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Consider a Niche Before Building Your Brand

The hardest part of trying to grow Mdntstartup is that I never considered what niche I wanted to be a part. Don’t do what I did and dive in with the “if you build it, they will come” mentality. To be honest I think I spent more time trying to come up with a name, and even now I’m not even sure I like it. However, that’s a different post (or at least it should be). Consider doing yourself a favor and take my advice:

Plone Conference 2009 Group Photo

photo credit: MrTopf via photopin cc

Before anything, consider a niche and get involved in that community. Getting involved before you attempt to build your brand will make everything that much easier. This is because your niche will literally tell you when you get involved (albeit indirectly) what they want. So instead of manufacturing a need, you’ll be filling an existing one.

Save yourself the headaches and days of writer’s block. Look for the need and work to fulfill it. Consider a niche before building your brand; your content will be more consistent and easier to produce.

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Getting Back on Track and Kicking Ass with Writer’s Block

Five days straight of sitting at a white screen with no motivation is horrifying. Over the past few days I’ve been drawing a blank; I’d look at my article list, and see nothing. Dozens of titles and post ideas reduced to nothing at a glance. All the planning in the world can’t account for the horrors of writer’s block.

Even now, it’s difficult for me to arrange this post because I’m not entirely sure what it should say. I’m not afraid of what anyone will think; I’m afraid I won’t be able to make anyone think. However, to me this is getting back on track and kicking ass.


photo credit: ashley rose, via photopin cc

I’m not going to give you a surefire list of steps to obsess over and scrutinize, because getting back on track and kicking ass is different for everyone. I’m a lazy person, and this is how I know to compensate for my shortcoming; I jump in feet first. There’s no other way around writer’s block than writing.

Getting back on track and kicking ass is writing helpful content when you have writer’s block. This is my middle finger to writer’s block.

I’m interested in knowing how you get back on track and overcome writer’s block, leave me a comment below and feel free to share this post with your friends.

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How to Find Your Niche



photo credit: etringita via photopin cc

Having trouble finding a niche? You’re not alone. Determining how to find your niche is a battle every blogger fights, and it could be fought easier.

When Mdntstartup was introduced, I had no idea what niche I wanted to relate; I started blogging and hoped someone would read it. This went on for about a month until I stumbled upon a book by Seth Godin called, Purple Cow.

Here’s what I learned.

How to find your niche is determined by what you are offering and what your purple cow is. A purple cow answers the following question: What sets you apart from the competition?

In regards to Mdntstartup, minimalism was built in from the beginning with the URL, so I decided to embrace that by writing short, powerful content that answered questions and posed new ones. My niche is freedom seekers, and I provide the information needed.

What’s your niche?


Daniel Sinker is Wrong. 3 Creativity Tips Learned From Lego


Earlier today I had read an article claiming that Lego is “evil”.

At least the writer, Daniel Sinker, was starting to think that the creators of the beloved bricks had turned against their fundamentals of creativity. Daniel asks his reader to put aside nostalgic memories in order to understand where he is coming from; Lego, for the most part, markets exclusively towards boys with their movie-tie-in models as of recent years. Their product is being marketed towards the demographic that fits best. It’s not evil to market to consumers that are more likely to buy your product, it’s how marketing works.

Daniel Sinker’s article pissed me off.

Despite his claims that Lego is evil for no longer being unisex, Lego can still be enjoyed by both genders. His view is only reinforcing the gender roles that seem to bother him so.

“the unisex, open-ended, building and imaginative creation sets that my peers normally associate with Lego are gone”, says Daniel.

He uses this ad  with the little girl to hammer in his point. Not only does the ad feature a girl, but the model she is holding isn’t built from directions.Oh the horrors of directions! Daniel’s view is so tied up in the inclusion of directions that he has forgotten what it means to be creative.

How has Daniel forgotten how to be creative? Because the tool hasn’t changed. Here’s what I have to say that:



TIP #1: Use directions as you want

Truly creative kids, and parents, would disregard the directions. Sure they might want the bus from Harry Potter, but as the pieces come apart they should be encouraged to create something new. Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with following the directions. After the model is built and played with, the child will use their imagination and creativity to go on adventures and create new situations. How you go about using direction is truly creative.

TIP #2 Say “NO” to gender roles

Conforming to gender roles will limit your ability to produce anything creative. Within Sinker’s article he mentions that only the girls considered to be tomboys in his son’s class play with Lego. These girls have the right idea when it comes to creativity. I’m not saying the girly girls are wrong in conforming to gender roles; they can still be creative, but they’re limiting their potential to try new things at an early age. Don’t let your “gender” decide whether or not you can use a medium to express creativity

TIP #3 Have fun

The most important aspect of Lego is having fun. Building new and exciting things should be fun. the product is simple enough to use that most people can build just about anything they can imagine without experiencing frustrations. Because of this, Lego is more readily accessible in comparison to other construction sets and computer programs. The learning curve is near zero; anyone can enjoy building. It’s easier to be creative when it’s enjoyable. Have fun while design a new product or writing new content.

What have you learned about creativity?