Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for January, 2009|Monthly archive page

Stop and reflect on YOU, for once….

In Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Evolution on January 11, 2009 at 7:47 am

This blog post was written by student entrepreneur Kelly Penick from Appalachian State, in Boone, NC
This is a MUST READ entrepreneurial-training 101 break-through-moment post! Congrats Kelly!!

Picture of: Kelly Penick, Student Entrepreneur
Owner of: All About Beauty by Kelly

Unfortunately I am not opening this entry to talk about an extensive and necessarily financially rewarding marketing campaign. My last post put forth some detail on my first marketing campaign for All About Beauty by Kelly, and how I, Kelly Penick, was to go about that process. I did have some responses to the $35 facials, and was able to make some extra money, but I found a richness of mind and experience far outweighing my experiences from the marketing campaign.

I am glad to say that I have experienced a very rich December by the fact that I was rewarded with deep reflection and personal awareness. I want to share with you what has personally occupied my feelings the last month, and how those emotions tended to govern my behavior and outlook. My behavior and thoughts about the spa were greatly impacted by feelings of anxiety and through these feelings I did learn a lot about myself, and what I was presently doing and feeling in the spa.

If I could take one word to describe December, I would claim the word “insecurity” as most appropriate. As I move forward with some of my career goals, I feel it is only natural to feel anxiety and uncertainty because the actual progression forward brings about new obstacles and the way you deal with these barriers is what defines where you are going and what you ultimately accomplish.

I have moved forward in many ways in the year 2008. I feel a huge hurtle was in getting my license to be an Esthetician in North Carolina. Once I had this certification, I sought out a spa facility in which to perform my services. There were many emotions associated with this search for a facility because my original hopes were to own a day spa and work in the spa as well as run it. Over the summer as I pursued this, I was faced with opposition from the present owner of this particular spa, and was emotionally upset at how she reacted to my proposing to buy the spa from her. It was concern on her part that I am too young to own a spa at this time because I am still in school full-time, the fact that I have not owned a spa before, and I just received my Esthetician’s license.

I didn’t look at this experience negatively though. While it certainly wasn’t fun to go through, it taught me more about myself, and what I am going to face as a young female trying to own a business and still be in school. I want to own a spa badly and have had this dream for four years now. The owner’s reaction only fueled the fire in terms of increasing my determination to pursue having a business of my own. I realized after that day I met her, that I was still going to embrace the value of my license and ability to fulfill my dreams even though I was pushed up against a barrier of bitterness when dealing with this owner.

Happily, I settled into a day spa where I could rent space to perform my services and still learn how to run my own business. This set-up allowed flexibility for me because I do still have a college major that I am fulfilling and my time needs desperately to be based between the commitments I have to Appalachian State University and the commitments I have to myself to support my business concerning the spa. Now, I find it very easy to type what I just did about balancing some of the significant priorities I have in my life right now, that being my education and the business, but 90% of the time it is easier said than done. I feel that this balance is of great importance to me now and will always be as I take on more responsibilities and initiatives to be a successful entrepreneur.

With this position where I rent a room from a day spa owner, I have the opportunity to bring in my own clients and choose the times in which I am available to work at the spa. I struggled once again to maintain balance as to when I could govern my time in the spa. This struggle was due to my expectations of how I initially thought I was going to be present in the spa just as I had planned it on my agenda, and the reality of my scheduling couldn’t be fulfilled as much as I had thought.

My commitments to Appalachian through the hours I spent in class, along with homework, proved to be challenging as well as my duty to lead a student organization. By missing more time in the spa then I had thought, I experienced performance anxiety when I was set to go into the spa for a treatment/treatments. In my mind, if I could not be present frequently and have several appointments in one week, I grew nervous about my ability to produce a quality treatment to a client because I wasn’t experiencing actually performing the services several times a week in order to keep my confidence level where I wanted it to be. It is not that I would have negative responses from clients because they were disappointed in the service or their experience, not the case at all, it was I who felt I was not performing to the best of my ability because I wasn’t fulfilling my original plan of being present and working in the spa as much as I had initially expected.

So, as this anxiety and uncertainty matured, I developed a negative opinion of myself and what I was attempting to do. I was aiming to be experienced as an Esthetician and business owner, and yet my work became less and less appealing and I started avoiding it. I had worked diligently this summer to receive my license as an Esthetician and persistently lined-up a place to operate in as an Esthetician so that I could start a business.

But, my natural response to these feelings was one of often times waking up on the mornings I was to go into the spa, and having a fear of functioning and performing my best as an Esthetician and business-woman. The repetition of this feeling quickly made me lose confidence in what I was doing and even wonder if I had approached obtaining my license and running a business appropriately at all. “Was I really too young to pull this off? Could I dedicate the necessary time I needed to, in order to grow this business and experience what I needed to so that I could move onto the spa resort and vineyard?”

What I mean is, had I not fully prepared myself for a productive lifestyle in which I could juggle a business, school, family, and a personal life? I couldn’t tell you how many times those questions went through my mind. I was very quickly convincing myself to be inadequately playing the role of the Esthetician and business owner. Well, this question doesn’t have a concrete answer I found out because I can’t predict the future and honestly you have to live your life and attempt to do your best as you face new barriers in anything new you attempt to accomplish or learn.

I had realized earlier in this entrepreneurial journey that this anxiety and insecurity was making its way quickly into my thoughts and feelings and yet I had no clue as to how to tackle it. Thankfully, I communicated my feelings of insecurity to my family and friends relatively soon, as a way to find advice and comfort in dealing with the unsettling emotions behind such insecurity. Their advice on what I was going through largely focused on my needing to realize an appreciation for uncertainty in facing new challenges, and yet also finding out how I could work with my feelings of anxiety to move forward and tone it down if and when it shows up again in my thoughts and feelings.

I did embrace what they were saying and what I value the most is how this anxiety and insecurities helped me discover more about Kelly. I now feel there is significant value behind self-awareness. Having that awareness allows you to do a thorough inspection of you as a person. This inspection includes insight into you mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. It is like doing a 180 on what you want, desire, think, and actually do.

Based on this experience and many I know to come, what I take away from all of this is that I will seek to always have a self-awareness about what I am doing, thinking, and feeling so that I extract more value from my every experience.


The Dream Switch

In BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Risk, The Idea, Writing on January 9, 2009 at 11:13 am

OK, well call me a sucker for punishment or better yet, just addicted- isn’t that what artists are, on some level?

I have been feaverishly working away on the beginning of another book with sports psychologist Jason Selk. The book we have agreed to write together is called The Dream Switch. The name, this time came right away to me. Who knows, maybe now that I have “birthed” one book, I suppose I now know the ropes a little bit better.

While I am still unsure if I am going to self publish Build a Blue Bike, The Dream Switch will be off to Susan Schulman to try and sell next month.

0071600639Anyway, Jason wrote a book that was release last September, called 10-Minute Toughness: The Mental Training Program for Winning Before the Game Begins (McGraw-Hill).

Jason currently is considered one of the top performance coaches in the world because of the star-studded line up of athletes he regularly works with which include: Olympic gold medalists, NCAA scoring leaders, Major League All Stars, NASCAR drivers, golfers in the PGA and LPGA, NFL Pro Bowlers. Jason trained the St. Louis Cardinals the year they won the World Series. He also has recently been working with a few symphony musicians. We met through one of them.

Here is a video of Jason talking about his book.

A Creative Leap at Catalyst Ranch

In Art, Cooking & Food, Creative Support, Current Events, Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Leadership, Marketing, Music, Networking, Risk, The Idea, Theater/Film, Writing on January 9, 2009 at 10:34 am

John Cimino, from Creative Leaps International, and I are pleased to announce that Catalyst Ranch, an incredible creativity-driven meeting space provider and progressive business-thought-leader, has offered us the opportunity to use their facility as our home until we are able to have our own space for a Chicago based Renaissance Center. (OMG. Chicago Arts Incubator? Any of you remember me sharing my dream about creating one? Well, my “lucky” day may just be around the corner, with my friend, John. But don’t get too excited for me just yet.-

Those dang last-stretch-to-home corners are not that lucky to actually get-off-easy, catch a break, and make a quick turn around. Most of the time.

Oh, and the other problem? You know the euphoria you feel followed by the inside-your-head part, that voice that says nice stuff to you, sometimes part, like “yah, this is really gonna happen?”

Well I got big news, there ain’t no stinkin’ guarantees! But really, once you get use to muscling-a-stomach for taking some calculated risks in life in the name of passionate-pursuits– it’s really not all that bad and maybe even a fun– most of the time- except for maybe all of last year but who’s counting)

SO, If you live in Chicago, please come. Or if you are passing through town, too, please, won’t you come? Or maybe you have a few friends who your sure would really be interested in knowing more about this and who might even consider coming to Chicago? It’s Wednesday January 28th from 6-8pm

Won’t you join us to learn more about the work of Creative Leaps and The Renaissance Center in Chicago? If you would like to reserve a seat please email me, The event is free but seating is limited to the first 75 who reply. ( And if you have never been to Catalyst Ranch- trust me- you’ll want to come.)


John Cimino, president of Creative Leaps International, is returning to Chicago for a third round presentation and discussion of his theme: “Bridging the Ingenuity Gap in the 21st Century”. For the benefit those who missed his sessions in September and October, John will provide a quick paced summary of his earlier presentation before moving on to a wider discussion of his vision for a Renaissance Center for Innovation, Learning and Leadership in the Chicago area.

In his initial sessions, John Cimino discussed the “habits of mind” linked to creativity, ingenuity and imaginative insights. He also reviewed recent findings in neuroscience revealing the brain’s unique experience of the arts and arts-based thinking. Alongside creativity, Cimino emphasized the need for connectivity, that is, thinking across boundaries, disciplines and cultures to address the complex issues of a globally inter-connected world. According to Cimino, designing “high tech, high touch” environments for creativity and connectivity is the central challenge of our institutions of higher education, research and professional development.

(from his introduction) Scholar Thomas Homer Dixon describes the “ingenuity gap” – the space between problems that arise and our ability to solve them – as growing today at an alarming rate (in business, scientific research, education, the environment and world affairs). Author Ken Robinson proclaims we are “Out of Our Minds” to have sidelined creativity and the arts when every layer of American society from elementary education to supply-side economics is starved for more imagination, more original thinking, and more creative intelligence.

In this latest session, John Cimino opens the doors to a deeper examination and wider discussion of his vision for a network of Renaissance Centers for Innovation, Learning and Leadership and their significance in bridging knowledge across disciplines. In particular, he will ask how can such a Renaissance Center best serve the needs of Chicago’s own institutions of higher education, business, commerce, leadership, creativity, the arts and arts-based education reforms in the schools? What kinds of partnerships among institutions, public and private, would be essential? Finally, in addition to addressing the needs of individual sectors, what global and overarching issues important to Chicago should the Renaissance Center address in its cross-disciplinary, transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary forums?

Come join John Cimino for an evening of spirited dialogue, creative collaboration and exploration of a new vision for interdisciplinary learning, creativity and leadership.

Jump Start Your Life- I have the spark plug

In Accounting, Art, BOOKS: Learn and Grow, Cooking & Food, Creative Support, Customer Service, Employees, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Legal, Marketing, Money, Music, Networking, Risk, The Idea, Theater/Film, Writing on January 7, 2009 at 1:16 pm

dreamstime_3139037One of the reasons I want to write books is because books, art, poetry and film, as examples, all intrinsically are built to last. Their very form offers easy “spark-creating-experience” access, like a hand full of nourishment going right into our mouth. Love that rush of energy that follows, don’t you? You know, the part before you get tired?

While it is impossible for a memory to replace the actual real time experience of ephoria, or intense joy, anger or sadness– only the kind a work of art can deliver, it can be waiting eagerly for you on a shelf, if it’s a book, or hanging on your wall.

What a basic concept entrepreneurship is for artistry, and yet without this simple “must have”, generations upon generations have defined who we are and what we are capable of creating for others in life, through a very narrow, confining, and as I see it, rather destructive single lens.

In honor of the power of the written word to enlighten and transform, here is my recommended reading list to jump start your very best you in 2009.

Do You Want to Become More Entrepreneurial?

* Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, by Bo Burlingham

* The Art of The Start by Guy Kawasaki

* Awakening the Entrepreneur Within: How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Companies,
by Michael Gerber

* Who’s Your City? How the Creative Economy is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life, by Richard Florida

*The Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths That Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Policy Makers Live, by
Scott A. Shane

*Bounce!: Failure, Resiliency, and Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success, by Barry J. Moltz

*Birthing the Elephant: A Woman’s Go-For-It Guide to Overcoming the Big Challenges of Launching a Business, by Karen Abarbanel and Bruce Freeman

Marketing Maven
* Unleashing the Ideavirus by Seth Godin

* The New Marketing Manifesto: The 12 Rules for Building Successful Brands in the 21st Century (Business Essentials) by John Grant

* The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

* Coercion: Why We Listen to What “They” Say by Douglas Rushkoff

* Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin

* The Anatomy of Buzz: How to Create Word of Mouth Marketing by Emanuel Rosen

* The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use News Releases, Blogs, Podcasting, Viral Marketing and Online Media to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott

Organizational Development
* The Discipline of Market Leaders: Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market by Michael Treacy

* Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

* The Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzky

*First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham

* Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham

* Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman

* The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Financial Health Check
*The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom: Practical & Spiritual Steps So you Can Stop Worrying by Suze Orman

* Finance Your New or Growing Business: How to Find and Raise Capital for Your Venture by Ralph Alterowitz and Jon Zonderman

*Conscious Finance: Uncover Your Hidden Money Beliefs and Transform the Role of Money in Your Life by Rick Kahle

*The Seven Stages of Money Maturity: Understanding the Spirit and Value of Money in Your Life by George Kinder

*The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life by Lynne Twist

Reaching for Greatness
* The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

* This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love by Tama Kieves

* Make the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland

* The Everyday Work of Art by Eric Booth

* The Courage to Teach by Parker Palmer

6 Tips for Using Free On-line Business Tools

In Accounting, Art, Cooking & Food, Creative Support, Customer Service, Employees, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Interesting Articles, Leadership, Legal, Marketing, Money, Music, Networking, Risk, The Idea, Theater/Film, Writing on January 6, 2009 at 1:33 am

January’s Entrepreneur Magazine offered these six tips on using free on-line tools:

Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to use it. “Because there’s so much out there, businesses have a tendency to be like a kid in a candy store,” says Drew McLellan. “Start with the strategy of what you want to accomplish, and then find the tool that will allow you to do that.”

Adds Mike Whaling, “It’s a matter of figuring out which tools are right for your business. Know your audience, and then go to where they are already having conversations.”

You don’t have to figure it all out by yourself. McLellan suggests doing a simple Google search on a tool or task you want to accomplish. “You’ll find people talking about it,” he says. “And people are incredibly quick to share what they know.”

Don’t lose your company’s brand. Using a variety of tools can lead to an inconsistent company image and voice. Says McLellan, “Run it through the litmus test of ‘Is this right for my business? Does it portray my business the way I want?'” Whaling also emphasizes thinking about what your business’s name will be associated with because many free tools are ad-supported.

Push your preconceived notions aside. MySpace and Facebook aren’t just for the kiddies anymore. Says McLellan, “There are a lot of people conducting business on [these sites].”

Does the tool have staying power? For every successful blog, video website or social network, there are dozens that won’t make it. So, again, talk with people online and discuss their experiences with the tool to gauge its stability and reliability.

It may be free, but you still need to invest. Just creating a profile won’t cut it. Making the most of these tools requires time and effort, says Whaling. “There’s an investment in reading other people’s blogs, commenting on posts, getting involved in the community and building relationships.”

The Girl From Someplace Else

In Art on January 5, 2009 at 6:05 am

"The Girl from Someplace Else"When I was in Santa Fe, NM, over the New Year, we of course stopped in to my favorite gallery there, Selby Fleetwood. I stumbled upon another of Rodney Hatfield’s paintings that I simply adore. While not mine yet, I simply love its duplicity and thought I would share it with all of you as a Happy New Year’s offering.

Rodney signs his paintings “art snake.” While I think how much you love something is far more important than the signature, I wonder if not using his name diminishes or helps to preserve (or increase) its value?

Either way, I find Rodney’s signature choice distinctive and interesting.

Can you get someplace in life for nothing?

In Accounting, Art, Author: Lisa Canning, Cooking & Food, Creative Support, Customer Service, Employees, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Legal, Marketing, Money, Music, Networking, Risk, Theater/Film, Writing on January 5, 2009 at 1:25 am

Is it ever possible in life to get somewhere for nothing and have it be somewhere really good? Over the decades, we certainly have heard that “there is no such thing as a free ride” and that “if it’s too good to be true, it likely is”.

But these days, thanks to the internet, there is lots of FREE stuff online, much of which supports the entrepreneur and a start-up venture.

According to an article which appeared in Entrepreneur Magazine this month, Gary Vaynerchuck, co-founder of Wine Library, has been taking advantage of free business tools for nearly three years to grow his 11 year-old wine retail business. Using a combination of web-based tools, such as social networking, blogging and video, he’s taken his company to annual sales of $50 million. One way Wine Library uses these tools, is to notify his friends of daily specials by using MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, in place of email. His success with these tools has even landed him two book deals and regular speaking engagements across the country. “Building brand equity and connecting with your consumers through these social tools has a global impact on your business and your brand,” says Vaynerchuck, 33.

Alison Boris, 38, and Kathi Chandler, 31, have also been capitalizing on free tools since nearly the beginning of their LA based hand bag boutique, called AllyKatStyle. Besides a MySpace page, they also have profies on Digg and StumbleUpon, which are community content sharing sites, to grow their business.

All these free tools also mean that for even a small business, the “little guy” can look a whole lot bigger, not to mention more sophisticated. With a price tag of FREE, it’s hard not to want to take advantage and get on the ride to somewhere great.

Have I gotten your attention? Good, then let’s get you started:

Dimdim ( open source web conferencing application; free basic service
Jott ( service for creating notes, lists, e-mails and text messages; free basic service
Oovoo ( -video messaging, chatting and conferencing
Paltalk ( – Group IM, chat and video call application
Plugoo ( -direct chatting with any blog or site visitor
YouSendIt ( send files up to 2GB; free basic service

Content, Media, Video
Audacity ( Open source software for cross-platform audio recording ( Video blogging, podcasting and video sharing service; free basic service
BlogTalkRadio ( radio network for users to host their own shows
DropShots ( Video hosting and photo sharing
Feedburner ( media distribution services for blogs and RSS feeds
Fix My Movie ( Video enhancement service; free basic service
Paint.NET ( image and photo editing software
Phixr ( picture and photo editor
Seesmic ( Video conversation platform
SlideShare ( Share and embeded slideshows. Powerpoints and PDF’s into web pages
VideoSpin ( video-editing software

BizEquity ( – company valuations
Mint ( – personal finance, money mangement, budget planning and financial planning software
MyBizHomepage ( – financial dashboard for small business Quick Book users
QuickBooks ( small-business accounting software; free simple start 2009 download)
Wesabe ( Financial advice, analysis and planning

Marketing, Networking, PR
Wordpress ( Blog publishing tool
Craigslist ( Online classified and job posting network
CollectiveX ( social networking and collaboration sites for groups
Digg ( content sharing site
Linkedin ( Business social networking site
Pligg (, community-centric site for discovering, rating and sharing content
PolicyMap( -Geographic and demographic information system for creating custom maps, tables and chartes; basic free service
YouNoodle ( for startups and valuation with Startup Predictor
YourPitchSucks ( PR pitch reviewing and advising
Stumble Upon ( Content sharing site

Office Productivity, and Organization
Adobe Buzzword ( Collaborative word processor application
CutePDF Write ( PDF creator; free basic service
Dabble DB ( Create, manage and share online databases; free basic service
Doodle ( Schedule, and coordinate meetings and other appointments
FreshBooks (, time-tracking and expense service; free basic service
SurveyMonkey ( and publish custom online surveys; free basic service
ThinkFree Office ( productivity suite; free basic service
WuFoo ( form builder for creating interactive forms;free basic service

Project Management, Collaboration
Remember the Milk ( management solution and to-do lists
Socialtext ( Wiki and website collaboration; free basic service
Team Task ( project management and community website builder
Yugma ( meeting and collaboration service

Google Alerts ( E-mail updates on choice of query or topic
KickApps ( platform of applications to integrates social features into a website
Microsoft Office Live Small Business ( Create a company website, domain and email; free basic service
Synthasite ( Web hosting and building
Weebly ( and blog creator
Widgetbox ( widgets for various applications
Woopra ( -Web tracking and analysis application; free basic service

SmARTist Tele-Conference Jan 15, 16 & 19-23

In Art, Current Events on January 4, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Build your art career from the comforts of home and learn from the “experts” while doing it via tele-conference.

2009 speakers include: Paul Dorrell- Successful Gallery Owner & Corporate Art Consultant, Alyson B. Stanfield- Art Career Expert, Joan Stewart- Self Promotion Expert, Lucia Capacchione, Ph.D.- Fulfilling Dreams Expert, Leonard DuBoff- Art Law Expert, Molly Gordon, MCC- Entrepreneur Expert, Peter Jason Riley- CPA Tax Expert, Shirley Williams- Successful Artist & Presentation Expert, Mari Smith- Relationship Expert, Nancy Marmolejo- Visibility Expert, Guillermo Cuellar, Ed.D.- Creativity Expert & Psychotherapist, and the creator or the SmARTist Tele-Conference Ariane Goodwin, Ed.D.

For a Calendar of Events click here

Here is a list of some of the things you can expect to learn:

*How you can take advantage of the hottest, new online marketing strategy, even if you’ve never heard of Web 2.0

*What you must know about selling your work in a corporate setting—so you don’t blow it

*How you can develop an art career vision, and business strategies, founded on your deepest values

*75% of US adults can be now found in social media—isn’t it time you tapped into this gold mine?

*What common mistakes you need to avoid when you put together your portfolio—or look like an amateur

*How to identify your most likely art buyers—so you can reach more of them and build a following

*How to find corporations who want your art

*Why Facebook doesn’t have much to do with class reunions, and everything to do with selling your art

*How to effectively negotiate contracts with corporations—or risk losing part of your sweet deal

*Why serious life and death crises can paralyze creativity, and how to keep the juices flowing

*Which tax deductions you can legally take as an artist—and which ones you’ve been missing out on

*How to make your art career sizzle with online tricks you need to know

*How to find a market for your art that fits who you are as a person and an artist

*Which inner blocks (fears, self criticism, guilt, pain) stop you from fulfilling your dreams—and how to win them over with simple techniques

*How a clear vision for your art gives you guidelines for making difficult decisions with peace and strength

*How to prioritize and develop the right promotional materials—for the right audience

*Why “tweeting” should be at the top of your list— or you miss out on a ready-made audience of potential art buyers

*How to follow up with potential buyers without fumbling the ball or falling over fear

Interested in signing up? Click here.

Weeble Wobbles Fall But They Don’t Fall Down

In Author: Lisa Canning, Risk, The Idea on January 1, 2009 at 1:34 am

Do your creative entrepreneurial legs feel a little bit wobbly? If they do, just like mine, then join me and let’s wobble together. Since part of the journey on every entrepreneurial adventure includes some moments of wobbliness, thinking of yourself like a Weeble Wobble is rather appropriate, I think. Which weeble would you like to be? Would you like to pick your weeble persona out with me?

Weeble Wobbles, frankly, have been quite a successful creative adventure for the Hasbro Toy Company. The genesis of these little toys that wobbled but never fell down came from The Punching Clown on The Romper Room Show back in the late 50’s. Weebles are nothing more than tiny plastic versions of “bop-bags”, exact miniatures of the punching clown on the show.

When The Hasbro Toy Company aquired Romper Room Inc. in 1969 the Weebles were just about to hit the toy market and make toy history.

Shaped like eggs with a weight at the fat, or bottom end, they wobble when pushed, but never fall completely over, hence the name and the slogan “weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down”. Some Weebles were designed to look like humans.

The original family was a dark-haired father with a red shirt or blue v-neck sweater, a blond-haired mother in a green dress, a boy in blue jeans and a white “W” tee, and a red haired girl with green pants. Go to Wobbleland and check each one of them out. There was a brown family dog, too. A baby was soon added to this line-up; she was pink and held a blue balloon.

The treehouse and cottage followed in 1973. From a single punching clown that caught on, the concept transfered beautifully into the Weeble Wobbles toy line.

Soon the Weebles family had its own vehicles, a boat (the S.S. Lilleputt), a playground (swings, slide, and merry-go-round), pop-up camper/trailer, train, marina, airport and plane (a plane was also included in the Weekender set), haunted house (with scared girl, boy, witch and glow-in-the-dark ghost), blimp (with pilot), circus with Wobbles the clown, Gina the trapeeze artist, and Bert the Ringmaster).

From literature, the Weebles sprang up in a Treasure Island set (complete with pirate ship and four pirate Weebles) and another version of the treehouse for Tarzan and his ape friend.

The Wild West had its own Weeble line — The Weeble West Ranch, a Western Train, the Wagonmaster, and Indian Wigwam sets.

Tumblin’ Weebles came in 1978 as a variation on the standard Weeble. The weight was free to fall into the larger head so that, on an incline, the little guys sommersaulted down.

The last of the Weebles were the Sesame Street crew, in the early 80s. These include: Big Bird and plane, Ernie and Helicopter, Cookie Monster and Sailboat, Bert and convertible, and Oscar, plus a Sesame Street playground.

So many weebles to choose from! It’s amazing what happens when your “lucky” creativity just magically grows? ( no hard work required, right?)

Have you found your favorite weeble you’ll be with me in 2009?

Here’s mine: image011