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Day 22: A New Mission

Day 22: A New Mission

A Little History

For those of you unfamiliar with my (Joe’s) other life, I’ve spent the last 12 years (until Tuesday that is) as an investment adviser helping clients prepare for and maintain their retirement.  While researching investments, I had the opportunity to acquire knowledge about a wide range of topics from a diverse mix of sources. Initially the focus was specific companies, then it expanded and I began to look at entire industries, and ultimately the economy as a whole.  Along the way, I started sense that something was missing; an important piece to the puzzle that was being ignored.

That missing piece was and is local investing.

The Key

Most of the reasons for local investing are beyond the scope of this post, but one important factor is the re-circulation (or local multiplier) rate. The re-circulation rate is one measurement used to determine how long money stays in a community (and gets reused over and over); since the turn of the century it’s fallen from 25-30, to less than 10.  A declining rate is like ajr slowly leaking from a tire, if not fixed it goes flat.  With a city or town, it’s how they lose their vibrancy.  Reversing that trend is why I decided to leave my primary profession and why I bought Workshed with Brian.

How Will That Help?

You might be wondering how a website/ marketing company can help fix the economy.  By working with local businesses and entrepreneurs directly (at Workshed) we are able to see first hand what is working, what is missing, and what’s needed to operate a sustainable (as in earning enough money to stay in business) business. Access to capital is part of that equation, but so is access to the knowledge, wisdom, and experience of others. With every project, we learn a little more about how to make that happen and can share it with past and future clients. So far, we’ve achieved modest success with the client’s we’ve worked with, and our work is positively contributing to their sales!

If you need help with something business related give us a call, we don’t have all the answers, but so far we haven’t been stumped.

But Wait There is More!

And another thing, don’t let cost be an issue. We won’t do a project if we don’t think it will generate a positive return for our clients and we are willing to offer payment arrangement to accommodate most budgets.


Day 19: How to be Average

Day 19: How to be Average

Ways to be Average

Todays post is a continuation of yesterday’s theme of being realistic.  Really this is a 2-for-1 repost of a pair of posts by Zen Pencils, where he creates comics from inspirational quotes.

The first is a quote from Chris Guillebeau about 11 ways to be average.  In it, he reveals the formula for living a boring and unremarkable life.  For those unfamiliar with Chris, he is a Portland resident, author of “The Art of Non Conformity” and “The $100 Startup,” host of the annual World Domination Summit, and has nearly accomplished his goal of visiting every country on the planet.

Click the images to see the entire comic.  

How to be Average Quote by Chris Guillebeau

The Timing Always Sucks

It’s almost stating the obvious, but it’s true that for the most important things in life the timing can always be better.  To put it another way, there will always be a reason not to do something; especially stuff that really matters.   The second quote is by Tim Ferriss from his first book, “The Four Hour Work Week.”  Tim is know for his “lifestyle hacking” (among other things), and like him or not, it’s hard to ignore his ability to distill things down to their essence.  Be it a skill or life philosophy.

Bad Timing by Tim Ferriss

It’d be easy to dismiss what both of these guys are saying, if what they were saying wasn’t so important to living a life worth living.  We are not automatons whose only function is to perform some mundane task with ever increasing efficiency.

Do something Interesting…then tell us about it.    You never know who or what you might inspire.

Day 6: Nine Talks That Will Change You

Day 6: Nine Talks That Will Change You

The most amazing thing about the internet is the access it gives us to people and information. From my office in Washougal, Washington, I can listen to some of the smartest people on the planet share their stories. I can engage with people I’ve never met and access an almost unlimited amount of information.

Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders ProgramOf the endless possibilities, one of my favorite resources is the Stanford University Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series. Since 2005, I’ve listened to their weekly podcast (while school is in session) and am consistently impressed by the diversity and quality of speakers they are able to attract. One week it could be the CEO of an up and coming tech company, and then be followed by the leader of a non-profit fund. Past speakers include people like Mark Zuckerberg in 2007 (back when it was still called ‘The Facebook’ and they had just launched their photo sharing feature), Steve Young (the former San Francisco 49’s quarterback), Evan Williams (the co-founder of Twitter…before he co-founded Twitter), and William McDonough (Architect, author, and one of Time Magazine’s ‘Hero for the Planet’), among many others.

Over the years, I’ve listened to countless hours of brilliant insight because of this series; I’ve listened to talks while running, on the way to work, road trips, and in lieu of television or radio.

Interestingly, the podcasts I’ve enjoyed the least (you can still learn something) have been from venture capitalists, politicians, and really ‘successful’ CEO’s. There’s something off-putting (to me) about a canned speech or those lacking authenticity. My favorite talks were by the speakers who revealed their shortcomings and how they learned from adversity; the ones that offered experience and thought process over instruction.

At the risk of excluding many worthy talks, in no particular order I offer nine of my favorite talks for your consideration. Give them a listen and let me know what you think.

william mcdonough

William Mcdonough

jensen huang

Jensen Huang

guy kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki

tom kelley

Tom Kelly

Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey

David Heinemeier Hansson


shia agassi

Shai Agassi

vinod khosla

Vinod Khosla

tim o reilly

Tim O’Reilly

I’m looking forward to upcoming talk by Sal Khan and learning more about what he’s doing at the Khan Academy, where their mission is to provide a world-class education for anyone anywhere.

Where do you like to go for information?

How Google+ killed Facebook

How Google+ killed Facebook

“What?” you ask. “I was just on Facebook this morning, chatting with my 362 friends and updating my status!” There’s no need to grab your phone and sound the alarm. Facebook is still alive and well. So are Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. “But you said Google+ killed Facebook.” Ok, so maybe it was more like a poke in the eye than murder, nevertheless:

Google+ just might be the most important social network of them all.

Sure, you’ve heard of Google+ and possibly even checked it out. Then, like many other people, you went back to playing Candy Crush on Facebook. Why? Because EVERYONE has a Facebook account, and it was easier to use than Google+. Not only was Facebook more familiar, the first versions of Google+ were wonky (like many early Google releases).

But my Facebook page has 4652 likes!

Admittedly, when I see a Facebook page with 4,652 likes I sometimes think to myself, “WOW! That business is popular!” Popular is great. It can be an important measure of influence, but it’s not necessarily the best one for attracting paying customers. You’ve probably heard that social media is an essential part of marketing for your business. So how is it possible that Google+ could be more important than Facebook? Ask yourself one question (or query if you prefer technospeak). What do you do when you need to search for something? Do you post it on Facebook and wait for your friends to respond? Nope. You G-O-O-G-L-E it.

Google has become a verb.

So here’s the not so well kept secret that you’ve probably never heard and why Google+ is likely more important to your business than Facebook. Google’s search algorithm favors Google+ content. Your Facebook posts aren’t even captured by the Googlebots (Thanks Zuckerberg). Just like the Dad who gets his slacker kid into an Ivy League school, Google LOVES Google+, it’s nepotism at it’s finest. There’s no point in complaining, it’s their search engine, they make the rules. Now that you know the rules, how can you make Google+ part of your marketing strategy?

Find out in the next post.

If you have questions or need to grow your business, contact us; it’s what we do.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

A Fresh Coat of Paint

A fresh coat of paint.

workshed logoWell by now the word is out, Workshed is under new ownership…and look what they did to the logo and website!

Sure, we could’ve left things as they were, worked less hours, ate a few more meals, but then would it really be ours?  We love the tradition of Workshed, the way the name evokes (for us at least) feelings of craftsmanship, service, and small town values and it was important to demonstrate our own style and perspective.

Plus the new office is in downtown Washougal (as a Camas grad Joe cannot utter the phrase go Panthers!) so for fun we brought out the orange in the logo and website.  It’s very much a work in progress, but go ahead and pull it up on your phone or tablet.  It should (assuming everything is functioning properly) automatically resize itself to fit your device.  Web nerds call this a responsive design and we think it’s crucial for businesses on the web.

Why you ask?

Just think how often you look something up on your phone.  Maybe you like long load times and pinching, zooming, and scrolling all over.  The people that track this sort of behavior say most people don’t and that it means lost revenue.   How a website looks on a mobile device is one of the questions from our “3 Question Website Review,” if you want a copy just click the button.


Let us know how your site measures up to the quick review, we’d be happy to help with any changes you need.