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Opinion Editorials

Hello World, Goodbye Sock Puppet

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I just spent 25 minutes on Google trying to figure out which film critic threatened to quit if the producers of Police Academy made another sequel. They did. He didn’t.

It’s important that you know this is how I decided to make my splash here. Earlier today (or yesterday, for those reading from Nova Scotia), the esteemed Athol Kay threatened “to hang up my hat” if I ever joined one of these “shiny group blogs.”

As Ricky Bobby said, “Did that blow your mind because THAT JUST HAPPENED!”

I have a hunch our beloved Kiwi will weasel out by saying he only was going to hang up his hat, not his mangy toupee-wearing sock. Says Happy Harry H. in Pump Up the Volume, “So be it.”

Aside from the fact that I’m here because Benn felt sorry for me after I was left out of the cool kids’ club in the first round, bringing back fond memories of the 17 minutes I spent waiting to be picked for kickball, the bigger question I’m trying to answer is what am I going to bring to the table?

I already talk national on my blog as well as local, proving (at least to myself) that you can do so successfully. Though I can’t figure out why my Technorati ranking’s falling as my Feedburner subscriptions keep rising. So I don’t need an outlet.

Unless, of course, I make this the outlet where I kick it like Facemob and shout “F*** the (Trademark) Police” … know what I saying?

Maybe in time some of the more acerbic screeds will make their way over here. Just as maybe in time B.R. will find out I’m here mostly because I’m falling for Lani. I mean, who can’t love a gal who signs her e-mails, “OU Sucks.” Especially after they kicked some Bevo tuchas just this past weekend.

Ah, well … maybe it’s time for this champ to stop talking, sit out a few plays.

Until next time, I’m Jonathan Dalton. You stay classy, agentgenius readers.

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Benn Rosales

    October 11, 2007 at 3:55 am

    Holy Spit! Dude, way to rock a blog- I’m speechless! I really needed more cowbell though so if you could squeeze off a few more Farrell quotes your next post will be even better! Rock On J.

  2. Lani Anglin

    October 11, 2007 at 4:36 am

    OMG- shake & bake!!! Is that a catch phrase or epilepsy?

    🙂 I’m glad you’ve jumped on board- I’ll miss Athol though since he’s retiring. This has to be the best sign on in history- I hope you submit this to the CoRE for 10/22…

  3. Athol Kay

    October 11, 2007 at 5:11 am

    OMFG you did this on purpose didn’t you!

    You’re baiting me, you know you’re baiting me.

    (I still can’t find the email….)

  4. Benn Rosales

    October 11, 2007 at 5:23 am

    lol theres a link at the bottom right column, email me.

    Yeah, don’t submit this week J. AG is hosting so it wouldn’t look right when you took all of the categories with this post. =]

  5. Jay Thompson

    October 11, 2007 at 6:53 am

    Heh heh… I saw that on Athol’s place… we’ll see how the miserable woolen bastard weasel’s out of this one.

    If Dalton’s here, I may have to reconsider.

    And really, seven points is hardly “kicking tuchas” and OU DOES suck!

  6. Athol Kay

    October 11, 2007 at 7:07 am

    No weaseling required at all Jay. My blog has an ironclad set of Terms accessible from the footer, which explicitly say…

    “Also individual posts may be; incomplete, half right, poorly researched, may simply be a question posed as an answer, deranged or otherwise be in error as a nonexclusive list of low truthiness”

    Which is to say. I don’t give a damn what I said yesterday.

  7. Jonathan Dalton

    October 11, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    All this ruckus over little ol’ me?

    And Athol, would I really bait you? Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.

  8. Athol Kay

    October 11, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    Any time I force anyone to Google search Police Academy for 25 minutes, I count it as a victory.

  9. April Groves

    October 11, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    Crap…Lani beat me to the old “shake and bake” thing.

    I’m going back to bed…Jonathan’s opener is making me feel woefully inadequate…I’ll bring sexy back tomorrow…

  10. Mariana - Springs Realty Scoop

    October 11, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Viva La Sock Puppet …

  11. Jonathan Dalton

    October 11, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    I’ve been telling my 8-year-old for the last six months that I’m bringing sexy back. She’s got the eye roll down pat.

    (Old inside joke, kids … every year for our Daddy-Daughter dinner dance she takes me shopping for something that will hide my whale-like form. And every year I ask her if the outfit makes me look sssssexxxxy.)

  12. Jonathan Dalton

    October 11, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    Viva La Sock Puppet?

    It’s a man wearing a toupee-wearing sock!!!

  13. Mariana - Springs Realty Scoop

    October 11, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    Viva La Sock Puppet. Yes. Viva La anyone who dons their refrigerator with a car magnet.

  14. Mariana - Springs Realty Scoop

    October 11, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    … a magnet meant for a car.

  15. Athol Kay

    October 11, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    Hey it’s not fault my car is made of plastic and the magnets don’t work!

  16. Jonathan

    October 11, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Hey Athol … if you join, we can be the Magic Man and El Diablo … unless someone beats you to being The Magic Man!

  17. Jay Thompson

    October 12, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    “Any time I force anyone to Google search Police Academy for 25 minutes, I count it as a victory.”

    Indeed!!

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Opinion Editorials

5 ways to grow your entrepreneur business without shaming others

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) We all need support as business owners. Let’s talk ideas for revenue growth as an entrepreneur that do not include shaming your competition.

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Entrepreneur women all talking around a meeting table.

The year 2020 has forced everyone to re-assess their priorities and given us the most uncertain set of circumstances we have lived through. For businesses and entrepreneurs, they were faced with having to confront new business scenarios quickly. Maybe your entrepreneur business was set to thrive as behaviors changed (maybe you already offered contactless products and services). Or, you were forced to add virtual components or find new revenue streams – immediately. This has been tough.

Every single person is having a hard time with the adjustments and most likely at different stages than others. We’re at the 6-month mark, and each of our timelines are going to look different. Our emotions have greeted us differently too, whether we have felt relief, grief, excitement, fear, hope, determination, or just plain exhaustion.

Now that we are participating in life a bit more virtually than in 2019, this is a good time to re-visit the pros and cons of the influence of technology and marketing outreach online. It’s also a great time to throw old entrepreneur rules out the window and create a better sense of community where you can.

Here’s an alluring article, “Now Is Not the Time for ‘Mom Shaming’”, that gives an example from about a decade ago of how the popularity of mommy bloggers grew by women sharing their parenting “hacks”, tips, or even recipes and crafting ideas via online posts and blogs. As the blog entries grew, so did other moms comparing themselves and/or feeling inadequate. Some of the responses were natural and some may have been coming from a place of defensiveness. Moms are not alone in looking for resources, articles, materials, and friends to tell us we’re doing ok. We just need to be told “You are doing fine.”

Luckily, some moms in Connecticut decided to declare an end to “Mom Wars” and created a photo shoot that shared examples of how each mom had a right to their choices in parenting. It seemed to reinforce the message of, “You are doing fine.” I don’t know about you, but my recent google searches of “Is it ok to have my 3-year old go to bed with the iPad” are pretty much destined to get me in trouble with her pediatrician. I’m hoping that during a global pandemic, “I am doing fine.”

Comparing this scenario to the entrepreneur world, often times your business is your baby. You have worn many hats to keep it alive. You have built the concept and ideas, nurtured the products and services with sweat, tears, and maybe some laughs. You have spent countless hours researching, experimenting, and trying processes and marketing tactics that work for you. You have been asked to “pivot” this year like so many others (sick of that word? Me too).

Here are some ideas for revenue growth as an entrepreneur (or at least, ideas worth considering if you haven’t already):

  1. It’s about the questions you ask yourself. How does your product or service help or serve others (vs. solely asking how do I get more customers?) This may lead to new ideas or income streams.
  2. Consider a collaboration or a partnership – even if they seem like the competition. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African proverb
  3. Stop inadvertently shaming the competition by critiquing what they do. It’s really obvious on your Instagram. Try changing the narrative to how you help others.
  4. Revisit the poem All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and re-visit it often. “And it is still true, no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.”
  5. Join a community, celebrate others’ success, and try to share some positivity without being asked to do so. Ideas include: Likes/endorsements, recommendations on LinkedIn for your vendor contacts, positive Google or Yelp reviews for fellow small business owners.

It seems like we really could use more kindness and empathy right now. So what if we look for the help and support of others in our entrepreneurial universe versus comparing and defending our different way of doing things?

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Opinion Editorials

Can we combat grind culture and injustice with a nap?

(OPINION EDITORIALS) A global pandemic and a climate of racial injustice may require fresh thinking and a new approach from what grind culture has taught us.

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Sleeping cat with plant, fighting grind culture.

Information is delivered to us at warp speed with access to television, radio, and the internet (and more specifically, social media). We are inundated with messages. Oftentimes they’re personalized by something that a friend or family shared. Other times we manage them for work, school, or just keeping up with news. Many entrepreneurs already wear many hats and burn the midnight oil.

During this global pandemic, COVID-19, we have also seen a rise in awareness and attention to social injustice and systemic racism. This is not a new concept, as we all know. But it did feel like the attention was advanced exponentially by the murder of George Floyd on Memorial Day 2020. Many people and entrepreneurs felt called to action (or at least experienced self-reflection). And yet they were working at all hours to evolve their businesses to survive. All of this happening simultaneously may have felt like a struggle while they tried to figure out exactly they can do.

There are some incredible thought leaders – and with limited time, it can be as simple as checking them out on Instagram. These public figures give ideas around what to be aware of and how to make sure you are leveling up your awareness.

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Center for Antiracist Research – he has been studying anti-racism and has several books and interviews that help give language to what has been happening in our country for centuries. His content also delves into why and how white people have believed they are more than people of color. Here is a great interview he did with Brené Brown on her Unlocking Us podcast.

Tamika Mallory – American activist and one of the leading organizers of the 2017 Women’s March. She has been fighting for justice to be brought upon the officers that killed Breonna Taylor on March 13. These are among other efforts around the country to push back on gun control, feminist issues, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Brené Brown – research professor at the University of Houston and has spent the last two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. She has been listening and engaging on how racism and our shame intersect. She also speaks about how people can reflect on themselves and where they can take action to better our society. She has some antiracism resources on her website.

With all of this information and the change in our daily routines and work habits (or business adjustments), what is a fresh approach or possibly a new angle that you haven’t been able to consider?

There is one social channel against grind culture that may not be as well-known. At an initial glance, you may even perceive this place as a spoof Twitter and Instagram that is just telling you to take a nap. But hold on, it’s actually much smarter than that. The description says “We examine the liberating power of naps. We believe rest is a form of resistance and reparations. We install Nap Experiences. Founding in 2016.”

It might be a great time for you to check out The Nap Ministry, inspired by Tricia Hersey. White people are called to action, and people of color are expressly told to give time to taking care of themselves. Ultimately, it goes both ways – everyone needs the time to recharge and recuperate. But people of color especially are being told to value their rest more than the grind culture. Yes, you’re being told you need to manage your mental health and include self-care in your schedule.

Through The Nap Ministry, Tricia “examines rest as a form of resistance by curating safe spaces for the community to rest via Collective Napping Experiences, immersive workshops, and performance art installations.”

“In this incredibly rich offering, we speak with Tricia on the myths of grind culture, rest as resistance, and reclaiming our imaginative power through sleep. Capitalism and white supremacy have tricked us into believing that our self-worth is tied to our productivity. Tricia shares with us the revolutionary power of rest.” They have even explored embracing sleep as a political act.

Let this allow you to take a deep breath and sigh – it is a must that you take care of yourself to take care of your business as well as your customers and your community. And yes, keep your drive and desire to “get to work”. But not at your expense for the old grind culture narrative.

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Opinion Editorials

The actual reasons people choose to work at startups

(EDITORIAL) Startups have a lot going for them, environment, communication, visible growth. But why else would you work for one?

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Startups meeting led by Black woman.

Startups are perpetually viewed as the quintessential millennial paradise with all of the accompanying perks: Flexible hours, in-house table tennis, and long holidays. With this reputation so massively ingrained in the popular perception of startups, is it foolish to think that their employees actually care about the work that startup companies accomplish?

Well, yes and no.

The average startup has a few benefits that traditional business models can’t touch. These benefits often include things like open communication, a relaxed social hierarchy, and proximity to the startup’s mission. That last one is especially important: While larger businesses keep several degrees of separation between their employees and their end goals, startups put the stakes out in the open, allowing employees to find personal motivation to succeed.

When employees find themselves personally fulfilled by their work, that work reaps many of the benefits in the employee’s dedication, which in turn helps the startup propagate. Many aspiring startup employees know this and are eager to “find themselves” through their work.

Nevertheless, the allure of your average startup doesn’t always come from the opportunity to work on “something that matters.”

Tiffany Philippou touches on this concept by pointing out that “People come to work for you because they need money to live… [s]tartups actually offer pretty decent salaries these days.”

It’s true that many employees in their early to late twenties will likely take any available job, so assuming that your startup’s 25-and-under employee base is as committed to finding new uses for plastic as you are may be a bit naïve—indeed, this is a notion that holds true for any business, regardless of size or persuasion.

However, startup experience can color a young employee’s perception of their own self-worth. This allows them to pursue more personally tailored employment opportunities down the road—and that’s not a bad legacy to have.

Additionally, startups often offer—and even encourage—a level of personal connection and interactivity that employees simply won’t find in larger, more established workplaces. That isn’t symptomatic of startups being too laid-back or operating under loosely defined parameters. Instead, it’s a clue that work environments that facilitate personalities rather than rote productivity may stand to get more out of their employees.

Finally, your average startup has a limited number of spots, each of which has a clearly defined role and a possibility for massive growth. An employee of a startup doesn’t typically have to question their purpose in the company—it’s laid out for them; who are we to question their dedication to fulfilling it?

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