My new album, Life's a Play, is available now!

Life's a play - Mark Nokes

The MAN Store

We may earn commissions from the companies mentioned in this post. View our FTC disclosure for more information.

Note: Since writing this post I opened my new business, Concerto Coffee Roasters, LLC. The store website is located at https://concerto.coffee. Please visit!

Shout out to Microsoft Paint 3D for allowing me to create that featured image masterpiece!

If you are a regular visitor, you’ve probably noticed that there are some new navigation items on the manthings.net website. I launched the new MAN Store on April 8th! There are a limited number of products available at the moment, but I’m very excited to start on the next leg of my online journey.

Dream big

The store is an opportunity to feature the book I published in 2009, Modern Guitar Method: A practical approach, which has been out of print for a few years now. But, the bigger and more recent dream has been to start a coffee roastery. While I’m still roasting on a very small batch roaster right now, I decided that everyone’s gotta start somewhere. Read about the equipment I’m using on The first roast post, which is technically the first actual post.

Starting a coffee roastery is a bit of an expensive venture. The roaster that I’d love to have alone costs $13,000. It’s the Mill City 3kg Gas Coffee Roaster. That thing looks so freakin’ sweet, I can hardly stand it! Now, a smart business person might take out a small business loan and just go for it. I actually don’t know what a smart business person would do because I’ve always been a smart poor person. In recent years, I’ve been a smart middle-class person, so you might say that I’ve been movin’ on up! Regardless, I don’t feel like taking on any debt right now even if it could pay itself back relatively quickly with some hard work. That’s not exactly dreaming big…it’s being risk-averse.

Starting small

With all that being said, I’m starting small. Very small. I can roast about 1lb at a time in my Behmor, which ends up yielding about 12oz of roasted coffee after the expected weight loss from evaporation during the roasting process. I may spend the better part of my weekends sitting by the roaster, watching the drum turn, and contemplating my life decisions, but there are worse things I could be doing. The thing is, I’ve already done those. Starting small is still starting. That’s what I’m trying to remind myself, anyway. Nobody got anywhere by only dreaming.

Am I hoping to get some business? Of course! I don’t expect too much, since most of you don’t know me. I’ve got to build my brand. There are a few locals, friends of mine, that love my coffee. Eventually, I’ll pester them to write some testimonials, or blog comments, or something. If I got too much business too fast, I don’t think I could keep up with demand. I work full-time, for those of you who don’t know me. I’m hoping for some steady growth that will allow me the capital to get off the ground without too much financial stress and pain.

The advertisements

Something else you’ve probably noticed about the site revamp are the advertisements and disclosures everywhere. I’ll be honest, the ads have some potential to earn a little revenue on the side for me. They are affiliate links, which means if you click through to them and purchase something on their website, I get paid a commission. It’s very little, but the idea is that it might add up to at least cover the cost of running the website. I know there are two camps of people on the internet. Those who are ad-blind and don’t even see them, and those who are irritated enough to get ad-blockers to stop them. I get it. I’m one of the ad-blind ones and don’t even notice them anymore. The thing is, I’ll only recommend products and services that I think are good. There aren’t any ads that popup, or ads that I don’t endorse. If you see one that piques your interest, you can be confident that it’s a link to a reputable company.

The disclosures are a requirement of the Federal Trade Commission. They want you to know that I might earn commissions in this way. I think it’s smart to be honest and transparent, so that’s why I have a FTC Disclosure page that details the information, as well as the disclosures at the top and bottom of each post (which are added the each post automatically). I don’t see many other bloggers doing this, although, they really should be according to the FTC’s guidelines.

The next step

That’s to be determined. I know I love roasting coffee, drinking coffee, talking about coffee, and did I mention drinking coffee? I also know that I miss being in business for myself. The music business was good, and I took a chance going into the office world. That has been good in some ways, but entirely soul-sucking in most ways. I’m learning, at least for my own life, that living for good benefits and steady paychecks is pretty dang sad. I’d much rather be enjoying the view from beyond the cubicle…while still holding a hot, fresh cup of coffee, of course.

Disclosure: There weren’t any affiliate links in this post content…just the ones in the sidebar.

The MAN Himself

Author of Modern Guitar Method. Also, please listen to my album, Life's a Play. It's available everywhere!

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