Category Archives: Re-Invent Yourself

Reject the tyranny of being picked: pick yourself

Reject the tyranny of being picked: pick yourself

by Seth Godin

Reprinted with permission

Amanda Hocking is making a million dollars a year publishing her own work to the Kindle.  No publisher.

Rebecca Black has reached more than 15,000,000 listeners, like it or not, without a record label.

Are we better off without gatekeepers?  Well, it was gatekeepers that brought us the unforgettable lyrics of Terry Jacks in 1974, and it’s gatekeepers that are spending a fortune bringing out pop songs and books that don’t sell.

I’m not sure that this is even the right question. Whether or not we’re better off, the fact is that the gatekeepers–the pickers–are reeling, losing power and fading away. What are you going to do about it?

It’s a cultural instinct to wait to get picked. To seek out the permission and authority that comes from a publisher or talk show host or even a blogger saying, “I pick you.”  Once you reject that impulse and realize that no one is going to select you–that Prince Charming has chosen another house–then you can actually get to work.

If you’re hoping that the HR people you sent your resume to are about to pick you, it’s going to be a long wait.  Once you understand that there are problems just waiting to be solved, once you realize that you have all the tools and all the permission you need, then opportunities to contribute abound.

No one is going to pick you.  Pick yourself.

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Do you make these mistakes marketing your product?

Do you make these mistakes marketing your product?
by Andrew R. Spriegel
February 23, 2011

ANDHOW INNOVATIONS, LLC is finally ready to sign the non-exclusive licensing agreements and make money on our product!

The product is a dripless baster.  Here is the initial prototype:

 

Baster Valve

Baster Valve Inserted into the Tube

I don’t know why it took me seven years to figure out how to market my business partner’s and my invention.  My business partner is Howard Loewenthal, a principal engineer at Invacare Corporation. We developed a dripless baster that we have attempted to market and sell for years.

Here is a video of a typical baster in operation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kUYyJ5ACYA

Here is a video of the ANDHOW INNOVATIONS, LLC dripless baster

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rs5c96jKes&NR=1

We tried over and over to sell the baster with the check valve, we were in a position of weakness.  Last year we received a licensing offer from Merry Chance, a Chinese Company, that was below our expectations. In spite of our desire to so settle a deal, we turned down the offer and it dawned on me!!!

We don’t have to sell the baster!!….We just have to sell the valve!!!

INSTANTLY WE WENT FROM A POSITION OF WEAKNESS TO A POSITION OF STRENGTH!  Either you license out valve and have a dripless baster or pass and sell a baster that LEAKS!

Introducing the:

In comes Van Washburn from FIT-Brands www.fit-brands.com to handle the marketing and a new video:

www.wondervalv.com

Off to the Housewares Show in Chicago next month, we will keep you posted on the outcome!

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The Pet Rock was more than a gag or fad it was a brilliant marketing strategy

The Pet Rock was more than a gag or fad it was a brilliant marketing strategy

By Andrew Spriegel
January 16, 2011

Nothing is as easy or as simple as it seems.  How times have you heard someone say “A guy made millions selling pet rocks.”

Marketing, Marketing and More Marketing

In inventing, retail and service businesses, success or failure often depends on marketing.

Gary Dahl, a Los Gatos, California advertising professional was in a bar in 1975 with his friends who were complaining about their pets.   Dahl, as a joke told his friends that he considered dogs, cats, birds, and fish messy, not well-behaved and they cost too much money,  he had a pet rock.  His “pet” was clean, well-mannered, easy to care for, required no expensive foods required no feeding, bathing, walking, grooming, was well-behaved, had an even temperament, would not grow elderly or pass away or become sick.  They were the perfect pets, and Gary joked about it with his friends.  However, he soon took the idea seriously, and went home and started to write an instruction manual for a pet rock.  The manual was full of jokes and gags that referred to the inanimate rock as a pet.

Dahl quit his job to launch Rock Bottom Productions, the company that sold the pet rocks for $3.95 per “pet”.   Marketing, packaging and shipping the pet rock like live pets, in cardboard, pet carrier boxes, with straw for the rock to rest on and breathing holes.  Large volume sales only lasted about six months, however sales made Dahl a millionaire.

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More organizations virtualize computer stations, enabling users to access software remotely

More organizations virtualize computer stations, enabling users to access software remotely

By CHUCK SODER
4:30 am, January 10, 2011

(Reprinted with Author’s permission)

 

Most of the employees who will populate the new University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center will work on computers shaped like tissue boxes.

They won’t be alone: A growing number of companies and organizations in Northeast Ohio are working to “virtualize” their desktops, and even more are thinking about it.

For University Hospitals, the Ahuja Medical Center is just the beginning. The hospital system plans to replace most of its personal computers with those “tissue boxes” — referred to as “thin client” computers — over the next few years, said Brad Chilton, chief technology officer in the hospital system’s information technology department.

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How did you become a Journalist?

How did you become a Journalist?

Interview with Ed Waters Jr. from the FrederickNewsPost.com
by Andrew R. Spriegel

I read a great story the other day by Ed Waters Jr. about a company that uses border collies to chase geese away from ponds and grassy areas without harming them.

Dog, Dog … Goose
Unwanted fowl are no match for Geese Police
Originally published June 14, 2010

By Ed Waters Jr.
News-Post Staff

E-mail him at ewaters@newspost.com or call him at 240-215-8607.

Click here to read the story.

However, after reading the story  I was interested in how Ed Waters Jr. became a journalist.  Here is the interview that followed:

Andrew R. Spriegel: When did you start working for the Frederick News Post?

Ed Waters Jr: I’ve worked at the Frederick News-Post since 1965, started the night after I graduated from Frederick High School.  I worked as a pressman in hot type for about 13 months, was drafted into service and was in the Marines (July 1966-July 1968) including a tour of duty in Vietnam. I returned and worked as a pressman (the company had moved and installed a cold type system), then worked in other production jobs — plate making, typesetting, composing.  I traveled a lot, did photography as a hobby  and started writing travel and feature articles and taking photos of light news such as weekend festivals, etc.

Andrew R. Spriegel: You mentioned that you went to school part time while working at the paper?

Ed Waters Jr: When Hood College, in Frederick, opened up to male day students (now it is fully co-ed), I began studying in the spring of 1973.  I went part time, took eight years to get a B.A. in communications (journalism, English, art).  I had taken two internships at the paper (worked my nights off from the production department in the newsroom at no extra pay) and in January 1976 joined the newsroom full time. I was still attending Hood College, during the day, working at night and around classes covering the county government for a year, then Frederick City government for about five years.

Andrew R. Spriegel: What else do you do at the paper?

Ed Waters Jr: Along with the city coverage, I also began covering business, real estate and automotive news, which I still do today.  At the time, editors did all of the work from writing, photos, layout, graphics, etc.  Now that is done by copy editors and page designers.  I didn’t plan to be a journalist, just looking for a job out of high school.  I still see myself as an employee of the paper, after 45 years, part of the entire operation and not just a reporter or editor.

Andrew R. Spriegel: Do you enjoy your job?

Ed Waters Jr: I enjoy the job, it is an education each day to meet people, see what is going on locally and around the world. I’ve met a president (Clinton), interviewed other well-known people, traveled and got to to know some great people in the community I probably would not have known if I was in another job.

Andrew R. Spriegel: What are your hobbies?

Ed Waters Jr: I don’t do much photography any more, but enjoy working around my house, reading (histories, mysteries), exercising (walking, yoga with 5-lb weights) and church (I speak each Sunday for a half-hour service at an assisted living center prior to the regular service at the church which is nearby).

Andrew R. Spriegel: Keep up the great work.

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Innovators and Genius in Ohio

Innovators and Genius in Ohio
Tom Moran
By Andrew R. Spriegel
December 30, 2010

There are many stories about the lack of innovation and the down economy in the Ohio and Cleveland Area.  Enter Tom Moran of Midwest Plastic Fabricators (MPF) in Aurora, Ohio.  Innovator and Inventor of numerous patented manufacturing processes and products, Tom is a 45 year veteran and leader in the industry.

One of the innovative products is a line of NEMA PVC Junction Boxes.  A combination of innovative materials and patented cutting edge technology combines for easy installation and reduced life cycle cost.

PVC offers less resistance than conventional metal in cutting holes for conduit entrance.  In addition, non-conductive PVC eliminates potential shock hazard.  In addition, its non-corrosive properties offer longer life and environmental integrity.

Photo Above: Light weight PC Enclosures offer Heavy Duty Performance for food process applications

Photo Above: Innovative Non Metallic PVC Enclosures feature Three-Point Latching

Photo Above: Patented PVC Elbow Crate Saves warehouse Space and is a dispenser pack.

Consider the Fulton Road Bridge,

a Cleveland engineering landmarks is a $44 million architectural attraction that spans the Cleveland Metropark Zoo


and Big Creek Valley.

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Attorneys have been laidoff from Large Law Firms and have to set up a New Office – Go Used!

Attorneys have been laid off from large law firms and have to set up a New Office – Go Used!
by Andrew Spriegel
December 9, 2010

Being an attorney and having attorney friends that have been laid off, I see those friends quickly rent cheap office space, rush out to Office Max and buy inexpensive furniture that does not exactly ‘WOW” a prospective client.

I am suggesting you go USED!  One of the large law firms I used to work for bought their furniture from Office Furniture Warehouse at 4100 Payne Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44103, 216.431.2700, 216.431.7778.  This is not a paid advertisement or endorsement.  There are used furniture stores all over, I just happen to like the team at their store, the great furniture at the store and I have purchased a lot of it.  I would never consider buying new office furniture for my office or home again.

Here is one of my latest purchases, I wanted additional two 5 drawer Steelcase (Great Product) lateral files.  The files look brand new and they were approximately $379 each plus $75 deliver or about $833 + a $20 tip for the deliver guys, so a total of $853 TOTAL.  The files look brand new, have the keys for locking the files and they shipped them with an abundance of dividers!  By the way the drivers are great and very careful in moving the furniture.  Below is a picture taken off of Office Furniture Warehouse website.

Just for comparison I called a local company (Canton Ohio) for a quote on new Steelcase in “case” I needed more lateral files in the future.  I try to shop locally as much as possible or in Ohio.

Here are drawings/informational sheets and the attached quote for the new lateral files:

So here is the quote:

So here is the actual quote from a company located 7 miles from my home in Jackson Township, $2586.25.   So I SAVED $2586.25 – $853 = $1753.25.  So to all my clients and future clients, let me say I am not cheap, I am saving you money by reducing overhead and going green (the cabinets look better in my office than a landfill) so that I can pass that savings along to you.  So if you read this post please ignore the tiny, almost imperceptible ding on the lower cabinet door on the right side cabinet.  I interviewed Allen Ferber, the owner of Office Furniture Warehouse.

Question: Where do you get your furniture?

We get out furniture from mostly very large companies who are either moving and/or purchasing new furniture.  More than half comes from the east coast, about a quarter comes from places like Chicago and Detroit, and that balance from metro Cleveland.

Question: How do you advertise and promote you business?

People find us in many ways. We advertise on Television, the internet, various print media – business magazines and newspapers.  We also get a lot of our business by word of mouth.

Question: How far do you ship furniture?

We ship mostly in the eastern half of the United States, however 80% of our business is within a hundred miles of Cleveland.

Question: What type of furniture do you sell?

We sell mostly high end office furniture and some nice home office furniture, with very little lower end furniture.

Question: Where are you located?

Our business is located about 3 minutes from downtown Cleveland.

Question: Where can I see you furniture?

A cross section of the furniture is put on our website. – we encourage people to call with their needs and we can within a few minutes e-mail pictures of various items that may be of interest.

Question: Can I get get a discount on my next purchase for writing this article?

Andrew, I have a call coming in on another line, I have to go, let me call you next week.

Yo Allen I am still waiting for your call!  Either way you have saved me a lot of money!

Take Away: So if you are looking to opening a new firm or business I recommend buying used.  In addition, if you are a new client think of the money I am saving you!  Not to mention the great work/services we perform.

Office Furniture Warehouse at 4100 Payne Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44103, 216.431.2700, 216.431.7778.

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