First steps

You see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. The are, simply put, the best of places. – Jen Campbell, The Bookshop Book

Let’s be honest. Reinventing your life, from the ground up, can be a scary proposition. You may have a strong support system in place, and sufficient financial resources, but you’ll still need a plan, or at least a direction, as well as the courage to take a first step. Whether your first step is huge, resulting in an immediately life-changing 180-degree turn, or a smaller one that focuses on preparation for the future, each of us approaches the process from within the framework of our own skills, experience, and knowledge.

My first steps towards opening a small town bricks-and-mortar bookstore specializing in history began with Community Futures. I knew any kind of retail outlet in my location would be challenging because rural communities, in general, are in decline, and retail outlets everywhere are battling the rise of online shopping. However, I also knew that most specialty bookstores already had e-commerce sites that accounted for most of their sales. With this in mind, the first objective in my journey became to set up an online bookstore selling used, out-of-print, and collectible books.

Niche BookstoreCommunity Futures offered an introductory course on starting a small business. Sessions included webinars, seminars, and one-on-one sessions with a business development officer. As I progressed through each module, I was tasked with researching, and defining a particular aspect of my niche ‘bookstore.’ This involved a lot of time, and tough decision-making, but it was an incredibly productive exercise. Once I had defined my business, and identified the online platforms and tools I’d need, I had to learn the business of books: the terminology and how to catalogue, valuation and pricing, their history and culture, etc. This has been the best part.

Each one of us who ventures into new territory will need to educate themselves in some way, on at least one aspect of their project. Because I am the way I am, I chose to learn the basics of starting a business from a professional. I opted to operate online first because I’m comfortable with technology, and I could forge ahead with minimal start up costs. Books are one of my most favourite passions, and to learn the book business, I can’t just take a course. I will need to research, to read, to visit antiquarian book stores, to attend conferences, and book exhibitions, and to learn by doing. I feel like I’ve won the lottery!

~ Debbie MacLeod


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

(Poetry + Data) + Creative Spark

Poetry in Data is an experiment.

At first glance, poetry and data are very different things. They inhabit different worlds and speak different languages. So what happens when they collide? Could they fuse into something interesting? – Poetry in Data

Escape velocity by JStone

Escape Velocity

A #datapoem using data from @NASA via @Poetry in Data


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

Early Bird Tickets on Sale Now!

Saturday, May 26, 2018 | Fort Langley Community Hall

Conference Details | Facebook Event

REGISTER HERE!

Early Bird: January 18 – March 18, 2018 | $50 + $4.16 fee

Standard: March 19 – May 25, 2018 | $65 + 5.23 fee


CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Speakers

EYOÄLHA BAKER: Photographer, artist, and community muralist who believes joyful art contributes to positive social change. Joy Ride will outline Eyoälha’s personal journey to a place where success is malleable, and ever changing, and reflective of the positivity she can share with others.

Say what? “Feel the fear, and do it anyway.”

MAKENZIE CHILTON: Career coach, entrepreneur, and counsellor who has, herself, navigated through the uncertainty and indecision involved with a career reinvention. WTF should you do with your life? is Makenzie’s signature coaching program, to which she will add never-before-shared tips, specifically for our attendees.

Say what? “Finding your passion can leave you floundering in a Google vortex.”

BRYAN GIDINSKI: Educator, and writer will describe how an impromptu presentation opportunity became a series of engaging workshops. In Lost Boys: Finding Innovation by Accident, Bryan shows us that receptivity to change, and the support of people who will challenge us with their questions, and their critical feedback are essential for change.

Say what? “Take risks that might not turn out perfectly.”

LAURA KOCH: Musician, and band leader who exchanged her life as a homeschooling mom, and birth doula for that of a professional performer. From Suburban Mom to Rockstar – Trading in the Cultural Norms for an Intentional, Passion-Filled Life is Laura and her husband’s journey of self-examination based upon their core values, and a desire to give of themselves more authentically.

Say what? “Feel inspired by the notion of NOT following the status quo.”

MOCHA OCHOA-NANA: Marketing professional, and literary activist who will give us tools to lay the foundation for moving forward. In Discovering Purpose Through Your Story, Mocha will encourage us to examine our life experience – both the good and the bad – so that we can discover our purpose, and the passion that will ignite it.

Say what? “What makes your heart sing?”

ANGIE QUAALE: Entrepreneur, volunteer, and elected Councillor who will show us how every experience is an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to meet people who make it all worthwhile. Angie will present The Evolution of an Entrepreneur, a testament to the power of an open mind, and a willingness to make mistakes.

Say what? “Say yes.”


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

#WhenIGrowUp Wednesdays: Jeff Bezos

#WhenIGrowUp Wednesdays features stories of people who reinvented themselves, or who came to a crossroads and chose a different path, or who rediscovered, or returned to the pursuit of their youthful passion.

Star Trek | Wall Street | E-Commerce | Aerospace

There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy. We will need to invent, which means we will need to experiment. – Jeff Bezos

Yes. Today we feature the Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, famous philanthropist, and one of the richest billionaires in the world, but this post won’t really cover that part of his life. Instead, it’s a look at Bezos’ childhood obsessions, his background, and the company he created to further his dream of human exploration in space.

Bezos was a tinkerer and inventor from an early age. His mother remembers him as a toddler trying to dismantle his crib with a screwdriver. In his garage laboratory, he created a solar cooker that used tinfoil, and an umbrella, and he was always wiring up electrical contraptions. As a teenager, he worked at McDonald’s one summer, which prompted him to start his own business the following summer: two-week long camp sessions for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students where they studied black holes, and wrote simple computer programs. His attraction to computers resulted in a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University in 1986.

Jeff Bezos, 1999

Photo: Bezos in his office, 1999

However, not only did he have an interest in computers and electronics, Bezos was also captivated by the idea of humans in space. Maybe, this was his maternal grandfather’s influence. Lawrence Preston Gise had been employed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission at a time when the Russians had just launched Sputnik 1, and the Americans were researching, and prototyping all sorts of military technologies. Bezos spent a lot of time with his retired grandfather during summers at the maternal homestead in Texas.

Probably, the Cold War culture of the time also played a part in his dreams of space. Bezos was a committed Trekkie, and would re-create the television episodes with his friends, often taking on the role of Spock, or the Computer. He had his summer camp students read selections from Dune, and Watership Down, and his yearbook entry quoted Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Bezos was named Valedictorian of his high school graduating class, and interviewed by the Miami Herald. His interest in space is described here:

… he wanted to build space hotels, amusement parks and colonies for 2 million or 3 million people who would be in orbit. ‘The whole idea is to preserve the earth.’ The goal was to be able to evacuate humans. The planet would become a park.

Blue Origin's New ShepardAfter graduation from Princeton, Bezos worked on Wall Street, then moved to Seattle, and founded the online behemoth Amazon.com. In 2000, Blue Origin, a human spaceflight company, was launched in secret financed from the sale of some of Bezos’ Amazon stocks. Bezos went public with the company in 2006, and in 2015, Blue Origin’s reusable space vehicle, the New Shepard, was successfully launched, reaching its test altitude, and returning to the launch site via a vertical landing. Bezos still dreams of colonizing the solar system; New Shepard’s capsule is built for six. It’s all right here.

Sources: Biography, Famous People, Washington Post, and Wikipedia.

~ Debbie MacLeod


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

The Creative Spark

Creativity is just connecting ideas that haven’t been connected before.

via Greg Alder: Creativity

via Greg Alder


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

Make Moments

There is more to life than increasing its speed – Marie Douglas

Marie Douglas

via @Marie Douglas


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

More on the New Year

Instead of hiding from our fears, let’s climb over them. Let’s be bold in ways we haven’t before… Isn’t it time to surround ourselves with what inspires us most? – JJ Yosh

JJ Yosh is a on a mission to change the world through media. Find out more at www.jjyosh.com.


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

Procrastination

So, to sum up Pychyl’s research on our attitudes about procrastination: “we think we’re having more fun, but we’re not”; “we think we’re not affecting future self, but we are”; and “it’s all about giving in to feel good,” which—see point number one—doesn’t actually work that well. – Josh Jones, Open Culture

Last week, I laid out my plans for 2018. Actually, just the plan for making plans for 2018, but, to be honest, I haven’t started, yet. The brand-new notebook has not even been opened. The thought of starting fresh is exciting to me; planning comes naturally to me; my family supports me. There will be virtually no start-up costs, and time, also, is not an issue.

What’s holding me back?

Why are we so quick to make a New Year’s resolution, but so slow to follow through on it? Why is it easier to throw our dreams to the wind?

Timothy PychylTimothy Pychyl is an expert on procrastination. He is an author, an award-winning professor, and the Director of the Centre for Initiatives in Education at Carleton University, which includes the Procrastination Research Group (PRG). Pychyl, and his graduate students have been studying “the breakdown in volition action” – procrastination – since the 1990s. This article on the Open Culture website is a great summary of Pychyl’s findings on the why of putting things off, and includes an hour-long video of Pychyl presenting his findings on student procrastination.

… we put things off not because we are morally deficient, or “lazy,” but because our emotional brains are trying to cope. We feel some significant degree of fear or anxiety about the task at hand. The guilt and shame that comes with not accomplishing the task compounds the problem, and leads to further procrastination. – Josh Jones, Open Culture

Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of ridicule… sound familiar?

~ Debbie MacLeod


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

#WhenIGrowUp Wednesdays: Jonah Peretti

#WhenIGrowUp Wednesdays features stories of people who reinvented themselves, or who came to a crossroads and chose a different path, or who rediscovered, or returned to the pursuit of their youthful passion.

SCHOOL TEACHER | MASTER’S STUDENT | INTERNET ENTREPRENEUR

You should feel badly if you’re doing something that isn’t the right fit for you, and isn’t the thing that you’re passionate about, and doesn’t fit your strengths, and the things you’re interested in doing. – Jonah Peretti

Jonah PerettiJonah Peretti’s name may not be immediately recognizable to the general public, but mention The Huffington Post, or Buzzfeed, and anyone who is active online will probably nod their heads. Peretti was a founding member of both of these internet success stories. He grew up in California, received a degree in environmental studies, then taught at a college prep school in New Orleans. It was when he was back at university studying for his Masters’ at the MIT Media Lab, that he created his first viral sensation.

It was early 2001, and Peretti was procrastinating. Instead of working on his Masters’ thesis, he was surfing the web. He’d heard that Nike was accepting online orders for customizable shoes, where a person’s name could be placed under the Nike swoosh. Some words had been blacklisted, but Peretti kept trying until, finally, the word sweatshop went through.

When Nike rejected the order the following day, because sweatshop was “inappropriate slang,” a series of emails were exchanged. In the end, Peretti created a cut-and-paste of the correspondence, and emailed it out to his friends who, in turn, emailed it to their friends, and it made history as the first forwarded email to go viral. Jonah Peretti ended up on the Today Show with a Nike PR executive and Katie Couric! For the full story, google Nike sweatshop email. Yes, it’s actually a thing.

Buzzfeed

The viral email experience was important to Peretti for two reasons: Firstly, it was the beginning of his fascination with how content was used by people to connect with each other, to express themselves politically and culturally, and to combat loneliness. Secondly, it introduced him to his future business partners. The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed used evolving technology, including algorithms and data measurement, to communicate through content. Today, Peretti continues as CEO at Buzzfeed, and is proud to have refused a buyout offer from Disney.

If you love that, if you love the struggle, and that’s part of why you do it, it also makes selling a company a lot less appealing. – Jonah Peretti

Sources: Business Insider, CNBC, Wikipedia

~ Debbie MacLeod


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

If Not Now, When?

If you could do anything right now, what would you do? – Jeet Banerjee

Turns out, age is not an excuse. Neither is “no time” and “no money.”

Circle Saturday, May 26, 2018 on your calendar. This is going to be your day to meet others who feel as you do – that it’s time to stop thinking about following your dream. It’s time to do it!


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!