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Pretty Alright Memorial Day Edition

Happy Memorial Day Eve!

For those of you reading in the U.S., I hope your long weekend has been filled with something more exciting than yardwork and hot dogs. I’m excited that I continue to see new subscribers rolling in. Which reminds me, if you know a builder or dreamer who would love this lil’ ol’ email pick-me-up, hit that forward button. They’ll get cool stuff like this every week:

  • Think artificial intelligence is only for big biz? Guess again. Check out the recap of a pretty cool study of how small business owners and AI are working together to scale.

  • Meet a company I would classify as my Instagram crush. This is a business-y type of crush. Don’t make it weird.

  • Useful tidbits, an argument for giving up on your dreams, and a Memorial Day edition pop quiz.

Is AI the Great Equalizer?

I have a confession to make. I’m not actually making this newsletter all on my own. In fact, I didn’t even totally come with the idea. I had a sort of vague general thing in my head and then I brainstormed with a partner to figure out the details and name my little weekly writing project.

That partner? ChatGPT.

If you’re among the 33% of small business owners who feels confident they know what generative AI is according to a recent GoDaddy survey, then ChatGPT is the AI tool you’re likely most familiar with.

Quick catch-up for the rest of the gang. ChatGPT is a chatbot that uses natural language processing to have human-like conversations. It’s trained using a dataset called the common crawl, which includes the text of millions of web pages all the way back to 2008. (Your MySpace page probably isn’t one. Relax.)

Yeah, okay, but how does it work? It’s pretty easy actually. This is how my conversation to name this newsletter started.

Obviously, that response was weak. But it was also just a starting point. After this, I replied, “Give me 5 more options to choose from” and on and on we went until this little nugget:

And that’s what the point of this newsletter is! Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto. I mean, ChatGPT.

But wait! Not only did I enlist AI to help me figure out a name, I realized I needed a logo that outpaced my design abilities (which are mostly stick people and smiley faces). Smashing Logo, to the rescue! The icon you see at the top of the newsletter and the branding colors were all picked this this tool.

I don’t want to dismiss the value of a real, human designer, though. I love those people dearly, but there are projects that just don’t call for a human designer budget. I spent $139 and got all my fonts, logo, icon, colors, etc. wrapped up in a day. I would never ask a human to do that much work at that price, and this isn’t a money-making project. Yet. 😉 

So what’s the key to making AI work for your business? Just start trying shit, honestly. To get you started, GoDaddy put together a list of 100 AI prompts for small business.

A Pretty Alright Biz Story

I love words. Especially when they’re arranged in a dry, witty, or sarcastic way. Pretty Alright Goods, based in Raleigh, NC, specializes in products that speak with snark. From keychains that ask, “What Fresh Hell is This?” to cards that exclaim, “You Made a Human!!”, PAG brings the laughs to printed goods.

Started by former fifth grade teacher, Matt Butler, in 2012, Pretty Alright Goods now has a whole team that keeps its wholesale, retail, and ecommerce business going. The brand shares fun content of their products’ creation on its TikTok and Instagram.

Reminder that Father’s Day is coming up…

If you’re ready to go shopping, you can buy online or find a retailer on the company’s website. My personal fave is their gift bags, btw. I hate wrapping and I love that their gift bags call out my gifting laziness.

News You Can Use… to Build Your Dream

Sweet Dreams are… Overrated Sometimes: Or at least that’s the argument made in this piece by author Casey Rosengren. The NYC-based executive coach advocates for entrepreneurs declaring “dream bankruptcy” when their vision takes an unworkable turn. As someone who opted for dream bankruptcy once upon a time to avoid the actual, scary kind, I support this.

GML Hearts AI: Google Marketing Live happened last week. The big G rolled out a bunch of new product updates and most of them include the letters AI. If you’re using Google Ads to grow your biz, Search Engine Land did a really nice recap of the updates you should check out.

Debt Ceiling Preppers: This is not a new reality TV show. Sadly. But it is a good mentality to have if you’re a cash-strapped small biz who has been considering getting funding. As debt ceiling talks continue, CNBC offers four common sense tips for small business owners. I’d add another one - if you’ve thought about tapping into ecommerce and still haven’t made the move, now’s the time.

Pop Quiz - Holiday Style

What was the original name of Memorial Day?

*Answer below.

Your turn 🎙️

What’s the biggest challenge you face in growing your business? Specifics please. Spill the tea.

*Decoration Day. More on the holiday’s history, here.