Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009!!!


Happy New Year! I have to admit that I'm not really sad to see 2009 pass into the night with a new year and new hopes on the horizon. 2009 was a hard year for many, but even though many struggled, many grew as well. Hard times test us and often help us see what's really important in our lives.

Since this year is almost gone as I write this, I thought it might be a good use of my time to review what I've written over the past year and point you back to some of may favorites. Here is a list of some of the posts that stood out to me:

Setting Beauty Shears

How to Bend Shear Handles

A Day of Training with Jim - Warning shameless self promotion here! At least I didn't write it! :)

What to Watch Out for When Buying Equipment or Picking a Trainer

Keep the Screw from Backing Out

Dress Up Your 200 Series Wolff Shears

Squeaky Wheels

Restoring a Shear on the Wolff Hira-To®

Repairing a Hollow Ground Thinning Shear

Ookami Gold® Convexing Clamp

All of my Interview Videos on YouTube

Let me know if you think I missed any. I look forward to sharing more with you in 2010 and hope you find this new year is one filled with health, good friends and family. See ya in 2010!!

Image: optical_illusion

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas from Santa's Sharpener Helpers!

I'd like to take a moment and wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It been my pleasure to help you over this past year. I knew David and Glen at Wolff felt the same, so for your enjoyment we decided to visit our buddy Santa and put this little video together for you. Enjoy!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

SwagClub! That's Right! I Said It!


Is making an impression really important? Do you make good impressions every day? How do you do it? How can you do it consistently? Well I have a great example of how an independent business person can not only consistently make a good impression, but also make you feel like you're the most important person in his or her business world. That example is Kamran Popkin.

Now just so you know, I've worked with Kamran for years. He was the print salesman Wolff delt with until he started Swag Club. Kamran now provides us with great swag (aka business promotional tools). All of the items I'm about to show you are gifts from him over time and related to what he does.

So what makes Kamran so special? Is it that he puts his customer's needs first? Yes! Is it that he strives to put together programs that "fit" his customers marketing needs and doesn't just "take orders" like so many people do in his line of work? Absolutely! Is it that he never wears socks? Well...maybe a secondary yes on this one. What makes Kamran REALLY special is the relationships he builds with each of his clients. They aren't customers to him, they are friends and colleagues. How does he put this into action in a way that benefits both him and his clients? He listens and shares. Let me give you some examples:

Kamran Knows What You Like
I love to read and write. I especially love to read about sales and marketing because that's what I do. Here are two examples of how Kamran has taken his knowledge of my likes and created an experience for me.


The two books in the upper left corner are just two of the books Kamran has given me over the years. He doesn't buy books for me, he reads them (he loves to read too) and then shares them with me when he finds one he knows I'll like.

The journal is my Christmas gift this year. It will stay on my shelf and become my personal journal for 2010. I will think of him every day as I record life moments in it. This is a precious gift to me because I intend to pass all my journals on to my children one day.

Kamran Knows How to Say Thanks
Earlier this year I spoke at Social Media Club in Spartanburg. Kamran and I are both members. A few days after my presentation, I found this note on my desk...


Kamran had taken the time to stop by and sneak a short thank you note for speaking into my office while I was working in the back. It came sealed with his Maker's Mark Seal and a little gift. This was totally unexpected and really made me feel great!

Kamran Listens
If you read my blog, you know I like to use the micro-blogging site called Twitter. Kamran and I follow each other there. While on a trip to Atlanta a few weeks ago, I noticed a sticker on the back of a car that said, "Wag more, bark less." I thought it was a good point, so I passed this bit of advice along on Twitter. (Not while driving BTW!) Kamran showed up at my office with a smile and this a few days later...


Kamran Looks
The fact that Kamran looks around for opportunities to make an impression netted me my favorite Swag gift to date. My new mouse pad!


The old one was beat to death. Kamran noticed it was old, asked why I was still using it, and then said, "I have something better!" He ran out to his car and came back with the mouse pad above. Now I get to look at three of my favorite people every day as I work.

Now I could go on and tell you about the Bibles he sent to all my children at their births, the pens, pads, and more; but I need to get to the point. How can Kamran's example benefit you? Well...it's simple. Emulate what he does!

While you're out running your route and sharpening for the day, think the Kamran way. Wow! We could make a little jingle out of that! :) Here's what I mean:

1. Find out what your customers like. Not just what they like business-wise, what they like on a personal level.
2. Look for chances to say thanks. Even a little note goes a long way!
3. Keep your ears open. What are your clients talking about? How can you show you're paying attention to them personally as well as professionally.
4. Keep your eyes open too. Think about the mouse pad. It's handy and Kamran's info is emblazoned on it. What could you give your customers that would meet a need and keep you in front of them? I'm sure Kamran would have some great ideas!

Take the time to build relationships as you work, not JUST a service. Kamran is a great example of how you can make yourself valuable to your customers on a whole new level that will make you stand out from the crowd. I don't love Kamran because he gives me things. I love Kamran because he's my friend, because he treats me like a brother, because he cares. And because of these things, guess who I will ALWAYS go to when it's time to buy swag!

Want to see that I'm not the only person Kamran has made an impression on this year, check out my friend Olivier's blog. He got the coolest calendar from Kamran, one of the most unique I've ever seen. Kamran gave one to David Wolff too. What kind of impression did it make? It's on David's "Special Shelf" in his office!


So...what are you doing to make a good impression?

If you're interested in contacting Kamran, here is his contact info:

kamranpopkin@gmail.com
864-316-6263

Don't be afraid to call him! He can help any business big or small and NEVER pushes. He really does put you needs first!

PS - Hey Kamran! I know we're not supposed to talk about Swag Club, but you know I like to break the rules! :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Let Them Eat...Metal???

A little over a year ago I posted about a video I use in a number of my classes. I'm posting about this again because I noticed the other day that the old link I had in last years post was broken.

This is a video Alton Brown did for Shun® knives; an excellent Kai product by the way. In this video Alton uses a very simple, but powerfully descriptive metaphor to explain how metal is mixed together to make these impressive knives. The metaphor involves cake, and is an excellent example of something you could use to explain metal mixes if you're ever asked to speak at a school or other similar venue. Take a look at the YouTube video below:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Live Streaming a Repair


I'l be streaming live for a bit today. I got a challenging shear in that a sharpener asked me to look at. It has a blown out plastic ride, weak ride line and rounded tips. Should be fun.

I'll be taking some pictures and shooting some video while I do the repair. Come watch me work. You can watch here by clicking in the box in the right sidebar, or you can visit my ustream page at:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/jim-sharp

PS - Okay...so the picture is a little over the top. Just having some avatar fun on http://www.twitter.com/jimsharp :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Little Singing Sharpeners?


Howdy! This is just a heads up for anyone that hops on the blog tonight. You may find that I'm live streaming while here. I'll be streaming the youth choir at my church this evening from about 6 until 7 pm. My children are in this production, but so are some kids that belong to a friend of mine. This friend is serving our country as a chaplain in the US army. I'm streaming live via my Jim Sharp channel so he can watch his little ones. You're welcome to join us if you're on at that time, just click on the box in the right hand sidebar. I just wanted to explain why I'm showing a youth choir program on a sharpening channel. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

New Hira-To® Website Up and Running


The new Hira-To® website is up and running! WooHoo! Please take a look and let me know what you think. The link is below:

http://www.hira-to.com/

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ookami Gold® Convexing Clamp

I am often asked how the Wolff Ookami Gold® Convexing Clamp works. Here is a video that shows how this accessory for the Ookami Gold® Scissors Sharpening System functions, and includes three methods you can employ when sharpening with this fixture. If you have questions about this clamp, feel free to call me at 864-909-3381 or email me at jim@wolffind.com.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving


I hope everyone has a great thanksgiving tomorrow! Here are just a few of the things I'm thankful for:

1. God
2. My wife and children
3. The work I get to do every day
4. My country
5. My home
6. My parents
7. My in-laws [but don't tell them! :)]
8. My brother and brother and sister-in-laws
9. Good books
10. Time well spent

Image: biggreymare

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Goodness!

OK. Normally I don't put stuff like this on my blog. But, I mean, MY GOODNESS! *Shaking Head*

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Bumpers!!!


WooHoo! Wolff has some new bumpers for you to choose from!

All of you are familiar with the Wolff 21531 Pull Through Bumper and love it. Well, now there are 3 sizes of this bumper to choose from. They are pictured above and here are the part numbers:

21531-S
21531-M
21531-L

The old 21531 is the same size as the new 21531-S, so we will be doing away with that old part number. The M and the L are a few thousandths large in turn than the S.

They are all still the same price as the old 21531, $2.00 for 4 bumpers. They are available now, so be sure to order some of the new sizes next time you call. Wolff's office order line is 800-888-3832.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Live Stream Box


I just added a new feature to Jim Sharp today, it's a Live Feed Box in the right hand sidebar of the site. This is a live feed of what I'm doing in my office at Wolff. Now please understand, this will not be what I would term as an exciting show, but if you have absolutely nothing else to do, drop in for a visit. You'll know I'm streaming live when you see a play arrow in the center of the Live Feed Box, and you'll know I'm NOT streaming live if you see a picture in the middle of the Live Feed Box just like the one I've included in this post.

One way you can use this as a tool is by double clicking on the Live Feed Box. This will take you directly to my Ustream Page where you'll find a chat box. You can use this chat box to ask me questions or to let me know that you need me for something. This is purely a text communication tool, so I won't be able to hear you, but I will be able to see what you're typing in real time. I check this chat box numerous times during the day, so this is just another way to reach me.

Let me know what you think. Waste of time? Maybe a good tool? I'm going to try this few a few days just to see if it has value. Stop in and say hi if you have a chance.

PS - sorry about the funky head shot. I created this avatar to get a smile from my friends on Twitter. :) If you're interested, you can follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jimsharp.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Some Kenchii Deals


Things are coming along with my Ookami Gold® shoot little-by-little as they say. But this post isn't about that, it's about Kenchii. They dropped me a quick note and I wanted to pass it on to you:

Hello Jim,

Attached are the specials we're running for the holidays. Also we will closing for the holidays from December 23rd until January 4th so please stock up on any items you may need. Thank you again for a wonderful year and may you have an even better year next year.

Thank You,
From all of us at Kenchii Shears


I just wanted to give you a heads up on the dates they'll be closed for Christmas and pass along the specials they're offering. I'd put the PDF showing the specials up on Jim Sharp, but I can't because I don't want to advertise your wholesale prices on these products. If you'd like a copy of the Specials PDF that Kenchii sent me, send me an e-mail at Jim@wolffind.com and put "send me the specials PDF" in the subject line or the body of the e-mail.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Just a Quick Update


It's been a busy few weeks at Wolff. First off, we've been picking up overseas distributors for the Hira-To® like crazy. We have one fully set up in Russia, one coming online in England, and another in the works in South Africa. My next target will be Brazil. :)

I've also been prepping to finally shoot a new Ookami Gold® Instruction Video. Shooting the video never takes that long, but the story boarding and then editing after the shoot sure does. The story board is written and shooting starts tomorrow. If I can pull it off, I'll be streaming the shoot live. If you want to pop in and see what I'm up to, you can click here to view the live shoot on my Ustream page.

I've also started a new series of articles in On The Edge on Basic Sharpening. While at the NBTSG, I saw first hand that the majority of the shears that were sharpened during the certification did not cut. The number one reason they didn't cut was they were too loose. So I've decided that it's time to go back and review the basics of sharpening, something that is needed for newbies, and a good reminder for the rest of us. If you'd like to learn more about On The Edge, click here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Repairing a Hollow Ground Thinning Shear

It seems that one of the most perplexing shears for professional sharpeners is the dreaded Thinning Shears that beauticians and stylists use to thin thick hair and blend layered hair. They're easy to sharpen when you don't have a trouble shear, but what happens when you run into one that has a bent tooth? Here is a video that may help:






Here is a link to the video showing how to apply diamond paste to your Hira-To Polishing Disc:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DFVK_N_JZs

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Friday, October 30, 2009

A New Hira-To Video!

I mentioned back in August that I was working with my web designer on a new site for the Wolff Hira-To Scissors Sharpening System. We are just putting the finishing touches on it now and getting ready to load a really cool video that will play on the front page that advertises this awesome unit! I've already put the video on YouTube and wanted to embed it here as well. Hope you like it. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Interview with Randy the Sharpener

I had a great time at the Wolff Show! Unfortunately only two sharpeners had their mobile rigs at this get together and I only got outside to interview one of them. Randy is the owner of Ultimate Sharpening in California and he has outfitted a wide body ambulance to sharpen out of. Here's a short video showing off his rig:



There will be a full write up of the Wolff Show in the November Issue of On The Edge.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wolff Show Set Up


Bill and I are getting ready to do the set up for the Wolff Show here in California. Once the staff gets in and brings the tables and sets up the chairs, we'll start running wire to set up the camera, projector, and equipment.

I will be streaming live from time-to-time during the show, so if you want to see what's going on, visit my ustream channel at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/jim-sharp.

Looking forward to a good show.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sampe Show was Great!

Sampe was a lot of fun. I was right between two veterans of the composite industry, John Green and Jim Hickman. Two of the nicest guys I've ever met which made the show that much better. Nothing like making new friends.

Here are a few pictures of the event. I'm on my way to California today for the Wolff Show, so I'll see some of you there. :)

The Wolff Display


Busy first day


A birds eye view


The ladies that make it all happen


Thanks to Sampe for a great show!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Loss of a Dear Friend


I regret to inform all of you that a good friend of mine has vanished today. My Blackberry. I'm not sure when or where I lost my faithful friend, but you will be missed. We have been through much together. Enjoy your new home my friend, where ever that may be. I'm sorry I had to shut you down, but you knew the risks of involving yourself with a traveler like me. Farewell.

Image: sofianeb

PS - I'll put some images up of the Sampe Show in the morning.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Made it to Wichita

Well it took a while to get to the point where I could even write this. All kinds of internet connection problems. But that's part of the fun of travel. :)

As for traveling, I put up a short video to test the edit functions on the Flip Mino HD Video Camera I use. It editing power is a little lean, but that made me think about how I shot the video as I went. I miss my editing software though. Here's the video:



I head for the Century II Convention Center this afternoon to set up for the Sampe Show. This show caters to the men and women that design all those cool composite materials we use in so many of today's products. Of course, those materials are often hard to cut, so that's where I come in. I'll let you know how the first day goes tomorrow night. Looking forward to the Wolff Show in a few days.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hitting the Road


I'm getting ready to hit the road in just a few minutes. Keep an eye on the blog for updates and videos. I'm taking my Dell with me this time, so that means I'm going to have to come up with fancy ways to edit footage. Should be fun. See ya soon if you're coming to Anaheim!

Image: virtualpilot

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Are You Hearing No Enough?

As sharpeners we hear the word "no" all the time. Let's face it, the sharpening business is a business filled with hardcore sales/cold calling, especially when we first start out. Hearing "no" can be depressing and drain all the life out of your day, but it doesn't have to. Take a look at this video I shot a couple of months ago that talks about the book, Go for No; one of my favorite sales books. View the video now, then read on:



Go for No really is a great book. It will help you see the value of going after "no" and will show that if you willing to hear this word enough times, you'll be able to achieve every goal or quota you’ve ever dreamed of.

Here is a link to the Go for No website where you can find the book: http://www.goforno.com/

Here is Andrea's Twitter Profile: http://twitter.com/GoforNo

And last, but not least, is the video I mentioned:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

All Packed for the Wolff Show

We are all packed and ready to go. Keep an eye on Jim Sharp for updates on where I am, what I'm doing, and how much fun I'm having. Looking forward to seeing many of you in just a few day in California.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Next Couple of Weeks


I will be hitting the road in a few days for a two tier trip. The first leg will take me to Wichita, KS where I'll be mixing it up with some very cool guys and gals at the SAMPE Show. This is a show that caters to the composite material and aramid fiber industry. I'll be showing off the Wolff Corru-Gator and the Twice as Sharp, as well as Wolff's top-notch modified bend trimmers that are enhanced by Wolff to cut these specialized materials.

After I'm done in Wichita, I jump a plane and head to Anaheim, CA for the Wolff Show. This is gonna be an awesome show! I will be going over all the tricks and tips that make sharpening shears faster and easier, as well as show you how to repair some pretty scary lookin' shears. You know...the kind you see that make you want to turn tail and run for the hills.

Bobby Huffman will also be there teaching how to tear it up in the clipper repair and clipper blade sharpening arena, and Mike Borsch is gonna teach us how to make some money in the world of nipper sharpening.

I love doing these shows for sharpeners! I always come away with new ideas that charge me up and help me face all the challenges that manage to creep there way into this wonderful profession known as sharpening. If you'd like to attend, there are still some seats available. Give Wolff a call at 800-888-3832 to sign up. It's only $89 dollars to attend, so the price is right and the fellowship is great! Come if you can! Here's a link to view the schedule.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wolff Show Schedule


Here is a run down of the schedule for the up-coming Wolff Show in Anaheim, CA on October 23 - 25:

Friday
6:00pm - 6:30pm Registration and Welcome
6:30pm - 8:00pm Nipper Sharpening by Mike Borsch
8:00pm - 9:00pm Hands on Time
Saturday
9:00am - 10:00am Ookami, TAS & Hira-To by Jim O’Donnell
10:00am - 10:15am Break
10:15am - 11:30am Ookami, TAS & Hira-To by Jim O’Donnell
11:30am - 1:00pm Lunch (On Your Own)
1:00pm - 3:00pm Clipper Repair by Bobby Huffman
3:30pm - 4:00pm Break
4:00pm - 6:00pm Marketing/Sales Brainstorming Session
Sunday
9:00am - 10:00am Blade Sharpening by Bobby Huffman
10:00am - 10:15am Break
10:15am - 12:00pm Question & Answer Session w/ Speakers
12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch (On Your Own)
1:00pm - 3:00pm Hands on Time
(Come to the Room & Play with Machines, Products, & Visit)

There are still some seats left if you'd like to attend. The price to come to the show is just $89 and the hotel room rate is $89/ night. Give Wolff a call at 800-888-3832 if you'd like to attend. I'm looking forward to see many of you there.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Apply Diamond Paste to the Wolff Hira-To Scissors Sharpening System

Time to get back on the horse and start posting again! Sorry for all the silence, but between work and a little bit of burn out on writing, I've taken a break from Jim Sharp.

Here is a quick video about how to apply the diamond paste to the felt disc that comes with the Wolff Hira-To Flat Hone Scissors Sharpening System. The training video that comes with the unit shows an older method we used when we started building the Hira-To and have since done away with.

If you have any questions concerning the polishing steps on the the Hira-To Sharpener, or just questions about this machine in general. Give me a call at 864-909-3381 or e-mail me at jim@wolffind.com.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

NBTSG Part 2

Yesterday I posted about the general goings on at the NBTSG. Today I want to show you some of what took place during the certification process. I was very impressed with the consistency of the damage that was done to the shears and clipper blades for the test. It was very comparable to all the different challenges you'd find in the field, just maybe not all on the same shear. :)

For those that participated in the certification, I'd like to give you a hat tip. I knew by what I saw that the test was not easy, and I could tell you were going to learn A LOT! All of the participants said that it was well worth the time and expense, and that they'd do it again. Here is an general overview of what went on:



I'd also like to say, that I learned a lot from this test as well. I was fortunate enough to be involved with the judging of these shears and clipper blades, so I got to see first hand where many of those that took the test were lacking. I will be addressing some of what I discovered in On The Edge in future issues.

The next video will show some of the judging process, but it will be a week or so before I post that because I'm headed out of town. Until then, please enjoy this video. We'll see ya!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The NBTSG Part 1

I few days ago I returned from the 2009 National Beauty Tool Sharpeners Guild in Saint Louis, MO. I had a blast getting to see all of my friends and fellow sharpeners in one place to celebrate the art of sharpening.

The NBTSG was a success! There was a good turn out, plenty of vendors, and a spirit of camaraderie as we spent 3 days learning, networking, and for a brave few; testing.

This is the first in a series of videos I will be putting together about this show. It will hopefully provide a taste of what the NBTSG was like. Take a look:



The next video will show some of what happened during the certification process. Keep an eye out.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

KAI Shears


Last night I received an e-mail from a potential customer. She was requesting a catalog and I told her we'd have one out to her the next day. I also took a moment to ask how she found out about the KAI Shears. This is what she wrote:

While working on a local volunteer project, several of the women were using your scissors and I was very impressed. They couldn't say enough about them and they even let me try theirs (as long as I was very careful). I loved them!

The project we are working on is a plantation home that is being turned into a private counseling home for young girls that are facing eating disorders and teen pregnancy. It is being turned into a designer home with donations and workroom ladies from several states have come to make headboards, curtains, and recover furniture. The website is www.aplacetobreakfree.com

Awesomeness! Great to hear the KAI shears made such a good impression, and glad to see them being put to such good use.

If you'd like to find out more about Wolff's KAI Shears, one of the choice lines for window covering professionals; then click here. The KIA Shears are all hand honed and tested before they leave Wolff, and guaranteed to cut better than any other shear you've ever used. The two most popular lines of KIA Shears are the 5000 series line and the 7000 series line. The 5000 series line of KIA Shears are Wolff's standard industrial shears. They are an excellent shear, reasonablily priced, and have been a staple in all kinds of industrial and fabric applications for years.

The 7000 series line of KAI Shears are Wolff's premium line! These shears are increadible, and I'd put them up against any other shear on the market and expect them to win any cut test hands down! They are one of the hardest, longest lasting, best cutting shears in the world. All I have to do is put one in a clients hand and they buy them on the spot!

If you are not selling industrial shears now, consider carrying the KIA line of shears.
They would make an excellent addition to your service because they're easy to sell, and a pleasure to sharpen. Let me know if you have any questions.

Friday, August 21, 2009

My AWESOME Day at BMW!!!

I just wanted to share a video of yesterday's fun I had at the BMW Performance Driving School. I was asked by BMW, along with a group of local bloggers and other social media enthusiasts, to put some high powered cars to the test. Want to guess how long it took me to say yes?! NOT LONG!!!

The invite came through my friend Kamran Popkin (they asked him for some suggestions). Kamran is a major leader in the sales of swag and other fun toys to promote your business. I've been doing business with Kamran for years, and I can truly say he is one of the best salesmen I know. Thoughtful, attentive, and obviously, he knows some people. :) You can follow Kamran on Twitter, Facebook, his personal blog, or to really see what he does; go check out http://swagclub.biz.

BMW's staff did an incredible job of taking care of us while we were there! Food, fun, and lots and lots of instruction! Everyone – from the catering folks and event coordinators to the driving instructors – were absolutely top notch; not to mention the facility. I mean WOW! They gave us one heck of an intense experience! Thanks to all of you!

You've heard me talk about Twitter in past posts. Be sure to keep an eye out for some Twitter handles of a few of my local Twitter friends. They'll pop up during the video.

Under my YouTube video, you'll find one my friend Olivier shot (He's the fella in the car with me; and a MUCH better driver by the way!) We filmed for each other throughout the day. Riding with him made the day that much more fun! Super guy with an incredible mind for business and marketing! Visit his blog for more on this subject. Well, here we go! Have fun!

My video:



Olivier's video:



A quick editors note:
I do not work for BMW, nor was I paid to write this post. This is from the heart! Thanks BMW for providing me a day I won't forget!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Proactive vs Reactive

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak at a Pecha Kucha in Greenville. This is a speaking format where each speaker gets a total of 20 slides for 20 seconds each and they have to time their presentation to fit. It was much hard to do than I though it would be. (There is a video of my presentation at the bottom of this post if you're interested. My topic was Business Networking.)

One of my friends, Olivier Blanchard, was speaking as well. While there, I gave him one of my Wolff KAI 5220's to take home to his wife as a gift. This is what he said about them on Twitter.com:


Okay...so he was one number off. Shortly after, he received this note from one of Fiskars friendly Fisk-a-teers:


He then wrote back and said:


To which she replied:


To which I responded:

and:


Well, I waited and waited. Two weeks to be exact, and guess what, no shears. So I made good on my promise and bought a Fiskars Razor Edged Shear, sent it to Olivier with some testing cloth, and then put this on Twitter:


So far no reply from either, but I've heard that a third party that helps Fiskars with some of their online marketing has taken it upon himself to see that some shears are sent.

So why am I writing this to you? To show how important it is to DO what you SAY you are going to do! Now don't get me wrong. I think Fiskars is an excellent company and they have a dynamite selection of craft shears. The Fiskars Razor Edged shears I sent Olivier are, in my opinion, a fine set of shears that cuts well with a good edge life. The problem here is that Fiskars didn't follow through and now they are in the reactive mode instead of the proactive sphere!

When you tell a potential customer (or promoter in Olivier's case) that you are going to do something, DO IT!!! Being proactive feels great! Being reactive feels awful! I'll let you know how things shake out after Olivier compares the two shears on his blog.




Fiskars is a Registered Trademark of Fiskars Brands, Inc.
Wolff is a Registered Trademark of Wolff Industries, Inc.
KAI is a Registered Trademark of KAI International

Busy Busy Busy!

It's been a busy few weeks for me! Between a number of speaking events like the Social Media presentation I did for the Social Media Club here in Spartanburg, to a brand new web site design I'm working on for www.hira-to.com:


I haven't had much time to blog. And as it stands right now, it doesn't look like things will slow up for the next couple of weeks either.

I'm prepping for Larry's new Sharpeners event over the next few days. That will take up a good bit of my time. I'm really looking forward to this show though! Everything Larry does is top-notch! The NBTSG is going to be a blast! If you are interested in coming, it's in Saint Louis, MO at the end of this month and you can find information here:


I'm also in for a treat tomorrow! I am going to BMW to drive some of their cars on their autocross course! Here is what the invitation said:

Corporate Club BMW Driving Experience helps bring new focus to your business in a whole new way. This program is designed for rewarding employees, developing team building skills, entertaining clients, networking or simply satisfying your passion for driving BMW’s.

The Corporate Club program starts Thursday, August 20, 2009 at noon with a catered lunch by our very own M-Cafe. After your lunch and brief overview you will be immersed into three exhilarating driving exercises followed by heart racing M Car Hot Laps on the autocross course with our Professional Drivers. The event will wind down with a hors d’oeuvre, wine and beer reception.


The great part is I'll be there with a large group of local business friends! This will be one unique and fun networking event! Expect some pictures!

As for the lack of posts, as soon as the smoke clears I hope to have a number of new video interviews to share from the NBTSG sharpeners event. I do have one other post I plan to put up about a Social Media Challenge that involes Fiskars Shears. I'll be writing that today or tomorrow. See ya soon!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Speaking at Social Media Club Spartanburg

This past week I had the opportunity to speak at the Social Media Club in Spartanburg. I've been using Social Media for some time now as a tool to help me market both myself and Wolff Industries. If you're willing to invest a little time to learn more about SM, I think you'll find it to be a powerful medium for your business as well.

This form of communication is the way of the future. It's become a sounding board for what's hot and what not, and it's an incredible word-of-mouth tool that continues to grow in popularity and strength every month. Do you know what Social Media is? Do you know what kind of effect it could have in you business? Take a look at what I had to say! If you have any questions or would like to learn more just drop me an e-mail.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Measuring a Beauty Shear to Fit the Hand of a Stylist

I get a number of questions concerning how to sell shears. There are many pointers and tips I have for this, but I wanted to share two with you today and they are two methods you can use to fit a beauty shear to a Stylist's hand if she asks if a particular shear is the right size for her.

Now the tips I show in this video are not etched in stone, they are only rules of thumb. The best shear for your client is always the one that feels right in their hand and that they enjoy cutting with. You also have to take into account what they will be using the shear for and how long a length of cut they want to do. But I'll save these topics for a future post or article in my newsletter.

With that said, take a look at the video below. It's not my best video, but I think it explains the points I want to make clearly enough. As always, if you have and questions just e-mail me or call.



The Sharpeners Jam I mentioned in the video has already taken place this year and was a great success from what I hear. Here is a link to the Bonika web site with info about shows like this.

Service Awesomeness!


One of the things I try to pound into the heads of my students is service is everything, especially in this business. Getting our customers to trust us, see that we're reliable, and stand behind what we do is a must!

Here recently, I had the chance to benefit from this kind of service from Spartan Copy, the copy machine sales and service center I use. I had bought a new copier from them for the newsletter I do for professional sharpeners called On The Edge. When I went to hook this new unit up to my computer, I couldn't get the driver to load properly on my computer or ledger size paper to print. I called them after hours, left a message telling them my problem, and hoped they'd be available to help the next day.

I got a call at 7:50am while on my way to work. The tech told me he would meet me that afternoon and he fixed my problems. Great example of quick, thoughtful service!

Now I had no doubt that Spartan Copy would handle things this way, I've used them for years and the confidence I have in them is why I continue to buy from them when I need new equipment and pay for their service contract. Instilling THIS kind of confidence in your customers about you and your business should be a daily goal. Confidence is king in a service business!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Restoring a Shear on the Wolff Hira-To® Scissors Sharpener

Last week I told you I'd be putting up a video of a shear restoration job I did on the Wolff Hira-To® Scissors Sharpening System. Here is the video:



Let me give a quick run down of what I did on this YouTube video on the blog as well.

I started by tipping the shears down on the Twice as Sharp® Scissors Sharpener. I could have also tipped the tips down on the Hira-To® with an 80 or 60 micron disc, but the Twice as Sharp® was readily available so I chose that route.

I then chamfered the inside top of the ride area. I did this so I could re-align the hone line all the way from the tip to the back of the ride area. The reason I had to do this was the shear had been sharpened so many times, the ride area was too far above the cutting edge to re-create a good hone line. Removing the metal on the upper inside of the ride area allowed me to re-create the hone line across the entire length of the inside the shear so the shear would cut in the early entry area of the blades.

You'll also noticed that I used a 1000 grit Shapton water stone to re-create the hone line. I could have used the 6000 grit water stone, but that would have taken more time. Wolff does not sell the 1000 grit stone, but if you'd like to buy one you can find them here:

www.shaptonstones.com

After re-working the inside of both blades I then re-convexed the front surface of each blade with a 60 micron disc. When finished, I pulled the burrs back with my 6000 grit shapton water stone and sharpened the shear just like any other shear on the Hira-To® Scissors Sharpener. Here is the video showing the overview of this sharpening process:



If you have any questions, please give me a call at Wolff at 800-888-3832 or e-mail me at Jim@wolfffind.com. If you e-mail me, be sure to include your phone number just in case I need to call to answer some of your questions.

Restoring a shear like this is fun, but it's not a money maker. I think I had about 40 to 45 minutes in restoring this shear. So if you choose to take something like this on, be sure you have the time and be will to trade about an hour to make a good impression.

To find out more about the Hira-To® Flat Hone Sharpening System, visit the Hira-To web site:
www.hira-to.com

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Friday, July 17, 2009

NBTSG National Beauty Tool Sharpeners Guild

**note** This is a reprint of the an article I wrote for the July Issue of On The Edge. It is rare that I ever mix these two mediums together, but I put a lot of though into this write up promoting Larry Brooks' new show and I wanted to share it here too. On The Edge is a subscription newsletter that I publish for the sharpening community. If you're interested in subscribing, or if you'd like to find out more about this newsletter; just e-mail me at Jim@wolffind.com. **note**


I’ve been trying to figure out how I was going to promote this show over the past few days. I have a number of documents from Larry at Sharp Edges that are all well written and loaded with information, but I think I’m going to shy away from all that material and just tell you why I’m going.

Let’s Start with Larry Brooks
Those of you that have known me over the years know that I have been friends with Larry for a long time. We’ve spent many hours together trading ideas and techniques and we’ve collaborated together a number of times to work to help all of you in your businesses.

In my opinion, Larry is one of the finest examples of a professional sharpener in the industry. He has proven himself in three ways.

1. He has grown Sharp Edges into one of the most successful mobile sharpening business in the country. This business now supports not just he and his wife Linda, but their son Dennis and his family too.
2. I hear more complements about how well he trains and the time and attention he gives his students than I do about any of the other sharpening trainers in the industry. He has turned out a lot of successful pupils!
3. He has stuck his neck out to show he’s a great sharpener over-and-over again. Larry has been an active participant in the NSSG for years now. He started out as a entrant in the certification and over time, proved himself with his consistently high scores and eventually became a judge.

Let’s Look at the Plan for the New Guild
Larry has been talking about doing something like this for some time now. He mentioned to me a few years back that he thought there should be a Guild that would encompass the sharpening industry as a whole instead of just one aspect of it. While he has enjoyed his time with the NSSG and supports it, he thought it was time to push forward with this vision and make it a reality. He will do this with this show if we as sharpeners support him.

The Certification
Larry has created a certification process for the NBTSG that will allow you to increase your skills through both training and testing. The 2009 certification categories are Beauty Shears/ Thinners and Clipper Blade Sharpening. There will also be a discussion about including Nail Tech Tools in next years line up. If you participate in this certification you will achieve one of four potential Guild Membership Levels:
Guild Member Apprentice: This is a sharpener that tested but did not score high enough in the test to meet the requirements in their chosen field for full Guild Membership.
Guild Member: This is a sharpener that scored high enough on the test to achieve status in their chosen field.
Master Sharpener Guild Member: This is a sharpener that scored high enough on the test to achieve a title of Master Sharpener in the Guild in their chosen field.
Grand Master Sharpener Guild Member: This is a sharpener that has achieved Master Sharpener status in all the fields offered.

The test is graded on a point system based on the quality of work in a predetermined list of steps in the sharpening process. These shears and clipper blades will be judged by Larry Brooks, Dennis Brooks, and Craig Cazier. I can personally vouch for each of these men and feel they are more than qualified to judge for this certification. It is also planned that Bob or Bobby Huffman will help judge the clipper blades and a number of other industry leaders, like myself, will assist in the overall judging process.

The Show Itself
Many of you have expressed that you’d like to see the old-style Wolff show come back where you can view a number of seminars and visit with industry vendors. This show will have all of the best parts of the Wolff Show. There will be seminars on the latest equipment in all the different aspects of the sharpening industry. There will also be a vendor room that will be open during the entire show, so if there’s a seminar you’re not particularly interested in you can visit the vendors in the Vendor Room and learn as much there as in any of the seminars.

Finally Trust
I’d like to end this with one more word about how I personally feel about Larry. I trust him. And quite frankly, this is the highest complement I can pay a fellow sharpener, supplier, and trainer. When Larry attaches his name to something, he gives himself to it 120%. I strongly suggest you consider attending this show. I think it has the potential to become a powerful tool to help you, as a sharpener, grow in this industry and set yourself above your competition.

The dates for the show are August 30th, 31st, and September 1st. The cost to attend is just $175.00. The cost to participate in the shear or clipper blade certification is $120.00 for each. There will also be a fun getaway during the off hours; Larry has set up a dinner cruise. If you’d like to attend, the cost is just $40 per person. Call 217-853-6256 or visit www.nbtsg.com to find out more or to sign up for the show.

I will be attending along with David Wolff and Bill Pierce. All three of us are looking forward to spending some time with you and helping you as you continue to expand your knowledge in what I think is one of the best businesses in the world. Please consider coming if you can. Larry has never disappointed me. I know this show will be a great success. Get in on the ground floor of this new Guild and help support the new NBTSG.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Social Media on Jim Sharp


I just wanted to give you heads up that if you're subscribed to my YouTube Channel...

http://www.youtube.com/jimsharpblog (Subscribe! It's Free!)

...you'll find a few Social Media Videos on there.

They don't fit the context of this blog, so I'm not posting them here; but they are well worth a look. My friend Olivier Blanchard shares some great info on how to use Social Media in your business. Here's the links:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvUgagiptZs
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQmJdFp1z5U
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp0_otE4V-o

You may also want to visit Olivier's blog on Business Branding. He's one of the best branding consultants I know. You can check his blog out here:

http://www.thebrandbuildermarketing.com./

I'll be writing another post later today about the NBTSG that's coming up at the end of August. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

INTERVIEWS AND SHEAR REPAIR



Sorry for the silence over the past few days. I've been busy with a number of projects here at Wolff and haven't had the time to focus on my blog.

I will have the video I talked about above on YouTube in a few days. Just too many editing projects in the way.

The next few weeks will be spent getting ready for Larry's new show as well. I'm really looking forward to this show and hope to see many of you there. For more info about this show, visit the web site at www.nbtsg.com. I'll write a post with more details about the NBTSG later this week.

Thanks again for watching my Interview Videos. If you have any questions, please give me a call or send an e-mail. I'll talk to you soon.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

INTERVIEW WITH RON THE SCISSORS & CLIPPER BLADE SHARPENER

Ron, today's interviewee, is without a doubt one of THE BEST Andis Master Clipper Repairmen in the country. He has been a friend for many years and excels in both scissors and clipper blade sharpening. Come join me as he gives us a tour of his mobile unit and shows us some of the sharpening equipment he uses.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

INTERVIEW WITH JACK THE SCISSORS AND CLIPPER BLADE SHARPENER

Jack has been a great friend to me over the years and is an excellent sharpener. He's one of the few sharpeners that specializes in the Large Animal Segment of the business and has built a large following of horse and cattle customers in southern Texas. He is a wealth of information to me and others in the sharpening trade! Let's visit with him for a few minutes:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

TAKE A TOUR OF HUFF'S WHOLESALE WITH ME



Huff's Wholesale is one of the premier suppliers of clipper parts to the sharpening community. While at their show this past month, Bob took me on a tour of their facility. Come along with me as Bob shows some of what goes on at Huff's every day.

If you'd like to find out more about Huff's and how they can help you, visit their website at:
www.clipperparts.com

Monday, June 29, 2009

SQUEAKY WHEELS


I was talking to one of my sharpening friends today. He was asking me about some of Wolff's Modified Shears. I asked a few questions, answered a few, and then asked, "Why so curious about the modified shears?" He told me it was for a customer he's been after for a few years now that's finally letting him look at doing some sharpening for them and selling shears to them.

Hear that? Years! Just goes to show. Don't give up. Keep asking. Keep going back. Thanks to my friend for sticking with it. And thanks for proving that an old saying my Grandfather taught me is still true. The squeaky wheel get the grease. Now go squeak! :D

Image: orinrobertjohn

Thursday, June 25, 2009

SOCIAL MEDIA, TWITTER, AND LUNCH



One of my favorite groups I'm involved in is the Greenville Chapter of Social Media Club. Everyone in this group is so forward thinking, tech savvy, and willing to share what they know about marketing and communicating online through this new medium. Above is a video highlighting some of my friends in this group. It'll tell you how they use Social Media in their businesses, and perhaps you may see some potential in using this new way to stay in touch with your customers too.

Just remember, more than a money maker, Social Media is a relationship builder. It's a way to communicate with existing customers, and through their networks; find new customers to build relationships with as well.

Here are a few of the links I promissed in the video:

Social Media Club - http://socialmediaclub.pbworks.com/LocalTeams

Jay - @sellphone & his website

Kamran - @kamranpopkin & @swagclub & his blog

Trey - @treypennington & his landing page

Another great friend is Doug Cone, owner of Nullvariable Web Design. His Twitter handle is @nullvariable and is someone I strongly suggest you follow as well. I recorded a video segment about him, but I had to cut it because of time. I'll tell you more about him in the future.

INTERVIEW WITH BRENNAN THE SCISSORS SHARPENER

Thanks if you subscribed to my YouTube channel. If you haven't yet, click here to find out how.

One of my favorite vehicles to convert into a mobile sharpening unit is the Sprinter Van. It's high top, solid design, and fuel efficiency make it an excellent choice for a sharpener.

One of the nicest set ups I've seen in one of the sprinters is my friend Brennan's. I had the opportunity to interview Brennan at the Huff Show. When you watch the video you'll see he's an innovative guy. Click below and enjoy:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL

I hope you've been enjoying the videos I've been posting on Jim Sharp. I plan to continue using this medium as a way to communicate with you while on the road, but I need you help. I need you to subscribe to my YouTube channel. It's easy! All you have to do is visit my channel's web page. Here's a link:

http://www.youtube.com/JimSharpBlog

Then you click on the Subscribe button located on the upper left hand side of the page.


If you don't have a YouTube account, they will ask you to sign up. It's easy and free to do so.

Please take a little time to do this for me. I won't be posting all of the videos I upload to my JimSharpBlog channel on this blog, so signing up will help you keep up-to-date, and it will help me with my rankings on YouTube (which would be a great help to me). This will also allow you to make comments on my videos in the comment section on YouTube.

So please take a few moments when you have a little extra time and subscribe. Thanks for all your help and for reading my blog. I'll talk to you soon.

Monday, June 22, 2009

INTERVIEW WITH CRAIG THE SCISSORS SHARPENER



While at the Huff Show I had the chance to interview a few of the sharpeners. Here is the first of a number of these interviews I'll be sharing with you over the next few days.

If you have any questions concerning scissors sharpening, clipper blade sharpening, or clipper repair; feel free to call me. I hope you enjoy today's video.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A QUICK VIEW OF THE HUFF SHOW



I had a few extra minutes so I decided to put together this quick video of some of the goings-on at the Huff Show. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'M BACK FROM THE HUFF SHOW



I'm back from the Huff Show and had a GREAT time! Thanks to all the sharpeners that attended and made the show such a success.

While there, I did a number of video interviews with some of the sharpeners and one with Bob Huffman at the Huff's Wholesale headquarters. I also took a number of pictures of mobile sharpening units I'll be using in some articles in On The Edge over the next few months.

I left one manufacture out in the video above that I need to mention. Wahl also provided a clipper for the attendees to repair and keep. Thanks to both them and Oster and Andis for providing this equipment for the hands-on training.

I'll see you all next week. I'm going to go enjoy some time with my nephew. See ya soon.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

ON THE ROAD AGAIN


On the road again! I just can't wait to get on the road again! ---- For more of this foolishness, click here. :)

I guess I'll be singing that song in my head all day as I travel to the Huff Show. It looks like it's going to be a blast this weekend. Lots to learn and lots share! I'm looking forward to it.

I may, or may not, be posting to Jim Sharp. I'm never sure if I'll be able to find a place to hook up to the internet when I'm in Knox City; and my Laptop Battery just gave up the ghost as well. I have a new one, but I need to get it fully charged. I do have my new Flip Video Camera though, so I'm hoping to interview a number of sharpeners while I'm there.

I also wanted to point out that my last post was a little off target, but Amy Wood is a friend of mine and really uses Social Media to its fullest extent. I needed a place to post both her videos after I uploaded them to YouTube, so I posted them here since the info will help you if you decide to pursue Social Media as a communication tool or a marketing tool. Remember, if you want to follow me through this medium, one of the best ways to do so is on Twitter. My Twitter handle is: www.twitter.com/jimsharp. The other day, someone asked me to describe what Twitter is in one short sentence. I said, "It's like CB for the 21st century."

I'll talk to you soon.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

POWERFUL WAYS TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA

Sites like Twitter and Facebook are becoming powerful tools to help you promote yourself and your business. In fact Amy Wood of WSPA, one of our local news anchors, proves this every day as she reaches out to people in her viewing area through these Social Media platforms.

Today, I had the privilege of attending and filming the presentation she did for Social Media Club Spartanburg. Amy is an outstanding example of how one person can make a difference by reaching out to a select group of people through these new mediums in a way that promotes involvement and fosters loyalty for both her, and her station.

The following videos are loaded tips and pointers that will help you better understand how to use Social Media to promote yourself and your business, and how to do this even when your time is in short supply. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Amy Wood on Social Media Part 1


Amy Wood on Social Media Part 2


If you'd like to follow me on Twitter, you can find me at @jimsharp

If you're not following Amy, here are some links that will help you hook up with her:
Follow Amy on Twitter
Follow Amy on Facebook
Amy's Blog

Thanks for a great presentation today Amy!

Friday, June 5, 2009

INTERACTION SELLS & TWITTER


Over this past week I haven't been very busy on Jim Sharp, but I have been busy elsewhere online. I two place actually. One place is on my other blog, Interaction Sells, and the other is Twitter. Let me tell you a little about both.

Interaction Sells
I started this blog a while back and then let it laps a year ago. I was just too busy focusing only on growing the sharpening side of Wolff Industries back then to really focus on Interaction Sells, so I dropped it. But now my mission has once again changed, starting in mid-June, David wants me to focus on Wolff's customers that work with hard-to-cut materials and help grow that side of of the business. Since this means I'll be back on the road selling again, I thought it might be good to at least attempt to brush the dust off Interaction Sells and chronicle some of what I learn as I market Wolff and it's products to this group. I hope you'll come along for the ride.

By the way, this does not mean I will no longer by posting to Jim Sharp, but I may point you back and forth between the two blogs some.

Twitter
If you don't spend a lot of time online, you may not know about the Microblogging site known as Twitter. But it's becoming a powerful force in the online world for marketing one's self and/or a business. I've been on Twitter for some time now and there are a few sharpeners that follow me. I'd like to invite you to consider joining Twitter (it's free) and follow me there for three reasons.

1. When I'm on the road, Twitter will be an easy way to get in touch with me. One of the most powerful things about Twitter is it will work on your sell phone. I check Twitter multiple times each day whether I'm at my desk on my computer, or on the road with my Blackberry. So if you need some help the quickest way to let me know is to send me a note on Twitter.

2. I use Twitter as a sounding board to share interesting things I find online that help me in my business, interest me, or that I think my followers may be interested in.

3. It really is a new way to connect with people; and I'm willing to bet a number of your customers use Twitter too. Sign up with Twitter to set yourself apart from the other sharpeners in your area, and then use Twitter to help stay in touch more with your customers that are online.

One other reason is other sharpeners may start using Twitter more in the future. If they do, Twitter will become a great way for the sharpening community to connect, trade ideas, and help each other.

If you have any questions about Twitter, just give me a call at 800-888-3832 and I'll explain all the ins-and-outs.

You can connect with me on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/jimsharp