Sunday, February 28, 2016

How to Blog on Linkedin

Recently I have begun "blogging" on Linkedin.  As I use it, I see it as excellent way to have a blog without actually having to post as often.  There is a button on the home page that says "publish a post".

One great thing about using Linkedin to post on is those people you are connected to see when the update is published.  And usually, they are the ones who would care what you post about.

And after the post is made, there is an easy 1 click to share on your Facebook and Twitter.

Linkedin also allows you to categorize the post under topics like "Marketing", "Sales", "Social Media" etc.  That categorization allows people to surf through posts that interest them.

I even like the dashboard Linkedin provides to see how many people view your posts and on what days.  I get about 200 views on an article.  Considering I am connected to only 5,000 people on linkedin, this is about 4%.  But some of those clicks might be coming from other medias (like facebook (200 connections) and Twitter (4300 followers).

My rules for posting on Linkedin:

1 - Be professional.  Linkedin is for professional connections, so this is not a place for grandkid photos.  It is a place for business.

2 - No advertorial.  I know I am irritated if a post purports to give me value then moves on to "buy my product".  Anything promotional has to be very soft.  For example, I might use an example of Danby in one of my posts.  This mention does help brand but it is not a place to hard sell at all.

3 - It is ok to "re-post" content when it is unlikely the audience has seen it.  This is what I am doing now with my recent posts like "Improve your Dunbar", "Personal sells" and "Improve your Klout" .  They were previously published (some even on this blog) so it makes it easy to dust them off and edit them.  This makes posting very fast.

4 - Use a clickable title.  A juicy title encourages people to click.  One I did recently was "The most important 18 words - Fatal Mistakes".  Surely everyone wants to know about fatal mistakes.

And for the chess or quantum enthusiasts, one of my good friends, A J Steigman wrote an article on Huffpo on quantum chess.  A J is a chess master which is partly what makes the article interesting.

Today, Baby Elizabeth turned one.  We got her a window crank - what else could be more fascinating for a 1 year old?

Monday, February 22, 2016

CEO and the 7 minute workout

Lately, I have incorporated the 7 Minute Workout into my routine.  I downloaded an app which does the timing and tells me the exercise to do.  Very simple.  And there is never a day that I lack 7 minutes.  There sometimes are days I lack the motivation to spend it doing the workout though.

The exercises require no equipment other than a chair so simple to do anywhere.  They could also be done without shoes although so far, I have always had shoes when I do the workout.  One of the "big" items that take space when traveling is shoes so on rare occasion I skip the running shoes when I travel.

In short, I love the short time it takes to do the workout.  But there is a big but - the workout is fairly tough so I tend to not want to do it.  It is more of a "I would like to have done it".  So the trick I use if I will just start it and then of course you know the rest - I finish it.

Another variation I am playing with is 2 other versions with slightly different exercises.  My logic is to give the muscles time to heal by doing slightly different workouts on alternative days.  And the reason for 2 other variations is that way I can do a 7 day cycle with alternate day exercises.

This workout by no means replaces a real 45-60 minute workout but it is a great habit to sneak in on any day there is no workout.  This is a great workout to use for my  "never shower without breaking a sweat rule"

When I first started blogging, I have just published a book on time management so most of my blog posts were on time.  This would have been appropriate to blog about at that time.


I was interested to read in Fortune Magazine that few CEOs blog (although it is increasing).  And many do not even use social media.

I know as with all things we do, there is a tradeoff.  Do we spend time on social media or doing something else.  And as with everything, an appropriate balance works.

I see social media and blogging as "owning a microscopic media empire".  It gives one the ability to influence.

Speaking of influencing.  Take a look at the new Danby Breaking Bland site.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Kids in Candy Stores vs Entrepreneurs at Trade Shows

I had the privilege of going to a trade show in Frankfurt.  I do a weekly report to my board (this is good discipline) and in it I said "for an entrepreneur, a trade show is like a kid in a candy store".  I have to so much restrain myself.

The challenge with me, is I have far more ideas than time and resources to implement or to implement well.  And I also need ideas that are the "right" size.  I am keenly aware that a $50,000 idea is too small for Danby to do.

At heart, I am a marketer and a merchant or trader (no - not a traitor).  I love buying things, figuring out how to add value and then figuring out how to sell them.

I love shows from the marketing ideas I see that I can merge and morph into things we can do.  I am also a bit of a critic - always thinking "how could they do it smarter".  For example, one vendor was giving away apples.  What a great idea - way better than the many other booths giving away candy.  But the apples were big.  They could have bought small apples and had the same impact.  I saw the poor woman struggling with the boxes of apples.  They could easily have done it with half the number of boxes with the right size apple.


I have recently started to post some articles on Linkedin.  One I just posted in on improving your Klout score.  Of course it helps my Klout if you all go there and "like" the article.

I am thinking for many people, using Linkedin updates is better than doing a blog.  Blogs can take time and thought.  

Monday, February 08, 2016

What Gets Tracked, Gets Done

I love my Fitbit.

My children gave me a new upgraded Fitbit for Christmas.   It not only measures steps (goal 10,000/day but 20,000 in a good day) but it measures flights of stairs (goal 20 flights but 50 in a good one).  Because I live on a hill, when I walk in the neighbourhood, the Fitbit gives me credit for stairs when they are not actually stairs which is how I manage to get 50 flights in.

So why does Fitbit work?  Partly because it tracks what gets done.  Prior to Fitbit, I would track my workouts in a notebook and I still do off an on.

But tracking extends beyond fitness.  The same principle works for any goal.

For example, at Danby I want to come up with an extra $100,000,000 in business.  So I have a book where I track the ideas and the progress.  The challenge with "bigger" ideas like this is they need to be broken down or they can be too daunting.

EG.  We started selling Berghoff in Canada so I put that in for $4-5M.  We opened a factory outlet at our warehouse on Whitelaw Rd in Guelph so I put that in for $1M.  We got a truck to do truckload sales so another $1.5M etc.

So tracking helps get me to the goal.

I am listening to an audiobook now - "The Practising Mind" by Tom Sterner who reminds us though that it is the process - not the goal that is important.  So trying to be more mindful.

I was approached by a friend who had recently had what he considered to be a big failure (although as with most things, it was bigger in his mind that it was to other people).  He asked for advice on how to get over it.  The following is my email response to him.

2 expressions:

“Fail often, fail fast, fail cheap”.  This makes for success.   Those that do not try never fail and never succeed either.

“having a failure does not make you a failure”

I truly believe much of my success has been because I have failed.  And often I kick myself about those failures because “I should have known better, I should have researched better, I should have…”.  

Time cures a lot.

And it is not how many times you fall down, it is how many times you get up that count.  Shake it off.  It was not a fatal error.  You will not go hungry tonight.  
Some concerns Xavier is not practising my frugality - surely 1 tissue would suffice.