While I was in Manchester, I talked to lots of people. Most of them wanted to know what the secret of starting a successful business is. I don't really have any smart answers. I usually say things like "have a great idea", "keep it really simple", "don't ever expect to get rich" and "stay away from the import/export of live animals, unless you have the correct licence."
None of these are very useful, but they're true.
The people who ask for help and advice always give me their business cards, just in case. So I thought I would start posting their business cards up here. After all, there may be a product or service here that one of you (the reader) might be interested in. It's kind of like speed networking, but with much less chance of things happening. Oh well.
I did a talk in Manchester last week. It was a breakfast talk, so people encountered me whilst drinking coffee and eating pastries. Some of them looked awake. The talk was in the G-Mex, which made me think of MC Tunes. He wasn't there on the day but his spirit lives on.
Going up to Manchester was good – I got to see my friend Ben (old friend) and I met the men from Thoughtful. They've been sending me little ideas and thoughts for a few months now, just because they can, which is very thoughtful of them. I had a cold and James from Thoughtful had heard this news (probably from Twitter or some other bit of digital chit chat) and brought me some Lockets. Very thoughtful. They also filmed the talk – something to watch once you've done more pressing things, like raking up the leaves, ironing your hankies or perhaps polishing your collection of commemorative spoons.
I got a nice email from someone the day after the talk. She said "I have been dicking about for the last six months thinking about leaving [her current employer] to go do my own thing. After seeing you speak the lights went on and today I resigned." Oh, the magic of Powerpoint.
Has anyone ever written an annual report? Or designed one? Or know anything at all about them? We're thinking of doing one at innocent, in a not entirely serious fashion, because that might prove to be a little dull. But if any of you fine people knows anything about them, or even fancy making a pithy comment about a particular favourite, I'm all ears.
As of today, I own a football club, or at least a small part of one. They're called Ebbsfleet United and they're in the Blue Square Premier, which used to be known as the Conference. I'm quite happy that Ebbsfleet are the team of choice - they're from Kent (which is where I went to school) and I think I once played on their ground in a Kent Cup semi-final. So me and Ebbsfleet go back a long way.
Now that I'm the gaffer, I've started to consider how I'll be doing things. I figure that if I can combine the thirst of Clough, the tactical knowledge of Senor Benables, and Big Ron's special way with words, I'll be OK.
Any other tips for running a club and picking a team would be most welcome.
Hello. I am linking to John Grant's new book, entitled 'The Green Marketing Manifesto', for two reasons.
1. John is a nice chap who has helped us out at innocent in the past. 2. He says that he will send a free copy of the book to the first 50 people who link to it, and I would quite like to read it and share it round at work.
The answer is no. I don't do any sort of weightlifting either. The only exercise I do is running, play a bit of football, sometimes ride my bike and do a little gardening when required. I think the question might have its roots in the picture at the top of this post, which for some reason made me look like Sigmarsson.
Haven't seen Roger for years. I think my Dad might keep in touch with him. (Richard of Acejet 170 fame and I used to work at the same place years ago. Roger was the boss. Very tall. A bit like John Cleese.)
Have you ever persecuted some gypsies? Have you ever eaten a live daddy long legs? How does your garden grow with sticks and stones? Can I come round and get that blackboard paint soon? asks Tom
No. Don't think so. Don't know. Yes - are you around on Sunday?
What's your all time fave fruit and why? asks Doug
Mangosteen. I can tell a very long story about them, involving a bike ride that went horribly wrong, leaving me stranded a long way from anywhere, somewhere in Malaysia. But in the interest of brevity, I'd just like to say that they are fragrant, delicious and stain your fingers.
The pep talk was just a little chat about how tired and truly emotional women are after childbirth, and about how, as a dad/partner/husband, you've got to look out for your lady, more than ever. Treat her like a queen. The most surprising thing about parenthood is that I thought there was a knack to it, or perhaps a book that would tell me when I should do certain things, like tell me when I should start to teach Ruby to read or jump or eat dinner unaided. But there isn't. You just do it, and learn as you go along. I'm also surprised by how excellent it is. Better than anything I've ever done.
Fatherhood has changed me to the extent that I drink less, sleep less, work harder, don't live in London and make a lot of animal noises. I am quite good at pig noises right now.
What have you personally got out of blogging? What has Innocent got out of blogging? And, does this planet need any more blogs? asks Brett
I only started blogging because I wanted to show off about having become a dad, and it seemed like a good place where my mum could see pictures of my daughter. I also guess that seeing as I write for a living (to a large degree), it gives me somewhere else to write, other subjects to write about, and allows me to learn about stuff that might help me write even better.
innocent having a blog is pretty natural. We've been sending out a weekly email to people for seven years, which was like a blog before there were blogs. When we found out that there were easy ways to post stuff (like Typepad, Blogger etc) we started blogging. In terms of what we've got out of it, we've had our best thoughts confirmed - the people who drink our drinks care about what we do, they bollock us when we mess up and they give us advice when we need it. We're quite lucky to have a bunch of smart people who buy our drinks.
Does the planet need any more blogs? Probably not. I had a period last year when I had over 150 feeds in my reader, and I used to chastise myself for not looking at every post. It got quite addictive. But now I only look at a handful of other stuff. Life's too short.