Thursday, April 30, 2015

Project: Staking Your Domain

We all desire a sense of acceptance: A sense of home, a sense of inclusion and connection. And so we seek for places of like-mindedness, never realizing that we can be the ones who model these places of welcome.

We have the power to create a niche, to decide what it is that people need and how we can serve them, then offer it to them.

We have the power to facilitate them and lead them from one ladder ring to the next. We can give them the sense of acceptance and encourages them to build a stronger sense of home within themselves and create a stronger outreach.

We have the power to stake our own domain and invite others to be a part of it. And we don’t even have to take issue with zoning regulations.

Creating a safe online presence where people can land 24/7 is vital in a generation where the Internet is over saturated with misleading information.

The best and most important way to do this is staking your domain. Your domain name, that is. It’s your online address, so make it easy to memorize and worth memorizing.

You are competing with innumerable domain names and websites so it’s rare you have opportunity to imagine, pick and purchase the web address you desire, but that shouldn’t deter you from fulfilling your purpose:

  • Don’t Be Too Clever

Now is not the time to be creative. Now is the time to be competitive and succinct. Try to stay as close to your company name as possible and keep it short. Make it memorable, remember!

  • Consider Your Brand

As The Green Couch Project we were fortunate enough to secure the domain name However, in the event it wasn’t, it would be a great disservice and disconnect for us to have used

  • Consider SEO

The only way this is effective is if there is a direct association between the SEO keyword in your domain name and the chosen SEO keyword in your website text (which should be used repeatedly). 

  • Avoid The Shift Key

If those searching for you are required to use the shift key, you can count on them forgetting it. In other words, if possible try not to use symbols; e.g., dashes, etc.

  • Save Room For Misspellings

If your business name is something that is often is interpreted differently in spelling, considering purchasing all common misspelling for your domain. That way, no matter how people search your company, you will not lose traffic.

  •  Build Upon It

Now that you have it [your domain], don’t let it lie dormant. Hire someone to build a website around your domain so that you can attract the right community. 

  •  Flaunt It

Share the domain name. Invite people to interact. Upload pictures. Stay connected. You have online presence; you have power. What will you do with it? Let us know! We’re always eager to hear from our readers and fellow risk-takers. You’ve spilled your gutsy online and built a domain. It’s time to spill your gutsy with us!

-The Green Couch

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Project: Humble Pie Is Best Served Warm

So fresh out of the oven with a dollop of ice cream or real whip cream that it melts in your mouth.

That’s the way you eat a slice of dessert pie.

And that’s the only kind of pie we like to talk about. Because when it comes to humble pie we’d rather serve a slice of justice to others rather than have the tables turn and have a plate of humble pie serving staring us straight in the gut.

But we get in the way of life with our actions, and words and we make mistakes. Some of use more than others. The biggest mistake of all? Not owning up to them. And when you do that in a company, the negative consequences trickle down the pipeline and drastically alter morale, efficiency and ultimately the outward public presence.

Own up to your mistakes as soon as you notice them:

1) Apologize to those directly involved.

Here are the appropriate methods: In person, written letter and in an email. Don’t let time go in which misunderstandings, gossips, insubordination and bitterness can fester.

Your team morale depends on open dialogue and complete honesty.

2) Don’t be sorry; be different.

Be genuine. Don’t be “humble” and eat your pie just dbecause you’re caught.

Learn from this mistake and make it your priority to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Safeguard your company, whether it’s in your processes, HR enforced or routine pep talks.

3) Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew!

Ever attend a wedding ceremony and reception where the bride and groom express their love by feeding each other cake in a very unceremonious manner by smashing cake in one another’s face?

Well, a humble pie should never be indulged in such a manner. Whether you are forced to eat it or watch someone eat it, it can be a come-together moment for your company. When someone owns up to their faults and mistakes, they are allowing for complete transparency and vulnerability. Both of which are strengths, not weaknesses.

So, is there any pie that you need to eat, any people you need to talk to and any team morale that you need to build up?

-The Green Couch

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Project: The Gig is Up

For some, “gig” is a word that alludes to a secretive endeavor. Think reconnaissance. Under the books. Hide and seek.

Others, it’s a music feature.

But for those who are trying to make their ends meet, who are trying to get their books out of the red and into the black, their gig means a side job. Their weekend job. Their start up.

So when the day comes when they are told the gig is up, it’s a good day.

Because this time when they’re told the gig is up, it doesn’t mean they’re found out, it means they’ve been found. Both by someone else – an audience, and by themselves.

They’ve been spotted as a recognizable and reputable brand. They are wanted. They have something; they are solving something. They are the someone they know they are supposed to be. They are utilizing the skillset they were intended to, in an atmosphere that is most conducive to society.

No more a pet project, side job, an income loss; it’s now your primary source of income, but more importantly it’s your source of happiness.

It’s freedom.

The gig is up, so now what? What’s a girl or guy to do?

  • If you haven’t already explored who you are and why it matters, you start here, because though it may be a one-man show, every one needs a side-kick. This interactive workbook is the almost pocket-sized strategist all newfound, or renewing entrepreneurs need:

  • If you need business inspiration you can begin by browsing The Project Blog: Written with risk-takers in mind – those who may have many light bulbs burning or those who have yet to shine – The Project Blog is a resource for budding entrepreneurs. Through educating and empowering words, we hope that our posts will inspire you to write your story too. Enjoy the journey and join in on The Green Couch mission to speak, follow and fulfill your dreams. #SpillYourGutsy

  • If you need to bounce your ideas off of someone else’s, there is a reason it’s called a brand new idea - their ideas should inspire you to brand yours…They sign pinky promises, spill their gutsy and share how they continue to speak follow and fulfill business dreams. Sitting on The Couch, they take us along for the journey and reflect on their initial risk-taking moment, re-discovering their love, passion and vision - and then fall in love all over again. Remembering the thrill of the risk, the highs, the lows and the rewards, they refocus and find themselves walking away with renewed purpose.

  • If you have an amazing story, if you have had ups and downs and more downs, then you tell someone, and you can tell it on The Green Couch. It’s time to spill your gutsy. To get it out and tell the world that as a risk-taker you’re just like them, they’re just like you. What made you want to be an entrepreneur? Venture out on your own? Build a brand? What makes you a risk-taker? What makes you get up in the morning? Stay up all night?
The next generation of dreamers depends on us following ours today. No matter how old we get, no matter how long we’re in the business, an entrepreneur never stops growing. What if you could reach the masses just by sitting on a couch? You can. Others have. Now it’s your turn.

-The Green Couch

Want to be featured in The Green Couch Project Newsletter? 
Email momina@thegreencouchproject… Get ready to #spillyourgutsy and snap a selfie!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Project: The Trust Fall

Friends and Family!

Everyone who has ever had a cell phone through a major carrier (isn’t that everyone, you’re probably thinking. Haven’t we all traded in our landlines for handhelds?) has heard this cellular campaign rhetoric before. You get to pick a limited amount of friends and family members to make unlimited calls and texts messages.

Of course, if that gets leaked, it is a tell-all to who’s who in your life - a few of your favorite people in life. Maybe they are just your I.C.E contacts? Of course like a Netflix queue, we have the privilege of adjusting those we call our top priority people.

However, sometimes out of those five friends and family (or however few or many we may choose) we decide to take a risk, take the plunge and pursue the vision we have. We decide to open shop.

Whether it is developing an app.

Or breaking ground for a new shopping complex.

We take the trust fall.

But because we are a family we often make a trust fail.

Hive fives do not cut it:

Now, maybe business used to be conducted with a firm handshake – and if only things were that honest and simple. However, imagine if you were in a family, would that handshake translate to a high five? Even so, don’t take for granted the love, birth to the present life-long relationship and subsequent character reference that you have with a family member or friend good enough to go off of.

You need paper trails. You need John Hancocks. You need digital files.
You need to protect both of your interests.

1) Define leadership:

Sure, there’s always someone who will give the shirt off his or her back. And, sure, on the flip side, if the plane has the potential of crashing you have to put your mask on before you can help someone else. So it is all about give and take. Still, one of you has to take the role of leadership more seriously. Otherwise, you will have apathy on some parts or alphas butting heads.

Without a clearly defined leader, you will not have a clearly defined business plan or direction.

2) Family time is family time:

Learn to set business parameters. Home. Work. Play.

Also, there will be times you have to distance yourself from each other. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Don’t let your basketball court squabbles come into your conference room at work.

Don’t let your shredded documents from work become confetti at your kid’s birthday parties.

If your cell phone is used concurrently as your work phone, use discretion.

You do not get ahead by putting in more hours. You get ahead by putting more in your hours.

Also, when it comes to friends and family, it is always been about the quality. The quality of those whom we spend time with and the quality of time we spend with them.

So the hours you are at work with them, use them wisely. Because the hours you are not at work are the hours that made you feel you could trust them enough to have a business.

That made you feel passionate to pursue your vision. That made you excited to start a business that would make you jump out of bed.

That is the kind of family time you need to structure.

3) Mom & Pop & Sons:

A Mom & Pop store. A Father & Sons Establishment.

Either way, it is more than making a name for yourself; it is about making a legacy. You do not have to own an entity that employees thousands, you do not have to own a megaphone or have your face plastered on a billboard.

You have to see a problem, come up with a solution and start to resolve it. You have to make a difference and open the door for those behind you so they can continue to follow through.

You may have started with your family, but it is essential that you maintain your business in such a way that you protect it for your business family.

The trust fall takes at least two people.

Shake on it, hug it out, high five all the day long. Call each other up on the ol’ friends and family plan.

Just make sure you sign on some dotted line, somewhere. Make sure you are honest and up front. Make sure you protect each other. So make sure that you not only have each other’s backs, but you are protecting the backbone of the community. Both now and that of the future.

Going into business with those you love may be hard, and it is not for everyone. However, you do not have to have your trust fail you.

Are you a risk-taker? Did you take the trust fall with your family and loved ones?

Tell us your story!

-The Green Couch

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Project: Speak Up or Someone Else Will Do It For You

We all have something to say: it is just that sometimes we suffer from Entrepreneurial Laryngitis. (The loss of voice that causes us to lose sight of our vision.) It can be a form of stage fright or the fear that what we think about isn’t worth sharing. And so we keep to ourselves our ideas and our strategies. Any platform in which we could exercise public speaking we avoid as if it were the iceberg and we were Titanic come back from the caverns of 1912’s North Atlantic Ocean.

But why are we so persistent in this endeavor to NOT do something?

Our reasoning could be in thinking that our story is not worth telling, but none of us have a story that is finished. Therefore, if that is our excuse none of us should take center stage. All of us should avoid the soapbox.

Our reasoning could be rooted in the fact that we have been heckled before. Remember the days gone by where we dreamed of becoming a magician, a puppeteer, a singer, a comedian? And for what? To be laughed off the stage? Perhaps it didn’t even have to occur on the stage. It could have been on the field or the court. Tryouts can be brutal, and we end up the butt of the joke. The emotional scars run deep, and the results are how we excuse ourselves from any occurrence where we could stand behind a microphone.

 Our reasoning could be hidden in fear that we will suffer from vomiting before and after. We will stumble over our words. And ultimately we will do more harm than good to what we attempt to represent. In addition, will ruin our personal reputation. And the urge to hide beneath a baggy hoodie becomes an outward visualization of how we hide emotionally and internalize everything; questioning the purpose of our projects.  

But if we don’t speak up someone else will do it for us. If we do not speak up someone will shut up the entirety of our dream and shut down the path that needs to stay open. There are millions that might depend on the vision we are trying to develop.

We could be the cure for Entrepreneurial Laryngitis. Speak up and inspire another to speak up until our voices are loud enough that we don’t need a microphone. Until those who think they are average will tune into social media to find an outlet to build their business, develop their product, travel the world and continue their philanthropic ways.

When our fear of rejection, either from the audience or ourselves, is bigger than our vision, it is often self-imposed. We choose to scratch out our voice and deny others from hearing what we have to say. Maybe it is not much. Maybe it is not “right” or not a “right now” kind of mentality. But we don’t have to remain quiet all the time.

As Singer-songwriter Mat Kearney says,

“For the ones who are forgotten. 
For the ones who are told to speak only when you are spoken to, and then they are never 
spoken to. Speak every time you stand so you do not forget yourself. Do not let one 
moment go by that doesn’t remind you that your heart beats a hundred thousand times a 
day and there  are gallons of blood making every one of you oceans…”

We all have a story; speak up and share yours. We’re listening, want to hear it, and share it: 

-The Green Couch