Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Of Serendip

There is a very old folktale that dates back to the Sassanid Empire about the Three Princes of Serendip, who travelled the world, making discoveries. These seemed to be accidental, but the discoveries were reinforced by the princes’ wisdom in recognizing and taking advantage of these apparent accidents. During the 18th century the art historian and antiquarian Horace Walpole brought the word “serendipity” into the English language based on this story, in which the heroes were “always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of”.

Be of Serendip. Indulge in the freedoms of travelling, vicariously or not.

Education and experience do not come from a paper. I have two main papers, but the most important papers are the ones I have been filling since I started doing the work I am proud of, the work that I have sent and showed to perfect strangers while making decisions in times of eclipses of mind and ideas.
We have skills, as stated in our papers, nevertheless the ones we need to sail the murky waters of translucent innovation and the rock-solid skills of a bootstrapper are still pending…

“There are more tools, resources and opportunities to become a bootstrapper today than ever before. To begin with a market that needs your help, a contribution you want to make and the willingness to put in the effort and to create something of value.”
Seth Godin

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”-Arthur C. Clarke
Use the magic at your hands to solve problems, make connections, open doors, make a difference aided by your new found freedom.
Your freedom is your new-found-land, your Serendip.

Freedom is novelty in thinking, words, ideas. Each day comes with a new attire of projects. Finish some of them, mold some into new stuff. Your stuff… Show your stuff to new people. Send something that you yourself have weaved.

Nevertheless, some days would be spent drifting while hope gets eaten by a dragon. But as an entrepreneur, there is just one way available, that of gritty positivism. Otherwise you’ve got yourself a problem, solved when silvery hope shines again, lit by your work and the people you care about.
Iulia Halatz

Art – Eclipse by Konstantin Korobov.

http://blog.seocopywriting.ro/2017/04/04/success-as-craft-of-magic/

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.

Personal value proposition

“Your PVP, your personal value proposition, is how you impact your company.
It’s how your work changes the world.” – Gapingvoid

Content writers don’t write blog posts – they create stories.

Teachers don’t teach – they create stories and experiences.

Teachers create stories around you as a main character. You get to play many parts, one of which is to rewrite and retell your story in English. With “little” help from your teacher.

So when you come the the course, you know what story to weave.

There is no place for arrogance in the teaching. The only thing is changing the world of your students.

© Iulia Halatz

Art by Hans Andersen Brendekilde.

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.

The Three Foundations of Art

Writing anything original is art whether it is a review, a letter, an email, a cover letter, a presentation, a poem … Everything is art because it is a singular assembly of words never written before.
“Author James Elkins writes of the three components necessary for someone to become an artist: seeing, making and the tabula rasa.
First, students need to learn to see. They have to see the world as it is without labels, without knowing the name of what is seen.
Second, they are taught how to make. How to use hands or voice or body to take what they see and reflect it back to the world.
And third, and most difficult, the artist starts with a blank slate. Art must be done for the first time, not repeated, and that first stroke, those first words – this is the source of our fear.”
Seth Godin – The Icarus Deception

First, you are leaving your corporeal body and seeing with inverted eyes to “quiet your cleverness”. Seeing what could be, and not what it is, as in Samuel Butler’s study of hypothetics at the Colleges of Unreason (Erewhon). Turning our own good poetry of the seen into the hypothetical language or the poetry of the unseen.
Second, as in learning how to use our imagination and the words of the unseen to create something first taking shape in ink from your pen.
The last, the most painful and fearsome act, the blank sheet of paper awaiting to be filled by you, by your drawing of new sounds and thoughts. You do not know if it is good, but if you do not know, then it is good.
Have words drop numb at your touch and arrange them in easy-to-carry-in-the-heart images.

The unique magic of Michael Cheval’s imagination is always a source of inspiration.

© 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.

Stardust Business

My students once asked me if I would ever invest in stardust (at a business course). The question caught me a little offhand. But I said Yes. Provided I attach great value to the shiny star particles.

People buy for two reasons, to increase pleasure and to alleviate pain. These are words from my copywriting course, partly inspired by Sigmund Freud’s words. Simple as this, but not everybody can sell a dream…

Why would you buy stardust? For its attributes? It is golden, sticky, and shiny…Stardust is that “intangible product” with a promise labelled. Selling stardust is like selling services, which I have been doing for the past 5 years. It is like harvesting autumns, and pocketing the sun… So damn hard and so damn beautiful…You make-believe that the world is imperfect without your promise. As we already live in a world of perfect plenty. What is there more to want?

Can I sell stardust? “I wonder,…,if I could sell blessings?” – as deftly put by John Galsworthy in The Modern Comedy. You can sell anything provided it is backed up by shiny strong network of dust, forming the embodiment of your dream, or your organizational culture. Your culture is both sticky cobweb and maze. It must stick to your buyers’ hearts and make them ask for more…directions to get out of the maze. The mission is the story and the engine. It beacons and shines to those who see.

“Stuff your eyes with wonder… live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
Ray Bradbury

What is the world made of?  “The real secret of magic is that the world is made of words, and that if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.” – Terence McKenna  

See the world and read its texture, follow the wind and translate its whisperings. When days are grim, write few lines. When hope seems to have moved to another realm, write another story and listen to another human on quest for Better. When your soul disintegrates, assemble words to paint a picture that you can visit any time you want. Bring shiny warm words to the Moveable Feast I call writing.

“If the world is cold, make it your business to start fires” – Horace Traubel. Start a fire or at least gather wood each day. Do something different. Sing a credible song, play a beautiful tune. Attune people to your song. Leave them better than you found them.

© Iulia Halatz

Art – Stardust by Rob Gonsalves.

Writing is a ladder

Writing is a ladder out of Chaos.

My Tyrannosaurus writing has found me a path out of chaos. Chaos amidst which I found myself while trying to develop my business. Then I did not know that business world is sharks’ empire. I put it in writing in my Shark Tale.

Writing must be something of an Iron Tale, must be tough and sincere to the core of human perception of pain as valor. I remain the grumpy T-Rex who started writing out of pain, not necessarily because of a broken world. But now and then with words we glue shards and pieces and put them together with blood. As we sometimes taste blood, ours or others’.

“Of all writings I love only that which is written with blood. Write with blood: and you will discover that blood is spirit.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Be the one who cares, make words so disruptive that they create new worlds, hopes and dreams. Even if we are unhappy dinosaurs and find shelter in an Iron Tale or ruminate about feeling too much, whilst declaring colorless apparel, we should take power and strength from our stories. “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”- Joan Didion

Writing is a ladder to the sky in your mouth when you are in love. 

Pay toll to love in words. If I sing songs to the blooming trees, they remain in bloom. My words protect them from smothering summers and mellow autumns. The “herbivore” writing is sweet and protective. Still they are disruptive words that create ladders and unite…people and their stories.

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart, one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” – Marvin J. Ashton

 

Art by Milla von Luttich.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The moon and the sixpence

“Who are you, Martin Eden? he demanded of himself in the looking-glass, that night when he got back to his room. He gazed at himself long and curiously. Who are you? What are you? Where do you belong?” – Jack London (Martin Eden)

You belong with the legions of toil that must grub in the dirt for the sixpence. You belong with the legions that dare lift their eyes to contemplate the moon to substitute food for the dance of imagination. You belong with the vulgar and with the spirited being what carries the tinge of heaven in a smile.

You belong with all that is hard, low and unbeautiful, yet you dare live with the stars and make stardust trails. You belong by rights with the legions of strive, nevertheless in one corner of the mind there is an inverted eye that yearns for the lunarian shape-shifting beauty.

You belong by rights to creativity and labor. Creativity is vision or as Samuel Butler vanguardly put (almost two centuries ago):  “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.”

Creativity is strategy. Strategy must vary as does the moon.

We are not so busy looking at the moon that we do not see the sixpence at our feet. Nor are we so engulfed in drudge that we do not see the sky. We’d better see the moon and the sixpence all at once. Our dreams and our toils should answer all our questions in the change of crescents to vanishing waning moons.

 

Art by Inma Gonzales Vazquez.

“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.

A shark tale

“Back in the days when storytelling was the main form of entertainment, tales of mythical creatures abounded. Today we seem to indulge in the mere scraps of what was once an epic feast of legend.”

In this modern age, there appears another mythical creature, the shark, a protean-like coiling in the grass type of snake, ready to turn your business proceedings and agreements into dust with swift smooth-tongued, loaded Questions…

As an entrepreneur I have started small. I am still small fish and I deal with sharks, corporate companies. I have created my ‘corporate’ culture from scratch, and I have developed my business solely through growth hacking.
What I have learned when trying to impose my imaginative but new small company culture to the sophisticated corporates is to strike gold, provided you know who you are and consequently, the “protocol” to offer and create huge amounts of Value and solve problems.The more problems you solve the better you speak the shark tongue.

Tim Ferriss once said, “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

Sharks’ words are never comfortable as they know no mercy and smell fear and disorder from afar. Whomever has never been told that his/her products or services are useless doesn’t know how to shine a carefully chosen smile in the face of the creature with disposable teeth, and sink into the right order of things. Which is, there are other sharks. But when a big shark says to you, you are no good, then you are (good), because you are there sharing the same table, conference room and presentation…On this gleeful occasion I am thanking all the sharks in my life, the ones who have taught me to smile at the glint of rejection, and the ones who have taught me that

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield

Besides trading my help for their help, I will thank them all in a more personalized manner.

 

 

Art by Michael Sowa.

 

 

 

Love

“Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.”
Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art by David Wyatt.