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APeeling in September is a digital magazine filled with real stories by real people with real solutions to life and work. This issue features a story of riches to rags and redemption. Stories about servant leadership, overcoming obstacles, immigration, the life of a digital nomad, and journaling along with fiction and book recommendations.

APeeling
LeadershipImprovement Success
Digital Magazine
September 2020
Publisher: MarketAPeel
Editor: Shanon Peel
Design: Shannon Peel
APeeling Magazine is published by
MarketAPeel
939 Homer Street Unit 411
Vancouver, BC V6B 2W6
778-839-0521
Copyright 2020 MarketAPeel.
All rights reserved. No part of this
magazine may be reproduced into
any information retrieval systems
without the written permission of
MarketAPeel. The publishers are not
responsible in whole or part for any
errors or omissions in this publication.
All opinions and views are those of
the writers and not of the publisher.
ISSN: TBD
Photo by EyeAPeel
When we do not
MarketAPeel
The Harvest
Depends on
Everything done
before the fruit
ripens
Shannon’s
Thoughts
A year ago I published the rst
issue of APeeling.
It was 36 pages with 3 articles I
ghostwrote along with my own ar-
ticles to ll the pages. There were
over 200 readers that rst month.
Over the last year I’ve pub-
lished 9 issues and last month’s
issue was over 100 pages with 10
contributors and over 2200 readers.
That’s right, in 9 issues, I added
another 0 to the reader count.
This is the 10th issue and the
start of another year for the APeel-
ing Magazine. I hope that this time
next year I’ll have added another
0 to the readership and have more
stories to help people nd the solu-
tions they need for life and work
I am thankful for everyone who
has submitted stories to share the
lessons they’ve learned from their
lives and work with others. Thank
you for supporting me, I will forever
be grateful.
Those of you who are readers
of APeeling are my gems, my dia-
monds, and gold. Without you there
would have been no growth. Thank
you for helping me.
My social media followers, es-
pecially those who have engaged
with my posts are my tribe and I
hope I am supporting you as much
as you have supported me over the
last year.
The design of APeeling has
gone through a number of changes
and I want to continue to make it a
better experience for the readers
and the contributors.
If you have any suggestions,
have seen a cool idea elsewhere,
or would like to see a certain story
told, please send me a note.
I have received lots of positive
feedback so far and contributors
have told me stories about how be-
ing in APeeling provided them with
new followers, contacts, and poten-
tial clients. I love hearing these sto-
ries because it makes all the work
worth it.
If you want to contribute a story,
please feel free to send it to adver-
tising at marketapeel.agency.
The Apple Peels are
link buttons.
I made changes to help readers
nd the stories they want to read.
First Section
Each page is the start of an article so you can see if you
want to read more of it. At the bottom of each page is a
peel to click to go to the full article.
Second Section
This section is two pages listing the contributors and the
clients of MarketAPeel who are featured in this issue.
Click on the images to go to the appropriate pages.
Third Section
This is where the articles start and you can experience
the magazine one page at a time.
Click the Peel to go to section one
Click the Peel to go to section Two
Click the Peel to go to section Three
How to Navigate
APeeling
Accountability used to be an is-
sue for me because I lacked trust in
others.
I wasn’t able to hold people ac-
countable because I never trusted
them and if I couldn’t trust them, I
couldn’t have the tough conversa-
tion to hold them accountable. In-
stead, I would say things like, “Can
you just get that done for me?”
I wouldn’t explain that I needed
it done by a certain time and ask if
they were able to do it. I didn’t hold
people accountable to the task at
hand because I didn’t trust they’d
stay if I held them to a deadline or a
level of excellence. When I had my
IT company, we used tickets, which
would not be closed on time for one
reason or another. Not because
people didn’t want to get them
done, they wanted to do the work.
The problem was, I wasn’t clear
about my expectations because I
didn’t want to create conict. I g-
ured if I created conict, they were
What is Accountability?
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Likky Lavji
As it is with most immigrants,
the rst months in Canada were
hard for my family. Or at least that
is what I am told. I don’t think I ex-
perienced any hardship. I think we
were relatively fortunate.
We rented an apartment in
downtown Vancouver on Pendrell
Street. My mom, who had trained
as a typist in Dar es Salaam, en-
rolled in a shorthand course at a
local vocational college. With her
experience working at a university
in Dar es Salaam, and this addition-
al training, she hoped to get a job
quickly.
My brother registered at Lord
Roberts Elementary School in
Grade 1 and I was sent to Marigold
Pre-School.
My dad hit the pavement in
search of work for the rst time in
his life. From time to time, he remi-
nisces and describes how very hard
this was for him. He did not have
the condence to ask for work or to
sell himself. He would go from busi-
ness to business and walk around
Success takes struggle
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Shakeel Bharmal
Throughout my life, I unwittingly de-
ed the odds and achieved what oth-
ers believed was impossible for a rural
Southern Alberta high school drop-out to
achieve.
At 26, I was the head of a three-bil-
lion-dollar organization, which was the
cornerstone of what we now call the
cloud computing industry.
At 32, I was standing at the base
of the World Trade Centers wondering
why I was alive when so many people
weren’t.
At 35, I was bankrupt and a hopeless
addict living on the streets of Vancou-
ver’s Downtown East side.
At 42, I was in a loving relationship
with a daughter on the way and a lym-
phoma cancer diagnosis.
At 45, I co-founded a company called
UrtheCast, which endeavored to cre-
ate an unabridged view of the world in
one-meter video resolution by putting
cameras on International Space Station.
Deloitte & Touche called us the most
exciting and important tech-company in
Canada that year.
In 2001, my life was out of control. I
thought I was in control of everything,
but it was just the opposite. I ran a bil-
How to do the Impossible
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Cameron Chell
Since the early days of the US
response to COVID-19, our kitchen
table has been home to a pile of
newspapers in various states of or-
der. There’s the stack of the week’s
papers, the news sometimes too
fresh and real to face. There’s the
folded assortment of mini cross-
words from Page 3 that often serve
as a welcome alternative to polite
conversation at yet another meal at
home. There’s the treasure trove of
articles that struck a chord awaiting
clipping and gluing into my now
beloved Quarantine Journal.
Today’s crossword, actually
published 6 weeks ago yet still lin-
gering in the pile, gives two clues
on the power of print to reach and
connect with all those customers
safe at their own kitchen tables.
Eight across - “things stuffed in
takeout bags” and one down - “an-
swer to the riddle ‘what stays in
one corner but travels around the
world?’”.
Keep a Journal
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Valentina Bellicova
Is the laptop lifestyle for you?
Let’s dig a bit deeper to make
sure you are on the right path. This
probably goes without saying, but
people who choose this lifestyle
typically enjoy travel.
However, this was the case before
early 2020. The vast majority of
remote workers have recently been
forced into this lifestyle and prob-
ably were not offered the luxury of
picking the destination.
When traveling is again acces-
sible, this inherently brings certain
pros and cons. It means having a
minimalist mindset and
narrowing down what you need for
your day-to-day living. You’d
be surprised by how little you need
to be happy.
Think back to
various vacations you’ve had
throughout your life. Did you pack
too much or not enough? During
the very rare times I forgot
something it was just as easy to buy
What is a Digital Nomad
Click the Peel to continue reading
By Andrew Murdoch
We All are CEOs
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Anthony Gruppo
As the CEO for the Marsh & Mc-
Lennan Agency Northeast, and now
Marsh Commercial, UK, people of-
ten asked me to dene the role of a
CEO. They want me to talk in terms
of a Chief Executive Ofcer. But I’d
rather not because honestly, I don’t
know how to dene it or what it
really means.
I believe that everyone is a CEO
I look at it this way, if you can
coach yourself and others, can be
entrepreneurial in your thinking,
and act like an owner, you are a
CEO, no matter your job or your
title.
Nobody wakes up in the morn-
ing and thinks, “Let me look at the
corporate organizational chart, I
only have 4000 spaces to climb to
become the CEO.” Not a very mo-
tivating thought, is it? Wouldn’t it
be more motivating to see yourself
as the head of your own company,
right now, today?
I ask my colleagues to think of
themselves as a CEO, because it
is how I see them, and it is how I’d
The rst part of writing a novel is
guring out what it’s about. The
next step is to gure out whom the
story is about. Characters tell the
story, are the reason people con-
nect with it, and want to continue
to read it. Whether your story has
one character, like Tom Hanks in
‘Cast Away,’ or a group of people,
like the gang in ‘Friends,’ success
is measured by the emotional con-
nection the audience has with the
characters. The more authentic the
character’s responses, emotions,
and actions, the more the reader
will connect with the whole story.
Whom is #ThatsLife About?
Charlie - The Jaded one – The one
who is bitter about men
Rose - The Romantic one – The
one who is happily married
Lindsay - The Fun one – The one
who parties and has lots of men
Sophie - The Abused one – The
Know Your Character
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Shannon Peel
I thought I’d put together
a list of Women Authors.
e problem is there are
so many I didnt know
who to put on the list and
who to leave out. So, I
went to Facebook to ask
women who their favou-
rite female authors were.
e list grew fast and it
would take a long time to
tackle everyone who was
mentioned, however, lets
give it a go, shall we?
Bronte Sisters, Char-
lotte, Emily, and Anne.
I chose the sisters be-
cause my favourite novel
is Jane Eyre. I identied
with the character’s in-
dependence, strength,
and her disconnection
to the world around her.
I have reread this book
so oen I almost know it
by heart. Why include all
the sisters? ey all wrote
books, which inuenced
the genre and proved that
women could write suc-
cessful novels in a male
dominated world.
Facebook comments:
Charlotte Bronte - Jane
Eyre was a classic I loved
reading in my academic
years”
Maya Angelou
Her ability to be open
Reading Lists & Authors
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Peter Goral & Shannon Peel
Are You Overwhelmed by the
amount of Content you need
to post on Social Media?
APeeling members have access to a content 
library lled with generic evergreen content which
they can use for their own social media posts
Free Access in September
Learn More

This Month’s Contributors
Shannon Peel Shakeel Bharmal
Peter Goral Andrew Murdoch
Valentina Bellicova Anthony Gruppo
Cameron Chell
MarketAPeel Clients
Become an APeeling Member
 Discounts on products,
 Access to Content Libraries
 Personal Branding Workshops and
 promotion in the APeeling Magazine
 Learn how to tell your story
Click the Peel to Learn more -
Chop and Chisel
Eat Real Meals All Your Meals AYM Kitchens
Shakeel Bharmal

er, richer, happier. Social Media is
a reection of these messages as
we try to portray ourselves in the
best light possible using the same
techniques as professional adver-
tisers. Seth Godin said it best when
he called Marketers liars, we are in
a way, we tell the best stories and
spin the worst into appearing bet-
ter. We manipulate stats to t our
stories and we strategically make
our topics t what we believe soci-
ety wants.
Social media is a study of so-
ciety and the individual’s driving
needs. Take a moment to study
your social media proles, what
do they say about your values and
goals?
Social media is a difcult world
to navigate and a business needs
a Marketing Manager who under-
stands how to analyze the data and
create engaging content to tell a
brand’s story. The rules keep chang-
ing as the industry tries to manage
the large amount of content being
posted to it.
Edit Your
Social Media Copy
Your brain does funny things
when trying to edit recently writ-
ten copy, it sees what isn’t there.
It knows what you intended to say
when you wrote it and reads that
intent, instead of what is actually
in front of your eyes. Then after a
few days, when you reread what
you wrote, the errors start jumping
up and down while screaming at
you. Don’t feel bad, even the best
writers in history needed editors.
As Hemingway said, the rst draft is
shit.
There are countless ways to say
the same thing. That is the beauty
of the English language, two peo-
ple can write about the exact same
topic using very different styles, vo-
cabulary, and tones. This article has
been rewritten over ten times and
I still can nd errors in it, can you?
If you do please let me know in the
comments section.
Here are some tips to help you
write error free social media con-
tent.
1. Find a proof reader - a good one
2. Be patient and proof it before
you post
3. Take time before you proof your
work, a day or two can make a dif-
ference
4. Use grammar computer pro-
grams to help you.
Engagement is the
Currency of Social Media
The hard part is creating content
people want to engage with. By an-
alysing the reactions people have
with your content, you can learn
what kind of content you need to
be producing.
A Couple Problems -
There is the content you like to
make and the content people like
to engage with. You can’t create
content that doesn’t t within the
parameters of your brand and mar-
keting plan, so what do you do?
The best thing you can do is cre-
ate the best content you can. Con-
tent that reects your brand, rep-
utation, and image. Then tell your
story to the marketplace to attract
those customers who will identify
with your product or service. You
will have to boost posts and pay for
ads to get your message in front of
the right eyeballs.
The other problem is the lurkers
who don’t engage with any con-
tent, making it harder to know what
is good content and what is bad
content. Even if they love what you
create, you’ll never know, so you
might as well make content that
reects who you are.
You can’t be everything
to everyone, don’t try to be.
Be you.
Social Media is about People
not Tech. Since we communicate
on social media with technology
and don’t actually see the person
we are talking to it can be hard to
remember that there is someone
on the other side of the screen.
This can be seen when people
make cruel hurtful comments on
stranger’s posts. Comments they
would never make to someone’s
face in the real world for fear they’d
get beat up or slapped down hard.
The thing is, you are creating
content in hopes that people will
read it and not be offended or think
you are a troll. Create marketing
messages that appeal to people’s
emotional needs. Understand why
your customers buy your product
and create interesting content that
explains how you meet their needs
and solve their problems.
Entertain, Educate,
Inform on Social Media
Social media is an interactive
platform to build a community. It
is not a broadcasting station to
scream your ad all day long.
APeeling
in Your InBox
Monthly
Subscribe Today!
How can you get better results
on social media?
Consider all the ways you can
entertain, communicate, and in-
clude others in your business’ story.
Think like an informative, educat-
ing, entertainer.... Basically, be Bill
Nye the Science Guy.
Facebook is making it harder
for businesses to engage with their
followers.
It is putting a wall up between
the two so that businesses have to
pay to get their message in front
of their targeted market. The min-
ute Facebook went public prots
became important and considering
the size of their community, they
have every right to charge for ad-
vertising.
Facebook advertising
is different.
It is better suited to branding
than it is to sales or driving trafc
off site to your website.
The rules keep changing and
what worked yesterday will not
work today. The amount of noise,
competition, and distraction the au-
dience is faced with makes it harder
than it was ve years ago to get
noticed by your fan base.
Businesses have to be strategic
and constantly aware of how their
audience interacts with the content
to get the most out of their adver-
tising dollars. Testing the market
before jumping in with all resourc-
es will help businesses get in front
of their target markets and ensure
Want Your Own Magazine?
MarketAPeel will Design
your brand magazine in
print or digital
they get the most out of their bud-
get. Anaysing the results and dig-
ging deep into the data to under-
stand the how your ads and posts
are being received, engaged with,
and charged is vital to making bet-
ter decision on future ads.
It has never been easier to get
in front of your target market and it
has never been so complicated to
manage an advertising campaign.
You Got to Pay to Play
on Social Media
In the days before everyone and
their dog got into content mar-
keting and posting on Facebook,
social media had the power to do
amazing things for a brand. In to-
day’s world, you have to pay to
play - but before you do you need
to understand how Facebook ads
work or else you’ll end up spending
a lot of money you didn’t need to
spend.
It’s not good enough to occa-
sionally put a look at me ad every
once in a while. It takes a strategic
plan of action to ensure that you
are getting the best ROI possible.
Keep the sales ads to a minimum.
Social Media is
Today’s Word of Mouth
Social media and online reviews
are the 21st century’s version of
word of mouth and are more valu-
able because of their reach.
Are you asking your customers to
write reviews?
Are you nding social media en-
gagers to follow your business
page?
Are you engaging with your cus-
tomers to be part of the conversa-
tion?
Don’t fear reviews. Good and
bad are opportunities for you to tell
your story, show your integrity, and
inform about your policies.
Let’s say you get a horrible re-
view from a client who wasn’t hap-
py with your service. You did ev-
erything you could to make them
happy, you even gave them the
kitchen sink and they still sunk you
online.
Has this happened to you?
It happens to small businesses
all the time because some people
are jerks. They want to get every-
thing for free and have you thank
them for the opportunity to serve
them. These are the people you
don’t want to have as clients, they
don’t deserve your service.
When I worked in the online
review industry I had clients who
found themselves in this position
and would call me looking for help.
The good news was that the review
brought them to the table and they
could tell their side of the story in a
professional manner. It also meant
that the business owner could bring
all his happy reviews to the table to
offset the one bad review.
Online reviews are like a scale.
Good on one side, bad on the oth-
er. As long as you have enough
good reviews to offset the bad
ones, you’re golden. In fact, your
more golden then if all you have
are good reviews, because people
don’t trust companies with no scars.
Reviews and customer com-
ments on social media are part of
your story. Draw on them to show
the marketplace why they should
contact you.
Social Media isn’t
a Commercials only station
I know you are on social media
to get people interested in buying
your product and service, it can be
tempting to post ad, after ad, after
ad.
Thing is, people don’t like to be
sold a product, they don’t want to
share advertising with their friends
and family, they want to share sto-
ries, images, and interesting facts.
If you want people on social me-
dia to buy your product, you need
to build a reputation for being like-
able, caring, and trustworthy. Peo-
ple want to have a relationship with
you before buying from you. Devel-
oping a virtual relationship is differ-
ent than a real world one, it takes
a lot more time, patience, and less
sales pitches.
Social Media
is a Community...
If you approach social media as a
place to build community and con-
nection rather than a place to sell
your wares, you will nd success.
As people get to know you,
know more about what you do and
why you do it, they will start to pay
attention and when someone they
know needs your services, they will
refer you.
It can be time consuming, dif-
cult, and frustrating, however if you
approach social media strategically
and create helpful content people
will nd interesting, you will meet
your goals.
Marketing in today’s competitive
lled market needs a strategic ap-
proach to branding, marketing, and
sales.
Submit Your Story
to APeeling
How APeeling Works
Benets to You
How to Submit
More Information
1. Anyone can submit one story free
2. Clients of MarketAPeel are in all issues
3. APeeling members can submit to 4 issues
Published in a quality product
Exposure to APeeling readers
Promotion on social media
Backlinks to your websites
Send a 500 - 1500 word edited story
to advertising@marketapeel.agency.
I do not edit submitted stories at this
point in time
We all have a story,
a legacy, a memoir.
Sites like Ancestry.com give us
dates and places but they don’t give
us the stories.
Ever wonder why your grandpar-
ents moved to a different country
or how they met? Are you curious
about what life was like when your
mother was a teenager?
Some people want to know about
their family stories, their roots, or
how they are similar to a member
from a previous generation. The
sad thing is many of those who
came before us took their stories to
their graves. The family storytellers
share their stories, but it takes less
than a generation for those stories
to be lost or changed due to embel-
lishments and poor memories.
To help you get started with put-
ting your story down on paper, I’ve
created a 7 day challenge.
Start preserving your story for
your great-grandchildren today.
Take the one week
write your story
challenge
Preserve Your Story
What is
Accountability?
According to the Websters dic-
tionary, accountability means, an
obligation or willingness to accept
responsibility or to account for one’s
actions.
Accountability is when you can
trust people to deliver on a project
or a commitment when they said
they would. The second part of ac-
countability is having faith in your-
self to deliver on the promises you
made so others will trust you.
Accountability is what builds
trust in our relationships because
we are ensuring we take responsi-
bility for our promises. We are re-
specting others and ensuring they
know they can count on us in the
future. Accountability is the actions
we take when a promise is broken,
an excuse is made, or a deadline
casually pushed out.
Keynote Speaker | Facilitator | Consultant
APeeling Columnist
We can choose to not hold
someone accountable and ignore
the issue or we can step up and
hold make them answerable by
having the hard conversations with
them or ourselves. When we do
not take responsibility for ensuring
our promises are met, we cannot
successfully demand others take
responsibility for theirs. It starts with
us through example and ends with
us through communication of ex-
pectations.
My Story
Accountability used to be an is-
sue for me because I lacked trust in
others.
I wasn’t able to hold people ac-
countable because if I couldn’t trust
them, I couldn’t have the tough
conversation to hold them account-
able. Instead, I would say things
like, “Can you just get that done for
me?” I wouldn’t explain that I need-
ed it done by a certain time and ask
if they were able to do it.
I didn’t hold people accountable
to the task at hand because I didn’t
trust they’d stay if I held them to a
deadline or a level of excellence.
When I had my IT company, we
used tickets, which would not be
closed on time for one reason or
another. Not because people didn’t
want to get them done, they wanted
to do the work. The problem was, I
wasn’t clear about my expectations
because I didn’t want to create con-
ict. I gured if I created conict,
they were going to leave the com-
pany.
Accountable to Myself
When you are not being ac-
countable to yourself, you do not
take responsibility for what you
promise to do because you don’t
trust the process to get it done.
You won’t hold yourself account-
able if you have limiting beliefs
about yourself, don’t care about
your performance, and do not trust
yourself to do the job you promised
to do. It’s easier to let the deadline
pass, to only do the minimum of
effort, or to produce at a level of,
“Good enough,” than it is to have
tough conversations with yourself
and those who rely on you. If you
don’t do what you said you were
going to do, it affects other people
who will either have to initiate a
difcult conversation with you or do
the work themselves.
Limiting beliefs like, I’m not good
enough will always come into play
when we fail to be accountable
because if I’m not good enough, I
don’t trust the process I set up to
get the job done. If I don’t trust the
process, how am I going to hold
myself accountable?
It’s a cycle, which starts when
we agree to do something we don’t
think we can do because we feel
pressured or it’s part of our job and
we are scared others will nd out
we can’t do it. It is the same rea-
son why we don’t start the task and
hope it goes away because we be-
lieve we can’t gure it out, which
will prove we don’t belong in the
role, in the relationship, or with the
company. We hope it will go away
because our manager won’t want to
have the hard conversation and will
eventually give the task to someone
Discover how integrity is
getting in the way of success
for your organization, your
team, and you.
Free ebook
Download
Click to Discover
else to complete.
There is also the other side of
the coin where we want to try lots
of different things. We start projects
but then they get hard, boring, or
something more interesting comes
along and squirrel, we’re off on an-
other project.
People who suffer from shiny
object syndrome won’t hold them-
selves accountable because they
are on to the next shiny thing, which
is a better idea than the last one.
They make lots of promises and of
course, nothing ever gets done.
A lot of people, like myself, are
a quick start. My Colby index says
I will start new projects on an on-
going basis because I get bored
easily. However, it also says I will
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He shines the light on those shiny
objects to show me that they ar-
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t, they blind me from my goal. He
helps me to keep myself account-
able and to complete the work I set
out to do.
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Charlotte, North Carolina
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As it is with most
immigrants, the rst
months in Canada
were hard for my fam-
ily. Or at least that is
what I am told. I don’t
think I experienced any
hardship. I think we
were relatively fortu-
nate.
We rented an apart-
ment in downtown
Vancouver on Pendrell
Street. My mom, who
had trained as a typist
in Dar es Salaam, en-
rolled in a shorthand
course at a local voca-
tional college. With her
experience working at
a university in Dar es
Salaam, and this ad-
ditional training, she
hoped to get a job
quickly. My brother
registered at Lord Rob-
erts Elementary School
in Grade 1 and I was
sent to Marigold Pre-
School.
My dad hit the
pavement in search of
work for the rst time
in his life. From time
to time, he reminisc-
es and describes how
very hard this was for
him. He did not have
the condence to ask
for work or to sell him-
self. He would go from
business to business
and walk around the
streets of downtown’s
west end in between.
Eventually, my dad
managed to lever-
age his experience in
the car business back
home to get a job in
sales at a used car
dealership. The letter
he received from the
Canadian diplomat in
Dar es Salaam came in
handy in his interview.
The downside was
the pay was 100%
commission-based. My
dad was not success-
ful in car sales. While
he had been working
in business since he
was 13 years old, he
was not prepared for
face-to-face sales in
Canada. It seemed to
him that his skills and
experience did not
translate. A very kind
co-worker felt bad for
my dad and arranged
to record a couple of
his own sales to my
dad’s name. If it was
not for him, we would
have depleted the
little savings that we
had brought with us to
Canada.
One day, after my
dad had been on the
job for a few months
in, this kind man said
he wanted to level
with him. He told him
he didn’t think my
dad would survive in
the car sales business
and urged him to do
something else. My
dad knew he was right
and saw this hard truth
telling as another act
of kindness.
The man offered
my dad an option.
He knew a guy who
knew a guy who had a
connection with an oil
company. Sounds sus-
picious already, I know.
There’s No Success
without Struggle
By Shakeel Bharmal
This ‘guy’ had an op-
portunity to take over
an old, boarded-up
gas station in Surrey,
British Columbia. The
guy that knew the guy
said that he was look-
ing for a partner who
would be able to in-
vest and help run the
business.
With the savings
mostly intact, and
my mom’s blessing,
my dad took a leap
of faith. Connections
were made and, within
a couple of weeks, my
dad and this stranger,
whom I will call “Jim,”
were in business to-
gether running a Mo-
hawk gas station.
At the time, Surrey
was considered a rural
farming community.
There was no public
transit to get there.
The dealership my dad
was working at made
him a good deal on a
jade green Ford Gal-
axy 500. It was huge,
as were most North
American cars sitting
on the used car market
then.
With the OPEC oil
embargo of 1973, gas
prices jumped 350%.
This car had a V8 en-
gine. No wonder they
gave him a good deal!
My dad commuted
two hours a day be-
cause he didn’t want to
uproot us from down-
town where my mom
was completing her
course and had made
a few friends. Also,
Surrey was not cosmo-
politan then and my
dad feared it might not
be welcoming for im-
migrants.
The deal with Jim
was this. Jim would
live with his family in
the apartment at the
back of the gas station.
He and his wife would
open and close the
station. My dad would
drive from downtown
and work the middle
of the day. Drawing on
his bookkeeping back-
ground, he would do
the daily accounting
of sales and purchas-
es. Essentially, my dad
would run the busi-
ness, but Jim would be
the front man when it
came to dealing with
the local bank branch,
the Mohawk district
manager and the sup-
pliers.
The business did
not turn much of
a prot for several
months so we had to
spend some of our sav-
ings. Fortunately there
was still some left.
On a few occasions,
my dad saw Jim taking
cash from the till with-
out writing it down.
When my dad asked
him what it was for, Jim
said his wife needed
to buy some food for
their baby. One day,
my dad worked up the
courage to confront
Jim and say that they
needed to establish
a process for drawing
funds, as well as set a
budget for how much
they could take out of
the business.
Jim was dismissive
and said that was not
necessary and that this
was how business was
done in Canada. He
was patronizing and
was playing on my
dad’s trusting nature.
My dad pushed back
and said that, even in
Canada, you have to
make a prot before
you draw money and
that they were not yet
protable. My dad
grew increasingly sus-
picious.
After a few weeks,
my dad got a call from
the bank manager at
the Newton branch of
the Canadian Imperi-
al Bank of Commerce
(CIBC). The bank man-
ager asked him to
come and see him lat-
er that day but not to
tell Jim. This was a sur-
prising call. Since the
day the papers were
signed with the bank
to open the account,
Jim had always been
the one who dealt with
the bank.
The bank manager
told my dad that, after
months of excuses and
stalling by Jim, CIBC
had conrmed that the
initial investment he
had promised had not
come through. What
was more, a credit
check the bank had
conducted revealed
that Jim was essentially
bankrupt. Our savings
were the only thing
keeping the business
aoat.
So Jim and his fami-
ly were living rent free,
drawing cash from
the till and doing little
more than unlocking
and locking the doors
and pumping some
gas. My mom and dad
did not know what to
do. The bank manag-
er suggested that my
dad organize a meet-
ing with the Mohawk
district manager at the
bank and the three of
them could discuss
how to proceed.
They met on a
Saturday. The bank
manager revealed ev-
erything that he had
learned and my dad,
the bank manager and
the district manager
devised a plan. My dad
did not have any credit
history, but he present-
ed the letter from the
Canadian diplomat.
With that, and his view
of my dad’s character,
he granted my dad
a small line of cred-
it. That line of credit
was enough to buy a
truckload of gasoline.
The Mohawk district
manager advanced my
dad enough credit to
buy some cases of oil
and some in-store mer-
chandise.
Then, the district
manager went to the
gas station and evict-
ed Jim and his family,
giving them 1 week to
vacate the apartment
in the back. He tore up
all the contracts and
put new agreements in
place with my dad. A
week later, my family
moved into the suite
at the back of the gas
station.
The process that
started with providing
excellent service to a
Canadian diplomat,
followed by govern-
ment policy changes
in Tanzania and Can-
ada, a failed career as
a used car salesman, a
con man, an incredibly
supportive CIBC bank
manager and a coura-
geous Mohawk district
manager had culminat-
ed in a completely un-
predictable outcome.
One year after immi-
grating to Canada, my
dad was once again a
business owner. As I
think about this story,
the biggest lesson for
me is the importance
of resilience, perse-
verance and faith. This
story and this lesson
was very helpful when
I faced my own career
crisis thirty six years
later but more on that
another time.
Through the rest of
the 70’s and 80’s, I paid
attention as my dad
talked about what was
going on at the gas
station. Various CIBC
bank managers and
Mohawk district man-
agers came and went
and I learned how my
dad evaluated each
one of them. Some
were fair, some were
not. Some were great
teachers, some were
students. This was my
introduction to effec-
tive and ineffective
business practices and
relationship manage-
ment.
As I spent summers
watching the cash reg-
ister and eventually
pumping gas, I learned
several other busi-
ness lessons. I learned
about the challenges
of nding good em-
ployees and the dis-
appointment of losing
good ones. I learned
about incredible cus-
tomers and nasty ones.
I learned about the im-
pact that oil prices and
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the economy had on
gasoline prices and the
impact gasoline prices
had on cash ow and
prots.
I did not know it at
the time but, when I
started university, I re-
alized how much I had
already learned about
business. As I have
continued to work
through my career, in
several organizations,
as a manager, manage-
ment consultant, mar-
keting director, general
manager, president
and chief operating
ofcer, I have drawn
on the lessons learned
through this humble
gas station business.
In one form or another,
I worked in that busi-
ness from the age of 4
until the age of 27.
Here is a fascinat-
ing coincidence and
twist of fate. Eighteen
years after the kind-
ness shown by that
CIBC bank manager,
my brother started a
job as a teller (now
called a customer ser-
vice representative) at
a CIBC Branch in New
Westminster, British
Columbia. He worked
his way up to a branch
manager and now,
45 years later, he is a
CIBC community vice
president.
And what was my
rst job after univer-
sity? I joined Mohawk
as a sales coordinator
and was promoted to
the position of district
manager before the
company was acquired
by Husky and I went
to graduate school. I
think it is just incred-
ible how those early
experiences subcon-
sciously imprinted to
the point that they
inuenced my brother’s
and my career paths.
What is your story?
If you were an immi-
grant child, and are
now in a leadership
role, I would love to
hear how your early
experiences impacted
your career.
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We’ve all done it.
Given away our email
for a free download,
assessment, informa-
tion. This is a fair trans-
action - I give you my
email address and you
give me something I
want.
Now you’ve set up
the download, you’ve
collected the email ad-
dress of your potential
future client and you
start emailing them a
whole bunch of con-
tent every day. STOP
with the low value dai-
ly content. It will raise
the chance of people
unsubscribing and
when they do that, the
email programs learn
your email address has
a high chance of being
spam and you will end
up in the spam folder.
To give more val-
ue you create another
downloadable digital
product similar to the
one which enticed me
to give you my email
address. You put to-
gether the email with a
link to a landing page
where I can download
the new document. I
click and the landing
page comes up ask-
ing me to give you my
email address again
in order to download.
STOP! You’ve got my
email address why
are you putting me
right back at the top
of your funnel? You
are supposed to be
building trust, bringing
me closer to a buying
decision, not starting
me right back at the
beginning. Asking
me to put in my email
address again is a
barrier and I’m going
to unsubscribe be-
cause you don’t know
what you’re doing. No,
because it’s frustrating
and it’s easier to hit
unsubscribe than it is
to jump through hoops
to get what I wanted.
If you want to have
a strong email list who
is excited to open up
your email and click
the link to get more
information. Make sure
to make it easy, valu-
able, and rare.
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How to Do the
Impossible
By Cameron Chell
I don’t believe in impossible
because I have overwhelming ev-
idence that when we search our
stories, we discover inextricable ev-
idence that the impossible does not
have to exist because we nd ways
to overcome anything.
All that exists
is possible.
Throughout my life, I unwittingly
deed the odds and achieved what
others believed was impossible for
a rural Southern Alberta high school
drop-out to achieve.
At 26, I was the head of a
three-billion-dollar organization,
which was the cornerstone of what
we now call the cloud computing
industry.
At 32, I was standing at the base
of the World Trade Centers wonder-
ing why I was alive when so many
people weren’t.
At 35, I was bankrupt and a
hopeless addict living on the streets
of Vancouvers Downtown East
side.
At 42, I was in a loving relation-
ship with a daughter on the way
and a lymphoma cancer diagnosis.
At 45, I co-founded a company
called UrtheCast, which endeav-
ored to create an unabridged view
of the world in one-meter video
resolution by putting cameras on
International Space Station. Deloitte
& Touche called us the most excit-
ing and important tech-company in
Canada that year.
The Event that
Changed my life
In 2001, my life was out of con-
trol. I thought I was in control of
everything, but it was just the oppo-
site. I ran a billion-dollar company, I
owned jets, and was on the cusp of
bigger deals.
To gain this level of success, I
needed to be in control, to do ev-
erything you’re supposed to do to
be successful.
I was “That Guy”. The guy who
was always going to be smarter,
better, faster, and at the top of what-
ever I did. I’d get up early, run all
the strategies, did all the self-help
things we need to do to achieve
more success, and then something
happened to unravel it all.
It was the morning of 9/11/01
and I had a meeting at the World
Trade Centre. When the plane hit
we were in a state of bewilderment,
then as events started to unfold,
bewilderment was replaced with
chaos.
At rst, I didn’t understand what
had happened, but I wasn’t all that
concerned. My rst thought wasn’t
about the people or the situation.
My rst thought was: “I have a
meeting in Midtown this afternoon
and the trafc’s going to be terrible
so, I need to cut this meeting short.”
That’s how self-centered I was.
I didn’t think I was being self-cen-
tered. I thought I was being smart.
I wasn’t in the moment, I was al-
ways thinking of my next move
and how to be a step ahead of the
game. That’s how you win, by stay-
ing focused on the future. Or so I
thought.
All hell broke loose when the
second plane hit. It felt like an
earthquake. It didn’t feel real. It
wasn’t possible. In fact, it was an
absolutely impossible situation.
When I got outside, the realiza-
tion of what had happened became
real and I instantly realized I had no
control over what was happening.
Here I was, the person who did
everything every day to stay one
step ahead, to control the situation,
the narrative, and my destiny at all
times. I was suddenly thrust into a
chaotic situation of impossible and
possible happening at the same
time. There was nothing I could do
to move forward, to get ahead, to
be certain of my future.
If I stepped right or left, some-
thing could fall on me and I’d be
dead. If I ran straight, I might live,
but I didn’t know. If I stood still, I
could live, but I didn’t know.
At that moment, I realized I was
completely lying to myself. Every
day, I felt I had done the things I
needed to do to always be one step
ahead, yet in that moment, I real-
ized none of that mattered. I was
not able to predict anything. I could
not stay ‘safe’ and everything could
end.
In the chaos surrounding me
people were dying, they were jump-
ing to keep from burning, they were
running in different directions and I
didn’t know which way was going to
result in staying alive.
At that moment, I learned life is
completely out of my control and
it was the worst thing I could have
discovered about my life.
The Aftermath
I made my way from downtown
into Midtown. The phone service
was sporadic and it took awhile
but I called who I could to let them
know I was ok.
When I called California to check
on my son, I found out he had taken
his rst steps. It was surreal.
I should have been dead, yet,
I was hearing the most amazing
news in the world and I all I wanted
to do was get drunk.
Up until this point in my life, I
was disciplined with my body and
my health. I drank in moderation
and only socially. I didn’t do drugs
and took obsessively good care of
myself.
That night, I got completely
drunk and that was only the start of
my problems.
Over the next six months, my
companies witnessed an unfore-
seen downturn as the tech market
collapsed. Daily, I witnessed the
stock price of my company go down
and once again, I realized I was not
in control of the outcome. No matter
what I did, I could not change the
stock market’s .com meltdow.
I’d done everything I was sup-
posed to do to be successful, to
increase the valuation of the com-
pany and create wealth for my
investors. Yet, I could do nothing
about the .com market correction or
the regulations governments were
putting into place, which slowed
technological advancement for a
few years.
I was supposed to be success-
ful. I’d worked hard. Followed the
process and there was nothing I
could do, so I drank.
Drinking turned into drugs and
the drugs turned into harder drugs.
I started disappearing for
months at a time to get away from
the impossible situation I’d found
myself in. Whenever I wanted to
escape, I’d get on one of my jets
and go hide somewhere, I wouldn’t
tell anyone where. Eventually, I
went broke, completely bankrupt,
and ended up on the street in the
Downtown East side of Vancouver,
Canada’s poorest and drug-lled
four blocks.
I didn’t have to live there. I had
friends who would come pick me
up. In fact, they’d hired private in-
vestigators to nd me, and forced
me into rehab. However each time
I’d let them down and return to the
street looking for the next high.
Eventually, I’d pushed my luck
too far. My friends realized they had
to allow me to hit rock bottom be-
cause I didn’t want to be saved. I’d
let them down too many times.
The Event that
Changed my life
While I was living on the streets
of Vancouver I offended a local
gang because I was still too arro-
gant and cocky for my own good.
Whenever this gang would nd
me, they would beat me up for fun.
One day, they beat me so badly, I
ended up in the hospital. While ly-
ing in my hospital bed, I realized as
long as I stayed on the street they
would nd me and the next beating
would kill me.
I didn’t want to die.
When I got out of the hospital,
all I had were the dirty clothes I’d
gone in with and the spare key to
my Jeep, which I’d miraculously
managed to keep.
During one of my rehab mo-
ments a friend bought me the Jeep
and for some reason I didn’t sell
it for drugs. However, that didn’t
stop the gang from taking it from
me when they beat me up. Now, I
needed it back because it was the
only way I had to get out of Vancou-
ver.
I found the Jeep parked on
the street and the spare key still
opened the locked door. As I was
getting in, I heard a yell from down
the street. It was one of the gang
members and he was coming to
stop me from taking the Jeep back.
At that moment - it was crystal
clear, if he caught me, I wouldn’t
live to the end of the day.
I didn’t know how close he was,
I didn’t know if he was chasing me,
I didn’t know if other people were
coming after me. I just drove East.
The Aftermath
After I left the city of Vancou-
ver, I pulled into a Safeway parking
lot. I was shaking. I’d gotten away
from the gang member, I’d taken
my Jeep back, but I was a mess. I
needed help and knew nobody was
going to give me money.
I’d bee wearing the same
clothes for weeks. They were cut-
up, bloody, dirty, goodness knows
what I smelled like. I hadn’t eaten
for a couple of days. I had no upper
teeth because I had knocked them
all out during different seizures and
overdoses.
I had no money. I was driving a
Jeep I couldn’t prove was mine be-
cause I had no identication. I had
no idea how I was going to repair
my life, get clean, get my family
back, and get out of bankruptcy. I
didn’t know how I was going to live
to tomorrow, let alone what to do
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Learn From Cam Chell
when I got there.
At that moment I asked myself,
“Cam what do you want?”
I wanted to be safe. I didn’t want
to die. It was the rst time in years I
realized I didn’t want to die, at least
not by getting beaten to death on
the streets of Vancouver.
I decided, I wasn’t going to die.
That was the only decision I had to
make and the next question I asked
was, “How do I stay safe?”
This is key to understanding how
we achieve the impossible.
It’s three simple things.
In that moment I answered those
three simple things to do the impos-
sible, live to tomorrow.
1. What’s important to me? – To
live
2. What’s the solution? – I need to
get to my brother’s place
3. What can I do right now in this
instant to get closer to my broth-
er? -- I need to drive East.
How do I make that happen?
The only answer I could come up
with was, I needed to ask for help.
Everything in my entire life was
about me doing it, me accomplish-
ing it, and me being successful on
my own. Standing there in the park-
ing lot of Safeway, dirty, smelly, and
scared, I had to ask for help.
I was nally at a place in my life
where I had to ask for help and I
still had friends willing to help me.
I knew the rst thing I needed to
do was call my friends and ask for
help, so I went around the parking
lot asking strangers, “Can I borrow
your phone? I need to call and ask
somebody for help.”
Amazingly, people let me use
their phones to make calls. I
couldn’t get a hold of some of the
people I called. Some who an-
swered hung-up when they heard
my voice. I couldn’t blame them.
Finally, I got my former CFO
Blair on the phone. Blair knew my
shtick. I’d called him plenty of times
lying about needing money for rent
and used the cash to get high in-
stead.
I’d let him down many times be-
fore. Blair’s a smart guy. He could
have hung up on me or told me
no. But he didn’t. Instead he said,
“Cam I’ll do something for you. I’m
going to send $12.95. First of all,
you need to know the exact number
because there’s no way Western
Union will give you any money be-
cause you have no ID, you smell,
you’re ugly, you’re an idiot. So, you
need to know the exact amount
of money. I don’t want to give you
enough money to get yourself in
danger, so I’ll send you $12.95.
What you do with it is up to you, but
when the $12.95 runs out, if you’re
still alive, I’ll help you again.”
Surprisingly, (After a bunch of
cajoling) Western Union did give me
the money Blair sent and I put gas
in the Jeep. Then I started driving
until I was low on gas again and I
started looking for another Safeway
and did the same thing. It took me
ten days to get back to Alberta, to
my brother’s place, to safety.
A lot of those days I was in the
back of the Jeep puking my guts
out and wondering what to do next.
All I really cared about was be-
ing safe, to live, and to get to my
brother. To get there I needed to do
the next thing to get one step clos-
er. I in the moment focusing on the
next step, the one right in front of
me, that moment - not looking down
the road to tomorrow. I could only
look at the task right in front of me
at today.
Once I did one thing, I’d ask,
“What do I need to do now to get
safe?” Then I’d focus on the next
thing. Each step geting me closer to
Share the Story
my goal, my brother, my safe place.
Doing the impossible isn’t about
doing everything and knowing the
whole plan. It is only about doing
the next thing. To keep taking steps
to move towards what you want, for
me it was to be safe at my brother’s
place.
When I nally made it to my
brother’s place, something amazing
happened, my arms were around
him and his wife and they were
literally carrying me into the house.
I asked, “Why are you going to help
me this time?” My brother respond-
ed, “You have ten days clean?”
During my escape from Vancouver
to his place, I didn’t think about
staying cleaning for ten days. I only
thought about doing the next thing
to get to safety.
Against all odds, I had 10 days
clean by focusing on the next thing.
That is how we accomplish the im-
possible.
The Lesson
I can’t do it on my own.
No matter what you do. No mat-
ter who you think you are. No mat-
ter what, if you think you are doing
it on your own, if you think you’re
the solitary hero, you will not ac-
complish the impossible.
Show me any person in history
who was successful, and I will show
you that the reason they were suc-
cessful was because of the people
around them.
We all need to ask for help and
stay focused on the future while
being in the moment to do the next
thing to get to where we need to be.
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About Cameron Chell
Cameron Chell is considered
a ‘serial entrepreneur’ with his
rst ventures beginning at age 14
and a trajectory in business that
spans more than 25 years. He is
the co-founder and CEO of the
Business Instincts Group (BIG) and
BUILD Impossible. He has launched
numerous successful tech start-ups
such as Dragany Innovations (CSE:
DFLY) (OTCQB: DFLYF), ColdBore
Technologies, Raptor Rig, Urthe-
cast, KODAKOne and Currency-
Works (TSXV and OTCQB: CWRK).
His entrepreneurial success is
based on principles of clear vision,
quantiable results and tireless pur-
suit of goals.
A sought-after speaker, Chell
has addressed audiences of thou-
sands in settings around the world.
His presentations include speeches
at the United Nations, Tony Rob-
bins, and TEDx Montreal Women.
His talks touch on themes ranging
from technology to homelessness
as he shares his life experiences of
overcoming hurdles and doing “the
impossible.”
Cameron Chell
Gets Schooled
Social Media Challenge
Day One
Go to the “About Me” section of your social media proles.
What does the messaging say about you?
Is all the information current?
Is all the information the same on each platform?
If your prole description needs a re-do, now is the time to do it.
Start out with what you do.
Ex “I tell brand stories on digital platforms.”
What makes you unique?
Ex “My experience in sales, marketing, writing, and graphic design ensures I
understand the whole brand storytelling process from start to nish.
What you can do for people?
Ex “When brands and professionals want to tell a cohesive story to their ideal
audiences using a multi-media and multi-channel approach, they call me.”
Use formal language on linkedIn, be more personable on your personal Facebook, and
keep your Twitter description short - with only one main hashtag and a link to your website.
Not sure what to do and need help writing your prole description?
Post what you have in the forum set up for this challenge to get feedback from
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Why indeed keep a journal?
While the list of reasons may be
endless, the main reason is that it
is a proven personal development
process that ne tunes your blue-
print in such a way that it brings
about improvements in every area
of your life.
A journal can have a single focus
such as developing and tracking
the progress of a major (or minor)
project, or, it can be as wide reach-
ing as a life project. Personal devel-
opment can be a potpourri of your
daily life’s challenges and victories;
it can also be single focused such
as losing weight or training to run
your rst marathon which when
achieved can move you on to jour-
naling on another goal, scattered
with mini-projects to reach the fen-
ceposts along the way. Just like a
journey to a far off destination you
will nd that along the way there is
plenty to marvel at, to soak in and
expand your thinking, your knowl-
edge, your understanding of life,
beauty and the essence of nature
and who we are.
BUT, to achieve any of the
above, a new blueprint needs to
be created to replace the one you
have now, the one that is run by
the imprint that was formed by the
time you were seven. Well, create
may not be the right word. Create
suggests that out of thin air a new
blueprint can be drawn just like an
architect does with each new proj-
ect. You can’t just toss away the
one you have and voila! Just like
that have a new blueprint.
This is the part that is your life’s
journey. First, you need to know
that your blueprint is not all that
bad,, it’s just that its our human
nature to focus on things that are
not good because that is the pain
that keeps happiness at bay. There
is denitely a lot of good and
you want to not only preserve the
good, but to improve on it, make it
stronger.
One small change to your blue-
print can have a massive spin off
that can change your life. Before I
had even started journaling, I had
decided to make one small change
in my life. To get t again. I had
always been physically active, but
Why Keep A
Journal?
By Valintina Ballicova
work, raising a family, yada yada
yada (pick an excuse of your own)
took its toll on me and I denitely
needed to shed some LB’s.
Undoubtedly you have heard the
saying “Life is a marathon not a
sprint.” While that may be true, I
can tell you that life is both. Using
the same analogy of a marathon
and sprint let me tell you a short
story about how Nina - yes that
Nina, the one who introduced me
to journaling, the one who trained
us, “the gruesome foursome” to
run a marathon.
Nina was a rm believer in mix-
ing things up, of cross training be-
fore I ever heard of the term. Bit by
bit we noticed that we were spend-
ing more time outdoors. Some-
times it was just a short warm up at
the gym then out we went. A short
run to a nearby park, where we
“played” on the monkey bars, tried
chin-ups on the pull up bars, and
holy guacamole! Learned to use
the parallel bars. The nearby beach
served well for squats and lats.
The town where exercised was
on a peninsula with a steep drop
to the beach. Sometimes we would
run on a trail down the hill but
more often it was down a series of
steep steps. First a leisurely walk
up, then faster, then run up. She
even had us walk up the steep in-
clines and steps backward.
But there was always a run.
Sometimes a short one, sometimes
a long one. The short ones became
increasingly faster, then sprints that
left us gasping. The long runs be-
came longer.
Of course we grumbled, but se-
cretly we loved the slimming of our
bodies, the strengthening of our
legs and arms, the disappearance
of our mufn tops, and I noticed
that our postures improved, that
we walked with a more condent
and even an authoritative gait.
All that from that one small
decision. One morning after the
workout Nina pulled a fast one on
us. As had become our routine we
were enjoying coffee and munch-
ies at the local café, when Nina
pulled out some forms out of her
bag, and spoke (paraphrased):
“Hey guys (everyone was “guys”
in those days), I got some paper-
work I’d like you to ll out. Next
month is the rst half-marathon
of the year, it’s a great warm up
for the many marathons that are
held throughout the year. So these
are the registration forms for that
half-marathon …”
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We were stunned. After an initial
moment of silence a chorus went
up …
“What? Are you nuts!” “Not on
your life!” “Yeah. Right.”
Our protests were met with that
rm look and resolve I had come
to know that she was serious. She
gave us one reply:
“You have already run the half-mar-
athon several times. And we still
have a month to practice more”
That sly fox!
Before we left the café Nina had
four signed registration forms for
the February Half Marathon. Bin-
go! Would have never done this if
it wasn’t for that one small decision
to get t. To achieve life’s sprints
and milestones, small incremental
steps must be taken.
Think about a ship and the ship’s
captain. When the ship sets sail it
has a destination. To get to that
destination the captain has to make
small changes in the direction that
his ship faces. Say the ship is sailing
from New York and its destination
is Tokyo. To reach that destination
the captain will need to make small
but constant steering changes, rst
southbound to the Caribbean, then
westbound to Panama, then cross-
ing the narrow Panama Canal, then
north up the Pacic with incremen-
tal changes towards the west.
Sometimes those incremental
changes are as small as just one de-
gree to the left, or to the right.
What if that ship was called “My
Life?” What if all it ever sailed was
between New York and Miami. And
what if you were the captain?
One day as you dock the ship in
Miami, you look out on to the hori-
zon. In the distance turquoise wa-
ters blend with the blue of sky. The
scene that nature has laid out for
you is seductive, it holds promises
of something. What? You do not
know.
In your heart you yearn for more
than just New York to Miami. You
yearn to explore. In the morning,
you change your course.
Your journal is that ship. You are
its captain. One difference: your
ship is now called “My Journal”
and it gives you safe haven to make
small incremental changes to your
blueprint. It is the place where you
can, and should be, unabashedly
honest. There is no shame or em-
barrassment when you pour out
your heart and soul onto the pages
of your journal. And, to truly im-
prove that blueprint, that is what
needs to happen.
You will never be able to move
forward if you do not identify the
things that are holding you back.
Have you ever laid in bed at night
with your brain just running at full
speed? You mull over thoughts and
then out of the blue, Eureka! You
have had an epiphany and it sud-
denly feel as if a massive weight
has been lifted off your shoulders.
You feel free! You feel as if you
have cast off a yoke that has kept
you down forever. Suddenly you
feel excited, lled with exuberance
and looking forward to the day.
Journaling is a way for you to
reach those moments without los-
ing sleep! You won’t have to worry
about lying awake in bed until the
wee hours of the morning, because
you already worked it all out in your
journal.
Simply by writing in your jour-
nal, new neural pathways have
been created in your brain. Writing
engages the analytical left side of
our brain, leaving the creative right
side to come up with solutions. In
this way the brain becomes aware
of what you want to achieve, where
you want to go and will actively
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seek solutions.
In your daily journal write down
the solutions that come to mind.
In the light of day you can engage
your logical powers to evaluate
them. Choose one, apply, and see
what happens. Is the new tactic
taking you closer to what you want
to achieve? If yes, continue; if no,
re-evaluate, correct course and
continue.
As you saw in the sample journal
entry in the previous chapter Jane,
the journal writer, refers to some-
thing that happened when she
was a little girl. We are who we are
today because of our early years’
environment, experiences, and our
reactions, thoughts and feelings
associated with those experiences.
The blueprint for who we are today
was deeply ingrained in our psyche
by the time we were seven years
old. Our parents, teachers, friends,
home life, where we lived, culture
and belief systems that we were
exposed to all helped design a
blueprint for our life. Even our reac-
tions to events in our lives continue
to play a critical role in how we live
our lives.
Two people may be in the same
place at the same moment and
have the same experience, but how
they react to that experience will be
different. Think of the classic exam-
ple of twins born into poverty. Their
parents worked hard at making a
living but were only managing to
bring in meager earnings. As chil-
dren the twins often went to bed
without food. They witnessed loud
and sometimes violent ghts
between their parents. Their father
turned to crime and was eventually
sent off to jail. This was life as they
knew it.
Many years later, one of the
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twins found himself in a courtroom
in front of a judge. Sadly, he mir-
rored the life of his father. Sitting in
the courtroom was his twin broth-
er. He on the other hand had tak-
en a different road. He was now a
prosperous and upstanding citizen
admired by many. He married and
provided well for his family.
A reporter covering the trial was
curious. Two brothers, with exactly
the same upbringing yet, one fell
victim to his childhood, the other
rose above it. What was the differ-
ence? He decided to pose a ques-
tion to each of the twins: to what
events in their life did each ascribe
their current situation?
One twin replied:
I grew up in abject poverty.
Food was scarce. Our parents
fought a lot, mostly about money.
My father eventually abandoned
us. It was hard for our mother. What
choice did I have but to follow the
only life I knew how to live.
And the other one said:
I grew up in abject poverty.
Food was scarce. Our parents
fought a lot, mostly about money.
My father eventually abandoned
us. It was hard for our mother. What
choice did I have but to look at
my life and seeing that I was at the
bottom of the pit, I realized that I
had no place to go but up.
Journaling gives you the oppor-
tunity to x some of the areas in
your blueprint that may be holding
you back. When you write in your
journal, be brutally honest with
yourself. In fact, you have to be
in order to really understand what
is going on. When you lay it all
out on paper, it is somehow much
more real. It is there for you to an-
alyze and determine what part of
the blueprint isn’t working for you.
What link do you want to change?
Once you identify the problem, it is
easier to x it.
When you take your car to the
mechanic shop, don’t they ask you
what the problem is? If you don’t
know what it is, they hook it up
to a device that checks under the
hood to identify the problem. From
there, they can x it.
It’s the same with your brain.
Once you identify the problem it
is easier for you to x it. Your brain
has been imprinted with memories,
feelings and emotions that need to
be examined before they can be
repaired.
Word of caution. Unlike a me-
chanical shop that can x all the
problems with your car with one
appointment, journaling can’t do
that. Work on just one or two things
you want to change or improve on.
Your life blueprint is deeply in-
grained in your psyche, lives in your
subconscious self and is the engine
that drives your life.
What you will nd is that as you
begin to redesign your blueprint,
even with just one or two items, the
improvement will have a positive
impact on all areas of your life. It
may be small and subtle, or it may
be a sudden gargantuan mental
shift. Either way it’s all good. Keep
on keeping.
Valentina inspire entrepreneurs who
have a desire to write, to share their
knowledge and experiences, to enter-
tain, and educate.
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Wikipedia denes a Digital Nomad
as the following:
“A type of people who use tele-
communications technologies to
earn a living and, more generally,
conduct their life in a nomadic
manner. Such workers often work
remotely from foreign countries,
coffee shops, public libraries, co-
working spaces, or recreational ve-
hicles. This is often accomplished
through the use of devices that
have wireless Internet capabili-
ties such as smartphones or mo-
bile hotspots. Successful digital
nomads typically have a nancial
cushion. The digital nomad com-
munity has had various events es-
tablished to host members of it.
Common types of digital nomads
include retired or semi-retired
persons (including snowbirds), in-
dependently wealthy or entrepre-
neurs, and (often younger) remote
workers.
People typically become digital
nomads for positive reasons, such
as nancial independence and a
career that allows for location
independence. This sort of lifestyle
may present challenges such as
maintaining international health
insurance with coverage globally,
abiding by different local laws and
sometimes obtaining work visas,
and maintaining long-distance rela-
tionships with friends
and family back home.”
Is the laptop
lifestyle for you?
Let’s dig a bit deeper to make
sure you are on the right path. This
probably goes without saying, but
people who choose this lifestyle
typically enjoy travel.
However, this was the case before
early 2020. The vast majority of
remote workers have recently been
forced into this lifestyle and prob-
ably were not offered the luxury of
picking the destination.
When traveling is again acces-
sible, this inherently brings certain
pros and cons. It means having a
minimalist mindset and
narrowing down what you need for
your day-to-day living. You’d
be surprised by how little you need
What is a
Digital Nomad?
By Andrew Murdock
to be happy. Think back to
various vacations you’ve had
throughout your life. Did you pack
too much or not enough? During
the very rare times I forgot
something it was just as easy to buy
the item.
For me, it’s far more likely that
I overpacked. Trust me when I say
that traveling with less is a bless-
ing, whether due to lugging heavy
baggage or the exceedingly com-
mon airline fees for extra and over-
weight bags.
Do you really want to be that
person holding up the line at the
airport while you move
items from one bag to another? I’m
sure it gives everyone a good
laugh until it’s their turn to have a
bunch of strangers eyeing up
what they have in their luggage!
Plus, depending on how you
handle your accommodations, you
won’t need to bring that much.
More on that later in Chapter 3.
One item you won’t get away
with leaving behind is your
laptop. Although, some can make
do with a mobile cell phone or
tablet. These circumstances are
rare, and for the purposes of this
book, I will assume you already
have a laptop. If not, keep your eye
open for deals around holidays, liq-
uidation sales, or even purchase
something second-hand on a site
like Craigslist. If you are on a
budget, you can usually locate a
good refurbished model too. The
type of remote work you will be
doing dictates what type of device
you will use.
On that note, a good purchase
is a universal power converter. A
digital nomad is nothing without
power. We don’t require much, but
power is our heartbeat.
You may also require special
equipment like an external mic,
cameras, lighting, tripods, etc. But
please keep this to a minimum. A
stack of books on a chair is tripod
enough.
You may nd adequate wi
hotspots in public places like coffee
shops, public libraries, co-working
spaces, airports, and malls.
However, internet speeds may not
be the best since you are
sharing the broadband with numer-
ous others. Something else to
consider is that public (free or oth-
erwise) wi is not the most
secure.
There’s always a lot of talk about
which devices are safer and have
better privacy. Sorry to break it to
ya, but Facebook and social media
aren’t the only concerns around
data protection. If you use public
wi, you are exposed. If this is a
concern, accessing your own pass-
word-protected wi in a recreation-
al vehicle, Airbnb, house sit, or a
mobile hotspot device is preferred.
It’s always a good idea to have
a backup plan. If electricity is the
digital nomad and remote worker’s
heartbeat, then the internet is our
lifeblood!
Nobody has achieved a single
thing without the help of someone
else. Stepping into a new remote
lifestyle will take effort and a steep
learning curve. You can collapse
this learning curve if you surround
yourself with other like-minded
people. Join Facebook groups,
Telegram chats, meetups, webinars,
and seminars.
Do a search for these three
terms and you will naturally nd a
conversation that will feel right:
Digital Nomad, Remote Worker,
and Laptop Lifestyle.
Telegram is a chat app and you
can join the Digital Nomad Jour-
ney chat here. There are dozens
of Facebook groups for digital
nomads. There are far too many
groups to mention in this book.
People tend to nd the most
value in the Group pages that are
focused on the part of the world
they wish to travel to or are already
located. A simple search and you
will nd what you are looking for.
For example, Bali Digital Nomads
is a Facebook Group that provides
Bali localized knowledge.
Not a fan of Telegram or Face-
book? No problem. This LinkedIn
Group called TRT Remote Work
& Travel Community Worldwide is
full of remote professionals. But a
small warning. Do not, I repeat, do
not join a community and start de-
manding answers! The law of reci-
procity is a very real thing.
Try your best to contribute to
the conversation and bring value
to the group. People will be more
willing to help you out if you start
things off on the right foot. Plug-
ging into the right network will get
you access to resources, and you
might even nd employment and
business opportunities as well. As
they say, birds of a feather ock
together. Be with your people and
you will make more progress in
a shorter period of time. I cannot
stress this enough. Do not take
advice about the laptop lifestyle
from someone who has not
lived it.
“It ain’t what you don’t know
that gets you into trouble. It’s what
you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
- Mark Twain
When I was growing up, I used to
think traveling the world and
living that exotic lifestyle was only
for older retired and/or semiretired
people. Perhaps, at that time, I was
right. The digital revolution
wasn’t here yet. But these days,
the internet has made the world
smaller and more accessible. Op-
portunities to explore new parts
of the globe are no longer out of
reach. You no longer have to wait
for retirement. The laptop lifestyle
isn’t reserved for independently
wealthy or successful entrepre-
neurs. True, the transition may be
easier for those who are better off.
You may already have a digital job
and never considered packing a
bag and booking a oneway ight.
Or perhaps your current profession
is already location dependent? You
could be a janitor making minimum
wage or a high-earning investment
banker. Either way, you are still
“stuck”
in a particular location. That de-
mands you clearing some time in
your calendar to develop a new
skill set that can be used in a
digital and remote way.
Find a way to solve a problem,
create value, or reduce risk and you
WILL be compensated for that skill
set. Ideally, it will be something you
are already familiar with or have an
interest in.
But if you are starting out, I’d
suggest picking something easy
and locking in a quick win. We will
discuss your options in Chapter 2.
How I Became a
Digital Nomad
The reasons for seeking a laptop
lifestyle are different for everyone.
I found myself newly divorced
and sleeping on an air mattress in a
friend of a friend’s spare bedroom.
I was drowning in my own debt
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with an added ve gures that my
ex left on my credit card. I felt like
the world’s biggest loser. A failed
marriage coupled with a mountain
of debt that was overwhelming. I
was choking on my situation and
sick to my stomach because I had
created that crippling situation.
I had a choice. I could bitch and
moan or I could take control. It was
a painful and expensive lesson: you
will never control someone else’s
actions. Complaining about some-
one else saying or doing some-
thing is like complaining about the
weather. You are wasting your time
and breath.
I knew the only way I had a shot
at improving my nancial mess was
to increase income and/or reduce
expenses. So, I got off that air mat-
tress, and I took action. I got rid of
almost all my belongings, including
selling my car. I studied my digital
nomad options and realized that I
could live on a fraction of what my
expenses were in my hometown
of Vancouver, Canada. Not a big
surprise since Vancouver is widely
known to be a very expensive loca-
tion.
I share all of this because nan-
cial independence is a very REAL
possibility when choosing the
laptop lifestyle. I shudder to think
where my life would be had I not
taken action when I did. I doubt
that I’d still be on an air mattress,
but I would not have realized such
a profound sense of freedom. I
certainly would have been much
worse off when the pandemic and
associated economic downturn hit
in early 2020.
Some of my loved ones were
concerned about my life choices
and worried that I was taking on
too much risk. It is clear to me now
that I have reduced my risk in a
meaningful way, and I hope the
same for you.
Life can be unpredictable, and
it’s only prudent of us to hope for
the best but plan for the worst.
Tony Robbins likes to say, “Antici-
pation is the ultimate power. Losers
react; leaders anticipate.”
Have you thought of a plan or
how you would “react” if you were
to get sick or injured while living
remotely? Financial protection
might not be the sexiest topic, but
it’s a necessary one. A last minute
ight back home and an unexpect-
ed hospital bill in a foreign country
have the reputation of causing last-
ing negative consequences.
Insurance is a dirty word in some
circles. But a policy is far cheap-
er ten years too early rather than
one minute too late. There are a
number of nancial institutions and
products in the marketplace today
who cater to digital nomads such as
Safety Wing. Please research your
options as the specics exceed the
goals of this book. However, some
points to consider and chat with
your Agent about are:
How does this policy complement/
supplement my employer policy or
national health coverage?
How long is the elimination period?
(This is the period of time you must
wait BEFORE you receive your ben-
ets. Typical Disability coverage has
a 90-day elimination period which
would cause severe nancial harm
to most people. Data shows us that
88% of the time you are recovered
before this period expires.)
What are the exclusions? (Reasons
you would not receive your ben-
ets. You want to make sure what
you are and are not covered for!
An example might be scuba diving
activities.)
Have your agent explain what
the process of submitting a claim
looks like, and ask if they are able
to assist with that. This might be a
complicated process, and keep in
mind that if you are dealing with an
illness or injury, the simplest task
might feel difcult and overwhelm-
ing.
Clarify if your coverage is world-
wide or restricted to certain parts
of the world. Starting out as a new
digital nomad, you can lower your
nancial risk if you have some sav-
ings built up, already secured reli-
able remote income, and/or have
the added benet of sharing this
lifestyle with a partner. If one of you
falls on hard times, the other would
be in a better position to carry the
burden until good health returns.
Obeying local laws and obtain-
ing work visas can certainly be
an issue but goes beyond the
scope of this book since it’s heavily
dependent on where you currently
claim residency and where you
plan on traveling. This requires
some good old-fashioned Google
searches to start. Depending on
the complexity and your goals, it
might also make sense to speak
and hire an expert. There are
advanced tax strategies and Spe-
Click to Discover
Want To Listen
to APeeling?
APeeling Members
have access to
APeeling in Audio les
to download and
listen on the go
cialists that can assist you. It also
might make sense for you to ac-
quire residency elsewhere or even
get dual citizenship.
I’d suggest keeping the com-
plexity low if you are only consid-
ering this lifestyle change for the
rst time. After a year or two, you
will have a better understanding of
your needs and who to speak with
regarding legal or tax matters. On
that note, I can suggest Nomad
Capitalist for further details. They
specialize in helping six and seven
gure entrepreneurs and investors.
Until traveling is once again
available, now is a great time to
start the process of getting an addi-
tional passport, opening a foreign
bank account, and learning about
the benets of each.
“The best time to plant a tree
was 20 years ago. The second
best time is now.”
--Chinese proverb
Maintaining relationships with
friends and family can be challeng-
ing, especially if they do not sup-
port your lifestyle choices. My
mom was not very happy with my
decision to live and work remotely.
I know that she had good inten-
tions and my best interests at heart,
wanting the best for me. However,
there is a lot to be said about the
law of attraction. You will natural-
ly attract those you are “like” and
repel those you are not. To avoid
losing touch with those who are
important to you, please consider
creating calendar reminders. Per-
haps every second week or month
even.
This calendarization will set you
up for success, and I’m sure your
loved ones will appreciate hearing
from you on a regular basis.
What’s the point of having all of
these amazing adventures around
the world if you have no one with
whom you can share?
You might even inspire them to
make some changes in their own
life so that they can become re-
mote workers. Recent events have
forced many people to become
comfortable with facetime and
virtual communication in order to
stay connected during times of
social distancing and self-isolation.
If you’ve ever wondered if digi-
tal nomads are legitimate, my hope
is that by now the answer is fairly
clear. There are many reasons why
so many people feel pulled towards
this way of life.
Have you ever met someone
who regretted traveling? I haven’t.
There is so much to be gained by
exploring this beautiful planet and
the people on it. It seems crazy to
me to put that experience off for a
few decades. There is no need for
that. Keep reading!
Get the book
from Amazon
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Everyone
is A CEO
by Anthony Gruppo
As the CEO for the Marsh & Mc-
Lennan Agency Northeast, and now
Marsh Commercial, UK, people of-
ten asked me to dene the role of a
CEO. They want me to talk in terms
of a Chief Executive Ofcer. But I’d
rather not because honestly, I don’t
know how to dene it or what it
really means.
I believe that
everyone is a CEO
I look at it this way, if you can
coach yourself and others, can be
entrepreneurial in your thinking,
and act like an owner, you are a
CEO, no matter your job or your
title.
Nobody wakes up in the morn-
ing and thinks, “Let me look at the
corporate organizational chart, I
only have 4000 spaces to climb to
become the CEO.” Not a very mo-
tivating thought, is it? Wouldn’t it
be more motivating to see yourself
as the head of your own company,
right now, today?
I ask my colleagues to think of
themselves as a CEO, because it
is how I see them, and it is how I’d
like you to see yourself. Imagine
how different, how productive, how
animated, how energetic you could
be if your title, right now, was a
CEO.
Imagine if we thought and acted
like the CEO of our position in our
family, our life, our business and
our community? Imagine all of us
thinking and acting like owners of
everything we do and how great
we all could be together instead of
working in silos or limited by our
cubicles and titles.
Greatness is...
Think about how many times
you have heard the word ‘Great.’
Great athlete. Great businessper-
son. Great celebrity. What does
that mean? How do you dene
greatness?
Are we great when we hit ev-
ery benchmark, every goal, every
objective? Does the eight-year-old
with straight As come home and
say, “I’m Great,” and his parents
say, “Yep, you are Great, you have
made it, and now you are done?”
Or is the CEO Great once they’ve
hit their forecast for that quarter?
Or they’ve hit their annual goals?
Are they Great then?
I don’t think hitting benchmarks
is Greatness.
Perhaps the pinnacle of Great-
ness is when people duplicate
what we did and continue what we
started. Maybe then we are Great. I
think that’s a better denition.
When my father, who was a role
model passed away from ALS, he
asked me to duplicate what he
started so it could continue for”
“the family. He’d built a supportive
family dynamic and I was honored
to continue his legacy as a leader
who helped others.
Are you improving the quality of
life for your family and loved ones?
Are you improving the quality of
life for the people whom you work
with and serve? Are people happy
to come into an environment where
you lead, or do they feel it’s some-
thing they have to do to earn com-
pensation?
Success will never be achieved
until people seek to duplicate what
you started.
Are You in
your Own Way?
Long before becoming the CEO
of the Marsh & McLennan Agen-
cy in the Northeast, I sometimes
struggled with focus, discipline,
and all the issues many of us en-
counter. But I knew I had to do
more than change my job title to
obtain the life I wanted for myself.
I had to ask myself some hard
questions and nd the courage to
answer them honestly because ly-
ing was not going to help me move
in the right direction. I developed a
Personal Strategic Plan to help me
discover the answers.
When you match your goals to
what you’re trying to do in your life,
your profession, and your job, hap-
piness will ensue.
Are your Goals Equal
to your Potential?
Often times, we struggle with
welding our passion to our poten-
tial to increase our performance.
As you dene your short and long-
term goals, think about welding
them to your potential.
In the past, I used overview
goals to formulate my mission, to
be a welcome leader in any arena I
chose to stand in. As time went on,
I realized in my life, both personally
and professionally, the goals had to
be more specic.
For a dream to become a goal
you need to write it down, give
yourself a deadline, and outline a
metric you will use to measure your
success.
Dreams are Goals
with Deadlines
The goal process should nev-
er be taken lightly; it is not one of
those measures that becomes com-
monplace. Cheating on your goal
is similar to robbing your heritage
and desecrating the foundation of
the overachiever who came before
you. Leaders are not like everyone
else who plays the game. Leaders
are the creators and visionaries of
the goals of others. If we take our
goals lightly, we short arm the fu-
ture for those whom we lead.
Every moment we fail to support
each other and second-guess our
achievement, we prevent the sur-
vival and success of the system. No
matter where we go, goals follow
us and bang loudly on our souls. In
the end, it was never the goals that
drove us; it was always the need,
desire, and courage to conquer
them. To take them lightly is to as-
sume we were never here at all.
Goals create the future of an or-
ganization and the well-being of a
family. We cannot count on some-
one else to deliver our future and
dream our dreams for us. We can
set examples for our families and all
those who follow in our steps. We
have no right to question the goals
of our children if we constantly fall
short of our own goals.
We might only have six min-
utes to get a goal accomplished, as
there may be no long-term oppor-
tunity. Short-term is nothing more
than putting some kind of a quan-
tier on the goal to complete it in
a realistically fast period of time.
Long-term is a vision of the future
built on a foundation of successful
short-term goals.
Together, we can strive to reach
heights which seemed too high for
us. Discussing our goals with others
is one of the most successful ways
of dealing with achievement and
staying focused. Tell people what
you are trying to accomplish be-
cause it puts a subtle pressure on
us to deliver upon our goal. It also
helps people point us in the right
direction. It is critical we follow
through using direct action to take
steps to continue forward because
we do not want to process items re-
peatedly like a hamster on a wheel.
Planning is the glue to our goal
process. Our goals are brought
to conclusion through thoughtful
processes. Remember, although
we have to be successful at what
we create, we also want to chal-
lenge ourselves to be better than
our current selves. It is important
we set short and long-term goals
which challenge us. I have found
that what stops most people from
achieving success is their inability
to change and try new endeav-
ors. Goals force us to stretch and
to achieve in areas where we have
not yet been successful, may be
uncomfortable, or we have not at-
tempted to penetrate in the past.
We have to put in the effort to plan,
to look at short-term and long-term
goals, measure and have the ability
to change or pivot.
A Team is a Force of One
So much has been written about
goal setting and how critical it is
for organizations and individuals to
set goals, yet rarely are we clear on
how to implement or communicate
the goal process.
As I discussed before, visualiza-
tion is critical in goal planning. The
process is easier than you think.
With the help of the exercises in
this book, identify and build on
your strengths, both personally and
professionally. You will then able
to project how things will look in
the future based on those same
strengths. It is not necessary to
abandon your current delivery sys-
tem, but merely expand upon it.
Based on your current planning and
goal-setting methods, you can proj-
ect what the environment will look
like in the future.
If people do not believe in the
dream and vision of the company,
they will not follow the goal-setting
process in the future. To combat
apathy within the company, leader-
ship must give people the chance
to debate and discuss the vision.
This process will help them to sup-
port the company’s entrepreneurial
spirit because they were involved in
the goal planning process and can
attach themselves to leadership’s
vision and dream. As they watch
leadership planning well into the
future, they may feel compelled to
plan for their own futures by creat-
ing individual goals.
I have found few individuals can
really plan for the future and build
their own perpetuation plans. Many
speak of it, but few can truly deliv-
er a solid functional plan. Part of
the planning process and part of
the goal-setting environment is to
decide early on whom you will col-
laborate with to accomplish your
tasks. At our organization, we have
colleagues who are driven and
dedicated. Even though they may
lack the overall picture of the entire
company, they know the goals and
Available
on
Amazon
leader’s vision, so can focus on their
particular area of expertise.
Without them, the delivery
system would fail, but with them
change and creativity is common
and cherished. Many people are
surprised when they fail at accom-
plishing goals or fail to achieve
their level of goal-setting processes
because there are some external or
internal reasons which caused the
process to break down. They may
have relied solely on their ability
and instinct which may be sufcient
in a short-term goal process, but
inappropriate for the long-term.
Certainly, as we get older, we real-
ize the need to have creative talent
around us in order to support our
long-range planning process. If
not, it’s no different than being on
a construction site and having the
most high-powered equipment tun-
nel trenches that then collapse. The
tunneling process goes very quick-
ly, but when the machinery stops
and you turn around, you notice
everything disintegrated because
no one had been laying pipe and
back-lling the ditch. Conclusion:
we realize planning and goal set-
ting go hand in hand.
Supporting Those
who Support You
Where can you nd the peo-
ple to ll your team? By getting to
know the people with whom you
work. If as a leader you hold your-
self above everyone else and are
too far removed from them, you
will miss nding emerging leaders.
Take Kim, who worked closely with
me on the Roots of Leadership
Podcast. When I met her she was
the receptionist at Marsh & McLen-
nan Northeast. If I’d ignored her as
insignicant to my responsibilities,
I never would have discovered her
talent and passion for writing. She
now works in the creative relations
department and does a remarkable
job with the podcast.
Or Caryn Ojeda, when I met
Caryn, she was doing project work
for us on seminar systems and now
she is the producer of the Roots of
Leadership Podcast and helping
with branding for individuals and
companies. She is fantastic at what
she does.
Each of these women support-
ed me and in turn, I support them
in their careers. I would not have
known what they were capable of,
what they wanted to do, and what
was possible, if I had walked past
them every day with my nose in the
air because my ego says, “I’m the
all-important CEO.” No. My job as
CEO is to bring the right resourc-
es into the organization to help it
grow, to coach the people I am
responsible for, and motivate ev-
eryone to be the best they can be
every day. When I am doing my job
correctly, I nd the people whom
I need on teams throughout the
company to support the long-term
goals.
Success does not come from
one individual doing everything
or dictating what is to be done. It
comes when everyone passionately
makes the effort to move together
as one toward set goals. As a result
of my consistently supporting my
teams, nurturing, and working with
them, there has always more than
one person who can step into my
position when I vacate it. I believe
that when you build a strong, pas-
sionate team, it should work this
way. Promotion from within could
not have happened if I had walled
myself off in an ivory tower and had
not supported and collaborated
with the people who make up my
teams.
Help Make APeeling Better
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take a quick Survey
Is Your Next Step,
the Right Step?
Who are the people you sur-
round yourself with? Who are the
people who support you, who can
help you plan your next step and
tie it back to your Personal Strate-
gic Plan? Do you have a Personal
Board of Directors? Did you do the
work and create the list of those
whom you want to sit on your
board? Were there names you for-
got to add? Go back to your list,
rm it up, and ask them to help you
write your Personal Strategic Plan
and hold you accountable to your
goals.
A Living Document
I wrote my rst book, Creating
Reality, almost 20 years ago and
when I reread it now, much of the
perspective is not the same, be-
cause the passion, the goals, the
dreams, and the aspirations have
been changed. The Personal Stra-
tegic Plan which I’m asking you to
build is a living document that will
continue to evolve as you do. As
you become more courageous and
condent, as you begin to surround
yourself with people who think the
same way, your life will change.
You have what it takes to do
this.
You do not have to be in the front
to lead. You can be in any position
to lead. You can lead from the rear.
I’ve met people of all ages who
have the power, the energy, the
mindset, the tenacity, and the focus
to achieve.
In my life, every time I tried
something new, I’ve encountered
people who believed it couldn’t
be done. People close to me said I
couldn’t go from working construc-
tion to an ofce. Then when I was
working in the insurance business
and I started to write books, people
said I couldn’t do that. Every time I
took on a new venture that looked
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to be outside of where others be-
lieved I should be, I met detractors,
as you will, but they don’t matter.
What matters is how you see your-
self, the dreams you have, and the
people you surround yourself with.
Who will support you?
What Moments will You Make?
Think about your day, your week,
your month, your year? What mo-
ments are you seeking to create?
Make as many moments and op-
portunities for yourself, those you
love, and those your serve.
What Seems Impossible to
Achieve?
As you put your strategic plan
into action, as you connect it to a
goal and objective, an action and
a strategy, as you assign times and
structure, and as you select people
who will help you, what you be-
lieved is impossible, will become
reality.
Anthony C Gruppo is the CEO of
Marsh Commercial in the UK, a
speaker, author, and a mentor. This
has been an excerpt of his book the
Pushers of the Possible.
Published!
Pushers of the Possible
Available on Amazon
Published!
Anthony C. Gruppo, CEO of Marsh Commercial, UK, talks
to business leaders who started out with a dream and the
determination to build successful companies by Pushing the
Possible in both life and business. Join Anthony and his guests as
they share their stories, the advice they received from some of the
greats, and how they Pushed the Possible in their lives.
Buy it Today
I read ction to nd inspiration in life and how to persevere through my
struggles. The genres I go to are dark lled with crime and violence My
favourite characters are awed, some so awed they’d be considered
evil.
The writer puts the heroes into the worst of situations with insurmount-
able odds and powerful villains. The plots demand personal sacrice to
obtain redemption & save others, even if it’s at the cost of their own lives
What can I possibly learn from stories like these?
Redemption & change are possible
Struggle is nite & necessary
To not give up no matter the odds
To nd resources when options limited
Find Happiness in the moment
Loyalty matters
Actions make a difference
There is always a solution
Fight for the benet of others
What we do has consequences
Take responsibility for our past acts
To work hard
To dig deep inside for strength
Can’t do it all on our own
Teamwork makes anything possible
Anyone can have supportive friends
Connect with me
on LinkedIn
Was there ever a time when it
was simple to be a woman in your
40s?
Was it easier back in the day
when men were men and women
were women and everyone knew
their place?
I doubt that made it any simpler.
At least I hope it didn’t because
if their lives were simpler, better,
more productive than ours are to-
day, what was the point of strug-
gling for feminism and equality?
It doesn’t always feel like it
made women’s lives better. It feels
like more pressure, more stress, and
more responsibilities.
It also feels like something is
missing. Like this can’t be all there
is to life? Like it’s all one big revolv-
ing wheel that goes nowhere.
For instance every morning at
our house is exactly the same:
“Mom where’s my shirts?”
“Shirts? In your closet?”
“No.”
“Folded in a basket?”
“No.”
“Damn. Are you sure?”
“Ya. Never mind I found them.”
“Where”
“Wet and stinky in the washing ma-
chine. When did you wash them?”
I try to think. I can’t really remem-
ber when I did.
“Uhm. Do you have a dirty one that
you can wear?”
Sending my daughter to school
in dirty clothes, what would my
mother say? Thing is I know exactly
what she’d say, she told me just last
week.
“You just need to do things during
work breaks, you work from home
how hard can it be to stop, take a
break, switch out the laundry, do a
load of dishes and sweep the oor
then go back to work?”
It is a good question. I generally
don’t take breaks though and if I do
I’m surng the net or checking my
social media. I don’t really think to
do the laundry. Hence my daughter
yelling at me about how hard done
by she is because she has to wear a
shirt she already wore to school.
Heaven help us what will the
kids think? What will her teachers
This is 40?
By Shannon Peel
The Novel #ThatsLife was written as a serial
series. Each Issue of APeeling will include a
chapter for you to enjoy.
think? Will they call social services if
her shirt gets dirty enough?
My husband comes down to
save the day. He does this a lot.
He’d grabbed a couple of clean
shirts, that she doesn’t like, out of
her dresser, walked into the kitchen
and said,
“Your choice the dirty one, one of
these, a smelly one, or you could
just go in your bra. Up to you.”
I choke on my coffee. ‘And if
she’d chosen to go in her bra, then
what?’ She doesn’t. She just says
Daaaad in that oh you’re so em-
barrassing way teen girls have and
grabbed a clean one out of his
hand.
“I’ll go run the load in the washer,
pour me a cup of coffee for when I
get back.”
He says and disappears into the
laundry room.
My gawd I can’t even imagine
what my great-grandmother did
before washing machines were in-
vented.
I turn, pour my husband a cup of
coffee, add two teaspoons of sugar
and pop a bagel into the toaster for
his breakfast.
I’ve lled the dishwasher and
am just turning it on when I feel his
strong arms wrap around me from
behind and he kisses my neck. I
lean into him. It feels so - normal.
“Yuck.”
Our 10-year-old son’s voice in-
terrupts us and I am twirled around
to face my husband who kisses me,
while our son makes fake gagging
noises.
The kiss is just a kiss, normal.
“Your coffee kind sir.”
“Sugar?”
I look at him, shake my head,
and turn to butter his bagel.
“Gus & Rose’s place Sunday after-
noon?” He asks. I just nod. “Girls’
night after?” I nod again. “And I’m
stuck babysitting?”
“Parenting dear. It’s called parent-
ing when the kids are yours.”
“Are you sure they’re mine.”
“Positive.”
That’s a typical morning. Every
day it’s the same. A chore I forgot
to do, my husband swooping in to
x things, my kids needing some-
thing or disapproving of something
I did or didn’t do.
Each day is pretty much the
same, chores, kids, work, bed. It’s
the same thing. Perfectly the same.
Perfect. The perfect life.
I am 40 years old. I have a won-
derful loving husband, two well
adjusted kids, a gorgeous home in
a suburban neighbourhood, and
a career. I have a good life. And I
feel like I am missing something,
like I’ve forgotten something, done
something wrong.
Did my mother feel this way?
Did my grandmother? Did my
great-grandmother?
Did my grandmother ever forget
to switch over the wash and have
to wash the load two more times
before it made it into the dryer?
Did she own a dryer? Did she have
to run her kids around from one
activity to the other, help them with
homework more advanced than
when she’d gone to school? Did
she feel the pressure of friends,
family and society to be perfect?
Always feeling judged? Did she
ever look at her life and wonder if
she made the right choices?
Will it be different when my
daughter is 40? By then everyone
will probably just swallow a pill and
say, “That’s dinner.” So, if wom-
en have more time because they
don’t have to cook, will life be any
different? Or will my daughter be
looking at 40 saying I think I forgot
to do something. Will she have re-
grets? I hope not.
I hope she knows what she
wants and can be satised, happy,
and in love.
Five Women
Navigating Life in
the 21st Century.
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The rst part of writing a novel
is guring out what it’s about. The
next step is to gure out whom the
story is about. Characters tell the
story, are the reason people con-
nect with it, and want to continue
to read it. Whether your story has
one character, like Tom Hanks in
‘Cast Away,’ or a group of people,
like the gang in ‘Friends,’ success
is measured by the emotional con-
nection the audience has with the
characters. The more authentic the
character’s responses, emotions,
and actions, the more the reader
will connect with the whole story.
Whom is #ThatsLife About?
Charlie - The Jaded one – The one
who is bitter about men
Rose - The Romantic one – The
one who is happily married
Lindsay - The Fun one – The one
who parties and has lots of men
Sophie - The Abused one – The
one who is lost and scared
Justine - The Perfect one - The one
who battles depression
Character’s Voice
To write really good characters
you have to know how they will
react to situations. If my charac-
ters got together at Rose’s place to
watch the movie, an Ofcer and a
Gentleman, would they all experi-
ence the same thing? Let’s nd out.
The Question
What did you think about the
last scene in the movie, ‘An Ofcer
and a Gentleman?’
Sophie’s Answer
The ending? Oh well. It was
romantic I guess. I mean. There she
is working in a dead end job, un-
happy, and knowing that’s all she
has to look forward to. Depressing.
I guess. She’s young and there will
be other men, other classes of of-
cers, but she is hurt because he
didn’t want her, he was gonna leave
her behind. Then he walked in and
saved her, took her away, and ev-
eryone cheered. Heck, I cheered
even though I knew it was gonna
happen. Why is it wrong to want
that? I mean. I want a man to come
save me from my life, sweep me
off my feet and carry me away to a
#ThatsLife Characters
by Shannon Peel
safer one. Make life easier. Happi-
er. But everyone tells me it’s wrong
to want that. They tell me, I won’t
nd a good guy if I need one to
save me.” I’m beginning to believe
them. No man wants a woman as
messed up as me. I can’t blame
them.
Rose’s Answer
I just love the classic love stories
they are so romantic. Here she was
working away thinking that he’d
abandoned her and then he comes
in, all dressed up in his white uni-
form looking so handsome, to sur-
prise her like that. Pick her up in
front of all her co-workers and car-
ry her away into the sunset to live
happily ever after.
What a story. I cried. You know,
Gus is romantic like that. Once,
before the kids, he came to my
workplace with a big bouquet of
owers. He’d already arranged ev-
erything with my boss, a week off,
can you imagine. Gus had planned
everything, packed my suitcase and
took me to Hawaii for our rst wed-
ding anniversary. It was so roman-
tic. Just like him. I love him
Lindsay’s Answer
Well a man in uniform is so sexy.
When he walked in, all condent in
his uniform looking hot, I thought
yummy. Then when he grabbed her
head and just took a kiss from her
like that, wowza. The rest was too
tame though. Way too censored in
my opinion, but what can you ex-
pect from the 80s. Come on, the
scene needed more heat. I love a
man who takes what he wants, just
comes and grabs a woman all cave-
man like and she melts into him
with passion, heat, then they fu**
hard. That’s what that scene need-
ed. Now that would have been
something to clap for.
Charlie’s Answer
The whole movie was Bull shi**.
Men don’t give two craps about
saving some poor little woman
from her life and what a pathetic
thing to want. Clapping because
he’d showed up and stole her away
from what? Come on men don’t do
that sh**. They just want someone
to cook for ’em and fu** em. They
don’t want to be bothered with all
that touchy feely stuff.
Know Your
Client Like an
Author Knows Thier
Heroes
OK so some of them are into
the whole romance thing, like my
brother in law Gus. But Gus and
guys like him are so, I don’t know.
Gus is a good guy, a nice guy, a
family guy. Those guys are all mar-
ried to woman like my sister Rose.
Strong, independent, career
women like me, we attract selsh
guys who are focused on their ca-
reers as much as we are focused on
ours. Who has time for all that ro-
mantic stuff. I just don’t trust it. The
only reason they are doing it is to
get laid, so why bother it’s not real.
Justine’s Answer:
I don’t know. It was a Holly-
wood ending all romantic and stuff.
My husband Gary saves me from
my mistakes all the time and he’s
perfect. I mean he must be every
woman who knows him tells me
how jealous of me they are. Now
that he’s saved her, how is she go-
ing to be able to live up to that?
The movie is just a farytale, it’s not
real. Once the feelings from such a
romantic gesture are gone, what’s
left? What’s the point? How could
they keep that feeling?
What can ction teach
about leadership and
team building? Some
leadership principles
explored by Orson
Scott Card in Ender’s
Game
Good ction puts
their characters into
difcult unreal situa-
tions to authentically
behave in a real world
way. When done right,
readers can learn solu-
tions from a ctional
story for real world
problems
Or we can think
about the solutions
presented to deter-
mine if we think they
are correct or not and
how we’d do it dif-
ferently. Some of the
lessons from Ender’s
Game:
a) Thinking we under-
stand everything and
not listening to others
makes us the worst
member of the team
b) Need to understand
the end game. What
we are working to-
wards and why
c) Controlling our emo-
tions and our actions
d) Acting decisively
when action is required
e) How to help team
members develop
thinking skills
There is lots to
learn from when we
read stories of all types
What are some
stories that teach us
about work, life, and
leadership
Sure this is a YA
novel, but I am get-
ting more out of it now
than I did when I was
younger and just en-
joying the story
Orson Scott Card
wrote the book before
its publish date in Jan-
uary 1985. The tech-
nology he wrote about
didn’t come to fruition
for another 5-15 years
in our day to day world
Think about what’s
possible.
Peter’s
Reading List
Ditch The Act demonstrates how revealing your
failures and weaknesses is an essential ele-
ment to building and sustaining a viral personal
brand to help propel your relationships, your
career, and/or your business.
Why is it we are so caught up in allocating hu-
man beings with titles, labels and outdated
measurements? Why have we subjected hu-
mans to the performance review process from
birth when it is a soul-destroying activity that
sucks the motivation out of the very humans
who you are looking to inspire?
Believership is a higher form of leadership, ig-
niting purpose and the power of many moving
in the same direction. While leadership forges
a path, Believership becomes a paved road
for many to travel together. Believership is all
about bringing the true self to leadership and
all employees in order to create value rather
than extract value, drawing out the collective
effort of the team ...
Peter Goral is a supportive marketing professional I connected with on
LinkedIn. I asked him which books I should add to this issue’s reading list
and he suggested the following. Click the book to purchase on Amazon.

Bronte Sisters, Charlotte,
Emily, and Anne.
I chose the sisters because my
favourite novel is Jane Eyre. I iden-
tied with the character’s indepen-
dence, strength, and her disconnec-
tion to the world around her. I have
reread this book so often I almost
know it by heart. Why include all the
sisters? They all wrote books, which
inuenced the genre and proved
that women could write successful
novels in a male dominated world.
Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre was
a classic I loved reading in my aca-
demic years”
Maya Angelou
Her ability to be open and bare
her soul in her writing without con-
cern of being judged, criticized
or ridiculed makes her a strong,
amazing, and inuential woman in
literature. She changed a genre and
made it better with her work. She
is credited with inspiring so many
Female authors of all races. Her
strength, honesty, and determina-
tion are inspiring. She inspires me
to be more honest, more open, and
to bare my soul in my writing.
J.K. Rowling
I have to admit I haven’t read all
the books, nor have a seen all the
movies. I am adding her because
she changed the way publishing
houses looked at both Young Adult
writers and Female authors ability to
make money. Her success inspires
others to follow their dreams. Like
her, life hit me hard, her ability to
pick herself back up and focus on
her dream inspires me to overcome
my own challenges in life.
Shannon’s List of
Female Authors
Pushers of the Possible
Available on Amazon
Get Your Copy
Today
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