Have you being blogging much?

I’m not sure if you are like me, but do you often get asked about your blogs?

For me, I’m asked fairly often about my blogs and where I write them, so hence, I decided to help my audience out with this blog on my blogs….

If you’d ask me a couple of years ago, I’d have said I’ve been playing at (and I admit this, as in the early days I didn’t have much faith in whether blogging works or not) blogging but that was until around 18 months ago, when I stepped it up and started writing a lot more – not just for myself, but on behalf of other people & companies under their names too.

Thus, more and more people have asked me if they could see my blogs, so, to make things easier, on this site, I’ve created a section called “Read My Story” (in the menu at the top of this page) where you can learn about my blogs and see them all listed. Therefore, in this section, you can see all my blogs, listed per year covering 2012, 2013, 2014 and this year – 2015. (I have also done a page listing all my blogs but this needs updating and I will get around to doing this soon – my apologies for not keeping this up to date).

So, I thought as we are around seven weeks from the end of 2015, I would write this blog on all my blogs and give you the opportunity to catch up on my blogs from this year (in case you have missed any or just wanting to re-read them) and/or open up for discussion with you, any points on any of these articles that you may want to discuss. (Note – some blogs I can’t share due to some of my clients asking that I do not disclose that I’ve written their blogs).

With over 60 articles written across various websites, LinkedIn and Medium this year alone, I am sure there are some that you will find interesting, disagree with and want to discuss/debate further.

I’m sure that many more will appear before 2015 ends, but in the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed my blogs this year and you’ll continue to read my articles and blogs in 2016 as well as sharing them with your audience too.

So, I do hope that you have found this blog of interest and should you wish to comment on this blog, ask to submit a Guest Blog for sharing with my audience, would like me to write blogs for you/your company or want just me to help you with your blogging/blogging strategy, then please complete the form below:-

Guest blog – Highlighting the next generation of Aspiring Writers – Fia Essen

As part of a new series to help aspiring writers, I have created a section to help new, up & coming and aspiring writers to get seen, help them, start promoting them and to help them get seen by a much wider audience.

So, if you are a writer and want to be seen by a new wider audience, then complete the form at the bottom of this blog, to feature on the next Writer’s Blog…

 

Guest Post by Fia Essen

I had a somewhat unusual childhood. I grew up surrounded by horses around the clock. Literally. I couldn’t bear to be away from my beloved horse, Stradivarius. So my father talked the owner of the riding club into building an apartment for us on the second floor of the stable, directly above Stradivarius’ box. I believe it’s safe to say that no other father has done that for his daughter.

When I wasn’t on horseback, I had my nose in a book. I didn’t read books, I lived them. The characters in the novels I read became my best friends. I suppose it was inevitable that I would one day start creating my own. But back then I never thought I would become an author.

Moving from Singapore to Crete is what made me pick up a pen and start writing. Not only did I find myself adjusting to living in a different country, I was inundated by an entirely different culture, too. After nearly two decades of being an expatriate in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, Europe was utterly alien and downright esoteric to me. Writing helped me process the experience.

I had visited the Greek islands as a tourist before my family and I packed up our life in Singapore and headed to Crete, which is the largest of the Greek islands. Like most tourists, I took the romanticized and perfectly idyllic version of the Mediterranean home with me in my mind when my vacation ended. The reality of life on a Greek island came as a huge culture shock. Singapore and Crete are both islands but that is where their similarities begin and end. One is a bustling metropolis of the highest modern mode. The other often operates on medieval morals… Crete has one foot firmly and proudly planted in its illustrious past and history while the other foot tentatively treads on present ground.

I now live in Athens with my parents and my Yorkshire terrier and I’m currently working on Amanda, which is my third novel. My first two novels, Ariel and Anna, are both contracted to Solstice Publishing. I call my books Chick Lit with an international twist. Ariel is a lifelong expat who has worked and lived all over the globe but now she’s stuck in a rut in Singapore. Anna hops on a plane to Greece in a moment of uncharacteristic spontaneity, leaving her life in New York behind. Amanda leaves Boston for France while she’s grappling with a personal crisis.

Even though I call my books Chick Lit I’ve received several positive reviews from men who have read Ariel and Anna. Both books deal with the issues of finding the courage to discover what you want from life and how to handle unexpected changes. And I think that appeals to both men and women, younger and older people.

Writing is my job and I work hard to create stories that I hope people will enjoy. I’m in it for the long haul. My aim is to write two new manuscripts each year. The beauty of writing is that there’s no age limit, it’s not something you’ll ever grow too old for.

Both Ariel and Anna are available on Amazon: http://author.to/fia and you can contact me through my website: http://www.fiaessen.com

 

To learn more about why I am doing this to help writers and to see other writers who’ve have written blog posts, please visit “Helping Aspiring Writers” to learn more. So, if you are looking to follow in Fia’s footstep’s and share a blog post about you and your writing, please complete the form below:-

 

 

Have you seen their Toolbox? Do you know what’s it?

Are you with a one-track pony? Recently I have seen someone who is clearly focused on chasing certain people, reading this book and that book, following certain people in hope that they would engage with them, going through groups/forums and when they get a response they sing and dance about to highlight “look how good I am X, Y or Z have messaged me to say I am right”….oh please……
Whilst it may be good to be working with someone who is a specialist (and I use this term loosely!!) to help you in one area, just step back and look…..who are you, how big is your Toolbox and what complete advice can you give me?
With more and more people leaving work (or the world of medium, big, national or corporate work) to either work for smaller companies where you will feel more comfortable, appreciated and wanted or even working for yourself, you need to effectively manage both your finances, training and advice effectively.
Yes, it can be good joining others on a few hours, half or full day’s training/overview on services and or a product or maybe even having one-on-one training — but are you looking at this the right way?
I recently spent some time going through with someone who had been working for themselves for 10 years plus and had started a second business around 18 months ago. They had listened to a few mates, people at the companies where they did sub-contract project work and other sub-contractors they worked alongside with for advice on what they need to be doing, should be using and buying books/attending courses. Yet most of the advice they were given, were focused around doing things freely, using free App’s, reading on-line or buying books/training sessions that had no real relevance as they didn’t focus them or weren’t really specific/relevant to their industry.
(Note:- I am not knocking FREE applications as within my Toolbox, I do share many free App’s that you can use as a foundation to get going with and even some, that you can use long term as they are a great help).
If you have less than 50 employees, work for yourself or looking to start out on your own, step back and look at what you need and want? Yes you may need some training here and there and assistance with certain things, but what do you really need?
It maybe good to go a specific trainer or advisor to seek help & advice or get in a coach/trainer looking at certain service/sector but why? Have you asked them about their Toolbox and what is inside it?
The toolbox is a very key component you need to look in and discover what is in someone’s Toolbox when you are looking to spend any money on your business with them.
9 times out of 10, the people you will be speaking too, will have little knowledge outside of their trusted faithful Applications/Services/Products —  which whilst maybe good for them, could be limited or totally wrong for your business, but without you realising this!!
The key thing is that you need a raft to look at. Stand back from their Toolbox, observe what they have and how they describe why they have it, what it does and MOST importantly, how which items will fit in to your business now, short, medium and long term??
The shocking answer is that their answer will be a few items and that can’t really give you comparable answers to why they have them….
If you step back look at certain major Key Influencers, they have their hand in most avenues and know which is the best out of all the items in that avenue to use offer you. So if you ask them about A, they will say look here at Avenue A and they will say yes but what about B, C,D, E, F etc….. these people know and understand the Toolbox principle — does your advisor, coach or trainer?
Take for example Robert Scoble and one area of the many he talks about, the world of cameras and videos. Robert has been playing around with the taking of photos and videos for ages whether by phone, camera, or video camera. He would tell you what the best camera for what you are trying to achieve or point you to someone else. Then it would be the best smartphone to take photos/videos, so you could do this and that with them. Then it would be moving on to portable cameras/recording devices  like the GoPro which Robert has mentioned a lot recently. Yet now, because of what is coming and how this can really help you lay the foundations for both you and your business in many areas, Robert is talking of as well as the benefits of 360 Degree Cameras! You may think what has this got to do with my business, but that is the main key point! Robert has an understanding of what is happening with technology, what is coming and how photos/videos can help you and your business — hence why his foresight and forward thinking is allowing you the chance to stay ahead of others by creating and laying the right foundations in this arena…..
Another example is Brian Fanz. Whilst along the lines of the above, the key point is that Brian takes the same approach as Robert and has many avenues too  and doesn’t always take sides but is giving you a bigger overview of the whole avenue and what it contains. Quite some time ago, both Brian and I were using a platform called Movy which enable you to take and record video messages and show/share them with others in the Movy community. This was (and I think still could be) a great facility yet IMHO, lacked investment and vision as has now been superseeded by the likes of Meerkat and Periscope. If you look at Brian’s avenue, he jumped on board with Meerkat right at the very beginning at SxSW and then you had the announcement that Periscope would becoming (many others ignored Meerkat and we telling people to wait for this) but Brian stuck to his principles and wanted to see the whole picture for his audience. Thus now, he uses three — Meerkat, Periscope and Snapchat — and is now able to demonstrate the plus’s & minus’s of each one, to what it can offer you and your company with both live and recording streaming for various applications within your business.
So, with both the examples of Brian and Robert above, this clearly highlights that whilst they talk about a specific product/service/application, they also know not just one item in this avenue but about the wider arena of what’s available in that avenue and how they compare and/or are right for your business.
Thus,when you are seeking advice, make sure you see that person’s Toolbox to understand what the market is offering. Whilst I’m not using everyone every single day, I have over 100 items in my Toolbox to allow my clients to understand what is happening and how they should be using them.
Once we have discussed the merits of each and everyone that we both think should be in their newly created Toolbox, we make a final list of when and how these items should be brought into their business. Once the list and time frame is created, I then make some suggestions as to how they should pay for them and at what level (i.e. free or paid subscriptions/App’s). I will then, help them to choose books to buy, webinars to watch, possibly share my library with them and if required, who they need as a trainer for this item.
This may seem confusing from the start above when I was saying you don’t need a specialist who focuses on one thing, i.e. like using someone who only focuses on LinkedIn YES you need them BUT only later after you have spoken with someone who has the right Toolbox and can suggest a few names to you!
(Note:- I don’t provide one person, I will offer you between 2 and 4 names, so you can speak to each one and decide who you feel is the right person you can work with to train you).
So, STOP — step back and look at who is training/advising you ask them to show you their Toolbox and explain to you why they are pushing you down that avenue and ask why they haven’t mentioned other items from the avenue like I explained with Brian and Robert earlier.
Please, make sure you are seeing the Toolbox of those offering you advice and training/coaching you as this is one of the most valuable parts of your business and something you need to have in place from day one!
If you would like to see my Toolbox — then click through here to learn more and see what items we have in The Toolbox.
To learn more about having the right Toolbox for you, please complete the form below and let us arrange a time where we can work together to create the right Toolbox for both you and your business…..

 

Why the BBC needs to change……..

(Note – this is an abridged version of a document that Ian Calvert produced after been commissioned by a third party as briefing document on the BBC.)
It is becoming more and more apparent that the BBC are becoming more and more out of control and looking after their own…..yet are refusing to admit it…
Whilst we all like to progress in our careers and maybe we should be able to multi-task, is it right to stop other’s progressing or finding new talent?
What we are seeing with the BBC is that they are moaning that the Government is interfering and/or other media outlets are saying they are out of control, yet they can’t see why this has been said….time they actually looked at what they are doing and seeing how they have brought this on themselves……
A classic example is their move from London to Salford Quays and the huge kick in the teeth to the people in the Midlands, North East, North West and Wales by bring all the staff from London without looking at these regions!
Now several years later, what has happened — NOTHING!!!
Well tell a lie, they have cut the opportunities for new talent to progress from these regions or new talent…
Look at BBC Breakfast as a classic example, when in London, it had a variety of Weather, Business and Sport Presenters/Reporters — yet with the move they have cut this and merged jobs…. Looking at the weekend, we are seeing Business and Sport presenters now actually been the main presenters and the same is happening around the regions where weather presenters are also doing outside reporting too. So, if these roles are being merged and we have people studing their profession — how can they actually work with the BBC? If you have people training and becoming presenters etc, how can they get on mainstream television if they are being blocked by Business, Sport and Weather presenters? You don’t see mainstream presenters taking over and presenting the Business and Sports news or Weather?
And it is not just BBC Breakfast at the weekend, but the News in general. IF you are watching the BBC News channel – one thing you notice is that when the main news appears on BBC 1 – the BBC News Channel switches over to the BBC – another New Presenter! Why when you have a news channel with high paid news presenters, do they then have to employ someone for 5, 10 or upto 30 minutes by interrupting a dedicated News Channel so they can present this bulletin/show?
Another example be the new Daytime Morning presented by Victoria Derbyshire – why have it across BBC2 and BBC News? Again, how can you have a “Dedicated News Channel” but fail with it by interrupting news reporting with shows like this, BBCC Click, HardTalk etc etc? How can you have a News channel if you are going to have non-news programmes on it – it is either a news channel or current affairs – not both!
We are also seeing more and more media coverage alerts by presenters highlighting their shows – yet why do this to us and make great shows that we can’t by shoving them on BBC World? Some of the shows and reporting on there are much better and more suited to the UK instead blocking UK viewers from seeing them!
The time has for BBC to really get it’s house in order and use cross utilisation of services to make things work, thus, here are a few ideas:-
– Turn BBC News into a pure news channel with the any news bulletins/shows done on BBC1 or other channels, be presented by the presenter on BBC News – thus saving on more presenters and studio space!
– We keep seeing Sports Bulletins on BBC News – so why do they need extra presenters in Manchester for BBC Breakfast or the studios for news bulletins/shows? All sport straight out of the Sports Desk they use on BBC News
– Keeping with the Sports theme, why have BBC1 and BBC2 interrupted with Sports events? With us now in a Digital/Freeview world and BBC3 and BBC4 sat doing nothing all day until 7pm – why can’t the BBC turn this into the dedicated Sports channel plus incorporate the Sports Desk too?
– We have great local and regional teams around the UK – why are the BBC investing more here? We are seeing community fund raising taking place to raise money to fund local radio and television but why? If the BBC gave this space over to them, then:-
  1. They would help train these people
  2. By training these people – identify new talent for local BBC
  3. Make sure the space is in constant use and been used
  4. BBC will be helping to fund and create local community news

The above are just four quick ideas as to how they can make themselves more involved with the local community upwards…..

 

What about wastage……..

Time has come for the BBC to actually stop paying over inflated salaries, travel and hotel bills and start using local talent!!
If the main presenters want the work, then they should move — that is what happens in the real world and the BBC is a business and should start behaving like one! The paying of staff to travel up and present shows in Manchester for one or two days (or more) plus their accommodation – just because they are a “name” clearly shows they are out of touch with how you run a  business!!
If you get a job, the company may pay temporary accommodation until you find a place or give you a resettlement grant, but that is it. You accepted the job knowing where it is – so like it and move! If not – there is plenty of people out there that will take the job! So, if this happens in the world of business (and this is what the BBC is after all), then why does the BBC see themselves above everyone else?
The amount of money that the BBC is spending on these over-inflated egos/salaries plus travel and accommodation, could easily see the BBC recruit many more presenters and actually start re-investing in the local community. The BBC over the last ten years have really killed the aspect and ethos of local/community broadcasting that they excel in but they can’t see it! (All as highlighted above in those points!).
If they actually had local radio and television in each town, they would harvest the great talent of local (or want to be) reporters with local knowledge and connections that can be there for the scoops and live reporting. As these reporters develop and grow, they then have the opportunity to progress to regional and then possibly on to national and international reporting/presenting.
And this isn’t without starting working up the chain through the board and Trust with lots more ‘wood’ that could be chopped and salaries trimmed hugely too…….
So, to discover more insight and delve deeper into this article, the full version of this article was produced as a briefing document. If you wish to see the full document, please complete the form below, to apply for permission for the complete document to be released to you with the approval of the document’s funder.
 To learn more about bringing the future into your business today and setting you on the correct path for your future, as well as understanding the forward thinking and the views & opinions of Ian Calvert, the research for other companies that he is looking into and undertaking for companies or just to learn more about Ian Calvert and how he can help you further, you can visit his website here

Or just fill in the form below to discuss this article more……