Photo of NY Skyline taken by Joana MirandaPhew!  How did two weeks go by without my getting around to doing my weekly Empire Building Kit reviews?

Oh…I (and my sore muscles) remember now.  I’ve packed almost an entire house, taken a flight to NY, been homeless (for an hour – which doesn’t physically count – but rates up there in the anxiety department), and I’ve moved my belongings again already once.  A second move is coming in a day, but I prefer to be Zen at this moment and not think about that.

What were the highlights of the past two weeks of Empire Building?

Week 20 focused on starting a consulting business.

As Peter Shankman was wisely quoted, “Everyone’s an expert at something.”  Which leads me to ask…

How many of you would love help with learning to render jewelry?

What if you could get pointers and technical advice to aid you in conveying your ideas and visions?

What if that help was only the click of a mouse away?

What if that advice came from an award-winning jewelry designer who is passionate about what she does (designing and teaching)?


What if you could benefit from this consultancy in its infancy, and “pay” only in offering public feedback on your experience, as well as sharing a link to the consultancy with 3 other people you thought might be interested?

These aren’t rhetorical questions.  I’d actually love to hear from you.  And if you haven’t guessed, since I have been approached by a handful of designers looking for tips on rendering, I’m the designer offering my services.

Week 21 focused on pricing.

Pricing for me ranks up there with being homeless…ok, maybe not quite.  (Ironically, if you can’t figure out a way to be realistic about what you are worth, you stand a much better chance at being homeless.)  Not new, exactly, this week was the concept of pricing on VALUE and not on TIME.  Especially for us creative types, this is very important.  There is no good way to determine the value of imagination.  And, if you are like me, the more you do something, the more skilled AND efficient you get at it.  Probably most important to realize is that pricing is a game played by two people, and it is a game of compromise.  You can play the game successfully if you are honest with yourself about your worth and about what a range of “acceptable” is for you.

Interestingly, in my varied career as an orchestra musician, I’ve come across board members who believe that the harp, tuba or triangle player shouldn’t be paid as much as, say, a violin player, since they aren’t needed for as many concerts, or don’t play as many notes.  This short-sighted thinking overlooks the years of training said harp, tuba, or triangle player had to put in to develop the skills they have to play at a professional level.  Not only is it unrealistic to cut these instruments (unless you are ready to hear holes in your favorite music), but paying someone a sub-par living wage will mean that you get a far inferior player, if you find anyone at all.  Those familiar with music will realize that a harpist who doesn’t know how to change pedals, a tubist who splats on every entrance, or a triangle player who can’t count, can single-handedly derail an entire orchestra performance.

As you can see, in spite of some challenges, keeping up with my work in the Empire Building Kit is very important to me.  In fact, contemplating being master of my own empire is really what keeps me going.  The above topics are only highlights from two weeks of great information.  If you are interested in learning more about what the Empire Building Kit has to offer, please click here.


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