Gary Bacon

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Business Creative Doesn’t Mean Being an Entrepreneur

Being creative and making Art is one of the most satisfying feelings that I experience.

However, having to create or own a business, draft up the perfect plan, and all, just before you can “get started” can be putting the cart before the horse. You don’t need to be an entrepreneur to be a maker.

Enjoy making jewelry by hand? Great. Make it for you. Don’t feel as if you have to set up shop on Etsy just because you are good at it. “But my friends all suggest I should!”

Make it for you.
No pressure.
Just make it.

Over time, if you find that it’s right, a business will grow around your Art. It will shift from being something you do in your free time to something that can sustain you.

However, if you try to start something a business for the sake of starting a business, it won’t grow. It’s like trying to chase love. You have to be a whole person first. As with finding your niche, you have to scratch your own itch first.

Businesses give structure to something bigger than you. Once your Art grows bigger than you, then it is time to give it the means to grow; the framework.

In the mean time, enjoy creating.

25 Jan 2016 • Filed under Inspire
A Sure Bet A Sure Bet

“Most artists are gamblers; they are impulsive people who don’t plan ahead.” This concept has been in the forefront of my mind for months now. The discovery was made in a conversation with my brother. We’ve seen this first hand in a few “serial entrepreneurs” that we’ve known. Start an idea, run with it for a little bit, and then let it drop or die off. Repeat.

I’ve done this myself.

I used to think this was a negative trait.

It’s not “having an unfinished idea” that is negative.
It’s not risk that is negative.
It’s not the notion of gambling that is negative.

In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert speaks of a painter friend who also pointed out that most artists are gamblers. He made note of this on why art students get degrees. However, this can apply to any project or endeavour. He says,

Gambling is a dangerous habit. But whenever you make art, you’re always gambling. You’re rolling the dice on the slim odds that your investment of time, energy, and resources now might pay off later in a big way— that somebody might buy your work, and that you might become successful.

Elizabeth Gilbert continues this thought by saying…

22 Jan 2016 • Filed under Inspire
2015 Apps My Top Apps of 2015

Inspired by this post from M.G. Siegler, I’m taking a look at the apps that I used the most in 2015. I’ll also make note of the apps that have been replaced by another app in the same category.

Apps that I use the most

  • Fantastical – Updated the app for both iPhone and Mac.
  • Simple – great bank.
  • Robinhood – no fee stock trading app.
  • Apple Music – sadly the convenience killed the Rdio star.
  • Lark – conversational health app for food logging and exercise. This has potential.
  • Swarm – gamification is back!
  • Facebook + Messenger + Groups
  • Tweetbot – still my favorite twitter app.
  • Trello – organizes my life.
  • Slack – best work collaboration tool. Period.
  • Evernote – long term note storage and information collection.
  • Simplenote – easy note taking. Use it for everything.
27 Dec 2015 • Filed under Apps, Reviews

The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my life is to be authentic, not fill the void with a sense of false self-worth. Not to say, “Look at me. I do good things. See I’m great at what I do! Right? Tell me how wonderful I am, please.”

Instead, I say: “I’m enjoying this journey, right now. I’m putting my heart and soul into this. I take the initiative. I care.”

As Seth Godin says, “Initiative is scarce.”

Overachievers place so much stress on themselves. I know, I am one. I continue to work on it.

There are times when I forget, and then I have to remind myself to be present, mindful of what’s going on, and not let the worry of pleasing others consume the happiness in me.

Instead, acknowledge that drive and use it as motivation to keep pushing the needle forward. One step at a time.

11 Nov 2015 • Filed under Inspire

The Internet has made it so much easier to find people just like us. The slightly odd, wonderful, and a taste that is as unique as our fingerprint.

Before, media dictated the standard in preferences: music, fashion, culture, food, etc; People followed in step. There was an illusion of choice, but it was dictated by a few.

That world tries to hang on to its heritage. The shadow of it still exists.

We live in truly special time.

Create. Share your art. Express yourself. Find others that spark your interest. Collaborate. Be inspired. Inspire others. It is a beautiful cycle.

Holding a firm grip onto information, your ideas, and insights only hurt you. Set them free. Share. Only by letting go, can something grow.

Many times it will grow bigger than yourself.

10 Jun 2015 • Filed under Inspire
Creating New Mental Pathways

Early On

When I was young, my parents bought me a book about Abraham Lincoln. The intended audience was geared towards kids. I remember being impressed that Abraham Lincoln taught himself how to read and write. He had a love of reading and read whatever he could get his hands on.

This impressed me so much. I thought to myself, “If he can teach himself how to read then I can teach myself to do anything.”

That started my love of reading. I’ve been self-educated my entire life. Any interest that crossed my mind would have me burrowed at the local library in a mound of books. Many memories of my childhood were spent in libraries. I love it.

Once the Internet became mainstream, I was amazed at the amount of information one could absorb. At age 13, I taught myself HTML. At age 15, I was working on learning CSS and Javascript. By age 16, I had created my first e-commerce client website. It was for a local trophy shop.

Mental Fatigue

There are times that I feel worn out after a long day’s work. Why? It is emotional labor. When you boil down what I do for a living to it’s simplest form, it is “problem-solving”. When crafting a user experience, you take the business goal and provide the simplest way possible for the user to achieve said goal.

That takes a lot of iteration, refining, and thoughtful consideration.

8 Jun 2015 • Filed under Inspire
Travel and new experiences. Travel and New Experiences

There are a few sub-themes to which I follow in order to maintain happiness. However, my overarching theme is this:

Happiness is sustained fulfillment.
Fulfillment is born out of creating art.

What does that mean? How do I achieve this baseline?

  1. Create art.
  2. Be authentic.
  3. Travel and have new experiences.
  4. Solid relationships: friends/family.
  5. Peace where I live.

Travel

Much of my best reading gets done on airplanes. In my experience, zero reading gets done in the actual airport. Too much background noise, gate changes, and the constant distractions of awaiting the boarding process. However, once I’m in my distraction-free bubble in the air, I can power through books with ease.

To try and recreate this distraction-free environment, as best as possible at home, I put on my noise canceling headphones and set the iPhone to airplane mode.

Booking airline tickets 2-4 months in advance gives me the freedom to fly. With that much planning in advance, most ticket prices are in the $200-300 range for roundtrip; even west coast trips.

Budgeting for this is of upmost importance to me. I try and keep them to weekend trips, even if it is a 3-day weekend, as to not disrupt the day job. However, I find the inspiration that I gather from traveling to new places fuels my creativity and only enhances my work.

1 Jun 2015 • Filed under Inspire
How to Backup and Rollback iPhone Apps

I recently had an issue with an iPhone app in which the latest version caused a bug that prohibited the basic function of it.

After contacting customer service, I was told the best thing I could do was wait and they were working on an app update to fix it. The app store approval can take days, sometimes weeks.

I knew the previous version worked. So I would just rollback an old version. Did I have one? Well luckily, in iTunes I did have one. In this post I’ll show you how to find an old version, restore it, and use a tool to create backups for the future.

Finding an App in iTunes

I use iCloud for my primary phone sync. However, if you can, you should sync with your computer in iTunes from time to time. In iTunes you’ll see the following: ( press the image to zoom )

iTunes Backup Preferences

Press, the “Backup Now” button to make an initial backup. Also in Options, it’s good to have “Automatically sync when this iPhone is Connected” checked.

Once you’ve done this, in the top left hand corner of the screen you’ll see a menu. Press “Apps”.

Apps

In iTunes your apps should show up. I don’t constantly update my apps in iTunes, so as you can see “Update” banner appears on app icons. This means its an older version. In this case, perfect, we want an older version.

21 May 2015 • Filed under Apple

The Wall Street Journal has Evernote integration. No plugin needed. Nice touch for quickly saving snippets of content to use later. With staples like Facebook and Twitter having been in the “share bar” on websites for a long time, it’s nice seeing Evernote getting traction in that space.

Wall Street Journal & Evernote

And WSJ subscribers even get a year of Evernote Premium for free. A smart co-branding experience for both companies.

Evernote is a tool that I use every day. It allows me to archive information, be able to put down thoughts quickly in draft form, and organize my thoughts better.

18 May 2015 • Filed under Radar
Authenticity Authenticity

There are a few sub-themes to which I follow in order to maintain happiness. However, my overarching theme is this:

Happiness is sustained fulfillment.
Fulfillment is born out of creating art.

What does that mean? How do I achieve this baseline?

  1. Create art.
  2. Be authentic.
  3. Travel and have new experiences.
  4. Solid relationships: friends/family.
  5. Peace where I live.

Being authentic.

I believe in being 100% authentic. The person that I am at work is who I am at home and amongst my friends. What you see is what you get.

After observation, some folks in life learn to conceal genuine thoughts and feelings, which can be an aspect of insecurity. A breakdown in communication sure, but they are trying to protect themselves. When encountering someone who is authentic, it can be intimidating. They hide behind a veil and this exposes them.

Trying to be someone who we are not, trying to “make the right moves”, or the fear of making the wrong decision: all of those reasons hinder us from being truly authentic.

17 May 2015 • Filed under Inspire