Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Spotlight Feature: Soren Folke Courtesy Jonathan Forani Staff Reporter, Published on Wed Jan 27 2016

Between bundled up pedestrians and fogging car windows, Søren Folke stands out in Toronto’s winter streets. Not just because he’s wearing a bright pink work uniform, but because he’s smiling through it all: the wind chill, snow, black ice and winter-tire-less commuters.

While most choose to spend as little time as possible in the cold, Folke chooses to spend all of his workweek out there. The 32-year-old from Denmark is a bike courier for Foodora, a food delivery service on the rise — and he loves it.

After a 35-40-hour work week of dodging SUVs and slippery streetcar tracks, Folke says he might be tired, but “you really feel that you accomplished something special.”

The Star recently followed the Danish courier on a Tuesday morning delivery run to see how he does it. The temperature that morning hit -16 C with wind chill, but Folke was all smiles as he waited for his shift to start near his Kensington Market home. Just before 10 a.m. his smartphone buzzed with a delivery notification: a customer on King St. W. had placed an order at the 24-hour eatery Old School on Dundas St. W.

To pick up the food, Folke is given about 20 minutes, plenty of time for the seasoned cyclist. Then, to make the drop-off, he’s given a similar window of time. Even on the busy morning streets and without dedicated bike lanes, he beats the Star car to the destination and makes the drop-off.

Despite the winter chill and poor road conditions, Foodora bike courier Soren Folke continues to work in the winter.

To get to each location, Folke consults his more than a year’s worth of experience couriering food to Torontonians: avoid streets with pot holes (this limits his options, he knows); steer clear of smaller roads after a snowfall, and “take the lane” if needed. He’ll do this two to three times an hour, often for full seven- to eight-hour days. 

For Folke, the profession is part of his heritage. He hails from Denmark, which he calls “the bike capital of the world” (take that, Holland). He says Toronto leaves a lot to be desired for cyclists — especially couriers, who are growing in number with Foodora (formerly Hurrier) and a handful of other food services taking to the streets.

This run was an easy one and Folke almost looks bored. It’s last year’s “horrifying” season of long, drawn-out Polar Vortexes that still haunts him.

“I earned my stripes during that winter,” he says, and he means it. One wipeout in particular sticks with him, when his tires slipped on the road and his bike “literally disappeared from below (him).”
At that time, he didn’t wear a helmet on deliveries. “I think I was kind of lucky because my head was close to hitting the curb,” he recalls. From that moment on he wore a helmet, something he concedes he should have been doing all along.

When you’re employed by Foodora, you wear what you want. The company, which operates in Toronto, Montreal and soon in Vancouver, provides some gear: Foodora T-shirts, jackets and “buffs” (multi-functional headwear popularized by CBS reality show Survivor). As an independent contractor, you’re not obligated to wear any of it; winter protection is largely up to you.


Despite the winter chill and poor road conditions, Foodora bike courier Soren Folke continues to work in the winter.

Despite the winter chill and poor road conditions, Foodora bike courier Soren Folke continues to work in the winter.
Folke usually sports boots, long johns under his jeans, water-resistant socks, Foodora buffs around his neck and under his helmet, worn-down touchscreen gloves (“You wear out your stuff pretty fast,” he says). He tops multiple ski hill-ready layers with that blazing pink Foodora jacket.
David Albert, managing director of the company’s Canada offices, says they plan to provide more gear for their couriers, such as toques and rain jackets.
“The people who don’t bike in the winter always think it’s unfathomable that people do bike in the winter,” he says, noting that Foodora has a dedicated fleet of cars during winter too, though bike couriers are still more than 50 per cent of the team, which grew almost 200 per cent since the fall. “It definitely becomes more challenging. But we do have a fleet that’s committed and willing to do this during the winter.”
That commitment and willingness is evident with Folke as the Star follows him; he deftly rides along downtown streetcar tracks, which have tripped him up before. Soon after making the drop-off, his phone dings again and he begins another shivery delivery. His next one might take him down by the water where lake-effect snow batters at his face, or through the “wind tunnels” created by the downtown skyscrapers uncommon in his native Denmark.
“That comes with the territory,” he says. “During the winter you really have to expect the worst. It’s tough, but at the end of the day, you’re happy that you’ve made it through another day.”
Tips for cycling on winter roads
Winter roads get slippery, so Folke has a few tips for courier colleagues and wannabes. He says the key to a successful winter on a bike is preparation. First and foremost, ensure you have good tires with good traction to grip the road, and always remember that helmet.
After a fresh snowfall
Go slow and watch out for streetcar tracks, which Folke has tripped up on before. “When the snow is fresh, it’s great. But after they spray salt all over the road, it gets slushier,” he says. It’s after that first cleaning when things get bad. “The slush goes straight to your feet” and “creates a layer of cold and wet.” Folke recommends serious waterproofing from the knees down.
During a snowfall
Wear skiing goggles, dress extra warmly, and be especially careful. The snow is irritating everyone, not just you on your bike, says Folke. Pedestrians and drivers alike may be more aware of the snow falling than cyclists on the road. “You will always lose if you go head-to-head with a car, SUV or truck.”
Navigating winter streets
Folke likes to avoid streets with pot holes. Roads like the AGO strip on Dundas Street are “more suited for a 4x4 than a bike,” he jokes. Steer clear of smaller roads after a large snowfall as the bigger streets are cleared faster. Stay away from the sides of the road where snow collects.
Foodora isn’t the only bike-based food courier service in the city.
The orange-clad Hurrier brand is out, and Foodora is ready to paint the town pink. Even during a whiteout, you won’t miss this pink fleet. “Pink is the new orange,” they say.
Borders: South of Dupont St. and Danforth Ave. East of Keele St. West of Coxwell Ave.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Wednesday. 10 a.m. to midnight Thursday to Sunday.
Rates: The flat delivery fee is $3.50 on minimum orders of $15 charged right to your card.
Restaurants: More than 200, from indulgences such as Fast Bastard Burrito to vegetarian delights such as Fresh.
Website: (mobile app set to launch in March)
SendIt Courier
This team of 27 couriers doesn’t just use your everyday road bike. They have a fleet of Bullitt cargo bikes, which can transport up to 400 pounds.
Service area: South of College, east of Dufferin, west of Jarvis.
Hours: Weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and extended hours from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for food clients. Weekends from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Rates: The team offers five levels of speedy delivery ranging from $4 to $15 depending on the time: overnight, same-day, rush, direct and panic.
Restaurants: SendIt delivers more than just food (even hockey sticks and guitar amps), but you’ll find everything from Momofuku to Burrito Boyz on their select menu.
TurnAround Couriers
TurnAround couriers offer food and package delivery by bike in downtown Toronto and by car to a wider region. They provide “final mile” service for firms who have difficulty delivering packages downtown.
Service area: South of Eglinton Ave. East of Dufferin St. West of Bayview, Pape and Carlaw Avenues.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.
Rates: From $7.50 to $10.50 based on the distance from restaurant to drop-off.
Restaurants: Order through the restaurant app maegan from hearty brunch favourite Harvest Kitchen, trendy Italian outpost Trattoria Nervosa, and more.
Snap Delivery
Service area: Snap is continually expanding their delivery zones in downtown Toronto, and also services the York University area in North York.
Hours: The Snap team offers the latest service hours for the after-bar and night-owl crowds, starting at noon and ending at 3 a.m. the following day.
Rates: A $10 flat rate is applied to deliveries.
Restaurants: Snap has partnered with more than 50 restaurants (any that do not deliver, they say) from South Street Burgers to Subway.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Book Review: LIVE IT!


Every person you meet is either a warning or an example. Which are you?

Jairek Robbins, decorated performance coach and lifestyle entrepreneur, guides you through his proven, step-by-step process for filling the gap between where you are today and where you want to be. In reassuring and easy-to-understand language, Robbins helps you build a strong foundation for authentic happiness.

Each chapter is strategically designed to engage you with personal reflections and challenges that will encourage you to make immediate improvements to your everyday behavior. Robbins’s uplifting method will give you the tools you need to avoid the distractions in your life and concentrate on the areas that deserve the biggest focus, including health, family, intimate relationships, your professional life, and spirituality.

Robbins leads you toward a life of growth and contribution that will enable you to become the happiest, healthiest, and most fulfilled version of yourself—and inspire you to help others do the same.

  " Jairek Robbins  has created has simple and effective template for you to LIVE IT! and make your dreams and goals a reality!" Jim Pagiamzis

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Book Review: In Search of The Farside


1984 FarWorks, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Far Side and the Larson signature are registered trademarks of FarWorks, Inc.

 "  A Collection of Far Side cartoons that will have you laughing, confused and perplexed!" Jim Pagiamtzis 

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Monday, January 25, 2016

21 Connections January 4th Edition Learn, Speak and Socialize

Thursday January 28th
Public Speakers Association
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In This Issue

Join LinkedIn Community

Join Get Connected 21st Century

CEO Founder Public Speakers Association Tonya Hofmann and Jim Pagiamtzis

Thinking about starting your own newsletter in 2016
Get connected and learn from expert today!

Circle Feb 11th for Power of Newsletters for you Business
 (Yonge and Sheppard)
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Our next event will be January 28th in Toronto
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Career Speaker Academy
Online event soon.

Blab show monthly
Next show February with very special guest!
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Dear Jim,
 21 Connections will be providing you with awesome events  Learn. Speak & Socialize and grow you business and connections! 

Blog Talk Radio Interview: Marc Gordon

5 Marketing Predictions to expect in 2016

Interview of the week:
 Blab Show: Justin O'Donnell 1st show on Galactic Science Fiction & Entertainment Talk Show


Spotlight Feature:Jordan Altbaum
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Coworking Space: Lab T.O.
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Special Events:
Thursday Jan 28th
Public Speakers Associaton
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Saturday Jan 30th
Soul City Social Group
Masquerade party 
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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Star Wars The Force Awakens: The Best Thumbs up of the 21st Century by BB8

 Go to the 16 second mark!                                                       

Murals in Toronto in the Annex




Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Power of Business Card in the 21st Century

                   I have been on journey of networking and sharing since 2003. Networking has been the place were have connected and met mentor, coaches and entrepreneurs.

           My new card captures Learn, Speak and Socialize vision that I have been teaching and sharing in recent years.

        "Put effort into created a card with story that will engage professionals when you give it to them" Jim Pagiamtzis  


Front of new card

New Card in November 2015

Movie Review: Bait


A freak tsunami traps shoppers at a coastal Australian supermarket inside the building - along with 12-foot Great White Sharks. (2012)

  " This movie will take on a thrill ride from beginning to the end, not since Jaws and Deep Blue Sea has there been a movie with a great character and amazing stories. Must see!" Jim Pagiamtzis

Venue Review: The National Club

National Club in Toronto             

Historic club with a great history

Download E-book: Re-Awaken the Giant Within

                                                                            Download today!


Monday, January 18, 2016

Toronto sign on January 18,2016

      It was first day of  jury duty in Toronto. After 4 hour of waiting, we  got released at 1:00pm so I decided to have some fun and check out the Toronto Sign.

Zamboni flooding the ice

Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square

Jim Pagiamtzis at Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square


Spotlight Feature: Jordan Altbaum

Become a Chef (has it's advantages)

A love of creating food is a must, but there are some fine personality traits you need if you want to enjoy an exciting and creative career in the culinary arts. Here are some qualities to hone:

1. Physical and Mental Strength
Cooking at home is relaxing and fun, but as a professional chef you need endurance to cope with working long periods of time and under extreme pressure. You might have strange hours in which to work and you have to stay attentive throughout. Added to this, the work can sometimes be monotonous: you might be doing the same thing over and over again when preparing meals for crowds. Physically, you might feel aches and pains as you stand for long hours, but if you can stay focused on what needs to be done, you will achieve it.

2. Flexibility

Just because you’re the head chef in a restaurant, it doesn’t mean the power trip should go to your head. A successful chef knows how to be flexible and deal with any situations that can crop up. For instance, in the instance of being short-staffed and having to prepare mundane jobs. It also helps to be creative in order to deal with these situations. If you’re missing an ingredient, your creativity and passion can help you to make the most of the situation and find another way to succeed.

3. Interpersonal Skills

You have to know how to work with people, treat them with respect and be able to compromise. This includes working with your customers, who want to receive delicious and beautifully presented food, as well as members of your kitchen team who rely on your guidance and might have different personalities to you. You need to be able to put emotions aside and connect with people so that you deal with any difficult situations for the greater good of your craft.

4. A Love of Learning

If you love cooking and you want to reach amazing heights in your field, you will have to stay in tune with what is happening in your field. A career in food is a creative one that continuously offers new developments and trends, so keeping your finger on the pulse of these can be a huge benefit to your work.

5. Organizational Skills

You can’t have clutter in the kitchen or not know where everything is. A career as a chef requires you to be severely organized. Everything has to be prepared, ready for use, and function like clockwork so that you can meet your demands.

Oh, and leave the shouting to Gordon Ramsey.

Guest Post via Facebook: Dancing Makes You Smarter


Blab Show: Justin O'Donnell 1st show on Galactic Science Fiction & Entertainment Talk Show


           It was amazing show sharing insight on the current movie release of Star Wars: The Force Awaken and previous movies in the Star Wars saga. Jim Pagiamtzis, Justin O'Donnel , Tony Quick and Lorne McMillan

Coworking Space: Lab T.O opens January 1st,2016

Jim Pagiamtzis Lab T.O on Friday January 15,2016

  Lab. TO is officially open. in the Bloor and Lansdowne area in West end Toronto

  Check it out today! Learn more

Sportscar: McLaren

                 McLaren car on display at Roots at Bay and Bloor in Toronto
                           Learn more

Book Launch: The Proton Man: Justin Trudeau (Poetry) The Protonic Gaurdian: Justin Trudeau (Ballad)

Elliot Moglica ant Chapters Indigo at Bay and Bloor

Elliot Moglica and Jim Pagiamtzis
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