Tap To Tell

Wish your text messages would get deleted? Try Tell, the new private messaging app!

You know that moment when you wish the message you just sent to your friend would be deleted for good once they read it?

Tell is an app on iPhone that innovates how we send messages to our contacts with specifics that will knock your socks off.  The two biggest features are a Timer and a Deadline for messages that are sent.

Have we been in these situations before where we wanted these features?  I think we can all come up with a few. Business partners, relationships, during the bar extravaganza where too many drinks make for some happy texting?

Let’s say you have a message that you want to send to your friend but you won’t want them to keep it for long. You can set a timer for the amount of time it remains on their phone.  It then deletes off the phone come that time!

The Deadline feature allows you to set a time where if the message is read or not it will just disappear… poof! Gone!  Say what?  Yes, so if you are in a bar and you send a stupid message to someone, you will be confident to know the next morning that the message is no more!

Interesting fact about the creators: This is their very first go in the entrepreneurial ring. A knock out for sure! Co-founders; Marc Lafleur, Jonathan Makrakis, Shaheen & Sam Zangooi, currently have Tell in open testing mode on the App Store, and they have followed the life cycle to the tee, albeit without technical background’s or expertise. This mobile app is built by users, for users, said Lafleur and Makrakis. With their new 2.0 version on the way (more features) and it expected on the Android platform very soon, the 4 partners from Waterloo are moving forward at a pace that most app developers would love to have! Investment opportunity for sure.

Their inception of the idea was quite simple: Wouldn’t it be great to be able to send private messages to friends, and have it delete with no message history? 

Their growth in the idea spawned with real life scenarios and yes I think you thought of a few while reading this article!

Download the app through the App Store and try it out with your friends, and enjoy the experience!

Visit up their sites:

www.facebook.com/taptotell

www.taptotell.ca

Hardest Worker?

Let’s see… we are in a new start up… four of us together… we are all working but one person puts in all the hours… while the others do what they can… some of us have to put in the extra ten yards… is this you?

Over the years I have put in many hours into all my start ups. Money has been made and things have been great. I am where I want to be; starting businesses and making money!

But it is sometimes difficult to work with people. They don’t always understand the time and commitment it takes to make things happen. They believe that they are doing enough and beauty sleep is needed. When I am in a start up, the fact is, I don’t sleep. Whether it is the time it takes for me to do things to cut down on cost or whether it is the fact I am so pumped up that I can’t stop to sleep, I am always working.

People don’t always understand it. Most will never understand it. Fact is that I like what I do. It is easy and it flows.

How do I justify putting in extra time, above and beyond everyone else? Simple, I don’t care. Why? I have to make it work. I simply don’t fail! This mentality, I believe, has brought me to the place where I am today.

I run a marathon, plain and simple.

While most are sleeping, I am working on one thing or another… there is always something that needs to get done.

Small businesses are like this. You need to analyze what you are good at, what you lack at and pick what and whom you need to bring in. If you are in a partnership, well clearly one may think they are doing more than the other. I let those emotions bounce of me… there’s no time for it.

But it’s not fair you say?

Isn’t a marriage this way? Analyzing and nit picking at small things need to be set aside.  For me it’s about success… I have to succeed!

Complaining about who does more will not matter in the long run. The goal is success and doing whatever is needed to succeed.

My BlackBerry Z10 Experience

I recently bought the new BlackBerry z10 that came out a few weeks ago. I am a faithful of BlackBerry and have always had one. However, I make apps and have played with most phones. So, some biased can come out of this article skewed towards the BB.

So, what can I say about the new BlackBerry z10?

I love the new phone. It is stellar. It is awesome. It is what I expected; hiccups (not major) but overall satisfaction to the norm that I have come to love and expect from RIM. Overall, I give it a full 7 out of 10.

Why only 7 out of 10?

The phone started off on the bad side partly because the Fido reps are incapable of doing their job and I should have went during the day when a manager was around. They set me up with the new BB and quite frankly it was just my number on it. No transfer of my backups, no mention that they did not know how to do it… heck they didn’t even know how to set up the email.

It took me around 2 hours to fully download the new BB Lync, back up the old phone again with the old software and then transfer it all over. I was upgrading with the Torch and since then realized much easier if you have a Bold and do it in proper sequence.

The phone boasts huge power and you are able to multi-task with simplicity. Don’t ask about the battery, which I am still testing, as it is not that great but you can get a back up battery with a recharger for rather cheep.

I am able to run apps, talk and have fun while on conference calls and everything flows seamlessly. It has caught up to the competitors and I hope to see BlackBerry do bigger and better in the future releases.

Would I recommend it? Yes… try it out for a week and see what you think. I bet you will be surprised. But as with any phone you must first try it to see how you like it and then make a purchase you will be happy about!

Arrogance vs Confidence…PFFFF…

Have you ever been called arrogant? Have you ever been on a wild high of continual success and feeling like there is no turning back? The feeling of just going to be good times from here on out?

I, like everyone else, have my good days and my bad days. I also have my streaks and my ruts. The question is:

How do people perceive you when you are on a high, a winning streak that is flowing and no one can touch you?

My experience that I will share with you comes from a networking event where someone told me that I was “Arrogant” (this happens often especially with girls).  I almost stuttered in my response but not because I was offended but because I didn’t know why the person would through that out. What possible reasoning would a person have to make such a remark when they don’t even know the other person they just met?

As I started to do a memory dump of all the possible reasons, I stopped myself and responded with… its confidence… smiled and continued with… I do things right…

How can someone believe that someone else is arrogant without getting to know them firs? Is this a loss opportunity? I think so! Understanding that the two can be confused is one thing, not trying to learn the difference is another thing, which I conveniently call ignorance.

Let’s face it. Running a marathon is fun and games until you start doing well in it. Then you start to boast about how awesome it is and once you get committed you boast about how you have become so good at it and maybe it is time for the iron man. You start to give advice and spew confidence of all the right things you have done to improve.

Is this arrogance?  I think not!

Best example I can provide is with the resent success of Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens. Look at the success this man has had. He pushed and pushed his team to victory.

Moral of the story is… there is a difference between the two. If you are confident don’t shy away when someone calls you arrogant. There is a list of things we can say to these people who assume you are arrogant. Fact is, confidence will prevail in how you conduct yourself.

I don’t live life to the fullest… what should I do?

Recently had someone ask me the question, “I don’t live life to the fullest, what should I do?” and quite frankly didn’t know how to answer. So I have pondered it for a while and here goes. I asked what is it that they need right now in their life and they said “enjoyment”. The following question was simple to ask but hard to answer… what does enjoyment mean?

I realized over the past few years that life is simple. Life becomes difficult when we get stuck in this process of emotional un-attachment to our inner selves. We want something but how do we get it especially when we don’t know what it is we want.

What about Soul Searching?

I think not! I don’t believe in this process of searching for one self’s inner being. I don’t believe in searching for something that we don’t know how to find. Why? I am a logical, realistic person who believes that life brings you to events based on previous decisions. I have sat and pondered while doing the whole soul searching adventure and I realized until I try things out I won’t know what I like.

So what did I recommend to this person?

Make a list of things you don’t want to do… and simply don’t do them (Just like the commercial).

Focus on doing anything but those. Opportunity arises for something, ask yourself:

Is this something I don’t want to be doing?

The simple fact is that if you know you won’t want to be doing it then it won’t make you happy to be doing it. So how can you live your life to the fullest if you continually do stuff that you don’t like to do?

Getting rid of these will immediately change your life.  Trying new things involve patience and time. If you are in a place where you don’t want to be, change where you are by moving to something that isn’t on your list of things you don’t want to be doing!

Sanity? You have some??

Sanity? I have some…

Today marks the 28th of January and as every year I start planning for the year objectively and logically. I start looking at my business in a non biased way and align my vision to my goals, both the long term and short term. Sometimes it is fun and others it is a challenge, sanity you ask? Sanity comes in the process, where the process isn’t an hour nor a day but several days and really a roller coaster ride that has lasted over this past month.

So where does sanity come into play?

Well, that’s the thought that crossed my mind when I looked back at some moves I made this past year. Some risks I took and others I didn’t take.

So I ask:

Do you take the time to think about the risks of 2012?

Many people don’t look back. Many strive to avoid looking at mistakes as well as the wins. I believe that part of it comes from all this positive talk in social media and also from the day to day activities that don’t give us the time to reflect.
So, I decided to make a list of the things I do to analyze and gather my thoughts for the future. It is something that has worked over the years and I thought I would share it!

The Process:

1. Review the goals you set for 2012
2. List the wins of 2012
3. List the losses of 2012
4. Organize the why things happened
5. Organize the why you want or don’t want things to happen again
6. Create your top ten
7. Paste the list on your white board and read it every day

Why this process?

It is logical and it is beneficial to see everything as a timeline. We need to focus on the wins as we do on the losses. We need to become aware of the actions we took so we either repeat them or avoid them in the future.
Making the new goals for 2013 becomes easier once we are able to see the past and focus on making it in the following year. If you follow a process (doesn’t need to be mine) you are able to organize your thoughts and maintain calmness and your sanity. As small business owners, we are aware of the psychological torment that can accompany an individual running a business. Setting up procedures like this brings one back to level ground where decisions can be made without emotional attachments!

————————–
PS. If you are wondering why I am sending this at the end of January… well I procrastinate… plus, I don’t want you to take this as a new year’s resolution… Now that the ugly and slow January is out of the way start planning!

Confidence in Math

Rather shocked when I meet people who can’t do basic math without the iPhone. Rather shocked that people can’t be confident in school, work, etc. when doing math. Is this a characteristic we picked up when we were young?  As we grew up did we realize that math either sucked or for some of us was rather fun?

I still go into schools to substitute and it is always a common occurrence to meet students who say they hate math and then see other who are working to get every question completely answered.

When do I convert people into believers of math? It comes at a time when I can relate the math to money or any kind of added value to their daily tasks.

So, I start showing smart math. Smart math is rather simple. It is math that enables one to understand basic concepts and at the same time do things quicker.

The process involves learning how to break down fractions faster, convert decimals to fractions, add, multiply, divide faster, etc.  By doing this they start mastering key math processes that start to become easier without them realizing it. Giving the basics a general walk through always entertains the non believers as they learn something of value that never settled in their head in the first place.

So why not google “Smart Math” and do an hour a day. Who knows, if you are in school you may get better in math and if you are a business owner you may get better at closing deals.

The NIKOS: the third person approach!

Are you a regretful person? Do you regret a lot of things you do? Sometimes they torture you? Pardon the French but do you ever say to yourself: “#@?! was I thinking?”

I used to! I think everyone does. Don’t have stats on it but I am pretty sure everyone I talk to has had that moment and if you haven’t, come for a coffee and quick chat and I will make sure you say it… the question is why? Why do we get into these situations?

Simple: it’s the EMOTION!

Your emotion controls many decisions in a given day. From what you wear to what you do, where you go, how you say things, what you say, and so on. Emotions guide us and if you read up on the brain, emotion is a part of our decision making process.

So what’s the cure? Well there is no cure but we can create a behavioral process to lower the average amount of times you get into a regretful situation. How you ask?

Simple: Talk in third person!

Nikos is the best! Nikos rocks! Nikos, Nikos, Nikos… NO!  I don’t mean this!

Third person approach is much different. It is an art that is developed over time! You must take your time learning the technique. You put yourself in a baby step learning process.

The third person approach works like a charm when engaged in any situation where a decision will be made and emotion is part of it.

Examples include, should I buy something? Should I go to sleep? Should I do my homework? Should I spend time with a person I don’t like? Should I be getting advice? Should I, Should I, Should I…

When making critical decisions to problems, I use this process (replace with your name):

  1. Calm yourself down with a coffee or something that relaxes you
  2. Analyze the problem analytically
  3. Calm yourself down again by forgetting the problem
  4. Create the options that exist to the decisions
  5. Say:  What is the best decision here for Nikos? Nikos, it is best for you to… because… and you will not regret it for the following reasons, Etc.
  6. Write it down to have the why of your decision handy
  7. Remind yourself that you made the decision for the reasons…..
  8. DONE!

Try this for a few months… it will be hard but the advantages will change your mood. You will be happier in every decision you make. You will become a decision making GURU…

How did I come about this?

When running your own business situations come up where you need to make a critical decision. Sometimes you can get advice and sometimes you can’t. This process came about when I thought to myself, WHAT WOULD I RECOMMEND TO A CLIENT?

Magically the decision to use third person was an excellent choice… Simply put, AWESOME!

 

 

Believe me … or DON’T

I am running a marathon… or at least I think.. last few months now… is it will or hope? The question I often ask myself!

I am actually running a marathon in the arctic, barefoot and shirtless.  When starting a new venture you analyze all and take risks… risks I took.

Small business is all about risk. Whether you quit your job to start a venture… or you build on it over time… to take the plunge, one thing is for certain… you made a choice and now you need to keep going!

The usual trip of an entrepreneur starts with a dream. Starts with a dream that aims to make things better! As things progress, one begins to think that all is good and success is on the way. As the wheal starts to role, one begins to gain great confidence only to be shut down with reality a short while later.

What happens? What turns the tide from happiness to disparity?

Reality! Yes, reality hits and we realize that the business world was not as we thought it would be. All the sudden success isn’t as promised (as we thought) nor as we expected.  We are now chasing a dream and not a goal. The key word here is goal. People get stuck in an adventure hoping that all goes well but when do we know to go on or quit?

I like to think that this is the point we start analyzing where we are at. Can we figure it out or do we need help? Can we keep going or should we quit? The questions are there but do we have an answer…

The point that we need is to stop and think, and say yes, we need a break from reality, we need a break from fakeness… we need a chance at a new beginning.  This is the point where we stop, no thinking, not actions, just being still.

Stillness is the key to my success. I absorb all my emotions (negative and positive) and allow them to settle down. Usually this is during my coffee break! I create a mind map of things that need to be done to change the tide and jump on the first idea that I think will bring me success.  This is the stage where we reset and align our actions with the goals!

Why does it work for me?

It works for one reason… when you have no emotion in an idea you have no biased opinion… you are using your mind, your knowledge and experience.

My next article will be all about my “NIKOS strategy”; the third person approach! Conveniently the cure to regret!

Ready to Connect? Networking Events in KW!

Do you network and at that how much time do you spend networking. When people ask me about it, I tell them how much time I spend and they look at me like I’m crazy! Am I?  Well no, I am not. My business is networking and as such I do it to the tee. I often coach clients on networking; teaching them the ins and outs of networking, tricks and tips, and so on.

I will be writing a full blog about networking, but in the mean time here are several events happening in KW.

SBCN Connect  Tuesday Nov 13 2012 – 7:00pm to 10:00pm The Honest Lawyer

This event always shows results and its one to come to. It is great to connect with people and have a social drink, in a social setting, where peoples real personalities come out!

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with Mayor Doug Craig at 5:00 pm! 284 Water Street North, Cambridge

Grand Openings are always great! Especially if it involves the mayor and especially if we are supporting our community!

Canadian Networking, Wednesday, November 14th, 6-9 pm at Conestoga Place on Manitou Drive.

If you haven’t been to one of these events, please check it out! You always bump into some grate people!

2012 Business Expo Wednesday, November 14, 2012 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM Bingemans

Of course this is the event of events for the chambers.  175 business showcasing their businesses… it’s a networkers heaven!

SBCN Monthly Networking Wednesday, November 21, 2012 – 7:00pm to 9:00pm Small Business center City Hall

SBCN is a great place to come and network. The relationships built here are worth keeping. Why? It’s a venue that promotes growth for all small businesses… have you met the OJ’s?

7th Annual Warm Hearts of Affrica Fundraising Party, Saturday November 24, 2012  8-12pm The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery

This year’s event will be by far the most unique yet! 60’s Mad Men theme, fashion show, live entertainment courtesy of Chive Tonic, food and a wide variety of silent and live auction items! Tickets are now available at www.warmheartsofafrica.com.

Chamber young professionals, November 27th 5.30 – 730 pm Borealis Grillhouse and Pub

Once a month it’s nice to go meet young talent. Re-energize yourself and see what happening!

Rogers Business After 5 – December Wednesday, December 05, 2012  5:00 PM – 7:00 PM  Bingemans

Your monthly meet up with the chamber. Meet the businesses that are involved in the chamber.

SBCN Christmas Social Monday, December 10, 2012 – 7:00pm to 11:00pm The Honest Lawyer

Simply a great place to be… For us who don’t have a Christmas party!!!!

Movember Events: http://www.movemberkw.com/

Finally, there are about 10 events on the website for the remainder of MOVEMBER!!! Come out and meet a random group of people who are business, entrepreneurs, professionals, and just plain supporters for an awesome cause!

Having a tough time networking? Ask me for tips!!! This is what I do!