The Digest: Arlene's Sources Of Inspiration This Month, Volume 21

The Digest: Arlene's Sources Of Inspiration This Month, Volume 21

Lifestyle | Posted by - February 19, 2019 at 1:00 am

It’s nearly March, and I’m wondering where the time has gone. How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions or goals? If you’ve slowed down or went off track, stop and ask yourself, “am I being realistic with what I expect of myself? Do I need to adapt my expectations so I can keep on track?”

The worst criticism we hear usually comes from the tape we play in our heads; the one playing on repeat that says to us we aren’t good enough. But then we’ll come across an old picture and realize that yes, we were. And yes, you are. Today play a different tape. 

This month I’m inspired by people who are finding a way to stick to their goals and pursue their passions. Here are stories and ideas from people who will inspire you to keep moving forward:



A Blind Date With A Book  

The adage, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” is being challenged by a bookstore chain in Australia. 

A Blind Date With A Book is a hand-wrapped book that has written clues on the cover to allude to what might be inside. The collection covers genres like mystery, romance, science fiction, and young adult, or if you want to get more specific, themes like sleep deprived, life experience and conspiracy.

Now, Chapters Indigo has introduced the concept at locations across Canada, as spotted on the shelves in Vancouver recently. So, what’s the point? The company says they, “pick books that readers may have missed by great authors or other great books that perhaps did not receive the publicity that they deserved.” It’s a brilliant idea that stretches our thinking and allows us to be surprised by something new we might like. 


Eight Lessons On Building A Company People Enjoy Working For via TED 

One of the latest TED talks about the way we work comes from Patty McCord, former chief talent officer of Netflix for the past 14 years. It’s a must watch. McCord throws out everything we know about traditional companies: manage and control employees, set standard work hours, facilitate annual reviews. In this short and insightful talk, she presents eight lessons and challenges us to learn what happens when a company puts full trust in its employees. Number one: employees are adults, but our guidelines treat people like children. 

It’s honest, pragmatic, and funny. And it’s resonating with people: her talk has received 1,000 comments, 20,000 likes, and nearly 900,000 views. 


Instead of “any questions” try “what questions do you have?” via Twitter

Amy Edmondson, a professor of leadership at Harvard Business School encourages her followers to get more specific feedback after a presentation or talk. She recently tweeted: instead of "any questions" try "what questions do you have?" RT any reactions about this critical difference!

Sometimes a small shift in our approach can create more productive outcomes. Her suggestion garnered a feed of other recommendations; Professor Nouman Ashraf of Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto suggests asking, “what are you curious about?” while another person suggested, “ask me three questions.” These questions prompt a response, encourage engagement, and provide insights for you to adapt your next talk.


16-Year-Old Creates Drone To Destroy Landmines via Scoop Whoop

I love coming across a story or post that shows ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things. Canadian tech expert Amber Mac, recently shared this story on LinkedIn and said, “Pretty awesome to see young people around the world making a difference through tech like this.” I couldn’t agree more. 

Similarly, a young Torontonian has taken her love for singing a step further: she bought a professional microphone and stand to start recording and sharing her first song to Instagram. Her name is Brittany Cornish and she said, “This year I’m trying to push past some of my limiting beliefs and fears (there are a lot of them). I have always loved singing but mostly in the shower because I am super self-conscious about it. Many life events in the past year and a half have forced me to reconsider what’s important, what I want to spend my time doing in this one life I have!” 

Both individuals show us anything in life is possible, if we’re willing to try. 

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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