You will see and hear a great deal about how to make 2016 your best year ever, how it’s gonna be so awesome, and you’re gonna be so great! Oh, dare I forget famous : )

I’ll assume you’re sensing my sarcasm. I do like new beginnings, I do find the beginning of a new year some what fascinating, I get a small charge internally. My welcoming 2016 has very little to do with me, having said that, I will accept anything positive and good that comes my way. But the truth is, some things will not be good, and some things will not go the way I wish or want them to. The same will most likely happen for you. So learn from the negative and teach your positives, and maybe even give it away.

We do tend to apply the new year thing to our personal desires, dreams, and sometimes goals. After all, we all want more, we all want many good things to happen, so we have this overwhelming amount of hope and the turn of each year, and we should! But not for personal reasons, I believe we have huge problems to solve, not just for me, but for all of us, we need to think terms of all, just you or me. If we focus on the great good, how all can benefit, the odds are many of the dreams and desires will come to us, because we took our eyes off us and put them on those around us.

Today we think of the future in terms of technology rather than in real-time, hands on things, helping those less fortunate than ourselves, sacrificial giving, putting others before yourself. I remember my parents telling me that when they were teaching me about sharing with others. When I speak of the future, or the future of business, the core value in my heart is about how we all benefit, we all gain a greater sense of worth from whatever is being built, designed, invented, and that we all have some sense of an ROI (Return On Investment). So let me begin….

This year, this new year called 2016 will be the year of Virtual Reality, many will be consumed by it. It will be a huge draw for sure, the amusing side of it will keep you coming back for more. The unknown, and the possibilities will be the bigger deal. Like most things, for every equal good, there is an equal bad. Much of that will reveal itself before the year’s end. There will some really interesting applications for VR, Real Estate comes to mind immediately, it will be the end of QR Codes.

I also plan to continue my studies on the future of business, what does it look like, what does it mean to you the business owner, and how can you truly apply and understand the Open & Free Business Model. I have said it many times, the Open & Free Business Model is not about working for free or giving away everything, it’s a much bigger way of thinking. The idea is about the future, your future clients and customers, and yes many have told me it will never work…..many are proving me right, and I have shared many stories here on this blog of how many are participating in the model without realizing that’s what they are doing.

There is so much to share, and so much to talk about, it will never ever be put to paper or a blog fast enough, or clear enough….you have to get involved, and learn how to change the way you think about business in 5 – 10 years, more importantly, in the next 3 – 5 years. You already know there is a shift taking place, and many of you are resisting it, fighting tooth and nail to keep doing what you’ve always done, and thinking the same way year in and year out. Enough of me lecturing, I encourage you to take baby steps, learn something new about the Open & Free Business Model everyday, I’ll help you wrap your brain around it. I’m planning webinars, workshops, public speaking events, and if all goes well a book you can sit down and work through.

So welcome 2016, but do it for everyone that is a customer of yours, a client, and friend, a neighbour, do it for others, not just for you. Use your influence and hope for others, that’s what it’s truly for, you’ll be just fine if you practice. Always ask yourself the question, How many people are better off because you lived? Imaging the great things you’ll invent, the great things you will do to make the world a better place. I challenge you to welcome 2016 with that mindset, with that heart.

Welcome 2016!


We’ve All Got The Industrial Age Disease, it’s sad, but it’s true. Back when I was in high school, we were told, when you graduate, you MUST get a full time job. So we took a job at the mill, because it payed better than F. W. Woolworth. Today that’s changed, today people want full-time wages for part-time work. We were told to sit down and behave, to pay attention, and how to think… we made a mistake…we settled for something we new deep down within, wasn’t what we wanted. We did it because we were told to, we did it because we felt safe, we did it because we felt comfortable, and then it became our comfort zone, our sense of normal.

Unlike the Matrix, we believed in something that today is no longer true, we believed the Industrial Age System(s) would look after us to our last breath, just as we have in governmental systems. We justify our place in the world based on those systems, the factory model, the school system, they were designed to educate you in such a way that you would fit into that factory model. We went to school, we went to University, being taught how to fit in, not how to disrupt, not how to find a better way. But another way has been making itself known, and only time will tell if it’s a better way. This new way of business may be a replacement for the Industrial Age, it’s called the connection economy!

Seth Godin speaks of the Connection Economy in his book called, “The Icarus Deception”. Here is an excerpt from the heart of the connection economy:

“I don’t care how many friends you have on FaceBook or how many followers you have on Twitter. Those are not actual friends or truly followers. I care about how much people will miss you if you’re not back here again tomorrow.

Connection involves a complex swap of information, expectation, and culture. It involves opening ourselves to others, creating vulnerable moments that frighten us. It requires humanity and generosity, not the rearranging of digital bits.

The swap means that it’s no longer completely up to us; it’s a partnership, not an announcement. When we give up control over the outcome of our interactions, we allow others to connect with us and with one another.”

The biggest difference today, over the last century, we have access to more resources and information than we have time to consume. The Industrial Age forced us to memorize, to conform, to fit in, today we merely need to know where to get the information, we don’t have to memorize it. We no longer have to conform to an old system, we now have the freedom to learn and create new ways to accomplish what the Industrial System doesn’t want changed. Hence, we don’t have to fit in, we can now choose not to comply, we can do that which we were meant to do, we can stand out. We were meant to connect, to share, to make the world a better place.

This new economy feels weird, it feels scary, it feels unnerving, it’s not for the weak of heart, it does however give us a freedom we’ve not had in the past. It’s not perfect, and that’s a good thing, we finally have a cure for The Industrial Age Disease.

Brand Against The Machine BookI have read this book twice now, the first time was a quick once over, the second time, I grabbed a highlighter and messed this book up. I read lot, I mean read sales books, marketing books, how to books, even the bible, but this book I couldn’t put down. It grabbed me right from chapter 1, I was sitting in one of my favorite offices this morning, that being the Roasted Grape, and I punched out probably 30 nuggets (Tweets) from the 1st 5 chapters! So I guess you might say, you should go buy John Morgan’s book, infact…do it right now!

The premise of this book is right on the cover, ” How to Build Your Brand, Cut Through the Marketing Noise, and Stand Out from the Competition”. I know what you are thinking, it’s another marketing book, in some ways you might get that, but I have found it to be more than that, it’s a very direct set of principles that are actually easy to understand.

The book reads easy, it’s very straight forward, and I like the directness, John is very clear when he says it. This book is filled with more wisdom than you would expect, he clearly sees something most of us know but rarely execute. There are a great many take aways for me, but I’m not going spew them all out here, you need to find them for yourself. I will share one of my favorite chapters, it’s number 6, The Right Position, it’s a very short chapter too.

The first sentence from this chapter:

“The number one goal of your marketing should be to establish and position yourself as an authority in your industry or field. Authority leads to easier sales, and more opportunities.”

This says it all for me:

“The most important element of branding is positioning.”

That say a mouthful doesn’t it?

There is so much to share and frankly it would be a copyright infringement if I were to quote the book, I highly recommend John’s book, you won’t be disappointed. Thank you John for writing this book, I have enjoyed reading it over and over a few times.

Start your fight against the machine today, John shows you exactly how to do it. Enjoy!

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I’m up late every night trying to find new ways to teach you the ins and outs of where business going, the future of business. It’s my hope you are actually learning something here. You’re probably seeing it’s not business as usual, that things have been changing rapidly, and it’s painful too. I hope I’m making you think long and hard about what to do next in this new open economy. As I’ve mentioned many times, the future of business is not a skill set, it’s not mechanical, it’s not even about technology, it is however, about how you and I think.

Throughout this blog I have covered a variety of topics, I even share local events in my community, I do that for couple of reasons, to keep it interesting (I hope), and that I am a real living person practicing what I preach. The difference between you and I is, I see things you don’t, and I share that foresight with the intent of helping you take your first steps toward this new world of commerce. The Future of Business is a broad topic really, there are so many paths to go down but there isn’t enough time in a day to cover it all. So I tell you about what I find in my research, in my collaboration with other futurists, and then hopefully you can see the same patterns and trends being presented before us.

You probably find it difficult to implement strategies and tactics to an uncertain future, to something you can’t see clearly. That’s why I write about it, the best way to figure it out is to learn, find sources that can help you understand the paradigm shift we are going through. I pay attention to other futurists, 265 of them, I collaborate with some, and I do countless hours of research of my own, and I don’t get paid to do it! I’ll talk about that another time.

One of those 265 futurists I refer to is Gerd Leonhard, he lives Basil, Switzerland. He heads up The Futures Agency, The Futures Agency is structured as a virtual organization with global reach, deep knowledge and domain expertise, and extensive experience as strategic advisers. He is a digital mentor of mine, I respect his work, and he makes it interesting.

Now you may have noticed there’s push back from the corporate world, most Industrial Age businesses, they are throwing up paywalls everywhere, trying to control you, trying to prevent you from having information freely. Gerd talks about the end of control regularly, he even wrote a book on the topic a few years ago, so I’m not even going to try preaching it, I’ll let you read his book. You can get it here: End Of Control By Gerd Leonhard

It took me two days to read this book, and what a joy it was to finish it so I could share with you. I was emotionally moved while reading this book, that doesn’t happen often, I’m not sure why yet but I’ll figure it out. It could be because he has son named Owen : ) Now I read alot, I like to learn, I like to read other perspectives, and I love to take what I’ve read and learned and then apply it. I’ll admit up front I have been a Scott Stratten fan upon learning he was in this space, he joined Twitter a month earlier than me and I’m proud to say he has made something of Twitter that most haven’t. The book is part of his overall plan I think, he didn’t expect to get asked to write the book but if you follow Scott, it was only a matter of time. The Title is his Twitter handle, @unmarketing. The Book is called, UNMarketing – Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.

Once you start reading, you get the impression he practices what he preaches. I was reading along around chapter 10 and I had this notion, this feeling that I have heard all this before. In fact, I did! I heard it from Scott since the day he joined Twitter, these 64,000 words he put together in this book are actually 457 Tweets on Twitter! If you do the math, 457 x 140 Characters = 63,980 words! I felt like I was reading bite sized chicken nuggets (Tweets) from Scott, bite sized stories, this book reads like a Twitter stream to me. I know, I’m weird, but when you read it, you’ll understand what I mean. I don’t know if he intended it that way, but that’s what it was like for me.

There are 56 Chapters, they are somewhat short, but all are packed with well thoughtout points, some you have to read twice. I found myself saying yes many times while sifting through the pages, because, everything, most things he was talking about, all were simply the use of common sense. Looking at a business in a new way, not using old Industrial Age thinking. I believe that anyone over the age of 35 is stuck, stuck in old thinking. It’s no ones fault, it’s everyone’s fault, from our parents who couldn’t see past what was in front of them. To our leaders in the school system that had to buy into a lie. And we believed the Government was going to look after us, another lie. I think we are seeing that the system is not humane and it merely serves itself.

The first two chapters didn’t really grab me, but the third one did, it’s called the Trust Gap. From that point on, I was giving Scott all of my attention, right through to the Index. The restaurant story is one of my favorites, I have actually lived and tried to get that one done, you’ll love it. If you can get a restaurant owner to do it, the fun they will have, and the money will be a by-product of their trust in the people formerly known as consumers.

There is one thing I don’t agree with Scott on, I hate Wal-Mart, he loves them! His reason’s for loving Wal-Mart are valid to him, he admits he is lazy, and that’s why he goes there. One stop shopping. What I really don’t like about Wal-Mart is this, it makes people think in a broke frame of mind, by cheap stuff 500 times when quality might only cost a few bucks more, and you buy it 5 times instead of 500. That’s just my view on stores that sell in that fashion, right down to Dollar Stores & the new $5 Store. I should talk, I used to work at a store equally as bad back in the 70’s, F.W. Woolworth! But that’s a whole lifetime ago and another Blog Post.

OK, let’s get back to the book…..Buy It! Don’t take my word alone, you will learn, you will get perspective you may not have had before, and you will see a much bigger picture when you get to the Index. There is much more I could cover, but let’s face it, I didn’t write the book, and I can’t possibly do it justice here. Thanks Scott, and good luck on the Book Tour.

Be sure to follow Scott in your Social networks, buy his book, there is much wisdom between the covers, and most definitely visit his UN-Marketing Blog.

A tease for you, you will love The UnEnding : )