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The Entrepreneurial Free Agent and Dejobbed Small Business R&D Lab
Rants and Raves #12
Taking stock and setting the course...
Welcome to the 21st Century
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Table of Contents

  1. Around the dojo...
    • Rants and Raves gets a make-over...
    • It's never too late to start reading...
    • Idea Incubators - If not now, when!?

  2. Taking stock and setting the course... Welcome to the 21st Century
    • Three Highlights...
    • Three Lowlights...
    • Full speed ahead!

  3. What do YOU think? Three quick questions to go...
    • Taking a moment... On pause until the next century

Around the dojo...

Welcome to the last issue of Rants and Raves before the New Millennium! The Dawn of the 21st Century.

One thing is for certain, the times they are a-changin'! And we couldn't be more excited about it. Sure, so much is up in the air... so much is uncertain and unreal in a way that defies 'business as usual' analyses. The new century will be a scary time for those struggling to maintain the order and predictability of their lives and work-styles.

But, oh, what a wonderful time to 'Think differently.' We are entering a century of revitalization and innovation. If not now, when? If not us, who? Each of us has a Grand Opportunity to take stock, envision a New Day and commit to its realization.

We thank you for your support in this last Century. We welcome your participation in the Sohodojo community in the 21st Century... Nanocorpers, entrepreneurial free agents, small business revolutionaries, this century is for Us!

    Welcome to Sohodojo,
    --Jim Salmons and Timlynn Babitsky--

Rants and Raves gets a make-over...

Not to worry. We haven't gone commercial. We're not going to make our newsletter look and feel like a textual Burma Shave ad of content snippets wrapping a series of sponsoring ads and offers. It's the content-side of things that are getting the focus here, not the presentation so much.

It has been widely observed that the opt-in newsletter or e-zine is the 'killer app' of the free agent or small business. How surprising that something as low-tech as a simple, regular e-mail communication would prove so vital to web business success. Well, we are one more case in point that this insight is proving true.

Rants and Raves has been the unexpected winner for us as we work to build a community of entrepreneurial free agents and small business revolutionaries... so making the newsletter better and more useful is a Very Good Thing as we head into the 21st Century.

We have always envisioned Sohodojo as... well, a dojo... a place to learn about and develop both the strategy and tactics needed for small business folks to compete in the Internet economy. To that end, we are about BOTH the philosophy and the skills needed to compete using a 'Small is Good' approach to business.

To date, the Rants and Raves have been long on the philosophy/strategy side of things and short on the pragmatic tactics and weapons to apply to your business strategies. We will address this imbalance as we move into the next century.

As we move into the new year, here's how we will 'tune' our Rants and Raves newsletter:

  • Twice a month schedule - we'll be appearing in your mailbox on a more regular schedule

  • Alternating 'focus':

    • First issue of the month, Strategy and Philosophy

    • Second issue of the month, Tactics and Resources

  • Every issue, the 3 Questions 'interactive' feature - we really love reading your comments and suggestions!

The new schedule and content will make the RnR newsletter an integral part of your business tool bag. As always, we welcome any e-mail comments or questions about Rants and Raves.

It's never too late to start reading...

Have you grabbed a copy of Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, Mirror Worlds, The Lemming Conspiracy, Die Broke, Born to Rebel, or any of the other exciting titles we recommend at the Sohodojo RIBS Joint?

If you or someone you love is a small business revolutionary or a business rebel at heart, take a look at the Really Important Books and Stuff at the RIBS Joint. Every purchase you make helps the dojo through our Amazon affiliate relationship... and you'll be filling your head with new ideas and insights that are sure to help you to reinvent yourself in the 21st Century!

Idea Incubators - If not now, when?

Okay. Here's our FUD pitch on getting yourself a Sohodojo Idea Incubator (a.k.a., a really cool hat).

Look. Your competitors have already ordered their Sohodojo Idea Incubators. As soon as they are delivered, your competitors will slip on their Incubators and be thinking BIG IDEAS about their small businesses. They will be leaving you in the dust of the 20th Century. Can you afford to let your competition enjoy the advantages of improved Thought Retention Technology?

There is still time to get a Sohodojo Idea Incubator working for you... Order your Incubator before you are left behind...!

Taking stock and setting the course... Welcome the 21st Century

Sure this New Millennium frenzy is just a bit of numerological shenanigans of little import in the Grand Scheme of Things. But no matter what, this Millennium Madness is giving many of us a shared moment to take stock of where we've been and to dedicate ourselves to whatever it is we really want to do but have not done so to date.

With that in mind, here's a quick assessment of this past year and a glimpse at what's ahead...

Three Highlights...

Of all the things that happened this year, here are three of the developments that helped make it a Great Year for us and the Sohodojo community:

Three Lowlights...

Of all the things that happened this year, here are three of the developments that helped make it a Learning Experience for us:

  • We learned that 'Family Medical Emergencies' can be among the 'killer events' which shape the free agent and small business start-up experience... Happily, both Timlynn's Mom and Jim's Dad are still with us. But both our surviving parents experienced devastating health problems that overshadowed EVERYTHING we had anticipated in our 'Year 1' start-up plan and budget. (The good side? We were reminded how important family and 'Plan B' are to happiness and success.)

  • We spent too much time and energy thinking that conventional legal and venture capital sources would 'get it' and support us. While we 'talked the talk', we were still learning to 'walk the walk.' Like the sneaker folks say we learned we have to, "Just do it!" We truly believe that the nanocorper's 'ruthlessly small' approach to business can be the source of competitive advantage in the network economy... providing you have your head on straight.

  • Realizing we are Geniots... that symbiotic fusion of genius and idiot, great at some things, dumb as posts at other things... and subject to the Law of Small Numbers. Coming to grips with ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses, our expectations of success, of meaning in Life... all these things are wrapped in our growing realization that we'd rather be Us, warts and all, than a 'Minion of The Man.'

Full speed ahead!... The R&D Lab for Entrepreneurial Free Agents!

As we reported in the last issue of Rants and Raves, our attending the MIT Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century helped to limit and clarify our focus for the Sohodojo community. In the event that you missed the full report on the MIT 21C conference and its implications to Sohodojo, you'll find the full article here.

We came away from the conference with a much clearer strategic focus which will carry us through this coming New Year and into the 21st Century:

    "Sohodojo is dedicated to being a self-organizing, self-managing community of entrepreneurial free agents and small business revolutionaries dedicated to exploring new business models and developing software technologies in support of these new models."

We are the community-based 'Bell Labs' of the Free Agent 'nation', the emerging workforce/community of e-lancing entrepreneurial free agents. (See Dan Pink's excellent site, for more on the Free Agent Nation perspective.)

We believe very strongly that today's software technologies are poorly mapped to our e-lancing business workstyles. Further, we believe that the ONLY way to truly have a deep appreciation for the technology needs of the nanocorping, e-lancing community of free agents and small business revolutionaries is to BE a nanocorping, free agent, small business.

As they say, "You ain't seen nothing, yet!" We are looking forward to continuing to shake things up as we enter the new century... the Century where Small is Good!

We welcome you into our community. We challenge you to participate and to help shape this community as we forge ahead... by and for nanocorping, e-lancing, free agents and small business revolutionaries! We have some exciting work to do. Let's enjoy doing it together.

What do YOU think? Three quick questions to go...

We're taking a one-issue break from the regular poll this week to give you and us a chance to reflect and envision our lives as they lay ahead of us in the 21st Century. We'll be back on track with the '3 Questions' next issue. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts or comments you would like to send our way, you e-mail is always welcome using this abbreviated polling form:

------Start copy here------

D: If I could tell Jim and Timlynn a thing or two for the 21st Century, it would be:

------End copy here------

( Click and paste, respond and send.)

As always, thanks for reading this issue of Sohodojo's Rants and Raves newsletter,
    --Jim Salmons and Timlynn Babitsky--
    Hosts, Sohodojo

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