Category: About Me

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

Our Family

My 2014 In Review

I had, frankly, a fantastic 2014, both personally and professionally.

Personally, we took the kids on a Disney Cruise, which was mere months after Char and I had returned from a trip of a lifetime in Cancun.  My batteries were more recharged than they have been in a long time, and I spent March through August burning myself out by working full time and putting everything I had left into making BalanceDo a success.

Unfortunately, we failed with BalanceDo. A combination of a bunch of factors killed the project, and in late August the team and I made the painful decision to close down the business.

I promised myself I wouldn’t take on any side projects, and that for four months (September, October, November, and December), I did nothing more strenuous with my non-working hours than play video games.  It was everything I had ever hoped for, completely wasted time where all I had to concern myself with was where my next loot cave was going to come from. Continue Reading

Dollar Shave Club

Stuff I Like: Dollar Shave Club

I hate shaving, but I like to be freshly shaved. It’s a dichotomy that has plagued me since my teen years. I am what the old folks call “hirsute”, meaning I’ve got a lot of hair, but it’s thick and shaving wrecks my skin, so I only shave every three or so days. My usual routine is Sunday night and Wednesday night (unless we’re doing something fancy which requires a touch-up). I shave my head too, but that’s usually once a week.

I have an electric razor, but it is slow, and hard to groom around ye olde goatee. My preferred battle weapon is a wet blade, usually a three bladed job (although a twin blade works well on my head). Of course like most men, I usually forget to buy blades, so I’m left hacking up my skin with something dumb.

I’m not gonna say Dollar Shave Club saved my life, but it probably saved my skin. Literally.

I initially signed up for “The 4x”, for $6.50/month, which gets you a monthly shipment of a package of four – four bladed razors. Your initial shipment also comes with a nice metal handle which has some heft to it.

I quickly found that four blades a month is too many for me, I only go through about 2 a month. I switched to the “Humble Twin” for a couple of months at $3.50, which I used for just my head.

The blades fit perfectly on my “HeadBlade“, which takes Gillette Atra style blades.

The only problem with The Humble Twin is that the handle is really flimsy plastic that is intended to bend, but a couple of trips across my head, and I broke the thing.

I’ve stopped ordering the Twins, and now I just get The 4x every other month (they have a “not so hairy” option), so every two months, I get charged $6.50 to have blades delivered right to my mailbox. It’s a pretty good deal, and I never think about whether or not I want to get one more shave out of that blade, I just chuck it and use a fresh one after about two shaves.

Their packaging is pretty bare bones, but comes with one little feature I really like. Every month they spotlight one of their members’ businesses. It’s about post card sized, and it’s usually a fun little story.

Dollar Shave Club, I’ve been a member for two years now, and as their ad says “I’m practically a genius”. I highly recommend them.

What is This Site About?

What is this site about?

I’m Brian Garside, and this is my professional website where I offer up two decades of world wide web expertise.

I’ve archived a number of my classic posts from “The BalanceDo Blog” here as well, which you’ll find tagged with “BalanceDo”.  These come from hands-on experience building and eventually folding a SAAS business over four years of development.

This is where you will find details on my upcoming book “The Web Hero’s Guide”, everything you need to know about getting your yourself or your business online, and tapping into the power of a global audience.

You’ll also find “So I’ve Got A Website…Now What?”, a free publication about marketing your website and making it an effective marketing tool for yourself or your business very soon. Continue Reading