My Thoughts

EP5 – Find your yes with Erica Ehm

For fourteen years Erica Ehm has been developing her craft as an entrepreneur and CEO, after spending the first part of her career as an icon in Canadian television and music.  From interviewing rock bands, to informing and educating parents on being their best, Erica has used her skills as a creator, innovator and disruptor to turn all of her endeavours into incredible success stories.

Before this discussion, I had no ideas as to the breadth of experience and success that Erica Ehm has has in her career. I simply remembered watching her on television, bringing me incredible interviews and access to world famous rock stars (including some of my favourite big hair bands and new age stars of the 80’s).

In this episode, Erica Ehm gives us tips and advice on how to be successful in whatever it is you want to do. Some of the fundamentals in her arsenal include never take “no” personally, always listen to your staff, your customers, your competitors, your numbers and your heart….and be persistent until you find your yes! All you need is one yes to be successful.

Oh, and never ignore those random Tweets or messages on social media. For Erica, it led to a new partnership, a government grant and shout outs from Senators!

Don’t forget to watch Kurt Cobain and Erica Ehm as well in her self declared favourite interview – https://youtu.be/PDgP4hN4OA4.

PS listen to the last 15 seconds – it’s very timely and don’t forget to subscribe to my site as well.

Podcast Analytics

I have been working hard to think about what is next in the life of “Fine Tune with Corby Fine”, and one of the most important things to monitor are the Podcast analytics to see my performance and help make decisions going forward. When I started this initiative, I never realized the amount of work it would take to manage the development of quality content. I thought the effort involved up front in terms of determining what I would need from audio equipment, software and hosting providers to learning how to record, edit and publish the Podcast episodes would be the hard work.

Wow, was I wrong.

The hardest part is actually trying to figure out what to talk about, who to interview, and whether anyone will care enough to listen. One way I would typically try to answer those questions would be through the use of insights and Podcast analytics. Much like measuring website traffic or sales, one would think it should be easy to measure the success of your Podcast. Well, some analytics are available…but not as much as I would like. Here are some things you can actually measure as a Podcaster:

First off, the top performing App, Device and Platforms.

Podcast Analytics

Here are the top Apps used to listen to Fine Tune with Corby Fine. Interesting how many different apps there are out there to choose from.

Podcast Analytics Top Apps

You can also measure the top devices that the Podcast is listened to on.

And finally, the platforms on which listeners listen. Who knew watches were Podcast platforms of choice? Though I guess it makes a lot of sense for runners who leave their phones at home.

All in all, I need to try and figure out how to start to get more intelligence on what my listeners want to listen to. For now, LinkedIn posts and maybe the odd survey are the way to go.

*UPDATE

Here are some interesting stats published recently by Podcastinsights.com at the following link: https://www.podcastinsights.com/podcast-statistics/

  • 75% of the US population is familiar with the term “podcasting” – up from 70% in 2019 (Infinite Dial 2020)
  • 50% of all US homes are podcast fans (Nielsen, Aug 2017)
  • 55% (155 million) of the US population has listened to a podcast – up from 51% in 2019 (Infinite Dial 20)
  • 37% (104 million) listened to a podcast in the last month – up from 32% in 2019 (Infinite Dial 20)
  • 24% (68 million) listen to podcasts weekly – up from 22% in 2019 (Infinite Dial 20)
  • 16 million people in the US are “avid podcast fans” (Nielsen Q1 2018)
  • 51% of podcast listeners are male – same as US population (Infinite Dial 20)
  • 45% of monthly podcast listeners have household income over $75K – vs 35% for the total population
  • 27% of US podcast listeners have a 4-year college degree – vs 19% for US pop
  • 63% of podcast listeners are white – vs 58% for US pop (Infinite Dial 20)
  • Age of monthly podcast listeners versus US population (Infinite Dial 20):
    • 12-34: 48% (vs 37%)
    • 35-54: 32% (vs 40%)
    • 55+: 20% (vs 23%)

Thanks for listening.

EP4 – Working from home

I recently posted a single question on Linkedin and Twitter asking a very simple question. What’s your number one tip for staying motivated while working at home? It was a popular post and I wanted to dig in further, so I recruited a panel of 5 executives to discuss the topic and at the same time, answer some fun and embarrassing questions along the way.

If you are looking for motivation to get out of bed in the morning, ideas on how to work from home with teams scattered across locations, or just a good laugh to questions like “have you taken a conference call into the bathroom”, or “what’s your most embarrassing moment so far working from home”, then listen in.

My panelists include:

Alex Panousis – CEO, Carat
Gabe Dunlop – CMO, Diply.com
Mark Jordan – Former VP Brand Strategy & Chief Communications Officer, Kids Help Phone
Daniela Dighi – Director, Analytics Innovation Program, Enterprise Analytics, CIBC
Luvleen Sidhu – Co-Founder & CEO, BankMobile

Each of these executives are experts in their own right, but of late have had to figure out strategies to pivot their working lives to be one that starts and ends the day from home. Whether starting a new job in the case of Alex, or trying to find one in the case of Mark, each of the panelists brings a unique perspective to the new reality we all face, how to become more effective at working from home.

Remember to subscribe to this Podcast on your favorite platform and visit me at https://corbyfine.com

What’s your number one tip for staying motivated while working from home?

I recently posted a single question on Linkedin and Twitter asking a very simple question. What’s your number one tip for staying motivated while working from home? It was a popular post with over 12,400 views on Linkedin as of April 16, 2020 @ 5:30 PM.

Below is a compilation of all the answers I received between both the Linkedin and Twitter posts.

  • Nespresso and Spotify (preferably very loud).
  • Looking forward to a nice glass of whatever your favourite drink happens to be … preferably at the end of the work day.
  • Having something to look forward to in your work day and after work is the way to go. Whether it’s starting a new project, completing a fitness challenge or enjoying a small indulgence at the end of the day, there is no shortage of ideas.
  • Knowing that I have to provide for my team and my client’s team keeps me motivated. If I fail it doesn’t only impact me, it impacts those around me (sheldonpayne.com).
  • Maybe not a motivation tip, but I find it important to carve out some time for a few calls that fall outside the mandatory daily ones. Who do you talk to at the office that you haven’t connected with in the last couple weeks? I’m finding those calls the most rewarding. It shows you’re thinking about them and valuing them. Plus… you find out what they’re working on that you might not be fully up to speed on. …and it genuinely makes me feel good to connect.
  • I’ve worked from home for the last 5 years, as all my team does, and what motivates me is 1) knowing what I do means jobs for my team, 2) helps my clients drive revenues, 3) is a great example of a good work ethic for my 5 older children, and 4) to never have to work from an office again….plus I love what I do.
  • Manage your time effectively! I have small kids constantly requiring attention so I try to take 10 minutes or so each hour for them, which allows me 50 minutes of power! 🙂
  • I start my day by meditating for 20 mins and then think about everything that I’m grateful for. When I’m working from home, my motivation is the work…still being able to do work that I enjoy.
  • Keeps doing what you are doing.
  • Each day is different. Today I helped my 11 y.o son interview the author of a book he is reading for a school project; that time together was rewarding. Who knows what tomorrow brings 🙂
  • I have started each morning with reading a book for 30 min – 1 hour – gives me time to think and learn and also hit a goal (I’ll finish a book every 1.5-2 weeks). I’m finding it works.
  • Learn something everyday, do something fun, have a routine; and for me find a way to contribute….we can all do something to make this time better.
  • I run my home office days like my work office days. My tasks are organized into the Eisenhower Matrix. Its bulletproof! Do you know it? I also work out every other morning with the Raptors Fitness Challenge. It sucks (well, I struggle) but it works!
  • After working from home for most of the last 20 years I have tried different things. The main thing is having weekly & daily goals on both the work & personal sides of the equation. I have found that business goals have to be realistic and achievable. Years ago I put too much on my To Do list and felt like I never accomplished anything. This led to stress and anxiety. Therefore, each Friday I summarize my accomplishments of the past week, reorder my ongoing responsibilities, and create weekly strategic and tactical goals that get broken into the daily tactical goals. Each day I start by looking at my day and usually setting 2-3 Must Do goals per day and 2-3 Nice to Do goals. My prioritization uses the simple Urgent/Important matrix where I delegate or drop anything that isn’t urgent or important. I like what Mark Jordan suggests. I have ADHD so my normal work routine is to break down my day into 60-minute chunks with 45 minutes of actual work or focus time followed by something else for 15 minutes: nature break, checking email, grabbing coffee/water, or letting the dog out in the backyard. On the personal side we always try and schedule dinner together and talk about our day. I exercise most days, often going outside midday.
  • Creating a schedule and routine. Trying to work in 45 minute chunks. Carving out time for intentional mental breaks (could be reading, or going for a walk). Doesn’t have to be down to the hour. Also helps when looking back at impact and accomplishments.
  • I have four goals per day: work, exercise, learn, social – if I find I’m not productive at work, I switch to one of the other three.
  • Aside from the general work motivation of interesting and complex projects to be solved… I know that there are two little people waiting for me to send that email, wrap that meeting, or complete that deliverable so I can turn my attention to them. This motivates me to focus and time-box my work, which has been urgent in the last few weeks. There is so much more to our current situation than working from home.
  • Wearing pants. 👖 Jokes aside, I find wearing PJ just makes me unmotivated and lazy. I find getting up and putting on the same clothes that I would normally wear to work helps. I make a part of my morning routine. Added bonus, you get to look fly on zoom calls.
  • My mortgage.
  • Set goals for the week and have an accountability partner to check in with on each others goals. It helps keep the motivation up when it starts to tank when you get distracted, makes you think twice about how you spend your time, and also provides much needed connection and solidarity.
  • A morning run
  • Get up, get clean and get dressed. I’m not saying you have to put on a suit and tie (unless that’s your thing), but get ready for work like you’re going to the office. Then grab a coffee and get started with your day!
  • I start each morning working from home with my journal and try to set an “intention” for the day that honors one of my values.. eg kindness – what can i do that is kind today? …. doing something that gives me connection, and I feel like I’m making an impact which to me = results and success.
  • Work out early – dress for the day you ‘want’ to have – build in an end of day ‘commute’ (walk) before you shift to your personal life.
  • Know your working purpose, keep that centred around your personal purpose, and focus.
  • Taking 30 minutes mid day to go for a walk in my woods. Fresh air, nature, always amps up my energy and focus.
  • Setting a routine and keeping to it. Blocking off time in my calendar and sticking to the schedule. Making sure I can turn off at the right time.
  • Sticking to a form of schedule, but leaving it open. The flexibility around being at home and jungling through multiple tasks.
  • Knowing that I have to provide for my team and my clients team keeps me motivated. If fail it doesn’t only impact me, it impacts those around me.
  • Explore and embrace creative solutions.
  • Working from home means dress for work, wear shoes.
  • Time.
  • If you complete one thing in the morning and one in the afternoon, you get 10 things done every week, and complete 500 things a year.
  • Strong morning routine including a workout.
  • You gotta pull through for your team.
  • Reading and fuelling my brain with knowledge.
  • My students are counting on me to show up every day and make their lives seem normal for a little while.
  • Simple one: but having an evolving to-do list of both personal & work tasks
  • Creating a schedule and routine. Trying to work in 45 minute chunks. Carving out time for intentional mental breaks (could be reading, or going for a walk). Doesn’t have to be down to the hour. Also helps when looking back at impact and accomplishments.
  • Virtual work sprints via Slack Community. They’re free and they keep you focused. Try one: http://bit.ly/flexdayslack
  • Remember that the rent is due in 30 days or less!
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Such a great question! Have a couple of “go to” people to bounce ideas off of or who can help bolster your spirits when needed.
  • Suit Up.
  • Dress Up.
  • Use the Primodoro Technique for working in short bursts that require my full attention.
  • 1 tip for staying motivated? Love life. Enjoy the life you have. There’s beauty in life, even in the current chaos and uncertainty.

Anything to add? Feel free to contact me or add it in the comments below.

EP3 – The fractional executive

Can the fractional executive become a “thing”? Small-to-mid-sized businesses (SMEs) which includes startups, now represent just under 90% of employment in North America.  They are hungry for talent but often lack the revenue base to support having highly qualified, experienced employees work for them – especially at the leadership level. Along comes fractional employment and the notion of the fractional executive.

So what is fractional employment?

The term “fractional employment” has been around for several years, but it is emerging as the new model for employment – especially in SMEs and startups.

Under the fractional employment model, an employee spends a discrete amount of time out of each week with multiple employers.  In its ideal form, it could be 2 days each with 2 different employers plus one day to spend with a third company…..this would net out as a full work week for the employee.

Well, today, I have the luxury of having two seasoned executives to talk about their transition from corporate, full time employment to the new world of the fractional employment, with employees coming on board as the new fractional executive. Rory Capern (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rorycapern/) and Chris Hodgson (https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopherhodgson/) both ex-Google executives, join me to discuss their own transitions while giving great advice on how to make the jump if you are considering fractional work for yourself.

Key to their collective advice:

1. Focus on the impact you can make for your clients
2. Set expectations with your clients to focus on the output or risk spending too much time measuring the inputs (like time, etc.)
3. Know yourself, and therefore the kinds of companies you want to take on as clients to ensure the best chance at success
4. Leverage your network, trusted connections make it a lot easier to find that first client

Remember to subscribe to this Podcast on your favorite Podcast platform and visit me at https://www.corbyfine.com.

I guess publishing this podcast makes me a fractional