It’s the beginning of a new semester here in icy Champaign-Urbana, and I must admit that I am quite inspired. After years of “fundamentals” and “theories”, I am finally able to take classes that seem like they will allow me to explore other areas of interest and expand my horizons. Of course I still have a few classes that stick almost exclusively to the textbooks, and I will just have to muddle through those like I have done for the past few years. The classes that break free from the textbooks are the ones that I’m truly excited about, ranging from creative thinking to lectures from veteran entrepreneurs. Hopefully I still feel the same way in the coming weeks and months. We’ll see!
As for Beetnik Aesthetics, lots of changes are happening. I made a blog post a few months ago about changes that I wanted to make (website design, new twitter, etc), and I tried some of those, but things just aren’t working out like I had planned. The problem? I have been going the wrong direction the entire time. I don’t regret anything, however, because this past year has been an invaluable learning experience. Now, however, I have finally found the direction that I’ve been striving for the entire time, and I will be completely overhauling Beetnik Aesthetics during the coming months to reflect the new direction. I will probably write another blog post to go into more detail on this soon. Coming back to school and settling in has been stressful, but I have huge ideas for Beetnik and I can’t wait to get started! =)
Thanks for reading,
- a guy named loren
PS - Bill Gates has a blog! Check out The Gates Notes.
ordered a shirt from a myspace “clothing company” on december 16
website said all orders shipped out within 2 business days
got an email today, december 28, saying the shirt has been shipped out
i know it’s the holidays and everything, but 12 days? that’s just pathetic.
this seems to be a common trend among several small clothing companies that i’ve ordered shirts from…
am i the only person who makes an effort to ship shirts out on time?
-a guy named loren
I’m in the middle of reading the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, but I had to stop reading for just a moment to share this with the world…
[Boss speaking to child/employee]
“Stop blaming me, thinking I’m the problem. If you think I’m the problem, then you have to change me. If you realize that you’re the problem, then you can change yourself, learn something and grow wiser. Most people want everyone else in the world to change but themselves. Let me tell you, it’s easier to change yourself than everyone else.”
So true, and so awesome. Time to get back to reading!
- a guy named loren
Mark Cuban is one cool dude. He’s probably most well known for being the owner (well, by majority) of the NBA Dallas Mavericks, but it seems like he’s had his hand in just about everything. Cuban got his first big break by starting and selling a software company in the 1980s, making him a millionaire. Since then, he’s had his hand in successful internet startups, film production and distribution, HDTV, and various other endeavors. His success is motivating and inspiring. Now he is a billionaire. Oh yeah, and he’s been fined over 1.6 million by the NBA for criticizing the league.
The coolest thing, however, is the fact that he keeps a blog. At blog maverick, anybody in the world can jump into the mind of this hugely successful billionaire. Cuban blogs about business, the economy, and life in general. It’s pretty interesting to hear his perspective.
-a guy named loren
I just read a blog post written by my friend Chris, from Too Legit Clothing. In his post, Chris reflected on giving up playing basketball, something that he was very passionate about. At the end of the post he mentioned happiness, and how we all how the ability to create our own happiness. That got me thinking…
Happiness is a weird thing.
Far too often we get so caught up in what other people think that we lose sight of ourselves. We are so worried about keeping up with the latest trends that we forget what truly makes us happy. The root of the problem? I’m no expert, but materialistic possessions play a pretty darn big role. We are deceived by tricky advertisers that we need stuff to make us happy. They make us believe that we will be depressed, ugly, and useless if we don’t buy exactly what they are selling us. We see our celebrity role models and our friends with this stuff and we convince ourselves that we need it as well. We have Blackberry phones, Coach purses, and jeans that cost $150 a pair. Sometimes these purchases can be justified, but more often they cannot be. When we buy this stuff, we get an adrenaline rush. An intense burst of happiness. We have the latest and greatest, and we fit right into society.
Unfortunately, that high has a brief lifespan. Shortly after we purchase these things, they slip right out of style. They’re no longer in. They aren’t trendy. Though completely functional, they are useless to us. Once again, we find that we are unhappy. We’re right back where we started - depressed, ugly, and useless. We have to grab hold of that lost happiness, so we run back to the mall and throw down hard-earned cash for more stuff. How convenient for multinational corporations who sell these things that we so desperately need.
It is a downward spiral, and an endless one. We buy stuff to make us happy. We lose that happiness, so we think that more stuff will bring back that lost happiness. Over and over and over again. Before we know it, we’re old and grey. We’re laying on our deathbeds, asking ourselves “Where has life gone? What have we done?”.
I’m not sure about you, but this is not the life that I want to live. I don’t want to look back each year and say “Look at all of this stuff I have acquired!”. I don’t want to live in a future that has been created for me; a future that is defined by useless stuff that can be purchased. Stuff that is mass-produced by cheap labor in foreign countries and sold to us at ridiculously inflated prices. Stuff that is produced by people on the other side of the planet who we do not know and have absolutely no personal relation to. Stuff that we purchase with hope that we will be that much closer to achieving happiness.
I will seek out what truly brings me happiness. I will set goals and chase dreams. I will discover hobbies and embrace my passions. I will focus less on buying things and more on doing things. I will watch movies, listen to music, and read books. I will interact with people and learn about the world around me. I will build experiences and create memories. Memories last forever and can be enjoyed at any time in any place. Memories bring a lifetime of happiness.
Instead of living in a future that has been created for me, I will create my own future. I hope that you will do the same.
-a guy named loren
So I finished up with finals at the end of last week, but I’ve been doing so many awesome things that I haven’t had time to blog or twitter. I’m actually thinking about making some videos because it’s cooler and less typing, plus I have some pretty nifty ideas =)
After I left school on Friday, I spent the weekend in the city with the fam. We hit up the annual Macy’s holiday window display, went to the mini German-village thing, and ate some delish food at Magiano’s. Apparently my family has been doing this little weekend getaway for years, but it was my first time and I must say that it was absolutely incredible. Great times and great food!
Oh yeah, I saw Avatar in 3D on Friday. It was EPIC! Seriously, a fantastic movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it.
Two family parties on Sunday. A holiday get-together with the girlfriends family and a birthday celebration immediately afterward with my family. More fun times and more delish food.
Basically, the whole weekend can be summed up with a whole bunch of good food and a ton of good times. Awesome way to start winter break!
Oh and there was a closeout sale at Border’s bookstore today! I bought 11 books for $30 and went to White Castle to celebrate. YUM! Then I went back to Border’s and bought a couple more books. Then I realized I spent wayyy too much time there. Oh well!
Sorry for the random post. Tough time trying to keep all of this together. I definitely think I’m going to be making some cool videos over break.
ROAD TRIP TMRW! WOO!
-a guy named loren
Passion is defined as “any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling”. Passion evokes interest, enthusiasm, and desire. Without passion, we can have nothing. If we do not live passionately, we drone through life, bored and helpless. If we do not live passionately, we will inevitably fail.
You can be passionate about your job, your hobbies, your family, achieving your goals and helping others to achieve theirs. You can be passionate about anything. If you aren’t passionate about something, why do it? The most successful people in this world are those that are passionate about everything in their lives, allowing them to achieve their goals and live their dreams.
Beetnik Aesthetics is fueled by passion. Are you?
I haven’t been in the loop lately, but I was looking through some Beetnik site statistics and noticed that I had a pretty hefty amount of traffic coming from YOUTHEDESIGNER.com over the past few months. I looked further and realized that the Product Presentation and Packaging tutorial I wrote a few months ago had been been featured on their 25 Must Read T-Shirt Tutorials post! It’s pretty rad to be getting some decent recognition. Thanks guys!
- a guy named loren
For those of you who may have been wondering, I am alive and well. Beetnik Aesthetics is still alive, too. Maybe not so much on the internet, but in my head Beetnik is definitely alive, thriving, and constantly evolving.
When I first started Beetnik Aesthetics, I envisioned a brand that fully embraced the world and all of the positive opportunities it has to offer. I wanted to send a positive message.. A message that promoted positive thinking. In a time that is so often cluttered with negatively, I created t-shirt designs that would depict peace, love, and fun - three concepts that definitely portray a positive message. I thought to myself, “if I can share these designs with the world, we will all be that much closer to living in a more positive environment”. So I did just that - I shared the designs with the world.
I designed the first run of t-shirts and had them printed, built a website, bought shipping supplies, and registered Beetnik Aesthetics as a business. I created a myspace page, a facebook page, and a twitter account to connect with fans - or at least that’s what I thought I was doing. Using myspace and twitter, I gained as many friends and followers as possible. Since my target audience was literally everybody in the world, I didn’t care who I was friending, as long as the numbers kept going up. I didn’t always focus on a specific a specific group of people or a target demographic. My general thought process was this: more friends = greater possibility that somebody would like the brand. I gained a few friends here and there, but I never really connected with the fans. Since I wasn’t targeting a specific demographic, I just figured there was nothing in common. I kept selling shirts and had more and more printed.
Twitter made me realize that I was becoming sort of spammy. Requesting as many friends as possible and tweeting about new t-shirts and products was not the best way to promote the brand, because most people quite frankly just didn’t care. More followers and more tweets resulted in less website visits. Clearly the mass-marketing strategy wasn’t working out, but it was all I knew and I wasn’t exactly sure what else to do.
Blogs are an easy way to reach people because they usually have loyal readers and are the bloggers are easy to contact. I was getting a little bit of coverage from t-shirt blogs, but there are only so many of them and they typically only update with brand new products. I am interested in technology, fashion, green living, drug-free alternatives, video games, movies, cars, offroading, snowboarding, and almost all genres of music, but I felt that I could not market to any blogs that focused on any of these things specifically, simply because my designs did not necessarily portray any of these specific areas of interest… So what was I to do?
Months and months have gone by. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I had developed an entire brand without a target audience, and I don’t even know where to start. I want to share Beetnik Aesthetics with the world, but I have to begin on a smaller scale. On the other hand, I don’t want to focus on such a specific demographic that I exclude everyone else. I have been having plenty of fun over the past few months, trying to enjoy all that life has to offer. I want Beetnik Aesthetics to reflect this positive lifestyle, but how do I do it?
At this point, I am almost completely lost. This is my public cry for help, if you will. I am open to all advice, criticism, and suggestions. Please respond in the comments section with absolutely anything that comes to mind.
Thanks a bunch!
-a guy named loren