This is not a popularity contest.

Marketing is something that we all do every day. It’s how we do business, it’s how we blog, it’s how we use social media. Heck, it’s how we make friends and how we get along with our families! You might not think of it this way, but we’re marketing ourselves with respect to our present situations. How you behave and how you act when you’re around people, it’s a form of marketing yourself. Whether that be when you’re out with friends, or at a family dinner. It’s a skill that we all have, albeit some have more skill than others. But I truly, wholeheartedly believe that if you have the right resources, you can tap your potential as good as anyone else.

Something I see people doing every day, with respect to digital marketing, social media, blogging, and so on and so forth, is that they treat it as a popularity contest.

Digital marketing is not high school and this is absolutely not a popularity contest. Being successful is not about being the most popular person in the crowd. Being successful is about being strategic, making smart moves and doing things to benefit you and your quest for bettering your content.

Successful companies use social media, digital marketing and blogging as means to spread information and build relationships with customers. Unsuccessful companies purchase followers in a hopes to look better but ultimately never get the Return On Investment (ROI) that they’re looking for.

Successful bloggers and social media personalities use their platforms as a means to share information, meet new people and make new friends. Even celebrities! They want to build relationships with people, make sure that if someone reads their blog, they want to come back.

  1. Do not focus on the follower count. Furthermore, do not focus on the following count. If you’re successfully marketing your brand – be it through a blog, Twitter, Instagram or any other platform, the number of followers does not matter. In fact, if you’re properly marketing yourself these number can often fluctuate. Some days they’ll go up, other days they’ll go down.
  2. Do focus on interaction. When someone likes/comments on your blog, tweet, post, etc… this is what’s important. This shows that your content matters. This shows that your words, your art or your contributions to the web have resonated with someone. If they take the time to like/comment on your blog, make sure you take the time to let them know you appreciate their time.

I think that people get so wrapped up in trying to gain followers that they fail to realize it’s better to have 100 people read something when you have 100 followers, then it is to have 100 people read something when you have 100,000 followers. Ultimately, the goal should be to communicate with other’s and to showcase your work, not to be more popular then ‘the next person’.

If you want to grow your presence, genuinely, focus on interaction. Focus on ensuring that, whether you have 20 followers or 200 followers, they see your posts, they read your words or they view your artwork. Because it’s the people who invest in you that you need to invest in.

I cannot stress this enough: STOP LOOKING AT FOLLOWER COUNT. What matters is that people hear you, they understand you and they appreciate you. What doesn’t matter is that you’re popular. Because I can assure you of this, even the most successful of bloggers in this world don’t do it for popularity. They do it because they love what they do and they want to share, to connect, to appreciate.

Also, you can still feel hella unpopular and hella lonely even with thousands or hundreds of thousands of followers if your followers don’t pay attention to your content.


Story time:

My former boss was under the impression that having 600,000 followers on twitter meant that 600,000 people were reading every tweet that was put out.

Every time that we tweeted and he didn’t allow us pay attention to the feedback we were getting, less and less people would bother reading our tweets the next time. Not only that but, every time we distributed tweeted, not listening to the feedback we were getting, we would lose followers in droves. People were becoming uninterested in what we were sharing and we were failing to build relationships with our audience.

His answer? Buy more leads. Buy more followers. (Yes, this a second boss telling me that buying more followers is the solution to digital marketing) According to him, all we needed to do was buy more followers for our twitter account.

As a result, over the period of six months in which he was in charge of Digital Services, our twitter analytics systematically declined in readership and systematically increased in unfollow rates.

It wasn’t until he went on holiday that I had free power to design the social media distribution the way I wanted, taking into account the feedback I’d been receiving for months. We went from an average of 25-35% interaction per tweet to having 70% and 74% interaction during the two weeks he was on holiday.

When I showed the analytics to ‘Upper Management’ they agreed with me (for the first time ever) and we began taking a new approach to our emails, blog and social media – one that was about sharing information and building relationships, listening to the feedback we were being given and using that for our growth. We focused on our digital platforms being a two-way flow of communication. It wasn’t until my boss stopped counting followers each day that the followers actually started growing. They were growing because, for the first time in the six months he’d been my boss, we were actually taking the right approach to digital marketing.

Since leaving the organization, I do believe they’ve reverted back to their old ways and they’re up to their old tricks. When I left, I left them with a twitter account that had 680,000 followers and was getting between 8,000 – 20,000 likes/retweets per tweet that I put out (depending on the time of day). In just ten and a half months since I’ve been there, their following on twitter has grown to 1,000,200. But, somehow, their average like/retweet rate per tweet they put out is 100-150.

Yeah, they have over 1,000,000 twitter followers and they get 100-150 likes/retweets per tweet. This is why it shouldn’t be a popularity contest. With over 1 million followers, they’re averaging a rate of 100-150 likes/retweets on their page.

So what’s better? Having 100 followers and knowing that 100 people are interacting with your tweets, or, having over 1,000,000 followers and having 100-150 people interact with your tweets?

The Cost of Living in Canada

So I’ve done a couple of posts about Real Estate on my blog before (here and here). It’s a subject that truly fascinates me. Where you want to live, or dream of living means E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G to your budget. Like, we’re talking 95% of your budget factors should be location. After that you can consider size, amenities, renovations, etc…

Initially, I was going to make a post about the cost of living in Vancouver, and why it’s one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. But, when I saw how far your money really gets you in Vancouver (a townhouse for nearly 1.4 million) I thought it would be cool to compare that to the rest of Canada. All houses shown in this list will be between $1,300,000 and $1,400,000 – as I thought it best to keep similar prices for comparison’s sake.

Why is this list interesting to someone like myself? I think there’s a preconceived notion that it’s cheap to live in Canada. And yeah, you might be able to get a cheap house, depending on where you decide to live (Spences Bridge, anyone?), but for the most part if you’re going to be living and working in a major city centre or touristy location, there’s a deep chasm between how far your money does or doesn’t go.

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. If you disagree with my tastes, please don’t be offended by the snark that I’ve included. Also, please note that all of the following photos came from Realtor.CA and I presume are credited to the listing agent for each listing. If you click on the link to the listing you’ll see the agent. (Link is location and price listing)

Banff, Alberta – $1,400,000

You’re not seeing things, a home in the Canadian Rockies will cost you a pretty, pretty penny. For anyone who doesn’t know, Banff is a tourist hot-spot that people from around the world flock to each year… just to bear witness to it’s sheer beauty and breath its crisp mountain air. (Fun fact: it’s also where Knight grew up) Real estate is pricey, no matter how new or old the home, and there are increased regulations for home ownership due to it being located in a National Park. Thus, with a tiny, old, dated home such as this costing $1,400,000, 99% of the town rents… and rents at obscene prices at that.

Calgary, Alberta – $1,349,900

Now we’re talking luxury. Boasting some pretty spectacular properties on the outskirts of the city, Calgary is a place with a lot of wealth and where your money will take you a long way. This stunning brick exterior home boasts 3700 square feet of living space that includes five bedrooms (every single bedroom having its own walk in closet), four bathrooms, vaulted ceilings, and a private, landscaped, lot with big back yard that backs onto a ‘private club’ golf course. You ain’t gonna see your neighbours in this place, baby.

Cambridge, Ontario – $1,375,000

Doesn’t this home look like something from a story book? This Queen Anne style historic home (built in 1888) in Cambridge, Ontario proves that home prices are still high even if you remove yourself from the GTA(Greater Toronto area)! That being said, this house has been beautifully kept up and thoughtfully renovated over the years. If you’re the type of person who looks for a home with character, this is it. Each room tells a story and each glance gives something new to offer. Curb appeal is A+, the yard is HUGE and the home itself is just the type of home that everybody could really make their own, whether they like historic or modern.

Edmonton, Alberta – $1,385,900

Edmonton is nestled at the foot of Alberta’s oil sands and is the root of OODLES of wealth. Some of the nicest homes in Canada can be found in Alberta’s capital and this home is no exception. Built in 1990, I’d describe this 6,000 square foot home as vintage modern. It’s been updated well over the years, as you can clearly see from photos, but there are some dated pieces to it’s structure. All in all, would it be an incredible home with incredible yard to call home? Sure, if you want to live in one of the most regressive cities in Canada.

Fernie, British Columbia – $1,400,000

Fernie is a mountain town that… fun fact, is where the movie Hot Tub Time Machine was filmed. Nestled smack dab between two of the biggest ski resort towns in North America (Whistler and Banff) Fernie is a town often forgot about by internationals, but on a local scale has seen it’s popularity on the rise. This luxurious, modern home was built in 2012 and is centrally located for any and every outdoor activity your little heard could ever desire. If you want to experience mountain living at its finest, without the overly tourist-oriented mentality of the well-known mountain towns, this house and this town is the place that you should be. Honestly, the hot tub, the deck, the modern style and updated functionality… I’m daydreaming. I really am.

Montreal, Quebec – $1,395,000

Montreal is a city that’s famous for it’s history. There’s a lot of old architecture in the city that really draws people in to it’s almost… European charm if I do say so. (Though people from Montreal might not like me saying that) This stunning brick home was built in 1987, so it’s older than I am, and the interior almost looks as though it hasn’t been updated since then either. It’s going to take some serious dough for a buyer to update this place to decorative styles that match this decade. And if you’re already spending over a million dollars on a home, do you really want to be doing renovating from there? This home is a perfect reason you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. Street appeal is A+ but inside you can watch all your dolla bills fly away from the updates you’d need to do.

Ottawa, Ontario – $1,389,000

Oh Ottawa, you’re such an enigma. Seriously, for Canada’s capital, your money won’t stretch very far. I mean it. There were condos on the list for $1,400,000. And, if this home looks a lot like another home on our list, it’s because it is! Seems this… style of tall and skinny homes is popping up more and more across our country. There’s not really anything special about this home. It’s new, so that’s a plus. It’s got an all-white interior, so if you have children that might not be a plus. But hey, if you need to live and work in our capital and have a lot of money that you don’t care about, this house is exactly what you’re looking for!

Parry Sound, Ontario – $1,300,000

Nestled in the heart of Ontario’s ‘Cottage Country’ this cottage is no joke. Containing 11.9 acres of land and 600 feet of Georgian Bay shoreline, this is the ultimate summer home for anyone with an extra 1.3 mill laying around. I’ve included this home on the list, because much like Whistler and Banff, this home sits in one of our countries famous tourist hot spots. This home proves though, that you can seemingly get a lot more for your money in cottage country than you can in the mountains! Warning: this home is for wood lovers only. The interior is definitely not for everyone’s taste!

Quebec City, Quebec – 1,399,000

Of all the homes on this list, I think this might just be my favourite. Built in 2004, this stunning 2-storey stone/wood home sits on a picturesque property with beautiful yard and plenty of space to raise kids, or not. There’s 4100 square feet with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a very unique design to every room in the home. Some updates would be necessary, but, all in all, I think there is a Mona Lisa quality to this place. Bonus points for it being nestled in the heart of Quebec City, a city rich in beautiful Canadian history and the world’s best poutine.

Regina, Saskatchewan – $1,399,900

It’s worth noting that this is the only home in the city of Regina for sale that costs more than $1,300,000, so that is why it’s made the list. Built in 1991, the design of the home is a little dated (although I fully admit some people still like that look… it’s just not my particular style) and the neighbours are RIGHT THERE. Seriously, that’s neighbour house next to the truck (on the left) and you can see the shadows of the neighbours on the right side of the photo too.The garage situation makes no sense. Also, I don’t know why you’d want to drop 1.4 million on a home only to be able to hear your neighbours phone ring…

Surrey, British Columbia – $1,395,000

No, this is not a joke. This is what 1.4 million will get you in the suburbs of Vancouver. That’s right! Not even in Vancouver, but the suburbs! The Greater Vancouver Area (known locally as the ‘Lower Mainland’) is one of the most expensive places in the world to live. As Vancouver has continuously made the list of most expensive cities to live in, people have slowly, gradually, made their way farther and farther out from its city limits, sadly only to find heartbreak and disappointment when they see how much their money won’t get them. If you want to live in the Lower Mainland, you better be independently wealthy or, be prepared to rent.

Toronto, Ontario – $1,399,000

I’ll admit, this custom built, nearly new and very modern home is a bit of an anomaly in a city that’s real estate is typically much older. The home is freestanding, with next to zero yard space… but, if you need to have roommates to help pay your mortgage, you can boast about your whopping five parking spaces available! Don’t miss out on all that the Toronto housing market doesn’t have to offer.

Vancouver, British Columbia – $1,398,000

For the low, low price of nearly 1.4 million dollars you can own your very own, run-of-the-mill town-home. I will admit that this home, built in 1974, has been nicely renovated on the inside. That being said, I still can’t get past the fact that it’s a basic town-home.You get no yard, only 2113 square feet and one parking space… and the property taxes are still $2,600 a year!

Whistler, British Columbia – $1,395,500

For nearly 1.4 million you can own your own run-of-the-mill town-home in Whistler, the ski and snowboard capital of Canada and Australia’s home away from home! (Holla if you’re Australian and you get this joke). There’s nothing special about this town-home. There’s a roof. There’s a kitchen. There are walls. But hey, I guess that’s the price you gotta pay to be at the foot of some of the most incredible ski and snowboard mountains in the world.

Winnipeg, Manitoba – $1,399,646

Winnpeg, Canada’s forgotten city. Right smack dab in the middle of our country, Winnipeg is famous for horrible winters and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. I won’t lie to you, I picked this home because of it’s flat roof. A home having a flat roof in a city that spends 7-8 months of the year buried in snow seems like a lot of effort. Effort because, with a flat roof, you have to shovel the roof, rather than having the snow just slide off. I will say that it’s a really beautiful home. The inside is well laid out so if you don’t mind that there is not much of a yard, at all, and you don’t mind the frigid winters, this might be the home for you!


How do these compare to homes where you’re from? What do you think about the prices of homes in Canada? Do you have any real estate links you could show me for where you’re from? I’d love to draw comparisons between Canadian cities and towns and other countries.

There will always be bad people in this world.

The fact of the matter is, no amount of effort put forth will eliminate the evil in this world. All that we can and should do is try to lead by example.

There will always be bullies, there will always be keyboard warriors and there will always be those who thinks that their wealth or privilege allows them a right to treat others poorly. There will always be crime and people will always be innocent victims because of that.

We need not be evil though.

When you’re trying to justify horrible behaviour, don’t. You’re better than that. When you’re thinking that revenge is the right answer, it’s not. You’re smarter than that. If someone tells you that vengeance is the answer, tell them they’re wrong. A temporary solution to a permanent problem is going to give you nothing more than an empty feeling in your heart.

Be good. Do good. Lead by example.

‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ I hear this quote recited a lot, but I think people often forget about the message it conveys when they get angry. When in reality, it should remain applicable regardless of what happens.

Be the change. Don’t tell me that because bad people will always exist that you don’t need to be good. That your goodness couldn’t possibly matter. That shows weakness and lack of character. Are you either of those things? I don’t think so.

Goodness matters, every day. Kindness matters, every day. Be the change. Lead by example and let the bad people, the bullies and the idiots self-destruct with their own… because you know they will.

At the end of the day,

all you can really do is put your best foot forward and your true self out there. If people don’t like that, that’s their loss. You are who you are for a reason and you should be damn proud of that. Don’t ever feel ashamed for who you are.

Enough with this ‘I don’t measure up’ talk. Enough with ‘I’m just not good enough’. It’s time that you looked yourself in the mirror and reminded yourself just how amazing you are. Because you are. Ignore the noise and focus on you.

If someone doesn’t want you, that’s a reflection of them, not of you. Your tribe is out there, and let me promise you this… they will appreciate you for exactly who you are and what you bring. Whether it be a job, a relationship, a friendship or a family, you deserve the very best and I don’t want you to ever settle for less.

The world you want is out there and it can be won. Anyone who tries to keep you from that doesn’t belong in your life and doesn’t deserve your time.

Ideas for the most incredible jobs on earth.

I’m job hunting today. Well, I’m job hunting every day, but today my mind has been wandering and it’s been hard to get back on track. In my ideal world, this is what my career prospects look like:

Airline Tester. Go with me on this… wouldn’t it be an incredible resource to have one database, one place, somewhere on the internet that broke down the important aspects of flying with different airlines? Things like customer service, food quality, amount of leg room, cabin space for carry-on baggage, hidden fees and so on and so forth… For the people of which money is not an issue, having a resource that shows them the incredible ‘benefits’ they could get with certain airlines they won’t get with others would likely be a very valuable list. And for those looking for the ‘best bang for our buck’, when tickets can so often be the same, or very close in price with multiple airlines, I think it would be a great resource to help people find the best, cheapest option so they don’t have to gamble and hope for the best. And no, this person cannot be a Youtube star or ‘Influencer’ of any kind because this list needs to be done in a manner that is not sponsored in any way, shape or form.

Google Earth Mapper. I think it would be very cool to spend my time driving through neighbourhoods and locales around the world capturing footage of that place to ensure their images get added to google earth. Sure, it does seem like a lot of places are presently on Google Earth already. But I can attest that in my area of the world, at least, small towns have largely been ignored for google earth. And that, I’m betting is a part of the project Google will get to eventually. It’s likely they’ve just focused on major locales first, and slowly trickled down from there. For that reason, I think I’d be a great person to drive through neighbourhoods and capture footage of small towns.

Fan experience coordinator for a professional sports league. It’s important to note that I don’t think this person should be hired by an individual team, I think they should be an employee of the league to ensure that their opinions and reviews of certain franchises aren’t biased by being an employee of said franchise. Professional sport leagues across North America (and I’m guessing elsewhere in the world as well) are all looking to grow their audience and bring in new fans. The sad thing is, the majority of teams are operating under the notion that if they do silly things like add a cheerleading squad, that will bring more people to the field, the stadium or the rink. None seem to be willing to truly invest in bettering their product/experience, yet tickets to sporting events continue to get more and more expensive with each passing season. These leagues need someone who is honest, unbiased and ruthless to experience what each team provides and report back as to how to make the experience not suck so hard.

Professional house sitter. I read once that wealthy people who own multiple properties around the world will often times hire people to house sit their properties when they’re not in them. Given that in North Vancouver alone, the majority of properties are empty mansions owned by wealthy foreigners, I think this could be an incredibly luxurious and lucrative career if you knew how to break-into the industry. (I have a hunch that a lot of it is through who you know) I’d be happy to house-sit for someone for the months of the year they’re not using the property and then go travelling for the period when they show up to use their mansion.

Mattress Tester. Have you ever seen commercials for mattresses which they proclaim the mattresses have been tested? Who does this testing? Do they get to take the mattress home and sleep on it to give their honest thoughts in return? Or do they have to go to a warehouse and sleep there, under a controlled environment? Either way, getting paid to sleep on comfy beds seems like a great career.

Travel guide. Not a tourism guide, but a travel guide. Someone who gets paid not to show you the Eiffel tower, but rather, to take you to Paro Takstang to share a meal with the Buddhist Monks and to show you the culture of the penguins who call the Falkland Islands home. Your cell phone won’t work in these places, but your heart will be full, your head happy and your soul fulfilled. There’s so much more to the world than what the tourism companies lead you to believe. Being someone who can show you the nitty gritty of greatness, that would be a really great career.

Career Guidance Faciliator. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could go to a career fair on the internet? You wouldn’t have to go out and interact with people who may or may not be any worth to you and your career in some hall or banquet room, but rather, you could wow someone from the comfort of your own home. Since in 2019 you already need to blindly send your resume to said companies anyway, what if you knew that on October 20th at 2:00 pm, said HR representative of X company you’re looking to work for will be online in chat, doling out advice, chatting with job seekers, accepting resumes and talking about what it really takes to get hired at X company? Would you go? You could have the opportunity to wow them from the comfort of your own home, and even if you didn’t wow them during that session, you’d still have earned the career advice they doled out. The idea, it’s a work in progress, but I think it could be a lucrative option partnerships alone, if executed properly…

Happy Thanksgiving (Canada)

I’m thankful for the health of all my friends and family members,

I’m thankful the fire still burns inside of me, even if it only embers.

I’m thankful for my blessings, my good fortunes and my truths,

I’m thankful for being 30 and still having so much youth.

I’m thankful for my Sunday’s, for strangers and for friends,

I’m thankful for how he makes me feel and hoping this distance does soon end.

I’m thankful for the good music, the movies and tv,

I’m thankful for the people who can always see me for me.

I’m thankful for an opportunity to give and to change some minds,

I’m thankful that we’re all different, even if we’re the same kind.

I’m thankful for another holiday and a reminder of my privilege,

I’m thankful for for the welcome mat and that there’s always food in the fridge.

Thank you for this community and for all you’ve shared with me,

I’m grateful for the opportunity, and dreaming of all this place can be.

Happy Thanksgiving ‚̧