My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #460: "Knowledge is Power"

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 09-13-2011 01:33 PM 1169 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 459: Feeling the Change Part 460 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 461: Quality, Not Quantity »

It is just beginning to get light out and I can already tell it is going to be a good day. I don’t mean just the weather, but I feel that something good or positive will happen. I don’t know why, but some days I just have this feeling and more so than not, I am right and something unexpected and positive finds its way to me.

I wonder sometimes if this is what people would call a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy?’ it seems however, that most references to self-fulfilling prophecies tend to focus on negative circumstances and outcomes. There are very few times I hear of them being positive. I wonder if that is just because the attitude of people in general, or part of the actual definition of the term. Or is it because of the general apathy that so many people feel lately? I suppose I would have to look some day when I have the time.

Wouldn’t be nice if we could dictate the outcome of situations just by having a positive attitude? All we would need to do is to be positive all the time and good things would flood our lives and everything would be peachy. You are probably thinking that I am crazy for even thinking that, but those of you who know me better know that I do truly believe that our attitude does influence the outcome of many of the situations in our lives. Call me a dreamer, but I like it that way and I will continue to go on like that as long as I please.

Approaching things with a good attitude instead of dread really can make a difference. If we look for and focus on the good side of things, we can’t help but have a better outcome than if we focused on the negative elements. Once we get into the habit of looking for the good in a situation, it tends to come to us naturally and without thinking and before we realize it, we are happier and more positive people.

Has anything really changed in our lives other than our approach to situations and attitudes? Perhaps not. But by having an upbeat and more positive outlook of things, we do tend to be happier people. I’ll take it.

I didn’t mean to go off on a tangent about all this stuff. But sometimes in the morning when my brain is just waking up and I am evaluating the previous day and planning the present one, I just get to thinking. I think it is good to stop and think about things like this and that is one way this blog has helped me have a better life. It forces me to take a breath each day and think about things and evaluate situations that I otherwise may overlook. Awareness is another good thing, I believe and leads to a better understanding of things.

In any case, yesterday was a good day. One of the best accomplishments I achieved was that I finished the process of changing my merchant account successfully from the old bank to the new one. And I do say “I” because in the end, it was me who needed to do the vast majority of the work.

I sometimes wonder how others who don’t have a firm knowledge of computers are able to sustain their online businesses. There are so many small companies that seem to be less-than-knowledgeable regarding the intricacies of running a web site and still have online stores. Do they allow the financial institutions to do the work for them? If so, how are they certain that everything is done in their best interests? I wonder.

Many people that I speak to with their own sites don’t have a clue as to much of the stuff that I talk about regarding my website. Some have their sites hosted on all-inclusive places where all they have to do is add product and the rest is done for them. As a business person, I find that to be a very dangerous position to be in. While I certainly don’t pretend to know everything about it, I do try to learn all I can about how things work and how everything is set up. Then I am better able to troubleshoot when things do go wrong and I am less reliant on an outsider who has little or no interest.

I realize that learning and doing all of the technical stuff can take me away from my designing time, but I feel that what good would it be to design more and not have a clear understanding of what was going on in the guts of my business. Yes, technical stuff is not really the fun part of a business, but I feel it is necessary to know – at least superficially – every aspect of your business. No one will look out for you as well as you, yourself. Everyone does have their own agenda, which is usually not you and if you aren’t there to make sure that things are in your best interest, who will be?

Getting back to this transfer of accounts – I was told initially that the bank was going to handle most everything from their side. There was to be little for me to do except give consent here and there and set passwords and such.

However, the way things happened, the information was sent to me and the ball started rolling so before I had even gotten back to the bank, I had the new account set up nearly completely. This was not difficult for me to do because I was also the one who had to set it up in the first place, several years ago. All the bank needed to do was to waive the start up fees (they were to cover them because I was forced to change over due to the take over of my old bank) and make sure that everything was compliant. Apparently, I had been running compliant to their standards all along so that also was something that turned into a ‘non-issue’ and we were able to do the transition very smoothly and quickly.

When I connected with the bank representative yesterday, she seemed surprised that everything was pretty much done. I had received all the numbers over the weekend and had entered them into my new account on my own and we were pretty much set to go by the time she called me. I felt proud that I did everything correctly and in running a test, all seemed to be working well.

The best part of the story is that with the new account, I am now able to also take another type of credit card for payment on my site (Discover) which will open more avenues for my customers to pay. This additional service will not cost me any more than I had previously been paying, as the new institution has some sort of relationship with Discover and it is included in the package I get from them for no additional cost.

I also pared some additional features off the account that were on my old account and I feel were unnecessary. I have had that account for almost 10 years now and I hadn’t even realized that they were charging me for these features that I had never asked for or used, and see no need for in the near future. I could always add them on if I choose to at a later date. So now, I am actually going to be paying a little less than my normal monthly fee to process payments. It is only a couple of dollars, but again – I’ll take it.

Learning about all the aspects of running a small business can be a daunting task. There are many different avenues that you need to explore and understand to help make your business successful and remain in control of things. If you allow others to do these things for you, chances are that they are looking out for their own interests before yours and you won’t receive the full benefits of the services that you subscribe to or you will be paying for services that you don’t need and will not use. Either way can be a drain on your resources.

The best way to avoid this is to educate yourself and keep an eye on what is happening. It may mean more work now, but in the long run it will make for a healthy business that is molded to YOUR needs and specifications and will benefit YOU the most. I believe that is how it should be.

Now I am going to get to work and see what good things today brings.

Have a good one!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

4 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3140 days

#1 posted 09-13-2011 11:32 PM

congrat´s with the smooth change of bank´s :-)

I can only second you of knowledges is power
wish I had been more on the top of my own economy back then
I had the C5 program to controll my accounts with proppebly the best there is
but I never manage to understand it completely do to lack of time
I do know its cable of be used together with a netshop and controlling
all what you have on the shelfs incl. what you need to pay of taxes here ,there and everywhere :-(
but it has to be set up correctly, when it is , its a dream to work with its doing nearly all the work for you :-)
you just have to tell it what you buy and receive and what you sell
and when the year is over , one click and you have all the numbers to taxpeople
no need for an accounter to controll it , every thing is down right to the 1/100 of a penny

have a great day your self , mine is nearly over :-)


View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2945 days

#2 posted 09-14-2011 12:33 AM

That sounds like a great program, Dennis. I suppose the key is keeping it up to day with what you buy and sell, as you said. As with lots of things, setting up is the hardest part. Maintaining something like that should be minimal.

I was happy that things went as they did with the bank. I just hope it is set up right. I suppose I will find out tomorrow or Thursday and see if the money is going into the account. If I don’t see it there, then I can start to worry.

As far as the ‘knowledge is power’ goes, I see more and more how not being educated and aware of things can be very detrimental to people not only in business but in their personal lives too. I have had that phrase in my signature line for over ten years now. I have never changed it because I simply haven’t come across a better one that had more meaning for me. I like being informed and responsible for my own affairs. It is a bit more work, but I feel more in control of things and more like the master of my own destiny.

Take care and have a great night too.

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2947 days

#3 posted 09-14-2011 03:10 AM

Hi Sheila,
The best ever made in words: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. But technically Power is the rate of doing work. So the setback is the time which determine us if we are catching up with our work. Therefore, We need to conotes the Knowledge with time to make it powerful. And… TIME IS GOLD. So inorder for us to get MONEY (GOLD) then we have to LEARN (KNOWLEDGE) according to the TIME we are in. Nowadays, hi-tech and many other like computer, management, institution are racing to create POWER out of KNOWLEDGE.

Be patient with my words to pounder… I like to do it once my teaching passion comes in..
Have a nice night while I am just starting my day at office.

-- Bert

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3140 days

#4 posted 09-14-2011 11:01 AM

it is a great program to work with
but its so huge you don´t believe it even the payments of the people it can control
you just have to ad the modules and for maintaining when new taxrules arive from the
crazy politians in the goverment the company who made the program makes the updates
if you suscripe to them and pay a little fee
or at least that was back then I don´t know how it is now after Microsoft bought it for billions
from the brothers
and is compatiple with the officepack from microsoft I´m sure you can find it over there too

have a great day I´m going to do a little wallpaper job on first floor something that never got finished


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