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In this episode, I talk about old ink cartridges, what pens I’ve always wanted to sell, and the best thing I’ve learned about myself since starting GouletPens.
This week:

New/Upcoming Products – (2:49)

Pens/Writing – (5:07)
1) @LucyHoneychurch- Twitter – (5:09)  
There seems to be more problms with the Konrad than the Ahab and Creaper, can you explain why?
  • This used to be the case more than it is today
  • two factors, design and the manufacturer
  • manufacturer: different factory making them, had some tolerance issues on the grip (not the case anymore)
  • design, was made to accept a lot of different nib types, with great power comes great responsibility
  • Nathan changed the design to me more hassle-free, but now it accepts fewer replacement nibs
Ink – (9:52)
2) David- Email – (9:54)
I have about 20 unused packs of cartridges left. Some are up to five years old. Due to evaporation, they are only two thirds or one half full. Are these cartridges safe to use in my pens? Or will the concentrated ink gum up the feeds? If I use a cartridge, could I puncture the cartridge and inject some water into it, shake it up and then install it in the pen? Or should I just toss them and chalk it up as a learning experience?
  • Safe, sure….it won’t hurt the pen, it just might not flow well
  • it would surely dry out faster in your pen
  • the plastic leeches moisture over time
  • you could definitely reconstitute the ink with water, sure
  • is that worth the trouble? eh….if the ink is special to you
Paper – (13:34)
3) Matthew Beddow- YouTube – (13:35)
I have purchased a couple of your Goulet notepads (the tomoe river ones )which are fantastic by the way , but I notice there is no branding on the A5 version that I have , I wondered why this would be as surely branding would be a good idea on these excellent pads ?
  • we talked about that, and it all boiled down to cost
  • bottom line is we’re not buying them in quantity to justify branding the notebook itself, but we might get there
  • we opted for more minimal branding and greater options (size, color, ruling)
  • we will explore this in the future, for sure

Troubleshooting – (16:41)

4) Taylor G.- Facebook – (16:42)

I switched the nibs between a Pilot Plumix and a Metropolitan. I’ve had flow issue with the Metropolitan ever sense regardless of ink. I looked that the feeds from both pens, and they seem to be identical, is the feed just no made to handles the italic nib or am I missing something?

  • feeds are identical, yes
  • I don’t think the feed is your issue, though that’s definitely an important part of the ink delivery to the nib
  • nibs are similar, though I find the Plumix nibs to be a little drier/tighter in flow
  • some simple adjustment can help with that, if you are willing to try
  • always do a good cleaning when there’s a flow issue
  • try keeping the feed and nib together when you switch them across pens
  • try swapping the nib back to the Plumix and see if it still persists, maybe there’s something that happened to the nib


Business – (22:07)

5) @DianaJBoyd- Twitter – (22:09)

Curious, from start to now, have you ever not been able to get a pen you wanted to sell? How do you choose what brands to sell?
  • oh definitely, especially when we were smaller!
  • Lamy and Pilot played hard to get at first
  • Pelikan has been hit-or-miss, we’ve tried with certain LE pens and whatnot before
  • Visconti said no thanks to us for 4 years, that was a big one
  • we recently talked to Sailor at the DC show, trying to rebuild that relationship, there’s still hard feelings around that…time will tell
  • Montblanc is another big brand we get asked about, but they’re not interested (for now)
  • Just last week I wanted to carry the Schrade Tactical Fountain Pen, but it’s discontinued!
  • we choose our brands based on customer demand and if we believe in the products
  • beyond that, it’s all about relationship building with the manufacturer/distributor and seeing if it’s a good fit

6) xilebat- Instagram – (32:09)

Have you stopped periscoping?
  • essentially, yeah
  • we were doing it for a solid year, but it’s a huge time commitment on me and Rachel’s personal time (which isn’t bountiful)
  • once we got pregnant this spring, we eased back
  • when she miscarried, it just knocked the wind out of our sails completely
  • part of it was our viewership had flattened out, a LOT of people were subscribers but stopped tuning in
  • live streaming has picked up on Facebook and YouTube, and Snapchat’s moving in that direction, too
  • it is yet to be seen which direction it goes, I’m curious for input
7) Christine B.- Facebook – (36:24)
Who is the author you reference a lot, Gary something? I haven’t heard of him but I like leadership authors. And what are the top 5 things you learned from him that have helped you in business or personally?
  • Gary Vaynerchuk
  • 1) videos
  • 2) personal engagement
  • 3) put in the work
  • 4) gratitude
  • 5) care

Personal – (41:35)

8) Rob B.- Facebook – (41:42)

What’s the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since starting your wonderful company?
  • I have learned a TON about myself!
  • DISC profile, StrengthsFinder, Languages of Appreciation, Myers-Briggs, and more
  • Everyone has their strengths, and it’s okay to not do everything perfectly yourself
  • working with others can help balance out my weaknesses, and I have plenty
  • without others on our team, I would not be in the place that I am today, and I’m incredibly grateful
  • so much has changed since starting the company, including me
  • the best thing I’ve learned about myself is that with discipline, focus, and the help of others, I can continue to grow into the leader I need to be

9) cevt23- Instagram – (46:47)

Hi Brian! Big fan of Goulet! I wanted to ask you at what point in your first years of pen journey and collecting all types of amazing pens, you started to realize that you used only the few ones that were perfect for your writing type, that fit you the most and instantly became in permanent rotation and the rest of your collection was a little behind that few pens. At what level you reached that point? How much pens you had to really became aware of that preference? Cheers!
  • I don’t know if I’ve reached that point! ;)
  • I’m in a unique position, being that I’m a blogger/personality around these products so I have access to way more pens than most
  • part of my job is to try different pens and keep a lot in rotation
  • I definitely have a short list of go-to pens that’s roughly 5% of my collection, and I’m willing to best that’s probably pretty common if you have a fair number of pens
  • I’d bet most folks go back to the same 10 pens or so on a pretty regular basis
  • I probably reached that point after 3 years in
QOTW: What’s your opinion of live streaming? Where would you want to see me? – (54:33)

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