Show Notes

Hi all Rob Cairns here. I am the CEO/Chief Creator of Amazing Ideas at I want to thank each one of for being part of this journey. It has been an amazing one.

50 Episodes. I did not know if I would still be going at this point.

Before we go any further I want to dedicate this episode to my late Aunt Linda Cairns. My Aunt Linda just lost her battle to dementia on Nov 1st. My thoughts go out to her, My Uncle Ron, his kids Jamie and Jeffrey, their families and the entire Cairns and Hogg clans.

RIP Aunt Linda and as my aunt would say Give Yourself a Hug.

Now on to this week’s episode.

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To celebrate Episode 50 I want to take you down my business journey and my podcast journey. I want to share some insigh.

Some lessons learned and the experiences I have had.

I hope you enjoy this very special episode.

My Technology journey started many years ago. When I was young my Dad purchased a radio shack colour computer. It hooked up to the tv and had 4k of memory. Think about that!

When my Dad was not using it I started to teach myself Basic programming. That really started it all.

My Dad was a company treasurer for an insurance company called Morris and Mackenzie Insurance Brokers. His company purchased an Apple II plus for him and a software package that was revolutionary called Visicalc. 

Visicalc was the first spreadsheet program and a big reason the computer resolution happened. After came Lotus 1-2-3 and Excel. How things have changed.

I still have that original Visicalc office in my office today.

I also learned at McDonald High School in Montreal on a TRS-80 model 3. This was a step up in the world of technology.


Then my family moved from Pincourt in the Montreal area to Markham Ontario just outside of Toronto. I then had to take computer science on an IBM 1130. Back to bubble cards and punch cards. This was a step back and I wondered what I Was doing. 

Hmm this was about to get interesting. Did I really want to do this?

Well MDHS got with the program. They got IBM computers and a network system that was called JANET which stood for Just Another Network. This was developed by Waterloo University. They also had their own versions of Cobol and Fortran.

So my journey continued and then I graduated high school then off to Centennial College in Toronto. I took a Business Administration course majoring in Programmer/Analyst. In this course, it was technology top-heavy. I became very good at COBOL programming and many other things in technology. I actually graduated on the Dean’s list and number 2 in my class.

This was where I really realized that I had a thirst for learning and learning never ends.

While at college I had several jobs in related fields. The first was working for my Dad at Morris and Mackenzie Insurance Brokers. I spent a couple of summers doing special accounting reports in Lotus 1-2-3. Back then Lotus was the dominant spreadsheet program.

The second job I had was working for the RCMP at their downtown division. I worked for an SGT. Michaud doing specialized reporting in Dbase III Plus. This was the dominate Database program of its time. It was an Ashton Tate program.

Despite Lotus 1-2-3 and DBase not being around anymore, they were pioneers in their field and pushed other vendors to do amazing things.

After I graduate school I took my first programming job at Allstate Life Insurance Canada. I worked on the implementation team of a new life insurance system called CLOAS.

From Allstate, I went to the Independent Order of Foresters where after 2 ½ years I was laid off for the first time. 

Frankly, I needed a change this early in my career. I was not enjoying Cobol programming at all. I always wanted to work on personal computers.

I ended up going back to school at CDI College in Networking and PC Work. That lead to a job at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto supporting the network and computers. I finally was doing something I really liked.

I ended up surviving a hospital merger and in the end, I spent 21 years in health care in Toronto. Not bad for what was supposed to be a temporary job.

That ended 9 ½ years ago. I then started my own web development agency which moved into a full-scale marketing agency. I very quickly realized web sites are only one tool in the marketing toolbox.

Today my agency supports everything from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. What a ride this has been.

The Podcast Journey

I have been a fan of podcasts for as long as I can remember. Before Podcasts, I was a big fan of AM Talk Radio so the transition made sense.

I got to the point where I was burned out from blogging. I needed to try something new so jumped into the world of podcasting just over a year ago. I started with two podcasts that were as follows:

  1. The SDM Interview Show.
  2. With Our CEO

I realized having two different podcasts was a lot of work so I combined them and rebranded the podcast to the SDM Business, Marketing and WordPress Show. I have recently shortened the brand and rebranded to The SDM Show.

I love podcasting. I am going to keep at it and looking to improve all the time.

So this is my journey. How I progressed to building an agency and then into the world of marketing. I bring an interesting mix of being very technical and having a strong marketing background. This is very unusual. and gives me an edge in dealing with clients.

I continue to learn all the time. I am not a know it all but a learn it all. My thirst for learning is greater today then it ever has been.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me, my business journey and my podcast journey.

Before I go, give yourself a hug and I love you all.

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