Minnesota Morning: How Do You Spend Your Jelly Beans?

Jelly Bean

Something big has been nagging me for a long, long time and I had not been able to figure it out. There have been little parts of this over the past year that “clicked” with me like “What do you want” but this bigger thing…

It’s been nagging at me for a year and a half and today I saw the bigger picture.

It happened during the message at Eagle Brook Church this morning. They are doing a series called “Simplify”… well timed with the post holiday craziness.

This weekend’s topic:

Controlling Your Calendar

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Minnesota Morning: Minnesota Headhunter LLC Is One Year Old

Downtown Minneapolis

It’s Friday evening December 20th, 2013 and all day something has been bothering me… like I knew I was forgetting about something important.

That nagging feeling.

Most of the work stuff was done. Holiday activities taken care of. End of the week email sent out.

And then it hit me while I was pulling up the blog and looking out the window…

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Minnesota Morning… A “No Think Zone” Experiment

I have had a few moments today (kind of like a “déjà vu”) where I have stopped in my tracks (literally including while jogging today) and said to myself:

“What are you thinking”


“What were you thinking”

And I am reminded that thinking has become a problem for me. I already know this. My friends already know this. This is not news to anyone.

When it comes to friends and colleagues the past months I have found myself saying to them:

“Trust your gut”

And then I think (this time it helps), am I trusting my gut? What’s up with all the thinking, analyzing? You give great advice… you should probably take it.

For me I have always had an “inner compass”. It’s a good one that served me well but at some point a few years ago (around the time of the Great Recession) I swear my DNA changed.

It has not worked for me. Maybe not hurt but certainly not helped.

And there have been a couple of times in the past year when I went full strong on something without much thinking and was burned reverting back to thinking.

Here is some proof…

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Minnesota Morning... InformationWeek Interviews, Kidblog And Spark Edition

Yep... it has been a long time since I wrote one of these and it is yet another attempt at getting back into writing. I think I found one of my “blocks” to this, so much to write and not enough time to do it.

So I decided to write what I can when I can and stop thinking about it.

I hope this time around it sticks.

InformationWeek interviews

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by Kevin Casey (@kevinrcasey) of InformationWeek (thanks to Jennifer McClure for the referral) to work on a couple of articles with him.

I need to write up a couple of blog posts to go along with each of these with some additional thoughts I have but for the moment... click these links to see the articles:

IT Job Interviews: 8 Tips To Avoid Disaster

8 IT Hiring Trends You Can't Ignore

If you have friends who may find this info useful, share with them by clicking the Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and/or LinkedIn icons. 

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Minnesota Morning: Happy New Year 2013 - Page 1 Of 365

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.” - Edith Lovejoy Pierce

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Most folks do an inventory at the end of the year on “where they are”. For me… I have been doing it much of the past year.

And it has not been much fun.

Life experiences of the past 16 months have forced me to and now looking with some hindsight I realize these are long awaited changes that I have wanted to make for a long time.

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Minnesota Morning: Economy, War For Talent And Gopher Hockey Edition

After a couple of weeks of being able to fall asleep at night… last night was not such a good night. I went to bed well after midnight  and woke up well before the birds started chirping.

So no words of wisdom or funny things to say today…


The middle of the month is always a busy time for different economic reports and there were a bunch of mostly good news last week highlighted by:

- Initial Jobless Claims: March 10th the Labor Department reported 351,000 people filed for initial unemployment benefits. That was below the average market predictions of 355,000 and down from the revised number of 365,000 claims the previous week. The 4 week moving average was unchanged at 355,750.

Initial Unemployment Claims 4 wk Moving Average - Haver Analytics

Ongoing claims were 3.343M much lower than predictions and lower than the 3.424M.

- Philly Fed: March 15th the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released their general economic index. 12.5 was the number in line with predictions and up from 10.2 in February. This is a positive indicator with manufacturers putting out more products which tend to lead to hiring more folks. The New York index was also a positive report.

- The Thomson Reuters & University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment dropped to 74.3 from 75.3. 76.0 was the average prediction. Gas & fuel prices are most to blame for the negativity.

Check out The American economy: Unmired at last (The Economist)


War For Talent

I am seeing this phrase (popular from 2003-2007) more and more as the economy continues to recover. For those of us in I.T. this is not news and is more like “where have you been” kind of news.

Today on ERE.net is this article The War for Talent Is Returning; Don’t Get Caught Unprepared from Dr John Sullivan.

I am not a big fan of the words “war” and “talent” but it is the phrase the industry uses.

It is always easy to use Silicon Valley as a place to talk about the “war” but here in Minnesota when it comes to recruiting I.T. folks we have definitely seen the increase in competition to hire moving past a “skirmish” but not quite a “war”.

Gopher Hockey

Congratulations to the Minnesota Golden Gopher Women’s Hockey Team for their victory over the Wisconsin Badgers in the NCAA Frozen Four Championship Game

This is the Gophers third NCAA Championship with the most recent in 2005.

Check out the post on GopherSports.com Gopher Women's Hockey Wins National Championship where you will see a lot of information about the game including this video:


This still shot is currently the splash page on the Gophers web site:


Minnesota Golden Gophers Womens Hockey 2012 National Champions


Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has declared today to be Gopher Women's Hockey National Champions Day.



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Minnesota Morning: Summer In March, Gopher Hockey And March Madness Edition

It might normally be around this time of the year when someone in Minneapolis might say that spring has sprung. Not so much last year as we did not get to see spring until almost June.

This year... we skipped spring (for now) and jumped to June.

And I like it… for the most part.

The only thing that I have not liked so far has been the rock concert the birds are putting on in my courtyard between 5 am and 6:30 am. I love the birds and the spring they bring with them but dang.. why so early?

Here is one particular crooner. I took this at 8 pm. I love the song. It sounds good at 8 pm.

But I have different feelings for it at 5 am:


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Minnesota Morning: Code 42 And SOPA Edition

This is a short version of Minnesota Morning today with many conversations with companies finding it difficult to recruit and hire IT folks. Worse, a few bordering on many are finding it difficult to retain the staff they have.

All I can do is remind them of what I said March of 2010 when the IT jobs market came off the bottom... I told you so. I told them this was coming and very few planned for it.

No, I am not complaining... this is good for me.

No links today but a few short topics:

Code42 receives funding

Great news broke in the Minnesota IT community the past 14 hours that Code 42 (creator of CrashPlan) has received $52.5M in venture funding from Accel Partners and Split Rock Partners.

I have been a huge fan of the company and their CEO Matthew Dornquast who has been firm in his commitment to build his company and stay in Minneapolis. More than that they are a huge supporter of the local tech community.

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Minnesota Morning: MinneDemo And Minnesota Recruiter Jobs Edition

We had a whopping .5 inch of snow this morning and from the posts on Twitter and photos on Facebook you would have thought we had a major snow storm. I was seeing commute times double the normal.

Has this very warm winter made us so soft we forgot how to drive?

Silly me. Of course it has.

Wait until next week… many of the forecast models are predicting a “significant weather event” in the Upper Midwest.

A quick self promotional item… I had a feature on StaffingTalk.com last week. Click Five Question Friday: Paul DeBettignies

MinneDemo Winter 2012

Tomorrow night a few hundred tech folk (and a few wannabe’s like me) will be getting together for MinneDemo (one part tech, one part beer and one part networking event) at the University of St Thomas.

How popular is this event? it “sold out” in one hour. That’s right… 500 attendees in one hour.

This time we have the following companies and coders showing off their work: CrashPlan Mobile, fitparel.com, Team Digest, Brahmageddon, Red Stamp, Wahooly, FitBolt, Migration+, LeagueSafe

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Minnesota Morning: Links To Recruiting, HR, Career And Minnesota Business Articles Edition

No commentary today. I have some things to share but it is 2:30 pm now which now makes this Minnesota Afternoon and by the time I get to write the other stuff it will become Minnesota Midnight.

So the heck with it…

Today’s Quote:

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today’s Links:

Recruiting & HR

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Minnesota Morning: Best Buy, Economy And LSU vs Alabama Edition

After days off of writing Minnesota Morning I am back. The optimism and freshness of a new year were interrupted last week with health and life issues with those around me. Thankfully everyone is on a road to recovery of some sort.

Funny though how fast the enthusiasm of a “new year” can change in a moment.

I said that to one of my friends who was waiting on a test result and he said, “Dude, just because these first days have been rocky does not signal how the new year will be. It’s life, stuff happens anytime of the year. Who won the football game?”

And just like that things were back to normal...

Best Buy

Friday I wrote Is Best Buy In Trouble? and I received a number of DM’s on Twitter and email. Response was about 70-30 in support of the company and about 40/60 in support of senior management.

So far I do not see/hear any mass exodus from Best Buy but I do think there are some turbulent waters.

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Minnesota Morning: Economy, Wisconsin Fans Edition

Welcome to what is for most of us the first work day of 2012. Because this is a short work week it seems most people are using this as a ramp up to next Monday and the full week.

I might put myself into that category. I had hoped to get more done during the “slow” days of the end of December but I spent some time charging the personal batteries. So I will be using these next days to get to full speed by next Monday.


With the beginning of the month and year the next days are busy with some economic statistics coming out and mostly about jobs.

I am seeing analysts predicting +200K jobs on the ADP numbers (Thursday) and non farm jobs +150K to +170K and non farm private jobs around +200K (Friday).

If those numbers hold and can be sustained the U.S. economy will finally slowly start to make a real dent with the unemployment situation.

A very unscientific job indicator I will be looking for over the next ten days is the number of Minnesota Recruiter Jobs I will post. Last year at this time it was as if a light switch was turned on. This year given the growth we have had in recent months I am expecting more of a light turning on but more of a dimmer switch that will gradually become brighter.

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Minnesota Morning: Recruiter, HR, Marc Cuban And Vikings Edition

I messed up Saturday... I forgot to hit “publish” so this is a bit of a 2 fer 1 post. With that, no extra commentary today.

“The one requirement for success in our business lives is effort”

Marc Cuban (entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks) has written an ebook “How To Win At The Sport Of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It.”

Business Insider has There's Only One Thing In Life You Can Control: Your Own Effort with an excerpt with a link to some more.

This quote hits home:

“In sports, the only thing a player can truly control is effort. The same applies to business. The only thing any entrepreneur, salesperson or anyone in any position can control is their effort.”

While I enjoy sports and politics in part because I can look in the paper and see how won and who lost I have always looked at my business and life as more of a golf scenario.

Yes there are others playing but I need to play the course as best I can. What others do I cannot control but I need to do the best I can. Maybe that’s too simple but it works for me.

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Minnesota Morning: Happy New Year 2012 Edition

Dear 2012, please be kind to my friends. Let them find & keep the hope, peace and love they are looking for. Keep them healthy and give them the strength they need on the bad days and give them time to celebrate the good days.

We get more time this year as 2012 is a Leap Year so we have 366 Days | 8,784 Hours | 527,040 Minutes | 31,622,400 Seconds

13.5 hours in and I do not (yet) feel I am behind. Well… maybe a little. I had hoped to get more done the past two weeks and will take some of the advice I have below.

While I am not one to make resolutions I try to find a few things that remind me of the mood I start a year with and what I will likely need for the year.

Two new quotes:

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.” - Edith Lovejoy Pierce

"To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Minnesota Morning: Welcome Back, Transplants, Bowl Games Edition

Hello blog, it’s me Paul…

You’re right, it’s been a long time I know.

Yes I know, I have sucked.

And I have said this many times over the 6 years since I started you and rarely followed through, I want to do better.

We have a lot… A LOT to catch up on.

Give me another chance?

Thanks. I will do better. It can only get better, right?

So where to start…

For those of you getting the RSS feed or posts via email you are going to see a bunch of blog posts in the coming week. It could be 3-4 a day and it might be annoying.

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