Tag Archives | change

The cobbler’s children have no shoes…

White Label

I was speaking to a friend the other day and for some reason or another websites became part of the conversation. I was asked,

“What about your website? Where is it so I can go look and see?”

And I have to admit to them that it is in a horrible state of affairs—it has been over 9 months since I had written anything at all on the site. I told them that I’ve fortunately been too busy to do anything about my own website and they said,

“Ah like the cobbler’s children that have no shoes!”

And I said, “Precisely” and thought to myself how piss-poor an excuse that is.

In that moment I didn’t fully grok what just went down. A day later I get an email referral, they ask me to have a look at my work online, and the conversation above all came back to me.

Really? Had I forgotten about my own website all this time? Was I really too busy to update it, keep things fresh and relevant? No, I would look at it from time to time. I’ve had many things I’ve wanted to share and I’ve hatched multiple “ideas” to update it. I’ve thought about what I want it to be, and so on. However, all this thinking never produced any type of plan, or set of steps to get things going. I’ve never made it a priority really. In fact what is super embarrassing is the post previous to this that is 9 months old that talks about how the website overhaul is underway—well now it is.

I’m going to make this happen. An hour a day (or more if possible) until website is up to date. There, I said it or rather typed it out in black and white (not just a thought in the head). It has been far too long, and an update does need to happen to this website. Blog posts about changes may follow.

For now, I did find this question posted on Quora and thought I would share.

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A Website Realignment: Day 0

Here is the beginning of what I hope to be a great series of posts. This series will chronicle—in as much detail as I can provide without driving myself or you crazy—the process of reinventing my brand and transforming this website in form and function.

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The Good versus The Perfect


Something I constantly strive for is perfection. I’ll admit it I am a perfectionist. I have written about this before. I have recently found myself editing, and re-editing just about everything in pursuit of some sort of non-existent pixelated nirvana.

While this quality can be seen as admirable it can also be seen as a pain in the ass. I tend to lean toward the latter. Trying to get things perfect can and will make people happy. Who would not be pleased with perfection? What is better than perfect? It’s nothing but positive when you have perfection. The underlying question is, what cost does one have to pay to get there?

When I work I do try to get things perfect and it costs me, big. It costs me time and what is more valuable than that? The difference in going from good, which is perfectly acceptable 95% of the time, to perfection is very high. It takes much more time to go from “good” to “perfect” in my experience. For example the change in time invested can go from 2 hours to get things “good” and then another 8 hours for “perfection.” To help out I will use a simple visual example.

Take a look at the image of rocks at the top of this post. The tower of rocks on the left are stacked well. Its an acceptable stack of rocks. The tower of rocks on the right are stacked perfectly. What if I told you that it took 15 minutes to find and stack the rocks on the left. But it took over an hour to find and stack the rocks on the right. To find the right rocks that presented themselves horizontally in a perfect vertical column takes time. These are both perfectly acceptable towers of rocks that look good. But is that extra cost in time really worth it to get the stack on the right? I would say no. its just a damn stack of rocks.

Are there times where perfection is required and the investment in time is worth it? Unquestionably yes. If I was getting open heart surgery I would want perfect, not just good, work performed. But does that simple web site you are working on need perfection? Not really. If it were to come easily then sure, why not? But does perfection ever come easily? 

Is the benefit of perfection worth the cost?

I say no, but it depends on the scenario (pay me big bucks and I can make a stack of perfect rocks for you).

I am perfectly happy with the good.

What about you?

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Changes brewing…


Some people see their lives in chapters, or phases. One goes “through” these chapters and phases and either grows, expands, contracts, or evolve from whatever the experience may deliver.

What about the space between these chapters? The period of time between one chapter and another. Sometimes the shift is immediate, like having a child and becoming a parent for the first time. Other times the shift is long. It is an odd space to occupy for a lengthy period of time. Almost like being in limbo for an extended period of time. Sometimes the destination is known and its a matter of the starts aligning for the proper arrival. Other times “Destination Unknown” with life and the world unfolding opportunities in front of you.

To add another level to this idea is the thought that you have chapters of personal and professional life. Sometimes you are in a certain chapter of professional life, and a certain chapter of professional life. Sometimes one is in transition, while the other is stable. Sometimes both are in transition.

What I find interesting is the presence of awareness with relation to being between chapters. Being aware that you are in between chapters and not really in one. That is where I find myself at the moment. I am aware of the transition and it is both on a personal and professional level.

It can raise anxiety and stress, as I am currently feeling, but overall the experiences are about growth, evolution and transformation.

So, if you find yourself in a transition of change. Change between chapters. Be present, be aware, and be grateful for that.

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Somehow the loss was traced to me; Haha.

Thank goodness I know I will vote, but this video I received today reminded me of the power of one persons vote. I know the power of a single vote. I remember my father losing a local election by 12 votes. Change 7 peoples minds and he would have won the election.

The video is hilarious nonetheless.

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One of my arguments may have fallen.

Image of This on textured board

I have always been a proponent of standards-based web design. Semantic markup is tasty for me and for the search engines. It makes everyone happy. However, clients do like Flash based websites for the ability to control things explicitly. The rub has always been that a great website is Flash is basically invisible to the search engines. I have always argued that non-Flash sites are best. All your content is indexed and searchable, and Flash-based sites are out of luck. Well apparently no more.

I read in Ars Technica today that Flash based sites are good-to-go. Apparently the major search engines can now rip through Flash sites and index the content. Does this mean that more sites will be Flash-based?


However there is one caveat from the article:

Of course, Google (and eventually Yahoo) won’t be able to index everything embedded within a Flash file—at least not yet. Anything that is image-related, including text that is embedded into images, will be invisible to the search engines for the time being. Google also noted that it can’t execute certain JavaScripts that may be embedded into a Flash file, and that while it indexes content that is contained in a separate HTML or XML file, it won’t be counted as part of the content in the Flash file. These are all issues that are being worked on, however, and are likely to change in the future.

Just how will it index text rendered in an image? Isn’t that what CAPTCHA systems are now? Images of text that you have to type in so that humans can be separated from the bots? Would love to see how that will be done. I don’t see that coming any time soon. But I can be proven wrong too. 🙂

Do you think that Flash sites are better than traditional non-flash websites?

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The End of May

Image of a sunset in May

Today is the first day of June and the official end to the month of May. May is a challenging month for me. My birthday is in May and I get another year older (and hopefully wiser). The school year begins its path to winding up for the year—meaning the kids, and my wife, begin to prepare for their summer vacations. I on the other hand do not get 3 months off. (Remember getting 3 months off in the summer—those were the days). And at the end of the month schedules go into the blender for a few weeks.

The end of May also signals the end of spring and the beginning of summer. So it is a period of transition for us all. There are so many things in transition in the world right now: energy issues, political issues, etc.—the list can go on for a while. For me personally, the transition happening is the beginning of summer and the change of schedules for the entire family. There is some vacation time coming up with the family and time by the pool for sure. But it always take a couple of weeks to adjust to the new schedule. There are others but that is by far the one with the most impact on personal life at this time.

What transitions are in motion as you go from May to June? From spring to summer?

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Small Business (Non) Spender

Coin Jar

Interesting post today on Dawud Miracle’s blog titled “Why you need to invest in your business.”

For those people running a truly small business (less than $150,000 in gross receipts annually) spending money on non-tangible items can be a tricky game. Your marketing and promotion budget looks like the jar above.

What I mean is spending money on new file cabinets, or a new desk for a business owner at this level provides a physical object–something to put your hands on. Whereas investing in a marketing plan, or paying someone to brainstorm on developing your brand is not a definable physical object that you can point to and say “that is what I paid for.” This is a tough proposition for a truly small business owner to entertain.

I think it is hard for business owners at this level to see beyond the quarter or next quarter. Business at this level is happening on a day-to-day basis. Business owners keep their view on the short distance game. Being able to “let go” and see the big picture can be a challenge.

I would suggest that a small business owner take time to define their goals with their business.

  • What do you want from it? Money? Independence?
  • Envision wild success. What does that look like?

The idea is to define what you want and from there devise a plan to make it happen. Breaking things down into smaller and smaller tasks is key to moving ahead and there are hundreds of blog posts about the topic of getting things done.

I think that many times small business owners look out and think they can’t get to the “pie-in-the-sky” goals and then just give up on it. Thinking you have to spend $10,000 to achieve your goals may actually be reality but that does not mean it has to be all at once. Do what you can with the resources you have now. Build a foundation that can support future endeavors and even handle a change of direction if need be. The key is to, as Walt Disney said, “Keep moving forward.

I know, being a small business owner, that I too can be a (non) spender. If you are a small business owner, do you spend on the non-tangibles? (marketing, promotion, etc?)

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Taking Breaks Big And Small


Something I am not good at is taking a break from work. Any type of break–5 minutes or 5 days. On a daily basis I find myself sitting at the machine for 3 hours at a stretch without getting out of the chair. Obviously this is not good. I did get a pedometer over the holidays to see just how much movement I am getting during a typical work day. Right now I am averaging over 10,000 steps a day which is not bad for a mostly sedentary desk job. On a day-to-day basis I do need to take more breaks and get up and move around. I don’t think we as humans were designed to be seated for long periods of time. To help with that I recently setup a small mac-based application called FlexTime. It is a great app that will let me program periods of time and breaks, and it will put notices up in front of me to let me know to take a break or switch gears. Not only the physical change, but the mental change of focus and attention will help as well.

Other than the day-to-day breaks are the BIG breaks–vacations. We all need vacations to help rest and recharge. Problem is in this country (US) we tend toward the workaholic side of the spectrum and take very few breaks on a daily basis and take very little vacation time when compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Then again our GNP is the highest in the world so there is a positive side to it. However, I tend to work so hard for so long that I get burned out. I have been to burnout and back several times in my career and its no fun. To help keep this at bay I recently made a decision to take a vacation that sort of landed in my lap. A friend who is going to Mexico for 10 days asked me to come along–out of the blue.

Initially my reaction was. “Well, I do have so many projects going on right now I’m not sure I can spare the time.” I told this to someone I met at a party over the weekend and he looked at me and said, “You should go on the trip. Work will always be there, a chance to go to Mexico will not.” I thought to myself, he is absolutely right. It is the advice I would give to someone else if they were telling me the story. I would say figure out how to make it happen and I am making it happen. My new passport is on the way and I leave 2 weeks from this Friday. I have never been to Mexico and I have lived a couple hundred miles north of the border for almost 15 years. Its about time I take a visit. The work will be here when I get back.

When was the last time you took a vacation or a day off?

Yeah. Exactly–too long. Make it happen. Take the opportunity when it comes, or make the opportunity now.

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Do You Call It A Resolution?

Sign of choice

I’ve changed my attitude a bit since the stroke of midnight on 12/31/2008. Nothing drastic just a change of perspective really. I have decided (key word) to be less stressed. Yes, I have decided to be less stressed. I can you know. Because after all stress does really comes down to choice. When presented with a situation I can choose to stress about it, or go with the flow. During last year I tended towards the stressed side of life. Everything became stressful no matter how insignificant or benign. It was exhausting, frustrating, tiring, and no fun at all.

I worked hard in the last half of last year to come to understand that everything involves choice–especially your emotional state, what and how you label things, and how you ‘feel’ about it. Thing for me was that being ‘stressed’ with regard to just about everything became default behaviour. The stress compounded to create anxiety about everything. I got tired of feeling stressed all the time and sought out answers and remedies to feeling stressed all the time. Yes, hot baths, exercise, massage, acupuncture all help create periods of relaxation but they can be fleeting. What I needed was a something longer term and I found it in understanding that I have a choice to how I react to everything around me. Choice is the power to steer clear of default behaviours. The first step is awareness and from that ‘choice’ can turn what would be stressful by default into just another thing. The fact that I did not do my 15 minutes of posting yesterday? No stress. It was a holiday.

So, I’m not sure I see this change as a resolution so much as a serious lifestyle change, or should I say lifestyle ‘choice?’ Do you see stress as a choice? Or, something else?

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