Archive for the ‘Positivity’ Category

A Night of Passion

April 13, 2014

Passion

This was going to be a busy night dancing between three events ..

First up Eamon Curtin, Programme Manager of the IGNITE Programme had arranged for an incredible speaker to tell us about his fantastic start-up journeys. Raomal Perera, now a Professor of Entrepreneurship told the group of young entrepreneurs about how he scaled the dizzy heights with two companies, ISOCOR (listed on NASDAQ in 1996), which he sold and Network365, which was ultimately purchased by Intel in 2013.

Raomal PereraThe very passionate and honest Raomal,who has won many entrepreneur awards gave the group precious advice about funding a business and dealing with Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists. He told the group that the first things they look for in a young business they consider investing in, is the Integrity and PASSION of the people involved.

Next up we headed to L’Atitude 51 for the International Wine and Food SocietyBest of Local Producers” event where we sampled the best of wine which was carefully selected by the joint owner Beverley Mathews who is as passionate about wine as the guest food producers.

The wine was accompanied by the finest food from some of the best of local food producers. We heard from Frank Hederman who has been smoking salmon for over 30 years, we heard from the owner of On The Pigs Back about the fantastic cheeses and best of all was our butcher from Kanturk.

Jack McCarthy, Butcher KanturkJack McCarthy, 5th generation butcher was both entertaining and no-nonsense as he lit up the room with his passion for spicing beef, black pudding, haggis and tongue – you just wanted to plan an immediate trip to Kanturk and stock up on anything that this passionate man was selling.

Our final event of the evening was the Mark Geary gig at Coughlan’s Bar, which has just been voted IMRO’s best live venue in Ireland. This is an incredible and well deserved accolade for this cosy venue, which is a huge credit to the woman behind all of this, Edel Curtin. Bands all over Ireland and Cork music fans are lucky to have such a passionate person as Edel bringing us great gigs in such an intimate venue on a regular basis.

Mark Geary

After a little wait our buddy Mark Geary and his band of merry men and the fabulous Grainne Hunt came on stage and entertained us in his inimitable style complete with great songs, great story telling and a special sense of humour. This was a great gig with a special solo cover of a Tom Waits song by Grainne ..beautiful!

Mark could have brought a small band with him for this intimate gig but this is a passionate artist who prefers to give his audience everything instead of making a few extra bob and doing just enough.

We had a really great and quite diverse night, but the one thing that was the same and made everything special, whether it was business, wine, food, music or running a venue was Passion.

Raomal was right …Passion is the most important ingredient of all.

Does what you do allow your passion to shine through? 

Greg Canty

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

Time to give up what you’re doing?

March 29, 2014

Flatpack furniture

Edel called me from Dublin to say that the guy who was sent from Viking to assemble the furniture for the new office was grumbling, moaning, huffing – he would be back the next day to start the job!

We finally managed to get the keys for new office and now we had to kit it out. Viking is a great option with their wide range of furniture at reasonable prices but I’ve learnt the hard way that the assembly of the furniture is a big undertaking – even the smallest pieces can be more than awkward.

I had thought that finding someone to do this was going to be difficult but much to my relief it turns out that Viking were now providing this service as part of the package – major phew!

However it looked like Mr Assembly might be hard work ..

I joined Edel in the office the next morning and she gave me a “look” as Mr Assembly and his co-worker could be heard inside the adjoining room grumbling, moaning and huffing about the task ahead.

I made an attempt at cheering up our happy friends by buying them coffee early on but the effect seemed to wear off quickly. It was clear that we would have to tip toe around these boys.

Suggesting our preferred height between shelves was just about digested. They reckoned they didn’t have to assemble the smaller desk units – Dee’s suggestion of a clarification call to Viking seemed to sort out that one and when I asked them if they would be taking away the packing materials it was if I said something really horrible about a close relative!

I had to leave before they finished up so I told them there was a few quid in it for them if they managed to take away the packing materials. I thanked them both for their work and the quieter of the two wished us the best of luck in the new office. That was nice.

Edel called later when the job was done – our happy men took half the packing materials away and once all the units were assembled they refused to push them into position in the office “We assemble things, we don’t move them” – Nice!

Edel who lacked the energy to cajole them took just 5 minutes herself to pull and drag the desks and cupboards from the middle of the room to where she wanted them.

I wondered about our two happy men.

I have no doubt that they were on a tight fee to complete our assembly job but very early on they made a choice about what mood and persona they were going to bring with them to work including a clear decision to do as little as possible.

Were they totally miserable doing this work, was something awful going on in their lives, were they treated really poorly by the last crew they assembled furniture for, were they being treated badly by Viking or by nature are they just grumpy people?

Whatever was going on with them they were miserable and brought this misery with them this day.

If this is how you feel at work is it time to give up what your are doing?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

 

Confidence, Logic and New Cars

March 10, 2014

Mad Men Cadillac

According to wikipedia Confidence is described as a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective.

It also goes on to say that Confidence can be a self-fulfilling prophecy as those without it may fail or not try because they lack it and those with it may succeed because they have it rather than because of an innate ability.

This Confidence thing seems to be a pretty important ingredient to success – where can I get it?

Everyone we deal with is now starting to “accept” that the economy is finally improving and consumer/business Confidence is one of the reasons quoted as being responsible for the change.

For example, nationally, car sales are up 28 per cent. The light commercial vehicle market, which is a good sign of activity in the SME sector, saw an increase in sales of 41 per cent in February with sales of Heavy Goods Vehicles, a barometer of activity in the wider Economy, seeing a 68 per cent increase.

Alan Nolan, SIMI Director General: “The Motor Industry is often the first to be affected when there’s a downturn and one of the first to come back when the economy improves. Dealers are undoubtedly seeing a lot more Confidence among consumers, many of whom have been putting off making large purchases over the last few years.

Incredibly February 2014 saw the formation of 37 new companies in the Motor Industry.

Where did this magical Confidence come from all of a sudden?

  • Is it all due to logical factors that the economists can explain in detail?
  • Is it down to clever governmental policy that has strategically steered us into a much better place?
  • Is it because there have been lots of tax breaks, which have lead to increases in disposable income?
  • Are our fabulous banks now getting back to lending again?

Hmmm..

Is it because collectively we changed our attitudes because we all got totally burnt out and fed up with the suffocating negativity everywhere and realised we had to start looking up instead of down and make things happen for ourselves?

Once we changed out attitudes, performance followed and before we knew it many of us witnessed positive results and started believing that things were changing for the better. We were Confident once again.

Confidence

While there were lots of real elements that led to the crash of our economy our collapse of Confidence meant the hole became much deeper than it ever should have been.

For exactly the same reason we will now see a huge improvement – not for any logical reasons but because we are now Confident.

The next time we hit a bump in the road we need to remember that protecting Confidence is the number one priority.

#Positivity

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

When mistakes are good

February 4, 2014

Kolo Toure mistake

I watched in horror as the most experienced defender on the pitch gifted the ball to the West Brom striker (formerly from Everton, of course) on the edge of the Liverpool FC box.

Sure enough he buried the ball in the corner past Simon Mignolet to level the match – damn!

Typical ….after thumping Everton a few days previous in a really “tough” match 4-nil, we (when it’s your team you have to say “we”)  threw away a lead in a game we were in total control of.

In truth the game was too easy – it’s as if the players slipped into second gear waiting on the in-form Liverpool strikers Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge to score a few more goals against this very ordinary West Brom team.

The poor defender Kolo Toure hung his head in shame as he knew he made a huge mistake, which contributed to throwing away two valuable points.

The manager Brendan Rodgers was asked after the game about this huge mistake.

Instead of blaming the player he applauded the courage and bravery of the Liverpool defenders to play football instead of booting the ball aimlessly down the pitch. His philosophy is to encourage them to use the ball, pass it and play it forward intelligently.

He made the point that when you take this brave approach you do run the risk of making mistakes and that this one was the first all season, which actually cost the team.

While the mistake hurts deeply when it comes along he reckons it is a price worth paying for playing great football – in truth there is no comparison between the football Liverpool are playing now and some of the awful stuff from a few years ago.

I just left a meeting where everyone is petrified of doing anything because they will know they will get hammered if they make a mistake – the result …no one is doing anything!

To get the best results from your team do you have to allow some mistakes?

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Big, Bold, Brave ….Belief

January 28, 2014

Teamwork.com

The .com domain name for Greg Canty gregcanty.com can be registered with Register365 for the total price of €8.95 per annum.

The .com domain is the big one, the universal one, which is easy to register and without any fuss. For example with the Irish domain .ie you need to jump a few hoops and at least make some attempt at proving that you or your business has a valid reason for being able to claim that name.

The frenzy at the beginning of the internet boom was the practice of some very clever people anticipating which domain names would be popular in the future. They purchased these in the hope that at some point in time they might earn a windfall when they could sell them off for big money.

A lot of domain names are still registered to people who will never use them and are still waiting for their big pay day!

According to Wikipedia the top ten most expensive domain names are:

  1. VacationRentals.com $35 million in 2007 
  2. Insure.com $16 million in 2009 
  3. Sex.com for $14 million in October 2010
  4. Fund.com 2008 £9.99 million
  5. Porn.com 2007 $9.5 million
  6. Fb.com by Facebook for $8.5 million in November 2010
  7. Business.com for $7.5 million in December 1999
  8. Diamond.com 2006 $7.5 million
  9. Beer.com 2004 $7 million
  10. Israel.com 2008 $5.88 million

It looks like the last big money transaction was in 2010.

What would make you pay this kind of huge money for a domain name?

  • It must be a core part of your brand and who you are – so much so that you can’t have anyone else using it and must get your hands on it
  • It must have huge earning potential in order to justify such a huge price tag – unless of course you have so much money that earnings are not a critical part of the equation

Even if these two elements are in place do you have the resources to pay out big money for a domain name and this must be weighed up against what you could do with this amount of money – could you make your existing domain name or a new name just as powerful if that fund was put being a marketing campaign?

Big, Bold, Brave

Teamwork LogoLast week I was at the Guinness Store House (a strange experience for me – I could see my old office from the top floor) for the launch of a domain name by a Fuzion client and great friends of mine, Digital Crew.

The guys have an incredible cloud based project management application called TeamworkPM, which only after a few years is creating a storm online and is quickly becoming the standard within the sector for managing projects.

These guys from Cork had paid over half a million euros for the domain name www.teamwork.com and were celebrating with friends and clients – at 9pm the new domain name was set live.

When I first heard this news I thought someone was pulling a fast one on me and when I realised it was true I wondered if they had totally lost their marbles!

This was certainly a BIG move, they are paying and playing big, they are thinking big (huge!) but then again they have a global product so it is a big market. What’s more they have big plans to develop a whole suite of products under the Teamwork name. 

It was definitely a BOLD move …they aren’t a Google, a Facebook, a Microsoft, a Twitter but this was a big bold move, which shows that they see themselves in that Premier league table.

BRAVE ….I’m not sure if I could have written that cheque!

To be fair to these guys this is isn’t the first time that they have been Big, Bold and Brave.

When Digital Crew were working on their core web development business and on some complex web projects they realised they needed a project management application to help co-ordinate their teams and the multiple tasks that were required. After playing with a few different applications online they decided ….these aren’t good enough, we can do better!

While ideas are great and we all have them, the guys got together at weekends and late in the evenings when the regular client work was done and starting building a new application.

After an incredibly hard slog the application TeamworkPM was ready, which they politely rolled out.

There was no immediate success but they interacted with customers, answered countless queries, joined discussions, tracked competitors, improved their product over and over and eventually they had momentum with some serious businesses coming on board and using the application – Walt Disney, Microsoft, EA Sports, Forbes and eBay to name a few.

Word of mouth, continuous improvements and dogged determination brought TeamworkPM to a point where the income from the application had surpassed their core business income.

They made an incredibly Big, Bold and Brave move to divest of their core business and put everything into their TeamworkPM application. Every month there is a big new feature added, which is a challenge they set for themselves.

Within a year they have added significantly to the team and even sent one of the founders to take office in New Zealand (poor Sam – we all know he hates the glorious weather and the beach!)so another time zone could be looked after.

While they have been making Big, Bold and Brave moves for a long time the decision to pay over half a million euros for the teamwork.com domain name is about something much more.

They have incredible BELIEF in what they are doing, in their own capability and in their vision. They know exactly where they are taking their business.

To Dan, Peter, Sam, Billy and all the Teamwork team …..thanks for showing us what Big, Bold and Brave looks like. My belief is your domain will be worth it!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

I had a great 2014 because …

January 1, 2014

visualisation

For the last few years I have been doing this simple little exercise at the start of the year to help get focused around things that are important both personally and professionally.

I have found it to be really useful and one that has made a big difference.

I don’t know about you but making plans and actually achieving them is always challenging and at the start of the year I find myself at the start of that loop all over again making promises that often will never materialise!

A few years ago I was inspired to go about my goal setting in a different way thanks to a book I read called “The Art of Possibility” by Benjamin and Rosamund Zander (a really interesting motivational book by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and his wife who is an executive coach).

Benjamin Zander, the conductor has the task every year of bringing out the very best from a large group of very talented musicians for his orchestra.

His approach is rooted in the power of visualisation – the simple idea behind this is that if you visualise what you want to achieve then there is a much better chance of it actually happening (unbelievers ….stop reading now !!)

Here goes ..

Take a pen and paper and simply write your diary entry in advance for the last working day of the year to come..

Imagine just before you switch off the lights in the office, before you head out the door to do some last minute shopping and enjoy a well-earned rest, you quietly write your diary entry.

Tuesday, 23rd December, 2014

I had a great year because ….

Be as specific as you can including both personal and professional goals and when you are done Sign it!

Place your note in an envelope and seal it – on the last day of every month (use your calendar system to schedule this) open your envelope and have a peep to see how you are progressing.

…what are you waiting for?

By the way ….Happy New Year!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

 

Start believing, stop whispering

December 2, 2013

Waiting for Santa

I was reading an interesting blog post by the hard working and very smart Deirdre O’Shaughnessy, (Editor of the Cork Independent, writer for the Sunday Business Post and regular media panellist) yesterday about signs of positivity and the earliest (Santa Claus wish list) rumblings of tax cuts.

As Deirdre pointed out this thinking might stop when poor Santa gets stuck in the chimney …in truth few of us have regular chimneys these days so like everyone else life is even complicated for him these days!

Deirdre O'ShaughnessyDeirdre talks about the 58,000 extra people working in Ireland in Q3 compared to Q2 and unemployment has dropped below 13%, she talks about the bottoming out and rising of house prices in Dublin (for me scarcity of supply is the best story of all – building is inevitable which means jobs) and the icing on the cake is the bailout exit.

These are all great and very concrete signs of real improvement and even the news that the State is likely to make a profit on the Bank of Ireland share issue is encouraging.

Deirdre goes on “Things seem to be improving. That’s undeniable. Over the past couple of months, business people I have spoken to have whispered that they are seeing a lift. Whispered, because it’s fragile

When I hear Deirdre saying things like this I take huge encouragement from it – in her role at the Cork Independent she would interact closely and regularly with a cross section of businesses from all sectors and this would be a good barometer as to how things are performing “for real“.

Last week I shared in my blog post “Are things on the up at last?” our own experiences in Fuzion both in Cork and Dublin. We are witnessing a definite sea change.

Even last week we had many meetings with clients and prospects who are planning ahead for 2014 – we haven’t seen such early planning for quite some time. People are definitely feeling and most importantly behaving confidently.

Confidence and belief is half the battle – performance will follow. We need to start believing.

2014 will be a great year …instead of whispering it we need start roaring it!

#Positivity

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

The biggest bit of ‘good news’ we’ve been hearing of late is, of course, the bailout exit. This is a bit like being one of the aforementioned young people who can’t find work. You’ve moved out of home so your parents technically can’t tell you what to do any more. But living, jobless, in their garage, has its own restrictions.

Are things on the up at last?

November 25, 2013

economic crystal ball

I was really annoyed to hear the coverage that the media gave the latest Ernest & Young downgrading of their Irish Economic Forecast in their Economic Eye Winter 2013 report.

The latest All Island EY Economic Eye Winter 2013 report has revised its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast for 2013 downwards in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) from 0.8% to -0.2%“.

The comprehensive report covered more than just this but it was the “downgrading” that seemed to grab the headlines.

I gritted my teeth and shouted “shut the hell up” at the radio when I heard their economic experts being interviewed on air explaining their analysis.

Jesus …we near to hear positive news, we need to hear about those businesses that are seeing growth, we near to hear about the successes and we need to start believing that things are really improving.

ConfidenceIt’s only with confidence that things will start to improve and I firmly believe that this is happening – at least from what we are witnessing in the marketplace.

Giving airtime to such negativity is only going to hold us back as it has done for the last few years. Is market performance all down to facts or is it down to sentiment?

A nice bounce will happen if we start believing ..

While I have every respect for the experts in Ernest & Young I do believe that we have every reason for optimism based on what I am seeing and hearing:

  • We are seeing positivity and real intent by our clients
  • We are seeing competitiveness for staff
  • We are seeing sectors that were dormant such as retail and fashion back engaging for the first time in years
  • Hotels are busier than before – often it’s hard to get a booking
  • The summer for the tourist sector was well up on recent years
  • Restaurants are busier and the corporate market is back in force wining and dining: “Lately Tuesday’s are like Saturday’s” one restaurateur shared with me
  • Christmas party bookings are up on last year
  • The tradesman seem to be busy again
  • New businesses are opening
  • Hotels in NAMA control are being purchased by new operators
  • Solicitors and estate agents are telling me house transactions are happening – not by investors but by genuine buyers
  • Those houses will need furniture, carpets, lighting, painting and decorating
  • Banks are finally making progress with difficult situations and progress is being made
  • Supermarkets are opening new units and fighting a war using a “Support Irish products” agenda
  • The shops seem to be busier than they have been

Of course these are just my observations and the conversations that I am hearing every day.

I genuinely feel things are on the up and I sincerely hope that this is the case – to broaden this conversation can I ask ..

What are you experiencing?

#Positivity

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Doing the small stuff great

November 18, 2013

Kerrie O'CallaghanSomeone has to answer the phone and someone has to let visitors into the building and greet them as come into the office.

This isn’t rocket science but at the same time it needs to be done right. You would hope that the person with this responsibility would carry out the task in a pleasant and friendly manner – after all, it is often the first impression that anyone would experience of your business.

We’ve been really lucky down through the years in that all of our team are pleasant and friendly and will give a really good impression of Fuzion.

The primary responsibility for answering the phone (we all do it by the way) tends to lie with the ‘junior’, the person who is newest to the team. Initially we find that the newbie is more than happy with this role but after a while they do want to feel that they are progressing and that this task is moved onto someone else.

While everyone who has worked with us has been great at that ‘hello, meet and greet‘ role we had one person who really stood out; Kerrie O’Callaghan.

Day after day we had people on the phone or who had come for a meeting specifically commenting about how special their greeting was.

This wasn’t an isolated incident but an absolute trend – she did this important, junior, simple but yet important task incredibly well.

Not surprisingly the hugely talented Kerrie, who did everything with 150% enthusiasm, progressed quickly and went on to do every task incredibly well but unfortunately for Fuzion she had the emigration bug and is now enjoying huge career success down under.

It’s funny how someone who does the small things great ends up also doing the big things great..

Kerrie, we miss you!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin

Bob Savage, EMC joins the Smarter Egg club

November 13, 2013

Bob Savage - EMC

You have to hand it to him – Aodan Enright from Smarter Egg did a great job!

Not only did he do a great job with his really interesting and enjoyable event this week, at the White Horse in Cork but he has done so well with his Smarter Egg concept of learning, which has evolved gradually since he began a number of years back.

I was one of the early converts – I was immediately intrigued by what Aodan described to me when I met him at a networking event years ago and he didn’t disappoint with a very unique (I hate that word now) business and personal learning experience.

Aodan even had me speaking at one of his first events, which I was thrilled to do.

(I recommend you have a peep at his website and consider trying one of his programmes – it won’t disappoint)

This week at his event he had a number of guest speakers and the high point of the evening was his one to one, up close and personal interview with Bob Savage, CEO of the highly successful EMC in Cork.

I’m not sure if it was the intimate atmosphere of the venue, the fact that Aodan worked for Bob before or if it was just his interrogation skills but it led to a really superb interview and one that gave us a rare insight into a modern, successful business leader.

At times  when asked a question Bob was a little unsure about answering and even stopped to mention that the event was being recorded. Good job Aodan!

However he did open up and gave us some gems:

  • He is big on teamwork and creating a great place to work
  • He loves genuine, enthusiastic people and hates the opposite
  • Passion for what you do is essential
  • He views what he does as a vocation and does acknowledge that he has made personal sacrifices with other parts of his life to reach and maintain the position he holds
  • One of his strengths is that he is accessible and he achieves that by ‘walking around’ interacting with the team and learning from them
  • He takes time out to introduce the EMC recruits because be believes they are the future of the company
  • His secret sauce of success is quite simply ‘people
  • Walking the walk is essential
  • He acknowledges the mentoring and support he received along his journey and admits that at times maybe he didn’t deserve it
  • He has his bad days the same as the rest of us and admits that things have not always been without problems but it is how you react and deal with them that’s vital
  • He loves the excitement of indigenous industry and sees huge potential in Ireland
  • He values his role on the board of Enterprise Ireland
  • In the future he could see himself consulting, assisting businesses and even life coaching “while my stock is still high”
  • Company politics is knowing when to open your mouth and when to shut it!
  • He would have advised his younger self to be more patient, more respectful and mannerly

The particular gem that I loved and took from the session was when he spoke about working hours.

At times you need to do 75 hours in a week but you clearly can’t do that all of the time. The trick is to know when to do it!

That’s one I definitely need to take notice of …way too many 75′s!

Aodan…keep up the great work and Bob…thanks for the refreshing openness and the gems, and welcome to the Smarter Egg club

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency in Ireland with offices in Cork and Dublin


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