Have you ever tried “Speed Not-Working?”

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First there was speed-dating for people looking for a love in a flash, then there was speed-networking for business people in a hurry … Personally I think it’s all rather rush-rush, but who am I to argue? So I figured maybe we could take the idea and apply it to not-working …

In Speed-Not-Working ™ *chuckle* you meetup with a person for 2 minutes and tell them all about YOUR HOBBIES and WHAT YOU DO FOR FUN. Basically you explain your not-working activities … at 2 minutes you switch roles and the other person shares the things that they like doing for fun.

Sound interesting? Remember … it’s NOT speed dating (too much performance pressure), it’s NOT speed networking (too business-boring *yawn*)

… it’s Speed-Not-Working ™ – it’s funner.

Based on the format and the basic approach model, I reckon we can handle about 24 to 36 people . Within an hour or two I figure we could “speed-not-work” with about 10 to 12 people! And yes, afterwards you can still just hangout and “not-work” with everyone too.

If you’re interested in this fun idea, RSVP yes. I know we don’t have a location or date as yet, but I’ll work on that based on demand. Feel free to suggest locations and dates in the comments.

Stay frosty!

James :)

PS. You can always un-RSVP later if the date/time/location don’t work for you. But at least this way I’ll figure out if you’re game for something different.

Copyright (c) 2014 James C. Burchill
http://SpeedNotWorking.com

What Wicked Good Fun!

It was packed when I arrived at the Oakville Silvercity Theatre last night. I’d forgotten how busy the early evening shows are on the lead up to the weekend.

Fortunately I drive a Mercedes SmartCar and parking is seldom an issue … although funny looks and smiles are common (I’m 6’3″ and folks think it’s funny when a tall guy gets out of a small car!)

Anyway, purchasing a VIP ticket for the show was a good move. I arrived early to grab a frosty beverage and the place was humming. Fortunately all the little ankle biters and squealing teens were downstairs trying to impress each other. Styled hair, short shorts, and makeup … and that was just the boys! Just kidding …

With cold beer in hand I wandered into the theatre to claim my seat. I always grin when the semi-darkness engulfs me because there’s something magical about the movies … ever since I was a kid I’ve loved it.

(Sidebar: I always wanted to own an old-style theatre. The plush red velvet stage curtains, the smell of popcorn, the squeak of the seats, the clickity-clack of the real-film projector. Times long gone now…)

… and we’re back …

Sure enough, the busy parking lot and VIP bar were surefire indicators of the popularity of Friday night movies. John Wick was filling up quick. (Ooh, that rhymes!)

I quickly looked around and noticed the theatre was filled with the usual mix of Friday night couples … but what surprised me were the number of women groups en-masse laughing and looking forward to what was arguably going to be a rather “action oriented” shoot-em-up. Turns out Keanu is a real chick-magnet (their words not mine!)

The lights dimmed, the trailers rolled (by the way … did you know the trailers used to run AFTER the movies? That’s why they are called trailers! Then some bright spark figured if you wanted people to watch them, put them first. Genius eh?)

And the movie started …

First let me preface this with the following. I want to see it again! No kidding. It’s seldom I watch a movie after paying about $20 and think .. “OMG, I must pay another $20 to watch that again.”

But that’s what happened last night.

The story arc is simple. “Bad” Man falls in love. Leaves his bad life behind. Loses love. Feels sad. Gets dog from dead wife. Bad things happen and the bad (now good) man reverts (temporarily) to his old ways to avenge the death of his dead wife’s dog.

I can’t believe I just wrote that.

But simple plotting aside, you need to remember movies are made to entertain and this movie delivers. With an all-star cast including Willem Dafoe and Ian McShane (of the ever popular gravelly voice) the story kicks quickly into high gear.

What surprised me (and the trailer didn’t do it justice) was the humour in this movie. Granted it’s dark and rather macabre, but the delivery in many cases was dead-pan and spot on. Even the way the humour was spoken in many cases added to the punch.

And speaking on punch, OMG!!! Where the heck did this fighting style originate? Close quarter pirouettes and smooth moves made John Wick’s action sequences visually stunning and quite frankly breathtaking.

Scene after scene builds on the one before until the climactic finale. Ironically the movie starts at the end with John Wick staggering from a badly damaged car and collapsing onto the floor bleeding from an assortment of wounds.

As he lies there he pulls out his iPhone and presses play to watch a video of him and his wife on the beach during happier times. He slumps over … and the movies starts.

No, I’m not telling you how it ends. That’d be cruel and it’s not my thing. Go watch it yourself. By the way, an interesting story within the movie is one about the sub-culture of assassins. Much of the humour comes from this including an amusing scene in the hotel Intercontinental (a safe sanctuary for assassins).

The bad-bad-guys in this movie are Russians but as with much of the movie, things are not cut and dried and the relationship between all characters is more complex than you might imagine for a stylized action shoot-em up.

Refreshing fun for sure. A plot. Great cinematography, cool car chases, solid acting, phenomenal action sequences and down-right good Friday movie fun.

My final observation from this movie was the interesting way gold coins were used to pay for “dinner reservations” … you’ll need to watch the movie to figure out that twist.

Enjoy.

PS. If you’re local and you’d like to join me sometime check out my new NOT-WORKING meetup group.

Putting the F U in flu

That right folks, I “Follow Up” … *smile* … and after spending the previous 5 days recovering from a healthy dose of flu, I was thrilled to join the 136 people who RSVP’d YES and attended last night at IVY Bar & Kitchen for some excellent networking.

silly queen

As always I appreciate the buzz and the support from people who take time out of their busy schedule to come and hangout with other members of SFN. It’s truly gratifying to be part of such a cool group of people – thank you.

More thanks go to our Ambassadors Joanna Blackmore and Elizabeth Plouffe for their stirling services on registration and with photography. Speaking of photos – if you snapped any last night, please remember to upload them to the event page on Meetup and tag any one you recognize. It’s more fun that way.

And keeping the fun going during our brief intermission was Joel Young of http://Ergocentric.com and author Cindy O’Brien of http://NeverFeelingSafe.com who both kindly donated gifts for attendees.

Joel donated an ergonomic office seating consult and a 4-button “hand friendly” touchpad for any computer and Cindy donated 3 signed copies of her latest (and popular book) ‘Never Feeling Safe’.

Dawn Montgomery graciously accepted Joel’s gift and Cindy’s books were won by Peter Jaycock, Doug Gowman and Willis Yacobucci.

Remember, it’s because of the kind support of members like Cindy and Joel that we’re able to keep SFN membership free. So please take a moment and checkout their websites – perhaps not so much for yourself, but for someone in your network?

Last night I was also pleased to announce the launch of a new SFN chapter in Waterdown. Kerry Mason is the new Chapter President and the first event will be held October 20th. She’s still setting things up but you can RSVP @ http://bfmx.me/1vbH9jk

Other events of note: SFN Health will be meeting at IVY on Oct 8th and the following week we’re having the BIG Fall event Oct 14th at the BPAC.

http://socialfusionnetwork.com/tradeshow

You can always get the latest details on events by visiting http://socialfusionnetwork.com/find-a-chapter

Last but not least, I was recently interviewed as part of a 21-day online virtual teleconference where 21 different experts provide their insights and strategies on growing your business, getting more clients and building a business you love. It’s totally FREE and starts online soon. You can get more details and register (for free) to listen here:

http://bfmx.me/theartofgettingclients

OK, that’s all for now. Enjoy your Thursday and remember to BRING A BUDDY to your next networking event … because networking is more fun with friends.

Stay frosty,

James :)

The name’s Burchill … James Burchill

Introducing … The man with the golden pun. [groan]

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Morning, James here and my borrowing of that Bond title is for good effect because today I want to let you know that I’m back hosting, producing and promoting SFN Oakville‘s free b2b events.

Dave Charles along with Adolfo Montenegro had been managing the chapter since March and 3 months ago, Dave told me he had an opportunity he simply couldn’t refuse. When the deal closed he would not be able to dedicate the required time to run SFN Oakville and so he formally gave notice to resign.

It’s always a little sad when things end but I’m thrilled for Dave and he’s honoured his SFN obligations to a tee during the hand-over to me.

I’ve spoken with Dave and Adolfo and they’re both planning on attending the Sep 24th event where I will thank them publicly for their support and efforts to manage SFN Oakville through this past 6 months. If you’re able to attend I’d love to see you there, you can RSVP HERE.

If you can’t attend I understand. Business comes first, networking comes second – right :-)

Here’s a fun factoid about Dave and Adolfo’s impact on SFN Oakville this past summer – it’s grown about 10% which means that even more local business owners like you and I are able to network for free.

It’s September 1st as I write this … the kids go back to school soon and one of the busiest networking times of the year begins. For that reason I intend to manage SFN Oakville and take things “Back to Burchill” for the foreseeable future .

So here’s what I want to remind you:

  • If you have NEWS or SOMETHING COOL to share, let me know BEFORE THE EVENT. I can’t promise I’ll share everything (some folks get confused about what news is *grin*) but I’ll do my best.
  • If you want me to promote you and your business to the network then share the love and share a door prize. Here are the guidelines. Remember, you’ll get a shoutout at the event and I’ll include your name, business and website URL in the post event email.
  • Finally, if you’d like to be an Ambassador and assist on registration (the most influential and connected spot in the whole room) then please let me know.

Thanks in advance for all your feedback, support and kind words. Let’s give Dave and Adolfo a great send off on the 24th and kick-start a new networking season for the end of 2014.

Stay frosty!

James

* Join me in Oakville for some fun, free b2b networking on September 24th.

“They got my dick message!”

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That has to be one of the oddest movie lines I’ve heard in a while. It refers to the character StarLord (aka Peter Quill of the Guardians of the Galaxy) as he acknowledges the help of the Nova Prime fighter squadron in defence of the planet. I know … it’s one of those you have to be there moments.

In fact, even though I grumbled a little about the movie in my recent Facebook post, I do recommend you go see it this weekend if you want a chuckle. It’s well made, great visual effects and personally I found the 70’s and 80’s music, the “black light” and “Jackson Pollock painting” joke and other subtle humour really funny. But hey, that’s just me.

Speaking of the weekend, it looks like the weather is going to blow … sorry, I can’t help you with that. Shame if it does stay grim because I know how much we all enjoy getting outside after our long Canadian winters. But hey, if you are stuck inside then there a few things I’d like you to consider.

FRIEND ME on Facebook :-)

Yup, I recently dropped my Facebook page (long story, but it has to do with a reduction in organic reach) and now I’m using my personal profile exclusively. Yes I know this means the Facebook experience is different, but I’ve always used paid advertising on FB so I’m cool with it. So if you’d prefer to connect on FB rather than Twitter or LinkedIn or G+ or heck … email, go ahead. I’m pretty chatty at times (I know … you would never have guessed) and I enjoy answering questions, discussing marketing, email, automation and so on.

On the topic of automation, the enrolment for my email marketing automation class closes NEXT WEEK. The first webinar is Friday August 8th … not yesterday as some folks thought. It’s ok, there’s still time to join the class and in case you were wondering if you can do what I will be teaching … YES YOU CAN. I assure you it’s not hard and remember, if you decide afterwards it wasn’t what you’d hoped for … ask for a refund. It’s cool. Here’s the link to sign up:

Course Details @ http://jamesburchill.com/automate-your-marketing-in-28-days

OK, lets’ wraps things up … it’s still early as I write this and I need a coffee :-)

Remember our Burlington SFN event is this coming Wednesday at IVY from 5 to 7pm. I just checked and 108 people have RSVP’d so far. I know more will connect next week but if you get the chance to RSVP beforehand, please do – it helps us with staffing and planning snacks.

RSVP @ http://burlington.socialfusionnetwork.com

And while you’re there … why not let me know if you’ll be attending the SFN TradeShow on Oct14. For more details about vendor tables (which are already selling quickly) go here:

http://socialfusionnetwork.com/tradeshow

That’s all for now, enjoy the weekend and I hope to see you next week Wednesday.

James

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My July 4th Weekend: Driving a Mercedes SL500 to The Briars on Lake Simcoe

Merc SL500

We all need some down-time, and this past July 4th weekend I booked a 3-day weekend at The Briars (on Lake Simcoe) and I got there in style driving a Mercedes SL500 from Affinity Luxury Cars.

I must admit I am a fan of toys and this 7 speed “transformer” of a sports car met no equal this weekend … it was surely the way to go.

Seriously, every time I pushed the button to drop the top or raise it, I felt like I was on the set of a Transformer movie. Mercedes engineers rock!

Here’s a quick video I shot. And yes, that’s me squealing like Tigger when I pressed that gas pedal … OMG, that car can move!

  • Mercedes SL500 provided by: http://www.affinitycarrentals.com/
  • Manor house accommodation by: http://www.briars.ca/

Harry Potter on #CASL (Canadian Anti Sorcery Law) Bill C-28 (and 3/4)

In an unprecedented move, apparently legendary Wizard Harry Potter has issued a statement (unconfirmed) about the new Canadian law coming into effect on July 1st.

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“My fellow spell casters, this ‘Canadian Anti Sorcery Law’ is an abomination to all good witches and wizards who practice not the dark arts (spawned from he who shall remain nameless), but follow the teachings of light and that of Dumbledore (Head Master of Hogwarts.)

These are surely dark times, and while I agree tighter control over uncontrolled spell casting is needed, a blanket ‘permission requirement hex’ on all Canadian sorcerers is simply un-constitutional and will hinder all good folk practising in the light.

Those practicing the dark arts will still curse others freely with little regard for their actions, and as we’ve seen many times throughout Hogwarts history, certain wizards simply choose to ignore the rules while those of us who follow them, suffer unjustly and are at a sorcery disadvantage.

Let us not repeat the travesty from 322 years ago when in Salem Massachusetts in 1692, twenty-eight innocent people were put to death for what was then claimed as unauthorized witchcraft. A baseless crime with no real proof. Fear and ignorance where the root cause then and I believe those same ingredients are at work now.

I call on all good wizards and witches to raise up their wands at a minute to midnight on June 30th and and with one voice shout ‘deh-LEE-tree-us CASL!’

Hopefully together we can make a difference and avoid repeating the past indiscretions of Salem.”

~~~ H.P ~~~ (at an undisclosed location.)

*Editor* We’re are currently trying to validate this authenticity of this alleged statement. Take it with a grain of salt (and toss it over your shoulder 3 times) until then ;-)

Don’t take yourself so seriously!

Today I figured I’d poke a little fun at myself. In fact I was rummaging around on my computer and looking at photos when I saw this old one of me from way back when I was in art college studying among other things … B&W photography.

For a giggle I took a picture of myself and picmonkeyed them together and added some dates so you can see how kind (or not) old father time has been to me. 

To be honest when I saw the photos side by side … all I could think was how glad I am that I still have hair!

If you want a quick web tool to stitch pictures together like this, check out picmonkey.com … it’s awesome and I highly recommend it.

Have a fun day … and remember to smile because apparently I though it was cool to scowl in 1986 – what a dope :)

James then now

I Don’t “CHAT” or Eat Brains!

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Lately I’ve noticed an interesting trend – people connecting with me asking to “chat.”

  • They want to chat about how I produce and market events.
  • They want to chat about how I use technology to save time and automate my business.
  • They want to chat about something I wrote so they can understand it better.
  • They want to chat about a problem they’re having.

It’s lovely to be popular …. but there’s just one problem.

I DON’T CHAT.

Chat is short for chit-chat, or chatter or some other throwaway and inane conversation.

Chatting is what I do after work with friends while enjoying a frosty beverage

It’s NOT what I do during the work day after investing many tens of thousands of hours honing my craft.

No, I DO NOT CHAT … 

  • I CONSULT
  • I COACH
  • I MENTOR
  • I TRAIN
  • I ADVISE

And I charge accordingly. 

To say I chat is akin to saying a dentist pokes around in your mouth, or a musician plucks a few strings. It’s like saying a chef throws together a meal, a craftsman whacks away with a hammer and chisel or a painter just daubs a few splurges of colour on the canvas!

No, the term is annoying … and while I understand people don’t mean to be disrespectful – it is.

And it’s almost as bad as when people say they’d “like to pick my brain!”

My usual response to this “zombi-esque” request is No problem, just contact my office and pick a time and preferred payment method and we’ll schedule your CONSULT / COACHING SESSION / TRAINING CLASS … you get the point.

Oh, and while I’m having a wee-rant … NO you cannot exchange a $1 cup of coffee for an hour of my time “picking my brain” and NO you cannot offer to buy me a $25 lunch either for the same request.

I love helping people – I really do – but let’s start the relationship off on the right foot and acknowledge each others value. If you want what I’ve got or you want to save time, make money or solve some problem – then I’ll gladly help you … for a fair fee. It’s my job, it’s what I do.

I don’t chatter … unless it’s really cold (then my teeth do) ;-)

#StayFrosty