Monthly Archives: October 2014

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love NaNoWriMo

Okay, so that title’s not entirely accurate, but in NaNoWriMo, you can’t edit while writing (save that for December; writing’s in November). So, in that spirit, I’m not going to edit this post as I go. I’ll leave that heading, orphans and weird sentence structure just as they are, for good or ill, this post will be done in record time – just like NaNoWriMo intends.

I’ve “won” National Novel Writing Month every year since 2007. So have thousands of others. That’s because NaNoWriMo isn’t a contest against each other, but a challenge for yourself. It’s simple and daunting: write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November.

That’s 1,667 words per day. Round up to 2,000 to give yourself a bit of a buffer.

You need the same skills for NaNoWriMo that you need to get most things done in life. And guess what? Skill in writing isn’t one of them. No, it’s mostly about sticking to it, wanting it, rolling with the unexpected and seeking support when you need it.

Continue reading How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love NaNoWriMo

Canary Trade Mark Assistance

I was once a trade mark examiner. I left to launch Heroic Coaching & Consulting. Yet, I still had lots of trade mark knowledge to offer. I gave trade mark advice under the Heroic brand, and it was well-received. Enough to tell me it deserved just as much of a focus as the coaching.

So today, I announce the online launch of Canary Trade Mark Assistance.

Canary Trade Mark Assistance

You may have heard about this already, thanks to the soft launch last month. But nothing feels real till it has an official Facebook page, right? ;)

Feel free to head over and ‘like’ the page for plenty of free trade mark tips.

So, what is Canary Trade Mark Assistance?

Canary Trade Mark Assistance is my new brand to cover all the trade mark advice, information, filing and workshops I offer. All that trade mark stuff under a dedicated brand, vision and direction. New brand, same friendly service and trade mark experience.

Why split the trade mark and coaching sides of my business?

Well, one big reason is so I can offer a more coherent face on both sides. For instance, this post is the last time you’ll see Heroic posting about trade marks. If anything appears again about trade marks, it’ll be cross promotion from Canary.

In this way, I can focus Heroic on what it’s really all about: coaching and personal development, particularly for geeks and nerds. And I can focus Canary on helping big and small Australian businesses understand and secure their trade mark rights.

What’s the coaching lesson here?

Be clear in your communication. Heroic providing trade marks and coaching was muddled. Now, using two brands, I can unleash the full potential of Heroic and Canary, separately.

So, if you’ve been here for the coaching, please stick around. If you come for trade marks, head over to for a more focused, more dedicated trade mark home.

Either way, it’s all still me, so rest easy knowing the same great service and friendly attitude will carry across, no matter which side you meet me on.


Jarrod Farquhar-Nicol
Director of Heroic Coaching & Consulting
Director of Canary Trade Mark Assistance

Forward Thinking: Making Use Of The Quiet Times

Here I am, on a grey and quiet day with not a whole lot of work to do. And I’m working from home, so it’s the perfect chance for snuggling up in bed with a good 3DS game.

Yet, I’m not doing that. I’m making sure that I won’t be too busy later on.

I’ve written blog posts for the rest of the month. Scheduled Facebook posts, too.

I’ve emailed some contacts to arrange meet ups for a few weeks time, rather than scrabbling at the last minute to fit them in.

I’ve tidied and cleaned my workspace and surrounding areas.

I’m about to go make a salad I’ll eat today and tomorrow.

I’m not the best at this, by far, yet doing it is so beneficial and freeing.

Here’s why:

  1. End the cycle of free now, busy later
  2. Harness time and use it on your terms
  3. Be productive instead of bored

Continue reading Forward Thinking: Making Use Of The Quiet Times

Add Friend: How I found real friendship online

I haven’t had conversations this deep with some “real life” friends in years.

Life. Feminism. Politics. Health. Charity. Religion. Penny Arcade. Pins.

We’ve chatted about all these things and more for the last several months. His username’s a string of insensible characters giving no real impression of the guy behind the handle.

This article is a small tribute to how real and lasting random connections online can become. Towards the end, I’ll give you a few tips for developing these friendships.

True Friendship
True Friendship

Continue reading Add Friend: How I found real friendship online

Fail Forward: Failure is a door, not a brick wall

Fail forward is a term I first heard in tabletop roleplaying. It means that when you fail, something interesting should happen that moves the story forward. In life, we should look at our ‘failures’ as opportunities, not the end of the road. Failure is a door, not a brick wall. It gives options and clarity, even it’s not what we would have hoped for.

In this article, I’ll share some examples and lessons around failing forward, including an embarrassing story of my own that turned out great! Continue reading Fail Forward: Failure is a door, not a brick wall