My Two Cents On Tea

I have always been a tea drinker. Where most folks are clamoring for the coffee maker in the morning, I linger over two cups of organic black tea. From there, if I start to drag, it’s a cup of herbal tea in the afternoon. I have my ritual down to a tee. I go for Earl Grey first thing, and when I sit down at my desk, I sip a big ol’ cup of Breakfast Blend. Nothing fancy, but I’ve got to have those two cups every day.I recently learned that many teabags release micro-plastics (yuck), and I decided it was time to start brewing loose tea. It’s cheaper, and it tastes noticeably better. I upgraded my 30-year old tea ball to a fancy Oxo strainer and embarked on my quest to find the perfect loose tea.I compared cost, right down to the price per cup. There was one brand that, taste-wise, really hit the mark. Not surprisingly, it was also the priciest of the four brands I tried.

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Can You Judge A Book By Its Cover?

As a rock ‘n’ rollin’ baby boomer, I have fond memories of leafing through the new arrivals bin in my local record store, pulling, perusing, and flipping them over to scan the credits.Several factors weighed on my purchasing decision, but it was often the album cover art that sealed the deal. There were times when I laid down my hard-earned cash for an artist I’d never heard of, all because the cover art moved me to buy. In almost every case, those blind purchases turned out to be among my favorites.In today’s miniature digital environment, the magic of the album cover has pretty much disappeared. It’s challenging to fit vital information, never mind make a creative statement, on a postage stamp-sized palette.Where album covers have shrunk in size and importance, book covers have somehow retained their power and evolved to suit a fast-moving, fickle digital consumer. Even as the recent resurrection of the independent bookstore and the advent of Amazon’s brick and mortar bookstores are reviving the art of browsing, the publishing industry has effectively adapted to online shoppers.

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Brand Messaging That Motivates

When it’s done right, brand messaging should inspire, persuade, and motivate your potential customers to action. If a business owner puts in the work, the “inspire and persuade” part often falls into place naturally. Most of us are proud and passionate about the product or service we offer, and it shows.It’s that crucial last element – motivate – that often presents a problem. Potential customers visit your website and take in your compelling brand story, but when they get to that big, red “Buy Now” button, they hesitate, and they move on. You told a great story, but they were not motivated to buy.So, what’s missing? In many cases, it’s that elusive, intangible, emotional connection. In other words, you may have persuaded the head, but you failed to hit them in the heart.

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Native American Women At The Frist!

As a card-carrying member of the Downtown Nashville treasure known as the Frist Museum of Art, I’ve experienced some truly wonderful exhibits over the years. But I have to say, I wasn’t prepared for the emotional and inspirational impact of “Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists.” Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, this eye-opening exhibit features artifacts that go back a thousand years and follows the art of female Native Americans through the ages up to the present day. It’s a stimulating and thought provoking mix of old and new, with video and audio helping to reinforce the overall message of legacy.Even the more contemporary (and more outspoken) pieces on display capture a proud legacy that spans generations of women creating art, clothing, pottery, etc. The craftsmanship and attention to detail on display here provide a unique window into Native American culture and bring to light the brilliant continuum of this art and the powerful, resourceful women behind it.

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Beware Of Choice Overload!

It started out as a routine trip to my local Office Depot to pick up some notebook subject dividers. After navigating my way to the correct aisle, I found them – thousands of them lined up and stacked in an array of every conceivable style and color. Just looking at those shelves made my head spin.According to Barry Schwartz, bestselling author of “The Paradox Of Choice,” I was suffering from a form of “analysis paralysis,” when too much overthinking or seemingly endless choices can cause confusion, anxiety, and even serious depression.This is not the way you want your customers to feel. In this case, more is most definitely less, and that’s the essence of the paradox of choice. Presented with too many choices, people are actually far less likely to make a purchase.

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