News from my Fiverr Account!

It’s been a few months since I opened my Fiverr account. I am now getting a small but steady stream of work for my ghostwriting gig.

In the last month, I’ve gotten into negotiations with a guy who wants me to help produce a webcomic for his non-profit.

Another client is hiring me to write a series of comics for a merchandise-driven storyline.

One particularly ambitious gentleman has hired me to adapt his book into graphic novel format.

With luck, business with will continue to flow in. It seems like it will be a good idea to attend comic conventions and other such events, where I will hand out my business card and wait for leads to come in.

This is especially exciting for me, as it means I have essentially “broken in” to comics. That is to say, somebody is hiring me to write comics. It is my hope to direct my income from this gig to helping to produce my own comics.

Now that’s going to be pretty sweet.

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A Business Plan for the Renton Printery (Conclusion)

This post is the conclusion of our series A Business Plan for the Renton Printery

Due to the sensitive nature of the sections of the business plan not yet covered (such as the Management Team and Personnel, Setup, and Financial Plan & Projections), I will be concluding my series here.

To go into more detail about the Renton Printery’s management team and personnel would require me to divulge certain private details, such as their specific qualifications and who they actually are.

I do not feel it is a good idea to name these private persons without their permission, and do not think it worthwhile to get all of their respective permissions ahead of time, like a chicken running with its head cut off.

I will simply say that we have plenty of people to fill the positions listed in the Executive Summary, and I have full confidence in their individual ability.

The Setup, that is, logistical matters such as our building, machinery, other equipment, and IT, are equally private matters. To put it simply, I do not think it wise to divulge operational details in a public forum.

At the very least, I would have to get my boss’s permission, which would be, for lack of a better word, an extended hassle.

Finally, the reasons for the Financial Plan and Projections being impossible and inconvenient to carry arise from two main reasons.

First, because I would have to consult heavily with my boss regarding the shop’s current operating costs. Again, more hassle, more in the public eye, and more conversations trying to convince the boss that it is plainly Not A Bad Idea.

Second, because even if I had all the permission in the world, I currently lack the expertise in accounting and graphing to present these findings in a logical manner.

I could theoretically do it, and even if it was done badly, it would at least be done. However, I would rather take some time to do it privately before showing it off to the whole world.

But such difficulties are the nature of business. Although I am dismayed to say that I cannot offer these important details, I can say with absolute integrity that I did, based on my limited knowledge of these matters, write up some things related to these matters on paper in my own time.

Perhaps someday a more complete version of those notes will see the light of day on this blog.

In the meantime, thank you all so much for reading this.

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A Business Plan for the Renton Printery (Part 2/3)

The following is the portion of a Business Plan for the Renton Printery, Business details.

Business Details

We are a family of printers. My father, grandfather, grandmother, and two of my aunts are in the trade.

Situated in downtown Renton, we’re a family-owned and operated, locally based, union print shop. The shop itself has been in business since the 1950s, but my grandfather first acquired it in 1971.

We can offer a broad range of products, such as:

  • Brochures
  • Envelopes
  • Letterhead
  • Business cards
  • Booklets
  • Programs
  • Newsletters
  • Mailers
  • Signs
  • Banners
  • Stickers
  • Labels
  • Tags
  • Notepads
  • T-shirts
  • Hats
  • Bags

All this, along with many other things I may not have thought of.

Our reason for being is simple: To make a spit-load of money.

To be more specific, to do so while being known for honest, efficient service and high quality products.

Our customers are chiefly other businesses. Our ideal clients are people who put a lot on a lot of events or spill a lot of ink, or else need a lot of words attached to things.

Accordingly, we will seek the business of:

  1. Large to mid-sized manufacturers.
  2. Large non-profits
  3. Large unions
  4. Large-to-mid-sized B2C* companies.

These clients will ideally be located in the South King County area, within the vicinity of Renton, Tukwila, and Kent. We will discuss this further in the next section, titled “Sales and Marketing Plan.”

Our Key Employees will not be named here, but they will include:

  1. The President or CEO
  2. A pressman
  3. A bindery man
  4. The Marketing Director
  5. The Goodwill Ambassador

Our accounting will be subcontracted to a local accounting firm, and we will occasionally hire freelancers to help with graphic design work and bindery. The permanent employees will also find themselves wearing a lot of different hats.

In the next post, we will go over my favorite part: The Sales and Marketing Plan.

* B2C meaning, “business-to-customer.” The Renton Printery would fall under “B2B” or “business-to-business.”

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A Business Plan for the Renton Printery (Part 1/3)

In this post we will detail the Executive Summary of the Renton Printery’s Business Plan.

Executive Summary

My grandfather, a pressman by trade, first acquired the Renton Printery in 1971.

Little did he know that eventually, his business would grow into one of the most respected institutions in the city of Renton, now run by his son (that is, my father.)

The Renton Printery can profitably deliver printing services to the South King County area by marketing to key figures in our target audience and by commencing operations with the right personnel.

Under the management of my father, the shop has cultivated a specific customer base who are willing to buy our shop’s products.

My father, along with myself and several other employees, currently operate the shop, bringing our accumulative expertise to making sure the shop stays profitable.

The financial and logistical affairs of the shop, such as our accounting, facilities, equipment, and IT, are matters which are too sensitive to discuss in his post series, but are nonetheless very important.

In this business plan, we will examine all of these and how they will be melded together to form a clear pathway to prosperity for the shop.

The Renton Printery, steeped in family history, craftsmanship, and service to the local community, can bring all of these strengths to bear in the tough and competitive printing market of today.

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, a personal hero of both myself and my father: “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”

Thanks to this business plan, we will not fail.

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A Business Plan for the Renton Printery (Introduction)

Those of you who know me personally know that I currently work at my father’s print shop.

This family business has helped me to remain gainfully employed, to one degree or another, since 2011.

I currently hold the title of “Marketing Director,” but in reality I am responsible for a wide range of tasks, including data entry, bookkeeping, and sales.

The accumulated experience I have gathered in my work at the shop has led me to decide to engage in a not-so-short thought experiment, wherein I will outline a business plan for the Renton Printery.

Are you ready to begin? Return tomorrow.

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Check out my Civics Tutoring Gig on Fiverr!

A quick update, loyal readers!

I’ve recently added another service under the Freelancing page of this blog: Civics tutoring.

My civics tutoring gig on Fiverr will allow me to teach you or your child about civics and American government.

The teaching of civics is a woefully neglected, malnourished discipline in this country’s public schools.

But fear not, gentle reader! I can help you or your child learn as much as I can teach about the finer points of the American Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and related subjects.

If you go to Fiverr and look at the listing, you will find that I offer three packages: Learner, Student, and Scholar.

The Learner package consists of one 30-minute lesson.

The Student package consists of a 1-hour lesson with an accompanying homework assignment.

The Scholar package provides five 30-minute lessons for the price of four, in addition to homework assignments and a dedicated syllabus.

If you want to learn more about American Civics, have a child who needs the instruction, or know someone else who fits these categories, then I’m your man!

Get in touch with me on Fiverr today!

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Fiverr Fail

A wise man once said, “Experience is a hard teacher. It gives the test first and then teaches the lesson.”

Following this principle, I now know that in the future, I must read the fine print. As a general rule, you should read everything. Just in case.

Case in point, I recently opened a new page on my blog, dedicated to my Freelancing ventures via Fiverr.com.

It’s a fun little website, where I can sell my services to others and get some extra cash.

But unfortunately, my first real investment in the platform resulted in a Fiverr Fail.

To cut a long story short, I purchased on Fiverr a beautiful video explaining my service as a ghostwriter for comics, meant to service artists who can’t write.

Unfortunately, the Fiverr team did not approve my video, as it contained the web address for this blog, in violation of Fiverr protocol.

But it wasn’t a total loss. I may have spent forty bucks on a video I can’t use on Fiverr, but I can use it here.

I do hope you all enjoy this lovely video, created by a Mr. “Artwong.”

Please see my new Freelancing page for more information!

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Supernatural Aid

In keeping with my running theme of basing blog posts off Campbell’s monomyth, I will now talk about the invaluable help I received in getting on the path to the metaphorical world of adventure.

Some time in the middle of winter quarter at a local community college, I began to feel that I wasn’t learning anything. I’d gone to college to get training and knowledge, for I wanted at the time to become a college professor.

But none of the classes seemed to be teaching me much. My political science class was taught by an avowed socialist who I foolishly antagonized. My drama class was a farce, no pun intended. The only class that seemed to make sense was a remedial math class. How ironic that my least favorite subject would become my refuge.

To cut a long story short, I declined to return to college after the quarter ended, opting to get a job at Burger King. The ratio between cost and return wasn’t balancing out.

But I was not without purpose.

I had made contact online with various persons involved in the Praxis program, which I meant to apply to at the time. One of those people was Derek Magill.

Derek Magill runs his own blog, has consulted for several high-grade companies, and is really, really good at what he does. He’s the Director of Marketing at Praxis, and I suppose it was his job to interact with people like me who were interested in the program.

However, I’m glad to have interacted with Mr. Magill online, having read his blog and his eBook How to Get Any Job You Want. I even found out about Ryan Holiday’s book Trust Me, I’m Lying through his blog.

Mr. Magill’s advice gave me the idea and drive to strike out on my own and try to find a job. Although I didn’t get into Praxis, his blog has been a valued source of information regarding career advice. His general theory of career success is to find where you want to work at, do valuable free work for that company, and then ask them to hire you to keep doing it.

It worked well for him, so I’m certain it could work just fine for me. Stay tuned.

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The Threshold Guardians Kicked my Butt, and I’m Glad They Did

It’s been two weeks since I was politely denied admittance to the Praxis program which I mentioned in my first post.

In short, it looks like the threshold guardians kicked my butt.

To enlighten those of you who haven’t read Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the First Threshold which the hero crosses in his monomyth (see the aforementioned first post) must face an obstacle, referred to as “threshold guardians,” in the way to his entrance into the world of adventure.

In this case, the threshold guardians were a couple of fine gentlemen who kindly showed me the door, throwing my metaphorical butt down the stairs of the first threshold.

In a word, “Ouch.”

I wanted to get into the Praxis program, I really did, but I think I know why I didn’t make the cut. Firstly, my interviews weren’t very impressive. That’s a big road block.

Second, I now realize (and they probably knew it before I did) that I was seeing Praxis as just another conveyor belt. Like the college student before me who expected a job right when they graduate simply because they have a piece of paper that says they sat through a bunch of classes and passed some tests, I thought that if I could just get into Praxis, I’d be set.

But these fine, indefatigable Threshold Guardians knew better. They had no time for such layabouts as I, so they picked me up by both arms, gave me a nice reality check, and threw me back over to where I had met up with my Supernatural Aid (more on that in a later post).

So there I sat (metaphorically and literally, as most of this was done while I was sitting), wondering what on Earth would become of me.

But then I had an idea: There are other thresholds.

So, remembering Moltke’s maxim that “No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy,” I picked myself up, put some cold water on my face, and set to work on another fork in the road, heading to another Threshold. With luck, the threshold guardians there will be a little more forgiving.

Either that, or I’ll be a little tougher.

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Crossing of the First Threshold

In his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell states that all of the world’s mythologies follow the same basic structure, beginning with “The Call to Adventure.”

This is the beginning of a process in which the hero receives the calling to depart from the ordinary world, enter the world of adventure, and eventually return transformed.

The first post of this blog is not so much “The Call to Adventure” but instead “The Crossing of the First Threshold.” That is to say, I’d already answered the call to adventure before I started this blog, and now I’m finally entering the world of adventure.

My journey began when I graduated from high school, and then moved on to community college. I received the Call to Adventure when I heard about the Praxis program. But I ignored it at first, neatly stepping into the second step of the hero’s journey, or monomyth: “Refusal of the Call.”

Eventually, however, reality caught up with me: College is expensive. The things you learn there are often useless, dull, and Marxist. The long bus rides back home are no picnic either.

I had been home schooled before all this, many years of which involved a co-op, and it was a good experience. But I’d sat in a classroom long enough, and if I wanted to learn anything new, I could do it on my own.

I reached out to the guys at the Praxis program from before, and began talking online with some of them. The seemed like good guys. Thus the next step in the monomyth, “Supernatural Aid.”

This is where the hero receives help or a helper to guide him into the world of adventure, often imparting to him special knowledge and expertise that will be useful on their quest.

My quest? To become a entrepreneur, a writer, a businessman, a statesman, a reporter, a poet, a churchman, a big shot, a grunt, a leader, and a servant.

(I wouldn’t mind settling for “employed.”)

So I dropped out of community college, got a job at Burger King, worked for nine months, and then applied for Praxis.

Armed only with my social media savvy and a laptop, I have crossed the first threshold.

To be continued. 

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