Now is a great time to

I had a blast as the guest speaker at the WESK Uncorked event last month.

I loved the chatty chat line.

We might not have been able to see each other but we sure knew that each other were there. I soaked up all the vibes like a sponge.

The pandemic has asked us to make mindful, generous, and difficult decisions. There has been very clear language around what we cannot do. And it has worked!  We listened.

But when we gather at Uncorked we are there to honour the art of the possible.

So it only seemed natural to flip the “can’t” talk on its head and think about what we “can” do.

I asked listeners to finish this sentence: Now is a great time to …………….

Below are the answers that came flying in faster than we could read them and I can’t resist sharing the main threads of the responses with you:

  • Business growth
  • Stretching what I can do and be in this world
  • Follow the opportunities
  • Own a business
  • Re-launch
  • Re-focus
  • Be bold
  • Tell your story
  • Pivot
  • Re-commit to what matters
  • Believe in myself
  • Be the leader you want to become
  • Mentor
  • Find my purpose
  • Re-invent myself
  • Lean in
  • Become who you really are
  • Personal growth and self-care
  • Be grounded in your why
  • Brand building
  • Hold on to calm
  • Get grounded
  • Get loud
  • Love myself

Can we keep this conversation going?

What resonates for you?

How will you finish the sentence? Now is a great time to…….


Simplify. I think that might be one of the words that I remember the pandemic by (that and chocolate). Or at least today that is how I am feeling. It can be a moment-by-moment adventure!

I have this persistent visual that life right now is going through a sieve and only what is essential remains.

Last year I read the book “Essentialism: The disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown and I loved it and it stuck with me. The tagline for the book could not be more apt for the times.

The crux of his work is not about doing more with less, it is actually about asking yourself if what you are spending your time and resources on is the “right” thing. We can remove a lot of overwhelm if we stop trying to do it all, stop saying yes every time and instead concentrate on doing the right things. Taking a “less but better” approach.

And to get to what is essential we rely on our purpose.

Our purpose becomes the sieve through which all of our options can sift. What is our genius work? What does matter to us?  How can we do what matters to us and to others?.

It is a mindful way to live life and to do business.

Over this last month I have in many different voices asked myself “what does matter?” And on the more insightful days, usually when I am out walking Stella I might be able to come up with an answer. I then have to push myself further and say, “okay, now that I know what does matter,  do that.” (Maybe it’s Stella who inspires me she always knows what matters – sticks!)

One of my favourite quotes from the book:

“Whatever decision or challenge or crossroads you face in your life, simply ask yourself, ‘What is essential?’ Eliminate everything else.”

As we move forward businesses will be tried, and it will not be an easy road. We will have to zone in on our “essential” by knowing what matters most to us, and to others, and to have the courage to “do that”.

This pandemic has required us to eliminate much, to purge more than just our closets.

Perhaps it has also helped us to embrace the simplicity of the essential. That we can manage and thrive focused on the right things, one piece at a time.

If you are looking to get clear on your purpose to grow your business and enrich your life let’s chat.

How to work remotely without losing your mind

After 18 years of working remotely, together, Kelly and I feel like we’ve kind of got this figured out.

You see I work out of Regina, Saskatchewan and Kelly works out of Alliston, Ontario.  There are 2,684 kilometers between us and our working relationship is seamless, rewarding, and fun too! Not only do we zig and zag in the same creative direction we have supported each other through every zig and zag that life has thrown our way. And wow this is a big zig!

Kelly has her kids at home with her in this new reality, so her suggestions are golden! And my family is now working remotely so there is that too! Different perspectives, lots of suggestions!

If you suddenly find yourself working remotely you might feel a bit lost? Maybe the whole family is now at home and you have no idea how this will really work to actually get work done. Here are some tips to keep you grounded in the present so that you can tick a few things off your to-do list, and keep your business moving forward too.

  1. Get dressed! It might be cool to work in your sweats and slippers for the first few days, it may even feel liberating. You might not need office attire but get dressed and look your best. It is all about mindset. Getting dressed helps you get there.
  2. Whatever your morning routine is keep it up. Get up at the same time and since you don’t have the commute add some self-care into that time – exercise, meditate or journal.
  3. Define your space. It doesn’t matter whether it is a coffee table or a corner of the kitchen table, declare it yours. Let all of your family members know that this is your space and when you are working there you need to devote your attention to your work. Also, train yourself that the physical trigger of being at your space is when work happens. When you are there you must be present.
  4. Set your hours. Depending how busy your household is this might need to be short sprints or longer marathons. Let your family know you need 20 uninterrupted minutes, or 40 or 60. Let them set the timer and when it goes off be present with them until you start your next work interval. And if you have no one in the house set the same parameters for yourself. And when the timer dings get up and do something – stretch, throw in a load of laundry, doesn’t matter what it is, just move your body. Kelly’s tip: be prepared for this to also not work at all! Sometimes they might need more from you and you have to try to give it. If they need a movie and a cuddle, you need to adjust your day accordingly. You may need to prioritize your tasks, get what you need done and then spend some time with them.
  5. Equal living reigns! Everyone can help. Chores cooking and cleaning keep everyone busy and will keep you sane.
  6. Find an accountability partner. If you are used to working in an office environment, ask a colleague to be your accountability partner. Do a check in at 8:00 am saying, “I am at my desk where are you?” Check in at what might be your regular coffee time and say, “hey what did you get done?” or just quite simply “how are you?” These are challenging times and knowing you are not alone is just what we all need right now.
  7. Walk it out. Whether you are frustrated, anxious or overwhelmed a trip around the block can clear your head and reset your soul. Grab the kids, the dog or the neighbour’s dog and breathe in…from a social distance.
  8. One fun thing a day. Better than a vitamin! If kids are part of your co-work life, playing cards, art projects, kitchen dance parties, building a fort projects always win. Combine it with exercise. I loved Kelly’s idea that on their walks, every block someone got to pick an activity. Walk like a penguin for a block, do 25 mini arm circles or do a funny dance…come on don’t you wonder if you could walk like a penguin? It’s not easy! We think play is not just for kids, some time to just be silly is good for everyone.

If you are leading a team get some tips here on how to keep your team engaged remotely. Most of all do what you can to keep your mind and body healthy. Together we can make sure isolation is not a lonely experience.

How to Engage and Lead Your Team Remotely

Huge shout out and virtual hug to all those businesses and organizations that are allowing their teams to work remotely, doing their part to help flatten this curve. We know that is not possible for all, but for those who can, we are here (at home) cheering you on! 

It is a bit nuts right now trying to find our way in such uncharted waters. Yet, we still need to lead others, show up for others, and get our work done. In challenging times strong teams forge bonds that will propel them forward.  Below are a few ways to do just that.

  1. Recognize that remote working might be perfect for some and terrifying for others. As well, many will be juggling work and kids at home. Offering a few different ways for engagement allows your team to find just what might work for each individual.
  2. Encourage team members to find an accountability partner. Keeping a schedule while at home can be challenging but if you know you have an 8:30 check in with another team member, or your whole team, it sets your day up. Do you normally peek your head into an office every morning to say good morning – continue to do that, just virtually.
  3. Are you used to lunching with co-workers? Do a potluck Zoom lunch once a week. Everyone can Zoom in and visually share what is for lunch that day and just chat about anything or nothing, just being present and doing something you normally do (just a bit differently). It might also be a great time for your social club to support local, buy some gift cards and each team member can order in from their favourite restaurant.
  4. This might sound like a crazy suggestion but I have done it and it is really effective. I was part of a group where all of us had a project we were working on that we felt we could not find the time to get completed. So we dedicated one hour twice a week for silent working. We were from all over North America but we Zoomed in and worked silently. It was a nice way to stay on task and feed off the collective energy of others doing their genius work. And projects got finished!
  5. Weekly “beers and cheers”. Friday at 4:00 p.m. is a great time to celebrate success, or lament over tough week, and it still can be. Zoom in on Friday and have each member toast their success for the week, and share their challenges too.

Watch for more team engagement tips and be sure to add your great ideas below.

Are you Resolute on Resolutions?

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you write them down? It is a question that either has people rolling they eyes or lighting up. There is no right or wrong reactions or thoughts.

I fall in the camp of absolutely loving to write down my resolutions.

Any kind of fresh start gets me going (I actually feel the same way each September too).  I have however learned a few things along the way: working out seven days a week is likely not sustainable ;). Making so many resolutions that I can’t remember them also doesn’t work.

For me, the years that I make a practice of writing down my goals, they seem to be more focused.  Science agrees with this fact. It turns out only 8% of people write down their goals for the year and by writing them down it helps our brain to “encode the process” and there is a greater chance of them being remembered and acted on.

If you write down your goal or resolution you have a 95% higher chance of achieving them. Why is that?

  1. Written goals bring you clarity and focus.
  2. They keep you on track.
  3. You become more motivated to take action.
  4. You are focused on what is important to you – answering the “why” you want to achieve this goal is key.

A few other key tips on goal setting or resolution making:

  1. Vividly describe your goals and picture them. Use a vision board, draw, doodle clip from magazines, any kind of visual commitment works.
  2. Write down your goals each week in your day planner or on your electronic calendar. It sounds labour intensive but this takes less than five minutes. Are your goals worth five minutes a week? If you really want to up the ante for achieving your goals say them out loud as you write them.
  3. Hold yourself accountable – there are many apps to help you do this. I love as there is something about getting my own words back to me in my own inbox that kind of freaks me out – in a really good way! Sometimes I am “wiser” than I think and sometimes not so much, lol! But it really does focus me.
  4. Make your goals sustainable and ensure they reflect your own reality, and define what your reality is.
  5. Break your goals into small achievable bite size pieces that are date sensitive.
  6. Gratitude can also be a difference maker. Being thankful improves your patience and lowers stress all of which can prevent us from reaching our goals.

The greatest resolution I made that I will be making again this year (it’s okay to repeat your resolutions) is to erase from my lexicon the expression “where does the time go”.  I want to know where the time goes! After all it is my time! I want to say “Hey, you know what January, yes, I know exactly what I did with you. I did not misplace you like a lost toque. I spent you. I totally used you up, no judgements on how you spent it, just know that you spent it. That feels empowering to me.

Are you ready to put your 2019 on paper?

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