There is something unique about growing up in a small town that gravitates you toward shopping locally. Whether it’s pride, duty or genuine support of a friend or family member, knowing your dollar has gone to not only a community member, but a business owner you trust makes every purchase that much more special.
You want to walk through those doors. You want to shop there first. You want to brag to others that your town has the best burger joint or music store.
I’ve supported local businesses my entire life. Whether it was eating the best pizza in the world at Pizza Place on Main Street, going to my local sports card and memorabilia shop, Dakota Dick’s, Saturday mornings or buying my first guitar at Craig’s Music, small businesses were my go-to spots in my hometown of Weatheford, Texas.
When it comes to holidays, it’s all about tradition. We eat certain foods, go to certain parties and practice certain rituals because that is how it’s always been.
Halloween is a perfect example. As kids, we dressed up in costumes and went door to door in search of candy without raising an eyebrow. We bought pumpkins, cleaned out the insides and carved scary faces on them. And for what? Because that is how we were taught to celebrate Halloween. It was tradition.
I say all of this to reiterate the point that for most people, Halloween in it’s very essence is a holiday to practice traditions and rituals, not a field for innovation. The game is set. There are witches, ghosts, monsters, zombies and vampires, but no room for entrepreneurial ideas.
Wrong. Enter Mark Rober, a former mechanical engineer at NASA turned wearable tech Halloween T-shirt and costume designer. For nine years Rober worked at NASA — seven of those years spent working on the Curiosity Rover — when he had an idea on revamping how realistic and modern Halloween costumes could be by simply using smart phones and tablets.
Wendy Baldwin of ER 4 LOVE at the Zoho Houston Meet Up
One of the greatest parts about working at Zoho is the opportunity to meet and talk with small business owners from across the country. Hearing stories about people chasing their dreams and passions is always inspiring, and we are constantly energized and encouraged to learn how they have used Zoho to help them get there.
Recently, the Zoho team has been hosting Meet Ups for Zoho users and anyone else interested in learning about Zoho products in cities across the country. We have had successful Meet Ups in Austin, Houston and Boston, and are traveling to Miami next month.
At the Zoho Houston Meet Up I had the privilege to meet Wendy Baldwin, VP Operations, and Jeanine Holloway, Sales and Seminar Coordinator, from ER 4 LOVE, a company dedicated to helping married couples succeed at the “game of love.” From learning to deal with conflict to becoming a better listener, the marriage mediators at ER 4 LOVE stand by the promise of saving your marriage in two days.
The Zoho Team is headed to the northeast for our next Meet Up. We will be in Boston, Massachusetts next Wednesday, October 16 to meet with local Zoho users and also welcome new users to our suite of apps that can help you succeed as a small business owner. This time we are joining forces with On the verge, a Zoho Alliance Partner, to host a special breakfast event at the Boston Marriott Newton.
After successful Meet Ups with our users in Austin and Houston, we are excited to leave the state of Texas to meet and mingle with our customers in the Boston area. There is still time to register for the event, but space is limited so please RSVP here:
Nile crocodile and Egyptian plover
Courtesy of www.wolver.org
Have you ever heard the tale of the African crocodile and the Egyptian plover?
The story of these two species and their symbiotic relationship has been around for thousands of years. Here, both the crocodile and plover benefit from the actions of the other. Its completely mutual.
According to this myth (and loosely based facts), the crocodiles lie on the shores of the Nile River with their mouths open while plover fly into the open mouths and, like a giant piece of dental floss, eat the leftover meat stuck between the crocodile’s teeth. The plover get full and the crocodiles keep their bright smiles.
The validity of this relationship is constantly in question — in fact most believe it is a myth — but it teaches an important concept of nature where two seemingly different parts can work together for the overall good.
The first time I heard the name Arcade Fire was in February 2011 at the 53rd Grammy Awards. The indie-rock band not only performed, but also shocked a good portion of the country when it brought home the coveted Grammy for Album of the Year.
Many “long-time fans” were quick to tell me and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences we were late to the party, but there were a lot of people who had the same thought — who the heck is Arcade Fire?
No matter the level of “hipsterness” they once had — or still claim to have — the band has gone on to have major success in album sales while selling out shows and tours around the world. However, Arcade Fire recently made headlines for something other than awards or their music.
I’ve been to Las Vegas once in my life. A group of friends and I made the trip in November 2009 to celebrate a close friend’s bachelor party. Yes, we had a good time. No, it wasn’t anything like the cliché “Vegas baby Vegas,” experience we’ve come to expect thanks to Hollywood.
Either way, the Vegas strip is an incredible spectacle. People are everywhere. Buildings stretch to the sky like a stack of chips on a heater. Roller coasters weave and duck right above the sidewalks and you can eat your weight at any of the mile-long buffets.
Think about the image you have of Las Vegas. Casinos, hotels, money, expensive food and live shows. Doesn’t exactly describe a mecca or hub for entrepreneurs and small business owners working to establish their product in a city overrun with people in search of nothing but brand names, or who are even aware Las Vegas exists beyond the four-mile-long strip.
As much as the casinos and hotel feed the city’s economy, most people on the strip are not citizens. They are tourists in town for two to five days and then gone faster than Lady Luck at the craps or blackjack table. Local businesses aren’t making money off tourists. They have to appeal to the citizens of Las Vegas in a location that appeals specifically to them. That’s why I found this recent story so fascinating.