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Sweat Equity

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Summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21, but it’s already hot! Living so close to the Gulf of Mexico provides me with another glorious wonder: the humidity! Not only do you get to melt in the shade, you get those amazing sweat stains that people love to stare at.

Sweat

MMM... nice.

Summer is a great time to gain some sweat equity in your personal projects for your small business or if you’re tackling your own Gretchen Rubin inspired Happiness Project (I am doing this by the way… details to come soon!).

Personal projects really seem to come alive during this time of the year. I guess the ratio of sunny days and time to kill really balance out and so you begin to see more art, more theater, more film, and more music being plastered on Facebook walls and in Twitter feeds. I absolutely love it! People are finally out of the long winter/spring funk and moving forward.

Some folks define sweat equity as not receiving a salary at the beginning of your small business to make sure your business survives. I like to see sweat equity as the hard work and dedication you put into ANY project great or small, seeing as sometimes the final product is your only payment.

No matter how you look at it, get busy! I encourage you to put aside procrastination and the human weakness we have to make sure every pre-set condition is met before we venture out.

As Richard Branson says, “Screw it, Let’s do it!”

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Your Community Should Foster and Encourage Young Talent!…

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My hometown is a bit of a downer.

Don’t get me wrong I love where I’m from even if it is a bit backwards and small town-ish. Beaumont, Texas (pop. 111,000) isn’t exactly “small” but it’s no Manhattan. I’m relatively young still but I know that the one thing the people my age say around here is this:

“This place is a black hole for talented people or people with any type of dream other than refinery work.”

Beaumont, like so many other small towns in the middle of nowhere, isn’t short on talent. But the lesson most often learned the hard way here is unless you plan to work at the refineries that surround this area, you better start packing your bags.

The answer isn’t here, but somewhere else.

It doesn’t have to be this way, but never the less this is the situation that the “good ol’ boy” system in our area has created. They don’t want to hear your ideas unless you go off somewhere, create it, and then bring it back or if your family name is prominent then a few more doors will open for you too. When you’ve finally made some cash, then and only then are they proud to call you their own.

I hate to sound like I’m complaining but in too many ways, I am.

For dreamers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners the phrase “no” is common place. But in the case of encouraging, fostering, and setting about change in an unfriendly place, we must begin with ourselves. I can only speak for my experiences in this part of the world, but Beaumont is without a doubt a no-centric, hostile place. Not many business owners want to offer help and support or mentoring without first gaining money or a share in your company first.

It kills creativity. This way of thinking stops the next generation in its tracks. I know it deterred my plans quite a bit until I found help online. Even in this digital age though we should be able to reach out to our real life communities for guidance.

So my resolution will always be the same, treat others the way I would like (or would have hoped) to be treated.

What’s your take?

Cutting Ties w/ Bad Apples…

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It happens without fail.

You’ve got a great business idea. You have a business plan (or at least one in your head). You actually found funding! You begin to assemble a team of trusted individuals and brilliant business minds to launch this idea into the stratosphere.

But…

You begin to hear rumblings around the office. The tight circle of trusted minds and joyful outlook have turned to anger, resentment, and jealousy. The future suddenly isn’t sunny and the gray clouds have gathered above your heads.

You have a bad apple (or two) within your walls. What’s worse, it’s now affecting your mood and your productivity.
Angry Scream!

How do you cut ties with the bad apples in your group? It may be easier said than done, especially if the person in question is a business partner or friend.

Best Case Scenario: You pull the person(s) aside, tell them how their gossip and back-biting is affecting the workplace and the productivity; they quickly see the err of their ways, apologize, and the world is right again.

Worst Case Scenario: It gets worse. Now, they’ve put YOU directly in their cross hairs for even calling them out (in a professional way).

How are you suppose to handle this situation?

When it comes to business, it’s best to handle each and every decision in terms of what is truly best for your business. If you hire an outside marketing team, and sales fall flat, you cut that team and hire a new one. If the PR team isn’t generating headlines and buzz for your product, you cut ties, and go a different direction. It’s the same situation.

It’s not personal. It’s business.

You need problem solvers, not problem creators. You need sales to go up, not gossipy in-fighting that’s tearing the team down.

It may be a tough to deal with when contracts and feelings are involved. But, in the end, you know what needs to be done.

You’ve made it this far. Don’t let the bad apples ruin the rest of your harvest! Stay strong!
bad apple

Update…

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The latest episode of Archangel TV is up on our homepage http://www.ArchangelPR.com/atv or go ahead and watch it right here:

Shortly we’ll have an on-set interview with actor Randal Reeder who is now going full steam into directing and the results are being very well-received. I’ll go ahead and hook you up with a trailer from his latest movie ‘For Whom He Tolls’.

I’ll also sit down with some other fun guests as we get closer to the New Year… stay tuned!

~j.

Mornings…

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I love listening to a good podcast series on my iPod, especially in the morning.

While I’m working out or while I’m driving to the office I can get a “mental stretching” by devouring a quick podcast and get the mental brainstorm churning.

What do I listen to? Jonathan Fields has an incredible series called “Behind the Leader” (formerly ‘Career Renegade’) that I would recommend to anyone. The man speaks honestly from his passion to be a better father and husband and how it translates into business success. On iTunes or on his website (www.jonathanfields.com) you can look him up and he usually has a great interview with some of the best thought leaders of this generation.

What else is on there? A little Jay-Z in the morning never hurt anything.

Keep perfecting your craft.

~j.

How This Rough Economoy may be GOOD for your Entertainment Career…

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‘New Moon’ debuts this week to much fanfare across the Nation and across the World.

Kristen Stewart & Robert Pattinson are on nearly every talk show and news channel promoting, schmoozing, and (always) denying their off-screen romance. It seems as if these two have been stars forever now.

But it wasn’t always so… Stewart and Pattinson were seemingly cast out of nowhere for the lead roles (and the millions of fans and dollars that followed) for a moderately budgeted movie franchise that is an international phenomenon. True, Pattinson did spend a little time with a famous wizard at Hogwarts Academy, but he wasn’t a superstar.

With ‘New Moon’ we have another “overnight” superstar in Taylor Lautner, and a cast of Abercrombie stand-ins (sans body hair).

How is this good news for you?

Movie Studios are finding ways to cut costs and doing away with a “need” to cast A-List actors in movies is one of them. Yes, somehow Tom Cruise and Kevin Costner keep finding ways to earn their salaries and revenue sharing earnings, but in this day and age Studios are finding new(er) talent for lead roles and for a fraction of the cost. True, both Stewart and Pattinson earned around $2 million each for their respective roles in the ‘Twilight’ movie, and each earned a hefty raise to around $12 million each for ‘New Moon’ (and a cut of profits this go-round), but it’s still cheaper than paying $20 mil up front for an aging star.

These days no one can predict what movie will hit big and what will crash and burn, so Executives are looking for talented young actors and actresses from coast to coast. The new fan-girl meat is Taylor Lautner, and I can guarantee you he made (comparative) pennies for ‘Twilight’ and ‘New Moon’, compared to if the casting choice would have been… say… Chris O’Donnell.

Other movies: ‘The Hangover’, the re-make of the cult classic ‘Clash of the Titans’, the original ‘Transformers’ film (at the time Shia Labeouf was an up-and-comer and Megan Fox hadn’t hit mainstream)… all of them had/have no A-List stars but are/were massive hits (We’ll see about ‘Clash’, but it’s getting good buzz).

As production houses cut costs and tighten budgets it’s important to remember that the NUMBER of productions coming out isn’t dropping at all. Creative Executive-types are just finding smarter ways to spend their money and ::gasp:: put out a better overall quality product.

So if you act, now’s the time to act. You never know when a few guest starring roles, or a few small roles in indie films, could land you the lead role in a feature.

Perfect your craft.

~Jeremy (@Archangel_PR)

This Week: Host / Composer Josh Yawn

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This week I sat down with Host / Composer Josh Yawn to get his views and opinions on being a small business owner and his takes on Social Media. If you have a few minutes, check it out or bookmark us and come back whenever you’re ready!

In the coming weeks I’ll be sitting down with even more Entertainment Professionals as we dive a little deeper into the Ups and Downs of this insanely fast-paced Industry!

Next week: Producer & Director Gordon S. Williams