Category: About Me

My 2018 Review, 2019 Preview

Each year I post a year in review/resolutions blog post. This site is my journal, and I use it to keep track on what past me has done.

Review of 2018, here’s what I said.

  • Get in shape
  • Continue building NorthIQ
  • Build a second saas product
  • Be consistent with Content Marketing
  • Plan some actual vacation time
  • Do more stuff around the house

The Results:

Get in Shape:

Fail. I am in worse shape than I was this time last year, although I weigh less. My biggest problem this year was a health challenge which has only recently been identified as an internal bleed which is causing severe anemia. Luckily this is about to get solved, and after 4 weeks of recovery, I can get back to doing physical activity. This is going to be the year of Self Improvement!

Continue Building NorthIQ:

I’m calling this one a success. While we didn’t double revenue, we did some pretty awesome things, and I wrote a full post about it. Yay NorthIQ, we’ll keep building it, but it is doing very well for itself considering this is only it’s second full year in business.

Build a Second SaaS product

Why build when you can buy? We became Sharpspring resellers in 2018, and have a couple of really great stories to tell about how marketing automation is changing our clients businesses.

Plan some actual vacation time

Success and then some! We took two full weeks off to travel to Nova Scotia, and did a ton of things along the way. I took the better part of a week off late in the fall, and we basically closed the shop down from December 21st on, and the business didn’t fall apart.Schedule vacation week for March

Do more stuff around the house

Success! We completely revamped our first floor, had the entire house painted, and took care of a bunch of little projects around the house.

My 2019 Goals:

  • Take care of my health
  • Take care of our financial health
  • Succession plan for NorthIQ
  • Be more present

I am going to make this simple with four little goals.

1: Take care of my health. Once I am recovered, I am going to get to the gym, and start really focusing on yoga. I need to improve years of flexibility, and repair this aging husk.

2: Take care of our financial health. We are in a good spot, but it could be better. Build and stick to a budget, make a plan to pay down the renovation debt, and create a “rainy day fund”.

3: Succession plan for NorthIQ. This boils down to documentation and figuring out processes for everything. It’s not the sexy stuff that making a website is, but it’s still gotta be done, and 2019 is the year to do it in!

4: Be more present. Yeah, it’s granola-y, but it’s important. My grandfather used to say “We’re here for a good time, not a long time.”, my kids are growing up faster than I can know, and they’re not going to be in the house forever. It’s time to be here when I am here, and work when I am at work.

Darkside's Back Baby!

Darkside’s back! How I started loving pro wrestling again

There was a time, where I was kind of a big deal.

I’ve loved wrestling my whole life, it’s been a close one/two between wrestling in comics. My buddy Ryan once walked into my bedroom in college where I had wrestling playing on TV, and I was drawing comics. He said “Dude, you are living your 12 year old self’s dream life!”.

In 1997, I set up a wrestling website on TSN.ca to provide coverage for TSN’s professional wrestling programming. I covered WWF and WCW, occasionally ECW and some independent promotions. As our audience continued to build, I started getting footage from WWF’s developmental group, and I got to follow the earliest appearances by guys like John Cena, Dave Bautista, Shelton Benjamin, and a young man named “Brock Lesnar”.

At one point, my columns were read by over a million people a month.

I was a guest on The LAW, Live Audio Wrestling many times, and I met a young lady named Trish Stratus on that show. Continue Reading

2017 Review, 2018 Resolutions

2017 in Review, and 2018 Resolutions

Every year I write a blog post that’s about a review of the previous year, and goals for the current year.

This post is one of the few posts I write every year that is for an audience of one.  They’re for future me, and I post them publicly so I have some accountability, and so that I can reflect on them a few times during the year.

The last two years have been a whirlwind. It has both taken longer to accomplish everything I wanted to do, and yet everything is happening so fast.

In 2017, NorthIQ Business Solutions became NorthIQ Inc., and my business made it through two full years in operation. Continue Reading

The Garsides

2015 In Review

This was a great year. Not a good year, not an okay year…this was greatness. For as long as I can remember, I have had a dream of owning my own company. I saw it as a type of freedom, I saw it as an opportunity to work on things that mean the most to me, and I saw it as a way to build something bigger than me. Continue Reading

Star Wars - The Force Awakens

What Star Wars means to me

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why I love Star Wars so much, why it holds up so well for me, and why 38 years after I saw the movie for the first time, it is still such a large part of my life.

Star Wars is a fully formed world. You get dropped right in to the middle of the story, which means you have to figure out what is going on, and while the story is a very basic good vs bad guy story, there’s levels of nuance around family, redemption, and destiny. Continue Reading

Brian in front of the Info-Bar

Good Bye Info-Tech

Thursday September 3rd is officially my last day at the Info-Tech Research Group where I have been since December 2006.  I had a blast in my eight years, eight months and twenty four days, but it’s time to move on.

I’m incredibly grateful for everything that Info-Tech did for me. We were able to move from Ajax to London, and during the transition, I worked out of the Toronto office from December until March 2007 when we officially made the move to London.  We managed to cut our expenses so much that Charlene was able to stay home with Kaylin and then later with Maks without having to worry about our finances too much (although times were tight during those diaper-heavy years). Continue Reading

Our Family

First Half of 2015 Report

While it feels like just yesterday we were trudging through mountains of snow, it’s already June, and I’m wondering what it is exactly I’ve accomplished half way through the year.

What did I get done so far this year?

We had a pretty fun family vacation back in February when we took the kids to Las Vegas.  In addition to seeing Red Rock Canyon for the first time in my many trips to Vegas, we went to a Cirque show, did the Adventuredome, and got to see the all new container park that Tony Hsieh is firmly behind. Continue Reading

Clouds by Brian

New Horizons

After eight and a half years at the Info-Tech Research Group, I have decided to move on to new challenges. I’ve enjoyed my time at Info-Tech, I’ve learned to become a much better manager, and I’ve made friendships that will last my lifetime.  The hardest part about leaving Info-Tech is that it’s the place where many of my best friends go every day.

I’m incredibly excited about the future though, and I want to share my plans here.

As of mid-August, I will be taking on clients and advising them on digital strategy. If you or someone you know someone who’s struggling to put their brick and mortar business online, or who needs help working through how to get new customers, we should talk.

I will be announcing my first client shortly, in the meantime, here are some things I can help you out with.

Help! I need a digital strategy

Places like LinkedIn and Facebook will tell you that you should build your online presence with them.  I can show you why this is not only a horrible idea, but why you are making them money while costing yourself money.

I will work with you to create a solid digital strategy. You will create an asset that you own, and with that asset, you’ll be able to take advantage of traffic you weren’t aware existed.  Combine more traffic with proven techniques that will bring you more customers, and I will make you more money.

Oh no! I think my website sucks.

I’m sorry, but your website does indeed suck, and your friends are too nice to tell you otherwise.  Your website needs some tough love. You need a solid platform that is easy to update and addresses your present, as well as future needs. I’ll give your website the facelift it badly needs, and put you in charge with the tools that will let you be in control of when and where your website gets updated.

Am I even being successful online?

You need some help setting up some analytics and figuring out what the right metrics to track are. I can help you get this done and give you a shiny dashboard to keep track of all of it.

 

Goodbye Mark

Mark is not really the worst

I’m getting pretty tired of saying goodbye to my friends at work.  Unfortunately it’s one of the realities of being a long time veteran at a place.  Before Info-Tech, my longest tenure at a place was five years.  I’m in my ninth year here right now though.

Yesterday I said goodbye to Mark Litnewski, a guy who I’ve known for my entire eight and a half years here at Info-Tech, one of my first friends in the building, one of the first people I managed here, and one of the people I relied on the most…even though I consistently and repeatedly called him “The Worst”. Continue Reading