Wednesday, August 31, 2005

FREE MOO being sent ...

I have made my selections ....

First, I must say that it was a tough decision. I looked for people who could influence decision makers (which is the premise that Seth set up) but I also looked for people who took the time to "connect" before just asking for a freebie. This taught me a valuable lesson that I will use in my business dealings going forward... if you want someone to do something, you have to "connect" with their world (or their "worldview" as Seth would say) and provide them a good reason to take action.

The three selections connected to my worldview through the following means:
1) By reading my blog and my website and offering some comments. One also provided an interesting link that was related to's Art-based card business.
2) By appealing to my "influence other readers" approach (by providing a glimpse of their network of influence)... and giving me a lead on a potentially interesting book to read.
3) By appealing to my interest in exploring new places and new ideas. (Which was not something that I have explicitly indicated, but perhaps it comes through on my blog).

I am sending out three copies to "the far corners of the world" (so to speak). One is local (Connecticut), one is in Denver, Colorado (USA) and one is in Turkey (assuming I can figure out the shipping & other details).

My sincere appreciation to everyone who took the time to send me an email and I hope others will give away their extra copies of the BIG MOO and create more FREE MOO !

Write On!

Dave Wheeler

Thursday, August 25, 2005

"FREE MOO" offer is ... FULL ! (sorry)

I would like to thank everyone who sent emails for the "FREE BIG MOO" offer I posted yesterday. I received nearly 200 emails in less than 24 hours and if it I had an unlimited supply of books (and unlimited funds for shipping) I would have sent everyone a FREE MOO because the responses were absolutely INCREDIBLE !

I have started to sort them into two piles ... Maybe and YES (there were honestly none that are rated a "no"). From that I am narrowing it down further to match the [very limited] supply of books that I have available. Plus I want to get them shipped out soon so I had to make some quick decisions.

Epiphany.... (I rarely get a chance to use this word, but I think it applies here...)
As I go through the emails, one thing jumped out at me.... this whole giveaway process is just a microcosm for (or example of) the Purple Cow / BIG MOO philosophy! The people who stand out (and are the most remarkable) are the ones that catch my attention and will most likely receive a free book.

WOW .... what a concept. Using a BIG MOO to get a FREE MOO !
(I wish I did it on purpose, but I think it still qualifies as an epiphany... ya think?)

I'm still sorting through the pile, but I appreciate everyone's emails and I hope to have some selections ready to go very soon.

Write On !

Dave Wheeler

Interview with Kelly Hansen of and Write ON! blog are proud to present ...
An interview with Kelly Hansen of Inspirational, Houston, Texas.
Kelly's business was mentioned recently in an article about greeting cards in USA Today
(online at: which brought her to the attention of and, thankfully, she agreed to the following interview:
You have a very unique style for your art. How do you describe your style and how did you come up with it?

Kelly Hansen:
"I have always loved to print ever since I can remember. I like to say that my artwork is interactive. The concept engages the viewer and invites one to take a closer look at the message. It's a subtle way to share God's word with others. Each piece is constructedof 2-4 hand-printed Bible verses that pertain to the word and is read as the word is written, thus, ".art with a message."

The idea originated as a wedding gift for my best friend of 20+ years. My mom likes to say that Inspirational Arts was "born out of Love" as Love was the very first piece I created. In trying to think of something unique to do for her, I decided to construct the word' Love' out of 1Corinthians 13:4-8 which is often read at weddings and also included both of their names and wedding date. I eventually created other words i.e. Hope, Faith, Peace and Joy, and, as I began to share them with friends, they ordered them as gifts.

We quickly realized the impact my artwork was having on others, and, in August 2002, Inspirational Arts was officially born. "
Your works clearly convey a strong, emotional message that can help people express their feelings to the important people in their lives. Do you have a story or stories (aside from the first one that you did for as a wedding gift) that shows how someone purchased your work and the impact it had?

Kelly Hansen:
"The stories are what make all of this so exciting. I love to collaborate with others and bring their ideas and inspirations to life through my artwork. There are so many stories as I have done numerous custom gifts for weddings, births, baptisms, adoptions, graduations, those who have died, those who have survived cancer and many more. But, here are a few stories that have especially touched me.

We met a young girl a few years ago who shared with us that she was adopted and had recently reconnected with her biological brother after being separated since birth. She wanted to do something special for his birthday and decided to create the word 'Brother' with her own words about their separation and reunion. It was truly awesome to be a part of that special gift.

I did five names for a woman's great-grandchildren - each of which she chose specific verses and wrote a personalized prayer to that child...a true legacy of faith being passed on through prayer to the next generation.

A lady recently ordered a custom order for her husband who is becoming a firefighter. I created the word 'Firefighter' out of specially chosen verses and ended it with love from her and their kids with the date.

The list goes on and on, but the common thread in all of these stories is how God's word is alive and actively used to express the heart of each person and the love they feel toward their loved ones. I love to see what verses they choose knowing the importance that each one holds for them, and I am always amazed at how God makes it all fit every time. It's such a privilege to be used by God to serve Him and others in this unique way."
What have you found to be the downside of your art and/or your web site? What have you had to overcome to bring your art to a larger audience?

Kelly Hansen:
"I must say, when I first started my business, I gave away much more than I sold. I was so excited about what God was doing in my life through the gift of my artwork that I wanted to share it with everyone we met.

I do consider my artwork first and foremost as a ministry - it is a direct reflection of my heart, so adapting to the reality that it has become an actual business (and the idea is to be profitable!) has been personally difficult for me.

The entire foundation of our business has been built on relationships and word of mouth. We love to interact with people and to share my artwork on a more personal level. I am blessed to have the faithful support of my mom, and, together, we have participated in close to 200 events over the past 3 years in an effort to establish a customer base.

We presently have approximately 3000 people on our mailing list, and it continues to grow as people share my artwork with others. We launched our web site in January of 2003, and it has been absolutely amazing to see where my artwork has traveled outside of Texas as well as the United States. Our sales and the continual affirmation that we have received from others have encouraged us and our belief that God does have a purpose and a plan for my artwork and what He wants to do through it.

Our biggest challenge by far has been mass marketing and introducing the concept of my artwork to others in a way that requires little or no explanation. We sometimes feel that we have to work harder than we should in making sure that people don't miss the message - God's word within the word, but, once they see it they are so excited and appreciative that we shared it with them.

The things that I have had to overcome personally are fear of rejection and patience. I have to remind myself who I am doing this for and why I am doing it. My artwork truly was a gift from God, and, through the growing pains of this journey, He is teaching me to steward well what He has given me.

Unlike the external success that we are groomed to look for so quickly in gauging others in today's culture, God is giving me a success on the inside that only happens when you truly come to know Him for who He is and to believe that He will do what He says He will do. My complete trust is in Him that He will continue to guide us in the decisions that we make and will open the right doors for us in time. Until then, we will just keep spreading the Word!
What's next? For you? For your web site? For your art?" Anything more to add on these questions? What else should your readers / customers know?

Kelly Hansen:
"That's a great question and one I ask myself on a daily basis.

It's a transitional time for us as a business as we are trying to narrow our focus from retailing and doing so many local shows to expanding our wholesale business and reaching more people. It's a prayerful topic for us as to how we are going to do that. Where we are excited by the idea of partnering with larger manufacturer, we plan to continue moving forward on our own to the best of our ability until a door opens.

One of the hardest things to master in owning your own business - especially when it involves creative design - is patience. We have so many ideas - designs and applications, but we have to realize that we cannot implement them all at once.

As a creative person, the delay in seeing your ideas materialize can be very difficult. But, we just continue to do what we can and to try and maintain our focus on God and putting Him first knowing that He will make a way.

I don't know what the future holds for us. For me personally, this experience and journey so far has been one of tremendous growth. My artwork has been such a blessing and has allowed me to use so many of my gifts in such a unique way. Ultimately, I love to serve and meet the needs of others, and God has given me the privilege of being able to use His word in the process.

I am eager to see how He will continue to grow our business and how He may use it as a springboard for other purposes He has for me. Meanwhile, I am hanging on for the ride!
Have there been any people in particular that have been important or provided special support as you have grown your business?

Kelly Hansen:
"I work with my mom Liz. She got laid off 4 months after I started my business and has been working with me ever since. Her support has been invaluable, and she has been such a pivotal part of our growth and success.

We have both struggled with adapting to working for ourselves and, on top of that, out of our home. The transition has been an even harder for her after being in the natural gas industry for over 25 years.

Looking back at the timing of all of this, we could have never planned this alone. We all have the tendency to become so accustom to the same routine and to apply the expertise of what we know to only one field. But, according to Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purposes.”

If we have learned anything at all, it’s that God can instantly change our circumstances and use us and all of our past experiences – good or bad - to accomplish His purposes. If we follow His lead, the blessings will come in more ways than we could ever imagine!!
We appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions and I'm sure our readers have gained some valuable insights from your experiences. Thanks for sharing your stories with us.

Kelly Hansen:
This has been a great experience. Through your questions, I have realized the divine purpose of my artwork and am so thankful. God has grown me so much during this time – it’s been amazing.

Write On!

Kelly Hansen's web site address is

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Quick Review of The BIG MOO !

I ordered the prerelease edition of THE BIG MOO (click here for more info) and it was delivered in 2 DAYS by 1-800-CEO READ (my compliments to them on their fulfillment process).

My expectations for this book were very high.... it is written by 33 of the top business writers in the world, edited by Seth Godin (one of my favorite authors) and focuses on the idea of the Purple Cow and how to get a REALLY BIG MOO ! (not just a regular purple cow).

I was not disappointed when I read the book. Or perhaps, more accurately, I was disappointed when I finished it since I wanted it to keep going! The stories and ideas are a rapid fire grab bag of business stories, life stories and just plain out-of-left-field ideas to help kick start your brain toward coming up with your own BIG MOO / Purple Cow.

Another interesting aspect of the book is that even though it is written by many top authors, including Tom Peters and Guy Kawasaki, none of the chapters are identified by author. This reduces the distraction of comparing Tom's chapter versus Guy's versus Seth's. It also emphasizes the point that these authors contributed to this effort for CHARITY, not notoriety. Clearly you can tell by reading the list on the cover that these authors have enough notoriety already!

Since the Pre-Release version was only available in quantities of 50 books, I have already sent out many of my copies to the key influencers I know in the hopes that they will help "spread the word" about the book and potentially end up purchasing bulk copies for their companies.

I have a few extra copies that I will be giving away and if you are a "key influencer", please send me an email at telling how you will help spread the word about this book (in 200 words or less ... I don't have tons of free time to read through long emails) and I will pick a few of the best to send out free copies. No promises on how long this will last, so send in your ideas as soon as possible!

Write On!

Dave Wheeler

Monday, August 15, 2005

Here Comes .... The BIG MOO ! ! !

What is the latest from the shaved head of Seth Godin? The BIG MOO ! ! !
It was just announced today on his blog. (click here)

The subtitle is, "Stop Trying to be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable" and it is a collection of stories/ideas from 33 of the world's best business minds that tackle one urgent question: What does it really take to make your organization remarkable?

And it is already getting coverage on some great blogs.. Click here for MetaCool.

And it is for charity ! ! !,,

The catch? You have to order 50 books and "sneeze" / seed them for maximum word-of-mouth impact. Check it out!

Write On!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

August Attitude Adjustment # 1 - Enjoy Life!

I got the following from

Everyone has challenges in their life, but it is important to find your "safe harbor" where you can put down your burden and recharge your batteries.


A lecturer was giving a lecture to his student on stress management.

He raised a glass of water and asked the audience, "How heavy do you think this glass of water is?" The students' answers ranged from 20g to 500gm.

"It does not matter on the absolute weight. It depends on how long you hold it.
If I hold it for a minute, it is OK.
If I hold it for an hour, I will have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you will have to call an ambulance.
It is the exact same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

"If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, we will not be able to carry on, the burden becoming increasingly heavier."

"What you have to do is to put the glass down, rest for a while before holding it up again." We have to put down the burden periodically, so that we can be refreshed and are able to carry on.

So before you return home from work tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it back home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you are having now on your shoulders, let it down for a moment if you can. Pick it up again later when you have rested... Rest and relax. Life is short, enjoy it!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I want to go to D-school !!!!!

I just came across a link at metacool blog to the following interview by Business Week with David Kelley (of IDEO fame) who is now starting a Design school (D-school).

Check out the interview:

It sounds like an exciting experience! I want to go to D-school !!!!! (and not just because my name starts with "D").

Write On!

Dave Wheeler

PS Thanks to metacool for bringing this to my attention. Check them out at: