Posts by: Kal M

The loving wife – A story from Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

The loving wife – A story from Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

From the book: Hagakure – The Book of the Samurai Written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo (1659-1719), translated by William Scott Wilson Shambhala Publishing Inc 1979, 2002 Hagakure was a great read. A time machine back to an era of Japan where honour and dignity meant life and death, and cutting heads and committing suicide was somewhat…

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Regarding Lannie and Marriage

Regarding Lannie and Marriage

The first person that’s gonna scold me after reading this is most likely my wife Lan. She’s advised me time after time, not boast, especially about my marriage. And you know, she’s right. For the most part, I’ve stopped. That said, this is my first time writing about my marriage. Sorry. Point being – this…

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Admitting to my complacency

Admitting to my complacency

True or false: we resemble tiny insects with roles and hierarchies, fate is almost certain, with little to no actual ability to maneuver our positions and change our directions in life, let alone do grand things that we’ll be remembered and be immortalized for. Those who have are celebrated, and become celebrities, and for good…

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You are being attacked

You are being attacked

There is an attack on us. Don’t be fooled. It’s everywhere, and at the same time, nowhere. It’s prevalent in our lives, quietly hidden under our beds, in our knapsacks, and in the shows we watch and the sites we visit. The attack is on your brain. Their weapon: Distraction. The booty, the bounty, the…

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When should I get a mentor?

When should I get a mentor?

Part 01: When? Now. – End of Part 02: Why? What? Where? Who? Why should you get a mentor now? Simply, because a mentor will drastically increase the speed of your development and growth. You shouldn’t wait until you have a crisis before you seek out mentorship. Your crisis will most likely kill you before…

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Prioritizing your dreams

Prioritizing your dreams

In our youth, we are filled with dreams and aspirations. As we age, dreams we once held sacred and critical to our identity slowly begin to dematerialize. There are many reasons for this, none that really matter. What matters is, that as the possibilities of obtaining our dreams begin to fade, so do our childhood…

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It’s your responsibility to grow

It’s your responsibility to grow

It’s a privilege that your employer creates time in your workweek for you to study and learn new things. However, don’t get this confused with the responsibility you have for your own growth and prosperity. For far too many, this new-age-hippie tech industry has created this false idea that it’s the employer’s responsibility for you…

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Doing the uncomfortable

Doing the uncomfortable

Change is the only constant I love the uncomfortableness of change. It’s such a beautiful feeling. I fucking love diving into a cold lake knowing very well the ice-hell that awaits. I love public speaking knowing I’m about to lose my shit right before going up – and possibly throughout. I love being amongst those…

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What The Matrix got wrong about our future

What The Matrix got wrong about our future

What is reality? The question what is reality has been studied and discussed for millennia. Despite of our attempts to understand reality through meditation, prayer, philosophy or science, there is still no clear answer. One thing’s for sure: We’re living in a Matrix of sorts. We take in over 400 billion bits of information per…

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Hiring, and your company culture

Hiring, and your company culture

A friend recently posted about his staffing troubles. “It’s about 2am and I cant sleep because our ongoing staffing problem keeps me up all night…” My response Company culture is what will keep a team together, not a big paycheck or prestigious work. You’d be surprised how little people are willing to get paid when…

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Rituals that make my day awesome

Rituals that make my day awesome

“Rituals are a form of structure that makes life flow more easily. They’re mindless — you do them without thinking. Perhaps most important of all, they orient you as to where you are and what you should be doing.” – W. Doyle Gentry, Happiness For Dummies[01] I choose to have an intense life My life…

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We are all crazy. Let’s deal with it.

We are all crazy. Let’s deal with it.

We’re not crazy. We’re batshit crazy. There’s no doubt about it. The best among us know it and have quietly acknowledged their craziness, while the rest live in denial. Personally, I’ve acknowledged this – and that there’s a finite time before my craziness gets out of hand. Broken brains How fucked up would it be…

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I’ve fallen back in love again

I’ve fallen back in love again

Young love At the beginning, there was a lustful obsession; an intense infatuation. A desire to impress and a willingness to be impressed upon. The relationship was new, and like all new relationships, I was blindly optimistic, romantically hopeful, and expected nothing but eternal bliss – forever. Like all relationships – the honeymoon stage ended…

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Paint your project: Avoid the black-hole

Paint your project: Avoid the black-hole

Problem: Creative’s Black Hole Often times Creatives (artists, designers, writers, speakers, and entrepreneurs) get stuck in what I’d like to call The Creative’s Black Hole. Similar to a blackhole, the Creative’s attention and focus is trapped in one small area of a project. So much that the rest of the project’s completion is threatened. I’ve…

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InboundCon 2014 – Presenation notes and resources

InboundCon 2014 – Presenation notes and resources

  Preface On Thursday, September 18th, I had the pleasure and honour to speak at InboundCon 2014, Canada’s Premier Inbound Conference. The subject of my talk was on branding, specifically identity and storytelling; topics that are extremely important to me professionally and very personally. In 20 minutes or less Preparing for my talk, I recognized…

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Project managing your workout

Project managing your workout

I read a long time ago that the most important activity in working out (training) is documenting efforts and measuring results. By far, this outweighs diet, workout regimen, or gym equipment. Simply because, measurement activates us to become more mindful, and thus, not only make better decisions about our workouts but better decisions throughout the…

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Brick by Brick: Inside Lego

Brick by Brick: Inside Lego

Short but packed with valuable data and wisdom, I watched Bloomberg’s Brick by Brick: Inside Lego (available on Netflix) three times this week. Why three times? For one, I absolutely love lego. After the second time, I thought I should record some of the finer points for later reference. Below you’ll find my notes from…

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No email policy

No email policy

The policy Don’t check emails until a 11:30am. Emails are the bane of productivity Emails provide an easy magical doorway to the land of Sans Focus. Emails are distracting, giving the illusion of working hard, ensuring you don’t meet your goals for the day. Our Creative Director, Lannie, has been preaching for a no-email policy for years now. As of late,…

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Branding: What’s in a name?

Branding: What’s in a name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would [not] smell as sweet. – Romeo, Romeo & Juliet, Shakespeare Reality vs perception Shakespeare’s Romeo got it wrong. A rose does not smell as sweet by another name. Our brains are not just recording devices capturing our experiences, but rather…

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Case study: Re-branding the potato

Case study: Re-branding the potato

Market opportunity In the late 18th century, Frederick the Great, of Prussia realized the potential of potatoes to feed his people and his army. The volatility of wheat crops posed a threat to the market and to the people of Prussia. By adopting potatoes, Prussia would decrease the chance of famine and overcome their reliance…

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Setting daily priorities

Setting daily priorities

You already know that setting daily priorities is key to accomplishing long term goals. Yet, you find yourself jumping into work and rushing to deal with ‘important’ crap before doing so, only to find at the end of the day, you did not set your priorities. Why is this? It’s most likely because your subconscious…

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Mental systems: Staying positive

Mental systems: Staying positive

If you’re like me, you have a lot on your plate and sometimes you are guilty for neglecting to have those conversations with yourself. Leaving things to figure themselves out is a recipe for future misery. Feelings of uncertainty, frustration, and even anxiety are waiting a few feet away. Reminder system Here’s what I do…

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Have your cake and eat it too

Have your cake and eat it too

Contrary to the saying, you can’t have your cake and eat it – I very much believe that eating your cake is not just possible, but necessary. Happiness: At the end of the day – isn’t that what we truly want? I’ve achieved my most important goals in life, and look forward to achieving more….

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The importance of healthy conflict

The importance of healthy conflict

For the first several years in business, I was a big wuss. I avoided conflict, and wanted everyone to be happy. Everyone but me. I was a wuss with my clients, my staff, and even my suppliers/contractors. I convinced myself that I was being a nice guy, and that was what leadership was about. This…

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Use Gmail shortcuts

Use Gmail shortcuts

Not using Gmail shortcuts? Shame on you. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t use gmail. Once I found out about gmail shortcuts, my process-obsessed mind made it a priority to learn and implement. Everyone on my team is required to learn and use, at minimum, the basics. They are: ? show…

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Lift app. My daily habit tracker.

Lift app. My daily habit tracker.

What does Lift do? Simply, it tracks whatever daily habit that is important to you. Here’s a list of a few habits I track. No snooze button Wake up early Daily affirmations Drink more water Set priorities for your day You can also follow others, get ‘props’, and make comments on your daily activities.   …

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Nice looking sites

Nice looking sites

2014 The secret to a really nice website is a combination of three things. Great photography, preferably in that bullshit parallax effect Beautiful typography And cute iconography. Bonus: Instagram your photos. That’s it. Keep in mind: Just because your site ‘looks nice’ doesn’t mean it will be effective. Great looks without strategy is useless. 2010…

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How brands become icons – Coca Cola

How brands become icons – Coca Cola

Brand message: Open Happiness Execution: This video. …Iconic brands have been guided by a set of tacit strategic principles that I call the cultural branding model. These principles differ entirely from those advanced by conventional branding schemes. In fact, cultural branding upends many verities by which managers have sworn for decades. To learn how cultural…

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Making marketing decisions based on psychology

Making marketing decisions based on psychology

Do you account for perceived value? Businesses often want to spend their marketing budget to increase and enhance the public’s opinion of their product or service. Straightforward? Not exactly. If a few dollars spent here and there could always produce new customers or happier existing customers, marketing would be, well, boring. Rory Sutherland’s TED talk…

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