A couple of weeks ago I sent out a desperate plea for more podcast suggestions and you were all so generous and helpful (as always).  My taste in podcasts veer more towards the science + history variety, but I did see one from one of my fave letterers Annmarie of Scout's Honor Co. that peaked my interest. Annmarie suggested 'After the Jump' by Grace Bonney (yes, of Design Sponge fame). I wasn't sure if it would be my thing as it's neither science nor history related, but I saw that the host had interviewed stylist extraordinaire Sibella Court who I am completely infatuated with so I gave it a go. The show was great, very well produced and the questions that Grace poses are questions that you really want to know answers to not the fluffy, trivial kind. I have listened to nearly all of the episodes now and if you are running a creative business (or thinking of one day doing so) I can't recommend it enough. For the record, I think Grace needs to have Annemarie on the show as she seems like she would be a really interesting interview!

Annemarie's suggestion couldn't have been more well timed as I have been in deep evaluation mode with my little business. I recently just passed the one year anniversary mark (yea me) and was so busy I didn't even notice. I am not busy with tons of orders mind you (but one day I hope to be!), but more with putting together a smoother infrastructure and trying to get ready for the next step--wholesale. One of the things I did implement early on was a free online bookkeeping software called Outright.  Outright is very intuitive, more behind the scenes, tracking your transactions via your Paypal.  It's been so effortless. I can see my profit and loss in both table form and pie charts (who doesn't love a good pie chart?)  It gives me estimates for quarterly taxes and manages my sales tax collected.  It even gives you an idea of what is selling well. This little program has been indispensable to my business. Yesterday afternoon after reviewing my very detailed Outright data for the year- to-date I started crying because of what felt to me was an abysmal financial first year thus far, my husband was happy to point out that I didn't owe any money and I made a small profit (the operative word here is small). It was nice to have both my husband and Grace's inspirational podcast to offer a modicum of calm amongst my mental storm. One last resource I will leave you with is another freebie (thank goodness for the generosity of the interwebs), Megan Auman::Designing your MBA.  I am on Megan's mailing list, something I never do and she always has great advice and tips on building your handcrafted business. I have had many other businesses prior to this one but I think that business models change and you need to be able to adapt, it's good to have someone on the 'inside' that can dole out sage advice in a very simplistic + clear format. 

I hope these resources help you and I didn't bore anyone's eyeballs off who isn't interested in these things. I announced a giveaway yesterday (is there a better name for such things? If so lay it on me) and tomorrow I have another fabulous Pin curator to introduce you to!

P.S. I photographed this owl at the Natural Science museum the other day. The museum was quite small and I think my husband was bored to tears, but since it was so minute he didn't need to be bored for long. The best part is they don't charge admission, I could go everyday if I wanted to--crazy. 

Anonymous –  (October 23, 2012 at 12:42 AM)  

Regarding a better term for a giveaway - how about a 'Besotted Bestowal?'

Amy (October 23, 2012 at 7:58 AM)  

'Besotted Bestowl' . . . that's awesome. :)

And that owl! Such a handsome fellow . . .

Megan Patikova (October 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM)  

If you are still on the hunt for some podcasts...CBC has a program called Quirks and Quarks all science based, a great listen and you can download podcasts from the website. http://www.cbc.ca/podcasting/
also the program The Age of Persuasion
which is historical but about branding and advertising...
Hope you enjoy them :)

Miss B. (October 23, 2012 at 11:17 AM)  

Jen I can't even tell you how weird it is that you used that term, but I think it will be clear in a few weeks:) Great suggestion! Amy I totally agree wonderful suggestion and thank you for the compliment!

Megan THANK YOU! I am always up for new podcast suggestions thank you!!!

Kathy Campbell (October 23, 2012 at 1:19 PM)  

I love it! Thank you for these resources, because being thrust into full time self employment has been mind blowingly crazy in my life right now. It's been interesting.....I love the podcast ideas especially, it's helping!

Miss B. (October 23, 2012 at 2:53 PM)  

Kathy full-time now?! Congrats, I know you have been working your tail off, kudos to you!

elizabeth (October 24, 2012 at 8:02 AM)  

Outright is awesome and my accountant was psyched when I showed up with everything organized b/c of it. I had to turn off the email notifications tho that read "your weekly profit is -$xxxx.xx. those emails suck.

I've seen bits and pieces of Meg Auman's writing - I, too, don't usually subscribe to mailing lists but I'll check it out so thank you.

Miss B. (October 24, 2012 at 11:39 AM)  

Elizabeth, lol, that is SO true, it was like a virtual Debbie Downer email, hah! I am thinking my accountant will be happy as well, I think the estimated quarterly taxes is GREAT for new business owners.

lalaleanna (October 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM)  

I just opened my very first Etsy shop and these resources could not have come at a better time! Thank you!!


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Miss B.