Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fly like an Eagle

Living in the Rust Belt has taught us a valuable lesson. The odds of working at one company throughout our entire career are about as likely as pigs learning to fly.

With the economy suffering, many people are unemployed. What better time to start your own business?

Photo used courtesy of: Ricymar Fine Art Photography. 
Starting a business can be simple. Just figure out a need and deliver the results. Just offer a simple need that people are looking for in their daily lives. I know it sounds easy, but it’s true.

Now here’s the tricky part:

Whatever you decide to do- do it better than anyone else. Take the time to reflect on how you can provide something and add enough value to the service to make yourself stand-out! Impressing your customers goes a long way with referrals and loyalty.

If you want to be successful and compete against existing business you must do something the competition doesn’t do.

Marketing yourself is crucial for your starting your own business. Figure out your niche business and how to reach your clientele. Perhaps business cards or flyer's might be all that you need. Internet sources such as experienced professionals, group forums, Google searches or associated organizations are among those who can provide useful information. Don’t be afraid to steal an idea.

Feel free to email me with any questions you have.

Persistence and time are your friends in this process. Stand by their side and you will eventually prosper.

Perhaps you will need a simple website to get started. Google and WordPress offer free access to building your own website. Another option would be to hire someone to create a site specific for your needs or purchase a premium site through WordPress.org.

There are many excellent books and social media sites available to pickup tips, facts and provide education for entrepreneurship, creating websites and marketing with social media.
Author: Chris Guillebeau

 The $100 Startup has a wealth of great start-up ideas and solid time-tested methods towards achieving success. Many of the entrepreneurs discussed in the book started with $100.00 or less to create their own income or small business. Chris keeps things simple within a do-able formula to launch your idea.

I can’t think of a better time to experience the freedom of being an entrepreneur. Immerse yourself in learning how to create a future income in something you love to do. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune; require multiple college degrees or an army of employees and an array of real estate.

The educational opportunity alone is priceless.
Besides, why wait for pigs to fly when you can fly like an Eagle today!

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bigger = Better?

Businesses spent huge sums of dollars advertising their product or specialty; yet the closest contact often fails to engage the customers.

Does anyone actually listen to the "Big Box" greeter?

Photo by: dno1967b.
Nothing against the greeter, but why not allow the employee the freedom to express himself in his message? The opportunity exists to create a remarkable first impression, instead of allowing the employee to bore everyone with a script message.

The message you are sending is the workers aren’t creative, can’t be trusted, or have the ability to think for themselves.

We employ computer geeks whose only ambition is to earn a commission. The next time you purchase a computer do your own research on a specific product and ask the sales person a few questions. It is shocking to hear the answers or observe their lack of knowledge. The big box store trains the employees to be “pushy”, aggressive and sell the additional warranty. Nothing else matters!

Sadly, this is part of the dumbing-down of the American worker and customers. The attempt to control the outcome has overtaken personalization.  The employees and customers are just a statistic.

We used to employ people and give them tools to work with to increase the company sales and the customer experience. We wanted to standout and prove we could make a difference from offering something in exchange for valuable insight.

 Instead, the message is “we are all the same.” You, me, the employee, everyone!

The good news is the Internet allows us to research and review any product available. Social media has given us the ability to discuss our questions before buying. No need for scripts or obnoxious sales people, just the facts and opinions.

The opportunity exists for smaller business to “dazzle” customers and build a following by word-of-mouth sales. Entrepreneurs know in order to compete with “big box” companies personalized service is a huge advantage. Many people want to see, touch and experience the product prior to purchasing.

The industrial age took us into mass manufacturing for the masses. The post-industrial age will lead us back to a simpler time. The return of the "mom and pop shops" that understands the need to give people what they really want is the future.

Give customers a unique quality experience and you have purchased their loyalty for life!

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Something Meaningful, that Matters!

Something that I’ve found strange since I became an author, blogger and writer has bothered me for awhile.

I’ve noticed when the momentum of doing one action causes other reactions. Sometimes those “reactions” are choices. The publicity of doing one thing signifies public awareness and all of a sudden different offers seemingly cross your path. Those options are a result of the Law of Attraction.

The problem arises when opportunities do not align with your steps to success or your business plan. Those events can lead to what I term: “The Law of Detraction.”

In the last couple of years, I took on several added responsibilities that didn’t align with my plans. I chalked it up to gaining experience. Then you realize everyone isn’t on the same trail. The result is a pending train wreck. 

By accepting those kinds of proposals you are allowing others and yourself to interfere and derail your original focus. Once you direct all your energy towards the new goal, the main reason for your success stops.

A majority of people fielding offers don’t necessarily do so, to hurt you. But, some of them do so in an attempt to inadvertently control your output, feed their own ego or ride your coat tail.

Once the dust clears you realized you have lost all of your previous momentum, some time ago. Relationships are ruined and the path you once walked easily is cluttered with uncertainty.

We are only human and can only accomplish so much at one given time. We don’t posses magical powers or have the ability to turn something into success by merely being involved, signing on, or showing up.

My lizard brain (survival mode) has been in control. The resistance (FEAR) to do my best work has gotten in the way, far too long. This is how we sabotage ourselves.

My work during the day is performed best in solitude. At night, I write alone until the wee hours of the morning. The challenge is between me and my inner self. I like to have the option to control the outcome without interruption or noise. If I fail, I only have myself to blame. If I succeed, I have an audience to thank!

Never take your mind off your goal. Never let anyone deter your plan or stop you.

When you are doing something you love, don’t abandon it. Press on.

Persistence must be your strongest asset.

It's only then you will realize- you are doing- something meaningful that matters!

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Who says- Rust Never Sleeps?

It was very encouraging to read Sunday’s articles appearing in the Mansfield News Journal concerning the entrepreneurs and the fact that North Central State College is offering certification classes for anyone interested.
Equally important is the role Braintree (based in Mansfield, Ohio) has taken by offering workspace, loans and business ideas to those starting a small business.

We are very fortunate in the Rust Belt of Ohio to have two possible sources for those considering launching their own startup business. I plan on seeking more information from both institutions and witnessing the excitement.

Mik Ballard and Carol Davis are living their dream producing “Mixblues Sauces.” A recipe and a kitchen was enough to make their idea become reality. The tasty sauces Mik and Carol create are stocked at local grocery stores and have customers overseas. Summer is a great time to try their sauces on the grill!

Former GM employee- Belinda Morgan has a unique startup idea entitled “Dreamsby offering custom built woodwork and allowing the customer to pick the type of wood and choose their own design. This is the type of business that can’t be performed overseas in mass manufacturing.  This could be a very lucrative business!

Ricardo Upchurch is already a startup entrepreneur with his own business- “Sweet Treats Down Memory Lane” located on West Fourth Street in downtown Mansfield, Ohio.  I need to visit his shop soon (don’t tell my dentist), my sweet tooth is calling!
Some of the entrepreneurs attending NCSC or Braintree will need loans or cash to start their businesses, others will require little financially. With the internet and the opportunity to network throughout different communities and cultures, 7-days a week, 24-hours a day, some will be amazed at the possibilities of earning a nice income.

As society moves to a post-industrial era, I believe the future lies with entrepreneurs and small businesses. Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated is now the largest employer in the USA. What a difference from 1972, when General Motors was the largest employer in the USA.

Today the world is different. The days of obtaining a high-paying manufacturing job is no longer part of the equation. The core of our future prosperity lies within those who dare to start something unique, original or different from the status quo.

Understanding the advantage in offering real life skills and useful resources in entrepreneurship is a huge step at North Central State College and Braintree in Mansfield, Ohio.

The opportunity for future entrepreneurs and small start-up businesses to absorb information, share ideas and prosper is our future.

My hat’s off to all of the entrepreneurs, the business startups, NCSC and Braintree.

 I wish you nothing but success in all of your future endeavors!

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

Groundhog Day?

Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.

Enough is enough!

It’s time we stood up and stop the bleeding, bullying and bureaucracy.

Let’s turn around the Rust Belt by taking ownership and lead it in a new direction.

It’s time to rewrite the rules and take a different path.

Photo by: David St. Louis

Otherwise, every day will just be another Groundhog Day!

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Rust Belt Chronicles: The Hourglass

The Rust Belt Chronicles: The Hourglass: I have a passion for writing . I don’t have to depend on anyone but myself. If I don’t like what I’ve written I can use the backspace key ...

The Hourglass

I have a passion for writing. I don’t have to depend on anyone but myself. If I don’t like what I’ve written I can use the backspace key to delete it. I don’t need anyone’s approval or disapproval. My life is that simple.

Photo courtesy of: Ben Lucier.
My stories can be inspiring or merely average. The subject can be anything I choose or something simply to motivate others. The time it takes me to write a story or blog can range from minutes, hours, or days.

Sometimes one blog can be broken down to two or three different stories. It is inspiring to me when stories roll of my mind quickly and unexpectedly. I know it’s time to write a book when my creative writing reaches this threshold.

This is one of the advantages of writing nearly 300 blogs. A writer tends to improve by repetition. The journey begins when you decide to write.

Life gives us the opportunity to do something special or unique. Each day is another chance to turn your dream into reality.

The hourglass waits for no one. I choose to use it wisely!

I hope you do the same.

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Don't Stop Believin'

 While writing and self-publishing my last book, instead of receiving positive remarks many of the comments were negative. People don’t want you to attempt to do what they don’t have the patience or interest to do.

Those sometimes well-meaning comments were tough on me because I was doing something meaningful for myself and my core audience. Those naysayers could have been roadblocks, despite the hurt- I forged ahead.

I accomplished my goal and succeeded in realizing I could create a future platform of income simply by persisting in my desire to do something meaningful.

Those same people now say: “I can’t believe you did that. I couldn’t have done it.”

The truth is those folks won’t take the time, do the research or take a chance of doing something they’ve never done before. They’ve convinced themselves to accept mediocrity.

It’s easy to live a daily routine and never challenge yourself. Living in the Rust Belt has taught us to follow the instruction manual. We aren’t supposed to step outside the box or think for ourselves. We might fail and in the process actually learn something new and discover we are capable of doing things we never thought possible.

No, we’re better off shackled to a job we hate in order to survive, until we are no longer useable or have too much tenure; then we are tossed to the curb and replaced with a younger employee.

I believe there is a huge difference between surviving and living. The difference between living your dreams and living to dream is distinct. Living in the Rust Belt has stolen the dreams for many over the years and all that remains is a broken spirit.  

 The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it.” - Chinese proverb

I no longer accept “side offers” or wish to join someone’s fantasy league. I refuse to allow anyone to derail my plans or break my spirit.

In the months ahead, I will accomplish many new goals to help those in need of turning their lives around. The need for hope in the Rust Belt is great and the chance to start a new journey and assist people in creating opportunity in their lives is exciting!  

Stay tuned for more information in another upcoming blog.

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mr. Seth Godin

Several blogs ago, I mentioned some cool startup projects seeking funding using Kickstarter. I was happy to be able to contribute to Seth Godin’s unique publishing transformation idea, which sought $40,000.00 in donations to publish his upcoming book- "The Icarus Deception: Why Make Art?" The dollar amount was exceeded within 3 hours on Kickstarter. So far, the project has more than 3,900 supporters and earned more than $267,000.00.
The project funding ends on Tuesday, July 17th.
Seth’s has built an amazing tribe of followers who are very loyal towards his art. If you get an opportunity to catch his blog or purchase any of his books, do so. If you want to hear him speak at a conference- act quickly; Seth Godin’s lectures sell- out in a matter of minutes.

Why? Because what Seth offers is rare and sometimes free. His foresight and advice in marketing and business is cutting edge. His broad marketing research is undeniable.
Mr. Godin initiates trends and proves their success by accomplishing the act himself within the public’s view. No test run, no survey, a decision is made and without fear, he walks the talk.

Seth is willing to take risks because he knows the art he creates are opportunities.  Opportunity’s are the future and the future is now!
Besides, Seth has created a tribe and a tribe of people can make things happen quickly. He is relentless in his ideology and is always pushing the boundaries. Change is constant so his followers are never bored.

Mr. Godin often states the importance to finish, do it, ship it or simply get it done. Fear is not an option. That’s why he has the Midas touch. The Kickstarter project is an excellent example of this concept.
Congrats to Seth Godin and his tribe!

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


The Rust Belt Chronicles is a result of witnessing, watching and learning the habits of the Industrial Age mindset. The years of going from a boom town to perhaps the new (move over Youngstown, Ohio) - "The Rust Belt Capital of the World" in sunny Mansfield, Ohio has taught me not to accept the rerun of "Ground Hog Day" from the rust belt theater.

The mindset isn't limited to the remaining or former factory employees. Over the years, it has extended itself throughout various institutions, corporations, and businesses rewarding those: that don't question authority, are unable to think for themselves and strive to be a "cog in a wheel" and nothing more!

Except these days, there is no gold watch. Instead you are laid-off, downsized, outsourced, or re-structured. Oh, by the way; all those years of being compliant, following the manual, and accepting mediocrity basically qualifies you for a job in food service.

The Rust Belt Chronicles is also for CEO's, Presidents, Vice Presidents, Senior Management, directors, supervisors, business owners, public relations, marketing, and human resources (?) personnel.

It's not 1959- the old rules of marketing, public relations and employee treatment have changed. The top-down management approach is ineffective and the marketing approach of many businesses is outdated. It's time to change how we manage and do business.

What was once a blessing- is now a curse for many people living in the Rust Belt.

But it doesn't really matter where you live- when it comes to the Industrial Age. We are all in the same wagon train. The American dream has changed profusely.

We sense the frustration in dealing with something you don't understand or was never mentioned at school. That total feeling of futility and not knowing what to do next. Perhaps you're laid-off, jobless, hopeless, tired of being a "cog in the wheel", mentally beat-down, emotionally drained and verbally abused or bullied.

The Rust Belt Chronicles is about:

  1. Evaluating your life and your goals.
  2. Discovering your passion to find the work you love.
  3. Thinking "outside-the-box."
  4. The courage to conquer fear.
  5. Breaking down the barriers in the workplace.
  6. The power of social media marketing.
  7. Eliminating debt, so you can live like no one else.
  8. Starting your own business or becoming an entrepreneur.
  9. Doing something meaningful, that matters.
  10. Ending procrastination and doing it now!
  11. Giving you the personal tools to work with to achieve success.

Whether you are an employee, management or unemployed- we can turn this predicament around. The old days are gone. It's time to move on, recover and change your life.

Please join me by following The Rust Belt Chronicles as together- we will make a difference!

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

Friday, July 6, 2012

What message are you sending?

Photo courtesy of  Kevin Dooley.

A mediocre band director conducts the musicians and sets the tempo.

 A great band director inspires the musicians and the audience.

The great band director realizes he is leading people to invoke a mood or tell a musical story by creating art, while making a powerful impression to the listening and watching him (customers and musicians).  

The other band director is merely showing up and doing what is required.

What message are you sending to your audience (customers and employees)?

Until We Meet Again, Jim Carver Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”Something Meaningful that Matters!www.successthroughmusic.com

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Show us you are- Who you say you are!

Photo by: Martin Howard
Companies create slogans.

They strive to market it to death.

It’s another chant, a way to get noticed and be heard.

But what is the actual internal message?

I thought so.
The advertizing dollars spent to market the “image” is really a mirage.

In the scale of creating an image, you’ve failed by “attempting to have it your way.”
The spin is only cleanup for damage control central.

Show us you are- who you say you are.
Anything less, doesn’t matter!

Until We Meet Again,
 Jim Carver Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School “Band of Gold”
Something Meaningful that Matters!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Kickstarting your project!

For those of you with an idea that needs funding to implement-Kickstarter is an excellent choice. Kickstarter allows you to post your project with a description along with photos or a video presentation. Forget about borrowing money or maxing out your credit cards to go into business.

Kickstarter is free to join. It doesn't charge anything unless the minimum funding is reached. You are only charged for what you pledge and guaranteed to be rewarded the prize offered.

You setup the pledge amounts and number of financial backers necessary to fund your project. The backer chooses the dollar amount they will pledge. In return for a pledge, the backer (donator) is rewarded with different gifts. As the dollar amount of pledge increases so does the rewards or gifts to the backer.

If the required amount of money isn't reached within 30 days, you can scrap your idea and move on. Some projects are actually funded above the money needed by 200-300%.

Obviously, getting the word out helps your goal of reaching the funded needed. People with tribes of followers have a strong chance of exceeding the goal. Web presence and social media networking skills are the easiest way to build a tribe.

Best-selling author, marketing guru and blogger, Seth Godin, recently launched a Kickstarter project needing $40,000 to release his next book "The Icarus Deception: Why Make Art?" In less than 3 hours his project met its goal. The project has 15 days remaining on Kickstarter and has earned over $253,000.00 from 3,700 backers.

Seth Godin's goal was to use Kickstarter to pre-market a book before its release changing the way traditional publishing is marketed. You can read about it here.

Another project that blew me away (and like Seth's project above I missed the chance to pledge and receive some really cool gifts) was the funding for a film called: "I'm Fine Thanks." The film is a documentary by Crank Tank Studios, who travelled the country to interview people who created their own success by not settling for mediocrity. (This is the stuff I love to write about and I can't wait to see this motivating film).

The 5-man film crew asked for $100,000.00 in pledges. At the end of the 30-day run on Kickstarter, the artists raised over $116,000.00 with 4,700 backers to make their project become a reality.

Congrats to Kickstarter, Seth Godin and Crank Tank Studios for their successful and innovative ideas!

Until We Meet Again, Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School "Band of Gold"
Something Meaningful that Matters!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Just like Dad (A late, but better than Never- Father's Day Gift).

Note: The following are excerpts of a few pages from one of my upcoming books. It is the only way to explain my blog at the end of this story. Perhaps this is the first-ever reverse written blog? Enjoy!

When I was in my late teens I would often remind myself I didn't want to become the man my father was. It wasn't that my Dad was a bad person. It wasn't because he didn't provide for his family.

As a hobby he repaired electronic devices such as TV's, stereo systems and radios, even watches. While building houses, he built his own home entirely. He studied how things worked and learned how to repair cars, lawnmowers, toilets, dishwashers, refrigerators, stoves and plumbing. There wasn't much he couldn't build, fix or replace. Heck, Dad was doing reverse-engineering before the Government.

He charged little, nothing or just the cost of the parts, so he was always in high demand. Little elderly women would call the house if their toilet or sink was plugged and Dad would be a Good Samaritan and fix their problem.

Dad could have been a very successful repair man. He could have offered a variety of services when no one else did so. For some reason he never took the jump.

After he built a local factory owner's home Dad was hired at the homeowners business. A maintenance worker with an impeccable knack for fixing things and being a hard worker was always in demand in those days. Whether he was an hourly or salary employee, Dad was the guy the company depended on. This motivated his self-esteem.

His effectiveness and work ethic meant he would often work 60 or more hours a week. The drawback was the long hours work left little time for his family. Perhaps even worse, when he was home and not busy with yard work, repairing a car, somebody's TV, or tinkering- he was wore out. No time to take me to a ball game, fishing or doing what other children did with their Dad.

No matter what factory employed him the same scenario persisted.


My Dad represented a factory worker and I didn't like it. The lunch bucket, thermos and Dickie's uniform all represented boring repetition to me. I knew my Dad could do far better in his choice of occupations.

Dad was extremely innovative. I remember him showing me a new huge plastic molding machine that he uncrated and setup. During the setup process he actually would find flaws in the design of the machine and redesign it himself to reduce the chances of breaking down or to simply speed-up the manufacturing process. I was impressed! The company would take out a patent; increase their wealth and all he got was a pat on the back- if that!

The Inventor

He designed an in-ground moisture sensor device in the late 1970's. At that time water was being rationed in many parts of the western and southwestern United States. The device could actually sense when the ground was dry, activating a sprinkler system. Once the ground was saturated the sensor recognized the level of moisture and the sprinkler system would shut off. The idea was perfect for golf courses on a timer system and would save millions of gallons of water to regular homeowners and businesses.

Dad's only problem was a lack of marketing or business skills. Consequently, he did not approach the right people with his invention and became frustrated quickly. He gave up on his invention.

I sometimes questioned why he never went into business for himself and even offered to help him with sales. He basically depended on the Industrial style of work: a secure job, guaranteed paycheck and insurance. Stepping outside of his comfort zone represented a risk.

Another of my Dad's inventions was a razor blade that never needed replaced. The consumer would only have to purchase one blade and with his invention the blade would remain sharp.

Wilkinson Sword invited him to dinner to Pittsburgh to discuss the invention. When Dad learned Wilkinson wanted to buy the idea from him and bury it, to eliminate the threat of losing the business of selling razor blades. Dad wouldn't agree. He later learned someone had a patent from years before, so he scrapped the idea.


Once he retired, he had one last invention up his sleeve.

For security reasons I am unable to define his next invention in this blog. But you may read about it in my upcoming book. The invention could have changed the world!


Then, suddenly he had a major stroke and died from the complications.

My actual Blog:

The other night before bed my wife said to me: "You're just like your Dad. You have all these great ideas but you fail to follow through!"

She was right. The one thing I thought I never wanted to be- I had become.

We allow our ideas and dreams to die. We stop ourselves. It's easy to allow fear to keep us from doing something meaningful.

In my final years, do I want to feel like I wasted my life, when I could have made a positive impact on people's lives or perhaps changed the world? My Dad had the opportunity and failed to act in time.

I barely slept. The next morning I wrote my first business plan.

Dad.... This one's for you!

Until We Meet Again, Jim Carver
Author: The Legacy of David A. Wells- The Lexington High School "Band of Gold"Something Meaningful that Matters!