November 2009


Written by Lori Thiessen

Do you want to get an MBA-type education without spending the time and money? Here in Vancouver, BC, there is a company helping you to do just that.

Make It Business has spear-headed business reading groups around the Lower Mainland focusing on the leading business books of today.

Partnering with Blenz Coffee to provide the meeting space, Make It Business wants to facilitate not only getting people to read and discuss business books but to foster networking and mentoring opportunities for local business people.

For cafe commuters, this book club fits well with our career and lifestyles whether you are a small entrepreneur or working for a company.

Sometimes it’s difficult to find time to read those business books you’ve been meaning to read. Knowing that you are expected to read and discuss the book with a group of interesting and interested people could be that motivating factor you’ve been missing.

You can choose the group you want to be with based on your business interests or areas in which you want to be better informed (e.g. career development, business management, financial management, etc.). The Make It Business website lists a number of business books to choose from.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:

“Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem to be confidences or sides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear; the profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profound thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart. ”

You might also say that a good business person is a good reader.

Q: Name a business book that has influenced you the most and share with us why.

Thanks for dropping by and I’ll save your seat until next time!

Written by Lori Thiessen

Hang onto your business cards, kids, dot tel may make them a thing of the past. It’s a new domain name which is designed to be the one-stop shop for contact info. Able to handle more information than your average business card and adapting faster than a politician in a crisis, dot tel is touted as being the phonebook for the internet.

Run by Telnic in the UK, it claims that dot tel will enable businesses and individuals to place all their information on their dot tel domain name so they don’t have to bother with a website.

Dot tel allows a user to list everywhere they are virtually or in the real world from their favourite online gaming spot to their home address and favourite coffee shop.

You can prioritize your information or use privacy filters so that you can choose who sees your information.

Remember when you change email addresses or any other contact info, you sent out a mass email to everyone telling them to edit their contact info about you? Dot tel eliminates that messy process. When you edit your information on your dot tel, it automatically updates the information to anyone who has your dot tel in their PDA or smartphone or wherever they keep your info online.

Here in Canada, the company that hosts the dot tel registry is Webnames.ca. The cost for registering a dot tel name is $19.99USD for one year.

Some communications and business gurus think that dot tel is the next big thing in the online world. What do you think?

Thanks for dropping by and I’ll save your seat until next time!

 

 

 

 


Written by Lori Thiessen

As we Vancouverites are now just 100 days away from the 2010 Winter Olympics, I wanted to reflect on what I’ve been witnessing.

Since about March or April 2009, I’ve been hearing people talking about prepping for the huge influx of people and activity in our relatively small, sea-side city. From what I’ve heard, I have a feeling that there will be very few Vancouverites left to welcome the world when they come and very few people to tend to the needs of the world — at least in the downtown core.

Apparently, there has been a huge scramble over people booking holidays in January.  I overheard a couple of Vancouver Public Library workers who were discussing the ‘challenge’ of trying to accommodate the above-average number of vacation requests for January.

The other conversation I’ve been hearing with great frequency is working from home. Remote working has suddenly become an intense topic of conversation for both workers and managers alike in Vancouver.

For those of you who don’t know the geography of Vancouver, please allow me to draw you a brief picture. It’s a beautiful city bounded on one side by the sea and by three sides by mountains. The downtown core (the financial district) is made up of relatively narrow streets with every available square inch dedicated to either skyscrapers or pay parking.

Driving into Vancouver is a nightmare at the best of times and the price to park in downtown Vancouver verges on daylight robbery. Taking transit can be fraught with frustration even if you know the buses/trains/sea bus you need to take because they run late, or break down constantly or not at all if the bus driver calls in sick.  The buses and trains are generally packed beyond a safe capacity at peak commuter hours. Add in the grey rain tiddling down at a steady, depressing rate and you have a situation irritating enough to make a saint swear.

So it only makes sense to stay at home with a hot cup of tea, hovering over a nice toasty warm computer. It seems to me that a lot of companies who have offices in the downtown core or nearby will be scrambling in November and December to put remote working plans in place.

However, not everybody’s work will allow for this. A friend of mine has quite a successful counselling practice located in uptown Vancouver.  She received a notice from either the building management company where her office is located or the local business association advising people to bug out during the Olympics or at least be nice to the Olympic tourists if they have to be in the downtown core to conduct business.

All this panic about being anywhere else but the office, especially an office downtown, has me thinking.

Will the Olympics serve as the catalyst to change how business is done in Vancouver? Will Vancouver be in the vanguard of business centres to make remote working the normal way to conduct business rather than just a novelty? Or will the Olympics give the Vancouver business community the boost it needs to catch up to places like San Francisco where the trend started in the first place or London, UK where remote working seems to have caught on like wildfire?

What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks for dropping by and I’ll save you a seat until next time!

Written by Lori Thiessen

Why, hello there! I know it’s been months since I’ve posted anything here and before I unveil the continuing plans for this project, I just want to say thank you to all of my dear readers who have continued to drop by this space for a sip of virtual coffee and a chance to add to the conversation about working out of coffee shops. I always learn so much from my fellow coffee shop office colleagues!

To sum up what has been happening with me in the last few months, I’ve had to handle the three big D’s of life: divorce, death and disease. Sound dramatic? Well, it has been kinda dramatic. Oh, and add in a move plus renovations. I’m really surprised that I can even remember my name. Thankfully, my coffee mug has my name printed on it in big, friendly letters. That’s a clip ‘n save tip for all those going through afge moments, and quite frankly who among us isn’t. (By the way, afge stands for “another frigging growth experience”)

Anyway, enough about me. Onto the project.

The main points of the project haven’t changed.

  • investigating and reporting on the trend of people using coffee shop offices as their alternative or preferred office.
  • creating a space for coffee shop office workers to talk about their experiences.
  • producing a book on the findings.

I’m looking to have a proper website build for the project so that everything (blogs, the survey, discussion space, etc.) can be in one place. The website the project currently has is pretty amateurish because it was built by an amateur web designer — me! The book continues to be in process, a slow process, but continuing.

The survey will be re-designed and shrunk considerably for greater ease of participation and less risk of carpul tunnel syndrome setting in for those brave enough to answer all 38 multi-part questions of the current survey.

In the meantime, I’m back. I’m blogging. I’m working on the rim — of my coffee shop office mug, that is!

Thanks for your continuing support — and drop by for a fresh cup of virtual coffee and conversation anytime!