Sunday, June 28, 2009

Next Party! Saturday July 11th!

This time we're heading out to the patio around 6:30PM/7ish. The Mississippi Street Fair is also that day. Our good friend Heather is selling her art there for the first time, so we're going to go check it out beforehand. But the street fair starts early so there is plenty of time for everyone to make it back to Belmont!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dusty Nuggets

This is Justin's music blog. It's a great representation of the type of music we have in our collection.

I've mentioned it in the past but I thought it deserved its own posting. I can't tell you how many times I've walked in to his office and seen him plugging away at the blog. He updates it every day!! It's pretty impressive.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


The Small Business Development Center is an amazing place for those who are thinking of starting a business. They provide free counseling and business plan evaluation for up to five visits. They are a huge ally for small businesses and provide amazing help and resources. We got our banker, lender, clientele and overall encouragement and support from them.

Today I found out that our business counselors are on furlough until Mid July; a combination of budget cuts and the legislature cutting the overall funding by 48%. Luckily, they are both very entreprenurially minded and are starting a new business venture instead. But it made me really sad for all those potential people out there that could really use their help!

I'm sure that the SBDC will still be a valuable resource in the future. They'll just be working at a deficit for a while. Even if my counselors aren't there anymore, at least I have their inspirational quotes:

“If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative.” —Woody Allen

“Diligence is the mother of good luck.” —Benjamin Franklin

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” —Sun Tzu

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What a Week

This week has been crazy. Sunday, I got a call from a guy who needed an emergency business plan done by 2:00PM on Monday. I worked my butt off on it and got it done by Noon. That night, we went to the Jade Lounge to see what we thought was our friend Edgar DJing. We walked in and no one was there. Apparently his partner had quit the week before and it turned out that they were actually looking for a replacement.

It turned out the be the right place at the right time, because now Justin and Dameian are going to be spinning there NEXT THURSDAY, JUNE 25TH at 7PM.

Tuesday was kind of a blur because I found out that the CEO of my old company in LA had committed suicide. Great. I spent the whole day talking to old co-workers who were handling the arrangements because he had no immediate family. This is the one time that I wished I was back in LA so I could be there to help.

Wednesday and Thursday I worked all day on a project for Justin's old boss in LA uploading music. Not hard, but extremely tedious.

And then Thursday, I got a somewhat frantic phone call from my old roommate, Sarah, who had just got roped in to being the entertainment coordinator for American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. She had volunteered, thinking she'd help set up tables or something but ended up being in charge of booking all the talent and organizing all the activities for the entire thing. After looking at the instruction manual that was over 100 pages I was a bit overwhelmed myself, but I'm always willing to help out a friend in need.

So she came over last night and we started planning all the 80's inspired activities for the relayers to do. Once we got started we realized it's not as overwhelming as we thought. But we have less than a month to pull it off. Good times. I guess that's what happens when you live life one day, or one hour, at a time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On the Calendar

Things to look forward to!!

Our next party is going to be Saturday, July 11th. We're venturing out to the patio this time and starting earlier (around 6:30PM). We hung out with Carl (the owner) at It's a Beautiful Pizza for a while yesterday looking at the patio and planning. It's going to be fun!

I also just signed us up for the Belmont Street Fair. I'm really excited about this one! It's September 12th at 10AM. We'll have a booth and be selling records. I love our neighborhood and can't wait to be more a part of it!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ask and You Shall Receive

Upon visiting our house, you might notice that there is a chair deficit. It's not immediately apparent but the issue starts to creep up at dinner parties when we have to sit on milk crates.

Yesterday, I decided that if I was really going to give this business planning business a legitimate shot, then I needed a decent desk chair. I have been using the couch for all my computing while Justin uses the desk in the spare bedroom for work.

We went to two different GoodWill's last night and about four yard sales this morning looking for a chair. I only waned to spend like $15, but we couldn't find any on the cheap.

But then this afternoon I was sitting out in our "garden" in our one chair and was really wishing we had another one so Justin could join me. I decided to forget about the desk chair and just go to Fred Meyer and get Justin a camping chair. On the walk there Justin said that we could just get a desk chair and he would wheel it home. Apparently he hadn't been too scarred by the 13 block walk he made dragging our new BBQ home about a month ago.

I said don't worry about the desk chair, let's just go get the camping chair. But as we were leaving Fred Meyer with our $8.00 camping chair we stumbled upon an office chair sitting in front of a house with a FREE sign on it!!

Justin was so great, he wheeled it the whole way home. I can't even believe how good the Universe is sometimes. All you have to to is put things out there. Ask and you shall receive.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ramping up the business plans

I'm trying really hard to keep up with this blog but when things move as slow as molasses, it takes a lot of effort to come up with subjects to talk about. I find myself veering away from the "creation of a record bar" and going towards the direction of our life in general. But I guess this is to be expected. I read a quote again last week that said "Things always take twice as much money as you think and take three times as long." Sounds about right.

We have our eye on a location. We really love it but it's not immediately available. It puts us in this weird limbo period where we're just kind of waiting to see if this location will pan out. But it's that good; it's worth the wait. And we wouldn't be sitting on it if we didn't think we had a legitimate chance of getting it.

So now that we have time on our hands and the sense of urgency to find a location is gone, I find that I know all this stuff about business and business planning but can't really exercise it on my own business. I've helped a few people here and there with their business plans in the past. But now I'm thinking I should ramp this up. I've got the time and the passion for starting a business.

I met with a new client this morning and I'm really looking forward to helping her. She's creating a dance studio up near Alberta. Since I've got like 5 business plans under my belt already, the whole process is coming more easily to me. I went to the bank the other day and talked to our small business banker, Miten, at US Bank. He said he has tons of people coming in looking for loans but don't even have a business plan. He'd love to help them but he just doesn't have time to get that detailed with them. He said he'll pass them on to me and I really hope that happens.

My goal is 5 new clients in July. That shouldn't be too hard considering it only takes me like 3 days to do one plan. I'm looking forward to the challenge. And I think Justin's just happy I have something to occupy my brain (and pay some bills). :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Early Drawings

When I was a kid my mom took me to open houses almost every single weekend. We lived in Northern Virginia and still to this day there is a new development popping up every single week. This led me to becoming very familiar with the idea of "floor plans" and I started drawing them myself. I've had my dream house penciled out since I was 10. No joke.

I recently went back through my sketchbook and was a bit startled to see some of the floor plans I'd sketched of "potential locations" of ours from the last 9 months. I had forgotten about some of them and it was a true testament to how far we've come.

I'm not going to show all of them but I thought I'd share a few.

715 SE Grand

SW 1st & Oak

NW 8th & Couch

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Friends

Last night was the Beat Battle at Holocene. About 15 guys are given one hour to come up with a beat made up of samples given to them only minutes earlier. Last night's theme was Kids Music and it made for some impressive compilations.

We met the MC of the night, Erik, at our first Hall of Records party and he has become a fixture at them ever since. He asked us to come sell records at the Beat Battle and we are so grateful that he did! We met some awesome people and one girl even said she had heard about us and our parties at the pizza place!! It made my night :)

We also ended up running into DJ Sesqui, who is a friend of a friend of ours from LA. Justin and him had known about each other but hadn't had a chance to link up yet, so it was a pretty cool coincidence! He and the DJ from last night, Nealie Neal, are throwing a party June 13th at the Fez Ballroom. It looks like it'll be a good time! And we're just thrilled that we met some really good people.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Books, Books and More Books

The past year and a half has been a period of massive knowledge ingestion for me. I've been like a sponge absorbing every drop I can get my hands on. At the beginning it was books like "How to Open a Coffee Shop" and "Retail in Detail." Now I read three books at a time; ranging from business to the economy to spiritual to what can only be described to as "self help." I have a friend from High School that saw my reading list and described it as "intense."

I have a plethora of books I'd love to pass along to anyone that is interested. But I wanted to use the blog to talk about one book in particular that absolutely blew my mind and opened my eyes to a whole new world.

My Aunt actually gave me this books years ago and it took me like 5 years to open it. It's about the difference between real millionaires and those that like to portray themselves as millionaires. One example: Most of the people in the McMansions aren't "rich" at all. They're living paycheck to paycheck, or going deeper in debt, just to keep up the facade. Most true millionaires live modest existences and you'd never be able to tell by looking at them. It was completely eye opening and I think every single American should read it.

This was one of the first books that put me on the path to transformation. Before, I was not a big reader. Now I'm hooked and happy to know that the only way to evolve and grow is to keep on learning.