Engage14 Cayman Islands – Day 1 Recap

Always an outstanding event, Engage14, the luxury wedding summit, is even more of everything this year.  I first attended an Engage conference in 2009 and it was a game changer for me.  I met incredibly motivating people who would shape my entrepreneurial thinking over the next several years.  2014 is the first Engage conference held in Cayman for three years, and is an opportunity to learn from the superstars of the industry, to network with the forward thinking, and to brag on Cayman a bit.

Rather than verbatim reporting, my recap series will be short key takeaways of the speakers and events each day.  Read on.


Fall In Love With Writing (Again)

This is not my normal ‘type’ of post.  It’s not really a review either.  It is more of an ‘homage’ to good design and hard work.  Read on.

About two years ago I put a tiny bit of funding into a Kickstarter project being developed by John Saddington.  (By the way, if you want a textbook on how to run a Kickstarter study the blog posts on that Kickstarter link I just shared).  Pressgram was John’s attempt to allow users to tell beautiful stories through photography, but without having to give up any rights or confer any third-party ownership.  It was a gorgeous app, but to be fair, it was an ambitious project that was always going to have a hard time against the big boys in the room.  Pressgram has now closed down, but I have the t-shirt to prove I was there.

Desk, a publishing app for OS X is what has occupied John’s time since the last project (aside from Ironyard, speaking engagements, family, etc.).  3,146 hours to be exact, over the past year.

The result?  Simplicity.  Elegance.  Beauty.  Technical accomplishment (full formatting, HTML / Markdown / media capability baked in).  Desk is a product that will encourage you to start blogging, or, perhaps, get you to start writing again.

3 Simple Steps to Discovering and Achieving Your Life Mission

As a Rotarian for around 15 years and proud Past President of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman I can tell you that I have heard many guest speakers. Most are are ok, some are even good.  This past Thursday I was so fortunate to be there when Dr. Thomas Haggai, Chairman of IGA Global Supermarkets, spoke to our club.  He would be in the rarefied company of great guest speakers at our club. His comments really resonated with me, and I think they will with you also.  Read on.



Dr. Haggai is a well-respected speaker, and has lead IGA supermarkets on a global growth strategy over the almost 40 years he has been with the company.  He keeps up a grueling travel schedule, and this trip to Cayman was to personally present the local owners of the IGA store here in Cayman with an award.  The company honoured Woody Foster of Fosters IGA at a company event in the USA several weeks ago, but it is an important part of the culture of IGA to have the award also presented locally.

Rotary was the real beneficiary of his visit as he used the time allotted to him to share his thoughts on how to be successful in life… in three easy steps.  They are:

4 Reasons To Record Key Learnings When Notetaking

The other day my wife had a coaching session with our business coaching company, Shirlaws Cayman. At the end of the session as papers were being gathered and coloured pens put away, Kristen, our coach, asked Christina to take a moment and jot down her ‘key learnings. Why is this so important?  Read on.


Every day in business we participate in meetings. We pull out the requisite notepad, scribble away, then generally conclude the meeting with some tasks to be done before the next meeting. What is different about recording ‘key learnings’?  I thought about this for a bit, and reflected on my own past reporting of key learnings after my coaching sessions.  The list below is not exhaustive, by any means, but reflects my thinking on the value of recording ‘key learnings’.

Its Time To Be Tested

My kids are always a source of inspiration for me in my life and, more specific to this blog, my writing. I have pages in my journal with blog post ideas. However, the best posts always seem to come out of the answers to my question, “Hey kids, what should I write about this week?” This week, as always, the question they suggested surprised me. However, what really got me thinking were their answers. Read on.

Tired schoolboy

“Write about our tests, dad,” was their immediate answer. On my end I’m thinking, really? What could be so interesting about a test? I hated them frankly. I was what you would call, a poor test taker. In hindsight I think that was a guidance counsellor euphemism for ‘David is a lazy procrastinator who waited too late to cram for his exams’. But, enough about me. I had been thrown an idea by the kids. To expand on it I did what I have learned to do when presented with a thought that at first seems unworthy. I asked a few questions.

“So,” I asked. “What is it about tests that you want me to know about?” I got two wonderful gems in reply.