Business Coaching Business Coaches Regurgitating Advice

Free Business Idea:

A business coaching business coaches.

It seems there are so many folks, (around this area in particular) who are interested in helping other businesses grow their business. It’s their business to grow your business.

I’ll let you in on a secret: You can learn nearly all the same information from books and the internet.

Please shoot me a note if you’re interested in building a business coaching other business coaches. I don’t know, maybe it sticks. Some business coaches out there are just regurgitating advice, paraphrasing commencement talks and writing terrible e-books. They could surely use some help with their business coaching business?

It’s a pretty specific niche. Could we make it more specific by focusing on business coaches coaching businesses in a specific vertical?

What about an annual conference for business coaching coaching? We could offer our best business coach clients the opportunity to give paraphrased versions of talks from other conferences that were interesting a year or two ago.

The Best Communicator Always Wins

Dealing with humans is hard. Communication appears simple but for every person involved in the conversation, there’s an exponentially increasing number of ways to be misunderstood. Everyone has their own filter bubble, and it’s available IRL, not just on Twitter.

You can bet on the best communicator being the one winning the job, getting the promotion, or gaining more power in an organization.

The funny thing is, the best communicator doesn’t necessarily mean the one with the best ideas.

The person with the genius level intelligence who goes dark and can’t clearly communicate their brilliant ideas isn’t  going to be gaining more traction within the social network that is a business enterprise. If you’re a programmer, this is summed up well by Jeff Atwood who tells you, “Don’t Go Dark”.

The person in the organization who communicates well to the most important stake holders is the one will garner more attention and more power within the organization.

A subtle wrinkle here: This person doesn’t even need a clear direction — let alone the best ideas.

You really only need to communicate to others that you care about them and their interests. If you do that, you’re likely to go far.

Wolf Tracks on Teton Pass

It’s barely December and it’s been more than two months since the first snow of this winter flew. I didn’t expect to skin past meandering bear wolf tracks on Teton Pass this late in the year, but I suppose it’s still early season.


Update: Originally I had posted this resorting to the obvious explanation: Bears. A word about Bears in Winter. The conventional wisdom is the bears are hanging around for a few extra weeks looking for a free elk gut pile left from hunters, or some other delicacy such as a few Backcountry skiers before turning in for the winter.

Turns out these are Wolf Tracks. Here’s some handy beta on identifying these tracks for your future use.

the War of Art

or Don’t Overthink the Resistance

There’s something to be said for just showing up every day and doing the work.

This has been written about plenty by folks like Seth Godin and Stewart Pressfield. I recharged my Kindle yesterday and opened up my long forgotten list of downloaded eBooks. Many of these have been read more than once and many are still reads-in-progress. The key to being a better reader is giving up on books that make it hard to finish them.

Thus I began re-reading the War of Art. This gem by Pressfield can be read in less than a day, especially if you’re on a flight or have a few hours to commit to following through. It’s a great inspirational read about the Resistance that stops us all from accomplishing the things that we want to accomplish.

The hardest part about doing the things we want to do and accomplishing what we want in life is simply taking action on them. Day in, day out. Showing up. Putting in the reps.

It turns out that there is a force in the universe that wants to stop us all from accomplishing the things that we want and Pressfield takes to calling that thing the Resistance.

Giving in is really easy. Doing the work is also easy, but not as seductive as giving into the Resistance.

I definitely recommend this book for anyone working in a remotely creative or entrepreneurial environment.

WordPress Plugins You Should Be Using in 2017

5 minute read

The WordPress ecosystem has matured quite a bit since the last time I spent much time with it around 2011-2012. The paid themes and premium plugins specifically are light years ahead of where we were 5 years ago. A light weight website is easy to set up with WordPress, cheap to host, and you really have a lot more control over it than what you get with a Squarespace or Wix site.

Here’s my go-to plugin protocol for any generic WordPress install that you actually care about:

1. Akismet Anti-Spam

The obligatory spam blocker for WordPress. Created by Automattic, the same company behind WordPress, Akismet is offered at a “Pay whatever you want” rate. This could be anywhere from zero dollars up to more than zero dollars. It’s up to you.

2. Child Theme Configurator

If you’re planning on doing any sort of theme editing on top of a custom theme that you’ve chosen, save yourself a lot of time and headache by installing Child Theme Configurator and creating a child theme before you just go start hacking away at your chosen theme.

Creating a child theme will allow you to keep updating the parent theme, [hopefully] without loosing any of the changes that you made. With the vibrancy of the WordPress ecosystem that’s alive now adays, and assuming you’ve chosen a theme that is actively being worked on count on theme updates being released on a fairly regular basis – at least once a month.

If you edit a theme and you haven’t created a child theme, installing updates to the theme will stomp all over your changes and it won’t be fun.

3. Free & Simple Contact Form Plugin – Pirateforms

There are a lot of free plugins to create forms, I like Pirateforms mostly because it’s compatible with my theme choice. It uses wordpress shortcodes so you can drop a form in on any page you want.

The thing I do like about Pirateforms is that the content of the forms is stored in the WordPress Admin for easy processing, in addition to sending the form content via email.

4. Jetpack by WordPress.com

The ubiquitous Kitchen Sink of the WordPress world – Constantly being pushed to upgrade by Automattic is not my favorite part about this plugin.

Jetpack lets you write your posts in markdown which is reason enough on its own to use. Note: _markdown support is not spectacular even when using Jetpack, but at least it’s there_ to some extent

Other features that are included for better or worse are Portfolios & Testimonials (which many themes will leverage), showing Related posts, adding sharing buttons to posts, generating sitemaps, and improved loading of images by scaling them down to size where it can.

5. Simple 301 Redirects

“Cool URIs Don’t Change”, but your thinking & information architecture sure will. It’s worth pointing out that while 301 redirects are in most cases the best way to redirect, this type of redirect is permanent, so don’t go throwing them around willy-nilly. You’ll also be pulling your hair out if you create one of these and try and update it quickly, because most web browsers will cache the Permanent Redirect and simply deliver you to where the new page was set up at – ignoring any changes you may have made after establishing the Permanent Redirect.

If you want even more control over URI management, check out Permalink Manager Lite which has a lot more features that you may or may not be interested in.

6. Updraft Plus

This is by far the most impressive plug in I’ve found for wordpress. Automatically schedule backups of your content, database, plugins, themes and send it to whatever cloud storage service is your favorite, such as Drop Box or Google Drive, Amazon S3, FTP, or even to Microsoft 👀

The paid version of Updraft plus gives you even more control over backup schedules and they have some impressive services that they offer at the paid tier to allow you to manage multiple WordPress installs – upgrading and backing them up from a single control panel. If you need to manage several WordPress installs this seems like a great way to go (although I can’t say I’m using this feature – the free version is enough for my purposes).