Freee online dating sites

what is up with guys wanting to snap or phone call and get mad when you reject that idea?

2020.03.19 04:11 warinmymind94 what is up with guys wanting to snap or phone call and get mad when you reject that idea?

It wouldn't let me screenshot, and this Online dating site doesn't let you message back and forth other than texts. We were having a nice conversation about cooking and he seemed okay to message, has a good career, figured wed talk. we talked about cooking and his dishes he makes from scratch and quickly his true self came out.
Him "Id show some pics but the app wont allow it"
Me "Yeah they don’t let anyone send pics, I’m sure your food looks good."
Him "They do and I guess thats to combat dick pics. Do you have snapchat"
Me "I dont snap guys from dating sites"
Him "Alright thats understandable I guess. Just a better way to communicate since I don’t get notified when ya respond"
Me "Well check the app then, I don’t snap people. Thats firm"
Him "I have before it doesn’t do shit. Well there always messenger on Facebook if you feel thats ok. But if I don’t respond then you know why"
me "thats fine"
him "No or yes to messenger? Lol saying thats fine isn’t an answer"
me "really you need to suck it up and message here on the app or feel free to move on and chat with other girls"
him "Thats all Facebook messenger is, its just like this but to do that you’d have to give me your full name. But you liked me first so if you feel that way you can. I don’t need low levels of trust here since I’m trying to date "
me "no I don’t need to be pressured and given a guilt trip, you’re mad I wont snap you. We talk on my terms"
him "No one is guilting you here, I don’t really even use snap, like I said you liked me first. I liked you back cause I thought you were cute and a little worthy of my time. If you’re going to act like this, I wont stick around. I waited four years for a relationship I can wait longer"
me "you’re manipulative and stop using guilt tactics to bend people to your will. You already seem narcissistic no wonder why you’ve been single for so long." I blocked him after that.
mind you this is the first time we talked and only had sent a few messages before this. another guy did this where we had started messaging and not even a full 24 hours passed, we were texting and he suddenly texted me hey can I phone call you? I was polite and said at this moment it was a bad time, I was in a loud area, but maybe later on in the evening. he started whining about how he hated texting and would have a hard time getting to know me if "all I wanted is to text" which I never even said. I told him "did you get my message about that I can't call right now, but maybe around 830 will be a better time. we could call then if thats good for you." he said, "well normally id ask you to dinner right now but I already have plans with my friends and I'm not sure when ill be back to call you. you don't want to do the phone call so don't expect one later."
I told him that "you seem very controlling and I'm not sure why you expect me to do what you want when you want it, but until I'm freee later on you'll have to stick with texting. voice call isn't an option and I don't think you'd even be able to hear me as people are yelling in the background right now. if you can't accept that, then heres the door to leave."
and he texted me a pic of a cartoon walking through a door and smiling. wow.
am I doing something wrong or maybe just getting some controlling dudes?
submitted by warinmymind94 to dating_advice [link] [comments]


2019.11.07 17:00 youngrichntasteless $750,000/month selling cycling tools and accessories [Amazon bestseller].

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Chris Parr of Pro Bike Tool, a brand that makes cycling tools & accessories
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hey, we’re Chris and Nicole Parr, husband and wife and owners of PRO BIKE TOOL. PRO BIKE TOOL is a manufacturer, brand and online retailer of essential, affordable bike tools & accessories for riders of all disciplines and abilities. Our flagship products include a Mini Bike Pump with innovative in-line pressure gauge, a CO2 Inflator with a unique gas regulation lever, and a precision calibrated Torque Wrench Set.
Here is a short video of the pump in action:
https://youtu.be/K1UrmLqK4fY
We retail through Amazon in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, UAE, Europe and our website. Several of our products are bestsellers on Amazon and we have been awarded “Best Buy Winner” by Outdoor Gear Lab in 2018.
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We have also been shortlisted as a finalist at the UK Business Awards 2019 in two categories:
“Best SME” and “Customer-Centric Organisation Digital Initiatives” at the UK Business Awards.
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Over four years, we’ve grown from selling one tool to selling 32 products across 10 marketplaces, with a turnover of $750K per month. It’s been quite a journey.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

We both built our careers in commercial roles, with Chris working in sales, marketing and eCommerce across a range of multinational brands such as the BBC, Royal Mail, and The Post Office, while Nicole’s background is in sales and commercial relationship management in the airline industry.
PRO BIKE TOOL was born when Chris decided he’d reached the stage where he wanted to try something new in a field, he felt passionate about. Being an active runner and cyclist, Chris saw his future in the sports industry. As a bike rider, he’s always thought that bike tools sold through traditional retailers were expensive and sometimes over-engineered, while online brands lacked quality.
Given his ‘hands-on’ nature and love of building and fixing things, addressing that gap in the market became his new goal. Chris used his expertise in ecommerce to launch PRO BIKE TOOL, initially selling just a Mini Bike Pump with an in-line gauge, with the gauge being a product twist that very few online retailers had tried. Within two weeks, the product was number two on Amazon USA. And with that, the wheels started turning. Nicole came on board 18 months later to add her complementary skills to the business mix, and the momentum picked up even faster.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

Once we’d decided to set up a bike tools and accessories brand, we searched for an “ODM” factory in Asia to work with us. All initial research was done online. We contacted up to 20 suppliers with our product brief. We were specific in what we were looking for (high quality yet affordable bike tools with focus on functionality & unique design) and the type of factory we wanted to partner with - proactive, open to feedback, quick to implement changes, ability to consistently deliver great quality and live the same core values as us.
After the first lot of samples arrived in the UK, we knew we had found our supplier and first product, a mini bike pump with an in-line gauge. The in-line gauge was a rarity at the time, and the quality was excellent. Chris visited the factory in Taiwan, worked with the team to produce a unique design and to inspect the production line – he continues to visit twice a year, it’s a highlight in our calendar.
At the time of its launch, this type of pump was not readily available in the eCommerce market and online channels. The pump became a best-seller almost as soon as we launched it. The pump still does very well for us today, although it’s currently on its third iteration – we’ve made various tweaks along the way based on customer feedback to continuously improve it.
The Amazon platform with its global customer reach was an obvious choice for us to launch PRO BIKE TOOL. It also means we do not have to have a warehouse to hold stock, it goes straight from the production line into the Amazon fulfillment centers worldwide. Good stock planning is paramount for us. Amazon made the distribution simple; we use their excellent fulfillment service.
We decided to go for robust and high-quality packaging to enhance the customer experience. The packaging was a collaboration between us, the team in the factory and our designer. We are currently in the process of a packaging redesign – Watch out for packaging 2.0! We marketed the product through the go-to platforms – on Amazon, and through our Facebook and Instagram pages. We worked hard to build a cycling community on social media from the outset, so that helped us get PRO BIKE TOOL in front of a large, receptive audience.
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Describe the process of launching the business.

We started out by using our own savings and redundancy money to launch PRO BIKE TOOL. Whilst the initial invests of $5,000 for the first order seems low, it was “make or break”, as Nicole was working part-time and Chris had left his corporate job to work on the new venture full-time. The business had to make enough money to take care of a family of four after the first year.
Since then, we have largely funded the business by reinvesting the profits. Most of it goes straight back into the business, as we’re always looking to develop and launch new products.
When we were selling our first product, our only online presence beyond Amazon was Instagram and Facebook. These platforms allowed us to start building a community and
developing a brand.
Although we saw instant success through Amazon, we knew that a website was essential in order to become a ‘brand’. By the end of 2015, just over 6 months from launch, we had a website that was initially non-transactional and served to get the brand ‘on the map’ a little more.
We’re on our fourth iteration of the site now, and it’s been transactional since the second version.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

As a brand PRO BIKE TOOL is unique in the bike tools and accessories industry in the way that we place the customer at the center, making them just as important as the products themselves.
Of course, the quality of the tools is key, but the nature of the products in our line exemplifies our customer-centric approach. We release products that riders need and want, rather than over-engineered tools that are more a designer’s vanity project than a necessary item. We also make sure that those tools are sold at a price point that all riders could afford, whether they race on a $5,000 carbon-fiber bike or ride a second-hand bike.
But our key differentiators are the service we provide to our customers. Rather than abandoning the consumer after they’ve made the purchase, we pride ourselves on rapid and exemplary customer service, addressing issues in a timely and helpful manner as possible. And we do our best to anticipate queries or problems with our library of blogs and videos looking at the use of our tools, and wider bike maintenance. Furthermore, we are always using customer feedback to improve our tools, adding design changes to rectify any recurring issues.
Social media has been central to our engagement of the consumer. We were active in building a brand from our very formation and grew a strong community on Facebook and Instagram. We use these channels not just for sales, but to engage cyclists in a lifestyle that is so all-consuming.
Regular competitions and engaging posts that invite community response to ensure that we are a fun and approachable voice for our audience. We also use our mailing list for regular communication, sending around four emails per month. We try to make them as helpful and interesting as possible, promoting a new blog in each email and including a news roundup.
Here is one of our recent newsletters.
Shoppable Posts on Instagram, Facebook ads and ManyChat have been instrumental in driving sales for us.
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How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

We’re really pleased with how we’ve been getting on - the business has really grown quickly. As you can see from our year-on-year growth figures, we’ve constantly grown, and that increase has been exponential. Similarly, our dedication to building our social following has certainly paid off, and we now find ourselves with over 80k Instagram followers, 19k Facebook followers, 3k ManyChat subscribers and 11k on our mailing list.
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Although there are only two of us at the core of the business, we now have a ‘virtual team’ of experts in the UK and around the globe managing key functions such as content marketing, social media, logistics, website design, customer service, inventory management and finance.
This allows us to focus on the key managerial decisions while making us a more specialised and intelligent business as a whole.
In the short term, we’re looking to continue developing. We’ve launched 10 new products this year, with the intention to launch a further 5 before the end of the year. Alongside that, we have expanded into new Amazon markets, including Australia and the UAE. Long term we would like to be a globally-recognized, customer-centric bike tools and accessories brand. Of course, like all owner-managed businesses, we are looking to exit at some point but for now, we are excited to bring more fantastic tools to our customers and expanding into new markets (Japan is next on the list).

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Perhaps the key things we’ve learned are making decisions, not being afraid to fail, resilience and the need to keep momentum. In the early days of a business, there are always setbacks, but it’s important to learn not to get bogged down and keep focusing on progression. We’ve gone through a few major problems around our trademark and come out relatively unscathed, but the experience has taught us where it’s essential to do due diligence.
Careful planning and understanding of the numbers are also paramount. No small business can survive without an intimate understanding of their numbers. We were always careful to make whatever savings we could, for example making tactical decisions around shipping methods and the timing of product launches.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Amazon’s systems are absolutely essential to help assess our sales performance; it feeds straight into our management dashboard (so does the accounting software Xero).
Advertising on Amazon has been essential to our growth, we use all the possible advertising options, ranging from sponsored and headline ads to product display ads.
Though our sales through our own website are relatively small in our mix, we use WooCommerce and Google Analytics to analyse our performance there. As our website is hosted on WordPress, we opted for WooCommerce rather than Shopify.
Slack has been fantastic for optimising our communications. Although, as husband and wife, we see each other a lot, we only meet with or host conference calls with our team every week or so. Using Slack means we can have instant live chat with the team without having to send each other hundreds of emails. The ‘channels’ that you can set up and the way you can connect apps like Dropbox make life very easy.
Hootsuite is essential for managing our social media. It enables us to schedule posts across all our platforms, and equally importantly, to monitor community responses and engage with our audience.
For emails, we use Mailchimp, which we like for the simplicity in its design features and the huge amount of data we can pull out of it.
We have hired virtual assistants to help with customer service and operations through FreeeUp.
https://www.instagram.com/p/B3L52jnggoQ/

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Gary Vaynerchuck and Kirwan Rae have both been a big influence on us in terms of business strategies and development tools, and we regularly listen to both the podcasts.
Additionally, the Miracle Morning book by Hal Elrod and his podcast series has had a huge impact, it really helped us to learn to prioritize and stay focused and positive in what we do.
We’ve found that networking and meeting those in a similar position to us - entrepreneurs in all different fields – has had a huge positive influence as well. Meeting like minded people through networking workshops and events has enabled us to develop a wide support network and a wealth of knowledge. We’re always looking for ways to develop ourselves and learn, attending conferences and seminars to stay up-to-date and learn new skills.
Something that has been really useful for us, and essential to our growth, has been the Amazon Marketplace Growth Programme. It’s added a level of understanding and expertise to our Amazon operations that we perhaps wouldn’t have achieved otherwise thanks to the regular contact we have with a dedicated account manager and the head of the “Sports & Outdoors” Category. It also enables us to access major promotions such as Amazon Deal of the Day and Best Deals, which are important sales & promotional vehicles on Amazon and can make a huge difference to our sales.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

The single most important thing in the early years, and maybe the hardest thing to develop initially, is the right mindset. Resilience is key – there will be setbacks on the way, but you can’t let them defeat you. And fundamental to that process is being positive, focused, and to have faith and belief in what you’re doing. It also helps if you can surround yourself with positive people. However, they need to be questioning – asking you questions that make you consider alternative approaches to strategy or operations.
Of course, having the right mental approach doesn’t surpass the essential fact that you have to work smart (this is YOUR business after all), know your numbers, and use those wisely to strategize and plan. Make sure that you are ready to commit to your plan, it is ok to “course correct” along the way – you are after progress, not perfection.
We also found that you can’t be great at everything, so find someone who is. It will give you valuable time back to grow the business.

Where can we go to learn more?

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If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
For more interviews, check out starter_story - I post new stories there daily.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
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2019.03.25 17:45 youngrichntasteless $19k/mo selling emu oil.

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Carole Rains of Emu Joy, a brand that sells emu oil based skincare.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi, I’m Carole Rains, the founder of Emu Joy. My product line features 100% natural products for skin, hair, muscles, and joints based on a unique ingredient: emu oil.
Emu oil is a highly penetrating oil that’s full of moisturizing and anti-inflammatory benefits. It comes from a thick pad of fat on the back of the emu bird, which looks a bit like an ostrich. It’s useful for everyone from babies with diaper rash to grandmas with arthritis, as well as many other conditions for folks of all ages.
Like many of you reading this, I had never heard of emu oil. Then one day while reading a home decor blog for my other business, Rustic Artistry, the blogger wrote an entire post about how much she loved emu oil, and how well it had worked for her eczema and joint pain. I was intrigued, so I started to investigate.
After studying the research and reading everything I could find about emu oil, not only did I decide to use it myself, I also wanted more people to know about it so it could help them too. Seeing photos and reading about little babies with eczema sealed the deal for me. If there was a way to help them that their parents didn't know about, I wanted to get the word out.
The result: I created Emu Joy as a source for reliable information and safe, natural products. I’ve now shipped more than 50,000 bottles, jars, and tubes of emu oil products, and the customer feedback makes me know starting this business was a good decision. Hearing from a mom who said “I got my little boy back” after the rash cream banished his eczema is what keeps me working hard to grow the business.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

While the most common gender and age for ecommerce entrepreneurs seem to be males in their 30s, I started my business as a woman in her 50s.
Leading up to that I had worked for 17 years in pharmaceutical advertising and marketing, followed by 17 years as a chef. Eventually, I wanted more flexibility of my time and decided to try out creating an online store.
At the time there were a couple of resources that helped me get my store up and running. Steve Chou’s blog My Wife Quit Her Job was full of tutorials and extensive information on ecommerce.
Andrew Youderian, founder of Ecommerce Fuel, had published an e-course on how to start an ecommerce business that laid out the process step by step, including things like opening a business bank account and credit card, getting an LLC, and setting up a website. Having a list of boxes to check off was exactly what I needed to turn the idea into a reality. I’ve been lucky to get to know those two in person and now see them several times a year at the ecommerce conferences that each of them hold.
I bootstrapped the business with some savings that I had, putting $5,000 into my business checking account to get started. Since then I’ve been able to fund the business from revenue, with only a few times where I had to take a “loan” from my personal checking account for a few weeks to pay for inventory.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

When choosing a supplier for my products I reviewed the online information on several emu farms in the US and spoke with the owners. It was important to me that my emu oil be certified by the American Emu Association so that I could ensure its purity and quality. My other criteria were that all the ingredients in the combination products be only natural.
I found the supplier I wanted to work with based on the quality of the ingredients they used and the way they care for their emus, but they weren’t particularly interested, having had a bad experience in the past with private labeling for another seller. Just as I was about to sign a contract with my second choice supplier, the owner got in touch and said they’d decided to take a chance on me.
Once that was established I brainstormed names for the brand and the individual products. I wrote the text for the labels myself, which was much harder than I had expected, knowing that I needed to get it just right before they were printed. I then worked with a graphic designer to have the logo and labels designed. Having worked for so many years in advertising I was very involved in suggesting and selecting fonts, adjusting spacing, and overall design, which was a lot of fun.
Holding my first batch of finished products in my hands was one of the most exciting days of my life.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Emu Joy is my second online store, which I developed after learning the ropes through my first website, rusticartistry.com. That site sells custom furniture and home decor which can be quite expensive, so sales were sporadic. I wanted a business that would have daily sales and an emu oil line of products fit those criteria.
Originally the business was called Emu Bliss, and the products were available only on Amazon so that I could test the market. When sales started to take off on that platform I added a Shopify site.
I also applied for a trademark for Emu Bliss. Then the trouble came.
My trademark application was opposed by a very large company called Bliss. They had a fancy NY law firm handling the filing against my Emu Bliss name, and very deep pockets, so there was no way I would be able to fight the case. Just when I had finally started to get some brand recognition I had to change my company name.
That involved a getting a new logo, printing new labels, removing existing product from the Amazon warehouse and relabelling, and updating all the email campaigns, advertising, social media accounts, bank accounts, etc. Plus it was like having to change the name of your child when they’re two years old.
Fortunately the new name of Emu Joy was well received by my customers, and in the end it didn’t hurt the business. But it certainly took up a lot of time that could have been spent moving the business forward.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Emu Joy’s sales are more than 90% on Amazon. There’s a steep learning curve to sell on Amazon but once you get used to how the platform works it’s easy to make changes to listings, set up shipments to the warehouse and track sales.
One of the most important parts of a successful listing is the images, and not just having a top notch main image. Smart sellers use additional images as mini ads, with lots of callouts, specs and other information that tells the product story. I found an excellent graphic designer through FreeeUp to create my informational images.
Because I have my brand name trademarked I was able to enroll in Brand Registry. This entitles me to include Enhanced Brand Content, which allows for more images and content in the product description section instead of just all text, as well as the option to create a Store Page that’s like a complete brochure for the brand.
Keyword research is critical in order to write effective listings and to use for PPC campaigns. It’s fascinating pull the reports and see the phrases people use to search for products on Amazon. There are a number of providers who have excellent software to manage Amazon PPC campaigns, especially PPC Scope and Sellics.
Of course, selling on Amazon is both good and bad. It’s great to have a source for endless traffic, but it’s always dangerous to be dependent on one platform, especially one as challenging as Amazon. Even when you run your business ethically and play by all the rules, there are issues that come up on Amazon that are completely out of your control as a seller. I don’t know of a single Amazon seller that hasn’t had a product, or even their entire account, shut down by Amazon for something they didn’t do.
I’d like to increase wholesale sales, and was happy to be approached by The Grommet, which is a shopping platform that features makers and small businesses with intriguing products. That starts soon, so hopefully, that will go well, and also drive customers to my own site.
Another way I’ve grown my customer base is by looking for small, underserved niches that my products are good for. I have Google alerts set up for “emu oil” and often find articles that lead me to new uses. Some of the best information I get is by patient forums for specific conditions.
This shows me the exact language patients use and problems they are experiencing. Based on this information I have made combinations of my products into kits that are targeted to these conditions, such as a Cancer Care Pack and a Soothe My Lichen Sclerosis Kit.
I have information pages in the Learning Center section of the website to address various conditions such as piercing and tattoo aftercare, burns and eczema. Those have been successful at driving Google search traffic to my site.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

I’m proud to say that Emu Joy is a profitable business. After watching many episodes of The Profit on TV I know that that is often not the case. I attribute my tight control on my finances to the special system of allocating funds that I now use.
Emu Joy’s finances are organized using multiple checking accounts based on the method laid out in the book Profit First. With this system all revenue comes into one account, then twice a month it gets distributed in percentages to accounts specifically for Inventory, Operating Expenses, Taxes, Owners Pay and Profit. Once a quarter I take out a portion of the deposits made into the Profit account and celebrate. The idea is that a business owner should be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
My bookkeeper, Cyndi Thomas of Bookskeep, just published a new version of the book: Profit First for Ecommerce Sellers, which lays out all the steps specifically tailored to ecomm folks.
Since implementing Profit First I have a much better grasp on where my business stands financially at any given time and am able to take advantage of seasonal bumps in sales.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

I’ve learned that the key to a successful business is relationships. Whether it’s with my suppliers, customers, freelancers or fellow ecommerce entrepreneurs, developing a mutually beneficial relationship makes everything go more smoothly and efficiently, and makes going to work each day a pleasure.
It’s OK if you don’t know what all those acronyms mean when you start. I was clueless about what PPC, CPC, SEO, LTV, ACOS and the rest of them stood for, but it’s possible to teach yourself about all of it, even if you don’t become an expert in every area.
Mostly it’s important to believe in yourself. Having attended multiple Tony Robbins events, where I walked over 40 feet of glowing hot coals and climbed to the top of a 50-foot telephone pole before jumping off towards a trapeze (we were harnessed!), I know that I can do anything I set my mind to.
When I hit a bump in the road I remind myself that literally every business experiences that, and sometimes the mistakes and setbacks are the greatest learning opportunities.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Emu Joy is hosted on Shopify using a custom theme that was developed by Smart Marketer, Ezra Firestone’s ecommerce training site.
My landing pages are designed using Zipify app, also developed by Ezra’s team. Email marketing is done with Klaviyo which has excellent segmentation capabilities.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Without a doubt the most important resource for me is my membership in the Ecommerce Fuel private forum.
These brilliant ecommerce entrepreneurs keep me up to date on the latest developments and are generous with their time and expertise whenever I have a question.
My favorite podcasts are Danny McMillan’s Seller Sessions, and Mike Jackness and Dave Bryant’s Ecom Crew.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

It doesn’t matter what age you are when you start as long as you go in with an open mind and entrepreneurial spirit.
Read blogs and books on starting an ecommerce business. Check out Facebook groups for beginner sellers to get an idea of the kinds of issues they experience.. Get on the email lists of the top marketers and attend their webinars.
And remember that perfect is the enemy of done. You can fiddle with your website forever to make improvements but that first sale won’t happen unless you push go.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
submitted by youngrichntasteless to Business_Ideas [link] [comments]


2019.03.25 17:15 youngrichntasteless $19k/mo selling emu oil.

Hey - Pat from StarterStory.com here with another interview.
Today's interview is with Carole Rains of Emu Joy, a brand that sells emu oil based skincare.
Some stats:

Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

Hi, I’m Carole Rains, the founder of Emu Joy. My product line features 100% natural products for skin, hair, muscles, and joints based on a unique ingredient: emu oil.
Emu oil is a highly penetrating oil that’s full of moisturizing and anti-inflammatory benefits. It comes from a thick pad of fat on the back of the emu bird, which looks a bit like an ostrich. It’s useful for everyone from babies with diaper rash to grandmas with arthritis, as well as many other conditions for folks of all ages.
Like many of you reading this, I had never heard of emu oil. Then one day while reading a home decor blog for my other business, Rustic Artistry, the blogger wrote an entire post about how much she loved emu oil, and how well it had worked for her eczema and joint pain. I was intrigued, so I started to investigate.
After studying the research and reading everything I could find about emu oil, not only did I decide to use it myself, I also wanted more people to know about it so it could help them too. Seeing photos and reading about little babies with eczema sealed the deal for me. If there was a way to help them that their parents didn't know about, I wanted to get the word out.
The result: I created Emu Joy as a source for reliable information and safe, natural products. I’ve now shipped more than 50,000 bottles, jars, and tubes of emu oil products, and the customer feedback makes me know starting this business was a good decision. Hearing from a mom who said “I got my little boy back” after the rash cream banished his eczema is what keeps me working hard to grow the business.

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

While the most common gender and age for ecommerce entrepreneurs seem to be males in their 30s, I started my business as a woman in her 50s.
Leading up to that I had worked for 17 years in pharmaceutical advertising and marketing, followed by 17 years as a chef. Eventually, I wanted more flexibility of my time and decided to try out creating an online store.
At the time there were a couple of resources that helped me get my store up and running. Steve Chou’s blog My Wife Quit Her Job was full of tutorials and extensive information on ecommerce.
Andrew Youderian, founder of Ecommerce Fuel, had published an e-course on how to start an ecommerce business that laid out the process step by step, including things like opening a business bank account and credit card, getting an LLC, and setting up a website. Having a list of boxes to check off was exactly what I needed to turn the idea into a reality. I’ve been lucky to get to know those two in person and now see them several times a year at the ecommerce conferences that each of them hold.
I bootstrapped the business with some savings that I had, putting $5,000 into my business checking account to get started. Since then I’ve been able to fund the business from revenue, with only a few times where I had to take a “loan” from my personal checking account for a few weeks to pay for inventory.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

When choosing a supplier for my products I reviewed the online information on several emu farms in the US and spoke with the owners. It was important to me that my emu oil be certified by the American Emu Association so that I could ensure its purity and quality. My other criteria were that all the ingredients in the combination products be only natural.
I found the supplier I wanted to work with based on the quality of the ingredients they used and the way they care for their emus, but they weren’t particularly interested, having had a bad experience in the past with private labeling for another seller. Just as I was about to sign a contract with my second choice supplier, the owner got in touch and said they’d decided to take a chance on me.
Once that was established I brainstormed names for the brand and the individual products. I wrote the text for the labels myself, which was much harder than I had expected, knowing that I needed to get it just right before they were printed. I then worked with a graphic designer to have the logo and labels designed. Having worked for so many years in advertising I was very involved in suggesting and selecting fonts, adjusting spacing, and overall design, which was a lot of fun.
Holding my first batch of finished products in my hands was one of the most exciting days of my life.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Emu Joy is my second online store, which I developed after learning the ropes through my first website, rusticartistry.com. That site sells custom furniture and home decor which can be quite expensive, so sales were sporadic. I wanted a business that would have daily sales and an emu oil line of products fit those criteria.
Originally the business was called Emu Bliss, and the products were available only on Amazon so that I could test the market. When sales started to take off on that platform I added a Shopify site.
I also applied for a trademark for Emu Bliss. Then the trouble came.
My trademark application was opposed by a very large company called Bliss. They had a fancy NY law firm handling the filing against my Emu Bliss name, and very deep pockets, so there was no way I would be able to fight the case. Just when I had finally started to get some brand recognition I had to change my company name.
That involved a getting a new logo, printing new labels, removing existing product from the Amazon warehouse and relabelling, and updating all the email campaigns, advertising, social media accounts, bank accounts, etc. Plus it was like having to change the name of your child when they’re two years old.
Fortunately the new name of Emu Joy was well received by my customers, and in the end it didn’t hurt the business. But it certainly took up a lot of time that could have been spent moving the business forward.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Emu Joy’s sales are more than 90% on Amazon. There’s a steep learning curve to sell on Amazon but once you get used to how the platform works it’s easy to make changes to listings, set up shipments to the warehouse and track sales.
One of the most important parts of a successful listing is the images, and not just having a top notch main image. Smart sellers use additional images as mini ads, with lots of callouts, specs and other information that tells the product story. I found an excellent graphic designer through FreeeUp to create my informational images.
Because I have my brand name trademarked I was able to enroll in Brand Registry. This entitles me to include Enhanced Brand Content, which allows for more images and content in the product description section instead of just all text, as well as the option to create a Store Page that’s like a complete brochure for the brand.
Keyword research is critical in order to write effective listings and to use for PPC campaigns. It’s fascinating pull the reports and see the phrases people use to search for products on Amazon. There are a number of providers who have excellent software to manage Amazon PPC campaigns, especially PPC Scope and Sellics.
Of course, selling on Amazon is both good and bad. It’s great to have a source for endless traffic, but it’s always dangerous to be dependent on one platform, especially one as challenging as Amazon. Even when you run your business ethically and play by all the rules, there are issues that come up on Amazon that are completely out of your control as a seller. I don’t know of a single Amazon seller that hasn’t had a product, or even their entire account, shut down by Amazon for something they didn’t do.
I’d like to increase wholesale sales, and was happy to be approached by The Grommet, which is a shopping platform that features makers and small businesses with intriguing products. That starts soon, so hopefully, that will go well, and also drive customers to my own site.
Another way I’ve grown my customer base is by looking for small, underserved niches that my products are good for. I have Google alerts set up for “emu oil” and often find articles that lead me to new uses. Some of the best information I get is by patient forums for specific conditions.
This shows me the exact language patients use and problems they are experiencing. Based on this information I have made combinations of my products into kits that are targeted to these conditions, such as a Cancer Care Pack and a Soothe My Lichen Sclerosis Kit.
I have information pages in the Learning Center section of the website to address various conditions such as piercing and tattoo aftercare, burns and eczema. Those have been successful at driving Google search traffic to my site.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

I’m proud to say that Emu Joy is a profitable business. After watching many episodes of The Profit on TV I know that that is often not the case. I attribute my tight control on my finances to the special system of allocating funds that I now use.
Emu Joy’s finances are organized using multiple checking accounts based on the method laid out in the book Profit First. With this system all revenue comes into one account, then twice a month it gets distributed in percentages to accounts specifically for Inventory, Operating Expenses, Taxes, Owners Pay and Profit. Once a quarter I take out a portion of the deposits made into the Profit account and celebrate. The idea is that a business owner should be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
My bookkeeper, Cyndi Thomas of Bookskeep, just published a new version of the book: Profit First for Ecommerce Sellers, which lays out all the steps specifically tailored to ecomm folks.
Since implementing Profit First I have a much better grasp on where my business stands financially at any given time and am able to take advantage of seasonal bumps in sales.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

I’ve learned that the key to a successful business is relationships. Whether it’s with my suppliers, customers, freelancers or fellow ecommerce entrepreneurs, developing a mutually beneficial relationship makes everything go more smoothly and efficiently, and makes going to work each day a pleasure.
It’s OK if you don’t know what all those acronyms mean when you start. I was clueless about what PPC, CPC, SEO, LTV, ACOS and the rest of them stood for, but it’s possible to teach yourself about all of it, even if you don’t become an expert in every area.
Mostly it’s important to believe in yourself. Having attended multiple Tony Robbins events, where I walked over 40 feet of glowing hot coals and climbed to the top of a 50-foot telephone pole before jumping off towards a trapeze (we were harnessed!), I know that I can do anything I set my mind to.
When I hit a bump in the road I remind myself that literally every business experiences that, and sometimes the mistakes and setbacks are the greatest learning opportunities.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

Emu Joy is hosted on Shopify using a custom theme that was developed by Smart Marketer, Ezra Firestone’s ecommerce training site.
My landing pages are designed using Zipify app, also developed by Ezra’s team. Email marketing is done with Klaviyo which has excellent segmentation capabilities.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Without a doubt the most important resource for me is my membership in the Ecommerce Fuel private forum.
These brilliant ecommerce entrepreneurs keep me up to date on the latest developments and are generous with their time and expertise whenever I have a question.
My favorite podcasts are Danny McMillan’s Seller Sessions, and Mike Jackness and Dave Bryant’s Ecom Crew.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

It doesn’t matter what age you are when you start as long as you go in with an open mind and entrepreneurial spirit.
Read blogs and books on starting an ecommerce business. Check out Facebook groups for beginner sellers to get an idea of the kinds of issues they experience.. Get on the email lists of the top marketers and attend their webinars.
And remember that perfect is the enemy of done. You can fiddle with your website forever to make improvements but that first sale won’t happen unless you push go.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Liked this text interview? Check out the full interview with photos, tools, books, and other data.
Interested in sharing your own story? Send me a PM
submitted by youngrichntasteless to Entrepreneur [link] [comments]


2016.07.17 07:07 cremetown Did she[26F] even like me[26M]? Why can't I stop thinking of it 5 months after my year long relationship?

have a lot of info, I've gone elsewhere for help, but wanted to see what folks here had to say. I felt like I lost someone special. sorry about the length, but I think most of this is important. I keeping running this stuff through my head over and over... any input is greatly appreciated.
 
 
I was her 4th long term bf. her first bf was in early HS, she had to be homeschooled for a year after the break up, she developed an eating disorder around this time. I don't know much about the details on why they broke up.  
 
her second bf she met late in HS after she returned, the relationship lasted into her early twenties about 5 years. this guy i think is the template for all her future mates. really extroverted aggressive dude. I sort of felt like she was pushing me to being more like him, though i never really asked and kinda stopped caring about him specifically. he left her for another girl i think out of resentment, he's still with the new girl, but the new relationship seems tumultuous as ever. my now ex was hurt bad by his leaving, relapsed into her eating disorder. he came back to my now ex saying he "would take her back if things don't work out with me and my new gf" my now ex told him she wouldn't take him back. they sort of keep in contact really lightly despite everything. it bothers me a little...  
 
Her ex #3 has a meth addiction. my now ex said she didn't know of it until about a year into their 3 year relationship. he was emotionally abusive and she think he cheated on her. she gave him the choice: her or the meth. he tried to give up meth, but she found out he was still using and left.  
 
there was me a year after she left ex #3. early on i felt like I could make her happy by being more like what she wants in a man. I'm so introverted but her ideal mate isn't . I stepped out of my comfort zone so much to make her happy. I drove her everywhere, bought her everything, took her out to things I'd never go to, picked up some of her hobbies and interests. I didn't mind any of it, i was in love. still there was this feeling like she didn't really like me for me. i was in the shadow of one of her previous lovers. I sort of addressed it in month 3 of our relationship. told her it "feels like you want me to be someone else." she responded with "I know what I want and I thought you could give me that." I reassured her that I can because I wanted to be with her.  
 
I continued trying my best, but she seemed so sentimental, like she wasn't completely over her previous relationships, like she was still hurting.  
 
6 months in the relationship she came forward about something that happened between her and her ex #3 while we were dating. she was visiting him to see how he was doing( I didn’t know about any of this), said her ex looked worse than ever, still using meth and in an emotional state stuff ended up happening between the two of them. she told me a couple days after it happened; apologized, said she felt terrible, wanted us to grow together, there’s no one she loves more than me. etc.. but she also insisted that if I couldn’t truly forgive her than I shouldn’t be with her. I was upset but i forgave her because at that time I wanted nothing more than to be with her. I never brought it up ever after that. In my head however the event reinforced this idea that I’m not ideal for her.
 
 
she wrecked her car in month 7, so I became her main mode of transportation, to work, when we went out, when she had errands. I started to get frustrated around this point. I hated driving to work and all this extra stuff was not helping. I started to become more resentful too, I withdrew, spent less freee time with her, and was generally less patient. whenever we fought about stuff related to this it seemed like she would just dominate, i didn't feel like I could reason with her, so i never really addressed what really bothering me...I would do anything and everything for her if the assurance that she loved me was there. she said she loved me, but didn't do much to show it. She has a narrow minded view of how I should act(not like myself, like someone else) and if I deviated she would really berate me. She claims to love me, but I wasn't getting much empathy, compassion, understanding, consideration.
 
 
the resentment grew so i saw my therapist. he said I'm making all the accommodations and she's not making any. I can continue this but for the relationship to last 1. it's gonna be more work for me (as exhausted as I already was) 2. she gotta be putting the work in too either of these conditions aren't being met, then it's pointless.  
 
I was thinking about this a lot in our last months together. I got so depressed, didn't know what to do. I wish I had talked to her about it. eventually it ended in month 12  
 
we broke up when i went alone to visit my mom to sort out some tax stuff, my gf tried contacting me, she knew where I was and what I was doing. I missed her call because my old ass phone sometimes forwards calls to voicemail automatically with no notification. when I got into contact with her the next day she kept accusing me of forwarding her calls on purpose, and She wanted to know what was wrong. I told her, I didn’t forward those calls and the reason I’ve been so distant is because “I feel like I’m carrying all the weight in the relationship, I’ve rearranged my life around you, but you haven’t done the same.” I asked her if that made sense, she said “it sounds like you don’t want a relationship.” and then I said “you’re right” out of frustration. I apologized for not being more clear about all my feelings, she then proceeded to call me judgmental and continued to accuse me of forwarding her calls, it hurt. I got so mad. I ended it there. Her response was "you know you're never going to see me again right?."  
 
the next day she texted me apologetic, saying she cares too much about me to push me aside, she understands how I feel, she said she hopes I find happiness in life and that the year we spent together was amazing in her opinion. I responded with “I’m sorry, you’re wonderful, beautiful and I wish you the very best, goodbye” and her response to that was “you really were the man of my dreams”  
 
I moved out of the area we lived immediately after this. she lost her main mode of transportation and support. I was so angry at that time and in the following months. more recently I've cooled off and I'm starting to think I didn't really give her chance to fix the situation. she seemed aloof to my dilemma. I shut her out, and now I don't know if she would have tried to help me.  
  I live an hour away now, but I work in that area still. logistically working something out with her would be hard now. I feel bad leaving her in the situation she was in. it wasn't all a nightmare. I sincerely thinks she's wonderful and she has similar ambitions, we had serious plans for our future and maybe I jumped the gun? She's just a bit naive, maybe shallow, has too much history with people in the city she lives in. I almost want to reach out to her tell her to move somewhere else with me. start over.   also I was on dating sites a few months after the break up, Idk how that would look to her, but I hate those things, didn't really get anything out of them.  
 
I feel guilty like I didn't try enough to make it work. What kind of issues and personality type do you think she has? I took some online myers briggs test and came up INFP. how much did my conflict aversion contribute to relationship failure? I wish things could have worked out. I don't know if she's too dysfunctional or if I am and I don't know why I keep obsessing with these ideas and what happened. It's been 5 months no contact and I can't let go. It's hard for guys like me to date, and in hindsight I think that's why she acted the way she did. I feel like I need to do something drastic to get over.
 
 
tl;dr: I fell in love with mess of person, but she didn't reciprocate/was disloyal/took me for granted,I left her in a bad spot. what other ways can I get over it all? I initiated the break up so the balls in my court to make amends right? I think she's gotta take a hard look in the mirror, but even then idk that'd she consider talking to me now.
submitted by cremetown to relationship_advice [link] [comments]


2016.07.17 06:14 cremetown Did she[26F] even like me[26M]? why do I keep thinking about it?

have a lot of info, I've gone elsewhere for help, but wanted to see what folks here had to say. I felt like I lost someone special. sorry about the length, but I think most of this is important. I keeping running this stuff through my head over and over... any input is greatly appreciated.
 
 
I was her 4th long term bf. her first bf was in early HS, she had to be homeschooled for a year after the break up, she developed an eating disorder around this time. I don't know much about the details on why they broke up.  
 
her second bf she met late in HS after she returned, the relationship lasted into her early twenties about 5 years. this guy i think is the template for all her future mates. really extroverted aggressive dude. I sort of felt like she was pushing me to being more like him, though i never really asked and kinda stopped caring about him specifically. he left her for another girl i think out of resentment, he's still with the new girl, but the new relationship seems tumultuous as ever. my now ex was hurt bad by his leaving, relapsed into her eating disorder. he came back to my now ex saying he "would take her back if things don't work out with me and my new gf" my now ex told him she wouldn't take him back. they sort of keep in contact really lightly despite everything. it bothers me a little...  
 
Her ex #3 has a meth addiction. my now ex said she didn't know of it until about a year into their 3 year relationship. he was emotionally abusive and she think he cheated on her. she gave him the choice: her or the meth. he tried to give up meth, but she found out he was still using and left.  
 
there was me a year after she left ex #3. early on i felt like I could make her happy by being more like what she wants in a man. I'm so introverted but her ideal mate isn't . I stepped out of my comfort zone so much to make her happy. I drove her everywhere, bought her everything, took her out to things I'd never go to, picked up some of her hobbies and interests. I didn't mind any of it, i was in love. still there was this feeling like she didn't really like me for me. i was in the shadow of one of her previous lovers. I sort of addressed it in month 3 of our relationship. told her it "feels like you want me to be someone else." she responded with "I know what I want and I thought you could give me that." I reassured her that I can because I wanted to be with her.  
 
I continued trying my best, but she seemed so sentimental, like she wasn't completely over her previous relationships, like she was still hurting.  
 
6 months in the relationship she came forward about something that happened between her and her ex #3 while we were dating. she was visiting him to see how he was doing( I didn’t know about any of this), said her ex looked worse than ever, still using meth and in an emotional state stuff ended up happening between the two of them. she told me a couple days after it happened; apologized, said she felt terrible, wanted us to grow together, there’s no one she loves more than me. etc.. but she also insisted that if I couldn’t truly forgive her than I shouldn’t be with her. I was upset but i forgave her because at that time I wanted nothing more than to be with her. I never brought it up ever after that. In my head however the event reinforced this idea that I’m not ideal for her.
 
 
she wrecked her car in month 7, so I became her main mode of transportation, to work, when we went out, when she had errands. I started to get frustrated around this point. I hated driving to work and all this extra stuff was not helping. I started to become more resentful too, I withdrew, spent less freee time with her, and was generally less patient. whenever we fought about stuff related to this it seemed like she would just dominate, i didn't feel like I could reason with her, so i never really addressed what's really bothering me...I would do anything and everything for her if the assurance that she loved me was there. she said she loved me, but didn't do much to show it. She has a narrow minded view of how I should act(not like myself, like someone else) and if I deviated she would really berate me. She claims to love me, but I wasn't getting much empathy, compassion, understanding, consideration.
 
 
the resentment grew so i saw my therapist. he said I'm making all the accommodations and she's not making any. I can continue this but for the relationship to last 1. it's gonna be more work for me (as exhausted as I already was) 2. she gotta be putting the work in too either of these conditions aren't being met, then it's pointless.  
 
I was thinking about this a lot in our last months together. I got so depressed, didn't know what to do. I wish I had talked to her about it. eventually it ended in month 12  
 
we broke up when i went alone to visit my mom to sort out some tax stuff, my gf tried contacting me, she knew where I was and what I was doing. I missed her call because my old ass phone sometimes forwards calls to voicemail automatically with no notification. when I got into contact with her the next day she kept accusing me of forwarding her calls on purpose, and She wanted to know what was wrong. I told her, I didn’t forward those calls and the reason I’ve been so distant is because “I feel like I’m carrying all the weight in the relationship, I’ve rearranged my life around you, but you haven’t done the same.” I asked her if that made sense, she said “it sounds like you don’t want a relationship.” and then I said “you’re right” out of frustration. I apologized for not being more clear about all my feelings, she then proceeded to call me judgmental and continued to accuse me of forwarding her calls, it hurt. I got so mad. I ended it there. Her response was "you know you're never going to see me again right?."  
 
the next day she texted me apologetic, saying she cares too much about me to push me aside, she understands how I feel, she said she hopes I find happiness in life and that the year we spent together was amazing in her opinion. I responded with “I’m sorry, you’re wonderful, beautiful and I wish you the very best, goodbye” and her response to that was “you really were the man of my dreams”  
 
I moved out of the area we lived immediately after this. she lost her main mode of transportation and support. I was so angry at that time and in the following months. more recently I've cooled off and I'm starting to think I didn't really give her chance to fix the situation. she seemed aloof to my dilemma. I shut her out, and now I don't know if she would have tried to help me.  
  I live an hour away now, but I work in that area still. logistically working something out with her would be hard now. I feel bad leaving her in the situation she was in. it wasn't all a nightmare. I sincerely thinks she's wonderful and she has similar ambitions, we had serious plans for our future and maybe I jumped the gun? She's just a bit naive, maybe shallow, has too much history with people in the city she lives in, that city is expensive af too. I almost want to reach out to her tell her to move somewhere else with me. start over.   also I was on dating sites a few months after the break up, Idk how that would look to her, but I hate those things, didn't really get anything out of them.  
 
I feel guilty like I didn't try enough to make it work. What kind of issues and personality type do you think she has? I took some online myers briggs test and came up INFP. how much did my conflict aversion contribute to relationship failure? I wish things could have worked out. I don't know if she's too dysfunctional or if I am and I don't know why I keep obsessing with these ideas and what happened. It's been 5 months no contact and I can't let go. It's hard for guys like me to date, and in hindsight I think that's why she acted the way she did. I feel like I need to do something drastic to get over.
 
 
tl;dr: I fell in love with mess of person, but she didn't reciprocate/was disloyal/took me for granted,I left her in a bad spot. what other ways can I get over it? I initiated the break up so the balls in my court to make amends right ? I think she's gotta take a hard look in the mirror, but even then idk that'd she consider talking to me now.
submitted by cremetown to BreakUps [link] [comments]


2014.07.03 01:13 tabledresser [Table] IAmA: I AM JJ VILLARD ! I CREATED THE NEW ADULT SWIM SHOW 'KING STAR KING!!!' ASK ME ANYTHING ///

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-07-02
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Where the KSK merch at? What was your earliest childhood memory? TSHIRTS ARE HERE !!//!! Link to www.titmousestuff.com WE ALSO HAVE A SUPER LIMITED TOY COMING OUT SOOON ///!!!
EARLIEST CHILDHOOD MEMORY //!!! MY FIRST BONER OF COURSE !
Arent you going to be Comic Con this year??? Where can I find you??? I WILL HAVE A BOOTH !//! AND ALSO WILL BE ON A PANEL SATURDAY 9-10 PM !!///!! YEEE.
I'M SHARING A BOOOTH AT COMIC CON WITH JEREMY BERNSTEIN, HE IS JEWISH!!//!! ROW 700 , XXXIBITOR TABLE E-03 !!//!!
What are some of your favourite items at your base? BEHIND ME IS A CORK BOARD OF KING STAR KING PAINTED AND DRAWN VILLAINS /// I LOOK AT THE BOARD A SALIVATE AT WHAT ULTRA VIOLENCE N DEBAUCHERY MY LIL CRIMINAL MASTER MINDS CAN DO !/! HEEEHEHEEHEHEHEEHEHEHE (WICKED WITCH LAUGH!!!)
Who's decision was it to go with the classical music in the series? It's absolutely perfect for the show. CLASSSICAL MUSIC HAS DEPTH !//! SO DOES KSK !!//!! BEHIND ALL THE MADDDNESSS THEIRS A LAZER ACCURATE IDEA OF WHAT KING STAR KING SHOULD BEEE/// CLASSICAL MUSIC IS ON POINT/// LIKE PIZZA W XXXTRA CHEESE AND RANCH DRESSING !/!
When did you start to feel like you had really cultivated a style that was uniquely your own? WORKING ON SHREK 3 CHANGED MY LIFE !/! I THOUGHT "WOW !/! THIS IS WHAT LIFE HAS BECOME !/!" SHOT MYSELF, RESURRECTED, BACAME THE SON OF SATAN , BEGAN TO DRAW LIKE I DID IN 2ND GRADE CATHOLIC SCHOOL !!! GAME CHANGER !/!
When will we know if KSK gets renewed for a 2nd season? If it does get renewed, do you plan on another 6-episode season or maybe bump it up to like 8 (Or, if I dare suggest, 10)? HAHAHAHA !!!/// I AM WORKING ON DREAMWORKS 'TROLLS' MOVIE RIGHT NOW !!//!! NO JOKE !!//!! AND I AM ALSO WORKING W ADULT SWIM ON SOME SICK ASSS SUPER SECRET PROJECT THAT I CAN NOT WAIT TO SHARE WITH ALL THE KING STAR KING WARRIORS !!//!!
What character do you most relate to? and why? (make sure you write in caps locks) I RELATE TO ALL MY CHARACTERS !!//!! XXXSPECIALY RINGO !!//!! DO YOU KNOW WHO THAT IS !!!/// HE'S IN FOUR OF THE SIX EPISODES !!!IF YOU FIND HIM I'LL GIVE YOU A FREE KSK TSHIRT!!!//!!!
Yes i know ringo he looks like a that trench digger dude from creepy comics...big nose and hood. Fat Frank says "what's up" to him GIMME A SHIRT!!! FREEE TSHIRTTT !!!
DO YOU SUFFER FROM PSYCHOSIS? WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE PORNSTAR? PSYCHOSIS ?/? HEHEHEE,,, NO, KING STAR KING IS MY REVENGE ON THIS ROBOTIC SOCIETY !//!
FAVORITE PORNSTAR ;;; 1.LOLA FOXX 2.ALEXIS BREEZE 3.JORDANA JAMES !/!/!/!
Would you ever drink pomegranate juice after eating a whole pizza? Do you have a story about that? HAHAHAHAHA ,,, YES I DID DRINK POMEGRANATE JUICE AFTER EATING A PIZZA !!//!! THE RESULT !/! I MADE A MESS OF MYSELF ON SUNSET BOULEVARD !/! HOLLYWOOD WAS SHIT ON THAT NIGHT !/!
What's the most badass song you have ever listened to? Link to www.youtube.com
Link to www.youtube.com
Link to www.youtube.com
HELLL YES !!!///!!!
King Star King is awesome! Will the Adult Swim executives be bold and brave and promote the shit out of your show at Comic Con this year??? FUKKK YES !/! I WILL BE ON A ADULT SWIM PANEL AT COMIC CON !/! SATURDAY 9-10 PM WITH THE CREATOR OF SUPERJAIL AND THE CREATORS OF MR.PICKLE'S !!!///!!! YEEEHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA.
Dude, seriously, I will take a serious cum load in the face to have a pitch meeting with AS. What advice can you give us aspiring animators? Do you do private consultations!?!? NO H O M O ... THIS MIGHT SEEM TRITE !/! BUT U GOTTA BELIEVE IN YOUR ART !!//!! AFTER THAT /// PITCHING AND MEETINGS WILLL COME !!!///!!! START OFF BY HITTTING UP ANY MAJOR STUDIO !!///!!! AND PITCH PITCH PITCH PITCH !!//!!
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR OUR UNHOLY WARRIORS OF DEBAUCHERY, ANY NOTABLE HUMANS PARTAKING IN VOICE ROLES? VOICE ROLES //!! HEHEHEHEEHEHE I BELIEVE IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF TALENTED VOICES , NOT FAMOUS PEOPLE DOING VOICES !/! CELEBRITIES DO NOT ALWAYS BRING WHAT YOU WANT ///!!! HOW SERIOUS IS THAT !/!
Who did the incredible voices for KSK??? I AM POOOZA THE PERVERTED WIZARD !!/!! TOMMY BLACHA IS KSK, HANK WAFFLES AND GURBLES ,,, AND JAMES MERRILL IS THE DOCTOR !!//!!
What about the lady voices??? RACHEL BUTERA RACHEL BUTERA RACHEL BUTERA !!/!!
What's your favorite kind of pancake? I LOVE LOVE LOVE PANCAKES AND BOOZE FOR BREAKFAST //!! A SHOT OF RYE WHISKEY W XTRA BUTTER ON YOUR PANCAKES WHILE WATCHING UFC IS BLISSS !!!///!!!
The show is fast paced and intense!!! I bet your editor earned his paycheck, and wanted to wait till you were asleep in the fetal position just to get even. ...why didn't you go for it? HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAA /// MY EDITOR GOT IN SO MUCH TROUBLE FOR SLEEPING ON THE COUCH ONE DAY !!//!! THE VP OF TITMOUSE WALKED IN AND SAID "WTF" AND MY EDITOR SAID "I'M TIRED, THAT'S WTF"
Link to www.youtube.com
You raunchy bastard great job, i try to show everyone the show when they come over. now how has getting up the in morning changed since KSK released into the wild? LIFE IS STILL THE SAME /// AND MOM COOKS MY BREAKFAST WITH NO HOG //!! TODAY I DIDNT EVEN HAVE TO USE MY A.K. !!// TODAY WAS A GOOD DAY !//! 2 IN THE MORNING HAD THE FATBURGER !/! THANKS FOR D KSK LOVEEE !!//!!
Why did you choose a waffle and not a pancake??? WAFFFLES /// YUMMM /// I LIVE BY ROSCOES CHICKEN AND WAFFFLES HOLLLYWOOD /// HUGE FAN !!// NEXT TIME I'LL DO CREPES !!//!!
HI ! KSK is aweeesome! is there any other animations that you have made besides "Son of Satan"? Love your art style! and everyones teeth in KSK. SREK FOREVER AFTER, SHREK THREE, PEABODY SHERMAN, AND DREAMWORKS "TROLLS" (2016!)
YOU LIKE HORROR MOVIES?! I WORK FOR FULL MOON FEATURES!!! I MADE A SHOW FOR ADULT SWIM, WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET THEM TO SEE IT!? I LOVE HORRROR FILMS, COMICS, TOYS, APPAREL !!//!! AND FOG MACHINES !!///!! FULL MOON MOVIES ARE RAD !/! BEST WAY TO PITCH TO ADULT SWIM ? MOVE TO LA LA LANDDD !!///!!
What's your favorite part of King Star King? MY FAVORITE PART OF KSK IS THE GIANT FUCK YOU TO THE ANIMATION STUDIO'S THAT ARE AFRAID AFRAID AFRAID ///!!! LOOSEN UP ALREADY CARTOON WORLD !!//!!
What current artists inspire you? FREDDY KRUEGER, THE CREATORS OF PHINEOUS AND FERB !/! AND OF COURSE ALL THE INSPIRATION OF ADVENTURE TIME (YEAH RIGHT !!! HAHAHAAHA)
How did your first meeting go in order to pitch the show's premise to studio execs? Did you do anything special? Did they immediately like it? I GAVE THE HEAD OF ADULT SWIM MY SKETCHBOOK /// HE LOOKED THROUGH IT , LOVED A DRAWING I DID ON ONE OF THE PAGES, AND THE KING STAR KING WAS BORN !!//!!!
What software was used to animate king star king? MIKE CARLO IS THE ANIMATION DIRECTOR !!//!! WE USE FLASH FLASH FLASH !!! AND WE FLASH FLASH FLASH EACH OTHER !!!///!!!
Who was the woman who inspired Burger Bitch? And where can I find her now? MANY BAD BIDDY'S INSPIRED BURGER BITCH !!//!! YOU CAN FIND THE MALL AT "THE BODY SHOP" ON SUNSET BLVD !!//!!
Amazing cartoon JJ -- huge fan!! A few questions: In episode three, is that supposed to be Garfield that Gurbles is ass licking? How did Pooza lose his legs - did he ever have legs? And finally, how will you ever top the madness of KSK!!! GARFIELD'S ASS MUST BE TASSSTY ///
YOU MEAN POOZA THE MAGICAL PERVERTED WIZARD !/! HE FLOATS THROUGH LIFE /// I ENVY HIS CAREFREE ATTITUDE !!!///!!!
WHAT MADNESS?
Why? BECAUSE THE GIRL IN MCDONALDS DRIVE THROUGH SAID "DRAW IT AND THEY WILL COME..."
Caps lock dude? YES CAPS LOCKKK /// ISN'T IT THE WORST !!//!! YOU SHOULD SEE HOW I WIPE !!//!!
How did He-Man touch you as a child to inspire this remorf as King Star King? HE MAN DID NOT TOUCH ME AS A CHILD /// I WOULD HAVE CALLED CHILED SERVICES !/! but skeletor and i use to wrestle !/!
Woah dude, you ain't crazy, could you dedicate me a drawing? HAHAHAHA LIKE YOU SAID "I AINT CRAZY"
What would Sheila create for you during your personal massage? And don't say shitting in a tornado. BOY OH BOY MY DEEPEST DARKEST SECRET !!//!! EASY, MAKE LOVE TO A GIRL MADE OUT OF TACO BELL MEAT !/! MILD SAUCE THERE IS GOOD !
Did augenblick have any involvement in KING STAR KING? anddd MAKE SOME MORE FUCKING KSK MERCH! NO AUGENDICK HERE /// Link to www.titmousestuff.com
What was DreamWorks like to work for? DREAMWORKS IS LIKE BOOT CAMP FOR ANIMATORS !//! THE BATTLE IS KEEPING YOUR SOUL !!!///!!!
I heard you once shit all over the walls at the Thirsty Crow bathroom in Silver Lake. What was that night like? HEHEHEHEHE AFTER THE SHIT , I TOOK OUT A CIGARETTE AND HAD A SMOKE. i don't usually smoke, but felt one was necessary at the time.
Is King Star King going to ever air on TV? JULY 11th !/! 1am !/! ON TV TV TV /// FIRST MAJOR ONLINE SERIES FOR ADULT SWIM THOUGH !!!///!!!
Watching KSK makes me feel as though someone understands me. It proves that media is progressing and not remaining in an agonizing stasis. Can we look forward to more from the world of KSK? The people want content! And comics! And toys! GIMME GIMME GIMME. KING STAR KING /// YOU UNLOCK THIS DOOR AN JOURNEY INTO BEYOND !///! CARTOONS HAVE A FEAR OF DOING THAT !/! FEAR FEAR FEAR PLAGUES US ALLL ///!!! WILL ANNOUNCE ALLL NEW MERCH///
Were there some all nighters you pulled while working on KSK? WE NEVER HAD AN ALL NIGHTER /// EXCEPT ONCE WHEN THE WHOLE CREW WENT ON A ALL NIGHT BINGE !!!///!!!
Have you worked on anything prior to KSK? I saw your sketchbook on your site. Did you do the zine thing and get discovered or did you toil in the industry? SHREK 3, SHREK FOREVER AFTER, PEABODY SHERMAN, MONSTERS VS ALIENS, TROLLS (2016) KKKING STARRR KKKING //!!//
If someone wanted to meet you in person, where could we find you? ON THE CORNER OF LEXINGTON AND 3RD // I'LL BE STANDING BEHIND THE LOCH NESS MONSTER !!!//!!!
What is the dirtiest thing you have ever done...sexually? WHEN I WAS YOUNG I ONCE GOT IT ON WITH TWO OF MY DOMESTICATED CATS !!//!!
You're taking a shit at work and someone turns off all the lights while exiting the bathroom. Do you do the ' Waddle Waddle Watoosie to the light switch hoping no one enters? Do you use your phone light to help you wipe? Or do you wipe in the pitch black darkness? THAT'S EASY !/! GET NAKED, SMEAR THE SHIT ON ME LIKE ARNOLD IN 'PREDATOR', STAND ON THE SINK AND W8 THERE SMILING UNTIL SOMEONE WALKS IN ///
What is your favourite vegetable and place to put it? HEHEHEEHE !!///!! MY FAVE VEGE IS BROCOLLI IN MY URETHRA !!//!!
Of the many disturbing aspects of KSK, the use of classical music was extremely disconcerting - what inspired this creative decision? BOY OH BOY HOW ELOQUENTLY ASKED !!//!! YOUR QUESTION IS LIKE CLASSICAL MUSIC !!///!! XOXOXOXOXOXO 666.
What's the most dicks you've sucked in a row? MANY !/! HOW DO YOU THINK I GOT MY OWN CARTOON !!///!!
I'm visiting LA for a few days, what should I do? GO TO CHEETAHS, BODY SHOP, CRAZY GIRLS, AND 7TH VAIL !/!
WHICH DO YOU LIKE THE BEST - WAFFLES, LOUIS, OR ORIA?!?!? ORIA AND LOUIS , MOM AND DAD !!//!!
What's your favorite horror film? And where in the Gigantiverse can I get some of that sweet shit that KSK smokes? FAVORITE HORROR FILM: BASKET ELM HELLRAISE MASSACRE ///!!!
Is you caps lock key broken? HAVE NO TIME FOR LOWER CASES ///!!!
Why do you write with Caps Lock on ? :D CAPS LOCKKK HAS KSK POWERR//!!!
Hey man, heard you had an AMA here on Reddit, so I came! After watching the pilot of KSK, I'm definitely thinking about checking out more episodes! I just wanted to know who are your artistic influences? Also, what inspired the creation of KSK? MY INSPIRATIONS ARE: STRAWBERRY, ADVENTURE TIME, AND THE NEW MY LIL PONY !!!///!!! HAHAAHAHA I KIDN I KIDN !!//!!HEHEHEHE.
Is the princess sticking out of the bottom of the waffle restaurant supposed to be the bowspirit of our strange heroes ship? Also how in the shit is Tommy Blacha so talented and weird? HHAHAHAHAAHA I HAVE MANY BOWSPIRITS !/! BLACHA BLACHA BLACHA is one of them !!!//!!!
Where do you honestly get your inspiration for episodes from? FROM THE STARS, ROSES AND MY LITTLE PONY !!//!!
How do you generally come up with the ideas for your cartoons? And what is your opinion on Rick&Morty? HOW DA HECK DO U GET A CAWTUNE ON ADULT SWIM. How do i come up w cartoons !?!??! DRAW E'RY E'RY DAY !!//!!
Do you sniff piles of cocaine like Scareface? I SNIFFF PILES OF POOOZA !!!///!!!
Out of the things you listed that you like, which do you like most, and why is it strip clubs? I LOVE ADULT SWIM MOST !!!/// STRIP CLUBS ARE A HOBBY ///
WILL YOU MAKE MORE EPISODES??? WITH MORE DICKS HIDDEN !! WILL YOU HIDE MORE [email protected]&%%@ AND ASS##$#@A??? WILL KSK LIVE TO SEE THE DAY WHEN IT COMES BACK TO SEE THE LIGHT OF MY TV??? KING STAR KING WILL BE ON TV JULY 11TH , 1AM !/! FOR REAL REAL REALLL ///!!!
Is there a reccommended amount of showers I should take, and what should I shower in? 2 SHOWERS A DAY ///!!! STAY FRESH N SO CLEAN !!//!!
How many dates do you recommend until I let a guy hold my hand...and then maybe hold my cock? HEHEHEEHEHEEHEHE /// DID POOZA ASK THIS QUESTION !?!?!
Is the grill you were rocking in the interview I saw of you and Tommy Blacha bolted in? What kind of metal is it? YES IT'S BOLTED /// WHITE GOLD !!//!!!
Which drug has had the greatest influence on your perspective of life? KING STAR KING IS MY FAVORITE DRUG !!//!!
How much do you charge for a spit jizzed, snot rocketed stained, original gross drawing by you at Comic Con? $1,400.00 18"X24" /// DON'T DO DRUGS! BITCH I'M FOR REAL !/!
What are the other cartoons & movies that influenced KSK? WALT DISNEY'S HELLRAISER 3 !!///!!
Hey, my dream has always been to be a cartoon voice. How do you usually do your voice acting? Like training and what not. HAHAAHAHAHA D VOICES IN YOUR HEAD /// LET THEM FREEE///!!!
off, love the subtle sexual undertones. Almost didn't catch them. But what's with all the pancakes/waffles? I mean, I love them too, but this is like a borderline fetish! You even made a character out of pancakes. Did you have a traumatic waffle experience? I HAVE A WAFFLE FETTTISH/// LET YOURSELF GO /// YOU'D BE SURPRISED WHAT YOUR DEEPEST FETISH IS !!///!!
The show has amazing animation I give the animation 10/10 and even with the crazy dialogue and action it still delivers a storyline underneath that was the purpose of the show for me to trip on acid for a few days ? that's what happened to me. YOU HAVE JUS TAKEN A JOURNEY INTO A WONDROUS LAND !!//!! THE LAND OF YOUR IMAGINATION !!//!! PRETTY DEEP HUN !!//!!
Why do a lot of your characters have messed up teeth? METH IS FUN !/!
If you had a choice between Howard Stern's little penis or Baba Booey's gargantuan lips which would you choose to be resting on your shoulder while drawing? HEHEHEEEHEHEHE !!//!! BEETLEJUICE'S MISSING TEETH !!//!!
What're your thoughts on this? Link to i.kinja-img.com. I SUPPORT IT !!//!!
Last updated: 2014-07-06 17:39 UTC
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2013.06.21 20:03 tabledresser [Table] IAmA: I am Tahir Shah, NY Times Bestselling author, National Geographic filmmaker, and hobby apiarist. I've written about travel, electronic publishing, human eyes, and cannibalism. I've buried 4 golden heads around the globe for anyone to find. AMA

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Date: 2013-06-21
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Tahir, I just want to say that I am a big fan of your book Timbuctoo and Trail of Feathers. Your stories seem very rich in description and detail and is a great read for me. I have some questions that I am curious about though ! 1)I know you and your crew were arrested in Peshawar and held in solitary confinement. What was the worst thing that happened to you while being imprisoned in Pakistan? Were you surprised that you guys were held without charge? The whole Pakistani torture prison for 16 days and horrible nights experience has shaped every day I have lived since. The worst moment was being taken out for a mock execution. It was the fear. the raw fear. I wrote about it once, and said that my sweat smelled like cat pee. It was the adrenalin... and that kind of fear isn't something I have experiecned before.
Holy shit... Mock Execution? How did they manage to do that? They took me out, blindfolded and chained, in the middle of the night. It was very calm. A gun was put to my head... well, it was pretty much like the movies. Except I didn't wriggle. I just kept still, hoping that it it was the end, that it would be fast. It was like a rabbit caught in headlights.
Where are the heads located? Send me a private message! Under your bed.
How much are these heads worth? I've been considering a career change. :-) It's hard to say... a few thousand dollars each. But then again, value is whatever one understands it to be.
Tahir, I love your work, thanks for the AMA. How do you think storytelling has changed in the Internet age? Do the classics stand a chance against movies, ipads, and technology? Such a great question... The Classics are the core that fuels media online, as they have fuelled all new media for centuries. Cyberspace is new, yes, but printed books, newspapers etc were all new once as well. I think the net is amazing because it expands the horizons of storytelling... we have to celebrate that fact.
I'm an experienced traveler, but have mainly stayed "on the beaten path". Can you recommend a travel suggestion that would really blow my hair back? Is there anywhere you've sworn never to return? Two years ago I went to Angkor Wat in Cambodia... and I am going there next month with my kids... it's a real 'Indiana Jones' destination. I loved the Madre de Dios jungle in Peru as well for the magnificence of nature.
A place never to return? Hmmm... good question. can't really think of one. Really thinking here about that... No... I can't think of anywhere, although there are places in Europe that I wish let their hair down... as opposed to blow your hair back.
Have you seen any interesting changes in your travels and the culture of Casablanca because of the widespread use of the internet and cell phone technology? Cell phones have leapfrogged technology. We live in the middle of a shantytown as you may know. When we first moved here ten years ago no one had cell phones, or landlines. But now everyone has them, and that's SUCH a great thing... it's made new businesses possible, and allows families to keep in touch.
How's the Caliph's House doing? Are the Guardians still there? What about the shantytown? (Thanks for the interview!) Ten seconds ago i had to swoosh one of the guardians out of here, because he had come to tell me of a new problem in the garden... I told him I was in an important meeting. He looked at the computer screen and shook his head. 'On the computer?' he asked. I nodded. 'I don't like that world,' he replied. But Dar Khalifa is as magical as ever.
If there was one thing that you would like people to know that they are ignorant of, what would it be? That travel -- raw, on-the-cheap travel, can be an education like nothing else, and that it change change the way they see the world. My favourite saying is this Moroccan one: MUCH TRAVEL IS NEEDED BEFORE THE RAW MAN IS RIPENED.
Dear Tahir, how many languages can you speak/comunicate? I'm interesting in meanings and stories of names - what does it mean your name Tahir? What's its story? I speak a little of a lot of languages. But what I find is so important to communicate is to relax, calm yourself, and retune your mind... sometimes it's less about language and more about picking up the frequency of the people you are with. it sounds weird, but it's how I think communication should be done.
Do you think cannibalism can be a DNA trait? Will you give clues where the heads are located? Cannibalism: I think it's very deep in our make up... almost all animals will eat their own kind and we are animals... I think it's probably in all our DNA.
Treasure: Will post a clue next week.
As a journalist, what has been your most frightening experience? Pakistani torture jail. I was doing recon for a documentary. It was truly terrifying.
Yes, I have to agree with you there. My background is Pakistani, particularly Islamabad, and I have heard some horrific stories about what goes on there. Many people who are said to have "disappeared" actually wind up in one of these torture cells. You're right... and a night doesn't go by without me wondering who is in 'my' cell right now. Because I can bet you that some poor guy -- innocent or guilty -- is in there. I can close my eyes and see every square inch of that cell. it's haunting to me.
Do you ever allow visitors to your home, The Caliph's House? Are you ever interested in holding an event there for your readers? btw I totally love your books! I do sometimes, and we have had lots of bookclubs etc. I'm sooo incredibly thrilled that the house is well known. It's a fragment of paradise. But, at the same time, i'm writing like craaazy at the moment, and I find it very hard to snap back into writing if i break. So recently I had to turn down some requests from people to visit. It's kind of a hard compromise.
Have you ever been to California? LOve California. Was there last summer at the start of driving across the US, with Rachana and the kids. I once worked as a bus bow in a French restaurant in Rancho Santa Fe (near san Diego). My job description was 'to pour coffee and to kill rats'. I did the first but never managed the second. I'm a huge animal lover.
How was the experience of writing a work of fiction like Eye Spy different than writing your non-fiction books? Did it require a significant adjustment in terms of your writing habits and mindset? It was easier than non-fiction. I loved getting in the head of Amadeus Kaine, and wondering what he would have thought or done, or how he would have reacted to something. Writing is writing... and it's about observation and portraying something in a certain way, building up a story.
Thanks for doing this AMA. I've seen a ton of books with .99, 1.99, 2.99 sales price in the Kindle store. Do you think that low priced digital editions of books lower the perceived quality of the book/author? Good question. I don't know about this... because it's such uncharted territory. i can just do what I think is right, and what I think is right is for authors and publishers not to be greedy. i makes me WILD with rage when I see publishers pricing en eBook at the same -- or a higher -- price than the paperback. Why, why, why? I just don't understand that. For me, as a writer, the most important thing is for people to read my work. Yes, I want to make money, but that is secondary. So I have priced my eBooks as low as I can.
Have you ever eaten human flesh? Ah, great, a cannibalism question. No, I haven't. But I really don't see what's so shocking about the thought of eating human flesh. Almost al people in almost all societies have eaten flesh at some point. I'd rather eat a bit of plump human buttock to a scorpion, for instance. Wouldn't you?
Can you comment more about the golden heads. What is that all about? OK, it was a bit of a gimmick... I hid golden treasures, golden heads, around the world, and the clues to find them are concealed in my book TIMBUCTOO. Crack the code and the treasure could be yours.
You've mentioned you were in Japan for a while, living under extremely difficult conditions. What is the story behind that experience? I was OBSESSED withe the Ainu people of Hokkaido from a young age. And so I went to Tokyo in the early 90s to live there and to study the Ainu culture. Tokyo was the wrong place to be, but I fell in love with Japan.
What's the tastiest food you've ever had on your travels? (A spoonful of MSG is an acceptable answer.) YES! MSG is a MUST! I swear by it. Wow, I don't know what else. It surely was not 'Masato' which is a strange upper Amazon drink made from cassava fermented in human saliva. Probably the best of the best was pilao in Afghanistan. Incredible, and here's always sooo much of it.
Is there anything fans of your work could do that would help you out as a writer? (Aside from buying your books and telling others about them? :)) You know, what is a huuuge help to me, is when people post positive reviews (even very very short ones) on AMAZON and on GOOD READS. I am so incredibly indebted to anyone who does this, you have no idea.
Hi love! Thanks for doing this AMA. I was wondering, out of all of your travels, which place had the nicest people? Meanest? Weirdest? Nicest: Kenya.
Weirdest: Guinea.
Meanest: Hmmm, not an easy one to answer... Hmmm... errr... ummm... possibly Ivory Coast.
Is Amazon a good platform for e-publishing? Or is it mandatory because it's "the best game in town?" What do you think of DRM? Amazon is the most powerful name in town... and yes the biggest. I am a fan of Kindle because it has got people reading. I, for one, looove printed books -- fine printed books -- but I do think these new forms are good. Yes, people like me prefer paper, but I watch my kids and they are just as happy to read an eBook as they are a paper one.
Re. DRM: I see that people who want to pirate books will pirate books. It's inevitable. That's one of the reasons it's important to keep eBooks cheap, cheap, cheap. I don't use DRM... I just think that authors have to be sensible to the fact that these are hard times and people need work to be affordable.
What was so special about Iquitos? Ahhh... So many things, and I'm not thinking that there are 6 women to every man...
It's just so absolutely slap bang in the jungle, and so evocative of Fitzcarraldo... Believe me, drop everything and check it out!
Is there a place you have been to that isn't well known but you really liked it? Sooo many. Iquitos in the upper Amazon stole my heart. Drop everything, and go there now!
Do you have any advice for dealing with negative criticism as an author? Don't listen to it.
My father once rebuked me for getting upset about a review someone had written of one of my books... my first book. He said reviews were meaningless to an author.
I never forget that.
What was/is your father's (Idries Shah) influence on your writing? It was a huge influence. As a child there is one thing that sticks in my memory... not a sight but a sound. I heard it from dawn to dusk every day-- the sound of an electric typewriting typing. That was what seeped into my blood and my bones, the sound of someone totally engaged with his work. For my father, his writing was almost a mania. He knew that it was a huge responsibility, something he had to get down. He would tell us -- 'Never judge yourselves against other people, because most people don't set their sights high enough. So, judge yourself against the achievements of the greatest men and women in history.'
Has any one come close to finding those buried golden heads? Is that not a fair question? I'm not sure. It's been quite irritating that people can't find the heads. Grrr. I guess i should put out some more clues.
Are they worth finding? I mean, would the gold pay for the trip to collect them? Forget material wealth and open your heart to the adventure that the journey would provide, and how it would change you... deep down change.
What's the best food you have ever eaten while traveling? As I said (above) pilao in Afghanistan scored high. I'm a sucker for green curry in Thailand, and am going there in 2 weeks from now to feast on it.
Dear sa'id, After reading your June 5th blog post-- Q&A on Storytelling and Tradition… and the Tale of the Sands I was trying to "imagine" how to be absorbed in the wind, since that seems like one of the best ways to attempt to perceive/receive your script. I spent the day feeling depressed at my failures and like there was a talon or claw lodged in my sternum. Last night I read from “the child’s story” When I Grow Up @ Link to www.aschiana.com which is part of the Link to www.aschiana-foundation.org. The story completely eviscerated me. Do you have a dream/Rx for "Orphic Adepts" to help heal themselves & the orphans of Afghanistan? I don't know if this is an answer: But I dream -- every night -- that I am stepping aboard a magic flying carpet, and am soaring out above the shantytown into the realm of 1001 Nights. It's so incredibly powerful to me... as if it's connecting me with another time.
What's the most convincing evidence of magic you've seen? Good question. I studied 'stage' magic in Calcutta a million years ago with a teacher and magician called Hakim Feroze. He promised me that he was only a stage magician and insisted that real magic was just illusion performed very well. But he used to do things -- weird things -- that I was certain were real magic. So he is the answer to your question.
One of my favorite authors/adventurers is Robert Twigger. How did you meet? Can you share any crazy stories you two have had? Twigger is one of my very dearest friends. The first time I met him was in Japan, in 1990. HE took me in and let me live on his floor. I was homeless and hungry. Every day I would steal ceremonial cabbages from Ueno Park, and would take them back to Twigger's tiny flat... more of a broom cupboard than a flat... and we would cook cabbage soup.
The strangest time I have had with Twigger, though, was in Cairo. I was obsessed with the great cemetery there and Twigger was obsessed with dwarf-dealers. So we looked for a dwarf dealer, one that Bruce Chatwin had mentioned in passing. We found him. He was a bastard, an utter bastard... and had a giant as a kind of pimp slave. So we sub-hired the giant while in the cemetery.
Great memories.
What did you sub-hire the giant for? As a body guard. he also opened the car door very well... the only downside was that he was so tall (7 foot) that we had to feed him enormous trays of baclava all the time.
I found Scorpion Soup a wonderful read, thank you. I liked the ‘high-tech’ features of the Princess Leila’s prison and of the time travel machine in ‘The Clockmaker’s Bride.’ In ‘The Hermit’ in Scorpion Soup you write about the difference between the container and the content. Can you comment on what can help in distinguishing the content from the container? (I want to write, Should one eat the beautiful cover and pages of the hardcover edition of Scorpion Soup in order to absorb the contents? – perhaps in a bisque?) Thanks for your message!Content and Container -- I was brought up with this theme. It's buried deep inside me. my father went on and on about it, and would say that in the Occidental, 'Western' world, people missed the difference. He would show us as children beautiful objects with nothing but the most vacuous of uses, and he would warn us to beware.
I hope that the hardback of Scorpion Soup is fine container for fine content, but yes yes yes the truth is that the book is nothing more than a vessel, one which holds something of real value.
I've been wanting to travel to Morocco since hearing your piece on the BBC "Mosque at the End of the World" - how did you record that? How long did it take to capture that story? I spent 7 days and nights in Jama al Fna. It was the most extraordinary and entertaining time imaginable. I really recommend the main square in Marrakech as a place to lose yourself and to find the world.
Did you attend University for writing? Did you grow up wanting to be a writer? I studied African Dictatorships at University. Studying writing is almost a waste of time. there are 2 ways to learn to write (a) to read good work (b) to write... masses.
Do you have any good advice for haggling with people in open air markets. I always feel like I'm on the losing side of the deal. What's the craziest thing you've bought at a market? I wrote about this. Take a big (cheap) flour sieve. It sounds crazy, but in morocco, at least, it will get you a reduced price on anything from a pot of oil to a new car. Why? Because, as our wise maid told me, 'No tourist would be seen carrying a sieve'.
Craziest thing I've bought? Hmmm... a sieve. And, recently, i bought some dried chameleons in a the souk in Fes, for use in a spell.
How did you come up with the idea for Eye Spy? I saw a photo of a box of glass prosthetic eyes... and I was hooked. I couldn't stop thinking about that picture, or about glass eyes. My wife thought I was mad, or rather madder than usual... so she suggested I write a novel about them. So I did. it was a kind of therapy.
Eye Spy is available freee on Amazon Kindle today only. I know I shouldn't plug it, but as it's free (and only today as I say) I think I'm allowed to plug that. :-)
Hi Tahir! I've loved your work since I luckily picked up Sorcerer's Apprentice at a bookstore when it came out (mainly because it had such a crazy cover!) Thanks for all the inspiration, insight, and incredible adventures over the years! I love that picture on the first edition of SORCERER'S APPRENTICE, too. It was taken in 1966 by Roland Michaud, in India. It's so evocative.
If you could help to solve one ancient mystery, what would that be and why? That's such a fine question. Wow, I think it would be how Stonehenge was built. I have heard a lot of theories but I'm still wondering.
I loved Timbuctoo (Link to www.goodreads.com - I bought the hardback edition and want to start the treasure hunt to find your buried treasure. So... can you save me some time... where's the head buried? Just PM me ;). You've got me laughing out loud! I want to tell you this: we all focus on finding buried treasure, but spare a thought for the poor bastard (in this case, me) who has to hide a treasure. It's not that easy!
Why would you bury 4heads around the world? What is the reason behind it? For fun.
And to give other people the chance of embarking on a grand adventure.
What would you say is the coolest thing you've ever done? Oh, not sure. Ummm... probably to fly in a tiny Cessna 172 in the canyon of the Angel Falls when I was 21. I felt like I was a dragonfly in a space to great that I was less than nothing at all.
At the end of you quest for Paititi, you pointed out that it doesn't matter whether or not you find ruins; you will return as a different person. Well, did you? Yes, I certainly returned a different person. And did I find the ruins? No... so they're still out there. Waiting... for you.
Pack your bags.
Leave for the jungle...
Today.
Is the house still haunted with jinn? Alas, I don't think so. We had 24 exorcists and they said the next exorcism wouldn't be due for 10 more years.
Could you comment on influences on Eye Spy – perhaps from Silence of the Lambs or other movies/books?...In Eye Spy you make some criticisms of factory farming. Could you comment on the quality of the food available in Casablanca? What I love about Morocco is that food is available when in season, and it's not been mass produced. This is a very big thing to me... and I wrote EYE SPY having just seen a documentary called FOOD INC., about American industrialised farming. It made a big big big effect on me... because it's quite the opposite of how things are here.
I adore Silence of the Lambs, both the book and the movie. The writing in the book is so graceful and delicate. I have it on the shelf here in my office. What genius.
How much gold is in each head? The heads are bronze, from West Africa, with gold leaf covering them.
Thanks for the AMA. I really enjoyed Journey to Mecca, how did you research Ibn Battutah? I read Battuta's Travels, of course, and I spent a lot of time in Tangier (where he was from) talking to people... and in libraries doing research. But it was so important to me just to talk to people, the kind of people who understand who Battuta was, and what his travels meant.
What was the single most important piece of advice your father ever gave you about writing? Suuuch a good question, thank you. He told me to write, write, write, write, write. Because he knew -- like I now know -- that writing is a muscle, and if you exercise the muscle it gets stronger.
Do any cultures that you've encountered practice cannibalism? West Africa... especially Sierra Leone. remember, that what you see on the internet isn't more than a fragment of the true picture. i wish people would realise that.
How much does the limited edition of your book "Timbucktoo" cost? Is it worth it for me to buy it mainly for the treasure hunt? Www.timbuctoo-book.com.
But it is easier to find them using the book. The book is on amazon... it's a very limited edition and quite amazing in its design. Weighs 3.5 lbs.
What is the scariest place you've ever been? Again, Pakistani torture jail. It was on the outskirts of peshawar. But I also had some very scary times in Afghanistan under fire.
Wow, that is extremely terrifying. Because I'm young and have no life experiences like that (yet), the scariest place I've ever been to is the mutter museum. Lots of shrunken heads (which you like), siamese twins, and really scary stuff. I am sooo jealous you've been to the Mutter Museum. I'd give my front teeth to be there right now. Ooooh, that has to be the wildest place ever. Only the Hunterian Museum in London comes close.
Do you know whether people in Ethiopia are reconnecting yet with their past in constructive ways? I don't think people in Ethiopia ever lost contact with their past. That's the incredible thing about that country -- the way that people are tethered to ancestral knowledge and methods. I adore Ethiopia, and am daunted by it none the less in ways that I find difficult to describe. i have traveled in a great many African lands, but Ethiopia is one that stands apart from the others. The reason is partly in history and culture, and partly derived from the national identity. It's an identity which is unshakeable.
Thank you so much for your books, blog posts, youtube videos, and this Reddit IAMA!...One thing I like about your travel books is that you don’t present yourself as an expert on everywhere you visit, but as an explorer, learner, traveler. Even (especially?) about Morocco. Perhaps this attitude helps you succeed where some other explorers don’t even try (eg. you thought trying to befriend the Machiguenga people and use their local expertise might help you find the lost city in House of the Tiger King). Could you comment on self-importance as a barrier to learning, and how to keep it in check? This is something that I'm very very sensitive to... there's very little that gets me so worked up as self-styles experts who like to travel (usually with a film crew in toe), and like to pretend that they're supa dupa special. They're not... they usually total lame and egocentric, and would do well to remember that what's important are the places they travel through, and the people they encounter... and not themselves.
I have lived in Morocco almost a decade and am the first to tell you that I'm no expert on the Kingdom, just an admirer of it.
Have you ever read the book Contingency Cannibalism? No... but it sounds great!
Are there any questions you particularly want to be asked in this IAMA? I've sooo enjoyed reading the questions and doing my best to answer some. There's nothing like solid questions to make one think, and I really appreciate getting the opportunity to think -- so a huge thank you to everyone who asked questions.
Where have you posted the clues? They are hidden in the hardback printed copy of TIMBUCTOO and on the web site... www.timbuctoo-book.com...
If there was a zombie outbreak, what would be your zombie plan? I'd run for it into the deepest darkest jungle, and wait it out. What about you?
There were two unexplained deaths in 'Timbuctoo'. Both deaths were suspicious, and both young women had pear shaped blotches on their chests. I know... I have a thing about pear-shaped blotches. Ooops, i don't think I explained that. I'll have to do a sequel to explain it!
Ahhh... So many things, and I'm not thinking that there are 6 women to every man... It's just so absolutely slap bang in the jungle, and so evocative of Fitzcarraldo... Believe me, drop everything and check it out! And re iquitos, I loved the fact that it was the rubber boom in Europe that created this city in very deep jungle. Like Manaus, in Brazil, iquitos is one of those places which has to been seen to be believed. So incredibly atmospheric.
How do you mannage to get the amazing shot in your videos/photos that everyone just simply is speechless and says just one word, WOW! I am an amature photographer and am starting to get great sports photos. But I was wondering what makes NatGeo photos so amazing. My father used to tell me, 'Take every picture as though it's the last picture on your roll of film'. OK, we don't use film now, but you can image it's the last picture on your memory card. I'm not a great photographer, but I like to take pictures without people knowing that I am capturing them.
Two questions: are there "new stories", if so (you have seen many different cultures) where are (the best genuine) "new stories" being born. Some people will tell you that there are no new stories, only old ones. I kind of like this idea, that stories are never born and they never die. They just are.
Would it be a good idea If I asked you to ask a question that has not been asked and which you think could have been helpfully asked and which of course i would like you to answer. And in any case thank you for all these answers. Question: If you could change the future of someone who felt they were trapped in their life, how would you do it -- what would you say to them?
Answer: I would tell them, 'Make a decision to go on a journey, from two random points in a great continent, and to solve the problems encountered as they go. Never question whether such a journey was worthwhile until a year after it has ended, and never plan more than six hours ahead.'
Last updated: 2013-06-25 17:29 UTC
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