Tag Archives: corporate life

A Fork in the Road…

I’ve been radio silent on this blog since March of this year, the details of why I’ve been delinquent in updating this space with my thoughts will be sprinkled in my posts coming up in the very near future. However, in the most non eloquent terms: a bunch of stuff came up and many things in my life blew up, a bit of a roller coaster ensued and I had to make some decisions and deal with it accordingly. Some things were great….some things heart breaking to deal with. The biggest piece that effected me this year was a family health crisis. I mentioned my father’s change in health earlier this year. Well…things got worse…..the diagnosis was worse than expected but we’re getting through it. I’m happy to say his treatment is going well and as always his attitude continues to blow me away. He truly is an amazing man who inspires me more than he probably knows. I’m slowly getting back on track here, much to say and get out ‘on paper’ so I am going to resume blogging very soon. Just wanted to publish a quick update as I’ve had a few folks ask where I’ve been.

So hello, thanks for stopping by and I’m wading back in to publishing my thoughts…..stay tuned. 🙂

The Matrix

I’ve never been a huge fan of the movie the Matrix per say, but if it’s on TV on a lazy Saturday afternoon or random week night….I’ll catch myself watching the whole thing. All of them too…doesn’t matter if it’s the first or the third installment, I always watch. I’m not sure if it’s because Toronto’s hometown boy Keanu Reeves is the star, the special effects or the content but there am I am 2 hours later wondering if Neo will survive/save everyone!

I bring this up because as I network with fellow entrepreneurs the analogy of the Matrix comes up quite often. I never really gave the movie much thought before but when you speak to folks who work for themselves whether it’s as a business owner, artist, writer what ever they ‘get it’ when you refer to the movie’s theme. We’ve seen what’s on the other side and what’s on the other side can be scary, exhilarating, challenging, rewarding, frustrating, disheartening, and wonderful at various times or all the time…going back to where we were is perhaps even more terrifying then anything else. I used to watch that movie and think: ‘just get plugged back in to oblivion, it’s seems more peaceful and frankly more picturesque…there’s daylight at least on that side!’  So maybe I never really got into the deeper message of the movie. It can feel like that on this side. I do remember back when I was in the 9 to 5 race. Yes, at times it was brutal, Mon to Fri, 6:30am wake up, pack breakfast and lunch, change of shoes, grab book for subway, run for subway, meetings all day, run for subway again, go home, have dinner, bed, repeat. It could also be quite carefree…reading or sleeping on the subway, lunches & coffees with friends on company time, laughs in meetings, gossip in cubicles, impromptu drinks after work with colleagues, epic Xmas parties, leaving work at work, free time in the evening and weekends, paid vacation and sick days. Things were pretty good. (I used to see the move ‘Working Girl’ and smile) My company for most of my 12-year tenure treated me very well. I wouldn’t say I was miserable I would just say I was getting paid well, getting through life and not really thinking about where I’d be in another 12 years. In fact 12 years (15 total in corp) went by in a heartbeat. I’m sure another 20 to retirement would go just as quickly. Should we go through life passing time though? Is that why we’re here?

Around 2008 things started to change…some of which I’ve already mentioned (i.e.: getting packaged out in 2009), but also I went through a big break up and started to read some personal development books, started to questions things, and think about where my life was going. This is when I started to get a glimpse into the other side….into this Matrix if you will. J I started setting some goals for myself and as I’ve documented in earlier posts I met a person who made me sit down and really map out what I wanted out of life. Once I did that things start to change, there was no turning back.

By 2011 I was introduced to Arbonne, the Swiss/Vegan certified health and wellness company that I would not only build a business with (one I plan to build into a very lucrative business for me) but this venture would see me stepping firmly on the other side of the Matrix and not be able to come back. My introduction to network marketing is what gave me my gateway out of the corporate 9 to 5 life I was leading. I devised my game plan and in rather swift succession here I am in Jan 2014 in a very different place then I was less then 3 short years ago. I’ll be writing about network marketing more as we go on but what I’d say for now is that it’s a different business model from the traditional one I came from. That doesn’t mean it’s of any less value it’s just different (I’d argue it’s the smarter business model). One phrase I hear a lot in network marketing is ‘if you want to be different you need to do different’.

So….how is it here on this side? I could write about that forever and will at length on this blog! Some days (most days) I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Some days I think back to my ‘carefree’ 9 to 5 existence and think: “was that really so bad? I could go back, put in another decade and check out…right?”

“Or am I just romanticizing it now that I’m out of it and facing challenges”.

I’m sure this battle in my head will go on for a while as I build my business, stabilize my cash flow and grow. The only thing I can do is keep my vision of what I wanted in the first place front and centre…continue to build on that….and stay focused. When I look back at how far I’ve come I realize that going back is the wrong way—for me. They say (statistically speaking) only 3% of the population will travel down the road I’m on. I’m finding I am more then comfortable with that these days. I always felt like a square peg in a round hole for most of my life; why not embrace it?

There is only way I can go now…forward….on this side of the Matrix. It’s a brave new world, often scary but it’s where I’m meant to be.

 

 

The American (Canadian) Dream?

Been travelling and teaching a ton so I’m delinquent on my posting—good thing I always write so I have a couple posts to go up (already written) and more to come.

I just came back from the global training conference for the health and wellness company I am a consultant for (I am building my own business selling their amazing products). It was my first time at their global conference (in sunny Las Vegas) and I learned a ton, had an amazing time but most importantly I noticed a very big difference in the overall vibe/message/people at this conference vs the conferences in my old life working in a traditional corporate setting. What an amazing weekend, what an amazing company, and I’m so sure now that this is where I’m meant to be.

 

The term “The American Dream” (insert Canadian dream for me and other Canuck readers….it’s basically the same thing): What does that mean to you? It might vary a bit from person to person but what I think of is: 9-5 steady/stable job that pays for the house in the ‘burbs, car (maybe 2), 2.5 kids, maybe a dog or cat where you work hard all week, dream of the weekends and your 2 to 3 weeks of year of vacation time.  In those hours from Sunday night to Friday check out time you’re usually running around like a chicken with no head: packing lunches, running for subways, dropping off kids, picking up kids, figuring out what to make for dinner, grocery shopping, trying to squeeze in gym time, usually collapsing in front of the TV or into bed each night trying to figure out how you’ll get through another day/week/month/year.  You’re probably in a half dream state (and not the good kind) most of the time where thinking about the dreams you may have had as a child are long gone from memory. Is this supposed to be ‘the dream’? Is this supposed to be what the years in post secondary school prepared me for? Stressed out, trying to figure out how to pay your next bill? Is this ‘success’? Here is a definition of success from the mighty oracle Google:

 

Success (Noun)

1.The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

2.The attainment of popularity or profit.

 

 

Does this sound the same as the scenario described above or what you’re living? It wasn’t my life that’s for sure. I hadn’t found my purpose, or did I even know what my ‘aim’ was other than to get through another week.

 

Do you know what was so amazing about this past weekend? The folks who are building their own health and wellness businesses alongside me have a very different version of success. Obviously the Mercedes-Benz car program our company generously rewards us with is a goal, and the ability to work from home and still pay the bills are big reasons to do it. Here’s the thing….the theme of this past weekend’s conference? Giving back. Finding a purpose so that when you reach that level of success where you are making more money then you dreamed of or at the very least have money in the bank after all your bills are paid…go back into your community and volunteer or donate time/money to a cause that means something to you.  I hadn’t thought much about this until this past weekend, but I made some decisions as I listened to various inspirational speakers from my company speak: a) I am going to hit the highest level of the company b) I need to set my bar even higher c) once I hit these levels I’m going to focus on giving back. I’m not sure to what cause yet but I’m pretty sure it will have to do with either folks struggling with addiction or something related to inner city kids since both area relate back to my own childhood experience.

 

In the mean time…the American Dream? I was supposedly living that last year, well my version of it. I made quite a bit of money in my corp gig, had a wardrobe to rival that of Carrie Bradshaw’s, just myself bought a cute little house in my dream neighbourhood. I was also completely stressed out, getting sick all the time and losing a bit of myself bit by bit every year in my career that I didn’t love, it was my passion. My life looks very different now: I don’t work 9 to 5, I can’t buy $800 shoes on a whim and paying a mortgage while still building your business/no big salary for the first year is a bit scary. But….yesterday when the sun finally came out after a long winter I went for a quick run on the beach at 2pm. I taught my yoga class in the AM and hung around after chatting with my new students who I’m getting to know more and more each week. Yes there are times I’m met with nay sayers (dream stealers we’ll call them) but I remind myself that the life I’m living is not the status quo. Challenging the status quo can be scary for some people, that’s not my issue to figure out, I let share their thoughts but then remind them it’s my life, not theirs. They are free to their version of a dream: what ever that is. I’m following my passion…I’d say the life I have now IS the Canadian dream and it’s nice to know that the 15, 000 people who spent the weekend at the conference with me not only agree, but will cheer for me all the way. That’s a dream I can believe in.