Return of the Artisans

Making stuff used to be the grubby alternative to office work. But now a new breed of makers are quitting good jobs to get their hands dirty. – The World at Work, Reuters

To view the video, please click here.

Leading by Example: Stacey Wakelin

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. – Helen Keller

STACEY WAKELIN (Founder From Passion to Purpose Events)

Stacey’s life changed direction in the fall of 2014. Motivated by the speakers at a Seattle event, and inspired by their courage, Stacey realized the time had come for her to move in the direction of her dreams. Her passion is, and has always been, to help people – and sidetracked by life, as many of us are – she still didn’t have the degree in social work she assumed was essential to making a difference.

But, with examples from the 2014 conference fresh in her mind, Stacey decided to create her own path! Take a look at what she’s accomplished without that degree – using her available resources, her skills and talents, and with the support of her family and friends:

  • Compassion 604: The Compassion Collective, a loosely organized group of co-workers and friends who get together semi-regularly to help people experiencing homelessness.
  • Creativity Counts, a series of crafting workshops, primarily for refugees, through the Literacy through Arts & Crafts program at Options Community Services.
  • BC Families for Inclusivity, a group whose “core belief is that every human being, without exception, deserves to feel safe, accepted and appreciated” and to that end voice their support for, and promote the inclusion of “LGBTQ youth and community members who face intolerance or discrimination.”

Bridges out of Poverty

A few months ago, Stacey attended a Bridges out of Poverty workshop, which provides insights into, and strategies aimed at reducing poverty. She came away from the experience feeling it was really important that more people in the community have an opportunity to attend one of these day-long workshops. On Tuesday, June 12, in Langley, Stacey Wakelin and the AYAM Civic Society will host a Bridges out of Poverty workshop led by Gayle Montgomery and Kim Godin.

For people who work or volunteer in the not-for-profit sector, social services, education, etc., this day-long workshop is for you! For more info, to attend, or to sponsor the seminar, please click here.

~ Debbie MacLeod

Connecting the Wrong Dots

Listen to silence. It has so much to say. Rumi

I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I knew exactly which path I was on, and exactly where I was going – but now I believe I connected the wrong dots.

My passions are books, history, and travel. Absolutely no question that I love these things; I’ve been crazy about them for the past 45 years! I suspect, though, that within these large loves, I’ve picked the wrong connecting thread. In fact, I know that this is what happened because even though I’ve already set up the preliminary framework online, and rearranged the house to create a dedicated work space, I’m stalled. I can’t seem to move forward.

I can’t move forward because I keep thinking of an alternate path to take, one that is also rooted in books, history, and travel, but mixes them in a different way. I’ve spent much time reflecting on what I want to do, how I want to do it, and now, why I’m hesitating. I suspect I was sidetracked by opting for the route that will more readily produce an income. I feel, though, that if I continue with book selling as the primary path, it will be a betrayal, a defeat of the purpose of reinventing my life.

Books to Travel

So. I’m starting over, again. Collecting and selling books about historic trails will be a side hustle, travelling the trails myself, and possibly with others will by the main thing.

And, I feel so much better having said that out loud!

~ Debbie MacLeod

Action Looks Like This

This year, my #onelittleword is going to be ACTION. I’m hoping for new challenges, opportunities, adventures, and change-making. – Stacey Wakelin, January 8, 2018

Stacey Wakelin
Stacey Wakelin

In January, I wrote about New Year’s resolutions and procrastination, and how, for so many of us, those two words go hand-in-glove, which means, then, that we never really move beyond the wish-stage of a resolution. Of course, on the other side of that, are people like Stacey, who declare their intentions i.e. ACTION (see above), banish procrastination from their vocabularies, and set the stage to make a change.

For almost 4 years, I’ve devoted much of my spare time to creating opportunities to give back to my community. Now, it’s time to serve in a new way. Public service carries with it a huge responsibility. It’s a challenge that I respect, and my sole motivation, as it has always been, is to strengthen this community. – Stacey Wakelin

Stacey has followed her heart with commitment, with honesty and integrity, and with joy. In retrospect, her journey since 2014, could not have led her to any other place than where she is right now. Yesterday, on May 1, 2018, she announced her candidacy for the Township of Langley Council. Now, how exciting is that!

Stacey invites any woman who may be considering an election run in their future to step up as a volunteer and join her journey. – Media Release

~ Debbie MacLeod

A Reason for Being

… more and more people are falling victim to ennui. This dreadful feeling of bitter disillusionment stems from the loss of meaning in their lives… Perhaps rather than happiness, which is generally momentary and fleeting, we should seek a purposeful life. – Philip Perry, Searching for meaning in your life? This Japanese concept can help you find it.

“What do you love? What are you good at? What does the world need from you? What can you get paid for?” To read Philip Perry’s article, please click here.

Ikigai


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!

Sharing Your Passion

… your passion is… an interest, or an activity that fills your heart with joy, and it’s the dream most closely connected to your heart… when you immerse yourself in your passion, you will find your purpose. It will manifest itself in the way you choose to share it with other people. – Define Passion & Purpose For Me

If you’re just not able to reinvent your life at this point, or to start a side hustle that focuses on your passion, but you really want to do something in that direction, I came across an article that might help. In Gwen Moran‘s 10 Ways To Change The World, Even When You Think You’re Too Busy, she connects giving back to helping your favorite causes, and to making a difference, both of which figure hugely in the idea of purposeful work.

10 ways to change the world

We talked about volunteer work in an earlier post, and listed a bunch of resources for individuals living in the Lower Mainland. Moran lists volunteering, as well, and specifically encourages people “to look at how you can devote a few hours of what you know you do well to an organization that matters to you.” The additional list items are as follows:

  1. Focus your giving: There are three general categories of gift giving, the third of which is “where your values and personal interests align.” Moran suggests evaluating where your gift giving dollars are going, and adjust as necessary for the biggest impact.
  2. Team up: Does your employer have a social responsibility team? This is a great way to give back, and encourage others to work along with you.
  3. Look at your ties: Ties refers to your network, the people you know. For example, “Making connections and helping organizations find the people who can assist with the advice and resources they need is invaluable.”
  4. Give a gift: Moran suggests a number of different ways that presents can become a “gift of giving back.”
  5. Check your organization: Will your employer match your donations? “You may find that each donation you give to a qualified nonprofit could be doubled.”
  6. Grow an endeavor: A few organizations finance business start-ups in developing countries. For example, since 2007, Kaytlyn Sanders has contributed to Kiva.org, and “has grown her investment of $548 into $1,650 and has loaned money to 66 women and groups.”
  7. Shop right: “Look for brands that give a portion of their proceeds to charitable causes or which have a ‘buy one, give one’ model.”
  8. Use your voice: Advocate. “Add your voice to their cause” through lobbying, letter writing, phone calls, etc.
  9. Give blood“Giving blood is the ultimate pay-it-forward opportunity. It just may save a life.”

To read the entire article, please click here.

~ Debbie MacLeod

Photo: Benjamin Combs/Unsplash


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!

Define Passion & Purpose For Me

Really, when you think about it, the words passion and purpose are fairly ambiguous, imprecise, possibly even shadowy terms. As organizers, you’re probably wondering what Stacey and I were even thinking when we coined our tag line:

PURSUE YOUR PASSION | DISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE | LIVE YOUR DREAM

We began with the assumption, based upon our own experiences, and the stories and insights of our friends and family members that most of a person’s big decisions are made within the framework of societal norms, and family expectations. Laura Koch, Suburban Mom to Rockstar, summed it up so eloquently here: “graduate high school, go to university, get a job, climb the ladder, find a spouse, buy a house, have kids, and get a dog.”

That is not to say, of course, that our journeys don’t become personalized by our lived experiences, our likes and dislikes, and our talents and skills; but when life happens it’s also very easy to lose sight of, and eventually give up on the crazy dreams we secretly nurture.

STOP. RIGHT. THERE.

Why are they crazy? Who said your dreams were crazy? Who told you your dream was too impossibly big? Or too different, and nobody would buy it, or visit it, or read it? Who said there was no money in it, or that we don’t do that in this family? Challenging someone’s dream doesn’t even have to happen in words. It can happen through indifference, or through subtle sabotage that undermines a person’s confidence, their self-esteem, their belief in themselves.

Think about this:

  • Mocha Ochoa-Nana grew up in Edmonton, AB. She currently lives in Washington, DC, and is the Founder and CEO of The Oracle Group International, a literary PR firm. Her clients are world-famous authors. Do you think she believed her dream was too impossibly big?
  • Eyoälha Baker is a Vancouver-based artist, photographer, and muralist with an international reputation. She’s currently the Artist-in-Residence at the Palm Springs Cultural Center in the Coachella Valley, CA. Nobody stopped her from believing in herself, and the possibility of making a living from her art.

Start

Pursuing your passion is, quite simply, doing something you love. It’s an interest, or an activity that fills your heart with joy, and it’s the dream most closely connected to your heart. We believe, and our Speakers will tell you through their stories, that when you immerse yourself in your passion, by learning, exploring, and participating, you will find your purpose. It will manifest itself in the way you choose to share your passion with other people.

And, the examples:

  • Angie Quaale has worked her entire life in the food and hospitality industry, and she loves it! Now co-owner of Well Seasoned: A Gourmet Food Store, Angie volunteers extensively with local business organizations, serves on the Langley Township Council, and will see her first book, Eating Local in the Fraser Valley, in bookstores in May.
  • Bryan Gidinski has been an educator for more than 20 years, and is also a writer, which has led to the creation of rich writing experiences for his students. He has a graduate degree in Literacy Instruction, and is the Founder of Lost Boys Consulting, through which he shares his innovative strategies for instruction with other educators.
  • Makenzie Chilton was employed as a counselor in the prison system for 4 years, and loved it. Laid off three times, followed by a deeply unfulfilling stint in administration, she decided it was time to take the best of what she loved about her job, supplement it with specific training, and become a business owner/career coach at Love Your Mondays. Now, through Makenzie’s perfect job, she helps others find their perfect job!

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.

~ Debbie MacLeod

Photo via @secrets2success 


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!

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!

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!

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!