Monday, November 19, 2007

I Upped My Income!

Thanks to a bit of extra work, I've been able to upgrade a few things in my life:
•My computer
•My venue for Thanksgiving via an airline ticket
•My business plan for 2008 -- since I've proven my ability to produce income.
It still amazes me that I can just about reach out and pluck money from thin air. Even better, some of it happens automatically, thanks to the platform of the Internet.
    I'll keep this short. I upped my income -- UP YOURS!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Setting the Next Goal Point

The funny thing about success is the progressive nature of it. Once you reach certain goals, you have to think ahead to the next point on the way. What had been a dream or vision has now become a reality, and you must dare to reach higher or farther than before. In my own case, going from broke to solvent happened gradually, then it exploded into disposable income. Not millions, mind you, but next months bills are not an issue for worry.
    I had a visit from an old friend I knew from my high-school days. We toured the local sights and ate immodest amounts of food. While she was willing to pay for everything, I felt free to chip in liberally and not make a big deal about it. This was actually the first time in years I was able to fork over money for fun and not wonder if I was busting my budget or risking future meals for present pleasure.
    Best of all, September promises to be my best month yet. I have major marketers lined up to either review my products ('cause they got a freebie from me) or offer testimonials ('cause they bought them at retail). It's one thing to know you can produce quality. It's even better when the Big Dogs bark in your favor! I may throw them a bone and offer ghostwriting at a discount...
    My new goal points are to buy a new computer, made by the guy who saved me back in July when the old one was killed by lightning; get cable TV and Internet access; schedule a trip to Colorado and visit the Old Folks at Home; acquire my learner's permit for driving and refurbish my wardrobe. Modest goals, by some standards, but pure luxury for me, considering my previous plight.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Self-Employed Ghostwriter

While I’ve always had an entrepreneurial bent, it’s only been in the last few months that I realized how liberating self-employment truly is. Not only do I do what I really want, with very few demands on my brain and time; I get paid well for it. The pressure of being someone else’s pet dog, performing on demand is gone. I choose with whom I work and set the terms according to my plan.
    This brings up another point: planning. Without a serious business plan, I was spinning my wheels. All my past endeavors were lacking this element. A sound, from-the-beginning plan makes all the effort focus on the bottom line, which is not necessarily making the most bucks. In my case, it’s getting the best information out there on the ‘Net via my customers.
    What I find most fulfilling, almost unbearably so, is that my life is my own. I can afford my frugal lifestyle without having to do for someone else’s dream or vision. I’m fulfilling my own vision and getting paid for it. Admittedly, I must keep working at finding enough work to sustain me, but the Warrior Forum is enough of a source for that. All in all, I am so free, it’s almost a dream.
    Finding my core competence, writing content for articles and reports, allows me to do my thing at my own pace. I can devote long hours to writing, or take days off without concern for my well being. It all comes together in a natural way. Even the recent death-by-lightning of my old computer was only a two day glitch. The orders for work continue to come in and my first venture into PLR content is successful enough that even though I was cut off from the Internet, I made some money!
    Ahh, life is sweet…

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Success Through a Positive Application of Effort

I'm a firm believer in a positive mental attitude. My life experience backs up my belief. There is a catch to PMA -- you have to back up your attitude with action. Not any old, "keep busy" action, either; action based on a solid plan, stripped of all unnecessary time wasters.
    I was one of the "success stories" of Bev Clement's business plan experiment. She provided the basic information for creating a business plan, and helped those that followed through with the support and advice to make the plan effective and workable. Sadly, of the fourteen folks who started, only three of us finished.
    There's a powerful lesson from this little experiment. Positive talk and promises to be faithful and hardworking are nice. Actually being faithful and working hard are much better. The former looks good at first blush. The latter is where the results pay off.
    Bev keeps threatening to create a full business planning course with an affiliate program. As soon as she releases it, I'll put up my affiliate link on my niche marketing blog and business to business Web site. I can honestly say she provides full value and excellent support because I have first-hand knowledge of same. She works as hard as she demands of others.
    P.S. I haven't been posting here due to the application of effort to build one aspect of my business that was languishing. Now that I'm up to speed with that, I'll be around here more often. Maybe...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

PayPal Validation vs. Consensual Validation

I've got to admit that I'm happy when others say, "I see what you're doing and you're on the right track." Validation from those "in the know" and who've lived through the uncertainty of building something from scratch is pleasurable. However, the "Most Glorious Make Rich Encouraging" statement for me has been from PayPal regarding "Payment Details".
    Patience is a virtue only as long as it's necessary to exercise it. Once you get what you've been longing for, it's time to celebrate, briefly. Then, it's time to set the next goal point. From what I've seen and experienced, there's not much worse than a great start and then, nothing.
    Follow up is important. Follow through is vital. The momentum behind a success makes more success. Allowing friction and drag to wear away at that positive inertia turns it into static inertia.
    I still like the buzz from getting paid well... :)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Trend Worth Following and Heeding

What do you say to a bald guy with an occasionally extremely long nose and who drinks out of a purple milk carton? "Hi, Seth." Seth Godin is one of those who makes the world a better place by helping it to think, without being as abrasive about it as, say, I am.
    Good old conspicuous consumption is taking a bit of a hit, these days. Sure, you can get on line (or go online) to try and get Luvaglio's million dollar laptop (no, they don't have an affiliate program -- I asked, I did!), but more and more, it's getting tiresome to be seen as grasping. In this post he points out a trend that all marketers who target the rich should consider.
    Those who have much seem to be learning to spend it without leaving a trace, rather than flaunting it. Funny, how a bit of Old School thinking is finally re-emrging: don't make a spectacle of yourself. It fits right along side of Seth's philosophy of making yourself as conspicuous as a Purple Cow. When selling, flamboyant. When purchasing, plain brown recycled wrapper, please.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Want Information on Marketing a Product?

I get a few folks dropping by from The Warrior Forum, wondering what I'm blogging about. Obviously, it's more than just Internet Marketing and peddling affiliate products. I've even got my LANDLORD checking in every once in a while, to see what I'm up to!
    Since this is my anchor blog, I'm keeping the number of posts much less frequent than my marketing blogs. I want this to be more personal, more thoughtful and more valuable to those who know me.
    Of course, I'm not above hawking my wares and affiliate links -- don't get me wrong, I've got a deep desire to make money, too! In fact, one of the newer marketing blogs is aimed at IM types with a desire to produce their own info-products. Create Niche Products That Sell gives you a view of the actual tools, techniques and resources you might need to create profitable niche products yourself. I say "might need" because plenty of Warriors can (and do) write the book on their area of expertise. Keep checking back at Create Niche Products That Sell, because I have an offering in the works that will definitely point the way to which niches are destined to be the hottest! It's being edited now, and will be reviewed by some of my more experienced IM friends.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

An Interesting Market Niche

Rich people. Those with money are more than an interesting niche: they're exerting a disproportionate economic impact on Internet sales. In 2005 alone, they accounted for only 2% of online shoppers, but contributed 7% of the money spent online ($12 Billon). Plus, wealthy shoppers are 36% more likely to use a credit card online than a bargain shopper.
    I'm fascinated with the pathological trance many IM folks are trapped in. They only seem comfortable selling to other IM folks. While some are very rich, most of their customers are not. They quibble over whether to price yet another eBook at $7, $27, $97, but fail to grasp that producing a product and service worth $9997 will actually be easier to sell if it's worth it.
    Trying to get inside the mind of a customer that's worried about getting 50 bucks by the end of the month is actually tiresome. I'd rather contemplate the concerns of someone for whom a bargain is a kick, not a dire necessity. The luxury shopper who seeks comfort and exclusivity is generally happier than the bargain shopper scouring the 'Net for a few bucks off the price of a staple item. I've decided who I want to spend my time contemplating. Like I said, it's an interesting market niche.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Key for Writers - It's Not on Your Keyboard

The real key for this writer is patience. I get frustrated with my old PC sometimes. The mouse has been hurled at the screen of my monitor so hard, that the ring that holds the mouseball in place is totaled. If I lift the mouse up, the ball rolls away! Using a boat anchor of a computer makes one long for a better machine, if only to avoid wasting time on chores that a real computer wouldn't force you to do.
    I'd also like a keyboard that isn't missing a very important key -- the FU key. That one comes in handy when spam arrives in your inbox, your latest article was sent back for a rewrite, or you've gotten to the very end of doing something and the computer just hangs, freezes, crashes or dies. Being able to press that key and have all the crap go away would be Heaven!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Is Content King on the 'Net?

After surfing around lately, I’m beginning to wonder if folks who write don’t get that what they write will be read by others. It’s as if the basic ideas in their heads never gets past their own “take” on something. Even worse, the writer has attempted to “build” an article that’s “keyword optimized” in a way that smacks of pandering. It’s one thing to try to get a keyword-rich article published – quite another to try to stuff your keywords into the reader’s gullet.
    I’m all for monetizing your writing. That’s what I’m about. I’m also willing to write about something without worrying if it’s going to make me a dime. I write because I write. I think, therefore I think (apologies to Descartes). I think.
    If what you write embodies a willingness to achieve something resembling “good”, then you’ve done the job properly. Never mind “excellent”, that’s in the eye of the beholder. Doing a good job means you’ve taken what you know, crafted it with purpose and checked for errors in your grammar and spellinx.
    I’ve been a member of the Grammar and Spelling Police, but I’m retiring from that post. The raft of incomprehensible, misspelled and generally crappy stuff I’m seeing every day means I’d have to give up making good writing. Policing the Internet’s illiterati is a full-time job.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hallelujah! I'm a Bum!

I would like to thank Travis Sago for all his help. His “Bum Marketing” idea and method is exactly what I was looking for when I set out to find a way to build an online business on a used shoestring.

    Bum Marketing is so named because it’s easy enough that a bum off the street could go to a public library with Internet access, implement a few simple, free ideas and start receiving affiliate income. The methods are rather clever and can be generalized to just about any type of marketing that draws people to a Web page or blog.
    I'm using blogs as "mini-site" landing pages for my affiliate products. Each niche has articles pointing to that landing page, published at EzineArticles (like you couldn't have guessed that). The niches are diverse, including Facts and Tips for Losing Body Fat, Poker Strategy, Tells and Tips, Agoraphobia, Anxiety and Panic and A Review of Winning Lottery Systems, to name a few.

    For free info, go here:

Monday, February 5, 2007

A Mighty Force of Slow Growth

A simple acorn isn’t much to look at, really. I used to find tons of them as a kid. The wonder that this little “nothing” could become the giant tree that produced it really didn’t hit me until I was at least 10. By then, I had my own garden, and knew full well how long it took a carrot seed to become a little carrot.
    Over the years, I’ve been involved in businesses and hobbies that proceeded much the same way. Progress is painfully slow at first, with bursts of activity and growth, followed by what appear to be plateaus. I say, “appear to be”, because underneath, things are happening which are not visible to the eye. Much like a plant sends down roots, seeking water and nourishment, ideas and endeavors need to dive down into the subconscious, the “Matrix”, the whatever-the-hell-it-is that comprises our reality.
    It’s that might force of slow growth that moves mountains. There’s this mushroom called an Ink Cap. It’s very delicate, doesn’t last more than half a day, wilting in the noonday sun. Yet the underground body of this evanescent growth can crack concrete.
    It’s the same for new ideas, businesses, creations. On the surface, they may appear to be nothing special. Underneath, they’re changing the foundations of the World as we will perceive it. Day by day, bit by bit, they grow strong enough to rock those foundations.

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Seduction Files

For a while now, I've wondered if telling people I'm part of that community that knows how to effectively seduce women was a good idea. The feedback I've gotten has been overwhelmingly positive, even from middle-aged housewives. Once I explain the participatory methods I use, folks just want to hear more.
    Naturally, "How to Pick Up Hot Girls and Get Laid Fast" is not exactly a PC headline, but that's what I know how to do. Sugar coating the message just might make someone feel mislead when I reveal all the secrets, tips, pitfalls and methods for bypassing the whole "dating" dynamic and getting to the really fun part. The women who participate invariably say they wished more guys knew this way of interacting effectively, without fumbling or misleading. Hey, hot girls need sex, too!
    I have another blog on this subject -- mature audiences only, please. This is the real thing, not just a "dating tips for lonely hearts" checklist. No guesswork, no locker-room tales -- just the resources for finding and using field tested and proven tactics, techniques and strategies for getting results. Enjoy.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Writers Who've Starved Long Enough Learn to Adapt

One of the advantages of age over youth is having no shame in learning from the mistakes of others. I certainly made plenty of 'em (and will continue to do so), but I'm much better at "course correction" now. You might like me to give you all the dish on what and where I've screwed up, but that ain't gonna happen!
    In my previous post, I mentioned Desperate Buyers Only, a publication by Alexis Dawes. I found it (and her) at the Warrior's Forum, a resource for Private Label Rights publications, Marketing, Joint Ventures, etc. Anybody interested in producing, selling, marketing (as a primary or affiliate) or learning more about Information Products needs to go there. Not this instant! Soon...
    The funny thing to me is how many writers haven't asked themselves the question: Have I starved long enough? They keep running through the same steps they've done before, with no results. They keep writing about general topics, "hot" niche markets or, worst of all, follow the advice to "Do what you love and the money will follow.” Unfortunately, they resist noticing that the money has not followed. If we lived forever, perhaps that method might work. We don't.
    By targeting products for desperate buyers only, you put yourself in the enviable position of having people standing in line with their wallets out, ready to buy. In fact, the greater the urgency, the more of a premium they'll pay. It's essential to provide full value for what you're offering, or you'll not only eat a lot of refunds, you'll have an angry mob chasing you with torches and pitchforks!
    These folks come online to search for the answer to their urgent, burning questions. That means they believe there's an answer "out there". If YOU are there, you can become the answer. If their problem is as urgent as a painful toothache, these desperate buyers will not only pay, they'll pay your top-dollar price and, perhaps, ask you for more!
    If you want to get run over by a fast-moving vehicle, wander on the Freeway, the Autobahn or the Interstate. If you want to get run over by people with too much money and not enough answers, supply those answers! Target desperate buyers ONLY. Or, perhaps, you're not hungry enough, yet.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

A Desperate Need -- and a Solution that Pays

Today marks a turning point in my marketing focus. Until today, I really didn’t have a methodology for getting my profitable (more than 99 cents US) items listed and presented in a way that would motivate buyers to buy. Sure, those items are worth the price I charge (In My Not So Humble Opinion), but only a select few were eligible for top dollar. Those items have one thing in common: they fill a need, not a want.
    Ironically, my “bestseller” is a recipe book for Fruit Smoothies. That’s not exactly a burning need, and promoting it would have distracted me from focussing on selling the items that can help pay the bills for listing, store fees, etc. Fortunately, I found a resource that explained, explicitly, what gets people to spend.
    Desperation creates a desire for action. It also creates an emotional reaction that is reliable, predictable and dependable. That emotional reaction is a sense of urgency: either to move closer to something good or away from something bad. You MUST get to a dentist to have that tooth pulled. You MUST find out if you can learn to attract that one, special person you’ve been pining over. You MUST find a way to get rid of the smelly foot odor problem you have. You MUST increase your income SOON.
    I had been wondering what to create in the way of how-to information that would be profitable. Looks like that question is answered: target desperate buyers. Now I must produce genuine value, not just sucker people into buying by playing on that sense of urgency.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Web 2.SLOW?

[As his Squidoo page loads, Vince mumbles, “Bloated code crap! Why am I ‘waiting for Squidoo' to download its stuff?!!! It's a freakin' machine! Shouldn’t *IT* wait for me?!!! I'll give ya a freakin' "drumroll"!]
    Obviously, dealing with these “feature rich” environments means a certain amount of aggravation. Just because you *can* do something doesn’t mean you should.
    As I’m editing this post in Word, because typing it into the blogger interface is jumpy, kludgy and annoying, I can’t just type a *, then a word, then another * without Word deleting both *’s. So, I have to type the word, add the * then move back to the beginning of the word and insert the second *.
    Undoubtedly, some genius (who passed up a promising career path in packaging technology) decided that little function was useful, just like the genius who decided that jumpy JAVA inputs were a good idea.
    I wonder if those two met the genius who makes me insert “nbsp’s” so I can indent my paragraphs, instead of hit the freakin’ TAB key and have it WORK?!!!
    Going to either Squidoo or Wordpress to even log into my dashboard is a waste of time, as all the “feature rich” crap loads without even the courtesy of showing a splash screen. Attempting to modify or update either one is boring: I can go make coffee waiting for the new screen to load, stop back to enter [YES] to tell the thing to stop running a script that’s broken, go shave, then come back and try to do something useful.
    This is clearly a case of reach exceeding grasp. The only question is: will we live long enought to see the time when all this “feature rich” crap will actually work in something resembling real time?

Feeding at the same trough - Google

My sister is an employee of Google, working on the "plumbing", as she calls it. Her work involves the machinery and codes to run it, from the BIOS on up. Next time you "Google" something, it's the work of her, her team and many others that make that search happen in a gazillionth of a second and return umpteen million "hits". Never mind weeding through all that stuff for the answer you really want.
    She's a supporter of my efforts at publishing - even bought my DEVIL'S DICTIONARY for quotes she can foist on others! Here's her current favorite:

QUOTATION: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.

While I'm still new to this whole business of monetizing myself, my blog, my RSS feeds, etc., I still had the dumb luck to put up Google AdSense advertising here. It's not a roaring success yet, but I'm learning every day.
    Furthermore, I've invested a bit in eBooks on using AdSense in an effective manner. They're actually helpful, as opposed to all the fluff pieces out there that cover general information and have TONS of links to other products the author insists one must have.
    AdSense for Beginners, The Google Adsense Empire Handbook and AdSense Revenue Exposed will be offered separately and as a "bundle" for a bit of a discount. Even though they're intended to boost the income of the publishers, they all offer real value, simple explanations and useful links that aren't going to make the publishers any real money.
    Now that I'm getting store traffic, it's time to put up products that'll get me some real income, not just pay for their fees and expenses incurred by opening a store!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Book of the Day Club

Now that I’m a publisher, I can actually fulfill an idea I had years ago: use my knowledge of typesetting and layout to produce sellable information at a very low cost. Not only am I producing self-help material based on my research and experience, I’m getting out Literature that’s in the Public Domain! I can bang out a well-edited book, complete with cover art, in about two hours. That includes listing it on eBay!
         Current titles include THE ART OF WAR, THE DEVIL’S DICTIONARY, DRACULA and A STUDY IN SCARLET, the very first Sherlock Holmes adventure. I’m already working on a list of authors like Edgar Allen Poe, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.G. Wells, Charles Dickens, Herman Melville and Jane Austen to start (in no particular order), along with more by Bram Stoker and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
         Any suggestions are welcome as to classics you’d like to see made available as finely wrought .PDF files. Yeah, I forgot – FANNY HILL is on the to-do list, too~!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


January is normally the slowest month for retail sales. Thank God! Ironing out the kinks of a newly created anything is tough. Ironing out the kinks of this new store is especially taxing, since the combination of slow download/upload speed, even slower PC performance, entirely new area of eBay I’m unfamiliar with, new interface rules to remember, etc., means I have little time to spend on customer service.
         Yes, I’ve made a couple of sales. The first was to a total newbie, from Italy, no less – first purchase, no feedback. The second alerted me to a major goof-up in my instructions for downloading eBooks, which meant revising all my listings to give the RIGHT instructions for downloading my files.
         Now I’m off to the bank to open another account for PayPal micropayments on sales of less than $12 US. I’m sure there are more headaches ahead, but I’m looking forward to the eventual automation of so much that I am doing by hand – and foot!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Escape velocity

It’s amazing how fast things are proceeding, now that my overload of information has “jelled” in my mind. I’m rolling out with listings that seem to have been good sellers for others. I also add on value with my own contributions, such as typesetting (I knew that printing business knowledge would eventually pay off), image creation, sales copy writing, etc.
     Here’s the real hoot: due to the way eBay Store Manager calculates your inventory, my dozen plus listings (with 10,000 of each item available) is now valued at over $200,000 US! My markup at retail (the percentage of the selling price that’s above my cost of buying) is over 99%!
     Life is good and keeps getting better.

Monday, January 8, 2007

The mixed blessing of an inheritance.

I’m receiving my inheritance in batches – the stereo and hundreds of records and cassettes my wife (and I) bought. It’s a cumbersome mess, and I’ve only gotten the first batch. Two more batches are on the way. While I really love music, moving this much stuff without a couple of roadies and a truck is miserable.
         The good part of it is the inventory itself. I was looking for a product source to sell that would allow me to pay-as-I-go and learn. Here it is, in my new warehouse/house, with more coming. I’m already boning up on how eBay buyers want a record listed, what pictures are important, did the seller provide a song list, etc.
         I’ve also got my business partner, none other than the USPS, delivering a batch of 25 boxes appropriate for shipping albums. Free boxes, free shipping. I have no shame saying I work with the Government!
         Persistence is paying off.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

The Hannah Montana Fans Blog

I found this interesting blog at MyBlogLog: Hannah Montana, and felt it deserved some attention. While I am not an avid television watcher, Hannah Montana is a name that I recognize. Obviously, there's more to this than simple name recognition.
     I'm very curious to see if this particular link will affect my ratings at Technorati, since links determine authority, and I DESPISE authority, other than my own and those I respect.
     I'll pop over to my Squidoo lens and add the link there, along with my WordPress mirror. [Vince dons a lab coat and takes up a clipboard] Let the experiment begin!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Zeroed in on a Web host.

After some serious searching, I've decided to give my money to HostMonster. At first, BlueHost looked good, but a blog entry from a guy who researched the two found out they are the same - except HostMonster is bigger, faster and with newer equipment for less money. A no-brainer.
     It’s $6.95/mo. if you sign up for the two year package. Okay, it’s all payable in advance, but there’s no contract and you can receive a pro-rated refund if you decide it isn’t for you. Plus, you not only get unlimited domains for free (no fee, yearly or otherwise, as long as you're with them), they have a blocking feature that prevents the nosy from finding out who owns your domain. There’s a ton of features available, so check ‘em out at the link below V.
     CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR HostMonster.COM NOW, and I'll pick up some change for recommending them. Also, feel free to give feedback if you're already using them. UPDATE: I've been using them for a while now, and I've got no complaints. Customer service has been good. When I had questions about certain things not working, they "intuited" I had been playing around with settings better left untouched.

Friday, January 5, 2007

This blog is MONETIZED!: Update...

So, I'm checking my bank account online when I come across this line:


Now, as it turns out, that money was to verify the payout account. Their haven't been any REAL clickthroughs yet. So, to help that along, I'll be putting up some affiliate links that I've researched.

More soon.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Where's the beef?

The late Sarah Peller, (in)famous for the line in the title, nailed it. When you want something of substance, you ask for it.

I just posted a blog entry over at eBay - you'll probably see it in my eBay blog links on the left. In it, I was asking for feedback (but avoid using that word in eBay blogs - you get a lot of comments about EBAY feedback, which is a touchy subject to many) on two listings I am testing through Sunday.

The silence was deafening. IMNSHO, most bloggers over there are social animals, beggars for bids or compleat lunatics. The notion that I would ask a marketing question to a bunch of marketers and buyers and get NOTHING is telling.

Perhaps postcards2go will notice and respond to that and this.


Another customer service tale.

After a busy, productive day with much good feedback from others online, I drop by the corner market just before work. I chat with the counterman, who's the spitting image of a guy who is the most miserable person I've known in quite a while. As I turn to leave, Bill, the counterman asks, "You have a minute?"

My default response, when asked this is, to silently start counting down: 59, 58, 57, until I reach 0 and cut 'em off in midsentence. Bill reaches into his pocket and says, "You made a purchase a few weeks ago." He pulls out his wallet. "You forgot your change." He handed me a five dollar bill.

This made my day. Talk about each employee being a "brand manager"! And his name! Oh, the irony/synchronicity!

Monday, January 1, 2007

ARRGH! I forgot I'm choosing my own fonts to display Web pages! The horror! The Horror!

Gee, I thought I had "tweaked" the look of my background, link colors and fonts. Then I noticed the blog title font didn't change when I switched it to Georgia, just to see how it looked. I had forgotten that I used the "impose my will upon all Web pages" checkbox in my browser.

Being a former letterpress printer, I'm very conscious about font selection, appearance and "typotecture". The font I "force" upon all Web pages is Franklin Gothic Book (18 pt., for technical reasons which have to do with how Web designers can really screw up typesetting). When I switched off the Franklin Gothic Book and saw how I was being *actually* displayed, I was amused/horrified. The closest to my favorite font was, allegedly, according to the Fonts menu in Windows, Trebuchet. That's the font I had chose for most of the layout.

ARRGH! Wrong! It looked awkward, adolescent, stringy! Arial to the rescue, since I can't import my font (at this point, anyway - I've got too much else to do and worry about). Trebuchet as the sub head to the Blog Title. That's it. Heh, the default was the best, for the most part.

Yet another chore for the punchlists of 2007 - wrestle creative control over Web pages, blogs, etc.

The "Theory of Everything" T-Shirt slogan.

Physicists are striving to quantify the four forces of physics, a "Theory of Everything". Without boring you to tears, they want a single equation to explain gravity, electromagnetism, and a couple of subatomic forces you can look up yourself: Strong & Weak. One noted scientist explained that it would be an equation you could fit on a t-shirt.

Self-branding is about the same thing, without the clipboard and lab coat. One strives to sum up everything in a pithy, well written sentence. Or two. The trick is to understand what the strongest brands have that I don't - yet. And, no, it ain't a slogan. It's congruency.

Coming up with that slogan means you are committing to it. Choose wisely - the less congruent you are with it (and it with you), the weaker your brand will be. Contrariwise, selecting the perfect slogan in advance (cart-before-the-horse methodology) means you will grow towards each other in an organic, meaningful way. There's no guaranteeing you won't outgrow each other. Hope that it's you that's doing the outgrowing!

Already tried and rejected by me, as Vince Runza Online:

It's the customer, stupid.
I'm not for everyone, but that can be good!
Always Busy (saw this one chiseled into the facade of a building in Downtown Scranton)
Good Products, Good Service
Bootstrap entrepreneurship
It's not work if you love doing it. It's even better if you get paid for it!

Okay, it's a work in progress. Feedback? Smart-alecky responses welcome!