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Life Lessons Honesty is the Best Policy

Life Lessons Honesty is the Best Policy

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Published by Living By Grace
Honesty is the best policy in everything that we do. Business, personal life and relationships benefit when honesty is in practice. To be honest, here is a little information about me.
Honesty is the best policy in everything that we do. Business, personal life and relationships benefit when honesty is in practice. To be honest, here is a little information about me.

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Published by: Living By Grace on Sep 12, 2010
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Life Lessons: Honesty is the Best PolicyHonesty is the best policy in everything that we do. Business, personal life andrelationships benefit when honesty is in practice. To be honest, here is a littleinformation about me.
Most people on the internet know me to be an online content producer, but this hasn¶t been my only gig in past years. Writing internet content has been a wonderful andsometimes profitable pastime since retiring from traditional game designing andmanufacturing. I¶ve always been involved in the creative fields since my grade schoolyears and game designing has to be my most favorite adventure of my lifetime.Game designing was a career that found me during a time in my life when I was more or less inventing automobile novelties, fishing devices, pet toys and children¶s toys. Anopportunity presented itself to design a board game to help raise money to support our local police department, which quickly opened a door to design traditional board games,card games and brainteaser puzzles for the mainstream gaming market.Little did I know, the game industry is dogs eat dog business; that takes years to learn theinner workings, just so to do business. Designing is the easy part of the business, the hard part is nearly everything else.After I designed a card game called ³Smear Strategy Card Game´ in 1993, and that took only fifteen minutes to design and another twenty minutes to draft the first set of gamerules; it took another seven years to bring a finished product to market. Manufacturingthis card game required designing packaging, designing printing templates, developing point-of-purchase (POP) display cases and working back and forth with hired artists tomake a market ready consumer product. The cost of all of this work came in just under $25,000 dollars. Now, we had a market ready card game, but we had no distribution setup, so this was thenext thing that we had to setup. Since we were a tiny game design company, we knewthat attracting Wal-Mart buyers or Target buyers was going to be next to impossible todo, so we focused on independent game and hobby retailers. Walgreen¶s Drug Store alsowasn¶t out of the question either.In 2000, GameStar Designs Inc, traveled to New York City to attend the New York ToyFair, which is the biggest toy expo in the United States. The trade show booths areincredibly expensive to lease of the five day trade show; some $25 dollars per square footand not to mention the hotel room rates, food, taxi fares and marketing materials needed.However, this is the biggest toy expo in the United States and if the buyers really like a product, then millions of dollars of orders is up for grabs.We did not sell but a few thousand dollars of product and not nearly enough to cover thecost of attending the show. The coolest thing that I personally remember about the 2000
 
Toy Fair was the people who created the Billy Bob Singing Bass made their first debut acouple of booths down from ours. I just knew that these guys had designed a multi-million dollar novelty and it didn¶t surprise me in the least, once I learned that a major department store chain purchased a half a million units of the Singing Bass on openingday of the event.As for us, we traveled back to Tennessee prepared to fill the orders that we received and began cold calling major retail buyers all over the world. Slowly we began taken ordersfrom hundreds of small retailers, and then in 2001, we landed a major retail player calledWalgreens Drug Store.Walgreens Drug Store began testing our card game in just forty-eight stores in theMidSouth and Smear Strategy Card Game soon exceeded the sales of an extremely popular card game made by Mattel called UNO. Same store sales proved to us andWalgreens, that Smear Strategy Card Game out sold UNO by a 10-1 factor. Maybe because it was a brand spanking new card game or that the retail price was a dollar cheaper, but nevertheless, we were excited to be given a shot in the mainstreammarketplace.Designing games and writing internet content require virtually the same kind of marketing to get noticed, but game designing requires thousands of dollars to purchasetelevision and radio advertising, and internet content marketing doesn¶t. They bothrequire a lot of hard work and patience from the designer or author to become successful.They both require honesty to stay successful.The hardest thing that I had to do as a game designer and a partner in a game designcompany was remain truthful regarding the actual size of our company. The majority of large retailers wouldn¶t even crack a door, if a game company only manufactured onegame and only had been in business a very short time. It was very tempting at times to lieabout the size of our company, just to hook and land a major multi-national retailaccount, but we never did.By this time, the investors of GameStar Designs Inc had invested over one-hundredthousand dollars into Smear Strategy Card Game, which only sold 12,000 units in the past 3 years. Nerves were beginning to increase and investments were on the decrease,and I fully understood the reasons as to why. We needed to land a major retailer or cutour losses and move on to the next thing. That is what we eventually did.Everyday, I am reminded of my first exciting venture both as a published game designer and as a partner of a game design company; as I stare at some 19,000 unsold card gamesstored in my garage. Some have told me that GameStar Designs and the Smear StrategyCard Game was a complete and utter failure, but that is simply untrue. It was a valuablelesson learned and experience gained that no amount of college education could ever teach.
 
To be perfectly honest with everyone; I had been told over and over again that I didn¶thave want it took to even go about manufacturing a card game. The main reason most people who knew me personally said what they did, is because, I spent over a year in amental health hospital suffering from a severe nervous breakdown and bi-polar illness.My mental health was in question and a relapse was feared once confronted withextremely stressful situations.Yes, I did spend over a year in a mental health hospital and not just any mental healthfacility, but a state operated mental health institute. This time in my life was quitedifficult. I was eighteen years old and it was the first time I had been away from myhome. Most people my age was moving out of their parents¶ home and into an apartment, but I was moving into a state operated mental health hospital, a place where severelymental disturbed people were locked up and fed experimental medications like it wascandy.I experienced a hard year of being tested like a lab rat, drugged like a junkie, strappeddown in five point restraints and analyzed like a physiology experiment. There wasnothing pleasant about being locked up on the forth floor of a five story building for ayear and fed unseasoned food for a solid year. The patients that shared my ward werevery nice people albeit crazy as a bat. Many of whom, had been transferred to thishospital from another mental hospital, which had a scary track-record of being dangerous.I remember I had a toothache and I needed to see a dentist to take a look at my tooth. Anappointment was made for me to see the on-call dentist that the state provides, and I was beyond shocked to learn that he recommended pulling the tooth instead of filling thecavity. There was no way in hell that I was going to agree to that. I begged him to fill thedecayed tooth and not to extract the tooth. The dentist then told me in honesty, that hehad not filled a tooth in over twenty years. The reason why, it is less expensive to thestate, just to pull the teeth of the patients, then to save them only to spend more money tomaintain the health of the teeth over time.After a little more begging, the dentist agreed to dust off the old dental drill and drill outthe decay and plug the hole with a dental filling. He did and awesome job and it did nothurt not even a little bit. He was honesty with me and I was honest with him, and the finaloutcome was a perfectly filled tooth and a happy patient.I figured since I was going to be spending some time in the facility; I should try to makethe best of things while I was there. I took the time to get to know the other patients andlearned how to play hearts, spades and chess. We spent endless hours playing thesegames both sober and high as a kite.For the first eight months, I had slept in a room by myself, but things all changed after afew new patients had been admitted to the ward. The roommate that shared my room hada violent past. He had beaten his last roommate with a pillowcase filled with pool ballswhile his roommate slept. I had been warned to sleep with one eye opened, because he

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