Saturday, August 29, 2009

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Toronto the City that never sleeps! Photo was taken at the Toronto Docks in July. Had just attended an Junior Achievement BBQ at the Polson Pier.

Acknowledge and Appreciate Yourself

Pop Quiz: When was the last time you acknowledged and appreciated yourself?

That’s right: YOU. Not your spouse, not your children, not your boss, co-workers or friends. Just YOU!

Seriously, think about it!

And if it’s been too long since your last pat on the back, then I want you to take the time right now to acknowledge and appreciate yourself for everything you've accomplished today, throughout the year, and in life.

Ask yourself: How many times have you succeeded in the past month? The past year? The past 10 years? Are you able to recall your successes as easily as your failures and missteps?

This is not a selfish or egotistical act in the least. By taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you’ve achieved—and perhaps learned through a few mistakes, stumbles and losses—you actually can enhance everything about you!

Self-acknowledgment and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments.

In working with top leaders and thought philosophers of our time, I will tell you that among their secrets of success is a regular practice of acknowledging and appreciating what they have.It can offer an oracle into the future because it not only tells you where you are but it also helps clarify where you want to go in life. Whatever that might be. The road then becomes easier to navigate—easier to see from the distance and walk confidently step by step.

Don’t forget to think about both big and little accomplishments. Many people under-appreciate the minor things they do successfully every day . And yet they can recall in detail all the times they have failed or made mistakes. That's because the brain remembers events more easily when they are accompanied by strong emotions.

For example, you might vividly recall a graduation, losing 10 pounds, having a child, winning an award, or landing a highly sought after position. But see if you can identify just as many minor, more subtle successes, such as your intimate conversation with your spouse last night, the re-connection you established with an estranged friend last month, the quality time you were able to spend with your children today, how you checked off all your list of To-Dos for the weekend, how you learned a new task at work, or got your kid to school on time.

These may seem like minor acts in the grand scheme of life, but they are what make us feel whole, happy, and accomplished along the journey toward those larger, and much more deeply satisfying moments.

Acknowledging your mistakes also has it pluses, but we often don’t have trouble recalling or mulling over those. The point is, if you don't acknowledge your successes the same way you acknowledge your mistakes, you're sure to have a memory full of blunders. And a mind stuffed with negative chatter about the gaffes of life won’t fuel your energy, nor your confidence, creativity, and motivation to keep going.

Consider this, too: if you only remember the mistakes and failures, you won't be as ready to take risks that will lead to your successes. Build your self-esteem by recalling all the ways you have succeeded and your brain will be filled with images of you making your achievements happen again and again.

Give yourself permission to toot your own horn and don’t wait for anyone to praise you. Here are two suggestions:

1.) Record Your Personal History. Take time to write your achievements down. Start when you were very young and think of all your achievements since then. Don't just pick the major milestones; write down all the things you take for granted. For example, if you list your college degree, write your appreciation for having the opportunity to go to college and forge friendships that will last a lifetime.

You can also create a log of success every day and review it when you are faced with a new challenge. By writing it all down daily, you're securing it in your long-term memory and it will become a part of what makes you tick. It can even become a source of positive reminders and affirmations for when you’re feeling down, as well as a personal record of you that becomes your legacy.

2.) Celebrate Yourself with Mementos. Surround yourself with reminders of your successes. Put up pictures, articles, trophies, awards and other pieces that bring your attention to your success. Make your environment speak to you about your achievements. Be proud of them!

By the way, showing appreciation for yourself and accomplishments has many rewards that go far beyond boosting your own self-confidence.

Appreciating yourself creates a cascading affect—your heightened confidence will spill over into other aspects of your life. Watch what happens when you gain that special trust in yourself. You’ll attract opportunities, experience more fulfilling relationships, and have no trouble reaching loftier goals.

Remember, people like to be around those who have a healthy self-esteem and who are achieving their goals. Commit to acknowledging your achievements and your brain will begin to tell you the truth: that you can do anything!

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:


“The Exchange of Information, Ideas or Feelings”

It is apparent from the dictionary meaning that Communication is, not only a vital aspect of day-to-day living, but equally important in business.

Everyone has access to the tools of communication, which for obvious reasons are more prevalent in the work place.

Telephones, computers, faxes, intercoms, newsletters, mail, memos, correspondence and talking are some of these tools. Without communication, we couldn’t exist and certainly business would abruptly stop.

Part of the success of any business relies on and is proportionate to the proper use of the tools of communication. We should never forget that a communication breakdown would be potentially disastrous to a business.

The etiquette of communication in business is also important factor to its success. The exchange of information between customers and your business is important to paramount proportions.

Communication executed well and with a personal and professional etiquette excludes confidence and a caring feeling toward a customer who will feel a trust with whom they are in contact with.

If every employee understood accessed and recalled the information available from every department, customers would almost only ever have to call your business and talk to any one person to feel confident that they made the right choice in calling your business, as all their needs could be met through a single call. Because this is not easily attainable, we must be aware that we can still gain a customers confidence by always being helpful, courteous, happy and willing to call them back with the required follow-up.

The etiquette comes in with a pleasant, self-confident exchange of information and always, always to what you say. In other words, it is imperative to call a customer back when you say you will, even if you do not have the information they are expecting.

Receiving a call form someone who has promised to call you back, lets you know they care and have not forgotten you. Conversely, not getting a call leaves you to wonder if you have been forgotten about or worse, that the person just didn’t care. You then become uncertain if you have been inconvenienced enough to call them back. If you don’t care that much, why bother.

The experience of calling someone back when you have promised, even though you do not have the information they required, oddly enough, has always been a pleasant experience. You automatically gain a confidence that wasn’t necessarily there when the customer first called and you haven’t even done anything for them except show you have respect for them because you genuinely care that their requests are answered.

It should never be forgotten or taken for granted that communication between departments is also essential for the well being of business.

The more we all know about our company, the easier it is to gain confidence from any customer who is communicating with us and that information exchanges and communication etiquette will instill a confident and caring feeling upon our customers.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Your 4 Minute Mile

The Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once observed:”Most people take the limits of their vision to be moment isn’t necessarily the life of your future. You might be viewing things through the eyes of your fears, limitations and false assumptions. Once you clean the stained glass window you see the world through, guess what? A whole new set of possibilities. Remember, we see the world not as it is but as we are. That idea change my life, over a decade ago, when I was an unhappy lawyer searching for a better way to live.

Years ago, it was believed that no runner could every break the 4 minute mile barrier. But after Roger Bannister broke it, many more replicated his feat-within weeks. Why? Because he showed people what was possible. And then armed with that belief, people did the impossible.

What’s your “4 minute mile”? What bill of goods have you sold yourself as to what’s possible? What false assumptions are you making in terms of what cannot have , do and be? Your thinking creates your realilty. Your beliefs truly become self-fulfiling prophecies (because your beliefs drive your actions- and you will never go any higher than your thinking). If you think something cannot occur in your life, then there is no way will take action required to make that goal a reality. Your “impossibility thinking” manifest itself. Your perceived limitations become the chains that keep you from the greatness you were meant to be. And you are so much better than that. Celebrated neurosurgeon Ben Carson (In Gods Hands) expressed it so well when he said “There is no such thing as an average human being; if you have a normal brain, you are superior.”

Written by Robin Sharma (article appeared in magazine Motivated Issue 12-2006)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Relationships important key to success

Get Connected-Make IT Happen special

Putting your connections to use and make it happen is what separates you and rest of the entrepreneurs. Great network to get connected is Enterprise Toronto ( meetings are held throughout the Ontario region & Hold seminars throughout Canada for entrepreneur either starting a business or already in business.

Enterprise Toronto Enterprise is an innovative public and private sector alliance created to provide one-stop sourcing of services and programs tailored to meet the needs of the Toronto's Entrepreneurs and small businesses. Enterprise Toronto can help you make good decisions during your business start-up and develop your management capabilities as your business venture grows. Enterprise Toronto is managed by the City of Toronto Economic Development Office which offers services and programs in the areas of Small Business and Local Partnerships, Business Development and Retention, Investment Marketing, Economic Research and Business Information

There are many more organizations out there who provide great information. Ask you network to refer you groups they may and you will pleasantly surprised they know of many to recommend.

During the past two years have spoken to audiences in the I.T community to entrepreneurs and resource centers. In my presentation I always list numerous resources from books to online and offline material. Sometime even bring supply of books and printed material to share with audience part of the value added presentation. These referrals are part of the personal relationship I have with the individual, the organization or initiative. Giving this information doesn’t increase my income, it does increase my self-esteem, knowing that I am giving away- at no cost-valuable referrals.

How then does this word-of-mouth referral system work form me? It’s simple. Everyone on the list knows that they are being introduced to people they would never meet. They know they are accountable for their actions and that relationship they have with me is reciprocal.

I have a phrase its “Get Connected- Make It Happen” part of the strategy is you first have to connect with your who you meeting. Get to know them and what they are about. Over time you build the relationship and if there is value or service to exchange you can make it happen. During the past year have met and partnered up with many entrepreneurs to promote events, books and or promote specific services either via mail or newsletter format.

Have received gift form cards to words of praise with has been very humbling and satisfying due the fact we collaborated and made it happen. Have built a long-term relationships with Max Haroon from the Society of Internet Professionals ( have had the opportunity to learn from and work with Max on various projects and causes that has given me the arena to learn and grow. Evolving as a leader of entrepreneurs and be the example to others that they can learn from your journey.

Challenge yourself and go out and network at various events and meet the future leaders and achievers and realize your resources from buiness cards and contacts you make on your entrepreneurial journey will affect you and the others around you.

Get out and Get Connected-Make it Happen!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Habit 1 – Principles of Personal Choice: You can either be proactive or reactive when it comes to how you respond to certain things. When you are reactive, you blame other people and circumstances for obstacles or problems. Being proactive means taking responsibility for every aspect of your life. Initiative and taking action will then follow. Covey argues that man is different from other animals in that he has self-consciousness. He has the ability to detach himself and observe his own self; think about his thoughts. He goes on to say how this attribute enables him: It gives him the power not to be affected by his circumstances. Covey talks about stimulus and response. Between stimulus and response, we have the power of free will to choose our response.

Habit 2 – Principles of Personal Vision: This is about setting long-term goals based on “true north” principles. Covey recommends formulating a “Personal Mission Statement” to document one’s perception of one’s own vision in life. He sees visualization as an important tool to develop this. He also deals with organizational mission statements, which he claims to be more effective if developed and supported by all members of an organization rather than prescribed.

Habit 3 – Principles of Integrity & Execution: Covey describes a framework for prioritizing work that is aimed at long-term goals, at the expense of tasks that appear to be urgent, but are in fact less important. Delegation is presented as an important part of time management. Successful delegation, according to Covey, focuses on results and benchmarks that are to be agreed in advance, rather than on prescribing detailed work plans.

Habit 4 – Principles of Mutual Benefit: An attitude whereby mutually beneficial solutions are sought that satisfies the needs of oneself as well as others, or, in the case of a conflict, both parties involved.

Habit 5 – Principles of Mutual Understanding: Covey warns that giving out advice before having empathetically understood a person and their situation will likely result in that advice is rejected. Thoroughly listening to another person’s concerns instead of reading out your own autobiography is purported to increase the chance of establishing a working communication.

Habit 6 – Principles of Creative Cooperation: A way of working in teams. Apply effective problem solving. Apply collaborative decision making. Value differences. Build on divergent strengths. Leverage creative collaboration. Embrace and leverage innovation. It is put forth that when synergy is pursued as a habit, the result of the teamwork will exceed the sum of what each of the members could have achieved on their own. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Habit 7 – Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal: Focuses on balanced self-renewal: Regain what Covey calls “production capability” by engaging in carefully selected recreational activities. Covey also emphasizes the need to sharpen the mind.

Courtesy of:
Jim Pagiamtzis

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Are You a Carrot, An Egg, or a Coffee Bean?


A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked. "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity—boiling water—but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another lever?

How do you handle Adversity? Are you a Carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

Why blogging is good for your Career

Right now, "microblogging" is the technological term du jour. Twitter this; Twitter that.

For some reason, once somebody created a Web site that told us we couldn't type more than 140 characters, we couldn't resist the challenge. It's as though we were dared to share our most inane thoughts.

The birth of the pointless Tweet was born, also known as "I'm eating string cheese and watching reruns of ALF!"

But remember a few years ago, when "blog" was the word you couldn't escape? Magazine covers were devoted to blogs. What does "blog" mean? Is it going to kill traditional media? Who should be blogging? Why do we care what you're blogging?

Now, blogs are something more akin to traditional (but still new) media.

They're not on par with The New York Times or CNN in terms of reputation, but each of those news agencies has its own blogs. And over the last few years, especially during the election, blogs played a major role in breaking news stories and motivating groups. Corporations now have them to connect with customers. Blogs are here to stay.

So the question is: Do you have one? If not, you might be missing out on a valuable boost to your career.

Why would you possibly want to blog?

In an already crowded blogosphere, why would you want to be just another small fish in a huge pond? Adrienne Waldo thought the same thing before she started her own marketing blog,

But once she started to post, she realized people were reading and interested in what she had to say. It helped her freelance career and she believes it can help others, too.

"Especially for someone just out of school, a blog is an excellent supplement to a résumé," Waldo says. "It serves as a sort of enhanced writing sample because it allows employers a unique look at your personality in addition to seeing that you can, in fact, write. It also shows that you're tech-savvy and motivated -- both extremely important qualities to have in today's job market."

Of course, your blog won't be an asset to you if it lacks direction and attention. Waldo suggests beginning bloggers set goals for themselves.

"A blog can be useful for countless reasons, so it's best to decide for yourself what your purpose in starting it is," she recommends. "It's certainly fantastic for both visibility and staying current in today's market, but how you position it is ultimately going to determine how it works for you."

A good blog can work for you whether or not you're employed. But a blog written by a job seeker desperately seeking a paycheck will not get you much traction. In fact, blogging is like many other traditional job seeking tools, says Lauren Milligan of ResuMAYDAY, a résumé writing service.

"Just like networking, blogging and developing a following should start when you are employed, rather than when you are in panic-mode," Milligan cautions.

How do you present a blog to employers?

New media is proving to be a great tool for job seekers, employees and employers. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are increasingly become common ways to find jobs or recruit candidates.

But the rules for social media are still mostly unwritten, and you might not know how to prove you're both technologically proficient and professional. Milligan says you absolutely can do both, it's just all in the presentation.

For clients, Milligan often inserts their LinkedIn addresses in the contact section of the résumé. She suggests doing the same with your blog address. Another option she recommends is to include a mention of your blog in your career summary statement. But if neither feels right for you, feel free to bring it up in the interview.

"A common interview question is, 'What makes you unique from other candidates?'" Milligan says. "A great -- and unique -- answer would be, 'One thing that may set me apart from your other candidates is my ability to introduce a dedicated and loyal following to your company. For the past eight months, I have authored a blog that has over 2,000 readers on a weekly basis. This blog is dedicated to trends, leaders and advancements in our industry.'"

She also recommends pointing out that you have been and will always be respectful of your past employers and that your goal is about making connections. If you can put the emphasis on your growth and how it will benefit the company, while simultaneously proving it's not a place for you to vent about annoying co-workers, you'll make a good impression.

"As an employer myself, I assure all job seekers that this would weigh heavily in a candidate's favor," Milligan says.

Both Milligan and Waldo stress the importance of knowing your limits. You don't have to be an expert to write a good blog -- and pretending to be one will only turn off readers. Being humble and showing humanity will pay off for you.

"Anyone can be a good blogger with the right dedication and motivation," Waldo says. "You absolutely do not have to be an expert, but if you're not, don't pretend to be. That will get you in trouble. I recommend writing about something you love. It doesn't have to be career-related. As long as you are passionate about the subject you cover, that will come through in your writing and people will enjoy your blog."

Writer and Speaker in Year. You can do it!

t is with great honor to share this article in appreciation for the Toronto Public Library. It was not long ago that I wrote three articles within a 5 month period which gave me the credibility and leverage to be able to speak to various groups and organizations in the Toronto Region. Let go back in time and tell you the story.

It was a colled October 2007 in Toronto and the Small Business Seminar was happening sponsored by Enterprise Toronto and Centennial College. There was tradeshow and seminar happening all day with lots of opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs. Had lots of business cards and was prepared with infomercial about myself.

“Bring business cards and have infomercial about yourself”

First stop was the tradeshow where there were vendors from various companies Staples Business Depot, Car Dealership, Graphic Designers and many more. The Toronto Public Library had a booth representing the Small Biz Express Section ( ) Had a brief conversation with the representative and continued network and meet people at the show. There was also various seminars being held by seasoned experts in different fields.

Overall the show was very informative and met some great entrepreneurs whom to this day have contact with. The importance part of networking is the following up with all the contacts that have been made. ( 24 to 48 is the normal time to call back)

Had proceeded to follow-up with participants and exhibitors at the events. One of the tradeshow exhibitors was the Toronto Public Library who had a website call the Smallbizxress which the featured monthly articles on different entrepreneurs and the different expertise. Within the next few months had submitted 3 articles from Mentorship, Effective Networking Skills and How to Market and promote yourself and also had one my mentors Terry Gogna (www.terrygogna) submit two articles regarding his book “ How can I get myself to do what I need to do”.

Having the articles online gave me the opportunity to leverage them to various contacts that I had met networking in the Toronto area with the opportunity for future speaking engagements. Within the next six months had spoken for Enterprise Toronto at City Hall and North York on Do you have a Mentor? to Career Door Inc in Toronto who did IT Job Fair with complimentary speaking seminars as a value added information for the participants.

The most memorable and (nervous) talk was my first day for Career Door in February 2008 at the Marriot Hotel in Toronto. It was a two-day event and was scheduled to speak two times. My first speaking engagement and had to do it twice! Putting together a powerpoint presentation to have some resources to use was ready get this done.

Room was average size with seating for about 50 people with a stage and podium. Going into the first talk I was very nervous until of the hotel caterers gave me water on the house to calm me done and some encouragement sent me of to get start my talk.

Few months early one my mentors had suggested to record myself which was a great way evaluate yourself moving forward to get better, with that had set up my recording device and was ready to speak.

Both talks went well and with the help of Max Haroon ( and Ron Vereggen ( (who were also speakers that day) were helpful resources to have available on both days.

Having a successfully spoken proceeded to speak to other organizations in Toronto and with few months spoke at Enterprise Toronto, Bloor-Dundas Employment Centre, Skills for Change and numerous time at Career Door Inc over the past year.

Have learned many lesson along the way from importance of audience participation, improving presentation style and engaging with audience.

On your of success you will come many opportunities that you will pursue with the realization that it will open many door for you and allow to get better every day and gain the confidence and persistence to pursue bigger goals and desire.

Get Connected Make it Happen you too can become the best you can be.