Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

It’s that time of the year, summer time.  The kids have gained freedom from the interminable routine of school and oppressive tests.  Parents are left suddenly adrift without their routine.  The year has its comforting cycle for those of us with kids in the middle to high school years.  The shorter public holiday breaks are mere pauses of the cycle.  The slightly longer breaks at Easter and Christmas fall into time slots that generally have a rhythm and traditional routine of their own.  But summer is different.  It’s a really long break.  How can you use the changed routine of these ‘lazy hazy crazy days of summer’ to your advantage.  Read on.

Boat Kids Summer

It was the great Nat King Cole who in 1963 scored a hit with the song that gives its name to this blog post title.  I love it for the mood that it captures.  Even reading the main chorus and first stanza you can’t help but have a smile on your face as you think of your summer antics.

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, those days of soda and pretzels and beer.  Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer.

Just fill your basket full of sandwiches and weenies, then lock the house up, now you’re set.  And on the beach you’ll see the girls in their bikinis, as cute as ever but they never get em wet.

3 Simple Rules for Great Companies

I splurged the other day and bought the April 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review. At over almost $17 it is not your typical checkout counter purchase. It puts a real dent in your wallet. However, you can also gain immeasurable insights into business and how to do it better. That was the promise I read between the lines in the cover story teaser – “The Three Rules for Success”. Want to know more? Read on.

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The article is a look behind the data of companies that traded on the various US exchanges between 1966 and 2010, a number that amounted to over 25,000 firms. What the authors, Michael E. Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed, wanted to get at was to understand what truly great long-term successful companies had in common versus the flash in the pan, the flavour of the moment.

Platform Conference Recap: 10/10 – Pat Flynn

Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income blog was the 10th presentation at Platform Conference.  Tough room to work too – mid-morning, just before the coffee break, the last speaker at the conference, and coming on after the super dynamic Stu McLaren.  Well, he nailed it.  How?  Why he did a trumpet solo of course.  Seriously.  It turns out that Pat played trumpet in the famous University of California, Berkley, marching band.  In fact, he ended his band career as their leader.  The tie in becomes clear later as he wrapped up his presentation on “Platform to Profit: How to Earn an Income Online Without Selling Your Soul.”  So how did this self-described ‘marching band nerd’ get to close out the Platform Conference?  Read on.

Trumpet

Pat threw out one word at us – CARE.  To him this word is what makes all the difference in life, in work.  Care in the quality of your content.  Care in the impact of the first impression.  Care about your audience.  If you can nail this aspect with authenticity and sustainability you are probably going to be ok.  In fact, the better you are at this caring approach is the better you will be at earning revenue.  Pat pointed out that earnings in this business is a byproduct of how well an audience, a tribe, is served.  You must always be considering how you can add value to your followers.

Platform Conference Recap: 9/10 – Stu McLaren

This recap is the penultimate in my recap series on the Platform Conference held in February in Franklin, TN. In this 9th installment I cover the presentation delivered by Stu McLaren, co-founder of WishList Member, the most popular WordPress membership site platform, and a self-described tech entrepreneur. Stu, together with the next (and last) speaker, Pat Flynn, spoke on techniques to monetize the platform that you have created if you have followed the advice of the earlier speakers. The key in all this, though, is not to generate revenue for revenue sake. Instead it is about generating revenue to maximise the impact you have on your tribe. The mantra – “multiply your profits, multiply your impact.” For Stu, he gives back through World Teacher Aid. Read on to see his outline for ways you could develop your platform into a membership site.

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The focus of Stu’s talk was on the creation of a monthly (or similar) form of recurring subscription model for your internet outpost. Obviously content is king. You have to have something that others want to pay for before this even matters. However, before you get to that point, it is good to know the concepts so that you build content intentionally that supports the eventual monetization of your website or blog.

7 Productivity Tips From 18 Years of Marriage

Today is the 18th anniversary of my wedding to the most beautiful girl I ever laid eyes on. Today is also the first time we have been apart on our anniversary. I’m returning from the Lego robotics competition that our son Ryan was participating in with his team from Cayman Prep and High School, the Cyber Rays. We will be back in Cayman this afternoon, but I thought I would reflect on how much I have learned from ‘my bride’ over the 18 years we have been married.

Tina Wedding Day

Over the years my wife has taught me to be:

  • A CARING FRIEND – Christina is one of the most caring people I know.  She has amplified this trait in me and I am better for it.  I am constantly amazed at the lengths she will go to for her friends and it has always inspired me to try harder.
  • GENEROUS – We are blessed to have developed a successful business over the years.  Christina has shown me that it is not all about us in this area.  We must have purpose and share our learnings and success where it can have the most impact in the lives of others.
  • PRECISE – I am an ‘acceptable range’ type of person when it comes to numbers or plans.  My wife is a ‘precise’ person.  For me coming into the marriage meant closing my bank accounts as they had not been balanced in years.  I knew about where I was and never bounced a check but this was not really on.  Christina to her great credit has a much more precise approach to finances.  And the books are balanced very month!
  • MORE LOVING – Christina is the most loving person in so many ways.  To me, to our kids, to our families.  Before our wedding saying ‘I love you’ was not really a part of my vocabulary outside of the relationship.  Tina changed all that in me.  Not a day goes by that this is not reaffirmed between us and between our kids and others.  Its important.  And you can be loving to more than family.  Your perspective on business changes when you approach it in a loving way.
  • PUNCTUAL – I am notoriously late to meetings and events.  Its how I’m wired… just one more quick email, just a quick added note in the blog post then I will be in the car…and arriving 10 minutes late.  Christina does not operate this way…at all.  Guess which time management system is slowly winning out?  Not mine.
  • ORGANIZED – I was never the most organized person.  My wife on the other hand is all about the lists and the plan and the eventuality   She has taught me the value of planning and organization in a more methodical way.  I’m getting better.
  • PREPARED – Linked to organization, my wife is also a great proponent for preparing for eventualities.  This normally shows itself in the doubling of recipes and cooking way more food than may be needed… in case someone happens to come over during dinner.  It rarely happens, but when it does you will not leave hungry.