July 31, 2007

New Banner!

We'll, like I said Jeremy Wold was able to do a quicky fix for me to get my banner updated. It's not perfect but he got it to work better than me.

July 30, 2007

Oh the insanity

I'm insane!

Albert Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. (It may also have been Ben Franklin, Google said both.)

For the past three days I've been trying to update the banner on my blog. Although the green- square-pixelation-thingy is cool, it's not so much what I'm going for. I've successfully been able to update everything in the template that I really want to change, but that darn banner is a real bugger (to be pronounced with an English accent).

I have always loved blogger's easy to use interface, but I'm disappointed in this one.

I want the banner be this...so let's all just pretend it is for now.

I've always said I never really wanted to learn to code, but now I'm kinda rethinking that statement because html is stumping me. Not being able to figure this out is really humbling, as I generally consider myself pretty technical.

I guess I'll have to go back to my good 'ol buddy Jeremy from Wold Creative Group.

July 29, 2007

Support Your Network-of-Success

The excitement and anticipation of starting my own company has completely overtaken my thoughts since quitting my job 3 days ago. I gave a 60 day notice to help transition everything, so I won't officially be on my own till October 6th. But all I can think about is planning I need to do and getting my website up. I'm having a tough time not spending bunches of money on a really great website and marketing material, but know that I'll get way more customers through word of mouth marketing than my website. A do want a really solid website still.

On Friday I ordered my new business cards, so they should be here this week. I'm so excited! I am super stoked on the design that Wold Creative Group did. Jeremy Wold is a long time friend and recently started his own marketing and design company, so supporting another entrepreneur feels good, too. I already consider Jeremy part of my network-of-success because I know he helped me create a logo that people will remember. I really like Jeremy's style because he believes in simplicity and pure elements of design. If you need design or marketing assistance, you should check out his website and shoot him an email.

The picture below is what Wold Creative Design put together for me. Below that is what I sent him as an idea...and now the world understands why I desperately needed his help.

Front of card by Wold Creative Group

Back of card by Wold Creative Group

Front of Card that I designed...it's not horrible, but it ain't no Wold creation!

Back of card that I designed. I did come up with the shortened version of "hospitality technology made simple"...which I felt pretty good about.

July 28, 2007

A Realistic World View

I recently finished a book that changed my "world view" perspective more than any other book. By world view I mean viewing the world as the world, versus from our completely isolated view in the Western world. In Santa Barbara I am surrounded by some of the most obscene wealth in the world and it's easy to get caught up in it.

The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs is a must read for everyone in the Western world, especially Santa Barbara. Jeffrey Sachs is a altruistic economist that has advised just about every major political figure on the third world economics, and is currently a special advisor to Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General. The big thought of the book is our generation is the first in history that has the financial capability to end "extreme poverty". The book highlights the UN
Millennium Project, which is a plan to end "extreme poverty" by the year 2025.

The book defines extreme poverty as the 2.5 billion people in the world that live on less than $2.00 per day, and that we have the ability to provide the necessary money and supplies to end that. Read the book and get involved.

You don't have to agree with everything that Jeffrey proposes in the book, but it's hard not to be affected by reality of information that he provides.

Five Years of Wonderful

Five years ago yesterday I married my best friend!

For our five year anniversary I surprised Chrystal with a trip to Santa Ynez. We stayed in a quaint B&B called Meadowlark Inn and went wine tasting for the first time. Both of us thought it crazy that we have lived in Santa Barbara so long and never gone wine tasting.

When we arrived I was a bit disappointed because the B&B was not what I expected. I was expecting something a bit nicer, but the old adage “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” definitely applied. Upon arriving, the inn keeper welcomed us by name and was so friendly we immediately felt at home. We stayed in the Cabernet suite, which has a funny hot tub on the patio (check out the video). There was a mix up with our wine tour schedule where I thought it was Saturday, but it was Friday. The tour started at 11:00 but we were not able to get there till about 1:30. The staff was super accommodating, and adjusted our wine tour to start at 2:00 by picking us up half way through the tour and then took just the two of us for another two hours to complete the tour.

The best part about the tour is that the inn owner does the tour personally. We were told that she was a former restaurant owner, so she new all of the places to go that had great wine versus just popular wineries. To our delight, our tour guide was Brigitte (pronounced bri-gee-ta) of Brigitte’s restaurant fame in Santa Barbara (now Opal). We heard wonderful stories of her move to the United States from Germany and how she has been involved in starting multiple restaurants in Santa Barbara (Brigitte's, Downey’s, and Norbert's).

My favorite tasting room was Artiste, which is a tasting room and art gallery. The featured artist’s medium was wine! Chrystal and I both thought it was so interesting. All the wine labels are featured artists, and the name of that wine is the name of the painting.

At the last winery which was my favorite, Rusack, we just sipped wine and talked with Brigitte about the restaurant industry. The winery manager finally had to come and kick us out because they were closing.

What really made our stay, other than it being with my best friend, was that we were treated like family. It is not the nicest B&B I have stayed at, but it is definitely my favorite experience at any B&B. Brigitte and her staff staged a great experience that we will forever correlate with wonderful memories. As a business owner Brigitte really understands that hospitality is about staging a memorable experience for the guest.

We definitely plan on doing future wine tours with Brigitte, and hopefully she will be a future client of kevin sturm Consulting as she is going to open a restaurant at her other B&B Story Book Inn.

If you would like to contact Brigitte directly to inquire about a customized wine tour you can reach her at info@meadowlarkinnsolvang.com.

July 26, 2007

Step in a new direction

Yogi Berra once said, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it."

Tim Sanders is one of my favorite authors, and has a business philosophy of surrounding yourself with "ed" people, not "ing" people. Recently, I felt like I had become an "ing" person. I was always thinking about starting my own company, planning on it, or waiting until I had enough money to start one. I was working on business plans or bidding my time for the right moment.

We'll I got tired of being an "ing" person and became an "ed" person today. After almost nine years at the same company, I submitted my resignation today. I gave a 60 day notice, and starting on October 5th will be privately employed as a hospitality technology consultant.

What a rush to enter the world of the entrepreneur. Work had been such a burden lately, and it was like having a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Now all I need to do is get some customers!