Fun, Amazing, Etc.

This is the official blog of indie author / adventure writer Andy R. Bunch, author of the fantasy book, "Suffering Rancor." As always, I'll post funny or amazing things I find in my travels or from poking around online. This is a great place to kick back and relax a bit. You may note that I’m not too clean or too dirty. For more information on my book, go to Here are links to first two books and

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Beauty in the Rain

I haven't even gotten a chance to share about this and there's only 5 days left. I'll give you a special heads up too, in just a bit.

The Situation: Beauty in the Rain is the title for a kickstarter project that my friend Rick Randall and I have been kicking around for more than a year now. We both have our BS in business management and have worked for several start-up businesses and charities. The only thing that is going to boost our economy at this point is small business and here's why. Big business runs less efficiently, you have checked out employees, high overhead and a lot of legal exposure. Small business is usually owner operated plus a few employees. They run on a tight budget with motivated workers. They can innovate at a startling rate and flex their business model to handle changes in market. They can virtually die and then rise again from the ashes of their own demise and not run whining to the government for a hand out to do it.

At the same time, getting a job with a big company and riding it for 30 years to retirement isn't an option anymore. Everyone I talk to is aware of this but very few people are doing anything differently because of it. This is a new era. When the cold war ended, the industrial age ended and the information age began. Things that have worked to build wealth, like buying a house, aren't always the smart choice.

The Solution: Individuals need to create knew products and ideas that will bring in income. That income doesn't have to be huge if you are able to run your business in a few hours a week while still keeping a day job. Ideally these businesses would be scaleable to full time if the day job suddenly ends. I'm not necessarily talking about MLMs. I'm talking about an income stream you could put into a more traditional investment or simply use to pay down debt, but which ultimately gives you the power to leave a day job if it goes bad. With a workforce clamoring your job, your employers have started to treat you as an asset they can replace with a cheaper model. You need to not have to rely solely on that one income stream.

The Vision: Rick and I want to build a network of friends who support each other's entrepreneurial ideas. We can lend our ideas and expertise to each other and we can connect each other to more friends for additional know-how. For us, at least in the short run, this looks like a series of publishing ventures, but it could go in any direction. We could partner with one of the 6 building contractors we know to acquire an income property for example. We could partner with one or two of the coders we know and develop an app for android and apple devices. A series of limited partnerships is the future as far as we can tell.

One of the best aspects of all this something I call monetizing a hobby. If you already do something you enjoy well, why not find a market for it. It's a brave new world for people willing to take some small calculated risks with time and money. What about the relationship aspect? That's the best part. It's time we stopped stressing over doing business with friends in America. Many cultures around the world consider it rude to try to sell them something when you DON'T know them. When you shoulder a burden together you get closer to people. If you have a spat, work it out. People are spending longer and longer hours at work. Maybe the answer is to do something you enjoy with people you like and get paid for it OUTSIDE of work.

So back to the project at hand. Rick is an avid hiker and a great photographer. We decided greeting cards would be a possible avenue to monetize his hobbies. Running a kickstarter campaign allows us to raise capitol and take advantage of bulk order pricing by getting sales in advance of purchasing the product. More importantly it's a way to find our market. Do we get more backers for large prints of his photos or for the cards? Who finds these cards interesting? We thought we knew our demographic but it's been a learning curve so kickstarter has paid off informationally already, and hopefully soon in other ways as well.

What makes our cards unique?  We really wanted to do something different both visually and with the message inside. We wanted to make a card that people could give between special occasions to communicate encouragement and companionship. There's too much obligation in relationship these days. If this keeps up mother's will only get appreciated on mother's day, children on birthdays, and husbands and wives will only say, 'I love you' on their anniversary. What about those times when you can't focus on work because an old friend is on your mind? Wouldn't it be great to have a nice card you can post that afternoon with a simple heartfelt message?

Sneak Preview I mentioned. Monday will likely be a bonus gift announced, so be looking to back us Monday.

So we created our first set of cards--Beauty in the Rain. If you haven't done so already, check the kickstarter campaign at the other end of this link. These pictures are awesome.

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