Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Greatest Investment (Guest Blog for

Anybody who knew me as a kid was fully aware of three things about me— I talked really fast, I asked way too many questions, and I couldn't stand going to school. You can probably guess that the first two weren't that big of a deal from my point of view. The last one was a real killer though.

School was honestly my number one arch-nemesis growing up. From day one of kindergarten until the day I graduated from college, I couldn't stand the "school" aspect of school (the tests, the homework, sitting in a classroom for hours, etc.). But notice one thing about that last sentence. . . how I couldn't stand school until the day I graduated from college. That means I actually stuck it out for nineteen years and got my Bachelor's degree. For some reason I didn't call it quits. As a matter of fact, I actually encourage others to finish their schooling and do the best they can while they're at it. I'll explain.

For the first seven years of my education I was dragged to school kicking and screaming on a daily basis. Some days I ran around the house and got all sweaty so it'd seem like I had a fever. Other days I'd claim that a tiny cough was probably bronchitis. I was constantly trying to connive my way out of going to school. For some reason nothing ever fooled my mom though, and I always ended up having to get in what felt like a cop car and taken to a place that felt like prison.

Don't get me wrong. . . I still couldn't stand school after those first seven years. However, I began to see a slight change in my point of view after that. I watched my older sister reap so many benefits from school, I couldn't help but realize that there had to be more to this thing than met the eye. . . it seemed like I just had to start trying to make school work for me instead of me working for school.

Just like always, I resolved that I'd never actually like the "school" aspect. What about the other aspects though? I started to appreciate the social aspect— I get to hang out with my friends on a daily basis! I started to appreciate the access to learning materials— I could get free access to expensive books and fancy software (to answer all my tons of questions). As high school started to wind down, I started to appreciate the "travel around the world for free" potential of college— you mean that I can get invited to move across the country, meet new people, eat all the food I want for free. . . and all I have to do is try my best in high school? I saw it happen to my sister first hand. She got invited to go to school in New Jersey and got scholarships to pay for all her travel expenses, housing, food, and education. And supposedly, if you played your cards right, a college would even ship you across the Atlantic for a semester. You'd get all the same benefits but just on another continent. . . in addition to a stipend for extra travel! Whoa! So much good stuff that it was getting easy to forget about how much I couldn't stand the "school" aspect. When I got into college, I became so busy focusing on and enamored by all the other aspects that I was sad when all those non-"school" aspects of school came to an end.

That was until I landed my first job. It took almost a year of desperately looking for any sort of work I could find, sitting in employment offices, taking aptitude tests, searching craigslist, going door-to-door gathering census data, etc. . . anything to make a buck. But eventually that degree landed me a steady job. It's not a job that I'm absolutely crazy about, but it finances my life and allows me to invest in all the things I really like. I was able to pay off all of my student loans too (since I didn't get the big scholarships like my sister).  But now I can start a thing like Pious Poultry that I really enjoy and not have to worry if sales fluctuate. Thanks to a free education, I'm now able to pursue my childhood dreams and finance any ideas that come to mind, all on my own accord. I made the nineteen year investment. . . now I'm my own primary investor in any endeavor I pursue. 

I'm not saying that you have to be the top of your class like my sister, but it's definitely worth it to at least give school your best shot.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The "Causes" Effect

This past week, quite a few people asked me about how supporting a cause fits into our business model. So I thought I might as well write it down in a blog post. :)

It's my strong belief that we're all in control of making the world into what we want it to be. Specifically, our generation is a talented bunch that has the ability and the drive to make both entrepreneurship and philanthropy related once again. By doing this, we won't only bring prosperity to ourselves and to our loved ones, but we'll also bring hope to others around us. We have the power to bring about any changes in the world that we desire through our creativity, enthusiasm, vision, talent, drive, and generosity. We need to use these strengths (and any others we have) to support each other. We're all on this earth together. . . why not have each other's backs every once in a while?

For that reason alone, we should show generosity through business endeavors (if finances allow for it). But I have yet another reason.

We all invest a lot into our businesses. That investment can be emotional, financial, or both. The point is this when people start a business, they place a huge piece of themselves out there on a limb. As a result, any businessperson sincerely wants their endeavor to succeed. . . we all NEED to succeed to preserve that huge piece of ourselves. So why not give the business every possible opportunity to achieve that success? For us, making causes a part of our business model and subsequently raising awareness for that cause is one more way that the business and those around us can succeed. In the end, if our finances don't hold up, at least more people were made aware of our causes than would have known about them if our business never existed. Along those exact same lines, every donation to one of our causes makes our business an even bigger success (whether it's through us or through someone else's personal donation). We truly believe in the causes we support, so we honestly feel a connection to them that brings us fulfillment as they thrive.

Pious Poultry believes that the more we win, the more those around us should win. It's our personal preference to spread the wealth a little by switching to a new cause every month or two. We're open-minded though, so we're always willing to stick around longer (or multiple times) if necessary.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Introducing Pious Poultry

This is the first time I’m offering all these shirts to the public. Prior to today, all of this stuff was a fun joke between family and friends. Every time someone saw one of these drawings somewhere, they couldn’t help but smile and laugh at how goofy it all was. Then they’d ask where they could get one. That goofy-ness is what makes these shirts so irresistible. Now, I hope everybody can get a kick out of the different drawings and personalities portrayed on each t-shirt. And what good is an endeavor if it doesn’t help out the world in some way? So, not only will these shirts make people smile and laugh, but they’ll help out a worthy cause. As long as I’m running this show, I’ll donate a third of all the t-shirt money I make to a new cause each month.

Like I said earlier, this whole Bob the Chicken thing started out as a joke. . . a joke drawing that I made sophomore year of high school (2003), a joke that quickly started developing a life of its own— it kind of started to get out of hand actually. Before I knew it, I was making calendars and shirts for my family and friends. Bob became a quick hit.

By 2012, Bob had taken on so many personalities that I was reminded of a man going through a mid-life crisis— he probably had enough mid-life-crises to compare to a small gaggle of people. When it comes down to it, he’s on a mission to find himself— whether it’s through a new endeavor, a worthy cause, or a change in personality. This is actually a lot like what society is going through today. We’re unsure of our futures. Do we follow the path laid down before us, buy into the stereotype, or do we create our own futures? Follow Bob as he answers these questions for himself, through old-fashioned trial and error. There will be more personalities and t-shirts to come!
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