About This Blog

FabriceCalando.com Changes

With a new year comes changes. When the end of the Hack Your Life Project was near, it was time for me to start thinking of the next steps. What did I want for my site? What content calendar? How often should I post? What should I write about? The #HYLP was big for me and the thing about big events or projects is, when they’re done, they create a void. The great thing about that void is that it puts things into perspective. It creates questions. The worst thing to do is to sit in the void and wait.

What to expect from the site in 2013

First there’s an updated logo. The original design is by my friend Konstantin Ficklscherer so I’ve asked him to add a tag-line of sorts — Rethinking Marketing, Business, Work and Life. I think that summarizes what you’ll get from this site starting next week. We’ll dive into the details in a bit.

Second, there’s a new content calendar. When I first started writing here, I was posting as ideas came — turns out that doesn’t really work for me. I feel writing is like a muscle, I need to work it out regularly to improve it. So I started writing three times a week. I stuck to that schedule for a couple of years, but it got overwhelming as my career grew so I cut it back this past year to twice a week — Mondays (the #HYLP post) and Thursdays.

I need to write more, but still take into account my schedule. I’ll still give you two pieces of content a week, with an option for a third. The actual publication days are not set in stone yet; let’s play around with them and see what works best for you.

What type of content will you be getting?

Rethinking Marketing

At times this site’s been almost uniquely about social media and marketing. I want to bring some of that back. I use writing to re-frame and think through my thoughts so as a Marketing Director this is not only vital for my work, it’s part of what I love to do. I’ve always been someone who’s pushed the envelop at work, especially thought processes. It’s gotten me in trouble at times, but all in all, it’s worked very well for me. I want to share with you some Marketing insights I’ve gathered over my past 10 years of experience and through the books I’ve read. Stay tuned for posts on branding, positioning, content marketing, inbound marketing, etc.

Please don’t expect too many how-to posts, but something that will hopefully get you to think differently about your marketing. Regardless of if you’re a freelancer, entrepreneur, employee, even a professor — we’re all marketers. I’ve been marketing companies, products and brands for a decade now, if you have anything you would like to me to talk about, let me know.

Expect these posts on Mondays — Let’s call it Marketing Mondays if you will.

Rethinking Business

At other times this site’s been more about other aspects of business like business development or recruitment. I have some strong opinions on various others aspects of running a business and I still want to share those. At various times, I’ve found myself giving that advice to businesses and recruitment has been a big topic so I want to give myself some space to talk about that.

Look for those posts on Thursdays or Fridays. These are the “option of a third” piece of content I was talking about earlier. They’ll be identified as Special Edition posts.

Rethinking Work

This is flip-side of the previous section — it’s about you, the employee. Please don’t let the fact that you have a boss to answer to mean you surrender control. We’ve been talking about this a lot recently and I have a lot more to say on the topic. If there’s one thing I can’t stand is when employees give-up, when they punch in and punch out. Granted, you might have great things happening outside of your work-hours like family and hobbies — and that’s great. Your day-job doesn’t have to be your life-long passion. But let’s look at it another way for a moment if you will. If you’re a full-time employee you spend a minimum of 1,750 out of 8,400 hours a week at work. Take out your sleep time and that’s a lot. If you dread every second of those 1,750 hours, if you hate every moment you’re there, you’re missing out. We’re missing out.

Expect these posts on Thursdays or Fridays as well. They’re also part of that “option of a third” piece of content that I’ll alternate with the Rethinking Business posts; when I have something worth saying.

Rethinking Life

If the first thing that comes to mind is the Hack Your Life Project — you’re quite right. I spent a year rethinking my life and I can’t stop now. This is the second piece of content that I’ll give you. But it’s a little different this time around. It will be in newsletter format. That way, it can just be you and me rethinking things through.

So here’s the deal, I’m putting together a newsletter and once a week, you will receive a challenge that will push you (or us, I should say) to hack our lives. The cherry on top? So many people have had great success doing exactly that so each challenge will be based on a quote by one of these wonderful people, ranging from Michelangelo to Maya Angelou.

As Avinash Kaushik once said “a good quote gives you context within which you can think.” That’s what this new edition of the Hack Your Life Project will be. A good quote that will give context to a great challenge.

So there you have it

FabriceCalando.com is changing. Mondays you will get the Marketing Mondays posts where we’ll rethink various aspects of marketing. The end of the week will be dedicated to rethinking business and work (when I have something I feel is worth saying) and Sundays you’ll receive a challenge designed to rethink your life (if you choose to sign-up to the newsletter).

Why?

My wish is to help you rethink your business and your life. I’m very excited about these changes, I feel I’ll be able to talk about various topics I’m quite passionate about, but keeping a common denominator — rethinking. Hopefully you’ll find value there.

I’ve built a career on rethinking and I want to share that with you.

I look forward to a great ride.

(Photo credit: Kevin Dooley)

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3 words 2013

A new year almost naturally lends itself to resolution- or goal-setting. Never having been a fan of resolutions, I’ve always tried to set-out plans for myself. Chris Brogan‘s 3 words method always stuck with me. The concept is simple: Come up with 3 words that represent what you want for yourself during the year. It’s more than a resolution. It’s much broader. Yet, it’s simple enough to carry around as a reminder.

2012’s 3 words

Naturally last year’s three words were overshadowed by my Hack Your Life Project. Let’s still take the time to review what worked and what didn’t:

Learn. It was supposed to be about more than books and blog posts. It was about meeting people and being challenged. I did cut down dramatically on the number of events I attended, but I did get to spend more time with some friends and acquaintances. I also got to learn a whole lot more about topics I knew nothing about. All in all, I’ll give this word a pass. I’ve met expectations.

Perfect. It was about perfecting my strengths. Although hard to quantify, I’ll give this one a fail. I didn’t meet expectations. I did cut out a lot of non-value added activities through Tim Ferriss’s Low-information Diet to focus on things of more importance. I think I could have done more.

Do. The last word is, evidently, about going from thinking and planning, to doing. I think the Hack Your Life Project achieved that quite well. I’ll give this one an excellent. I’ve exceeded my expectations.

2013’s 3 words

What will this year’s focus be? The three words for 2013 are: push, restructure and epic. Let’s dive deeper:

Push. This past year I had the incredible opportunity to speak about my Hack Your Life Project to The Gazette employees. One of the questions asked was: “In the end, what did you get out of this project?” With hindsight I think I can better answer the question now than back then. What I got out of it is this: Being able to notice or understand when I’m being stopped by fear. And that’s precisely what this word is about. It’s about pushing through when I’m stopped by fear. It’s about applying the lessons of the Hack Your Life Project.

Restructure. I work at a full-time job. But I also write, speak, give trainings and there are a few more projects I want to get off the ground this year. As with any company, there comes a time when restructuring is necessary to make the whole organization more efficient. This year, I want to restructure to make better use of my time to accomplish more at work and more at my other endeavours. Included in that is a prioritization of projects.

Epic. That last word came in quite literally at the last minute. Some time on December 31, 2012. In many ways I find 2012 was epic. From some very scary lows to some great highs. That’s something I want for myself. I want each major decision to be epic. “Go big or go home” if you will. That’s not to say small things won’t get done — dishes still need to be washed and the laundry still has to get done after all. But that doesn’t mean the big things can’t be epic.

That sums it up for me. How will you spend 2013?

(Photo credit: Kevin Dooley)

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My 2011 influencers

Like a lot of you, I spend the closing weeks and days of the year looking at what went well, what went not-so-well; if I’ve accomplished the goals I had set out for myself and who has helped me — directly or indirectly. In other words, my influencers. I’m lucky enough to have a lot of influencers around me. My friends, my girlfriend and family are always at the top of that list. I also get to meet a lot of interesting people like Sandy, Ray, the guys at Kai Design, Phil, Liz, Seb and countless others. There’s also my friends Konstantin and Eugene that have helped out with the design and development of this site. Like last year, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank the influencers that I don’t necessarily get to thank in person and that probably don’t realize the impact they’ve had.

My 2011 influencers

Frédéric Harper

I met Frédéric a few years ago via Twitter. Since we’ve met in person and I’m happy to be able to call him a friend. Like I said last year, Fred is a true Trust Agent. This year he not only gave me the opportunity to speak at FailCampMTL, but he encouraged me to start an exciting project/challenge in 2012 (details coming next week). He pushed me to start and gave me some advice along the way and has offered help for the duration of the project.

You can follow Fred at Out of comfort zone.

Howard Schultz

Howard is the ceo of Starbucks. When I ordered is latest book, Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul (Affiliate link), I was expecting more of an interesting book about the coffee chain. What I found was one of the best books of 2011. It’s the best book on leadership and business I’ve read in a long time. It’s all told through the story of Starbucks, but there are tons of lessons you can learn and apply whether you’re looking to build and rebuild your business or even work on yourself.

I’ve never met Howard, but Onward has had a great impact. You can pick up a copy of the book here (last two links are affiliate links).

Seth Godin

I’ve been reading Seth’s blog and books for a little while now, but I feel 2011 was big. Through his blog and Domino Project I’ve learnt more about business, leadership, management and personal development than I have in a long time. Seth is a smart business man, a great writer and a visionary. I’ve learnt a lot from him this year.

You can follow Seth on his blog.

Julien Smith

Julien is someone who’s not afraid to push you in directions that you wouldn’t have thought of going. Anyone who follows his blog will know what I’m talking about. He’s been an influence for a while now, but I think this year was more than usual. In many ways, his talk at FailCampMTL gave birth to my 2012 project/challenge and his book — The Flinch — solidified it.

If you don’t read his blog, I encourage you to do so.

Chris Brogan

Chris has been a strong influence for a while now so it’s hard for me to exclude him from here. As my friend Sandy put it, he’s one of the first people you find everyday in your inbox. His blog posts, books, webinars and projects are tremendous teaching tools. He’s a visionary, a leader and a great do-er. I’ve only had the pleasure to meet Chris once and it was brief, but I feel I’ve known him for years.

You can follow Chris here.

I would like to thank all the people that have had an impact on me this year. It was a pleasure meeting you and learning from you.

I’d also take the time to thank you — the reader. Every year more and more of you spend some time here and I thank you for that!

Happy 2012!

(Photo credit: Kevin Dooley)

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classes and conferences

I just got back to work after a week off in the country: no internet connection and very limited cell phone connection. I have to tell you – disconnecting does a world of good! I don’t know if you take the time to disconnect once in a while, but I strongly recommend it. I’m now recharged and ready to go!

Classes and conferences

A lot has been happening on my side and I haven’t had a chance to share with you. First, I’m going to be conducting classes and training at AFI Expertise – a local training center. I’ll mainly be talking about social media. For now there are four courses planned – Intro to social media, How to use LinkedIn to achieve your goals, Recruitment with social media and Social media governance and policy. For now the classes are only offered in French, but English versions might follow. The first class in on the 17th and I’m super excited and I hope to see you at one of the upcoming trainings!

Second, I’ll be speaking at the first edition of FAILcamp Montreal. It’s organized by Frédéric Harper. In a nutshell FAILcamp is a celebration of failure – failing is one of the greatest learning and growth opportunities. Failure and defeat are often seen as something negative and they can sting quite a bit, but they’re also the best teachers and medicine. As Steve Jobs says about first getting fired from Apple: “It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.” I hope you’ll join me there as well! It’s on the 21st of September.

And you, how have you been?

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200 posts and counting...thank you!

I was writing another post when I realized it would be my 200th. That’s crazy to me. When I first started out, I wasn’t too sure where I was going to go with this. So far, it’s been a great ride! I started out writing about marketing because that’s what I knew – I had worked in marketing and web my whole career. Then this year I added a twist – HR marketing. I started working at TMP Worldwide – a recruitment advertising agency — so the topic was fitting.

I’ve also done some background changes like switching from Posterous to WordPress, changing and rechanging the design as well as reworking some of the code and that was an awesome learning experience. All in all, it’s been a great ride and I’m looking forward to the next 200 posts.

But what is truly incredible is you! I want to thank you for reading, commenting and sharing. It’s really appreciated…I find it awesome that you’re here!

As a special thank you, I want to offer you something concrete. I read a lot of great material that has helped me change and evolve this blog and use it as a tool to build my business. Obviously there are the great bloggers like Chris Brogan, Christopher Penn, Mitch Joel, Gary Vaynerchuk and Julien Smith just to name a few. There are great projects like 31 Days to Building a Better Blog and Blog Topics. And then there’s you…I learn from you every day.

But the greatest insights I’ve gotten was from books. 4 books that have helped me quite a bit in the past while have been (in no particular order):

The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

Why I think it’s important? This book is a must read for every business person. The world has changed and we’re way passed point of only having to accept it, we’re at the stage of understanding how to harness it. This book will give great insights.

Why I think HR needs to read it? The ONLY way for a company to be “social” is through its employees. Gary paints a good picture of this. It’s important to take the time to understand what traits to look for and who to hire. Hint: it’s not only about the tasks that need to be completed.

Recruitment has never had as big an impact on the health and well being of a company than today and The Thank You Economy will show you why. If you want to know more, here’s my review.

Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith

Why I think it’s important? Trust is one of the biggest elements of this new economy. Actually it always has been, but the online world has only boosted that. Chris and Julien go over some of the main elements of building Trust online. I still keep their points in my back pocket and review them from time to time.

Why I think HR needs to read it? Your job is all about trust. The trust you build with the employees and the trust you build online. You need to learn how to be a Trust Agent.

Linchpin by Seth Godin

Why I think it’s important? This book is all about fighting your most basic instincts such as fear to accomplish doing great work.

Why I think HR needs to read it? This book is all about fighting your most basic instincts such as fear to accomplish doing great work. Do I really need to say more?

Change by Design by Tim Brown

Why I think it’s important? The book is written by Tim Brown at IDEO – one of the most creative design agencies. By using design thinking, they’ve transformed all their projects. Learning some of the basics of design thinking will allow you to change your organization and encourage innovation.

Why I think HR needs to read it? The world of HR and recruitment is rapidly changing. Implementing the principles of design thinking will help you implement the change that your organization needed to survive.

Obviously there are many many more great books out there, but those are the ones that have impacted me the most. So here’s my gift to you…leave a comment below (or email me) telling which of the 4 books you would like to read or re-read. I’ll pick two people (one for each 100 post, pretty clever hun?) and I’ll offer you the book you asked for. Sound like a plan?

One last thing…

If you feel like getting these posts by email, sign-up here!

Thanks again for all the time and attention you’ve given me!

(Photo credit: » Zitona «)

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The evolution of me

A little while ago I switched the topic of this blog from business, marketing and social media to jobs, careers, social media and recruitment. I realize it might be a little early to draw conclusions, but this change has been really positive. How do you use change?

I have to admit that before that change I was starting loose inspiration. Posts were harder and harder to come by. Although the switch was a little scary, it’s really been great. I was afraid I wouldn’t have much to say because I had worked on the consumer side most of my life. I was afraid you wouldn’t follow me. I was afraid I wouldn’t be pertinent. But that really hasn’t happened. I have tons of ideas, you’ve mostly stayed on board and I feel I’m adding to the recruitment industry (at least I think I do).

What can you learn from this?

I’m telling you this because I regularly get people asking me for inspiration. They don’t know what to write about. I think changing things up can help. It doesn’t have to be a permanent change, just long enough to jolt the inspiration. For example, if you write about social media, try going a week without accessing your social tools and write a series about it. If you write about small business, try writing a series of posts on how it’s really customer service that sets you apart.

The idea is really to find something else that interests you and dive into that topic for a bit. Let your readers know why you’re trying it out and go for it…

What do you do to find inspiration?

(Photo credit: Milos Milosevic)

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Moving from Posterous to WordPress

I’m moving virtually that is. I’ve moved from Posterous to WordPress as well as an address change from fabricecalando.ca to fabricecalando.com. I’ve been talking, planning and working on it for months, but due to lack of time, it’s taken me longer than anticipated (isn’t it always like that?)

I’m very exited! First I would like to thank Eugene and Konstantin for their help. I liked Posterous and I had originally signed up for it because I liked the flexibility of being able to use my site to write posts but also to share great stuff I found around the web. As time went on, my needs changed. I started sharing less content on Posterous and writing my own content. So the need for more control over my site is increasingly important. I’ll still be using Posterous to share articles and my latest posts, but all the action will be happening here from now on!

There will be some errors and there are still some tweaks and changes to be made over the weeks and months, but waiting for it to be perfect would have meant never switching. I’m sorry for any inconvenience!

Welcome to my new home and I hope you sign up by RSS or by Email.

Enter your email address:

See you soon!

(Photo credit: awnisALAN)

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What_happened_in_march

I’d like to take a moment to thank you for coming to my site over the past month. I’m happy you took the time, it’s very appreciated. Here’s a short summary of your favourite posts. 

  1. LinkedIn is sexy – The professional network is a great tool to build your career and develop your business. To help you get started with LinkedIn, I started the Linkedin is sexy series.
  2. Your LinkedIn presence – This is the first part of the LinkedIn is sexy series. In this post we covered the basics of a strong personal personal profile.
  3. Business books on my coffee table – Recently, I’ve been reading more books and have been getting a lot of value – both form my personal and my job perspective. This is a list of books I’m planning on reading.
  4. Innovation vs. irrelevance – Businesses are often focused on delivering and selling their products and services. Here we talked about the importance of innovating, while still adding value and integrating our clients’ lives.
  5. LinkedIn vs. Facebook: Are your personal and private lives still separate? – With the dominance of Facebook and the increasing presence of LinkedIn in our lives, it’s important to ask ourselves if there is still value in keeping our personal and professional lives separate.

If you want to get these posts regularly, feel free to sign-up RSS feed.

See you soon!

(Photo credit: Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi)

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What_happened_in_february

Here are your preferred posts of the past month. By the way, I can’t believe we’re already in March! If you’re new here, thank you and feel free to browse through. If you’re a regular, thank you so much for spending the time.

If you like these posts, sign-up to the RSS feed or sign-up to get the posts by email on the home page.

See you soon!

(Photo credit: Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi)

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