• How To Build Trust With Your Coworking Space Website

    How Much Money Are You Leaving On The Table?

    I see this a lot. And don’t worry it’s not just you and it’s not just the workspace industry.

    People dick around for ages looking for shortcuts, quick fixes and how ‘to get in front of as many people as possible.’

    They hear how Richard Branson kicked off his empire with a magazine at school and now look for how to do the same trick for their coworking space.

    Even though they run a coworking space in 2018 and Richard was a 16 year old at a public school in 1966, but hey I’ve had these conversations.

    So once you have waded through all of that bollox and realised that you are not the only one who uses the internet to research and buy things you could be ready to read take some action from this blog.

    How to connect With 560 People a Week

    So imagine you opened a coworking space in London five years ago, I’m writing this in 2018 so that would be 2013 and you thought you’d better get a website at some point, but you did not know how to do that.


    Check out my mates at Jammy Digital – how to buy a website guide and why you should not spend 1000’s on a website post.


    So you got someone to make one for a few hundred pounds, euros or kunas.

    Because you did not want to annoy people with the email you only emailed them when you had an event to plug.
    You emailed them a week before, and because you only email them now and then are not sure what to expect, but you would hate to annoy anyone.

    I mean why would someone join your email list is they DID NOT WANT to hear about what you do?

    GDPR means it is hard for someone to sign up for your communication, so they have asked to hear from you.


    ABC – Always be communicating

    So then you have had bits of a website for five years, and in that time you have looked around, heard facebook is right and then heard it is terrible, tried Instagram a few times but never got anything from it and then tried SnapChat because a Gary Vaynerchuck fan said it works.

    You’d like to do a video or podcast but don’t know where to begin, the best source of new people are members referring people, and you do some events but never get around to putting them on the website, coz well you are not sure what to do with the site.


    I am tired just writing that.

    How much have you done in the last five years?

    Five years ago you opened a coworking space in London, and ALL you did was post a blog a week and then added to the website as you worked out what to do.

    From the very beginning, you collected the email address by asking people to sign up for news about events and members.

    You sent this email out every week, nothing pushy, just a reminder and update.

    In this email, you always reminded people that they were free to unsubscribe if they did not want to hear about coworking and whatever you else you did.

    So throughout five years, you would have sent 260 emails and posted 260 blogs.

    No facebook, no twitter or anything else.

    Where do you think you’d be now?

    So imagine two people a week joined your email list a week you’d have 520 people who were in your target market or at least a fan.

    You would have emailed them your updates, and they’d be closer to you.

    I mean if I asked you to do a talk to 560 people you’d put some effort it wouldn’t you?

    Every time you had an event you’d have more people coming, ONLY because you were communicating to people better.

    Know, like and trust

    I’ve been following both coworking and the dark art of content marketing for nearly a decade and every week I check who is posting what on their websites in London.

    So few spaces post on a regular basis that you’d be mad not to.

    And people who show up with a post every week get more email subscribers, rank better in search engines and give a clearer idea of what their space stands for when people land on the site.

    When you show up and people get to know you move from know, to like and then to trust and that is the primary emotion we give our money to people in exchange for something, trust.

    How much SEO do you need for your website?

    I know one space that spends £750 a month on SEO and does not post any blogs on their website.

    I’ve asked every SEO pro I know what you do for £750 a month to a website with no fresh content on and they all stayed quiet.

    The best SEO you can do for your website is posting regular content that helps your customers.

    One of the best places to find out about SEO is the mighty Yoast Blog.

    Yoast is a WordPress Plugin that checks your writing and guides you through keywords.

    If you spend a couple of hours watching their videos and know how to use Microsoft Word or Google Docs you’ll be fine.

    Focus on your website

    When you focus on your site, you are investing in your very own digital outpost.

    I posted my first blog post in 2006 and had been following and interviewing people in the industry since then, the two things that have stayed constant are website and email.

    The places like Myspace, Google+, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin either die or the rules change.

    Sure these are all essential distribution channels, but you are not in control of how they work how you reach people.

    The last thing to consider is this, how you connect with people and market your coworking or maker space is very different to how British Airways, TGI Fridays and WeWork do their shit.

    You probably only need 100 people signed up every month for its work like a dream, and then you’ll have a new set of problems.

    Like Kevin Kelly spells out in his related blog post here you only need 1000 true fans, and the more deeply connected they are to who you are and what you are about the more fun and profitable it will be.

    The Speed of trust

    When you have high trust with 1000 people, you’ll have the problem of a waiting list, not looking for members.

    There is also a short book by Stephen M. R. Covey called the Speed Of Trust, which explains how when trust is high, speed is high and the cost is low.

    The best way to do that is to write 750 words on your website every week, and I can show you how.

  • How To Kill Writer’s Block And Thrive

    When you have to write a post, you’ll want to do everything but write that blog post.

    It is much easier to think about stuff than writing it.

    The main reason only a few people do well at blogging comes down to just a few people execute and post stuff.

    Everyone else licks blogging wounds, looks for SEO tricks and talks about blogging, without doing much blogging.

    And that included me.

    I found it very hard to write and post stuff, but every time I ship a blog post a good thing happens.
    Sometimes this is a good business thing, but most of the time a handful of people talk about my post.

    When I was deep in depression, I blogged about how I was doing. This wild act of sharing connected me on a deep level with people close to me and also people I have never met.

    There are a few businesses that blog on a consistent basis.
    They get to inform potential customers, build a stronger relationship and save a crapload of time in their sales cycle.
    By now I have met enough people who got down to posting on their site and everything changed for them within six months.

    How To Kill Writers Block And Thrive

    1. Just write.

    Open a page and write something like:
    “I don’t know where to start I wanted to write a blog about writer’s block, I mean beating writer’s block but ironically I don’t know where to start, so I guess I’ll start here, and wait, oh wow I’m in action already…”

    You will have to get over the fact you’ll need to delete a lot of stuff.
    But you will have written something down, and starting is always half of the battle won.

    2. Know where you are going.

    And when you first sit down, you won’t know where you are going, which is why you have to work out where you are going.
    By this I mean get some paper or a google doc and scribble down where you could go.

    What topic is your blog or website designed around?
    What would the next ten posts be?

    When you realise you don’t have ten posts on that subject, it will be the reality check you need.

    And when you recognise you have 25 blog posts, you’ll know where you are going.
    Both are great.

    You’ll find brilliant methods about this on the roadmap on the Fizzle website.
    Committing to the Fizzle Roadmap is one of the single best things I’ve ever done for my professional freelancer life.

    3. Accept your limitations at this moment in time.

    When I am too busy, anxious or pulled in too many directions blogging does not happen for me. It takes me ages to get into the right place, and then I polish it too much, and then I think everyone will hate me.

    It is not the best place for me to go.
    So I don’t.
    What I do is accept it is not going to happen today and work out when it is going to happen.

    Keep a notebook either online on in real life

    In this notebook write the beginning, middle and end of a post after you have had the idea.

    Let it sit and then come back to it a few days later; I find I can write the blog post in one go after doing this.
    Or write a paragraph about each idea and see how far you get.

    I swear the fear of finding out our concept is not going to work is ten times the fear of posting, this way you can uncover the weaknesses in your work.

    4. Get serious

    I am writing this standing in my kitchen and have set a timer. I keep wandering off to see what else I can do instead of this post and then make myself carry on writing.
    I know what I want to say and why I want to write this post.

    But I get imposter syndrome, scared and all sorts of things that are mental distractions from doing the work of writing this post and publishing it.

    Luckily I have got serious and cut out everything that could distract me from finishing this and posting it.

    5. Eliminate distractions.

    Which builds upon point five, get serious.
    Decide what tool, notebook and platform you are going to use.

    Choosing the colour of your business card, writing app and website is a small but lethal form of distraction from the real work of putting your heart and soul into creating content.

    Whether your art is words on a blog, video on Youtube or a podcast messing about between Google Doc and Evernote is a waste of your precious creative energy and time.

    You get results and learn by doing, not by preparing and choosing, unless you are doing a space jump, then you need to do a lot of preparation.

    6. Anyway, how come you get writer’s block?
    You don’t talkers block, do you?

    Featured Image Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

    We’ll be deep diving into “How To Kill Writers Block And Thrive” next week at London Bloggers Meet Up at The Studio in Camden, the new home for all our coworking and Ouishare London antics.

  • How To Get Big Changes In Just 12 Weeks

    Big Changes

    So I have been around a lot of change over the last few weeks, in those few weeks I have been looking for a way to deal with it all.

    Or instead, accept it and work out what to do with it, change happens all the time, and I’ve got better and working out how to harness the energy and indecision that comes with it.

    It still affects me, but I can recognise the different types of emotions and energy coming towards me and either discard them or embrace them.

    This time I stalled out for about a week and then I was able to get back on the horse, rather than whine. Of course, whining is way easier to do

    I thought I’d tie up how I skipped whining and got into action in this post, change and uncertainty have been complete showstoppers for me in the past, now I am winning.

    End Of An Era

    The most significant change was the closing of @Work Hubs the coworking space I have worked at alongside my freelance practice for the last three years, but more on that later, the message here is what I did with the time.

    Luckily the end of @Work Hubs coincided exactly with the fantastic weather we are having here in the UK and the start of the 90 Day challenge in Content Marketing Academy community of which I am a member.

    We’ll start with the 90 Day Challenge, the goal is to commit to producing a consistent amount of content every week for 90 days, this could be a post every day or a podcast every week, but you have to keep up the delivery.

    Every week there is a group call where Chris from the CMA gives feedback on how the group are doing.

    My first one was a car crash, my second one better and this one I am going to break through the sound barrier.

    I produce a lot of content but keeping going all the time is a massive challenge for me, it is also what we talk about in London Bloggers Meet Up and Write Club most of the time.

    I mean, how hard can it be? Open a google doc and write something and put it online.

    Ever since I published my first blog in 2006 on Blogger I have had this wild fantasy of posting a lot of content; I love it, I mean I LOVE it.

    I am crap at writing for other people, but I am great at their strategy, story and making connections between posts and projects.

    BTW this is my favourite blog post ever; it is about when I cut the top off of my finger at a restaurant.

    More Everything With 90 Days Of Massive Action

    Then I got the video below from Jeff in an email; I signed up for Jeff’s Google Analytics course when it came through as a deal on App Sumo.

    I have never known where to look for how to get the most out of Google Analytics.

    I’ve been following Avinash’s blog since 2009 and get it, but I have would never dare claim about what to do with it.

    Which, when you have chosen a path based around making content to make websites rock you kind of need to have a more profound grasp.

    Jeff’s analytics course is easing me through the Google beast, don’t ask me anything yet I am still getting a grip on it!

    How To Get Big Changes In Just 12 Weeks? More Of Everything

    Here Jeff describes how many “more everything” happened after his team produced 90 videos, emails and blog posts in 90 days, of course, there was growth, but the best thing he got was motivation and pace.

    At the end of the video, he talks about how it takes him three hours to make a 20-minute video nowadays, not a week.

    I have this pace with podcasting, but not with blogging and that my friend is where we are going in the next 90 days.

    How You Going To Do That?

    Sorry to make this sound way more comfortable than it is, so forgive me for simplifying the whole thing, it has taken years to get here, and it always pissed me off when someone would write a post and say something like ‘it’s just a change of mindset and more green tea.’

    You have to make your ‘own’ system, this I read about in Scott’s 2011 book Making Ideas Happen, and I have been tweaking my system ever since, there are about 100 other books, but the one I’d recommend is 12 Week year.

    I’ve been following this for around three years now and have read it and read it and read it and then reread it.

    We even started a meet up based around 12 Week Year called Not So Manic Monday, which will be back after the summer in September.

    In the meantime, my friend Karen and I have a call every Monday to keep each other on track.

    We have our goals and report back to each other on where we are and what the breakdowns are and what the intention is for the next week.

    I Still Don’t Know What I Am Doing

    What I found surprising is that I struggled to articulate what my intention was for the 12 weeks and what I had to do for the next week.

    I get ready to go and then don’t know where I am going.

    Committing to the “12 Week Year” forced me to write down and say what I am going to do every week.

    I even swapped project tools to make sure I had no room for hiding, also though I am a fan of Zenkit and Kanban boards.

    But I went back to Todoist because it syncs with Exist App and tracks EVERYTHING I do so I know where I am slacking off.

    Exist App connects to Gmail, Fitbit, Rescue Time, Apple health and even Twitter to let me know the combination of habits to have a good day.

    When Karen and I have our call, I can report back from the Todoist Karma counter and also see what is happening in Exist App.

    How To Kill Writers Block And Thrive1

    Planning And Execution

    Another significant change for work this year has been committing deeply to Coschedule again for planning content.

    Coschedule it is a content app that works online and sits inside your WordPress website.

    From here you can organise, write and publish blogs, Mailchimp emails and all your social media.

    I still highly recommend tools like Mindmeister and Zenkit for project planning and execution, but the edge that Coschdule has over these tools for website content is that you are planning your work and working your plan in the same app.

    In this current ‘12 Week Year,’ one of my core goals is to get super fast at creating and shipping blogs, podcasts and emails.

    That means fine-tuning the processes for Ouishare Radio which my partner in crime Trevor is particularly impressive at.

    On my site I need to get sharper at getting ideas from my head to my website like the post you are reading now, this was where Jeff’s video touched a nerve for me.

    We’ll be deep diving into “How To Kill Writers Block And Thrive” next week at London Bloggers Meet Up at The Studio in Camden, the new home for all our coworking and Ouishare London antics.

    RSVP for the Meet Up here 

    Photo by Peder Cho on Unsplash

  • Why You Need Other People As A Freelancer

    My Head Never Stops, So I Have To

    To function each week I need to seek a balance of solitude and connection, so I need time to both calm my head and time to connect with peers.

    Too much time alone and I live in my head, too much time with peers and I end up building a tower of ideas that go nowhere.

    A Typical Day For My Head

    Yesterday I read an Aeon magazine article about Nazi troopers being drunk while massacring people in towns on their quest for ethnic cleansing.

    When I woke up this morning, the content of the article was the first thought in my head.

    My next thought was of walking through Auschwitz in February 2005 with a copy of Primo Levi in my bag.

    The slash of horror I felt while standing in the freezing sheds of Auschwitz, looking at the bunks that three people slept in together has never, ever left me.

    I read about the cold bunks, and how three people slept in them, in Primo Levi the day before at the Krakow airport.

    A previous version of me would churn these thoughts around all day with my brain looking and feeling like thick hot chocolate sauce being stirred in a pan all day in a room with no ventilation.

    Lose Yourself To Dance

    On a lighter note, after watching a Daft Punk documentary film, my head was churning about creativity.

    In the film, Nile Rogers talks about his work with Daft Punk and how deep they went experimenting to capture the Random Access Memories album sound.

    It started with a small disco riff then they threw in legendary Italian DJ Giorgio Moroder, Nile and Pharrell Williams and, bang, *Get Lucky was born.

    I’m still looking for the connection between Primo Levi, Daft Punk and drunk Nazi’s, its something to do with human respect and creativity to overcome evil; I just don’t feel qualified to write about that yet.

    Why It’s Good To Be Alone

    I love being on my own and need to be on my own. Every morning I am up super early to write 750 words, meditate, and just think. I turn into a bit of a Moody Cow if I don’t get this time.

    To the extent, I have to bite my tongue if I get interrupted by Supercoolwife or #babybernie.

    Of course if one of these guys wants to come and use the kitchen, which is the room I barricade myself in every morning, why should they have to deal with me being a Moody Cow?

    I need to have a space to calm my head; my head is going all the time, churning out thoughts.

    I love this about myself, but I can only do something with those thoughts and connections when I settle and get clarity on them.

    The book Moody Cow ends with the grandfather meditating with his grandson and the way they do it’s by dropping glitter into a jar and then watching it until it settles.

    When the water is clear, also if you look carefully, you can see the colour of each glitter spec.

    So when I wake I meditate, to calm my thoughts and get my day in perspective. Don’t get me wrong I love having all these thoughts and connections; I just mind them desperately consuming me.

    So I like being on my own to settle all this and curate the connections between is in my head.

    Sharpen The Saw

    In 2017 I made a concerted effort to put myself into groups that would support me working as a freelancer and improve my skills as a content producer.

    I started to look at blogging and podcasting as a collaborative art form; I heard the term Showrunner on a podcasting course and in this podcast here, I then watched the Showrunner movie.

    Approaching the same work as I was doing through a Showrunner lens started me down the road of fine-tuning a dedicated curation process and editorial calendar, which sped up my content production ability.

    Why You Need Other People As A Freelancer

    I was thinking about this for another post, ‘why bloggers need to be around other bloggers.’

    Of course, I know bloggers talk, I also see many people that sit at home reading Neil Patel posts thinking how the hell do I do that?

    The same happens with freelancers and indie workers, so I made a point of seeking deeper connections with my peers, below is what I do weekly.

    Double Down On MeetUp.com

    At the end of last year we doubled down on our Meet Ups here at @Work Hubs, I especially became fanatical about Not So Manic Monday for freelancers and London Bloggers Meet Up.

    But they had to take up the right amount of time, and they are not ‘direct revenue generators’ so it wasn’t something to spend planning all week, they had to be a good use of everyone’s time.

    We started to push the envelope at Not So Manic Monday and follow the Fizzle Roadmap, 12 Week Year and talk more deeply about building our projects and freelance practices.

    Out of this we paused the weekly #Blogclub and asked people what would be worth turning up to sit around a table for 2 hours every Wednesday, it was writing time and ‘how the £@<k do make my website work?’

    And to gear this to people who were genuinely committed to making their website work but just don’t know where to start.

    Content Marketing Academy

    There’s good solid stuff in the CMA, and the best bit is the 90 Day Challenge where 40 of us post what we have made in a spreadsheet each week, and then Chris Marr does a live webinar to give weekly feedback.

    Fizzle Mastermind Group

    I joined a Fizzle mastermind group where Sok, Giselle and I chat weekly either in person or on WhatsApp to keep each other going.

    We are in Melbourne, California, and London, so the only time that works to speak is 06:30 am London on a Friday or Saturday morning, far from this being an issue it’s a commitment test to keep us together.

    The Results So Far

    My point is the talking regularly with a peer group has propelled both the work that you are reading now and other projects most notably the OuiShare Radio Podcast is hurtling towards posting a new podcast daily.

    At the time of writing these projects are far from perfect or working like a well-oiled machine, what they are is in action, and that action is fuelled by getting people together.

    Do Stuff Together In 2018

    Alex co-founder of Indy Hall coworking space spent 7 minutes shouting at me about ‘doing stuff together’ in this short podcast in Jan 2017 here.

    I recommend giving it a quick listen, Alex has a cheery rant about sharing goals, getting together in a cafe, at your kitchen table or a bus stop to share what you are working on to keep your traction and motivation going.

    Join us in Euston for Not So Manic Monday and London Bloggers Meet Up weekly.

    Photo by Dimitar Belchev on Unsplash

  • Productivity Flow with Zenkit and NotePlan

    I have tried so many combinations of apps, and the one that has worked the best is using Zenkit for project planning and NotePlan for daily to-dos and calendar.

    (You can get the desktop version of NotePlan as part of Settapp with access to over 50 other Mac Apps, no ads or in-app purchases.)

    How does this work?

    I am going to give this a ten-year limit; I have been playing with gadgets for years so we could be here all day.

    Around 2009 I was early to Evernote, Trello, Google Docs, Google Keep, Mind Meister, Meister Task, Dropbox, GQueues and Nimble CRM; and in 2017 when Eric from Zenkit hit me up on Twitter I rolled my eyes at yet another todo app based Kanban board.

    A lot of well-intentioned people used to hit me up on twitter about their ‘Trello killer’ Kanban app, these days they hit me up about Coworking Space management software.

    Zenkit Had Me At Hello

    I checked Eric and Zenkit out, and the way that Zenkit produced in four different ways, had me at hello.

    For every project there are four views:

    • Kanban board
    • Mindmap
    • Spreadsheet/table
    • List

    Think of it like a cocktail of Trello, Google Sheets, Wunderlist, Mind Meister, in one app.

    There are some things it does not do as well as Mind Meister (MM), but I am super picky about mind mapping.

    I can rapid fire idea in MM mind map in a way that I can’t in Zenkit.

    Also, adding information to a map cell is easier in MM, and I can print off or export the whole map into a document.

    This way, I can write a blog post on a mind map and then export it with 80% of the layout work done, including Header 1, 2 and three sections, which are set by the levels of the mind map.

    Zaps in Zapier! Where Else?

    I have a Zap set in Zapier so when I add a new blog post to Zenkit, it starts the blog post in Google Docs, and then I send that post to the right WordPress (WP) site via an app called ‘Wordable’.

    This neat little tool searches my Google Docs and then in one beautiful and immediate click it exports my fully formatted post with the title and headers intact as a draft post to my website.

    (Am I the only person who can’t format correctly in WordPress?!)

    (Automattic released a WP plugin for Google Docs, but it only works if you have the WP Jetpack.

    Most of my sites are on Rainmaker Platform which is WP with a hundred magic things, but not Jetpack.

    Is There A Zap For Dyslexia?

    Being able to shift views in Zenkit is like being able to mould and understand the edges of a project, it has given me a significantly better understanding of what and where I am on my editorial calendar.

    I am not sure if it is a dyslexic thing or not, but I spend a lot of energy worried that I will miss something or have a blind spot on a project.

    So, I viciously overcompensate by overthinking and overworking an angle so being able to sort, shift, list, map, and everything else with Zenkit saves me hours.

    I was a long time Trello fanboy. Nils and I wrote a lot of Trello ‘how-to’ posts here, but Trello started to get messy with all the things you could plug into it.

    It’s amazing how much I learned about what I needed in my work flow after playing with so many apps and gadgets in Trello.

    While the ideal workflow never materialized for me, it got close with the epic Trello, MailChimp, and Publicate workflow.

    We might think the primary use of a Trello board is working a sequence with a team.

    But hands down, the main reason to commit to a project tool, is so that you can send teammates and clients there to find links to everything, rather than fucking around with email.

    What I was still missing… NotePlan

    I was still missing something on my phone to help me through the day, and that something came along in the form of NotePlan.

    Yet another significant discovery through the Settapp thing.

    NotePlan shows your calendar and has a space for notes underneath it. Is that it?

    So my whole focus is on this little square on my mobile device, or Mac, and when people ask me things, I would add it here. I add my primary focus for the day and when I am drifting(which I do on an hourly basis).

    I even leave notes on days that say things like,  “Remember you thought to do this today when you were sitting in the Garage Cafe.”

    You can copy all the unfinished tasks from one day to the next.

    The other component is the note section, where there is a place to take notes in meetings and drop blog ideas.

    All of these things, you can do in the apps I mentioned above, but the brutal simplicity of NotePlan has gotten me further.

    Evernote Downfalls

    All along I wanted Evernote to work for me, but it did not.

    I read books about Evernote.

    I Watched Doto tech videos about how Evernote works.

    It should work, right?

    It is a well thought out product that links to everything from Blogo to Airstory to CoSchedule.

    I learnt a lot about how I really work trying to get Evernote to be part of my workflow.

    Part of it is that I am an avid Google Drive user, and most people I work with are on there or they like Dropbox, which has never been a place for me either.

    I also find Apple drive more useful these days. This is for stuff I use every day and can see my computer desktop files on my mobile device.

    But the things I collaborate on or write on get saved in Google Drive.

    BTW, Settapp is packed with apps that connect to Evernote.

    It also includes a neat little app called Gemini that scans your computer for duplicate files, and Clean My Mac helps keep it is correct working order. I previously used Onyx to service my Mac which also works well.

    How to get ultimate productivity flow with Zenkit and NotePlan

    There are two separate parts to this.

    One is to manage projects and collaborate with other people – this is Zenkit.

    The other is to empty my head and remind myself what I intended to do – this is NotePlan.

    So Zenkit is the mother ship, think of it like a wall chart and NotePlan is the little notebook with a dairy in that I carry everywhere. Make sense?

    These little todos, the ‘remember the milk’ type things I have to do for that day go in the space below the calendar.

    Unfinished jobs can get carried over to the next day in one move, you click a button, and it gives the option to move unfinished tasks to any date you like.

    Noteplan is like a tech version of writing on the back of a napkin.

    I repeatedly tried to use Google Calendar and Google Docs a bit like this by attaching a Google Doc to each date, now you can even make notes in each Google Calendar entry.

    But I spent my day clicking in and out of cells and waiting for things to sync if I was on a tube train or aeroplane.

    When I have an idea, I write it in NotePlan, most of my ideas are for blogs or podcasts so I stick it in there and if it is going to fly a day later I make a Zenkit card which creates a Google Doc, then I look for that Google Doc from within the Zenkit Card so I am all linked up.

    Real-Time Google Calendar Sync

    One very last point that is the icing on the cake is that cards with dates on in Zenkit sync in real time with Google Calendar.

    Unlike some apps where you have to copy and paste iCal feeds that update every few hours Zenkit connects directly with your calendar, so if you are on a device and see you need to move the date for something you can take care of it in the calendar without opening Zenkit.

    How To Get Even More Productive

    Most of the apps I mentioned at the start of this post I found in GSuite Marketplace, or Google Apps as it was called when Bobby Jimenez first told me about it 2009.

    These days there are so many well thought out apps that look nearly the same, and my advice is to pick one you like using and learn how to use the best you can, read the documentation and watch all the nerdy webinars and read their blogs.

    In this era of content marketing, many companies essentially give ‘free training’ every week on their blogs.
    They’ll teach you project methodology, productivity and you’ll get to know the people who make the app you use and how best to work with it.

    Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

  • How To Develop An Epic Content Creation Process

    At our weekly London Bloggers MeetUp, I keep getting asked how I write a blog post, and I never have an answer.

    I can’t bullshit my answer anymore.

    I realized that even after all this time I don’t have a system or process for writing a blog post.

    The same goes for building a podcast episode.

    I have got together with my freelancing coworking buddies Cat and Trevor to sort this out on our the OuiShare Radio Write Club podcast here.

    Stop Reading And Pondering

    Even after all the productivity books and courses, I have consumed, there is still a gaping hole in my processes.

    For podcasts, I always know in my gut where I want to go, and I have the gift of the gab; so I neglect to prepare much.

    Notice I said neglect, not “I’m so good I don’t need to prepare.”

    And this is one of the things that eludes me in getting more done.

    The lack of a defined process in this area of my life makes each new blog post or podcast a new and exciting surprise, even to me.

    Email Newsletter Process

    For email newsletters, I have a process. I adore curated newsletters, and therefore, I read a lot; tag it in Pocket App, send it by magic to Publicate.it, and then when it is time to send one, I pop in Publicate.it  hit a tag and then pick an article, then copy and paste the code to MailChimp, send a test, and then hit publish.

    When I am on form, I make a few editions in a row, and the themes are constant.

    I am curating a supportive and helpful newsletter; not a breaking news email so I can work ahead of myself.

    The time-consuming part is writing the words each week, and often I leave this until the last minute, which takes longer and ends up as a disjointed reading experience for you, the reader.

    Josh Bernoff’s ‘Iron Imperative’

    Something that got branded into the side of my head last year was the ‘Iron Imperative’ from Josh’s book, “Writing without bullshit;” which is that the readers time is more important than your own.

    In turn, this made me think about what I’m motivated to seek out.

    In my world, there are hardly any coworking spaces where I read their blogs.

    I keep up with people, but I don’t go out of my way to seek out their words.

    The “Iron Imperative” stopped me for a bit, and not in the right way.

    But this does not mean I should ignore it.

    I started to think about what I write, and is it useful?

    The Coworking

    Most coworking blogs occur as recycled productivity tips, and even they are not done well.

    There is an “I hope this works” thread like they are trying to copy James Clear blogs without the experience and insight.

    There are people who write consistently and interestingly about coworking life, like Cat Johnson and Laetitia Vitaud; but they are writers, not spaces.

    The only coworking space where I look forward to what they are doing is the Impact Hub Birmingham; miles away from me, but their work makes a difference, and as someone who helps run a space, I am inspired by what they do.

    I’m even a little bit jealous!

    We podcasted with Imandeep Kaur from Impact Hub Birmingham at the beginning of their Radical Childcare project in 2017 – here on OuiShare Radio

    Reading Non-Stop To Find Out What I Think

    There is a list of what I read here on feedly.com, and I pick up articles from Pocket, Medium, Anders Pink.

    I learn every day from the communities I am part of:

    Working Out What To Write

    The truth is, I wasn’t sure my words were any use, which leads to doubt, and fear, and all those ugly things that happen when you write and post content.

    Prompted into action by the ‘choose a topic course’ on Fizzle.com, I had to ask who would come to my blog and read this?

    So I looked at who reads my shit, and most people who talk to me about my work are people in coworking spaces, who are either freelancers, run a micro-business, or identify as self-employed as part of a small team.

    I know that sounds like everyone in a coworking space, but it is not.

    So I had my primary audience.

    What Makes Me Read Stuff?

    The content I hold out for weekly is nudging me, reminding me, or solving an issue as I read along. Best of all it makes me think.

    A great example of this is a Fizzle post; I am a fizzle member and the blogs and podcast act as a commentary on the content in the community.

    Other examples would be the

    Yoast blog,

    StudioPress sites podcast,

    Josh’s blog,

    Freelancer to Win,

    Blog Tyrant, and ironically, the Process Street blog.

    This is all right on point for me.

    Right now I am working on writing and podcasting more with less work.

    I am actively building a deliberate practice and looking to get even better results.

    So, Bernie How Do You Write a Blog?

    Not how you think.

    After I had worked out who will read this stuff, I then discovered the three topics in the ‘choose your topic course‘ on Fizzle online community had revealed my sweet spot.

    We talk about the choose your topic course on the @Work Hubs podcast here

    So, I narrowed my focus to coworking, podcasting, and productivity.

    I started just to write. not the best way I could do it, but it at least I started!

    I ended up with acres of Google docs that I lost track of.

    Sure, it was a healthy thing, and joy to write non-stop, but I did not get any articles to publish.

    You have to know where you are going and map out a few episodes and blogs, then think about the journey you want people to go with you.

    I Did Not Know Where I Was Going

    I am involved in the Fizzle community to the extent that I talk about fizzle offline with people at our meetups, who are also members.

    Outside of that, I follow the podcast, which points me towards what is happening.

    At the end of 2017, I joined an online Fizzle.com mastermind group.

    My purpose was to be with a group of people who I’d ONLY talk to about making my engagingpeople.wpengine.com blog happen.

    One of the first questions we all asked was ‘where are you going?’

    I knew where I was going in other areas of my work but not with my blog.

    So we all quickly involved in “Steph’s 15-minute planner exercise,” where she doubled her email list with an improved lead magnet.

    The lead magnet came from asking people like me what mattered and that became the fifteen-minute planner method.

    This method then became a week-long goal setting course, the way Steph looked at goals made us question ‘productivity gains vs desire’.

    I have a HUGE desire to make my website work for me in 2018, and I am finally prepared to go through the struggle, mess and humiliation to build a blog that matters.

    Not Just Another Goals Course

    A few of us here @Work Hubs embraced the planner and Steph’s Fizzle Goals course.

    At this stage of the game, I think that following a course with a group of people close to you enables you

    As I have dared to think about this in more detail, I’ve worked out that I need to batch and design my process for researching, writing, and posting a blog.

    I looking for how to glean more in-depth focus and course correction, so this is useful stuff.

    That reminded me, there are 50 blog process templates here on Process Street.

    For the first time since I was five years old, I know what direction I am heading.

    The next step for me is to get even more precise at keeping on track with both my current 12-week plan and long-term goals.

    If this post spoke to you and you’d like to learn how to develop an epic content creation process come and join in a weekly Deep Work Meetup @Work Hubs:

    Not So Manic Monday

    Art Club

    Blog Club

    Write Club

    Photo by Dalibor Bosnjakovic on Unsplash

  • What Happened When I Woke Up From My 30 Year Coma

    My 30 Year Coma
    My 30 Year Coma

    My issue with Time.

    This time it is an even bigger issue. I seem to have lost 30 years of my life.

    In 2018, I was woken up after falling into a coma when I was 13.

    For the last six months, I have been entertaining this radical thought.

    There is a core part of me that cannot quite grasp what has been happening to me for the last 25 years or so.

    I did discover alcohol, Marlboro Red’s and recreational pharmaceuticals then, progressing up the drug taking leaderboard until I stopped in 2006 and then I eventually quit drinking in December 2012.

    I don’t drink because I am alcoholic, get quickly addicted and don’t know when to stop.

    These days I’m addicted to words, Bulletproof Coffee and watching Marvel Comic book movies with my son, life is good.

    Talking About Stopping

    A few weeks ago, I was talking with Amelie, my therapist, about ending our sessions. She brought it up, and I was glad she did.

    I was already wondering how to end the relationship. I don’t want it to end, but it has been six years now. I have mixed feelings about therapy, and this has been going on for quite some time.

    I have grown to love deadlines and boundaries, and I was starting to think where the timeline for therapy ended.

    The Box

    Amelie and I have a box on the floor of our therapy room that has everything I need to deal with, folded in it.

    We don’t always talk about the box contents. Sometimes we look in there and it is emptier than we thought.

    When we found the box, I knew there was an ‘Evil Beast’ in it that I had to slay.

    I was able to recognize the creature as it is the same one that Steven Pressfield revealed in Do The Work.

    The Evil Beast

    The Evil Beast it is the resistance.

    It is the self-destructive, frustratingly mind-bending resistance that holds me and everything I can do back, and strangles it into a little box.

    It is the self-destructive force that kicks anyone who has ever loved me or wanted to do something with me in the face.

    Knocked them over and kicked them in the gut, and then set fire to all their hopes and dreams, just to make sure they hit the point of no return.

    It is the epic swirl of confusion that seems to occupy the middle of my heart and head when I want or need to focus on or express something important to me.

    You think I am exaggerating. Until I started spending Tuesday afternoons with Amelie in Stratford, this is what I endured.

    I had worked out over this year what Jim Carey meant when he said, “You could fail at want you don’t want, so you might as well take the chance on doing what you love.”

    “You could fail at want you don’t want, so you might as well take the chance on doing what you love.” Jim Carey

    Increasingly, I have worked out a way to do things I love. This does not mean they are comfortable, and also working this out has a knock on effect for people around me that is often not kind.

    Failing with things I love is way easier to accept than failing at things, and then getting angry at myself for working on that which I hate, and then getting them wrong.

    That is precisely a double kick in the head.

    Suddenly, I can work on something and notice when it is hard because I am trying to work it out, or have gotten to the edge of my learning on that.

    My deskmate, at 90 Mainyard, and now in @Work Hubs, has been Martha, a documentary film and podcast maker.

    We both help each other through the story, to seek the edges and feed each other ideas when our paths get blocked.

    A few years ago, we might have felt we were shit. Now we can see that we are about to break through on the story of a podcast, or film, or even our website or blog.

    My life now…

    Last summer, I spent a week without antidepressants for the first time in five years. I had been cutting down for ages. Every time I tried to stop, I had a meltdown.

    You might be thinking, “was it real, or was it my meltdown?” I could not function. Supercoolwife and #Babybernie went to Spain to stay with my brother-in-law, and I dug in for a week of space to see how it went.

    I needed space. Also, I was very sure I did not want to be popping antidepressants for the rest of my life.

    I’m always amazed at the concern I have for taking legal, mind-altering drugs, supplied by the NHS, compared with the previous version of myself years ago that would snort any powder you put on a mirror in front of me. Lick any wrap of magic dust, or pop a pill.

    So I went cold turkey (ish), and after a week, I felt like I had woken from a particularly bad dream and hangover.

    I kept checking my mood; journaling and tracking my progress, and everything started to work.

    I was expecting never to be able to get out of bed; to have a filthy stinking temper and be committed to blaming everyone else for anything that went wrong. From a nuclear reactor bleeding into a river near a school to someone taking my seat on the train.

    Nope, all good.

    Do I Hate Christmas?

    Amelie and I started to reflect on the last six years. I could not get my head around it.

    I have been married 12 years, been a father for six years, and been in therapy for six years. All of these things still seemed very new, and something I’m getting used to; like the amazing modern flat or local cafe.

    I kept looking for the other me to say, “What had happened? Look! You have all this!”

    There are many things I will never be able to get back. Friendships I trashed, moments needed to have handled better, and trips I could have made.

    Somehow this is all okay. I have taken a few very deep and painful breaths, and let it go.

    Amelie and I have been talking about Christmas annually for six years, and have never really unpicked why I hate and loathe this time of year.

    All The Best

    We started talking again this year, and I volunteered the information that I had not enjoyed Christmas since I was something like 13; about the time Paul McCartney’s “All the Best” album came out.

    I bought the tape for my sister, and she bought it for me too!

    I can’t even recall what happened there, but I have fallen into a fit of depression and deep dark thinking yearly since then.

    Of course, you are thinking, maybe I’d have been better with a George Harrison tape.

    Location Dependant?

    Also, even when we are in Krakow or Buenos Aries for December, I still get an acid twist of pain and discomfort during this time of year.

    Right now, I can’t wait for January 2018. For the first time since my sister gave me a Paul McCartney album in the 80’s, I am looking forward to the year ahead.

    I have been walking around trying to work out where to kick off again in this blog, and I think it is here.

    I made a grand declaration a few weeks ago on this blog here, and then got stuck.

    We have been working on this ‘stuckness’ in my Fizzle mastermind group about how to get a specific project going, and another week has nearly gone by. I have a Google Drive full of podcast interviews to hit publish on and blogs to post.

    So now I have found my voice, and it feels like I can use it.

    That is what happened when I woke up from my 30-year coma.