The Digest: Arlene's Sources Of Inspiration This Month, Volume 23

The Digest: Arlene's Sources Of Inspiration This Month, Volume 23

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

On a recent Friday evening, I drove to Owen Sound to speak with young entrepreneurs. I was excited to meet with ambitious young people to learn about and discuss their ideas for the future. Change starts in our communities, and we’re all capable of achieving what we want, if we believe in ourselves. 

Often there are too many societal and family pressures to figure out our first job or our first business. If we fail with our first business and need to start over, it’s hard not to get down on ourselves. But, let me tell you this: the only thing you need to get going again, or keep going, is you. This month I’m inspired by people who believe in themselves to do what they love, even when the going gets tough: 


Read Game Changers: What Leaders, Innovators, and Mavericks Do to Win at Life by Dave Asprey 

Dave Asprey is an American entrepreneur and author. He started his career in computer information systems and progressed to roles in marketing before launching his first business, Bulletproof 360, Inc. in 2013. 

His book, Game Changers, was published in 2018 and features what he calls “mind hacks” from hundreds of interviews with unassuming successful leaders. This isn’t the type of book I’d normally pick up, but I was intrigued by his thinking. 

You may have noticed that I've been posting my 'thought of the day' on Twitter, where I encourage my followers to be kind, practice gratitude, and use time wisely. Asprey’s ideas are aligned with my thinking and give tangible ways to make those thoughts and perspectives a daily routine. 

One of my favourite lines from Asprey: “hope doesn’t lose 100 pounds.” He says hope implies someone or something else will get you there, whereas intention creates commitment and action. His book is a great resource to keep on your desk when you need some motivation and inspiration. 


13 Ways We Justify, Rationalize, or Ignore Negative Feedback via Harvard Business Review  

Receiving feedback with an open mind doesn’t come naturally. It’s a skill. A lot of people will say you need a tough skin in entrepreneurship, which is true, but I like to go by the rule of tough and tender. 

As fellow Dragon and entrepreneur Lane Merrifield shared in a recent interview with one of our writers (coming up soon), “you have to already have enough self esteem and self worth that you can handle the bumps and the bruises and the pitfalls that are going to come along with any entrepreneurial journey.” 

Practicing self-esteem starts with techniques. In this Harvard Business Review article, Peter Bergman, CEO of Bergman Partners, explains how it’s easy to react emotionally to feedback rather than accept what someone shares with us. He shows this one technique that allows us to accept feedback gracefully and learn from it. 


Budweiser Tribute to Basketballer Dwyane Wade 


Even if you don’t follow basketball or know who Dwyane Wade is, it doesn’t matter. This four-minute video shows how our leadership and selflessness influences people without us even knowing. Dwyane Wade recently retired as a professional basketball player, and Budweiser created a tribute video to salute his powerful influence on his fans and their families, who have experienced hardship. Grab some tissues, watch, and pass the video on. 


Once In A Lifetime Opportunity via CBC’s Under New Management 

I’m having a lot of fun watching the first season of my new show with CBC Television, Under New Management, and that’s a testament to the people I’m meeting on the show. 

One of the latest episodes is not a common scenario to come across in life, let alone entrepreneurship: winning the lottery, immediately knowing what you want to do with the money, and using it to start a new business rather than putting it in the bank. 

Calgary-based Boris X wants to invest in a business to run with his son and son-in-law. There’s always a risk of starting a business with family and it’s a question I get asked about a lot. Mother-daughter duo of Naledo by Truly Turmeric show us it’s possible to run a successful business with family, if your communication and values are strongly linked. 


Follow Arat Hosseini, a five-year-old soccer player, based in the Middle East

I came across this video on Twitter, which a fellow entrepreneur posted as an example of perseverance. Tiny and tough-minded Arat Hosseini and his father practice soccer tricks and strength-building activities, and his ability to not give up is incredible. 

His progress as an athlete and soccer player are a testament to his father’s guidance, though what I’m most impressed by is his constant ability to fall down - off a step, off a wall, or missing the net with his basketball, but being willing to try again. It’s the best metaphor or example I’ve seen for what we need to do as entrepreneurs every time something doesn’t work: try again and eventually you’ll get to where you need to be. It’s a belief in yourself that you can. 


Tomorrow and everyday this week as you wake up and go about the daily things you need to do, remind yourself of the why. There’s a good reason why you push yourself, work hard, and sacrifice your time and energy. Stay focused on the task at hand.

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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