great stories: The go-giver

The “Go-Giver’” by Bob Burg is not your regular “business help book”. Having guidance in the form of a story rather than a textbook, not only helped to convey the book’s message… but also showed how well messages can be understood through stories!

The lessons drew on the law of reciprocity, meaning transactions are not all about winning or losing. Instead, we should be seeking to provide more value than we receive.

The “Go-Giver” mindset is one that should be applied at work, at home, with friends, and with strangers… it is a way of life!

uncorked with brewed awakening

I am very fortunate to be the Uncorked host for WESK in Regina this year. Connecting and telling the stories of some amazing women entrepreneurs is such an inspiration.

This month was no exception.

Lisa MacMurchy has owned Brewed Awakening for the last ten years!! That is a worthy milestone in itself, and the fact she has grown the business to 5 thriving locations is an incredible accomplishment.

We could end the story right there, and that would be inspiring enough. But as always, the more to the story is where some of the really good stuff lies.

Local Market was the perfect location, with wood floors exposed brick walls. We nestled in – 6ft apart and with masks as Lisa explained that all she wanted to do was have friends over for coffee!

You can still see the interview on the WESK Facebook page, but being there, I could feel the warmth of her remarks and her often heart-fueled emotional words that I swear could be felt through the floorboards.

At one point we talked about how difficult it can be to be a Mom and an entrepreneur. Lisa is a Mom of four!  I think it is a topic we don’t discuss enough. Lisa spoke of the struggle to “be enough” at work and “enough” at home. That she still carries a lot of guilt around missed events and times together.

We also talked about what she believes her now-adult children learned from growing up in an entrepreneurial home. Those answers came quickly: the value of hard work, to take nothing for granted, and to live the meaning of perseverance. Valuable lessons!

For all of the women entrepreneurs out there who feel the Mom guilt struggle, know that you are not alone and reach out to another women entrepreneur who is going through it or has gone through it. Because no matter what stage you are at with your business and your family, you are always enough!

Lisa’s energy was infectious, and she was quick to refer the success of Brewed to her team and her friends, who were there to cheer her on. She sees her employees like family, and they clearly feel the same way. Laughter and pride flowed easily between them, which is likely why, unlike many restaurants, they are not having a hard time finding or keeping staff!

What’s next for Brewed? Well, she left us perched on the edge of suspense because something is definitely brewing, and the announcement will be coming soon. “It will be a first for Regina,” said Lisa!

Brewed Awakening has given us a place to gather, a place to create community, and a place where kind words are shared. I can’t think of anything our world needs more!

Join us next month when we explore the story of Good Spirit Kombucha with owners Colleen Cretin and Taylor Chapman. I bet it is going to be a fizzy good tale! 🙂

See you then,


Everything we do in life starts as an idea

Every idea asks something of us, and the first thing it often ask us is to be brave.

I love ideas! One of my favourite books is a children’s book called “What do you do with an idea?”.

This story answers that question.

Buckets and Borders was started by our sons Justin and Brendan Lee (complete bias is fully recognized:).

It started as an idea, while they played hoops across too many countries to count.

Like all good ideas they didn’t quite know what to do with it. They could not let go of this truth that basketball was something that could unite people, cultures and countries.

They started to share their idea with others. They gained more insights, played on more courts and the concept morphed again and again, picking up speed as it went.

In 2015 they formally established the organization that is now a registered not-for-profit. They selected their first project: “The Lakeview Project”, transforming (rescuing) an iconic basketball court in Regina called “The Cage “.

The grand opening festival is this Saturday!

I feel so ready for something that unites us rather than divides us. Something that expresses youthful energy, and supports young leaders who are taking action and doing something positive for their community.

The process of transforming ‘The Cage’ could not be a better expression of the Buckets and Borders brand. Bringing people together to create a court that is art in motion. It was built with intentional positive effort, with many hands and many ideas. And when you step on these fantastically coloured courts you feel the irresistible pull of positivity.

The last page of the book, like this story, answers the question –

“What do you do with an idea?

You change the world.”

Get the whole story here:

Follow them on Instagram @bucketsandborders

Infinite Game

I once went to a business strategy session by a consultant I respected. I am always game to learn more about strategy.

The first slide was strong, red and said WIN, yup all in caps!

I was lost on the very first slide. At times likes this I wish I was not so transparent – poker face has always alluded me. My expression of disbelief was running rampant.

I could not buy in.

I looked around wondering if everyone believed that the whole crux of business strategy was to win. I needed so much more. I left disillusioned.

In Simon Sinek’s new book, The Infinite Game, he talks about an infinite mindset that resonated with me: “No matter how successful we are in life, when we die, none of us will be declared the winner of life. And there is certainly no such thing as winning business.”

If you read my comments on Shoe Dog you know that I am attracted to the idea that there is no finish line and Sinek sees winning as a finite game, and compares it to business, where our primary objective is to keep playing. When a game is won it is over. The players go home.

I think this shift in business thinking has been ramped up by our experience with Covid and our drive to want more from our lives, our work, and to understand the impact of our words, thoughts, and lives.

An infinite perspective drives innovation, and if there was ever a silver lining of Covid it is the freedom it brought us to experiment. We had to try something new, nothing was the same, nor will it ever be. We have come to expect surprises and in the process surprised ourselves with brave and resilient attitudes that brought new opportunities.

My twist on the infinite game is that when our purpose is driven by serving others, rather than beating others, we create purpose-driven brands whose positive impact is infinite. The most sustainable way to build a business.

Are you ready to develop your PurposeBrand and have the impact you know you can have? DM me for more information.

There is no finish line

“Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight is my all – time favourite business memoir. I read it as soon as it came out in 2016.

I have always been a Nike fan right back to university days when the Nike poster of the long distance runner drenched in rain, arms out with the caption “there is no finish line” adorned my residence room at Queen’s. That image spurred on a lot of miles in my waffle trainers.

It is hard to recognize the behemoth of a company that once started in Phil Knight’s trunk. His obsessive passion to find the best shoe for runners was always his fuel.

This is a struggle and emerge tale over and over again. Relentless, eccentric, and far from perfect. Phil Knight doggedly pursued building this company, living most of his life in debt.

In this book you are pulled in and along for the ride, and when you feel like you hit the turning point, that they have made it.  Sales hit 40 million, but there is no sigh of relief, he was on the brink of bankruptcy, again. He talked about how for years each night he would go to bed and his wife would ask “are we going bankrupt?” and he would answer “I don’t know”.

My first business, Starstruck, manufactured a line of women’s clothes that was sold to 320 stores in the US and 120 across Canada. We were miniscule to Nike in every kind of scale, but I identified with the challenge of manufacturing.  It was constant; always this circle of raw goods, works in progress, shipped goods, and the design mill constantly turning with new ideas for the upcoming season. Sometimes it was a roller coaster and sometimes it was like a Ferris wheel, and you wondered when the music stopped would you be at the apex of the Ferris wheel enjoying the view or being invited to get off the ride?! I loved reliving those thrills and imagining that kind of scale.

It is not a perfect tale, the best never are.  Mistakes were made, relationships were fortified and broken, many of which he is still haunted by.

The book is raw, so raw I found myself thinking “do you really think you should say that Phil?” By then we felt like friends, lol.

There was the crisis of sweatshop conditions in their offshore factories. He doesn’t gloss over that. It was a time that shook my own faith in Nike. To their credit they became a leader in factory reform. “We used the crisis to reinvent the entire company. We told ourselves ‘We must do better’.” said Knight. Let’s hope it is, and was enough.

At the end he steps down as chair of the company he founded and walks us through his regrets – time missed with his family, the tragic passing of his son. The wrongs he wished he could have righted.

But he admits that his “secret regret” is “that I can’t do it all over again”.

He goes on to say, “I’d like to share my experience, the ups and downs, so that some young woman or man going through the same trials and ordeals, might be inspired, comforted or warned. Some young entrepreneur, athlete, painter, novelist will press on.”

For Phil Knight there is no finish line, and there is something about that still inspires me (with or without the waffle trainers.)

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