Sunday, June 28, 2015

Up, up and away!

Hey everyone - the website is up and running. Now all I need to do is find some clients. Come and check out the new site and have a look at what we have to offer for small businesses re. online content and graphics. While we are based in New Zealand we do offer our low-cost services internationally (all payments via PayPal).  

The business is officially launching end of July - expressions of interest welcome prior. Essentially, what 3c@gency - Capital Creative Concepts is offering, are low-cost business profiles, SEO-friendly written content for web-sites and low-cost Graphic Design options. (Will have more detailed information shortly closer to launch date).

The approach is thus: every business has a story. What's yours? What inspired you to become your own boss or to start your business? What products/services do you offer and who is your target market? The business profiles will be in the format of an 'advertorial', which is basically a sales pitch for whatever it is your selling. I can write a high-impact profile that you can use as a downloadable PDF from your website etc. You can also use it as a Press Release and as content for your website/blog that will 'funnel' potential clients to your product/service.

If things go well and there is enough interest, I will also have a more involved package consisting of producing an EBook that you can use as both a sales tool and a passive income revenue stream.

Stay tuned for further updates and thanks for your support. If you know anyone that owns a small business, or is about to launch a website etc and needs content and/or low-cost graphic design solutions, please 'invite' them to 'like' the Facebook business page here: 

Small Business Services, #Indie, #Growthhack, Graphic Design, Content Management, SEO Content, Business Services, Wellington New Zealand Graphic Design, Wellington New Zealand Content Creation, Wellington New Zealand CMS, #CMS, #3c@gency

Monday, June 22, 2015

#Hacks For New Dads (Investing in Breastfeeding - a father's guide)

Things are changing. I'm coming to the end of my tenure as a 'stay-at-home-dad.' Along the way, I have learned much, grown in maturity (now having the grey hairs to prove it!) and changed my world-view to encompass my role as a father. Before I regress and potentially forget all the important life-lessons and various child-rearing wisdom learned along the way, I realized that I should probably write down what I have gleaned from this whirl-wind tour called 'fatherhood.' Hopefully, what I share might bail some poor unsuspecting sap from the dog-box, or actually prevent them from ever having to step foot inside said dog-box. So without further ado, here is the first article in a series I am writing called '#DadHacks.' This article is plainly titled (pretty self-explanatory really) 'Investing in Breastfeeding - a brief guide for new dads.'

For those of you who have just become dads, welcome to the club. Most new fathers will notice fairly soon how ‘new’ everything is! Suddenly you have a new baby, a new wife/partner, and a new life. To the bewildered father, whose misconceptions about the whole experience are now all apparent, everything is a learning curve.

Before the birth, most men believe that they are the focus of their partner’s attention. The new father might also have naively believed that parenthood would be fairly straightforward, a fundamental natural event that has occurred without too much encouragement since the conception of the human race! For first-time dads, all this is new. Probably the most disconcerting and misunderstood event for the father, in this whole life-changing process, is breast-feeding.    

The mother, of course, as part of her new role takes breast-feeding in her stride (most of the time) and accepts it for what it is. Basically, feeding the baby. The father however, may feel like he is in the middle of a small-scale corporate takeover. An underdeveloped CEO, intent on transferring assets to the Primary Production sector, has now successfully annexed a previously secure share dividend in the ‘entertainment industry.’ Fonterra will soon be knocking on the door looking for investment opportunities in this thriving milk-factory (that’s what my wife calls it!). Apologies for the analogies, but you get the drift, right?        

Meanwhile, back to reality. We knew deep down this would happen and it’s not so much the feelings of exclusion or the ‘what about me’ factor, it’s more the growing feeling of helplessness that inevitably pervades the new father’s thoughts. Once all selfish feelings have been swept aside and we can actually see that what our partner does is for the good of our child, then most fathers will start to ask how they can help. Of all the duties associated with parenthood, apart from the actual act of giving birth, breastfeeding is obviously the exclusive domain of the mother. Bottle-feeding will come later but in the meantime the father will just have to accept that it’s one thing he can’t do.

There are other things new dad’s can do instead, half of which will be expected (warning: without actually being directly communicated) and the other half which might help to eventually retain a few of those highly prized share dividends in the ‘entertainment industry!’

One of the things I wasn’t prepared for, as a new dad, was how long it actually takes to breastfeed a little baby. My wife and I added up the time spent over a 24-hour period and it averaged between 10-12 hours, with a typical breastfeed taking between 40-60 minutes given at 4 hour intervals or when needed. Obviously these kinds of statistics will differ with every mother/baby combination but one thing that is certain is that it is definitely time consuming.

With all these aspects in mind, here are a few hacks/tips for those new fathers looking for alternative ‘breastfeeding’ duties:
  1. Bring your partner a nice drink (non-alcoholic) while she is breastfeeding. Something nutritious and tasty will actually give her a boost as well as provide necessary fluid. Try Complan or Calci-yum.
  2. Try not to fuss over them both while she is breastfeeding. Use the time to make the bed or fold some washing. If you are awake at night while she is up breastfeeding, bringing a drink in to her is apparently quite ‘nice.’ Most important: do not interfere unless asked.
  3. Breastfeeding usually happens bang on dinner time so if you can’t cook, pick up a recipe book and learn how. Simple dishes are not hard to make and are usually well received by exhausted mothers. Save the gourmet meal for the weekend when you have a bit more time to prepare. Tip #1: have lots of fresh fruit on hand as a banana will stave off hunger (for you and her) while you are cooking the vegetables to go with the main course. Tip #2: Cook a large meal and divide it up into smaller meal sizes and freeze them. Good comfort food like Lasagne, Stews, Casseroles etc are great for this purpose. Saves you heaps of time later if you need a quick meal – just defrost and heat.
  4. Ask what you can do to help as a last resort. Look first, there’s always washing (remember to avoid that cardinal sin of mixing whites with colors), ironing, CLEANING, and cooking to be done at any hour of the day.
  5. Whenever possible, encourage and provide the opportunity for your partner (subtly) to take naps, as this will benefit you both in the long run. Tiredness is perhaps the biggest cause of stress with a new-born for all concerned, especially so for the mother, who will spend long and irregular hours nurturing your child.
  6. While your partner is breastfeeding, accept that you will need to take over some duties you might not have done all the time previously, e.g. I do ALL the cooking now. Step up and make it ‘your thing’. Once you’ve done these chores a few times, you will realize that it gives you something to do as much as it also serves to help out around the house while your other –half is filling up bubs.
Probably the most important thing of all is to provide a low-stress and understanding environment for your partner. Forget about what you ‘need’ for the first few months – it is all about the baby. Your partner will be doing her part with breastfeeding for up to 12 hours over a 24-hour period along with other domestic chores. Even if you are the main ‘bread-winner’ make sure you are prepared to help out when you get home from work. Be patient, your partner and baby will love you for it. Remember, the happier your partner is, the happier they will be with you. Everybody knows that shares gain interest the longer they are left alone, but don’t forget, the more you invest – the bigger the return.

My experience as a 'stay-at-home-dad' gets a mention in this Newswire article:

For other weirdness, why not try breastfeeding the dad way:  

Need content or an article written for your newsletter/website/blog? For more quality content, interesting articles, and content services, please visit: 

 #GrowthHacks, #Dadhacks, #Hacks, Tips, Breastfeeding, Advice for new dads, Stay at home dad, SAHD, Pregnancy, Child Rearing

Sunday, June 7, 2015

What you write and what your reader thinks you've written.

What you portray in your fictional world can be a reflection of how you perceive the world at large but not necessarily be a reflection your own moral (or otherwise) viewpoint. To focus on the minutiae of an aspect of human life and then bore down to the very heart of a subject, involves rigor and the ability to bring back from the abyss what you have witnessed in a way that your evidence can be shared without becoming part of you. The old Nietzschean adage may best apply here ("when you gaze into the abyss..."). Obviously, you can not wade through oceans of blood without staining your clothes but you can look and relay, while standing on a hill above said ocean. Fictional worlds can be created without recourse to your own views and values via the use of imagination - imagining someone with antithetical (to your own) moral, spiritual and philosophical values on the page is achievable without betraying your own views in that the character can be created deliberately - with recourse to technique or in response to a work not of your own etc.
         I watched a documentary on Timothy McVeigh last night and how he was apparently inspired to blow up the federal building after reading the infamous 'Turner Diaries' - it got me to thinking about my own work and whether it might inspire someone to imitate something I've written about. I realized that because it is fiction, even though what I write is largely idea-sourced from true events, it is ultimately from my imagination and, yes, it has been filtered through my own experience and mental processes but yet, it is not something I condone or that I believe in. I write about taboo subjects and horrific things at times, but I do it deliberately and consciously, knowing full well that what I put on the page can influence others (perhaps) and that readers (especially close friends etc) may see something of myself amongst the words. Yet, I also know that I have to be careful not to let myself bleed on the page lest it becomes apparent that my involvement in the story is in a greater capacity than that of author.
        At the end of the day it doesn't matter how objectively we write our fiction, it is friends and family who will always be our harshest judges/critics and see things in the words where there is nothing to see. Like McVeigh, there will always be people who interpret your work through their own filters and misconceptions about the author's intentions and/or experiential involvement in their fictional worlds. As long as the horror is carried out on the page and not in the real world, then the author's lot remains an honorable one and the transcribing of such horrors an outwardly cathartic experience (for the author at least). Perhaps, it is the reader who brings the most amount of subjective (moral, philosophical, spiritual etc) baggage to the experience of reading a fictional work. Perhaps, it is the reader who needs to question themselves and how they interpret a work of fiction. After all, the difference between what one reads and what is actually written can be poles apart. And then there is poetry . . .


Writing. writing advice. authorship, readers, books, fiction, #LinkedIn, William Cook, 3cagency. #3cagency, Content, #GrowthHacks, 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation (or Instructions For LinkedIn Recommendations).

Recommending someone on LinkedIn is relatively simple, if you know what you are doing. For those who haven't recommended someone before, or who are requesting a recommendation from someone who may not know how to do it, this simple 5-step guide should help you to write a recommendation without too much hassle. Here we go:

1 - Log on to LinkedIn > open recommendee’s profile page > Use dropdown menu from the blue ‘Send a message’ tab (move cursor over small arrow icon to the right of text) > select ‘Recommend.’

2 - Write recommendation. I suggest writing one in a word document before you get to this stage. Make sure the recommendation is clear and to the point and relates to the ‘relationship’ and ‘positions’ selections that you make (your own and the person's who you are recommending).

3 - Remember to detail the positive aspects of your relationship in a way that will really promote your recommendee to a prospective client/employer etc. Use key-words that relate directly to what it is they do and what they did for you.

4 - Make sure to end your recommendation with a strong positive emphasis on why you are recommending that person. 
5 - Send

William Cook – 3c@gency © 2015.

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