Friday, May 8, 2009

Back on track, again

I admit it, it's been months since I wrote about 3D Radio's bizdev progress.

Is no news good news?

Perhaps. Much of the past three months has been spent hunkering down (note the passive voice), working with my business coach on Q2 goals and strategy; pursuing yet another new, low-tech venture, Celume Creek Design; caretaking my mom as she recovered from knee replacement surgery; and building up my own physical and entrepreneurial strength following hip replacement surgery.

Celume Creek was top of mind when I returned from playing nurse, because I had a major sales opportunity to prepare for and execute. But I've devoted this week almost entirely to 3D Radio.

This quarter's strategic plan remained open on my desktop and laptop. Made more efficient through Allway Sync, a freeware file synchronization utility I recently discovered. Now I'm much more confident about having identical documents and correspondence on both machines. It sure makes working in coffee shops, (a sanity-saving method) easier. Today's is Ziggi's in Longmont, CO.

To those I've email and called, thanks for the hearty responses. It's great to know you're still thinking of us, too. To thoses I haven't reached out to yet, we'll be in touch soon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spelling ZZZZ

It's a well-known fact that spelling skills have gone by the wayside. Not having to know -- spellcheck software -- and the need for speed -- txt abrv8x -- have caused a certain amount of WCA when it comes to putting the correct letters in the correct order.

For IM among friends it doesn't matter as long as your message gets across.

But there are times when you should pay more attention. Your organization's URL, for example, is a word you really want to get right. Especially on the PowerPoint deck you're showing to an audience of 250.

During her presentation to the Colorado Green Tech Group Susan Innis from the Governor's Energy Office talked about the Colorado Carbon Fund. The fund is actually financed by consumers who purchase carbon offsets, which support clean energy projects in the state.

Embedded in one of her slides was the organization's URL, Missing a crucial "b."

Personally I liked the typo because it looked like the money would go to support me. Well-meaning heckler that I am, I pointed out it out to the audience with the suggestion that they see me afterward to hand over their checks.

The spelling error was far from the only one during the evening, although the folks who shouted out that "fluorescent" was misspelled in another presentation were mistaken.

I admit I'm a stickler, and that's why I get paid to edit other people's writing.

But when the word presents a call to action, like "go to my web site," there's really no excuse for not getting it right.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The artist entrepreneur

In case you hadn't noticed, life is tough these days for those of us in consumer electronics. With consumer confidence at the lowest point I've seen in my lifetime, discretionary income -- what little of it people have these days -- isn't going toward nice-to-haves, like radio enhancements. It's being spent on perceived must-haves, like digital TV sets and set-top boxes (although now you can blow it off until June since Congress passed the "DTV Delay Act").

During the slump we at 3D Radio haven't ceased thinking up great additions to our groundbreaking technology. Our intellectual property portfolio keeps on growing; we've already filed for two new patents this year.

But business development has just about ground to a halt. Our business development executive (that would be me) can hardly bring herself to do the outreach she knows needs to be done because she knows the response will probably be a resounding "Maybe." At least with "No" you know definitively where you stand: Don't call me I'll call you. "Maybe" still leaves the door painfully ajar.

Ms. Bizdev had an interesting revelation recently during a group coaching session with her business coach. The coach led the the group through a guided meditation (this is Boulder, after all) designed to provide a kind of professional vision quest.

During the five-minute interlude I found myself hiking up one of Boulder's many foothills trails. (I haven't actually hiked in months because of my bum hip, so the visualization was very therapeutic in itself.) At one point we were told to open a book and read a random page in it. My Bible-size book had no name; the page read simply "Keep going."

Once returned from our journeys and back at our desks, we were asked what our book's message was. Mine was very clear: Don't let the current economy get you down -- keep 3D Radio going."

But how to keep up my enthusiasm for a project that has felt like one step forward, two steps back? How to maintain my interest when really, truly, I'm having a lot more fun being a potter than a high-tech entrepreneur? How to infuse business development with the creative spirit I feel when building a ceramic coffee cup?

The answer? Right here on this page.

Remember it's the journey, not the destination. Remember the story of the journey is just as legitimate as the finished product. Remember the story has an emotional arc, and it takes an artist to express that movement and growth.

So write about it why don't you?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

Last Friday when I got out of bed I was most of the way across the room when I realized I wasn't limping. "It's been six weeks," I said to my husband. "I'm not limping. I guess I'm done."

They tell you it takes about six weeks to recover from total hip replacement surgery. And on day 42 sure enough I walked cane-free.

What I don't know is how long it takes to recover mentally.

The past couple of months I've been telling myself, come February I gotta get back to work.

As I eased back last week (didn't want to pop out of the ground suddenly today) I did some writing and editing for friends and clients (my "day job"), glazed a kiln-full of pots and sold four (my new craft business), and thought about what needs to be done next for 3D Radio (my entrepreneurial exploit into consumer electronics and the raison d'etre for this blog).

But haven't done a damn thing yet except launch Blogger. My shadow indicates six more weeks of procrastination ...