Phil and Randy Launch the All Business Hive. Jim Thinks It’s Just What the Doctor Ordered.
Preface: This time, He Said He Said is really a three way conversation, between Jim Murray, Randy Keho and me. Randy and I recently founded a new hive on beBee that we call All Business. It very different from most of the other hives on the platform at this time. In what follows, the three of us explore what those differences are, and what they mean for writers and readers who are interested in business.
JIM: Last week, I wrote one of my beBee promotional posts in which I recommended a number of things that beBee members could do to create more of a balance between the business and the social aspects of this site. My reasoning here was that the business and the social were really the two sides of the affinity coin.
One of the things I did not recommend, however, was actually creating a new hive that supported the business side. All that not withstanding, lo and behold, just a few days later, you guys came up with and launched the All Business hive.
I have to admit that I was absolutely delighted to see this hive arrive on the scene, because I had been holding off on writing/reposting too many business-oriented posts for lack of a solid hive to put them in. There are certainly a number of business oriented hives but many of them are vertically focused and rather small. With the exception of the Directors and Executives hive, this is really the first broad-based business oriented hive that I think has the potential to become huge.
It’s also an entity that I feel, because, I know you guys, will be very well-curated and managed.
So what I would like to know from both of you is a bit about how this came about and how you see it buzzing over time. I think this is important information for people, especially the fence sitters over in the Lumpy Kingdom, to have.
RANDY: I have to give all the credit to Phil. He generated the idea and kindly invited me to join the endeavor. I gladly accepted.
I was a journalist before entering the business world, eventually becoming the business editor of a daily newspaper. I had studied business administration, with an emphasis in management science, while pursuing a degree in journalism and public relations.
I remained intrigued by the business world and eventually found myself taking it for a ride. It turned out to be a roller-coaster, but I’ve stuck with it for more than 20 years.
Then, beBee came along, and I was inspired to produce content that would be considered relevant. That’s the whole idea. I enjoyed bantering back-and-forth with a few of the experienced business professionals who shared a common interest in politics – an affinity, if you will.
So, I produced a four-part series recounting my experiences working within the constraints of the corporate world, where internal politics had nearly driven me to madness. Some would say, it did.
As they say, “Write what you know.” It was surprisingly well received, although my style is a bit off-center.
I think Phil recognized my ability to bridge the gap between business and social content, and saw an opportunity to use it to expand and increase beBee’s business presence. He enjoys a good snicker, too.
PHIL: As you might guess, Jim, I hate to give credit where credit is due, however … the major inspiration came from your piece about Social and Business being combined in a single social media platform. We’ve known from early on that was the intention behind beBee, but your post put it into high relief.
So there I am thinking, where is the beef? And I check all the hives, only to find that there wasn’t a single one about real business. Oh, there are hives about business people, and hives about products and services, and hives about “soft” topics like leadership and (please let the gods save us) entrepreneurship. But there weren’t any about the issues and problems having to do with doing business.
My conclusion was beBee needed a hive like that. About real business. By real business people, who have spent time in the trenches. Worrying about making payroll this week. Struggling with generating sales revenue. Battling to keep costs under control, and to find cash flow. Indeed, people who know the difference between cash flow and profit.
I immediately knew that I wanted to topic-filter the hive. And I wanted the posts that appeared in it to be authored by writers who knew from experience of what they spoke. Reality, authenticity and originality were to be the three horsemen of my thundering new vision for the business side of beBee.
Well okay, that is a bit overly dramatic. But you get the point.
I drafted a mission statement and a set of posting rules that would help assure we kept out articles on how to become an entrepreneur by people whose closest experience to entrepreneurship was to be unemployed. And that we avoided pieces on the ten best ways to find a job by people too young to have held more than one or two jobs in their entire lives.
But one thing I learned running groups on LinkedIn was that posting rules don’t mean squat, unless the group’s administrators have the cojones to enforce the rules in the face of people who will act as though you’re taking away their right to exist. Which, of course, you’re not. You’re not saying they can’t write and post whatever they so choose, just not in your hive — not in All Business.
I also knew that an active group requires more than a single owner/administrator. So I cast around for someone to invite to help, and… quickly narrowed down on Randy Keho.
Understand that there were other people whom I could just as well have asked. You, Don Kerr, Kevin Pashuk, and some others. But you and I were already joined at the hip for He Said He Said. As well, you are a beBee Ambassador and so somewhat boxed into, I felt, being kinder and less discriminating than I wanted to be with the All Business hive. And I was already connected to Don and Kevin through the BeeZers hive.
Randy is from Chicago, as am I originally. So, we share a Chicago sense of sarcastic humor, not to mention a willingness to speak out and let the bull chips fall where they may. He and I had previously crossed words about politics, but I could tell that, like me, he can compartmentalize, and not let political differences get in the way of either friendship or being able to work together. So I asked him to sit second chair, and sent him a copy of the mission statement and the posting rules to review. Which he did. And to my delight, he agreed to come aboard.
JIM: Well I’m flattered to have been the inspiration here. But I’d lay dollars to donuts that this would have happened eventually based on chats Phil and I have had off line and what he sees as one of the ways to help beBee grow and thrive in what now appears to have become, for a lot of people, a post-LinkedIn world.
But all that not withstanding, I believe what the All Business hive will offer is the benefit of true entrepreneurial business experience which many of us have a great deal of expertise in, and are willing to put to good use helping others.
This could become as valuable a networking hive as it will be an information source.
I also think that Randy is an excellent choice to work with Phil. I have only known him for a few months, but from reading his posts and comments, his business smarts are extremely formidable. And his sense of humour will nicely offset Phil’s grumpiness. (Just kidding, Phil’s not really grumpy at all.)
This feels like a really meeting of the minds, and I love it when that happens.
RANDY: Phil and I had some conversations. We agreed that those with real business experience were being smothered by a multitude of platitudes and regurgitated content. He didn’t want to risk losing input from that wealth of experience, and I agreed.
We wanted to inject a breath of fresh air into the stagnant “boredroom” and we agreed that beBee possessed the set of lungs it required. We haven’t been disappointed. We’re already beginning to feel the breeze rustle through the trees.
Business writing doesn’t have to be dry, stuffy, or written like a textbook,
It can be reflective and informative, full of examples of how experienced business people meet and overcome obstacles. They do it every day.
I’ve always felt that we gain more from experience than we do from being instructed or lectured. I’ll pay a lot more attention to someone with examples, based on personal experience, than to some canned article telling me how, in 10 easy steps, to become a better leader.
Most of the “business” writing on social media is pure hogwash. So are the never-ending platitudes that have been handed down over the generations. Ben Franklin must be rolling over in his grave, having received no royalties for quips such as “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
Well, deposit that penny somewhere else. The All Business hive doesn’t pay interest. It’s an investment firm and we’re looking forward to increasing returns, which we’re safeguarding with a top-notch security team.
In other words, the content must be relevant. It must speak to -- and not at – the intended audience.
So far, that’s exactly what we’re seeing. However, we’d like to see an increase in the number of experienced business professionals contributing to the hive.
We’ve baked the cake. Now it’s time for some others to help us spread some icing on it.
PHIL: A lot of people denigrate, if not actually despise, talk about experience on social media. Usually those who do, want to pose as experts, but don’t have anything to back that up. But for the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone wants to take business advice from people who don’t have even the most minimal experience running a business.
I know that if I wanted advice on being an entrepreneur or a leader, I’d look to Richard Branson or Ted Turner or Warren Buffet. Not to Joe the out-of-work sales clerk whose resume shows he’s never even led a cub scout troop. (That’s not to say there is anything wrong with being out of work, or a sales clerk. Only that it does not qualify one for telling others how to be entrepreneurs.)
Understand that everyone is welcome to join All Business, and to post comments to their hearts’ delight. It’s just that we require people who want to speak on business topics have some experience in the business activities about which they want to speak. For in that way, we hope to keep the noise down, and let the music push through.
I know that’s going to piss a lot of people off. But, hey, that’s the way the bull chips fall — as they say in Chicago.
JIM: Yes indeed, my friends. We’ve all got our grown-up pants on for this hive and I applaud that rather loudly.
I’m looking forward to posting here and sharing a lot of the insights I have developed over the years in advertising & brand creation. I know quite a few people who will come to beBee just to take advantage of what the All Business hive has to offer.
I also know this whole post might sound like a huge promo for the All Business hive. But then again, I, for one, feel strongly that the more people who know about it the better it will be for beBee.
And frankly what’s good for beBee is good for all of us. Funny how that works.
So that’s it for this session of He Said He Said (& He Said). We invite you to join both the All Business hive and The Beezers hive as well, where the best of both beBee hemispheres will be on display 24/7.
Afterword: JimMurray can, and always will speak for himself. However, you are free to post comments directed to either Jim or me, on either his post of HSHS No. 20, or mine. You'll always get an answer one way or the other.
Author's notes: If you found this interesting and would like to receive notifications of my writings on a regular basis, click the [FOLLOW] button on my beBee archive page. As a writer-friend of mine says, you can always change your mind later.
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About me, Phil Friedman: With 30 some years background in the marine industry, I've worn numerous hats — as a yacht designer, boat builder, marine operations and business manager, marine industry consultant, marine marketing and communications specialist, yachting magazine writer and editor, yacht surveyor, and marine industry educator. I am also trained and experienced in interest-based negotiation and mediation. In a previous life, I taught logic and philosophy at university.
The (optional-to-read) pitch: As a professional writer, editor, university educator, and speaker, with more than 1,000 print and digital publications, I've recently launched an online program for enhancing your expository writing: learn2engage — With Confidence. My mission is to help writers and would-be writers improve the clarity of their thought, master the logic of discussion, and strengthen their ability to deal with disagreement.
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