Friday, April 30

The Clarity of Cartography

This may seem heavy for a Friday, but I feel light as a feather....

My local newspaper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, has been run as of late by Brian Tierney. The paper, deeply in debt, was sold yesterday. Tierney valiantly, with a group of investors tried to keep ownership local, but it was not to be. After a 29 hour marathon session the creditors, led by a New York based hedge fund won out.

When it was obvious Tierney lost, he walked around the room, shook hands with every single creditor and negotiator and promised to make the transition a smooth one. He has passion for the paper, love for the work and a grace and dignity not often seen in trying financial times.

This small gesture brought clarity to two things I've been struggling with.

1. My map jewelry, so simple in design has always brought me delight. It's because, as I have said many times, of the connection of celebration it brings in weddings, anniversaries, birthplaces and adoptions.

It also became the source of consternation when it was not just copied, but that those that sought my advice started calling the design their own. So, instead of lamenting about it, it has pushed my creative effort. Now I have a shop full of different work, a mind brimming with new ideas. So, thank you.

2. I've also said that I had been reading a lot of blogs and websites to help grow my business. A few months ago I started writing to some of the authors. I've tweeted, I've emailed, I've asked questions in their comment section. And guess what? Except for the insightful Fred Wilson, I have not gotten a reply. My guess is that Mr. Wilson is busier, smarter and more polite than all the rest of the bloggers put together. He's also the most successful.

For folks that talk about good customer service and the sharing of ideas, they certainly don't practice what they preach. I've learned during this experiment that I'm just as smart as they are. Oh, I may have a longer learning curve, fall on my face a few times, but I'm ACTUALLY running a business and not telling other people how to do it. So, thank you. My inbox is a lot less full now and I have a new found confidence.

Disclaimer: I have never written to Seth Godin because I pretty much soak up whatever he says like a sponge. In the back of my mind, I also think he would answer.

So on that happy note, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Kiss the ones you love,


Mary said...

nice post on lots of levels ;-)

Julie Beck said...

I have found the same thing. Often times if I really like a blog, I will write a personal email to them and tell them what I like about it. less than 10% of the time, I get a response back. Blogging is a 2 way street and you can see who realizes that when they respond to comments and emails. It's just like twitter. Many people use it as way to announce their own marketing and products... and never listen to what others are saying/responding. just ACKNOWLEDGE their existence and you're halfway there! ANNOYING.

Anyways, love your newest products. Your personality shines through :)

Annette F Tait said...

Sherri I'm sorry to hear about the blatant plagarism of your unique map artwork.
I won't even begin to write what I think, I'm sure we all know what it will be like.
On the other hand, new ideas and directions are great and a true artist will never be in need of a new path.
It's a sad reflection that you received very little responses, but in a way the good thing is that you can now be more selective about who's blogs and advice you follow. I feel that a thoroughly decent person has the time to talk to everyone. It is only polite and manners, firstly, and secondly it opens doors.
I read Rhiannon's blog - she has very good tips -
and Laura Bailey -
and they are both nice ladies too!
Wishing you the very best of success and more success.

Catherine Ivins said...

Great post Sherry- I am feeling lighter, too- I think it is the sunshine for me though. How have I been missing Fred Wilson?!

xo- Cat :)

Sherry said...

You all make me feel like I haven't been talking to myself. I truely value what each and every person says, so thank you.

I'm a true believer in lessons learned at every turn.


Kathy said...

There is always something to learn Sherry and you are obviously an outstanding student! Your work is beyond awesome! :)

UnaOdd -Lynn said...

Innovators are able to re-invent, are open and receptive to ideas and inspiration. They ARE inspiration!

You are an innovator.

I am finding that online, electronic communication just so often fails. Numerous e-mails that I have sent to companies concerning products that I would like to BUY have gone unanswered.

My husband says he doesn't have nearly the success with getting co-workers to respond to questions when he e-mails as he does when he talks face-to-face or calls them.

elisa said...

It totally stinks that someone is copying your idea. Now that I think about it, I think I saw what you are talking about. I am, however, very glad that you are using it as a springboard to think of new things.
I totally agree about bloggers who don't follow up. Especially when they are talking about the business of being a blogger/artist (and I'm assuming they are also discussing how important connections are as bloggers/artists). I have been very disappointed with a few bloggers and how they don't respond to posts so I've stopped following them.
Anyway I think you are an awesome blogger and businesswoman!

Anonymous said...

I can attest to having a long learning curve as well, but I think it's all a part of the process. We are never done learning, never done growing.

Thank you for this post Sherry, it came to me on the perfect day!


much love to you my friend.

Waterrose said...

Your designs will always be first and the rest merely a copy...for that you can certainly be proud.

There have been so many times that I have contacted a blogger/writer and never received a response, but when I do I get so excited. No answer does produce a response in me that those people really aren't concerned about anything but their bottom line. So, I generally lose interest in what they have to say.