I finally figured it out. Is it too late?

Currently, I’m starting a full--time brand devoted exclusively to orphan cars. I have great help and a good business plan. (I use the term “good” loosely. Who knows?) But a recent epiphany has troubled me.

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Holiday-O-Grams

Warm Post-Christmas hugs to...

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The History of Photography in Three Minutes

Rejoice, Team Todd! I just picked up a freelance writing job!

Thanks to Tricia Nolan of Run Rampant, LLC, up in New York, I’ll attempt to chronicle the entire history of photography in three minutes. Maybe two.

My collection of subjects, verbs, dates, and years will fit into an independent documentary feature. Apparently, all of their other very capable writers are slammed right now, so I got the job! (Sometimes being 8th in line has its advantages.)

And I got it thanks to a recommendation from an old friend from Nickelodeon: Vinny Steves. Thankyouthankyouthankyou, Vinny!

More news on the History of Photography script as it develops. (Deep bows of regret for that remark)
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Farewell, Eagle Talon.

Lost my designer this week. I simply don’t think she was ready for a project like mine. She would be fine as the junior designer on a project. She also had some terrible recent personal news.

Back to Go with the visuals. Feels more like a Go To Jail card. Oh well. Temporary setback.
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This was me. Don't let it be you.

I discovered this amazing/profound article in Bloomberg/Businessweek.

It was me when I worked at Kroger. At least in the beginning. (I had a feeling that when I worked there, it would be the last corporate job I would ever take. Even then, it felt as if I was living at the end of an era. Turned out to be completely true.)

Anyway, if it looks like the author of this article is holding up a mirror to your face, don’t run away from it before you finish reading it. You can break the cycle if you have the courage (or if you’ve hit rock bottom). It’s worth it to reclaim yourself and your dreams. But only if you believe it and don’t make excuses for yourself.
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Time for a state check!

For all of you reading my Inner Dialogue on this blog, I just want to give you a hug and a name check. And the name of a good therapist. But I can’t namecheck you, because I’m not totally sure who some of you are.

Instead, how about a state check? Come here. you crazy lurker from...
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What makes a good logo?

I recently had a panic attack. I wanted that oxygen mask to drop from the overhead cabin so I could take a lo-o-o-o-o-ong, slow drag.

My design team and I are working on logos for my classic car site Gone Autos. I have two designers on this issue, and neither of them was really knocking it out of the park. Bummed out, I was. I wanted to flee, retreat, and run away. I was worried that nothing they were developing was making my emotional EKG blip.

And then...light bulb!


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I wanna crush/kill/destroy.

I’ve been listening to a lot of entrepreneurial self-help podcasts lately. A lot of voices are urging me to find my natural brilliance and work in my sweet spot. These people are wonderful, and I respect them for what they do. But my inner smartass is suffering from all of this feel good altruism.

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Production schedule scheduled!

I had a great meeting last night with my production team. We hammered out a production schedule for the Gone Autos web site launch. Looks like we should be ready to go around January 15th. I don’t know whether I’ll have all the content ready, but at least they’ll have the bucket built.

I also had a meeting with Pat Newcomb of The Entrepreneur Center here in Dayton. I presented her with my business plan. She gave me some resources for groups that are similar to Mastermind Groups. I think I’m going to need a peer group like this, because I find that I really respond to peer support and, well, being around my tribe.

One interesting thing that Pat said to me was that in order to make my business work, I would have to find more people like me. In other words, I’ll have to find more people like me in the classic car hobby. Are they out there? Not if you read magazines like Hemmings Classic Car or many of the other classic car magazines geared toward DIY mechanic types. But I DO think they’re out there. Otherwise I wouldn’t be trying. And I’ll keep trying.
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Graphic designer earns respeck

I found out today that Jenny Allen, the graphic designer for my forthcoming Gone Autos web site, drives an Eagle Talon.

As she drove out of the parking lot where we were meeting today, she stroked the steering wheel and mimed, “I love my Eagle.”

She drives the road less taken in a car seldom seen. She is on her way to honorary lifetime membership in Gone Autos.
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If you have what it takes to read through this very long headline, then you'll understand what it takes to make it in a passion-fueled business that requires a huge desire to experiment, fail, try again, ignore the critics and haters, and keep going until you find the sweet spot that just seems (finally!) to work: patience.

LOVE this old blog post from Seth Godin. I’m gonna need this advice.
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Cowork space

A friend sent me this very interesting article about cowork space in Ohio.

Basically, if you like being a freelancer, but you HATE the isolation, loneliness and despair, cowork space could be a good solution. (Please escort me to my Steelcraft computer table in the middle of a rehabbed 19th century factory building. I could use some community and some hip surroundings.)

According to the article, there’s cowork space in Akron, Columbus, and Cincinnati. But there’s none in Dayton. (Cue the pitiful groan from the studio audience.)

Gem City, I’m begging you to surprise me with some progressive thinking. Stop creating more vacant office space for giant corporations. Start building gathering places for small corporations! Of course, I’m just one drone, but I’ll be there’s a whole hive out there that would respond to an idea like this.
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The name of the new orphan car site

Most of the 10 of you who read this blog know that...wait a minute. Yes, I’m pretty sure there are 10 of you. Rewind.

Most of the 10 of you who read this blog know that I run a hobby site for orphan car fans. It’s called Torq-O. Over the years, I’ve tinkered with it. Toyed with it. Made products and sold them. Bought a TON of vintage orphan car films and recordings. Licensed my film clips to Getty Images and earn royalties every month.

But I never had enough time to turn this passion into a business. Recently, I decided to double down, reinvent the way I was living, and try to find a way to earn a living from my hobby. (Also, I realize that I’ve always wanted to build a brand. If Hungry Girl - a woman with whom I worked at Nickelodeon - could do it, why not me?)

So I’ve written a business plan. I’ve studied hard about ways to build a site and make passive income through the internet. I’ve hired a small team to help me build the site.

Now all I needed was a name. Truth is, I’ve had it all along. But I didn’t want to tell you, because the dot-com domain name was actually available. Now I’m not saying that I don’t trust you. I do. It’s just that someone outside of our tight knit circle of 10 might run off and buy the domain and squat on it. Forgive me. I had to play it safe.

When I relaunch (hopefully in January), look for my new brand: Gone Autos.
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The first roller coaster pluuuuuuuuunge!

I had my first meeting with my web design team this evening. It was a blast! We talked about the redesign of my classic car web site and how I was changing my revenue model and my content model and how I needed them to help me design look and feel and increase functionality and...(life-sustaining air suuuuuuuuuuck)...well, you get the idea.

What I learned from them is that I’m diving head first into social media marketing. I simply thought I was trying to employ a few new tricks, but my designer was totally familiar with what I was doing. Apparently her mom is doing some of the same things. “So why isn’t everyone who’s using these tactics rich?” I asked. “So many choices,” she replied. “It’s hard to stay focused on just a few tactics.”

And that’s the key. I’ve decided to pursue three revenue-generating strategies as I relaunch my classic car site. And I’m going to stick with them to build my audience and start to earn some money.

The problem is, I can’t exactly see where the bottom of that first roller coaster hill is. These are get-rich-slow strategies. At what point do I know if I’m not succeeding? How do I know if I’m on the right track? Why does the track look like it dips into a lake? Who built this friggin’ coaster, anyway?? (Oh, yeah. I guess I did.)

Well, here’s to that first guts-in-the-throat plunge!
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