Simple ideas, motivation, and brainstorming for beginning entrepreneurs. Folllow my journey as I learn about internet business, blogs, and websites. Get to know some fellow internet entrepreneurs and enjoy some off topic ideas, too, while you're here.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


I have added a link in my side bar to order Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

I highly recomend the book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The book has been inspiring because it has activated new ways to think about money. It has triggered many ideas for me and has awaken creativity. I don't see it as a step by step instructional book, though he has some instructions on how he achieved his success. I will be reading another of his books after my
son is finished with it and will let you know what that one is like.

If you're going to order any ways, I hope you choose to order it from my link. My son has helped me so much, that I'm happy to help him (he benifits if you use the ordering link here).


My trigger came from being pulled over by the police.

My brake lights weren’t working. After I got my repair warning, I called a long time friend who works on my vehicles. He’s got a mobile repair service. He’s been working on my cars for years for a minimal charge. There have been times as a single mom, I wasn’t able to pay anything. My car still got fixed so I could get to work. For 14 years, he’s been there for me. Once he was in a car accident and in the hospital and I was able to help him. His jaw was broke and he couldn’t tell me “no”! Mostly, there isn’t much he needs, especially from me.

As he we talked, I shared what I started with my blogs and how my son is slowly building income from his blog and his web sites. Like me, my mechanic friend has no retirement plans. To show my appreciation for all his help over the years, I offered to set one up a blog for him on auto repair information. Finally I could do something for him.

Next week we will get together to pick topics and write enough for two months of postings. I will set it up for him and maintain it. I found out he also writes stories. Next he’d like to have a blog that posts a chapter a month, three postings a week at a time.

The broken brake light switch triggered his new plans for his future. The plan is to get income from blogs, use that income for an informative website, then use that income to publish a story that finishes on a blog, start another blog and story. His goal for down the road is to use income from blogs, websites, and books to supplement retirement income. It triggered an idea for me to bring in some short term income setting up and maintaining blogs.

Look around at what is happening in your life. Don’t miss an opportunity for a trigger for a new path, a new idea. I could’ve gotten distracted by anger when I got pulled over on my way home from a 19 hour shift, instead I used the event to trigger the start of some new ideas for myself and my friend, to repay acts of kindness, and to be thankful I didn’t get rear ended one night driving with a broken brake light.

So....what's happening in your life?


This book design matches me!

I really enjoy making my blogs. Till I move on to creating web sites, my information doesn’t just sit on my computer, unshared. While I'm posting on the blogs, I can learn to make my own web pages. I took another step towards that goal and I got the book, Head First HTML with CSS and XHTML. I do not have the time or funds to attend any classes, so I will be self-taught with books.

I was attracted to this book because it does not resemble a text book. It’s got a lot of graphics, things are broke down in bite size sections, and written in an understandable style.

The learning theory is to turn the brain on and for it to recognize the importance of the information presented, so our natural filters to block out what our brain may consider useless information, unworthy of storing, is shut down. The authors do this by making it visual (that’s how I learn best), there are words near the graphics, it’s written in a conversational style instead of a lecturing style, the activities use both sides of the brain, there’s attention getting graphics and information, and emotions are stimulated to create a strong link to memory.

The other books had lots of text and pages filled with html codes. I got a headache just skimming the books as I was trying to decide which one would work for me! My brain immediately shut down and voices screamed "You are incapable of learning this stuff". Head First HTML caught my attention right away as I skimmed through it and I started reading parts immediately. When I compared the information in this book with the others I looked at, this one had everything I was looking for and more. It could be used as a reference when looking for something specific. The voices were silent!! I felt confidence to learn emerge and to the relief of my patiently waiting offspring, a decision was made and I went to the checkout counter with my find!

Thursday, June 22, 2006


It's almost done!

This project has taken a bit more time than I thought. Most of it was because of the emotional attatchment that came of storage, slowed me down. It was well worth it. I have an informative and attractive display up about children's cancer at a lobby at a local council office.

Cactus, Cancer, and Chemo relates the way cactus survivors the desert with cancer patients survive chemo. The display has the story of my son's journey. His is a good story of success, of surviving. He was brave enough to allow pictures of himself while in chemo. I think it will help others to see him before, during, and after. He's an impressive young man. Information from his Don't be a Schmuck site is up with the characters he deisgned-the Schmuck boys from Sac Central! They inform on testicular cancer.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


107 degrees by Monday!

Most of my ideas have been related to business (my progress and general info) since this has a link to a couple business sites. On occassion, I will be adding ideas on other topics. Today, while working in the back yard, I thought I'd add some relating to dealing with high summer temperatures.

I have a dog and his water bucket can get pretty dirty and stained in a short time during the summer. I regularly rinse his bucket out with bleach water. I then make sure I rinse it really well with clean water before re-filling it. There is no more green build up along the inside. I always keep his water in the shade during the hottest part of the day. Extra water is important, in the event of an emergency and you can't fill it up when you usually do. Also, even for inside dogs, keep water outside in case they are left out, for some reason, longer than planned.

The small patch of grass in my back yard has very little shade. I limit the amount of water I need by moving around lawn furniture every few days for added shade. I also put a chair over an area when my dog has targeted a spot for eliminating.

Urine burns the grass faster in the summer. Be sure to check with your vet first, but I found out that adding something w/tomatoes to his food a few times a week, cuts back on the spots in the grass.

Ants attack his food more in the summer. I put his food bowl off the ground. If you're sure your dog won't eat or chew it, you can put a plastic ant bait disc under the bowl. My dog is older and doesn't bother it.

I water my plants heavy two days in a row hoping to encourage deep root growth. I then skip a day to help the roots become hardy and also discourage root growth too close to the surface.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Check stats/income on a limited basis

It's true, watched pots never boil and it's best not to weigh yourself every day. Checking stats and income several times a day can be time consuming and it will appear like nothing is happening, like a watched pot. Just like a dieter who weighs herself daily or even several times a day, checking your stats/income that often will put you on a roller coaster with constant ups and downs.

Pick certain days you will check your stats/income. If you do it once a week, pick a day after your peak days. Some sites have more traffic on the weekends, for others it's during the week. This will give you a good average for the week. Checking stats and income 2-3 time a week should be plenty for most sites.

Stat Counter
can even e-mail you a weekly report. Hint-be sure your security software won't send it to spam killer land!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Keep that first love excitement!

Today I talked to my son, I was bubbling over with that new love excitement over seeing I made 31 cents! I was excited about having over 140 visitors since I put up my stat counter on Sunday.

He was saying he was a little down because he made less than $4 today, after making almost $10 a day the past few days (probably the weekend factor). Listening to me, he remembered when he made 25 cents a day and was so excited.

Remember your first love, keep that first love excitement. Websites and blogs make money while we do whatever we do during our day. Whatever the amount you make, allow yourself to be excited over it!

AdSense HINT

Spamkiller killed AdSense e-mail.

I've been waiting for my AdSense confirmation e-mail. I checked the e-mail in my spamkiller and there it sat with an e-mail from my son who wrote me from his webmaster e-mail address and 2 e-mails from a new friend!

Well, here is where the e-mail comes from if you want to add it as a friend before you sign up for AdSense. Google AdSense [adsense-support@]. I recovered my e-mail, I added them as a friend, and I replied. Very quickly I received my confirmation info. Today I even made 31 cents in less than 12 hours! I am very excited.

If you are going to sign up for AdSense anyways and no one else referred you, please click on the link from my site-thank you!

Monday, June 12, 2006



I was looking for information regarding desktop publishing and went to info from the I clicked on the home page and was impressed. It truely has just about everything. It has lots of information from a large variety of sources. It's broken down into specifics in the various areas of interest. There is, of course, purchasing of related items available through the site, also. It's an excellent resource to become more educated on just about everything.

I especially liked the step by step free tutorials from more than one source.


I posted-they came!

Yesterday I added a
free stat counter. It was pretty easy. I have one on this one and on my group home help blog.

I was surprised that there were visiters! It showed very simply that having a link from another blog helps. This blog has had more visitors. An internet entrenprenuer blog has a link to this one. My other blog isn't linked to anything and I haven't started promoting it yet-it has no visiters.

I even got my first weekly update e-mailed to me. This is great!

Sunday, June 11, 2006


I was a state finalist in the Illinois Miss United Teenager Pageant?
It was a fun experience and met lots of nice people. My scrapbook has been packed away for years. My boys don't remember me showing it when they were little. I don't think my daughers ever saw the scrapbook. Everyone thought it was pretty cool, but they couldn't help but laugh at the hair style!!
I did my community service hours required for the pageant with Easter Seals. I participated in a fundraising fair and I also raised funds for them while participating in a dance marathon. I went way over the minimum required hours both years.

I was in the pageant in 1977 and 1988. I received the Miss Congeniality award in 1988.


Reading recommendation

My son told me about a book that inspired him, Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

I started reading it. So far it’s really helpful. From what I read and seeing the way it’s re-shape his thinking, I believe every parent should get that book. I was among those parents who told my kids to get an education, get a secure job, and then you’ll be able to do the things you want. You’ll be free to make more choices in life. I didn’t want them struggling so hard to just get by, like I have. I didn’t want them to allow work and earning just enough money to afford the basic necessities, to suck the life out of them, and consume so much time. I wanted them to have a better life for themselves than I have had up to this point.

I showed my five children a good example of working hard and being responsible. The older ones are grown and both of those. They have learned money management skills and to control spending. They know how to save. They have been valued employees wherever they work. I'm learning how to knock it up a notch. After I learn from this book, I’ll be able to pass it on to the two boys who haven’t read it, and start my girls at a young age with a better way to think about money.

Thank you, Rob, for telling me about this book!

Friday, June 09, 2006

6-7 to 9-06 TASKS

  1. Went to the library got books on blogs, graphic design, and home business.
  2. Interviewed more people for the group home blog.
  3. Learned about putting links in text. Plan to go through previous posts and add links. Will add links and key words to future posts. Not sure what keywords to use for this blog.
  4. Went through group home blog posts and added the key words "group home" about three times to the beginning of each post. I found out in one of the books it will help in searches.
  5. Posted in both blogs.
  6. As I'm learning more, I'm gad I'm waiting to go "public" with the blogs.
  7. Set the dates (June 19 to August 28, 2006) for the display-Cactus, Cancer, and Chemo, at the council office lobby.
  8. Made flyer with Cactus, Cancer, and Chemo display info and took to UMC where my son, who is a childhood cancer survivor, was treated.
  9. Plan to have a blog-Cactus, Cancer, and Chemo that will up before I take the collection down from council office lobby.
  10. E-mailed my son with outlines for writings to go with the photos.
  11. Spoke to three people about helping them start a blog.
  12. One felt she was already too busy.
  13. One liked the idea, doesn't know what he'd write and was interested in Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
  14. The other had reservations because of his writing skill, I offered to write it. We'll talk more next week when we work together again. His would link to boht current blogs-help for legal refugees (jobs, building credit, school, etc).

Business idea #1

Write for a website.

Do you know a web designer or internet entrenprenuer? See where their talent is. Is it in the web design? Is it in the hosting? Find out if they are spending too much time writing. I love to write and can come up with a lot rather effortlessly. My son, who has a blog, Inspiration for the Internet Entreprenuer, doesn't like to write. I have done research and writing for him to put on an information site he's working on. His talent is in the design and set up. He realizes freeing up time by paying someone else to write gives him more time to work on set up and design of more sites.

When I am ready to organize my information for my own information web site, I will trade my writing for web design and set up with him. My cash outlay will only be for hosting and registration for my website.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Can your business help a good cause?

I like to write and take photos. I have a son who is a childhood cancer survivor. I put together a collection of photos and writings together called Cactus, Cancer, and Chemo. It's a collection of writings and photos relating cactus survival of the desert and cancer treatment survival.

I joined my business up with a good cause. I picked a cause I feel passionate about. I don't have to pretend to care about it. CureSearch Gold Ribbon Days is June 19-21, 2006. It's held every year in Washington, DC. I was paying my water bill at a council office near where I live. The lobby usually has displays from local schools. Schools that are closed for the summer. I offered to put up my collection with my son's work and his story. I coordinated it to start during Gold Ribbon Days which brings awareness to childhood cancer issues.

I joined my business with a cause, I joined that with an empty lobby display, and joined that with a national event.

I go the official OK today-I will put up my display on June 19! I'm very excited and have lots to do!

Monday, June 05, 2006

6-5-06 TASKS

  1. Over the weekend, at work I shared my group home blog ideas. They were well received.
  2. I got input from new and experienced staff, residents, and the house manager.
  3. Building on the comment from the lady, who does the new hires at work, I found out managers and staff in the home agree they would like more information available to new staff, what it is really like in the homes.
  4. I have decided to expand on my idea for a house log. Unlike the site log that has information that pertains to all homes in the company, the house log will have information that pertains to each individual house.
  5. I talked to my friend about a blog that has auto information while he worked on my break switch. Will meet with him next week.
  6. My son let me know the info I sent him for his new informative website was fine. When he recieves his check from AdSense, he will send my payment.
  7. When I start receiving income from AdSense, I will pay someone to post what I write on my sites. Not sure at what income amount I will begin that.
  8. I encouraged two people who have great ideas/information in areas that relate to Jan's Group Home Help blog. One will think about it after she returns from studying in Mexico in Aug (spoke to her in person). No response yet from the other (sent e-mail today).
  9. Read more in Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
  10. Worked on chapter on communication in the Portable Coach.
  11. Offered to manage a blog that would have posts from an ongoing story.
  12. Will come up with a fee to manage someone's blog for them. For now, I will do it for people I know who could use the help, or I owe them in some way.
  13. Started a folder to write on topics for blogs. Will take excerpts to post.
  14. Decided to share blogs with people who would not be going to it, to decide if there was value to it, but to share what I am doing and inpire them to start one.
  15. Starting a list of people who are interested in the group home blog as soon as I make it public at the end of the month.
  16. Began cleaning my office.
  17. Want to teach my daughters to think differently about money. Considering a blog of their progress.
  18. Started writing for my third blog.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Individualization! Special order without the special order expense.

With limited funds, group home staff have to shop where they get the most for their budget. Often many of the homes have similar linen, dishes, shower curtains, etc. Often everyone shops at the same store. There's little or nothing special on the walls. Everyone does the best they can with their budgets and the options available.

I wanted to fill the need to have affordable and unique items to put on the group home walls. The managers could make choices on the order form that made their framed photo unique from other group home's orders.

Lots of people take beautiful photographs and could enlarge them for framing. To set my framed photos apart I have several options on the order form. My photos when on the wall, will be unique and reflect the personality of the group home residents. The managers and residents can select a photo from about 150 choices (small versions on the 4 page order form). In addition they choose the frame color and size. They can also choose to have text of their choice printed on the photo they choose. In homes that have residents that destroy property, the photo can be laminated and framed so there's not the danger of glass being broken.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Every business card doesn't have to look the same.

Right now I print my own cards. My cards for Rainbow Creek Designs, are for my print design and my photography business. I did one sheet with the text all the same, but 8 different photos. I have a second sheet with 8 more of my photos.

When I go to give the cards, people see a a variety of my photos as I show them one of each and they pick which one they want. I believe that they will hang on to the card longer due to a preferance to the photo.

If you are printing business cards on a large scale, when your supply is half gone, order another one with something new on it. Continue doing that till you build up a variety. Whatever your usual order is, have approximately 1/4 that amount of each design. Carry some of each design with you. A new design gives an opportunity to offer another card and keep your name in front of the recipiant.

When designing a variety of cards, have about 2/3 to 3/4 of the card that stays the same and recognizable. So that leaves 1/3 to 1/4 to do something new with.

6-3-06 TASKS

What I've worked on today;

  1. I consulted my son re: trouble with posting lists because they don't look like they do in "compose" when I post them. He suggested checking on line for the Html code. Will do that tomorrow. He said most codes can be found on line, and I shouldn't have to buy a book.
  2. Got the book my son suggested-Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Will read some tonight.
  3. Got the book a friend suggested-The Portable Coach. Skimmed through and read some.
  4. Decided to set up a schedule for regular posts for some topics.
  5. Called a friend and offered to set up/manage an informational blog on auto repair/maintanance in exchange for some of the work he's done on my car. He liked the idea.
  6. Got input from the staff and residents at the group home I worked as relief staff for, to put on the group home blog. They all thought the blog was a great idea. Told them at the end of July I will give them the link information for the site.
  7. Posted on both sites. Posts that were previously written and saved in draft, cut and pasted better to a new post so I have todays date on the post, when I did it in "Edit Html"
  8. Will try to write post ahead of time in MS Word because my posts arent spell checking from the "create" posting location.
  9. Motivation maintained.


It got cancelled!

It was for a valid reason.....the passing on of a very dear co-worker a few days before. I trusted everything would work out. The following week, at the last minute, I found out someone else was leading that meeting. I was prepared and waited for her OK. I didn't hear from her! I then got a call from the original contact at the office, I found out she wasn't going to be able to lead the meeting and with the original contact doing the meeting, he put me on the agenda! I got there a few minutes late and made my presentation.

Ahead of time I gave all the managers a copy of the order form and offered a discount (10%) if an order was given the day of the presentation. I attatched the discount information in letter form signed by me. I offered a discount for a free framed 8 X 10 print for a large order ($300 or more). It was offered per order or as a company total. I set up my framed photos. I was dressed professionally. I made my product unique during the presentation.

It was over and I was SO excited! I started to let my self hope for orders as I reminded myself my goal was exposure.

Friday, June 02, 2006



IDEA-Add photos to a blog.
GOAL-Exposure of work.
COST-Photo equipment, time (shooting and choosing photos and setting up blog), no cost for free blog.

There's two benifits to putting photos in a blog. One is to showcase your work. The second is an increase in visual appeal of your blog. Focus on variety in your photos. Choose how often you will add a picture to your posts. Take enough pictures to post for two months. Take several shots to get the best one for your blog. These photos can also be used in flyers, brochures, and business cards.

I already have lots of photos so my time will just be used choosing photos. I rename them with the location or subject. I'm going to add a picture with almost every post since my business is photography. I have already started doing that.

By September 2006 I will make the time to choose seasonal photos and photos that match the theme of the posting when possible. I realize I don't have the time for that right now. It's better use of my time to learn more about blogs and to develope blogs.

Take pictures of the process, not just the finished products. Include as many products as possible. Have yourself in the photos woking on different aspects of your craft. Maybe even include the shopping!

It might get boring with just pictures of you writing! Add interest, start getting pictures of you writing at various locations. Vacations will have lots of opportunities. Find points of interests, varied plant life, and historical places for the backround and put yourself in the foreground of the photo. You should be fairly minor in the photo.
Illustrate several short writings or a long piec with photos. Pick a consistant schedule to post (daily, weekly, 3 times a week). Decide which of your writings you will use. When posting try having most of your blog in black text, then in bright colored larger text have your featured writing that you will illustrate. You can break down a larger piece into segmants and post over several weeks or months. See how it looks in italics.


My second job was ending in a few weeks. I was VERY dependent on that second income.

I hadn't had to look for a job in six years! I've never been out of work longer than two weeks and have usually had two jobs. I figured returning to bartending would give me some quick cash. I hadn't done it for years, but felt I could do a slow shift at a neighborhood bar. I started the painful process of filling out applications. In the past when I looked for work, I had the goal of 10 applications a week. I started out close to my house and worked my way out. I applied for a bartending positions for two weeks. If I didn't get a bartending position I planned to return and fill out a new one and would take a waitress position. It worked before, so I got started!

The first week with my schedule, I was only able to put in 5 results. I really needed to have a plan B. A friend had a well paying job opening at her work, but that wouldn't be available for two more months. I started to think.

At work they were familiar with my photos. I talked to the peson in charge of the weekely meetings that included all the house managers and asked if I could be put on the agenda to show my photos. I would give a complimentry 8 X 10 framed photo of their choice for the office. When I got the "OK" I invested $25 in frames and reprints of my photos. I designed and printed out an order form. I pulled out my ink stamp-Jan F. Pavis, Photographer!

I was very excited to have gathered the courage to ask. At this point, it didn't matter if I got any orders. I would have my photo displayed at the office and have further exposure!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

6-1-06 Thursday

I decided to post what I do for my various projects on the day I do it. I will incorperate it in an expanded topic at later dates.

Here's the first one!

  1. Today I read the latest postings and checked out one of the links-Young Money Blog, from Inspiration for Internet Entreprenuers (it's the Business Inspiration link on this blog).
  2. I liked the site I checked out and asked permision to link to his blog.
  3. Searched for forums on group home staff, not much luck. I found group home consulting. I e-mailed them requesting info and permision to link to them. I printed out info from their site. I will use it in postings.
  4. Posted "what to wear" and "reducing absenteeism" on the group home blog.
  5. Figured out how to have a group of words highlighted to link to the site with the absenteeism study.
  6. Want to learn more about Html! When I have more time and get better at it I will include it in more postings.
  7. I found out the day I save a draft, "that" day is what will show up on my blog. I copied and pasted my saved draft from yesterday to a new post today, then posted "Experience" on this blog.
  8. Two new ideas for posting-did you know.... trivia about me. I'll add it about once a month, and of course this posting, logging my day to day efforts.
  9. I have picked out 5 people ot interview regarding things they have seen that work really well in a group home.
  10. Shared my site with someone in charge of new hire for group homes.


No matter how educated we can afford to become, it cannot replace experience.
I couldn't afford classes, but I could make myself available to take pictures. My classroom.... the real world. The time.
I volunteered to take photos for any event at work. Soon my pictures of the residents and staff ended up in the newletters and on the walls of the office (thank you Blake Foundation!). I've been doing this for the past few years. Staff often got tired of my flashing camera (but who did they call when they needed a copy of a photo of someone?.....yep-me!). Residents sought me out to get in front of the camera. People started requesting their photos taken and inquiring if I'd be at events with my camera.

Last year I became the official photographer! I don't get paid extra. I do it for the title and the experience.
It's well worth it!

Did you know I use to show horses?

We had a few horses at our small farm in northern IL.

In 1976 I showed Arabian Horses in class A shows in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. We also showed in class B shows near our home in northern IL.

I showed in Showmanship at Halter (I always placed) and Western Pleasure (I never placed at the class A shows). I always got first or second at the class B shows.

My favorite horse was a black and white paint called Patches because I was allowed to ride it in the woods near our home. Another favorite was foal born at our farm and it was fun watching it grow.

I rarely get to ride anymore, but still love it. Someday I'd like to do an overnight ride and campout.

Web Jan's Idea Box