If email went dark

I spent the last weekend working mostly in the yard, finishing off the landscaping of a space for my kids’ playset area. I checked my email in the morning and again at night, yet found myself not missing it one bit throughout the day.

Chris Brogan twittered the question
If email went dark for you for 30 days, how would that impact you? What would you use instead for comms?

First – am I capable of unplugging?  Sure, but it might hurt. I think it’s almost an addiction for me. I start the day with my computer before I start my day with breakfast. I’ve been a smoker and quit. I’ve been a coffee drinker and quit. I’ve been a habitual Dr. Pepper drinker (2 64oz Big Gulps a day)… and quit. Taking a break from the computer for 30 days I could do – quit all together, no. I’m sure I wouldn’t like it and I’m sure I would drive myself and everyone around me crazy. I don’t go anywhere without some kind of connection to the internet – after all, my business is built around the use of the internet.

However, we aren’t talking about completely unplugging.
Just email; This I could definitely survive. I’d hope I could anyway.

I chat via IM much more than I email throughout the day. I communicate all day long with a variety of people on multiple systems… AIM, Yahoo Messanger, MSN, etc. I rarely call my husband at work because he’s also on IM, so if I need anything, I just chat on the computer.

The challenge would come with those that don’t chat. I use email far more than I do the phone. I rarely hand out my phone number because my business does not require phone support. I work from home and don’t want a multitude of people calling my home. Some people I could send messages via Facebook or Twitter, or text messages via cell phones. Yet, there would still be a handful of people that I would need to pick up the phone and call, or not work with.

Phones are still our friends

You’d think the easy answer would be “pick up the phone”.
For me this wouldn’t work well at all. I really don’t like using the phone too much. I am incapable of having a verbal conversation and doing anything else. Part of this is because I think it’s rude to be focusing on other things when we’re supposed to be literally listening. So instead, I walk laps in my living room or circle the kitchen while I talk on the phone. If I had to use the phone all day, I would either get noting else done, or I wouldn’t talk to anyone. If I communicate in text, I can be doing a variety of things at once and still pay attention. The advantage I have is, I work and network with mostly heavy use online business people so I don’t have to make the phone choice a reality. Most everyone is already plugged into a variety of communication outlets. If I were in a business with more casual internet users I imagine I’d have a problem on my hands, or I’d definitely have to rethink the phone use.

What I’d really like to know, could YOU unplug completely for 30 days?

One of the Greatest Men I've Ever Known

He taught me how to ride a horse, love animals, work hard, be appreciative and don’t do wait for others to do something for you. He taught me family is always important.

My grandfather, Rollin D. Barnard, passed away this morning at age 87 after a long battle with cancer. I’ve been trying to write a letter to him for the past week or so, something to put my thoughts on paper; a way to honor his life. Every time I sat down to write I would be at a loss for words; not because I have nothing to say, but because I have 37 years worth of memories and can’t decide how to summarize so much into a single message.

What he was, is and always will be to me…

My “twin”
I was born on my grandfather’s 50th birthday. We would joke about being twins and share in the celebrating. We’ve spent our birthday together nearly every year since. Occasionally I lived in another state, so we missed the joint candle blowing, but for the most part we shared a cake together on our special day.

A mentor and an example for me to follow.
His life will be a reminder of the greatness we all have within ourselves. It’s all about what you put into your life, that you can get out of it. Hopefully that message I can pass on to my own children and the message will be passed along.

Loving – Giving – Funny
He had a quirky sense of humor but had no problem laughing with us at our quirks as well. He was supportive and generous and eager to listen to ideas and share his thoughts.

A man full of ambition and a zest for life.

I feel very fortunate that he was such a intricate part of my life and we had such a strong relationship from the beginning. He was there when I was born. He spoke at my wedding. He was there for the birth of all three of my children. Two days ago I was able to be there and hold his hand, rub his head and tell him I loved him.

Things I’ve learned from him…

Just about anything is possible
He grew up in the depression and became an adult with list of great accomplishments and achievements. I don’t even know all the wonderful things he did, but here are a handful I can think of… He was president of a Midland Federal Savings, Assistant Postmaster general under Eisenhower, the Mayor of Greenwood Village and the 1994 “Citizen of the West”. He is a Veteran of World War II and the Korean War and a recipient of the Purple Heart .

Support what you believe in most
He was involved in a number of charitable organizations including Denver Zoo, National Western Stock Show, Boy Scouts, Morris Animal foundation and Children’s Hospital. He not only

Be a leader
He’s always been the guy in charge, the one taking care of business and the man rallying the troops. He didn’t wait for others to do what needed to be done, he just did it. If he couldn’t do it himself, he either knew who could or he’d find someone that could. He was a go-getter.

Be honest
Be sincere
Be helpful
Be your best
Be loving

Be supportive
Be thankful

Be happy


I could go on for days about the things my grandfather ment to me and what I learned and how I feel, however, I think that’s the point. I will go on for the rest of my life appreciating all the greatness he added to my life and hope I can pass on at least a little bit of it.

I’m going to miss him so very much.

Rollin D. Barnard
1922 – 2009
Husband – Father to 3
Grandfather to 6 – Great-Grandfather to 12

Every day is a good day to skive

I just read a tweet from Michael NobbsGood advice from illustrator Laura Barnard “. Since I’m intentionally trying to focus more on art conversations and less on what I’m making for dinner, I thought “hey, I need to check this out”, so I clicked.

Laura doodled up a little note/message about her plan to skive all day – I’ve never heard of such a word and her sketch on the topic was so intriguing, of course I had to look it up.

According to wikipedia: “To skive is British slang for the practice of avoiding responsibilities because you want to do something more fun or just don’t want to do what you should be doing.”. The Urban dictionary expands to say one would pretend to do something, or they avoid doing what they are supposed to be doing, that they get paid to do. (that’s a lot of doing of nothing, don’t you think?)

The Free Dictionary and Websters said: To cut thin layers off (leather or rubber, for example); pare.

I’m going to stick with the British slang today, if you don’t mind.

Oh Shiney! By JGoode

Skiving sounds like what I do every day, on purpose! I love that I now have a label for my activities, other than “slacking” which sounds so negative. I’m an active skiver. Is that a correct title? Can I put “professional skiver” on my business cards? I am an expert. I’m good at it, and as Laura says, I can get away with it because for me, its research and development. Maybe I’ll write up a tutorial… sell an ebook: The Ins and Outs of Successful Skiving.

I know, really I appear to get a lot accomplished. Little do you realize I divert from my list more consistently than anything else I do. It’s almost like I have a list for the sole purpose of having something to avoid.On the up side, some of my best ideas have been “thunked up” while I have been “working”.

Something else to note here, the beauty of social networking. I don’t know Michael Nobbs nor do I know Laura Barnard. Twitter helped create this connection and this connection has now made me very happy – distracted and currently skiving like a mad woman on a mission, but happy.

My 5 foot garden snake is back

Last year I spent very little time in my flower garden because I kept running into the local snakes. Rarely were they tiny little garden snakes. No, the Goode house seems to be encouraging the visitation or co-habitation of large snakes This morning I turned on the sprinklers for the first time and then I saw one of the regulars once again.It’s a bull snake measuring in at approximately 5′ long and it lives under the garden inside a rock wall. I think it came out in view to dry off and warm up a bit after the unexpected cold shower that soaked his space below.

the bull snake in my yard
the bull snake that lives under my garden

I love nature and the outdoors. I love gardening and taking care of my various plants… I don’t however, care much for the helpful hand of the local reptiles. I would close off the cracks in the rocks now if it weren’t for the animals already living inside. I wish there were a way to invite the snakes to leave amicably – and then keep them out all together.

I blame it all on the bunnies. If there were no bunny buffet – also living in the rock wall, the snakes would have to go else where for food. I’m guess I’m growing a regular reptile habitat here!

What are YOU thankful for today? My 5 things of thanks this week

This week whizzed by again, I can’t remember what happened yesterday let alone back to Monday in most cases. Yet, I am thankful for a wide array of topics none-the-less.

I am thankful for:

1. Modern Medicine – as I type, my sister is in surgery. Without modern medicine, there wouldn’t be these kinds of opportunities to fix a body’s aliments. Looking forward to the phone call in a few hours saying all is well.

2. My husband’s talents – Although his specialty is Architecture, he’s got a load of skills and talents and this fabulous ability to apply them in many areas. I boss him around a lot because I hate to see the brilliance put aside for frustration, but deep down, I wish I were half as smart as he is with half the potential he has.

3. My garden time – On Sunday, Mother’s day I dragged the entire family to Home Depot to gather up a few gardening supplies as well as a handful of new perennials for the year. I actually came home and planted everything rather than my typical – leave it on the porch and forget to water it. The rabbit’s haven’t nibbled anything yet!

4. My children learn something every day – dispite the complaints and issues that seem to arise every year with the public school system, I am thankful we have the opportunity to send our children to school. They have teachers that care about them and they learn something every day.. I just wish the kids would tell me what they learned.

5. I’m presenting at Affiliate Summit in New York this August – I just received word late last night that a presentation a group of us submitted has been approved – woot! We will be speaking about “Getting Noticed FAST” on a panel with  Trisha Lyn Fawver, Stephanie Lichtenstein and Michael Buechele. I’m also excited that Lisa Picarille will be our moderator. It’s a fantastic group of people and a really fun topic!

I think today is a good day to treat yourself – I’m sure you’ve earned it!

Strawberry ice cream sundae cartoon by JGoode
Strawberry ice cream sundae cartoon by JGoode

What are YOU thankful for today?

What are you thankful for today?

Coming to the end of a week that seriously flew by – I’m not even finished thinking of what I needed to do this week and now it’s Friday. The weather was great for a few days and today, once again, its cold and foggy… I miss the sun already!

Rainy Day Penguin by JGoode

However, there’s always plenty to be thankful for – even in the midst of the drizzle.

1. Chatted with a friend I rarely see. I don’t often catch up with friends face to face. I tend to hide out at home working and keeping busy. This week I had the opportunity to sit and chat with a friend mid-week that I haven’t talked with in quite a while. Our kids get along great.. so play time for them was super fun too.

2. Had some good talk time with my husband. The schedule this time of year gets so crazy for our family – we don’t often have a chance to catch up with each other. We had some good brainstorming talks.. figuring out “where to go from here” with all the economic changes and family goals, etc. I think I come across as bossy so much, due to being the family coordinator – it’s nice to have a chance to just share thoughts.

3. My oldest had a super great baseball game last weekend. He was given the opportunity to pitch – after weeks of practicing and hoping for the chance – and he did an outstanding job! The benefit of this, I am seeing, is he’s taking all that positive feedback and put it into his effort and is just doing great all around. It’s neat to watch the attitude change.

4. I’m surrounded by amazing people. I realize every day that I have been so blessed to be surrounded by fabulous people, in every aspect of my life. I don’t know how that happened, but I can’t say thank you enough to the people karama Gods.

5. Shared my thoughts on TheSpew yesterday. I had the opportunity to chat with some brilliant women in the online marketing world yesterday – I was so excited when I was invited to participate in the podcast, and delighted it was a topic I knew something about. Was a great time.

Thank You penguin by JGoode

Talking about Cafepress changes on TheSpew

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sharing my insight on TheSpew, a new podcast created by women in online marketing for women in online marketing. I talked about the recent CafePress marketplace changes with these fabulous women… Missy Ward moderated with panelists Lisa Riolo and Karen Garcia. Carolyn Tang from Share a Sale was also a guest – she talked about a road trip the company is making this summer, sounds super fun!

Although we had a number of technical difficulties recording the show – weather decided not to play nice and caused a number of disconnects throughout call and malfunctions – the final cut turned out great!

I talked about the changes taking place at Cafepress, how it is affecting people (myself included) and what I am doing with my own business. The news has been out for little over a week, for me the emotional side has passed and now I’ve moved more into the understanding and planning phase.

It was nice to be able to talk with the girls – we did so much laughing, I cried.

Listen to this edition of TheSpew at iTunes Or listen to TheSpew on Geekcast.fm

TheSpew on Geekcast.fm

As Missy Mentions in this show, I am heading up the Affiliate Summit Mentor program for ASW09 in New York – YAY! I’m so excited to be able to go to NY! Would love for you to get involved. Read more about the ASW09 mentor program.

What are you Thankful for Today?

I am thankful…
the week is over.
I have a network of great people to brainstorm with, even when times get tough.
I’m capable of controlling my own happiness.

Sunset by JGoode

This week has been one of the hardest for me for a long time.
Monday I learned of a business change with my primary product provider that would affect an enormous amount of people, yet these people wouldn’t find out until Wednesday. I’ve been riding an emotional roller-coaster as if I had out of control pregnant hormones. I spent Wednesday around the web, chatting, emailing, twittering…  and on the phone talking with quite a few of these people affected by this – not a one having the ability to say “Hey, this is gonna be great!”.We’ve built businesses based on another company’s business model and they’ve changed the pricing structure. Many are angry – many are leaving – Incomes are dropping by an average of 50% without having formulated a backup plan yet and at a time when so many households have already been dealing with salary cuts and layoffs – it’s very scary.

I’m in this boat with angry, sad, scared and and sometimes just plain numb people.  I’m trying to find the positive, because there always is positive. I am sure I have a paddle, I just need to grab hold of it better. Having surrounded myself a group of level-headed, thought provoking personalities. There are many people in this situation with me that are thinking this through and working on plans – we’re helping each other make it through.

I’ve spent this week arguing with my own “What next” thoughts and every hour is a new set of ideas, questions and inspirations. Ultimately, my decision is to keep moving forward. Take change in as if it were a new found friend and work with it to create something positive come from it. The benefit here is that I have warning the change is coming.pricing doesn’t actually go into effect until June 1 and my income won’t see the change until after that.

I’m thankful I still have my skills. I’m thankful I still have control of my own business. I may not be in control of the pricing I receive for the products I sell and I may not be in control of the availability of production or anything else dealing with tangible goods – but unless I plan on manufacturing every aspect of every product I offer, this kind of control is never entirely mine. I’m glad I’m experiencing this now, rather than aftering having invested thousands of dollars with no networking of “colleagues” in the business.

I will be expanding my business to reach other areas – branch out into new product offerings, and as with any good business model, have better backups for the hiccups that come along with tangible goods.

My thoughts go out to all the wonderful people this change is touching.

Watch for new great things –

What are YOU thankful for today?

If you have been affected by the Cafepress marketplace change, I have an calculator available to help you figure out your income change, so you can plan for the future of your business.