Fact: Hip Hop Improves Copywriting Skills

This awesome image courtesy of iammeltron on Flickr.comI’ve been doing tons of copy writing lately – for my own launches and promotional landing pages for clients – and one thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve always had a natural gift for putting words together.  Sure this isn’t exactly a skill that I’ve been trained in, but it’s becoming more a more apparent that my background in songwriting and music has come 360 and into my writing abilities.

Out of the various types of writing that I’ve dipped in and out of since I was 11, writing rhymes for hip hop tracks has proved to be the most beneficial.  A little history on me and hip hop… When I was around 13, Wu Tang Clan was the shit.  The way these guys would put words and scenarios together was absolutely unheard of at the time – not to mention that there were 9 of them, residing from various boroughs across New York and at least half of them didn’t graduate from high school.  Wu Tang Clan as a group was themed very  much around the old kung fu movies of the 70’s, constantly using samples and references in their tracks.

This is when I started writing rhymes…

Moving forward to the present time, I am 100% convinced that all the years of writing lyrical rhymes directly fuel my ability to be creative and comfortable when putting words together.  Here’s what I mean:

Good copy should…

  • have a rhythm when reading it
  • create visuals for the reader
  • have clever headlines
  • relate to the reader
  • cause the reader to take action

Hip Hop lyrics should…

  • be rhythmic and on beat
  • create visuals for the listener
  • have clever punchlines
  • relate to the listener
  • keep the listener listening

Some people might think I’m losing it, but I think I’m on to something here!

Just to clarify for the listeners and non-listeners of hip hop music, I’m not referring to the audile bile that is rotated on the idiot box and radio.  Real hip hop.  Lyrical hip hop.  This is what I’m talking about:







Attracting the Laws of Attraction

law of attraction

Post Internet drama, Elijah and I have been struggling a bit with thinking positively about our current financial situation.  We do have work coming in, but trying to catch up with all the bill payments we have missed is a daunting task.  Focusing on a plan of action is hard, because we’re trying to do so many things at once.  The chaos is terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time.  Elijah came to me the other night with a potential movie to watch for the evening, “Beyond the Secret“, a motivational film outlining the steps to benefiting from the Laws of Attraction.

The movie itself was kind of corny, but the concept intrigues me.  I’ve heard about the Laws of Attraction before, but never really delved too deeply into the topic.  Eli and I are very big believers in the mind/body/spirit connection, so we’ve decided to make a conscious effort to employ the Laws of Attraction.  We’ve starting meditating twice a day and focusing on positive outcomes.  It hasn’t been easy for me, since I have a tendency to worry and fret.  But I must say that I have been pretty good for the past couple of days.

For anyone else (I’m probably the last.) unaware of the theory, it is that the Laws of Attraction are Universal Laws that are based on the energy of the earth and of us as human beings.  Basically, by focusing your energy on your desires or dreams, you are manifesting them into reality.  But it goes both ways; focusing your energy on negative outcomes or scenarios can attract those as well. By simply knowing what you want, asking the universe for it, visualizing your self with it and allowing change, we can achieve any goal or dream.  In terms of science, there are those who don’t believe it is possible for one to transmit their energies,  yet others argue the laws of Quantum Physics, which teaches that nothing is fixed, we and everything on this planet are vibrating balls of energy have limitless possibilities.

(This is my basic understanding of Quantum Physics and the Laws of Attraction.)

I figure that because we have a lot to turn around, it is easier to focus on smaller, more attainable goals.  Obviously I want to get caught up with our payments, so I envision myself paying the bills and having money left over.  Simple and yet such a happy thought . . . sigh.  We haven’t noticed any dramatic change so far, but that can be expected since we only started talking about this a couple days ago.  (Although Eli did receive a random $25 out of the blue tonight.)

I’m really excited to get my mind and body on the same page, they’ve been at odds with each other for a while now.

There really can’t be any negative outcomes . . .

because I won’t be thinking about them.

Stay Classy,


Elijah’s Idiot-Free Halloween Guide For 2009

This awesome image courtesy of sictransitgloria on Flickr.comThis Halloween will actually be the first time in probably 5 years that I’ve actually dressed up and went “out”.  I’m still not sure why I’ve decided to make an effort this year, but I think it has something to do with getting older and trying to feel younger… is it sad that I’m 28 and already attempting to recapture my youth?

All things aside, Hallows Eve has changed significantly since I was a child.  Back in the 80’s it was all about garbage bags full of candy; the more we could get the better.  My sister Jasmine and I would have two costumes prepared some years… making a double pass around our 5 storey apartment complex and across the street throughout our grandmothers hood.  I’m not even kidding, one year we had so much candy that it had to  be kept in our closet… and for almost 6 months that closet had a half foot floor of caramelized sugar and wax-based wrappers.

It truly is a beautiful thing when executed correctly…

In the spirit of all things ghastly and ghoulish, I figured I would share some insight towards making this years Halloween one to remember.  Whether you’re taking the kids out for the first time or have tossed your inhibitions and decided to go  make a fool of yourself among your middle-aged peers, I’m positive you’ll find my tips resourceful.

If you’re a male between the ages of 25 and 50 and haven’t participated in Halloween festivities for at least 10 years, please strongly consider the following:

  • You are not hallucinating.  Hooker nurses and slutty school girls are considered to be costumes by the current generation.  Though much of the luscious eye candy may seem to be old enough – sporting their fish net stockings and glittery cleavage – chances are they are 16 and drink a lot of milk.  Don’t touch, don’t tip, don’t talk.
  • Be sure your costume fits.  Whether you’re taking out the toddlers or attending a pumpkin-themed office party, make an effort to find a costume that is “comfortable”.  What I’m actually trying to say is don’t be dressing up as your favorite Bee Gee with some skin tight grape smugglers.  Though a healthy bulge was once a sign of fertility and prowess, it will now get you 10-15 years without parole if you accidentally “bump” into someone.
  • Go easy on the candy.  There was a time when we could eat pounds of sugary goodness and do back-flips off bed posts.  These days are gone.  If you’re going to be drinking any sort of amber colored liquor named after a Mr. Daniels, hold back on the single serving candy consumption.  Rainbow vomit is for sick unicorns, not grown men.

If you’re a female between the ages of 25 and 50 and haven’t participated in Halloween festivities for at least 10 years, please strongly consider the following:

  • Halloween is not fantasy time. Just because you’re “barely” hiding behind some wig and push up bra, this does not give you a full out invitation to become a role playing woman-of-the-pole.  You are not Lady Gaga.  Be classy, be smart and more importantly, don’t be a dirty hooker.  YouTube is a cell phone away and real strippers will run laps around you.  Keep your fantasies in the bedroom.
  • Try to avoid fetish parties.  Don’t get me wrong, if this is your thing and you’ve had prior experience – this tip is not meant for you.  But as stated above, if you haven’t done the whole “Halloween” thing for quite some time, attending a fetish party will scar you.  Not only will Thanksgiving dinner with the family will never be the same, but you’ll probably end up in a corner somewhere sucking a penis-shaped lollipop – veins included.
  • Listen to your kids.  This applies to many different areas.  If your daughter says Mrs. Grimsby’s candy sucks, it probably does.  If your son tells you that you’re embarrassing him, you probably are.  If little John Jr. says his cape is too tight and he can’t breathe, loosen it.  If 15 year old Sophia says that Mitchel’s parents will be there to supervise the party, they probably will (not).

October 31st has been an idiot-fueled ocassion for centuries.  I hope my observations will prove useful towards a successful and memorable Halloween for you and yours.

I do have one last tip for all of the committed couples of the world:  douche-bag doctor and naughty nurse is probably the worst couple costume in the history of this ancient celtic celebration.  Be creative, because if you’re not I will find pictures and I will put my internet marketing skills to use.

And you’ll probably end up getting featured on the Ellen Degeneres Show – in a bad way.

Back on the Ball

It has now been 4 official days of internet service with no interruptions or crashes.  This is monumental!  It seems that that box of connections at the back of our building was in complete dis-repair; with no cover or protection.  There may even have been a family birds living, what seems like, on our line.  It would definitely explain the random signal dropping.  My condolences go out to the family that we displaced, but there are plenty of actual trees in this neighbourhood.  To think that all this time we’ve been calling customer service, all someone needed to do was physically walk to the back of  our building.  Sometimes I cannot believe that it took 2 months for major internet providers to provide us with the connection we need, especially since we live in the heart of a metropolitan city.  We unfortunately took this service for granted.  Non the less, it feels so good to know that we’re back on track.  I feel like I barely got a taste of working from home and everything went in the shitter.

In hindsight, it may have been a good thing.  Sometimes the only way to look at these experiences is as positively as possible.  We have DEFINITELY learned some important lessons and are better for it now.  But in that time, I can’t even begin to describe the frustration we were feeling.  It makes me think back to the post I wrote about Copreneurs and how this was one of those times that could make or break us.  Thankfully, we kept our heads on and dealt with it, with minimal tension.

It’s such a different type of stress.  At a workplace, the conflict would have been a big mess during the day, but eventually you go home and forget about it for the night, until you have to go back in the morning.  But for all of you that work from home and run your own business, you understand the black pit in the stomach and never ending swimming in your head.  The stress in 24/7 and there’s nothing you can do but move forward.  This is all still so new to me, and I’m not going to lie, we talked about me going out and getting another job.

I’m still holding out.

Things are back on the way up.  Elijah’s got tons of work coming in and I’ve even got some design jobs rolling my way.  It’s funny how life sometimes make things suck as much as possible and then flips it instantaneously, in my opinion to make us appreciate what we have in our lives.  If anything, this past downturn is just the “rock-bottom” chapter in our success story.  Look for it on shelves at your favourite bookstore in 2015.

The other silver lining, albeit small, is that I’ve uncovered my love for crafts!  It may sound lame to some people, but I bet those people wouldn’t be saying so if they were curled up in a hand knitted blanket of awesomeness!

mug cozie

Here’s my latest project.

I’m definitely not a pro, but these are what my family and friends can expect for Christmas.  Not only is it going to save us money, but it has kept me sane during these past few months.

Now that Elijah and I are slowly starting to get back into the routine, I look forward to sharing more of my musings with you.  We have a ton of projects on the go, and I can’t wait to share them.  Keep you’re eyes peeled, ’cause we’re back and with a whole lot of wind in our sails!

Stay classy,


Karma, Good Deeds and Free Superfruit Juice

monavie-acai-berry-juiceYes yes y’all… Just wanted to touch base real quick and share a moment of karma and good-deed-doing with you.  If you can recall, back in December of 2008 I was looking at some domains and stumbled upon TheStressFactor.com, only to realize that the same guy owned all of the other TLD’s.  Well being the good chap that I am, I decided to contact him and let him know it was available rather than buy it and extort him for a nice profit.

This good deed landed me a great connection, as well as a butt-load of free PLR from one of his sites!

Anyways, last week I received an email from a previous Sitepoint contact who acquired one of my niche websites, PinkRibbonWomen.com, from a previous buyer.  He contacted me with regards to helping him get a few things sorted out and set up on the site – which I eagerly offered to help him with.

Once finished, he notified me that he is a distributer of MonaVie Acai Berry products and offered to send me a bottle as a token of his awesomeness and appreciation – which I eagerly accepted being the health product junkie that I am.  I promised him that once I received his gift I would blog about it to my awesome friends and partners to show him some bloggerhood love.  He sent me a 750 ml bottle of MonaVie Acai Berry premium blend – which is not cheap!


So that’s that.  Another story of karma and doing good things online.  I want to give a big shout out to Marc – my future MonaVie juice distributor – for his good form (as Captain Hook would say).

You never know who you’re going to meet online, but one thing I do know for sure is that the Internet population is much more kind when compared to the real world.



I’m No Longer Jealous, Just Green.

So I’m into week three of working from home. Thankfully I had a couple projects that Elijah sent my way. He’s been keeping me busy. This is the best way to live. Yesterday, because we finally had a nice day in Toronto, Eli and I bought some sandwiches and sat in a park to eat lunch. Then we went on a walk to explore the neighbourhood that I’ve never seen, because that’s what I wanted to do. I started thinking about the past three weeks and the things I didn’t have to do anymore; I don’t have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning anymore, I don’t have to travel for ridiculous amounts of time anymore and I don’t have to spend so much money on food anymore. Now I can do these things when I want to.

On that note, I’ve also realized that all these things that I don’t have to do anymore shrink my personal carbon footprint dramatically. (Well, except waking up so early, more sleep=more energy and that just makes me happy.) The more and more I think about, working from home is such an eco friendly way to live my life, and all I had to do was quit my job.

Eli and I have always talked about being greener and how we are going to live greener in the future. We have plans to build our own home completely off the grid. We’ve done things like only eat organic food, and local and organic fruits and vegetables. We’ve even cut meat and dairy out of our diets for the most part. We deal with Toronto’s horrible transit system, in order to hold off buying a car until we REALLY need one. We compost in our tiny apartment, even though we end up with fruit flies. We are definitely not martyrs, we don’t take part in protests or parades, but we definitely try to do our part.
Now that I’m working from home, I’m not contributing to the wasteful use of paper on a daily basis, or emissions from the bus that I took twice a day, not to mention the time I’ve saved myself. My commute now is from the bedroom to the office. And most importantly I save energy. Because I work by a big window, I have the luxury of beautiful natural light. I control the temperature. If it’s too cold, I just put on a big fat sweater. It’s an awesome feeling to have choice.

I’m still in awe of this new life. Every day I seem to be learning something, and I have always craved that. Living a greener work lifestyle is the perfect complement to the way we are living now, and it’s only going to get better. It makes me wonder, are people who work from home generally more eco friendly than their commuting counterparts? I’ve always been jealous of people who worked from home, little did I know that being green was such a big part of it.