Category Archives: Business

Businesses must be built like cities

Businesses must be built like cities, as places for pleasure, trade, wealth and work.
A successful business epitomizes the work that shines like gold. The work that breathes the perpetual air of jazziest Spring.

Innovation and hard work
Your deeds and hard work are evidence of your small empire erected on a foundation of stardusted ideas protected by the wing of spring. Rains might soak your efforts and bring in the smell of dust, but you must toil and think creatively until the sun comes down again.
Whoever comes for pleasure should see the hard work behind every shiny slate in the pavement.
Leave trails of hard work to lead your customers to your city of trade, wealth and treasures. Be a lucky snail that leaves a gold trail of slog.

Trade means to develop friendliness and communication. The city of business is not a place for arguments but for agreements and networking. And for instructive courses, information, physical and spiritual wealth and language. The language that creates truthful connections between the people who are willing to build something wonderful together, a business, a new product, a story that stealthily steals your time while giving away pleasure.

Extraordinary evidence
“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” – Carl Sagan
Show hard evidence of your timeless toil everywhere, on your site, blog and social media pages. On your white papers, newsletters, emails, your sketches of new projects.

“The secret to success is to do the common things uncommonly well.” ― John D. Rockefeller
Let us draw an idea with some words! As we cannot paint like this:

© Iulia Halatz

Art by Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky.

I am delighted that five of my poems were included in the Sudden Denouement Anthology Volume I. The anthology is now available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

A handsome start

“Starting a company is like eating glass and staring into the abyss.” – Elon Musk
Never have we, abyss-starers and glass-eaters, read truer words, epitomizing our audacious struggle.
What do I know about starting a business? Nothing besides that irresistible sparkle of novelty, of all the new things awaiting to be learned and unlearned and not having two days alike.

I started my first business (bespoke professional English courses) because I wanted to create new language together with my students. I did not want to show language to the students but to help them create their own.
Owning a business is not for the weak. Oftentimes I suffered from stress and too much glass-chewing damaged my stomach. A question may have many answers, the right answer is the one that concurs with your business strategy.
In no time I have learned how fast day-dreaming becomes daymarish. Still, mistakes are what we (and Oscar Wilde) call hard-earned experience. I have a salad of them.

Know yourself very well and the things you are capable of
Most people are not aware of who they are and their limitations. Make a SWOT analysis of yourself first and then of your business. We confuse experience in a certain field with the ability of conducting a business. I have learned the hard way the truth of the axiom. I thought that if I were a very good teacher and communicator, owning a business would be a piece of cake. I would ride on a smile shine and choke on the requests for offer.

Be prepared for anything
If a customer asks for a tornado of sharks (a metaphor) for a copywriting job, I ask: “white sharks?” Consequently, see yourself very clearly and prepare for any question or query. Take time to prepare every business meeting and presentation in detail because you and your products are everything you’ve got. I have my relentless imagination and hard facts to craft a bespoke down-to-earth project for everyone.

Believe in your business model and follow your spreadsheets
(I daily-plan everything and all my courses follow a plan, at the end of which we have assessments.)
It is in our nature to want more. Some people want things that are not in your offer. Some people do not know what they want.
In other words you will be tempted to set up your business model according to what your customers say they want. Sometimes this is fine as it opens doors to new products and services. Nevertheless, the core of your business model (your Mission statement) should remain unchanged.

Expect your communication to take unexpected turns
“Do you know that conversation is one of the greatest pleasures in life? But it wants leisure.” – Somerset Maugham
Give it leisure and friendliness. Nevertheless, there are still queries to be had. The other day a representative of a medical company called and between the “lines” I picked up on their willingness for 17 people to benefit from our English course, but to pay for only 10 people, because some of the attendants might get bored in the end, as so happens at all English courses, he says, “knowingly”.
I never take kindly this type of approach as the lack of respect for my time and efforts translates into lack of respect towards me and my hard-crafted projects, mission, vision. Learning a language is not for everyone as it involves commitment and hard work and new eyes open for you to see more and more each class passing. Language is information.

Learning a language is not like attending a show. You participate in the show. Or have it like this, you participate in a postmodern theatrical performance where the actors get down from the stage and interact with the audience. It is a story within a story. We create a bespoke story for you and you get to add up your story. We create language together.
My start of the business was not at all handsome because I did not put these in my plan. I just thought that being skilled as a teacher and communicator would suffice. It didn’t, but I am still learning.
I am always willing to create “work” that shines like the sun with imaginative people that wish to keep their readers and customers on their toes.

I am illustrating with a Van Gogh, the master of painting the work of people. The work that shines like the sun, the same as his poignant mesmerizing timeless imagery.

© Iulia Halatz

I am delighted that five of my poems were included in the Sudden Denouement Anthology Volume I. The anthology is now available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

“Half-monster, half-dreamer”

What are you after?
Money… Success… Fame…Happiness…Dreams…Love…

We are all after money. Whomever cares not about the money has always had it, consequently has no pattern in measuring having or not having it…

Success is in our blood…The difference between success and failure is vision. “When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence.”- Samuel Butler

What problems do your dreams solve? What problems will they solve in 15 years-time?

“Man has always been half-monster, half-dreamer.” – Ray Bradbury

Vision is the combination of the dreams of the dreamer and the fears of the monster. Dreamers fight for their dreams, monsters fight the reality (they dread) and shape it to their own liking. Monsters fight with their skills and claws, dreamers with their imagination. More or less monsters make sure that your dreams survive the harsh cold reality…

So travel with your dreams but never forget about the monster’s perspective. As we are all monsters, and it is far easier to make a kind person believe you are kind than make a monsterling believe in your kindness. Monsters believe in monstership…In the ancient times people believed in mythical creatures as they needed to understand the overpowering forces of nature. We, the (post)modern people, know that the monsters are us. We have all the stories, we have a whole sea of stories which is at times poisoned by non-believing, prosaic tiny sea serpents.

Or the monster might command the suffering of the dreamer.
Maybe this is depression. Not believing in your dreams and feeding them to your monster.

Art by Andrew Ferez.

Tyrannosaurus writing

“I’ve been blogging since February of 2001. When I started blogging, it was a dinosaur blog. It was me and a handful of tyrannosaurs. We’d be writing blog entries like, ‘The tyrannosaurus is getting grumpy.” – Neil Gaiman

The dinosaur in me writes the Iron Tales or ruminates about feeling nothing in the Equilibrium, when he is grumpy and scared. He writes about feeling nothing in order to hide away fear of feeling too much, to solidify the knowledge of being woundable…and to Live. “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”- Joan Didion

The Tyrannosaurus writing shapes all, sometimes in a no-win situation, sometimes in a win-win situation. A no-win is when you write for herbivores, and win-win when you write for your own kind. They understand. You write about something they would wanna have or feel at least for once in their lives. Being grumpy and a T-Rex saves a lot of trouble when your writings hit judgmental walls. Your skull endures…

Honesty matters. Vulnerability matters. Being open about who you were at a moment in time when you were in a difficult or an impossible place matters more than anything. – Neil Gaiman

To write with the truth of pain in your mouth is gruesome poetry…You’ll have to cut out your heart with every word and show it to the world, then hope it will heal. This is how the light gets in, also the dark. To acknowledge fear, defeat, despair and pretend serenity of a lesson learned while patching up the wounds is…Life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art by Waldemar Kazak.

Success as craft of magic

Success is a craft of magic for the undone.

Our choices are in the ethereal mold of us. We choose to do the UnDone or just keep on walking the path of Done and Known.

The undone is hard endeavor. The undone is manifested in the idea of not knowing when to start, where to start, how to start and what to expect from some “judgmental” decisions. As everybody is here to criticize and be disgruntled. There is no time and knowledge for trial and error. There is just error.

It is like exploring without a map. You might fall off the edge of the world or get entangled in the murky waters.

When reading about Cristopher Columbus’ exploits I have always try to imagine their turmoil and fear when sailing the Sargasso Sea. They were way out of their comfort zones. Nevertheless, when they embarked on such adventures, they acknowledged the thin red line between life and death but blurred it with the courage and perseverance to follow a dream…

The opposite of our comfort zone is the Sargasso Sea; unknown, bleak, menacing, hard to predict. Something we do not fathom nor pin down. The Sargassum seaweed can be both menace and challenge…Dark and light…magic and mirror of fears…

Magic is always in the undone. It flickers like buried treasures in moonlight. You know it is hard dangerous labor when you start uncovering them in broad daylight that strips away the magic and the legend. Just jump over fear and move on. What if they were so scared and wouldn’t dare pursue in the Sargasso Sea? We wouldn’t have found out that it is a sea like any other. Nevertheless, the only sea without a land boundary.

“You have to finish things – that’s what you learn from, you learn by finishing things.” – Neil Gaiman

Finish your trip into the UnDone and UnKnown and give it a name. Sometimes we name it success.

© Iulia Halatz

Art by Vladimir Kush.

Dreamers and doers

“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” – Nolan Bushnell

Yes, you will have to do a lot of things which are borderline between imagining, weaving your (business) plan and really implementing your idea and your strategy of creating value.
Because this is all about – helping and solving problems. Entrepreneurship is all about doing and working, which is not that unfathomable. We all do the heavy lifting, we all have exerting routines…Knowing what to do and how to do it is the conundrum. As sometimes we are not given the time for the Trial and Error, we have only Error and but a moment to make amends.
We are pilferers of experience and growth hackers. Our job is not to do our job, but know what to do next.

And craft a good plan with poised goals.
The plan should be realistic and thorough. I and plans mix like oil and water as I repel routines and like the spark of new things which renders me a little shallow. But then I thought, what if my life depends on my thoroughness? This made me make a very good plan with all the questions attached and answered.

Beneath the obvious goals of my business, I have another one: to change something in the people I get to know. For the better and for the happier, with a piece of advice, with answers, with some words they do not know and need. After all, happiness is what we crave. Inspiration may never cease and I have had good source in Seth Godin‘s words: “Who do you want your customers to become?”

Everything starts with an idea which can translate into purpose, project and product with a little help from tiny beautiful things – words. Dream about your story, but not too hard. Fight your way into new things and enterprises but don’t take yourself too seriously. As “life is not about how you survived the storm… it is about how you danced in the rain.” – Regina Brett

 

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Art by Michael Cheval.