Category: business

Unsticking being stuck

cabin picsI wish I had all the answers, I really do.

Tonight, I finally listed my cabin for rental on AirBnB (hey, want to rent a super cool luxurious cabin in WV?) after about 9 months of spinning my wheels trying to build a website that I found deeply unsatisfying to build. I was stuck. I was procrastinating. I missed opportunities (probably).

What got me unstuck? Seeing how easy it could be to act. Sometimes an external impetus can be the thing that shines a light on your stuck ways… and then in a big flurry of activity, BAM! You create what you could have done months ago.

Why is that? Not sure… see line 1.

Time your posts

Greetings from snowy, chilly Montreal… I’m up here working on a variety of things, but I understand there will be poutine for lunch. Poutine is Canada’s gift to the world, and Canada says, “you’re welcome.”

I ran across this really interesting infographic from kissmetrics that I want to share… with all of the analytics data we get from various sources (I use Google Analytics for websites, Libsyn’s data for podcasts, plus the open and click info from MailChimp and Constant Contact… it’s an ocean of data!) but sometimes the data needs interpretation that’s over our heads. Here’s where kissmetrics weighed in based on their data:

  • The highest percentage of users read blogs in the morning
  • A higher percentage of men read blogs in the evening and at night. 
  • The average blog gets the most traffic on Monday. 
  • The average blog gets the most traffic around 11am Eastern Time. 
  • The average blog gets the most comments on Saturday.
  • The average blog gets the most inbound links on Monday and Thursday.
  • The average blog gets the most inbound links at 7am Eastern Time.

I know my data confirms early posts tend to do better than later posts, so when given the choice, I prefer to post about 7am (think about that when scheduling a post in advance!). I also tend to like posting podcasts on Sunday night – based on data I have, there’s more engagement between then and Monday morning than other days.

What do you think about this? Does your blog get more attention at certain times of day over others?

science of timing from kissmetrics
The science of timing – thank you kissmetrics!

Amtrak Adventure

Rockin an Amtrak hardhat

Today I shot a semi-unofficial video for Amtrak’s Employee Assistance Program. The video will highlight how to relax and move as an employee on the long haul runs. It’s a tough job, so the video will hopefully be a help. The truly cool part of the visit was seeing a lot of the behind-the-scenes aspects of their Ivy City maintenance facility. Some highlights:

  • Homeland Security (aka “GI JOE”) drilling storming the train with blue plastic guns. No joke.
  • Seeing the track equipment pushing and pulling train engines
  • Seeing the clever use of space in the roomettes and other sleeping cars
  • Interacting with the men and women there… really pleasant cool people.

Shooting on a train is challenging – lots of noise from the AC and very, very tight quarters. Overall, a fun experience!

Amtrak shoot

Internets are the future and it’s a series of tubes

Today we hosted the Internet Association’s small business crawl at Tranquil Space. Nice people, and it was fun to share how much we leverage the internets for our businesses. I didn’t use the term “internets” … but I really, really wanted to. I did say “series of tubes” though. Sadly, it was in context. Thank you Sen. Stevens… R.I.P..

I upgraded the templates for a bunch of the blogs I oversee. The buzzword these days is “responsive” – as in, your images resize in response to the size of the screen. No more lame mobile optimized sites! In any event, I made some tweaks on a few blogs to make them “so 2013.” Go ahead… change the size of this blog’s window and look at what happens to the series of tubes below. I’ll wait…


SEE! Awesome, huh? So, tip: change your blog or website template to one that’s (say it with me now!) responsive!

Standing water on your roof? Build a gravity siphon.

Last night I got a call that we had a roof leak at the studio. It’s been an ongoing problem because the roof to the building is essentially a bowl (long story).

Roof flood

Before siphon


Rather than continue to sweep the water up (I know… up) into the gutters, I decided to rock some technical know-how and build a simple gravity siphon.


  • Hose
  • Zip ties

Take the hose and stick one end on the roof in the deepest part of the water. Zip tie the hose to something fixed to keep it in place. Notice I used the end with the plastic connector because it raises the end just slightly to allow water to flow in:

Flood end of siphon

Then throw the hose over the side of the building. Our studio is one story, so the length of the hose was more than enough. The biggest thing to make sure is that the hose end is below the level of the water.

Then, suck on that hose. I know – can’t we come up with a siphon pump? Sure… if you’re into that kind of thing. I used my lungs. Annnnnd…. boom:

I calculated there was about 15 tons of water on the roof. This took it off.

All hail gravity. All hail science. All hail the surface tension and other related properties of water.

Grind, unpaused: getting strategic

After a few rejuvenating days in San Francisco, I’m ready to hit the ground running. I’m hoping to devote time this week to big picture things, but I’m fully aware I have a list of accumulated “to-do’s” waiting for me as well. Rather than just drop my new project ideas, I’m going to try something new that’s been suggested at more than one conference I’ve attended… making time for strategic thinking.

So, as a way of making it more likely to happen, I’m throwing the proverbial hat over the big garden wall by blogging about it. Every day this week, I intend to spend 1 hour (just one! shouldn’t be hard!) to new or bigger picture strategic projects. At the end of this short week, I’ll assess. This week:

– A statistical analysis project on client retention
– An idea for a new category of offering at the studio

I’m being purposefully vague at the moment, but might be able to fill in some gaps later. Also coming this week, new systems. I’ll be checking out an app called Expensify, which might be just the thing I’ve been looking for without realizing it…

On the biking front,I’m getting excited for the spring after the 24 hour, 50 mile camping ride with MJ last week. Might start planning a few overnights for March. I’m also thinking about seeking more hills in DC. While I was able to keep up in CA, I think the more hillwork I can do this spring will reap dividends for the Big Loop tour this summer.


Grind, paused

So, the week-long escape that started as a trip to the Keys, then to Arizona, and then Portland has now morphed into a week in San Francisco. The great news is the weather is looking to be about as good as you can ask for this time of year: sunny and in the low 60s. Looks like a little mini-tour is happening on a rented bike… more to come on that, but it’s looking like a late week trek to somewhere in Marin County.

Kind of a crazy week. Somehow I need to jam all of these things in:
– Bike trip
– Meet up with old DC friends
– Go down to Palo Alto/Mountain View for a hello to my friend’s family and maybe checking out the Google campus
– MacWorld
– Super Bowl party (go Niners… and I apologize if my rooting for them causes the opposite result)
– A lot of SF biking, coffee drinking and the usual with MJ (with whom I’ll be staying)

Meanwhile, in addition to all of the things happening at KW Omniglobal* (January in the fitness industry is crazy, plus new products, website relaunch, e-courses coming, daybooks, a print version of Tranquilologieet cetera), I’m starting to come into focus on a few business ideas I intend to launch in the spring. Between that and getting the cabin ready for some renters (including the website launch, which became the bane of my existence in the fall) I’ve got a lot of things to keep me busy.

But first… I’m hitting the pause button on the grind.


*my shorthand for the 4 LLCs and one nonprofit under the Kimberly banner… Not the real name, and certainly not a real umbrella company. Despite that, I want to make KW Omniglobal tee shirts.