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A digital magazine of real stories by real people with real solutions to life and work. Discover inspiration and motivation inside this month's issue.

APeeling
Denition of
Entrepreneur
Know Your
Audience
What is
Your Brand
Digital Magazine
Summer 2020
Shannon’s
Thoughts
It’s half way through
summer during a pan-
demic and people
didn’t get the memo.
Have you seen the
video of the Niagra
Falls tour boats? The
big story is how many
people are on the Ca-
nadian boat vrs the
American boat.
I think the big sto-
ry is why are so many
people taking a vaca-
tion during a pandem-
ic?
The story showcas-
es Canadians are dif-
ferent than Americans.
Usually it’s hard to see
the difference because
the US media, movie
industry, culture, and
digital world are so
close to Canada we
evolved into mini-mes.
Then along comes this
little virus and wham -
the border shuts down
for the foreseeable
future. A border, which
has never closed since
it opened.
The world’s largest
undefended border - is
CLOSED because we
are still very different.
First, there are 1
Canadian for every 10
Americans. However,
according to the Globe
and Mail, 60-70 per-
cent of Canadians live
SOUTH of the 49th
Parrallel.
Ninety percent of
Canada’s 35 million
people live 100 miles
from the US / Canada
border. Meaning we
are piled up as south
as we can go without
becoming Americans.
We live in only 4% of
our country, increas-
ing the density of our
cities, which were hit
hard by the pandem-
ic and yet, they faired
better than US cities.
I believe there are
two main reasons Can-
ada faired better than
those South of the
Border. Our attitude
towards the authority of
government and Can-
ada’s high level of ap-
athy towards anything
political.
Even though health-
care here is run by
government agencies,
it is not a political hot
button issue. It is seen
as a right and most of
us listened to doctors,
like Dr. Henry in BC,
and so did out political
leaders. We stayed
home, we stayed apart,
and then..
Summer hit.
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APeeling
How often have
you heard, you need
a personal brand?
Whether you are trying
to secure a new po-
sition, build a book of
business, or become
known as an ‘expert,’
a personal brand is a
requirement. Employ-
ers are doing their due
diligence and search-
ing Online to nd out if
they will make some-
one an offer because
they are covering their
own butts when mak-
ing a decision. I’m sure
you have heard stories
about people who ei-
ther didn’t get a posi-
tion because a poten-
tial employer checked
out their Online foot-
print or someone was
red because of a so-
cial media post.
Throughout time
people have judged
each other, spread
rumours, and ruined
reputations. Today, it
is easy for others to
spread gossip and
for us to ruin our own
reputations with the
wrong post, however
at the same time, it is
easier for us to protect
our reputations from
slander by creating a
strong personal brand
Dene Your Personal Brand
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Shannon Peel

If I think about integ-
rity, I think about hold-
ing people accountable
to their words and ac-
tions. I used to have
Monday meetings at
Matrix, my IT company,
at noon every week. It
was an hour and a half
long meeting about life
by design and people
hated it, until they start-
ed realizing why we
were doing it.
One guy would al-
ways show up late. I
wouldn’t have a con-
versation with him
about his tardiness
because I didn’t want
to have a conict and
he was such a good
employee. I didn’t want
to lose him because I
knew he didn’t like the
meeting and wanted to
rock the boat. I didn’t
push him. He kept on
showing up late and
then one day I said,
“Listen, you know you
are showing up 10 min-
utes late and there are
10 of us in this meet-
ing. That’s one hun-
dred people minutes
you waste each week
and I can’t afford for
you to not showing up
on time. You need to
show up on time.” The
next week, he showed
What is Integrity?
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Likky Lavji
There are those
leaders that rule by
fear and an iron st.
Where punishment for
‘not doing as I say’ is
the norm. These lead-
ers are only a leader
in name/title alone.
Their followers are not
really following out of
respect or motivation,
they do so only be-
cause of fear of some
repercussion, such as
losing their job. But
there is no real team
unity, cohesion and
support of the over-
all vision and mission.
And often, this creates
a high attrition rate.
On the opposite
end of the spectrum,
are those leaders that
may be very likeable
people, and want to
grow and nurture their
team, but lack the skills
to do so. They often
are people pleasers
who are afraid to take
a real stand as they
fear not being liked or
alienating team mem-
bers. Both are ineffec-
tive leaders
Most leaders are
made and not born.
Learning the skills to
be an effective and
powerful leader re-
quires personal de-
From People Pleasers to Leaders
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Alaina Schwartz, JD

Can anyone be
an entrepreneur?
The answer lies in
the denition of the
word, however, the
word itself has lost it’s
meaning by being over-
used in all aspects of
professional life.
The word “entrepre-
neur” originates from
the French verb, entre-
prendre, meaning “to
do something” or “to
undertake.” In the 16th
century the word entre-
preneur meant some-
one who undertakes a
business venture.
In 1730, Richard
Cantillon dened, “The
willingness to bear the
personal nancial risk
of a business venture
as the dening charac-
teristic of an entrepre-
neur.” John Stuart Mill
said an entrepreneur is,
“A person who assumes
both the risk and the
management of a busi-
ness.” So, an investor
who takes on risk with-
out the work is not an
entrepreneur in his de-
nition.
In the twentieth
century, Joseph Schum-
peter said, “An entre-
preneur is an innova-
tor who implements
What does Entrepreneur Mean?
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Shannon Peel
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 fold-
ed assortment of mini
crosswords 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 arti-
cles that struck a chord
awaiting clipping and
glueing into my now
beloved Quarantine
Journal.
Today’s crossword,
actually published 6
weeks ago yet still
lingering 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 - “answer to the
riddle ‘what stays in
one corner but travels
Print that Persists
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Alicia Wilhelmy
Pivoting during Con-
tent is a huge part of
every business’s overall
strategy. It forms part
of your branding, your
marketing, your busi-
ness plan. It’s a large
component of how you
reach your goals, re-
gardless of what your
goals are.
If you want to be
noticed, you must be
publishing content that
appeals to your target
audience on a regular
basis.
But what do you
do if you have no idea
what to create? How
do you come up with
the content ideas to
ll your emails, sales
funnels, blog posts, or
ads?
It’s something al-
most every single one
of my clients have
struggled with – and
what they pay me to
help them with. But it’s
also something I strug-
gled with for many
years in my own busi-
ness, and this struggle
made me feel like a bit
of a fraud.
Why was it so easy
for me to create a con-
tent plan for my cli-
ents, but so difcult for
me to create one for
Unlimited Content Ideas
Click the Peel to continue reading
By Trina Waller
As a novelist, I cre-
ate characters out of
thin air and put them
into different situations
to tell a story. The more
I know about the char-
acter, the more believ-
able I can make their
reactions. The more be-
lievable their reactions,
the better the story.
You don’t want ev-
ery person who walks
through the door be-
cause most will cause
you more headaches
than they are worth.
That is the great thing
about being self em-
ployed - It’s your busi-
ness, you get to work
with the clients you
want. Yes, money is
part of the equation, but
you only have so much
time to work, don’t ll it
up with the wrong thing.
Take what you have to
in order to pay the bills
and leave enough time
to tell your story to the
optimal clientele.
Understand your busi-
ness, product, and ser-
vice
To determine your
ideal market, you will
need to completely un-
derstand your product,
service, and business.
I know you think you
understand it, however,
Know Your Audience
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Shannon Peel
Around us, busi-
nesses are reopening,
like Sleeping Beauty’s
castle after the spell
is broken. Many peo-
ple experienced life
during a pandemic
for the very rst time.
They saw their favou-
rite businesses close
temporarily or perma-
nently. Around them,
people lost jobs. They
changed their every-
day routines and were
separated from friends
and family.
This was the world
that many people had
experienced as they
entered phase 2. One
question lingered on
their minds:
Was it safe to go
back to the restaurants,
stores, and workplaces
they used to frequent?
This question is an
important one that our
organization, Yellow
Cross, chose to tackle
for business owners.
If you are reopening
your business during
the pandemic, a clear
training plan for your
staff can improve safe-
ty for both employees
and customers.
Clear Plan for
Reopening
Have a Covid Plan for Work
Click the Peel to continue reading
By Vanya Wryter
“I’m calling you and
all of my friends and
colleagues of color to
check-in and see
how you are doing.”
That was the voice-
mail I left for a client-
turned-friend to see
how he was doing. I
hadn’t rehearsed what
I was going to say.
I was just calling to
check-in on a friend
like I had with the
co-author of this series
on race, Gina Green-
lee.
The next day I was
delighted when my
friend’s name popped
on my phone. We
updated each other
on our kids, shared
Covid-19 impacts and
discussed the latest act
of racism and the en-
suing protests to end
police brutality.
It Takes Courage
and Openness. “One
more thing before we
hang-up,” he said. “I
have to tell you this
because we’ve known
each other a long time
and I value our friend-
ship.”
Discussing the Undiscussable
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Margaret Greenberg and Gina Greenlee
Does your child get
down on herself? Is she
hard on herself? Is she
a ‘perfectionist’ child?
Some parents have
reached out to me to
ask what they can do
to help their child who
they believe has per-
fectionist tendencies.
As someone who grew
up with a mother with
perfectionist tenden-
cies, I picked up those
qualities too in many
ways. It isn’t easy go-
ing into the adult world
expecting and wanting
things to be perfect
from the start, and
then realizing there will
be many roadblocks,
‘plan B’s’ – which a
perfectionist mostly
hates, and even fail-
ures. -- What? Failure?
Aarrgh (running in the
opposite direction…
Right?)
I’ve been working
on those tendencies
since I was 19 years
old and have worked
to diminish the effects
of these habits on my
life. There are adults
in their 60’s now trying
to unravel their perfec-
tionist habits so they
Empower the Perfectionist Child
Click the Peel to continue reading
by Ashley Anjlien Kumar
My late father’s
banking career kept
our family on the
move. In fact, every
few years we were
transferred to a new
place and by the age
of 8 I’d lived in Red
Dear, Thunder Bay,
Saskatoon and Winni-
peg. Then in an inter-
esting twist: a ve-year
move to Freeport in
the Bahamas before re-
patriating to Vancouver
in 1982.
The incredible resil-
ience of kids is a beau-
tiful thing. They just
keep going. Adapting,
adjusting, and onward
they go. And I kept
going. Getting used to
another new school,
new friends, a new
phone number and ad-
dress to remember in
case I got lost (which I
actually did once!) and
on to the next destina-
tion.
Our Bahamian ex-
perience of the late
1970’s-early 1980’s
proved to be pro-
foundly formative for
me. My sister and I
attended a British-style
private school with
The Extraordinary in the Ordinary
Click the Peel to continue reading
By Ashli Komaryk
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
Learn More
This Month’s Contributors
Shannon Peel
Alicia Wilhelmy
Trina Waller
Margaret Greenberg
You ? Ashli Komaryk
Paula Curteanu
Ashley Anjlien Kumar
Yiran Dong Vanya Wryter
Alaina Schwartz, JD
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 -
Winex Health
Eat Real Meals All Your Meals AYM Kitchens
Meadow Hygiene
How often have
you heard, you need
a personal brand?
Whether you are trying
to secure a new po-
sition, build a book of
business, or become
known as an ‘expert,’
a personal brand is a
requirement. Employ-
ers are doing their due
diligence and search-
ing Online to nd out if
they will make some-
one an offer because
they are covering their
own butts when mak-
ing a decision. I’m sure
you have heard stories
about people who ei-
ther didn’t get a posi-
tion because a poten-
tial employer checked
out their Online foot-
print or someone was
red because of a so-
cial media post.
Throughout time
people have judged
each other, spread
rumours, and ruined
reputations. Today, it
is easy for others to
spread gossip and
for us to ruin our own
reputations with the
wrong post, however
at the same time, it is
easier for us to protect
our reputations from
slander by creating a
strong personal brand
with engaged follow-
ers who will champion
and protect us. It en-
ables us to login and
respond to questions,
give gratitude to pos-
itive messages, and
round out negative
messages with our
side of the story.
What is a
personal brand?
It is you, your sto-
ry, your image, and
your reputation. The
hardest part of creat-
ing a personal brand is
knowing yourself well
enough to be able to
tell your story honestly,
positively, and consis-
tently. Once you know
what to say, you will
discover content ev-
erywhere you go.
Narrow
Your Message
You are better
off with a few follow-
ers who are actively
engaged with your
content than a lot of
followers who nev-
er see you. Engaged
followers spread your
message and tell oth-
ers what your do. I am
lucky to have a handful
of people telling people
how wonderful I am at
what I do. However if
they don’t know what
I do, the message can
get lost in the details
and the person they
are talking to becomes
too confused to be
interested in my ser-
vices.
MarketAPeel’s
CCO, Marilyn Ander-
son, goes to various
events in Vancouver to
Dene Your
Brand Story
By Shannon Peel
meet new people and
nd the right connec-
tions for our clients and
myself. It is important
Marilyn’s ability to
match businesses to
the people by being
specic about what
they need is the secret
of her success. Sure
the businesses do
more than she commu-
nicates, however, the
potential lead is only
interested in why they
need to contact the
business.
Many freelancers
focus on what things
they are ‘experts’ in:
The best website de-
signer, the greatest
social media strate-
gist, and the smartest
Adwords specialist.
These are strong fo-
cused personal brands,
which are easy to
clearly communicate to
the marketplace. The
problem with them is
they are not unique,
authentic, or memora-
ble because they are
generic and subjective.
Just because you say
you are the greatest,
doesn’t mean people
will believe you.
It can be difcult for
someone looking for a
specic skill to nd me
or know how to refer
me because I do too
many things. To solve
the problem, I focus
on a narrower audi-
ence. For example, ‘I
help executives dene
and tell their stories to
the marketplace when
transitioning to the
speaking circuit.’ The
list of all the pieces I
create is not as import-
ant as why certain peo-
ple need me.
Be Genuine
The best personal
brands are genuine
and authentic because
intelligent people see
right through insincer-
ity and fakery. Brands
who are copycats or
dishonest may have
initial short term suc-
cess, however, once
people feel lied to,
they will loudly push
back and walk away.
“Be genuine. It will
make it much easier to
manage your personal
brand on a daily ba-
sis,” explained William
Harris, Facebook ads
expert at Elumynt.
Humour can help
you stand out, howev-
er, be careful to use
humour appropriately.
Sarcasm can be mis-
understood, politically
incorrect jokes can of-
fend, and cynicism can
paint you as negative. I
am infamous for using
sarcasm and cynicism,
which on occasion
results in offending
more than connect-
ing. However, when
done right, my humour
makes me stand out
enough to connect with
interesting people on
Twitter. One individ-
ual informed me that
his team refers to me
as the ‘anti-Christ’ be-
cause my sarcastic,
cynicist humour is the
opposite of his motiva-
tional message.
Let your work tell
your story by showing
your audience how you
help others, instead of
telling them what you
do. When you share
examples of your work,
you will have a person-
al brand story made
up of your skills, client
testimonials, solutions,
and how you spend
your day.
Tip: Search social
media platforms for
keywords describing
what you do and then
engage with the con-
tent you nd by com-
menting with your point
of view, an answer to a
question, or tell a story
about how you did the
exact thing they are
posting about. By en-
gaging with others you
will get noticed faster
than if you only broad-
cast a message about
you.
Marketers and con-
tent creators are able
to show their work
while building a brand
because it is what we
do on a daily basis.
However, just like the
shoemaker whose kids
have no shoes, it can
be hard to get motivat-
ed to do the work for
your own brand. By
promoting clients on
our social media plat-
forms, sharing their
posts, and the content
we created for them,
our stories are being
eshed out with strong
examples of our skills.
Due to conden-
tiality, many profes-
sionals cannot share
their client’s stories
with the marketplace.
It becomes difcult to
tell stories when you
have to be careful not
to offend your client or
break a privacy law. In
these cases, you will
need to rely on testi-
monials from clients,
on your own personal
story, and on the top-
ics of your profession
by educating others.
There are always ways
to tell your story by
using examples of your
skills, work, and knowl-
edge.
Tell a Story
If your personal brand
isn’t telling a story, your
audience has checked
out. Stories have spe-
cic structures and ele-
ments. There is a hero
or protagonist, a villain
or antagonist, a plot,
a conict, a climax,
and resolution. Under-
stand each role when
dening your story to
ensure the message is
consistent throughout
every post, article, in-
terview, and image.
There is no wrong
way to dene your
story. When I write a
novel, I start with char-
acter dialogue to tell
me the story and then
esh it out with the
details. Other authors
plan every detail of
the story by creating
an outline before they
write a word. There is
no wrong way to write
a story.
The problem most
people face is guring
out what their story
should be. Some peo-
ple end up telling every
painfully boring detail
in chronological order
and they lose their
audience in the details.
Not providing enough
detail will also loose
your audience because
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they won’t know what
you’re talking about.
At MarketAPeel we
help brands tell stories
by asking questions,
understanding the in-
tended audience, and
developing a plan of
action to tell the right
story.
Knowing where
your ideal audience
hangs out will help you
to determine where to
tell your story. Each so-
cial media platform has
different strengths and
different audience en-
gagement, so it is im-
portant to understand
the platform’s purpose,
users, and focus. You
may love to throw
out short quotes and
thoughts on Twitter,
however, if your ide-
al customer is mainly
interested in looking at
photos on Instagram,
you are in the wrong
place and you either
need to change your
method or your deni-
tion of an ideal custom-
er.
There are a vari-
ety of platforms to tell
your story on, use the
methods you enjoy in
order to consistently
tell the story. If you are
a wordsmith who likes
to spin a yarn, blog,
write articles, and per-
haps a book. If you
are a shutterbug with
a unique eye, tell your
story through photos.
Whether you have a
vlog, blog, or podcast
is irrelevant, what mat-
ters is you consistently
tell your story using the
chosen media. If you
hate seeing yourself
on camera, you will
not have a success-
ful vlog do to throwing
away good content all
because you didn’t like
how you looked.
Consistency is Key
Being consistent
enables you to be rec-
ognized and build an
engaged following.
“Ensure that your per-
sonal brand promise
stays consistent, both
Online and Ofine,”
explains Fyiona Yong,
director and millennial
leadership coach (ICF
ACC). “You have to
demonstrate consis-
tency across your com-
munication, gravitas,
and appearance. Don’t
underestimate how tiny
inconsistencies can
derail personal brand
effectiveness.” When
your message is not
genuine you will have
moments of inconsis-
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tency, which will ruin
your trustworthiness
with your followers.
Before you post
something ask your-
self, “Does this post
communicate my core
values, my image, or
my brand message?”
If the answer is ‘No,’
ask yourself why you
want to post it and you
will discover something
new about yourself.
At times, I have weak
moments and it is easy
to create a post about
how unhappy, scared,
or lonely I am feeling
without adding how I
am overcoming these
negative emotions be-
cause, at that moment,
I am failing and I can’t
post what I am think-
ing.
Consistency is also
about doing the work to
continue to create con-
tent, post content, and
engage with content on
a regular basis, even
when you don’t feel like
it. There are days and
weeks where I check
out. During these times
creating content is a
grind because I have
no motivation, no ener-
gy, no creativity. I still
have to roll out of bed
and keep moving for-
ward. I may not create
a lot of content during
these times, however,
I have enough content
to repurpose, repost,
recycle to show my
face where my follow-
ers are.
What stops you
from being
consistent with
your story?
Understanding why
you are not able to be
consistent will help you
nd the resources to
help you. If you are not
a storyteller, you may
need to nd a bit of
help. There are profes-
sional storytellers who
will help you dene
your story and set up
an easy plan for you
to consistently follow.
If you are busy, hire a
content creator who
can create the story
you want to tell and
help you promote it to
the marketplace. If you
are social media chal-
lenged, there are spe-
cialists who will man-
age your social media
reputation for you. To
succeed you need to
get started today.

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- Your Values
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is broken into manageable parts to make it easy for you
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A Story of a
Pandemic Summer
By Yiran Dong
June 14th 2020
Yiran: Good Company
My friend Yiran
Dong has been shar-
ing her photos of a life
during the Pandemic
on Facebook. They tell
the story of a single
woman in Vancouver.
She was gratious
enough to let me
share her story in pic-
tures in APeeling. She
is a talented photo
storyteller with grace
and style.
Yiran is a Realtor
in the Downtown Van-
couver area. Connect
with her on LinkedIn,
she is intelligent and
interesting with a great
sense of humour.

Photo by Yiran Dong

What is
Integrity?
According to the
Websters dictionary
integrity is the quality of
being honest and hav-
ing strong moral princi-
ples; moral uprightness.
Or the state of being
whole and undivided.
This denition doesn’t
fully dene integrity.
Integrity is doing
what you say and com-
mitting to what you
said. It’s being congru-
ent in your messages,
being congruent in your
values, staying true to
yourself no matter the
situation.
It is also being true
to what you committed
to and having people in
relationships with you,
who are congruent to
that integrity as well.
It is being who you
say you are and match-
ing your behaviour with
your words.
It is the foundation
for a successful em-
ployee-employer rela-
tionship. It promotes a
culture where individu-
als can depend on one
another because they
treat each other with
respect. As a result,
Keynote Speaker | Facilitator | Consultant
APeeling Columnist
people are typically
more productive and
motivated.
My
Integrity
Story
If I think about in-
tegrity, I think about
holding people ac-
countable to their
words and actions. I
used to have Monday
meetings at Matrix, my
IT company, at noon
every week. It was an
hour and a half long
meeting about life by
design and people hat-
ed it, until they started
realizing why we were
doing it.
One guy would al-
ways show up late. I
wouldn’t have a con-
versation with him
about his tardiness
because I didn’t want
to have a conict and
he was such a good
employee. I didn’t want
to lose him because I
knew he didn’t like the
meeting and wanted to
rock the boat. I didn’t
push him. He kept on
showing up late and
then one day I said,
“Listen, you know you
are showing up 10 min-
utes late and there are
10 of us in this meet-
ing. That’s one hun-
dred people minutes
you waste each week
and I can’t afford for
you to not showing up
on time. You need to
show up on time.” The
next week, he showed
up late again. So, I told
him go home.
After that, he always
showed up on time.
I had to make showing
up on time important
to him and everyone
on the team. This was
a few years ago. He
messaged me a cou-
ple days ago saying,
“I wanted to reach
out and let you know
that you had a mas-
sive impact on my
life. My time at matrix
turned a lot of things
right for me. It led me
to where I am today
and I couldn’t be more
thankful. I often think
about how different
things would have
been if you guys had
not brought me on the
team.” I didn’t think he
got it, but he got it.
I believed in integ-
rity and following up. If
you say you’re going
to show up – show up.
If you can’t do it, give
people ample notice
that you can’t make it.
Don’t call in ve min-
utes before saying I’m
running late. You’re not
running late. You didn’t
think. You didn’t plan
and you didn’t commu-
nicate. I’m very particu-
lar about time.
I used to have a
saying in my in my IT
company, I have zero
tolerance for not being
excellent. That means
we push hard. We give
it all we got, we do
everything we need to
based on our core val-
ues, based on who we
are, and based on why
we do things. We give
it 110%. It’s not perfec-
tion, it’s effort. It’s not
saying “Well, whatev-
er, we’ll get through it.
We’ll just get it done.”
No, it’s about getting it
done so the people feel
that they got so much
value from you. They
feel your excellence.
Most people know
what Ritz stands for.
Excellent, excellent
service. I had the op-
portunity of staying
there one night through
a vendor, and I couldn’t
believe they knew my
name when I walked
up to the front desk.
The staff had a print-
out of a prole, includ-
ing a picture, on me
before I went in. They
nd you and now they
have Google glasses
to do facial recognition.
It’s not, “Hi, how are
you?” It’s “Hi, Mr. Lavji,
Welcome to the Ritz
Carlton. I hope your
travels from Vancouver
was good.” It’s an extra
personal service.
There was a sto-
ry about Ritz Carlton
where a couple who
went out one night
were going on a cruise
the next morning. The
wife’s heel broke on
their way back to the
hotel late at night.
When they passed the
concierge hobbling,
he says, “Can I have
your broken shoe? I’ll
Discover how integrity is
getting in the way of success
for your organization, your
team, and you.
Free ebook
Download
Click to Discover
have it resolved for
you before you leave
tomorrow morning on
your cruise.” He knew
exactly who they were
and that they were
leaving the next morn-
ing on a cruise. He
got the shoe xed and
dropped off at the room
nicely wrapped and
said, “Enjoy your trip.”
That is excellent ser-
vice.
That’s a different
level and when we get
to that level, we can
achieve excellence all
the time. But what’s
stopping us from get-
ting there? What blind
spot is stopping you
from living in integrity
and being excellent?
Your blind spots
affect every aspect of
your life, how you show
up in relationships,
and how you react to
others. Every single
one of your actions
causes either a posi-
tive or negative impact
on others, who then
react either positively
or negatively towards
you. This cycle can
cause an issue to es-
calate out of control or
an emotionally charged
situation to explode. In
a professional environ-
ment these reactions
can impact a person’s
future opportunities for
advancement and the
team’s effectiveness to
succeed. As a leader,
you will need the tools
to understand the sit-
uation and how to de-
fuse any negative emo-
tional build up.
Likky Lavji is the Blind
Spot Navigator, helping
organizations, teams, and
individuals discover the
blind spots in
their lives
Click to Discover
What is Your BS?
Take the Free BS Assessment to
discover Your Blind Spots
Click here
June 23rd, 2020
patio time
A Self Portrate

Photo by Yiran Dong

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There are those
leaders that rule by
fear and an iron st.
Where punishment for
‘not doing as I say’ is
the norm. These lead-
ers are only a leader
in name/title alone.
Their followers are not
really following out of
respect or motivation,
they do so only be-
cause of fear of some
repercussion, such as
losing their job. But
there is no real team
unity, cohesion and
support of the over-
all vision and mission.
And often, this creates
a high attrition rate.
On the opposite
end of the spectrum,
are those leaders that
may be very likeable
people, and want to
grow and nurture their
team, but lack the skills
to do so. They often
are people pleasers
who are afraid to take
a real stand as they
fear not being liked or
alienating team mem-
bers.
Both are
ineffective leaders
Most leaders are
made and not born.
Learning the skills to
be an effective and
powerful leader re-
quires personal de-
velopment as well
cultivating strong
communication skills
to enable a leader to
have “difcult” con-
versations, easily and
inspire team members
to follow.
One of my clients,
Alice, struggled in her
leadership and was a
real people pleaser.
Alice acted like a peer
for so long, that her
team of 12 treated her
like a peer instead of
the business owner
and CEO that she was.
She was afraid her
team would not sup-
port, aka like her, if she
made hard calls and
did not acquiesce to
their wishes. She felt
frustrated and defen-
sive in team meetings
when her authority was
challenged. Alice had
not garnered their re-
spect as a leader.
When CoVid hit,
she attempted to moti-
vate her team to pivot
and nd alternate ways
to serve the business-
es’ clients, but her
team essentially took a
vacation. She then re-
alized she alone is re-
sponsible for ensuring
her business survives
and thrives. Alice nal-
ly became the Captain
of the ship.
The coaching we
had been doing to
help her understand
what it meant to BE a
leader shifted from in-
tellectual understand-
People Pleaser
to Leader
By Alaina Schwartz, JD
ing to experiential
understanding and she
nally started leading.
As a leader, you
alone see all the mov-
ing parts and how they
t into the business
vision. While it is im-
portant to create trust
and inspire your team
to be in service of the
mission, ultimately, you
are responsible if the
ship sinks.
Your team does
not have the same
30k foot view you do
when making tough
decisions in service of
the business AND the
team.
Alice created trust
by communicating the
business vision and
listening to her team’s
concerns. As a result
of radically transform-
ing her communica-
tion skills, she got her
teams’ buy-in through
individual and collec-
tive meetings and re-
quired them to carry
out plans that gener-
ate results.
She ultimately
stopped being con-
cerned if they were
going to like her (and
they love her!) and
started concentrating
on them respecting her
instead.
She focused on
what the business’s
needs were and what
each team member’s
role was in meeting
those needs.
When CoVid hit,
Alice thought she was
going to lose her busi-
ness. Her business is
now humming along
with clear direction and
everyone is on pur-
pose. As a result, she
is earning more, work-
ing signicantly less,
providing less services
directly to clients and
standing in her role as
the CEO instead.
When you stop
caring about people
pleasing, lead with
compassion, develop
yourself and more ef-
fective communication
skills and align with the
business’s mission and
purpose, you are a far
more effective lead-
er and you’ll have the
results in your business
to prove it.
Alaina Schwartz, JD helps
leaders suceed and achieve
the results they want.
Click the peel to learn
more about her
July 3rd 2020
Yiran: When in doubt,
look at how water ows and trees grow

Photo by Yiran Dong

 
grow and move into
new areas, growing
opportunity for multi-
ple types of businesses
to open up until the
growth of the city stops
or decreases.
In the 1980s and
the 1990s local govern-
ments adopted Kirzner’s
ideology and switched
their focus to attracting
entrepreneurs in the
form of small business
owners. This is the time
the word gained pop-
ularity and became an
acceptable profession
to study in post-sec-
ondary schools. Today,
most of Canada’s econ-
omy is made up of en-
trepreneurs, small busi-
ness owners who are
trying to make a living
by building their own
small dreams. Not all
entrepreneurs own pri-
vate jets or live in man-
sions around the world,
most of us are just like
you, except we created
our jobs. Is it any sur-
prise that thirty years
later the denition of
the word has become
muddied and is over
used?
When I was help-
ing Anthony C. Gruppo
write his latest book,
Pushers of the Possible
(available on Amazon
- just saying), he told
me, “Everyone can be a
CEO. It is all in how you
dene the role.” An-
thony denes CEO as,
“Coaching yourself and
others, be Entrepre-
neurial in your thinking,
and Own the position.”
Does this sound like
you?
What does it mean
to be Entrepreneurial?
If everyone can be en-
trepreneurial, is being
one as common as a
penny, before Canada
made them obsolete?
Then I met Cam-
eron Chell. During his
weekly Build Impossible
calls, he talks about his
denition of the Entre-
preneur, as it applies
to Maslow’s hierarchy
of needs, saying entre-
preneurs are a unique
breed who need the
self-actualization before
everything else.
I asked ask my con-
nections on LinkedIn for
their denition.
Monte Clark - Sure. 
I can dene it for you
Shannon Peel. Being
an entrepreneur is akin

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to being a Navy seal. A
base jumper, a ropeless
cliff climber, a sky div-
er, a homeless person,
an artist, a general, a
warrior, a romantic, a
counselor, and a lunatic
all while loving every
single minute of it!
Tom Broxham - Re-
ally good question
Shannon Peel. Some
words become used
so often they become
buzz words and lose
all meaning. It is easy
to say someone is but
it is hard for someone
to actually be an en-
trepreneur. What peo-
ple don’t see is all the
work, dedication in
behind being one.
Marilyn Anderson
- When I think of the
Entrepreneurs I know,
a few common traits
come to mind, among
them - Curiosity, prob-
lem-solving, passion to
create/help/achieve, in-
terest in people, willing
to share, ready to work
hard and focus with
passion/risk for their
dream, realistic and
hard-working, engaging
and persuasive......
Toni Seron - I’ve
refused to call myself
an entrepreneur in the
past because I’ve only
created one company
(and, a sole proprietor-
ship at that) and I have
zero desire to build
anything more. How-
ever, I’ve expanded my
view on the topic be-
cause I’ve come to see
my determination and
commitment to what I
do as entrepreneurial.
Originally, I thought
an entrepreneur would
typically have the inter-
est and ability to create
more than one business
over their lifetime.
Neil Pretty - Interest-
ing question. I believe
that entrepreneurs have
a few qualities in com-
mon: a singular belief
that their ideas put into
the MarketAPeel forum
topic set up to continue
exploring this topic.
One nal denition
deep dive by asking the
word professionals -
The Dictionaries
The Oxford dictio-
nary says, “A person
who makes money by
starting or running busi-
nesses, especially when
this involves taking
nancial risks.”
1) Is a Person
2) Makes money
3) Starts a business
4) Runs a business
5) Takes nancial risks
The denition from the
Cambridge dictio-
nary is, “Someone who
starts their own busi-
ness, especially when
this involves seeing a
new opportunity”
1) A Person
2) Starts a business
3) Sees a new opportunity
The Merriam-Web-
ster dictionary says,
“One who organizes,
manages, and assumes
the risks of a business
or enterprise.”
1) Person
2) Organizes
3) Manages
4) Assumes Risk
5) Any business
6) Enterprise included
You may be wonder-
ing why I am putting so
much effort into den-
ing a word. I mean what
does it matter? Who
cares what the actual
denition is?
How many of you
communicate via text,
IM, email? How many
have received a one-
word text? A simple
sentence IM? A quickly
typed email? AND mis-
understood what the
sender meant, inter-
preted it wrong, result-
ing in an emotionally
charged reaction? I do
this all the time.
Given, a word like
Entrepreneur does not
result in an emotion-
ally charged misun-
derstanding, however
when one reads a job
description and it says
they are looking for
someone who is en-
trepreneurial, what are
they looking for?
An employer wants
to hire an entrepreneur
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as an employee? Is
that possible? And if so
how?
I know, failed entre-
preneurs can be look-
ing for work as employ-
ees, however, can they
be satised in an em-
ployee role if they are
truly an entrepreneurial
person? As you can
tell, my mind will keep
asking questions to try
to understand what is
meant.
Managers, business
leaders, thought lead-
ers, and business re-
porters tend to grasp
at the latest buzz word
to make it sound like
they are in the know,
they are at the cusp of
the next idea, and the
person we need to pay
attention to. Yet, most
use these buzz words
wrong, over use thme,
put them into their cor-
port materials and the
words lose all meaning.
I hope you will
start asking questions
when someone throws
around a buzz word, a
new word, or any de-
ning word of a sen-
tence to understand
what they really mean.
I doubt most really un-
derstand exactly what
they want.
I want to know what
you think about what
an entrepreneur is, who
they are at their core,
and why they do what
they do. Take a mo-
ment to go to the fo-
rum topic set up for this
topic and be apart of
the conversation while
making connections
with other like-mind-
ed-people.
Join me in the
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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
others.
Join the Challenge
Email Marketing
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.
What Not To Do
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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 fold-
ed assortment of mini
crosswords 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 arti-
cles that struck a chord
awaiting clipping and
glueing into my now
beloved Quarantine
Journal.
Today’s crossword,
actually published 6
weeks ago yet still
lingering 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 - “answer to the
riddle ‘what stays in
one corner but travels
around the world?’”.
Now is the time to
use print to the advan-
tage of your business
to solve the riddle of
how to stay connected
with customers. With
the help of a local
printer, you can pro-
duce printed pieces
like my beloved news-
papers that make it
from the mailbox, past
the recycling bin, to
the pile on the kitch-
en table where they’ll
be seen, enjoyed and
discussed again and
again.
Brené Brown taught
me long ago that hu-
man beings are wired
for connection and
belonging. Right now
we are missing out on
being the places where
we feel that sense of
belonging. Print and
direct mail give busi-
nesses the opportunity
to safely connect with
customers and give
them an experience of
that feeling of belong-
ing they have when we
are together in person.
The printed menu
stuffed in the takeout
bag can remind us of
all the nights off from
cooking we’ve enjoyed
over the years at our
neighborhood Thai
restaurant. The stamp
doesn’t have to travel
all around the world,
just around the town,
to introduce us to a
new service we are not
even aware of in the
pandemic.
Printed
Pieces That
Persist
By Alicia Wilhelmy
Here are just a few
ideas of ways to use
print and the post to
create connection with
your customers. The
main point is to have
fun with it and imagine
your ideal customer
checking the mail, tak-
ing her undistracted
walk to the mailbox,
sorting through what
has arrived, and de-
ciding what will make
it past the recycling
bin to the kitchen ta-
ble where it has the
opportunity to remind
her and the rest of her
family over and over
that you are missing
them too and available
in new and unique
ways during this time.
Provide useful in-
formation - give them
a recipe, a seasonal
checklist, a calendar of
full moons, be creative.
Make it interactive and
better yet, funny - even
our TikTok obsessed
teen put down the
phone and picked up
a pencil to do a “Mad-
Libs” in the paper re-
cently. How about a
mini crossword, word
search, “I Spy” game,
coloring page, riddles,
jokes or some trivia
the person checking
the mail will want to
share with the family?
This does not just ap-
ply to households with
children - everybody
needs to have a laugh
and some fun right
now.
Tell a story - Re-
member that whole
we are wired for con-
nection and belonging
thing? Guess what?
It makes us love sto-
ries. Tell the story of
your business, one of
your favorite custom-
ers, somebody in your
neighborhood, one of
your awesome employ-
ees. Use photography
carefully to add the
sense of being present
- creating virtual eye
contact from the print-
ed piece.
When all else fails,
harness the power of
cute - animals are win-
ning at marketing right
now. Our golden re-
triever gets more likes
than any of us when
he shows up on social.
The same is true for
print.
While the pandem-
ic is challenging us in
so many ways, it can
also give us the op-
portunity to connect
with our core custom-
ers and bolster the
relationship and brand
loyalty that every busi-
ness wants. Using
print and the power
of the post to connect
with your customers
in the pandemic is a
win-win for business.
Let them know you’re
thinking of them, and
they’ll be thinking of
you too.
Alicia Wilhelmy Experienced
small business owner with
a demonstrated history
of working in the printing
industry.
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property, opinion, or views of MarketAPeel
July 6th 2020

Photo by Yiran Dong

Pivoting during Con-
tent is a huge part of
every business’s overall
strategy. It forms part
of your branding, your
marketing, your busi-
ness plan. It’s a large
component of how you
reach your goals, re-
gardless of what your
goals are.
If you want to be
noticed, you must be
publishing content that
appeals to your target
audience on a regular
basis.
But what do you
do if you have no idea
what to create? How
do you come up with
the content ideas to
ll your emails, sales
funnels, blog posts, or
ads?
It’s something al-
most every single one
of my clients have
struggled with – and
what they pay me to
help them with. But
it’s also something I
struggled with for many
years in my own busi-
ness, and this struggle
made me feel like a bit
of a fraud.
Why was it so easy
for me to create a con-
tent plan for my clients,
but so difcult for me
to create one for my
own business?
Part of the answer
was hidden in the pro-
cess I use for my cli-
ents.
Once I realized this
and started implement-
ing the same process
for my own business, I
stopped struggling with
coming up with ideas.
My Process
#1. Look at
competitors
When I sign a new
client, the rst thing I
do is go look at 3 of
their top competitors.
(3 is the “magic” num-
ber. It’s not so many
that it’s overwhelming
or takes forever, and it’s
enough to see trends.)
Who are they?
How are offers positioned?
What is their price point?
Incentives offered?
What they post on social?
What topics of blog posts?
Do they engage audience?
I also sign up for
their lead magnets and
emails so, I can see
what they’re doing on
the back end.
I call this “Ethical
Stalking,” because all
of this stuff is public do-
main, and it’s not done
so that you can copy
what your competitors
are doing; copying is
unethical and if you
care about your busi-
ness reputation, you’ll
avoid it at all costs.
Remember, you and
your competitors share
an audience, and the
audience will notice if
things are too similar. If
you’re copying, you’ll
Innite
Content ideas
By Trina Waller
likely be called out for
it or worse, be served
a cease and desist.
Your goal with Ethi-
cal Stalking is to form a
baseline that will allow
you see what’s being
overdone or what’s
not being focused on
enough, then create
content to ll the gaps.
Going deeper, the
strategy you use to
create content after
analyzing your com-
petitors could do one
of two things:
a.Indicate allyship, or
b.Create polarity
i.e. If you’re trying to
show an allyship, pick
a piece of your com-
petitor’s content and
expand on it. If you’re
trying to create polari-
ty, pick a piece of con-
tent and offer a differ-
ing opinion.
A word of warning
if you choose to try to
create polarity: your
goal is to make your
business stand out, not
bash your competitors.
Bad-mouthing your
competitors doesn’t in-
cite trust from your au-
dience and can cause
them to turn on you.
Use this strategy care-
fully and thoughtfully.
#2. What comes
“Second-Nature”
What are they nat-
urally good at? Create
content around it.
I ask my clients
about the things in
their business, prod-
ucts, or services that
they don’t even have
to think about. The
things they (mistaken-
ly) assume that every-
one knows – or should
know.
These are the
things you should be
creating content about
because they are al-
most never common
knowledge to anyone
Which
story to
tell?
outside your industry.
People tend to hes-
itate with this because
they think it’s too ba-
sic, too easy. But con-
tent doesn’t need to
be complex to be en-
gaging. As a matter of
fact, the easier it is to
understand, the better
it’s received.
#3 Create content
around what they
don’t know
Depending on their
industry, I may ask my
clients to tell me about
what they don’t know
(yet) but wish they did.
Then, I encourage
them to spend some
time learning some-
thing and document
the process so that
content can be created
around it.
People love to see
other people learning,
especially if it’s at their
own level.
While this content
strategy doesn’t work
for every industry,
if done right, it can
make you more relat-
able to your audience
by showing that even
if you’re an expert,
you’re not an expert
in everything. It shows
that you’re willing to
be vulnerable, to be
real.
And people like to
do business with peo-
ple who are real.
#4 Let the audience
tell you
Oftentimes, busi-
nesses will create
content around what
we think the audience
should know about.
The audience usually
has different ideas.
What are some of
the most asked ques-
tions your clients or
potential clients have?
What are they com-
menting about the
most on your social
feeds? How many
times have you written
the same informational
email to different peo-
ple?
These are the
things your audience
wants to know about,
and they’re at out
telling you that. Cre-
ating content around
these things before
they have a chance to
ask can position you as
someone who “gets”
them and allows you
to start forming a re-
lationship before they
even approach you.
A lack of content
ideas was only part of
what was holding me
back. The other part
was being unsure how
to create the content.
So even on the rare oc-
casion that I had a fan-
tastic idea for a con-
tent piece, I struggled
with creating it. Not
because I’m not a writ-
er, but because I am.
I have a long history
in creative writing; I’ve
been writing stories
since I was 7 years old.
Some of them have
even been published
internationally in well-
known publications.
I also spent years in
corporate writing pro-
fessional business doc-
uments.
But there’s a big dif-
ference between cre-
ative or business writ-
ing and writing copy.
This difference is what
causes most people to
hesitate for one of two
reasons:
•For those who have a
background in writing,
they think they know
what they’re doing,
but when their content
ops, they have no
idea what went wrong.
•For those that have
no experience in writ-
ing, they think their
writing sucks, so they
seldom get started.
When I rst started
writing content copy
for clients, I had to
unlearn everything I
thought I knew about
writing.
Writing copy for
various content types
doesn’t follow the
traditional rules of ei-
ther creative or busi-
ness writing. It’s bold
enough to complete-
ly throw out the rule
book, too.
Copy writing
doesn’t care if you’re a
writer. It cares that you
have something to say.
The real “secret” to
writing content is to
write how you talk. Be-
cause content is creat-
ed to spark a conversa-
tion with the audience.
And we don’t ever talk
with perfect grammar.
Oh snap! I just started
sentences with ‘and’
and ‘because.’ Strunk
& White are rolling
over in their graves.
But Copy doesn’t care.
Colloquialisms? Bring
it on! Copy LOVES
them.
Clichés? They’re
welcomed with open
arms.
Typos? Copy
doesn’t even sea them
unless their’s alot.
Maintaining style
throughout a piece?
Whatevs. Copy’s cool
with it.
Anthropomorphiz-
ing things? Yup, Copy
likes it when you give
things a personality.
But Copy doesn’t like
big words. Copy reads
at around a grade 7 or
8 level and doesn’t like
to use a dictionary.
So if you’re struggling
to come up with con-
tent, throw out every-
thing you think it has
to be and just write. Or
pull out a voice record-
er app on your phone
and speak it. There are
many apps out there
that will transcribe your
words into text for you.
The more content you
create, the easier it
becomes.
Click to Discover
Click to Discover
Trina Waller helps
people with their
social media
content.
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As a novelist, I cre-
ate characters out of
thin air and put them
into different situations
to tell a story. The more
I know about the char-
acter, the more believ-
able I can make their
reactions. The more
believable their reac-
tions, the better the
story.
You don’t want ev-
ery person who walks
through the door be-
cause most will cause
you more headaches
than they are worth.
That is the great thing
about being self em-
ployed - It’s your busi-
ness, you get to work
with the clients you
want. Yes, money is
part of the equation, but
you only have so much
time to work, don’t ll it
up with the wrong thing.
Take what you have to
in order to pay the bills
and leave enough time
to tell your story to the
optimal clientele.
Understand your busi-
ness, product, and ser-
vice
To determine your ideal
market, you will need to
completely understand
your product, service,
and business. I know
you think you under-
stand it, however, what
I mean is you are able
to explain it to every-
one, even the ones
who may be a little slow
on the uptake.
What does your
business do?
What problems does
your product or service
solve?
Why should a person
buy your product or
service?
You are working too
hard for too little if you
do not know why some-
one should buy from
them or whom your
customers are.
Know Thyself
Grasshopper.
It is easier to trust
someone when they
are like you rather than
extremely different. By
knowing yourself, you
will be able to deter-
mine what characteris-
tics in a customer are
more likely to result in
a positive experiences
and referrals.
Characterization
Method
Certain characters
are based on arch
types. These are two
dimensional charac-
ters who are limited
by the expectations of
the reader. They are
used by authors for a
certain role in specic
story genres and for
the most part, they are
not based on real peo-
ple and rarely grow or
change.
Know Your
Ideal Audience
By Shannon Peel
In some stories
the characters feel
real, you can relate
to them, you under-
stand them and can
see yourself being
friends with them. They
are awed, learn and
grow as the story pro-
gresses. These are the
well-rounded charac-
ters who are created
through a process of
asking questions, cre-
ating back stories, and
drawing from people in
the real world. This is
the kind of process you
want to engage in to
dene your ideal client.
Start by identifying
your favourite clients. If
you don’t have any yet,
think about the kinds of
people you get along
best with.
Demographics are
Not Enough
Let’s start with the
easy stuff, the obvious
part of target marketing
– demographic stats.
These include, age,
gender, race, profes-
sion, married, single,
kids, homeowner, ad-
dress, and income.
Write down the gen-
eral demographics of
your ideal client, then
take it one step further
by asking why you
want to target that age,
gender, etc and how
will your product or ser-
vice help each group?
What hobbies does
your client have?
Where do they shop?
Where do they like to
eat, go for drinks, exer-
cise, and vacation?
Ask all the ques-
tions which will tell you
what kind of buying
habits they have, their
recreational choices,
and how they value
their status or image.
Which values does
your ideal client have?
Values encompass
things like, honesty,
courage, leadership,
and vision. The Inter-
net has lots of lists to
help you dene a per-
son’s values.
What does your client
want most of all?
The common wants
are, security, fame,
adventure, happiness
and love. Once again
you can do a Google
search to come up with
a list to help you.
What about your cli-
ent’s morality or belief
system?
Things people pas-
sionately stand for are
charities, causes, polit-
ical views, religion, and
world order. This is a
starting target for your
core ideal client, so
though you may think
this isn’t important, it is,
because it will help you
identify where to nd
your clients.
What is the main prob-
lem your client has?
This is where your
ability to solve their
problem comes in.
Look deeper into the
problem by asking
probing open ended
questions.
Why does he have it?
How does he communi-
cate that he has it?
Does he even know
that he has it?
When does your client’s
problem become so
critical they need your
solution, yesterday?
Is it when they are
standing knee deep in
water?
Understand how
this problem ts in your
ideal client’s life and
what it looks like when
he needs your solution.
Don’t get so de-
tailed that you will only
target ve-foot-nine,
blue eyed, blonde
haired, bombshells
with great bodies. You
want to keep your
characterization gener-
al enough to describe
a decent sized group
of people. If you nd
your ideal market is too
tight, loosen up your
criteria, if it’s too large,
tighten up your criteria.
This is your ideal mar-
ket, however, the size
of your budget will help
determine how large of
a market you can af-
ford to broadcast to.
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weaving the threads of our lives
together into a larger tapestry
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Design A Plan
for Covid
by Vanya Wryter
Around us, busi-
nesses are reopening,
like Sleeping Beauty’s
castle after the spell
is broken. Many peo-
ple experienced life
during a pandemic
for the very rst time.
They saw their favou-
rite businesses close
temporarily or perma-
nently. Around them,
people lost jobs. They
changed their every-
day routines and were
separated from friends
and family.
This was the world
that many people had
experienced as they
entered phase 2. One
question lingered on
their minds:
Was it safe to go
back to the restau-
rants, stores, and work-
places they used to
frequent?
This question is an
important one that our
organization, Yellow
Cross, chose to tackle
for business owners.
If you are reopening
your business during
the pandemic, a clear
training plan for your
staff can improve safe-
ty for both employees
and customers.
Clear Plan for
Reopening
Before reopening,
you will need to de-
vise a clear plan for
your staff and place of
business. Some of the
questions you will want
to ask yourself include:
how many employees
will be returning to
work? What areas of
your business will be
open to the public?
And which areas will
be accessed by your
employees?
Old habits will need
to change. Staff will
no longer be able to
gather in the lunch-
room or watercool-
er, for example. As a
result, shared work
areas will need to be
cleaned, but how of-
ten? And who will be
responsible for the
cleaning?
Everyone, including
staff and customers,
will need to practice
physical distancing,
but how will you en-
force those restric-
tions? Will you limit
the number of people
in the ofce? Will you
provide signage to
direct the ow of trafc
into and out of your
place of business?
Other consider-
ations are the number
of customers that will
be permitted into your
business at any given
time and whether the
installation of plexi-
glass barriers will be
necessary.
Some areas of your
business may already
be online. But for cus-
tomers who are physi-
cally in your business,
how can you ensure
that you have done
the best you can to
protect the health and
safety of customers
and staff? What train-
ing plan will you de-
vise to protect them
from COVID-19?
Training Workers
for Their Return
to Work
Training your work-
ers can be an enor-
mous undertaking,
especially if you have
many employees,
multiple work shifts,
or health and safety
training is not your
area of expertise. We
have created an edu-
cation and certication
program that prepares
your business for re-
opening.
The main benet
of our online infection
prevention and con-
trol program is that
your employees can
access the training at
their convenience. The
training covers many
critical points, from
disinfecting to hand-
washing.
Workers should
be aware of how
COVID-19 spreads.
Understanding the
science is critical to
understanding why
specic measures must
be put in place to slow
the spread of the virus.
For example, we teach
clear directions on cor-
rect handwashing pro-
cedures, when to wash
hands with soap, or
when the use of hand
sanitizer is acceptable.
The training also cov-
ers procedures for
common work areas,
such as shared work-
spaces, the company
kitchen, and the ofce
photocopier. It an-
swers questions such
as what cleaning pro-
cedures need to be in
place and who would
be responsible for
those procedures.
Some old habits will
need to change, such
as sitting down to use
a shared computer,
or crowding into an
elevator to get to the
ofce on time. New
procedures will be in
place to handle these
situations.
These procedures
will be customized for
your specic business
and will be developed
as a joint effort be-
tween your staff and
the business owners
and employers.
New signage will
also regulate the ow
of movement in your
business. We provide
the signage to show
customers safe dis-
tancing from other
customers and staff.
Our Yellow Cross Certi-
ed SAFE signage will
clearly let the public
know that your es-
tablishment has gone
through proper train-
ing for their health and
safety.
The Advantage of
Formal Training
When staff mem-
bers have complet-
ed their training and
passed the exam, they
will receive a certicate
and your company can
claim it is Yellow Cross
certied. This certica-
tion is the vital differ-
ence between reopen-
ing with training and
reopening with only
assumptions about
best practices.
With this certica-
tion, your business is
demonstrating that it
is aware of its LEGAL
responsibility to pro-
tect your employees
and customers. Most
other programs do not
educate your frontline
employees, which pro-
vides an opening for
liability claims should
an employee or cus-
tomer catch COVID-19
at your place of work.
For more information
about the Certied
SAFE program visit yel-
lowcross.org or contact
vanyawryter@gmail.
com.
Vanya helps clients
tell their success
story to the world
Want to Write Your Story?
Become an APeeling Member
For tips and support to Help
You tell Your Story
Click on the Peel
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Is your child struggling with Math, English, Biology?
Carter Allen offers tutoring for all ages. He graduated from highschool with
over 90% in all subjects and made the deans list in his rst year of university.
Click Peel to email him.
Published!
Cutest Video
Video here
Steve Aspinall, of
Marsh Commercial
UK, created a video to
inspire his colleagues,
who moved from an
ofce environment to a
work from home situa-
tion during social dis-
tancing.
Anthony Gruppo
sent me this slice of
the video, which fea-
tures the book Mar-
ketAPeel helped him
write and publish. The
video was so cute, I
just had to share it.
I contacted Steve to
get his permission and
discovered he original-
ly, meant to create one
video for his ofce and
they loved it so much
he agreed to make
more. Before he knew
it, other members of
Marsh Commercial UK
were asking for them.
He has committed
to make 3 per week
and post them to a
YouTube channel to
bring people humour
during a challenging
time.
I love the creativ-
ity being generated
by people during their
isolation. Social media
is full of funny, interest-
ing, and educational
creative content.
I hope Steve con-
tinues to inspire us with
his videos after he’s
back in the ofce.
Click to
watch
more
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’m calling you and
all of my friends and
colleagues of color to
check-in and see
how you are doing.”
That was the voice-
mail I left for a client-
turned-friend to see
how he was doing. I
hadn’t rehearsed what
I was going to say.
I was just calling to
check-in on a friend
like I had with the
co-author of this series
on race, Gina Green-
lee.
The next day I was
delighted when my
friend’s name popped
on my phone. We
updated each other
on our kids, shared
Covid-19 impacts and
discussed the latest
act of racism and the
ensuing protests to
end police brutality.
It Takes Courage
and Openness. “One
more thing before we
hang-up,” he said. “I
have to tell you this
because we’ve known
each other a long time
and I value our friend-
ship.”
I couldn’t imagine
what he was about
to share with me.
“I really appreciat-
ed you calling me the
other day and leaving
me a voicemail. But
when you said you
were ‘calling all of your
friends of color to see
how they are doing’
I was taken aback. I
thought I was your
friend, not a friend
that is in some folder
on your desk marked
black friends”.
I kept listening.
I didn’t defend the
voice message I had
left. Instead, I really
wanted to understand
his perspective.
“Imagine if I said
to you, ‘I’m calling all
of my friends of white-
ness to see how they
are doing’. See how
that sounds?”
It took courage for
my friend to broach
this sensitive issue with
me. It took openness
on my part to listen
and not defend.
The Complexities
of Racial Identity
Like anything in life,
people perceive and
react to the same sit-
uation in countless
differing ways. People
who identify as black,
African-American,
bi-racial, a person of
color or BIPOC (black,
indigenous, people of
color) are no more ho-
mogenous than white
people. When asked
Race: Discussing
the Undiscussable
By Margaret H. Greenberg with Gina Greenlee
what the black commu-
nity’s reaction was to
one of his movies, ac-
tor Denzel Washington
replied, “I don’t know;
the black community
doesn’t meet at my
house on Wednesday
nights.”
My client-turned-
friend was taken aback
by my friends of color
lexicon. When I ex-
plored the use of the
same language with
another friend and
co-author Gina, she
replied, “That totally
works for me.”
“Telling me, ‘I don’t
see you as black’, is
to deny a large part of
who I am, how I exist
in society and what
informs my worldview;
in short, my culture.”
She went on to ex-
plain, “My maternal
great-grandmother
was white and my
paternal great-grand-
mother was Native
American. I never knew
either woman. They
are not reected in my
appearance or life ex-
periences. I self-iden-
tify both as black and
African-American.”
Comedian, creator
and producer Rob-
in Thede of HBO’s
A Black Lady Sketch
Show self identies
as black and Afri-
can-American. Her
mother is black and
her father is white.
American golfer
Tiger Woods self-iden-
ties as mixed race.
Margaret and Gina
His father was of Afri-
can-American, Chinese
and Native American
descent. His mother is
of Thai, Chinese and
Dutch descent.
When, in a 1997 in-
terview, Oprah Winfrey
asked Woods whether
it bothered him being
called African-Ameri-
can, he said it did. As
a teenager, he had
coined his own term
to describe his racial
identity: Cablinasian -
a person who is Cauca-
sian, Black, American
Indian and Asian.
And, the lesser
known San Franciscan
who lmed a white
couple calling the po-
lice about a Black Lives
Matter message he
stenciled in chalk out-
side of his home, is of
Filipino descent and
identies as a person
of color.
Recent events have
prompted conversa-
tions of race and racial
identity all over Amer-
ica and around the
world. Talking with our
friends of varied col-
ors is a good start. But
where we can have an
even bigger, positive
impact is to have these
conversations in the
workplace -- the place
where many people
rst interact with some-
one who looks differ-
ent from themselves.
One of the Unwrit-
ten Rules of the Work-
place. For decades,
Human Resources
professionals have
instructed managers,
“Don’t discuss race at
work.”
It all started with
the EEOC and the in-
terview process in an
effort to prevent dis-
crimination. For exam-
ple, there are illegal
questions that cannot
be asked in a job inter-
view. Concern for how
discussions of race,
religion, sexual orien-
tation, disability and
other sensitive topics
may polarize and dis-
rupt the productivity
of employees, many
HR professionals have
discouraged manag-
ers from talking about
them.
Fast forward to
2020. Now managers
are expected to facili-
tate a meaningful dia-
logue about race with
their employees, how-
ever, few managers
are equipped with the
emotional intelligence
(EQ) skills – such as
empathy, compassion
and listening – to be
able to condently do
so. As one HR lead-
er shared recently, “I
cringe at the idea of
where these conversa-
tions could lead and
the trouble they could
cause - not just from a
discrimination lawsuit
perspective, but just
a work environment
perspective. It always
seemed safer to just
tell managers to avoid
these conversations.”
“I’m not saying we
shouldn’t do it,” she
went on to explain.
“I’m just saying we
have a lot of education
and development to
do.”
Building the Frame-
work as We Go“When
conversations on
race happen without
thought and care,”
says race scholar and
NY Times best-selling
author Ijeoma Oluo,
“it’s pretty much just a
shouting match unless
we have useful termi-
nology and discussion
tactics. And we don’t
because we are told
that racism lives in the
hearts and minds of in-
dividuals; there’s noth-
ing we can do about it
but convince racists to
love people of color.
So, when you are ex-
periencing a nice per-
son who is treating you
differently because of
the color of your skin,
where does that t for
you and where does
that t for the person
whose only descriptor,
when you say, ‘that’s
racist,’ is someone
who’s lighting a cross
on re?”
So as we stumble
our way into this new
territory of discussing
the undiscussables we
must do so while also
gathering a shared
lexicon and guidance
for those leading or
facilitating these dis-
cussions. To forbid or
avoid discussion of
race in the workplace
is to perpetuate mag-
ical thinking. Because
the truth? “We’re al-
ways talking about
race,” says Oluo. “We
talk about race when
we don’t ask people
what they need and
what their experiences
are.
We’re talking about
it in our everyday de-
cisions. We might as
well try to do it with
a little thought and
care.”

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July 11th 2020
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The
Giveback
by Paula Curteanu
What’s next for
Racial Equity?
Converting interest
into Action
When my 15 year
old white son watched
the videos of George
Floyd being publicly
exe-cuted by white po-
lice men, he said with
his head down: ‘by the
time I grow up, white
men will be the most
hated on earth and
they will be killed on
the streets for this.”
It was hard to debate
that point of view.
I wonder what
15-year-old black teens
felt as they watched it.
What did their black
parents tell them about
their future? I don’t
want to trade places
with her.
Here are some
facts. Racism was in-
vented by white peo-
ple, using weapons
and violence to op-
press in order to gain
more wealth and more
power.
Racism was born
out of fear, turned into
greed – which is fear
of not having enough.
Throughout history,
the people who didn’t
directly oppress others
due to the colour of
their skin, did it indi-
rectly by being quiet
about it, and silently
reaping the bene-ts.
Some of the biggest
insurers, such as Lloyds
of London, publicly
admitted last month
that they made their
fortune from the slave
trade, by insuring the
slave ships, and their
company is the still the
most underrepresent-
ed when it comes to
diversity in the entire
insurance industry.
We know. But we
accept it and we car-
ry on with our daily
chores and online
shopping.
Why do we do
this?
White privilege is
not about majority -
80% of the world pop-
ulation is non-white.
Economy wise, South
America, China, and
India - largely non-
white regions, hold
the majority of the
world’s economic pow-
er. So how come such
a small sector of the
population, without
a monopoly on eco-
nomic advantage, hold
power when dening
the standards of white
privilege?
I really don’t know.
But why do we allow
it?
When we watch
the news and other
media platforms ha-
tred is running ram-
pant, but is it true?
Is there more hatred
than compassion in the
world as of today?
What I do know is
I can simply choose to
act. If I don’t even try
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EMPOWER the
PERFECTIONIST
Child
Does your child get
down on herself? Is she
hard on herself? Is she
a ‘perfectionist’ child?
Some parents have
reached out to me
to ask what they can
do to help their child
who they believe has
perfectionist tenden-
cies. As someone who
grew up with a moth-
er with perfectionist
tendencies, I picked
up those qualities too
in many ways. It isn’t
easy going into the
adult world expecting
and wanting things to
be perfect from the
start, and then realiz-
ing there will be many
roadblocks, ‘plan B’s’
– which a perfectionist
mostly hates, and even
failures. -- What? Fail-
ure? Aarrgh (running
in the opposite direc-
tion…Right?)
I’ve been working
on those tendencies
since I was 19 years
old and have worked
to diminish the effects
of these habits on my
life. There are adults
in their 60’s now trying
to unravel their perfec-
tionist habits so they
can learn to enjoy life
more. This is isn’t easy
as we get older, so the
sooner we start with
young kids, the better
off they will be in the
long run.
There isn’t one sin-
gle answer that will
‘t’ each child because
each child is unique.
But here are some
ways to help your child
that will benet her re-
gardless, and will help
to increase the connec-
tion in your relation-
ship.
First, what are some
signs of a perfectionist
child?
•Gives up easily after
only 1 or 2 attempts of
something,
•Unable to overcome
mistakes,
•Has difculty manag-
ing change,
•Self-critical, self-con-
scious, or easily em-
barrassed,
•Sensitive to criticism
even if it’s constructive,
•Anxiety about making
mistakes,
•Procrastinates or
avoids challenging
tasks,
•Tendency to stay in
comfort zone,
•Emotionally and so-
cially inhibited,
•Critical of others,
•Difculty decision
making…
These are just a few.
So what can
you do?
Be vulnerable
and open; share your
past mistakes or poor
choices with your child
(based on what is age
appropriate of course).
It can be hard for par-
Ashley Anjlien Kumar
ents to open up and
be vulnerable with
their kids; many par-
ents struggle with
showing their mistakes,
aws or poor choic-
es from the past. But
sharing these “imper-
fect” parts of yourself
allows you to reach
your child on ‘their’
level - you become
approachable/reach-
able - and that is life
changing!
If you choose to not
share your imperfec-
tions, mistakes or poor
choices, then your
child has only your
achievements to ‘mea-
sure’ up against. Not
because you are ask-
ing them to ‘measure
up’ and not because
she is trying to ‘mea-
sure up.’ But because
her brain doesn’t have
anything else to com-
pare to right now. At
least not on that very
intimate relationship
level than can only be
experienced in the par-
ent-child dynamic.
When you step out
of your comfort zone
and share your mis-
takes with your child,
be sure to share the
LESSON you learned
from it, and how expe-
riencing the mistake
actually helped you. If
kids can see the posi-
tives around a mistake,
a mistake is less threat-
ening.
Sharing Points:
What did you gain
from the mistake?
How did you grow
from the mistake?
How has the lesson
helped you in other
areas of your life?
Here is a story I
would tell my child
5-10 year old child
about a poor choice
from my past:
When I was 7 years
old, I made a very poor
choice that was disre-
spectful and affecte d
many people negative-
ly.
At the time, my
parents had some odd
changes in their work
schedules meaning
they had to drop me
off to school SUPER
early – we’re talking
like before 7am when
nobody else was there
yet except the janitor.
I was advised to sit on
the oor in the hallway
on the cold somewhat
sandy tile oors and
wait quietly. I wasn’t
offered any toys or
activities to do but I
may have taken 1 or 2
books with me to read
while in the hallway.
If the conditions were
for a few days, I’m sure
I would’ve handled it.
But, it was for a month
and it was scary being
alone in the cold dark
hallway. I remember
trying to communicate
with my parents about
what I was feeling, but
in our family similar to
many other families
just trying to make it in
the world, we just did
what we had to do.
Feelings needed to
be put aside.
I was feeling upset,
not in control of the
situation, and slightly
neglected.And one
day, I ‘acted out.’ It
was impulsive, which is
expected for kids, but I
also remember it being
oddly thrilling. I walked
into the classroom of a
teacher I did not par-
ticularly like; I threw
stuff around, I messed
up her papers on her
desk, I knocked over a
plant, and the worst….
Remember rubber
cement that was used
in schools in the 80’s?
I took the rubber ce-
ment wand and paint-
ed glue all over the
ivory keys of the teach-
er’s piano!!!
Aaaghh. Talk about
vandalism. Oh did I
get in trouble.
I was scared for my
life. I was grounded,
most of my privileges
were taken away, and
boy did I lose the trust
of everyone in school.
My friends teased
me also. The secretary
Ms. Cormier, who had
loved me prior to this,
was suddenly very cold
toward me.
When might I share
this story? When the
opportunity arises to
teach my child:
• What to do when it
comes to someone
else’s property, belong-
ings, or ‘stuff.’
• What is a disrespect-
ful choice.
• The negative impacts
of a poor choice on me
- how does it play out
in your life when you
make a poor choice…
Sure there were
things my parents
could have done differ-
ently, but it’s likely they
didn’t have much of an
option – things were
different in the 80’s
(less ex time at work,
tougher workplace pol-
icies etc.) In the end, it
was a choice I made.
Through this mistake I
learned:
1) How disrespectful
behaviour can cause
hardship or pain for
people– including my-
self.
2) My life was nega-
tively impacted – peo-
ple lost trust in me, I
lost my privileges.
3) When you break the
rules or cross boundar-
ies, the consequences
can be severe.
4) How to make bet-
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ter choices that don’t
cause harm. And many
more lessons!
The point is, when
I can share this with
my child, my child can
say, “Wow Mom. You
did that huh? It was a
pretty big mistake.”
And suddenly I’m not
up there, this towering
parent who never did
anything wrong, who
my child can never dis-
appoint.
Ashley Anjlien Kumar
is a mother of 2, au-
thor, speaker and certi-
ed Wisdom Coach™
for Kids. She goes
by ‘The Condence
Coach’ and coach-
es kids all across the
country. Have grown
up experienc-ing
low self-worth, poor
self-image, and self-
harm from as young
as age 6, Ashley now
dedicates her time to
empowering kids to
develop ‘Sensation-
al Self-Condence &
Soaring Self-Esteem’ in
order to live a self-em-
powered, self-connect-
ed and self-motivated
amazing life! She can
be reached at ashley@
ashleyanjlienkumar.net
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We all have a sto-
ry, a legacy, a mem-
oir. Sites like Ances-
try.com give us dates
and places but they
don’t give us the sto-
ries.
Ever wonder why
your grandparents
moved to a different
country or how they
met? Are you curious
about what life was
like when your moth-
er was a teenager?
Some people want
to know about their
family stories, their
roots, or how they
are similar to a mem-
ber 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 em-
bellishments and
poor memories.
To help you get
started with putting
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
Why a Private Health Service Plan
(PHSP) is a Good Idea.
To attract talent in Canada, businesses can create exible health
plans to incentivize and provide a non-taxable bonus to their
employees. This means your employees will have more tax free
cash to pay for their healthcare and the corporation will have
more to deduct against revenues for taxes.
Are you Incorporated?
Do you operate in Canada?
Do you want a healthy workforce?
If you answered “Yes” than a PHSP might be a solution for you.
Visit Winex.ca for details:
Winex.ca
How to
Reduce Taxes
and Be Healthy
Within the tax laws of Canada
there are certain professions,
namely doctors, dentists, and
lawyers, and professional real
estate corporations, who have
the power to become incorpo-
rated entities and as such, can
use the benets of a Private
Health Services Plan (PHSP)
to deduct medical, dental vi-
sion expenses for themselves
and their families through the
corporation.
Let’s step back and under-
stand there are only two ways
you can write off medical
dental expenses. One way is
through your personal income
tax, which everybody does.
The other is a Personal Health
Services Plan, which allows
you to deduct 100% of your
health expenses through the
corporation.
The differences is a 100%
deduction for the corporation,
as opposed to a 15% partial
tax credit on your personal
income tax return.
A PHSP is an alternative
to expensive and sometimes
restrictive group benets
plans. It overcomes the limited
3% medical tax credit rule on
your personal income tax and
enables you to pay for your
personal health care costs with
non-taxable dollars.
Business Owners can cre-
ate exible health care plans,
incentives, and bonuses for
their employees, which will
not increase the employees’
personal income tax because
this is a non-taxable benet. In
other words they pay for their
health care needs with non
taxable funds.
The business then deducts
those personal healthcare ex-
penses against their corporate
business income to reduce
their tax bill.
In essence you are increas-
ing your income without in-
creasing your personal income
tax bill while reducing your
corporate tax bill.
The Fine Print
No premiums. It’s not an
Insurance product. Contribu-
tors are recognized as a 100%
business deduction in the year
they were contributed - even
if the money is not spent that
year. Unspent contributions
are carried forward for future
healthcare spending. No hid-
den costs. A xed 10% ad-
ministration fee is charged on
actual claims.
Who Qualies for a PHSP?
Business owners, their de-
pendents and their employees.
There is no age limit or health
questionnaires.
Winex is a CRA approved way
for business owners to fully deduct
100% of their personal healthcare
expenses as a business expense.
We have a number of different
private health plans for Incorporated
Businesses available.
www.winex.ca
By Victor Logan
My late father’s
banking career kept
our family on the
move. In fact, every
few years we were
transferred to a new
place and by the age
of 8 I’d lived in Red
Dear, Thunder Bay,
Saskatoon and Winni-
peg. Then in an inter-
esting twist: a ve-year
move to Freeport in
the Bahamas before
repatriating to Vancou-
ver in 1982.
The incredible resil-
ience of kids is a beau-
tiful thing. They just
keep going. Adapting,
adjusting, and onward
they go. And I kept
going. Getting used to
another new school,
new friends, a new
phone number and ad-
dress to remember in
case I got lost (which I
actually did once!) and
on to the next destina-
tion.
Our Bahamian ex-
perience of the late
1970’s-early 1980’s
proved to be pro-
foundly formative for
me. My sister and I
attended a British-style
private school with
uniforms and our peers
were the children of
international bank ex-
ecutives, casino enter-
tainers and croupiers,
oil executives from the
US, Great Britain and
the Middle East, Amer-
ican commercial pilots,
various and sundry
entrepreneurial types
as well as local children
too.
My third grade class
resembled the United
Nations General As-
sembly (in miniature)
and our weekends
were mostly spent
gathering with friends
who happened to be
from around the world.
We had big picnics
on a powdery white
Extraordinary
in ordinary
by Ashli Komaryk
beach or at one fami-
ly’s beach cottage with
the other expat fami-
lies, cooking, eating,
playing games and ad-
venturing without ex-
cessive parental super-
vision – it was the 80’s
and there were some
serious shenanigans.
One sharable ep-
isode that comes to
mind was the time,
at age eleven, when
I ipped the ATV
4-wheeler and we were
forced to get the par-
ents involved to get
me to the hospital for
patching up. Turned
out the nearest open
medical facility on a
Sunday was the US
naval base. Even with
my Dad there with me,
it was more than a little
intimidating to be es-
corted through security
to the inrmary. I was
very relieved when a
friendly young medic
came to take care of
me. I’ll always remem-
ber how his smile and
warmth put me at ease
and instantly made me
feel better. Even at the
tender age of eleven,
I knew a handsome
man in uniform when I
saw one. With all that
friendly care, it turned
out my injuries weren’t
that serious and I even
got a hug from the
nice ofcer.
Our family’s return
to suburban Vancouver
called upon me to de-
ploy my skills of ad-
aptation once more. I
was an athletic kid so I
dove with gusto into all
the sports possible and
my rigorous schooling
in Freeport allowed
me to easily adapt on
the academic side. But
socially, it was tougher.
By eighth grade, there
were well-established
groups of friends that
had been together
since pre-school (a
concept I could scarce-
ly imagine!) and I
missed having friends
from all around the
world with different
accents, ideas and cus-
toms.
In retrospect, our
Island life felt like a mi-
crocosm of the world,
immensely open and
completely diverse, full
of discovery and possi-
bility, without limits or
particular rules of en-
gagement. There was
an almost impercepti-
ble yet deep intellectu-
al and emotional stim-
ulation I was receiving
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from such a richly di-
verse environment that
I didn’t notice at the
time or know how to
articulate. It was sim-
ply what had become
ordinary for us, just our
“normal”.
Seeking acceptance
and inclusion, I adapt-
ed. But it was more
difcult this time. My
light wasn’t shining at
its brightest. In order
to adapt and be ac-
cepted, I felt I needed
to dim those elements
of my light that others
didn’t seem to under-
stand or welcome be-
cause they were for-
eign, different.
Perhaps not sur-
prisingly, after gradu-
ation, I enrolled in an
exchange program and
found myself living for
a year with a family in
delicious and beautiful
Parma, Italy, a small
city of about 200,000
souls at the time. The
world opened up for
me once more and I
adored living in Eu-
rope. I liked it so
much, that I stayed for
14 years!
I married a charm-
ing Italian, became an
Italian citizen, earned
my levels I and II certif-
icates from the Italian
Sommelier Association,
graduated with a de-
gree in art history from
the University of Parma
(my Everest… a dra-
matic story for another
time perhaps). This was
now my new “ordi-
nary” and once again I
was a sh out water. In
the early 1990s’ in Par-
ma, there weren’t very
many anglophones
and I was known as
“La canadese” (the
Canadian – but, inter-
estingly also slang for
a tent). Nonetheless,
a moniker I wore quite
proudly indeed.
Amidst all the ro-
mantic “Under the Tus-
can Sun” stereotypes
you may be imagining
right now, there were
also many less-than-ro-
mantic challenges in-
volved in adapting to a
new country, language,
education system,
and let’s not even talk
about the bureaucracy,
especially concerning
citizenship application!
In addition, almost no
one could make sense
of my name! Ashli is
not a biblical name,
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and the letters just
don’t work well with
Italian phonetics. For-
tunately, there was a
character called Ashley
on a popular Ameri-
can soap on Italian TV
at the time, so that
helped.
It’s an interesting
subconscious phe-
nomenon that subtly
touches your identity
and sense of self when
almost no one around
you can pronounce
your name. Through it
all, there were trying
times and downright
dejection but the good
denitely outweighed
the challenges and
that was also thanks to
the amazing family and
friends I was blessed
with there.
As I was preparing
to defend my thesis
(yes, the Italians re-
quired a thesis for an
undergrad degree), I
reected on what new
professional opportu-
nities I might pursue
afterward. In Italy I had
worked as a free-lance
translator/interpreter,
voice actor for English
language promotional
corporate videos, and
also in admin roles for
a couple of companies
that exported goods or
services abroad.
My English lan-
guage skills were use-
ful but I hadn’t truly
found my groove, my
purpose, that special
something that I felt
I could sink my teeth
into, be amazing at
and make a real im-
pact doing. It was then
that we received a
visit from a dear friend
from Vancouver who
was traveling with her
new husband and their
infant daughter visit-
ing their Italian rela-
tives. A serendipitous
conversation around
the kitchen table (the
kitchen table is reliably
great for those) result-
ed in me successfully
applying to become
the Cultural Director
at the Italian Cultural
Centre in Vancouver.
So back to Canada
it was. I would be able
to spend more time
with my own family
again and experience
that Canadian work-
life my friends back in
Canada were telling
me about – things like
conferences, promo-
tions, work events, ca-
reer trajectory... none
which I had experi-
enced yet as an adult.
By then I was curious
about all of it and crav-
ing it too.
While I loved being
back in Canada where
I felt my career could
now take off and ev-
erything was possible,
I still didn’t feel like I
t in. After 14 years,
I felt very European
and I quickly under-
stood that I had be-
come more Italian than
I realized over those
formative years of my
young adulthood. I
was technically an Ital-
ian citizen, spoke the
language at a sophis-
ticated level thanks to
my Italian university
education (and to my
obsession for words
and language) and yet,
in my public-facing
leadership role at the
Italian Cultural Cen-
tre, I wasn’t entirely
accepted by everyone
in the community as
being really Italian.
After all, what Italian
mother would call her
daughter Ashli? Nope.
They weren’t buying it.
Mamma mia!
Despite that detail,
I happily remained
there for almost nine
extremely fun, fullling,
empowering and ed-
ucational years of cre-
ating new programs,
building the organiza-
tion’s public prole and
celebrating the Italian
culture in the com-
munity in every way I
could think of! I had
denitely found my
groove. I got to speak
Italian every day, I was
channelling my intense
passion for the Italian
culture and my love for
public speaking. I ex-
perienced that “ow”
you feel when you are
expressing the best of
your talents!
After six years in
my role at the Italian
Cultural Centre, an
esteemed colleague
suggested that I need-
ed an MBA. The seed
was planted and after
scaling that new Ever-
est I decided I need-
ed to ex those new
business-y muscles and
get a more serious job
that wasn’t as much
fun. (Surely, you’re not
supposed to have that
much fun at work, I
mistakenly believed).
And that’s when things
took a different turn.
Working under various
different leadership
styles was a real awak-
ening.
Some of those lead-
ers were uplifting and
inspiring and others
decidedly not. This
new negative reality
shook me deeply, and
made me feel naïve –
was this the real world
and I had no idea how
things really worked?
How could people
leading others not
understand the impact
they were having on
their subordinates with
their demoralizing or
unkind words and be-
haviours? Or maybe
they did realize it and
they just didn’t care?
Had anyone taught
them compassion?
Didn’t they want to
motivate those follow-
ing them to perform to
their highest potential?
I learned how difcult
it is to perform well
when trust is absent
and your psychological
and emotional well-be-
ing feels like it’s under
attack.
You can’t nd your
“ow” and your
“groove” is nowhere in
sight!
I had more lessons
coming to me because
in rapid succession my
step-father suddenly
passed away, a month
later my mother suf-
fered a life-altering
stroke during cancer
surgery and then later
that same year my fa-
ther passed away one
month after a cancer
diagnosis.
At a certain point,
it was too much, and
I gave myself a “time-
out” from life.
I retreated to the
Caribbean for a few
months to digest it all
and get my feet back
under me. I guess the
Universe decided I
needed another signal
because one afternoon
while I was sitting on a
chaise at the beach, fo-
cusing on breathing in
and breathing out, the
wind blew the umbrel-
la next to me up out of
its base and the metal
shaft wacked me in the
head sending me to
the ER with a concus-
sion.
Such a random
“accident” can’t have
been a coincidence,
can it?
Well, as fate would
have it, it was at that
point, that it hit me,
guratively this time.
My new-found pur-
pose. I needed to
become a leadership
and communication
trainer and coach so
I could bring greater
awareness of the huge
impact that a leader
can have, both on the
people who follow
them and on the bot-
tom-line success of
their organizations! I
wanted to coach lead-
ers to know themselves
so they could better
understand their team
members and identify
the motivational needs
of each individual. I
wanted to help teams
communicate more
effectively and work
together more harmo-
niously and more pro-
ductively.
I became a certied
facilitator with DiSC
and the Five Behaviors
of a Cohesive Team
tools and, newly invig-
orated, I got to work
reaching out to orga-
nizations, associations
and individuals who
could use my help.
I found my groove
again!
I loved working with
teams who wanted to
nd strategies to work
better together. I loved
how my clients en-
joyed the assessments
and how much they
engaged in the explor-
atory dialogue around
interpersonal work
dynamics and how to
make them better.
I was working with
teams from law rms,
sports associations,
nancial advisors,
non-prot teams and
even the RCMP! It was
interesting to see how
human nature and the
desire to understand
one another transcend
any industry sector and
org-chart position. We
all want to work better
together.
I wondered if I
could step up my ow
even further by work-
ing more in a sector
that represented a
huge area of passion
for me: the world of
wine.
I began to research
the wine industry here
in British Columbia
and also comparatively
in other areas of the
world too, including
Napa. I wanted to un-
derstand what kind of
training existed in the
sector and what the
guest experience was
like between those
wineries that invest-
ed in training for their
front line and also
their admin/leadership
teams, and those that
didn’t.
Consumers I inter-
viewed reported incon-
sistent quality of their
experience with a wide
range of levels of satis-
faction.
The majority of
wineries I surveyed
reported that they
didn’t have a formal
training program be-
yond covering local
wine knowledge. Most
wished their staff had
better sales skills and
most didn’t feel as
though they were fully
leveraging all oppor-
tunities for higher di-
rect-to-consumer sales
and wine club enroll-
ment in their tasting
rooms.
My mystery shop-
ping observations con-
rmed that there was
denitely an opportu-
nity here to help our
wineries.
I gratefully accept-
ed an invitation to
speak at the BC Wine
Institute’s annual Con-
ference on this topic
in early March and
then suddenly the pan-
demic shut everything
down!
In the shift to
all things virtual,
I launched a new
branch of my training
and coaching busi-
ness called “Beyond
the Wine” because
I saw that “Beyond
the Wine” is where
the magic happens!
That’s where a winery
can create its “secret
sauce” and differenti-
ate itself from its com-
petition!
Training hospitality
ambassadors how to
establish an authentic,
trusting rapport with
their guests is incred-
ibly fullling – after
all, being hospitable
means welcoming, ac-
cepting, hosting your
guests with grace and
care. All things that
matter deeply to me!
If you can take
your interactions with
your winery visitors
beyond simply your
tasting room script,
your guests will feel
like they are a part of
your winery and they’ll
buy more wine, feel
the need to stay con-
nected by joining your
wine club, and come
back and visit often
– and they’ll want to
bring friends too!
I’m excited and so
very grateful to be able
to tap into the lessons
I’ve learned along the
way, at last recogniz-
ing the extraordinary
nature of those expe-
riences of mine that
seemed ordinary at
the time to create this
unique offering to the
wine and hospitality
sectors. After having
experienced isolation
and quarantine, we
may very well value
that human connection
now more than ever
before!
Hospitality done
right is caring, empa-
thetic, comfortable,
kind, attentive – and
training others to
achieve this, for me is
a most wonderful pur-
pose and my passion!
8 Lessons I Learned
Along the Way
1. Don’t dim your light
in order to t in. Shine
your very brightest and
you’ll eventually nd
the place that is right
for you.
2. A smile gives you
super-powers.
3. If you’re having fun
at your job – that’s a
very very good thing.
Cherish it and appre-
ciate it – it’s rarer than
you might think!
4. Relationships with
family and friends (aka
“chosen family”), and
the support, comfort
and joy found therein
are immensely pow-
erful – don’t forget to
recognize and cele-
brate those relation-
ships every day!
5. It’s helpful if you can
see the challenging
events or difcult peo-
ple in your life as gifts
sent to teach valuable
lessons. Better to let
gratitude in and re-
sentment out!
6. Keep going. Even
when life has dealt you
blows that you can’t
imagine recovering
from, try to hold on to
your trust that the Uni-
verse is a good place
and that it has good
things in store for you.
As Winston Churchill
famously said, “If
you’re going through
hell, keep going.”
7. Take time to think
about what makes you
happiest – then do it!
Find your “ow”!
8. Ensure your beach
umbrella is securely an-
chored.
I help wineries grow DTC
(Direct to Consumer) sales by
training their teams to de-
velop sincere and authentic
connections with customers
EXPORTING IN A TIME OF GLOBALLY UNCERTAINTY
For Entrepreneurs who want to learn about Exporting their products and services.
Join us and Connect with local and global business people.
Date: Tuesday, June 16/ 2020
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Code: 567-015-092
Topic:
Exporting in a time of uncertainty
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Future Dates
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