Sunday, 22 August 2010

Religion Outside the Box

It's Sunday. Ok, fine, let's do this.

Recently I've caught some flack from peers who have seen my
brand, read this blog and ask "where's the religious stuff Mr. Catholic"?

I have a problem with religion ( who doesn't ). Yes I'm really really into it but I truly believe that mine is the only TRUE religion
on earth.....FOR ME. I'm just not into pushing mine or any faith on others. People are only going to learn by actions, words are pretty meaningless. ... My two cents on the topic. I look forward to the impending debate.

In the mean time, I'd like to share two truly great resources on the topic that anyone can appreciate.

CBC podcasts are a true gift for Canad. I particularly enjoy a show called "Tapestry". The promo spiel: Governments change, economies tumble and soar, and headlines trumpet the scandal of the day. All the while, Tapestry deals with the more subtle news of life -- a thoughtful consideration of what it means to be human. An engaging, provocative and unexpected hour of radio in which rabbis and poets get equal time on the topic of faith, science-fiction writers and physicist-priests ponder the great creation myths, athletes explore the hero's journey as a spiritual metaphor, and architects examine the idea of space for the soul.

It's because of this show I tripped on to Rabbi Brian and his newsletter, "T
he 77% Weekly" and his ministry "Religion Outside the Box".

His ne
wsletter goes out every Monday except the last of the month. He encourages readers to take the last one off and relax, slow down, think and if needed, pray. And to remind us all that 77% is good enough; that we don't need to strive to be correct 100% of the time. Life isn't graded after all, it's pass/fail.

Over the years the newsletter has helped me think more deeply about faith and my own religion. Check it out.

Also, he's written a new book.
If you're not religious but "spiritual" this will be a resource you'll appreciate.

Hope this is of help, my continued thanks to the Tapestry and ROTB team.

I leave you with links to a couple of my favorite posts:

- Mind At Ease - Some - Drive by Mothering

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Three birthday lessons and Paul meets a King

It was a beautiful August evening.

About 30 of us gathered to celebrate something special, the 15th birthday of Charity Village .com

I am one of this site's biggest professional fans.
We share a mission statement: "Dream big. Make it happen"
We share a purpose. Helping others with both tasks.

Who on
the internet can claim to have been and continues to change lives since 1995? You can read the story and the facts if you like.

All I know is that my first job and every one since was from this site.

I use it every single week to help me in my work, help others with their work and improve the lives of others.

The site is staffed by good people, many whom I have met over my short career in
non-profit. Some of whom joined us at this wonderful event.

I learned three things from this networking birthday party:

1. It never ceases to surprise me that true leaders, "changemakers" as CV calls them, are wise but humble people that are v
ery focused on what they do. Unlike the arrogant noisy A.D.D. types that cling to their titles and blackberry's, or who often dominate business networking and entrepreneurial gatherings. Looking at a few dozen people in a room, you would be hard pressed to seek out the leadership team of this successful corporation.

2. The Cake is DEAD! Long live the cupcake
! Event planners have been rocking this trick for decades but it's only sinking in now. I have now used them for networking events, weddings and birthdays. Besides the "cutting and blowing out candles" part ( which you can get a tiny cake for ) - CUPCAKES RULE!! Variety for all, better presentation, instant distribution and more people will say yes to a cupcake than a piece of cake. Cake, you and me are done. Normally I'd be like, "it's not you it's me" but in this case. It's you.

3. Truly wise kings aren't about protecting treasure. They are the treasure. W
hen I hold these events I often try to find a venue that is accessible but is also run or owned by a customer service killer. Most people don't know this but I LOVE the Annex. It's where my heart lives, I reside far away and have moved many times but I am on Bloor St. between Bathurst and Spadina at least once a week or I'm miserable. What a treasure to find a "new" restaurant there. A comfortable place for adults ( no chicken wing specials or loud chaos ) with crisp aesthetics, good food and run by a veteran of the community. The Annex Live is a restaurant and event space in Toronto that fit the needs of this event perfectly. The food for our budget was over the top perfect for networking. The staff attention was perfection and the greatest part of doing business with them was spending a little time talking with the owner. I don't use the term "a king of a man" often but this guy is the kind of person I try to live every day finding and learning from. In our short talk I will never forget some words of wisdom...."when you live through many good years and have what most people want you realize life boils down to the good things. You have to focus on the things you are good at and being close to the things, mostly people, you know are good and happiness won't be far".

The event was all I hoped it cou
ld be.
Thanks to dynamic folks that made time to attend.

A celebration, great networkin
g and connections made, a new resource discovered. Life was a little brighter that day.

Hope t
o see you at the next event. Until then...

Dream Big. Make it Happen. - Thanks CV.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Fun and fascination in the age of persuasion

If you know who these people are, you're either an insomniac or a marketing nerd. Or both.

More on them later.

My last blog had a wonderful result. Several readers kindly let me know through LinkedIn that they bought the networking book I mentioned!

Even more astounding, less than 24 hours later, the author called to say thanks!
Speaks to the networking prowess and humility/authenticity factor of the author.

In our short chat I found that Tsufit like me, loves reading and enjoys a healthy curiosity and relishes the feeling of fascination. I shared a resource that has changed the last few years of my life:

The Age of Persuasion CBC radio show with Terry O'Reilly

(they can't podcast but here's the link to stream shows )

I don't like the term "brain candy". Something that provides only temporary pleasure. This show is more like chocolate cake for the brain. Something delicious that you savour, is attractive to others and you can share with delight.
It breaks the stereotype that learning can't be entertaining. Ever wanted to know:
- What's the contract between audience and advertiser?
- Flintstones were born as cigarette advertising?
- How billboards, taglines and slogans are born?
- The most powerful ad in the history of the world?
- What do admen think about mad men?
- Why is negative advertising popular?
- How can you connect with YOUR audience?
Some of the greatest stories of persuasion you'll ever hear.

I listen to it every week while I wash the dishes and I'm never disappointed.

It truly helps me with work as I consider my own marketing and networking by feeding me fascinating facts.

This past year the boys of persuasion put out a book!

As we were talking on the phone Tsufit look at her desk and saw that it was sitting in the latest set of books she had picked up from the library!

If you're a reader this is the perfect enjoyable summer read that will feed and give power to your fall.

I mentioned our buddy Vince at the start of the blog. His slap chop infomercial is mesmerizing. More than that magic bullet garbage (Hazel ash your cigarette!).

But! A guy off the internet took it and mixed it to a rap and now....the company bought it and the internet version is the infomercial on late late night TV.

How's that for the power of persuasion?

If you are hiding under a rock and haven't seen the Old Spice commercial I'll leave you with this fun version of our buddy Vince's slapchop: