My Offices

My Offices

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that my offices are every coffee shop and a few local pubs in the Triad area of NC. Here is a map of many of them.

Here are 10 reasons I like to use local coffee shops as my office:

  1. Good coffee – Always freshly brewed
  2. Ice cold “soda” – one or two a week is not a bad thing
  3. Friendly and good people serving me
  4. Free refills – With the Starbucks Gold Card, I get free refills while I am in the office
  5. Good food in the pubs – a man has to eat, right?
  6. Free WIFI – Maybe it’s not perfect, but generally it works and it’s free.
  7. I am visible – often I get to say hello to customers, prospects and new connections who come to see me.
  8. When I get a chance to say hello, often I am asked what I’m up to. I get to spin this too, “How can I help you?”
  9. They are a more enjoyable place to have business meetings. It’s way more friendly
  10. My laptop has an ad on it – It gets seen by dozens of people every day
  11. Fresh pastries every morning
  12. I’ve done the math – $2 per day for a cup of coffee = max of $60 per month. No less expensive rent anywhere.

I know these offices may not be the best for everyone, but they sure do work well for me.

Follow me on FourSquare if you want to know when I’m in the office

Thanks, @FinnegansWake, @NattyGreene, @Starbucks, @TheGreenBean & @Krankies.




State of Davie event

I had the pleasure of attending the State of Davie this morning. Probably close to 200 people showed up at 7:30AM to meet over coffee and breakfast. The event was hosted at WinMock at Kinderton, an absolute jewel of Davie County.

This mornings event was sponsored by CenturyLink, Frank L. Blum Construction Company & Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The Triad Business Journal Doug Copeland led the event and then handed off to Justin Catanoso Director of Journalism Wake Forest University who moderated for us.

The Panelist were insightful and open with their discussion points

Good conversations about the DC Economic Development Commission is doing to help draw new businesses and strengthen existing businesses in Davie County

A lot of conversation about the arrival of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center West, due to have phase I completed by mid 2013

Mary Rittling did a great job sharing the story of dedication and commitment from Davidson County Community College in Davie County.

Terry Bralley gave us the numbers related to the decline of Manufacturing jobs (2003 -35% / 2013 -16%), Textile jobs (2003 -16% vs. 2013 -2% and Furniture jobs (2003 -12% vs. 2013 -<1%).

Terry gave more numbers for us to be aware of

  • 60% of the residents leave the county every day to work in another county
  • 41,000 people live in Davie County
  • 104% unemployment and Terry feels it is much higher than this

Terry went on to tell the story of a town in Texas where a large business was considering setting up a new operation. Because of the positive words of a quick mart employee, speaking broken english, but proudly about the town, Apple decided to setup up an operation there (Austin Tx I believe). His point was to remind us that we never know who we are talking with. Choose your words and statements carefully. You could be influencing a decision that can affect your future and the future of your community. Good story for us all to have heard.

John McConnell spoke of the challenges (opportunities) related to medical costs skyrocketing, technology creating new solutions, innovation driving value and the need for more educational solutions to meet the demands of higher skilled workers. John applauded DCCC for the work they are doing developing more people that are needed to support the high demands for more medical care & professionals.

John continued with his dedication and commitment to Davie County.  John told Mary Rittling that he dreams of the day when he is a chemistry professor at a Community College. That got John a hug.

Mary Rittling did well to poke at Justin Catanos’ joke that he thought it was a typo that Davidson County Community College was on the panel at the State of Davie. Justin knew what he was saying, that joke gave Mary the floor to share the dedication and proud work that DCCC is doing in our county.  (me – we all are grateful)

Mary told us that the Davidson County Community College campus in Mocksville is Davie County’s “University”. Since 2004 it has served >13,000 students and right now it is home to 1500 students. DCCC is working hard to replicate all of the educational programs that are delivered from their main campus here in Davie County as well.

The panel ended with a quick Q&A session and the panelist listing the challenges (obstacles) that Davie has to work to overcome :

  • Lack of Capital $
  • Recruiting Faculty and staff to teach
  • Creating Sustainable solutions
  • Staying attuned to what the community, county, citizens want/need
  • Staying aware of the rapid changes in our world, community, culture, society

Why did I write this story?

I woke up this morning in Advance NC where I have lived for 16 years. I grabbed my business cards that say, “Burriss Consulting Inc.” on them and headed off to hear about the county that I live in and now have my own business in.  I need to be more involved and attuned as to what is going on in the county that I live and have a business in.  Count on it Davie – I woke up this morning.

Social Media Privacy – NOT

I have no concern for or expectation of Social Media privacy.


Because Social Media sites are intended to be Social and IMHO intended to share publicly consumable content.

Being social includes engaging and sharing with others.

When you engage with others hopefully you would never stand naked in public, spouting foul words and doing nasty, disgusting things. Similarly, when you engage with others in Social Media, you should never post anything that you would not say in public.

Also, you would never stand on a street corner and hand out a list of your business and  private, confidential information. Therefore, don’t post any confidential or private information on any social media site.

Therefore, take the concept and expectation of privacy, security or confidentiality out of every conversation regarding Social Media.

We need to consider Social Media as public content sites and that we are all contributors. Our role is to provide relevant, interesting and useful information for others to consume.

Additionally, yes, I know that there are many security and privacy features built into Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WordPress, etc. These features provide some level of general security that can prohibit users from hacking our accounts and in some cases seeing our content. However beyond getting my account hacked, I do not want or need to trust the other security features.

I want my content to be accessible by anyone who desires to come looking for it.

Because I treat these systems as public sites and because I want to publicly contribute and collaborate with others. There is no need for anyone to ask for my Facebook password. All of my content is publicly accessible. Every post, picture, comment, tweet, discussion, connection, friend and fan are public content. Pure & simple to me.

Just to be clear, I expect my bank, financial institutions, credit cards, email messages, voice mail messages, private conversations and even thoughts to be private and confidential. If these systems get compromised in any way I will not be happy.

In conclusion I suggest you accept that there is no privacy using Social Media, just as there is no privacy standing on a street corner.

It’s more enjoyable, rewarding, engaging and beneficial if you set yourself free to share openly with no expectations of privacy.

What kind of a Freak are you?

I heard a friend talk about being a Temporary Freak today. He was referencing his activity on LinkedIn.

This got me to thinking – What kind of a Freak am I?

First of all, a Freak is not a bad thing.  My definition of Freak is “A very unusual and unexpected individual.”

In most of what I do, I am a Freak.

I live life in an unusual manner.

My business is as unusual as you can imagine.

I participate in Social Media quite unusual or differently than most

My Network style (Networking for Mutual Benefit) is very unexpectedly to others.

I share who I am as a person with just about anyone willing to take a peek at me and what I do, and for most, this is very unexpected.

And for me, I am not a Temporary Freak.

We joked that in regards to being a Freak you could be:

Contracted, Temporary, Part Time, Retired, Semi, Complete. Partial, Accidental, SubConscious, Comatose and/or Full Time.

In regards to Participating in Life and Social Media, I feel that I am a Full Time nearly Complete Freak.

I try hard to be consistent and honest in these areas, despite the fact that many feel I am unusual and unexpected.

What kind of a Freak are you in Life?

He pulls up his Pants like the rest of us

Every day he awakens and drags himself out of the bed. He heads into the bathroom and fires up the shower as one of the many steps of his morning ritual.

He shaves, brushes his hair and his teeth and considers whether or not his ear hairs need trimming.  This morning he opts to leave them alone. He pulls his suit pants and a bright white shirt off their hangers.

He heads out of the bedroom gives his wife and kids a kiss good bye and heads off to the garage with his coffee, car keys and backpack.

Off to work he goes, just like hundreds of thousands of us in North Carolina every day.

Does any of this sound unusual? Not really.  In some way or another we all do nearly the same thing every morning. We all put our pants on the same way.

Yet, many of us forget this once we get to work. I too used to suffer from the disease I call C-Phobia or Exec-Paranoia.

This is the not so uncommon fear of calling on the CEOs, CFOs, Executive VPs, Division Managers, CIOs and many other influential business men (& women). Lots of people would rather go to the dentist and get a root canal done.

These diseases stem from the inappropriate statements we here every day. Stuff like:

“He’s the big man, don’t bother him”
“You’re a peon and are not supposed to talk to Mr Big Britches. Better not knock on his door or call him.”
“He is far too busy to talk to you”

Add your own statement here – Why did you fear calling on these people?

For the most part, these statements are not true. I don’t want to mis lead you. There are a lot of Mr Big Britches out there who for no real reason think they are better than the rest of us. This is unfortunate and shameful.

Most men (& women) put their pants on the same way the rest of us do.

Yeah, they have a important job and maybe a fancy-dan title, but they are people like the rest of us and their needs are very similar to the rest of us:

  • They want to have open and honest conversations about business & life
  • They don’t want to be sold or taken advantage of
  • They don’t want to be told what their problems are, they want to figure it out themselves (likely with help when they ask for it)
  • They want to discover good solutions to their personal and business problems
  • They want access to people with ideas who can improve their business, team, revenue and families
  • They want to know good people who they could consider adding to their team
  • They want business ideas and opportunities that can create value for their organizations and clients
  • They want to know what is going on around town, state & world that can have a positive (or negative) effect on their business & life
  • They want to capture knowledge that can help their team and business.
  • They event want to hear a good joke (at the appropriate time)
  • They want the same things the rest of us want

Knowing that these folks are busy and that they have the same needs as everyone else in business, how do we get over our C-Phobia or Exec-Paranoia?

  • Keep the points above in mind when we call, email or walk up to these good people.
  • Don’t waste their time trying to sell them. Spend time getting to know them and what is really important to them.
  • Be respectful, honest, transparent and willing to help them where we can and they want help. When we help a C-Level executive he will want to help us in return.

They put their pants just like the rest of us. They’re busy and have hectic lives but still need the same stuff we do.

What else do you need to know in order to call or walk up to him (or her) and say, “Hello”?

Does this help – picture his bare white legs and black socks. Can you see him pulling his suit pants up, tucking in his shirt and putting on his belt?  He puts his pants on the same way the rest of us do. Really.


Thanks to Nick D for reminding me of this point today.

Networking for Mutual Benefit

What a great week last week (5/23/2011) was.

I met 5 new people and shared with them my passion for teaching others to Network for Mutual Benefit.

Each conversation was a good one because all of these new contacts understood the benefits of networking beyond the traditional purpose of finding a sales opportunity.

To make matters even better, many of these conversations ended with mutual benefits.

I love it when I get introduced to someone I can help, and it’s a bonus when they can help me at the same time.

Networking is the act of finding, developing and nurturing relationships that mutually move people forward thru life.


Make today a great day and share it with someone.

Teddy Burriss

How many Mikes do you know?

Recently I sat with a business contact and we were trying to figure out the name of someone we knew and the name of his company.

We knew the guy’s name was Steve or Steven or Stephen, but we were not exactly sure.

We joked that our contact lists were filled with lots of people with the same name.

We eventually figured out it was Stefan and then we figured out the company he worked for.

This got me wondering – how many different names do I know.

So, to figure out how many duplicate names I have in my contact list, used a little Microsoft Excel Magic against my Outlook Business contact folder.

This is what I found:

Out of 2557 people, here is a list of the names that showed up more than 20 times each.

First Name Count
Mike or Michael 77
John, Johnnie, Jon 70
Robert or Bob or Rob 70
David or Dave 67
Steve or Stephen or Steven 43
Jim or Jimmy 42
Christopher or Chris 38
Thomas or Tom or Tommy 38
Michael 35
Bill or William 34
Jeff or Jeffrey 32
Tim or Timothy 30
Scott 28
Dan or Danny, Daniel 26
Mark or Marc 26
Susan or Sue 24
Andrew or Andy 21
Joe or Joseph 20
Patrick or Pat 20
41 Names 741

Each of these individuals are unique in their own right, even though, not in name.

There were another 774 names that showed up less than 20 times each for a total of 1816 people.

Based on my not so scientific research – there are a bunch of Michaels, Johns, Roberts, Steves, Davids and Jimmy’s.

In my contact list there is only 1 Zeb, Yasser, Vedda or Tug. And, yes each of these individuals are also unique in their own right, not just in name.

I hope you enjoyed this little un-scientific research.


Pearrls – Transition Tuesday notes

I went to my second Transition Tuesday meeting today in Winston-Salem NC

This is a group of men associated with the New Canaan Society, many unemployed and searching for that next position or career. The others in attendance attend to provide spiritual and emotional support, guidance and ideas toward the goals of others.

Today the speaker was Ted Budd, a guy I worked with for a few years who has a good head on his shoulder and a Godly passion to help others.

Below are my notes compiled based on Ted’s discussion.
This is not specifically what Ted said to us, just a compilation of my thoughts and Ted’s words:

Far too often we allow our lives to be on cruise control. A good life filled with happiness and where we respond to the ups & downs, as well as opportunities of life must be experienced more like riding a sports car. Hug the white line, use the breaks sparingly and press the gas pedal only when it makes sense.

Live life with a check list. Not someone else’s, but your own.

The first B-52 crashed on takeoff because someone forgot to remove a safety pin in the rudder. A checklist would have allowed the engineers to see that the pin needed to be removed prior to flight.

Ted told us that his checklist is based on the word Pearrls (yes, dual R).
Here is what Pearrls stands for, in Ted’s life. I added my interpretations of the message.

Prayer – quiet time, listening, study, ask God for help. A great way to prepare yourself to pray, listen and reflect is by turning down the ambient noise around you.

Exercise – take care of your physical body. It is the only one God will allow you to have, and a good well maintained body will take you far in life. Does this not make good sense?

Appetite – feed your physical body. Feed yourself good foods and do not over indulge. Good foods are what makes a body run well.

Relationships – share your ideas, desires and worries with others. Without good professional, community and family relationships, your running along thru life by yourself. What good is this. Work on building great relationships, and don’t forget your spouse. Personal relations are a priority in a good life. Also, pay attention to who you build these relationships with. Positive people beget other positive people. Don’t hang with the wrong people.

Read – stay sharp, read good stuff, seek new knowledge. Don’t read just text books or business council or development books. Throw in some fiction, autobiographies and the Bible. Knowledge is best if it consists of lot of perspectives, from lots of different sources.

Lights out on time – put all the stuff down and rest your body. A well rested body helps to keep you alert and energetic. And, don’t just rest at night. Find periods of time thru out the day to rest. Studies have proven that periodic rest is better than only a good nights sleep.

Schedule the next day – keep an active schedule that can help you reach your goals. Schedules help you stay focused and helps to get the tasks completed. And, don’t forget to schedule for rest, love, happiness and others.

PEARRLS is how Ted’s checklist. We all need one similar for ourselves.

I hope you enjoy my notes from this morning’s Transition Tuesday in Winston-Salem NC