Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for March, 2007|Monthly archive page

Starving Artist, Not!

In Author: Lisa Canning, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Marketing, Risk on March 31, 2007 at 10:08 pm

Progress is sometimes painful and especially when you are 99% done with a body of work,  and cannot give it a name! I actually now understand, though never blessed with children of my own, what it’s like to have to wait for the baby to be born before you know its name! It’s weird but it happens.

My book title, which is on the first page of my website, and which soon will be changed, was never the exact right title of the book. However, in the process of building a brand name, you have to start somewhere, so you put up the best you have, until you have something better. And I now have something better!

I enlisted the help, of another highly respected creative entrepreneur, to help me find the real title of my book; that it is just about ready to be published.

Her name is Sam Horn, www.SamHorn.com, and if you can get past her fee of $600.00 per hour ( yes real creative entrepreneurs REALLY DO MAKE MONEY!!); you will find her to be enormously helpful and worth every dollar. ( My book, by the way, will help you learn how to do what you do well and get paid well)

Sam and I, after many questions from her about the material I sent her to review, and a very lively and interesting exchange back and forth, for exactly one hour; decided that the best title for my first book is Starving Artist, Not!  The words will appear inside the universal symbol of a circle with a red line drawn through it.not-allowed.jpg

While It might seem to you like not a big  revelation as far as a title goes; its huge for me~ cause its the right one.  We also laid out the books cover and the placement of everything on it and where it will appear.

I will need a celebrity quote and  I will also need a forward written by someone who will equally be as interesting. These are some of my most critical and last steps before I can set this baby down on the press to run.

 I am very excited about getting this material out, and can hardly believe that at some point soon, there will be a book in my hand that I wrote! 

It feels painful, these last steps, however.  

Everything is so new, and I have already spent so much time on it, that this actually feels like some of the hardest stuff I will do yet!  

Positioning a product, or in this case my book, so that it hits the right market or fragmented market, in my case, is very tricky tough stuff. I know who needs to read this book and I know what I have to say will help a great deal; if the book can be in that audience’s line of view to find, buy and read.

But to express a brief clear image, via a few words and an image on a book cover, alongside of a single quote, serving as all you have to capture the interest of that audience; now that stuff is hardest of all. 

Not to mention the other little problem …Do any of you know the right kind of celebrity, who you can ring right up? That right somebody who will in earnest, and because they are interested, read the material and write a quote? ~~Well neither do I.

I have never done this before, and I have no idea how this goes.

I have a few ideas of how to go about all this, and Sam Horn will be helpeing me with some of this too next week; but this is all new. I wonder: Do celebs charge money for this kind of thing, and if so….I don’t want one of them!  

But what if they all do, where is the line between creative support and appropriate financial gain?

If I want my book to be a hit, will I have to pay this money to do that? Where is the right place for the line to be in one’s principle versus a good business move?

If everyone does it does it make it right? Or is it more simple: you should be paid for what you do that you do well? Is that really wrong?Are you not really helping someone then in a way they could not help themselves?

Well let’s just say that I am focusing on believing that I can find the right someone who is a somebody, who will just simply be a believer in where I am coming from; and want to say something in support.  That’s what I am looking for and that is the kind of celebrity person I am going to focus on finding.  I will put this good intention out and not settle for less. My good karma will serve me.

Anyone know anything abut Paula Zahn?  Besides being a journalist I understand she plays the cello very well….  Mmmm.

 Onward. Up the steep climb to the peek. It ain’t easy and it ain’t no fun but those who feel the pain, gain– isn’t that what the gainers say? 

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Karma

In Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Legal on March 29, 2007 at 3:23 am

Ya know this whole mess with Entrepreneur Media could be something that weighs me down. But it’s really not.

It’s because I am a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason- a GOOD reason- if you are enough of an explorer to uncover the GOOD reason.

Over the past week, I have met via phone and email at least 3 others who have experienced the wrath of EMI. I have learned from each of those individuals something valuable: about their business, what they value, their drive, energy and passions. This negative thing has afforded me the opportunity to, be it brief, see a snapshot of what it’s like to be another passionate entrepreneur.

I also received a call from a customer of mine, who seems to know the owners and offered to try and help ( great karma if nothing else).

The outcome of your life and your livelihood stems far more from what comes from your heart than what your brain and mind can ever tell, convince, insist or decide for you.

We often try and hide what is deep inside our hearts hoping it won’t show easily through. All too often we manage to allow our intellect to try and strangle the illogical, polarizing hold, that our heart has on our desires. But, by allowing our brains to run the show, we are not allowing ourselves the benefits that come from letting our passions hang out in plain view.

Yeah, I know it’s hard to want to let it all hang out. We come off as being extreme around or about something…

But what it attracts to you is far more valuable personally, professionally and financially.

Adversity is part of life and sometimes great adversity hits us when we least wish it to, feel able to handle it, expect it or deserve it. It’s really OK to stand in pain, in plain view, and vote for change with your heart and passion.

Try it. You might find, at a bare minimum, good karma surrounding you.

Curl Up and Dye

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2007 at 7:46 pm

It’s easier to be a coward than to stand out in pain working to change. But change requires pain, don’t the gainers say?

But cowards have pain too: They pour their drink in a glass like those that stand out in pain working to find a life that flows and goes. For both, the glass sits in the palm of their hand.

The coward squeezes it hard, crushing it as it explodes like a bomb spitting splinters into the life of its holder.

“Well now that there are so many splinters,” says the coward. “Life is easier to pick at, ick at and kick at. Too many splinters to change my world that has crushed like a glass in my hand.”

One at a time, the coward picks at those painful splinters extracting each wonderful moment from life with every pick and pluck; spitting life’s blood.

Lawsuits, deaths durge, being alone. In conflict with a vision in your head, that beats so loudly, it wakes you up in the middle of the night in search of its dawn.

But at that moment the girl with the glass sat there frozen. She took that glass, gripped it firmly into her hand and glunk, glunk, glunk, went its contents that she chugged.

With the glass clenched in her fist, her emotions ran like the raging fire now burning down her throat; remindering her that she was alive by its abrasivness and remembering that she was ready…

To Curl Up and Dye;

Her hair that is.

All for her future next best moments.

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Santa Fe, Press, Publishers & Speaking

In Creative Support, Legal, Money, Risk on March 26, 2007 at 4:15 pm

Well a few days off has done me some good. I spent most of last week with my husband, Chuck, in Santa Fe New Mexico. We spent the week wandering through the insane number of art galleries there, enjoying much of what we saw, as well as spending a little down time at the worlds greatest spa, Ten Thousand Waves. I hightly recommend going there if you can– its quite the place and a real treat in the unwind department.

While I was gone, I had a press release written that I will be sending out to as many sources as I can regarding the reckless behaviour of Entrepreneur Media in their pursuit of trying to own the word Entrepreneur. While I cannot change what has happened to me, I certainly can try to make my feelings, and those of many others, known.

It’s a busy time for me as I finalize my book and continue to search for a publisher. It’s common for many new authors and established authors to build their audience through public speaking, blogging and at first self publishing; only to be picked up by a major publisher after their marketing is well under way. I am close enough to the finish line to be able to self publish fairly quickly, unlike the traditional publishing route that can take up to a year. So while I am interested in finding the right publisher I don’t feel overly concerned if it does not happen right away. Fortunately I have gotten enough positive feedback from a couple of agents to know that it is just a matter of time before I find the right publisher to pick up my book. This is all a new process for me and I am enjoying the challenges of it all.

I just found out yesterday that I will be the keynote speaker on May 4th for the 2007 Youth Entrepreneurship Conference . I will be presenting my keynote speech on Creative Value. Building my speech is a lot like playing the clarinet; practice, practice, practice.

What Can A Little Press Do?

In ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Legal on March 14, 2007 at 1:21 am

Well it seems that one tactic to fight Entrepreneur Magazine (EMI), might be to let the public know what EMI is doing to small start ups who use the word Entrepreneur and seek to trademark their slogan.  I  have decided to see if I can draw some interest in the topic, from a variety of media, who might be willing to run some articles on the topic to at least make everyone aware of their frivolous lawsuits and bullying tactics.

It is a real shame to see a magazine, that is supposedly devoted to helping young entrepreneurs and start ups, which I subscribe to actually, being so focused on hurting the very cause they claim so voraciously to support.  What a facade really, don’t you think? Their pro small business philosophy is clearly something that their marketing department creates to attract the 56 million dollars worth of paid advertising.

While I certainly did not see this problem coming my way, now that it is here, I intend to do the most I can with it to expose it to as many as possible, as accurately as possible, to ensure that others are informed, as well as to hopefully let public opinion continue to swell on the actions of Entrepreneur Media.

Removing words from the English language for the sole purpose of one company, and their profiteering, is simply unacceptable. Unlike the word escalator or cellophane, which started out as made up words by the company’s that created each, and both of whom where eventually forced to loose their trademark status because those made up words became the only word to describe those items– the word Entrepreneur was not a word created by Entrepreneur Magazine and clearly should not belong to them.

Keep the word Entrepreneur Free because it belongs to everyone who is one, wants to be one or will become one.

Tongue Tied

In Interesting Articles, Legal on March 13, 2007 at 12:41 pm

Here is an article that appeared in Forbes Magazine about the voracious battle Entrepreneur Media Inc. appears to be in with anyone that uses the word Entrepreneur in their literature or name. The word Entrepreneur appeared in the dictionary some 40 years before Entrepreneur Magazine received their trademark; which they have held for 25 years. However, Entrepreneur Magazine seems to think they own this word that is part of the English language. My suspicions were right on the mark, unfortunately, in this regard…

So what is the next step for Entrepreneur The Arts? My attorney has replied to their cease and desist letter with details of other cases that clearly do not support their claims. We actually have an excellent case against them as my attorney did do all his homework before we pursued registering the mark. Neither one of us, however, were aware of this ongoing issue with EMI. Clearly had we been, we would have thought differently about what words to pursue having a trademark placed on.

The life of an Entrepreneur is filled with hidden land mines! Welcome aboard!!

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Tongue Tied by
Doug Donovan

TEPHEN MORRIS WAS THRILLED when Entrepreneur magazine plugged his Atlanta-based business, Kids Way, three years ago. Today, he and Vice President Misty Elliott wish Entrepreneur had never heard of them.

The magazine’s April 1997 article read like a free ad. It detailed how Kids Way teaches the 8-to-18 crowd to start businesses and listed contact information. “Kids Way also publishes a bimonthly newsletter, Young Entrepreneur,” Entrepreneur wrote. Within 20months the 2,000-circulation newsletter grew into a glossy with 16,000 paid subscribers. Today it doesn’t even exist–not in name, at least. Last year, Entrepreneur filed a lawsuit in federal court against Morris and Elliott, alleging that their use of the word “entrepreneur” violated the magazine’s trademark, and asking for treble damages.

Morris didn’t want to waste time on a costly defense and changed the newsletter’s name to Y&E, which has hampered subscription renewals. “It seems they’re going after the little guys who don’t have the resources to fight them,” says Elliott.

The nasty fistfight over intellectual property has taken some pretty strange forms these days–what with Amazon.com and Priceline.com putting a legal force field around their business models. But trying to corner the market on a word bandied about more often than “bandwidth”?

For the past six years Entrepreneur Media, the Irvine, Calif.-based parent of Entrepreneur, has protected its trademark name by going after small businesses that use the word “entrepreneur” in publications and on Web sites. Smart business, no doubt. But crippling to some of the very people it purports to help. Among the sundry victims: Asian Entrepreneur. The Diamond Bar, Calif. publication changed its name to Asian Enterprisein 1994 after receiving a cease-and-desist letter. “A legal fight would have put us under”, says publisher Gelly Borromeo. Publishing Entrepreneur. This Traverse City, Mich.-based outfit scrapped its print publication in 1997, and fled to the Web with a new name entirely, Independent Publisher. Says founder Jerrold Jenkins, “They just bully you.” Entrepreneur Illustrated.That’s the quarterly publication of Scott Smith, president of Sacramento, Calif.-based EntrepreneurPR. Smith is being sued. “They told me they’re going to wear me out by making my life a living hell,” he says. Smith insists he will contest the suit. http://www.entrepreneur.com.Never mind that the Web site was registered in 1994 by James Borzilleri, president of FreeClub.com–two years before Entrepreneurregistered its site, http://www.entrepreneur mag.com. Entrepreneur Media went after him last year. Borzilleri (whom Entrepreneurcalls a “cybersquatter”) sold out for a reported $50,000. http://www.entrepreneurs.com.Another legal target, Gregory McLemore, has set up a protest page at his Web site, http://www.entrepreneurs.com/free.html. This guy has plenty of money to fight back. He built and sold Toys.com to Etoys, and founded Pets.com, which went public in February, raising $82.5 million. “There’s a good chance that their trademark could be thrown out,” says McLemore, president of Pasadena, Calif. incubator, WebMagic.

Maybe. Folks like McLemore and Smith could fend off the legal attack by proving that “entrepreneur” is a generic term. Turning generic is what killed the onetime trademarks for cellophane and escalator and what the owners of names like Xerox and Kleenex spend small fortunes to prevent. “Entrepreneur,” of course, is rather different from Xerox because the company claiming to own the trademark did not coin the word. But Entrepreneur Media registered the trademark in 1982, and has the powerful Latham &Watkins of Los Angeles behind it.

The monthly was founded in 1978 by Chase Revel, author of how-to business books, including the 1979 “classic,” The Newest, Most Unique Ways People Are Making Money, Vol. II. The magazine filed for Chapter 11 in 1982.

Today Entrepreneuris owned and operated by Peter Shea, who bought the magazine in 1987. Circulation is up 36% over the past five years to 527,658. Advertising revenue for 1999 rose 8% last year to $56 million (before discounts), some of that from classifieds like “EXTRACASH! No fees, no memberships. For kit information, send $10 (refundable) to: Black Hole Innovations Inc.”

Next thing you know, they’ll trademark the words “golden opportunity.”

Entrepreneur The Arts vs Entrepreneur Media

In ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Legal on March 7, 2007 at 5:13 am

Tonight I received, in the mail, a letter from the law offices of Latham & Watkins (Big expensive law firm)  demanding that I remove my application for trademark of Entrepreneur The Arts.

According to Entrepreneur Magazine’s attorney’s, my trademark could be easily confused with their trademark.  If you read Entrepreneur, or ever have read it, do you really think there is anything to confuse you?

This is the second time in my life that this kind of letter has been sent to me, actually. The first time I was about six months into starting my first business in my college dorm room. A sheriff knocked on my door and served me with a “cease and desist” letter from a company that claimed that my name was too similar to theirs. Their letter demanded that if I did not stop using my chosen name they would take legal action against me, if I did not change it. Not really any different then this letter I received tonight. (Incidentally, I did manage to keep my name the first time.)

Through that first experience, which certainly was scary, I learned a valuable lesson that I will share with you now:

Any word that is used to describe an activity, like computer or consulting or entrepreneur, cannot become the property of one company because it is a word used to describe an activity that is universally known and required to describe that activity. It would be like taking the word computer or consulting or entrepreneur away from the rest of the world to use so that only one single company could use it for their exclusive purpose.   

What would we call that thing we use to read the web, blog, do our work and write our email’s on if we could no longer could use the word computer; because Apple Computer, through their trademark, took that word away from all of us??  Now I am exaggerating a bit to demonstrate my point– because the word computer, using my example, would really only apply in the context of  the use of a business name, and not the use of the word in any context. However, you can clearly see the impact to every business if basic common words were no longer available to be used.

As long as the rest of the words, after that descriptive word, are uniquely different, there is no basis for the claim; which in my case is definitely the case.  Thus Apple Computers and Dell Computers can co-exist as can  Kleenex Tissue and Scott Tissue, and every other example you can think of.

However the test I described above is only one of eight tests for what constitutes a trademark infringement.  Here are the other 7 that contribute to the decision by a judge.

  • Strength of the trademark
  • Proximity of goods or deliver-ables
  • Evidence of actual confusion
  • Marketing channels used are similar
  • Types of goods and the degree of care likely to be exercised by the purchaser are similar
  • Defendant’s intent in selecting the mark
  • The likelihood of expansion of the product line

The difference between the first time this happened to me and this time, is back then I did not realize that I needed an attorney to research my names choices and advise me on issues related to duplication of trademarks for potential litigation or that would raise concern.  However in this case, I worked closely with an attorney who specializes in trademarks who did his homework before we applied for the trademark.

Now having said all that, these kinds of matters can be costly to resolve, especially when fighting a giant; which will be something to consider. However before any fight ensues, my trademark attorney will talk to Entrepreneur Magazine’s attorney and see if this can be resolved before any action is taken.  A good attorney is worth every cent if he protects you and makes potential litigation something that is as remote and as minimal as possible. Every start-up business needs an attorney and here is a great example of one of many reasons why you do.

Not sure how this will play out but I would love your opinion on the matter. Would you confuse Entrepreneur The Arts with Entrepreneur ( the Magazine)?

Engineers, Artists and The Pursuit of Creativity

In The Idea on March 6, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Last Thursday I gave a presentation on Creative Value to a group of engineering students at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). It was fun speaking to a group of highly intelligent students; especially because regardless of the discipline, creative development and the sustainability of creativity in life, there is something that creative, and “want to be creative types,” struggle to understand.

So if you’re a wanna be creative, what is creativity anyway? Can an engineer be as creative as artists? How do you pursue creativity?

My definition of creativity is the pursuit of something you see, you feel, or you do, that is so compelling for you that it keeps you up late at night and can, at times, consume you. It can be rooted in anything you love to do and are passionate about. WHATEVER that thing or vision is, DEVELOP IT.

How do you develop it? By thinking of new ways to expand your thinking about it, and trying out your thoughts through a new form of expression around it. If you love to play video games, try designing one. If you love music, write a song. If you love to dance, put a dancing show together for your friends. Get the idea?

When you are younger, not everything you are passionate about, however, others will see as a positive. For example, when I was in college, and to this day, I love to talk on the phone. My mother use to really give me a hard time about my phone bill in college; I just could not seem to keep it to a reasonable level. I have always had a lot of acquaintances and friends and its been a challenge for me then and even now to “curb” it. But one day, I woke up and realized that enjoying chatting with people on the phone could actually be a huge strength when building a business. In fact I built my mail-order business entirely around this strength and interest. It not only paid all those phone bills but helped me begin my entrepreneurial creative career that is currently in its 22 year! (I have NEVER had a J.O.B. and there isn’t one in my future!!)

While enjoying talking on the phone may in itself not seem very creative, the thought process I took to realize how I could use that enjoyment in a new way was.

Anything you love to do, because you wind up spending so much time at it, eventually becomes a strong skill. And anything you become skilled at becomes like another tool in a tool box that you can use alone, or in combination with any other tools you have in your box, to build something creative and new with those tools.
So if you are struggling to figure out what you can creatively do; look no farther than what really interests you and spend more time there. You see creativity and sustainable creativity at its core is all about individuality, unique self expression and passion. Each one of us regardless of our label- engineer or artists- has that inside of us if we only learn how to develop our self awareness and resolve the personal problems we have in life that diminish that bright inner light within us. It’s easy, when our world is chaotic and we don’t know who we really are, to confuse that inner light with the light of a train coming at us instead of the brightness of the future that awaits us.

I am so excited about getting my book out because this is where my creativity lies- in helping others develop their creativity. This is my greatest passion. The two best tools I have in my box that began as passions and obsessions for me, and are now tools that help me in this pursuit, are my love for solving puzzles and my ability to generate really great ideas. (But more on that later- I realize this is another post entirely)

So today is your day! Start wherever you are and embrace FULLY the quirky person you are. You have brains in your head and brains in your feet! Use them to walk down those twisty misty turns, along your own quirky path, in search of your very own creativity that can free you to lead a life you LOVE forever. And then you too can be a member of the “No J.O.B. Club” and Proud Of It!

SEA Conference March 2-3

In Current Events on March 1, 2007 at 2:25 pm

In this region, the Self Employment For The Arts Conference will be held this weekend at the Hilton Lisle/Naperville 3003 Corporate West Drive Lisle, IL, 60532.   SEA offers six regional conferences, the next couple being in Los Angeles, CA and in Tampa, Florida. Both are slated for April.

 Besides topic specific sessions led by artists, panel discussions and workshops, the conference offers:

Gallery  The gallery is a place for visual artists to display their work. The Gallery is open to all types of visual art. You are welcome to leave a manuscript, pottery, painting, photographs, furniture, etc. Entries may also be submitted electronically. A digital slide show will be put together. There will be a Gallery Reception on Friday evening.

One-on-One Sessions Several time slots have been set aside for speakers and attendees to have a chance to meet One-on-One and talk about their art and life goals. No matter what the art – music, literary, theater, etc. – speakers are asked to spend time meeting with attendees for approximately 15 minutes each to go over their art, answer questions, offer advice, and just chat about life goals as a self employed artist. There will also be tables set aside for attendees in the same area to meet with each other in a small group. This is a great networking opportunity and can be one of the most beneficial experiences of the conference. BE SURE TO BRING SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK.

Performances Throughout the conference the audience will be entertained by attendees’ artistic talents. Performances may include dance, music, theatrical sketches, and readings.

Breakfast with the Artists Start your morning out right on Saturday by joining one of the speakers and other attendees for informal conversation. There is no advanced sign-up so make sure to get up early and join in.

Late Night Activity Rooms Friday night is full of fun and networking. Join in one or more of these activities: Create Room, TV/Film Viewing Room, Open Mic, Dance-N-Jam Session, and a Journal Swap. There is also a Gallery Reception, Audition Critiques, and One-on-One Sessions on Friday evening.

Inside the Industry Panels Get an inside look into your industry from experts in the field.

Artist Led Sessions These sessions are led by successful self-employed artists. Topics range greatly and change each year. Topics in the past have included Pricing Your Art, Getting Your Work Published, Fund Raising for Films, Making Time For Success, Finding Representation in Major Market Galleries, The Indie Music Scene, and more. There are also sessions led by Support Professionals such as lawyers and accountants.