The Digest: Arlene's Sources Of Inspiration This Month, Volume 17

The Digest: Arlene's Sources Of Inspiration This Month, Volume 17

Lifestyle | Posted by - September 14, 2018 at 12:30 am

I recently listened to a podcast with Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder of Local Futures; she said something that stuck with me: “People are running faster and faster because they’re made to feel worthless if they’re not running fast.” 

As a young woman in 1975, Norberg-Hodge joined a film crew traveling through a remote region on the Tibetan plateau, as it was opening up to tourism and other Western influences.

It’s a fascinating conversation that made me reflect, because in entrepreneurship where speed is so valued, her belief reminds me how important it is to sometimes slow down in business; we need to take time to analyze what’s not working and what our businesses aren’t doing, so they can keep growing.

Her podcast led me to books, articles, and videos that inspired me to reflect on change and progress; the hard thing is often the right thing to do: 


Why Hershey Is Questioning Its Future In Chocolate via CNBC 


Iteration never stops in business, and Hershey’s recent announcement that they’re moving into the US snack industry is a recent example. The company faces increasing competition, an unstable economy, and the evolution of people’s eating habits. 

Now the company wants to move into the snack industry—worth $88B in the US—to help reimagine their current products and expand their vision. This short video shows the importance of accepting the need to pivot, even when you’ve been in business for 120 years.  


Illustrator Mari Andrew Interviews With The School of Life 

Mari Andrew is a young American illustrator, who I enjoy following on Instagram for her fun and real depictions of our inner dialogue. 

Mari found her work purpose through a tragic event in her life: she became paralyzed; her love of travel and exploration was suddenly taken from her, and she needed to find joy and energy in a different form. 

She started drawing; she studied the flags of the world; she changed and evolved into new ways of learning in any way she could. This conversation with The School of Life talks about her journey - it’s funny, uplifting, and especially wise.


Men of Twitter, is there a woman that you look up to in your own field or in another one? asks Entrepreneur Noemi Stauffer 

I love Twitter as a tool that allows people to have productive conversations. Barcelona-based Entrepreneur Noemi Stauffer recently tweeted this question to her followers: “Men of Twitter, is there a woman that you look up to in your own field or in another one?” Stauffer received 1.3K responses, more than 1K retweets and 2.5K likes.

I loved this response: “My manager. Everyday she rocks up with a big smile, her Disney-themed attire and a 'go get em' attitude. She carries the vibe of the store on her shoulders. I know she doesn’t always feel this way inside. I admire her for the strength she has to put it all aside to make us smile.” 

Some of the answers highlight people’s managers and professors, as well as scientists and iconic women, like American Computer Scientist Margaret Hamilton. I encourage you to scroll through and participate in the conversation by adding your Canadian inspirations to the list. 


A Dizzying View Of A Bicycle Graveyard in Hangzhou, China, via Wired photo of the week 

This photo blew me away: the colour and the amount of bikes is striking. 

What’s more important is the story behind the photo: the city began a bike-sharing program to solve car congestion in the city; private companies hopped on board to offer citizens the opportunity to ride a bike and leave it where they wanted. 

The program failed because people weren’t using the bikes, and left them around so much that citizens became concerned. This photo is an unfortunate reflection. 

China is the giant of global manufacturing, so this photo made me wonder: what could these bikes become? It’s a good exercise in creative thinking to solve a big problem. 


Don’t Underestimate the Power of Women Supporting Each Other At Work via Harvard Business Review 

Anne McNulty, co-founder of JBK Partners, recently wrote this reflection for Harvard Business Review. She believes conversations between women have massive benefits for individuals and organizations, but women often get penalized in the workplace for lifting each other up. 

When McNulty graduated in the 1970s, she viewed the lack of women at the top as more of a “pipeline” problem, not a cultural conflict. She wanted support from female colleagues, but it rarely happened throughout her career; she took matters into her own hands. As she advanced in her career, she hosted women-only lunches and reached out to each woman, who joined the firm with an open door policy to share advice and personal stories. She makes the case for the value of conversation: “...the return on investment on the cost of a group lunch will be staggering.”

Tags: arlene dickinson, confidence, diversity, dragons den, entrepreneur, female entrepreneur, inspiration, leadership, mental health, online reading, reading, self-confidence, small business, stress, women

Arlene Dickinson

Arlene Dickinson is one of Canada’s most renowned independent marketing communications entrepreneurs. As CEO of Venture Communications, her creative and strategic approach has turned the company into a powerhouse with a blue chip client list.  She is also the CEO of, a company she founded in 2012 that is dedicated to serving and investing in entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial lifestyle. 

Dickinson is best known to Canadians as one of the venture capitalists on the award-winning CBC series Dragons’ Den, The Big Decision and marketing expert on Recipe to Riches.  She is the author of two books, the number one bestselling book, Persuasion and her most recent best-selling release, All In. 

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