Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for the ‘Health & Wellness’ Category

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

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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:

#1
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.”

#2
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.”

#3
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.

#4
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].”

#5
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.

#6
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.”

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:

Communication/Email
Dimdim ( dimdim.com)- open source web conferencing application; free basic service
Jott (jott.com)-voice-to-text service for creating notes, lists, e-mails and text messages; free basic service
Oovoo ( oovoo.com) -video messaging, chatting and conferencing
Paltalk ( paltalk.com) – Group IM, chat and video call application
Plugoo ( plugoo.com) -direct chatting with any blog or site visitor
YouSendIt (yousendit.com)- send files up to 2GB; free basic service

Content, Media, Video
Audacity (audacity-sourceforge.net) Open source software for cross-platform audio recording
Blip.tv: (blip.tv)- Video blogging, podcasting and video sharing service; free basic service
BlogTalkRadio (blogtalkradio.com) radio network for users to host their own shows
DropShots ( dropshots.com)- Video hosting and photo sharing
Feedburner ( feedburner.com)- media distribution services for blogs and RSS feeds
Fix My Movie ( fixmymovie.com)- Video enhancement service; free basic service
Paint.NET ( getpaint.net)- image and photo editing software
Phixr (phixr.com)- picture and photo editor
Seesmic (seesmic.com)- Video conversation platform
SlideShare ( slideshare.net)- Share and embeded slideshows. Powerpoints and PDF’s into web pages
VideoSpin ( videospin.com)- video-editing software

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

Marketing, Networking, PR
Wordpress (wordpress.com)- Blog publishing tool
Craigslist ( craigslist.org)- Online classified and job posting network
CollectiveX ( collectivex.com)-Create social networking and collaboration sites for groups
Digg (digg.com)- content sharing site
Linkedin ( linkedin.com)- Business social networking site
Pligg ( pligg.com)-Open-source, community-centric site for discovering, rating and sharing content
PolicyMap( Policymap.com) -Geographic and demographic information system for creating custom maps, tables and chartes; basic free service
YouNoodle ( younoodle.com)-Netowrking for startups and valuation with Startup Predictor
YourPitchSucks (yourpitchsucks.com) PR pitch reviewing and advising
Stumble Upon ( stumbleupon.com)- Content sharing site

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

Project Management, Collaboration
Remember the Milk (rememberthemilk.com)-Task management solution and to-do lists
Socialtext (socialtext.com)- Wiki and website collaboration; free basic service
Team Task ( teamtask.com)-Collaborative project management and community website builder
Yugma (yugma.com)-Web meeting and collaboration service

Web
Google Alerts ( google.com/alerts)- E-mail updates on choice of query or topic
KickApps ( kickapps.com)- platform of applications to integrates social features into a website
Microsoft Office Live Small Business (smallbusiness.officelive.com)- Create a company website, domain and email; free basic service
Synthasite ( synthasite.com)- Web hosting and building
Weebly ( weebly.com)-Website and blog creator
Widgetbox (widgetbox.com)-web widgets for various applications
Woopra ( woopra.com) -Web tracking and analysis application; free basic service

My 2009, and Yours?

In Art, Cooking & Food, Creative Support, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Marketing, Music, Risk, The Idea, Theater/Film, Writing on December 28, 2008 at 3:37 am

dreamstime_7322003Before every New Year, I find myself always hoping to be and do better than the year before. Don’t you? Yet, lately I have been feeling like my progress has seemed more like 2 steps backwards and 1/2 a step forward.

But if you’re anything like me, artistic, sensitive, self-critical and gushing with ideas, it’s hard to not want to let yourself flow with your creativity, even when you know progress can sometimes be painful. After all what do you have to lose- except for 2 1/2 steps one direction or the other, right?

The issue, of course, is when what once felt like a peaceful flow has now turned into a raging river. The kind of shift in your thinking or situation that makes you wonder what possessed you in the first place to ever think you could peacefully have your ideas flow into accomplishment- just the way you envisioned.

So now what?

I know how you feel, if you have ever felt this way. This whole past year for me, with my book, has felt like a roller coaster ride. My ride has had lots of unexpected twists and turns and the occasional jolt, just for good measure, when I least expected it. And all this adventure has me feeling a wee bit wobbly. (just like the Weeble Wobbles, remember them?)

Do I really want MORE adventure in 2009?

How about you? Are you ready to let your creativity spring like jack, out of-the-box, unconventionally? Are you ready for some bumps, twists and turns on your entrepreneurial creative adventure ride?

Not sure?

But remember, parts of the ride are GUARANTEED to be exhilarating- and it’s always those parts we most remember. Terror-filled-moments only last briefly, but when they occur how much more the rush of exhilaration mattered. Feeling creative freedom is worth a little terror, I think. Don’t you?

And so for me, wobbly legs and all, 2009 must include a number of new challenges and a few more new adventure rides.

My first, on both fronts, will be to self-publish Build a Blue Bike. My friend, composer and jazz pianist David Cutler, has just finished a book called The Savvy Musician. He and I have decided to release our books together sometime before June of 2009. Our books fit nicely together.

Of course this is not at all the road I expected to take, but it’s one that has just opened and I have to explore. I am over feeling stuck and wondering “so now what do I do with the manuscript?” It’s more fun to be looking forward to the anticipation of being on another creative adventure-filled-ride, really.

I have about 5 other projects, too, that I need to sit down to chart my course of action for in 2009. Of course, I already know that I will ultimately have to learn to let go of each of my plans, eventually, because each I plan will twist and turn and jolt in ways I cannot possibly right now even begin to imagine!

So why bother to plot my planning?

Because I believe luck favors the prepared mind. Hard work and perseverance in the end always win. Adding new hands, feet and heads as unexpected surprises into your adventure sometimes means rewritting the plan. And, as a result, that may mean the story may take longer to tell, but your determination and effort only make your story all that much more compelling when you reach your “lucky” happy ending. Our dreams, with preparation and perseverance, really can come true.

Welcome in 2009!

To ring in the New Year I am headed off to Santa Fe. It’s cold there but a good fire, a few unfinished books and a massage, and hot tub or two, at Ten Thousand Waves, are waiting for me there. I hope you too will spend some time before the New Year to plan your “luck.” I’m rooting for both of us in 2009!

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

In Accounting, Art, Cooking & Food, Creative Support, Current Events, Customer Service, Emotional Intelligence, Employees, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Artist Contest Contestants, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Interesting Articles, Leadership, Legal, Marketing, Money, Music, Networking, Risk, The Clarinet Shop, The Entrepreneurial Artist Competition, The Idea, Theater/Film, Writing on December 23, 2008 at 3:04 am

f91ddde14399af3663324567dfa4My wish for you, ON CHRISTMAS DAY,
will be for you TOO, to keep the GRINCH at bay!

But if by chance, you simply cannot,
Band mighty together, as a great big Who-Ville lot!

WWHHYY????? Smarty-Arty, I hear you say?

BECAUSE, with all your JOY stirring together,
the grinch who came to visit, just might feel a WEE bit better.

Merry Christmas, my dears, what’s your ETA,
to ENTREPRENEUR The Arts, in a new innovative way.
PLEASE COME WITH ME, lets ride far, far and away!

signed your friend, an artistic missionIST, a student of Dr. Suess-a-visionIST, gliding, and sent with love.

Is Starving an Artistic Risk?

In Art, Cooking & Food, Emotional Intelligence, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Music, Theater/Film, Writing on December 5, 2008 at 9:25 am

According to Wikipedia a starving artist is: someone who sacrifices material well-being in order to focus on their artwork. Typically living on minimum expenses, either for a lack of business or because all their disposable income goes towards art projects. Some starving artists desire mainstream success but have difficulty due to the high barriers in art such as visual arts, the film industry, and theatre. These artists frequently take temporary positions (such as waitering or other service industry jobs) while they focus their attention on breaking through in their preferred field.

According to Merriam-Webster, risk is defined as: the possibility of loss or injury : peril

If we financially place ourselves in low paying or dead end jobs are we expanding or limiting our artistic potential?

If you can’t pay your rent, and your big artistic break isn’t showing up at what point exactly are your choices in life diminishing? Is it when it comes down to leaving the profession you chose because you simply can’t pay your bills?

Or is it when your disregard for your mental, physical and economic health erodes your happiness and self-confidence?

Or is it when many of your life goals have a serious life sucks “gap” between what you hoped to accomplish and what you actually can accomplish?

Or maybe its when you feel like your creativity and imagination are almost all gone because you cannot endure the difficulty of a life that does not inspire your evolution and creative abilities?

Is it worth your time to consider if there is another path, one that only you can imagine, that can fill your artistic potential and provide you with a host of economic options?

How much value exactly do you place on nurturing, protecting and supporting a life filled with your own creativity?

Marketing “All About Beauty” by Kelly

In Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Health & Wellness, Marketing on November 14, 2008 at 3:15 am

Kelly Penick is a sophomore at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Kelly has been blogging about her experiences starting her business. To read more of Kelly’s blog posts go to the category cloud and look under Health and Wellness.

Promoting Now For Future Returns written by college sophomore Kelly Penick

I have been thinking about different ways to expand awareness of my name and business on campus. Since my parents have a local business, the Penick name does have familiarity and professional recognition in Watauga County. I want to take my last name and tie it in with not just a construction business, but also now an esthetics business, “All About Beauty by Kelly.” Since I am still new to the business and building in revenue, I have my business cards that I developed through Vistaprint. This is the only logo design associated with me at this time. The design is simple but I feel expresses my personality as a girly female, as well as looking fabulous with a beauty emphasis. Check out the end of this post to get a glimpse at the design!

My thinking is that if I promote a special on facials during November and December, I could get not only increased business traffic due to the significant price reduction for a treatment during this stressful end of semester/exam time, but also the potential for future clients and repeat business..

I want to specifically use my status as a student to my advantage, and promote myself through the Assoc. of Student Entrepreneur’s Club. It is a highly recognized student organization, and if I were an outsider to campus, and not affiliated with a club, I could not promote my own career here. Fortunately there are many females on ASU’s campus, all of whom I could target, ranging from the student body, faculty, and administration. Having exposure to all of these different levels would help me greatly in the way of advertising. I know several people in Boone because this is my home town, and conveniently, the same location of my university campus.

I feel that by beginning this promotion in the middle of November, I could take it on into December and promote the experience of having a European Facial, as something wonderfully relaxing at a time when everyone is moving into the hectic holiday season, and in the case of the students and professors, into the stressful time of college exams.

I intend to make this promotion known largely through mass campus-wide emails. I have to look further into that process and see if I am capable of reaching all potential females that I would like to reach by this method. When I promote myself off campus, I will make use of my business cards and flyers in local businesses. As opposed to clients paying the standard $70 for a European Facial, they would pay $35 during this promotion. Although my profit per facial would be substantially reduced, I believe the benefits to my business through the increased cliental, and hopefully, repeat business along with word of mouth advertising from satisfied clients would provide for future growth and profitability.

Right now I am taking advantage again of my own ASU email account and also facebook friends. The use of the internet is my most cost-effective tool for getting this promotion out. I have ordered 250 more business cards that I can also place in local businesses that primarily employ females.

In my next post I will have run the promotion for about a month and I will be able to share with you what the best promotion method proved to be, due to the most responses. I am interested to see where the most responses will come from: since I am targeting students, faculty, close friends and family.

aab-biz-card0152

Artistry + The River = An Economic Catalyst

In Art, Cooking & Food, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Fashion, Health & Wellness, Leadership, Marketing, Money, Music, Networking, Risk, The Idea, Theater/Film, WEBSITES & BLOGS, Writing on October 28, 2008 at 5:04 pm

What do artists have in common with supporting economic development along our most important and prominent rivers in the United States?

Believe it or not, more than you might think.

Today John Cimino, Creative Leaps Intl, myself and members of the American Heritage River Alliance have a meeting in Mayor Daley’s Office to discuss Chicago’s expressed interest in applying for federal funding for the Chicago River in 2009 through the American Heritage River Alliance.

The AHRA, established by President Clinton’s Executive Order #13061 in 1997, is a network of locally-driven partnerships working to restore rivers, promote sustainable development, and improve quality of life. When President Clinton issued this Executive Order, federal funding was given for ten years to fourteen different rivers. Chicago applied ten years ago and was not selected. In 2009 federal funding will become available to six more rivers, for ten years, through an application process.

The first 14 rivers that were originally funded are now being converted into 501c3’s. Each river, through this White House initiative, was originally assigned an Interagency River Navigator– a key person who helps match local needs with their ability to fast track available federal resources for environmental, economic, and cultural/historic preservation efforts.

With the original river navigators still in their original roles, and in need of a new source of funding, the reason the AHRA and several of the key river navigators are in town this week is to promote the marketing potential of supporting this organization at the Chief Responsibility Officer Conference– the newest emerging corporate executive role created in the last few years- this coming Wednesday here in Chicago. Both John and I will be attending the conference to help the AHRA network to advance fundraising initiatives. Did you know that the original 14 rivers, the AHRA is looking for these corporations to financial support, has a marketing reach of over 1/2 of the population in the United States?

So why, you might be thinking, are John Cimino and I involved in this project?

Well, Creative Leaps is currently working on a project in the Hudson River, one of the originally funded 14 rivers through the AHRA, for their Quadricentennial celebration. John is serving as the educational director for a project that the AHRA and Creative Leaps conceived called the Arts-Science Challenge. From this project, which will last through 2009, the AHRA is committing a portion of the 400 million dollar funding it hopes to raise, to development John Cimino’s idea for The Renaissance Center, which the AHRA believes on its own provides an economic engine for the region it is built in.

The Renaissance Center is a center devoted to for Leadership, Innovation and Learning. It will serve as an interdisciplinary center using the arts as a catalyst, to convene business, government, education and sustainable technology sectors together to solve their problems and develop teaching artist consultants to do some of this work in each area it serves.

My interest in the project is to help John place one of these centers in Chicago and to be responsible for its development and involved as a teaching artist in its work- thus a new viable twist on my idea of a Chicago Arts Incubator.

So what do a couple of artists have in common with ecomonic development along the Hudson River and The Chicago River? It appears a lot!

What kind of interesting lense can you bring into binocular view- something paired to your artistry- to make your work more fully integrated into the community in a significant and financially meaningful way?

The Human Trafficking Project

In Art, Current Events, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Health & Wellness, Music, The Idea, Theater/Film, WEBSITES & BLOGS, Writing on October 14, 2008 at 6:09 am

If you live in the United States right now and are feeling squeezed as a result of our economic financial melt down, remember your life could be worse. MUCH WORSE. Imagine losing your freedom and being subjected to modern day slavery known as human trafficking.

Focused on this important social cause, The Human Trafficking Project (HTP), a New York-based non-profit organization, utilizes art, innovation and technology to raise awareness to this form of modern day slavery. Their mission is to connect those working to combat human trafficking, as well as providing support to trafficking survivors.

2009 upcoming projects include a hip-hop album, a documentary and a photography project. The goal is to provide a multimedia body of work that will convey the facts, emotions and complexity of human trafficking to bring the issue into mainstream consciousness. The HTP website is in the process of developing featured trafficking facts, downloadable songs, streamable video, photographs, links to relevant news stories, and original articles and insights on the problem.

So what exactly is human trafficking?

Trafficking is defined as the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of subjecting that person to involuntary servitude, sexual exploitation, peonage, debt bondage, slavery, or other forms of exploitation. Human trafficking is the third most profitable organized crime/business, just after drug and arms trafficking. According to the United Nations, it generates an estimated 32 billion dollars annually in revenue.

And if you think that human trafficking does not occur in the United States- think again- an estimated 17,000 victims are trafficked into the United States each year. According to the U.S. State Department up to 800,000 people are trafficked around the world annually. Free the Slaves, a Washington D.C.- based nonprofit, estimates there to be up to 27 million active slaves in the world today.

This project is a pretty fantastic example of what artist can do as social entrepreneurs.

About the Artists Involved in The Human Trafficking Project

Merissa Nathan Gerson-Writer (Boulder, USA)
In May 2008, Merissa graduated with an MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Her writing can be seen in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, Apothecary, and local Colorado journals. For the past four years she has worked as a farmer, a waitress, a sixth grade teacher, a bilingual tutor, a lamp-maker, an intern for the Native American Rights Fund, and a creative writing teacher at a juvenile detention facility. In May of 2004 she received a BA with a dual focus in American Culture Studies and Women and Gender Studies from Washington University in St. Louis where she headed their rape prevention initiative.

Ligaya Domingo- Filmmaker (Philippines)
Ligaya is a visual artist based in Manila. A filmmaker and advocate of women’s and children’s rights, Domingo studied Fine Arts and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Art History at the University of the Philippines. Ligaya has worked as an assistant director, production designer, art director and actress in various independent film productions. She is an active member of Sinekalye, a group of independent filmmakers and video artists from the Mowelfund Film Institute. Besides the HTP film Gimikera, Ligaya recently completed Perya, a documentary about a community of carnival workers.

Kat C. Palasi- Photographer (Philippines)
Kat is a freelance photographer who has documented women’s issues and the changing traditions of her Igorot clan, the Ibaloys of Benguet. A graduate of Communication from the University of the Philippines, she has received the Asian Cultural Council grant twice from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which enabled her to study at the International Center of Photography in New York City. She is currently preparing to shoot a documentary on Filipino youth culture. See more of Kat’s work here.

Veejay Villafranca- Photographer (Philippines)
Raised by a photojournalist father, Veejay was attracted to the camera at an early age. In college, Villafranca worked as a staff photojournalist for the Philippine Graphic covering events such as the conflicts in the Southern provinces of Zamboanga & Sulu and the insurgencies in the Cordillera mountain range. Villafranca also covered the official visit of U.S. President George W. Bush to the Philippines in 2004. Most recently he has worked for wire agencies such as Agence France-Presse, Associated Press and Reuters news agency. Veejay was also part of the recently concluded Angkor Photo festival held in Siem Reap in Cambodia.

Meryl David- Singer (Philippines)
Meryl started singing in 2003 with an acoustic group called Soulground that regularly performed throughout Metro Manila. Wanting to explore different forms of music, she decided to form a band that would play neo-soul for the underground Filipino hip-hop scene. Meryl is currently collaborating with indie artists alongside her career as a registered nurse. “What brought me here isn’t just because of the mere fact that I sing. If it’s the truth, I’m in; if it’s not the truth, I’m out. Awareness leads to nothing without action. It’s more than cool to know what to sing for and what to sing against.”

Mike Hortaleza aka DJ Grimrock- Musician (Washington, USA)
Mike is a Filipino musician born and raised in Portland, Oregon. Influenced by hip-hop culture at a young age, Hortaleza found his talent on turntables in high school and became a DJ entering DJing competitions and practicing the art of Turntablism. He has performed with or opened for various musicians including Live Human, DJ Craze, One Be Lo, Eternia, Scratch of the Roots, Native Gunz, Sadat X and Sleep. Mikey was also the main DJ on the War of the Words tour in 2006. Mike is currently building an Oregon Chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation to promote community service through hip-hop.

A Sophomore’s Summer Building a Business

In Employees, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Health & Wellness, Marketing, Risk on September 30, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Kelly Penick has written a few articles on this blog. Here is another post about her progress building a business as a sophomore in college. I began working with Kelly, as one of her advisors, last year. Here are links to some of Kelly’s other posts to learn more about her journey.
My First Try at Buying a Business
Jumping Off a Cliff Daily Towards My Future
Her Passion: From a Freshman at Appalachian State, Boone, NC

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By Kelly Penick

Oh the click of the time clock on Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 to 10am. This moment was my 600th hour of education at Artistic Academy—and my moment declaring my completion. What a wonderful feeling to turn my timecard in for the last time.

I have to say that my leaving the Artistic Academy was bittersweet. I had grown close to one of the instructors and adopted her as one of my grandparents. Her hugs and loving words meant the most as we did our final toast with diet squirt cola and I hit the road for Raleigh. My mom and I were on our way their to take one of my state board exams.

As I rode along I reflected on the last few months. One of the goals that I can fondly look back on is one of the instructors saying that the Esthetician course takes 4-4 ½ months to complete and I was able to beat the clock and make it all happen in 3 ½ months. Read the rest of this entry »

My First Try at Buying a Business

In Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Health & Wellness on August 6, 2008 at 8:18 pm

This post was written by Kelly Penick, a soon to be Sophmore at Appalachian State, Boone, NC
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I am happy to say that I am more than half-way through my esthetician schooling. It has been one of the best decisions I have made and one of the best uses of my time, especially in the summer. I have been blessed to meet a variety of different people, as well as grow closer to those I love.

As I work toward completing the course, I am still pursuing owning a business this fall. On one of my two days off, a Monday recently, I met with the present owner of a day spa that I have worked at for a few years. The spa is now for sale.

This meeting took a different course than I had anticipated and let’s just say the meeting wasn’t pleasant. Read the rest of this entry »

Jumping Off A Cliff Daily Towards My Future

In Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Tool Box, Health & Wellness, The Idea on June 10, 2008 at 5:34 pm

This post was written by Kelly Penick, soon to be sophomore at Appalachian State, Boone, NC
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I am just jumping right in and facing my fears all the time. This summer, on very short notice, I decided to go to school to become a licensed esthetician, as the first major step on my path towards opening a spa. I am glad I took this route for the summer, even if it is six hundred hours of coursework.

I feel that the experience and knowledge that I am gaining from this summer will not only aid me significantly in my career goals, but also as a leader of the Entrepreneur’s Club. I can express to the other students the value behind my experiences and offer advice and guidance in “stepping out of one’s comfort zone and going for your goals.”

My experiences with the various clients have been both challenging and rewarding. You are blessed with those who truly care about their bodies and are more than willing to help you grow as a skin care specialist through their constructive criticism. Then you have those who, you might say, are a little rough around the edges, and to them you feel you are a godsend in providing any type of treatment at all.

I did feel for one lady who while we were performing her facial waxing maintained a smile on her face. I couldn’t help but ask why she was enjoying the waxing so, because frankly it is not my favorite service to perform since it can be a bit painful for the client. She responded by saying “I never do anything for myself and for once I am doing so.” I found it sad that waxing would be her source of pampering, but also from that experience I witnessed a lady who took the pain with ease and enjoyed every minute of it.

As I drive to school, which is about 40 minutes each way, Tuesday through Saturday, I am able to engage in valuable thought. You are able to put more and more into perspective as it sometimes feels really early in the morning to be driving in down the mountain. Lately I have been asking myself “why is it that I am doing this again?”

Really, it is a simple question with a very simple answer. I have an ambition and a drive to get ahead and I need to take these necessary steps in order to reach my career goals and to achieve what I feel I have the potential to do in my lifetime. I also feel that out of a deep sense of love that I anticipate for my future husband and family, I am doing this now in the hope that we will be blessed with financial security as well as many other future blessings.

I did have an interesting conversation with a fellow student about life and family. We talked about how she desires to possibly one day open a day spa. At this time, she and her husband do not have the financial means to do so. I hope that through the mentorship program that I am involved in, I might be able to help guide her in a direction that she could begin to fulfill that dream.

Many are like this young lady, I believe, who do have goals that can be ambitious and wonderful, but they don’t know how to go about achieving them. My take on this conversation is that she needs to clearly see where she wants to go, and I mean truly visualize that end result. Once she has that vision, she is able to fill in the middle steps toward reaching the goal.

I realize that this goal of my own comes in steps, or stages, and that is all right. I know that we can’t have it all overnight. I told her that I see a marriage and many aspects of life flowing along this same line of thought. If you see you and your spouse happy together while sharing your love and compassion, you know that you want to have those feelings and experiences to ultimately come about. Therefore, you have to commit to doing the work along the way to maintain a beautiful relationship and continually cultivate that goal of love and compassion.

Now I know that not all of life is smooth sailing, but the work in between the good times is what gets you past those inconsistencies and unfortunate experiences that are bound to arise. I believe that once you reach a goal, you start building on another and that way you are always expanding your knowledge and working up to your own personal potential.

Her Passion: From a Freshman at Appalachian State, Boone, NC

In Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Evolution, Health & Wellness, The Idea on May 14, 2008 at 8:53 am

Kelly Penick is a remarkable young lady. I met her at the CEO conference where I was one of the keynote speakers. Kelly asked if I would help her develop her business concepts and serve in an advisory capacity on her journey to building her dream. Kelly is starting her venture at almost the same age I started mine. It is exciting to help someone so young with as much determination and drive to excel as Kelly.
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My name is Kelly Penick and I am a freshman at Appalachian State University. During my sophomore year of high school, I decided I wanted to become a female entrepreneur and influential businesswoman. I have been exposed to various resorts, spas, and luxury hotels during my lifetime, and the experience has always been personally rewarding. Not only have I received wonderful spa treatments, but have experienced a wonderful night’s sleep on numerous occasions, experienced fine dining, and felt a since of comfort and peace while visiting these facilities.

When I was able to associate the hospitality industry, and more specifically, the hotel & spa industry, with such positive feelings, I discovered my entrepreneurial passion. Would you not love the feeling of ownership of a facility that works to make every second of the day feel relaxed and provide an environment for one to be totally pampered? I thought so, because I can see myself setting back and indulging in these services and appreciating this very atmosphere myself!

In conjunction with my appreciation for the resort, hotel and spa industries, I am also extremely fond of the Golden Age of Hollywood. My own personal attachment to this time period in filmmaking ranges from about 1936-1960. I consider the classics in film to have been made during this age and I confidently say that my favorite actors and actresses are from this era.

It is through the images of legends such as Cary Grant and Grace Kelly that I wish to bring back a timeless age of film with all of its glamour, romance and sophistication, to the modern day luxury resort and spa arena. Guests of the resort will experience elegance unparalleled to any other resort. They will be encompassed by a feeling of old Hollywood glamour and its glittering appeal as they enter a world resembling a film’s movie set/furnishings and the aesthetic appeal of that time.

My family is most involved in my life and since I have grown up with parents who are entrepreneurs, I have difficulty seeing myself working for anyone but myself. The knowledge and experience I have received through my family encourages me to set high standards professionally and personally.

Having grown up in a family business, I see myself as a leader and individual who knows what I want out of my career, as well as someone who has been blessed with a vision and drive to make these dreams a reality. My desire is to have the means and ability to not only provide the finest of cuisine, spa treatments, and atmosphere to my clients, but also give to be able to give back to the betterment of the human race.

Over the years I have had family members who have been victims of Alzheimer’s disease and for those who are familiar with Alzheimer’s scope of influence, the family as well as the victims experience distressing emotional and physical burdens. As this disease makes itself more prevalent in today’s society, I seek to be at the forefront in support of the latest research and development, to potentially combat and restrict the disease’s prevalence in society and hopefully provide consolation for families and individuals who have fallen victim to this degrading disease.

The Alzheimer’s Association has several fundraising events that take place annually, such as the Rita Hayworth Galas, in honor of the beautiful screen legend who suffered from Alzheimer’s in her later life. I would love to see my own luxury resort as a facility where such galas could be hosted, and know that I have a hand in helping to aid those who must deal with this most distressing illness.

I look most forward to specifically two aspects of the resort in particularly. There will be a ballroom in the resort, and within that ballroom I wish to have ballroom dancing and elaborate charity events and galas as mentioned before. I also look forward to my involvement with the guests and members of the resort. I can actually see myself walking into the resort each day and interacting with the employees, visiting clients and members of the resort. Since the resort’s atmosphere will instill a sense of relaxation and ultimate luxury, I anticipate clients saying to me: “I feel wonderful, and I thank you for providing such an inviting and rejuvenating destination for my relaxation and comfort.”

At this time, in between semesters at Appalachian State University, I am embarking on obtaining my certification as a licensed Esthetician in North Carolina. This will be the most developed exposure I have received as yet in the Aesthetics industry, and about which I am most anxious and excited. While fulfilling this program, I will be working with valuable mentors to help me develop a logical 3-year plan to become a business owner while obtaining my college degree.