Monday, November 30, 2009

Seeking North Stars

“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play”

You have heard these words since the day of your high school graduation.

"Do what you love"
"Follow your passion".
"Find a job you enjoy and you'll never work a day in your life"

Sounds simple.

But, far from easy.

Clutching your diploma on Graduation Day, you were confident of being able to do just that. You were going to branch out and assume your rightful place in a lush forest filled with dreams and opportunities. With the world as your orchard, you just had to decide which apple was yours. However, a series of dead-end jobs, empty corporate promises and meaningless work has a way of chopping down even the strongest trees of confidence. By the time you hit your thirties, you are in deep woods off territory - without a career compass at your core.

Realistically and statistically, a large percentage of adults spend their entire work lives doing things they would rather not. Even before the recession, Gallup reported less than 27% are "truly engaged" in their jobs. Other studies suggest as many as 70-80% are doing work they don't especially enjoy. And another Gallup Survey reports nearly 20% are actively disengaged, or disconnected from their work; marked by high absenteeism and less than fulfilling personal and professional lives.

One of those statistics is an actual friend of ours.

For the sake of the story, let's call this person "D".

Thoroughly disenchanted and feeling used by the company signing the cheque, "D", was recently challenged to look at this predicament in a different way. What if the problem wasn't as much to do with the company or industry, but more so with the choice that was made to be there? In other words, by deciding not to follow a career path "D" was passionate about, our friend was getting pretty much what they had bargained for. Over a well-worn path of twenty years or more.

Feeling hopelessly lost and unable to see the forest for the trees, "D" was put on the spot to find passion through the penetrating, laser focus of a single, stinging question:

"So, what gets you out of bed in the morning"?

"D" stood there speechless.

Dumbfounded and dumbstruck.

As a quiet moment turned to a silent minute, it was clear "D" was not going to manage a response that day.

And so, our friend left.

For the next several days, "D" could think of little else.

How could personal purpose be connected to work we are meant to do?

But, it would appear, "D" is not alone.

For centuries, explorers have depended on the North Star to navigate when no other landmarks are in sight. Would you believe the same relationship exists in terms of aligning your choice of work to your personal purpose? Without that fixed point in the sky to follow, your internal compass will always be flawed and faulty - no matter who or what organization you work for.

Following your passion gets a helluva lot easier once you figure out what that passion is. In some respects, pinpointing your passion can be as elusive as trying to catch a butterfly on a windy day without a net while blindfolded.

But, times have changed.

And while you may not have a net this week, you do have the web.

Would you like to saddle up with us this week and remove the blindfold?

And find out where "D" is going?

Until tomorrow.

"You've got to find what you love. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do"

p.s... Another friend of ours, Ken MacLeod, discovered a North Star years ago with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. You should see what they're up to tonight.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cup Runneth Over

This is a league of A's and BC's.

A league filled with Green. And Gold. Red. Black and Blue.

This is a league of many official languages. And unofficial languages.

A league of Lancasters, and Jacksons. Faloneys and Forzanis. Dipietros and Dalla Rivas.

Pringles, Passaglias and Poplawskis.

It's East versus West.

Prairie versus Concrete Jungle

Wheat versus Iron.

It's a league filled with ice, fog, mud and wind.

A league armed with with Ploens, Moons, Rockets and Gizmos.

A league as diverse as a country.

And for one Sunday in November its a nations glue.

The Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders will square off in the 97th Grey Cup this Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.

This will be a history making game.

The Roughriders and Alouettes have never met for the Grey Cup. In fact, the Roughriders, once a league doormat, will be making only their eighth Grey Cup appearance since 1948, while the Alouettes are appearing for the seventh time this decade.

The Al's are the distinct favorites for the Grey Cup contest, but with the game being played at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, the Roughriders become the home team. Expect to see a lot of Rider Green in the stands on Sunday.

Who will win?

That question will be the subject of conversations from Newfoundland to British Columbia all weekend.

From where we sit at TSB, the smart money is on A.C.

"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

p.s... The City of Moncton will be well represented this weekend in Calgary with
Mayor George LeBlanc and Ian Fowler, the city's general manager of recreation, parks, tourism and culture, hobnobbing with the powers-that-be. Moncton will play host to a CFL regular-season game next September featuring the Toronto Argonauts in front of a sellout crowd of 20,000 at the new Stade Moncton 2010 Stadium. The Argos opponent and the actual date for the game won't be known until the league finalizes next season's schedule early in the new year. CFL commissioner Mark Cohon expects the Moncton game to be like a mini Grey Cup with a real festival atmosphere.

Moncton is looking to host one CFL regular season game per year for the next five seasons. It's anyone's guess whether that could lead to an Atlantic Canadian franchise some day.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Day: American Style

Americans will be sitting down with friends and family today, giving thanks for events and circumstances that have brought them to the table.

From where a Canadian neighbour sits, today is also a good day to thank America.

It hasn't been easy on the U.S. lately and the recession has certainly made for tough times and dark humour. Just last week, a guy in Detroit orders a burger at McDonalds and the kid behind the counter asks, "Can you afford fries with that?"

Yes, the American economy has been so bad:

- CEOs are now playing mini golf.
- Motel Six won't leave the light on anymore.
- The Mafia is laying off judges.
-Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

But, seriously, there are those of us in Canada who deeply admire America and all it stands for - warts and all. Perhaps, it helps when you actually get to know Americans and learn what makes people like Don Schmincke, Lance McWilliam, Cheryl Karpen and Roy H. Williams such compelling contributors to the fabric of a nation that we Canadians can always count on if we were ever in serious trouble. It has been a tough decade for U.S. foreign policy, but the fact remains, the United States is still the greatest contributor to international relief efforts in the world. In other words, there are hundreds of countries from Albania to Zaire you shouldn't expect any help from soon. Start scanning the list of countries, stop on any letter and ask when is the last time you heard someone like Luxembourg step up the international aid plate?

A number of years ago while in Europe at a fairly large conference, former Secretary of State Colin Powell was asked if U.S. plans for Iraq were just an example of "empire building". He answered by saying, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return."

It became very quiet in the room.

If you're a Canadian reading this, you might want to reach out to someone you know south of the border and let them know your thoughts are with them today.

Happy Thanksgiving America.

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them"

p.s. ... There are some things about the American Thanksgiving that some comedians can't resist poking fun at.

p.s.s... The U.S. Thanksgiving is also a great day for NFL football. Later today, the Green Bay Packers are in Detroit to try and devour the Lions; The Oakland Raiders invade opulent Cowboys Stadium in Dallas while tonight, Eli Manning and the New York Giants will be in Denver aiming to tame the Broncos. One of America's greatest social commentators once made some interesting observations about football and how it compares to America's past time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Motorvationally Speaking: "Living Simply"




For years, Bruce researched and eventually created a formula that would embrace all three elements.

As a result, thousands of people have learned a way to achieve better health, many doctors recognize the program as an educational tool for their patients, more than 150 restaurants have placed it on their menus and more than 30 franchises have popped up across Canada to accelerate its growth.

The program?

Simply For Life.

With guidance from a Certified SFL Consultant, clients experience what healthy living actually feels like and learn how to stay healthy every day for the rest of their lives. SFL founder, Bruce Sweeney believes the key is the education and motivation of others.

Today, TSB profiles one of the key people sharing that message and implementing the SFL program ... Fredericton's Neil Burchill!

"Motorvationally Speaking", on CHCD TV, is a weekly, internet-based show focused on people who embrace the power of positive thinking. The guests may not always be famous, but they are always enlightening, and each one of them has an interesting story to tell. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome as we aim to inspire, educate and motorvate.

"Few businesses understand (really understand) just how much a customer is worth. Add to this the additional profit you get from a delighted customer spreading the word--it can easily double or triple the lifetime value"

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Every Reason to Quit

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome”

Each day, when you wake up in the morning, there are hundreds of reasons to quit.

Right then and there.

"It's too cold out and the bed is too comfy".
"I didn't get enough sleep".
"My job sucks and the boss is an arsehole".
"Just not feelin' it today".
"It's raining".
"My car won't start".
"I'm stressed".
"No one else cares, why should I"?
"The dog needs to go for a walk".
"I've got a headache/cold/flu".

This list could be endless, however, the current Media Induced Pandemic (MIP) over the H1N1 virus seems to have catapulted a new reason to the very top of that list. As if there aren't enough excuses for a lack of personal productivity, H1N1 just might emerge as the all-time leader, giving people and organizations a reason to fold like a lawn chair.

We know society is sick right now.

Perhaps, in more ways than one.

Today, we focus on the kind of disease no needle, serum or vaccine can cure.

The current Media Induced Pandemic has triggered skyrocketing absenteeism rates in schools and companies. Even teams in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League have succumbed to this panic, cancelling recent games for a lack of players. This from a sport which honors virtues of teamwork, toughness and tenacity.

Is H1N1 also eroding the fabric of a nation and the values of self-reliance, initiative and courage? Will an increase in the "whine flu" prove to be the real damage from H1N1?

Here is how Rick Mercer weighs in on the subject.

Unless we are completely off base, aren't there scores of other people and teams that had every reason to quit ... but didn't?

For starters, a short list would include:

- Terry Fox
- Erin Brockovich
- Nelson Mandela
- Team Canada 1972
- Winston Churchill
- Nick Vujicic
- Anne Frank
- James J. Braddock
- Oprah Winfrey
- Ghandi
- Mario Lemieux
- Zig Ziglar
- Viktor Frankl
- Rocky Balboa
- Shun Fujimoto
- Rick Allen
- Helen Keller
- Arthur Ashe
- 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team
- Sean Collins
- Lance Armstrong
- Mother Teresa
- Seabiscuit
- Dwight White
- Ayn Rand
- Rudy Ruettiger
- Cora Tsouflidous
- Harland Sanders
- W. Mitchell
- Christopher Reeve
- Tank Man of Tiananmen Square
- Bathurst High Phantoms
- Leigh Anne Tuohy
- Michael Oher

Few, for example, would have blamed the Bathurst High Phantoms basketball team for taking a knee or an entire year off after a tragic accident that killed 7 players. Displaying unusual grit far from evident through the H1N1 panic, the Phantoms overcame cataclysmic adversity and won a provincial championship the following season.

Michael Oher (pronounced "oar") also had every reason to quit.

And so did Leigh Anne Tuohy.

Oher is one of 13 siblings from a poverty-stricken family, from the poorest part of the mean streets of Memphis. Michael never knew his father, who he later discovered, had been murdered. His mother was and still is, a crack addict.

Leigh Anne is the privileged daughter from a wealthy family, who saw something in Michael ... and took a chance.

Smooth seas have never made for skillful sailors.

Only when adversity sucks wind out of your sails, do you learn how to row with the oars you have. You'll never find a better sparring partner than adversity; an opponent that causes some to break and others to break records.

Courage manifests in many different forms.

It will test you either physically, intellectually or morally. As someone who aced all three tests with flying colors, Winston Churchill once advised, "If you're going through hell, keep going".

Unless you have a real reason to quit.

"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanantly if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about hard hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done"

p.s... "The Blind Side" is in theatres this week.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Success in Pieces of Eight

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody"

You live in an age of abundance.

Information abundance.

According to some estimates, you are being bombarded with as many as 6,000 messages daily.

As victims of a disease called overchoice, you are increasingly challenged how to:

1. Find
2. Evaluate
3. Sort
4. Organize
5. Prioritize
6. Synthesize
7. Reconfigure
and ...
8. Re-purpose information in order to understand and solve increasingly complex problems.

What if there were a simpler way to re-arrange these complexities in pieces of eight?

Perhaps coincidentally, "Pieces of Eight", which refers to a Spanish dollar, was also the title of the 8th studio album released by some Chicago-based rockers that know something about success. According to Styx keyboardist and vocalist Dennis DeYoung, "Pieces of Eight" was a concept album, driven by a central theme about "not giving up your dreams just for the pursuit of money and material possessions".

Here is a selection from that album, from a band that never pretended to be out to please everyone.

"To laugh often and much;To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;To appreciate beauty,To find the best in others,To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.This is to have succeeded"

Friday, November 20, 2009

Purity of Spirits

Would you know a "purple cow" if you saw one?

Would you able to quickly distinguish that bovine from the rest of the otherwise ordinary brown and black herd?

Marketing maven Seth Godin has sold millions of books and helped thousands of companies recognize the "Purple Cow". In its basic form, Godin defines a "purple cow" as a product or service that is remarkable. In other words, quite unlike any of the other products and services in a particular category.

A new TSB reader stumbled on to a "purple cow" earlier this week, and sent us this note: "I saw it at the liquor store and just had to buy it. It stood out like a sore thumb. I wasn't even there to buy that product, but I did".

What you have just experienced is what we refer to as “brandmythology”.

Essentially, Crystal Head is demonstrating the opposite of “authentic marketing”, a strategy very much in vogue these days and one that many spirits brands such as Jack Daniels have adopted. In other words, if you don't have a remarkable story upon which to build your brand, you can always make one up.

A brand is a story that becomes embedded in the mind of the market, and becoming a "purple cow" is becoming more necessary than ever as a way to be heard apart from the rest of the herd.

Is there something your brand could do to get a (crystal)head with brandmythology?

"You look at the floor and see the floor. I look at the floor and see molecules"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

UnCommon Path

"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all"

Tony has been called both a "gentleman" and a "trailblazer".

In a career that lasted 31 years, leadership his style could be described as one of "quiet integrity", possessing a strength that did not require profanity-laced tirades or glittery showmanship to command the respect of players or peers.

He was the first and is still the only African-American coach to win the Super Bowl and in his latest book, he reveals uncommon life lessons learned along the way.

For example, in 1998, his team was confronted with a dilemma. Holding the top pick in the NFL draft that April, team president Bill Polian had to choose between two great quarterbacking talents. Both were big players with strong arms. One had set numerous records at Washington State University, the other had done the same at the University of Tennessee. Pro scouts felt both could win Super Bowls and wind up as Hall-of-Famers.

But which one to choose?

In hindsight, it seems obvious, but at the time media analysts and scouts were split evenly. In the end, Polian decided to select the tall kid from Tennessee and what tipped the scales were his work ethic, pure love for the game, his approach toward football as a job, and a quiet private life.

Ultimately, when faced with a choice that would define the future of their franchise, the Indianapolis Colts based that decision on character.

And that's how Peyton Manning wound up playing for head coach Tony Dungy, with the Colts going on to emerge as champions of Super Bowl 41 in 2006 over the Chicago Bears. Manning has become a three-time league MVP, a lock for the Hall of Fame and a highly marketable player outside of football. As for the other "sure bet" in '98 (and judged to have the better arm), he proved to be a bust in San Diego and was out of football within 4 years after stints with Dallas, Tampa Bay and Seattle. Regretfully, Ryan Leaf's NFL career was punctuated by questionable work habits, mediocre performance and poor relations with teammates and the media. At last report, Leaf was facing drug charges after a May 2009 incident in Texas.

The way Dungy sees it, character is a quality that can be measured just like height, weight, and speed. In fact, more emphasis is placed on this area than physical tools. Coaching ability or talent cannot make up for a lack of character. As Dungy explains in his new book, "Uncommon", there are only a few things that will knock a player out of consideration for our team, and this issue of character is one of them. There is a category on our evaluation form that is labeled "DNDC"—Do Not Draft because of Character. Many players labelled "DNDC" get drafted in the first round by other teams and some become household names in the NFL, but something in their character makes Dungy believe they are not worth the risk.

And more often than not, he is right.

Since retiring from coaching in 2008, Tony Dungy has leveraged his celebrity to inspire growth in character. His new book challenges young men especially to be distinctive in their behavior and not follow "the crowd". As Dungy explains, “The crowd isn’t always right. The crowd might not think school is important but the crowd doesn’t tell you that the person without a high school degree earns an average of one million dollars less than the high school graduate over their lifetime”.

Tony Dungy passionately believes there is a different path to significance — a path characterized by attitudes and faith that are all too rare but uncommonly rewarding. His brand, refreshingly uncommon in the world of professional sports, is defined by strength of character, which may be the most effective form of persuasion.

Everywhere you look, there are:

- Business weasels who talk too much and do too little.
- Rudderless drifters and perpetual drowners.
- Finger pointers and second guessers with all the answers - after the fact.
- Talented, but lazy souls wasting enormous gifts.
- Married people drinking doubles while acting single.
- Autopilot robots doing jobs they hate, working for companies they despise.
- Hot-tempered types, lighting quick to judge, without compassion or mercy.

The crowd is common.

Unless we choose to be uncommon.

"Our young men today are falling into a trap. Society is telling them material success is what’s important, but if we buy into that idea, we can spend a lifetime chasing that success and never really have the positive impact on people that would make our lives truly significant”

p.s... TSB salutes the kind of people Tony Dungy would applaud, the Uncommon Leaders who are part of the "Mission Possible" initiative in the Greater Moncton Area. Tonight, ECMA nominee and multiple award winning musician Stephanie Mainville and bestselling authors Paula Morand & Marlene Oulton are celebrating their CD and book launch through hosting a special fund-raising event at Studio 7 Hundred, 700 Main St., in Moncton. Doors open at 7 pm and proceeds will be donated to the Pregnancy Resource Centre of Moncton which continues to run programs and services that foster life skills development and employability skills training in order to give families the best support possible.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Motorvationally Speaking: "Barry Sullivan"

"With out passion you dont have energy, with out energy you have nothing"

Barry will never be accused of being a big shot.

He is not a superstar athlete, business tycoon or famous academic.

But, he is a talented singer-songwriter and radio host.

During the week Barry is doing a job just like anyone else, but on Saturday mornings you can find him on CJRI 104.5 FM in Fredericton, NB, sharing his love for country, southern and bluegrass gospel music. A quick visit to his website reveals the depth of that passion.

Today, TSB profiles an otherwise ordinary guy with a hymn in his heart and a bounce in his step ... Barry Sullivan!

"Motorvationally Speaking", on CHCD TV, is a weekly, internet-based show focused on people who embrace the power of positive thinking. The guests may not always be famous, but they are always enlightening, and each one of them has an interesting story to tell. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome as we aim to inspire, educate and motorvate.

"It is obvious that we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

From a Dream to the "Den"

"From the moment an idea is born, it travels in one of two directions. It will either gradually disappear or suddenly vanish on a crowded, foggy highway of wishful thinking or gain clarity and momentum as a vivid dream, bumping along a rockier, less traveled dirt road of commitment"

In the case of the slamdunk, social media and PR success that is "YPG", this nationwide talent search for young entrepreneurs has offered a clear roadmap of how dreams come to fruition.

The brainchild of Ken LeBlanc, Walter Melanson and others at, the "YPG" campaign walked its own talk in terms of displaying entrepreneurial spirit and initiative. Financed on a bootstrapped budget and volunteer sweat, this first-of-its kind national initiative has triggered a groundswell of enthusiasm from both the grassroots and corporate Canada.

"YPG" was conceived in a Moncton brainstorming session and wound up in front of the "Dragons" a mere six months later in Toronto. But, in some respects, turning dreams into reality has become routine for the remarkable brand known as

The company that began in the late 1990's out of Moncton, NB with two university students who possessed nothing more than a big idea and less than $100, has enjoyed quite a ride this November. President/ CEO Ken LeBlanc and Chief Operating Officer Dale Betts were among a select group of entrepreneurs invited to meet with the Duke of Windsor at a Vancouver function hosted by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. As part of the Royal Visit to Canada, Prince Charles met with 21 young entrepreneurs from across Canada at the 2010 Winter Games Olympic Village.

Adding even more fuel to the branding fire, LeBlanc and also scored a major media coup with a live interview telecast November 8th on the Business News Network. Not even in his wildest dreams could Leblanc have imagined such a favorable reaction as telephones started ringing across the country once this segment hit the airwaves.

Ken LeBlanc and have clearly demonstrated nothing happens unless first we dream. And through "YPG", thousands of aspiring young entrepreneurs have been shown that all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. However, it takes a ton of courage to show your dreams to someone else.

If you are like most, you have been thinking about a "big idea" as well. But, without courage as well as leaps of faith, imagination, or dreaming, you will miss out on the excitement of the possibilities that await.

You never know where your "big idea" will ultimately take you.

And you always get to decide which path it follows.

Some men see things as they are and say, "Why?" I dream of things that never were and say, "Why not?"

Monday, November 16, 2009

Jenn Survives the Den

The CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto provided the venue.

The personalities from "Dragons Den" provided the star power.

And the "YPG" contestants provided the drama.

Before a live audience of close to 600 people Friday at the Barbara Frum Atrium, three finalists in a national youth entrepreneurship talent search presented their best case in the hopes of winning their own franchise from Each had about 10 minutes to explain to "Dragons Den" stars Jim Treliving and Arlene Dickinson as well as "Honorary Dragon" Ken LeBlanc of why they should be the ones walking out of the building as the proud owner of their own business.

"Hurricane" Mallory MacDonald of Truro, Nova Scotia, was thought to have had the edge going into the final phase of the contest, but the 22-year old may have unsettled the "Dragons" with a presentation, that at times, bordered on overpowering. Andrew Maconachie of Barrie, Ontario offered a solid track record of already being successful in business, but nerves may have got the best of the 24-year old as he relied too heavily on scripted notes.

So in the end, when the announcement came from Ken ... the "Dragons" were sold on Jenn.

The 24-year old native of Oakville, Ontario, is the first-ever winner of the, National Youth Entrepreneurship contest. Jennifer Howarth combined passion with professionalism as she withstood the scrutiny of some of the toughest judges of business acumen in the country. It was Jenn who seemed most at ease fielding follow up questions from Treliving and Dickinson and after the "Dragons" huddled with LeBlanc for about 10 minutes, the trio selected Howarth and her bid to launch a franchise out of Windsor, Ontario.

Currently completing her business studies at Cape Breton University, Howarth plans to attend the National Franchise Conference the end of January in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her initial plan is to load up on summer courses to fast-track her graduate degree before opening her business in January of 2010.

As part of her prize package, Howarth becomes eligible for financial and mentoring support from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation which partnered with on this first-of-its-kind initiative. CYBF Chief Executive Officer Vivian Prokop was also on stage Friday and in chatting with event host Dianne Buckner, acknowledged the reaction to "YPG" far surpassed anything they could have hoped for.

TSB would like to salute sponsors like CBC, the National Post, the Keg, WestJet and Botsford Productions as well as a stellar volunteer team led by Project Manager Dan Gillis who pitched in serious hours and sweat to make this happen. What began as a boardroom brainstorming session in Moncton a mere six months ago, now has the potential to kick start a national movement to support youth entrepreneurship in Canada.

From the very beginning, Ken LeBlanc, fed up by the spread of recessionary doom and gloom in the news media, maintained something needed to be done to show Canada's youth another way of thinking. Perhaps instinctively, the CEO knew solutions to adult problems of the future depends to a large degree how young minds are taught in the present. And as the "YPG" idea and mission began to crystallize in that Moncton boardroom, he envisioned something much bigger than a franchise contest. Ken could see an opportunity for Canada's youth to learn the value of hard work by working hard; one that would reward risk-taking and celebrate the courage to follow a dream.

With an initiative built on the spirit of "a hand up, not a hand out".

Mission accomplished.

Much more to follow.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has"

p.s... the and the "YPG" team will be featured guests tonight at a gala event to mark the finale of Global Entrepreneurship Week in Toronto. Jennifer Howarth and company will also get to rub elbows with the newest "Dragon", Brett Wilson, who is scheduled to address the 500+ delegates scheduled to attend.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dancing in the Den

Mallory, Jennifer and Andrew.

They will be the three most nervous people in Canada today.

All three twenty-somethings will be dancing for their entrepreneurial lives later today before stars from the "Dragons Den" in a live event held at the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto. Mallory, Jennifer and Andrew were chosen as "Primary Carriers", the top three finalists for a nationwide entrepreneurial talent search initiated by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and

The first-of-its kind initiative had young aspiring entrepreneurs competing for the operating rights of a franchise, along with the financial support and mentorship required to help them succeed. The total prize package is worth nearly $100,000. The contest launched in September and combined YouTube style video submissions with the latest in social media to help determine the entries worthy of becoming finalists. Once the list was pared to the Top 10, contestants were asked to submit an essay describing "why" they are deserving of the top prize. The group was then narrowed down to the trio, deemed "most infected" with the entreprenurial gene:

Mallory MacDonald, age 22, from Halifax, Nova Scotia
Andrew Maconachie, age 24, from Barrie, Ontario, and
Jennifer Howarth, age 24, of Oakville, Ontario.

At high noon, Toronto time, all three will march into the cavernous Barbara Frum Atrium and make their final pitch before an estimated live audience of 500 people and "Dragons Den" stars Jim Treliving and Arlene Dickinson. Ken LeBlanc, CEO of will serve as an "Honorary Dragon" to help complete the final phase of judging to determine who will walk away with their own franchise. Each of the three finalists will have about ten minutes to present their case and withstand the fire of the "Dragons" interrogations before a final decision is rendered on a prize package that will change the life of at least one aspiring young entrepreneur. knows what it is like being young and in business. The company began in 1998 when co-founder Ken LeBlanc was still in university. Since then, has become nothing less than a Canadian franchise success story with over 120 franchises across the country. "Our three finalists are fanatical about becoming entrepreneurs," says LeBlanc. "They've definitely earned a shot at winning the big prize". Meanwhile, CYBF spokesperson Katrina White feels this initiative has been well worth the effort, adding, "The main idea behind the contest is to create awareness for the important role young entrepreneurs play within Canada's economy".

Major support for "YPG" came from the The Keg, WestJet, Delta Chelsea, CBC, The National Post and Botsford Productions. And thousands of people like you who helped spread the viral message through the power of social media.

No matter how it goes down, Mallory, Jennifer and Andrew will enjoy the experience of a lifetime when they get their turn in the pressure-cooker that awaits on this Fridy the 13th.

We will keep you posted on how it plays out today in T.O.

"I just believe that sometimes in life it's important to do something that seems impossible when you start"

p.s. .. former Mountie turned Boston Pizza magnate Jim Treliving is considered to be one of the kinder, gentler "Dragons". This recent interview might explain why.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Gabrielle and Her Girls

Gabrielle's early years, were anything but glamorous.

Born in a brothel, Gabrielle was sent to an orphanage at the age of 12 by her peddler father after her mother had passed away. She was raised by nuns who taught her how to sew — a skill that would come in handy later in life. But, the nuns could not lead her to a calling at the convent - far too confining for a young woman seeking fun and adventure.

Around the age of 20, Gabrielle becomes involved with a young millionaire, but winds up leaving him for one of his even wealthier friends. As it turns out, both men were instrumental in supporting her first business venture.

Opening her first shop in Paris in 1910, Gabrielle starts out selling hats, before using her skills as a seamstress to begin making clothing. Her designs were revolutionary. She borrowed elements of men’s wear and emphasized comfort over constraints. More than anyone, Gabrielle helped women say good-bye to the days of corsets and other confining garments. In 1923, she told Harper's Bazaar, "Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance".

In 1926, Gabrielle unveils perhaps her greatest contribution to fashion with the introduction of the "Little Black Dress". She took a color once associated with mourning and showed just how chic it could be for evening wear. Strapless, backless and more than a little risque, it shocked the general public, but quickly became a fashion sensation. With rising hemlines, shorter hairstyles, and for the first time bare arms and shoulders appearing in public, the time was right for the the "L.B.D.".

It is still a flattering fashion essential in every woman's wardrobe more than 80 years later. And there have been many famous versions:

- Audrey Hepburn's Givency dress in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
- Liz Hurley's Versace safety-pin black dress.
- The boob-tubed models in the Robert Palmer, "Addicted to Love" video.

Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe and the stars of Sex and the City are just some of the thousands of celebrities who have honored what Gabrielle created back in the "Roaring Twenties" with a statement that transcended fashion. In fact, her extraordinary influence on fashion was such that she was the only person in the field to be named on TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

Popular in Parisian literary and artistic circles, she counted artist Pablo Picasso and composer Igor Stravinsky among her friends and had affairs with some of the most influential men in the world, but never married. On several occasions, Gabrielle turned down proposals from the Duke of Westminster, with the now famous line, "There have been several Duchesses of Westminster, but there is only one Chanel".

Coco Chanel.

Her business would employ thousands and would expand to include perfume and was the first to feature a designer’s name – Chanel No. 5. As Coco once explained, “Perfume is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion... that heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure”. More than a fashion icon, it can be argued Chanel gave millions of women timeless permission to have the confidence to express themselves.

In her journey, Coco Chanel saw the greatness of the world and met all kinds of exciting people like kings and queens; moguls and movie stars. Few women have ever been truer to their own spirit as Coco believed, "There is no time for cut-and-dried monotony. There is time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time"!

This Saturday, the Greater Moncton Women's Progess Club honors the spirit of Coco Chanel with their annual "Girls Night Out", in support of the the Greater Moncton YWCA, and other local charities. One of the highlights will be an "L.B.D. Fashion Show" hosted by a gal with Brockovich bravado and Madonna mojo, the brassy and sassy Sarah Albert of Metro Mortgage.

Tickets are available at Kramer's Corner, McSweeny's Box Office, from any member of the Greater Moncton Womens Progress Club, or online at Any questions can be e-mailed to

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lest We Forget

It was called the "war to end all wars".

It officially ended as pen was placed to paper in a railway carriage in Compiègne Forest, just outside Paris, on this day in 1918.

With that final stroke at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, signalling enough blood had been shed, the principal signatories, Marshal Ferdinand Foch of the Allies and Matthias Erzberger of Germany, concluded a treaty that ended the First World War.

Erzberger, a civilian who had made a passionate plea for peace in the Reichstag more than a year earlier, protested the harshness of the Allied terms. Before leaving the railway car, he concluded by saying, "a nation of seventy millions can suffer, but it cannot die". (Marshall Foch ignored Erzberger's attempt to shake his hand and is said to have replied, "Très bien".)

Erzberger later became Germany's finance minister in 1919 before being assassinated by right-wing extremists who viewed his signing of the armistice as treachery.

Decades later, American author Joseph Campbell would write, "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself".

"It's a song written about the military cemeteries in Flanders and Northern France. In 1976, my wife and I went to three or four of these military cemeteries and saw all the young soldiers buried there"

The song "Willie McBride" is still a powerful indictment of war, and has been recorded many times since it was composed by singer-songwriter Eric Bogle in 1975. A version by Makem and Clancey is reputedly the largest selling single in Irish history. The song has also been covered by the Chieftains, the Dubliners, John McDermott and the Dropkick Murphys among others.

Lest we forget heroes like Willie McBride.

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row. That mark our place; and in the sky, the larks, still bravely singing, fly, scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead, short days ago, we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie in Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe:To you from failing hands we throw, the torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep, though poppies grow, in Flanders fields.

p.s... Visiting the beaches of Normandy and the city of Bayeux in November 2004 left a lasting impression with respect to the level of gratitude for what the Allies accomplished more than six decades ago. Bayeux, in particular, is still adorned with American, British and Canadian flags throughout the downtown. As one travels east through Holland and Belgium, the sentiment grows even stronger for what the Canadian liberators sacrificed in driving back Nazi forces in 1944 and 1945. Recently, a young Belgian lad paid tribute by donning a Canadian uniform to salute troops who had been attending a memorial service. Pay close attention to what happens at the 1:02 mark of the video as the Canadians respond with the "Eyes Right" command; the biggest compliment parading troops can pay and normally reserved for dignitaries in reviewing stands.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Go For Soda

"We sow our thoughts and reap our actions. We sow our actions and reap our habits. We sow our habits and reap our character. We sow our character, and we reap our destiny"UNKNOWN

John loves soda pop.

REEALLY loves soda pop.

John Nese has dedicated his life to soda pop.

And has the courage to live it out loud.

You might call him the "Sultan of Soda".

Or the "Crown Prince of Pop".

The owner of Galco’s Soda Pop Stop in Los Angeles sells more than 500 varieties of these bubbly beverages. He has been described as "obsessive" about his his customers - and his suppliers. So much so, this connoisseur of carbonated beverages deliberately avoids big name brands like Pepsi. Instead, John seeks out smaller producers with unique, high-quality products. He figures why not support other small businesses such as his own?

It might be worth your while to invest time with John and see how many of his ideas on business could be applied to your brand.

Galco's began as a small Italian grocery store in Los Angeles,over a century ago, defying the odds as a family owned and operated business. John's passion for soda began when, as a child in the 50's, he would visit a soda pop bottling plant owned by his father's best friend.

John's story has been featured on PBS, the Food Channel, the Tokyo Times, the BBC, CBC and his hometown Los Angeles Times, among others.

But in some ways, John's "story" is similar to yours.

When we were young, we all had a clear idea of what we wanted to be and do when we grew up. But somewhere along the way, those dreams were buried under an avalanche of reality and practicality. The focus shifted from 'living the dream' to 'finding a good job with a stable income.

What's different about people like John Nese is that they show us another way. They becoming living, breathing examples of how to follow a career path marked by passion - without becoming an economic slave.

It's a simple choice.

You can trade in your dreams and destiny in exchange for comfort and conformity.

You know the choice John made.

What about you?

"It' in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped"

p.s. ... Just can't resist throwing this in.

Might as well.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Where There is a Will

"There is no such word as can't"
JEAN MAXWELL (1937-1998)

Each day, you carry a dream within you.

Each day, there are symbols, signs and omens reminding you of that dream.

Each day, you make decisions to either follow that dream or avoid your destiny.

For TSB readers in at least 74 countries at last count, that decision often hinges on whether to hit the button marked "DELETE" or listen to the voice of intuition.

And follow a post such as this one.

Just to see if it speaks to what you have been dreaming about.

This mornings post was inspired by nothing more than taking time to be still enough to notice an omen that appeared over the weekend. Another hour or so of "research" through the magic of Google and we arrive at this precise place in time.

When it's time to press the button marked "PUBLISH POST" and see where this leads.

Outside the TSB offices on Sunshine, the sky is turning tangerine orange.

Another omen, perhaps?

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you”

Friday, November 6, 2009

Call Him the Brees

At 211 degrees, water is merely hot.

But at 212, it boils.

And few NFL quarterbacks are boiling over right now like Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints.

His preparation habits are becoming legendary around the NFL as Brees does everything he can to compensate for being somewhat slight of stature and possessing what could be politely described as a modest arm. But, working with coach Sean Payton, the hyper fit and superprepped Brees is the unquestioned leader of the league's most explosive offense. The Saints are averaging 40 points a game as New Orleans stands as one of the NFL's two remaining undefeated teams, along with Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts.

Could the Saints be Brees-ing their way to their first-ever Super Bowl?

Part of the answer may be discovered by any visitor to Coach Payton's office who notices a book sitting on a nearby shelf that explains part of the story. It's titled "212: The Extra Degree". A gift to the coach from Brees, who wanted to thank Payton for convincing him to come to a Hurricane Katrina-ravaged city and become the on-field leader of a once-lost franchise.

Since coming down the road from San Diego, there may not be an NFL quarterback more seamlessly aligned with his head coach and the city he represents.

Brees is more of an ordinary Joe than any Joe Cool. Married, with a young son, the former Purdue Boilermaker usually turns down endorsement offers unless they promote his charitable foundation, dedicated to helping children with cancer and upgrading playing fields for post-Katrina challenged youth.

There is that extra degree again.

Drew Brees and his New Orleans Saints will be out to turn up the heat again this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. It's an NFC South match-up that might be defined by a quarterback and a song from some southern rockers from way back.

"To me, there's nothing freer than a bird, you know, just flying wherever he wants to go. And, I don't know, that's what this country is all about, being free. I think everyone wants to be a free bird"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Facing Pain with Qubein

Nido knows about the process of change first-hand.

And what a pain in the ass it can be.

Broke and unable to speak English, Nido Qubein came to the United States when he was just 18 years old and now serves on the board and executive committee of a Fortune 500 financial corporation with $135 billion in assets and 35,000 employees. He is chairman of the Great Harvest Bread Company with 218 stores in 42 states and is an active speaker, addressing more than 100 business and professional groups around the world each year.

Nido's story about change is even more remarkable when you consider the findings of Dr. Raphael Levey, founder of the Global Medical Forum. According to Dr. Levey, "A relatively small percentage of the population consumes the vast majority of the health-care budget for diseases that are very well known and by and large behavioral. That is, they're sick because of how they choose to live their lives, not because of environmental or genetic factors beyond their control".

With about 80% of the health-care budget consumed by five behavioral issues - too much smoking, drinking, eating, and stress, and not enough exercise - the knockout blow on change is delivered by Dr. Edward Miller, CEO of the hospital at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Miller points out 600,000 people have bypasses every year in the United States, and 1.3 million heart patients have angioplasties -- all at a total cost of around $30 billion. But is this time and money well spent? As Dr. Miller explains, "If you look at people after coronary-artery bypass grafting two years later, 90% of them have not changed their lifestyle and that's been studied over and over and over again. Even though they know they have a very bad disease and they know they should change their lifestyle, for whatever reason, they can't."

BOTTOM LINE: The majority of us would rather die than change.

Changing behavior isn't just the biggest challenge in health care. It's the #1 issue facing businesses trying to compete in a turbulent world. John Kotter, a Harvard Business School professor who has studied the upheaval of dozens of organizations, offers, "The central issue is never strategy, structure, culture, or systems. The core of the matter is always about changing the behavior of people. People may be called upon to respond to profound changes in the marketplace - the rise of a new global competitor, say, or a shift from a regulated to a deregulated environment -- or to a corporate reorganization, merger, or entry into a new business. And as individuals, we may want to change our own styles of work, yet more often than not, we can't".

BOTTOM LINE: The majority of companies would rather go bankrupt than change.

You already know life was never meant to be easy, and is nothing but a traffic jam of problems. The choice is whether to remain stuck in human gridlock and moan about issues or challenges or take steps to solve them along roads less traveled. But those initial steps often require a leap into the unknown. Martin Luther King Jr. may have explained it best: "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step".

Change in your personal or professional life may not be necessary, but nobody said your survival was mandatory either.

Does your pain always have to be greater than your fear to change - even when you know, deep down, it's the right thing to do?

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Motorvationally Speaking: "Homegrown Talent"

There are at least 72 million reasons why New Brunswick taxpayers should be thanking Janice.

When New Brunswick hospitals, clinics and nursing homes stock up on medical supplies, they don't have to find the best deal on their own. Janice and her company, Contract Management Services Ltd. finds it for them.

Growing up in the Nackawickian suburb of Millville, Janice never would have imagined that all the "little things" she did over the years would add up to so much. In her current role, she oversees contracts with 200 medical supply companies and 389 health institutions, supplying New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. practitioners with everything from needles to pharmaceuticals.

Today, TSB profiles one of the most impactful and talented homegrown executives ever to come out of the "picture province"...Janice McKay!

"Motorvationally Speaking", on CHCD TV, is a weekly, internet-based show focused on people who embrace the power of positive thinking. The guests may not always be famous, but they are always enlightening, and each one of them has an interesting story to tell. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome as we aim to inspire, educate and motorvate.

"It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Time With D.C.

D.C. has been named as one of the Top 100 icons of the 20th Century by TIME Magazine.

He has authored more than 50 books, many of them achieving best-seller status.

His Center for Well Being in La Jolla, California — attracts thousands of visitors and millions of dollars' worth of business each year. The A-List of friends and admirers runs from "D.M." (Demi Moore) to "The D.L." (Dalai Lama).

His seamless explanation of the "Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" is the type of book that can be absorbed on more than 400 occasions with the reader extracting something different each and every time. It is perhaps the best literary work produced by this man of science with the soul of a mystic.

And less than a week from now, Deepak Chopra makes his way to Moncton, NB for an evening of enlightenment.

"An Evening with Deepak Chopra" is scheduled for Monday, November 9th in Moncton, New Brunswick. Tickets available at Moncton Coliseum Box Office 506-857-4100 or online at

"You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Embracing the Struggle

"Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful"

You are watching a friend hitting a point, often described as rock bottom.

Caught in a situation stressful enough to cause them to physically shake with fear, uncertainty and dread.

Before your very eyes, this friend is being sentenced and locked up.

In their own prison of pain.

Being a true friend (one who can look right through and still enjoy the view) you want to be able to reach out, find the right words and somehow set them free.

Last thing you want or intend to do, is to say the wrong thing and make matters worse.

In fact, you would like nothing more than to engineer an escape from this personal hell in a mental cell. But, more often than not, you struggle to find the "right words" to share with your friend at precisely the right time.

If you are caught in that type of situation, there is a chance those "right words" you are searching for may be a click away.

The tenth of twelve children, Zig Ziglar lost his father at the age of six and a younger sister died two days later, leaving his mother to raise the remaining eleven kids alone.

Drawing on the strength provided by those early life lessons, Zig became an icon in the motivational speaking industry, sharing the platform with luminaries such as Presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Paul Harvey and countless others.

He is the author of 29 books, nine of which have achieved best-seller status and his materials have been translated into over thirty-eight languages and dialects. And true to what he speaks about and writes about, Zig is also embracing a struggle many have had with change as he takes his message to the "Twitterverse".

You can follow Tom and his dad at:

"Every setback is an opportunity to get better. It's a detour, not a dead-end"