As kids, our parents set us up so we can make our own choices and they do that by encouraging us to think for ourselves. As adults, what’s true for all of us is this: your path is yours to choose and to make the best of, it’s not for someone else to tell you what you can or cannot be. So, as entrepreneurs, we have to continually dream big, so we can see what’s possible from within ourselves and for our businesses. This month I’m inspired by what makes us believe: places that unleash a new sense of possibility; people who are incredibly resilient no matter what life throws at them; and the potential of products and services when CEOs ask customers firsthand what they want and need:
Meet Five Young Entrepreneurs Who Cast Their Lot In Canada via The Globe and Mail
Arif Rajani, one of our team members at Venture Communications, was recently sworn in as a Canadian citizen. We are lucky and blessed to have him here, so when I read this article, it made me feel even more grateful for people like Arif whom have chosen to live and work in Canada. So, why do entrepreneurs choose Canada over countries like the U.S. with deep entrepreneurial centres like the Silicon Valley? In this story, five entrepreneurs from Belgium, Brazil, India, and England share their personal and professional reasons for choosing Canada, and there are many great reasons for starting a business here. I’m happy they’re part of our small business community.
The Way Forward, Fogo Island Shorefast Foundation TEDxTalk by Entrepreneur Zita Cobb
I’m continually amazed by the landscapes of Canada, and Fogo Island reaffirmed that feeling on a recent visit of mine. I was captured by its beauty including the stunning Fogo Island Inn, built by Entrepreneur and Fogo Islander Zita Cobb five years ago; she saw a way to reinvigorate an economy that long relied on fisheries. Newfoundland is not only one of the most beautiful places in our country, its people have an immense sense of risk taking to improve its place and community. When I got home, I looked up some of Cobb’s talks, and really enjoyed learning about her childhood--I believe it’s so important to honour the past to understand what our future can become.
A CEO Takes Customer Support Calls via Twitter
It’s hard to believe that all CEOs don’t speak with their customers. Every CEO needs to understand what customers need, rather than assuming what they want, to build the future of a company. I was pleasantly surprised to scroll through Twitter and see a video from Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong sitting at a desk and taking customer support calls. What’s more intriguing is the chain of comments below the video reinforcing this sentiment--as one person commented, “if you don’t know what’s happening at the lowest levels, you can’t fix it at the highest levels.” Keep this Japanese phrase close as a reminder; it’s a central pillar of the Toyota management way: Genchi Genbutsu, means go and see, because in order to really understand a situation one needs to go to genba, or the real place, where work is done.
Resilience: Navigating Life, Loss and the Road to Success by Lisa Lisson
Writing a book is a huge accomplishment. Writing a meaningful book is an even bigger success. That’s exactly what Lisa Lisson, President of FedEx Canada, has recently achieved, and I was happy to celebrate the launch of her book. Her words show us how to achieve our goals no matter what life throws at us. She’s bared her soul by sharing her personal story of losing her husband--a loss no one ever wants to experience---and how she built the resilience to continue her life, and rise to the top of her role in a male-dominated business world--not an easy feat. Big congratulations to Lisa Lisson.
Science of Mindlessness and Mindfulness via On Being
Mindfulness has become a buzzword associated with meditation and yoga. This podcast from On Being with Psychologist Ellen Langer shows our experiences are formed by the words and ideas we attach to them. Langer defines mindfulness as, “the simple act of actively noticing things,” and she says that we don’t need yoga to do that. For example, she explains “what makes a vacation a vacation is not only a change of scenery, but the fact that we let go of the mindless everyday illusion that we are in control.” Then according to Langer’s philosophy, the power of our words at work and home can influence our everyday reality; a helpful notion for many entrepreneurs.