Monday, April 4, 2016

I'm going to eat chocolate cake for breakfast!

I was perusing Facebook this morning and ran across an article that my cousin Cindy Dunbar posted. It boasted that eating chocolate cake for breakfast is good for you and may even help you lose weight. Yessssss! Here’s a link to the article from

Anyone that knows me knows I have a huge sweet tooth. So I’ll be doing some serious research on this topic. And to make myself feel better about this experiment, I read more about a Syracuse research study on the topic. Check that out here

I’m a very lucky descendant from a chocolate cake making diva. My mom made the best chocolate cake. My cousins and their kids have dubbed it Aunt Carol’s cake. In an effort to make you a healthier, happier person, here’s that recipe in cupcake form. 


Aunt Carol’s Chocolate Cupcakes

2 C flour
2 C sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
3 T dark cocoa (heaping)
½ C milk
2/3 C oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 C boiling water

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Mix dry ingredients together, then mix in milk, oil, vanilla and eggs. Slowly mix in boiling water until batter is silky smooth. Slowly pour into cupcake liners. 

Bake mini cupcakes for16 minutes or regular cupcakes for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out smooth. Makes 2 dozen regular and 4 dozen mini cupcakes.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

My Dream Customer

I love what I do. I love helping people do their best work. I love being part of a team that works together seamlessly and respectfully. My dream customer is one that sees my gifts and talents as a great addition to their work. When you find an organization that shares your values and is focused on doing good for the greater good, you hold on tight. 

For me, that customer is All Hands Raised. I am truly grateful to be part of the team that throws one of the biggest parties and fundraisers of the year here in Portland. This year’s theme was Shine On! And that we did. 

Each year the community comes together at the Moda Center to take a night off, kick up our heels, enjoy a slightly less polite Roast of our community—and raise our hands to support the work to improve educational outcomes for all Multnomah children and youth, and young adults.

The preparation for fundraiser started months ago. We gathered an amazing group of partner vendors to pull off this year’s event. On the day of the event, we spent 14 hours creating an experience that was sensational. I get to sit with the production team and call the show from the back of the room. Its exhilarating. 

Here are some photos from my favorite project!

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Antonio Harris /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

© 2016 Fred Joe /

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

What the heck is an avatar?

In a nutshell an avatar your ideal customer. It’s the person you see in your mind that would buy your product or service. Quite simply, the person you are serving. In a lot of marketing firms its also known as a persona. 

Why should I care? 
It’s a basic stepping stone to any business building practice. It’s a key component to many of the entrepreneur courses on the market today. One of my favorites is run by Jonathan Fields, one of my personal business heroes. Its called Revolution U

Defining your avatar helps you focus on who you are talking to. When you know who you’re talking to, it makes it easier to write your brand copy and focus your product features and benefits. You will better understand what people need and how to give it to them or, how to create it for them. Knowing more about this person lets you connect with them in a deeper, more meaningful way.

This seems simple, and it should be. But a lot of entrepreneurs I know skip this step and find themselves talking to too many people, or worse no one. Here are a few things I’ve heard people say:
- I don’t even know where to start? 
- I want to serve everyone, there’s no way I can narrow it down to one person?
- I have multiple things I offer, how do I choose which one to focus on?

I’ve been working with my clients to help them through those exact questions by doing quick workshops, I like to call them Charrettes. We spend no more than 90 minutes and at the end of that time we have a very clear picture of their ideal customer. Its fun, simple and very informative. 

Here are a few examples of the process and the final outcome.

If you are feeling stuck at this step. I’d love to help you. Soon there will be two ways. Right now we can do it together, in person or even via teleconference. The second is coming soon. I’m working on a quick and easy online course. Stay tuned, I’ll be posting more about that soon. You can stay informed by signing up for may email list here.