – I’m the Vice President and Membership Chair of my local league, the Ringling Chapter of Sarasota, FL.  We’re a great group of diverse active and retired business women.  We meet once a month to learn, network and catch up with each other.  We do a lot of work with local and national scholarships which is a great asset to our community.  I love it.  I’ve been a member for 3 years – but I grew up with the chapter since my mom has been a member for many many years.  Once a month we have our educational programs covering topics from healthy living, current business trends, and anything affecting women or business in the modern world.

Last night Daniel Bloom of DBAI Consulting spoke to us about generational differences that exist in the workforce today as well as the ones that will exist in the future.  It was chock full of good information so I thought I would share some with you.  He referenced the book “The M Factor” by Lynne C. Lancaster and David Stillman.The synopsis that I gathered from his presentation was that ‘millenials’ are a great influence within our workforce and they are different from previous generations in many ways.  I’m part of Gen Y – which I didn’t know (there’s too many generations named with letters of the alphabet to keep track of) and his presentation gave me a little more information not only about my own generation but how to relate to others as well.

As a generalization the Traditionalists are looking to build a legacy and appreciate the chain of command.  The next generation, the Baby Boomers, changed that chain of command and have affected every market that they entered.  Generation X (from 1965-1980) are looking for a portable career, they want freedom and will go anywhere (or to any job) to find it.

MY generation, the Y’s represent!, is the most connected and tech-savvy.  Born from 1981 to 1999, we’re looking for our work to have MEANING.  We want two successful careers – our working one and our personal one.  We multi-task like a fox and feel empowered to take action.  Dan explained that my generation needs to know who we are in our company/business and why we’re there.  If these two things aren’t clear we’re likely to leave the job within 18 months – which costs companies A LOT of money.  I’m super fortunate to count myself as one of those lucky few who enjoy their 9-5 job.  My job has meaning, I like my company, my coworkers are pretty rad and I feel a challenge is most of my work.  Yes, my ultimate goal is to be running my own business by the time I’m 35 (5.5 years from now, I have time!) but in the meantime I understand the importance of a career that I enjoy.  Anyway – enough of my personal jazz, on to the information sharing! . . .

Regeneration, or Generation Z, is coming into the workforce soon and they will be more connected, more tech-savvy, and more diverse than any other generation.  Have you seen what kids can do these days??  10-year-olds developing apps and stuff – CRAZY!  The freaking internet was brand new when I was 10!!  Just imagine what this new generation will bring to the table – new businesses, smarter operations, connected commerce, and perhaps robot unicorns.  The sky is the limit!

What generation are YOU?  What do you think that means to your business?

You can check out Daniel Bloom’s website here.

FWB – My Humble Beginnings: Chapter Two

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

Ahh. . . high school. . . the good old days.  Or were they?  I had a pretty pleasant high school experience but you won’t find me wishing I could go back.  So let’s paint a picture before I get started on my entrepreneur rambling. . .

Jessie in high school. . .  I hung out with the outcasts; the theater kids, the goth kids, the punk kids and the metal kids.  We had our own little group of multicolored hair and crazy-clothes-clad students (really, is pink hair and bondage pants that crazy?).  I wore Gwen Steffani makeup (remember the bindi and crazy eyebrow gems??), bondage pants, and enough safety pins to actually make me a safety hazard.  In short, I was freaking AWESOME.  I made all A’s and B’s and was a model student other than almost getting suspended for my fire engine red hair (that was a bunch of bull right there).  I was outgoing and liked to see my friend’s bands on the weekends.

My first venture into entrepreneurship in high school was by way of a ‘zine.  That’s what the cool kids called magazines.  I made up ‘Black and White and Barely Read’ (get it, read??) and started interviewing actual bands.  I just emailed record labels of the bands that I liked and asked to interview them at their next local show.  I kid you not, I even got photo passes for a Weezer concert.  WEEZER!  Like 3 feet away from my drooling face!  My teenage self was so stoked.  I don’t know what made me do it or why I thought I could actually sway these record labels to let me interview their bands.  The funny (or sad, however you look at it) thing is that Black and White and Barely Read never actually got published.  I just have my typed up or hand-written interviews hanging out in my filing cabinet waiting for the time that I can tell my kids just how ‘hip’ I was in my day.  I love music – I love seeing local bands’ shows or going to large-scale concerts.  I eventually went on to do the same thing but in radio format for my short stint as a DJ of my own radio show in college.

My second, and actually lucrative endeavor was selling glitter makeup to my affluent classmates.  Looking back it seems totally ridiculous.  I would buy glitter gel then clean out the gel and fill the little plastic container with just glitter.  Then I would sell said glitter to my drama classmates – like a drug dealer but way more legal and sparkly.  I had 20 or so colors and would mix custom combinations.  I did this under the company name “Cannibal Cosmetics’ – creepy or endearing?  You decide!  I got the name idea from a friend of mine who started ‘Cannibal Clothing’ – I think the only thing they ever made was a t-shirt with Richard Nixon saying “I am not a cannibal.”  Who knows, I didn’t get it at the time.  With Cannibal Crafts I made some money and continued to feed that entrepreneurial spirit.

One thing I remember clearly about those two “businesses” was that I had business cards.  I actually sat down and designed them – at the age of 14 I was making business cards.  I find that a little silly but inspiring at the same time.  At that age I already knew a huge part of business success. . . fake it til you make it.  Having confidence is key to succeeding in what you believe in.  If you’re behind your ideas 100% it’s easy for others to follow.  That’s a golden gem of advice right there, friends, believe in yourself and others will believe in you too.

And that, my internet readership, is chapter two of my entrepreneurial story.  Stick around for chapters three, four and five!

FWB – The Almighty Business Plan

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

If you’re ready for a snooze feel free to read this less-than-sparkling ’10 Steps to Start Your Own Business’.  Way to kill my entrepreneurial spirit with some boring and totally un-fun tasks. . .  Dammit. . .  I have to admit the eventual truth that actually starting your business isn’t likely to be a sunshiney picnic.  It’s a lot of work – and a lot of technical stuff.

I’m a creative person – my brain shuts down when I see too many words or numbers.  Throw some shiny colors my way and you’ve got my full attention!  I like to be hands-on in my learning which has caused a lot of grief since most information is written – blogs, books, articles and interviews.  So what’s a creative individual to do when it comes to step one – writing a business plan?

Well, you get CREATIVE!  Find other sources, seek out someone with a similar style and find out what THEY did.  I stumbled upon this really awesome and super handy (seriously SUPER)workbook.  It’s really simple – not at all intimidating.  It breaks a business plan down step-by-step and makes the workload seem totally doable.  I am no longer overwhelmed!  Phew!

I’ve been using this business plan workbook for the past businesses that I’ve started and it’s really helpful.  When I get off course I can simply refer back to my ‘Pre-stress sparkle thoughts’ and regain focus to remember WHY I’m doing it.  Do yourself a favor and read or print this bad boy.  It’s a great tool to utilize that will help you conquer the Almighty Business Plan!  And dudes, it’s FREE.  Win!

I hope this helps!  Have a bitchin day!

FWB – Entrepreneurship and Etsy

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

Have you heard of Etsy?  Yes?  Perfect, you know just how amazing it truly is!  No, no clue what an Etsy is?  GO CHECK IT OUT!!  It’s an online marketplace for all things vintage and hand-made.  There are over one million sellers world-wide – that’s crazy!  I’m pretty much in love with it.  In fact, I’m a seller on Etsy as well (fancy, huh?).  You can check out my vintage and upcycled wares at AEROLOGIE!  Etsy is great in so many ways but the most impressive feat is the amount of people it’s enabled to start their own business.  That’s some powerful stuff right there!

I wanted to share a great report that Etsy gathered and presented to show who is behind these small businesses, what their goals are and how Etsy impacts them as an individual as well as the economy as a whole.  It’s a really great read – check it out.  Entrepreneurs venture out into the business world on their own for many different reasons.  Personally I like the feeling of pride after completing an order.  Something I enjoyed making is going to a dreamy bride in Vermont who needed that perfect hairpiece for her wedding.  I LOVE that!  It’s so great to make a positive impact on others.

More than anything I want to start my business to help people.  I want to share my journey through the wild woods of the unknown so that someone else somewhere can relate and maybe even get some useful info out of it.  I have no idea what I’m doing.  I’ve read more than my fair share of articles and blogs but what does that mean in application?  I don’t know but I’ll be damned if I don’t try my hardest to figure it out!

What’s the number one reason YOU want to start your own business?  Flexibility?  Money?  To help others?

Thanks for reading and have a great Friday!

FWB – My Humble Beginnings: Chapter One

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

It all started in my childhood house – in the middle of the living room on any given weekend morning.  I would sort through my toys and carefully decide which ones I had outgrown or demolished past the point of recognition and I would set up shop.  At the age of 6 that ‘shop’ was the ironing board proudly centered in the living room where I would peddle these reject toys to the very same people who BOUGHT them for me.

Ballsy, right?

The great thing is that my parents totally went along with it – my grandpa was my number one customer!  Business was booming!  I thought I was the smartest kid on earth – I was completely oblivious to the fact that selling used toys to the people who bought them for me was crooked as hell and a little rude actually.  I would make $1 on a slow day and maybe $2.50 on a really good day.

I have no idea what my family did with those discarded treasures but I like to think that I at least made them smile with my industriousness and savvy for business – a tiny little business lady with a couple missing teeth and a Rainbow Brite nightgown.

Adorable!

So where did YOU start?  What was your first experience with entrepreneurship?

FWB – Only Eleven??

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

In my quest for ALL THE KNOWLEDGE about starting your own business I came across this little gem:

http://blissbombed.com/11-things-i-wish-i-knew-when-i-started-my-business/

I like it!  It’s honest, sincere, helpful AND she says ‘ladyballs’.  Win!  It’s great to hear from someone who’s gone through the euphoria phase and moved on to the more grounded and realistic phase of building (and maintaining) a business.  Right now I’m at the sparkle stage.  “I can do anything!  Business will be booming!  I know EXACTLY what I’m doing!”

It was great to read this and see what’s truly in store – not just my day dreaming fantasies.  I’m not excited to run out of money one day (see number 4) – but it’s good that I’m better prepared now for what seems to be the inevitable later.

I will take whatever I get and add it to my ‘Entrepreneurial Domination Notebook De La Muerte’.  Yup, I started some serious notebook action.  Sure I can ‘favorite’ or ‘book mark’ all the great reads I come across but I like to see and TOUCH things (naughty!) so I’m saving them up and possibly killing a tree in the process. . .  Sorry environment!

Thanks for joining me on today’s journey.  I’ll see you tomorrow with some other great wisdom to share.

FWB – Step One. . . START

(This post is from another Jessie blog, Fourth Wave Business, and is republished here for your enjoyment!)

Hello!

My name’s Jessie (with an IE) and I want to start my own business.  I’ve researched the crap out of starting my own business and have found it a little overwhelming.  I started with a goal – be a full-time Entrepreneur Coach by the time I’m 35.  This seems like a fairly achievable goal – I have time, I believe I’m capable of doing it and it’s something that I can put my passion behind.

So here I am – on wordpress – STARTING something.  I want to track my journey from clueless to successful and share that with anyone else out there trying to make it on their own.  Join me as I leap, fail, give up, return and eventually SUCCEED.  I know it won’t be easy and my knack for starting then promptly giving up on things is counting against me but DAMMIT this will be the one thing that I complete and continue on as a career.

I’ll be sharing my stories, connecting you with the resources that I’ve found helpful and taking this entrepreneurship thing one day at a time.

Thanks for reading!