A few years ago, I began to realize I had fallen into a self-destructive bad habit. Every day, I was working hard at the print shop and would often go home tired and fatigued, only to be greeted by “messes” everywhere. Do you ever feel the same way? Do you ever feel like you never get to relax because there’s an endless list of stuff you need to pick up, clean up, organize, or manage at home after work each day? I confess that I often felt that way.

Here’s a 4:30 video of me explaining how I overcame this de-energizing doom loop in my own life. Click the image below to watch it.


Five years ago, I’d never heard of “Rational Minimalism,” but today it has literally changed my life. As a result, I save more money, spend less time cleaning and organizing my stuff, and sometimes actually have free time after work to just sit and relax without feeling guilty that I need to be cleaning my garage, organizing my utility room, or taking care of a dozen other endless tasks that used to consume my free time.

My name is Mike Stevens, and I am a printer.



Many of us don’t like printing wedding invitations, but we love to print postcards. Here’s a way to do both!

The picture shown above is actually a very creative postcard wedding invitation I recently received in the mail, and it really grabbed my attention for a couple of reasons: First, the picture of the couple is totally amazing, and then second, the invitation itself is a postcard. A postcard!

As we all know, the stereotypical wedding invitation is a costly production involving a double fold-over card, matching envelope, inserts, and sometimes even foiling and embossing. As a result, wedding invitations can be costly and time-consuming. The simplicity of this postcard invitation isn’t just innovative… it’s uniquely different and inexpensive to purchase. I thought it was very creative. Part of what makes this work so well is that it’s so simple and minimal. Plus, it just feels good when you hold it in your hands.

I think postcard wedding invitations could be a new source of business for your printing firm. Perhaps you could even work with photographers and set up special package plans where they provide the photography and you provide the printing.

The concept could also work for high school graduation announcements.

I like this postcard wedding invitation idea and thought you might like to think about it, too.

Oh, by the way, I’ll give you five bucks if you send me a picture of you and your spouse kissing each other like the couple shown here…

My name is Mike Stevens, and I am a printer.

P.S. Below is the back side of the postcard with all of the details of the wedding, in case you’re curious how that was presented. Names and locations have been blurred out to protect the happy couple’s privacy.



How to save $11,484.00

November 5, 2014

Would you like to save $11,484.00 over the next 22 years? That’s the promise promoted by the manufacturers of some LED light bulbs I recently purchased for my home at the local Fargo Costco warehouse store. I had never heard of LED light bulbs until a few years ago, when my then managing partner, Dave […]

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Every man needs a good pair of socks

October 22, 2014

OK, I never thought I’d be writing a blog post about socks. You see, this all started last year when my mother-in-law asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I answered “socks.” So sure enough, one day in December, a package arrived from her. Inside, I found a Christmas present labeled “To Mike.” It […]

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The day I met the ghost of Babe Ruth

October 2, 2014

Sometimes in life, you experience something unexpected that really causes you to stop and think. I recently experienced a rather emotional “unexpected moment” in Detroit, Michigan. Let me explain. Although I have lived in North Dakota for many decades, I actually grew up in Michigan and graduated from high school there. As a boy, I […]

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Thoughts about employees and their cell phones

September 3, 2014

If there’s a more provocative topic in the printing industry, I’m not sure what could generate more debate and opinion than whether or not employees should be allowed to use personal cell phones on company time. Do you allow employees to use personal cell phones while on the clock at your printing firm? In case […]

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How to have a better brain

August 21, 2014

The LA Times recently completed an interesting four-part series on how learning and memory work. And the New York Times wrote about the importance of physical exercise for neurogenesis (the creation of new brain cells). Did you even know it was possible to do something that would help your body create new brain cells? A […]

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Don’t be complicated

August 6, 2014

“Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau Are you like I once was? Do you ever think that sometimes you make the simplest decision more complicated than it needs to be? Are you so addicted to trying to make things so perfect and impressive that they turn into a […]

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The 10 Commandments for a Printer’s Marriage

July 16, 2014

1. Don’t place others before one another. 2. Let nothing on earth become more important than your marriage. 3. Don’t bring a bad day at the print shop home with you. 4. Remember to worship together. 5. Love and accept one another’s family as your own. 6. Don’t harm one another with words, attitudes, or […]

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Don’t be a perfectionist

July 8, 2014

I have a deep commitment to quality and excellence. I try to do everything the very best way it can be done — but I work hard at not allowing myself to become a perfectionist. Why? Because trying to get it perfect will slow you down, frustrate your coworkers, and sometimes cause you to miss […]

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