Here it is: The first ever Monday issue of the Fresh Rag News. Let’s kick off your week the right way.

Your diagnosis: You think too much!

This winter was a rough one, and I don’t mean the weather. I spent the majority of the last 2-1/2 months being pretty unproductive. Week after week, I contemplated the future of things, and as each week past, I still wasn’t getting a damn thing done. The more I imagined the what I had planned, the further behind I got. It wasn’t until I chose to stop thinking about projects, and start acting on them that everything became clear.

If you think I give a damn, you’re right!

We’re running through this business world, like rats in a maze, looking for scrap of cheese. There’s also no shortages of would-be gurus trying to sell us the next best business solution, for the mere price of $289 (or more). Want to know the real way to succeed in business? Start by finding one person that gives a shit, and then replicate.

I’m looking at you, Mr. Starbucks

Selling art is hard—big surprise. It takes a metric ton of time, and then some. Artists everywhere are debating what the best approach to selling is, but the truth is there is no one right way. I’ve thought about the future of what my own art looks like, and it’s not always 100% clear. Do we stay true to one medium and substrate, hoping to sell paintings off the wall eventually, or do we supplement with smaller products in order to get collectors and fans with smaller budgets? Do we haunt the prestigious galleries, looking for representation, or do we try to find a patron with deep pockets? Artist, Heather Day talks about how she balances on the line between being a fine artist, and a corporate sponsored creative. Feel free to debate this one in The Army barracks.

When you’re going through hell, keep going

Winston Churchill had a very succinct way to motivate his people, but I doubt he imagined someone like me would use his wartime quote to inspire creative people. The truth is, art can be war, and the only way to win is to keep pushing. If you’re not willing to push for artistic freedom for the rest of your life, then maybe you don’t deserve the creativity you’ve been granted. You still have 50+ years to decide.

To enter Dante’s 7th circle of hell, press 1

I’ve often said that one of the best marketing tools you have is providing high-quality customer service. The reason I go to Zappos to buy shoes, before any other site, is because I know they are going to take care of me. They created a story for the company around the idea that they will go to the mattresses for their customers. So, it makes me truly perplexed to how a company like 123Mountain would be able to stay in business for anything longer than a minute. The upside is that no matter how bad your customer service might be, it’s not as bad as this.

On that happy note, that’s it for this week. See you Thursday.

One last hit

The key to getting rid of ear-worms is Juicy Fruit.