Keen to Be Newsletter: Artisanal Ice

ICE CUBES: There really, truly is a market for almost any business idea you might have. I recently came across a post about an artisanal ice cube company called Disco Cubes, founded by Leslie Kirchhoff, creating “unique frozen works of art” for restaurants, events and pop-ups. Clients have included Coveteur, byChloe, Dirty Lemon and Martha Stewart. KEEN TAKEAWAY: When thinking of a business or product, suspend belief on any limitations or hurdles you may face. Instead of asking “why” ask “why not?” What would you launch? What would you like to see out in the world that you haven’t seen yet? (DiscoCubes)

KARL LEE: Businesses, entrepreneurs and online coaches are always looking for ways to generate sales. A typical ad likely won’t move the needle, so that’s when you need to get creative. Take Karlie Kloss, the supermodel and founder of Kode with Klossy, which provides coding courses to young girls. To promote her Scholarship applications, Karlie released a parody infomercial starring her alter ego Karl Lee. It’s hilarious, and a great way to encourage sign-ups without the usual sell-in language. KEEN TAKEAWAY: Think of products and programs that you sell on a usual basis. What’s a different take you could use that would still get you your end result? If you send newsletters and have a great list of contacts, have a meet-up instead for some face-to-face time. If you tend to do most of your outreach through social media posts that focus mainly on text, record a video or host live stream instead. You might be surprised how your audience responds! (YouTube)

JOY IN THE MORNING: Joy Reid, the anchor of AM Joy, is a perfect example of bringing authenticity to your work. As notes “In a sensationalist climate, she refuses to let facts wriggle out of her grasp.” Too often in many work environments, we feel the need to conform to conventional standards, and we end up losing a part of ourselves in the process. Ultimately, our authentic selves that we need in order to bring 100% to the job is put on the shelf, little by little. We start to doubt our skills and ideas, which can lead to a decrease in enthusiasm and creativity. Basically, everyone suffers in the process. KEEN TAKEAWAY: If you’re in an environment or position where your assets are being limited – or worse – questioned, then it’s time to find a new situation where you not only thrive, but your ideas and those of others are encouraged and celebrated. That may mean a more laid-back, creative start-up setting. Or can you explore freelancing so you can do projects you’re really passionate about. And if successful, that could eventually lead to you going off on your own, too. Freelancing or being your own boss might suit you very well. (

HEART TALK: When you envision your best-self, how would you want people to describe you? How would you want them to remember you? We are all walking, living, breathing brands of ourselves, and it’s never too late to rebrand yourself in the way that you see fit. You may be a teacher who decides to become an activist. A publicist who wants to become an elected official. A cubicle employee who decides to travel the world and become an Instagram influencer. A great example taking your unique interests and using them to establish your personal brand is the social media poet Cleo Wade, who parlayed her social media presence to become a socialite, rubbing elbows with celebrities and high-profile people. Originally from New Orleans, Cleo was a painter and poet, who moved to New York City and decided to bring her artwork and words to Instagram in 2014, posting artistic daily mantras that has garnered her a huge following. Or think of Tavi Gevinson who started a fashion blog, StyleRookie, from her Chicago suburban home when she was 12 years old. In the ten years since then, she has site front row at dozens of fashion shows, launched an online magazine, and has starred in an off-broadway play and several films. And my ultimate favorite example is Julia Child, who worked for the US government and was a WWII spy before pursuing a career as a chef. KEEN TAKEAWAY: Don’t make an effort to “Keep Up with the Joneses” when it comes to your career path. Some people find their calling as children, and others might not discover it until decades later. There’s no cutoff point on when you can pursue a new path and rebrand yourself as an expert in that field. Whose unconventional career paths have you admired? What appeals to you most about how and why they made that switch? It might provide you with an a-ha moment yourself on what you should be doing with your life as well. (NYT)

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