Me vs. Deborah


My floating thoughts on a daily basis: 

I can't wait to start this business! 
I know I can do it. I know I can be successful.
I've wanted this for so long...
Think about this cool thing we can do! And that cool thing! 
If (fill-in-the-blank competition) did it, so can I.
You realize how much work it will be... right?
What if you fail... 

:: Record scratch:: As confident as I am about my ability to build a business, it's really easy for negative thoughts to enter my brain to discourage me from doing what I want to do. It's getting especially hard as I research more and more and learn about the roadblocks that I'll likely experience.  I believe that getting over the mental blocks of starting a business is the first step to getting started. Once you feel like you can do it, all of the reasons to procrastinate dissolve and you become laser focused on getting shit done. So how the heck do you actually do that? Take some great advice from one of the best Drag Queens in the business: Name your negative voice... then verbally abuse it. 

The Drag Queen I'm taking about is Katya. This RuPaul's Drag Race All-Star contestant and all around amazing Queen said that when she hears the negative voice in her head (whom she's affectionately named Brenda), she simply tells it to shut the f*ck up. Check it out- it's pretty perfect. 

The little voice in my head is named Deborah

Deborah is that middle-aged woman in mom-jeans with chunky highlights wearing too much Sibika jewelry. She's the one that orders at restaurants for her 17-year-old son and is OBSESSED with the drama surrounding her kid's extracurricular activities. She always wants to speak to your manager and gets personally offended when you tell her that happy hour ended 20 minutes ago and she can not, in fact, get her chardonnay half priced just because she wanted to get here for happy hour but couldn't make it in time. Deborah tells me that my business idea is dumb, she tells me that it's risky and not a good industry for a woman. She tells I'm not smart enough to navigate building inspections, lease agreements, and occupancy permits. She tells me that my idea is too big, too expensive, and too stressful. 

And when she starts getting too loud, I tell Deborah to shut the f*ck up. 

I'm sure Deborah will crop back up throughout this process to tell me that I can't do this or that. She may even win some days, which is fine. What she won't do is deter me from creating something beautiful and living my dream. 

Now that she's out of the way... let's write a business plan. 



It's Adora's world and we're All just living in it.

How many 5 year olds can say that they are the inspiration for over 1,000 works of art?

This past month I've been lucky enough to work with one such girl- well, her father actually, Adora can't run a website...yet. 

The Adora Art Project was started by Adora's Dad, Hanan, when Adora was born. He wanted a creative way to document his daughter's growth and development. The project started slowly and eventually became a huge project featuring over 1,000 works of art from all over the world. Adora has gotten in on the act too- she loves to cook her favorite recipes on a YouTube cooking channel and write silly songs that she's published in to a book called "Songs for 5 Year Olds". 

Hanan contacted me looking for some marketing assistance on his website. He needed to take the many aspects of the site and package them in a more digestible format. Between Hanan's blog, all of the artists' content and Adora's interests, the website was hard to understand and did not have a well defined purpose. I was able to give him some insight on how to make the site simpler and more user friendly.

The big questions that needed to be answered were "What is this site really about?" and more specifically "Who is it for?" and "Why do they care?". It seems like a lot of lofty thinking for an art blog but every company has a purpose that needs to be defined. 

These questions come up quite a lot in branding, especially as a concept changes and evolves over time. In the case with The Adora Art Project, more and more artists created works for the site and as Adora began growing up, she wanted to participate too. The concept as a whole changed so now its user interface needed some tweaking as well. 

After this first round of work was finished, Hanan revealed his long term plan for The Adora Art Project concept. He's launching a non-proft side of the business, in conjunction with some of the original artists, to create and sell original works of art to help raise money for less fortunate children. I will continue to work with The Adora Art Project as it begins this exciting new phase of its life and will play a roll in launching the project next month. 

Visit for more information about the unique and talented Adora Levin, her art, and the accompanying non-profit to come in the following months. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about her soon.