Sell dogs. That’s the “Make Lemonade” solution.
Take our youngest daughter as an example. She is an entrepreneur, who started and runs a series of Performing Arts schools in England branded “My Stage School” for children age 4 to 14. She has done exceedingly well with this business for about 20 years.
Her school’s website says: My Stage School’ is a highly ambitious, dedicated and driven performing arts academy striving to offer only the best for our students. We have over 300 students across our Thursday, Friday and Saturday schools (and hundreds in holiday time) and we operate from many different venues and theatres. See our ‘classes/timetable’ section. Our age groups are split into ‘STAGE STARTERS’ for ages 4-6, ‘UPPER SCHOOL’ for ages 6-14 and ‘THE ACADEMY’ for ages 14-18.
We are also unique because every child plays a substantial role in the shows, each with equal parts encompassing speaking lines and solo singing if they wish. We cater for all personalities. We often receive enquiries from parents about their shy child who has never done anything like this before. Those parents are often blown away when that child ends up singing solo in front of 400 people at the end of term performance. Also, we have students who may want to pursue a career in the performing arts. We can send these students for auditions in the West End for example. We have had many west end successes over the years with My Stage School students appearing in tours across the country, commercials and tv shows.
This is the type of business that was really vulnerable in the pandemic, so this business had to be be dramatically trimmed back.
Yet I did not hear a word of complaint from Ellie. She just said, “what can I do that will succeed during these changing times”.
Her decision, since most people were stuck at home was to create products for the home that she could sell on Amazon.com.
She has done amazingly well again. In a very short time she has identified six products, found manufacturers to make them, ship them to Amazon and figure out how to use algorithms to sell them.
Here’s one product, a large Corgi Fleece Blanket.
Our daughter Eleanor used herself and our grandchildren Tilly and Toby as the models for their advertising on Amazon.com
BTW, Ele is using a Chinese manufacturer for these blankets right now but prefers US manufactures. If you know any blanket manufacturer in the US, please introduce them to Eleanor at email@example.com.
Each of the products she is having made and selling are aimed at making home a better place.
Eventually the pandemic will be over and Ellie’s performing arts business will rebound. By turning lemons into lemonade and jumping into the home improvement business while the virus is keeping everyone at home, she creates resilience to keep her schools moving forward.
Plus when the economy recovers, she’ll have two businesses instead of one. That’s a way of letting the dogs stop your business from going to the dogs!
Don’t forget, if you know a textile manufacturer in the US who might be able to produce this blanket, please introduce them to Eleanor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The foundation of human society is the ability to communicate ideas through words. Words support a framework of love, hate and desire and all the emotions throbbing through the heartbeat of mankind.
Writing builds shelters against the storms of stagnation and creates progressive energy that artistically leads us from the tyrannical grasp of existing thought into new dimensions and ideas.
Marco Polo photo
Take Marco Polo and the impact he had on changing the thought process of the Western world.
Marco Polo was a merchant and an explorer. He saw wonders when he ventured into the Eastern world. When he shared these wonders it altered the entire way that mankind in Europe lived… from the introduction of gun powder to paper money.
Yet what made Marco famous was his ability to share these innovations due to his writing!
Biography.com says of Marco Polo’s exploits (bolds are mine): Just a few years after his return to Venice, Marco commanded a ship in a war against the rival city of Genoa. He was eventually captured and sentenced to a Genoese prison, where he met a fellow prisoner and writer named Rustichello. As the two men became friends, Marco told Rustichello about his time in Asia, what he’d seen, where he’d traveled and what he’d accomplished. His stories were soon committed to paper and eventually published as a book called The Description of the World,
The book made Marco, who was released from prison in 1299, a celebrity. It was printed in French, Italian and Latin, becoming the most popular read in Europe. But few readers allowed themselves to believe Marco’s tale. They took it to be fiction, the construct of a man with a wild imagination. The work eventually earned another title: Il Milione (“The Million Lies”). Marco, however, stood behind his book. He also moved on with his life. After his release from prison, he returned to Venice, where he married, raised three daughters and, for some 25 years, carried on the family business. Marco died at his home in Venice on January 8, 1324. As he lay dying, friends and fans of his book paid him visits, urging him to admit that his book was fiction. Marco wouldn’t relent. “I have not told half of what I saw,” he said.
Marco’s desire to earn more money, his travels and adventures were the foundation of his destiny, but his writing was his legacy. Here is one more excerpt from Biography.com.
In the centuries since his death, Marco Polo has received the recognition that failed to come his way during his lifetime. So much of what he claimed to have seen has been verified by researchers, academics and other explorers. Even if his accounts came from other travelers he met along the way, Marco’s story has inspired countless other adventurers to set off and see the world. Two centuries after Marco’s passing, Christopher Columbus set off across the Atlantic in hopes of finding a new route to the Orient. With him was a copy of Marco Polo’s book.
Writing to sell is one of the most powerful forms of marketing and marketing is what we do in every aspect of life… every day.
The heart of all events requires marketing. We market ourselves, our business, our thoughts ideas and beliefs all the time. In business, marketing covers strategic planning, product design, packaging, distribution, advertising, public relations, promotions and sales. Marketing is the process by which anything and everything, product, service, idea, person is introduced and promoted. Without marketing, you may be or have something great, but no one knows it.
All marketing begins with writing… whether, a speech, picture, video, movie, advertisement, announcement, banner, jingle, song… the birth place is in the written word.
Why words are better than cash.
You can turn words into cash. Mix in a little wisdom and deliver benefits. The value of honest word’s never deflate. A dollar, decades ago, was worth 15 greenbacks today… or more. Useful, wise words, even hundreds of years aged… are often worth more now.
Take these 153 year old words: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Has time diminished the value of these words?
Sometimes Merri’s and my writing led us into incredible adventures.
Here I am with Merri and an Ecuadorian Yatchak deep in the Llanganatis Jungle creating a shamanic tour.
We even built a…
Yet during the pandemic we have been able to continue sitting away from the madding crowd in our cabin on Little Horse Creek and at our Florida farm.
There is a possibility that Merri and I know more about writing from home than 99.9% of the people in the world. We have been at this for over 50 years now and thousands have taken our online correspondence course on how to create your own self publishing business.
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