Excuses, Excuses!

My (business) life has changed fundamentally since I started doing this blog late November of last year. Up until then, I was a basically a paint dealer. I always wrote “on the side” and did some consulting on a pretty regular basis but none-the-less I was a paint dealer, first and foremost. My days were defined by the store hours and my travel defined by the job locations.

What a difference a few months can make! While I am of course still a paint dealer, the content provider side of my business experience is demanding it’s fair share of my hours. It seems each day; I must deal with the conflict of what I need to get done for one “obligation” and what I want to get done for the other. I suspect both sides are suffering a little bit (though I’m happy to say that despite my lack of effort, sales are up nicely so far this year).

There have been other times in my business life I’ve given an “outside” project enough attention that it took my focus off the stores. It did not go well! One time while on what ended up being a five-year consulting gig, an employee conspired with several customers and robbed me blind. I had always treasured the experience of owning my own business but on the day we figured that out, I remember wishing it were someone else’s money that was missing.

Things are different this time. Our POS system does a pretty good job of keeping track of things as they go in-and-out and I’ve learned a thing or two over the years about where to look for trouble. I’m also happy to say that at the moment I have a terrific crew of guys working for me. I trust them and believe them to be people of character and that (plus a good verification and auditing process) keeps me sleeping at night.

Unfortunately, time away from the stores is the only way that I can get to the job of creating content. A paint store where I am the center of attention rarely allows me the time to get creative.

But creative I have been. You are reading this on my own blog site but I’ve also been busy creating content on LinkedIn. The cool part is that if you’re following me on LinkedIn as well as here, you’re seeing two very different styles.

Blogs allow for deeper dives. With my only restriction on length being my own views on how long you are likely to read, I can let me inner teacher out. I love sharing what I’ve learned and that’s why you get the types stories that you often do here.

On LinkedIn I’m a bit more restricted: in two ways actually. One is by the actual post size (limited to 1300 characters which is generally around 300 words). By comparison, my blogs generally run around 800 words. The other way I’m restricted is by the very nature of how people use LinkedIn: generally more a short scan than a long read.

But that type of platform creates it own opportunities. I love the challenge of writing to a different sort of script. I feel like more of my personality can be put into those shorter and less formal posts. I was probably in college that last time I wrote as much as I’m writing now, but it was never this satisfying.

Instant feedback is the reason writing now is more satisfying than it was in the past. When I wrote in the magazine the only way I could even gauge if a column hit it’s mark or not was anecdotal: my own estimate of the quality of the piece and some measurement of the emails or letters (yes…I used to get letters IN THE MAIL) I received! Sometimes the only feedback