Feature Article: 3 Keys to Keep Passion and Play in Your Business and Life

Business Owner in the Spotlight
Ben Jones
Image Brew Designs, LLC

Refueling Recommendations
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Make-it-Fly® MarketPlace

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ISSN# 1552-3705

October 13, 2009
Volume 6, Issue 19

"In-Flight Refueling" is published twice a month.

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A Note From Dave & Victoria

Dave’s younger daughter, Carrie, was married last weekend—the last of his four children to ‘tie the knot.’ Due to freezing snow, the planned outdoor ceremony was held inside. It included nine bridesmaids, groomsmen, three flower girls and a kazoo band—even her small dog participated.

Make-it-Fly’s Conference for Entrepreneurs, Fall 2009DVDs of the keynote address by Barbara Brannen, and ten of the workshops at the Fall '09 Conference are available. If you ordered any, they’re on their way.  Click here to learn more and to watch what people said about the day.

Sign up now
for the next Make-it-Fly Cafe on Thursday, October 29, and save!

Our very best regards,

Dave and Victoria

Make-it-Fly Café - High Altitude Networking, where exceptional people help each other
Business Owner in the Spotlight

Ben Jones
Image Brew Designs, LLC

Ben Jones of Image Brew Designs, LLCWhile studying studio art at the University of Buffalo in upstate New York, Ben Jones sensed the future growth of digital media. “I shifted focus from sculpture, drawing and painting,” he says, “and began incorporating video into my art projects.” He earned his degree in computer art and design then went to work for Iridium Entertainment, a film production, development and finance company located in Manhattan.

In February of 2006, Ben struck out on his own and founded Image Brew, a boutique video production company that mixes elements of video, sound and design into powerful cinematic videos for the web, DVD or broadcast television. “The affordable and flexible applications of digital media can offer beautiful and realistic results for a business of any size,” he says. “Digital video not only offers customers striking motion, but powerful sound, titles and graphics as well.”

Q: What do you find most fulfilling about running your business?
BJ: Nothing beats being your own boss. I knew that working for myself, although extremely difficult at times, would allow me the balance in my life that would keep me fresh, excited and healthy. The most fulfilling part of running my company is the freedom to creatively direct and manage the production of each project.  

Q: What motivated you to start this business?
BJ: Realizing there was an opportunity to combine my creativity and business sense with the rise of digital video and the web, I took a chance and started Image Brew.

For me, this is a hobby turned profession. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been shooting video with friends. Excelling in the arts in high school, I studied computer art and design in college, all along continuing to work with video, often incorporating this medium into my projects. I was lucky to land a job in New York City working for a film production, development and finance company, where my eyes were opened to the endless possibilities of filmmaking.

Q: What book has been most helpful to you in your business?
BJ: Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia clothing company. If you’ve ever felt slightly uncomfortable calling yourself a businessperson, or struggled with leading a corporate, office life if you love the outdoors, this book is for you. No business owner could read this book and not think to himself, “I should try that for my company too.”

Q: Who has influenced you most in your life?
BJ: Hands down this is my mother and father. My dad has been a business owner for the last 15 years, and often reminded me that he’d mentor me if I ever wanted to start my own business. His business mindset, productive and disciplined work habits, and his sometimes-anal, organized lifestyle wore off on me as I grew older. My mom is a natural-born creative, and although she’s never taken an art class in her life, her endless support of me to follow a path in the arts has been a guiding light.  

Q: What has proved to be your most successful marketing strategy?
BJ: Every business owner needs to get out and network, shake hands and show the world why you have something special, and why someone should do business with you over anyone else. Beyond showing people that you’re trustworthy and sharp, which leads to word-of-mouth marketing, you need to create quality work, and that in itself will draw people to you and your business.

Q: What have been the greatest challenges you have had to overcome, or are currently facing, in your business?
BJ: A large challenge of ours is staying current with the continually changing equipment required for digital video production. Each year, camera equipment and computer software improve dramatically, and can become exhausting and expensive to keep up with. Always wanting to offer our clients the best image possible, we have several cost-effective methods to tackle this challenge.

Q: How did you benefit from participating in a Make-it-Fly® board?
BJ: The advisory board has allowed me to come fully out of my shell. My “shell” can consist of anything from staying in my office too long, working alone too often, getting caught in old habits, not sharing ideas or concerns with trusted colleagues, or simply not stepping out of my comfort zone enough. Seeing other business owners struggle with some of the same issues gives me hope, as well as puts things in perspective, allowing me to swiftly get over small hurdles and focus on the bigger goal for the future.  

Q: What would you say to other business owners who are contemplating getting involved in a Make-it-Fly® board?

BJ: If you’re serious about your work, and want your business to not only survive but thrive, consider this: Why go into battle alone when there are other talented individuals ready to fight alongside you? If you want to take your business to the next level, avoid re-inventing the wheel, and take away a new confidence and positive outlook on business and life in general, consider the Make-it-Fly Advisory Board. Ben Jones of Image Brew Designs, LLC

Ben Jones can be reached by phone at: 720-425-3853, or visit his web site at: www.imagebrew.com.

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Dave Block, Co-Founder of Make-it-FlyDave’s Networking Nugget:

Reach out to others. When you cross paths with people during your daily routine, make an effort to connect with them by asking questions. Seek to find something you have in common or discover something unique about him or her. Don’t waste time when waiting in lines, waiting for elevators, etc.; take the opportunity to connect with those around you.

Feature Article

Victoria MunroThree Keys to Keep Passion and Play
in Your Business Life
By Victoria Munro

We live in challenging times. Watching the news or just looking around, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, even discouraged or a bit fearful. The following three keys have not only helped me weather the ups and downs of business and life, but have helped me to enjoy the journey—and have fun along the way!

This may seem frivolous—after all, business is serious, life is sometimes hard and running your own company can be tough. However, I’m convinced that, if you want to be successful over the long haul, it’s crucial to keep passion and play alive and well in your business and your life.

Key #1
Focus on What You Love to Doenjoy doing what you do!

Studies have repeatedly shown that highly successful people are generally passionate about what they do. In his recent book, The Richest Man in Town, author Randy Jones interviews 50 of the richest men and women in cities large and small across the United States. Almost without exception these people worked for themselves and worked really hard, but thoroughly enjoyed and were fulfilled doing what they did. It wasn’t always easy, but the fact that they loved what they did helped them withstand the pressures of  business and life.

Another recently published book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, by fellow Liverpudlian Ken Robinson, addresses this issue. He claims that people are truly ‘in their element’ when they’re working at the intersection of their passion and natural gifting. For entrepreneurs, I would add a third important component: a product or service that people want and can afford to buy.

Incorporating these three elements can be key to success. It’s also important to define exactly what ‘success’ means to you.

Key #2
Un-Stress—De-stress for long-term success

Stress is part of life and, though there is harmful stress, it’s not all bad. Owning and running a business is stressful at times—after all, the buck stops with you. If you’ve come from the corporate world of regular paychecks and support systems to help you get your job done, entrepreneurship can be doubly stressful.

It can be helpful to determine what triggers stress for you, then take a look inside and find out where each stressor came from. Ask yourself, “Where and when did this start?” Identifying and being aware of what causes our stress is sometimes all we need to stop falling into the same traps again.

It can be helpful to look at the things that trigger stress for you, then take a look inside and find out where each stressor came from. Ask yourself, “Where and when did this start?” Identifying and being aware of what causes our stress is sometimes all we need to stop falling into the same traps again.

Click here to check out some effective stress-busting tips. Laughter is also good medicine for stress.

Key #3
kNow what you really want in Life—Clarify your vision and purpose

Like the account of Alice in Alice in Wonderland, many of us haven’t taken time to clearly define what we want and where we want to take our lives and businesses. Walking along, Alice comes to a fork in the road. The Cheshire Cat is sitting there, and Alice asks him which way she should go. The cat logically asks Alice where she wants to end up, to which she replies, “I don’t much care where as long as it’s somewhere.” “Then,” says the Cat, “It doesn’t matter which way you walk.” This seems absurd, yet it’s easy for entrepreneurs to become absorbed in the daily chores of running the business and become like Alice.

“If you don’t have a plan, how will you know when you get there? The single greatest mistake most entrepreneurs make is embarking on a business without a written plan.”
~ Jay Conrad Levinson and Seth Godin,
The Guerilla Marketing Handbook

It’s important to have a written plan for any business, but to be truly successful it should be based on a life plan. Think about what you want your life and your business to look like two, three or five years from now. Hanging a picture, or collage of pictures, showing your business in the future makes this even more powerful.

Keeping your desired destination clearly in view like this will inspire and motivate you to move toward it. It can keep you going in the tough times too. Plus, it’s fun to assess your progress along the way.

Keeping passion and play alive in your business and life by using these three keys can help you get where you want to go, stay healthy and balanced, and have fun along the way.

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Victoria’s Time / Balance Tip

Don’t Let Interruptions Slow You Down
When you have to stop a project you’re working on to respond to an interruption, take a few seconds first to make a note of where you are and what you plan to do next. This will help you bounce back more quickly afterwards.

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Make-it-Fly Marketplace

Make-it-Fly's Sky-PlaceIf you haven't done so already, we encourage you sign up now on Sky-Place.com - Make-it-Fly's social networking site.

Sharpen Your Speaking Skills and Grow Your Business at a Presentation Dojo

You worked hard on your presentation and afterward several people came up to compliment you on it. You think, “That’s nice, but I didn’t get any business.” If you want to grow your business through public speaking, enroll in the Presentation Dojo.

Jay Murray, of Solutions for Tuition says, “Before working with Turning Point Presentations, 3% of my audience members typically requested appointments to learn more. Now, it’s over 50% and my business is thriving.

Angela Libby Jankousky

Angela Libby Jankousky

Rev NetworkingRev Networking

Up to 20 professionals, each representing one profession, meet one on one at customized speed networking events, allowing you the opportunity to have a five-minute conversation with each participant to generate leads, referrals and business. Rev Networking is not a group, as you will meet new professionals every time and people that attend are serious about growing their business by networking and power partnering with other professionals.

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Call 303.865.8500 today
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READING THIS AD? THEN WHY NOT PUT YOURS HERE TOO? The In-Flight Refueling Ezine reaches more than 2,700 entrepreneurs, small-biz owners, consultants and marketers. Reserve your advertising spot today in the next In-Flight Refueling Ezine,

Paid Advertising Disclaimer: Make-it-Fly® LLC does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the paid advertisements above or the quality of any products, services, information, or other materials displayed, purchased, or obtained by you as a result of an offer in connection with any ad. It's common sense to do your own due diligence before purchasing any product.

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Refueling Recommendations

The Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101

Each Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 program consists of 12 non-competing business owners who meet once a month for three consecutive months. In the spirit of giving, they offer each other solutions, ideas, resources and encouragement. Dave and Victoria facilitate each group and share powerful tools to assist business owners in reaching their goals and living more balanced lives.

If you have experienced a Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board, please share the following openings with other business owners who need support. Call Dave for more information at 720-962-8888.

Programs are held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Next Advisory Board 101 in Denver:

  • Fridays - January 8, February 5, March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4
  • Thursdays - January 28, February 25, March 25, April 22, May 20, June 17
  • Mondays - March 1, April 5, May 3, June 7, July 6*, August 2

Click here to sign up for Advisory Boards.
Or call Dave at 720-962-8888.

Alumni Boards are groups of 12-14 small business owners who have participated in at least one Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 and wish to continue the support and accountability with a group of like-minded, giving business associates. Members meet once a month for a three-hour meeting. If you completed the initial Make-it-Fly® Advisory Board 101 and are interested in more information on Alumni Boards, call Dave at 720-962-8888.

Make-it-Fly Café - High Altitude Networking, where exceptional people help each otherNext Café:

Date: Thursday, October 29, 2009

Time: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10 online, $15 at the door
Click here to register now.

Location: The Riverfront
2852 W. Bowles Ave., Littleton (One block west of Santa Fe)

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