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Ok, I am a little off the beaten path of business and art today, but I have this really odd relationship with Starbucks. I use it as a meeting/drop-off  place for customers, sounds like a drug deal, but it is not, I assure you.  It is warm, friendly and inviting. The staff is always pleasant and the aroma is like a heady  cloud of happiness. Yeah, it is Starbucks! At some point, you must return all of the coffee you consumed, and I understand businesses trying to be all “Green” and such. But when I go into a restroom, I want to make the personal decision when it is time to leave. As soon as that light goes on, baby you are on the clock! No loitering people…do your business and get out. I always feel like I am 10 years old again and at the state fair playing that game with the water pistol and the clown head. Squeezing that trigger so hard that the balloon on the clown’s head inflates faster than your neighbors. Pee faster! I cheer myself on..then…I hear the  *click* and out goes the light! Awww, it always gets me. I flail my arms to turn it back on, once again , feeling defeated. Love Starbucks, the restroom antics…not so much. Is there a lesson here? Possibly. But really, Starbucks…can I have a light switch? I promise to turn the light out when I leave.


Ahhh, we loved it in elementary school…the quick slip of the hip when the ball came zinging our way. You could feel the Whoosh as it breezed by you, another triumphant miss! Yesssss. I stay in the  game. Well, I see business as this very sort of activity. It is you against everyone, you have to keep your eye on the ball, and you have to constantly re-adjust your position to stay on top! Staying in the game is no small task  today. You have to be creative on all fronts and find new ways of doing things when you have exhausted the old methods. Every year, it seems the old methods are just that, old. I am always thinking of  new ideas.

One came to  me just this week.  I got my “end of the year massage” so I go rolling into the new year feeling refreshed and revitalized. It was a salon I had not ever tried and when I walked into the office, I immediately loved the decor. I did notice it was sparse.(Maybe they are minimalists…you never know) Anyway, after my session, I complimented the owner on the interior and commented on the sparse part. They are not minimalists, they ran out of money for the rest of the office. My light went on! I offered him my art work to finish the look and put discreet prices on them. When an item sells, they get a commission for the sale and I replace the inventory and rotate it periodically. He thought it was a great idea. He gets a finished look to his office,  passive income for selling art and a new network of my customer base…they can now come see my work in person and maybe book a massage in the process. I get a new place to show my work, a broader network of his client base, and potential income for selling there. Definitely a win-win situation. Whooshhhhh, another miss. I stay in the  game!

Michele Palenik & Baxter

Michele Palenik & Baxter

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