Thoughts On Business & Inspiration

"Before there are companies, there are projects."
~ Lisa Williams, Founder of Placeblogger

Last October, I attended the Digital Media Conference at Northeastern University. It was quite informative and I had a chance to hear Lisa Williams speak. I was taking notes furiously when I wrote down the quote above, along with several other words of advice.
"Don't do anything for free that you wouldn't do for free indefinitely."

"You don't need to do it forever. All movies and pieces of music end. That doesn't make them failures."
Right now I'm reading Growing A Business, buy Paul Hawken, one of the founders of Smith & Hawken, a retailer of upscale garden supplies.

The brand was purchased buy Target earlier this year. A few Smith & Hawken items are on Target's website.

It's rather interesting that the Smith & Hawken website is still alive. And not only is it alive, the website has a picture of a plant seemingly sprouting from the clouds.

The website says "rebloom: verb. 1. to bloom, flourish and thrive again. 2. Smith & Hawken growing a new social network to get back in the garden. Please check back. We will post more information soon."

Rather intriguing. I visited a Smith & Hawken store once and had fun looking around. It was waaaay out of my price range.

I'm really enjoying Hawken's book and would like to read more by him. Reading the first few chapters reminded me of the first quote.

It makes me wonder about those people who do grow their business from a seed of an idea, to a project, to something that sustains them both emotionally and financially. How did they do it? Can I do it?

When I first attended the conference, my plan was to write it up soon after. It never happened. Today, the time seemed right. Blog posts happen in their own time. Sometimes very slowly. And like good coffee, they have to percolate for a bit.

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Sharlene T. said…
Oh, I agree. My businesses all started with finding a niche and then letting it grow by word of mouth. BUT, and this is an important but, at least one of those businesses was one that paid well and helped sustain the new ideas during their early years.

Sometimes, my posts come when it's time to blog and, other times, it's been roiling around in the back of my head for several days -- even weeks. I think the best part of having a blog is that you aren't on a word-day schedule and can pretty decided what you want to include, or not. That's the key phrase -- OR NOT. I love that phrase. I think I'll blog about it today, well, maybe tomorrow, or...or, not...
El said…
Interesting post. Thanks Lisa.
I feel like blog posts and comics that have time to ferment are much easier to get on the page because I've worked through much of it in the back of my head or while I was doing other things. Fresh ideas have their own energy but, for me, can only go so far without having to be put away to steep for a while (big ideas sometimes taking 2 years or more!).
Chris said…
I find your posts to be so thought-provoking. I will have to pick up Hawken's book for sure. I also like, and agree with, "Blog posts happen in their own time. Sometimes very slowly. And like good coffee, they have to percolate a bit." Thanks Anali as I don't always have something to say every day on my blog. Something has to hit me, not literally, before I feel compelled to sit down and write. Love this post. Thanks so much!
Lisa Johnson said…
sharlene - That's the hard part. Finding that niche that will pay well. I guess there's no easy formula. Just a lot of creativity and perseverance.

el - Sometimes when I'm mulling things over in my head, I wonder if I should blog them, but sometimes it works. Thanks!

scraps - It's interesting that so many other bloggers have the same experience. Blogging makes it so easy to get those fresh ideas out immediately. But sometimes they're just not ready.

chris - I'm so glad that you liked it! It means a lot. : )

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