Category: Business

Apply Now

Why Hiring People Almost Always Sucks

I was on LinkedIn recently, when I read a post from a friend of mine.  He was appalled by the fact that during a recent job search, he didn’t hear back from more than 90% of the places he applied to.

He also shared a note he got back – 3 months later – from one organization.

In a pretty standard looking form letter, the organization thanked him for applying to the role, and said that they got 820 applications for the position, and unfortunately wouldn’t be pursuing him for the selection process.

People on the posting were mixed, about 50% were impressed that he got a response, and 50% were insulted that he got a canned response. Continue Reading

2016 Review, 2017 Goals

2016 In Review and 2017 Resolutions

Each year I write a review and goals blog post, these posts help me to look back on the year, and figure out what I want to do going forward.  There have been a few years I didn’t write these posts, and I regret those years as I can’t look back and figure out where I was at that point in my life.

With that said, this post is primarily written for future me, so if you are reading this and find that it’s braggy, or in some way insulting to you, that is not my intent, this is about me, and for me. I post it publicly so that I have some accountability and can find it easily in the future. Continue Reading

NorthIQ Business Solutions

One Year Later – What am I Doing?

A year ago I walked out of the Info-Tech Research Group for the last time as an employee, and walked into my new career as a small business owner.  It’s been an incredible year, and I’m doing things now I couldn’t have imagined a year ago.

So what have I done in the last year?

I created a business! YAY ME! NorthIQ is a sole proprietorship in Ontario.  I use Xero for my accounting needs, and I’m accepting payments using Stripe. 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

The Joker says "It's all part of the plan".

It’s All Part of the Plan

I am doing a number of different things right now, and from the outside looking in, it probably looks like too much stuff, with none of it connected.

That’s not the case though, see…it’s all part of the plan.

Here are the things I have on the go right now. 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.

 

Know Your Hedgehog

Know Your Hedgehog

Jim Collins in his amazing book “Good to Great“, talks about the Hedgehog concept, which is the core of your business. If you understand your hedgehog concept, and stick to it with devotion, your company can become great.

Collins uses the parable of the clever devious fox and the simple hedgehog. The fox keeps coming up with new ideas to eat the hedgehog, but the hedgehog beats him by employing his one simple trick.

Rolling up into an inedible ball of thorns. Continue Reading

How to tell a story

Four Ingredients for Better Storytelling

As I sat there listening to him, my mind wandered.  Why all the ten dollar words?  Do people actually think it makes them sound smarter?  Oh god, do I do that? What would I have for lunch today? Something just vibrated, was that my phone? My eyes feel heavy, I wonder if he notices that I’m about to fall asleep. Seriously, what is the point of this conversation. Oh god, he just used a noun as a verb, that is seriously my biggest pet peeve. Wait, I just think he may have actually hit on the point of his inane rambling.

“I’m sorry, could you repeat that last part?” I said, leaning forward and changing my body language to indicate active listening.

If you are still writing “marketing copy” in 2015, your business is suffering because of it.

Continue Reading

My Desktop

How I Hire the Best People

I have a very good track record of building incredible teams. At TSN, I found and recruited my first truly amazing team by getting to know great people, working with them for a while, and then bringing them on board along with me.  I met Loc, and John through the Globe and Mail’s technical team, and I was introduced to Liam from Discovery’s group. When it came to recruiting new people, I saw literally hundreds of resumes, interviewed dozens of people, and eventually hired both Neil and Kate.

My hiring back then was all trial and error, and I happened to luck into great people because I knew that I was looking for both a specific skill set, and also people that I would want to spend eight hours a day around. Continue Reading

Effective Web Design and Development

Effective Web Design and Development – COMP-1363

Starting February 4th, I’ll be teaching a five week (one session per week) course on effective web design at Fanshawe College’s continuing education program.

The course is called “Effective Web Design and Development – COMP-1363“.

I’m breaking the five weeks up by doing foundational work first, and building on that work weekly. My idea is to build a very simple HTML website, using the fundamentals that we learn weekly to build upon each week’s lesson. At the end, the attendees will have a very simple, semantically correct, SEO optimized, modern, responsive, and accessible website.

Here’s what Fanshawe’s course outline says:

Effective web design and development is about more than code, and pretty pictures. This course is designed to help you understand the things required to build an effective website for yourself, your business, and your clients. This course will review strategies, software, marketing, promotion, content creation, and modern website design techniques while not requiring coding in-class time.

Continue Reading