Does Your Business Have a Clear Vision?

Double Vision Business Cartoon

I don’t get a lot of email from readers, but my favorite ones are usually of the “I don’t get this” variety. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to intentionally confuse people, but occasionally an idea comes to me that I know will solicit those emails. And it kind of makes me happy knowing that people will be heading to Google to figure out what the heck I’m talking about.

This is one of those.

About diplopia. Wikipedia describes it as “… commonly known as double vision, [and] is the simultaneous perception of two images of a single object that may be displaced horizontally, vertically, diagonally (i.e., both vertically and horizontally), or rotationally in relation to each other.”

So there you go. Now when people email me I can just direct them here.

This article, “Does Your Business Have a Clear Vision?” was first published on Small Business Trends

Taking Qualifications to Ridiculous Extremes

Crimes of Passion Business Cartoon

I’m the first to admit that I’m not a terrific artist. I never took an art class, I’ve never done any life drawing, and goodness knows I’ve never studied anatomy. (Eww!) So I get nervous when I have to draw the human form not conveniently covered with easy-to-draw clothing.

It took me a good while to figure out how to draw this well-muscled guy but still have him look like he fit with the rest of the cartoon cast. It looks simple — a few lines for abs and pecs, slightly larger arms — but it took a fair amount of research and trial and error. (You would not believe the number of romance novel covers I looked at!)

Anyway, I showed it to my wife later and she said “hubba hubba!” before laughing at the caption. So I think I got it.

Happy (Early) Valentine’s Day!

This article, “Taking Qualifications to Ridiculous Extremes” was first published on Small Business Trends

Getting Creative with Job Titles

Temp Business Cartoon

Lately I’ve been doing some teaching at local libraries. I have a few different classes and I’ve found I really enjoy it and really connect with the kids. (I’m basically an overgrown kid, and I run around like a loon, so it’s not a stretch.)

Anyway, I’ve been looking at expanding into schools and while researching it I ran across the term “artist in residence.” Now, I went to school for music, and I tend to hang with a creative crowd so it’s not something I’d never seen, but I hadn’t in a while and it popped out to me.

Well, it didn’t take long inserting other words for this cartoon to present itself.

Looking at it now, I think, maybe the kid should look more smug. Then again his naiveté is kind of fun, too.

What do you think?

This article, “Getting Creative with Job Titles” was first published on Small Business Trends

Has Your Business Figured Out the Next Big Thing?

Next Big Thing Business Cartoon

Every so often, especially in tech, there comes an idea or set of ideas that everyone promises will totally revolutionize, well, everything. Sometimes they’re right (blogs, social media, smartphones) and sometimes they’re not (QR codes, Google Glass, etc.).

But usually when something new and notable comes along, people often jump first and ask “What is this?” later. And I understand the instinct. I wish I’d have utilized Facebook more early on instead of having to pay for that reach now.

It’s tempting. I get it.

Anyway, I was perusing a new service one day that everyone told me you totally had to do or you’d be left in the dust because it’s completely disruptive and, hey, what’s that over there? Can I do that? Where do I sign up?

And this cartoon came to me.

This article, “Has Your Business Figured Out the Next Big Thing?” was first published on Small Business Trends

Setting the Right Tone in Business

Negativity Business Cartoon

The idea for this cartoon is pretty simple. Put a bunch of really negative comments on the board and have the presenter sort of soft-pedal it.

Simple, but nice.

The trick was how far to go with the negativity.

There’s only so much space there and you want to get it across quickly and plainly, so I had to throw out a few options:

Arrggh!!
Are you talking’ to me?!
Oh yeah?! Well YOU try it!
Them’s fightin’ words!
It’s Cathy. It’s always Cathy.
Burn it! BURN IT ALL!!!

OK, those are fun, but I think in the end the cartoon turned out fine as is.

This article, “Setting the Right Tone in Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

Setting the Right Tone in Business

Negativity Business Cartoon

The idea for this cartoon is pretty simple. Put a bunch of really negative comments on the board and have the presenter sort of soft-pedal it.

Simple, but nice.

The trick was how far to go with the negativity.

There’s only so much space there and you want to get it across quickly and plainly, so I had to throw out a few options:

Arrggh!!
Are you talking’ to me?!
Oh yeah?! Well YOU try it!
Them’s fightin’ words!
It’s Cathy. It’s always Cathy.
Burn it! BURN IT ALL!!!

OK, those are fun, but I think in the end the cartoon turned out fine as is.

This article, “Setting the Right Tone in Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

Talk About Features vs. Benefits!

Mousetrap Business Cartoon

I recently had a show of my cartoons at the Prairie Center for the Arts. I’ve been part of other shows before, but this is the first time I’ve had a show of only my cartoons. It was really exciting, but it was also a massive amount of work.

The day I set up I must have climbed up and down this little ladder a few hundred times. And then there’s the walking to the other end of the room to judge position, straightness, etc … Never mind hefting all the framed art. It was a workout!

One of my favorite moments, however, came at the end of the day as everything had been hung and I was cleaning up. Two elderly women walked through the room and began looking at the cartoons. You don’t often get a chance to be a fly on the wall like this so I just stayed busy in the background and listened.

When they got to this cartoon, one commented grumpily “I don’t understand. Why would a mouse build a mousetrap?! That doesn’t make any sense. I don’t like these. Where’s the bathroom?”

You’d think I’d be hurt, right? Or maybe a little disappointed. But she was so unhappy with this cartoon that it was hilarious and it took all I had to not burst out laughing.

Other people I saw seemed to enjoy the cartoons in the gallery, but that lady was hands down my favorite.

This article, “Talk About Features vs. Benefits!” was first published on Small Business Trends

Ditch The Really Strange Interview Questions Before It’s Too Late

It’s been a long long time since I interviewed for a job, but I still occasionally ponder the “So, any special skills?” question.

I’m sure what they were looking for was something like “I can fix any copier ever made” or “I love to clean break room microwaves.” But the little devil on my shoulder always wanted me to say something more along the lines of “I can burp the alphabet” or “I have six toes” or “I look deep into mens’ souls and divine their darkest deepest secrets! Then I create elaborate ironic scenarios with which to expose and humiliate them!! Moo-ha-ha-ha!!!”

Anyway, one day while watching my cat, this popped into my head and that little devil on my shoulder gave me a knowing glance and a thumbs up. It’s good to know he’s still there now and then.

This article, “Ditch The Really Strange Interview Questions Before It’s Too Late” was first published on Small Business Trends

Working from Home: The New Normal?

Working from Home Business Cartoon

Working from home used to be a crazy idea from the future that many dreamed of but few attained. Sure there might be some benefits, but would it work? Could it work?

Now it seems like I know a lot of people (and not just cartoonists) who work from home at least a few days a week. And I hear about it more and more every day.

So many, in fact, that this cartoon presented itself. And for someone old enough to remember the days when going into the office was the one and only way to work, it seems a little like living in the future.

And speaking of the not too distant future, hope your 2016 was great, and here’s hoping 2017 is fantastic! Happy New Year!

This article, “Working from Home: The New Normal?” was first published on Small Business Trends

Some People Get a Little Too Wrapped Up in Secret Santa

Secret Santa Business Cartoon

Listen, I don’t want to be a Scrooge so close to Christmas, but nothing used to set my teeth on edge like someone coming around to my desk and pushing the annual Secret Santa thing.

You can’t really say no, and so now you have one more thing to think about, buy, wrap, and deliver. And depending on who you get, the think-about portion can really be a headache.

I got my immediate supervisor one year and fretted about the merits of a gift card vs. a scented candle for two weeks. (I think I ended up drawing her something. Cartooning to the rescue!)

Anyway, when I was writing my holiday stuff this year the “Secret” in “Secret Santa” suggested national security and this cartoon popped out and now it’s my gift to you.

Happy Holidays!

This article, “Some People Get a Little Too Wrapped Up in Secret Santa” was first published on Small Business Trends