Tag Archives: Monkey Outta Nowhere

Reflecting on 20 Years

It’s been an incredibly busy spring season. I’m just now catching my breath at the end of June. I’ve had a few milestones—including 20 years of business, five years of local news, and a kid graduating high school—that make me a little introspective.

The past two months have included a member drive, a five-year anniversary, a bike safety event, a bike ride, a parade, a mural unveiling, a massive four-day community event, launching a summer contest, a high school graduation, a grad party, the 20th anniversary of my business, and my brain has now shut down so I can’t remember anything else.

Whew. That’s an understatement.

So when I get a moment, I’m reflective. A few thoughts…

Continue reading Reflecting on 20 Years

Coronavirus: 5 Months In

I’ve been too busy to blog. We’re in a weird time here in 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic and probably the most important presidential election in my lifetime. That pandemic has caused an economic scare (never mind, you know, death), and things are just weird.

I wrote about it a bit this spring to capture my feelings, and those days feel so long ago. So maybe it’s time to do it again. (This is going to be a bit scattered, so I apologize in advance for that.)

Continue reading Coronavirus: 5 Months In

10 Years of Church Marketing Sucks

Ten years ago today, on July 22, 2004, a little website called Church Marketing Sucks went live. Our very first blog post went up and we’ve been challenging the church to communicate better ever since.

We’re still going strong today, and we’ve been throwing a month-long anniversary celebration for the month of July. After all, you only get to celebrate a 10-year anniversary once. We’ve got giveaways (T-shirts!), discounts and lots of posts exploring whether or not church marketing still sucks. We’re also doing a hangout next week and more is still coming.

It’s kind of incredible to be involved in something like this for so long. I’ve been the editor of Church Marketing Sucks for 10 years. In this day and age few people get to do anything for 10 years, never mind work on a website.

Church Marketing Sucks has out-lasted the fads, lived beyond the hype and been around long enough to become one of the dinosaurs of the Internet age. And hopefully we’ll be around for a while longer. We’ve been debating the question, but I’m convinced that church marketing does still suck. We’ve got work to do to help churches share the greatest story ever told.

Everything we’ve accomplished so far is really thanks to the vision and dedication of Brad Abare and the team of directors, board members and volunteers that make what we do happen. Brad not only had the vision to start this up 10 years ago, but the commitment to see it through and the trust to let someone like me run it.

Any number of things could have derailed us over the years. But I’m incredibly grateful for the dedication that made us a long-standing voice. I’m still humbled and thankful to be doing this, and I hope to be at it for a while longer.

Here’s to more frustration, education and motivation.

The Yo-yo Anniversary

Monkey Outta Nowhere Yo-Yo'sThis year my company, Monkey Outta Nowhere, celebrated five years in business. It’s humbling and amazing to realize I’ve been able to work at home, doing what I love for more than five years now. To celebrate, I sent my clients Monkey Outta Nowhere yo-yo’s.

For those who don’t know, I have a long history with yo-yo’s, going back to a high school yo-yo ministry. I also spent a summer as a yo-yoing street performer, which paid the bills (sort of) while I worked the unpaid internship that really started my career (a story explained on the little cards I included with the yo-yo’s). We even gave away yo-yo’s at our wedding. Needless to say, I’ve wanted to get Monkey Outta Nowhere yo-yo’s since I started the company. It’s a testament to my frugality that I waited this long.

Check out my video thank you:

Most of my clients began receiving their yo-yo’s this week and the best part has been seeing the photos and videos come in:

  • The crew at iThemes responded immediately with a picture and a video.
  • The Foursquare Communications team took a yo-yo break.
  • Holy Cow Creative added it to his collection of desk toys (surprisingly few cows in that photo).
  • The yo-yo looks at home next to Pam Parish’s barrel of monkeys.
  • Jonathan gives us the package shot that I even I forgot to take.
  • I hand-delivered a yo-yo to Cleve Persinger and he gave it some Twitter love.

Seeing a few folks get up and yo-yo inspired me, so now you can watch me in action. I’m a little rusty, but it’s not too shabby:

I do have a few leftover yo-yo’s, so if you didn’t get one and you want one, post a comment and I’ll see what I can do.

Business Cards for People with Multiple Hats

My new company business cardsI mentioned earlier today that I ordered new business cards. Several folks asked to see them, so here they are.

The front covers the basic Monkey Outta Nowhere info and the red monkey will actually be applied by hand with a rubber stamp. The back will cover three major side projects I’m involved with, the church communications blog Church Marketing Sucks, the public art site Start Seeing Art and this here personal blog.

After the UnSummit I complained about the difficulty of handing out separate cards for my various endeavors. Somebody suggested I go with a combined card and my designer friend Michael Buckingham of Holy Cow Creative came up with the idea of putting the side projects on the back of my Monkey Outta Nowhere card. It’s an ideal solution since Monkey Outta Nowhere is tied to all three and is really the over-arching brand. It allows me to focus on my main company while still mentioning the assorted side projects. It also means no more juggling multiple cards.

Michael updated my old card and worked within my limitations (don’t touch the logo, don’t touch the monkey) to come up with this new take. It’s very much in the same vein as my old card (same logo, same monkey, same colors), but it’s a major boost in quality. I know how important designers are and how much they can bring to the table, but it’s cool to see it firsthand. I ordered the cards from Uprinting.com today and I’m excited to get them in my hands and see if they’re as cool in reality as they are on screen (that step is always a little scary).

Major thanks goes to Michael Buckingham for the design (I should also give a tip of the hat to Matthew Taylor who gave me advice on the original design five years ago and helped me solidify the logo and the monkey), Jeffrey Martin for the Start Seeing Art logo (we’ll be rolling that out to the Start Seeing Art site soon) and Gabe Taviano for mentioning Uprinting.com as a good (and cheap) source for business card printing.

Unlike Taviano, I managed to order my new cards just in time to miss the only major out of town conference I’ve attended in five years. Oops. On the plus side, they’ll arrive in plenty of time for Christmas.

And the best part? No more using a sharpie to cross out the three-year-old mailing address.