New Year’s Resolutions, or Not

I read an article by Eric T. Wagner in Forbes: “Smart Entrepreneurs Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions — They Do This Instead”

I stopped making resolutions years ago because I kept breaking them, me and 90% of my fellow Americans. But I do pray and meditate over my life and business and where I am going with them.

Wagner has an interesting approach to planning new growth and accomplishment with his 3-step plan:

Step 1 — Choose 3 Powerful Words As Focal Points. 3 words as your guiding themes through the new year.

Step 2 — Build Systems Around Those Words. Systematize strategy and tactics around the words.

Step 3 — The House Better Be Burning Down. Don’t allow yourself or others to interrupt your systems — unless the aforementioned house is indeed burning down.

I’m going to try this. My 3 words for my personal and professional lives are: Clarity, Energy, Finish. I’ll share with you how it goes and would be very interested to hear if any of you try it too.

Best Practices No Matter What Backup Method You’re Using

Any backup and recovery solution needs to have some elements in common. We’ll discuss those first and then talk about differing approaches to backup technology and their vendors.

  • Centralized backup or central backup service levels. Even at companies with multiple backup systems, at the least corporate IT should enforce backup and recovery service levels for every backup system under their control (which ideally is all of them). Centralized solutions are out there, but even if your company is sporting multiple systems corporate IT is ultimately responsible for data protection across the corporation, and should be using tools accordingly.
  • Continuous backup — sometimes. Most applications do not need continuous backup even if they’re mission-critical like Exchange. But Tier 1, high transaction applications definitely benefit from continuous backup. The solution should also offer fast and granular restore services, since what good is backup if you can’t restore on time or at the right point?
  • Backup and restore performance. Cloud backup is notorious for poor backup speeds but even on-premise backup might not have ideal restore rates. Any backup scenario will benefit from dedupe and compression before sending and fast ingestion from the storage target, plus WAN accelerators on the cloud backup side.
  • Compliance and governance. IT is used to retaining backups for compliance – even if the policy consists of “keep everything forever.” Hardly ideal, but at least the data is there. True compliance needs one or more of the following depending on the nature of the data and its regulatory or business priority: 1) Verified backup makes sure the backup has run, which should be standard to every one of your backup and recovery systems. 2) Encryption safeguards your data. Standards universally require encrypting the backup data stream, and some data types and regulated industries benefit from encrypting data-at-rest as well. 3) Access control for users and roles must be carefully managed.


How to Strategize Content Marketing Even if You’re a Small or One-Person Team

General Electric has an incredible content marketing machine, but most of us aren’t GE. The good news is that even small teams and solo practitioners can strategize and produce lead-generating marketing content.

The key to creating a content marketing plan for any organization is an integrated cycle: strategic planning, content creation and distribution, engaging in conversation, and measuring results.

  • Set marketing goals and objectives. Decide what you want to accomplish with a content marketing campaign and how to measure it.  Draw up your buyer personas for your sweet spot and ideal prospects.
  • Create new content and leverage existing content. Collect your existing content, decide what you can leverage, and identify gaps that require new content.
  • Optimize content for search and curate for reuse. Revise both new and existing content for keywords and updated messaging. Break content into pieces to increase reuse. Curate your content so you can easily identify content for future campaigns.
  • Distribute content and engage in conversation. Distribute through your channels: social media, website, publications, the media. Track and engage your commenters.
  • Measure results and adapt content to next cycle. Measure results by your goals and objectives, adapt content accordingly, and begin the cycle again.

This cycle stays the same no matter how large or small your team might be. The only difference is quantity: more resources can create more content. There need not be any difference in quality or meeting your goals and objectives as long as you have reasonably assigned your resources.