Philosophy

Idaho Potato Tour

potatomuseum

It’s official – I was hired to be part of a three man team to tour the country to show off Idaho’s 6 ton potato!!! I will be leaving April 1st and won’t be returning until mid November. This is a chance of a lifetime disguised as a job – in the first month alone we will be stopping in 7 states I have never been to!

Those of you who know me know how proud I am to be from Idaho and how much I love/consume our potatoes. So much so that when I had to close my clothing boutique, I made a list of places I would want to work and Simplot (one of Idaho’s biggest potato processors) was right at the top of my list and I practically begged to be given a shot. For almost a year I worked mostly in receiving where I got so filthy everyday unloading potatoes, I was told I couldn’t walk through the factory to the break room because they were worried about contamination. I loved my time there and the people I worked with.

Idaho potato commission big potato truck 454

You can find more details at http://www.bigidahopotato.com as well as links to our facebook and twitter pages. I have a lot to do, as well as people to see in the next week. If we stop in your town please come by or drop me a line and we’ll try to meet up :)

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Categories: Business, Minamilism, Philosophy, Tiny House | 18 Comments

How to be a Promo Model

CMA fest Chevy brand ambassadors, Nashville TN

CMA fest Chevy brand ambassadors, Nashville TN

I just got back from working Sundance Film Festival and where I met/saw countless celebrities, went to VIP parties and two film premiers. I posted a status update on facebook before I went and my inbox flooded with envy filled questions on how I get these kind of jobs.

Here is the long answer..

I’ve always liked to work behind the scenes, I’ve never been a waitress or bartender instead opting for factory and labor positions. However, when a promotion gig for CMA Fest came my way I had to do it because it filled a goal of going to Nashville which out weighed my resistance to being seen. What I discovered is that there was much more to promotions than just being eye candy (what I dreaded). There’s a lot of problem solving and improvising (which I love). Because I had never done this kind of work I treated it like any other job and let me tell you when the hired “booth babe” doesn’t blink when taking out the trash or knows how to use power tools to keep the canopy from falling, not only do you get respect but you get job offers.

I don’t take all that are offered, I use Derrick Siver’s philosophy when trying to decide, it’s either a Hell Yeah or a No. It’s gotta be some place I really want to go or an exceptional company.

Think you may be interested in being a promo model or brand ambassador? Usually you’ll make anywhere from $16-$22 an hour. Don’t expect travel to be included. There aren’t a ton of promos in Idaho so I treat it like a working vacation, I pick an event I would like to go to, then find a job there. Not only does it pay for my vacation with usually a few hundred in take home money but I get free access which is the big deal. One downside is you won’t be paid for 30 – 60 days in most cases. It is a great gig all in all, there is not experience or education requirements. What you do need to become a great BA is listed below.

Sundance promotion for Chase Sapphire, Park City UT

Sundance promotion for Chase Sapphire, Park City UT

Friendly – You need to be a happy person in general or your going to hate this job. If your the kind of person who starts a conversation in the grocery aisle then there’s a good chance you would be a good fit for this industry.

Well Rounded – During an event you will talk to hundreds of people, if your only talking about the product or promotion you won’t be making genuine connections. Being well read or well rounded will allow you to find something in common with just about everyone. For example this last event I struck up a conversation with a guy in a Harley jacket (rare for a film festival), because of my social media job with Danny Gray I know a bit about motorcycles, as it turns out he owns a company that makes plastic packaging, and I worked at a plastics recycling center out of complete curiosity this summer. He is one of the dozen interesting people that I exchanged contact information with that week.

Hard Working – As with all jobs there is no way to delegate every single thing that needs to be done, promotions are no different. Instead of sayings “that’s not my job” do what needs to be done. Your assigned task is always first priority but there are always periods of down time when the crowds aren’t swarming, take that time to pick up the area, clean computers, restock pamphlets, etc. When your looking for ways to work instead of avoiding them you’ll always find something to keep you busy.

Positive Attitude – Nothing kills the energy of an event then a bad attitude. Funny thing is most negative people don’t see themselves that way. Many people without realizing it try to connect with people by using a negative comment such as “This weather sucks, it’s miserably hot!” then without thought the other person agrees and so sets the mood for the day. At events, a lot of the people working not just the BA’s, will say “that person is an idiot or look at that outfit.” These kind of statements seem harmless but they aren’t. It’s human nature to mirror the behaviors of the people around us. When someone makes a negative comment you don’t have to agree to be polite and you don’t have to attack them for being negative. What I do at events and in everyday life is find the silver lining and vocalize it. “It’s so hot!” my response “I love this time of year, we should go get ice cream on break.” “That person was an idiot” my response “Eh we’ve done the survey a hundred times today, some people aren’t familiar with touch screens.” “Look at that outfit..” my response “To each their own, better to be unique than boring :)”

You get the point. Most people don’t put a lot of thought into their attitude and can go either way, be the person who brings everyone up.

Punctual – Be reliable, be on time. It’s really annoying for everyone if your the person who thinks there 30 minute break starts when they get to their destination or after they go to the bathroom. It’s not fair to your colleges and it will either create bad blood or everyone else will feel entitled to longer breaks as well. Your making good money for a simple job don’t take advantage of that.

If your interested in getting started I would suggest making profiles and getting in touch with the following companies:

http://eventprostrategies.com/
www.eventspecialistgroup.com or like thier fb page at https://www.facebook.com/event.specialist.group

Categories: Philosophy | 2 Comments

You are enough

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“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.”~Mohandas K. Gandhi”
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With Christmas fast approaching I keep getting asked by loved ones “What do you want for Christmas?” Which I really truly have no answer but it reminds me of a great story.

At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informs his pal, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch 22 over its whole history. Heller responds, “Yes, but I have something he will never have . . . Enough.”

It’s a powerful story and the chances are if you are reading this, then you too have enough. If you’re like me everyone you are buying gifts for this holiday season also has enough.

How many people can even recall everything they received last year, or how many couples are resentful when their partner doesn’t get them the ‘right’ thing, and how many more pick out exactly what they want with their partner in order to avoid the former?! So what’s the solution to gift giving for the person who has enough (which is all of us)?

Give the gift of memories. My parents took this advice and instead of giving each other ANYTHING they’ve decided to go on a weekend trip to Boise, experience something new together and go on a sleigh ride. No resentment, no pressure, and not another useless gadget taking up space.

Plan B if you are not giving an experience be sure to make it thoughtful, if you must give a tangible gift it should be personal. Just yesterday I received a beautiful custom shutterfly coffee table book in the mail from a friend, filled with pictures from the Sturgis motorcycle rally that I attend for Danny Gray Seats. It contains so many wonderful memories bound in a book that I will cherish forever.

More importantly not only do you have enough, you are enough.

Are you giving something thoughtful this year or opting out of traditional gift giving in leu of a experience? Do you have an idea or a tradition that controls massive consumption?? If so let us know in the comments below.

Merry Christmas to all y’all!

XO

Kristie

Categories: Philosophy | 7 Comments

Pattern Changer

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“I learned to GIVE not because I have much but because I know exactly what it’s like to have NOTHING.” -Anonymous .
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A few months ago I was stopped at a busy 3 way stop, on a 6 lane road, in Boise. I noticed a heavy set, middle aged woman, in a mini van, looking to be having car problems. I could feel her desperation and watched with the dozens of other bored motorists as she got out of her vehicle and popped the hood. She was blocking the only turning lane that lay between the 4 lanes of traffic. I was as far away as you could be, going the opposite direction, but when the light turned green and still no one had stopped, I knew I had to turn around to see if I could help. It took me several minutes to maneuver my way back through traffic. I was certain that after waiting at two more lights, surely someone would have pushed her to the side of the road, lent her their cell phone, something! By the time I rolled up she had hopelessly returned to the driver seat with her emergency lights blinking, hood still up.

Now don’t be quick to sing my praises or to write off the people who didn’t stop, as complacent, self involved jerks.
You see, I knew that what I was experiencing was the “Bystander Effect”. Also known as the “Genovese Effect,” named after Kitty Genovese, who was raped and stabbed to death in her NY neighborhood street. This happened in the sixties, while 38 people watched from their apartment windows, yet no one stepped in to help her, or to even called the police for nearly 30 minutes. WTF how could this happen? Research shows that the more people present when someone is in need, the more likely you’ll assume someone else will help them, which is exactly what happens when we spot a stalled vehicle. We think, someone’s probably on their way, I’m sure they have a cell phone, I’m not a mechanic so I won’t be helpful, someone is bound to help yadda yadda yadda. The reverse is true as well, if the street was a little more desolate than the more likely you would be to stop.

Turns out, the lady was on her way to visit her elderly mother whom health had taken a turn for the worst. She was distraught as she had ran out of fuel. I just so happened to have a full gas can in my car that I was intending to use to mow the lawn with. She thanked me through her tears as I poured the gasoline into the tank annnd I was thankful that I knew about the bystander effect, and now so do you: )

Categories: Philosophy | 5 Comments

Do Things Don’t Own Them

Picked up this little truck for $500 a couple days ago.

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rodgers

One late night downtown Boise I was rounding up inebriated friends outside the Grove Hotel. Now if you’ve had the pleasure of being a designated driver you know that this process at the end of the night is the equivalent to hearding cats…loud cats…that can’t walk straight…wondering where one of their shoes went.

It was one of those kind of nights and as I pulled up in my beat up 92′ Volkswagen Jetta and hollered to my buddies to get in. One of the partygoers frustrated with my attempt to break up what I’m sure was a very enlightening conversation hollered back at me
“Why didn’t you save twenty grand on your tits and buy a new car?!”

Say whaaa?? Annnddd it hit me – this guys alchol lubricated tongue had said outloud what I’m sure many others have thought for years. I’ve been driving p.o.s. cars since I got my license, in fact I have a philosophy on cars; I won’t spend over $500 on a vehicle then I proceed to run it into the ground, zero maintenance required. I don’t worry about potholes or loose gravel and when it dies I recycle it at the scrap yard often making back the initial investment. Some only last 8 months others have lasted years. The Jetta lasted three years and had it’s fair share of memory making quirks, like every time it rained the battery would die restarting my clock constantly which is how it got its nickname, or the front bumper that would sometimes fall off, or the missing passenger door panel.

While my peers are spending there Saturdays washing and vacuuming their vehicles, cursing every inevitable ding and chip and working their 9-5 jobs to pay for the pleasure, I am able to use that would be monthly car payment on something I enjoy doing.

There are many studies on happiness that prove experiences make you happier than material possessions. The research shows that when you make a big purchase, say a new TV you get a rush of dopamine and you think “we’re going to enjoy this for years,” then next month a bigger, higher resolution TV is released and yours is outdated (Waa Waa Waaa). Let’s say you spent that same money on a 4 day vacation you get the same rush of dopamine planning it but here’s the kicker for the rest of your life when you so much as reminisce on the memory’s created on that vacation you get that dopamine release again! Indefinitely!

That’s the moral of this little blog post my friends, when you have the choice choose the experience over the possession. As for my response to the drunkard on the street, I snapped “They’re REAL and it’s a Time Machine A**HOLE!!!”

Categories: Philosophy | Tags: , , , | 14 Comments

Educated Dropout

“I never let my schooling get in the way of my education.” -Mark Twain

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I am made up of contradictions; messy minimalist, skeptical spiritualist, capitalistic hippie, but by far the most controversial is that I consider myself an educated drop out.

No, I didn’t drop out of college, I dropped out of high school (gasp!) If I could do it over, I would have quit a year earlier (now just breathe). As always, when I reveal this information, I follow up with a disclaimer that I wasn’t doing drugs and I wasn’t pregnant.

The first question I get is, “What did your parents say?” Frankly, I don’t remember it even being a topic of discussion. My dad is a beloved high school teacher, now near retirement, and my mom instilled in me the passion of reading to learn from a young age. Thankfully they’re both intelligent enough to know, that being a high school dropout doesn’t mean you are destined to flip burgers, just like having a MBA doesn’t guarantee you a high profile job that you will love.

Pretty much everyone can agree that college does not equate to learning. We’re taught to believe that it’s just something you have to do to get a job. I’ve never had to lie about my lack of formal education. Most interviewers, supervisors, and suitors, just assume I have a degree, and when the topic eventually comes up, they think I’m kidding. I then get to explain that instead of paying someone to teach me, I took jobs, started businesses and got paid to learn the things I wanted to know instead.

People will argue, “Well what about the college experience?” To that I explain that I don’t feel like I missed out on the college experience, I dated the football star, hosted costume parties, went on spring break vacations, and lived on my own without cramming for finals, memorizing useless facts or racking up debt.

I believe 18 is way to young to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life, thus explaining the ridiculous amount of people who change majors, or go back to school. My advice is, if you think you might be interested in a field, go get a job doing that thing in an entry level position and get a feel for it while getting a paycheck as well. Then, if you love it, and it requires a college degree to advance in your chosen field, then go for it but only if the difference in your wage will be large enough to pay for your tuition.

Categories: Philosophy | 8 Comments

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