A brief history of my efforts to be a vaguely businessy person
I've always had this fascination with cards. Any card, really. Ask some of my grade school friends and they might tell you how I handmade my own duel-style trading card game to play during recess as a child. I just really thought the index cards on our required school supply list were meant for better things. Although my cards were no competitor that Yu-Gi-Oh or Pokemon had to worry about, they were the manifestation of an entrepreneurial spirit that I remember fondly. It was around the time I also thought I needed a card of my own.
The hustler (2005)
Enter: the Double J Everyday. My friend Jack and I saw ourselves as a pretty creative and scheming duo back in the 5th grade. This was around the same time I had attended "YES Camp" at Northwest. If I recall correctly, that stood for the Young Entrepreneur Society. Anyway, I got a taste of how the real world worked. And suddenly, I was really into it.
The next thing I knew, Jack and I were typing away at short stories and anecdotes to compile into documents on Microsoft Word and print off. Coincidentally, Microsoft Word was the same program used to design these gorgeous business cards. I'll bet you couldn't even tell!
We fancied ourselves a "news-press business," and began printing the 2-3 page issues with our household printers. Don't let the name fool you, we were definitely not a daily "newspaper." This was also my first chance to get a little hands-on experience with website creation, although I'm a little bummed that our domain at jacobmlnarik.proboards41.com is no longer live :(.
Once we started having a little fun, (and got business cards) we pestered our classmates and their parents to buy subscriptions to our little publication. Truthfully, I think we only made enough money to buy a couple of extra entrees at lunchtime throughout the whole scheme. We would soon find out that, should we have to pay for our own printing supplies, this was a terrible business model which yielded negative returns. Basically, our moms told us to stop using up all of their toner. But hey, I'll give us credit. We were hustling before puberty hustled us.
The balls (Est. Spring, 2015)
My next card came much later, during my junior year studying advertising at NWMSU. It's the product of a student that thought he needed to do something really ballsy to get himself an internship. That ballsy move for me was almost literally putting BALLS on my business card, all over my website and social banner photos. This card was also the product of someone who had no idea what he was doing in Adobe Illustrator. From a design standpoint, it pains me to look at the back of that card now. Just words, everywhere. Blech!
After locking down an awesome internship, I have to admit I think it worked. I worked tenaciously to ensure that my branding reached the right people and I hand delivered it with an embossed, raised-text card that read BOLLOCKS all over it. I also had stickers made and gave them to penpals and regular pals alike because stickers rule.
The typo (Est. February, 2016)
My next card was relatively short-lived. After my internship with Barkley last summer, I worked with a network of mentors to rebrand myself. I didn't feel like some ballsy flash in the pan anymore. I listened to myself, and tried to see myself for the first time from someone else's perspective. What I learned was that nobody knows what the fuck to think of my last name.
I figured if I could get that pesky last name confusion out of the way in a heartbeat, then I was as golden as the swatch I used for the word TYPO right on my new card. I made these cards just for the 2016 ADDYS, AKA crunchtime for finding myself a big boy job and fast.
My rebrand started long before I got these cards though. Before my senior year of classes started, I bought a jaketypo.com domain to redirect to jakemlnarik.com and finally reached some consistency on my social footprint by tying down @JakeTypo on both Twitter and Instagram for myself.
The real deal (May 23, 2016)
This week I was handed something that I have been working toward for half of my entire life. Finally, I found myself with a real business card. Like, my name is on a card that represents a real business. And it's the business I've had a crush on for awhile now. For once, it's not something that came off of my mom's printer or with a huge pricetag and a thousand emails from VistaPrint to boot. If you can't tell, I'm still pretty stoked on this.
To me, business cards are collectibles. They are artifacts of being proud enough to put your breadth of experience into the hands of others. You've got half-a-coaster's worth of cardstock to get someone to call your cell when they need a Johnny on the spot, and that's what happened to me. They're human trading cards, and I don't have to hand-draw them on index cards and guilt-trip my friends into playing my stupid card game at recess anymore.
So cheers to progress. And cheers to following through with decade-old dreams to have a trading card of your very own.