When Life Hands You Lemons…


So I just replied to an email that I received back in July. July 7th to be exact.

I wrote in the context of giving advice to this seemingly helpless individual. I don’t mean to sound rude, but I am an honest and upfront person. He was upset with me because I chose to not get between him and a big problem he was facing in his life. It was a rather interesting reply in the fact that I had compared him to another individual I was helping go through a similar issue at about the same time.

What’s absolutely amazing is that one chose to take the high road and the other chose to take the ” woe is me, life sucks” road. Can you guess which one took which road? Can you guess which one has a rewarding career and is living a much more fulfilling life?

The purpose of writing this, (as it seems I like to state the purpose of my writing), is that you have the ability to chose where life can take you. Everyday we are given an opportunity. Some days are good days, some are bad. So when life hands you lemons, it what you chose to do with the lemons that matter. Not all lemons have to be sour…

All of this is written as a ” In My Opinion” point of view.

Until Next Time, Cheers!


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What the heck… Go For It

What the heck… Go For It.

If only that were said more often than not. Often times I find that people tend to put another person down when they come up with a seemingly good idea. Or they say, hey that won’t work anyways so why bother trying.

After a few years in the world of sales, to be more specific: Copier Sales, a whopping month in Advertising Sales, Coffee Sales, I began to realize that it was not the life for me. I left sales and went into managing a sports store. A seemingly good idea at the time. Part of changing to that job was for personal reasons, another was to see if I could make it work. A quick story…

I went to work for this new “startup” company. I knew the owners for years, I was told constantly to not take the job. Common questions/phrases after I took the job: What are you doing with your life? Why did you leave your previous job with full benefits, 401K, a great income? You’re making a mistake was the most frequent one said. I was so tired of hearing this. But I knew that their was a reason why I was to take that job. I still had to do sales, but it was a different kind. I had a quota to fill. I knew that I had to increase sales from $0 to at least $10,000 a month. Holy crap right? It was easy. I figured it out within the first week. I started calling up and emailing every single sports arena, venue, store in the area. Then I started hitting up every sports team, whether it was children’s, high school, tournaments… It didn’t matter as long as they agreed. You’re probably thinking, agreed to what? I had them agree that I could send someone to the place of business (IE: Tournament), set up a tent and sell sports “crap.” By week three I had booked 2-4 events per weekend from CT-NY. I talked the owners into buying a box truck and having the logos put on. It was a home run, my idea worked. Next was ramping up Internet sales. Unfortunately, the owners didn’t want to put any money into this portion. That never worked. A year later, I left the company and started Twisted Promotions which morphed into SDG.

okay… So maybe that was a little longer than a quick story. The point is that we can’t be afraid to jump off the deep end. If you’re afraid, you’ll likely never reach your goals/dreams or it will just take you a heck of a lot longer to get their.

The first company I started was a production company, I sucked at running it but was great at the entertaining end of it. I sold it to my brother, in the form of a handshake and… a steady paycheck. Years later I knew I wanted to own another business. I worked for the big fortune 500 company, and everything in between. I wanted to taste that freedom again. I wanted to know that my financial success depended on me doing what is necessary, not worry about fluffing some CEO’s pocket in the Netherlands. Even when I dove feet first into this company I was once again hearing the same b.s. I ignored again, after nearly two years at it I am still growing the business, and loving every moment of it. Although I may not have the steady income that someone with a 9-5 job has (btw, job is an acronym for just over broke), I have freedom.

So why the picture of google? Well, I could also put a picture of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and many others. If they listened to other people instead of actually going for it then where would we be as a society today? Would we have computers, iPads, social networking? Think about it…

Until next time Cheers!



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Reading a Book…

So I got an iPad. Yes, I finally did it! I got the 32gb 3G through Verizon. Why? Because I have found through seeing so many other of my colleagues that my business could run much smoother by having everything at my fingertips.

In fact… I’m blogging from it right now. I can now store my contracts, sign contracts, process payments, email… The list goes on… All from this nifty device, which btw lasts 10 hours on a single charge!

Since buying the iPad this past Saturday, I have almost gotten through a 2500 page book by utilizing the amazing Kindle app. It is simply fabulous and I love reading again. I’m actually reading a book by Robert Kiyosaki, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” If you have not read it I suggest you read it immediately. I am so addicted to his book I am purchasing more of his. I can’t seem to put it down.

I am excited to say that times are changing, companies are growing and by reading we only help ourselves understand so much more. I wish I had read this book years ago when someone told me to. I wonder what I would have done differently?

Until next time, cheers and have fun!


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We are bad a blogging

We are bad at blogging here at SDG. I know I have said that in my last couple of posts.

As for another update for the past few months… Here it goes….

We have re-revived our old company called Twisted Promotions. Twisted is a subsidiary of SDG and is responsible for developing promotional products accounts. We are excited to now be able to offer a full line of custom clothing options. Please contact us today for a free, no obligation quote! (413) 485-7011.

We decided to revive Twisted Promotions to be able to be effective at offering Branding to all of our clients. As we all know branding is so important to every business. If you don’t have “brand” then what does your company have? Your branding is what helps your company stand out from the rest.

Of course we still offer logo design, graphic design and so much more! Check us out on Facebook to see what we have been up to. 🙂

I PROMISE I will be better at blogging.

-Erik – Owner SDG

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A long last month…

So I know it’s been about a month since I have blogged. Fortunately my company is very busy and hasn’t had time to focus on our own blog. I know it’s a bad thing…
On that note I wanted to take a moment to discuss how we as small business owners can get easily distracted. What happens to most of us SB owners is that we get X number of clients, those clients take up 99% of our week and then we have no time left to develop the business. It is so easy for us to get distracted as we are typically the project manager, CEO, bookkeeper, receptionist and everything in between. Faced with the issue of a growing business and not enough money to hire someone? I think a lot of us are in that boat. We often get to work early in the morning and stay late at night just to make ends meet. So how do we maneuver our time in order to get all things accomplished, including working on your branding etc? That’s a good question and one that I am still searching for an answer on.
So the title of this post… It has truly been a grueling last month. We had out big grand opening party with an attendance of over 125! We signed many new contracts, and have been working a lot of hours to get things somewhat done. Thankfully the weather has broke and we are finally getting a little bit of sunshine!
I have realized now that I have a habit of blogging at 12am and after. And that I also end up wanting to fall asleep before I know what the end of the blog is. I’m at that point again, time to hit the hay for a long day ahead of me tomorrow, well… Actually just later today!

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The Fire is Lit

So the Fire has been lit from your companies new name. The re-branding is in process. Now what do you do?

First, you need to make sure that all of your marketing materials get changed over (assuming you have these…) If you’re a sales oriented company this is a particularly important thing to get done asap.
Second, you need to brief your staff on these new changes. Let them know why you did it. What changes they may see. A good Q&A session never hurts anyone! Inform them that it is only a name change and that you haven’t been bought out by some huge corporate business. There is nothing wrong with being truthful to your employees and customers.
Third, do some training with your employees. If you have decided to do a complete rebranding then this is vital. Your employees will need to know what to say while on the phone, especially your sales staff. Train your office manager in all of the new happenings as he/she is sometimes, if not always, the most important part of your business’s organization.
Fourth, if you are going go rebrand your organization, make sure you have all of your ducks in a row. What I mean by this is, make sure you have timelines in place. Meaning, know what you want done and by when. If you set a target date of having your logo and marketing material rebranded in a two month period, make sure it is done. Understand the time it make take to get certain things changed over. Be patient! Don’t rush your re branding process just because you want it done!

Well, on that note…. I will do a follow up blog post on this. But for now, I’m super sleepy and starting not to think straight. …..

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First Update….

Well many things… First off, SDG is not a new company, just a new name! Our old name was Twisted Promotions.

How did the name change come about? Well… After deciding to not venture into the promotions business, which is much different than marketing we needed a cleaner, more professional name for doing graphic design and marketing.

We decided upon SDG for a couple of reasons. The first being is that we started the business in Springfield,Ma. The second being, well, we all liked the sound of it. Plus we wanted a name that could have an acronym associated with it. SDG fit all of our needs.

So as time passed with the name change, it was amazing how much more the phone started to ring, furthermore, the suspects (if your in sales you will know these terms), turned into prospects and then into clients for the ones I had in my pipeline for a year. When I called these now clients and gave my elevator pitch I was in with the new name. I got the meeting and just new I had to sell them and close the deal. Once I was in the door everything just happened. It was, amazing how just changing your name and rebranding yourself can really do for a company.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not something all companies should do. If McDonalds or Starbucks renamed themselves they would more than likely go under. However, if you’re a small business with a not so intriguing name and a rather dull way of marketing, a fresh start may be all you need to get the fire lit again!

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