Acts of Kindness – Coffee, Small Business and a Little Bird!

Starting today, each Sunday I will write a post and present acts of kindness that you the reader tell me about. Check the category at the top of this page. Click on it and share any act of kindness that has happened to you or someone you know. I will share these the following Sunday.

We know there are all kinds of big problems in our world today, but the everyday acts of kindness (perhaps considered small ones) that happen to/by everyday people often go unnoticed. I wish to share these, as I can. There are two acts of kindness to report about today. The first a personal one; the second shared by Lesley Fletcher.

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BARRACUDA’S!

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This act of kindness is a personal one that I’ve been wanting to share for quite awhile. There is a coffee house – Barracuda Coffee, here in Richland, (Tri-Cities) Washington where they serve great coffee.  And this weekend they are celebrating their 10th’ Anniversary.

But the act of kindness I’m going to mention began when we did not really know the owners personally. It was where “up until 3 years ago” my daughter’s husband Duane, would stop each afternoon to get her special cup of brew for her.

He’d always take a few minutes to joke and chat with them at the drive-thrudownload (5) window while he scribbled “I love you” on those little tabs put in the coffee lid to keep the coffee hot. Which they (the owner and the workers there) all noticed. It was also 3 years ago that Duane lost his life suddenly (in an accident) from a careless driver.

A few days after the accident I showed up to get my daughter’s coffee for her, One of the owners Michelle, came to the window and said, “I’ve given directions to the staff that Christina will never have to pay for her coffee, ever! Our way of remembering what a loving husband he was to a loving wife.” (And to save her the money for the cost of her favorite drink she would no longer be able to afford to buy.)

1016102_10151518891952057_1312113400_nAs I mentioned, it’s been 3 years. Her coffee is still free, as it is explained to each new employee who comes to work there. And beautiful and affectionate expressions are frequently written to Christina on the side of her coffee cup! Their expressions and attitude are generous and loving when they hand her the free cup of coffee – 3 years later.

As I mentioned at the beginning, this weekend marks Barracuda’s 10th year Anniversary and I can’t think of a better way to thank them than to let the world know what an amazing and loving small business Coffee Shop they are. There is no doubt that this act of kindness to Christina comes from loving hearts. And my daughter and myself stay very appreciative.

Each day Christina drops by to get her cup of coffee, made just the way she likes it! She leaves, her day a little brighter and a smile on her face. Some individuals/small business owners are pretty awesome aren’t they?

And one more thing: Check this out!

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Their physical location:

  • 2171 Van Giesen St.
  • Richland, Washington 99354

(And starting this weekend they are now serving beer and wine in addition to their deliciously brewed coffee!) If you’re a local, I encourage you drop by!

https://www.facebook.com/BarracudaCoffeeCompany

Please do check out and “like” their facebook page for the other acts of kindness (this community active small business stays involved with)!

As for us (Duane’s family), we can only humbly say, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

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The second act of kindness I am reporting comes from one of our fellow bloggers, the talented Author and Artist Leslie Fletcher:

Books & Art – Spirit & Soul(In Lesley’s own words) “I was nice and kind yesterday. While I enjoy the songs and the sight of birds and even speak to them and whistle to them from a distance, I am a huge chicken and have a bit of a phobia (Thanks Mum ;) ) always fearing they will end up in my hair which has been described as a nest anyway.
Yesterday I was washing my car and fiddling in the front garden when I heard my phone ring in the back. It’s not normal for me to put things down to answer a phone call but I did.
When I reached the back yard I noticed a black thing in the pool. On further investigation I saw it was a small robin. It was trying with all its might to somehow get lift off out of the salty water. I reached for the skimmer on a stick with a net at the end and took my life in my hands (Yes I just said that) to lift the exhausted birdie from the pool. Of course I was ready to drop everything and make a run for safe ground should he attack me and said hair.
As it turned out the poor thing was so exhausted and traumatized he lay limp with his head down and wings spread. I thought I was too late and that he died.
Softly and gently I lay down the skimmer pole and backed up. Every half hour I checked on him. Originally I left him in full sunlight so that he may dry. My first visit back saw that his feathers were dry but he had not moved. He was cheeping very quietly and I took this as a good sign. I carefully lifted the pole again and moved him to the shade.
In all he stayed put for 3 hours. And then he flew. And it felt so great to have saved a life.”

Thank you Lesley, for saving his precious little life. A rich and fulfilling feeling. And Act of Kindness most definitely!

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And this concludes this segment of “Acts of Kindness for the week.” I look forward to hearing from you. Please share the acts of kindness you know of, I’m anxious to pass it on to others to remind us all that there are sharing and loving people out there who go unnoticed every day! Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed,

~ Penny

penny

Marketing – the copyright of things

Yes, I still need to post part II of promoting (I haven’t forgotten that many of you want to increase your viewership, and get yourself or your work “out there” in the public eye), but today my topic is the copyright. What it is and isn’t.

Each day on the internet, many trillions of pieces of data (of all kinds, in all formats) are circulating copyright-by-charlieajaeverywhere (worldwide) online. Protecting your creations has become highly interesting.

A few of the larger advertising agencies have no problem with “borrowing” creative works from individuals who have posted on facebook, or other multimedia entites.

And they’re the big boys. Many many private individuals are doing the same thing.

So can you really effectively “protect” your work? Well yes, if you have as much clout and money as the big companies do – no worries. Otherwise develop an understanding about the original work you display online, beginning with understanding what the word copyright means and what it really does.

COPYRIGHT: The meaning – The legal rights (protection), given to an individual/group/entity of original works of art or intellectual property (such as written words, music, lyrics, audio visual, audible, photography, and many other types of creations) belonging to the originator or designated owner.

So here’s the skinny: Your original work is copyrighted the second you hit the publish button for your blog orglobal-copyright-by-alexskopje website. When the public views your work (artistry, literary, musical, or pictorial expression) it’s already been dated and copyrighted (this is understood by the law of most countries).

Stating this in another way, In the United States (and in most other countries), creative original work is automatically the copyrighted property of their creators, once completed in tangible form for the first time, without doing anything else.

The copyright symbol online is a symbolic gesture indicating to the viewer that you “own” the rights to your creations. In the case of large companies, the symbol also means you can safely assume they have lawyers standing nearby to enforce those rights.

Many people still choose to file an application and pay the fee (modest) to register work with the copyright office as added protection in case of legal disputes. But here’s the thing. As previous mentioned, if there is a legal dispute (because someone has “stolen” your original work), you will still need to hire legal representation. To sue for damages, etc.

There are several government agencies in the United States and most other countries, where you can report “stolen” creative property. And they will investigate and help to enforce copyright violations.

copyright-by-drizzdIt is not hard to prove your original work is yours, because it’s dated and viewed publicly. If you’ve put a lot of time and money into something creative, then you should have already hired an attorney to attend to the legal details to protect your property.

In summation: Today, online, there are those people who have trouble distinguishing between “borrowing”  something to put on their blog or website and “stealing” someone’s creative property.

Bottom line, it’s probably going to happen to you. That’s the understanding I’m speaking of. No one (I’ll repeat this) No one is immune from this happening to them.

With the advent of the cyberworld – who owns what, online, can get very murky. Understand this too.

Your creative property has copyright protection, but this does not mean it will not get stolen. You’re the one that decides what you want to expose to the public and what you don’t.

If you have any further questions regarding copyright laws. There is a ton of “free information”  online (google it), and through government agencies.

Good luck, keep creating and understand that you are unique, if someone copies your style or an idea (you cannot copyright those things) remember that being copied is the greatest form of flattery you can have, So keep being the original you that you are!

~ Penny

Penny L Howe

Marketing (online)!

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Before there were websites, before there where buildings where people sold “goods” there were open air Markets. There still are too. An open air market is a place where people come to buy needed or desired items. “Vendors” (Those with a product or service to sell.) would set up their area, (booth, specific location) arrange their products, and wait for customers to arrive.

That’s the hard part. In the marketplace, potential customers (foot traffic) will show up. Online (your website) you SONY DSChave to go get them, convince them to show up, encourage them to buy your product or service and then, make it happen (the Sale, of course)!

As people walk by an open market, Many vendors “hawk their wares” that is to say, they yell out or do something to attract the attention of the people walking by. Their purpose is to draw individuals over to them, so they can do their best to sell their products.

The word “hawking” can be used metaphorically today to describe people or businesses who aggressively promote anything for sale. Notice the words “aggressively promote”. For many (writers, artists, etc) being aggressive takes you out of your comfort area. But unless you are very aggressive with the presentation of your product/service to creative an awareness (branding) and then remember to ask for the sale, it isn’t going to happen! So before you try to sell anything, it is a very good thing to understand the nature of the “art of selling”.

  1. Know who is most likely to be interested in buying what you have to sell. (your potential customers)file0001050770636 and focus (target market) on them.
  2. You don’t need to know fancy or special terminology to understand marketing. Follow the wisdom of the successful “Vendors” in the outdoor markets.
  3. Have a specific area where people can come to view that which you’re offering for sale.
  4. If you don’t have a naturally ability to be “out there” (promote) so people notice you and your products/services, hire someone else to do that, and or have a hook (an original angle that attracts people to your location). Multi-media leads the way for getting the word out in the online world. And there are numerous online locations to “hawk your wares”, so take you time in deciding what combination of these communication connections will be of greatest value to you.
  5. Create an online identity with yourself and/or your product (branding) that people will come to recognize. It isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Stay tuned for my next marketing post!
  6. Have a “hook”. A clever angle that draws the customer to you. (yes I know I already said this, but it bears repeating to you artistic types).
  7. Understand and know you need great passion believing in yourself and your product (every day). This passion will give you the much needed ‘will power’ to be aggressive (not an “in your face” aggression – but a persistence of purpose or attitude to sell). There are many unsuccessful people with great talent. The two greatest assets for selling your product or service is persistence and determination.

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In my next Marketing Basics post I’ll discuss the Art of Promotion (yourself and your product) – getting the word out there!

Thank you,

~ Penny

Penny L Howe

The Entrepreneurial Spirit – Key to success!

A while ago I wrote a piece about being an entrepreneur. Today I’d like to include the most important ingredient for (successfully) owning your own business. But first ,,,

step by step

The meaning of an entrepreneur:

entrepreneur: One who owns (or is in the process of owning/operating) a business enterprise – selling a product or service (always with an accompanying degree of risk!).

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While the meaning above is certainly true, there is a bigger truth!

An important part of being an entrepreneur is about having an ‘entrepreneurial spirit’! In too many cases this turns out to be the determining factor as to whether or not a business venture makes it or fails.

step by stepWhat is an entrepreneurial spirit? It’s a feeling, a driving ambition, a burning desire to be successful. In a word – The passion of the thing!

Without a doubt passion is the motivation that often makes the telling difference. 

In the course of my marketing career I’ve met a handful of highly successful entrepreneurs.

Without exception the one thing they all shared was this huge desire to make it happen. A ‘never give up’ attitude. An understanding that there will always be “financial risks” involved, but the desire to have a successful enterprise is greater than the fear of taking the risk.

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So the key word in this article today is PASSION!

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If your strongest desire is to become an entrepreneur and you are committed to making that happen – then youPASSION are one. If you are determined to be successful in your enterprise (regardless of obstacles) you are an entrepreneur.

And if you’re willing to learn well and apply what you need to know, while you never stop working towards your dream, then YOU are not only an entrepreneur but you have an excellent chance of becoming a successful one!

Just remember, it’s the passion of it all! That’s the stuff successful dreams are made of!

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Good luck on your venture, thanks for stopping by,

~ Penny

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The Female Entrepreneur – growing the seed of an idea!

female entrepreneurI’ve had several careers in my life. Life experiences tended to change the direction I was going a few times. As I was also a single mom raising children during these changes, life was – well never dull! One of the businesses I owned was a marketing firm.

Today I’d like to talk to the women out there who dream of, or are getting ready to, or who have started a business that is relatively new. If you’ve been in business for awhile then I’m guessing you’ve weathered many of the business storms that can come your way and have a handle on most things by now.

But for those of you who are new to the game I’d like to, encourage and perhaps give you a few things to think on!

When I began to give marketing workshops for people who were small business owners, I discovered many of them lacked a couple of essential pieces of information about running a business. Perhaps the following words will be something for you to consider as you venture forth into the wide world of business:

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A Business, A Tree – A Comparison

There is a tree standing alone. The tree is mighty. It is clearly one of the biggest and strongest trees in thetree area. Its branches are many and fully extended and developed. The leaves are a vivid green and well secured to the multitude of far reaching branches.

The peak of this magnitude reaches high into the sky.

Each year this tree produces bountiful fruit. Better and more plentiful than the year before. It knows when to produce the fruit; and when it is ripe for harvest it yields the fruit to the harvesters.

The climate and other environmental conditions alert the tree as to the nature of the activities it needs to be involved with all the year round.

The tree has survived because it is equipped with the understanding necessary for its survival.

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blossomsNow picture the tree as a seed, recently planted, bearing no fruit. Picture yourself as a gardener. Because you want the tree to grow strong and healthy you plant the seed in rich soil.

However, before planting the seed you learned about all the conditions in the environment that could affect the seed during its early stages of growth. Next you found the best location suited for your tree.

As the tree grew you monitored your tree closely – fertilizing, weeding, watering – nurturing it carefully.

Year by year it grew but bore no fruit. This was a slow process but necessaryapples to insure the proper growth and structure of the tree itself. The foundation was important. To survive,  it would need to be well rooted.

As the tree continued its growth you pruned and cut back unwanted branches and buds as necessary so that the remaining buds could receive enough essential nourishment that would in turn produce rich fruit.

When harvest time finally came you knew the fruit was ready.

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With each step, beginning from the seed, to planting, nourishment,  protection, and growth, you took the necessary time, energy and required learning to further insure the successful growth of your tree.

All this accomplished before your tree would produce and bear healthy fruit.

Single Red Apple on Grey Stone

The Seed of Your Idea

A business can be compared to this tree. Your product or service can be compared to the fruit. And most important your idea (for your business) can be compared to the seed.

As with the tree you must be familiar with the environment (market research) and all the other factors (business plan) that will influence the success or failure of your business idea. Where necessary you should learn what is needed so that you will be able to accomplish the necessary tasks.

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The beginning of a business (like a tree) needs to go through all the required steps before the eventual product or service (fruit) can be successfully produced and sold.

REMEMBER:

the seed – an idea

is but the potential

a place to begin

A strong and healthy, fruitful business is the successfully reality of growing and nurturing the seed of your idea -with many steps in between! So with this comparison in mind, go back and reread from the beginning.

I hope you enjoyed this piece on owning a business. I encourage all women who want to become an entrepreneur to go for it! There has never been a better time than now. If any of you have a particular subject they’d like to know more about regarding marketing, let me know. I would be happy to post an article about it.

thank you,

~ Penny

plh