The Digest: Arlene's Sources Of Inspiration This Month, Volume 18

The Digest: Arlene's Sources Of Inspiration This Month, Volume 18

Lifestyle | Posted by - November 8, 2018 at 12:30 am

Pursuing new ideas is at the heart of entrepreneurism, and the businesses involved in our latest cohort at District Ventures are pushing innovation in new ways. Truly Turmeric by Naledo is one of these companies I’m excited to watch grow. Turmeric, a plant from the ginger family, originated in South East Asia and has long been heralded in the Western world as a health staple—even finding its way into lattes and face masks—now, a mother-daughter duo has introduced the world’s first wildcrafted turmeric paste from a root discovered in Belize. 

In the same realm of reinvention, Calgary has unveiled a new library—it’s important because when we invest in our spaces, we invest in our people and our communities. Have you ever gone to the library to sit and observe? Try it sometime, because you’ll discover a hub for people to thrive, regardless of nationality, religion, age, and status. I’m proud because every single person in Calgary has an opportunity to learn, help, guide, teach, and encourage within this new building. 

So, how do we gain perspective and encourage ourselves to pursue new ideas to bring more joy into our lives? Learn what’s inspiring me this month: 


The Power of Time Off by Stefan Sagmeister at TEDGlobal 2009


Let’s admit it: we all feel like we don’t have enough time for ourselves. As Brené Brown says in her book, Daring Greatly, “for me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is ‘I didn’t get enough sleep.’ The next one is ‘I don’t have enough time.’” 

New York-based Graphic Designer Stefan Sagmeister wanted to reclaim his time to give himself space to think. So, he decided that every seven years, he’ll close his firm for one year to take a sabbatical. Some of his most successful business ideas were born during this time. 

A decision like this is bold, because it’s not easily accepted by business and societal norms. To take a pause from work doesn’t mean we’re lazy; it means we’re taking care of our minds and businesses. If we never step away from what we’re focused on, we’ll never be able to properly reflect on what’s working and not working. 


Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

Brené Brown has released a new book, Dare to Lead. While her previous research focused on individual outcomes related to vulnerability, now Brown has written a book based on research with leaders, change makers, and culture shifters, and in doing so, she’s showing us how we can put those ideas into practice. Brown says, leadership is about holding ourselves accountable to “recognize the potential in people and ideas and developing that potential.” Her book is a guide to help us step up in our roles, teams, and careers to lead ourselves and others. 


Episode One, The Business of Life, iHeart Radio Canada Podcast 


My good friend Jann Arden and I launched a new podcast in September with iHeart Radio Canada, The Business of Life. We wanted to find a way to bring our regular one-to-one conversations about everything we go through in life—entrepreneurship, motherhood, caring for our parents, and relationships, to the rest of Canada so people can relate. New episodes come out each week and it’s free to subscribe.

Jann and I both believe in being open and honest about our lives. In the first episode we talked about love and questioned relationships with a major age gap: can they work or are they doomed from the start? What do you think? I hope you’ll listen in the weeks to come, and I’d love your feedback. 


Journalist Daniel Dale, Washington Correspondent, Toronto Star 

Daniel Dale is one of my favourite journalists to follow. He’s well worth a follow: factual, in-depth, clear-headed, and a straight-shooter. He has long covered city hall for the Toronto Star. He was a lead and important reporter covering the Rob Ford investigation and now focuses on covering US politics. Ten years ago, and out of school, Dale landed a job at the Toronto Star as a city reporter, and now, at 31 is the Washington correspondent. His journey is quite impressive and reminds me that although he’s stayed with the same employer for many years—quite unheard of these days, his work keeps presenting him challenges to grow as a reporter. 


Why CEOs Devote So Much Time To Their Hobbies via Harvard Business Review

As much as you see me struggling to climb stairs as part of my regular exercise routine, I do it, because I love it. I feel great after; I have energy to start my day, meet with people, and see my team. Strength training sessions make me a more productive and able leader. 

This article from Harvard Business Review echoes a similar sentiment: how hobbies are connected to leadership. The authors wanted to know, why do leaders make time for passionate leisure interests in their already impossibly busy schedules? And, do they feel it helps their job performance? 

One of the key findings is so important for entrepreneurs, since we dedicate most of our time to work: hobbies provide detachment and an opportunity to focus on only one thing in the moment (it’s all encompassing so you don’t think about work).

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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