Every Reason Not To Sleep

My son can find any reason not to sleep. I don’t mean things like “I’m not tired” or “There’s a monster under my bed” which I could understand and get behind. I mean batshit crazy reasons not to sleep. The following are examples of the reasons he has gotten out of bed over the last few weeks. These range from immediately getting out of bed to 3:34am wakeup calls.

I had to put on some new socks. I can’t find Elmo. My pillow isn’t cold enough. I can’t touch the ceiling.

No one could make these things up. No one. But what does that have to do with anything and in particular, business. Easy. It’s the yin and yang of tenacity vs. laziness.

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I Love Lists

I love lists. I really do. Don’t tell my wife because then I’ll get even more lists of things I have to do but I have a real and very serious fetish with lists. The idea of numbers down the side of a page, each corresponding to a thought; something; anything is for me, heaven. I’ve made lists for a long time. I’ve downloaded every app that has ever been made for making lists (I’ve considered making a list of the best ones) and when I got my brand new moleskin, the very first thing that I wrote down was a list. And then another. And another. I might be addicted.

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My Shed, The Office

If you’ve followed me for any amount of time on social media you probably already know that I want to turn my shed into an office. Usually, when I tell people, they think I mean my garage. My 14’ by 30’ garage. No. My shed. My 4’ by 6’ shed. And then people look at me funny. Which is fine. I’ve been looked at funny before. I’ll be looked at funny again. In any case, I want to turn my shed into an office. Here’s why. And how.

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Lead, Follow, Or Do Something Else

I think that a large number of businesses succeed or fail based on leadership. Sure, you have to have a good product and a market strategy but I think that too many businesses underestimate the value of great leadership. Managers are rarely chosen based on their ability to manage and companies tend to put a handcuff on their ability to effectively lead. I’d like to take this time to share a few stories that illustrate these fundamental flaws while at the same time providing you with some insights on how you can improve managerial performance at your company.

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I Suck At Photoshop

I love to share. I’m that guy who will give you the absolute best bite of my dessert if you want it. Caveat: I stabbed my aunt in the hand with a fork when I was 4 because she tried to steal a sweet and sour chicken ball off of my plate. I’ll give you a ride. I’ll lend you any book or movie I own and I recently gave someone a pair of socks. I love to share. I especially love to share knowledge so when someone asks me to sit down with them so that they can pick my brain, I’m pretty happy. This happened recently when someone asked me to sit down and talk about blogging.

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Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself

Every single moment of every single day, my son wants to know “what the plan is”. He wants to know what we’re doing, where we’re going, who we’re going to see and what we’re going to do after all that. Now the reason that my son is hindered by this debilitating desire to know what’s next is because I am also hindered by this same annoyance. I don’t know when it happened or why, but I always need to know what the plan is. This is particularly troublesome given that most of my friends fly be the seat of their pants and couldn’t be pinned down for an answer to that question for a million dollars. But recently I came to realize that it’s important to not get ahead of yourself.

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You’ll Never See My Best Work

I’m a bit of a Kevin Smith fan. He’s written and directed some of my all time favourite films including Chasing Amy, Clerks, Mallrats, Dogma…ok…so all of them. But probably my favourite piece of his is An Evening With Kevin Smith. AEWKS is a college campus tour where Kevin took questions from the crowd and answered them using incredibly interesting and funny stories. From his experiences writing a Superman script that will never be to his ongoing feud with Tim Burton, it’s 3 hours of pure amazing that culminates in a story about Prince.

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Our Last Game – A Very Personal Post

Note: For a long time I’ve been looking for the right platform to post this story and I’ve just decided that I wanted to post it here. It has NOTHING to do with my business but the nice thing about owning my own business is that I get to do what I want. I hope you enjoy. This is a very personal story. 

Edit: September 18th. I lied. This has everything to do with my business. I’m a writer. 

On Tuesday, August 1, 2000, 17,469 people walked into Oakland Stadium to watch the hometown Athletics take on the Toronto Blue Jays. The Athletics were two years away from the famous, or infamous, Moneyball years and the Jays were seven years removed from their back to back World Series titles. While the A’s would go on to win 97 games that year and win the AL West, little suggested that either of these teams were a World Series contender. And so I didn’t bother turning on the game. I was slightly preoccupied.

Days before the game, my grandfather had suffered yet another health setback when he had suffered a stroke. He was not well and had not been well for some time. The man that I used to watch baseball with was gone and in his place was a shell. The latest setback had left him in a great deal of pain and this was being counteracted by a great deal of painkillers which left him, more or less, as a vegetable. My family took turns watching over him in his hospital room, essentially waiting for the other shoe to fall and my grandfather to pass.

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Sprechen Zie English?

I was recently having a conversation with a friend of mine about when he was planning his next trip to Nova Scotia. We happened to be in Calgary at the same time but didn’t realize it until one of us was on the way to the airport. I told him to give me some advance warning so that I could try to free up some time to spend with him as I always enjoy his company. His response, via text, was “Will do. Targeting thanksgiving weekend but will confirm.” I heckled him for using “business speak”. Chris happens to be an executive with a huge food company and he replied that he was sorry and that language was his default setting these days. I went on to explain that my current training in inbound marketing left me using marketing speak lately and he responded that it was funny how many languages we speak using only English words.

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Are You Shitting Me: Stop Sending Automated Direct Messages

Why are you still sending automated direct messages in Twitter? No. Seriously. I want an answer. I just don’t understand how this late in the game, with so many people who publicly admonish those who do it, that companies and people are still sending generic, automatically generated direct messages. To quote one of my favourite comedians, Chris Porter, “are you shitting me?”

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