An afternoon dash of inspiration for the self-employed

An afternoon dash of inspiration for the self-employed: On her weblog, Escape from Cubicle Nation, Pamela Slim shares her Declaration of Independence (click on the link in her post). (via: Kathy Sierra)

If you need more, here’s a quote from Toni Morrison I read over the weekend. It’s from her Nobel Lecture in 1993:

“Passion is never enough; neither is skill. But try.”

Economics lesson

Economics lesson: My daughter is entering college next month. She will be studying economics. Until last night, I had wondered if that was the right course of study for her. (I thought she’d either become a brain surgeon or be in a bluegrass band — or both.) Last night, she picked me up at the airport and while driving home, she informed me that there is a sales tax holiday on certain purchases in Tennessee this weekend. (As Tennessee does not have an income tax, our sales tax is relatively high and citizens are known to head to one of the many states that border ours to make major back-to-school purchases — thus this sales-tax-holiday.) I thought she may be informing me of this sales tax news as she has a summer job at J-Crew and back to school clothing (for individual items priced less than $100) is included in the tax-holiday, so they expect a busy weekend. However, I quickly learned that her understanding of the economic impact of taxes — to stimulate or discourage consumer behaviour — was more astute, as she then began to inform me in great detail how, if purchased this weekend, a new laptop she is wanting for school is covered by the exemption. She then, without notes, broke-down the relative savings of purchasing the computer with an educational discount during the sales-tax holiday. And then she said she could get a 10% “recycling” discount for trading in her first-generation (and broken) iPod for a new one, for which she will then get a full rebate because of another promotion Apple is running. Bottomline: I think a new MacBook will be entering our house this weekend. And I think a brilliant economist (and sales person) will be entering college next month.

Wikimania, etc.

Wikimania, etc.: I will be in Boston (Cambridge) attending Wikimania from Friday (although I arrive in the afternoon) through Sunday and have just signed up to attend a “citizen journalism” unconference that Dan Gillmor is coordinating on Monday. This is working out quite nicely, as I’ll also be attending a convention of an association for whom we publish a magazine that is taking place in Boston at the same time.

I mention that I’ll be at Wikimania because, when I signed up, it was because of Smallbusiness.com‘s use of the Mediawiki platform and what I’ve learned from the past nine months of getting a major wiki project off the ground. After immersing myself inside a wiki for about nine months, I felt the need to go hang out with some folks who are also obsessed with the topic. I doubted I’d actually know anyone attending (except Patrick Ragsdale from Hammock Publishing, who is also going).

Then, I began to notice others I know are attending Wikimania: Dave Winer, for instance. And Doc Searls. I feel there’s a gathering in the making.

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