Why 2013 Is Going To Be My Bitch – Part 1

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Being that there is less and five days until the New Year I’ve been thinking about my resolutions and settled on a few good ones that I’d really like to stick to this time around. I love to write. I’ve referenced my writing passion in a few posts, which you can take the time to find archived if you wish. I don’t write nearly as much as I would like to and that can be chalked up to laziness and writing blocks.

Also, reading is another passion of mine. When I was a kid I would stay up really late reading books in my room with a flashlight. Actually I’ve done that all my life. I devour books and can’t put them down until they are completely done. Don’t get me started on book series, I could read each book back to back and never want them to end.

What does any of this have to do with anything? Well, as much as I would love to be a full time writer and reader I’d settle on being a full time copywriter. For Christmas I asked Santa Justine for the copywriting self study course by Ashley Amirge of The Middle Finger Project. Justine came through and now I am the proud student of this awesome course.

The Middle Finger Project -Copy-writing Workshop

It’s an eight week self study course filled with videos, assignments, and in depth knowledge of becoming a successful copywriter. I’m excited because this way I’ll be able to use my already impressive writing skills to become a full time self sufficient contractor. Hopefully by the end of the course I’ll have the beginnings of a well put together portfolio and at the very least have new skills to make this blog even better.

2013 is going to be my bitch because I’m going to finally escape the confines of a traditional 9-5.

Bring it on 2013. I hope you’re ready.

Cheers,
EA

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Oh God, I’m One of Those

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You know those people that will do anything for a buck. Well almost anything, short of selling their grandmother or selling crack  or walking the street. Those people that come up with the next big thing and it’ll just take them a few more tries until they get it just right. I’m one of them. Or was one of them until came to my senses.

I’m tired of “chasing the dream” when I can’t even remember what the dream really is anymore. I’ve done everything I’m supposed to in life, thus far at least.  I’m chugging right along, but I’m not happy. I’m not fulfilled. I have a decent paying job that pays the bills. I have decades ahead of me that can be wasted at this job but I don’t want to continue on this melancholy existence of working for “The Man.” But, I don’t want to be one “those people” that others refer to as a fast talking, money chasing, failing entrepreneurs. At least I won’t sell my grandmother or sell crack and I’d never walk the streets.

I know at heart I’ll never really be content sitting behind a desk in a room filled with cubicles being washed over with fluorescent lights humming throughout the silent screams each person makes while they type and click for 8 hours a day five days a week.  I tally the days on a 3 by 5 card at my desk, slowly counting until I’ve had enough and grow enough courage to just call it quits and finally do what I want in life.

I don’t want to be one of those people either. One of those people that give up on life and succumbs to the mundane existence of attempting to live the “American Dream.” I fight day in and day out to maintain some kind of sanity while I commute even though I have an epic battle within myself. A part of me says, “Just don’t do it. Quit. Stay home and start writing instead. You can make a living blogging and you can finish that book you started years ago. What about the mobile boutique you wanted? You can live off of saltine crackers and everyone will understand if the wedding isn’t as lavish as they thought it would be.”

Then there’s the rational side that screams,” GO TO WORK. You have to make a living and no you can never make it as a writer. There are already so many of them. No one reads your stupid blog anyway and you have to work. All of your previous ‘businesses’ have failed. SO GO TO WORK.” That side always wins and I find myself pulling up to my job, getting out of my car, and sitting in my cubicle pretending to be fulfilled.

Either way, I am one of those and worst of all I’m both. One day I’ll be neither, eventually. /rant

Until then I’ll keep on keeping on and promise to write more on the blog.

Cheers,
EA

Hey There Honey Boo Boo

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I really have to stop this disappearing thing, I mean really. Anyways, during my prolonged hiatus a lot has changed.

For starters I’ve gone to Disneyland, twice. Justine and I renewed our annual passes so we took the time to escape from the day to day and head down to our Happy Place for a weekend at a time. Justine loves the Pixar movie Cars & Cars 2, so we were obliged to visit Cars Land now that it is open in Disney California Adventure. It was simply amazing, plus we got to wear our matching Disney t-shirts.

Also while I was gone I baked a little bit, a bunch of mini apple pies here and a batch of banana bread muffins there.

We sent out our Save the dates and I finally stopped gnawing at my stubby finger nails and let them grow. Thanks to Pinterest and Instagram I was addicted to changing my nail polish every few days or so. Unfortunately a little over two weeks ago I started to chew my nails again. But, I know I can stop again and I will.

I got a new job. After being a college graduate for a little over two years I finally earned a job where I can start my career doing what I went to school to do. I have a title and I’m finally salaried. I feel so grown up and so far I’m enjoying the environment and challenges it brings. The only downside is that I work full time now and barely have time to bake or run The Beast Bakery. Frustrating to say the least but at the current moment we need a stable income so that we can have our wedding and pay the bills.

 

On a lighter note, I dressed like a Zombie for Halloween. It was a little last minute but I think I pulled it off pretty well.  My new co-worker turned me on to a new craft which I have began to practice and master. I love learning something new and it doesn’t help that it can actually come in handy some day.

Justine’s cousin invited me to vend at her Annual Holiday Home Boutique. It was fun and my mom attended with me and it brings me great joy to spend time with her.

Overall, I’ve been living life and trying to stay on the brighter side of life instead of dwelling on the negative. I’m not going to sweat the small stuff and continue to persevere. One day I’ll have my bakery one way or another. In the mean time you should head on over to The Beast Bakery’s Facebook page and take a gander at what I’m offering.

Holiday Gift Baskets anyone?

Cheers,
EA

Plan B 2.0 – Virtual Baking. What?!

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The Beast Bakery didn’t go as planned. Yea we know already. So what is a little baker to do? How does a baker bake without a bakery? How many times can I use the word ‘bake’ in a paragraph. Or hell a blog post?! A butt load so get ready.

Due to the fact that there is no real bakery, The Beast Bakery instead will be a virtual bakery. A what? I will bake from little kitchen here at my little house in my little town. Instead of striving for an unattainable physical location, the use of my very own kitchen will do. I mean it has done so well since I began so it will have to do for the immediate future.

Also, since I won’t be driving around peddling baked goods to cookie fiends, I’m going to be teaching you, my lovely readers, how to bake, decorate and DIY the hell out of some baked goods. All you have to do is check back to the blog every now and again for all the new wonderfulness that is planned.

Deal? Deal. I’d shake on it but I don’t know where your hand has been, so we’ll fist bump instead. *fist bump*

Now on to the good stuff. What are you in for you ask?

 

My original recipes, recipes that have been passed down to me and even some I’ve altered over time.

 

 

Step by step guides on how to bake, decorate, and DIY all kinds of sugary goodness.

Everyone LOVES Pinterest. I bet you’ve seen tutorials and recipes on Pinterest tried them at home and been like, “WTF. My cupcakes look like dog poop. Why don’t they look like these beautiful masterpieces on Pinterest?!” I’ll be reviewing pins and tell you what’s really up and how to tweak specific pins to work best for you, a real person.

I’m getting married (civilly unioned actually since same-sex marriage isn’t “legal” in the great state of California) in less than 9 months so be prepared for wedding updates and some other daily shenanigans.

Excitement cannot define how I feel about The Beast Bakery 2.0. PLUS, by mid-October there might be a Cookie Club you can sign up for to receive a “Cookie of the Month.” Hot damn! I’m in business again!

I want to hear from you- Are you in? Are you excited about the awesomeness headed your way?

Cheers,
EA

So You Failed Kid, Now What?

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Hello. My name is Erika and I’m a failure. In so many ways I’m coming to accept this statement. What did I fail at you ask? Oh just my campaign to raise funds via “Crowd Sourcing” or “Crowd Funding” whichever you choose. Basically, a little over 50 days ago I set up a campaign through IndieGogo.com to raise enough money to start a business. At first I was determined to have a mobile boutique, but unfortunately thanks to local and state regulations I was given a no-go on permits and licenses until further notice.

I quickly bounced back from that minor setback and decided that I would go all in, I mean really go big or go home, and change-up the campaign to fund my ultimate dream of owning my own bakery and having it be mobile at that! Genius! Ideas were flowing through my mind like butter through the nooks and crannies of a waffle being absorbed and turning something good into something great.

I was unstoppable. Well kind of, road blocks started popping up but I didn’t let them stop me. I kept on persisting, plugging away telling everyone and everything in my immediate path about my campaign. I reached out to a local mobile food truck and they allowed me to tag along one evening to give away cupcakes and fliers.

I crashed another local food gathering to hand out fliers. I left them on tables and even with a few vendors. I was on a mission to succeed. For a long time I thought I would. I believed 110% that I would get funded and be able to make my business a full-time job. The song “Eye of the Tiger” played in my mind 24/7 and I’m sure that if there was a set of particularly high stairs I would jog up them and triumphantly pump my fists into the air while jumping.

About two weeks into the campaign I was 1% funded and things came to a screeching halt. No more donations were coming in. I thought it was a lull. I kept on promoting and giving away freebies. I talked everyone’s ear off about my business and campaign. Still nothing. I even reached out to a local radio station that has a very funny and helpful morning show. They denied me any assistance and I went on my merry way.

I thought it was a rough patch and I would get through it. As time went on and still no donations were coming in I made a last-ditch attempt to getting funded and began seeking loans from small business associations and banks. Nope. Dry as the Mohave Desert.

As my deadline approached I came to accept that regardless of how hard I tried I wasn’t getting any farther and with that I laid my head in shame and took my lashings of failure. Now, don’t think I’m bitter or giving up in any way. Not at all. In fact I am taking the donations that were provided by my truly amazing supporters and putting it towards the Beast Bakery regardless.

I am rethinking and re-evaluating my initial plan and coming next week I will be announcing my Beast Bakery 2.0 plan. Plan B if you will.

I’m just as excited and eager to get this show on the road. Someday I will have my mobile bakery. You will see me rolling down the streets of Sacramento selling cookies and various baked goods.

Until then I want to thank my true supporters: Jayme Burnside, Sam Barnes, Kelly Dunham, Douglas Craig, and my mom and dad for donating to the Beast Bakery. Your perks will be in the mail shortly!

Cheers,
EA

The Birth of the Beast Boutique

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Hello, I’m Erika, and I’m addicted to starting businesses. I am a natural born entrepreneur. The first business I started was a lemonade/kool-aid stand that sat out side my parent’s home every weekend in the summer. While other kids were running up and down the street playing I was earning quarters saving up for who knows what. It gave me a purpose and that’s what I enjoy most, being useful and efficient.

I’ve been planning on starting my own old business, The 23rd Year, for a few weeks now. Silently planning while slowly gaining the will power and determination to put myself out there. I had my reservations about starting a web presence consulting agency because I don’t know 100% there is to know about the topic but I was hoping I could do crash courses in SEO and social media marketing to set myself up quick enough.

Then something happened. I’ve never had that “AH-HA!” moment but yesterday morning it finally happened. I was reading the blogs I usually follow when I learned that one of the bloggers on the East Coast had opened her own mobile boutique. It hit me like a sack of bricks. Why not open one here in Sacramento?! BUT instead of selling vintage clothes and various antique items I could sell handmade items made by local crafters. Why stop there? Why not feature local artists and even fashion students that are aspiring clothing designers!?

That very moment the Beast Boutique was born in my mind. The simple seed of an idea to promote and sell items from local artists/designers/crafters in order to further the handmade movement. All I have ever wanted in life was to help build small businesses and to help other local entrepreneurs like myself succeed. Give them a chance that others wouldn’t give me. This is my way to do it.  I have never been more passionate about any other crack-pot business idea I have come up with like I am about this little mobile shop. Ever since that light bulb went off in my mind yesterday morning, it just won’t turn off. This light inside is burning so bright I have to put on sunglasses and I’m taking this energy and harnessing it to move forward.


I’m terrified that I will fail miserably but you know what? I don’t care. I have to do this. I’ve started dozens of ideas and even acted on a few but never have I ever taken myself down to Town Hall and requested the legitimate paperwork to get a business license, fictitious business name, federal tax id number or sellers permit. Since the moment I got home today from work and a minor family emergency I’ve been on the phone with various county and city administration departments figuring out the logistics to start a legit business.

I’m slowly making progress but my next real goal is starting a campaign on IndiGoGo to get funded to turn this life changing dream into a reality. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. I’m finally ready for the long bumpy road ahead of me, but I know it will be well worth it.

Cheers,
EA

Happy Fucking Friday

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Just like the past two Fridays I had a nice little review of a Midtown establishment that I had visited earlier in the week ready and raring to post. I went to Little Relics in Midtown and seen a bunch of stunning artworks that I took pictures of and wanted to show to all of you readers. I love representing awesome people and debuting some kick-ass stuff that’s local to Sacramento.

But then I did a Google search to find out how to make my blog my main source of income. How can I turn this blog into something that I can do for a living? I love writing. Ideas pop into my head at the oddest of times, they make me want to write them down and share them with the world. These ideas come to me when I’m brushing my teeth in the morning,  when I’m driving too close to the car infront of me while I commute to work, when I harness the dogs to take them outside.

Seriously, writing is possibly my most favorite thing to do other than reading and crafting. So of course I would be entrepreneurial and make it even more worth my while. If you were to go to Google right now and search, “How to make money blogging,” You would be bombarded with search results. I tried clicking my way through the result vomit and it was as if I was wading through to the most specific and absolutely perfect resource for me.

I found – The Middle Finger Project.  Ashley Ambirge got my attention straight away because she loves to cuss on her blog. Seriously this bitch seems crazy. She’s a woman after my own heart. It has taken me almost every ounce of energy I have not to curse while I type because even though I graduated with honors in communication I love to cuss my ass off. Yea yea yea I know it makes the curser come across as uneducated and what-have-you, but Ashley Ambirge cussed her way to $97k last year. So hmph.

Anyways, back to the matter at hand. I seriously admire this lady, she has grabbed life by the balls and started her business and took off running with it. I am going to study her free e-course because I’ll be damned if by this time next year I am still working an office job slaving away for inconsiderate, self-absorbed bosses because I want to by my own inconsiderate, self-absorbed boss!

I have a lot of research to continue and reading ahead of me but I am actually energized to get this damn ball rolling.

Have a fantastic rest of your Friday and even more kick-ass weekend!

Cheers,
EA