Hurricane Sandy Fire-Sale: Ignorant Marketing by Top Brands

American Apparel Sandy Fire sale kills branding

“in case you’re bored during the storm.” – image via Mashable

There’s serious issues with brands promoting marketing campaigns in affiliation with tragedies or natural disasters.

Monday, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, and others, sent email blasts to their East Coast customers announcing ‘Hurricane Sandy Sales.’ These are feeble attempts at latching onto trending news for monetary gain – these brands don’t get “it.”

Read more…

The Fear & Competition of Public Speaking

Public speaking infront of a group of critical strangers is universally mans greatest fear. Personally, I used to share echo this sentiment. I’ll admit it’s something I’ve avoided when possible. I’m not completely frightened per say — in the past I just didn’t feel comfortable speaking in front of a group of people whom I don’t know.

Part of me feels as though I don’t have much to contribute of value, (translation: who cares what some dumbass like me has to say?) so why potentially embarrass myself in front of a group of strangers? The risk-reward didn’t seem to check out… Much like how terrified I was starting this blog.

The issue is vulnerability — we struggle to step outside the comfort and safety of our daily routines to which w can control.

A Transformation

I’ve come to realise I’m in a somewhat unique situation (narcissistic rant coming). I’ve accomplished my goal of startimg a career the social media landscape — making the transformation from full-time amateur athlete / student to working at a upstart tech company.

I was given the opportunity to speak to a group of university students a couple of months ago. The speaking gig was hardly something to boast about, it was a panel with three others. The subject of said panel? How to pursue a career in e business. The audience comprised of Undergraduate Business School students looking to carve out a career in the digital space.

Given that I was in a similar position to these students a year ago — I thought it a great chance to share advice and maybe weave a few tales of my journey.

Sharing and Competition ~ #Winning?

Any pre-game butterflies immediately vanished when I introduced myself to the eager students — before i knew it, I even got a laugh or two out of the audience (shocker right?).

Sharing any knowledge I may have is pretty rewarding. Coming from a psychology background, I love to help people —  the fact that these students cared what I had to say is a pretty amazing feeling.

Coming from an athletic background, I actually compare public speaking to competing in sport. My mindset shifted to competition mode when the panel started… For some crazy reason I wanted to “outperform” my fellow panelists (who were all amazing by the way).

Simply put… I wanted to win.

Express Yourself ~ The Rush

Starting this blog was terrifying. Much like anything else, there’s a learning curve. Getting comfortable with sharing my thoughts in writing took time, public speaking is similar.

Surprise surprise… like anything else, it takes practice.

The rush I got from public speaking was pretty amazing. I was shocked at the response from the students of my Alma Mater. I’m hooked  and I can’t wait to speak more frequently.

Are you scared of public speaking? Does it get easier with practice?

Grateful: From Intern to Fulltime


Perfect toss

The last few months have been pretty amazing. I went from being a lost puppy without direction to fulltime employment doing what I love.  I also graduated, finally putting an end to my six year arts degree marathon.

How did I pull all this off?


I finished my internship at HootSuite three weeks ago. It obviously blows not getting paid for your efforts (they laughed when I asked about subsidizing my bus pass). That being said I think interning is more about learning than anything else. My hope was that the internship would turn into a full-time gig. The last half of the internship got a bit stressful as I tried to plan for life after the internship.

9 to 5ish



Lucky for me, I got hired on and am now getting paid for the fruit of my labour (still not sure what they were thinking on that one). It’s pretty amazing getting paid doing something you love. I never pictured myself doing the 9 to 5 daily grind with all the clock punching, TPS reports (new cover sheet) and water cooler talk that comes with it.  At HootSuite, it doesn’t feel like work (is that cliché enough?); I get to go in and hangout with awesome people all day.


As I reflect on how my things have changed for me over the last few months, I sometimes find it hard to believe where I’m at.  I think gratitude is such an underappreciated trait. Some rarely take stock of the importance of being grateful. In my case, I can’t stop thinking about how fortunate I’ve been. There are some amazing people who’ve helped me get where I’m at today. People have taken chances on me, and for that I am truly thankful.


One of my regrets over the past month is that I haven’t blogged, for the few that actually read this, I apologize. I don’t want to be blogging just for the sake of blogging. A lot of thought goes into most of my posts, so I’m pretty cautious with posting blogs that I don’t feel are up to par.  This blog represents so much for me; as a natural introvert, it allows me to put gather my thoughts and express myself. It’s also one of the reasons I landed at HootSuite in the first place (thank god they didn’t look at my resume).

More updates coming at you soon.

Coachella & the Aftermath

Coachella Ferris Wheel

Back with mind (sort of) in tact

Coachella easily ranks as one of the most amazing weekends of my life. Every renaissance man enjoys tasteful music. It was your stereotypical three day bender with minimal sleep and terrible 3am Del Taco missions that always seem to be a good idea at the time.

The performances were crazy!  Here’s a snippet from everyone’s favourite white rapper.


Monday was absolutely brutal.  Long day of public transit, random airport carpooling to Orange County Airport, long airport waits and finally a flight home.

Poolside Presip

Hard to leave this.


Surprisingly, I was excited to return to my internship at HootSuite. Despite my depleted state, I got out for a quick run before work Tuesday morning. It was a bit of a struggle, but I managed to make it through the day with a steady combination of coffee, high-fives and other encouragement from my awesome friends at the office.

Side note: today I learned Kung Fu. It might not be what you think.  Stay tuned.

Goal Setting and Accountability

I wrote a couple weeks ago about having lofty goals and ambitions. A friend from work asked why I wouldn’t declare my goals to the world. My initial reaction was terror. I struggle with opening myself up to vulnerability.  No doubt some will clown my aspirations as some of them are ridiculous. (what the hell is an aspiring renaissance man anyways?) I am starting to realize that these pessimists don’t matter. Negativity kills self-improvement.

The risk of putting your goals out there for the world to see is the ultimate motivator of action. Accountability is huge! Publicly stating your goals ensures your held responsible for achieving them. What if you fail or slip-up?  What if your goals change or things don’t go as planned? Failure is frightening, not to mention embarrassing. This is why I had not declared my goals to the world… yet.

Looking at it the other way, publicize your aspirations, intelligently work at it and eventually succeed. How amazing would that feel?

While I may not chose to plaster every goal I desire to for everyone to see, I will personally be taking steps to put myself ‘out there.’

Do you personally publicize your personal goals? Who do you tell? How often do you check up on your goals?

Fueled by Fives on Easter


Great response to 5Run this weekend. Despite my nightly activities, I managed to hammer out three amazing 5Runs: around UBC, the west end / sea wall and along the beach from tower to Kits and Granville Island.  I only managed to get caught in one hail storm in the process.

My legs are absolutely killing me after going three days in a row; small price to pay for happiness. Each high-five gives me energy to keep running, even if my calves feel like they’re going to fall off.

A few failed fives to report. Not going to lie, they are discouraging, not to mention embarrassing if lots of people are watching (saw a couple of people point and giggle at me at kits beach on Sunday). Their loss.

Conversion rate on fives has got to be about 90% thus far. Who would have thought? The people who leave me hanging are usually staring straight at the ground the whole time. It is a shame because these are the ones who need it most!

The laughs, the smiles, the eye contact, the subtle acknowledgment of similarity make it the best feeling in the world. I can’t describe the feeling, you simply have to experience it. Go for a run, jog or walk, and high five one person. If you’re nervous, think from their perspective. How awesome would it be to have a random person smile and ask for a high-five while you are struggling? It is empowering. They will love it.

Nerves always creep in as I approach runners. I am an introvert at heart, I have silence that voice in my head all the time.

I came across a blog post yesterday that injected some serious happiness into my day. It literally gave me shivers as I read it. Check it out, a fellow runner (lets call her Jane) wrote about some random dude she high-fived on Kits beach. Wonder who it was? Awesome.