Newspaper Archive of
The Perkins Journal
Perkins, Oklahoma
June 14, 2012     The Perkins Journal
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June 14, 2012

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Thursday, June 14, 2012 401 S. Main St. Stillwater 40S-372,1647 o 800-678.2 4 .q I met an interesting young man last week by the name of Travis Brorsen. Some of you may know Travis and his dog, Presley, from mean...QR seen a QR code, they look something like a digital ink blot in the general shape of a square. The ink blot...I code shown , , By Dr. Suzette Barta the CBS reality show, Greatest American Dog. Travis and Presley won this show in 2008. Today, they have a video series that teaches good manners and other life skills. Much about Travis and Presley is interesting, but the one thing I want to focus on for today's article is their business card. I know. You're thinking that business cards, even very nice ones, are not particularly interesting--useful, sure, but not interesting. What interested me about Travis' business card is that on the back it had a QR code. While I have seen QR codes before, this was the first time I have seen one on a business card. I expect to see more and more. For those of you who are not sure if you have ever here is for Payne County Extension's Facebook page. Now that you've seen one, some of you may be thinking, "Oh yeah, I've seen some of those before." Perhaps you've seen them the same places I have, in a newspaper, on a poster, or on a product label or tag. If you know me, you know that I am not overly attached to my phone, so I have never really been tempted to use my phone to read a QR code. However, once I had Travis and Presley's business card sitting on my desk practically staring at me, I decided I wanted to try it out. My first thought was that I needed to take a picture of the QR code with my phone. If you do this, you will get a picture of a QR code on your phone and nothing more. So it's not quite that simple, but, honestly, it still is not difficult. Just use your smart phone to download a QR code reader app. Mine was free. Now, open the app on your phone. Pretend like you are taking a picture of the QR code. You will probably hear a beep or a shutter sound to indicate that you have captured the code. When I scanned Travis and Presley's QR code, it immediately took me to their website on my phone. Of course, this is super cool and totally "techie," and I'm thinking .that I want to make my own QR codes and put them on, well, everything. I'm also thinking that this is way, way, way beyond my tech skills. Turns out that it's not--in fact, it's very easy. Just Google "free QR code generator" and you will find many sites that will make a QR code for you. All you have to do is enter the website URL where you want to send people, click a button, and the code is generated. You can usually print it out, download and save it, or email it to yourself. Now, the only question left is, "What do I do with a QR code?" Well, we know that they work quite well on business cards. Already have business cards? No problem, just print the QR code off on blank address labels and stick to the back of your cards. For more ideas, Debbie Sanders of the Perkins- owned Sanders Copy and Design explained, "The QR Code can be printed on about anything but is easily incorporated in business cards, flyers, brochures, etc. as a quick link to the company's own website or e-mail address. The codes can also be used to link to virtual coupons, surveys or even for a map and directions to the company." \ Just be sure you are linking the user to something useful. As it turns out, there is a Suzette scanning the QR code on a bottle of ketchup in a restaurant. Photo provided lot more to be said about QR codes. Check out part 2 of this article next month to learn demographics of who is using QR codes and also about some of the negative aspects of QR codes. Dr. Suzette Barta is an Extension Educator, Community and Economic Development, with Payne County OSU Extension. She is also an active member oJ the Perkins Community Chamber of Commerce ana the Greater Perkins Area Economic Development Authority. To contact her regarding the content of this or other articles, e-mail her at sbarta @provalue.net. Bridget Carroll Young Entrepreneur Profile Meet Bridget Carroll By Susan Weckler running through all the Do you need music for a special occasion? Young entrepreneur Bridget Carroll provides beauti- ful harp music for special events. Sixteen year old Bridget is very talented in playing the harp and her music brings a special touch to many occasions. What / who inspired the idea for your busi- ness? My harp teacher, Lorelei Barton, encouraged me to start playing profession- ally. Share with us how your family life, background or training has prepared you for your business venture. I got my first harp from my parents for Christmas. I was having fun playing around with it by my self for three years or so when my grandparents offered to drive me to Tulsa to take lessons. I have been with Mrs. Barton for over a year now. She really pushes me to do the best that I can. She is a great teacher. Did your parents encourage you in this pursuit? If so, how? My dad helped with set- ting up my website and logistics of owning my own business. My mom helped with ideas and the aesthetics side. And of course, they bought me the harp and pay for lessons. Have others mentored you? Dana Maher, from the band Vintage Wildflow- ers, has given me a lot of support. We both play the Celtic harp which is an unusual instrument. It has been great to have some- one to talk to about all the peculiarities I run into. What's your biggest struggle in your business and how do you manage it? Getting word out has been difficult. Coming up with ways to advertise is difficult, but I'm getting the hang of it. Do you feel that people don't take you very seri- ously because of your age? If so, how do you overcome that? Usually people don't realize that I am as young as I am. It can really throw them off, but if I have a professional attitude, most people are quite willing to work with me. What character traits do you feel are impor- tant in being an entre- preneur? Willingness to learn is very important. The ideas you have fixed in your head are usually not the best. Learn from people who have experience. It saves a lot of time. Summer is here ments you do, the more equities. The percentage -- which means a vaca- likely you are to make of your holdings devoted ing on a plane or even enjoying a "staycation" at home, you're probably looking forward to some down time with your family. But not every aspect of your life should be relaxed. Specifically, you don't want to take a vacation from investing -- which means you need to become a diligent, year-round investor. Here are a few sugges- tions that can help: Keep on investing. Don't head to the invest- ment "sidelines" when the financial markets experience volatility. You don't want to be a nonparticipant when things turn around because, historically, the early stage of any market rally is generally when the biggest gains occur. (Keep in mind that past performance of the market is not a guarantee of future' results.) Keep learning. In just about any classroom, the best students are the ones who get the most out of their education and put their learning to the best use. And the same is true of the investment world: The more you know about the forces that affect your investments' performance, and about why you own the invest- decisions. Keep your focus on the long term. As an investor, you need to look past those events -- such as natural disas- ters, recession fears and political instability abroad -- that may have noticeable short-term effects on the financial markets but little impact over the longer term. So instead of making invest- ment decisions based on today's headlines, think about what you want your financial picture to look like in 10, 20 or 30 years -- and take the appropriate steps to help make that pic- ture materialize. These steps include following a long-term, disciplined investment strategy that's suitable for your individual needs, making adjustments as time goes on and working with a professional financial advisor who knows your situation and can help you make the right choices. Keep looking for growth opportunities. To achieve your long-term goals, such as a comfort- able retirement, you'll need to own growth- oriented investments, such as stocks and other investments that contain imity to retirement. But no matter what your situation, you want a portfolio that's designed to help you meet your investment goals. Keep relying on "hard- working" investments. To help ensure your investments are work- ing hard for you, choose those vehicles that can help you in multiple ways. For example, when you invest in a 401(k) or other employer-spon- sored retirement plan, your money grows on a tax-deferred basis, which means it can accumulate faster than if it were placed in an investment on which you paid taxes every year. (Keep in mind that taxes are due upon Withdrawal, and withdrawals prior to age 59 may be subject to a 10% IRS penalty.) Plus, you typically fund your 401 (k) with pretax dollars, so the more you put in each year, the lower your taxable income. Furthermore, with the choices avail- able in your plan, you can create a good mix of investments. Enjoy your vacation this summer. But no matter what the season, don't take a break from investing. Your efforts may pay off nicely for you in the future. Matt Hull is a financial advisor for EdwarclJones Investments in Stillwa- ter. Getting to do something I love for other people is really nice. One thing I am excited about is playing all kinds of music for all kinds of events' I can play clas- sical music, Disney songs, Celtic tunes, and pop. I really like fitting the music to the occasion whether it's a brunch on Satur- day morning, an evening dinner party, wedding, or any other event. What are your future plans / financial expecta- tions for your business? Right now I am excited about attending wedding expos in the fall and play- ing for recruiting parties at OSU. I am also planning to attend several music camps to help expand my repertoire. Do you have any advice for young people who are considering starting their own business? Some of the best advice I got was M.V.P. - Minimum Viable Product. If you wait for everything to be exactly perfect, you will never be able to do anything. Just start something and go from there. What is the best way for someone to contact you if they'd like to learn more about your busi- ness? (website, physical address or e-mail) My email is ownerofa lonelyharp @ gmail.com My website address is ownerofalonelyharp.com. I also have a Facebook page where I post updates about where I play. By Matt Hull Edward Jones Investments What do you like best tion most likely isn't far the right moves -- and to stocks should be based about having your own away. Whether you're the less likely you'll be on your risk tolerance, business? hitting the road, jump- to makehasty and unwise time horizon and prox-