Advice for any Project

It turns out Vancouver is Canada’s number one hot spot for start-ups, and rates 15th in the world! Allie Turner, writing for Vancouver Magazine, canvassed a sampling of successful business people for their best advice to individuals considering a leap to entrepreneurship.

The excerpts that follow would be applicable to almost any new venture: businesses, of course, but also side hustles, new organizations, a charitable project, etc. Truly, the sky’s the limit!

Key

10 Vancouver Entrepreneurs Share Their Start-Up Secrets

February 21, 2018 by Allie Turner

  1. Jesse Nightingale, Founder, Handsome Mountain Pet Supplies: Reach out as much as possible. We typically have a lot of people close by that have the knowledge and know-how to help with particular areas of your business.
  2. Marissa Cristina, Founder, STIL Classics (formerly Design Love. Co.): I had a passion and I decided to follow it. The rest sort of just happened after I started to focus everything I had on it.
  3. Trevor Patterson, Founder, Landeau: The lessons I learned in doing, rather than researching, have proven to be the most impactful and useful in the day-to-day of running Landeau.
  4. Cody Green, Founder and Co-CEO, Canada Drives: Leverage your strengths and make sure your company is adding real value.
  5. Dustin Vioen, Founder, Joiiin: Aim to learn something new everyday. You have no excuse as there is so much great (and free) content available.
  6. Esme Smith, Co-Founder, People Footwear: Use social media as a platform to teach customers about your brand… work smarter, not harder.
  7. Shamil Hargovan, Co-Founder, Wiivv: Form your own point of view… and create your values, but get smarter as quick as you can.
  8. Aarmir Baig, Co-Founder, Director and CEO, Article: Think how we can do things differently, and more importantly, how we can do things better.
  9. Matt Smith, Founder, Later (formerly Latergramme): Set some very clear goals for your company and stay laser-focused. It’s incredibly easy to get distracted.
  10. Kenshi Arasaki, CEO, A Thinking Ape: Create an environment where [you] can make more effective decisions at all levels… a core value such as ‘have wonderful arguments’ has given people the freedom to discuss ideas based on merit.

Click through for the complete article.

~ Debbie MacLeod

Photo credit: genieslot on Morguefile.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!

Leading by Example: Laura Koch

I hope to inspire others to live more intentionally, connect with other humans more authentically, and give of themselves more honestly. Our passions are our gifts to the world. – Laura Koch

Being brave enough to take a first step towards anything new is always a challenge. The alternative, though, is to stay on the “path of least resistance,” even though it may be taking you in the wrong direction. If you’ve discovered that your path is not heading towards happiness and fulfillment – and you don’t know how to change that – then the Speakers at The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference may be exactly the people to meet. These individuals are leading by example with journeys of inspiration that highlight courage, creativity, and passion.


LAURA KOCH (Guest Speaker)

Laura KochLaura had checked all the boxes for the perfect life: graduate high school, go to university, get a job, climb the ladder, find a spouse, buy a house, have kids, and get a dog. Then, in 2012, something changed, and Laura, and husband Ryan, took some time to reflect on their lives, and to consider what they truly valued.

The resulting journey began with a lifestyle change, and ended with them in full pursuit of their passion: music. To date, Laura, with her band The Kwerks, has accomplished the following:

  • become a bandleader, songwriter, and touring performer;
  • written, recorded, and published 3 CDs;
  • reached the top 25 in the 2017 national CBC Searchlight Competition;
  • been featured in a Dominion Lending Centres national commercial campaign;
  • been nominated twice for Fraser Valley Music Awards; and
  • received the Excellence in Performance by a Female Artist Award at the 2017 Fraser Valley Music Awards.

My questions: How did your children react to the change in lifestyle? How did you deal with criticisms from others about your choices? Do you regret anything? What’s the best part of your new life?

These are just a few of the questions I’ll have for Laura during her morning presentation on May 26th. What will yours look like?

~ 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!

Engagement vs Workaholism

Being highly engaged in your work because it’s pleasurable, and fulfilling is not the same as being driven by a psychological need to work long hours, which describes a workaholic.

Workaholic

Another misconception is that if you love your job, you must be a workaholic. In fact, people who have high work engagement–a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind–are probably not workaholics. Engaged workers are driven to work because they find it intrinsically pleasurable–they truly enjoy it–while workaholics are driven to work because they feel an inner compulsion to do so. – Malissa Clark

Photo credit: mconners via morguefile.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!

Leading by Example: Mocha Ochoa-Nana

When you lead by example, you create a picture of what’s possible. People can look at you and say, “Well, if [she] can do it, I can do it.” When you lead by example, you make it easy for others to follow you. – Bruna Marinuzzi

Being brave enough to take a first step towards anything new is always a challenge. The alternative, though, is to stay on the “path of least resistance,” even though it may be taking you in the wrong direction. If you’ve discovered that your path is not heading towards happiness and fulfillment – and you don’t know how to change that – then the Speakers at The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference may be exactly the people to meet. These individuals are leading by example with journeys of inspiration that highlight courage, creativity, and passion.


MOCHA OCHOA-NANA (Panel Speaker)

Mocha Ochoa-NanaMocha is the Founder and CEO of the public relations firm The Oracle Group International in Washington D.C. She is a literary entrepreneur who passionately seeks best-selling author status for her clients by connecting with local, national, and global communities. She is also a literary activist who:

  • co-founded the NAACP Author Pavilion at their Annual Convention;
  • served as Diversity Chair for The National Book Festival;
  • created the International Women’s Book Club Summit, The Silver Spring Book Festival, and The Soul of South Florida Book Festival:
  • consulted on the development of The National Press Club’s Annual Book Fair, and the National Council of Negro Women’s Author Pavilion at the National Family Reunion; and
  • founded the Reading Across Continents initiative, an interactive cross-cultural literary exchange project connecting students, teachers, and authors in international book clubs, and book discussions around the world.

My questions: What kind of education/background/work experience did you have when you started your own company? How do you get a book festival off the ground? How do you create a global initiative with three different stakeholders? How the heck did you find the time for all of this?

These are just a few of the questions I’d love to ask Mocha during the afternoon panel session on May 26th. I bet you’ve got a list of your own!

~ 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!

Profit to Purpose: Context Creator

More opportunities coming for creative types, and big-thinkers in the corporate world?

World Economic Forum: Is the era of management over? by Andrew Chakhoyen

Regardless of how we describe the present, be it the digital epoch, the Fourth Industrial Revolution era, or the “second machine age”, what it boils down to is that all work that requires supervision is being outsourced to robots and algorithms. Non-standard, creative, experimental work, on the other hand, doesn’t naturally lend itself to management.

From Profit to Purpose

“Context Curator” is the term I’d like to introduce to the business dictionary. To lead a project is not to assign tasks and monitor performance, but to empower, to define the broader context, and to organically link the work of one team with the rest of the business… Curating the context in which high performers can excel – rather than attempting to manage them – is the key to unleashing their full potential.

To read the complete article, please click here.

~ 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!

Ask Angie About Volunteering

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. — William Shakespeare

Meaningful work can be found in almost any direction; the search is never a simple straight line. Volunteering for a cause you care about may help you to define your purpose. On the other hand, maybe the volunteer work becomes your purpose, or your purpose evolves into employment in the not-for-profit sector. The beautiful thing about volunteer work is that while it may benefit us personally, giving freely of our time to help others is the better part of it. And, if you think there are limitations on the type of volunteer work available, think again!

Volunteeer word cloud

GoVolunteer.ca began its life in 1943 as the Central Volunteer Bureau of Vancouver, and has expanded into an organization that connects volunteers with not-for-profits throughout BC and Alberta. While it still provides volunteer matching services, its organizational focus has shifted to include the professional development of not-for-profit leaders. Here’s their list for areas of interest:

  • Arts & Culture
  • Education & Research
  • Immigrant Services
  • LGBTTIQQ2SA
  • Sport & Recreation
  • Capacity Building
  • Environment & Animals
  • Indigenous Services
  • Philanthropic
  • Volunteerism
  • Community Development & Housing
  • Family & Children
  • International Development
  • Religion & Spirituality
  • Women’s Services
  • Disability Services
  • Health, Social Services
  • Law, Advocacy & Politics
  • Seniors
  • Youth Development

Instead of GoVolunteer.ca, you may choose to contact your organization of choice directly, or the regional volunteer bureau in your community. Depending on the type of position, you may be required to complete a Criminal Record, or Vulnerable Sector Check. For more information, please check the RCMP website.

A partial list of Volunteer Bureaus:

Angie QuaaleAngie Quaale, entrepreneur, elected Councillor, and one of our Panel Speakers at The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference, is also a longtime volunteer. Angie has been a board member with the BC chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, the Pacific Northwest BBQ Association, the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Langley, and the Langley Community Farmers Market.

If you have any questions about community service, Angie is the one to ask! Listen to her story, and speak with her directly on May 26th, 2018!

~ 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!

Love Your Mondays: Vancouver Workshop Session

Makenzie Chilton's WorkshopLove Your MondaysMakenzie Chilton will be one of four Panel Speakers at our Fort Langley Conference in May. She’s a great example of the kind of person for whom this event has been designed. Makenzie went to university, found employment in her field and loved it; then was laid off not once, not twice, but three times! She took a position in a related field, but hated it, and didn’t know what to do next. She thought she was stuck.

This is where creativity stepped in. Makenzie took the best parts of her education and work experience, and crafted herself her perfect job. Today, as a career coach she helps others through the same career-change process. On February 17, Makenzie will hold a Live WTF?! Workshop for a limited number of participants at Vancouver’s The Juice Truck Store. If you’re booked up for The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference, check out Makenzie’s session next week.

Makenzie Chilton, one of four Panel Speakers, will present WTF should you do with your life?! at The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference on Saturday, May 26, 2018 at the Fort Langley Community Hall. Register NOW for Early Bird rates!


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!

What’s a Side Hustle?

Written for, by, and about the most progressive business leaders, Fast Company inspires readers to think beyond traditional boundaries, lead conversations, and create the future of business… to chronicle how changing companies create and compete, to highlight new business practices, and to showcase the teams and individuals who are inventing the future and reinventing business. – Fast Company

I’ve been receiving Fast Company’s daily newsletter, now, for more than two years. I came across it on Twitter, and even though workplace issues, and co-worker relations are no longer relevant for me, their articles cover just about everything else, too. I’m especially interested in items about the gig economy, being a successful digital nomad, and creating the career that suits me best.

Fast Company covers so much ground that they actually put together over 2 dozen newsletters on a daily/weekly basis. Subject areas include: big ideas, leadership, business news, productivity, creativity, philanthropy, virtual reality, etc. in the worlds of business, entertainment, fashion, technology, financial, and more. Please note this is not a paid endorsement; it’s my explanation for why I link to so many business/entrepreneurial articles – and why I’m doing it again, today.

BC Chamber of Commerce

Side Hustle: originally, something that brought in extra income outside of your regular job; trending, a self-initiated project, still outside of your main job, but intended to become your full-time business.

If your dream of purposeful work involves self-employment, then a side hustle may be the safest, and most cost effective method to get a business off the ground. In 5 Tips For Launching A Successful Side Hustle (For Real This Time), Ryan Robinson interviewed 5 successful entrepreneurs for their advice, and his article features one best tip from each of them. Business advice is readily available online via newsletters and blogs, through local organizations like Chambers of Commerce, and face-to-face at networking events.

Bryan GidinskiSpeaking of face-to-face, Bryan Gidinski, one of our panel speakers at The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has established a successful side hustle. An educator in the Burnaby school system, Bryan is also the founder of Lost Boys Consulting. Listen to his story, and ask him questions directly on May 26th, 2018!

~ 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!

What Does the World Need?

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Mahatma Gandhi

If you had a chance to read Sunday’s post, Discovering Your Purpose, you’ll have noticed that each of the three linked articles outlines a different process to help you identify your purpose. Whichever approach you choose to follow, Constantino’s, Harary’s, Held’s, or another one entirely, the common thread between all of them is action. At some point in your journey, the first step has to be taken. What might it be?

Hypothetically, let’s say your passion is books (like mine), but beyond knowing that, you’re not sure how that could ever evolve into a purpose. So, you have to look closer. What, exactly, about books makes you so passionate?

  • Is it reading? Are you passionate about literacy, about the value of public libraries and community spaces? Do you like the idea of volunteering in schools as a paired reader, as a fundraiser for books and literacy programs? Do you want to work in a library, with school groups, in programming, with ESL learners, with seniors?
  • Is it the written word? Do you believe in the beauty, and the power of language. Do you value well-written communications? Are you a writer? Do you want to be? Do you want to share your skills with individuals who may have missed out, or use them in aid of a particular cause?
  • Is it the book itself? Do you love the art and craft that went into creating the finished product: the selection of paper, the type face, the illustrations, the dust jacket? Maybe, it’s the package in its entirety, it’s historical value? Do archives, museums, historical sites, and special collections libraries interest you? Or how about bookbinding, printing, or book arts?

Volunteers

One of the best ways to figure out the details, for whatever your passion, is to volunteer. It will cost you nothing, except your time. You’ll have the opportunity to meet like-minded people, to learn more about your particular interest, and how you can help it flourish. Almost all organizations, associations, community groups, not-for-profits, and charities, etc. consider volunteers to be one of their most valuable assets.

In Constantino’s article, he said there are three questions to ask: What do I love? What am I good at? What does the world need? Right now, the world needs just about everything.

~ 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!

Discovering Your Purpose

The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek, therefore, not to find out who you are, seek to determine who you want to be. – Neal Donald Walsch

Increasingly, individuals are feeling a restlessness, a boredom, perhaps even a dissatisfaction with their jobs, and/or the direction their lives have taken. Their days may look exactly like what they’d hoped for in high school, or they may be carving out a totally different path because ‘life happened.’ In any case, something is missing, or it’s not what they thought, or their goals have changed.

Each of the articles below defines purpose differently, discusses alternate ways to identify it, and each of them are worth reading. 

  1. Want to Find Your Purpose? Stop Looking for It. Start Living with It: “Your purpose relates to your talents, but you can’t think your way to living with purpose. You find it in action.”
  2. How to Read the 3 Signs Telling You Your Purpose in Life: “The key is finding where your abilities and personal drive intersect the needs of others… by answering the following three questions: What do I love? What am I good at? What does the world need?”
  3. 7 Steps to Find Meaning in Your Work: “Establish the core values… that are non-negotiable. These are the traits you want to be known and remembered for… the adjectives you want your friends and colleagues to use when describing you.”

At The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference, audience members will hear the stories of six individuals who used their talents and skills, who seized available opportunities, and who then incorporated purposeful work into their own lives.

~ Debbie MacLeod

Photo credit: Julia Caesar on Lifehack.org


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!