Monday, June 11, 2012

Surrender Dorothy!

Last Friday my Samsung laptop died.  Well, I’m not sure if it’s really dead, but it wasn’t getting any power – no battery charge, no electrical charge.  The “experts” at the Geek Squad told me they couldn’t tell if it was the computer or the AC adapter.  What??  Can’t you just plug it in with another adapter and check it out?

The answer was no – Samsung is a very proprietary company which evidently extends to their adapters.  You can’t just select one off the shelf.  So instead of a 10 minute diagnostic of a computer, the laptop has to be shipped to Kentucky for two to four weeks.  I felt a meltdown coming on.

I was beginning to scare the other customers so they offered me a loaner.  That means you buy a cheap computer to use while your expensive one is being repaired.  You get a full refund at the end of that period.  Fair enough, I was even considering keeping the loaner to use at the art studio….

……Until my 30-day free virus protection on the loaner, McAfee, sprang a leak and let a virus through.  Here’s the ironic part.  I’m pretty sure I picked up the virus from a customized wall décor website which was a link sent to me from as a perk.  Klout is a site that rates your online influence, and periodically you are offered free perks as an “influencer.”  Last month I received packets of herbal iced tea – this month a virus.  What a deal.

The loaner laptop is now at the shop and I’m at the mercy of the Geek Squad gods and how quickly they feel like removing the virus on my loaner.  This morning I kludged together some free software on my husband’s computer.  He is more of a gamer, iTunes and movie- watching computer user…no Adobe Reader, Microsoft Office, or photo imaging software.  (I know he’s secretly praying at work that I don’t make his computer blow up.)
I have completely surrendered to whatever the universe has in store for me today.
While spending my weekend at Best Buy, holding back my temper tantrums, I found it helpful to read.  Fortunately, the Kindle app on my Smartphone is working and I was able to catch up on some good books. 

Here are two I highly recommend:

The Purple Cow - Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin (2009).  Seth describes how the old approaches to marketing don’t work anymore.  It’s a very readable book, and as an artist selling your own work, you do need to understand how the new marketing works.

Branding Yourself – How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself by Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy (2010).  Another highly readable book on how to “…. create the right kind of emotional response you want people to have when they hear your name, see you online, or meet you in person.”  Most people are confused about what and what not to share about their lives.  They either want it to be JUST about their art or they feel compelled to share TMI (too much information.)

Today’s Nitty Gritty Nuggets:

“A brand is an emotional response to the image or name of a particular company, product, or person.”   (Excerpt from Branding Yourself)

“If an audience doesn’t have the time to listen to and understand your pitch, you’ll be treated as if you were invisible.” (Excerpt from The Purple Cow)

What’s Next?

1.     Backup the data on your computer for your sanity.  Buy a computer with a universal adapter so it can be easily replaced.  Learn to live without your computer for a couple of days…I dare you!

2.     When you hit a brick wall – surrender - and check the sky for flying monkeys.

3.    Read the suggested books, if you only read one, read (and absorb) Branding Yourself.

4.     Let me know how you liked the books.
P.S.  I have an emotional response to Samsung, Best Buy and Geek Squad right now, but I'm not sure it's the kind of emotional response/brand they would like me to have.


  1. Awesome post, Cynthia!! I will check out the books. Good luck getting all your tech stuff back and running smoothly!!!

  2. Thanks Diane!!! Happy painting! I follow your work...and love it.

  3. If you can't work on the computer you've got more time to paint O;-) I love to read your blog very much!

  4. Thank you Ulrike! I appreciate you stopping by and taking the time to comment. Happy Painting!!

  5. Hi again, Cynthia. I've ordered the book "Branding yourself" and I'm reading it now. It's very interesting. I just try to find out about the magic in twitter... What do you think about the book?