The high cost of interracting with customers online

If you’re running a business and don’t know anything about Social Media, first, who are you? How can that be? Second, don’t be fooled into thinking you can “get by” with little-to-no budget for content, strategies, and social CRM. It’s a big job, and you will fail faster than you will succeed. And failing is sticky in social networks. What’s your reputation worth?

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Filed under Brand Storytelling, Social Media, social strategist

Everything I know about parenting… I learned from Eddie Murphy.

 “You brought that shit on yourself.”

This is a fundamental truth that can’t be denied. Every behaviour (good or evil) that my kids have ever flirted with over the years, ultimately comes back to something that I did or didn’t do. (Like beat their backsides.)

When my daughter was about 5 or 6 years old, and testing my patience at bedtime with her sassy, finger-waggin’, talkin’-back, grumpy, drama-princess shenanigans, I put her to her room.  Of course she wanted to discuss/negotiate the terms of this bedtime confinement, and I was having none of it.  The noise from her mouth would just not stop. It was soul-sucking. When finally, at the brink of my despair, I expressed my discontent in a screamo pitch that set off all the car alarms in the neighbourhood.


A slam of the door, and then sweet, blessed silence. Brilliant silence. Ahh… I had had the last word. I won. I was in control. I almost wanted to rejoice in song. (I may or may not have danced a jig.)

As the minutes of silence continued to stretch out, I had hoped and assumed that she had finally gone to bed. Bent to the will of my awesome parenting, she succumbed to doing as she was told. I smiled triumphantly as I came upstairs and got myself ready for bed—all the while mentally preparing my long-winded acceptance speech for the parent-of-the-year award.  It was then that I saw it. A single piece of paper sprawled across my pillow. It conveyed a significant message, but not a word was used.


I brought that shit on myself.


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2013 Google Zeitgeist: new beginnings, new frontiers, and ways to help

The 2013 year-in review is here! Google’s comprehensive list of searches made from around the globe has been made available today. The top five search terms this year were Nelson Mandela, Paul Walker, iPhone 5s, Cory Monteith, and Harlem Shake.  Check out the top 100 searches here.  What did you search for in 2013? What were your customers searching for?

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Outsouring is NOT a dirty word… but EGO is.

toon_119But it has been getting a lot of press lately.

Outsourcing is a part of business. A necessary part of business, no matter what business you’re in or how big your business is. It’s socially responsible, both domestically as well as globally. Outsourcing to technology has been a part of all of our lives for a long time. Computers, bank machines, and more recently… web/mobile apps—anything that makes our lives easier and gives us more control.  And we’re OK with that. So, why do we have prejudice against a call centre that’s off-shore? Yes, there may be a language barrier, and yes, it’s frustrating when employees aren’t empowered to help us. And yes, change can be scary, but, why do we act like the sky is falling if our employer exercises their right to manage their business to stay competitive in a global marketplace? I’ll tell you why.  Aside from a subconscious and deep-rooted prejudice, it’s all ego.   It’s a blatant selfishness that shows up in the form of passionate desire to protect our ass, job and what we believe is our basic entitlements.  And that’s not entirely a bad thing, it’s just that it’s not your employers responsibility to offer you these securities. That’s YOUR responsibility.  If you don’t want to be replaced, be irreplaceable.

Ego for an employer can come in the form of motivators like power, status and greed. And even if they are sound business decisions, I’m not suggesting that there aren’t employers out there who mis-manage and perpetuate the anxiety of unemployment by running around with secret information that they don’t communicate. I’ve been there. I’ve sat in a room with HR and VP’s as they’ve delicately pushed an envelope across a table to me.  Five minutes earlier I was obliviously sending a fax. (Remember those?) And now they’re throwing money at me to go away quietly. I had no idea it was coming. There was no communication. I was shocked, angry, and took it deeply personal. 15 years later I can tell you that moment was pivotal in my professional (and personal) life. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. It opened my eyes to the control I had of my own life. And prior to that moment, I never would have had the guts to leave. I was a prisoner of an imaginary job security that was directly tied to my mortgage payments and the well-being of my family. Today, I realize that there is no such thing as security. Not in business, or in life. We captain our own ships. For good or bad. Ans a job does not make your family happy… YOU do.

captain of ship

Regardless of what side of the leadership fence you sit on, I encourage you to arm yourself with knowledge.  You need knowledge to sail, otherwise you’re just adrift. And what better way to do that then to listen to industry leaders giving you the straight goods on what outsourcing really means? Not just information relevant to an employer or employee, but also to our economy—domestically and globally. You may be surprised at what you learn. True context in any argument eliminates a certain amount of ignorance.  Wouldn’t you rather operate from a place of knowledge? I do. And even though outsourcing information may not impact me directly at the moment, as a business owner, it’s MY responsibility to have all the information I need to sail… whether I plot that course or not.

If you’re in the Toronto area, I recommend attending the CORE conference. It’s a great way to gain reputable insight. Coming up on November 5th, 2013, this conference puts outsourcing under the microscope. You’ll hear speakers the likes of Don DrummondPeter Bendor-SamuelRima ShouliJim Graham, and Dr. Ron Babin giving you information that will keep you better educated, better informed, and better prepared.


What you do with that information is up to you. That’s the beauty of owning your future.

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Awareness is hidden in plain sight: This is water


This video excerpt from a speech, delivered by David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College in 2005, encapsulates exactly what I hope that I’m teaching my children every day of their lives.  Learn to think; to be aware. You do not have to operate on the default setting.  The rat-race is bullshit, yo.

Look deeper. Awareness is hidden in plain sight.

This is water.


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Curious George is my new Gym membership

Two weeks ago, I adopted a rescued Great Dane named George. I knew he’d be big, but you really can’t comprehend how big, until he’s nosing around on top of the fridge or settled in for the night in your bed.


There is also a considerable amount of saliva.

Long, stringy, mesmerizing loogies that dangle precariously at varying heights from his excessively long grumpy-cat lips.

It pools on the floor in unobvious places that are only detectable by bare feet.  It is also, seemingly, evaporation-resistant. It will stay there for days, still as wet and slimy as the day it was deposited. Although, this same saliva crystalizes on countertops, tables, shoes, skin… and the TV.

I had this romantic notion that Great Danes were gentle giants who did everything in slow motion with undying love and affection in their eyes. George is clumsy, believes “whoa” means “go faster”, and has not a care in the world to the frailty of my old bones as he drags me down a forest trail hill clocking 12 miles an hour.  [Note to self: Let go of the leash.]

Two walks a day, morning and night, whether I want to or not. 2 miles of pushing, pulling, tugging, and plenty of “NO!” “Stop that!” “Get your head out of there” and of course the largely misunderstood “WHOA!”

Who needs a gym membership? My arms are so sore I can no longer lift a slice of bread to my mouth. My hips have rotated out of their sockets from windmilling downhill faster than any human ever should.  My back is a twisted, knotted mess from curling into a ball to sleep on the top right corner of my pillow, which is my current nightly allotment.

And it’s not free exercise either. Much like a gym membership, there are dues to pay. A Great Dane eats a lot. I mean.. A LOT.

Then there’s the poop.  Two shopping bags full.  Not the sweet little black poopy bags you see other dog owners discharging from their pet utility belts like some dog-walking ninjas. Oh no, I’m talkin’ large, awkward plastic grocery bags. You know the kind your fingernails can inadvertently punch a hole through? Yeah, those.

And don’t even get me started on the eye boogers.


Filed under Awesome, Uncategorized

Bill Cosby: My wife was a beautiful woman… before the children came.

My oldest is graduating high school this year and heading off to college in the fall.  In the last six months he has gone from an innocent baby of 5 minutes old… to an experienced man of the world.  There have been a lot of firsts for both of us this year.  And as I cling to the shreds of my sanity whilst helping him to navigate this new stage of his life—I’m reminded of an old Bill Cosby bit. (Yes, I’m that old. )

Funny how these things get stuck in your head after all these years.  I had the original record—Himself—from 1982 as a teenager and used to play it after dinner in my room on my fancy new York stereo turntable. You know, before TV? As a teenager, I thought this was hysterical for an entirely different set of reasons. Oh, the innocence of my youth.

Now, back to my current read…



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Growing your own food is like printing your own money #plusyougetstrawberries

Ron Finley says that food is the problem, and food is the solution. It’s time to manufacture our own reality. Gardening is therapeutic, it’s art, it’s in our DNA. Children that grow kale… will EAT kale. Let’s get eco-lutionary, become manufactured-food renegades, gangsta gardeners… and let’s make it sexy.

“If you ain’t a gardener, you ain’t gangsta. Get gangsta with your shovel… and let that be your weapon of choice” – Ron Finley, 2013.

It’s time to #plantsomeshit.

Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.”

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Love is ALL you need?

Imagine a world where “gay” was “straight” and “straight” was “gay”, how would we live if we couldn’t love each other?

This incredible award-winning short film by WingSpan Pictures offers to promote social change by challenging current conceptions in popular culture. By paralleling the persecution of others with different sexual orientations or gender identities, the hope is to inspire societal reflection.  While the theme may be fictional, the events are tragically real. Only understanding can stop the cycle of abuse.

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Filed under Awesome, transgender, world news

Skinny Bitch, Skinny Lies: Beware of vegan and vegetarian agenda


Remember when Oprah exposed James Frey’s Million Little Lies… er, Pieces? The latest New York Times best seller, Skinny Bitch, is following in those footsteps as public skepticism turns to anger at the self-proclaimed “know-it-all” author who is selling her biased opinion (along with misinformation) to a hungry audience desperate for weight-loss. (Can you tell that irks me?) I mean, the strong should protect the weak, shouldn’t they? Tell the whole truth, and nothin’ but? Who’s with me? I’m all for a good novel, but if it’s your opinion you’re writing about, be upfront and honest and let people know that they need to research what’s right for them. Don’t sell your opinion as the gospel of how to get skinny… that’s like waving crack under the nose of an addict. And SKINNY? Aren’t we trying to stop perpetuating the need for “skinny” to our young? Perseus Books publishing house should be ashamed of themselves (and renamed Cuckoo Books) for not vetting and fact-checking their non-fiction works. Gah!

Here’s an article titled, Setting the Skinny Bitches Straight, that made me shout Hells Yeah! after every paragraph. And it was written by a skinny bastard too.


Filed under Awesome, book reviews, non-fiction, world news