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In this episode, I talk about resale value of pens, what my guidelines have been for social media strategy, and trolling in the fountain pen community.

This week:
  • Father’s Day June 19, heads up
  • No new Q&A next week, will be a Goulet Guest instead
  • been crazy busy with strategic planning stuff, very much in the business side of my life right now
  • FedEx delayed, but should be next week (with some lower rates)

New/Upcoming Products – (3:52)

Pens/Writing – (6:07)
1) Kimberly W.- Facebook – (6:10)
Brian, you mentioned in the last few q&a’s that some may “sell off” a pen(s) to buy more. I am a total newbie and would like you to discuss the resell value of fountain pens. Which pens hold their value and can be resold and which pens may not resell well? It may tempt me to buy more if I knew that I could sell them if I wanted/needed to!!

  • reselling pens for this purpose is a little different
  • pens in general are not big money makers (investments)
  • I actually have limited experience selling used pens (I keep all mine)
  • pens that tend to hold their value are limited or special editions (if they’re not a premium price) like Lamy pens in special colors
  • well known and respected brands usually hold up okay, obscure ones not so much
  • basically, when it comes to buying a pen to see if you like it, don’t sweat the resale quite as much, you might be inclined to buy something more for its resale than for your own enjoyment of that pen

2) @GaryZambardino-Twitter – (14:19)

Does baby’s bottom happen on gold nibs more then steel nibs?
  • it can definitely happen on any type of nib
  • I haven’t done scientific testing of this
  • i would say probably yes, given than gold nibs are harder to tune and smooth


Ink – (19:47)
3) Philip T.- Facebook – (19:49)
I am on a quest for the perfect Blue/Black ink. I love Noodler’s Prime of the Commons, but not how difficult it is to clean out of my pens. Could you please suggest something similar. without the permanent qualities.

Business – (20:58)
4) d00mestiqueue- Instagram – (21:00)

When it comes to building your social media presence, did you follow anyone’s specific guidelines (does Gary Vee have some? I know you’re a fan.) or learn what worked for you by trial and error?

  • Gary V certainly helped show me the way, but it was anything but specific
  • it has largely been trial and error
  • a lot has to do with where your audience is, where you naturally fit in, and testing/failing/learning over and over
  • Gary’s latest book #AskGaryVee is good, his previous book Jab Jab Jab Right Hook is very tactical towards social media
  • it’s always, always, always going to be trial and error, and the more you do it, the more you begin to understand it
Personal – (28:18)
5) Christian A.- Facebook – (28:19) 
What are your thoughts on the dichotomy of a digital business for an analog product line? Are you and Rachel more digital or analog in your personal lives? For example, is your GTD system analog or digital? (Myself, I love writing analog notes with my new fountain pens and Rhodia paper from Goulet, but I would be totally lost without my personal GTD system in OmniFocus!)

  • for me, it’s all about effectiveness, so I use a lot of digital stuff
  • I love OmniFocus, and I use a host of other digital means of organization
  • I do regularly use pens, mainly for three purposes
  • 1) I love using them
  • 2) It helps me know them better which helps me run this business better
  • 3) It allows me to focus more on personal relationships in face-to-face meetings (especially when meeting with outside business contacts
  • GTD is all about a systematic approach, not a particular system, so it’s all about learning what works best for you, whatever the method

6) Jason P.- Blog – (35:47)

Hi Brian, recently there has been quite a conversation about internet trolling in the fountain pen community. As the public faces of the company, I’m sure you and Rachel have received more than then your fair share of vitriol from these anonymous trolls. I was wondering what your strategy is for dealing with this kind of behavior, and if there is anything the broader fountain pen community (including reader like me!) can do to help combat this type of behavior, since it hurts people (e.g. SBRE Brown and you) who are trying to contribute to the community.
  • this has kind of always been an issue, and I find the FP community to actually be quite civil
  • trolls stick out like a sore thumb
  • I have definitely been attacked openly, with some ridiculous statements made about me
  • I’ve been called a gorilla, a liar, a thief, self-centered (because I talk about my personal life instead of only pens), fat, hypocrite, etc
  • the first year or two it would bother me a little bit, now I really, really, really don’t even care
  • the outlandish ones are the easiest for me to ignore, like when I had someone write me once saying that I was the downfall of modern society because I use the word “Um” too much in Q&A
  • I’ve always found my audience to be pretty self-monitoring, and when someone really goes off the rails, I’ll just block them (and even that’s rare)
  • It definitely helps when you call out a troll for what they are, and it shows you’ve got that blogger’s back, so sure, that’s a good thing
  • Being in the public eye, this is just going to happen, my skin has thickened over time
  • Online people can definitely get out of hand


7) Kevin L.- Facebook – (45:07)
Can you imagine a time where you will adopt the dress shirt and tie attire of the traditional ceo/ co-founder rather than the fun and casual attire we have come to expect and enjoy?
  • I won’t say it could never happen, I’m just trying to visualize why I’d do that
  • When I dress up nice, it’s like I’m a kid playing dress up in a costume
  • Some people enjoy suits! Not me, especially in the heat!
  • It’s so engrained into our culture, I have a hard time seeing it ever change
QOTW: Tell me a cool story about your dad from your childhood. – (50:27)

Thanks so much for joining me this week! You can catch up on any old Q&A videos you missed here.
Write On,
Brian Goulet