June 12, 2013

Introducing: The Intern Diaries

Hi! Let me introduce myself. I’m Sara, and I’m so excited to be the new ‘ZinePak summer intern. I just finished my junior year at Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, where I’m studying psychology, and I refuse to believe that I will be a senior come September. I am so happy to be working at a fun startup and living in New York City for the next couple of months. I can’t wait to share my new experiences here with you as I explore this great town and learn what it takes to grow a successful business.

Internships are a big deal back home. The summer after your junior year of college is a scary one. Everyone warns that you MUST get a job or internship if you want to be successful in life (MAN, that’s a lot of pressure if you ask me!). Summer internships lead to jobs and jobs lead to money and money leads to success. But is that really what it’s all about? So many college students my age stress themselves out and feel as though this is the “make or break” time is their lives. While of course working over the summer will help you out in the future, I think this summer is more about learning, and being a sponge. Yes, a sponge! Now is the time where I want to focus on soaking up any and every little bit of information I can. Not knowing what I want to do when I graduate makes me excited— excited for the plentiful amount of opportunities that lie ahead of me.

I couldn’t possibly be happier ending up at a place like ‘ZinePak. If there is one thing that I’ve learned already, it’s do what you love and run with it. If Kim and Brittany hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t be sitting in the ‘ZinePak office (right across from the Empire State Building! ), kicking off what I know is going to be one of the best summers of my life.

June 7, 2013

The Story Behind Music's Most Famous Logos

Music and art have always been intimately linked...just ask any group of eighth graders forming their first band, and they'll tell you that a band's logo is just as important (if not more important!) than the combined experience of the members. After all, rock and roll is about style, image, and a certain sexiness.
Enter some of the most important and influential bands in history. The logos of bands like KISS and RUN DMC are as well known across the world as even the biggest brands. This awesome article from the Red Bull Music Academy tells the stories behind 22 of the most iconic logos in music, including legendary bands, labels, and venues whose collective merchandise sales (thanks in part to their instantly-recognizable logos) top the billion dollar mark.

Some of the stories here are being shared for the first time. Even if you're not familiar with all of the logos, this post offers a fabulous look at the thought (and sometimes lack thereof!) behind some of the most influential and imitated branding of the past half century.

June 5, 2013

Hump Day Inspiration

Have you ever had one of those days where you are just down right cynical? Or maybe things haven't exactly been going your way and you're throwing yourself a little pity party. In the mix of cat videos and auto tune overload, YouTube has some real inspirational gems floating around. I have collected a few of my favorites to share when you feel like your perspective could use a makeover.

*Disclaimer: You may want to grab a box of tissue or two, seriously! And unless you're comfortable enough to ugly cry in front of co-workers, this may be an after work activity.

   My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech

   Don't let the 22 minutes steer you away, this is
   truly one of the most inspirational videos I've ever
   seen. Zach's outlook on life is nothing short of
   amazing and is refreshing in an often negative
   society. There is no way you will not cry watching
   this one, so prepare yourself!

   Take Away: "You don't have to find out you're
   dying to start living."

   A Pep Talk from Kid President to You

   Kids say the darndest things right? "Kid President"
   is no exception and even adds wisdom far beyond
   his years.  After all, "I think we all could use a pep

   Take Away: "If life is a game, aren't we all on the
   same team?"

   Fortune Favors the Bold

   You can't really talk about inspiration without
   involving Steve Jobs. The legend encourages
   dreaming big, no matter what others tell you.

   Take Away: "Everything around you that you
   call life was made up by people that were no
   smarter than you."


   It is easy to get stuck in the comfortable routine
   of your life and not strive for more than you've
   already accomplished. It is important to still be
   active in society and to both be awed by our
   surroundings and leave those around us in awe.

   Take Away: "Once we create a comfort zone
   we rarely step out of that comfort zone."

Feel free to share some of your favorite inspirational videos with us!

May 31, 2013


While it has been five years since I walked across the stage and accepted my diploma from the University of Florida I feel like the messages during my commencement are still crystal clear. Although some find it old fashion, even cheesy, I enjoy when at the end of May some of the most important leaders, from President Obama to Oprah Winfrey, deliver messages of hope, determination, and inspiration to the future generations to change the world for the better. 

These words of wisdom can relate to everyone, no cap and gown needed. While some messages are meant to encourage others offer an interesting view of our current world and where the future generations can chose to steer it. Below are some of my favorite quotes and clips from these amazing speeches.

Who: Julie Andrews, Actress
College: University of Colorado
Favorite Quote: "Keep learning as you go. Acknowledge that there will be fear and adversity. Then go out and kick butt."

Clip: Watch It Here

Who: Steven Colbert, Comedian 
College: University of Virginia
Favorite Quote: "You have the nations oldest student run honor code. Say it with me, 'On my honor, I pledge I have neither given nor received help on this assignment, so help me adderall.'" 

Who: Brian Williams, News Anchor
College: Elon University
Favorite Quote: "We call our online a world a community, but that's just to make us feel better. It's not, this is. The people to your right and left with hopes and dreams and fears. So stop yourself before you say something to your followers. Consider being a leader instead."
Clip: Watch It Here 

Who: Barack Obama, President of the United States
College: Morehouse College
Favorite Quote: "Maybe you feel like you escaped, and now you take your degree and get that fancy job and the nice house and the night car and never look back. Don't get me wrong - with all those student loans you had to take out, I know you've got to earn money. With doors open to you that your parents and grandparents could not even imagine, no one expects you to take a vow of poverty. But I will say it betrays a poverty of ambition if you all think about is what goods you can buy instead of what good you can do."  

Clip: Watch It Here 

Who: Oprah Winfrey, Philanthropist & Entrepreneur
College: Harvard University
Favorite Quote: "Even though this is the college where Facebook was born, my hope is that you will try and go out and have more face-to-face conversation with people you disagree with. That you will have the courage to look them in the eye and hear their point of view. 

May 30, 2013

Blockheads: Curbing the Curse of the Creative Condition

Author John McPhee recently wrote an amusing piece in The New Yorker about crafting first drafts and overcoming that dreaded beast that eventually (whether we want to admit it or not) befalls all creative types: the cursed block. You know, that nightmarish "condition" when a writer/author/copywriter is suddenly paralyzed and unable to produce new work. The Block, as I call it, isn't new to me. I still wake up in cold sweats from internalized fear about unfinished college term papers. And the trouble is that there a dozen different kinds. I'm typically a victim of #7—my nasty Inner Critic.

McPhee's take on this age-old (and, yes, entirely self-imposed) dilemma got me thinking about how my own struggle with writer's block has changed since working at a startup. I typically deal by visiting the office candy jar for a chocolate-related reprieve or taking a walk around the block or just focusing my attention to another project for the day, hoping and praying that the creative juices will start to flow. But sometimes there's just not time for that 'ZinePak. Not just because deadlines loom (they always do), but because it's the nature of entrepreneurship and building a successful business. Stumbling blocks are the name of the game. You have to deal and move on. Maintaining momentum and plowing forward, no matter how tough the obstacle (be it creating the perfect turn of phrase or finding funding), is the spirit of innovation and therefore creativity.

While searching some "cures" I came across this article about 5 big creative blocks to successful businesses and most of them are easily applicable to an editor who may feel like she's reached the proverbial end of her creative rope. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that "Failures are part of development and growth, they help us learn and improve, and are a sign that you are actually achieving something rather than just sitting around wasting time. In other words, failure isn't fatal."

So, even if the sentence I've been staring down, analyzing, and re-tweaking for an hour still isn't perfect, it's better than nothing and it WILL get me to the next phase of the process, no matter how far away that seems. It's a lesson any smart entrepreneur already knows.  Onward, forward, upward, success.

May 22, 2013

ICYMI: When Social Media Goes Bad

Naughty or nice? A lesson in small business etiquette via Fox's Kitchen Nightmares.

The Internet has been buzzing about a small business in Arizona, Amy's Baking Company, and an epic Facebook meltdown heard round the world after the owners were featured on celeb-chef Gordon Ramsay's reality show Kitchen Nightmares, on which they expressed a kind of behavior that can only be classified as cray-cray. This is the kind of story that TV junkies like myself clamor for. The episode is entertaining, fascinating, embarrassing and so wacky that it caught fire online and basically imploded courtesy of the business owner's poor social media etiquette over the bad reviews their company received via Yelp, FB, and negative chatter highlighting their cringe-worthy behavior on Reddit.

Whew! And that's only a fraction of the drama that went down—BEFORE the posts were deleted, of course (and they hired a PR agency).

And yet....

Without the epic meltdown, Amy's Baking Company would've hardly been a blip on the pop culture radar. And it seems their bad behavior is actually boosting business (for now). The previously failing business is cashing in on its 15 minutes of fame, sans Ramsay, and the place is reportedly packed daily with curious customers eager to see if the owners will show off their signature naughty behavior— like that Seinfeld episode about the Soup Nazi. Yep, it's a gimmick, and gimmicks certainly don't last.

So what's the lesson here?

Sure, it's fun to watch this kind of train wreck from afar, but the scenario also serves as a reminder to passionate entrepreneurs (whether they're legitimately bananas or not) about the power of social media and the influence it has on making or breaking a small business. As an editor who is constantly navigating the ever-changing waters of the social media landscape and the etiquette that goes with it, this kind of tale is my worst nightmare. At 'ZinePak, we are dedicated to our fans and clients, and love sharing our insights and updates. There's no better way to gain traction than increasing online presence. But it's NEVER smart to egg on/lash out at the haters that might come your way. That's just a no-brainer. And hard work—and smart use of social media—is the only true path to success. Just like your mama told you, "It's not just what you say, but also how you say it."

The LinkedIn Low Down

One of the most frustrating aspects of the daunting job search process is figuring out how to cram all of your skills, experiences and assets onto a one-page resume. In today’s super competitive job market where you are not likely to stay in the first, or even second job you land after college the one-page resume rule feels extremely outdated.

Enter LinkedIn, the networking site that some refer to as the professional Facebook. LinkedIn allows you to make a profile about yourself that can put you on the radar of employers you did not even know existed. This profile is essentially a growing resume with little limitations. In addition to eliminating the one-page conundrum, LinkedIn also allows you to upload a picture of yourself so employers can put a face to the name, unlike the traditional paper resume method. Another great way LinkedIn allows you to stand out in the pool of job applicants is the endorsements feature. Do you feel you are especially strong in a certain skill you have listed? Ask a former boss or co-worker to endorse you on your profile, or even write a recommendation. This is a great way for potential employers to see on first glance what people who have previously worked with you have to say about your skill set and work ethic.

The networking possibilities on LinkedIn are endless. When landing on someone’s profile, LinkedIn lets you know who in your network is connected to him or her, making it easier for you to be put in contact with people you may not have otherwise had the chance to speak with.  Many universities have also embraced LinkedIn with alumni groups where they share priceless advice, job leads or even events to help you get to know people if you find yourself away from home.

Between articles posted by LinkedIn Today, and following Thought Leaders such as Richard Brandson and Tim Brown, you can also stay up to date on industry news and innovative ideas. We have just begun to scratch the surface of all that LinkedIn has to offer to help navigate the sometimes-overwhelming job market. Are you using LinkedIn? What are some of your favorite LinkedIn features?

May 20, 2013

Success at 25...and Beyond

When I began my job search last year, I started to compare my success to others based on age. 
 - He’s 24-years-old and already an Account Executive?...How did that happen so quickly? I’m 24 and still faxing papers as an Administrative Assistant!
- She’s 30-years-old and makes only a little more money than me??... I hope I don’t end up like that at her age!
I graduated college with an impressive resume chock-full of experience and a full-time position that I enjoyed and others envied as they struggled to find jobs. Yet, a couple of years later I saw that many of my former classmates moved forward in their careers, while I suddenly found myself falling behind. I started to compare myself to them based on their positions and salary, and I became discouraged and lost confidence. Eventually, a colleague told me, “Success is not a race. Everyone moves at their own pace.”
Ironically on my 25th birthday this year, Yahoo! Finance posted “What Extremely Successful People Were Doing At Age 25,” and it serves as the perfect reminder that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Even the most successful people, such as Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren, Jay-Z, and JK Rowling, were once interns, daydreamers, switching careers, or struggling to find their niche at my age before they became multi-millionaires and household names.
A career is built on experiences, and age is just a number. I now realize that there are no right or wrong jobs or positions at any point in any one’s life, as every job is an opportunity to learn and take a step in a new direction. If you work hard and are happy every day, then that’s the level of success that we should all strive for. In case you need even more convincing, here are some inspiring quotes on true success:

Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in it, and it will come naturally. -David Frost

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” -Bob Dylan

“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” -Booker T. Washington

“There are many aspects to success; material wealth is only one component. ...But success also includes good health, energy and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well-being, and peace of mind.” -Deepak Chopra