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The Big Mistake Local Businesses are Making

Maximize Your Local Business’s Online Potential: The Overlooked Power of Google Listings

Local businesses are constantly searching for the magic bullet to amplify their marketing efforts and drive customers through their doors. In the digital age, the first instinct is often to focus heavily on social media. However, many local businesses are making a critical mistake that’s costing them valuable engagement and sales – neglecting their website and Google listings. Today, we’ll explore why this oversight can be detrimental and how businesses can harness the power of online tools to see real results.

The Pitfall of Relying Solely on Social Media

It’s easy to get caught up in the social media whirlwind — the pressure to maintain an active presence, the hope of creating viral content, and the desire to keep up with competitors. Yet, despite their efforts, local businesses frequently find they’re spinning their wheels on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok without seeing any tangible returns. One of our clients, a local service business, experienced a significant shift by changing its focus. They saw a 33% increase in business within six months and expanded their house cleaning crews – all by paying attention to their website and Google listing instead of social media.

The Untapped Potential of Your Google Listing

A Google listing is perhaps one of the most potent tools at a local business’s disposal. Why? When customers are making those final purchasing decisions, they’re not browsing through Instagram or Facebook – they’re checking out Google listings. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the concept of managing your Google listing or believe it to be complex, rest assured it’s much simpler than it seems.

Imagine spending only 15 minutes per week optimizing your Google listing. We’ve witnessed businesses transform almost overnight, with customers walking in the door as a direct result. This modest investment of time starkly contrasts with the hours dedicated to crafting social media content that often goes unnoticed.

4 Key Updates to Supercharge Your Google Listing

You can start harnessing the power of your Google local listing today by making four critical updates:

  1. Categories: Evaluate the categories your business is listed under and add six to ten relevant options. If you offer multiple services like housecleaning and commercial cleaning, make sure they’re all included.
  2. Products and Services: Even if you don’t sell physical products, updating this section is crucial. Services are treated equally in terms of helping your Google listing rank, so list your most prominent services for better visibility.
  3. Offers: A nifty feature that is visible only on mobile devices. Create an enticing offer, such as a discount or complimentary service, to encourage customers to engage with your business.
  4. Weekly Posts: Utilize the update feature on your Google listing. Incorporate relevant keywords to your community’s searches; this can significantly boost your visibility to prospective customers.

Frequently, simply repurposing your existing social media content for your Google listing can achieve better results, as customers are actively searching for this information when they’re ready to engage with businesses.

Beyond the Basics: The Full Spectrum of Google’s Ranking Criteria

When delving into your listing, keep in mind that Google uses approximately 75 different criteria to rank local businesses. Understanding and optimizing these criteria can be game-changing for your business. However, knowing which ones are most critical to your specific needs is essential.

Your Personalized Plan for Success

If this feels overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be a solo journey. Go ahead and book a free call here: abovethefold.live/listing where we can chat and strategize for your business’s unique needs. We’ll help identify which of the 75 criteria are most pertinent and set you up with a tailor-made plan.

For those who prefer to remain hands-off, we’ve got you covered, too. Our team can manage the optimization process, making it a hassle-free experience that yields real results.

Your Next Steps

Don’t let your local business fall into the trap of relying solely on social media. Instead, take control of your Google local listing and give your business the attention it deserves from customers who are ready to buy. Whether you’re diving in yourself or seeking expert assistance, the path to enhanced online visibility and growth is just a few clicks away. Book your free call now, and let’s elevate your local business above the fold.

Transcript

[00:00:00] Today, you’ll learn the biggest mistake that most local businesses make with their marketing, which often causes them to spin their wheels on social media without seeing any results. You’ll also learn how to avoid making that mistake and what to do instead. Let’s dive in. So the big mistake I see local businesses make is they pour all their time and effort into their social media and they forget about everything that’s happening on their website and in their Google local listing.

[00:00:30] Social media has become that thing that we feel we have to do. There’s social pressure, there’s peer pressure from other businesses. Everyone else is doing it. Maybe it’s the next post that will go viral. It’s the next video that’s going to bring customers through your door and it’s not working by putting all your time and effort into social media and forgetting about your listing and forgetting about your website.

[00:00:56] You’re missing out on the opportunity to attract customers to [00:01:00] your business today. One of the clients that we worked with a local service business saw their business change by 33% in a six month time period. They went from having two house cleaning crews to three simply by focusing on their Google listing and their website instead of social media.

[00:01:20] Your Google listing is one of the easiest tools that you can use as a local business. Your Google listing is such a powerful tool because it’s the last stop that a customer makes before they’re ready to make a purchase. So when they have credit card in hand, they are heading over to your Google listing.

[00:01:38] Let’s just talk about ignoring Google, ignoring the power of Google, ignoring the ease of Google, because for a lot of local business owners, it just feels complicated. And it’s not, or it doesn’t have to be. I’ve seen so many local businesses see results that they weren’t getting from social media. In as little as [00:02:00] 15 minutes a week, they can see customers walking through their door, where they’ve spent hours, two hours, three hours a week on social media, and all they’ve heard is crickets.

[00:02:11] I’ve seen local businesses go from trying to post on social media on a daily basis to closing their social channels. because they spent the time on their Google listing and their website. They no longer even needed their social media channels. Honest to God, if you spend 15 minutes a week in your listing, you are going to bring in more customers into your business.

[00:02:30] Honest to God, like 15 minutes. Because in that first week, you’re going to tune it up. In the second week, you’re going to make some small improvements and you’re going to post to your listing. In the third week, you’re going to add a product to your listing and another post. In the fourth week, you’ll add another product.

[00:02:50] You’ll add an offer. So each week I encourage everyone to spend 15 minutes in your listing and it’s going to make a difference in your business. So there’s four [00:03:00] things that I want you to go and update in your Google listing today. The first one is the categories. that you have your business in. If you’re a housecleaning service, I want you to make sure that you’re listed as a housecleaning service, but you can also be listed as a commercial cleaning service if you do offices and businesses.

[00:03:19] So, go and find the categories that apply to your business and add six to ten categories. for your business today. The second thing that I want you to look at is products. Add at least four products to your listing. But Barb, I don’t sell products. I’m a service. That’s okay. Products and services help your Google listing rank equally.

[00:03:46] So if you are service based, then focus on the services that you provide. So update your products or update your services. This is one of the most important things that we’re seeing in terms of Google [00:04:00] ranking right now. So that’s your second change. The third one that you’re going to add is something called an offer.

[00:04:07] And an offer is only visible on mobile. To add an offer to your listing, add an update. An example of an offer. would be a free item with purchase. So on your first product purchase or service booking, you can offer a complimentary item to go with it. A house cleaner might be a 10 percent discount off your first service.

[00:04:31] And for a plumber, it might be as simple as a complimentary check on your furnace come winter time. Number four, the last one, posting to your listing on a weekly basis. If you go into your Google listing, you’re going to see a little button that says, Add update. I want you to add an update to your listing on a weekly basis.

[00:04:51] Why? Because it is keyword sensitive. All of those searches that people are doing in your community, the [00:05:00] keywords in your posts are going to help attract new customers to your business. Wondering what to post on your listing? Here’s a couple of examples of what you can share to your listing today. Start with what you’ve already posted on social and share that into your listing because those same customers They want to know about the celebration you’re having in your store They want to know about the gift certificates that are available for the upcoming holidays They want to know about the products you’re carrying and the brands that are already available through your plumbing shop So anything that you’re posting on social You can do better with it on your Google listing.

[00:05:36] But Barb, is it really that easy? Yes, it is. But there’s one other thing to keep in mind. When you log into your listing, you’re going to see that there’s about 75 different criteria that Google is using to rank local businesses. Knowing the correct criteria is very important and that will impact how quickly your listing moves up as well.

[00:05:58] To help you get started, book a free [00:06:00] call so we can go through your Google listing with you. Point out which of the 75 criteria are going to be most important to your business and your takeaway will be knowing exactly what you need to do to optimize your Google listing. You can book that at abovethefold. live / listing. On the call, we’re going to talk about exactly what you need to do with your listing. There is no mold that applies to every single business. Each business is unique and we’re going to help you build a plan that is specific to your business. And if you want it to be totally hands free, We can help you with that as well.

[00:06:40] Go to abovethefold. live / listing and book your free call with me right now. See you soon.

 

Ep. 125 Kay Peacey from Slick Business

Kay Peacey ActiveCampaign Training

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

Episode #100 with Victor Roman from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation

Episode #99 with Faith Alyssa Peter from Stressed Out Mamas

Episode #98 with Leah Mazur from Carousel Creative

Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

Episode #95 with Karen Kobussen from CanBall Games

Episode #94 with Wilson Acton

Episode #93 with Carla Browne from Real Property Management Canada

Episode #92 with Donna Ziegler from South Sask Community Foundation

Episode #91 with Scott Love from Store to Door Canada

Episode #90 with Mark Heise from Rebellion Brewing

Episode #89 with Brendan McGuire from Affinity Credit Union

Episode #88 with Tyler Clark form Prairie Benefits Solutions

Episode #87 with Craig Reed from Virtus Group

Episode #86 with Daria Malin from Boost Strategic Coaching

Episode #85 with Bill Thorn form Regina Humane Society

Episode #84 with John Vuong from Local SEO Search

Episode #83 with Linda Boryski from Saskatoon PhysioYoga

Episode #82 with Tracey Poffenroth Prato from RAD Talk with Tracey

Episode #81 with Janet Kotylak, YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode #80 Your Ultimate Guide to Get Found with Local SEO

Episode #79 with Jennifer Fox from Auto Electric Service

Episode #78 with Janet Akre and Susan Robertson from River & Rail ArtVenture

Episode #77 with Karen Smith from Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan

Episode #76 with Julie Naismith from SubThreshold Training

Episode #75 with Josh Haugerud from Regina Folk Festival

Episode #74 with Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote from Black Fox Farm and Distillery

Episode #73 with Cory Furman from Furman IP

Episode #72 with Tracy Archer from Knight Archer Insurance

Episode #71 with Tim Nickel from Fifth Business Consulting

Episode #70 with Taylor Weisgerber from Spartan Mechanical

Episode #69 with Lisa McIntyre from The Optical Shoppe

Episode #68 with Santa Claus

Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

Episode #66 with Natasha Vandenhurk from Three Farmers Foods

Episode #65 with Dianne Beauchamp from PuroClean Regina

Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #56 with Sarah Tkachuk from KPMG & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

Episode #46 with Erika Gayle from Erika Gayle Photography

Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

Episode #44 with Erin Caleval from Erin & Associates Insurance

Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

Episode #43 Part #1 with Jess Tiefenbach from Stay n Play Parenting

Episode #42 with Nadene Joy from Nadene Joy

Episode #41 with Richard Arockiasamy and Sanjana Kumta from GreenMache

Episode #40 with Jodi Barrett, CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada

Episode #39 with Erin Kinder from Kinder Surprises Antiques

Episode #38 with Tanner Goetz from Munz Media

Episode #37 with Jessica McNaughton from memoryKPR

Episode #36 with Wendy Turner-Larsen from Turner Larsen Consulting

Episode #35 with Jill Poulton from Transformational Leadership

Episode #34 with Janci Templeman from Walker Wakefield

Episode #33 with Denise Anderson, Author, Divorce in a Small Town

Episode #32 with Anne Gibbons from Gibbons Travel Consulting

Episode #31 with Charlene SanJenko from PowHERhouse Media

Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 26 with Dr. Emily Bamforth from Royal Saskatchewan Museum & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 25 with Nigora Yulyakshieva from City of Regina & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 24 with Pam Klein from Phoenix Group & Miriam Johnson from Saskatchewan Roughriders

Episode 23 with Gr. 5 & 6 Students from Argyle School

Episode 22 with Tiffany Wolf from Helium Communications

Episode 21 with Jeff Kinash from Peregrine Farm

Episode 20 with Charlene Oancia from Springer & Oake

Episode 19 with Dan Benesh from BarterPay Regina

Episode 18 with Prabha Mitchell from WESK

Episode 17 with Terrie Dunand from REMAX Crown Real Estate

Episode 16 with Kim Zacaruk from Stone’s Throw Coffee Collective

Episode 15 with Luke Rossmo from Luke Rossmo Music and Gareth Bawden from Bawdenmedia.com

Episode 14 with Kristen Hill from Kristen’s Cultures

Episode 13 with Cyndie Knorr from Cynergy Coaching

Episode 12 with Paul Burch from EchoLotto Inc.

Episode 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

Episode 10 with Brandi Good from BLG Business Solutions

Episode 9 with Dr. Gina Grandy from Hill | Levene Schools of Business

Episode 8 with Candyce Fiessel from The Style Academy and Shear Escape Salon and Spa

Episode 7 with Michelle Strawford from Bella Chic Fashion & Decor and What Women Want

Episode 6 with Jordan McFarlen from  Conexus Business Incubator

Episode 5 with Cheryl Giambattista from Health Coach Cheryl

Episode 4 with Joanne Frederick from Prairie Centre for Mindfulness

Episode 3 with John Hopkins and Amanda Baker, Regina Chamber of Commerce

Episode 2 with Christina Carlson from Queen City Collective

Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Apple Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Google Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Breaker  Overcast.fm  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Pocket Casts  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Radio Public Spotify   Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Anchor

?️NEW PODCAST EPISODE ALERT!?️

In Ep. 125 of the Secret Life podcast, I am joined by special guest Kay Peacey from Slick Business.

This episode is packed with incredible insights and valuable takeaways that you won’t want to miss!

Here are 3 key takeaways from this episode:

1️⃣ Importance of Automation: Kay shares their expertise on streamlining processes and finding solutions to frequent annoyances or time-wasting tasks. Learn how automation can liberate time and enhance your business efficiency.

2️⃣ Building Relationships through Email: Discover the significance of nurturing customer relationships through email, even when physical presence may not be possible. Kay offers actionable tips on building a long-term connection with your audience.

3️⃣ Tracking Customer Behavior: Gain valuable insights into the importance of tracking and understanding customer behavior. Kay discusses the need for businesses to be able to adapt and fix any issues that may arise in their automation systems.

Don’t miss this insightful and thought-provoking conversation with Kay Peacey from Slick Business.

Tune in to the Secret Life podcast now!

You will find Kay on major social platforms, including LinkedIn and Facebook. Make sure to check out her free flagship training called “Accelerated ActiveCampaign” on their website slickbusiness.co.

Transcript

Barb 0:00
Are you ready to make the website ping and the till ding? In this episode, we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in this online world, small business owners who are doing amazing things from those skinny lessons that will make you wins to the tell all exposes TMZ style. These everyday people are doing extraordinary things in their business. Welcome to The Secret Life podcast. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and local business marketer, cheerleader and champion. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years. From online businesses to multilocation stores. You can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to doer and today we’re talking about one of those ways that you can do just that. We’re going behind the scenes with Kay Peacey, the owner of Slick Business now slick, you’re probably thinking what kind of business is this? We’ll wait until you find out. Welcome Kay, tell us a little bit about yourself and select Business.

Kay 1:13
Hi, Barb. Thank you so much for having me on. As you can hear I am British. Yes, you are. Get that out of your systems now. Um, so I apologize for the way I pronounce all the things is completely different. And I hope that I can make myself understood well enough. So yes, my name is Kay Peacey. I am from the very far southwest corner of England, in a little county called Cornwall that is mostly see around the edges and lots of beaches. And I’ve lived here my whole life. I did get out of the county for a while but I came back because I love it so much.

Barb 1:49
Water around you like Right, exactly. Sam lock deadlock location in this world. Oh, yes.

Kay 2:00
Yeah, like I can see the see out of my window. It’s all good. So and the business I run is called slick business. And I’m just going to tell you briefly how my business was named. When I started doing consulting. I realized I’m skipping ahead here but when I started consulting, one of my very early clients said to me, when you are done with me, my business is going to be as slick as bleep. Yep. At which point we named the business that was it your business? The mission? Slick everything up.

Barb 2:26
You know what I totally get it because isn’t that what we all want in our businesses is we want to be slick, right? We want things to operate, slickly. So yeah, it makes perfect sense when you put it that way. Brilliant on your clients part.

Kay 2:41
I know she did me a real favor there. And in the early days of my business, I was more of a generalist. So I would do things like Facebook ads, I would work on pretty much any tech platform that someone was in and just help them slick things up. So it was very process driven looking at their systems thinking how can we make this better and slicker and easier for that? Right? Anyway, during that period of time, I was working the whole time with Active Campaign, okay, which is an email service provider and marketing automation platform, is one of the global leaders in that area of tech. And what happened for me is I just fell for Active Campaign hook line and sinker. And I do mean is it is a love match. Yeah, it definitely pushes all my good buttons somehow, in my life, I’m just a middle aged normal mum, from Cornwall, you know, I have, I have no business experience. I didn’t know marketing or anything like this. But somehow, this particular piece of tech just hit the spot for me and my brain and my skill set. So what I do now is that I teach people how to use Active Campaign to slick up their business

Barb 3:56
Exactly more efficiently, more effectively. Isn’t it funny, I like what you say about it just clicked in your brain, because that’s how Google is for me. Right? I don’t talk about Bing. I don’t talk about Yahoo. I talk about Google. And sure me here all the same in some way. But there’s just something about it that clicks for my brain.

Kay 4:20
So Oh, I hear you. Yeah, I am resonating really hard right now. Sometimes people will ask me, you know, can you do a comparison between MailChimp and active campaign or MailChimp or ConvertKit? Some of the other contenders are telling me what’s the difference between active campaign and keep? I’m like, You need to probably ask someone else to do that direct comparison. I can tell you the brilliant things about active campaign. But I’m so deeply embedded in that platform. So that’s kind of my superpower, but it’s also got this little Achilles heel weakness that I don’t actually work with any of the other platforms I did to start off with but it was that click was very clear to me. I felt it right from the beginning. You Yes, I found my home.

Barb 5:02
You know when it’s so funny that the language you’re using, so for our audience key, and I have met within her membership, which is called Active Campaign Academy, but we’ve never had a personal conversation before. She’s never been in my programs. So if you hear commonality in our language, I always talk about small businesses having a superpower and being able to identify that and that’s not common language. That’s not something that everybody says. And so there you are seeing in a sentence. Yeah, I promise I did not pay her to say that.

Kay 5:35
No, there was no preamble here was straighten. Exactly.

Barb 5:39
So Kay, I think what what tweaked my interest in having this discussion today is I saw a post that you shared on your Facebook page or or Facebook group, and you actually had some health concerns somewhere before you started your business. And and yeah, tell us a little bit about that. That path? What happened? And where did you fall in love with Active Campaign and get married here?

Kay 6:08
I’m really glad you’ve asked this, actually. Because it’s it’s a story that seems to resonate with a lot of people. And I’ve only just started actually sharing what I call the disAbility part of my story. So I grew up here in rural Cornwall, I was good at mathematics and good at teaching people how to do stuff. Those were my strengths early on. So I trained to be a maths teacher. And I went into schools and it turned out teenagers and me really, really not okay, oh my God, it was awful. I didn’t like them. They hated me. And they tortured me. So we that did not last and I came out of schools, I came home to Cornwall with my tail between my legs, feeling utterly defeated by the world and got into adult education by some real serendipity and serendipity is a theme that runs through all of the things I’ve done. The two themes is teaching and serendipity being in the right place at the right time. So I ended up teaching for the Open University Teaching with the really early days of elearning. We’re still on dial up modems is like

Barb 7:16
Let’s call it what we what it is. Okay. Like you and I both remember the birth of Google, right?

Kay 7:25
Yeah, I remember those first Hotmail email addresses coming out like Oh, boy.

Barb 7:32
And there was no spam then like no spam at all.

Kay 7:36
Right? No, yeah. different worlds.

Kay 7:45
Yeah, my worst one recently was traveling for a holiday, which was it was a long haul, it was the first time I’d ever flown long haul. And I got caught out on the flight because we had no water because it had all been taken away from us. And we couldn’t get any water off the cabin crew and I couldn’t take my pain meds without water. Hmm, oh, that was bad. Anyway, we could have much longer conversation about managing, managing chronic pain and disability and restrictions in one’s life. I think I’m super interested in how it impacts in business. Yeah, as well, because it really does. It’s does it limits what you can do? It limits your stamina. It’s literally like how long can you sit at a desk? Yeah, exactly. And can you go to a conference? Can you travel to go to this amazing thing that’s happening and meet and schmooze and network? These people? Yeah. The answer for me at the moment is no, that’s really tough. Exactly. If I do it for business, it has a huge knock on on my family life and my sense of self and mental well being. So there’s a really interesting balance between managing a long term health condition and periods of disability to the level of wheelchair using and then making it happen and making something really significantly successful happen. And that’s where that post came from that you saw. It was. Yeah, it was such a big moment for me, because it was when I landed onto the customer advisory board for Active Campaign as one of the founding members and their first appointment onto that board. So to be recognized as a world leading authority, yes, in my niche by the company who make that software and given a position of respect and authority. Yeah, that meant the world to me. Oh, absolutely.

Barb 9:34
And it meant the world to all of us in your membership. Because like, tap, tap, tap, we’ve literally got active campaigns shoulder now. And so whatever it is, you know, it’s not like, you know, you can’t necessarily solve all of the problems, but when you hear the same concerns over and over and over again, like the reliability for a while, right like You’ve got an immediate voice on what’s happening.

Kay 10:03
Exactly, and that that response is responsibility. And it is a huge privilege that I am very happy to be trusted Yes, by so many users of Active Campaign to hear and hold their experiences. So part of my set of values, we, you know, we do the growth, cheerleading, I noticed you would use the word cheerleading earlier on as well. That’s one of our founding and one of our core values is we’re growth cheerleaders, but we’re also Auntie K, which, which, which came originally from that same client who named my business, she was like, I’m okay, I’ve got 20k on my side. Yeah, that is a privilege and responsibility to hear someone’s troubles and difficulties. And not only celebrate their successes, but also hold them safe when they’re having a hard time and then carry that message to people who can make a difference for them. At the very top level of Active Campaign,

Barb 11:00
Yeah, exactly. So let’s talk about a little bit about how or why your business is different. So obviously, Active Campaign clicked for you versus, you know, on MailChimp or a keep. But, you know, like, let’s talk about what Active Campaign campaign can do from a, from a growth standpoint, the automation like, like, why why your business to support other businesses in growing? Let’s answer that question first.

Kay 11:32
Okay, so when people hear the name Active Campaign, it doesn’t always mean much to them. And I’ll say, Well, okay, but you know, MailChimp, or, you know, you get emails into your inbox from businesses, there’s some tech that drives that, and that’s what active campaign is doing. That’s like a very surface understanding of it. What’s interesting to me with mail with MailChimp. You really mess me up now. Okay, what’s interesting to me with Active Campaign is that, in my view, emailing people is not its primary function. Its primary function, and it’s absolutely ninja superpower is unlimited automation. And what that means is that you can instruct Active Campaign to effectively be a clone of you, in pretty much any scenario that you can pin down to a process. Yep, if you can define the steps, and lay out a little recipe of what should happen. Active Campaign can do it for you, while you’re asleep, or at the beach, or having hip surgery. It does it for you. And here’s the real genius, but it can also come and tap you on the shoulder when you need to apply the human touch because the human touch will never stop being valuable. It will always be your most highest value component. So it’s the one you want to reserve for when it is most impactful. Yes. Because we have limited resources, especially if we’re managing chronic pain and families and trying to go on holiday.

Barb 13:08
Yes. And just and manage a small business, like I have, right, I have never met a more hard working group of people than small business owners, right? There’s no government, there’s no union unions are really big in Canada, there is your business. And when you walk out the door, you either need to pause your business have a team that can keep things moving, or have processes automated. And so when you’re in the hospital, I might still be getting an email from you. Because you’ve set up those automations you’ve scheduled those emails, you’ve pre written them. And that is hugely powerful. I think we underestimate as business owners how important it is to just keep saying, Hi, I’m here if you need support with x, and it doesn’t matter if you sell deck boards, or help with Active Campaign or help with Google, whatever it is you do to support others. You need to keep reminding people hey, I’m still here. Hey, we’re still here, right?

Kay 14:13
Yeah, yeah, no doubt about it campaign. It gives you so many different ways that you can do that. So yes, it can send a newsletter email, or whatever intervals you want, you can schedule it, you can send it and they look pretty and great and wonderful. And you can also spy on everything anyone does. It’s like a bill at the Netherlands. You are supposed to tell people that bird we can see everything. I’ve lost my thread now. Right? You can use that to email. Yeah, you can send an automated series. So when this happens, send this series of emails at this spacing. You can have different parts within that. So if this happens, then send them this way. If the other thing happens, go that way and do something different. You can do all of that. But you can also do these incredibly hybrid thing. things, these are super powerful, where you give it most of the information and save that as like a template. There’s a particular thing I’m thinking of called a saved response in there. And you can choose as a human exactly when send that and edit it for exactly the person that you’re messaging. So someone messages you on Facebook or something and ask the question, if they’re already in your Active Campaign, you can then contact them directly in there. And you can do like a semi automated process. It’s really structured. Yeah. What that does is it allows you to scale yourself up.

Barb 15:32
Absolutely. Right there. Yep. Yeah, yep. Okay, so what I was what I was going to interject there, when you lost your train of thought we were talking about seeing what people do. Just this morning, of course, you’re emailing me to ask a question. And, and Kay had unsubscribed from my emails. So she didn’t get the email to tell her what we were going to talk about on the podcast. But had I not knowing that you unsubscribed I would have assumed you got the message. Then when you were asking me I would have been like, Well, why is she asking me I sent her the email. But because I could go in, see that you unsubscribe? It looks like maybe you went looking to see if you could find something because you did go back and find an older email where I talked about planning a vacation. But then I see that you were gonna describe that. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So I mean, I can see case history. And key had already taught me that there’s something I need to fix in my Active Campaign related to understanding which customers are opening and clicking. And here I am looking at hers this morning going, Yeah, I really gotta get that fixed, because it’s still not working right.

Kay 16:46
You know, the one thing you can guarantee about humans, if you leave a hole somewhere, they will fall into it, we are so skilled at finding the holes, misinterpreting things, not reading information properly. You know, like you were saying earlier about awareness, and you have to keep getting in front of people. Something happened to me last week, which really reinforced for me the need to put key information in pretty much every single email you sent. So far, you’ll know from your member emails that we send out for the Active Campaign Academy, in every single email, it tells you your login email address, and it gives you all the links of where to go. And it reminds you what you have in the academy who your nominee is, everything is there in every single email, which is really easy to do with Active Campaign. So what happened to me last week was that unfortunately, had to go to a family funeral. And I’d had various messages telling me about the funeral. And we I’d read them multiple times, because we were driving a very long way to get there with my brother and my husband. And when we got there, I realized eventually it 10 minutes before it was due to start that we were at the wrong crematorium. No, oh, no, I know, this was it was awful. So service full full I am, I’m gutted that we were not able to be at the ceremony because I made a mistake. When I was reading information, the information was in one of the messages that I’d received one message. But that really important thing, which is, by the way, this one is not at the usual place, we go for every family cram we’ve ever been. Right, it’s in a different place. And because that wasn’t put front and center in big capital letters to get my attention. My human squeegee brain was busy looking at the date and the time, and I completely missed the location. We were in the wrong town.

Barb 18:39
Yeah, like, oh, this wasn’t a five minute drive across town.

Kay 18:44
This was oh, no, this was we missed that we missed the event, we were able to go to the week afterwards. And I’m grateful for that. But we missed. We missed that. So human, I’m talking about humans, and how we actually engage with emails. Because whether it’s a message that someone sent you or whether it’s an email, the way we read things and scan, read and pick out important pieces of information or not yet is down to the way the message is composed. And that’s something I’m really leaning into now with the way our emails are designed. This is something every business can take away from listening to this. It doesn’t matter what email platform you’re using. The people on the other end of your emails are still humans, they are still fallible squeegee things. They make mistakes. They don’t read stuff properly. Yeah. So make sure your most important information. The one key takeaway from every email is in that very first sentence. Put it at the top. Yes. Okay. And then repeat critical, necessary information that you want them to see and understand if you’re running a webinar. Put the date in every single email where you talk, but ignore it just right, yeah. And you say it’s on Tuesday, the 12th of March. At this time in this city. Yeah. Yeah. You got to speak Keven.

Barb 20:01
So one of the things that I’ve recently come to appreciate with email as well, I’m going to say that more and more people are preferring the shorter emails to the great big long ones. Because we’re all bombarded with so much information, that when we open an email, we pick what we believe are the salient points, and we move on. And so whether you make your salient points, bullets, or bold, or red, whatever it is, but you’ve got to get your message across. So quickly, here’s why this matters to you. Here’s the action you need to take, if any, and here’s how to do it. Right, like, just so simple. When I look at when I look at my own email stats, I’m always very pleased with my open rates, my click through rates could always be higher. But I think every business would say that we always want our click through rates to be higher, because that means people are going to check things out. But the reality is, we all get so much email so much social media, like I think we’re just we’re feeling exhausted from the amount of information that that people can now get to us. Right? Yeah, and I don’t know how old your kids are, my kids are both in their teens, almost 15 and 16. And, you know, I watched them, and they’ll be on their phone, and they’re responding to a snap, and I’ll say something, then I’ll give them hacking, they’ll say, you know, you’re not paying attention, they’ll actually repeat my words back word for word, because their brains have grown and developed, being able to do this multitasking thing. It’s like they have two ears, or, you know, they’re using both sides of their brain at the same time. And it’s like, oh, wow, how did you just do that, but they they carry on a conversation, they typed to someone, there’s no more of this hold on for a second, I’m typing, right? Like they do. So it’s, it’s amazing. But there are there are many days like I just feel exhausted from the amount of information that is being thrown at me. And I’m like, turning on the TV Be quiet, putting my cone of silence on.

Kay 22:19
And and we’re seeing this explode in the inbox as well with AI. Which is fascinating in so many ways. But I think one thing I’m not seeing talked about much is just the sheer volume of cold emails that are landing has massively increased. I don’t have a statistic on it. But I know from my inbox, how many more I’m getting. And you can see their AI generated, and they’ve been you’ve been scraped from LinkedIn somewhere, they’ve got your email address. And there’s just so many more of them. And because of that, I think to be indisputably, obviously, human, in your emails is vital. If you’re not doing that, stop doing it. Now, yeah, stop putting pictures in there and leave a typo and be quirky, be your human self more than ever. And the other really important thing to do is to make sure that your sender information is crystal clear on who you are and why you’re in the inbox. So you’ve got to be you’ve got to be the person who turns up on the doorstep and they know exactly who you are, and that they invited you round.

Barb 23:26
Yes, yes, exactly. I agree wholeheartedly. I don’t know what active campaign is doing with AI? Definitely, I’ve seen an increase like you talked about because my email address for LinkedIn is different than my business email address. So I can tell what’s right. And yeah, like they’re just some there’s, there’s so little fit. But you know, one of the things that I have been diligent with myself about is, and I, I just happened to catch this really quick tutorial video one time on organizing your inbox. And tastic never bought anything, watched his quick training video, stole all of the ideas. So I won’t say the person’s name, because they won’t appreciate that and reorganize my inbox. So now there’s that here’s the important stuff. Here’s the stuff I want to read when I get there. So it’s all labeled, read it, skip the inbox. And then here’s anything that’s personal that I need to deal with. So I have these categories. Things like my receipt from your membership, they never show up in my inbox, they automatically get piled into receipts so I can deal with them. When I do my bookkeeping, I never have to look at it or touch it until that moment in time. That honest to goodness that has saved me. Oh my goodness, maybe 10 hours a week where I don’t have to play with email because now it’s all just organizing itself. And I can go back to the business of running a business. Yeah, yeah. And that’s what AI is supposed to do for us. AI is supposed to make our lives easier, not more overwhelming, right?

Kay 25:15
Yeah, I think I think AI has a lot of potential to help with clearing up inboxes. So on the recipient end of things on the writer end of things where we’re creating emails, and it is an act of creation, you can get creative you can own that doesn’t just because it’s business doesn’t mean that it’s not human and creative and an act of artistry, exactly, you can lean into that you can have fun. Anyway, I digress. But in the creation of emails, most of the stuff I’m seeing at the moment in email creation is around generative text where you feed it a prompt, much as you would with chat bit GPT. And it’s going to check out some things that you I’m not yet seeing a great application of it in, in the land of bulk emailing, but I’m sure it will come, I’m sure it will come where I would love to see it, featuring more highly is an enabling people who are not so experienced with automation, to narrate what they want to happen, yes, to tell the story. When someone does this, I want this to happen. And if they do this, instead, I want this thing to happen. Oh, but if they click that link, send them to that page. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could dictate that and have an AI build it? Of course, that would put me out of work to a degree. But that would be great, right? Because some of that some of the a lot of the time in the Active Campaign Academy right now is about that mechanic. I asked people say, tell me the story of what you want to happen. I will help you with how to make Active Campaign do that. And I will show you exactly how to build that. Exactly what that Yeah. And we’re really good at that. I can totally do that. If AI were able to do that, instead of having me do it. Great. Because then we have more time to talk about strategy. Yes. And more time to talk about being creative with emails, and really digging into human behavior and what drives action at the inbox. What do they read? Which bits of information are they seeing and valuing? Right? Yes. So I don’t see it as a restriction on what we do I see it as a growth opportunity in time.

Barb 27:21
Yes. You know, one of the challenges and I think this probably applies to any automation doesn’t matter if it’s email or what it is. When you look at the language that we need to use to automate a process, so how I might narrate my want for automation, versus how somebody from the UK might do it can be different. Or even if you look at Active Campaign, and they’ve got an or will you think and does this, but in fact, you need or, and now, every time you are so right.

Kay 27:59
And that’s one of my favorite things that I’m doing as part of my role on the customer advisory board, is having an opportunity to work much more closely with the team’s Active Campaign, who are making the decisions on what words are used in what places, because I have been with so many active campaign users over the past six, seven years, literally 1000s of Active Campaign users have crossed my path one way or another. And there are consistent patterns to where they get stuck, whether they’re a native English speaker in, in the UK, or Canada or Australia, New Zealand, all the places that are speaking, or whether they’re speaking English as a second language, and then working with Active Campaign in their native language. The language problems are incredibly consistent. And it’s a real treat to be able to go and have those conversations and impact that. And we’ve actually done that recently, with some new lists, status options came out. Yes. And yeah, you know, my little fingers were in that pie. And that feels really good, because it means that the language that’s being used is going to get better. Yes, for users. Exactly. Happy days.

Barb 29:07
Okay, so we’re, we’re nearing the end of our time. So if you could encapsulate for our listeners, from a small business standpoint, what advice might you provide to them? If they were looking at an email service provider, and wanted to start to introduce automation into their business that like for a lot of small business owners, that’s a big, right, an online business owner is a different beast than then a small business owner sometimes. So what advice would you share with them?

Kay 29:45
Okay, so there’s kind of two sides that one of them is sending emails and one of them is automating stuff, and I think of them separately. Yep. So can you both if we got time? Yes. Okay. So for sending a emails I would say at a minimum, send an email once per week to the people who have given you permission to email them and just include two paragraphs of chit chat. Sure, street corner chit chat, something you would say to a neighbor or a friend about what’s going on in your world. That’s how you start. And once you start sending, it gets easier, yes, but you have to start sending you have to get over yourself. The people at the other end of the inbox are not monsters. They’re just humans like you and they’d like a bit of chit chat. So just start sending.

Barb 30:29
Okay, yes, I’m gonna. I’m gonna chime in with one thing there. Okay. And I agree with Kay wholeheartedly. When I first started started sending my weekly email, I was like, I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to say, hey, I have 27 conceptual ideas drafted out and it’s the middle of July. So the rest of my year is done, except 25 of those will never get used, because I’ll come up with other stuff. So once you start just writing down ideas, it’s like, oh, and I can say that. Oh, yeah, it goes on and on. So it gets easier.

Kay 31:03
So it’s also kind of addictive. And it’s really, really good fun. You don’t you don’t realize how many ridiculous things happen in your life until you start. exactly tell the world. And then you find that people like you and find you funny like, whoa, wait a minute, this is great. And then I get to tell my teenager that people find me funny.

Barb 31:25
My teenager just thinks I’m so cool, because I have more followers on Instagram than his friends.

Kay 31:31
Yeah, we managed to convince some of my kids school friends that I actually make a living from making custom gifts of myself pulling stupid faces. That was, that was a peak moment. Anyway, so right sending emails can be a really a lot enlightening and enlarging life experience as well as enriching is the word I was looking for there. Okay. And then when we come to automation, automation is about process, but don’t let that put you off. Find something that is a pain point that happens frequently and annoys you. And a pain point can be either I hate doing it. It makes me grimace and pull it off. Or it could be it just sucks. And it’s a time suck. Yeah, those are the ones you want to look for time sucks and pain points. When you find one of those, make sure it’s a nice simple one to start with. Like, for example, someone fills out a form on your website. And you just or maybe you’re not even at that point, maybe someone just messaging you and saying can I have that lovely PDF that you do about such and such. And you have to do it manually. That is a repeatable definable process, to have someone be able to request something, deliver it, and then maybe even follow up with them and tell them what you sell. Right? So give them an so if you automate that it looks like give them a way to ask for it. then deliver it, then tell them about what you sell. Yep, three, three main things to hit. And immediately if you’ve removed a repeating pain and time drain from your daily life, that is the starting point. Because that then liberates you to then think, Okay, what should I automate next?

Barb 33:16
Exactly. And if we think about that, in terms of a small business, and I, let’s take a second deck shop, just because that’s top of mind for one reason this morning, let’s take a deck shop. So I somebody hits a website, and one of the most common questions they get is do you guys do estimates for free? Yes, we do. Okay, what information do you need, we need this, this and this. Alright, let’s automate that process. We need your name, your email, your phone, we need some specs, blah, blah, blah, fill out this form, attach your pictures, we’ll get back to in two days with the information. Great information gets sent off, I get a confirmation email to say we’ve got it. Here’s what to expect next. Now a phone call happens. Now we’re building the relationship. Just because I’m not face to face with Kay across the world, I can still build that relationship. And we’re starting a process through email. So now I start to build now here to me is what the key is, for a lot of small businesses, we do that first end of the process. And if we’re doing anything at the back end, we’re forgetting about dating. And we’re asking people to get married by that second, third and fourth email. Oh, yeah. Right. It’s like we’ve just met but let’s let’s go all in here.

Kay 34:37
Like we can either.

Barb 34:38
Relationship, nothing. Yes, exactly. And I think that’s where so many small business owners, just forget that, hey, there’s a ton of value in building that relationship. Talk about what you do, but not every email is about selling, selling, selling, selling. Yes, right.

Kay 35:00
I will say though, from my point of view, I’m the other way round, okay? Cuz I am give give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give, give gives more for a really long time. Yeah. I’m actually having to learn to sell.

Barb 35:17
Ah, right scale back a little bit that

Kay 35:20
I Yeah, because I’ve given away a lot got to the point where people didn’t need to buy from me. I literally had a wake up call. This wasn’t recent, this wake up call came two years ago. I’m just a slow learner. I’m a slow learner. And something’s not an active campaign that I’m all. Yep. Oh, I’m going to carry on. Yeah. So my wake up call was that I’d had an inquiry, which was automated naturally, they filled out a form and they got some questions. They got a nice confirmation email. And they were they made an appointment we got as far as they’d made a Calendly appointment using my lovely automated system. And then they cancelled the appointment. And I was like, wait, what, why? And it turned out, she said they’d cancel the appointment, because they’d got everything they needed from my free training.

Barb 36:22
Oh, oh. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yep. Yeah. Oh, I haven’t had that one yet.

Kay 36:24
Oh, yeah. That free training still up there. By the way. It’s my best lead magnet. Now. I’ve just learned to articulate better what it is that we do. That goes way beyond that. That free training, which is called accelerated Active Campaign. Should anyone wish to learn how to use Active Campaign for free? That’s the starting point.

Barb 36:45
Exactly. Well, you know what, let’s, let’s do that. So how do folks find you online? And how would they sign up for your free course?

Kay 36:53
Marvelous. So you can find me on the major social platforms. I’m not on threads yet. But you know, that only just started. LinkedIn is one of my major Hangouts. So you can find me by name on LinkedIn. I also have a really big Facebook group called automate your business with Active Campaign. And that’s our free open community. We welcome all Active Campaign users or just people who are emailing or automating. And that’s a really nice place to hang out. And then our website is at slick business.co. So that’s dot co, on the not.com not.co.uk. Slick business.co. And there you can find a link on the top menu to accelerated Active Campaign, and that is our flagship free training, which tells you the stuff you really have to know like, you have to know this stuff. Don’t not do that course and use Active Campaign. Yeah. Because Active Campaign people, the people who work there do that training, because it is the fastest way to get up to speed on what Active Campaign does and how it does it. Yeah, okay. Yeah. And then there also is the Active Campaign Academy, which is my subscription based membership, which gets you access to me personally, very humanly, to nurture you and cheerlead you and show you exactly how to get the Wizzy, wonderful automation stuff done, including the strategy, all about strategy, not just the technical.

Barb 38:18
Exactly. And as I have shared with Kay before, working with Kay is a little bit like an insurance policy. I don’t always need her, but when I do, she is always there. There’s an online community, there’s live sessions I can hop into. And depending on, you know how big the problem is, sometimes it’s like, ask a question, get an answer. Oh, didn’t know Active Campaign could do that. Go do it. So what I have found through the membership, and I said this to you before, is it just made my brain that much bigger? There was the little things I knew Active Campaign could do. But working with you has just like, opened my eyes to Oh, my God, I can do all of this. Oh, now I get it.

Kay 39:06
Yeah. It’s so exciting. And it’s such a privilege to do that. And Bob, thank you for all your lovely things you say because you will be featuring in our emails. A cat heroes of the Active Campaign Academy who get a lot out of it. It’s a real treat for me to work with small business owners small to medium business, people from all over the world in all of their wild and crazy niches. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing. We’re all communicating. We’re all interested in human behavior, because that’s how we connect with people and persuade them that what we have is a solution to their problem. Here’s how to buy it. And you know, I’m fun and I make fun gifts so

Barb 39:47
Exactly. Nothing else buy from Kay for gifts.

Kay 39:51
If nothing else, you’ll get some funny stories about how I bet holding the decking.

Barb 39:57
Speaking of decks are in your decade. Thanks Actually, all right, we had better wrap up here today. So, Kay, thank you for joining me, it was an absolute pleasure to finally have a chance to have this conversation. Certainly, we talked about it in email and things for a little while. So I’m glad that we were finally able to make it happen. And ironically, we’re both heading into holidays. Then the next week after recording this session, so yeah, I hope you have a wonderful holiday and I know I’m certainly looking forward to mine. On that note, if you would like to sell your story, then you need to tell your story and there’s no better place to start than being a guest on The Secret Life podcast. If you would like to be a guest. You can email me at barb at above the fold dot live, or reach out on our Facebook and Instagram pages at above the fold. Ca and you can even find us on threads now. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local program. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.

Connect with Kay @ Slick Business

Ep. 124 Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Marc Toews

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

Episode #100 with Victor Roman from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation

Episode #99 with Faith Alyssa Peter from Stressed Out Mamas

Episode #98 with Leah Mazur from Carousel Creative

Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

Episode #95 with Karen Kobussen from CanBall Games

Episode #94 with Wilson Acton

Episode #93 with Carla Browne from Real Property Management Canada

Episode #92 with Donna Ziegler from South Sask Community Foundation

Episode #91 with Scott Love from Store to Door Canada

Episode #90 with Mark Heise from Rebellion Brewing

Episode #89 with Brendan McGuire from Affinity Credit Union

Episode #88 with Tyler Clark form Prairie Benefits Solutions

Episode #87 with Craig Reed from Virtus Group

Episode #86 with Daria Malin from Boost Strategic Coaching

Episode #85 with Bill Thorn form Regina Humane Society

Episode #84 with John Vuong from Local SEO Search

Episode #83 with Linda Boryski from Saskatoon PhysioYoga

Episode #82 with Tracey Poffenroth Prato from RAD Talk with Tracey

Episode #81 with Janet Kotylak, YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode #80 Your Ultimate Guide to Get Found with Local SEO

Episode #79 with Jennifer Fox from Auto Electric Service

Episode #78 with Janet Akre and Susan Robertson from River & Rail ArtVenture

Episode #77 with Karen Smith from Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan

Episode #76 with Julie Naismith from SubThreshold Training

Episode #75 with Josh Haugerud from Regina Folk Festival

Episode #74 with Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote from Black Fox Farm and Distillery

Episode #73 with Cory Furman from Furman IP

Episode #72 with Tracy Archer from Knight Archer Insurance

Episode #71 with Tim Nickel from Fifth Business Consulting

Episode #70 with Taylor Weisgerber from Spartan Mechanical

Episode #69 with Lisa McIntyre from The Optical Shoppe

Episode #68 with Santa Claus

Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

Episode #66 with Natasha Vandenhurk from Three Farmers Foods

Episode #65 with Dianne Beauchamp from PuroClean Regina

Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #56 with Sarah Tkachuk from KPMG & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

Episode #46 with Erika Gayle from Erika Gayle Photography

Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

Episode #44 with Erin Caleval from Erin & Associates Insurance

Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

Episode #43 Part #1 with Jess Tiefenbach from Stay n Play Parenting

Episode #42 with Nadene Joy from Nadene Joy

Episode #41 with Richard Arockiasamy and Sanjana Kumta from GreenMache

Episode #40 with Jodi Barrett, CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada

Episode #39 with Erin Kinder from Kinder Surprises Antiques

Episode #38 with Tanner Goetz from Munz Media

Episode #37 with Jessica McNaughton from memoryKPR

Episode #36 with Wendy Turner-Larsen from Turner Larsen Consulting

Episode #35 with Jill Poulton from Transformational Leadership

Episode #34 with Janci Templeman from Walker Wakefield

Episode #33 with Denise Anderson, Author, Divorce in a Small Town

Episode #32 with Anne Gibbons from Gibbons Travel Consulting

Episode #31 with Charlene SanJenko from PowHERhouse Media

Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 26 with Dr. Emily Bamforth from Royal Saskatchewan Museum & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 25 with Nigora Yulyakshieva from City of Regina & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 24 with Pam Klein from Phoenix Group & Miriam Johnson from Saskatchewan Roughriders

Episode 23 with Gr. 5 & 6 Students from Argyle School

Episode 22 with Tiffany Wolf from Helium Communications

Episode 21 with Jeff Kinash from Peregrine Farm

Episode 20 with Charlene Oancia from Springer & Oake

Episode 19 with Dan Benesh from BarterPay Regina

Episode 18 with Prabha Mitchell from WESK

Episode 17 with Terrie Dunand from REMAX Crown Real Estate

Episode 16 with Kim Zacaruk from Stone’s Throw Coffee Collective

Episode 15 with Luke Rossmo from Luke Rossmo Music and Gareth Bawden from Bawdenmedia.com

Episode 14 with Kristen Hill from Kristen’s Cultures

Episode 13 with Cyndie Knorr from Cynergy Coaching

Episode 12 with Paul Burch from EchoLotto Inc.

Episode 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

Episode 10 with Brandi Good from BLG Business Solutions

Episode 9 with Dr. Gina Grandy from Hill | Levene Schools of Business

Episode 8 with Candyce Fiessel from The Style Academy and Shear Escape Salon and Spa

Episode 7 with Michelle Strawford from Bella Chic Fashion & Decor and What Women Want

Episode 6 with Jordan McFarlen from  Conexus Business Incubator

Episode 5 with Cheryl Giambattista from Health Coach Cheryl

Episode 4 with Joanne Frederick from Prairie Centre for Mindfulness

Episode 3 with John Hopkins and Amanda Baker, Regina Chamber of Commerce

Episode 2 with Christina Carlson from Queen City Collective

Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Apple Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Google Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Breaker  Overcast.fm  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Pocket Casts  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Radio Public Spotify   Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Anchor

A truck driver by day and a creator by night, Marc Toews has a vision for the un-real. ?

Marc’s business, Gateway Web AR, creates augmented reality experiences like Scotty, the T. rex, Star Wars starfighters and bobble heads for local businesses. Tune in for a dash of inspiration, an ounce of creativity and a large helping of out-of-the-box, hard-to-imagine reality.

Transcript

Barb 0:02
Are you ready to make the door swing, the phone ring and the tail ding in this episode are talking about one of the best kept secrets in any community. Its network of local businesses, businesses that rely on foot traffic, phone calls and website bookings. Those same businesses that support your kids sports teams, donate to fundraising efforts, and create amazing 2d to 3d objects from a printed object. Just using your cell phone camera, from the skinny lessons that will make you wins to the TMZ style tells these everyday people are doing extraordinary things in their business. Welcome to The Secret Life of local. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and local business cheerleader. I’ve been helping businesses thrive for over 20 years, from online businesses to multilocation stores, you can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to doers. Today, we’re going behind the scene going behind the scenes with Mark Taves from Gateway web, AR. He’s the founder and he’s the inspiration behind this company. So welcome, Mark, tell us a little bit about yourself and Gateway Web AR.

Marc 1:24
Hi, Barb. Thanks for having me today.

Barb 1:26
Absolutely.

Marc 1:27
Well, a little bit about me. I’m actually a truck driver. I’ve been doing this for about 20 years. And I believe that the industry is going towards self driving trucks at some point. So I will be out of a job. You know, Tesla’s can drive themselves, I think trucks will start doing that eventually, too. And as technology goes faster, we know about artificial intelligence, right? I mean, just the stuff that’s been exploding in the news, I really think this transition is going to happen much faster than people expect. So thanks to YouTube, my downtime, I’ve been able to spend learning, teaching myself all about the fascinating world of augmented reality. Okay. And so basically what that is, a lot of people have heard about virtual reality. They’re not quite sure about augmented reality.

Barb 2:19
Exactly. And right now, of course, we hear so much about artificial intelligence. So let’s make that gap. Like what, what, what actually is augmented reality?

Marc 2:30
Yeah, so and with artificial intelligence, people are talking AI and VR and AR, and they are kind of different. But yeah, so augmented reality, is basically taking video game style type graphics, right? In a 3d world, like now you can play video games in a 3d world and stuff like that, well, we can take those objects and put them into the real world, which is really interesting.

Barb 2:58
So tell me a little bit about how you do that, or what kind of objects you can bring into the real world that are augmented?

Marc 3:06
Sure. Well, the first big project that I was able to do was for the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. They have a dinosaur. It’s the world’s largest dinosaur called Scotty. And you had an opportunity to play with

Barb 3:20
Swimming pool. Yep, yep.

Marc 3:23
And so I was able to create him in augmented reality. So basically, building a 3d model. And the power that we have in our cell phones now allows us to be able to put these objects in the real world, the camera can figure out where the ground is configure it, where walls are all sorts of stuff like that. And so it can position a 3d model rotated around as you walk around, it can figure out you know, where in space things are. And so, yeah, that was my first real big project that I was able to do. And they were quite, quite excited about it.

Barb 4:03
Now, yeah, okay, so how do you go from driving truck by day to augmented reality by night? Like there’s, there’s a really wide gap there is this I’m driving in my truck. I’m coming up with ideas like how did how did you make that transition? At this point,

Marc 4:25
Yeah, yeah, I’m doing both at the same time. I’m, I’m a very creative person. I’ve always been that way. I started off with Lego as a kid, right, and building anything. I’ve taught myself a lot of different things, including all renovate home renovations and stuff like that. I’ve had lots of different jobs, and I just love learning things, any chance that I can learn something? I do. So with trucking, there’s a finite of time that I’m allowed to drive and then I have to have certain hours off right for rest. During that time. My brains got to be doing something. Yeah. And so while I drive, I’ve actually been able to thank God for the internet. I’ve been able to learn how to do all of this AR stuff, this augmented reality stuff. I’ve learned web website programming, I’ve learned 3d modelling. So while I drive, I can listen to podcasts or listen to videos on how to do this. And then when I stop, I’m just ready to go for like two hours, I’m on my computer, oh, I got this to build this to build. And, and for me, it’s just super exciting because I can take something that isn’t there, make it look like it’s there. And you can actually interact with it like you can. You can press buttons and do different things inside of something that doesn’t exist.

Barb 5:44
Exactly. Okay. So I can totally relate to that. Because if I was driving for any period of time, learning something, by the time I stopped, I would literally be bursting Trump like wanting to try something. Right. So I can completely relate to that analogy. So do you take a laptop when you drive like because you’re not just doing day trips? Like you’ve got some long trips into the state some long haul, do you not?

Marc 6:11
Yeah, I drive from basically Regina to Alberta, and then straight down south to Los Angeles every week.

Barb 6:20
Do you ever stay down there? Or do you like basically get there drop off or load up and on your way back?

Marc 6:26
It’s basically kind of, yeah, just get the job done kind of thing. Although there are times when I have a day and a half or two days, sometimes if there’s a late load or if I request I can stay at different places. So I’ve been to San Diego, I went to the museums. I try and stop off in little places as I go along. So because I’m an I’m a huge explorer, I love to learn new things. And I like to experience new things. Yeah, I

Barb 6:51
Bet and you have a sleeper cap in your truck, right. So you just when you’re ready to go for a rescue.

Marc 6:56
It’s it’s fully decked out I’ve got a microwave with an air fryer in it, I’ve got my TV, I’ve got my laptop, I actually just recently bought a 3d scanner that I have to work on. So that I will be able to take any object that a customer might have from like a small objects, like the size of a shoe to the size of a vehicle. And I can use that scanner, it will allow me to create a 3d virtual model of that. There’s a lot of work that has to get done into it. Yes, but yeah, so the technology that I have is yeah, my cell phone with an insane amount of data plan that I do.

Barb 7:41
So you essentially have your living room on wheels. Off you go drive during the day, stop at night and start creating like that. Is that right? Yes. Living the dream there. Yep.

Marc 7:55
Yeah. Well, and unfortunately, I absolutely love driving. I’ve always since I got my licence, I’ve been a driver. And so that’s not work to me. Okay, even then, downtown LA traffic. You know, the biggest thing to have when you’re driving is patience. And I’ve got tonnes of it. So there’s that part. So that’s not work. And when I get to learn new things, that’s not work either. That’s just exceedingly Yeah. So for me, my days are generally I get about eight hours of sleep seven to eight hours of sleep a day. And the rest of the time is just having fun.

Barb 8:31
Yeah, exactly. loving what you do. Okay, so we Scotty the biggest, I’ll say model that you’ve ever built created.

Marc 8:41
Okay, so, Scotty is 12 feet tall, 14 and a half feet long cape, the largest structure that I’ve created. If you’re a Star Wars fan, I I’ve built a star destroyer game, the big triangle ship from Star Wars, right?

Barb 9:03
In a circle like that? Yeah. Okay. Yeah.

Marc 9:05
So the Star Destroyer is according to the Star Wars thing. It’s a 1.6 kilometres long, it’s a mile long. I actually, I built it. And in AR You do have to walk an entire mile mile in order to see end to end.

Barb 9:25
Oh, wow. Okay, so like, how, how do you actually build something that is like, you can’t just get a picture of it. Like how do you actually do that?

Marc 9:38
That’s a complicated question. But I can tell you that when you look at an a real life objects is it’s made out of atoms, and those and molecules, right? Those molecules connect and they build a solid object, right? And the same thing in the digital world. There are things called vertices which are Basically points in three dimensional space. And then there are lines that connect those vertices. And so when you connect a whole bunch of them, you make a bunch of them, you are basically telling the computer to draw a line between this point and this point. Okay? And then if you have four points, you can tell the computer, okay? Draw a line, a route to these points, plus fill all of this in so that you can’t see through it. Now it’s a solid, it’s a plane. Okay? Right. And then from there, you do the same thing. And now it becomes a cube. Ah, okay. Add more of these little vertices. And now, and everything has to do with math. So there’s a, an X, Y, and Zed coordinate for each of these vertices. Right? And then those all get connected with lines and planes.

Barb 10:56
Oh, man, okay. Yeah. Do you have to build all of that? Or do you start with, like a picture or something like that? Are you manually building the model? Before you put it in?

Marc 11:07
Yes. Oh, wow. There’s, there’s lots of models that people build, and you can buy. And as far as the size goes, Really, what you’re doing is just like a photograph, where you can’t really tell the scale of certain things. Right? The same idea. These are just mathematical points in space, and X Y, Zed coordinate, right? So if you want to have something bigger, you just put those points further apart. You want it to be a smaller model, you put them closer together. Okay? So with Scotty Scotty can be shrunk down into like a little mini figure, or he can be brought up to Godzilla sighs Well, and

Barb 11:53
that’s the first time I did Scotty in my backyard. You know, I was struggling to get him to work. Because he was he was like, way bigger than my camera. So I had to scale him down to create the video and take the picture. And my kids, I had told you this story, my daughter’s 15. My son is 14. So my son is very busy being cool. So a dinosaur in his backyard. It’s just like, whatever, mom. Seriously, we have a dinosaur in our backyard. And that’s like a whatever. But my daughter, she was like, Oh my God, that’s so cool. Right? So I’m like, okay, at least she can be honest. Right? But but here is his dinosaur. And literally, it was to scale. Because our dogs were standing beside it, we have these two little lap dogs. And so the dogs are these little tiny spots. And this, you know, Scotty was this huge thing. And I was like, This is amazing. Right? Um, what’s your favourite model that you’ve built?

Marc 12:55
I would have to say I’m a huge LEGO fan. And so I built a Lego Spaceman from the 1980s. Yeah, I have. I have him with my gateway logo on there. And I put him in all sorts of different places. He’s six feet tall. Yeah, he comes with me all over the place.

Barb 13:16
Yeah, exactly. And why not? Like talk about a great way to promote your business and on all of these different places. When you post them on social media? Do you tag the business where you had him? Yes. Yep. Perfect. Yep. Yeah, for sure. Exactly. Because that’s a you know, people see this stuff. And they just like, oh my god, like, this is so cool. Okay, so let’s put some business application into it. So Scotty is lots of fun. The Lego guys lots of fun. How are businesses using the technology?

Marc 13:44
Well, um, okay, so with Scotty the museum had a November they have died November event, okay. And so they’re able to present a real life sized dinosaur, which allows kids to take pictures and videos with this giant dinosaur that if you looked at the cost of actually building a replica, that size, I mean, you’re looking at a lot of material, you’re looking at the craftsmanship, all that stuff. It’s, it’s crazy expensive. It is. So this is a very affordable way to have a life size model available for people to interact with. Yeah, yeah. When you look at the other part of the augmented reality, which uses a tracking system, where we talked about using a 2d image to be able to convert that into 3d, like my business cards, right. As a business, you can have a 3d model. Let’s say it’s for a decking company, right. So if you hand somebody your business card, yeah, okay. Traditionally, they’ll look at your business card, they’ve got your information, they stick the card in the pocket, right? Yes. Okay. And now they go to the next company, and they’re looking at prices. stuff, right? But one of the mark, the keys of marketing is to be able to be memorable.

Barb 15:05
Yes, exactly. You have to differentiate yourself. Exactly.

Marc 15:09
And not just differentiate yourself in your services, but in that very first impression. And so with using augmented reality, I could take a business card, and somebody can have a QR code on there. That thanks to COVID, that’s one benefit of COVID is that we all know what to do with QR codes. Yes, they can take scan that QR code. And they can look at that business card with their camera on their phone. And they can see a 3d deck on top of that business card. And the 3d object actually tracks with the object or with the business card. I mean, yes. So as you rotate the business card, you’ll be able to see all aspects of this deck. So it showcases what you’re able to do. And you can have all sorts of different products that can do that, if it’s a unique artistic product or something like that, right. But the thing is what you’re doing that first connection with your customer with a potential customer is a memorable one. Not only are they going to remember you from anybody else that gave them a business card, but they’re also going to look at it and say to their neighbour or their friend, Hey, check this out. This is so cool. And then they’re going to show them Right, exactly.

Barb 16:28
So I have to tell you a funny story. Of course, you built those two QR codes for me one for Instagram, one for Facebook. And so I’ve started to use them a little bit, but because they exist on my phone, it’s actually hardest for me to test. So last week, I was interviewing summer students. And one of the things that’s really important in my business is I need my people to be pretty darn comfortable with technology, I can’t, can’t be teaching you tech and getting you to get the job done. So as part of the interview process, because we’re in person, I had both of the QR codes available. And I just kind of said to them, Hey, let me show you a sample of something, you know that another local business did. And I would show them the two QR codes. And I watched to see whether they were you know, comfortable figuring out, you know how to use them. And for most of them, they were using Instagram because nobody knows their Facebook password off the top of their hand anymore. So they would, you know, scan Instagram, and out of the students that I interviewed, probably a third of them were like, oh, cool scan, you know, got it to work right away. And I was getting the other two thirds weren’t as comfortable with technology, they still got the whole scan, click the link, and then you know, the one lady, she’s like, Oh, it’s not working. I’m like, yep, just keep it over the business card. And, you know, but as soon as I saw the two thirds, I was like, Okay, I need the tech confident folks. So you know, and that was like that was actually my introductory moment that icebreaker in the interview was that competency check. And I was like, Oh, this is just, it was it was amazing to watch. But I thought this is brilliant, because it’s newer technology. And you know, I know if I show it to a lot of my friends and colleagues, I know they’ll fumble, but that’s okay, I’m not interviewing them. So they turned into a great little test. And just for the audience’s sake, Mark created a business card QR code for me, and then it pops up to my doppelganger. So if you’re listening to this episode, you can head over to our social channels. And you’ll find that doppelganger just on my social channel and probably showing up in a few other places. So Mark, let’s talk a little bit about the variety of models that you’ve created. So we know about Star Wars. We know what the dinosaur we know what the Lego Man, what else have you created? I know there’s an aeroplane in there. Well,

Marc 19:01
Yep. Okay, so my first endeavour into getting businesses to join on with this augmented reality concept is to start working with museums. Right. And so the Royal Saskatchewan Museum is one I’m working with the Royal when it can’t remember exact royal Aviation Museum be changed their their name. Anyways, it’s an aircraft Museum in Manitoba. And so they have a one of a kind aircraft, that there’s only one of it and there are no other it’s a replication because there, it’s just gone. Right doesn’t exist anymore. And so I was able to build it in a car for them as a life size model and shrink it down for them, so that they’ll be able to give those out to customers or to kids, right on a little card. And they can interact with them,

Barb 19:56
right? Yep. Very cool. What about Well, okay, so my doppelganger What about animated versions of people and things like your Lego guy, like, you know, being able to move and walk around anybody else done that. So you’ve done the Lego, I’ve done the doppelganger, anything else like that there’s,

Marc 20:18
there’s a bunch of different animations and things that can be done. And I’m working work currently working with different businesses, you’ve seen some of the videos that I’ve posted. It’s a little more difficult, because it’s such a new concept. So what I’m finding is the most traction is happening when I actually go and show somebody got right. But basically, the, what you could do with it is turn any business card into a model there, right, and it can be interactive. So I’m working with the company. The I guess I should back up just a little bit, because augmented reality includes things like Instagram filters, and Snapchat faces. So those faces that you see where you’re wearing a mask, or you’ve got like, different eyelashes, or you’re a zombie, right, those kind of things. Those are all part of augmented reality. And so I’m creating those as well, which I’m currently developing a game for one of the local restaurants here, where there’s food objects that are falling down, and you have to move around and try and catch them with your mouth. Okay, yeah. And when you get a certain amount of them, then there’s a coupon that shows up. Got it? You pick a picture of that coupon, and now you’ve got like, a free entree or something.

Barb 21:38
Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, that’s so super cool. And when you and I last talked, you were planning an event for this summer? Is that still happening? And how are plans coming?

Marc 21:48
Plans are still good. Okay. Originally, I was looking for sponsors. But I think what I’m going to do, because there isn’t enough engagement yet, in the whole augmented reality thing. It’s coming along pretty good. So basically, July 4 to 17th. In Wascana. Park, there will be life sized Cartoon Dinosaurs. And so kids to grandparents are going to be able to walk around with kind of park and check out these dinosaurs using their cell phone. Okay. Yeah.

Barb 22:21
So how, like, how will you build some momentum behind that? Like, how will people even know that it’s happening?

Marc 22:33
Yeah, that’s yeah, that’s a whole marketing thing. And I’m putting on different hats constantly. Learning all the marketing stuff, right now, I’m kind of focusing on Facebook and Instagram, to be able to show people what that is, right. And that’s kind of my main avenue right now. There’s other opportunities like with yourself, where you’re, you’re able to tell businesses what I can do. When it came to Scotty, being able to be presented CBC Radio was interviewing me asking me stuff, right? So I’m gonna let the media know as well that this is what’s going to happen. And I’m hoping that maybe I can do a video or something like that, get on the news or something and kind of show people because I think once they see it, you see me actually looking at it and everything in a camera there, then they’ll get the idea.

Barb 23:27
Exactly. I think as much as it’s technology, it’s still such a visual platform like people actually need to see it to understand like, how can Scotty have been in your backyard? Like, what do you mean? So when I post this, I will make sure that I include, you know, some of that footage that we had. Awesome. Okay, so Mark, how do businesses get a hold of you? If they would like to explore what this opportunity might look like?

Marc 23:55
Well, the best way to do it is just through my website, my website is super simple. It’s kind of designed just like I’m not doing online sales and stuff like that of this yet, right. So it’s just my contact information there. There is a model that you can see, if you’re fortunate enough to have one of my business cards. There’s information on there, plus a QR code that allows you to try a bunch of stuff, different things on on my card. And there’s also the model of Scotty to be for people to be able to try it in their backyards. I don’t recommend it in the kitchen.

Barb 24:33
And I tried to put him in the swimming pool you and I had that conversation and I couldn’t get him to go with the swimming pool. When I post this episode, I’ll post your QR code as well so people can scan right off the back of the card and the Lego guy come to life so perfect. All right. Well, we’re pretty much at a time for episode today. Thank you for joining me and even explaining to me a little bit better how some of this technology works because as much as I want like technology when it comes to, you know all the points and things like that, that was entirely new to me. So I do appreciate that. On that note, if you want to sell your story then you need to tell your story and there’s no better place to start than being a guest on The Secret Life show. If you’d like to be a guest, email me at barb at above the fool dot live or reach out on our Facebook and Instagram pages at above the fold. Ca. I’m your host Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local programme. Remember, you are charged for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.

Connect with Marc @ Gateway Web AR

Ep. 123 Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Sherry Pratt Health Coach

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

Episode #100 with Victor Roman from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation

Episode #99 with Faith Alyssa Peter from Stressed Out Mamas

Episode #98 with Leah Mazur from Carousel Creative

Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

Episode #95 with Karen Kobussen from CanBall Games

Episode #94 with Wilson Acton

Episode #93 with Carla Browne from Real Property Management Canada

Episode #92 with Donna Ziegler from South Sask Community Foundation

Episode #91 with Scott Love from Store to Door Canada

Episode #90 with Mark Heise from Rebellion Brewing

Episode #89 with Brendan McGuire from Affinity Credit Union

Episode #88 with Tyler Clark form Prairie Benefits Solutions

Episode #87 with Craig Reed from Virtus Group

Episode #86 with Daria Malin from Boost Strategic Coaching

Episode #85 with Bill Thorn form Regina Humane Society

Episode #84 with John Vuong from Local SEO Search

Episode #83 with Linda Boryski from Saskatoon PhysioYoga

Episode #82 with Tracey Poffenroth Prato from RAD Talk with Tracey

Episode #81 with Janet Kotylak, YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode #80 Your Ultimate Guide to Get Found with Local SEO

Episode #79 with Jennifer Fox from Auto Electric Service

Episode #78 with Janet Akre and Susan Robertson from River & Rail ArtVenture

Episode #77 with Karen Smith from Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan

Episode #76 with Julie Naismith from SubThreshold Training

Episode #75 with Josh Haugerud from Regina Folk Festival

Episode #74 with Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote from Black Fox Farm and Distillery

Episode #73 with Cory Furman from Furman IP

Episode #72 with Tracy Archer from Knight Archer Insurance

Episode #71 with Tim Nickel from Fifth Business Consulting

Episode #70 with Taylor Weisgerber from Spartan Mechanical

Episode #69 with Lisa McIntyre from The Optical Shoppe

Episode #68 with Santa Claus

Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

Episode #66 with Natasha Vandenhurk from Three Farmers Foods

Episode #65 with Dianne Beauchamp from PuroClean Regina

Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #56 with Sarah Tkachuk from KPMG & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

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Episode 5 with Cheryl Giambattista from Health Coach Cheryl

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Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

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Accomplished corporate career to health coach? Yup!
Sherry Pratt is a certified coach and trained intuitive eating counselor. She left an accomplished and successful 25 year career as an IT professional and corporate executive to start her own health coaching business. Her passion is helping women in midlife end chronic dieting by taking a non-diet approach to health.
When she’s not helping women reach their health goals, you can find her parenting her 2 teenage sons, behind the wheel of a tractor helping her husband out on their grain farm, tending her rather large vegetable garden, staying active playing pickleball and curling within her local community or relaxing with a glass of wine and a good book.
Tune in to learn more about Sherry and her approach to health; it is absolutely refreshing!

Transcript

Barb 0:00
Are you ready to make the door swing, the phone rang and the website ping. In this episode, we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in any community. Its network of local business owners, businesses or business owners that rely on foot traffic, phone calls and website bookings. Those same businesses that support your kids sports teams, donate to fundraising efforts, and provide amazing advice to women who are ready to ditch dieting, and get on with feeling great about who they are. But no more secrets from the skinny lessons that will make you wins to the tell. TMZ style tells. These everyday people are doing extraordinary things in their businesses. Welcome to The Secret Life of Local. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and local business cheerleader. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years from online businesses to multilocation stores, you can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to doers. Today, we’re sharing the secrets and going behind the scenes with a health coach who supports women in their journey towards feeling better and being healthy. And here’s a little insider secret, the word diet. It’s a swear word in her books. Sherry Pratt is the owner and founder of Sherry Pratt Health Coaching. So welcome sherry. Let, let’s let you tell your story.

Sherry 1:34
Awesome. Thank you so much of our Yeah, so solopreneur ship is actually a second career for me.

Barb 1:42
Ah, yes. Thing health oriented before as well.

Sherry 1:47
No, not at all. Actually, I, my degree is a computer science degree I so I previously spent 25 years in the corporate world working as an IT professional and executive, you know, in that sort of software development application space.

Barb 2:01
Oh, wow. Okay, so that’s a huge switch. So So start there, how the heck do you make that switch?

Sherry 2:07
Yeah. So I mean, I certainly enjoyed that career. And it was very fulfilling, but after you know, sort of that 25 issues getting close to 25 years, I started to like, just reflect and I was also, you know, heading towards my mid 40s At that point, and I wouldn’t call it a midlife crisis. But I definitely started to think like, what else do I want from life? What would you know? How can I pursue some of my other interests and passions? And so I’d always always been, health had always been important to me. fitness and wellness and nutrition, personal passions that I’d done a lot of reading on my own about Yes. And as I was sort of exploring, you know, where do I take my career, I came upon health coaching, I had never heard of this thing before. But all of a sudden, it seemed like a great way to marry my personal interest and passion. I’d never considered trying to make a living doing that, right. But along came health coaching. And so it gave me this opportunity to really impact the well being directly of others. And that was appealing to me.

Barb 3:08
Oh, absolutely. Yes. So what did you have to do to become a health coach? How did you actually move from this corporate nine to five gig into solopreneur? Ship?

Sherry 3:18
Yeah, it was, it was a process and a journey. So again, I was a project manager as part of my career, among other things, so definitely planned it all out started to sort of architect my exit. It took me a couple of years, I spent a year I took a year long training course and coaching, it was very intense. I’m very highly credentialed. Okay, loved every second of it. And that really kind of gave I started initially, I took the course and I thought, well, even if I just learned something personally, and apply it to my own life, but I eventually loved it so much. I was like, No, I’m going to take this and I’m going to do something with it.

Barb 3:53
Got it. Okay. So I Are you married or have a partner or do you have children?

Sherry 3:59
Absolutely. I do. I have I have a farmer for husband. Okay, partner. And I have two boys

Barb 4:06
And two boys. Okay, so tell me what that conversation when you say, hey, hubby, dear. I’m gonna leave my corporate job as a project manager and become a solopreneur. Tell me about that conversation.

Sherry 4:17
Yeah, well, fortunately, he was super supportive. You know, very much so in the like, do what kind of what makes you happy kind of thing. So while he actually trained as an electrical engineer, and he spent he had a 20 year career as an electrical engineer, but farming has always been in his background. He’s always helped on his family farm. And so he stepped down from his corporate job, if you will. Not that it was corporate, but you know, like his job to run the farm. Okay. And, you know, he’s very much like, we have to do what makes us happy. So he’s like, Go Go for it, like try it. So it was really nice.

Barb 4:55
You know, I always enjoy it when I hear that story, because it’s not always that way. spouses and partners are not always 100% on board, when they hear that their other half is, you know, gonna get into some sort of business that, hey, maybe I’m gonna make gobs of money, but maybe we’re gonna starve. Right? Yeah. Yeah, the response?

Sherry 5:15
No. And, you know, fortunately, we, you know, we weren’t in a position where we were gonna start, you know, so I, again, I planned ahead, right, like I did myself a little mistake and whatnot. So yeah,

Barb 5:27
Exactly. Okay, so tell me what it looks like when you’re working with a potential client when you’re working with a client? How do you help them? How would you help someone like me? Because I’m your target market?

Sherry 5:40
Yeah, absolutely. So I think what I would, you know, step back just a little bit and just want to talk a little bit about, like, sort of what diet culture is. Yes. It’s, I think that sort of helps to ground the conversation. Sure. So you know, diet culture is this system of beliefs and behaviours that really rewards even worships thinness, right. And it equates thin, with healthy, adequate, thin with good, right, so very to health and moral virtue, right. And where you know, your body size, your appearance, they really Trump, your mental, your social and your general well being. Yes. And this is like, the air we breathe. It’s the water we swim in. Right? It’s pervasive.

Barb 6:25
Do you think it’s just as a woman as it is for women?

Sherry 6:30
Sadly, I think it’s getting to be more so but not I would say nowhere near for sure. Yep. But you know, and so to sort of translate that a little into like, because that’s sort of a big and broad description. It’s a real world examples. It’s like the the reason why brides always feel this need to lose weight before their weddings. Yes. Why new moms always feel pressured to get their bodies back. You know why it’s no longer sufficient to just look good. We have to like, look good naked. Like, really? Exactly. It’s, it’s why men no belly is a thing. Like, it’s just crazy like that. They’ve done such a fantastic job on the advertising and marketing side, right? Yep. Yeah, it shows up in less obvious ways in our lives, too, though, like, why we feel the need to justify our food to others our food choices all the time, right? You’re at a restaurant, and you decide you’re going to have the fries. But you have to say like, oh, I worked out today, or, or I’ve been so good. Or you know,

Barb 7:30
Exactly, even to yourself, the fact that we feel like we have to justify it to ourselves. Nevermind, if there’s someone at the table that you’re justifying it to? Why would we need to say to herself, I want fries today? Why does that matter?

Sherry 7:44
Right? Or it’s been a long day, and I deserve cookies. Like no, you don’t? You don’t have to earn your food.

Barb 7:50
Well, isn’t that the truth? You don’t have to earn your food. And I agree growing up as a teenager that was 100%. How I equated, no, I won’t, I will put it in my teens in my teens, I absolutely focused on, you know, oh, I want to lose weight. I wanted this, I wanted that. But it wasn’t until I got into my 20s that it was like, Okay, I went to the gym. So now I can have this. You know what I am whatever I want. I’m an adult. I don’t have any, you know, at that point in time, I didn’t have any special diet or food requirements. And so you can have whatever you want. But I agree, especially women, we’re focused on usually the wrong things. We’re focused on appearance, versus how do I feel? Yeah, so So talk to me a little bit Sherry about as a woman, you know, if I look at a picture, so I’ve got two pictures in front of me, one woman is thin, and one woman might be not as thin, we tend to look at the thin person and think she’s healthy. I want to look like that. In fact, this one could be a triathlete. She could be an Olympic weightlifter. Why what what is baked into us that we look at the thin person and automatically say healthy.

Sherry 9:11
Yeah, and I think that is it. I don’t think it’s not baked into our DNA, but it’s baked into our culture, right? It’s an all the messages around us. It’s in the social media and, and the marketing and it comes out in our movies and our TV shows, like when you actually start to step back and look at this stuff. You realise how often people are portrayed as young as thin as usually light skinned, like, you know, fair features. And I made this comment to my family the other day, because we were I think we were watching some TV show or something. And this this idea of an older person came up with a girl that’s what it was the woman so these two friends in the movie, they were friends. They were apparently High School. They had been in high school together like in the same grade, right? Okay. She looked like she was maybe 40. Like, natural hair colour still beautiful, very, you know, blemish free, probably even younger. He had grey hair. He, I mean, he looked like he was probably in his 50s or 60s. And I was like, um, how did they go to high school together? Yeah, there’s a discrepancy here, because we won’t put elderly you know, women with grey hair in a TV show.

Barb 10:25
Right? Well, and if we do, then we depict them as being 60 or 70 years or older. Now, I heard this around the Golden Girls show. Like, I want to say they were like, 50 when they did the show, and yet you look at it now, and you realise they’re being depicted as being 80. But that’s how we used to envision 50. Yeah. And so yeah, I remember being a teenager, and I hear it from my own kids now. Like, 50 is old. 60 is ancient 70. Are you sure you’ll live till that long bomb? I mean, it’s like, serious, you guys. And so even they have this mindset, where to them? Their teachers who are you know, 3040 they’re old. Right? Like, wow, you guys have a lot of waking up to do and we did as teenagers too. Yeah. When I think back to being a teenager, low fat, no fat, right? All of those trends were kind of the same thing. No, of course, in time, we’ve learned how bad that actually was for us. But we have current day trends. We have keto we have. Oh, my God, I don’t even know them all. But But do you talk to me about that, like when you get on the phone with somebody is that the first thing you’re talking about is I’m on the keto diet. I’m on this. I tried that it didn’t work. What do you hear from folks?

Sherry 11:48
Absolutely. And so the real irony here is that when I first started my coaching business, I was sort of exploring, like, Who do I want to work with? How do I want to coach and I started it in the middle of the pandemic. So meeting face to face and sort of working in my community wasn’t necessarily an option. So I ended up signing on with a company like a startup out of the out of Amsterdam of all places. And they offer they basically offered keto coaching, keto diet, coach, oh, all the time. You know, at the time initially, I mean, I always sort of wanted a balanced relationship with with food and dieting, I’d always taken sort of a balanced approach. But I was still of the mindset that well, diets might work or, you know, like, eating healthy does include dieting to some extent. And so I actually started down the path of being a keto diet coach. And, and that was really the, the turning point for me that got me from got me to like, diets is a swear word, as you said, right. Because I saw, I will say I sort of was I was squarely on Team diet when I first started, right? Like, it’s important to pay attention to what you eat. Yes. But as I saw in my clients, and even in myself, moreso in myself, the more you lose weight, the less happier you get. Yes, you know, so losing weight, all it brought on was a preoccupation with food, a concern about regaining weight. And just this, like, all your mental energy tied up in like, white knuckling it through, right? Yes, yeah. And I saw this. I mean, I felt it in myself many times as I went through that cycle. But I started to see it in my clients. And that’s when it finally clicked for me. Like, this doesn’t work. This isn’t good for anybody. Right? This has never really been good for my mental health. And that’s when I had to step back. And I’m like, You know what, this, I can’t do this anymore. And I don’t feel right, talking to clients about this anymore.

Barb 13:45
Yeah. Oh, good. You know, and I’ve heard some stories, especially on the keto diet, I know that for some people, it has really worked, it helped them make the changes that they needed. In many cases, quite quickly. I’ve also heard the horror stories from people and you know, just the digestive upset that sometimes comes with the diet when you first change and, and some of those types of things. What’s interesting to me is, you know, we have the keto diet, and we had the Atkins diet, and we had something else. And I shared with you before we get started today, that that I eat gluten free. I’m celiac, the food I eat is gluten free. The phrase that people will use is I’m on a gluten free diet or I’m on an on a gluten free diet. Which if you say that in a restaurant if you say that, you know around family who doesn’t understand Oh, when are you going to end this diet? I guess when I’m dead because celiacs not gonna go away. So I guess there is an endpoint, but that wasn’t really you know, the focus here. Yeah, not about losing weight. Yeah, and I think that’s where I myself I can’t speak for everyone. I am starting to see a change women are start I want to talk about being healthy, being fit, being strong. We’re starting to see more of it depicted on television in magazines. Now, maybe it’s because I look for it, maybe it’s not actually there. I don’t know. What do you think? What’s your opinion?

Sherry 15:16
That’s it. It’s a good point, there are days when I actually do get excited about things changing, and I see it happening. And then there are days when I just shake my head and want to cry again, about like how far we haven’t come or how much we stepped back. Right. I definitely think the information you surround yourself with is important and has an impact. So yes, it’s often I feel like I’ll see us take one step forward, and then I’ll see us take two steps back, right. Like, recently, they, the US, and I suspect Canada will follow along quickly released a bunch of guidelines around obesity for for children, right, like and so, and this was something that, you know, two steps back in my opinion, right, like, was it not recognising that so much of one of the biggest issues around sort of weight issues is the stigma of just the non acceptance we have around larger bodies.

Barb 16:11
Yeah, and, and society is built for a certain size of body. Yes, your airline seat, your restaurant seat. It’s no different. This is totally an aside. It’s no different than the height of a toilet. It’s guilt for a man. Not a woman tight, right. Yeah. Okay. Do I think that means we need adjustable toilets? No, I don’t but but it was built with a man’s height and frame to be considered. On Instagram, I follow an influencer, who is very health and fitness oriented. That is her business. I follow her because she’s also got some really strong marketing messages. And I enjoy them. So someone asked her the other day, probably in her DMs. Why this was all she talked about health fitness, working out weightlifting, right. Why this was what she talked about. So she she shared a post, and it was probably, you know, all 10 carousel slides long. And the last one, and I like I read through, and I kept looking for this last one. And finally it came and she’s like, because I enjoy it. Right? And it it? Because she didn’t say it first, like that would have been my first answer. Because I like it. Right? Yeah, it would have been as complicated as my answer got. But to her credit, you know, she explained all sorts of things about it’s good for you, and blah, blah, blah. And then at the end, she said this, and I thought the fact that she had to say she actually enjoys it, she actually right. Um, and I, you know, I kind of reflected on that. Because when I used to be really active in CrossFit, people would ask me all the time, like, why do you do that? Because I like it, because it’s fun. I enjoy it. Like, why else would I? Why else would I put myself through something like that? Right? Yeah,

Sherry 17:59
It’s so awesome that you have that perspective in relationship to exercise, because so many of us don’t, right, like so many, you know, exercise gets lumped in with diet, right as a way to control the size and shape of our body. And you know, a lot of the work I do really is, is getting people to see that and getting them to come back to what you’re talking about. Find things that you enjoy, find things that make you feel good, let’s start eating in a way that makes us feel good.

Barb 18:28
Yes. And you know, honestly, cheery, I feel quite fortunate, because whether it was the choices that my parents made for me early on, or maybe it’s just who I was, there’s a lot of types of activities that I just always liked, I swam, I played baseball, I did all of these things. And the, when I look at the times in my own life that have been the most difficult, it’s when I can’t find something to do that I like and I’m like, do I mean physically, like, specifically, you know, gym oriented. So the times that I haven’t been able to find an activity or, you know, a team, something to be a part of that was bigger than just myself. Like, I was miserable, absolutely miserable. So I mean, it’s, it’s very important to me, and I shared this with you earlier, too. I remember that almost to the day, you know, I took the My Fitness Pal app off my phone, and I took something else off so I didn’t have to worry about macros. And I was like, Ah, there was a huge sigh

Barb 19:36
Of relief. And you know, there’s been a couple of times I’m preparing for a surgery right now, where like, I do need to pay attention to what I’m eating and what I’m doing. And just the mere thought of putting some type of app yes on my phone to track like I have resisted it at all cost because So back down that rabbit hole.

Sherry 20:01
Yeah, it’s so nice. Once you have that freedom, right you recognise, you can look back and I went on my own journey, I look back. And I’m like, so shocked at how restrictive I was like how and how normal that felt, right. Like, I brought all sorts of foods back into my diet. And sometimes I get it. It’s interesting, because sometimes, like, I still get a raised eyebrow for my husband, because like my family, sort of, it was just how I ate for such a long time. Yep. And every once in a while now they’ll look at me and be like, you’re gonna eat that mom. And I’m like, You bet. I’m gonna eat this.

Barb 20:33
Oh my god, it’s so funny that you tell that story. I was working with a health coach one time and we were we were specifically counting macros because I was doing some training for triathlon at the time, and very active in CrossFit. So it was it was really about finding the balance, and, and all of these sorts of things. Anyway, we sit down for supper one night, right after I started working with them, and my son, who at the time, maybe was five, like 10 years ago. Yeah, he was probably around five. He looked at my plate, and he’s like, Mom, you’re gonna eat all that. Right? And I just thought, wow, like the fact that, like, a child of that age has that kind of cognition. It tells you wear that coat the brainwashing, like weird screenwash. And that’s a great word. So, yes. So tell me about clients working with you. What can they expect? What does that journey look like working with you?

Sherry 21:31
Yeah, absolutely. So I primarily work with women sort of in that midlife range, right, like so mid 40s to mid 60s kind of time, who, you know, are have been professional, highly ethical and professional dieters, right? Or like yo, yo dieters, right? Yeah. And they’re really ready to step out of that diet cycle. Like they, they’re weary of it, they’re recognising that it’s just not working anymore. But often they’re afraid of doing so. Right. Like it brings up fear, you know, cuz back to your point of brainwashing it’s it’s kind of like admitting defeat, right? Yes.

Barb 22:03
Yes, exactly.

Sherry 22:06
Or, you know, the other fear is that it’s going to result in some some form of weight gain, right? Because we’ve always once we stopped the diets, the weight comes back on, right? So yes. So they want to step out of the cycle. They’re tired of it, but they’re not sure how, and they’re not sure what it means. So we go through a process to kind of work through that.

Barb 22:22
And they’re probably nervous. If I get off that diet. wagon, what’s going to happen? Right, yeah, there’s that fear that goes along with it too.

Sherry 22:31
Exactly. And especially again, sort of as we’ve hit mid life, because our bodies start changing. So a big piece of the work that we have to do is to recognise that we need to start working with our bodies, our bodies are so much smarter than us. And really, you know, we control very little at the end of the day, in terms of, I mean, of course, how we move what we eat this stuff matters. But it’s not all that matters. And, you know, biology Trumps willpower all the time. Yes,

Barb 22:59
Exactly. I agree wholeheartedly. Okay, so somebody decides that they’re ready to take the plunge. And so Sherry helped me out on this journey. Tell me what that looks like. How long do we work together? What do we do? How do you help me? shift my mindset so that I have a healthier perspective on moving and eating? Yeah, absolutely.

Sherry 23:22
So we usually dig into you know, always say like, having genuine health really starts with the foundation of having a healthy relationship to food. So we start by sort of examining, acknowledging sort of the influence diet culture has had on us all the stuff we’ve been talking about getting people to sort of recognise where they’re at, and giving them the courage to step out with some a science based information on why this stuff doesn’t work. But more often, it’s just their own lived experience. Yes. You know, it’s really just like, hey, what, what have I truly seen in my own and felt in my own life? Once we have that courage to kind of really start to put like, delete those dieting apps, throw away the scale, you immediately feel this weight lifted off your shoulders, and then we can start moving forward with Okay, let’s dismantle all those beliefs we have around food around good food and bad food. Because when we’re constantly labelling and applying judgement to food, we subconsciously apply those same labels to ourselves.

Barb 24:18
Very true. Yeah, really good point.

Sherry 24:21
Yeah. So and then, you know, food sometimes shows up as coping mechanisms, right? It’s become our go to for stress or emotional regulation, when we’re tired when we’re bored. You know, all those things, even for celebration, right? So we start to recognise what other coping mechanisms we have lean on other tools, but it’s really once we let go of the health equals diet plus exercise view of the world. You start to see other possibilities open up. Yes, absolutely. Um, another big piece of the puzzle, obviously, is, again, the sort of biology component that I mentioned. It’s really important for us to Just sort of start to acknowledge that, you know, we have to set like stop blaming, blaming our body for not conforming to diet, culture ideals, right? And understand how how genetics and biology really influence how we look, because we can’t you know, food and weight are inextricably linked. Yeah. And you can’t make peace with food, you can’t step on that diet cycle, you know, when you’re still at war with your body and the way you look. So that body confidence body image is a big piece of the work that we do. And that’s where the mindset shifts have to occur as well.

Barb 25:30
Yeah. And there’s a big piece in there that says, How do you start listening to your body? Bodies knows that Food is fuel. At the end of the day, your your body doesn’t necessarily care how many calories go in. Its fuel, my car needs gas, I need to get someplace. And I think that’s a really big acceptance piece. Yes. Okay. Did I have an apple today? Or did I have this? What did my body need or want?

Sherry 26:04
Yeah, so true. And that’s, so a lot of the work that I do is based on the principles of intuitive eating, Mm hmm. Trained to Intuitive Eating counsellor. And that’s, you know, the foundation of intuitive eating is really being able to listen to what how your how food responds in your body. And ultimately, we want to be responding based on feeling good, right? It’s not about that foods or bad foods are not about how much to eat, when to eat. It’s really about what’s my body telling me so often, we have to get in tune with that. And anybody who spent years or decades dieting is really good at ignoring their body. Oh,

Barb 26:39
You have to ignore your body to diet. You have to that’s Yeah, yeah. Bottom line.

Sherry 26:45
Yeah. So and that can be a process like getting back in touch with that, right. You know, so, you know, good analogies, like paying attention to when you have to go to the bathroom. Like, we’re pretty good at that. Although, some people in some jobs have learned to, you know, ignore that.

Barb 27:01
Or that because I’m busy. Yep.

Sherry 27:03
Right. But it’s like that, right. It’s like really learning to respond to what your, your body’s telling you. So that’s a big piece. Absolutely. of what we do. Yeah. And, you know, and then ultimately, at the end, it’s helping women to redefine what health means to them. Yeah. Right. So what what is important to you in your life, that health is so much more, you know, I sometimes like to say this, like, boiling health down to diet and exercise is like boiling marriage down to sex and love. We know that there’s more than two components necessary for a long lasting, happy marriage. It’s the same that’s true of your health. It’s not just physical, it’s, it’s emotional. It’s the people that you connect with. It’s feeling supported. It’s, you know, having social connections. It’s it is I mean, there’s aspects of how you move and what you eat, but it’s also like meaning and purpose and, and what do you do for a living? Like, there’s so many components of health? Yeah. And so really starting to connect the dots to get people to feel like this. This is what health means for me. And this is what, how I want to live my life so that I can be healthy.

Barb 28:07
Exactly. Be healthy, feel good, and be happy, not look good. I mean, if, if you’re happy with your appearance, you tend to feel good, but we often derive how we feel from how we want to look, when I get here, I will feel this way, you have no idea how you’re gonna feel when you get there, because you’ve never been there before. Or it’s been so long since you’ve been there that you can’t remember what that felt like.

Sherry 28:34
Yeah, yeah, exactly. So true.

Barb 28:37
And I think, you know, socially, there’s, there’s a crazy expectation in place that says, Well, this is what we see on TV. This is what we see in a magazine. Or this is what you look like when you graduated from high school. So you should look the same. No, I’ve had children and I’m no I shouldn’t and I don’t want to.

Sherry 28:56
Yes, it’s the No, I don’t want to that we have to get to like that’s the mindset shift. Right? So often, we believe we still should, you know, I love telling my kids yeah, I have this belly and you gave it to me that I’m good with it. Like, I have two beautiful boys. And I’m happy about that. Right? And I’m happy that I have a belly as a result.

Barb 29:14
Yes. I love looking at pictures with the kids because my kids will often comment on oh my god, like look at how much grey hair you have. Now, mom and I’m like, You gave me every one of them. Yes.

Sherry 29:25
I earned I earned every one of the Exactly,

Barb 29:28
Exactly. And they all kind of you know, they don’t get it and they they won’t until their parents and I’m okay with that. There’s there’s a huge gap I want to say especially for women, when it comes to self acceptance. This is who I am and you know, you either take me as I am or you don’t. And when you I would say and this is became very personally for me 40 Was I don’t care anymore what you think I’m going to do what I want And as long as it’s good for me, my family, right? Socially, society don’t care. And then there’s 45. And you just go, did whatever and you and and you can literally to tune the messages out. I know it’s not the same for everyone. But for me, those were my two milestones rose like, yeah, I, I don’t care at all what you think. And there’s so much power that comes from that feeling, being able to tune it out and disregard it with without it, you know, sometimes you say you disregard it, but sometimes there’s a residual and it continues to go in your head. Yes, yeah, absolutely. Did you say something? Oh, sorry, I don’t listen to that, right and genuinely to me.

Sherry 30:52
Oh, I just want to acknowledge that in you, BB. Because that is such a powerful way to, you know, to see yourself to live in your body. And it’s unfortunately, it’s not easy for everyone to get there. Mm hmm. Exactly, no. And so that’s where it’s really important for people to, you know, belong to a support community reach out and get some professional support, or, or whatever it takes for you to get there. Because that’s where I would love for everyone to be right. Like, that’s where we want every woman in this world to be.

Barb 31:17
Exactly. Yes. Sherry, I’m going to ask you one last question. And then we have to wrap up because we’ve gone over time, like I so often do. Our teenage girls, how do we help them get to a point that in 1020 and 30 years, they’re not having a conversation with their health coach? How do we build that in them that they can start to feel good about who they are?

Sherry 31:40
It’s such an awesome question, Barb, and I wish I had a really great answer. I don’t feel like I do other than, like, just awareness, right? The more we talk about this stuff, the more we start to educate ourselves, our children, the more we start to stop commenting on people’s bodies and their weight. You know, like one of the biggest compliments you can pay somebody in our society is Oh, you look fantastic. Have you lost weight, or you’ve lost weight? It looks so good. We stop commenting on how people look physically start commenting on their energy, their sense of humour, the you know, the way that they work, the detail oriented, how detail oriented, they like, whatever, there’s a million ways you can compliment somebody that don’t involve appearance.

Barb 32:25
Yes, exactly. And I think our brains again, especially as women, our brains go to that place where you look good. If you’re thin. Not you look good. If, right? Yes. And actually, you’ll remember at the very beginning of our conversation, when we were talking, I said, you know, are you okay? If I capture some video, because you look healthy. I can’t see the rest of your body. I have no idea what the rest of your body looks like. But your appearance, you You’re glowing, you’re rosy, you’re happy. You’re healthy. Right? And that’s what we need to be focused on, I think. Yes. Anyway, absolutely. We should wrap it up. Just before we do though, please tell our listeners how they can find you online, your social channels and your website. How will they find you?

Sherry 33:10
Absolutely. Yeah, so probably the simplest thing is just to go to my webpage, which is, you know, Sherry pratt.ca. You can also find me on Facebook, I got a business page for a pet health coaching, and on Instagram at Sherry Pratt underscore health coach. And if you go to my website, I’ve also got a free guide that you can get that you can grab around emotional eating. So it’s called halt emotional eating. It’s a fantastic tool, if you sort of struggle with that stress eating that emotional eating that is so typical when we’ve been in that diet cycle.

Barb 33:41
Yes, exactly. Awesome. All right. Well, thank you so much, Harry, for joining me and having a long conversation today, about health, about dieting, and about you know, being empowered to just step back from all of it, and delete those apps. So, on that note, if you want to sell your story, then you need to tell your story and there’s no better place to start than a secret life show. If you want to be a guest you can email me at barb at above the fold dot live or reach out on our Facebook and Instagram pages at above the fold. I’m your host Barb McGrath, Google Girl and founder of the Get found for Local program. Remember, you were charged for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.

Connect with Sherry @ Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Ep. 122 Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical, Regina

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

Episode #100 with Victor Roman from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation

Episode #99 with Faith Alyssa Peter from Stressed Out Mamas

Episode #98 with Leah Mazur from Carousel Creative

Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

Episode #95 with Karen Kobussen from CanBall Games

Episode #94 with Wilson Acton

Episode #93 with Carla Browne from Real Property Management Canada

Episode #92 with Donna Ziegler from South Sask Community Foundation

Episode #91 with Scott Love from Store to Door Canada

Episode #90 with Mark Heise from Rebellion Brewing

Episode #89 with Brendan McGuire from Affinity Credit Union

Episode #88 with Tyler Clark form Prairie Benefits Solutions

Episode #87 with Craig Reed from Virtus Group

Episode #86 with Daria Malin from Boost Strategic Coaching

Episode #85 with Bill Thorn form Regina Humane Society

Episode #84 with John Vuong from Local SEO Search

Episode #83 with Linda Boryski from Saskatoon PhysioYoga

Episode #82 with Tracey Poffenroth Prato from RAD Talk with Tracey

Episode #81 with Janet Kotylak, YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode #80 Your Ultimate Guide to Get Found with Local SEO

Episode #79 with Jennifer Fox from Auto Electric Service

Episode #78 with Janet Akre and Susan Robertson from River & Rail ArtVenture

Episode #77 with Karen Smith from Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan

Episode #76 with Julie Naismith from SubThreshold Training

Episode #75 with Josh Haugerud from Regina Folk Festival

Episode #74 with Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote from Black Fox Farm and Distillery

Episode #73 with Cory Furman from Furman IP

Episode #72 with Tracy Archer from Knight Archer Insurance

Episode #71 with Tim Nickel from Fifth Business Consulting

Episode #70 with Taylor Weisgerber from Spartan Mechanical

Episode #69 with Lisa McIntyre from The Optical Shoppe

Episode #68 with Santa Claus

Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

Episode #66 with Natasha Vandenhurk from Three Farmers Foods

Episode #65 with Dianne Beauchamp from PuroClean Regina

Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #56 with Sarah Tkachuk from KPMG & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

Episode #46 with Erika Gayle from Erika Gayle Photography

Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

Episode #44 with Erin Caleval from Erin & Associates Insurance

Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

Episode #43 Part #1 with Jess Tiefenbach from Stay n Play Parenting

Episode #42 with Nadene Joy from Nadene Joy

Episode #41 with Richard Arockiasamy and Sanjana Kumta from GreenMache

Episode #40 with Jodi Barrett, CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada

Episode #39 with Erin Kinder from Kinder Surprises Antiques

Episode #38 with Tanner Goetz from Munz Media

Episode #37 with Jessica McNaughton from memoryKPR

Episode #36 with Wendy Turner-Larsen from Turner Larsen Consulting

Episode #35 with Jill Poulton from Transformational Leadership

Episode #34 with Janci Templeman from Walker Wakefield

Episode #33 with Denise Anderson, Author, Divorce in a Small Town

Episode #32 with Anne Gibbons from Gibbons Travel Consulting

Episode #31 with Charlene SanJenko from PowHERhouse Media

Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 26 with Dr. Emily Bamforth from Royal Saskatchewan Museum & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 25 with Nigora Yulyakshieva from City of Regina & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 24 with Pam Klein from Phoenix Group & Miriam Johnson from Saskatchewan Roughriders

Episode 23 with Gr. 5 & 6 Students from Argyle School

Episode 22 with Tiffany Wolf from Helium Communications

Episode 21 with Jeff Kinash from Peregrine Farm

Episode 20 with Charlene Oancia from Springer & Oake

Episode 19 with Dan Benesh from BarterPay Regina

Episode 18 with Prabha Mitchell from WESK

Episode 17 with Terrie Dunand from REMAX Crown Real Estate

Episode 16 with Kim Zacaruk from Stone’s Throw Coffee Collective

Episode 15 with Luke Rossmo from Luke Rossmo Music and Gareth Bawden from Bawdenmedia.com

Episode 14 with Kristen Hill from Kristen’s Cultures

Episode 13 with Cyndie Knorr from Cynergy Coaching

Episode 12 with Paul Burch from EchoLotto Inc.

Episode 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

Episode 10 with Brandi Good from BLG Business Solutions

Episode 9 with Dr. Gina Grandy from Hill | Levene Schools of Business

Episode 8 with Candyce Fiessel from The Style Academy and Shear Escape Salon and Spa

Episode 7 with Michelle Strawford from Bella Chic Fashion & Decor and What Women Want

Episode 6 with Jordan McFarlen from  Conexus Business Incubator

Episode 5 with Cheryl Giambattista from Health Coach Cheryl

Episode 4 with Joanne Frederick from Prairie Centre for Mindfulness

Episode 3 with John Hopkins and Amanda Baker, Regina Chamber of Commerce

Episode 2 with Christina Carlson from Queen City Collective

Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Apple Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Google Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Breaker  Overcast.fm  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Pocket Casts  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Radio Public Spotify   Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Anchor

Today’s guest was born to be an entrepreneur.?

Aaron Straus’ first business was raising meat rabbits at the age of 7 on his family farm near Strasbourg, SK and by the age of 11, using money earned from his paper route he got into the purebred Katahdin sheep business.

He went on to study Agriculture at the U of S and purchased his first section of farmland. Following his convocation in 2003, he returned home to farm full time running a commercial cattle / meat sheep / and grain operation.?

Following the passing of his parents and the ensueing labour shortage on the farm he made the decision to leave farming and moved to Regina. In 2011 he purchased City Collateral from his retiring Uncle & Aunt and continued to operate the business until 2022.

In 2017, he decided to diversify and open Cache Tactical Supply. Outside of business, Aaron has a broad range of interests including blacksmithing & knifemaking, hunting, fishing, woodworking and photography. Aaron and Stephanie live on an acreage near Regina and enjoy the getaway from the hustle of city life.

Transcript

Barb 0:00
Are you ready to make the door swing the phone ring and the tail ding? In this episode, we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in any community. Its network of local businesses, businesses that rely on foot traffic, phone calls and website bookings. Those same businesses that support your kids sport teams, donate to fundraising fundraising efforts, and help you be prepared to find adventure and enjoy the outdoors. But no more secrets and the skinny lessons that will make you wince to the TMZ style tells these everyday people are doing extraordinary things in their business. Welcome to The Secret Life of local. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local program. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years. From online businesses to multilocation stores, you can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to viewers. Today, we’re sharing the secrets with a local business owner who helps you be prepared to be in the outdoors and enjoy it when you get there. Aaron Strauss is the owner and inspiration behind Cache Tactical. Welcome, Aaron, tell us a little bit about yourself and what keeps you going to be prepared and those outdoors.

Aaron 1:27
Thank you for having me. Well, like you said, I’m the owner of Cache Tactical Supply here in Regina. Cache Tactical was opened in 2017. But I actually started coming up with the idea for it a couple of years before that. I have been a business owner in Regina since 2011. And I enjoy the challenge of of building a business I I had found in my previous position that I had kind of hit a ceiling that short of moving to another city and opening another location. I really had to hit the limits of of what I can do with it. So I looked at diversifying and looking at the Regina market, I really seen a need for the outdoor adventure there was there’s big box options, but there’s there’s not the the one stop shop for outdoor adventure. And so that’s what we tried to grow and build when we first opened cash tactical back in 2017.

Barb 2:32
So in your previous position, were you in retail as well and outdoors or was there a store okay.

Aaron 2:39
I had actually had made a contact to with somebody for selling medical supplies. And so I was sourcing medical supplies for first responder groups and then selling them through the other location. And it was just getting to the point that it was taking up too much space in my warehouse, taking up too much of my staff staffs time for the other store that we needed to move it out and make it a dedicated business. So that’s when we decided to launch cash tactical as a standalone business. We’ve got our first building in 2017. And then with the idea that we were going to focus on the law enforcement, first responder market with medical supplies and uniforms. We’ve just grown from there.

Barb 3:38
And that’s still a part of your business today. But there’s actually quite a bit more to it isn’t there?

Aaron 3:44
Yeah, in addition to the to the uniform supply, the boots, all that type of things for law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, those groups. We do also have a full counting section of all fishing section, hiking backpacks, hunting section, including firearms, and we basically expanded to be the the one stop shop for the outdoor adventure seeker in Regina.

Barb 4:17
Yep. And if I recall correctly, you guys moved into a new building. I two years ago, 18 months ago.

Aaron 4:24
It was actually may 1 of 2020. So we’re we’re coming up on on one.

Barb 4:31
Yeah. Wait, did you say 2022?

Aaron 4:35
One year, so last year was very busy because we was the full transitional year going going from the old place to the new place and renovations on the new building. It was a very hectic year.

Barb 4:52
No kidding. How many square feet do you have now?

Aaron 4:55
We now have 17,000 square feet. That is fluids a training center that where we do, pal and our pal courses for firearms licenses. We also do stop the bleed courses in there for which is a short course for emergency traumatic bleeding issues. Then we’ve got our large sale floor, there’s there’s over 10,000 square feet of sale floor in the building, plus our warehouse.

Barb 5:29
Oh, leave. Okay. Yeah, so you’ve got a huge, huge building. So I would think, given that you are in partially in business to serve that first responder market, like you guys must be feel really safe in your building, law enforcement coming and going all day first responders coming and going throughout the day, that must be like, somewhat nice and secure.

Aaron 5:50
Yeah, it’s it’s really nice when your customers are almost like a built in security system.

Barb 5:56
But you know, there’s also something to be said for that relationship that you would have with many of the law enforcement as well. Right. Like, becomes a personal relationship, too.

Aaron 6:08
Yeah, absolutely. And, and I know in the past, when you have people coming in, they’re looking for that particular, hard to get item that you just can’t find, and nowhere else in southern Saskatchewan carries it and then all of a sudden, they find out that cash tactical does and then all their friends are coming in to get the same items. So we do see that quite regularly, that we build relationships in that regard.

Barb 6:39
Perfect. Okay, so let’s leave the law enforcement aside for a second. And let’s really dig into how you serve the community. And I’ll say the general public. So I mean, you guys have everything under the sun when it comes to outdoor adventure. Let’s talk a little bit about that. And how do you know like, what to bring in store what’s gonna sell? What does that process look like for you?

Aaron 7:01
Well, a lot of it. It’s conversations with our customers like I, I spend a fair bit of time even though I may not be on the front counter or the front till I make sure that when people are coming in that they’re seeing myself as the owner has the ability to have conversations with me. And that’s how I kind of feel out what demand there is for certain products. And you start to see that there’s enough people asking for a particular item, then in my process of going out to buying shows and all that sort of stuff, then I start seeking out that I basically follow what the customer demands. And a good example of that is Airsoft, we we really became the only bricks and mortar airsoft store in Saskatchewan, because the local airsoft support community came in and supported us. And even though that wasn’t on the original business plan, we clearly pivoted and we’ve, we’ve had to pivot multiple times due to issues beyond our control a lot of it doing dealing with legislation. And so so we are constantly willing to pivot and try new avenues to make sure that even though we may be a niche store, that we can serve six or seven different niches and be successful as a whole.

Barb 8:38
So, you know, I have to ask this question. So if I was to Google Airsoft, or some of the outdoor gear, is that one of the ways that you find that you’re attracting customers? Or again, is it word of mouth? What happens that way?

Aaron 8:56
Well, Googling airsoft in Saskatchewan will take you to cash practical, we are really the the only place that comes up for airsoft store in Saskatchewan. And, you know, it drives a lot of traffic to us. We’ve, I’ve been monitoring our our Google statistics, and they are moving every month. So that’s a that’s a good thing.

Barb 9:28
It’s a moving target. I will absolutely agree with that.

Aaron 9:33
Well, sometimes you got trouble to keep up with what everything means because there’s a change, a change in how they report things. And well now what does this mean? And unless you’re, unless you’re on top of it every single days, times a year, you’re at a loss to figure out what it means but basically, as long as you’re turning upwards, that’s that’s a good thing for me.

Barb 9:55
Exactly. So you started back in two Sep 2017 With Cache Tactical, you know, just retail has been through the wringer if you look at these last six years, including COVID. So, like, I’ve tried to envision that thinking, when you sat back and said, hey, you know what, I want to move into a 17,000 square foot footprint. And oh, yeah, we’re just nicely coming out of COVID. Like, what? What the heck are you drinking that night?

Aaron 10:23
Well see the interest interesting thing for my industry is a COVID really drove people to seek the outdoors and to seek the adventure and do it locally. And so it basically was a good way to drive new traffic to us, because people weren’t going on these elaborate vacations to Italy because they couldn’t fly. But, but they sure could head out to one of the provincial parks or or the national park wherever and enjoy the outdoors, they could go hunting, they could go fishing because there’s, you know, not much better way to socially distance during a pandemic. And so it really drove a lot of traffic our way and actually was a big help in being able to get us into this bigger buildings so that we can serve Regina better.

Barb 11:24
Yep. And let’s dig into some of those details like what do you actually offer because the outdoors is everything from airsoft to I don’t know dog leashes? Like tell us about your your offering. What does that look like Aaron?

Aaron 11:39
Well, we have camping section that would cover tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, cooking stoves, all that type of product, basically anything that you need to gear up to go out for a weekend to the park. We’ve also got to believe it or not coffee.

Barb 12:05
That’s a requirement if I’m going camping.

Aaron 12:07
Yeah, the coffee is found right in our camping section. But the unique thing about the coffee that we carry is they’re from veteran owned companies and portions of proceeds go back to veterans charities. So we carry both black rifle coffee and arrowhead coffee, both which are roasted and brewed in Canada, both supporting veterans, which goes back to the whole principle of of what our customer base is and who we want to support as a beginner.

Barb 12:37
Yep, yeah, exactly.

Aaron 12:40
Moving towards the back of our store, we’ve got a whole fishing section. You know, rods, reels, Luers everything summer fishing, winter fishing. We’ve got the whole selection here. We’ve got all your your hunting accessories, we’ve got including the firearms and ammunition scopes, all that type of thing. Safety gear is a good part of the store. So we’ve got all your basic medical supplies but also things that you can’t get anywhere else in in Regina like tourniquets, and you know, bloodstock gauze and you know sort of specialty items that are really good for the different groups of customers that we have and we can’t get anywhere else. We we also have a large apparel section, our our flagship apparel line is 511 tactical, and whether you’ve heard of them or not. They have the contract for that federal government law enforcement in the United States for pants. A lot of law enforcement in Canada were Pants made by 511 tactical and we are the southern Saskatchewan dealer for them. But they have the uniform and professional side of their line. But they have a full consumer line through with logo wear shirts and and shoes and backpacks you know the whole the whole line and we carry that all

Barb 14:27
How many items do you have in store do you know?

Aaron 14:31
I am I know on my website I’m over 6000 skews in the store is probably going to be a little bit more than that. And it gets it keeps us I’ve got basically one person that the full thing that she does is is data entry on on products coming in because we’ve got so much product coming through the door.

Barb 15:03
Yeah, exactly. So none of that is able to be also automated. So it’s not like you can scan something and it recognizes that you just got, you know, 105 11 shirts kind of thing.

Aaron 15:13
Well, the second time it comes in, it can be automated. The first time it comes in, all all of those need to be built manually item descriptions in the system. And once once all of that is built, then it’s simple. The next time the same product comes in, it’s just scan the barcode, and it’s into the system.

Barb 15:36
So okay, so that’s interesting, because that means that you’ve got somebody working, whether it’s full time or part time, and that many new items coming into the store that, you know, she, besides the scanning, she still has to keep that up to date.

Aaron 15:50
Well, and that’s the thing with a building the size of ours, we’re working to fill it. So I’m adding new product lines all the time. I know, yesterday, I was dealing with two new companies. And they’re, they’re big companies that would that’s focused on law enforcement products. And so that’s two new dealer apps that were getting in we were adding, you know, we’re adding new companies every month that we carry to expand our product line and, and make sure that we are fulfilling the needs of our customer base.

Barb 16:31
Yeah. So Aaron, what keeps you going? Because 6000 products on your website? How many ever more in store? Like that’s, I don’t know, like when I when I think about it, just from my own perspective, it starts to feel a little bit overwhelming if I ever had to deal with 6000 of anything. So what keeps you going on either the good days or the hard days?

Aaron 16:55
Well, I enjoy a challenge. Yeah. So if it was just, you know, that routine, same thing over, you know, replenishment only. Personally, I would find that boring. And I like to grow and develop ideas. And, you know, like I am, I am planning on adding a full custom shop doors or store. So so that’s another area that I’m working on developing right now. So that that will allow you to get your 511 shirt from me, and then get your logo embroidered on it all in a one stop shop. Okay, and part of our customer shop is going to be include laser engraving and, and custom tailoring and that type of thing. We may even get into custom manufacturing of products. The idea is I’m always looking for the the next thing that the the company is doing my my ideas, I always, I’m always looking at the next thing, and then I get my staff to take care of the current thing. And then that’s how, so once once the staff can handle the current thing, and then we move on to the next thing. And Bill.

Barb 18:16
Yeah. So how do your staff respond to that when there’s constant change? And, you know, new things they need to keep track of? How are they responding to that?

Aaron 18:27
They’re a good crew. I, I’m, I’m sure there’s there’s probably some thought of Oh, no, here’s another thing from Aaron. But you know, they’re, they’re a good crew, and they can keep up with, with my demands that I put on them, you know, and and the nice thing about it is that I’ve got longevity in my employees, like I’ve, I don’t have a lot of turnover, and that really helps giving given the stability to these ideas. So so there’s that it’s almost like an institutional knowledge that that stuff can just keep on going. And then as you move on to new items, yes.

Barb 19:08
Well, and that that corporate knowledge or that corporate history, that in invaluable, because when you can, can work with somebody on a long term basis, even the contribution that they’re able to give back. So here’s Aaron with his newest idea. And here’s the employee saying, Okay, wait a second, you know, here’s why I think it might work. Here’s why I think it might not, because when it’s somebody brand new, they’re not going to be comfortable saying I do crazy. We’re a long term employee is going to be much more comfortable saying something like that, right. Yeah. You know, I have a gal who I’ve been working with for a couple of years now and she has a term for all of my ideas. Your employees may have a similar term and they’ve just never shared it with you. But she talks about BB isms. And so Oh, that’s another BB isn’t? And it’s like, oh, and you know, it’s totally said in jest, but it’s it’s how I say things or how I present things. And you know, it’s not something she can go and Google, it’s Oh, okay, that’s a barbarism. I had no idea that you had that term. Oh, yes. You shared it a few times. Okay, so tell me about the future. What is the future? You’ve talked about the customer shop? Does the customer shop means more square footage? Where do you see retail going? Because, as you already talked about, you’ve got some big bucks competitors. And you’ve got some tough online competitors. So what keeps the local customer coming to you in the future?

Aaron 20:44
Well, one of the big things is a lot of the product we we carry, being able to put it in your hands, is the is a major selling point. And now we do have a full online store, we we are growing that side of the business, too, we ship products all over Canada and into the territories. The so we’re definitely working on our expand our reach outside of the physical walls of the building. But at the at the same point, there’s something that online commerce doesn’t give it takes away. It’s kind of like the old argument of are you going to read a physical book, are you going to read a Kindle and the Kindle, take something away from from the experience. And you know, it’s the same thing in the store, you can go and shop for a backpack, anywhere online, but you can’t put it on. While you’re sitting at the computer, you can’t get the advice of while you may, you might not need doc for your purpose, because we’re here with a wealth of knowledge that we know how these get used on an average person. And then they’ll say, Well, you what you’re telling me you’re using whatever product for you might be better off going with this product instead. And you get that, that customer service and that knowledge there that you would never ever get from an E commerce. So yes, ecommerce is growing, and it’s going to continue to grow probably exponentially for a number of years. But you I don’t think you’ll ever get rid of that actual retail experience, because there’s benefits to it that eat EComm to not compete with

Barb 22:45
Exactly. And I think there’s another side to that challenge is we’ve got some demographics now who they’re not concerned about, you know, seeing it, touching it, feeling it, they’ll order it online, if they don’t like it, they’ll send it back. So they’re willing to take that additional time, where there’s still a solid group, who they do they want to touch it, they want to feel it, they want to talk to somebody about it. And just last Thursday, I was shopping for an item, I spent six hours driving to all of the different locations where I thought I might find that particular item. And there wasn’t a single location in Regina that had an unboxed item that I could touch and feel and test. And so in the end, I had to order it online. It’ll come in a couple of weeks, I’ll test it and decide before my you know, exchange period is up whether or not I keep it. And I think that’s one of the challenges for both us as the general public. But for as business owners, how much do I bring in store so that people can touch and feel versus how much is on my website? Because if I’m coming in, and I’m going to try on some 511 I want to try it in my size. I don’t want to guess that, okay, this is a large and medium would fit me or vice versa. So that’s one of the challenges and how do you think you’ll you’ll manage something like that?

Aaron 24:19
Well, you know, it’s the whole online side of things like you’re saying that you ordered this and then you’ll decide whether you like it. The problem is you decide you didn’t like it. Now you’ve paid for shipping to come to you and you are going to pay for shipping to go back. And now you’ve got sunk money there. So that’s that’s why I think that that retail is far from dead. You know, there is going to be always that growth on EECOM and anyone in my space needs to be in EECOM however, I don’t Think that retail is dead and, or will die in my lifetime?

Barb 25:04
No, I don’t think it will either. And in fact, I would argue that the let’s just say Gen Z, as they get 10 years older, and now they’re 35 or 10 years older, and now they’re 45, I think they’re going to start to see some value in the touch in the field. It’s right now that, you know, everything is disposable to them. They want it cheap, they want it fast, right? They’ve got a little bit of disposable income. They’re looking for a very different experience where you know, 3545 55 you’re looking for, for quality, you’re looking for something that you can actually try on. And I think that makes a huge difference.

Aaron 25:48
You know, go ahead, that reminds me I in my personal life, I do blacksmithing as a hobby, and my personal life,

Barb 25:55
Wait a second.

Aaron 25:59
When I first told my aunt, that I was getting into blacksmithing and knifemaking, her exact comment to me, she says, Well, why would you do that when you can go to Walmart and buy a night for $10? That’s not the point. I don’t want a $10 knife.

Barb 26:16
Yeah, yeah, exactly. You don’t want the $10 knife. And again, it’s about the experience. It’s about the craftsmanship. It’s about the quality behind what you can make yourself. And you just like last week, last week’s guest. He’s still doing woodworking. Well, yeah, I can go to Walmart or I can go to Ikea, and I can buy something. But it’s not the right size. It’s not the right color. The craftsmanship isn’t there, it falls apart, you know, six months later. And that’s we’re losing that, right? In so many cases, I think we’re losing that element. And I’m a big believer that we’re actually going to see a rebound, where people will start to appreciate quality versus just convenience, because that’s what it is right now is it’s it’s convenient to shop online. And if I can shop locally, at two o’clock in the morning, I’m just as likely to do that. So it’s a good thing. Aaron, is there anything else that you’d like to share with our audience? Before we wrap up today?

Aaron 27:19
Ah, you know, I guess it’s, it’s been an interesting roller coaster here. Since we’ve started this business. I know, we definitely have seen some challenges like we’ve worked through, a lot of those can tend to be regulatory, but we’ve even seen issues with with Google with Facebook, where they don’t like particular products, for one reason or another. And so that does lead to challenges for us. And so that’s, I mean, that’s another reason why, why retail is still going to thrive locally, is because a lot of products are not welcomed by the mega companies like like Facebook, Instagram, Google, all those types of things. So I mean, that’s, that’s something that we can that we can offer that you don’t get overwhelmed with on online.

Barb 28:26
Yeah, exactly. I agree with you, 100%. And I find it so interesting. Of course, you and I have had a few conversations ahead of time. I find it so interesting, that big brother has decided what our sins are in society. And you know, government has a tendency to stick their foot in there probably a little bit too often. And now we have the Googles and Facebooks of the world doing it too. So it it adds to the list of challenges that apparently you’d like to tackle. So, yeah, kudos to you. There’s lots of lots of folks who wouldn’t talk about one. Awesome. All right, Aaron, just as we wrap up, but I’ll get you to do is share with everyone who’s listening, how they can find you. Where are you? Where are you online? Tell us a little bit about that information.

Aaron 29:12
Okay, well, our physical store located in Regina right in the warehouse district, corner of seventh and corner Mall. The actual address is 217 6/7 Avenue. Our website is www.cachetactical.ca. And that is path spelled ca ch E and we are on socials. We’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, all under the name cache tactical

Barb 29:47
Awesome. Well that is fantastic. And what would someone Google to find you?

Aaron 29:52
They would Google Cache Tactical and or Outdoor Adventure in Regina.

Barb 29:58
Exactly. That is perfect. All right, Aaron, thanks very much for joining us today to talk about Cache tactical and some of the challenges that you’re willingly taking on. On that we’re having having me on. Absolutely. On that note, if you would like to sell your story, then you need to tell your story and there’s no better place to start than being a guest on The Secret Life show. If you would like to be a guest, you can email me at barb@abovethefold.live, or reach out on our Facebook and Instagram pages at abovethefold.ca. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and local business cheerleader. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.

Connect with Aaron @ Cache Tactical Supply

Ep. 121 Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

Episode #100 with Victor Roman from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation

Episode #99 with Faith Alyssa Peter from Stressed Out Mamas

Episode #98 with Leah Mazur from Carousel Creative

Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

Episode #95 with Karen Kobussen from CanBall Games

Episode #94 with Wilson Acton

Episode #93 with Carla Browne from Real Property Management Canada

Episode #92 with Donna Ziegler from South Sask Community Foundation

Episode #91 with Scott Love from Store to Door Canada

Episode #90 with Mark Heise from Rebellion Brewing

Episode #89 with Brendan McGuire from Affinity Credit Union

Episode #88 with Tyler Clark form Prairie Benefits Solutions

Episode #87 with Craig Reed from Virtus Group

Episode #86 with Daria Malin from Boost Strategic Coaching

Episode #85 with Bill Thorn form Regina Humane Society

Episode #84 with John Vuong from Local SEO Search

Episode #83 with Linda Boryski from Saskatoon PhysioYoga

Episode #82 with Tracey Poffenroth Prato from RAD Talk with Tracey

Episode #81 with Janet Kotylak, YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode #80 Your Ultimate Guide to Get Found with Local SEO

Episode #79 with Jennifer Fox from Auto Electric Service

Episode #78 with Janet Akre and Susan Robertson from River & Rail ArtVenture

Episode #77 with Karen Smith from Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan

Episode #76 with Julie Naismith from SubThreshold Training

Episode #75 with Josh Haugerud from Regina Folk Festival

Episode #74 with Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote from Black Fox Farm and Distillery

Episode #73 with Cory Furman from Furman IP

Episode #72 with Tracy Archer from Knight Archer Insurance

Episode #71 with Tim Nickel from Fifth Business Consulting

Episode #70 with Taylor Weisgerber from Spartan Mechanical

Episode #69 with Lisa McIntyre from The Optical Shoppe

Episode #68 with Santa Claus

Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

Episode #66 with Natasha Vandenhurk from Three Farmers Foods

Episode #65 with Dianne Beauchamp from PuroClean Regina

Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #56 with Sarah Tkachuk from KPMG & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

Episode #46 with Erika Gayle from Erika Gayle Photography

Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

Episode #44 with Erin Caleval from Erin & Associates Insurance

Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

Episode #43 Part #1 with Jess Tiefenbach from Stay n Play Parenting

Episode #42 with Nadene Joy from Nadene Joy

Episode #41 with Richard Arockiasamy and Sanjana Kumta from GreenMache

Episode #40 with Jodi Barrett, CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada

Episode #39 with Erin Kinder from Kinder Surprises Antiques

Episode #38 with Tanner Goetz from Munz Media

Episode #37 with Jessica McNaughton from memoryKPR

Episode #36 with Wendy Turner-Larsen from Turner Larsen Consulting

Episode #35 with Jill Poulton from Transformational Leadership

Episode #34 with Janci Templeman from Walker Wakefield

Episode #33 with Denise Anderson, Author, Divorce in a Small Town

Episode #32 with Anne Gibbons from Gibbons Travel Consulting

Episode #31 with Charlene SanJenko from PowHERhouse Media

Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 26 with Dr. Emily Bamforth from Royal Saskatchewan Museum & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 25 with Nigora Yulyakshieva from City of Regina & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 24 with Pam Klein from Phoenix Group & Miriam Johnson from Saskatchewan Roughriders

Episode 23 with Gr. 5 & 6 Students from Argyle School

Episode 22 with Tiffany Wolf from Helium Communications

Episode 21 with Jeff Kinash from Peregrine Farm

Episode 20 with Charlene Oancia from Springer & Oake

Episode 19 with Dan Benesh from BarterPay Regina

Episode 18 with Prabha Mitchell from WESK

Episode 17 with Terrie Dunand from REMAX Crown Real Estate

Episode 16 with Kim Zacaruk from Stone’s Throw Coffee Collective

Episode 15 with Luke Rossmo from Luke Rossmo Music and Gareth Bawden from Bawdenmedia.com

Episode 14 with Kristen Hill from Kristen’s Cultures

Episode 13 with Cyndie Knorr from Cynergy Coaching

Episode 12 with Paul Burch from EchoLotto Inc.

Episode 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

Episode 10 with Brandi Good from BLG Business Solutions

Episode 9 with Dr. Gina Grandy from Hill | Levene Schools of Business

Episode 8 with Candyce Fiessel from The Style Academy and Shear Escape Salon and Spa

Episode 7 with Michelle Strawford from Bella Chic Fashion & Decor and What Women Want

Episode 6 with Jordan McFarlen from  Conexus Business Incubator

Episode 5 with Cheryl Giambattista from Health Coach Cheryl

Episode 4 with Joanne Frederick from Prairie Centre for Mindfulness

Episode 3 with John Hopkins and Amanda Baker, Regina Chamber of Commerce

Episode 2 with Christina Carlson from Queen City Collective

Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Apple Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Google Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Breaker  Overcast.fm  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Pocket Casts  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Radio Public Spotify   Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Anchor

Today’s guest is dishing on the lost art of woodworking!

Cedric Delavaud, a university educated business owner, returned to his roots? (no pun intended!) and his passion to build a woodworking business creating, mastering and sharing his expertise. With a focus on building and sharing his love for the craft in an environmentally safe way, Cedric hopes to help build resilience and tenacity in the next generation.

Listen in to hear his passion and check him out online to learn more!

Transcript

Barb 0:01
Are you ready to make the door swing the phone ring and the tail ding. In this episode, we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in any community. Its network of local businesses, from the skinny lessons that make you wince to the tell all expose as these everyday people are doing extraordinary things in their business. Welcome to The Secret Life of local. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, local business marketer and founder of the Get found for local programme. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years. From online businesses to multilocation stores. You can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to doers. Today, we’re talking with Cedric beliveau from Ludoland here in Regina. I’m gonna let you tell him, I’m gonna let him tell you all about the ins and outs of his business. But my very first question, Cedric, what the heck is a Ludoland?

Cedric 1:03
Hello, Barb. So we’ve looked around, I essentially do. Two things I offer woodworking classes can be for kids or adults. And I also build fine handcrafted products, mostly games and furniture.

Barb 1:18
Excellent. So it let’s talk a little bit about that. Before we got on air. You started explaining to me what Ludoland mean. So let’s tell everybody because that’s a fantastic story.

Cedric 1:31
Yes, so as you may probably hear, I have a strong accent. I’m coming from France. And I want it to have two sides in my name, the Francophone side and the English side. So Ludo is a French word. That means learning while having fun learning while playing. So I was mostly thinking about the workshops and, you know, building things with kids. And so yeah, that’s how it came up Ludoland a place for kids to have fun and learn things.

Barb 2:04
Exactly. So was that kind of your original idea for the business was you were going to help kids with working to keep the craft alive?

Cedric 2:13
Oh, boy, no, no, I actually started with making games. That was a very, very small thing I was doing. And, you know, it’s kind of weird. When you run a business, you start with one idea. And then you have another radio and another one another another one. And it just builds up like this. Yes. So. So ya know, the original idea was to sell games. And then I added the classes for kids and then added the added classes and yeah.

Barb 2:44
Oh, very cool. So like, how do people find you? Because to be honest, before we had a chance to talk, I hadn’t heard of your business. But once I hit up your website, there is some amazing stuff that you’ve built. There’s classes for kids, teens and adults. So like, how are people finding you?

Cedric 3:03
Well, I, I would say it’s mostly word of mouth, you know, it’s, you know, people would come in my shop, bring their kids, they like it. So they talk to their friends. And that’s how it works. Mostly. That’s I think one of the challenges when you run a business is the marketing sides and get people to know you. That’s something very difficult. And for artists, especially like we do things because we love what we do, but we don’t have any training in you know, the accounting or marketing. So that that’s, that’s the tough part.

Barb 3:41
Yeah, yeah. No, that’s a very good point. So tell me, what does a typical day look like for you? Because I’m thinking you’re not hopping on a podcast every day.

Cedric 3:51
Yeah, though, a typical day starts with coffee a lot. And yeah, no, usually I start my day by, you know, answering all the emails and question I receive during the evening and, and then I spend most of my day in the shop, building things until 334 30. And after that, I do my classes. So the after school programme, where I receive kids in the shop to build things. So that’s a typical typical day in my shop.

Barb 4:26
Excellent. So let’s talk a little bit about these classes. What kind of things would the kids learn or the adults what would they work on?

Cedric 4:34
So kids I have two programmes. So the after school programme, they don’t get to choose what the worker Okay, so I tell them, we’re going to work on that project and everybody is doing the same thing. Which is cool, but what I like the best is the summer programme because I offer kids to choose whatever they want to build. Okay. So, so yeah, that’s a great opportunity for them to come up with one idea. They don’t know how they’re going to do that. And sometimes even I don’t know, like, oh, boy, that’s ambitious, you know? Yeah. But we just get to work on that. And literally, every time like, make it happen, and yes, there is a woodworking side, but I also invest a lot on mistakes, you know. And that’s something I think in our society, we don’t give much credit to mistakes. And I think that mistakes are great way to learn things. Yes. So yeah, that’s something also I try to, you know, make them understand that mistakes are here, because you’re trying something new. And obviously, you do mistakes, like everyone at every age, and that’s something I want to implement in their mind, you know, mistakes are fine. They’re just a way for you to learn something,

Barb 6:03
You know, I wouldn’t even go one step further and say, mistakes are important, because it builds up resilience. And you to survive in today’s world, you need to be somewhat resilient to I’m going to try this, okay, it didn’t work, I’m going to try something different. And, and that, I guess, resilience, use my own word, that ability to go back and try again and again and again, until something works, or until you find another way to do something that is so important, especially as you talked about in your intro. Because we’re so reliant on technology, we look for our phones to solve absolutely everything. And something like the craft that you practice, it’s a complete lost art, because you can put it on, you know, a machine and make something probably not have the same quality. So, yeah, like, I think the skill that’s being learned there is huge, absolutely huge. Let’s touch on that craft for just a minute. Obviously, this is a very well honed skill for you. Is it something like was your data word woodworker as well? Where does the passion come from?

Cedric 7:18
Well, you You’re beside it, it’s my dad. He was, he was a woodworker. And I was lucky enough to have so that woodworker, but the dad who was also patient enough to allow me to hang with him in the shop. And so I get to see him working. And I helped him and I learned a lot with him. But you know, then life is about you know, you go to school, you get your degree, you have to find a job. And you get into that. I call that a bad routine, because we want everyone to fit in the same mould. I don’t think we all meant to do that. But anyway, and I wasn’t feeling good. So yeah, I just at some point in my life had just stopped and said, I want to go back to what I used to love when I was a kid. And I was thinking about my dad and how I would do things and build beds and and I said that’s what I want to do. So I just got back to it and bought some tools and re practice all the things I remembered. And that’s how I got into it. Wow,

Barb 8:33
That is so interesting. And you know, your point about I think we as parents and society, we we tend to want to put kids into a box. And so when a child or when a teen is in high school, when they’re in grade 12, we quite often will say, you know, where are you going to school next year, instead of saying, What are your plans after grade 12? Because some are gonna go to school, some aren’t. Some are going to, they’re going to do all sorts of different things. And I’ll be the first to admit that my husband and I, we both have enough credentials behind her name to you know, choke on. But one of our kids came to us one day and said, What if I don’t go to university? And I was like, Okay, what if you don’t, but he kind of looked at me, he’s in grade nine right now. So he kind of looked at me and he said, Well, are you going to be mad? I said, I don’t care to your life. I said, as long as you’re happy and you can pay your bills, it’s up to you. And you could you could literally see the stress fall from his face, because clearly, you know, he was feeling like that was an expectation. And so having asked the question now, there was that moment of oh, my god, like I get to choose. And yeah, I don’t I don’t care what my kids do as long as it’s legal, as long as no one else. And you know, they consist In themselves, like my job, my job is to build a functioning adult not to make a copy of myself or my husband.

Cedric 10:08
Absolutely. And you see, it just reminds me when I was at that age, I would have loved to go into, you know, woodworking and getting to learn earlier, some skills. But I was pretty good at school. So my teachers, and my parents said, No, you have to go to university. And I was like, Yeah, but what if I don’t want to? Well, you’re good at school, you have to those going, you know, to learn skills, or those who are not good at school. And I was like, what kind of thing is that? It doesn’t make any sense, you know, you should be able to choose regardless the level at school or

Barb 10:52
Exactly, yes. Well, you know, and it’s funny, because my 14 year old again, he’s very strong in math. And so he’s been invited to participate in like, the higher level math class or whatever. And so he was kind of questioning and I said, you know, Hey, buddy, if you end up going into carpentry or any of the trades, like being able to do that math off the top of your head, that is going to be a skill that will serve you incredibly well. And it wasn’t until we had that conversation that he kind of went Oh, yeah, so I can actually use it now convincing him that he’s going to use a polynomial or whatever they’re called, convincing him of that. That doesn’t happen quite so easily. So, Cedric, you never told me before we started? Is your dad in Canada? Is he still here? With Oh, he’s still in France. Oh, okay. So pictures and videos of what you’ve made? Yeah, yeah, I do. I do. Yeah. Sorry to see critique them, does He say, oh, you should have this. And you should have that? Ah,

Cedric 11:56
No, I would say that he’s impressed. Because I remember when I told him that I would quit my job and stop doing my own business with woodworking. He was like, what to do. And it was like, you don’t realise how much things you need to know you need to learn. And I was like, I don’t care. I don’t care. You know, I made that choice. And I’m gonna put all the efforts required to achieve my goals. So yeah, yeah, he was doubling first. But now when I show him what I’m making for my clients, yeah,

Barb 12:32
Yeah, no, that’s good. Yeah, exactly. You know, and that’s so true. I think that’s, I think that’s when you can recognise that someone is truly an entrepreneur, when they can admit that. I don’t have a clue. But I will figure it out. Because being an entrepreneur takes a special kind of tenacity, to be able to say, Hey, I’m ditching the corporate career, I’m ditching the university educated career, and you know, I’m going down this path instead and let go, because I got to figure stuff out.

Cedric 13:05
And I think there’s a lot of people, they think you need a plan, you know, things need to be planned and set up. And you’re going to do that in order to achieve that. And it’s like, no, there’s no such thing. You just, you know, you make a decision. You put the effort in, and eventually things will come to you. You know, like, if you put the efforts in like, yeah,

Barb 13:30
Yeah, it’s and that is so important. You have to be putting the time in, you need to, you know, fine tune the skill, the craft, get the message out there, do all of those sorts of things, right? Absolutely. Yeah, one of the one of the things that you shared with me before we started was around the environmental practices that you have, or how environmentally friendly woodworking can be because you’re using natural stains and things like that. Just talk for a little bit about that and share with our listeners what that looks like.

Cedric 14:00
Yeah, so that’s something that was very important for me since the beginning. But I that’s it’s still something I’m improving, you know, like, I just want my business to have the lowest impact on Earth, you know. So yeah, I am now using all natural stain and natural finishing. So if you go in match my shop, there won’t be any bad chemical orders like everything is natural. I also recently switched to no paper so I don’t use paper at all in my business. And the glue as well. I’m trying a new glue that is animal glue. So that’s something that was actually used in the past that back in times, there was no chemical so people had to find a way to stain to glue and to finish their pieces without chemicals. So I’m trying to get back into those traditional methods. And, and yeah, it have, it has a very low impact on the environment. And that’s really what I like. And when kids come in the shop, they get to use that as well. And I feel very comfortable and safe to give them this product because it’s safe to use does. It’s all water based are all based. There’s no chemical at all. So yeah,

Barb 15:27
So tell me about being no paper because right away sandpaper jumps into my mind. So how do you be paid? Okay. Okay, so there’s still sandpaper got me? Got the paper isn’t technically paper, right? So, ya know,

Cedric 15:42
When I talked about paper, it’s about invoices. And like, yes, exactly. So for example, all the rules for my games, there are PDF version. And I have a little tablet where I do all my sketching all my notes, my calendar, everything is on that little tablet. And, and yeah, I’ve been reducing a lot like you don’t realise, until you step into no paper. But before I give amount of paper I would use I was like, Oh, my goodness, that’s such a waste such a waste. So no more paper here.

Barb 16:25
Good for you. And, you know, I think there’s a generational thing there. Because I am, let’s say 100% electronic, but the way my brain works, I need to write things down on paper to stick. So if I just type it, it will stay in my brain anywhere near the same way as if I make some notes. So I end up with all these chicken scratch notes that honestly I never go look at, because I remember them because I wrote it down. So maybe I need to think about the tablet you can write on. But for right

Cedric 17:00
Now, I am like you. And that’s the reason why I got a paper tablet, which is a tablet you actually write on because I tried electronic with typing. It doesn’t work for me. Like it doesn’t stay in my head. I don’t know why I couldn’t get used to it. So I’m like this, I need to write things down with my hand. So yeah, I got this little tablet, and that’s working perfectly for me.

Barb 17:29
So does it save for you like, can you save whenever you write,

Cedric 17:35
It’s yes, it saves everything, you can create your own template. So I’ve been creating a template for my calendar that suits my needs. So I have my table template from the calendar I’ve got, I can take notes, all kinds of things. That’s very great tool for me.

Barb 17:52
Well, yeah. Okay, so we’re gonna talk for a few minutes offline. Coming up right away. So I think I might be adding to my birthday list that I see right away. I mean, like, tomorrow is my birthday. So I can give that to my husband tonight. He owes me like, we will go into detail, but he owes me for my birthday. So I told them exactly. But get this. I told them exactly what I wanted. I gave him the link to go and like purchase. It’s a local thing that’s happening. And he dragged his heels and hummed and hawed and then tickets were sold out. So it’s kind of in the back house. Okay, so let’s talk about, let’s talk about you again, because that’s why we’re here. So we talked a little bit about the classes, but I know you also do game rental, so games that you’ve made, and then you rent them. So like, Tell me about that, are they great big ones are they like tabletop ones, tell me a little bit about that,

Cedric 18:53
Um, either both I have got some big games that would sit on the ground, because they’re just too big to be on the table. I have some that sits on a table, but they’re still you know, fairly big. And these games are traditional games from Europe. So before we had all the electronics and all that kind of thing, people used to go in fairs. And you would find a lot of these wooden games for, you know, people to play with. It’s not even for kids, you know, like adults can play with that too. And, and they got into pubs in Europe as well. And thus still, they’re still pretty used now in Europe, obviously less than back in times. And when I arrived in Canada, I didn’t find any of these games and I could be a good idea you know, to make some and offer them for people you know, to to rent it for weddings or festivals or you know, stuff like this and, and when people usually really, really liked it. Oh, I bet

Barb 19:59
Like, right away, my mind jumped to my kids birthdays, because being teens now, like they need something to do other than playing on their phone. Right? And so it’s like, yeah, rent a couple of these things. My daughter’s birthday is in the spring. So it would still be, you know, hopefully, hopefully nice weather by then. But that’s exactly my son’s birthday. Like, there’s just always going to be snow, no two questions about it. In fact, if there wasn’t snow for his birthday, that would be a little bit worrisome, because he’s right in the dead of winter. So whatever. But yeah, that’s, that’s an awesome idea. So how do people go about renting?

Cedric 20:40
So, usually, they contact me. And yeah, they just tell me, you know, how much games they want, how long they want them? Where they want them. And I just, you know, on the day of the renting, I would load metric with all the games they chose and come to their place, set it up. Give them the rules then

Barb 21:05
Matter? No, that’s awesome. That is fantastic. We’re just about at a time. So technically, we’re actually at a time but that’s okay. I give us the details. How do people find you find your website, give us the address, give us all those details.

Cedric 21:22
So if you go on social media, I am on Instagram, Facebook, so you just type Loulan Regina, and you would you know find my pages. And the website is just www.ludoland.site. And on the site, you have all the informations you have links to register for classes, you have all the prices you have all the regular products they offer as well. So

Barb 21:48
Yeah, okay, that is awesome. Super easy to find you. And when will you be having classes this spring? For the Easter break, even?

Probably for after Easter break before that by the time we get the show produced.

Cedric 22:03
Oh, yeah, this is a time of the year where it’s a little bit tricky because I have the summer classes coming up. And I want to get some time free before these classes to to prep them. So I still don’t know at the moment. I may have a last after school programme before summer. But in a couple of weeks, I will release all the details for summer and depending on how it goes I will decide whether or not I run the last session before seven.

Barb 22:36
Got it. Okay, well, that is fantastic. Is there anything else that you’d like to share? Before we wrap up today? I don’t know. I think we’re gonna share a bottle of wine from France with me. Oh, I’m teasing, teasing.

Cedric 23:00
My dad is often sending me good wine bottle from friends, but they usually do not last very long in the house.

Barb 23:12
Instantly, they would be gone instantly. I hear you. Alright, well, I will go ahead and wrap this up today. So thank you so much, Cedric for joining me today and talking a little bit about Ludoland and the games you’re making your environmental practices, the classes that you’re teaching. I think one of the things that we all as local business owners see more often than we would like is sometimes it’s really hard to get our name out there, get our product out there. So I really appreciate that you took the time to come and talk with us today. And I do hope that lots of folks who hear the episode will reach out and make some contact. On that note, if you want to sell your story you need to tell your story and there’s no better place to start than being a guest on The Secret Life show. If you would like to be a guest you can email me at barb at above the fold dot live or reach out on our Facebook and Instagram pages at above the fold. Ca I’m your host Bart McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local programme. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.

Connect with Cedric @ Ludoland Regina

Ep. 120 Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

Episode #100 with Victor Roman from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation

Episode #99 with Faith Alyssa Peter from Stressed Out Mamas

Episode #98 with Leah Mazur from Carousel Creative

Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

Episode #95 with Karen Kobussen from CanBall Games

Episode #94 with Wilson Acton

Episode #93 with Carla Browne from Real Property Management Canada

Episode #92 with Donna Ziegler from South Sask Community Foundation

Episode #91 with Scott Love from Store to Door Canada

Episode #90 with Mark Heise from Rebellion Brewing

Episode #89 with Brendan McGuire from Affinity Credit Union

Episode #88 with Tyler Clark form Prairie Benefits Solutions

Episode #87 with Craig Reed from Virtus Group

Episode #86 with Daria Malin from Boost Strategic Coaching

Episode #85 with Bill Thorn form Regina Humane Society

Episode #84 with John Vuong from Local SEO Search

Episode #83 with Linda Boryski from Saskatoon PhysioYoga

Episode #82 with Tracey Poffenroth Prato from RAD Talk with Tracey

Episode #81 with Janet Kotylak, YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode #80 Your Ultimate Guide to Get Found with Local SEO

Episode #79 with Jennifer Fox from Auto Electric Service

Episode #78 with Janet Akre and Susan Robertson from River & Rail ArtVenture

Episode #77 with Karen Smith from Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan

Episode #76 with Julie Naismith from SubThreshold Training

Episode #75 with Josh Haugerud from Regina Folk Festival

Episode #74 with Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote from Black Fox Farm and Distillery

Episode #73 with Cory Furman from Furman IP

Episode #72 with Tracy Archer from Knight Archer Insurance

Episode #71 with Tim Nickel from Fifth Business Consulting

Episode #70 with Taylor Weisgerber from Spartan Mechanical

Episode #69 with Lisa McIntyre from The Optical Shoppe

Episode #68 with Santa Claus

Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

Episode #66 with Natasha Vandenhurk from Three Farmers Foods

Episode #65 with Dianne Beauchamp from PuroClean Regina

Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #56 with Sarah Tkachuk from KPMG & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

Episode #46 with Erika Gayle from Erika Gayle Photography

Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

Episode #44 with Erin Caleval from Erin & Associates Insurance

Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

Episode #43 Part #1 with Jess Tiefenbach from Stay n Play Parenting

Episode #42 with Nadene Joy from Nadene Joy

Episode #41 with Richard Arockiasamy and Sanjana Kumta from GreenMache

Episode #40 with Jodi Barrett, CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada

Episode #39 with Erin Kinder from Kinder Surprises Antiques

Episode #38 with Tanner Goetz from Munz Media

Episode #37 with Jessica McNaughton from memoryKPR

Episode #36 with Wendy Turner-Larsen from Turner Larsen Consulting

Episode #35 with Jill Poulton from Transformational Leadership

Episode #34 with Janci Templeman from Walker Wakefield

Episode #33 with Denise Anderson, Author, Divorce in a Small Town

Episode #32 with Anne Gibbons from Gibbons Travel Consulting

Episode #31 with Charlene SanJenko from PowHERhouse Media

Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 26 with Dr. Emily Bamforth from Royal Saskatchewan Museum & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 25 with Nigora Yulyakshieva from City of Regina & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 24 with Pam Klein from Phoenix Group & Miriam Johnson from Saskatchewan Roughriders

Episode 23 with Gr. 5 & 6 Students from Argyle School

Episode 22 with Tiffany Wolf from Helium Communications

Episode 21 with Jeff Kinash from Peregrine Farm

Episode 20 with Charlene Oancia from Springer & Oake

Episode 19 with Dan Benesh from BarterPay Regina

Episode 18 with Prabha Mitchell from WESK

Episode 17 with Terrie Dunand from REMAX Crown Real Estate

Episode 16 with Kim Zacaruk from Stone’s Throw Coffee Collective

Episode 15 with Luke Rossmo from Luke Rossmo Music and Gareth Bawden from Bawdenmedia.com

Episode 14 with Kristen Hill from Kristen’s Cultures

Episode 13 with Cyndie Knorr from Cynergy Coaching

Episode 12 with Paul Burch from EchoLotto Inc.

Episode 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

Episode 10 with Brandi Good from BLG Business Solutions

Episode 9 with Dr. Gina Grandy from Hill | Levene Schools of Business

Episode 8 with Candyce Fiessel from The Style Academy and Shear Escape Salon and Spa

Episode 7 with Michelle Strawford from Bella Chic Fashion & Decor and What Women Want

Episode 6 with Jordan McFarlen from  Conexus Business Incubator

Episode 5 with Cheryl Giambattista from Health Coach Cheryl

Episode 4 with Joanne Frederick from Prairie Centre for Mindfulness

Episode 3 with John Hopkins and Amanda Baker, Regina Chamber of Commerce

Episode 2 with Christina Carlson from Queen City Collective

Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Apple Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Google Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Breaker  Overcast.fm  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Pocket Casts  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Radio Public Spotify   Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Anchor

Today we’re going behind the scenes to talk about programs that support entrepreneurs in growing, starting and expanding their businesses.
Jasmine Patterson is a well-known and well-respected business cheerleader from the #AudacityQYR movement to her current role with the Business Development Bank of Canada. Jasmine’s journey has been anything but “as predicted.”
Tune in as she shares her story of growing her career in the entrepreneurial community and the personal tole that unfolded.

Transcript

Barb 0:02
Are you ready to make the door swing, the phone ring and the tilting? In this episode we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in any community. The behind the scenes programmes that support local businesses and entrepreneurs in getting started growing and expanding from the skinny lessons that will make you wince, wince to the to the TMZ style tell all expos as these everyday people are doing extraordinary things. Welcome to The Secret Life of local. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local programme. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years. From online businesses to multilocation stores, you can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers today to doers. Today, we’re going behind the scenes of Jasmine Patterson, a well known and well respected business cheerleader. Welcome Jasmine, tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey.

Jasmine 1:02
Oh, thanks, Barb. You’re such a sweetheart. Cheerleader. I like that term. I like to like to be a cheerleader for entrepreneurs. Definitely.

Barb 1:11
Exactly. entrepreneurs need that they need people behind them, boosting them up because entrepreneurial or anybody who’s an entrepreneur. It’s a crazy world. Right? Crazy, but I interrupted you. So tell us.

Jasmine 1:26
Okay, yeah, no, that’s, uh, I mean, it’s a big part of what has brought me to where I am today is that like, loving cheerleading for entrepreneurs and realising how much Regina entrepreneurs, Saskatchewan entrepreneurs are so humble and need people to help, like, tell them to be audacious and tell their story and like, write about themselves. Like, you aren’t a amazing entrepreneur. And you need to brag about yourself, and that’s okay. And you should and other people should do so.

Barb 1:57
Okay, so I want to do so. But let’s talk about that. So why do you think that, especially here in Saskatchewan, we have such a tough time bragging about ourselves? Why is it so hard for us?

Jasmine 2:13
I honestly think it comes from the humble roots of Saskatchewan. And we come from rural farmers where the like we’re the one living skies we are the breadbasket of Canada. So we were all kind of like, came from farmers being very humbled, doing the work that we needed to do getting things done. And we always just worked really hard and got things done, and never really thought to tell people how amazing the things are that we’re doing. And I noticed that like time and time again, when I started working for economic development, Regina, and we were working with entrepreneurs, I just noticed that I’d be talking to somebody and they start telling me about some of the accomplishments that they had done. And I was like, Oh my gosh, like, people don’t realise that the world Entrepreneur of the Year Award from EY was from Regina, well fed Davidson tea with agency foods, like he wasn’t a world Entrepreneur of the Year. So I’m here and people like to never realise that or I know people in Toronto that know about Hellberg and Burke, or skip the dishes, and just assume that it’s like a east coast or west coast.

Barb 3:25
We’re back here.

Jasmine 3:26
Yeah, it came right from, they don’t realise it came right from the prairies and came right from Regina. So it was really exciting for me to be able to help tell those stories, and to work with entrepreneurs and startups and tell them like, you can do anything from here. Like we actually have a huge advantage being in Regina and Saskatchewan. Because we are like that Little Big Town mindset. Yes. Where you can learn from anybody. You can call anybody and ask them like, Hey, can I buy you a coffee and learn from you? And they’re like, Yeah, for sure. Because that’s just how Perry people Saskatchewan people are

Barb 4:00
Exactly that. It’s how we’re hardwired. In fact, you talked about that in your introduction that you provided me before we started today. And I had to giggle when I read that because it’s so true. You can call anybody you can send anybody a LinkedIn request. And as soon as you explain, hey, I’m from Saskatchewan to and blah, blah, blah, people accept that request. And they are more than open to having a conversation. And I agree wholeheartedly. I went to University in Ontario, and it’s a really different culture, great people. But, but so much more competition, right? And it didn’t matter if it was for a job if it was for the guy you wanted to date, right? There was so much competition over everything that that same culture did not exist. Nobody was there to give you a hand up. In fact, they were more likely to you know, bump you out of the way but in front of you, right, that kind of thing. And that was really hard to get used to at first when I first moved out there and it made that decision easy when I decided you know what I’m ready to go home. Yeah, it was.

Jasmine 5:04
Yeah, honestly. Yeah, that’s a big part of what kept me here. Like I advocate strongly, I’m a big advocate for Regina for Saskatchewan for the prairies. for that exact reason, like I’ve had my one of my best friends lives in Toronto, she has tried to get me to come there. My dad lives in Kelowna, he’s tried to get me to come that way. And I’m like, love it, I will travel to come see you. But I’m not leaving here. Because people that live here have such big opportunity to like the sky’s the limit, like when I was for economic development, Regina, I was leading a group called the Council for entrepreneurship growth, which came up with the audacity movement, which I know you’re familiar with. But it was a group of individuals like radicals who had been involved with it that Rachel milky with Hellberg and Burke was on it. There are quite a few different individuals on that committee. And like, I was only a couple of years at a university. And I’m hoping like run that meeting. There’s no way like when I told my friends who lived in Toronto or live in Vancouver that I was doing that, like they would have had been working there for 10 years or more to even get that opportunity. Exactly. Like, people give you the chance.

Barb 6:19
Yeah, so and in fact, even that couple of years out of university, you were just as likely to go for coffee or lunch with Rachel milky after you were done the meeting or before the meeting to prepare. And where you put yourself in Toronto or Vancouver, like somebody else at a completely different level is doing all of that. And if you even get to sit in the room, you’re doing lucky. Right? So so how did you how did you get into supporting entrepreneurs? Do you come from an entrepreneurial family? Were you ever an entrepreneur? Like, like, how did you actually find yourself supporting all of us crazy entrepreneurs who bounce around? Like, I don’t know ping pong balls?

Jasmine 6:55
Yes, I love it. I think that’s why is just because I love the energy of entrepreneurs. But so I was in university actually, I started university, going into the sciences. I don’t know if you know that. But I did. Yes, my first two and a half years of university, I was in the sciences. I was like bound and determined since I was five that I was going to be a veterinarian. Sure. Okay. Animals, so I absolutely adore. So I’m still working on working that into like, I’ve done like little side hustles as like doing pet photography and stuff like that just because of animal perfect. That. Yeah, so I was in sciences. And then I actually, one of my like, advice that I was give to younger individuals is volunteer for whatever it is that you think you want to do for your life. So when I was in high school, I had volunteered actually my first year in university, I would say, it was my first year university, I volunteered at about clinic for six months. And every Saturday mornings. I mean, you talk to anybody, if you offer them free work, and you’re like, Hey, can I work for you for free? Because I just want to like learn about what it’s like to be in this environment, some thinking about doing a fair job, like nine out of 10 times, they’re gonna say yes, because you’re a worker. Yeah, so I did that. And every Saturday morning, I was there. And I started realising the pieces of it that I was missing. So I love working with people. I’ve always been in sales and hospitality jobs my whole life. Like since I was 12, I’ve had jobs. And so I miss, like, I worked with a lot of animals, which is amazing, but I miss talking to people. And then so I was like, well, maybe this isn’t for me putting the animals down.

Barb 8:37
Well, can’t even imagine.

Jasmine 8:41
And then also, I realised real quick that getting the average that you need to get into veterinarian schools in sciences while working full time because I was working full time because I was also like helping in my household to like pay bills and stuff like that. So I had to work, but I couldn’t get my average to the point that it needed to be. So I was like, Okay, well, what else could I potentially do? Maybe pharmacy, so I volunteered with a pharmacy really, really fast. I went there for like a month. And I was like nope, like, this is not my thing. People that do it, but it just wasn’t for me. So then I was actually working for pretty much telecommunications at the time. And my boss there was like, You’re so good at sales, you should switch into business. And I was like, I don’t know, I always found myself in scientists. I loved science as a kid. And then I took a finance class just as an elective to be like, well, I’ll just try business class. The Cube con was my prof and I fell in love with finance. So thank you very much. And I was just so engaged. And then I started like looking more into the business faculty and I realised that you could like be in all these clubs and like join like JVC RAs and be in like all these different things and meet so many people. And I was like hanging out he was right It’s totally for me. So I made the switch. And actually, you’re on my first prop for communication. Yeah, I made the first switch into business. Oh, yes. So then and your clock is fabulous. We got to like work with entrepreneurs and come up with a communication strategy. So yeah, I was like, This is so cool. I love working with business owners. So that kind of sparked things for me. So yeah, and then the rest was history and out of university after working for Connexus for a little bit. They hired me because they sponsored my JDC West team. I was on the marketing team. Yes. They hired me out of universities. I did get a finance major self declared myself or marketing. Okay, there’s no double major yet to work on that. But yeah, that was that was I was there for a little while, realised I missed like the business strategy side, like, Okay, I want to work with businesses, and my friend works for economic development, Regina, she told me about the position, I was coming open. coordinator of Business Services. Okay, let’s try it. John Lee and Dave Oh, there gave me a shot. I started working for them. And like, as soon as I started working with startups and business owners, I knew this is for me. Yeah. I love entrepreneurs. Yeah, there was so much passion and excitement. And they just love it. They just want to do what they love every day. And I wanted to help them do what they love every day.

Barb 11:33
Yeah. Okay, so you just said something really important there. Right? Yeah, that that desire to help. And so you and I have known each other for about 12 or 15 years. And the only reason I know that’s the time I had is because you were in one of the first classes that I taught when I was working part time at the University teaching, because my kids are still little like, I want to say Peter might have been six months old or a year old. And he just turned 14. I know exactly. Oh, my goodness. Yep. Exactly that long. Oh, I know. Doesn’t time go fast. But let’s not get in. That’s not gonna go to my rabbit hole. Wow. So here’s my point, though, as and I don’t think it matters if you’re male or female, but as a professional who’s driven to support entrepreneurs, you have a job Monday to Friday, nine to five? Well, a lot of our entrepreneurial stuff. It happens, you know, Monday to Friday, five till nine. And so there you are at an event there you are doing something on the weekend. You’ve got a young family, you’re married, you’ve got a dog you love to bike, but you you still want a life? How do you balance it all?

Jasmine 12:50
You don’t you just manage. When I worked for active Regina, I at the time, wasn’t married, didn’t have a kid did have a dog. But just the dog out of those three was a lot easier. And I was I was working well over 40 hours a week. And I was going to events constantly. I was always at entrepreneurship events. I was running entrepreneurship events myself, I was talking to people outside of regular business hours. I knew that’s what they needed. And it was incredible, like, DDL was the biggest catalyst to my career. And I absolutely adore them for it. And it did though results like I went from coordinator to manager to director in three and a half years. Wow. And I think that very much aligns. Another thing I tell a lot of young people or people who are looking into their career changes is I had a mentor, Lord Snell fabulous individual when I was in university. And he the first thing he said to me was, what are your values? Let’s nail down what your values are. And I was like, what does that even mean? And he showed me he went through a whole exercise nailed down my three or five top priority. values were and he said make sure that any organisation you’re going to work for that they align with those values. Yes, because it’s just gonna pay you back in spades. So I was like, Okay, so that’s what I did. And my reflect ever Dinah are my values aligned wholeheartedly with theirs. And with the CEO that was there, John, and that I think why I moved up so quickly, because I ran for awhile was what they were doing, they could tell that I was passionate about what they were doing. And I wanted to work more than 40 hours a week because I just loved it so much. But that also also resulted in burnout. Yes. If I hit that burnout wall.

Barb 14:49
Okay, so you dig into that part of the story? Yeah. How did you recognise it? Because it’s one thing to talk about the other side when you you know, okay, you burnt out and here’s what I did. Did you recognise what was happening?

Jasmine 15:04
They offered me the job for a director because I was the manager, the director that at that point in time left to go launch his own startup. And they said, like, is this something that you want to do? And I was like, No. I don’t think I can handle that. Like, that’s a lot of responsibility. Because when you go into directors and you’re doing like business strategy, you have a whole team of people, like a bigger team of people that you’re managing, and are terrified. And they’re like, Okay, well, let’s work through that. And I got a leadership coach, and I was like, okay, maybe I can do this, because I kept saying, like, Jasmine, like, we’re going to help you we can do this. And I was like, okay, for sure. But I was like, I kept having like these, like, mini, like, packs, basically where I was just like, the thought of everything that I needed to do was really starting to freak me out. Yeah. So that was my first sign. And I got a therapist. Physical Therapist, which I advocate strongly for therapy, it has saved my life, I’m pretty sure. But at that time, I was also the president of Cyprus, Saskatchewan, young professionals and entrepreneurs for the Regina chapter. I was also planning my wedding, which was in Mexico, so is a destination wedding because all the planning that at the time, it was also being put in charge of the audacity movement, and like what that meant, which at that time was like still so up in the air.

Barb 16:27
Yeah. Vague in the beginning, right? Yeah, it was.

Jasmine 16:31
So it was just like, Yeah, let’s just say yes to everything until I have a panic attack and realise I can’t do that. So that was I learned quickly that they need to put boundaries around how much time I’m willing to commit to certain things. But I didn’t realise that I couldn’t do everything.

Barb 16:54
You know, went there. I just couldn’t, Cheever. It’s how you driven? You want to say yes to everything. You want to support everyone who’s asking for help. And and so that’s just how you’re hardwired. It’s like, okay, I have to do this. And now I have to do that. So did it mean that you had to start saying no, or, you know, what changed?

Jasmine 17:12
Yeah, it definitely meant that I had to start saying no, so I actually ended up taking a month off of work because my reading actually like did not go anywhere as planned. Like it ended up being like a total monsoon wedding and Cancun and like, they just went away. So that on top of like, just everything with work and trying to plan the audacity of that and everything. Like I just hit a wall on my like, my light switch just turned off, like I couldn’t do anything. So I ended up actually taking a month off work and EDR was absolutely great. Like incredible, like John and the team just like completely put their arms around me and we’re like, don’t worry about anything worry about you. Like, work is fine. People will be fine. Like, we don’t need to have to adapt to the events this month. Like just go home take care of you. And that was like I threw the book at it. Like I did yoga. I did. Therapy. I was like going to a naturopath. I was going to an acupuncturist. I was like doing all the things that I could find to get through. Yes, yes. That’s just the how that’s my MO, unfortunately. Fortunately, unfortunately. I’ll tell you the first two weeks, I did nothing. The second two weeks. That’s when I like was able to like crawl out of that darkness. And I had so many people around me that were helping. And I was supposed to do a second year of being President of SIPE, I said no. Okay, which was very difficult for me. Yes. But I said I was like, I have to step back. And they were amazing the board that I had that they were just incredible, and somebody else stepped up so thankfully for that person. And yeah, so then I came out of it and worked really slowly to get back up to her not went back up to where I was because obviously I wasn’t saying yes to everything anymore. But yeah, I got I came out of it with a lot of learned lessons and realising that I needed to put boundaries on my time and not say yes to everything. Yes.

Barb 19:18
And so let’s talk about that lost art of saying no, because I don’t think it matters anymore. If you’re a parent, an entrepreneur or a professional climbing the ranks. There’s a misconception that if you’re saying no, you know, okay, fine, we’ll move on to someone else. And I think especially as an entrepreneur, so that’s my perspective. Saying no, comes with this connotation that, oh, well, that’s fine. I can just hire someone else. Absolutely, you can. There are so many great businesses out there. And it takes a long time as a small business owner to get to a place where it’s like, yeah, I’m gonna say no, when I get that vibe right up front from a client, it’s like, you know what, this isn’t going to be a great working relationship, I can already tell that we’re very different. Here’s, you know, a couple of others that I might recommend. And the one thing that I’ve discovered is your network of similar businesses that you might send someone to, they’re also going to get that same vibe from the client a lot of times, so whatever. But like, when I think about saying, No, especially as a female and a professional, how did you build that muscle? How did you build the confidence to say no, whether it’s your boss, one of your committees?

Jasmine 20:47
I think that it’s, it’s hard for people if they don’t hit that burnout phase to say no, because once I hit that, I was like, I’m not going back. They’re not going back into that whole dark place. So whenever somebody then would ask me to do something, or like, add another responsibility on my plate, I’d really sit there and look at my again, I went back to my values and be like, does this align with what I’m trying to accomplish? Right? And if it didn’t, I had to be really honest with the person and say, like, I have burned out before. I, I can’t accept another responsibility right now. And the more times that you do that, like because you don’t need to explain yourself. Yeah, if you’re doing your job, and they’re trying to add more onto your job, like you don’t need to explain yourself. And the same way with your clients. I love that you do that, because you’re saving yourself and you’re saving them time. Yes. Because I did the same thing working for active i. So at the time was running the square one programme, which is now called the south startup Institute, big plug for them, if you are a startup 100% Go to sound startup Institute, so many free resources. But the greatest thing about that and about my job now I work for BBC Business Development Bank of Canada, was that when someone comes to me, looking for whatever it might be for their business, so looking for mentorship that’s looking for financing, if they’re looking for whatever it might be, if I’m not the right person to do it. I’ll tell you others that I think might be right. And that’s what you said you do, too. It’s like I’m not just saying no, I’m saying, No, I can’t buy here are some other people who can so you’re still helping people. And you’re helping yourself by not taking on a responsibility that isn’t yours.

Barb 22:31
Yep. Okay. So let’s kind of dig into that a little bit. Because you’re right. I think when you’re hardwired to help people, it’s like, you know, I’m probably not the best fit. But here’s someone else who might be able to help. And I think that’s where your experience with the entrepreneurial committee and with all of the different supports that are available out in, you know, the community, the province and even the Federally what’s available. By knowing that network, you’re able to point people in the right direction. Do I remember correctly? From our earlier conversations? Did you actually hit burnout twice? Or just once? Okay, there we go. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So you did go back, you ended up? And so what happened? How did? How did you let yourself slide back? Okay, so

Jasmine 23:17
I mean, my second burnout, and I do want to jump back at some point to the ecosystem side of things. But with regards to the, the burnout phases of my life. So when I saw that EDR i Then, so I came out of that burnout, I was doing really, really well. And then I went on my honeymoon, and I got pregnant, which was the plan and I didn’t think I was gonna have enough so it did. I was very blessed that way. But I got pregnant had my daughter and a month before she was born and global pandemic hit, with everything on its head. So I was very different. Having a child that when I was expecting, because I was isolated. I did not get to do like the mom and me groups like that kind of stuff. It was really difficult. She was colic for five months. And I didn’t have a lot of support because you weren’t allowed to see anybody so it was just like you have to handle this and it’s like, okay, Daniel, this is really hard. So my first and only child at this point in time and while still but I had BDC and a few other organisations actually approached me during my maternity leave to see if I would work for them after I came out of maternity leave and that was really nice but when you like go into mat leave and like becoming a mom like Well, I’m forgotten like nobody’s gonna remember me because I am not working and I was worried about that and then I was starting to have people reach out and I was like, oh, people still no baby and like a not a bearable so anyways, I ended up working for BTC once again went back to my values, they really line I’m and I worked there for a year before I hit burnout. But we might have run out this time is because I have never worked with a child before.

Barb 25:11
Yes, exactly. Child during a global pandemic? Yes, exactly. I’m just noticing our time. And I do want to quickly jump back to the ecosystem. Just give us a little bit of an overview of what you actually do at BDC. And what kind of support is out there for entrepreneurs?

Jasmine 25:30
Yeah, so with the ecosystem, what I want to say to all entrepreneurs is, there are so many supports for you, you do not have to do it alone. And I’m happy to speak with anybody that’s running a business or thinking about starting a business, I love grabbing coffee, or having virtual chats with people just to see if I know of any support because my whole job for like four and a half years and understanding the entire ecosystem of support available to all Saskatchewan entrepreneurs. So whether it be when entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Futurpreneur, Clarence Campbell development fund from a tee, there’s so many like a huge array. And then like this all sort of into like I was speaking to before, I’m so happy to chat about those with anybody. BDC has developed a Canada where I currently work as an account manager for small business. We offer financing and advisory services for entrepreneurs, and for just business. So we’re the bank for businesses, you’ve probably seen billboards, we don’t have like, did they bank accounts, we don’t do personal, we just lead to business owners. And we land on those areas that are different from the other banks, we actually are very complementary to the other banks. So if it’s financing that you’re looking for, or if you’re looking for just like some help in what direction should I be taking? What can I do for my next step? Give me a call, shoot me an email. happy to chat.

Barb 25:56
Perfect. Well, you know what, I let’s do that now. So if somebody does want to get in touch with you, how do they do it? What’s the best way to find you connect with you and ask some of these questions?

Jasmine 27:06
Yeah, so check it out on LinkedIn. So I’m under Jasmine Patterson on LinkedIn. And then you could also shoot me an email jasmine.patterson@bdc.ca And I’m sure you’ll put that in there. So I don’t spell it all out for you. That’s the best way to get into contact with me either LinkedIn or or shoot me an email, and happy to connect.

Barb 27:32
Okay, well, that is awesome. So I’m gonna wrap this up today was actually one of the fastest episodes even I kind of lost track of time there. So I could chat with you forever, BB. Exactly. All right. Well, we’re gonna wrap this up. So thank you, Jasmine for joining. Yeah. And just sharing your story, your journey. I think there’s so much to be learned in there and the honesty that I think sometimes we all have a really hard time sharing because, you know, our worlds, our social media, and everything looks so rosy from the front side. So thank you. Yeah, yeah. On that note, if you would like to be a guest on the show and you want to sell your story, then there is no better place than to tell your story on the secret life show. If you’d like to be a guest, email me at barb at above the fold dot live, or just reach out on our Facebook or Instagram page at Above the fold. Ca. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get Found her local programme. Remember you were charged for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.

Ep. 119 Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives

Jeff Harmel, Realty Executives

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

Episode #100 with Victor Roman from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation

Episode #99 with Faith Alyssa Peter from Stressed Out Mamas

Episode #98 with Leah Mazur from Carousel Creative

Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

Episode #95 with Karen Kobussen from CanBall Games

Episode #94 with Wilson Acton

Episode #93 with Carla Browne from Real Property Management Canada

Episode #92 with Donna Ziegler from South Sask Community Foundation

Episode #91 with Scott Love from Store to Door Canada

Episode #90 with Mark Heise from Rebellion Brewing

Episode #89 with Brendan McGuire from Affinity Credit Union

Episode #88 with Tyler Clark form Prairie Benefits Solutions

Episode #87 with Craig Reed from Virtus Group

Episode #86 with Daria Malin from Boost Strategic Coaching

Episode #85 with Bill Thorn form Regina Humane Society

Episode #84 with John Vuong from Local SEO Search

Episode #83 with Linda Boryski from Saskatoon PhysioYoga

Episode #82 with Tracey Poffenroth Prato from RAD Talk with Tracey

Episode #81 with Janet Kotylak, YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode #80 Your Ultimate Guide to Get Found with Local SEO

Episode #79 with Jennifer Fox from Auto Electric Service

Episode #78 with Janet Akre and Susan Robertson from River & Rail ArtVenture

Episode #77 with Karen Smith from Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan

Episode #76 with Julie Naismith from SubThreshold Training

Episode #75 with Josh Haugerud from Regina Folk Festival

Episode #74 with Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote from Black Fox Farm and Distillery

Episode #73 with Cory Furman from Furman IP

Episode #72 with Tracy Archer from Knight Archer Insurance

Episode #71 with Tim Nickel from Fifth Business Consulting

Episode #70 with Taylor Weisgerber from Spartan Mechanical

Episode #69 with Lisa McIntyre from The Optical Shoppe

Episode #68 with Santa Claus

Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

Episode #66 with Natasha Vandenhurk from Three Farmers Foods

Episode #65 with Dianne Beauchamp from PuroClean Regina

Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #56 with Sarah Tkachuk from KPMG & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

Episode #46 with Erika Gayle from Erika Gayle Photography

Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

Episode #44 with Erin Caleval from Erin & Associates Insurance

Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

Episode #43 Part #1 with Jess Tiefenbach from Stay n Play Parenting

Episode #42 with Nadene Joy from Nadene Joy

Episode #41 with Richard Arockiasamy and Sanjana Kumta from GreenMache

Episode #40 with Jodi Barrett, CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada

Episode #39 with Erin Kinder from Kinder Surprises Antiques

Episode #38 with Tanner Goetz from Munz Media

Episode #37 with Jessica McNaughton from memoryKPR

Episode #36 with Wendy Turner-Larsen from Turner Larsen Consulting

Episode #35 with Jill Poulton from Transformational Leadership

Episode #34 with Janci Templeman from Walker Wakefield

Episode #33 with Denise Anderson, Author, Divorce in a Small Town

Episode #32 with Anne Gibbons from Gibbons Travel Consulting

Episode #31 with Charlene SanJenko from PowHERhouse Media

Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 26 with Dr. Emily Bamforth from Royal Saskatchewan Museum & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 25 with Nigora Yulyakshieva from City of Regina & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 24 with Pam Klein from Phoenix Group & Miriam Johnson from Saskatchewan Roughriders

Episode 23 with Gr. 5 & 6 Students from Argyle School

Episode 22 with Tiffany Wolf from Helium Communications

Episode 21 with Jeff Kinash from Peregrine Farm

Episode 20 with Charlene Oancia from Springer & Oake

Episode 19 with Dan Benesh from BarterPay Regina

Episode 18 with Prabha Mitchell from WESK

Episode 17 with Terrie Dunand from REMAX Crown Real Estate

Episode 16 with Kim Zacaruk from Stone’s Throw Coffee Collective

Episode 15 with Luke Rossmo from Luke Rossmo Music and Gareth Bawden from Bawdenmedia.com

Episode 14 with Kristen Hill from Kristen’s Cultures

Episode 13 with Cyndie Knorr from Cynergy Coaching

Episode 12 with Paul Burch from EchoLotto Inc.

Episode 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

Episode 10 with Brandi Good from BLG Business Solutions

Episode 9 with Dr. Gina Grandy from Hill | Levene Schools of Business

Episode 8 with Candyce Fiessel from The Style Academy and Shear Escape Salon and Spa

Episode 7 with Michelle Strawford from Bella Chic Fashion & Decor and What Women Want

Episode 6 with Jordan McFarlen from  Conexus Business Incubator

Episode 5 with Cheryl Giambattista from Health Coach Cheryl

Episode 4 with Joanne Frederick from Prairie Centre for Mindfulness

Episode 3 with John Hopkins and Amanda Baker, Regina Chamber of Commerce

Episode 2 with Christina Carlson from Queen City Collective

Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Apple Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Google Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Breaker  Overcast.fm  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Pocket Casts  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Radio Public Spotify   Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Anchor

Thinking of selling your home?! Buying or selling; it’s a BIG decision.
Today, we’re joining Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives to chat buying and selling, tips to prepare as a buyer and an honest conversation on why hiring a Realtor can save you $1000s and decrease your home’s time on market.
Jeff’s been in the real estate industry for years. He’s seen ups, downs and crazy times. Tune in to get the inside scoop on where the real estate market may be headed!

Transcript

Barb 0:02
Are you ready to make the phone ring, the website ping and the tail ding? In this episode, we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in any community. Its network of small and local businesses, businesses that rely on foot traffic, phone calls and website bookings. From the skinny lessons that will make you wins to the tell all expose A’s. These everyday people are doing extraordinary things in their business. Welcome to The Secret Life is local. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local program. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years. From online businesses to multilocation stores, you can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to doers. Today, we’re going behind the scenes with Jeff Harmel. From Realty Executives. Welcome, Jeff, tell us a little bit about yourself and your approach to Real Estate.

Jeff 1:02
Hi, Barb, it’s nice speaking with you today, I started real estate in 2008. I was working prior to that, in the collection industry and for MasterCard. I was excited to get into real estate, because I always wanted to work for myself. And when I when I first entered the real estate market, My decision was more based on wanting to work for myself and not wanting to work in an office environment anymore. And that was my big driver. If it wasn’t about, you know, stars in my eyes about how much money I was gonna make or anything about that it was all about getting out of the office, I didn’t want to work in an office environment.

Barb 1:55
So was it the pole of you know, being outside being away from the office doing stuff meeting people? Or was it simply the kind of the drudgery that sometimes comes with being in an office?

Jeff 2:11
It was it was being outside? It was meeting people, having experiences with people and helping people. That’s it. And of course, getting out of the office, I didn’t like working in an office environment, and the freedom of planning my own days what they were going to be and how much energy I was going to put into that day or what was going to happen. And those were my main drivers. And I got into it for all the right reasons. Because my first two years of real estate it wasn’t it wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be when I started. Okay. Because yeah, it was it was a little bit different than what I expected. But it all worked out. Great.

Barb 2:58
Okay, so what wasn’t what you expected? Can you can you elaborate on that a little bit for us?

Jeff 3:07
I thought when I initially started that there would be like my, I’ll just describe my first day in real estate that will probably help. I went into I started at Century 21. And part of the reason I started there initially was I found an ad on Kijiji when I was surfing through Kijiji, while I was working at MasterCard, I went for an interview and then started there after I got my license, of course. And my first day was sitting down, writing out a list of everyone I knew, and licking envelopes and sending them a letter that I started in real estate. And I remember after afterwards, I walked to my manager’s office. Bernie, who was a great guy, and still a good friend of mine. And I asked him, I said, what so what do I do now? And he goes, Oh, you’re done? And this was like the morning they said, Yeah, he goes, well. You goes, pick up the phone, start calling some for sale by owners or, you know, see who you can meet with for coffee to talk about real estate. And I was kind of figuring how do I get business and I started panicking thinking I need to get business right away. Yeah. And I thought I have to hit the ground running and fast. And so I went back to my office, and I remember calling my brother and speaking with him and I said I’m not sure what I do now. And he said, he said to me at the time, he said, Well, why don’t you do what one of the realtors does in town, or Trombley? And I said, What does he do? And he said well, he He calls for sale by owners, you need to get on the phone and call for sale by owners. Oh, so so so I went on staff combs for sale site was the one at the time. And I started sifting through the site looking at houses. And I was thinking to myself, What do I say to these people, I have no idea what to say. And then then I printed off some script. And I didn’t know what to do. I started trying to use scripts as I was calling people, and I thought this doesn’t feel authentic. And, and so I thought to myself, You know what? I’m just gonna call people and talk to him about their homes, and invite myself over. Okay, so, so that’s what I did. And, and I when I, when I got people on the phone, I would say to them, Oh, those are really nice carpets you have or That’s some nice renovations, is that a new kitchen? And, and the person would say, Yeah, I installed it myself, or I did that. And then I would just say, oh, good for you. I can’t do that kind of stuff. I, I’m not good at that. And, and, you know, somewhere in the conversation, they would be asked me, Why are you calling me I’m selling on my own? You know, I don’t, I don’t need a realtor. And I was just calm. And I would say, No, that’s fine. I don’t have a buyer from your home, right for your home right now. But I would like to come look to your home in case I get a buyer for it, which was true. I didn’t have any buyers. And I would invite myself over. That’s that’s how it all started.

Barb 6:39
So let’s let’s kind of follow that thread. So if I was going to, if we better not sell my house from underneath my husband’s feet. If you’re going to list our house, what are you going to say to me? Why? Because this is the argument that I hear all the time, why hire a realtor versus listed on task homes for sale or Kijiji or Facebook marketplace? Tell me about what you as a realtor. In your experience. What do you bring to the table for me?

Jeff 7:10
Well, one of the biggest dilemmas that people have when they decide to go for sale by owner list on their own, is they think they think it’s such a simple process. And they think that real estate agents don’t do any work. Like they don’t do any work. And they make lots of money. The, when you call out a real estate agent, to discuss listing your home, it’s what all backup for a second. So let’s say you decide to go for sale by owner you’re thinking of it first, you’re going to call maybe one or two realtors and try and get a price. And then you’re going to, then you’re going to kind of get some some indication where the markets going, then you’re going to look online, and you’re going to think, Okay, I’m going to declutter my house and do a few things that I need to do. And then I’m going to put my sign on the lawn with the For Sale By Owner company, and then everyone’s going to want to come by my house, right. And the problem with that is, and it can work, and there are for sale by owners that have done well. But part of the problem is markets are very fluid. And a lot of people don’t understand that the market can change in two weeks, three weeks, when when I started in real estate in 2008, I started actually April Fool’s Day 2000 to 2008 was my first day in real estate. And that month, the market changed by the end of the month and started sliding downward, right through till 2009. And and then started going up again, a lot of people don’t know that. And so a for sale by owner that lists their home in a fluid market like that. The price could change in a month and go down or up. Right. So and a real estate agent is kind of I compare it because I bought and sold stocks before. Have you ever called an investment analysts or a stockbroker and ask them what’s happening with the market or I’ve been thinking about buying these stocks? While the real estate agent has a pulse on the market. They know how many how many listings are in the city? Is there a lot of bungalows in that area? So you know, what’s the inventory like in that area? So when a for sale by owner list, they don’t have all this extra information. And so whereas when I meet you and your for sale by owner, I might say, Okay, we could list the home at 400,000. But I’m thinking I’m thinking our market is going up right now there’s low inventory. Less let’s listed at fourth already, because it, we’re more likely to get a better price for it even though the comparables from the previous three months, were at this amount. The market looks like it’s continuing going on an upward trend. And as far as negotiations if you’re getting multiple offers in, if you’re that for sale by owner, and all of a sudden you get lucky enough to get two or three offers in. Dealing with those offers knowing which conditions are the best conditions, which offer is the best, what makes it the strongest offer, and are these people that are coming to you pre approved. Being an experienced realtor, no one gets in my car unless they’ve been pre approved with the mortgage broker or the bank. And I’ve had people that wanted to the only exceptions to that would be someone I clearly know could buy a house in the sense that they can either pay cash for it or I know they’re financially stable. But the benefits of using a realtor far outweigh trying on your own. And like I said, some fizz bows are for sale by owners have done well with it. But it’s the market is bigger too when you hit MLS and as a real estate agent, especially nowadays, because there’s so many different platforms that when I list their home, it hits it, it hits my Instagram and hits Facebook, there’s extra advertising that way. And there’s at least 30 other websites that goes to where it gets exposure. So your your chances of getting very good value for the sale of your home is increased dramatically by using a realtor and then of course the experience so you don’t end up being sued or anything like that for mistakes.

Barb 12:01
So have they ever done we’ll call it a comparative study where they look at the price that someone gets for their home when they list with a realtor versus not or the time on market there looked at those two particular numbers.

Jeff 12:18
I don’t have those stats for you today. But I know in the past they have been compared and I know NAR which is the which runs the real estate in the states have released stats on that before and it’s always been better for a real estate agent to get a better price for people by listing the home,

Barb 12:46
Okay, so as as a real estate agent you work with both buyers and sellers, but with sellers in particular, what do you usually coach them on to help get the most value out of their home

Jeff 13:01
When I meet with a seller, some sellers want to do particular renovations before they sell because they think I’m going to do this, this and this and this and I’m going to get a lot more money for my home I’m gonna get an extra 50,000 Or I’m gonna get this and when I meet with a seller depending on the style of the home and what it is and what areas and I want to make sure that they’re not leaving money on the table or losing money because they’re they’re doing renovations that aren’t aren’t going to get them that extra dollar. For example, I met with a seller recently and they wanted to redo the bathroom, redo the kitchen and all new flooring all new paint, paint the outside of the home and new shingles and all these things to increase the price of the home. And I remember saying to her I wouldn’t do that. And this is not the style of home to be doing this for and it’s not in the area where you’re going to get your return. And she was kind of shocked because she she thought she could you know make 30 or 40,000 on this. And I said a lot of renovations that are done for your for people’s homes are too poor to live in and live in a nicer home it’s not to get extra money. I said to her, honestly paint the inside and try and do it yourself if you know how to paint. Paint the outside try and do it yourself as you can rent to a paint gun and newer flooring and and then we lift it and she was shocked and she said really? And I said yes and we’ll If, and the hope here is to get your money back on the home or make a bid, because you paid. And then I told her, you paid too much for this home to begin with. And then I showed her when she purchased the home. Back in. It was like three years ago, and I said you paid too much for this home because I’m able to run comparables. A lot of people don’t know this from three or four years ago as well.

Barb 15:28
Right? Yeah.

Jeff 15:31
So. So yeah, it’s people have to be cautious. And that’s why hiring or inexperienced real estate agent makes all the difference. It I’ve saved people so much money over the

Barb 15:42
Years, and hopefully made them that much extra money as well when they’re selling, right. Oh, yeah.

Jeff 15:48
And, and then on the flip side, when it when, when it is the type of home, where it can be flipped and make a lot of money. I have I have worked with people that have wanted to do that. And I know the type of home they need to purchase to do that flip, and the areas to look in, and the amount of money to put in to do that flip. Last year, for example, I had a young couple come to me and they wanted to do their first flip. And I made it clear to them that the market could change they need time. And, you know, these are the risks, and they still wanted to go ahead with it. And they said, now we have to find a home. That’s a bungalow that’s under 200,000. And you’re going to put 80,000 into it. And you’re not going to put any more money than that. And it’s going to sell for 340. And at the end of the day, they ended up putting in more money than I suggested. And they still made money, but

Barb 16:53
Just as much.

Jeff 16:55
Not as much as they could have. But it was still very good. Yeah.

Barb 16:58
One of the things that I remember from when we bought and built our house, of course, we did a lot of show home looking. And you know, there was lots of talk about you needed to declutter, and as you said, the neutral paint colors you needed to to make the home generic. So the family pictures had to come down and the generic, you know, Walmart artists picture needed to go up that kind of thing. Is that still the advice that you would give to someone?

Jeff 17:27
I don’t know about the generic Walmart picture. Though it. I listed a home a few years ago for a client that was an artist. And if I could have everyone staged their home the way she did, it was perfect. And I remember walking in there and I said, oh, all the all the walls in the house are white. I said this is beautiful. And and she goes Yes, I painted it white so that my art on the walls and all the colorful art I do is accented better. And it just showed beautifully. Neutral colors are extremely important. decluttering is extremely important. And clean, really clean home, like show home ready. Like that’s that’s the biggest stress for a lot of people when they’re selling their home is having their home perfect for every showing. But it’s absolutely essential because people walking into a dirty home. And it’s not showing good and it’s full of stuff everywhere. They can lose 1000s of dollars on the sale.

Barb 18:45
Exactly, yes. Now, being a devil’s advocate, because I know you have two kids as well, trying to sell your house when you’ve got two kids and maybe a couple of dogs or cats or pets around. It’s hard. Like it’s a ton of work.

Jeff 19:03
Well yeah, I went through when I went through the sale of my home in 2014 I believe we moved to the east end and I lived in Arnheim area in a raised bungalow. And my wife was pregnant with my daughter at the time. And it was very difficult trying to keep the home clear and ready for showings. And initially, I believe I listed it myself. And then I decided to contact a real estate agent from my office at Century 21 people are probably gonna laugh You’re a realtor, why would you hire a realtor to sell your home because I wanted to separate myself emotionally from the sale. And it was the best thing it was the best thing I did. And yeah and so that when the the offers came in If I had the confidence of knowing that, you know, my real estate agent would bring them to me, we would go over them and deal with them. And separating myself from the sale that way, helped me obtain more for my home. And I was able to take a step back. And then when the offer came in, my real estate agent said to me, yes, Jeff, this is good, this is good. But, you know, maybe you should take it here instead of countering or maybe we should do this. And it was just, it was better for me to separate myself from it.

Barb 20:33
Yeah. And you know, I can appreciate that it’s no different than the doctor trying to diagnose themselves. Right when, when it is personal. Yes, letting someone else who is a professional being able to support you probably makes a huge difference. So I know, you said that the market can change quite quickly. But what can you tell us about the spring market? And where where you would anticipate we’re going these next couple of few months?

Jeff 21:01
That’s a very difficult question. And I’ll try and answer it as at as best I can, because going from 2009, right through till 2017. And even 2018, and 20 2019, when our market dropped back to 2009 10 prices, a lot of people don’t know that, I was able to anticipate the market very good. And I remember giving people advice in 2015 2016, saying, get your home sold. Now, the markets gonna go down, even before it went down. I had a few clients that made a lot of money before the market shifted, because I could see it coming. When the pandemic hits and and our market went up like this, a lot of real estate agents didn’t see this happening quite this way. And going into this market with the increased interest rates. The thing is that’s happening right now, is we still have very low inventory. I was just at a realtor open house a week ago, and I was asking some other agents I work with, are you seeing a lot of competing offers? And they’re saying, Yes, we’re starting to see competing offers, we’re starting to see this. And so going forward for this spring market now. Yes, I’m thinking, it’s going to be a very good market and walk. I’m not thinking it’ll be as strong as it was last year. But I’m thinking it’ll still be a very good market as long as the inventory stays low. So it’ll have to be monitored closely. But if put it this way, if you’re in a mortgage right now, and your rate is 2.25. And your mortgage is not coming due for two more years, but if you’re thinking, Oh, maybe we should sell our house and upgrade, why would you? Yeah. And lock yourself into a higher rate. So a lot of people are waiting right now, if their mortgage isn’t coming due, so there’s a good chance we could have pretty low inventory again this year. Okay.

Barb 23:21
So definitely only have a minute or so left, can you share with us I don’t know if you saw this in the show preamble. Share that, that sort of moment in your history that you know, now that it’s history, you can look back and kind of laugh about it. But at the time, it was maybe a little bit painful. And I think if the story you shared me shared with me about you and a buddy writing the exam, you know, at the same time, because you were quite anxious to get into the industry.

Jeff 23:50
Oh, that was yeah, there was three, had to write three, I had to write the exam three times I was nervous and the material for being a real estate agent a lot different than the practical, the books to the practical. And I remember failing the exam the first two times because I I wasn’t I just wasn’t able to absorb the material, the that well. And I finally passed the exam. And friend of mine, he said, Well, he wrote it at the same time. And he said, and he got 94 and is exactly so what do you get? And I said, I said I got 75, but I passed. And I remember he said to me, Oh, I did better than you on the exam. And I said, That’s okay. I said, We’ll see who sells more houses.

Barb 24:45
And so that’s actually my question. So what happened to your colleague? Did they stay in industry or,

Jeff 24:54
Oh, they’re still selling homes they are. Yeah, but I will say I sell more

Barb 25:02
You’re awesome. That is fantastic. All right, Jeff, we are at a time. So thank you very much for joining me today just to talk a little bit about this spring market and what we might be expecting to see hoping to see. And some tips if you are thinking about selling what you might want to do to be prepared. And you know why there’s some real value in hiring a realtor to help you with one of the largest transactions in your life. So thank you, Jeff. much. Appreciate it. Okay, have a great day. Absolutely. So on that note, if you want to sell your story, then you need to tell your story. And there’s no better place to start than being a guest on The Secret Life. If you’d like to be a guest, email me at barb at above the fold dot live, or reach out on our Facebook and Instagram page at Above the fold. Ca. Jeff, as I do that, I realize you didn’t have a chance to share your number and website address. Could you that do that for us quickly?

Jeff 25:59
Yes, if someone needs to get a hold of me, they can call me at 306-539-5202 or go to my website. Jeffharmel.com

Barb 26:09
Awesome. I am your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local program. Remember, you are tired for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.

Ep. 118 Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

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Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

Episode #100 with Victor Roman from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation

Episode #99 with Faith Alyssa Peter from Stressed Out Mamas

Episode #98 with Leah Mazur from Carousel Creative

Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

Episode #95 with Karen Kobussen from CanBall Games

Episode #94 with Wilson Acton

Episode #93 with Carla Browne from Real Property Management Canada

Episode #92 with Donna Ziegler from South Sask Community Foundation

Episode #91 with Scott Love from Store to Door Canada

Episode #90 with Mark Heise from Rebellion Brewing

Episode #89 with Brendan McGuire from Affinity Credit Union

Episode #88 with Tyler Clark form Prairie Benefits Solutions

Episode #87 with Craig Reed from Virtus Group

Episode #86 with Daria Malin from Boost Strategic Coaching

Episode #85 with Bill Thorn form Regina Humane Society

Episode #84 with John Vuong from Local SEO Search

Episode #83 with Linda Boryski from Saskatoon PhysioYoga

Episode #82 with Tracey Poffenroth Prato from RAD Talk with Tracey

Episode #81 with Janet Kotylak, YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode #80 Your Ultimate Guide to Get Found with Local SEO

Episode #79 with Jennifer Fox from Auto Electric Service

Episode #78 with Janet Akre and Susan Robertson from River & Rail ArtVenture

Episode #77 with Karen Smith from Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan

Episode #76 with Julie Naismith from SubThreshold Training

Episode #75 with Josh Haugerud from Regina Folk Festival

Episode #74 with Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote from Black Fox Farm and Distillery

Episode #73 with Cory Furman from Furman IP

Episode #72 with Tracy Archer from Knight Archer Insurance

Episode #71 with Tim Nickel from Fifth Business Consulting

Episode #70 with Taylor Weisgerber from Spartan Mechanical

Episode #69 with Lisa McIntyre from The Optical Shoppe

Episode #68 with Santa Claus

Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

Episode #66 with Natasha Vandenhurk from Three Farmers Foods

Episode #65 with Dianne Beauchamp from PuroClean Regina

Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #56 with Sarah Tkachuk from KPMG & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

Episode #46 with Erika Gayle from Erika Gayle Photography

Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

Episode #44 with Erin Caleval from Erin & Associates Insurance

Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

Episode #43 Part #1 with Jess Tiefenbach from Stay n Play Parenting

Episode #42 with Nadene Joy from Nadene Joy

Episode #41 with Richard Arockiasamy and Sanjana Kumta from GreenMache

Episode #40 with Jodi Barrett, CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada

Episode #39 with Erin Kinder from Kinder Surprises Antiques

Episode #38 with Tanner Goetz from Munz Media

Episode #37 with Jessica McNaughton from memoryKPR

Episode #36 with Wendy Turner-Larsen from Turner Larsen Consulting

Episode #35 with Jill Poulton from Transformational Leadership

Episode #34 with Janci Templeman from Walker Wakefield

Episode #33 with Denise Anderson, Author, Divorce in a Small Town

Episode #32 with Anne Gibbons from Gibbons Travel Consulting

Episode #31 with Charlene SanJenko from PowHERhouse Media

Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 26 with Dr. Emily Bamforth from Royal Saskatchewan Museum & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 25 with Nigora Yulyakshieva from City of Regina & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 24 with Pam Klein from Phoenix Group & Miriam Johnson from Saskatchewan Roughriders

Episode 23 with Gr. 5 & 6 Students from Argyle School

Episode 22 with Tiffany Wolf from Helium Communications

Episode 21 with Jeff Kinash from Peregrine Farm

Episode 20 with Charlene Oancia from Springer & Oake

Episode 19 with Dan Benesh from BarterPay Regina

Episode 18 with Prabha Mitchell from WESK

Episode 17 with Terrie Dunand from REMAX Crown Real Estate

Episode 16 with Kim Zacaruk from Stone’s Throw Coffee Collective

Episode 15 with Luke Rossmo from Luke Rossmo Music and Gareth Bawden from Bawdenmedia.com

Episode 14 with Kristen Hill from Kristen’s Cultures

Episode 13 with Cyndie Knorr from Cynergy Coaching

Episode 12 with Paul Burch from EchoLotto Inc.

Episode 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

Episode 10 with Brandi Good from BLG Business Solutions

Episode 9 with Dr. Gina Grandy from Hill | Levene Schools of Business

Episode 8 with Candyce Fiessel from The Style Academy and Shear Escape Salon and Spa

Episode 7 with Michelle Strawford from Bella Chic Fashion & Decor and What Women Want

Episode 6 with Jordan McFarlen from  Conexus Business Incubator

Episode 5 with Cheryl Giambattista from Health Coach Cheryl

Episode 4 with Joanne Frederick from Prairie Centre for Mindfulness

Episode 3 with John Hopkins and Amanda Baker, Regina Chamber of Commerce

Episode 2 with Christina Carlson from Queen City Collective

Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Apple Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Google Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Breaker  Overcast.fm  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Pocket Casts  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Radio Public Spotify   Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Anchor

If you’ve ever received a spam email or aren’t exactly sure what phishing is, today’s episode if for you!

Fraudulent emails, scams, links and purchases are costing businesses billions of dollars every year with no sign of a downturn on the horizon.

Everyday business owners are caught by links that appear to be legitimate, by claims that seem reasonable and by offers that seem helpful. They all lead to one place ~ a lost and a cost to the business.

I’m talking to Shahzad Khoja today from IBITS to better understand how a business can protect themselves and their employees from the dozens of untrustworthy communications we receive everyday.

This is an episode that can save you $1000s! Protect yourself and all your digital  assets (click here for a free worksheet!).

Transcript

Barb 0:00
Are you ready to make the phone ring, the website paying and a till ding? In this episode, we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in any community. Its network of local businesses, businesses that rely on foot traffic, phone calls and website bookings. From the skinny lessons that will make you wince to the tell all expose days, these everyday people are doing extraordinary things in their business. Welcome to The Secret Life of local. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local program. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years. From online businesses to multilocation stores, you can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to doers. But before we head into our episode today, I want to ask everyone a question. Have you ever received a spam email? Of course you have who hasn’t? What about a spoof email where it looks like it’s coming from one business, but it’s actually coming from someone else? Or maybe you’ve even had that notification that an account like Facebook or Instagram has been compromised? That’s what we’re talking about today. Cyber security and how as a business, you can protect yourself. So we’re gonna go behind the scenes with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS Intelligent Business and IT solutions. Welcome Shahzad. Tell us a little bit about yourself. And IBITS.

Shahzad 1:32
Thank you, Barb. Thank you for having me on the show. My name is Shahzad. I’m with Ibis. Ibis has been providing IT services. Since 2010. In the province of Saskatchewan, we specialize in providing IT services IT support and cybersecurity to small and medium sized businesses all throughout Canada from our headquarters in Regina. And we are one of the very few businesses in Saskatchewan, providing IT services in both English and French language.

Barb 2:07
Excellent. So let me ask me a really silly question. Why is what you do important?

Shahzad 2:18
What we do is important, because especially living in a province, like Saskatchewan, where we live as a small community, there’s a need for champions in every industry to rise and help local businesses. And this is something that with our expertise, we feel almost obligated to serve our community by providing the best solution so that the small local businesses can thrive, be more secure, and are able to grow and help other fellow community members.

Barb 3:03
Isn’t cybersecurity. Isn’t that a big business thing? Like as a small business? Do I really need to even worry about it?

Shahzad 3:12
This is a million dollar question. every small business owner especially with all the tools, Google, you know, we know how to protect ourselves. We can easily go online search for help and get whatever thing we need. Right now. So So when when a question comes for cybersecurity, we are more, you know, eager to go online and find solutions to help protect ourselves which is also a very good option. But when when the question comes off, who is being impacted with that decision of someone managing their own cybersecurity? One one tends to look at some some answers that am I knowledgeable enough? Am I trained enough? Do I have all the Industry Certification? And do I know everything what I need to do to protect myself and my business from all the cyber threats? And when the question comes to that level? It is slightly you know, important for someone to are basically easy to just pick up the phone and call someone and ask for help. That goes a long way. A lot of time we speak with businesses and they have had their own it and control because every small business start with one or two people and when they start at that level, it makes sense to manage their own it. Yeah. But when they start growing, they definitely need to account for several people involved in the business and how their their their activity is going to impact their business if they are not taking all the checks and balances for their IT security,

Barb 5:08
Exactly. As a business owner, I know I feel quite comfortable with our security. But I can’t, I can’t influence what all of the rest of my team click on. So they might get something that looks 100% 100% legitimate. But when you click the link, it’s like, oh, that’s not where I thought it was going. And one of the biggest offenders that I’m seeing recently is Facebook, I will get a message that looks like it’s from, from Facebook, from Facebook billing from meta. And when you actually look at the link that it comes from, like the email address that it comes from, it’s very clear that it’s not. And even something that simple, I think really confuses people, because right away, they jump to well, if it says it’s from Facebook, then doesn’t have to be from Facebook. And people don’t understand how simple it is to you know, spoof, you know, when a name and an address that it’s that it’s coming from when you’re working with small and local businesses, where like, where would you typically start? I know on our side, we always start with web security and passwords and you know, two factor authentication, where do you start when you step into a local business?

Shahzad 6:28
Excellent question. There. I wish there was an easy answer for this question that you start from here. But but the best way that you can start at this day and age is education. Education is number one priority, if you have a team who, who is using technology, computers, cell phone, you name it, to help you with your business, they all should be first of all trained, they need to have the right education. Once they are trained, you have done 50% of the job. For example, you mentioned about Facebook, a lot of people now working from home, they try and in their spare time on their lunch break, they would visit social media website, which not knowingly could be safe and could not be safe. And especially when they’re using company property. Yes, their their office computer to go on such website, the risk of a cyber attack increases at that point. And then if the education piece has been taken care of the 50 person, the rest of this stuff would be your antivirus would be your spam filter. All the things that go in the list would kind of act as a you know, secondary defense mechanism. So this is this is very important for any small business to keep in mind that educate education is primary. And and we as a small community have a lot to take advantage of local resources we have available. For example, I did not know until a couple of years ago that through Regina Public Library, we have access to LinkedIn learning. Yes, so if your Regina Public Libraries, card holder, you can easily log into your account access LinkedIn learning and LinkedIn learning is full of security courses. So as a business owner, I would advise any person or anyone listening to this podcast is if you want your team to be educated, you can take advantage of a lot of free resources. In fact, Government of Canada has put in a lot of things in place you can go to get cybersafe.gc.ca There’s tons of material, you can get certified. You can Google you can go on online, and then just find resources to train your staff on how they can be more prepared for such attacks to emails to text messages, or you know for it of mediums.

Barb 9:19
So let’s start there, then she’s where or how do a lot of these attacks start? Is it email? Is it somebody clicking on a link they shouldn’t? How does this typically happen?

Shahzad 9:34
It’s one of the primary way of this as we are seeing more commonly happening is especially with email, email is been you know very very useful too. For many many years. People have been using email for their business for their personal for their tax. You know if you if you forget your password, what do you do? Do go on your email, and then you get your recovery code. So email has been number one, there’s text messages, there’s also websites, you know, a lot of time we would website that has, they have actually become more secure. If the companies who website you’re visiting, they have put security tools in place that are keeping them secure, you probably are best to explain that function. But But email is, of course, number one source. And a lot of times people unknowingly receiving messages from the people that know, click on links. And that can open up a can of worms, like, sometimes you won’t even know you have a virus, your computer would all of a sudden start acting slow. And you would just try and doing different methods, but But you wouldn’t know what you did. And the fact might come now or come down the road. But eventually you will see that one click that you did not knowingly, can cause a lot of harm. Like there’s been stats by the Government of Canada that I was eager to share on this podcast, please do that. In 2021 alone, the number of reported frauds costed $379 million, wow, which is 130% increase from previous year. And it is only based on five to 10 person reported crimes. Out of that almost 380 million or you can say 400 Close to 470 person fraud was caused or are was due to cybercrime. Now, if you look at the numbers, only five to 10 person crimes are reported. That means that that 70% of cyber attacks were were basically only five to 10% reported crimes. So if we start looking at the overall picture, the damage is huge. A lot of businesses do not even survive after a cyber attack, like on average estimated value of our cost that goes behind a cyber attack for any business as a million dollars. So if your revenues are basically, you know, under a million dollar, guess what, if your business is getting attacked, you are not able to recover from that damage.

Barb 12:39
Exactly. So if I do some quick math and no promises that this is correct, if if the cost is almost 400 million right now, based on that five to 10% of reporting, let’s assume it’s 10%. That means we’re actually talking about $4 billion. from a cost perspective. If we presume that the other you know, 90%, then gets reported $4 billion is absolutely huge. From a business perspective, that’s revenue lost out of the Canadian economy. That could be you know, hiring people doing things, or doing all of the the work that businesses are supposed to. So if my math is correct, and I’m literally doing it chicken scratch as you talk, if I’m wrong, please tell me now.

Shahzad 13:32
No, it makes sense. In fact, if I’m looking at it, the numbers even huge, because as we speak, you know, a lot of cyber activity is happening, right? A lot of and and it’s it’s it’s one of the facts that cyber criminals are evolving daily. They are finding new tools, new technologies, new ways of you know, spreading those malware attacks ransomware attacks in return, what are we doing as a business owner, right? What steps are we taking for their counter attack? Like what are we going to do today? That can stop them from attacking our business? And it’s a basically a group of businesses that are working together if I am a business owner, and if I buy my let’s say, I work with an accounting firm for my for my taxes, or my bookkeeping, right? And if my business is compromised, what effect I had on my business can impact that accounting firm. Now I bet accounting firm is dealing with another 10 organization in Regina, for example. So that ripple effect is is huge. And going back to the number you came up with. It’s probably possible in fact The damage is even more. So we all need to make sure that we’re taking small, tiny steps every day to secure ourselves so we can avoid such catastrophe.

Barb 15:10
A couple of months ago, I shared a blog post on my website, as well as a tool for anyone who was subscribed to my newsletter. And in that blog post, and in that, in that tool, all I was doing was giving them a spreadsheet that said, Hey, let’s keep track of your passwords. So what is the password for your website? What is the password, you know, for your domain and your hosting. And for lots of people that went beyond their comfort level, as soon as we started talking about hosting and DNS and some of those pieces, one of the things and I know you and I agree on this point, one of the things that I always say to a business owner is a, make sure you retain ownership of all of your digital assets. And that’s something as simple as the documents you create your website, your social channels, because there’s a very significant number of times where I see business owners give their ownership over to someone else. And for me, like I refuse to own other people’s stuff, because yeah, if I get compromised, I do not want you know, that to then spread from there. What kind of what kind of tools like as a small business owner, you know, where can I start? I know you talked about LinkedIn learning but but now I’m ready to do something, what should be some of my first steps Shahzad?

Shahzad 16:47
First step is you need to number one, very important, a lot of businesses when we start talking to them, they do not know what they have in their business. Sometimes they would have idle devices hooked up to their network, that they do not know what the purpose is. And those are an updated unpatched devices that can be very, very harmful for the organization. So first, first thing, first, you need to do an inventory of your entire IT environment. It can be as small as a, you know, keyboard and mouse, you know, printers, cell phones that are getting connected. And the second thing you need to do is to see what is your network coverage? For example, if you have a business where you allow visitors who come to your business and who are accessing your network to go on the internet, is it secure? Is it Is there any security in place, that they are not going to be connecting to the same network, as your staff is connecting to so you got to make sure that that’s separate. Apart from that, you also need to make sure that your devices, no matter how many devices you have in your organization, server, computer, laptops, print printers, network stores, devices, everything should be updated on timely basis. After email, the second, let’s say for example, in an attack, somebody clicked on a link. What happens is that was somebody’s mistake. But if your computer was never updated, with a very important security update from windows, guess what that update that was left out can be also a cause of an attack. That’s what cyber criminals are doing is they’re finding loopholes in existing code existing, you know, piece of software that you’re running on your computer. And if that was never updated, guess what you are opening a door for for an attack. So you got to make sure that all your devices are getting timely updates. You are keeping track of all the devices who are being updated because, again, you cannot always leave those things in your, in your staff hand they have tons of things to do every day, right? They have to to make sure that they’re doing their task regularly. So there has to be an automation or monitoring in place that they are the computer the devices are being updated. And that’s where you know that you have done your job in terms of patching your devices. And of course offer that you have to secure your network with proper network device software. And then you also need to make sure you have a good security antivirus or Nowadays, there’s been enhancement, and that is called endpoint detection and response EDR, which basically, not to get too technical, but can roll back a ransomware attack, which we can probably discuss down the road. But there are tools that you can use to protect your, your assets, and also kind of help your staff to be more secure from their daily job.

Barb 20:28
Yes, I’m gonna share a really quick, funny story. You know, our office, we have a network and one of the alerts that I have set up on the network is if a new device joins the network, I just get an alert on my phone. Right? Not a big deal. And the one day, a device that I knew was supposed to be inactive, suddenly joined the network. And it joined the network at some, like really weird time of the day. So I knew exactly who had done what. And in this particular case, it was actually one of my teenagers who was using it. But here’s the good part was one of my teenagers had taken their siblings device, and was logging on to the network. Simply wasn’t home. The other one was logging in, and I was like, ah, hey, what’s going on? And, you know, said teenager was like, oh, good God, like, Why does mom have to know so much about this stuff?

Shahzad 21:27
Perfect. Yeah. Yeah.

Barb 21:29
One of the things that I often see right now, and you know, if you look, in the average business, you’ve got folks who are nearing retirement and maybe aren’t particularly comfortable with technology, some are, that’s not a generalization. Then you’ve got, I’ll say, Generation X, who is a little bit more comfortable with it, but you know, maybe not in detail, right down to Generation Z, who has never known a world without a phone in their hand. And the culprits that I’m seeing most often right now, are my generation Z, folks, because they want to click everything, they move so fast, they don’t read. Any thoughts on you know, what that might look like in the next five to 10 years for a business? How do we start to put controls and protections in place from that that behavior where we all just click everything without thinking?

Shahzad 22:28
Very, very important question. And I think the, the answer to that question is, we all need to start about cyber security awareness. At a very young age for our our young generation, education, education, education, the more we spread awareness about it, it’s, it’s going to help us down the road, and five to 10 years, what we see here is now that what COVID did that it opened up doors to a lot of new platforms, for example, work from home. Yes, exactly. And what we have been noticing that countries are taking huge advantage of this opportunity they are, they’re actually allowing remote workers to come and live in those countries, which, for example, you know, we usually do it when we retire, we, we go away, when when it’s super cold, there we go and live somewhere warm. That’s actually happening now for younger generation who have who have the ability to work for the employer from from anywhere in the world. Not they’re able to go and live in the places of their dreams. But they’re also able to work remotely live a lifestyle that they like, and what what that say that we all need to make sure that the businesses who want to keep up because there’s a shortage of labor, right, we can find the right person to work for us. And if we need to find the right resource, we need to make sure that we open our doors to those people who have who have that option to work from home. And if you do that, we have to ask this important question. That what are we willing to do to make ourselves secure because if a person anywhere in the world wants to work for us, what tools we need to give them to be able to login to our, our network, remotely, do the daily job they’re supposed to do either it can be as small as email from any device they want, but we need to make sure that we provide the right tools and also not only providing the tools but also keeping a check and balance, which is very important and we tend to forget that you know if you have given an employee, a company equipment company property to do their job. Our responsibility doesn’t end there, we have to make sure that that device has been in track, we need to make sure that it’s getting updated. It has some some mechanism in place that if the person tries to visit any suspicious website, it’s blocking. Yes, it’s making sure that any extra work. Other other work that they’re not supposed to be doing, should be monitored and blocked. And that’s the only way you can make sure that your company property is safe because your company data is being stored on that device. Exactly. Data is is very important for any organization. So if you’re making backups, if you’re making sure the devices you have on your network are secure, then only you can confidently hire someone to work for you from from work from home bases or, or anywhere in the world.

Barb 26:03
Exactly. Yeah, that is fantastic advice. She’s on. We’re just about at a time here today. Before we do wrap up, can you maybe tell us how folks can get a hold of you? Should they you know, do some work first and then give you a shout? Or where do they start? How do they find you.

Shahzad 26:21
So we are easy to find our website is ibits.ca We are available on almost all social platforms. You can find us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, we try and post regularly with tips that businesses can do. And it’s easy to get ahold of us as easiest just picking up the phone and giving us a call and asking any questions you have about your business it we would be more than happy to provide our services. And we are also offering a free network assessment of your entire business at no extra cost with no obligation because this is something we feel it’s important for us to give back to our community.

Barb 27:10
Absolutely. Well, thank you. I appreciate that. All right. On that note, if you want to sell your story, then you need to tell your story. And there’s no better place to start than being a guest on The Secret Life show. If you would like to be a guest you can email me at barb@abovethefold.live or reach out on our Facebook and Instagram pages at above the fold. Ca. I’m your host Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local program. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.

Connect with Shahzad @ IBITS

https://www.facebook.com/IBITSCanada/

https://www.instagram.com/ibits.ca/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/ibits/

Ep. 117 Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

QC Gifts Logo

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

Episode #100 with Victor Roman from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation

Episode #99 with Faith Alyssa Peter from Stressed Out Mamas

Episode #98 with Leah Mazur from Carousel Creative

Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

Episode #95 with Karen Kobussen from CanBall Games

Episode #94 with Wilson Acton

Episode #93 with Carla Browne from Real Property Management Canada

Episode #92 with Donna Ziegler from South Sask Community Foundation

Episode #91 with Scott Love from Store to Door Canada

Episode #90 with Mark Heise from Rebellion Brewing

Episode #89 with Brendan McGuire from Affinity Credit Union

Episode #88 with Tyler Clark form Prairie Benefits Solutions

Episode #87 with Craig Reed from Virtus Group

Episode #86 with Daria Malin from Boost Strategic Coaching

Episode #85 with Bill Thorn form Regina Humane Society

Episode #84 with John Vuong from Local SEO Search

Episode #83 with Linda Boryski from Saskatoon PhysioYoga

Episode #82 with Tracey Poffenroth Prato from RAD Talk with Tracey

Episode #81 with Janet Kotylak, YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode #80 Your Ultimate Guide to Get Found with Local SEO

Episode #79 with Jennifer Fox from Auto Electric Service

Episode #78 with Janet Akre and Susan Robertson from River & Rail ArtVenture

Episode #77 with Karen Smith from Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan

Episode #76 with Julie Naismith from SubThreshold Training

Episode #75 with Josh Haugerud from Regina Folk Festival

Episode #74 with Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote from Black Fox Farm and Distillery

Episode #73 with Cory Furman from Furman IP

Episode #72 with Tracy Archer from Knight Archer Insurance

Episode #71 with Tim Nickel from Fifth Business Consulting

Episode #70 with Taylor Weisgerber from Spartan Mechanical

Episode #69 with Lisa McIntyre from The Optical Shoppe

Episode #68 with Santa Claus

Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

Episode #66 with Natasha Vandenhurk from Three Farmers Foods

Episode #65 with Dianne Beauchamp from PuroClean Regina

Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #56 with Sarah Tkachuk from KPMG & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

Episode #46 with Erika Gayle from Erika Gayle Photography

Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

Episode #44 with Erin Caleval from Erin & Associates Insurance

Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

Episode #43 Part #1 with Jess Tiefenbach from Stay n Play Parenting

Episode #42 with Nadene Joy from Nadene Joy

Episode #41 with Richard Arockiasamy and Sanjana Kumta from GreenMache

Episode #40 with Jodi Barrett, CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada

Episode #39 with Erin Kinder from Kinder Surprises Antiques

Episode #38 with Tanner Goetz from Munz Media

Episode #37 with Jessica McNaughton from memoryKPR

Episode #36 with Wendy Turner-Larsen from Turner Larsen Consulting

Episode #35 with Jill Poulton from Transformational Leadership

Episode #34 with Janci Templeman from Walker Wakefield

Episode #33 with Denise Anderson, Author, Divorce in a Small Town

Episode #32 with Anne Gibbons from Gibbons Travel Consulting

Episode #31 with Charlene SanJenko from PowHERhouse Media

Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 26 with Dr. Emily Bamforth from Royal Saskatchewan Museum & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 25 with Nigora Yulyakshieva from City of Regina & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 24 with Pam Klein from Phoenix Group & Miriam Johnson from Saskatchewan Roughriders

Episode 23 with Gr. 5 & 6 Students from Argyle School

Episode 22 with Tiffany Wolf from Helium Communications

Episode 21 with Jeff Kinash from Peregrine Farm

Episode 20 with Charlene Oancia from Springer & Oake

Episode 19 with Dan Benesh from BarterPay Regina

Episode 18 with Prabha Mitchell from WESK

Episode 17 with Terrie Dunand from REMAX Crown Real Estate

Episode 16 with Kim Zacaruk from Stone’s Throw Coffee Collective

Episode 15 with Luke Rossmo from Luke Rossmo Music and Gareth Bawden from Bawdenmedia.com

Episode 14 with Kristen Hill from Kristen’s Cultures

Episode 13 with Cyndie Knorr from Cynergy Coaching

Episode 12 with Paul Burch from EchoLotto Inc.

Episode 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

Episode 10 with Brandi Good from BLG Business Solutions

Episode 9 with Dr. Gina Grandy from Hill | Levene Schools of Business

Episode 8 with Candyce Fiessel from The Style Academy and Shear Escape Salon and Spa

Episode 7 with Michelle Strawford from Bella Chic Fashion & Decor and What Women Want

Episode 6 with Jordan McFarlen from  Conexus Business Incubator

Episode 5 with Cheryl Giambattista from Health Coach Cheryl

Episode 4 with Joanne Frederick from Prairie Centre for Mindfulness

Episode 3 with John Hopkins and Amanda Baker, Regina Chamber of Commerce

Episode 2 with Christina Carlson from Queen City Collective

Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Apple Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Google Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Breaker  Overcast.fm  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Pocket Casts  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Radio Public Spotify   Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Anchor

Kathy Sabo is the corporate girl gone rogue. After years in the corporate sector, travelling, recruiting and missing her family, Kathy decided it was time to turn in the frequent flyer points and try her hand at running her own business.

The result of her passions is QC Gift, an on-demand gift buying, creating and planning service. From corporate gifts in hotel rooms during the Grey Cup and Agribition to personalized gifts for him and her, Kathy has the market cornered.

Someone hard to buy for? Every gift purchased from Kathy is custom. It is custom to the recipient. It has custom contents and it comes with a playlist to set the mood when the time for gift giving happens!

Tune in now and bookmark this episode to find her website when you need it!

Transcript

Barb 0:00
Are you ready to make the phone ring, that website ping, and a till ding? In this episode, we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in any community. Its network of local businesses, businesses that rely on foot traffic, phone calls and website visitors from the skinny lessons that will make you wince to the tell all expose days. These everyday people are doing extraordinary things in their businesses. Welcome to The Secret Life of local. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local program. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years. From online businesses to multilocation stores, you can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to doers. Today, we’re going behind this behind the scenes with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts, who makes gift giving easy from little kids birthday presents to Office gifts for the whole team to kick off projects with a bang. Welcome, Kathy, tell us a little bit about yourself and QC gifts.

Kathy 1:07
Well, first off, thank you so much for having me here today. I’m really excited to do my first podcast. Absolutely. I’m I’m born and raised here in Regina, Saskatchewan. I’ve had a career in education for the last decade. And then I had some kids and I’ve kind of transitioned to more of a career here around Regina. But I do have an interesting spin and a different kind of eye for looking around the city. So I am I’m excited to share some of my lessons learned with you.

Barb 1:41
Absolutely. So we’re just you know, kind of past the holiday season. And you know, how was Christmas? Was it a pretty good? Was it a pretty busy time for your business?

Kathy 1:54
It was funny, I kind of didn’t expect it to be as crazy as it was a kind of kicked off with a bang with the great cop actually, we had some good orders. Then we did some boxes for hotel guests and that sort of thing. And then it rolled into Edgar Bishan. And Edgar vision this year was just awesome. For us. It was our first time being there. And it kind of got the wheels rolling towards, you know, exhibitions did last week of November into December. So we were right in the thick of it. So from then through on to right. Even last week, I was filling orders out so it was crazy. Wow. Yeah.

Barb 2:35
Okay, so tell us about some of the orders that you feel like what what kind of gifts do you do?

Kathy 2:42
Um, well, I kind of have two different branches. So we have the custom gift box where it’s a husband that has a wife who appreciates local loves the arts, but he kind of is a busy guy, or he doesn’t want to spend the time to, you know, make something really special. But he wants to treat his special somebody with something really thoughtful. Yep, those are my favorites. So I get a big budget, I can talk to my favorite people in town. And I can kind of create something in a lovely box. And each of my boxes, I put a playlist in it. So what I mean by that is, it’s a music playlist that goes on top of free, you can even open it. So you get your box. And there’s a little QR code and I asked the person to just take that, so that while they’re opening it, they’re actually setting the mood, the music’s playing so cool into the box. And that’s actually what I do for all my boxes. So if you look then at like another example, this Christmas, I made 200 boxes for a retirement home. Okay, and inside each of those boxes, we made cookies, we had chocolate, like bark in there, and then an ornament custom made for the retirement home. And each one of those had a playlist in it where they could listen to a Christmas playlist. So no matter the size of the box, I really want individuals to not just have a thing but I want them to experience it. I think sometimes we rely too heavily on like giving things so a lot of my gifts you’ll find that are available on the website are for they’re useful gifts, they’re useful art, there’s a purpose behind them, and or there’s food related that sort of thing. So I feel as though it does create more than just a thing.

Barb 4:55
You know what that idea of a gift experience that It’s not something that’s common, right? It’s not just about get the tissue paper off. Like, it’s the whole experience around it. Where did you come up with that idea? It just came to you.

Kathy 5:13
It just came to me, I guess, you know, I found one that during COVID QR codes came back into like a little more of a popular thing. I love music. It’s a part of who I am. I’ve always enjoyed that sort of thing. And, you know, I was a believer of the QR code, because I had spent so much time in Asia with my past career. So, so I just wanted to embrace it in my gift boxes. I don’t know why I’m a techie girl. I am a I like to, you know, be a early adapter. And, you know, give people you know, like, it’s not that hard to take a picture of a QR code. Yep, high and low. And it’s a little surprise for them. And it doesn’t cost my business a lot of money. It’s my time. Yeah, I think it’s thoughtful.

Barb 6:07
So are the are the playlists curated? Based on what’s in the gift? Or do you kind of have a standard set of, I don’t know, 10 or something, and you just pick which one seems to make the most sense for the gift that you’re giving? Like, how do you put that together?

Kathy 6:24
I think it just depends if it’s a birthday box, I have a birthday playlist, and it’s a thank you gift box. You know, we got all those Thank you songs from diet going in there. It’s you know, and then if it’s like something special like to me this past weekend, I had my friends basketballs, her little guys basketball league bought big water bottles that I can like, put put their team logo on with like their number. And I have towels like that. So I created created a basketball playlist for them. Oh, cool. So it has like the warm up song and all that. And so each box, I have the QR code placed right directly on top of the box, taped on there. So and then my girlfriend who’s like, on the group chat for the team actually said, hey, guys scan this so that you guys can create an experience with your kids.

Barb 7:22
Yeah. Oh, that is so cool. I have never heard or seen anything like that. Obviously, I’ve never received anything from you. So that like, that’s just a fantastic idea. I love that. And I hope you trademark that. So that, you know, when other people start doing it that is is exciting. Okay, so you also talk about purposeful gifts. And that really warms my heart. Because, you know, as a society, we’ve really landed in this place where it’s just stuff stuff stuff, like I just want more and more and more. And, you know, we kind of see my own kids, my kids are teenagers, and they’re falling victim victim to it. They want they want they want. And yet when I look at what they just got for Christmas, but things that we hear about the most are the experiences they had. And, you know, like on one hand, okay, yes, we all want something under the tree, you know, to open but at the same time, what can we create as an experience, instead of just needing more and more and more stuff? Right?

Kathy 8:31
A really good gift box. I love giving families is I placed a game in a box like, like sequence. Yes, I have to pay for something, I guess. But you know, it’s, it’s a game that I think you know, it’s not that expensive. And it’s a cool thing to have later on. But then inside it, that box, I also include all these local snacks. Right? Like we have so many cool like chocolate tears and like drinks and like munchies. Like we have a lot of people making cool stuff and Regina. Yeah, so flooring all of that stuff in there. And then can like also add rebellion beer, like I have a liquor license, right, like so I can actually create, then throw that playlist in there. And it’s an experience and yes, there’s money towards it. You’re creating more than just like a little snack and a game like obviously kids are going to, you know, remember that fun time that they played sequence with their parents with all the snacks. And then ladies have recreated a couple of weekends later, you know?

Barb 9:38
Exactly. Hey, have you heard of Ken ball games? Do you know that? Oh, okay. I’ll meet they’re based in Saskatoon and they make up baseball and football. Like your tea? No, you’re not Yachty What’s the game with the pegs that you move? So they’ve created baseball and ballgames in that same concept. You just you have to look it up afterwards. Because yeah, they’re made in Saskatoon. They have a website. And so I think, nationally, I don’t think they’re international yet because of the cost to ship. But we purchased one for my husband’s birthday last year. And it is it’s just like baseball, just like baseball, including the fact that I can still beat my kids. Exactly like, Yeah, hold on to those moments as long as you possibly can.

Kathy 10:36
And it’s a local game, which is another thing. And like, these are those conversations. Like when I first started a year ago, I remember I reached out to Val milker. She’s a local artist in the city that I just love. And she was like, Well, do you know this person to know this person? And then it kind of got me into like, the network of what’s available and what’s going on from her perspective. And then I started to actually go to some of the, you know, craft shows and that sort of stuff to kind of gauge what else is going on in the city. And, you know, it’s been such a cool experience from, you know, education and government relations, kind of jobs to hearing about, like, what’s going on in the ground, grassroots of our city, really. And then sharing those stories like what you’re doing I, I love the podcast concept. I’m not that brave. I do do a blog, though, where if back in my history, you know, I’ve last year in my very first year, I think I probably interviewed about 10 local businesses and call it their blogs up on my site and trying to, you know, get that momentum going about our city.

Barb 11:45
Yeah, exactly. That’s, that’s one of the biggest things. And I mean, you’re totally singing my song now. Because I’m a huge believer that we we need to help our local businesses get found. It’s easy to find Costco, WalMart and Sobeys. Right, we need to help our local businesses get found. And I mean, that’s exactly what I do is, you know, what do you need to do to get found because we’re all on social media, we all push a ton of content out to whoever is watching and listening. But we forget, how do we get the customer when they’re now ready to make the purchase? Just because my social media post shows up in front of you doesn’t mean you’re ready to buy right now. But when you are, how do I make sure that you know, when you start Googling, you know, gift boxes, Regina? Things like that, how do we make sure that we get in front of people? So it’s, um, it is it’s a really, it’s a really interesting experience to see how all these local businesses kind of come out of the woodwork when you start digging. And, and they’re too far they’re too far buried, like Walmart and Costco are just too easy to go and grab the first thing you see on the shelf and say, Okay, this is for the mother in law, this is for the father in law, here we go Christmas shopping done.

Kathy 13:09
Right? It’s just, it’s interesting, because COVID was really like what drew me to do this business model, because at the time, I was communications role where I have a lens of Regina, and I knew that all of the community associations, all of those groups of people were not working at that point, it was like, so there wasn’t another hat like networking going on. If you were, you know, hoping for a, you know, like a community sale or any of that sort of stuff, none of that was going on. So I, when I started QC gets really was thinking of the people that didn’t have the website at the time that weren’t wanting to have that model. Like, really, I read the book traction, a little while ago, it’s a really good book. Yeah. Which talks about, you know, how you lay out, like your business and structure it. And one of the things that I was doing that I found I was doing wrong was, I was spending like, you know, 50% of my time worrying about ads on social media, but only 10% of my sales were coming from it. So like we spreading the web differently, and really understanding that. Like, even though I think everybody should be on social media and knowing exactly how to use it and where it should be, I needed to also reach out to those places that weren’t so easy. So I created a list of people that I could connect with that could help me spread the word.

Barb 14:48
Yeah, exactly. So like, take us back to COVID and your earlier career, like do you just wake up one morning and go like, hey, I want to do gift boxes like take us on that journey? So how did you end up being the owner of QC Gifts? What’s that? What’s that story look like?

Kathy 15:08
It took some years. It’s interesting how I think of woman’s career can be affected by having children. Honestly, I was in a position where I had to do quite a lot of traveling. The work hours were international hours. Yeah. So when you go away, and you have little babies is I’m not saying that for dad. It’s not difficult at all. Yep. But it was really hard on me, I found that it gave me a lot of anxiety and my mental health, like really began to kind of suffer because of it. I wasn’t having joy at work anymore. So I was like, Okay, well, maybe, you know, I had a tenured tenure career at the U of R. So it was a good, like, Fine, you know, doing that, but I was ready for change. So I did end up wanting to do a communications job, because in the back of my mind, I knew I had to get more experience on the local scene. Because when it comes to creating partnerships, and that sort of stuff, I was already kind of thinking, how could I leverage that it here in Regina, because I have some good skill sets, you know, developing contracts. So that kind of those were kind of in my head bumping around. And then I got a job where I learned a lot of the communication skills that I needed to communicate locally. And it was interesting, because when I started the job, there was no COVID. And then three weeks in COVID hit and to be a senior strategist for all local community centers. Yeah. It was a trip, I tell you, but it gave me so much more experience in that timeframe than I would have If COVID wasn’t happening. Because that whole time I was able to practice news releases and all that sort of stuff, which I wasn’t doing both, you know if it was regular time, so it was interesting.

Barb 17:11
Yeah. Oh, it would be Yeah.

Kathy 17:15
So we introduced that level of marketing, and I wanted flexibility. Had these kids at home. I liked working at home because I was doing COVID Then for a while at home for about, I don’t know, it was like a year and a half with the Cydia. So I was like, I don’t want to go back into an office. I think this is lovely to have the flexibility. And you know, some places aren’t weren’t willing to do that. Yep. So it kind of just evolved. From there, I had all these little ideas. And then I shook them out. And then I kind of threw the dice out. And then I knew it was going to be about gifts. I didn’t know that I would be doing sublimation and customizing stuff to the extent that we are now. But I just think it’s such an incredible like avenue that we’ve developed now that we’re here. I look at sticks and doodles, and I think their backgrounds kind of similar to mine, actually, they bought a Cricut. And like started creating stuff out of wood. And a year or two later, poof, they have a bricks and mortar business. And I’m not saying that’s what I want by any means. But I did start with the Cricut. And it got those creative juices of mind flowing and it made me really think about how we can make such professional items. Yes, he’s in our house. So, um, you know, it’s pretty cool what we can do nowadays, as an entrepreneur, if you’re willing to, you know, pound the pavement, make those connections. And then, you know, I’m a year in, and we, you know, have a lot more work to do. But like, I’m confident that each year it’s gonna get better.

Barb 18:54
Yes, exactly. So talk about this customization. So I come to you and I say, hey, I need a gift for my husband or my mother in law. Like, tell me about that customization process. Because it sounds a little bit like to you, the sky’s the limit. So as long as I come to you with, here’s who I want to get for, here’s my budget, here’s their interest, then, like your creative juices just take over from there, is that right?

Kathy 19:22
It is for the most part, like when I do like a like an order of custom. They usually will saying okay, like I’ll give you an example say a hobby. I don’t want to do the hobbies say

Barb 19:34
They get beat up enough because I suspect you see many of them.

Kathy 19:39
I do I do. And so let’s just think of, okay, we have a girl that broke her ankle at the office and we want to get well but barks you know, okay. And so what I kind of do is is I ask the person who’s, you know, called me or emailed me I just, I asked them a few things like are they a plant? person or are they a chocolate person? Are they a coffee person, and just a few things there, what’s their favorite TV show, and it kind of gives me I have some pretty good gauges of emotional intelligence. So I can kind of sleuth on the internet a bit on them. And I’ll actually kind of figure out where I feel like their interest on that those topics might be or whatever. And then I would, you know, create a couple of designs of items, like a water bottle or a t shirt, or something like that. And I’ll send the design to the person, and they can kind of give me some guidance from there. And then we can adjust and then send, once they’re good with it, I then will sublimate it onto like the blank. And so really, what I use is I use Canva. It’s a designing program, which has hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of clip arts. So really, all I do is I kind of just, you know, create a couple things using the clip arts. And then you know, sublimation, it’s a really interesting process. It’s a special ink that you accidentally heat up, and then it turns into a gas and then it adheres to like a plastic. Oh, wow. Okay, yeah, it’s interesting. So what you have to do is really have like, the images on, like, printed onto something, and then secure to that product that you’re putting it onto super tight. And that’s the transfer happens. It’s kind of like you’re burning the image into the plastic, if you have to imagine it that way.

Barb 21:39
Okay, yeah, that makes some sense. Wow. Like I, I’m trying to wrap my head around that, like, how in the heck did you how did you learn to do that?

Kathy 21:50
Well, you know, designing on Cricut was like my start. And then it took me like to do social media and stuff you already are using Canva. So to then be able to design something to print off on a special kind of paper, it’s not that big of a leap. And really, like, I have to say, Youtube, Snapchat, and all those social media tools out there, show people how to do things. It’s incredible. So you know, like, trial and error, you know, you have to commit to something, I have made a lot of errors with the products that we’ve made. And, you know, we don’t sell those. So there’s a big investment in learning how to do it, for sure. But now that we’re here, like, I tell you, I get every, every time something goes out, I tell you, people are sending messages back saying how they thought this was the most thoughtful gift if my favorite gift to give. Yeah, well, you know, it’s not just about you know, them getting it you know, everybody gets happy. You get happy giving it to the person you get happy making it I have these two girls. Oh my gosh, yep. This This Christmas, it was pretty funny. They have they played pranks in the office, where the take a picture and then they put it on something funny. Okay. Well, so they’ve been putting it or something like that. So anyways, they did this mug where they got a silly picture of the girl. And then on the other side of the mug was the girl that was sending it to her sticking her tongue out at the picture. Oh, my goodness, it was so funny. And then, you know, it’s just started. Now this pranking in their office that I helped them with. It’s hilarious.

Barb 23:39
Absolutely. Okay, so we’re actually getting close to having to wrap up. But before we do that, tell me about, like your favorite box you ever did. Or the craziest one you ever did, like, Give us an idea of the like breadth of what you can do?

Kathy 24:00
Well, for Grey Cup, we did a good one that I thought it turned out really good. It was for a large company in the city. And they were having a bunch of their head office come down to Regina for the Grey Cup. So they had, you know, rented out, say 50 hotel rooms. And I had a healthy budget. So I was kind of given the freedom to play around with it. And so what I did was like, you know, I said, Okay, so what kind of things were you expecting? And they kind of had their, you know, few little things and I’m like, okay, cool, cool, cool. And then I’m like, alright, but what about all of this? And so this is how I make it easy. I may get more than what you would think. And that’s what makes these gifts pot. So I was like, Well, those are great ideas. We’ll have some, you know, coffee pods and some tea. Sure, we’ll put in, you know, a granola bar. But then what I did I was I was like, let’s get some Tylenol because they’ll probably be hungover from the Grey Cup. Okay, yeah. What about some earplugs while you’re in the hotel room because people are going to be partying and that’s going to be super annoying. And you might want to get some sleep. So earplugs put in there. Oh, and your hands and your feet might be cold at the game. So I put warmers in the box. So then I ran around the city worked with locks, Simpson snacks, cyberpunk soda, you know, all of these guys and put those items in there. So then this big business feels good too, because they’re supporting local. And then of course, I made my playlist with some, you know, typical Grey Cup songs, but I had to sneak some, you know, writer songs in there. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And I just had a blast doing it. And I tell you, they felt great leaving those for their people that were coming here. And I’m sure that it amplified their experience of the Grey Cup event.

Barb 25:58
Oh, absolutely. That is fantastic. All right. Just before we wrap up today, Kathy, I tell people how they can find you.

Kathy 26:07
Sure, if you don’t mind, you can email me at Kathy with a K at QCgifts.ca You can check out me, check me out online@www.qcgifts.ca. And I’m also available on all social media channels like Facebook, tick tock, and Instagram.

Barb 26:29
Awesome. That is fantastic. That is such a neat story that you have Kathy and you know, I hear hear from so many entrepreneurs how they left the corporate career or they left that traditional trajectory. Sometimes it’s tied to kids family, and sometimes it’s just what’s inside of us. Right? We have that whole to do something different. So thank you for sharing with us so openly today. On that note, if you would like to be a guest on the show, you can email me at barb at above the fold dot live or reach out on our Facebook and Instagram pages at above the fold. Ca. If you want to sell your story then you need to tell your story. And there is no better place to start than being a guest on The Secret Life Show. I’m your host Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local program. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.

Ep. 116 Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Andrea Lo Toronto Dating Hub

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

Episode #100 with Victor Roman from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation

Episode #99 with Faith Alyssa Peter from Stressed Out Mamas

Episode #98 with Leah Mazur from Carousel Creative

Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

Episode #95 with Karen Kobussen from CanBall Games

Episode #94 with Wilson Acton

Episode #93 with Carla Browne from Real Property Management Canada

Episode #92 with Donna Ziegler from South Sask Community Foundation

Episode #91 with Scott Love from Store to Door Canada

Episode #90 with Mark Heise from Rebellion Brewing

Episode #89 with Brendan McGuire from Affinity Credit Union

Episode #88 with Tyler Clark form Prairie Benefits Solutions

Episode #87 with Craig Reed from Virtus Group

Episode #86 with Daria Malin from Boost Strategic Coaching

Episode #85 with Bill Thorn form Regina Humane Society

Episode #84 with John Vuong from Local SEO Search

Episode #83 with Linda Boryski from Saskatoon PhysioYoga

Episode #82 with Tracey Poffenroth Prato from RAD Talk with Tracey

Episode #81 with Janet Kotylak, YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode #80 Your Ultimate Guide to Get Found with Local SEO

Episode #79 with Jennifer Fox from Auto Electric Service

Episode #78 with Janet Akre and Susan Robertson from River & Rail ArtVenture

Episode #77 with Karen Smith from Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan

Episode #76 with Julie Naismith from SubThreshold Training

Episode #75 with Josh Haugerud from Regina Folk Festival

Episode #74 with Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote from Black Fox Farm and Distillery

Episode #73 with Cory Furman from Furman IP

Episode #72 with Tracy Archer from Knight Archer Insurance

Episode #71 with Tim Nickel from Fifth Business Consulting

Episode #70 with Taylor Weisgerber from Spartan Mechanical

Episode #69 with Lisa McIntyre from The Optical Shoppe

Episode #68 with Santa Claus

Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

Episode #66 with Natasha Vandenhurk from Three Farmers Foods

Episode #65 with Dianne Beauchamp from PuroClean Regina

Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #56 with Sarah Tkachuk from KPMG & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

Episode #46 with Erika Gayle from Erika Gayle Photography

Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

Episode #44 with Erin Caleval from Erin & Associates Insurance

Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

Episode #43 Part #1 with Jess Tiefenbach from Stay n Play Parenting

Episode #42 with Nadene Joy from Nadene Joy

Episode #41 with Richard Arockiasamy and Sanjana Kumta from GreenMache

Episode #40 with Jodi Barrett, CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada

Episode #39 with Erin Kinder from Kinder Surprises Antiques

Episode #38 with Tanner Goetz from Munz Media

Episode #37 with Jessica McNaughton from memoryKPR

Episode #36 with Wendy Turner-Larsen from Turner Larsen Consulting

Episode #35 with Jill Poulton from Transformational Leadership

Episode #34 with Janci Templeman from Walker Wakefield

Episode #33 with Denise Anderson, Author, Divorce in a Small Town

Episode #32 with Anne Gibbons from Gibbons Travel Consulting

Episode #31 with Charlene SanJenko from PowHERhouse Media

Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 26 with Dr. Emily Bamforth from Royal Saskatchewan Museum & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 25 with Nigora Yulyakshieva from City of Regina & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 24 with Pam Klein from Phoenix Group & Miriam Johnson from Saskatchewan Roughriders

Episode 23 with Gr. 5 & 6 Students from Argyle School

Episode 22 with Tiffany Wolf from Helium Communications

Episode 21 with Jeff Kinash from Peregrine Farm

Episode 20 with Charlene Oancia from Springer & Oake

Episode 19 with Dan Benesh from BarterPay Regina

Episode 18 with Prabha Mitchell from WESK

Episode 17 with Terrie Dunand from REMAX Crown Real Estate

Episode 16 with Kim Zacaruk from Stone’s Throw Coffee Collective

Episode 15 with Luke Rossmo from Luke Rossmo Music and Gareth Bawden from Bawdenmedia.com

Episode 14 with Kristen Hill from Kristen’s Cultures

Episode 13 with Cyndie Knorr from Cynergy Coaching

Episode 12 with Paul Burch from EchoLotto Inc.

Episode 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

Episode 10 with Brandi Good from BLG Business Solutions

Episode 9 with Dr. Gina Grandy from Hill | Levene Schools of Business

Episode 8 with Candyce Fiessel from The Style Academy and Shear Escape Salon and Spa

Episode 7 with Michelle Strawford from Bella Chic Fashion & Decor and What Women Want

Episode 6 with Jordan McFarlen from  Conexus Business Incubator

Episode 5 with Cheryl Giambattista from Health Coach Cheryl

Episode 4 with Joanne Frederick from Prairie Centre for Mindfulness

Episode 3 with John Hopkins and Amanda Baker, Regina Chamber of Commerce

Episode 2 with Christina Carlson from Queen City Collective

Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Apple Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Google Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Breaker  Overcast.fm  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Pocket Casts  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Radio Public Spotify   Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Anchor

Picture your perfect first date. Do you see a quaint little coffee shop? Maybe drinks & a movie?

How about puppy yoga? Or jet skiing?

Meet Andrea Lo and her not-so-conventional singles service. Andrea plans events through her business, the Toronto Dating Hub, for singles across the area. From how to dress, what to wear and how to pose, Andrea helps all of her guests have a fun, safe and comfortable group first date experience.

In the Toronto area, interested in attending? Check out Andrea’s contact details below. Curious to learn more about her “real guests” approach to marketing her business? Tune in to today’s episode!

 

 

Transcript

Andrea 0:00
Hey, how are you? I’m more than five right now because it was all quiet and then I don’t know if you can hear the drilling and I’m like, No,

Barb 0:08
I can’t I can’t hear anything.

Andrea 0:09
Okay, because I’m like, the worst thing that can happen is the drilling and renovations in a condo and I’m like a great yeah, it’s gonna be very

Barb 0:24
Exciting. Oh, you don’t know.

Andrea 0:26
Like it’s different people in the building will do renovations and they’ll send out a notice but it’s like, Thanks for the notice, but there’s nothing I could do except I guess, you know, leave my place and go to a Starbucks instead. But yeah, the problem with that, that a lot of the places is like they’re not there’s not a strong signal for Wi Fi. So it’s

Barb 0:49
Terrible. Yeah. When you’re trying to hop on those calls. Yeah. It’s absolutely terrible. I agree wholeheartedly. Okay, cool. Thank you for being so accommodating. I will take too much of your time, but I am super excited to hear about the Toronto Dating Hub. And so that’s exactly how I should refer to it right is the Toronto. Yeah, okay. Okay,

Andrea 1:13
Perfect. And so and then you said, I know you’re gonna record both, but it’s really more of my voice. Because I was just like, do I have to like, change it? Because, you know, I’m used to zoom and I got to zoom background and like, I don’t know.

Barb 1:23
Yeah, no, you don’t do anything like you can see like, I’m in ponytail. And I’m not sure if I brush my hair today. I’m sure I tried but I was on the phone at the same time. And I’m just like, Why do I have all these knots in the bottom of my ponytail? But anyway, that’s a whole other issue. No, I used to do a video podcast. And it just you know what, it was a heck of a lot of work for both me and guests. Because you did you want to do all that shit to prepare. And it was like, Yeah, you know what people want to listen when they’re walking the dog and stuff like that. So yeah, I kind of went away from that and instead, I Yeah, we just get to like, let it all hang out and not worry about it. So it’s kind of nice. Nice. Okay, so tell you a little bit about how this works. The podcast is 25 minutes long because it does air on our local radio station first, so I have to fit into their time slot. And yeah, so 25 minutes we get to just chit chat. Obviously this is the first time we’re meeting but usually what I’ll say to guests is he’s just like the first time we met and all ask you questions about your business and yeah, so it’s really just a 25 minute promo for the Toronto dating how we’re gonna air just before Valentine’s so timing wise, I think it should work out pretty good for you. Yeah. So it’ll just be kind of fun. And what else can you tell you going in? I’ll do a bit of an intro. I usually trip on my tongue a couple of times in the intro so I’ll clean that up. If something big happens like let’s say they are drilling and like your bookshelf behind you falls over.

Andrea 2:57
I heard about that on your one of your podcasts I was listening to. Yeah,

Barb 3:01
That’s exactly. So a big step happens. I do absolutely go edit that out. But unless it’s big, I don’t go back and do a lot of editing. So it’s pretty raw and authentic. If you make a mistake if you if you need to say something again, just tell me and we’ll totally take that out. Exciting part might be that we’re waiting for a pickup and if they ring my doorbell, I’m in my basement by the way, if they ring the doorbell, my dogs are going to go apeshit Now, the good news is there are no dogs in my office right now. And so what I’ll have to do is like pause the recording, run upstairs, give them the pickup, then come back downstairs. It’s almost it’s inevitable that you know it’s gonna happen while I’m in the middle of recording because that’s everybody’s favorite time to ring the doorbell right? Worse. Cemeteries There we go. All right. And with that, if you are ready, I will start the intro and start the recording.

Andrea 4:03
Yeah, and you can hear me okay like it’s coming clear.

Barb 4:07
Yeah, I’ve been watching it my end watching our audio levels. Were pretty pretty level I might adjust you know a little bit kind of as we go. The one thing that sometimes happens is guests lean back from their microphone. So if you see me doing this, it just means come back closer to your microphone. And when we get close to that 25 minute mark, you will still see me hold up two fingers just to say like we’re in that last couple minutes. And I’ll make sure that you have time to like promo how do people find you? How do they sign up? You know, that kind of stuff. So we save that kind of to the end. And yeah, otherwise it would be as if we’re having a glass of wine on the patio in Toronto. Exactly. Okay, cool. I will I’m not gonna be able to see you for a second because I have to switch screens to read my intro. But I do try and do like a live intro so you will hear all of it so here we go. Ready? All right. Are you ready to make the door swing, the phone ring and the website ping? In this episode, we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in any community. Its network of local businesses, businesses that rely on foot traffic, phone calls, and in today’s case, website pings from those skinny lessons that will make you wince to the tell all expose as these everyday people are doing extraordinary things in their businesses. Welcome to The Secret Life of local. I’m your host Barb McGrath, Google girl and local business cheerleader. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years. From online businesses tell multilocation stores you can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to doers. Today we’re going behind the scenes with one Toronto business owner who is changing up the dating scene. Yeah, that dating scene. So tune in and let’s he see. Let’s hear oh, Andrea is changing the dating scene. In Toronto. Welcome, Andrea. Thank you

Andrea 6:20
So much for having me. I’m so excited to be here. Yep,

Barb 6:23
Absolutely. It’s a pleasure. So you know, let’s kick off. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Andrea 6:29
All right, my name is Andrew Lo. I’m the founder of Toronto Dating Hub. We’re in race here in Toronto. Simply put, I plan events and connect people.

Barb 6:38
Awesome. Okay, that’s where the dating piece fits in there. Very cool. Now, how did you get there? Because something tells me you didn’t finish high school or university and say, hey, I want to start connecting people. So yeah, what’s your what’s your story? Yeah, so

Andrea 6:54
I went to University of Toronto for business and marketing. I always knew I loved working with people being around people being creative. So, you know, I did you know, finish school and still you know, doing something that I studied but you know, I worked for marketing agencies did a lot of experiential marketing. So working on a lot of corporate brands doing a lot of events and marketing campaigns. And during the pandemic while I got laid off like many others, and honestly, it was a really dark time for me. I’m sure many people, you know, can say the same thing. But for me during the pandemic in 2020, you know, three awful things kind of happened. One obviously being laid off after working for that company for almost nine years was a good chunk of my career. Yeah, and then and then the boyfriend at the time broke up with me. Oh, goodness, it’s always great. And then I live in in a condo downtown, which is great. But my family being strict Asian parents and family, because they live with them and then during that start of the pandemic, where you know, the whole lockdown. So, you know, if you’re not going to be in our bubble in our home, then you can’t see your nephews you can’t come over, you know, and it was like, oh, no, I lost my job, my career. The boyfriend at the time, my family doesn’t want to see me it was really dark time. And

Barb 8:26
So no kidding. Wow, that’s hard. That’s very isolating, which makes all of that even harder.

Andrea 8:34
Exactly. And so you know, it took a while of course to get over it definitely did the ugly crying to find you know, some kind of source or something to take my mind off things refocus and I took all that sort of negative energy and was like, Okay, if I am feeling isolated and awful, I can’t imagine what other people are feeling who who are also single but have less of a network that than I do. And so I said, Okay, I’m going to start Toronto Dating Hub. I’m going to start doing singles events. And at that time, it was you know, online, but I figured, okay, you know what, I’m gonna I’m gonna do something for the singles community because at the time, there were no events, you know, virtual in person. And so I channeled all that energy towards trauma Dating Hub, and that’s where it’s sort of all began where the virtual events at first you think of them like virtual house parties, I was gathering, you know, men and women who are single and doing icebreakers, doing breakout rooms. It was really cool. And then, you know, fast forward today, I’m doing two to five events per month. This is on top of my day job.

Barb 9:55
There’s another day job to you. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. And

Andrea 9:59
But I’m, it’s been such a wonderful time to help other singles out and you know, see some of them transform, you know, from being super shy and introverted to you know, someone who’s getting matches now and going on dates. So it’s, it’s really cool. I love what I do. And that’s sort of how I found my calling through a dark time to now doing something I’m super passionate about, and it’s so impactful.

Barb 10:27
Oh, absolutely. And you know, it’s interesting, because it’s so many entrepreneur entrepreneurial journeys, there is there’s that dark time to come to a better place. Right. And sometimes I think we have to go through that. We have to be in a really gross place to be able to go okay, I need to change something and then that’s when we, you know, the whole Caterpillar becomes a butterfly thing. Right? Okay, so tell me about the hub. So is it all in person? Is there an online component still? And you know, like, what are some of the stories you’re seeing as a result of the hub?

Andrea 11:07
Yes, so I try to do really different things. You know, I’m certainly not the only player in the space here. However, I feel I’m super different. I’m the first in the world to do jetski speeddating. Yep, you’re jet skiing. You’re on jet skis and your speed dating and so that’s really cool. But I’ve done super other cool things like E scooter speed dating, you know picnic speed dating, Puppy yoga. Now, just I’ve always said you know, even when you’re when first dates right, it’s it’s important. To have some kind of activity. Yes, you different, right. Otherwise, it’s just like, Okay, let’s just go for coffee and chat. Like, you can do that with anyone at any time. So I really want to make sure my events were different and if you don’t find was a romantic connection. You can still check off something from your bucket list, right? Because Absolutely, you go you know, jet skiing, let alone use that as a form to meet other singles in the city. So it’s super cool. And yeah, like I said, I’ve seen people go from, you know, super introverted, super shy you know, not a lot of friends. Maybe they’re new to the city and they’ve flourished in terms of, you know, after coaching or coming to a few events and getting comfortable in their own skin, learning how to converse with others right from their shell. And, you know, being able to finally connect with someone else over some fun over fun activities, finals matches and finally date or date again, for some people and I have anywhere from, you know, students like coming out of university or just graduated to divorce dates. Right? Like you see a whole gamut of different people from different walks of life come out, right. Again, just really nice to see people come out, have fun come out of their shell. Talk, be lively had read somewhat so many people. My events were their first you know, like coming out to events again, like my friends, were there first events coming out of the pandemic.

Barb 13:17
Exactly. Being in person again. Okay, I gotta take you back to this jetskiing speed dating, speed dating or like even like I’ve done speed networking, so I’ve done that thing before. So usually they give you like, one minute or five minutes or 15 minutes. How do you jet ski speed meeting people, like just explain what that looks like for me. I need a visual for this one.

Andrea 13:40
Yes, for sure. So basically, depending on the event, like how many jet skis I’m able to source with the vendor, the partner and one event there was like five jet skis. So instead of you each each have a jet ski to ride like a female and a male on you know, because there’s not enough I would actually play some together. So it’s even more like oh, my gosh, like I’m sharing a jetski. Yeah, super cool, because you’re learning to trust one another. Yep. You’re helping each other get on the jetski because you can flip off just trying to get on a jetski. Right. Oh, totally. So you know, you’re helping each other out. Potentially that means you’re holding hands right? You’re You’re I think of Aladdin remember the to you trust me when he holds up his hand to go on the magic carpet. Right? Yeah. So you know you’re doing that and also, right? Everyone always thinks is it the guy that operates the Jetski? Well, no, it’s up to those two individuals because you are trained to be able to operate or be a passenger. And so it’s up to that couple to design decide who would like to, you know, you know, operate and sit in front while someone learns to to be in the back and you’re kind of CO piloting. So I always thought well, eight it’s super fun to go jet skiing. If you’ve ever been on a jet ski. It’s it’s, yeah, 100 kilometers an hour, which you’re flying. So there’s the thrill, the exhilaration, and then you’re now you know, meeting with someone else and you’re trying to have a conversation so you can’t go 100 kilometers. But, you know, I think it’s about 20 kilometers before you can’t really hear them if you go too fast. But we’re just having loads of fun and it’s like I said, building trust as we go too fast. You might scare the person or the person might fly off. Right, exactly. And but it’s super fun. So you do that but then I just do I just basically rotate them I just stay they go off for let’s say 510 minutes, they come back and then we switch partners. I have a list that we rotate them. It’s very organized in that sense. And usually a lot of times I might have jet skis plus kayaks and paddle boards. So it’s a whole water sports event. And so again, some people don’t feel I have people who don’t know how to swim come out.

Barb 15:57
Oh, wow. Oh, that’s so great on their farm. Oh, wow.

Andrea 16:02
So like I said, it’s amazing to see what people are willing to do and to come out of their shell or comfort zone to to do that. And that’s part of why I love what I do is to push people beyond their comfort zone to get out there have fun and potentially meet your your match.
Barb 16:22
Okay, so the part you didn’t mention and I was I was actually kind of waiting for you to say it was it also means showing up in a bathing suit. Potentially your first date like that

Andrea 16:34
Crazy. Well, I mean, it’s not mandatory per se like to wear you know, bikini. I mean, obviously if you’re going to, you know, go into the water and again, we’ve had some people capsize in the water. Yeah, exactly. And they lost her sunglasses are hanging out there, but definitely before every activity and that goes for jet skiing or anything. Even puppy yoga. Yes, cute by the way. We always do I always do icebreakers. Okay, and and that for example, Jetski. That’s when maybe you’re wearing your whole outfit and not in your bikini yet. But you know that is to get people comfortable. And that’s when you’re introducing yourself and make people do a 32nd intro when it’s a small, smaller, intimate group. So everyone kind of gets a 32nd highlight. So before you’re getting in the waters and on the jet skiing, you get to know people a little bit and then sort of hop on the jet skis. But yeah, we have people like have cover ups or maybe they’re, they’re wearing a bathing suit underneath, you know, set of rules. But yeah, it’s super fun. And again, it just pushes people outside their comfort

Barb 17:42
Zone outside their comfort zone. I think puppy yoga would be hilarious because as a woman with flexibility, even trying to watch my husband do anything that involves stretching. That’s just a giggle fest for me. Like he’s hilarious. I’m like, What do you mean you can’t touch your toes like serious? Right? But he’s never had flexibility and neither does my son. So it’s, you know, it’s kind of an you know, meanwhile, here’s me three times my son’s age and I’m like, Yep, no problem, touch, have, you know, like, I just don’t even think about it. So I think yoga, that would be so, so entertaining to watch. And then

Andrea 18:21
you throw the puppies in like, what yoga are you doing? Really? Yes, exactly.

Barb 18:25
Yeah. Especially if the puppies are trying to crawl all over you like my dogs do and yeah, so yeah, the floor to do like, anything yoga oriented. The dogs are like, Oh, thumbs on the floor. That means she wants to play. Here’s your role. Here’s her like gross, slimy rope. Like,

Andrea 18:41
Let’s go. Yeah. Oh, that’s how this works. Yeah, we bring, you know anywhere from eight to 10 puppies. Yeah, we work with an ethical breeder and you know, it’s, it’s so awesome. And, and throughout the class, actually, we put the puppies like, you know on them if they’re wearing a hoodie, we kind of put them in their hood behind and it’s like puppy love. They’re kissing you and hugging you. And it’s just like therapeutic.

Barb 19:10
Also. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so, have you met your match through your program?

Andrea 19:20
So funny enough, and people always ask me like, So Andrew, are you single? Like, what’s your story? And I try not to talk about too much. I’m like, It’s not about me, everyone. It’s just let’s focus on on you guys. So I honestly I have met many wonderful people through through my events or at my events, especially as soon as they if they catch when I am single. Then they’re all like, oh, wait a second, like you know, powerhouse. Who’s organizing events she seems super bubbly and fun. So you know, I definitely have note there’s no shortage of people. I definitely meet through my events and you know, going out and all that. But I’m still you know, looking for the one so if anyone’s listening and you’re eligible bachelor.

Barb 20:07
Exactly. No, you know what’s interesting to me. So you and I were talking just before we got started, and I went to university out there. And now I’m back in Saskatchewan. The it was so much harder to meet people out there. Unless you were going to school with them or working with them. So you just didn’t meet people the same way. Now, it’s definitely changed here somewhat, you know, since I was out there going to university, but everybody tends to know everybody here like we’re just so much a smaller environment, or culture or population. And and so it’s you know, it’s easier. Now having said that, a I haven’t been on a single scene for years and be you know, I had never tried the dating apps never did any of that. Do you find that a lot of people who come out to your events, they’re kind of tired or that online virtual meeting like they’re ready for honest human connection again.

Andrea 21:12
Exactly. So the dating space definitely has changed over the years and especially during our during after the pandemic. Yeah. You know, some of the changes they will during the pandemic, the apps were flooded, like you see an influx of people who jumped on the apps, the zeros like how else will I meet people now? That’s right. Yes. That has it’s good and bad, right? Good. You have lots of options, many plenty. of fish in the sea as however, too many options overwhelms people and then you start to think like, Well, someone better might be out there so you get super picky and no one’s good enough. So that causes a lot of these complaints of like no one good is out there are no one serious or, you know, this and that are being ghosted, many, many stories. And so dating in a big city, there’s definitely a lot of complaints about that. Yeah. And that’s why, you know, with singles events, it’s complimentary to dating apps, right. You can still use the apps. I certainly also recommend this for my coaching clients where, you know, they’re like, I’ve given up I’ve tried everything, and I’m like, usually when I talk to them, they haven’t tried everything or they haven’t tried long enough, right. I always make a lot of parallels to you know, in the interview and job hunting process. You wouldn’t, you wouldn’t just, you know, job hunt for five minutes per day when you’re job hunting. Right, exactly. Yeah. Just try it for like a week and then say, you know, it’s, that’s enough for me. I’m not gonna find a job now. So I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna stop right. So the same thing when you’re searching for that special someone going on an app for example, five minutes a day or doing it at 1am Just before going to bed like that. It’s it’s not going to work right? That’s right. But you know, the singles events creates a different option for people to definitely create connections in person. But that’s because we’re not like those apps where when it gives you a name tag, you know, so just imagine bar if you were single and came out, but I’m not asking you the bar. What’s your age? Where do you live all that stuff? So that it’s like the swiping right. As soon as I see you, I’m like, Oh, you’re you know, you’re 25 No, that’s too young too. Old, whatever it is, and you kind of swipe left in person. Yeah, I’ve seen people because what I’m offering is a chance to connect and build deeper, meaningful connections. I see because I do the match forums. I’ve seen people who are maybe, you know, eight years apart 10 years apart or they’re not from the same city. They chose each other because they had a connection at the event. And that, again, people on apps there you could be swiping away or you could be going on it for months and not even you find someone to finally meet with because that’s how hard it can be. Yeah, so this is expediting that process, but also ensuring that you’re having that meaningful connection. You see the person right away, so there’s no like, I wonder what she looks like or what he looks like because they’re right there. Exactly. And you know,

Barb 24:13
I think some people take great pictures. Some people don’t you know, so there’s when you’re looking at that online, it’s so what is it objective, right? I liked the picture. I don’t I like the age I don’t wear when you’re in person with people and you actually have that opportunity to create a common bond a common experience. It makes a world of difference. The irony in this conversation is I always talk about Google being Tinder for business. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of my social media. But but but that’s the whole purpose behind Google is they want to make the match between customers and businesses. And you’re looking to make the match between you know, people. What’s funny to me about the whole thing is if we only look at a business online until let’s say somebody goes to your website, they go to the website, they’re like, oh, I don’t like this and they just keep on going but if they come out to an event, experience it, then they tend to have a very different response. Because they’ve, you know, taken the risk, so to speak and said, Hey, I’m gonna go out and I’m going to try one of Andrea’s event, or, you know, on the business side, they go out, you’re like, Oh, I’m gonna you know, try going into this business. So, you know, I think there’s some real I don’t know, there’s just a common thread in there. And then that we as humans, we’re drawn to, you know, the experience itself and, you know, being able to do all of these things. Absolutely. So we’re go ahead.

Andrea 25:47
No, we’re definitely visually and it’s funny that you mentioned about pictures and well, first of all, by my website, in order for people to guess for some people still, there’s still some stigma and taboo like, oh, I don’t want to be caught like doing a singles event, especially for women. Right. And so for me, me being female and it’s a female owned business, and I’m, you know, bipoc own business. You know, I’ve seen women like and I’ve heard women say, because you’re a female, you’re the face of your brand. I’ve just felt more comfortable. I discount tickets for women, right? And I try to make that experience but I my website, I use real photos. They’re not stock photos. There’s a lot of my competitors that use stock photos and yeah, maybe they don’t feel comfortable. Because again, like you said, what if someone goes to my, my pictures, I’m like, Well, I don’t like what I see. So I’m not gonna go to this event, but I just found that it’s more authentic that I just lead with these are real photos from my events. You are liking what they see. And you know, I give advice before every event because I send detailed reminders, you know, where is it to dress up and I give examples of what what does it mean to dress up? Because that is your, your brand you’re representing and that’s your first impression, but I actually do photo shoots. That’s one of the services that I offer. I do makeovers so I can go over you know, the written portion but also the photo. So for those for example gentleman who, like I don’t take photos, I can’t take photos. I actually do photo shoots and I consult them on what to wear how to pose shoot so that they stay authentically them. We’re not trying to make them look like Brad Pitt or somebody that they’re not right. I stay authentic to them. So you know, if they let’s say I like working in video games. We might have a photo that really, you know, is done playing you know, we stages so there’s like a board game at play. And so we get to see their personality, their photos, but much better pictures than their gym selfie or the selfie with really bad lighting and then they have like a double chin. That’s you know, like all those like really bad photos. Yeah, it is really important to have great photos or if you come in person that you dress up because that is the first impression and people wake will make a judgment call. Just it’s they say it’s within two, three seconds. We’ll make a lot about somebody and whether we want to connect with them or not. So it’s super important.
Barb 28:10
Perfect timing. That was my doorbell. Hold on Yeah.
Hate Amazon be right back Yeah, no worries.
Hear me Amazon needs your firstborn now to return something. Okay, so that was perfect timing. Because you had just like finished a sentence and I was like Oh, alright, and so we have about three minutes left. Let’s didn’t want you to be able to give all the social links how to sign up and stuff like that. I don’t want to quite move into. Is there one quick story that you could share?

Andrea 31:48
I’m like, what kind of story I have many stories but

Barb 31:51
Yeah, I know. That’s the the challenge. Well, you know what, since we’re kind of taking a business focus, let’s quickly talk about how you balance the two. How you balance the two and then we’ll wrap it up because you’ve said you’ve got a job again, plus you’re doing this okay. Oh my balance a picture. Okay. Okay, so I’ll ask my question. You answer and then we’ll move into wrap up. So Andrea, just before we do wrap up, tell me how you’re balancing being an entrepreneur and being an employee again.

Andrea 32:29
I don’t sleep.

Barb 32:32
I’ve heard that Yes. From entrepreneurs.

Andrea 32:34
They don’t want to leave. Yeah, definitely not a good thing. You know, self cares. Definitely. Important and much needed. But definitely being passionate about what you be passionate about what you what you do is super important. I think that’s what keeps me going because, you know, like I said, I found my calling. This is something I’m really passionate about and I love connecting people. So work doesn’t feel like work. It’s just honestly so much fun. And, you know, I’m very on top of like, my Google Calendar. Like if it’s not on my schedule, it’s not happening. So I definitely use my calendars to stay organized. I have a to do list that I you know, check things off. And a long time for but between being very on top of your time being passionate about what you do. That’s and having that sort of end goal that you’re super passionate about. Going that’s how I can

Barb 33:33
Make it all work very cool. All right, just before we wrap up, I let’s find out how folks can find you. Yeah,

Andrea 33:41
Absolutely. So my website is torontodatinghub.com Super easy to remember and I’m Toronto Dating Hub on all the social platforms. So Facebook, Instagram, and on my website, you’ll find all my services, the coaching services like the photo services, mock dates, wingwoman services, very, very unique services, as well as the photoshoot, dating profile makeover, and all my events are listed there. They’re also listed on Eventbrite and meetups. So pretty easy to find me and so I hope that people take a chance to come out and your first 15 minute consultation is complimentary. So that’s also a really great way to figure out if I can help you if we’re a match and get started.

Barb 34:29
That way. Awesome. Well, that was fantastic. Thank you so much, Andrea, for joining me today just to talk about Toronto Dating Hub, how you’re balancing it and like so many entrepreneurs, how you got where you are having to go through that really crappy place that you were in when COVID first started on that note, if you want to sell your story, then you need to tell your story and there’s no better place to start than being a guest on The Secret Life show. If you’d like to be a guest you can email me at barb at above the fold dot live or reach out on our Facebook and Instagram pages at above the fold. Ca I’m your host Barb McGrath, Google girl and a local business champion. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now. Oh my god, I just had a total heart attack. I looked when I went to click the stop button. I knew for sure that I had clicked the unpause button. But I thought for a second that I had actually clicked a stop button instead of the N pause and I was like No but it did. We’re all good. Oh my god. Amazing. So I’m still going on upstairs because the dogs are still going apeshit God, I hate Amazon. I don’t know if you’ve ordered anything from Amazon lately, but their return process has totally changed. And it’s gross. Yeah, like now somebody actually comes in picks it up. So they were supposed to pick it up Tuesday. And so I skipped my swim practice on Tuesday to stay home so they can pick this thing up and then show up and show up. Yeah. So then today like back to back recordings, meetings, everything else I knew I knew they would come right in the middle of a recording. It’s just Murphy’s Law. Anyway, I’m done griping.

Andrea 36:23
Well, at least you returned it and now you can focus on doing your other meetings without hopefully
Barb 36:29
Without worry, right? Exactly. What happens if they like what if they say well, we didn’t pick it up or we we have I don’t know because like I feel like I have no control where it used to be you would just return it no way put the post office and you know you instantly got credit but now like it’s kind of a guessing game. Not liking it. Anyway, it was a total pleasure to meet you. That sounds so cool. The stuff you’re doing. I wish there had been stuff like that when I was you know, out there and single and yeah, I like I had a I was in a pretty serious relationship when I was out there. And honestly half the reason I came back to Saskatchewan even though it’s home for me was Yeah, I don’t want this relationship to go anywhere. I’m leaving.

Andrea 37:14
Exit Strategy.

Barb 37:16
I know exactly. It’s it’s not a common exit strategy. I have another place I can call home See you later.

Andrea 37:22
And I guess like if there were from here, they’re like, I’m not going to Saskatchewan.

Barb 37:26
Oh god. No, he came here for Christmas one year and it was funny. Because it was a brown Christmas which like happens once every 20 years. He didn’t mind it but you could definitely tell he was like, I’m not sticking around here for too long. I’m always Okay, nice guy. I actually his birthday is Saturday. Yeah, like I like every once in a while. Right. Yeah. So, you know, it didn’t end terribly badly. And yeah, whatever. Anyway, it was a pleasure to meet you was very cool. Thank you for having me business. Yep. And we’ll start to keep in touch because, as I say, I don’t know what we’re going to do at the back end. Now that my partner’s gone back to work full time. But like it’s been a good experience for me because I’m trying to you know how sometimes you have to take your own business stuff back in, figure it out, untie the knots, and then you’re ready to share it with someone. Right and because he did it for so long. There’s a lot of not tango, like an awful lot of not. So let’s go on Okay, I just need to get that all sorted out. And then the new year will be a whole new thing.

Andrea 38:35
Well, hopefully you figure it out and on titles not

Barb 38:40
Exactly. Hey, so what is your full time job now? What are you doing? Um,

Andrea 38:44
I worked for the government on contract also, I don’t get the lovely benefits but yeah, contract and but it’s still like very easy. Pretty easy job. And so that’s why I keep it because a good secure income coming in. And obviously I don’t work that many hours with them.

Barb 39:06
Like it’s gives you a little bit of freedom to be what you want. I do so yeah. What are you actually doing for them?

Andrea 39:14
I’m in short, it’s like it’s like customer service for the ministries. Okay. Yep. So it’s, I answer emails.

Barb 39:23
Yeah. Pretty low maintenance kind of stuff. Yeah. Not very

Andrea 39:27
Stressful at all, which is great. So I already got enough stress during the events and all that other stuff. So

Barb 39:33
Totally, yeah, but then you know, you’re leaving work every day, whatever, four o’clock, five o’clock, whatever time work ends and you’re done. You don’t

Andrea 39:42
Have to go in the office because I am on contract and they don’t have space for us. And I think their government they they definitely want to like I think the full timers are only there three days a week. And you have to like book your desk and yep, they’re trying to keep it like you know, COVID friendly kind of thing. So for us, like they don’t even want to like spend resources on having us in there. So I’m like, no problem. I’ll come in

Barb 40:07
So yep, yeah, exactly. I’m sure they monitor can monitor everything remotely nowadays. Right. And so, yeah, yeah.

Andrea 40:16
I’m not sure I move the mouse. Yeah.

Barb 40:21
That’s like when you hire on Fiverr. It’s like okay, great. You moved your mouse serious? Yeah, they know Oh, God. Yes. I totally understand that. All right. I’m gonna go bitch at my husband about this hiccup that I just had to endure. You have a fantastic Black Friday if you’re doing any shopping. And yeah, let’s keep in touch on LinkedIn there and that’ll be good.

Andrea 40:44
For sure. Thanks for having me. Thank you for doing

Barb 40:46
This. Absolutely. Yep. Before your episode goes live. You’ll see a couple of emails from me, you know, just reminding you and whatnot. And if you want to promote it on your social to say hey, have you ever thought about then you can

Andrea 40:57
Share it there? Yeah, for sure. Yeah, absolutely. And I sent you some

Barb 41:01
Photos and all this. I did see it I didn’t haven’t had a chance to click the link or whatever. But yes, but you look perfectly fine. By the way. I have you fullscreen like I’m like off squished in the corner.

Ep. 115 Karey Kapell from Next Level Business and Life Coaching

Karey Kapell

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

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Online mastermind groups are pretty common but today we’re talking to an entrepreneur who ‘just knew’ that people were exhausted from spending their time and lives online. So she brought the online tradition back to a real classroom where entrepreneurs could share their stories in a safe space and receive the value of collective advice from other local businesses.

From retail stores to online businesses, the members of @kareykapell and @michellestrawford ‘s mastermind are building local connections and real-world superpowers.

Tune in for today’s podcast ? episode on @cjtr_91.3 to learn more about the power of masterminds and to hear a brief diversion on the status of childcare! ?

Transcript

Barb 0:00
Are you ready to make the door swing, the phone ring and the website ding? In this episode, we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in any community. Its network of local businesses, businesses that rely on foot traffic and phone calls from the skinny lessons that will make you win the tell all exposes. These everyday people are doing extraordinary things in their businesses. Welcome to The Secret Life of local. I’m your host Barb McGrath, Google girl and local business cheerleader. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years. From online businesses to local multilocation stores. You can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to doers. Today, we’re going behind the scenes with Karey Kapell from her namesake business coaching service to talk about turning her online mastermind programme into an in person business besties mastermind programme in her local community. Tune in to hear how Karey and her business partner are changing the conversation for women business owners. Welcome Karey, tell us a little bit about yourself and your mastermind programme.

Karey 1:15
And I help female entrepreneurs find their next level in business, so working with them on their leadership skills as well as their business strategy. So what is a mastermind? Yes. What the heck is a mastermind? So a mastermind is a peer to peer support group where we bring entrepreneurs together to support each other help solve problems that they’re having in their business, give advice and just be you know, not only, you know, strategic support, but also emotional support, mental support when it comes to growing your business. So it’s an it’s a, an incubator for, you know, coming to the table with all your challenges, and really like having people on the outside looking in who have may have been through something similar, and have tried different things to help you really solution, your challenges and help you go to that next level.

Barb 2:14
So do you find Karey that in your groups, you need to have very homogeneous groups? Where everybody is service based? Or everybody is retail based? Or what does your group makeup look like?

Karey 2:27
That’s actually a really good question. So traditionally, in the past, when I ran masterminds, I would often keep them focused on like, you know, industry specific, so like, coaches only, like more product based only. And this time, actually, last year, we decided to do a mix of both. And we’ve actually found the diversity of a group has been incredibly beneficial, and in a lot of ways, because lots of times when we come to the table, we’re also each other’s ideal clients in some ways, or we like our like, we’re people that like want to experience the like we’ve experienced the business before or like purchase from them. And so a lot of times, like, just having that diverse group of women around the table is beneficial. And that diverse outlook is been really game changing. So traditionally, like, I in the past, like I said, I kind of segment, segmented it, but now I’m just kind of opening it up, we want to see a good balance. Like if you’re the only product based business in there, and it’s only service based, then that might not be as useful for you. So we tried to make it balanced in that way.

Barb 3:38
So how many people would be in your mastermind groups, whether it was online or in person?

Karey 3:44
Yeah, so typically, we keep it to like 10. Because we want to create, like a really intimate experience, I myself have been a part of larger ones. And I feel sometimes I got lost a little bit and like the amount of people plus you don’t get as much time to solution your business if there’s too many. So we try to keep it to 10. So that it’s a really intimate group and everyone has lots of time to talk about their business, their challenges and, and such. So yeah, 10 is a good number.

Barb 4:11
Is it funny how, let’s say 10 years ago, we would have called up a friend called up another business owner, gone for coffee and had these conversations. And as technology changed, and then COVID hit our behaviours change where everything moved online. And yet, you’ve brought that mastermind concept back to being in person to tell me a little bit about that journey. And you have a partner in that process too.

Karey 4:38
Yeah, so before COVID I ran my masterminds completely online and a lot of that too was like the decision there was like the scalability of it is a little bit more you know, you can scale it you don’t have to like niche into just like the Regina market where where I live right. And so that was great and all but there’s a there’s a difference. Word of energy when people are in person. And one of the things that even though I was also a part of online masterminds, I would often travel every so often to go meet the mastermind in person. And those times were so incredibly powerful and impactful that when it came to running when in Regina, actually, Michelle Stratford, who’s owns Bella chic, she’s the producer of what women want. She was in one of my in person masterminds a long time ago, back when I first started them in 20, like 18. And we did it in person then. And that was before I got into like online marketing and kind of online coaching and stuff. And she just loved the power of that group. And so she had approached me and she’s like, you know, I think that there are so many entrepreneurs who are just craving that in person connection, they’re craving, like, they’re so done with being online, they’re so done talking through a computer screen, and they just want to be in person. So, um, we decided to, like, let’s target like Regina, and surrounding area businesses, and let’s do this in person. And the response was incredible people really were craving that in person connection.

Barb 6:11
Yeah, absolutely. You know, and just having somebody to bounce ideas off. That’s huge. And even if it’s not at the mastermind, you’ve got this other group of nine people who you can send an email to and say, like, hey, what do you think of this idea? Have you ever bumped into this? Do you have any ideas? Right? And so we all kind of build that little micro network? Yeah, you know, almost like I want to say built in friends. Right.

Karey 6:39
But it’s whether we call each other business besties.

Barb 6:42
Yeah, exactly. And that’s exactly what you’re building. So tell me what a session would would look like in a mastermind here in Regina. Yeah.

Karey 6:51
So we host them in person at slant, which is a new co workspace in Regina. And so we all like gather, and at the very beginning, we just kind of do like a little like, how’s it going check in, and then each person gets a certain amount of time, depending on how many people show up. And we’ve been like, this year, everyone has showed up every single time. It’s been amazing. The commitment level has been awesome. And so we just kind of distribute the time between each entrepreneur and they get so much time and we basically say, Okay, what is your challenge, and they get like two minutes to describe the challenge that they’re bringing to the table for that session. And then we do a thing where we you have we have two to three minutes to ask clarifying questions only. So we’re not solutioning. We’re just clarifying questions, right? So like, Who’s your ideal clients? What have you tried in the past? Like, just things like that, right. And then after that, we go into like what we call brain writing, where we everybody just dumps their ideas for solutions onto a piece of paper. And we would do that for a couple minutes. And then we open up the floor to conversation. So someone can take an idea that they wrote on a piece of paper, and just say, Hey, have you thought of this, and then the masterminding happens, and people just jump in. And we just kind of go from there. What the reason why we introduced the brain writing was because sometimes some people are more quiet, and some people are more dominant. And we wanted the opportunity for everyone to just at least get their idea down. So if they didn’t have a chance to talk or give their idea, at least it’s written on paper, and then all those sheets of paper, go to that entrepreneur, they get to like, take it away with them and like, then everyone signs it, and they can review it after and then reach out to that individual and be like, hey, like, Can you expound on your idea? Yeah, um, so yeah, that’s the format. And then at the very end of each person’s session as facilitators. And as for me, my job as the coach, and the group is to be like, okay, out of everything that everyone said, what feels most aligned for you? And what’s the action you’re going to take and commit to before you get back to this table? Accountability is so huge in this group, and we kick it off saying like, Don’t say you’re going to do something unless you’re committed to doing it, because we are going to hold you to that to your commitments, because we need to be pushed, right? Yeah. So that’s essentially how the mastermind goes. And it’s incredible the ideas and the solutions that come up. It’s honestly I would love to record a live session just to show people the incredible power. Exactly. Having nine other brains on your business is amazing.

Barb 9:31
So just back up for a second, did you say that this is a weekly thing or a monthly thing?

Karey 9:36
It’s monthly. And so in between we have we we have we’re all in Facebook groups where we interact in between sessions, so I will always post like, Okay, what was everyone’s action? How is everyone doing with it? Where are you at? So we do lots of check ins. I’ll go in there. Michelle will go in there and we’ll like write little motivational things or we’ll just randomly check in on people if we know Oh, that they’re going through a launch? Or how did this action go? We knew that you were like going out door to door and like handing pamphlets out, for example, like how did it go and will offer more ideas in between. So, for example, we had one entrepreneur who we decided, like you should, you know, create, like a Slim Jim card of the service that you can provide, go door to door to businesses. And so we followed up after, for example, and we’re like, how did it go, she’s like, I dropped 100 off, this many people booked. And we’re like, Okay, I think that everyone in like, you know, should get a follow up, you should send a follow up email, just because sometimes when you invite people to buy from you, they, they need to be reminded a couple of times. So it’s just like, stuff like that, like supporting them as they go forward. And so there’s a lot of in between support. Yep. We also encourage what we call like, you know, at the beginning of the mastermind, everyone, we we challenge everyone to date each other at least once. So go on a date. Yeah. And so it’s, it’s just kind of really fostering that connection, because you never know what you can learn from somebody. salutely Yeah. And so we encourage that, and that doesn’t have to be in person, if they just a quick phone call or a team’s meeting or whatever, that’s totally fine. And but lots of them have gone for coffee and have visited each other’s businesses and things like that. So lots of in between.

Barb 11:20
Yeah, yeah, that’s awesome. So are entrepreneurs committing a whole day each month? Or is it half a day? So they can get through all 10? People?

Karey 11:29
Yeah, it’s half a day. So we typically start at like noon, and then we’ll like end around 334 depending on, you know, we try to be quite like structured with our time. And yeah, we you know, as facilitators, it’s like we, you know, don’t give us backstory, unless we need to ask for it’s like, just get to the challenge, get to the get to the problem. Let’s focus on like the solution, not how you got there. Yeah, so it is sometimes a challenge to get it all out in the four hours. But it’s incredible.

Barb 12:00
Yeah, absolutely. So what are some of the common problems that you’re hearing from folks right now?

Karey 12:05
You know, it’s interesting, like a lot of our entrepreneurs right now, like burnout is a big thing. And I think a lot of it comes like from COVID. And just having to like, they had to pivot and solution and like all hands on deck during COVID. And then all of a sudden, we’re hit with this economy right now. And it’s just like one thing after another. So a lot of people were finding just like their motivation and their drive like a little bit lost. And that was totally relatable to both Michelle and I like, we felt it too. And so that’s been like a big thing. The other thing, of course, which a lot of entrepreneurs can struggle with, but especially during these hard times, was cashflow. So a lot of times, like the businesses during COVID, they had to invest in, you know, online suddenly, or just pivot the way they were doing business. And some of them did really well and grew really well. So they took their cash flow, and invest it on being able to handle the capacity or the volume or to pivot online. And then we hit a really hard economy. Yes. So we’re like the, the cash flow situation has been a challenge. And so we’ve been really working hard on like, how can we increase your guys’s cash flow? What are easy things to sell and do that What are ways to like work with the bank to offer a little bit of relief? I noticed like one of the big challenges with female entrepreneurs in particular that I find this is not to say it’s true for all of them, but going in debts lines of credit. It’s a really, really scary thing. And it’s just not, you know, there’s so much like noise around the failure of that, but it’s like some most successful businesses at some point have to rely on some sort of like cash injection from loans. In order to grow. It’s actually quite normal. Yes. Um, so yeah, just Howard, like some, you know, ways to do that without feeling like you’re getting in too deep that you can’t get out, either.

Barb 14:01
I remember a conversation that I had had with a coach very early on with my business. And he had actually drawn out a graph where it looked at, you know, typically, you want your business trajectory in terms of the revenue to kind of be that, you know, angled line up, but he said, you know, expenses never follow that line. So expenses are gonna go up, and then they’re underneath the graph, and then they’re gonna go up again, and then they’re underneath. And he said, the important thing is, when you when you’re seeing expenses go up. For a lot of business owners, you tend to want to turtle and it’s 100% have to pull back. If you want that trajectory to keep going up. You got to spend the money to make money and it’ll level off and then spend money to make money. And that’s a really hard thing. And I agree with you 100%. As women entrepreneurs, I think there’s a societal belief that, you know, a you can do it on your own. You don’t need to hire someone to do it. Humby we have to figure all this stuff out on our own. And that’s where something like a mastermind comes in really handy. But there’s also a belief and I, you know, I even look at how my own kids are growing up, what what is expected of a female versus what is expected of a male is so entirely different, even in the school system. Right, girls are expected to sit and be quiet and just get their work done. Boys are rambunctious and their hands are grown up, and they’re talking. And they’re given so much more latitude. Because they’re boys, it drives me insane as a parent, why? Stepping back as an entrepreneur, it’s like, we were totally, you know, taught a completely different set of rules.

Karey 15:49
So traditionally, entrepreneurship is very masculine and business strategy is very masculine. And so just even with like, you know, if I look at like my growing up, like my dad, he made the money he handled the money, I was never modelled a woman empowered with money, and not because my parents weren’t amazing and awesome. It’s just not, that just wasn’t the way things were. And so a lot of women with money, we’re just we don’t feel empowered around it. Yeah. And so that’s been a really huge thing. And I love that you said, like, we’ve been really like, hounding this a lot. Like when you’ve gotta spend money to continue to grow. And a lot of time entrepreneurs, like when they when sales start to drip, they completely pull back, but it’s like, everyone is pulling back, this is your time to go all in, not all in like, we’ve got to be smart about it. You got to know your numbers. And but it’s, it’s so true. That’s incredibly important. And sometimes that means a line of credit. And that’s okay.

Barb 16:46
So yeah, well, and to your point about, you know, your parents and who manage the money and stuff. It was really interesting to me early in my corporate career, before I started my business, I had achieved some fairly, like, well standing positions in my career, and you know, my own parents, you know, oh, good for you. Congratulations, right. That was it. My husband, then a couple of years later, achieve the same position, same title, right? Couple years later, well, oh, my goodness, you would swear the man just like won the lottery. They just like they couldn’t stop praising him when I was like, Huh, what like, right and bless my parents who are cool, but that’s how they were raised. Them, man should have the title them, right. And it was just like, wow, okay, this is entirely enlightening.

Karey 17:41
It’s very likely. And I think a lot of actually female entrepreneurs in particular, like, the actual fear at the end of the day is not necessarily failure. I mean, they do feel failure, because as women, we hate disappointing others, you know, we don’t want to let our family down, like, so many of them are like, I don’t want to let my family down. And I’m like, why would you put that responsibility on yourself? Like you would, I don’t find a lot of husbands being like, you know, like, I don’t want to let my family down. Like, they, of course want to provide for them and everything, but like, it’s just as guilt. And yeah, I just think that, like, it’s, it’s really interesting. And I think women are actually more scared of success, than they are a failure, because success is not something that’s been modelled to us. It’s, you know, there’s a lot of power and, you know, in being successful or the breadwinner, traditionally. And I think that, you know, rocking that boat a little is actually quite disruptive to society to relationships, no matter how amazing the partner is, is just, they’ve also been conditioned to be the taker care, like to take care of the breadwinners. And so you suddenly start making more money than your husband or like you are a really successful women. There’s a lot of discomfort out there around that. And we’re, we’ve come a long way. But I think there’s still a lot of undoing around the conditioning, just as females that we have to do in order to like, take those risks and be as successful as we can be. So it’s super interesting.

Barb 19:06
Yeah. One of the things that I always watch is, because my kids are really close in age, and I can see you know, how they’re interpreting things. One of the things that I think that’s really cool is, my daughter is 15, my son, my son is 14. And I remember back when I was that age, you know, I was already really cognizant of my my body image and you know, how I wanted to look and things like that. My daughter is 15 She has absolutely no body consciousness at all, like none. And, you know, we have never said the word diet in our house we talk about healthy and we talk about nutrition and we write but we have never, ever said the word diet in terms of you know, losing weight, because nobody consciousness. So at 15 She actually still competes with her brother for who’s taller and who’s heavier. And I love that. Well, you like it? I like do too. I love it. Well, but wait a second, you don’t actually get to pack a lot of muscle on in these next few years. So that’s always gonna be possible. Yeah, exactly. Or it’s gonna be like, no, no, you don’t want to compete with him on this one right? Height to absolutely keep going because they are neck and neck. But you touched on something really interesting there and you talk about the the pressure that we put on ourselves as women, we have to take care of our family. We have to this we have to get the groceries do the laundry. Oh, yeah, and run a successful business. And just yesterday, I was having this. Two Devils on my shoulder like that the devil in the angel, because it was my son’s birthday yesterday. And every instinct within me was like, Oh, my God, I have to bake a cake and have to put icing on it after this. And I’m like, No, I don’t. I want my son to have a cake. It’s okay, if I go buy something. He’s not here. He’s not okay. He knew it was bought. It wasn’t hard to figure out. But believe me, it wasn’t figured hard to figure out who made it or not. But it’s like, no, if I want him to have something. My business is in a position or family is in a position. I can go by it, put it in front of him, and I can continue to do things that are earning money. Does earning money have to be the only thing? No, absolutely not. But you know what? When I look at what am I going to enjoy? I was enjoying the work that I was doing. What is he going to enjoy? He’s going to enjoy eating something. He’s not going to care who made it.

Karey 21:37
Right. Totally. And yeah, I haven’t. I have a similar like not birthday related but similar scenario in terms of that guilt. It’s in the last year I’ve travelled four or five times have been gone a lot like I went to Portugal twice, I went to Phoenix. Prior to COVID. I would go to New York a couple times a year like all over LA like with masterminding and things like that. And I’ve had people say to me, how do you get away with that? Like, how do you gotten away with being gone so much? And I’m like, no one would ask my husband, if he went away that many times, they would never ask that because that’s just his job, right? That’s what my career can involve a lot of travel. And I’m lucky that I have a partner who’s like go like that. He’s, he actually plans the birthday parties, which is amazing. Because I’m just more of like the visionary dreamer, I come up with the idea. He’s like the executor. And we just work like that. But yeah, it’s interesting how like, I and I’ve had to check myself sometimes to be like, I don’t need to feel guilty about going away. My kids are fine. Their dad is more than capable. He’s like he more organised than I am and is going to be more thorough and efficient. Yeah. And he can he can deal with the stuff. Even at our daycare. You know, I was always the contact person if the kids were sick. And I was like, actually could could my husband be the first point of contact? I’ll be the second one. And it was like, they didn’t even think they just automatically put me as first contact. Yes. And so it’s little things like that, that it you make it makes you realise that we’ve come a long way. And there is still a long way to go. Yeah. So there’s a lot of undoing in order to be, you know, successful in business and to say yes to those opportunities, and letting go of the guilt and the shame and just allowing your partner to step up in different ways. And it’s really interesting, but yeah, yeah, it’s, it’s been quite the journey. Absolutely. And then there’s always those times where you know, whether you’re a single parent all the time, or you’re single parenting because one parent is travelling, that adds a whole new dynamic. I don’t want to get us too far off topic.

Barb 23:44
We only have a couple of minutes left. So quickly, tell us about the mastermind that you have coming up, how can people find the information, find out the costs, all of those sorts of things? And if somebody is interested in signing up, where do they go?

Karey 23:58
Yeah, so we’re actually just getting our landing page relaunched. So in the next week that will be available, but the best place to reach out for information is actually on my Instagram, or Michelle’s Instagram. So at Carey Capelle, or at Michelle Stratford. So definitely, we’re going to be talking about it a lot in the next few weeks as well. So we’ll have lots of information and the website link will will go up on on there as well. Um, yeah, so those are those are the places my website as well reach your next level.com You can always go there and obviously once the mastermind landing pages is ready to go up that will be live on there as well. So yeah, the next one launches in March of 2023. We’re currently just going through the waitlist and then we’ll be opening it up for enrollment, depending on again, like depending on the uptake, we might actually run two groups again, because there’s been quite a bit of interest. Um, And yes, you can find out all the details in the next few weeks once it’s launched, and otherwise reach out on Instagram. Perfect. We’ll be there to answer any questions you have.

Barb 25:09
Okay, that is fantastic. Um, just before we do wrap up today, now you’ve shared your social channels, and I was frantically trying to write it the background, but just quickly share those social channels with us one more time, and then I will wrap us up.

Karey 25:21
Awesome. So at Karey Kapell. And then at Michelle Stratford

Barb 25:27
Okay, perfect. All right. Well, Karey, thank you very much for being with us here today. I’m really excited to learn more about this mastermind and I’ll be sure to hit up the the new page once it’s live. On that note, if you would like to tell your story, then you have to. That is not how this is supposed to go. And on that note, if you want to sell your story, then you need to tell your story. And there’s no better place to start than being a guest on The Secret Life show. If you would like to be a guest, you can email me at barb@abovethefold.live or reach out on our Facebook and Instagram page at abovethefold.ca. I’m your host Barb McGrath, Google girl and Local Business Champion. Remember you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.

Connect with Karey @ Next Level Business and Life Coaching

Ep. 114 Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Joel Sopp Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

Episode #100 with Victor Roman from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation

Episode #99 with Faith Alyssa Peter from Stressed Out Mamas

Episode #98 with Leah Mazur from Carousel Creative

Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

Episode #95 with Karen Kobussen from CanBall Games

Episode #94 with Wilson Acton

Episode #93 with Carla Browne from Real Property Management Canada

Episode #92 with Donna Ziegler from South Sask Community Foundation

Episode #91 with Scott Love from Store to Door Canada

Episode #90 with Mark Heise from Rebellion Brewing

Episode #89 with Brendan McGuire from Affinity Credit Union

Episode #88 with Tyler Clark form Prairie Benefits Solutions

Episode #87 with Craig Reed from Virtus Group

Episode #86 with Daria Malin from Boost Strategic Coaching

Episode #85 with Bill Thorn form Regina Humane Society

Episode #84 with John Vuong from Local SEO Search

Episode #83 with Linda Boryski from Saskatoon PhysioYoga

Episode #82 with Tracey Poffenroth Prato from RAD Talk with Tracey

Episode #81 with Janet Kotylak, YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode #80 Your Ultimate Guide to Get Found with Local SEO

Episode #79 with Jennifer Fox from Auto Electric Service

Episode #78 with Janet Akre and Susan Robertson from River & Rail ArtVenture

Episode #77 with Karen Smith from Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan

Episode #76 with Julie Naismith from SubThreshold Training

Episode #75 with Josh Haugerud from Regina Folk Festival

Episode #74 with Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote from Black Fox Farm and Distillery

Episode #73 with Cory Furman from Furman IP

Episode #72 with Tracy Archer from Knight Archer Insurance

Episode #71 with Tim Nickel from Fifth Business Consulting

Episode #70 with Taylor Weisgerber from Spartan Mechanical

Episode #69 with Lisa McIntyre from The Optical Shoppe

Episode #68 with Santa Claus

Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

Episode #66 with Natasha Vandenhurk from Three Farmers Foods

Episode #65 with Dianne Beauchamp from PuroClean Regina

Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #56 with Sarah Tkachuk from KPMG & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

Episode #46 with Erika Gayle from Erika Gayle Photography

Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

Episode #44 with Erin Caleval from Erin & Associates Insurance

Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

Episode #43 Part #1 with Jess Tiefenbach from Stay n Play Parenting

Episode #42 with Nadene Joy from Nadene Joy

Episode #41 with Richard Arockiasamy and Sanjana Kumta from GreenMache

Episode #40 with Jodi Barrett, CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada

Episode #39 with Erin Kinder from Kinder Surprises Antiques

Episode #38 with Tanner Goetz from Munz Media

Episode #37 with Jessica McNaughton from memoryKPR

Episode #36 with Wendy Turner-Larsen from Turner Larsen Consulting

Episode #35 with Jill Poulton from Transformational Leadership

Episode #34 with Janci Templeman from Walker Wakefield

Episode #33 with Denise Anderson, Author, Divorce in a Small Town

Episode #32 with Anne Gibbons from Gibbons Travel Consulting

Episode #31 with Charlene SanJenko from PowHERhouse Media

Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 26 with Dr. Emily Bamforth from Royal Saskatchewan Museum & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 25 with Nigora Yulyakshieva from City of Regina & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 24 with Pam Klein from Phoenix Group & Miriam Johnson from Saskatchewan Roughriders

Episode 23 with Gr. 5 & 6 Students from Argyle School

Episode 22 with Tiffany Wolf from Helium Communications

Episode 21 with Jeff Kinash from Peregrine Farm

Episode 20 with Charlene Oancia from Springer & Oake

Episode 19 with Dan Benesh from BarterPay Regina

Episode 18 with Prabha Mitchell from WESK

Episode 17 with Terrie Dunand from REMAX Crown Real Estate

Episode 16 with Kim Zacaruk from Stone’s Throw Coffee Collective

Episode 15 with Luke Rossmo from Luke Rossmo Music and Gareth Bawden from Bawdenmedia.com

Episode 14 with Kristen Hill from Kristen’s Cultures

Episode 13 with Cyndie Knorr from Cynergy Coaching

Episode 12 with Paul Burch from EchoLotto Inc.

Episode 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

Episode 10 with Brandi Good from BLG Business Solutions

Episode 9 with Dr. Gina Grandy from Hill | Levene Schools of Business

Episode 8 with Candyce Fiessel from The Style Academy and Shear Escape Salon and Spa

Episode 7 with Michelle Strawford from Bella Chic Fashion & Decor and What Women Want

Episode 6 with Jordan McFarlen from  Conexus Business Incubator

Episode 5 with Cheryl Giambattista from Health Coach Cheryl

Episode 4 with Joanne Frederick from Prairie Centre for Mindfulness

Episode 3 with John Hopkins and Amanda Baker, Regina Chamber of Commerce

Episode 2 with Christina Carlson from Queen City Collective

Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Apple Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Google Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Breaker  Overcast.fm  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Pocket Casts  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Radio Public Spotify   Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Anchor

Joel Sopp is a self-proclaimed social media evangelist. He believes 100% in the power of social media. In today’s episode, Joel & I will go toe-to-toe in the ultimate show down of Google vs Social Media.

As a small business owner, where do you put your time & effort? Social media? Google?

Social media is tough to get the visibility.

Google is tougher to understand on your own.

In this ultimate showdown, Joel & I call it a tie, with small business coming out on top!

Transcript

Speaker 0:01
In the blue corner weighing in at a solid 255 pounds with a professional record of 25 viral social media clients 38 recommendations and five starring roles coming to us from the city that rhymes with fun. Please welcome Joe saw Bob and his opponent in the red corner weighing in at, excuse me. Hailing from the infamous Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, rated as the best rank for rank Local Business SEO marketer with 52. top of the page rankings 38 of them coming by the way of get found participants, and only for fourth place or lower rankings. None other than McGraw love. Now, for the 1000s in attendance, and the millions watching around the world. Let’s get ready to rumble.

Barb 1:21
Welcome to The Secret Life of local Show. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local program. But today, we have a treat for you put down those phones pop in your ear earbuds. And let’s do this the ultimate showdown for local business, Google, or social media? How is a business owner to know? Today we’re gonna go toe to toe with Joel SOP from socially acceptable marketing, to finally answer the chicken and the egg question for every small business. Can I attract more customers with Google or social media? Joel, I’m going to be a gracious host, and let you take the first swing.

Joel 2:09
Thank you so much, Barb, I really appreciate that. It is a very much a chicken and egg question, which is more important. Is it the social media marketing? Or is it the Google presence that you have and people finding you on Google? Those are the keywords the short tail keywords the longtail keywords? Or is it about people finding you with hashtags on social media, which is most important, and a lot of people really struggle with trying to see their social presence being really robust. And with Facebook and Instagram, making it a pay to play environment that really makes the small business owners struggle because not everyone has a huge robust budget to be able to be spreading every single post with even five or 10 or $50 through of the entire social media atmosphere. And then you have to consider where does my customer spend their time on what social platform like where does my business need to be? Yeah, do I have to be everywhere?

Barb 3:10
Absolutely. And you know, the other consideration there is time? How much time does it take to be on each platform? How much time does it take to run that Google Ad post on Google post on all these different social channels? So there’s a time and a budget aspect? So when you’re working with your clients in socially acceptable marketing, how do you counsel them to make the choice between the two?

Joel 3:36
Well, the most important part is to hyper target on who their customer actually is. Because when they understand who their customer is, they get to really delve into where their customer spends their time, okay. And when they find a where their customer spends their time, they can find out which platform based on the demographics of who uses that platform. They’re to find out other mobile device, so they still an older client that’s on a laptop or a desktop that’s using Facebook still, or they tick talker. So there’s so many different platforms and so many different demographics to consider. So it’s very important to know and hyper target who your ideal client is, whether it’s Google, or whether it’s social media.

Barb 4:19
So I think that’s a fantastic lead in so when you’re talking about hyper targeting, you’re really talking about zoning in on who their ideal customer is, or who their target audience is. Can you think of an example though of a target audience that isn’t using Google when they want to solve a problem?

Joel 4:37
Hmm, that is a great question.

Barb 4:41
So I’m 100% i 100%. agree with you that when we’re looking at the social channels, you know, if you want to hit up Gen Z, and maybe even, you know, a little bit older Tiktok is the place to be now I know a ton of local businesses who are having great success from an awareness standpoint on tick tock, or maybe they’ve gone all in with Instagram and Instagram reels. But the foundation that I find is all of those customers when they want to solve a problem, find a plumber, find a dentist get a massage, I still find that they’re going to Google. So what do you find with your clients?

Joel 5:20
Finding more often than not, they are. Using a lot of awareness campaigns, like for video has always been the most engaging form of content that has been out there. Even Instagram, which has been a highly curated image platform. It’s very, very difficult to go onto Instagram now and find images as the very first thing you hit when you go on Instagram. It’s almost always video. Yes, absolutely. reels have taken over. They have even Facebook. Yeah, look, even Facebook, you’re finding almost always the stories are gonna be the first thing that pop up and the reels. So I think the video is, is really a huge part of spreading the awareness campaign. But I do feel that a lot of people when they want to find out something local, you’re 100%, right, people are going to Google to find the answers that they need.

Barb 6:16
So here’s something interesting that I’m seeing on some of the platforms now tick tock is a video only platform, if you were to post a picture on tick tock the same way people are posting a picture as a real on Instagram, you’re not gonna get a whole heck of a lot of views or plays out of it, because it is just a static image. And people are getting around that on Instagram by saying, you know, okay, Instagram, here’s a, here’s an image as a real now put that in your algorithm. Right. So that’s a very popular concept right now. But when I look at what’s happening, when I get caught up in the reels on Instagram, I usually find that I’m not seeing local content anymore. Yet, when I go on Tik Tok, and I’m flipping through all of the different videos that pop up, I will still see local content. So are you noticing that as well? Or what do you see when you bounce between some of the more popular channels?

Joel 7:17
No, definitely, I see that on Instagram, it seems to be siloed I’ll see a lot more content based on the very first reel that I choose almost every single reel follows suit. And it’s a basically a vein or it’s a theme that follows that initial reel or video that I that I that I watch. But on Tik Tok, it’s all the algorithm is based on definitely on your likes on your previous legs and videos on the type of content. You gotta be very careful the links you click, you have to be careful the videos you watch, because if you go down one rabbit hole, I mean, your video, I actually curate my likes, I actually go into the videos I’ve liked. And I go back and I start unliking videos that watch because I like I have no idea why a watch that I don’t want to see any more of this content. Yeah. And I want to see if I can hack the algorithm to adjust what comes into my flow going forward. Because, yeah, there’s some things that I’m like, I don’t even know why I watched it in the first place. There’s video game content my kids send me like, I don’t need to see a whole bunch of video games for the rest of this month. Exactly what I’m trying to do research for my clients, I don’t see a whole bunch of video game content. Well, I’m looking to see what other teenagers or other teens other sort of young adults are trying to watch and try and get a feel for what Saskatchewan young adults are trying to find to push products out there and see if there’s anything that I can recommend to my clients and what kind of videos they could be producing.

Barb 8:48
Right. So let’s talk. Let’s talk about that production process. So first off, who are you seeing us consume the different platforms? And then what do you counseling your client on in terms of, you know, here’s that the quickest, easiest way to create that video content, because quick picture versus a video, one takes longer.

Joel 9:20
So sorry, right? The organic part of taking a video is extremely important. I think there’s a certain amount of production value that one expects from a larger content creator and people allow that to happen with. But you can’t, how do I put this there’s a cringe factor if you’re not a big account and you’ve amazing production value. So you’re just trying to but you’re just trying to find my views. I’m not gonna watch you. But if you have like 3 million followers and you’ve got a great content, great quality quant content and amazing cameras, then I expect that right? So there’s that Organic kind of shaky camera views that I expect if you’re a smaller account and you’ve got a lot of use, I want that right? The other cringe factor to be aware of when you’re a local company that’s trying to get views is the age of the people in your videos. If you’re an older person like ourselves, and you’re trying to be the main character, you’re, you’re likely not going to, unless you’re going for the cringe factor, you’re likely not going to get any views at all, if you’re trying to be serious in your production value of your product or service. Unless you’re doing like a tongue in cheek, or you’re trying to make fun of yourself. But there has to be authentic. If you’re trying to make fun of yourself. And people can tell it people are like, it’s disingenuous, I’m not going to buy into this exactly, yes, 100% Let’s you’re going to try to make yourself into a meme. And people can tell you’re trying to make yourself a meme. And they’re like, we’re not gonna make you a meme. Like, it’s, it’s a really difficult place tick tock to to try and break into. There’s been a few companies that have successfully done it, but it’s a very tricky place to to win in the social media game.

Barb 11:06
Absolutely. And I think you touched on something really important there. It’s the authenticity, so the authenticity of what you’re doing whatever it is, is so, so important. And so if I look at, uh, you know, my even my own social channels, the simpler the video is, typically, the higher the views, the plays, things like that. So the most simple video I have ever done is just a camera on my keyboard typing. That’s all I did. Five seconds. 8000 views who watched somebody type 1000 times. But they did, because it was so simple.

Joel 11:48
So the algorithm, did they watch it? Probably?

Barb 11:50
Oh, yeah, I know. That’s one thing I’ve never looked at is how many people but because it was so quick, and there was words that came across the screen. So if you watched more than once, right, you had to it was purposeful, that it was very quick. And in fact, I’ve heard that advice from folks, when you’re talking about creating these reels or tiktoks. Purposely have your word go quicker on the screen than somebody can read the first time. So they have to watch it two or three times to see what you had to say. And then they’ll scroll on to the next video.

Joel 12:25
Like, unless you’re doing an instructional video on something popular like, like ramen noodles, or something that’s very, very chic right now to do. And you’re in your own kitchen and you’re in your pajamas or something like people wouldn’t expect. Likely no one’s gonna watch your three minute video, because their attention span is gone. The world’s 32nd Fish goldfish videos yet fortunately,

Barb 12:51
And more or less, even on the Google side, it’s exactly what we see, when we’re teaching our course, we talk a lot about what to expect on your website, if you can get somebody to spend five or 10 minutes on your website, like they are in hook line and sinker. But your resume usually you’re seeing somewhere between one and two minutes. Because 95% of people who go to a website, especially for the first time, they’re not there to buy, they’re there to learn to read to research, see if there’s headings that jump out at them 95% of people, so that’s absolutely huge, right. And the biggest difference I see between social media and Google is social media is serving that customer. What they think the customer wants is based on their algorithm, which is a very complicated formula, I get that. The Google side says, Okay, you searched for x. So we’re gonna serve you x. And the only time that they start to, you know, decide what you should see is if there’s a Google ad that is paid content, or, you know, there’s a bit of a formula that goes into all of the different keywords. But if a local business has the keywords, and the customer has searched for those keywords, Google’s matchmaking service puts those two pieces together so that the customer now chooses what they want to click and what they want to see. So I find that when local customers want to solve that problem, get that plumber over to my house now, because it Sunday in my sewer is backed up, right? Like I’m going to Google and I am finding that first business that comes up and says that they’re open. Are you finding that especially with the younger generation, so let’s say a Gen Z? Are they starting to use Tik Tok and social as a search platform? Are they still using it? As an entertainment platform,

Joel 15:01
I see it still as entertainment. They’re using a lot of getting a lot of lead gen still through Facebook and Instagram, depending Instagram is where a lot more of the Gen Z is being their lead gen from, okay, I’m getting a lot of people moving their businesses on to Instagram, they can do a lot of clock clock cross platform advertising, obviously, because Facebook owns Instagram. So it’s very easy if you have a legacy business on Facebook to just automatically advertise on Facebook, or on Instagram, pardon me. But a lot of newer businesses are just going straight to Instagram and forgetting Facebook now and yes, to attracting that younger demographic and not really worrying about their parents anymore. We have a baby boomer generation that are 1/3 of our business, like 1/3 of our business in our country, that are getting to an age where they’re moving into senior complexes and controlled communities where they’re not going to have that need for plumbing and for furnaces and for home renovations and whatnot. And we’re moving into more of the Gen X our generation and more the Gen Z’s were becoming the homeowners. But there’s a lot more people leaving the rural communities moving to urban communities. So a lot of the smaller towns are dying out. So we’re seeing a lot more dense populations moving to the city, which means a lot more people are starting to build up the note. Yes, absolutely. But that’s still it’s still, what’s really bothers me I think about the whole search thing is we still have a phonebook in Saskatchewan. even get me started. And people are still using the phonebook to search for things. It blows my mind. But rural Saskatchewan still relies on it so much. Yes.

Barb 16:51
And that’s because a lot of our rural businesses are managing their online presence yet. Exactly.

Joel 16:59
Don’t see the value just need a website because it’s just a glorified business card. It’s the only thing it’s for. Yes. They don’t realize that the farmer this driving the half million dollar combine isn’t pulling out the phone book anymore. No, he’s got a GPS driving his combine. And he’s using a smartphone to look up parts. And if you don’t, if he’s not getting it from the part in town, he’s going to the city to get it exactly.

Barb 17:18
When you think when you think about the social platforms, what do you think that let’s just say the number one strength of of each platform is like what’s Tiktok strength? What’s Facebook strength?

Joel 17:33
Mmm hmm. Facebook strength is that has a lot of users, which means it has a powerful lead generation component. There’s a lot of people and because of how detailed they can get into the granular hyper targeting of the amount of money a household uses the amount of likes that that person because of how long Facebook’s been around and they get the nuancing of the likes people have down to a science that you can get very, very granular on your hyper targeting. So I think that’s the strength that Facebook has. Yep, Instagram very much relies on that as well. But I think they also have more of that cliquishness. You get to find people within your niche and you get to find people that are of the same mindset of you. So when you’re looking for customers that want to be of the same thought process of you or have the same region as you Instagram has that powerful back end as well that allows you to find them very easily. That’s what I found with my customers. Tick tock TOC the power there. There’s a lot of opportunity there. But my clients haven’t really fun a lot of ways locally in Saskatchewan to break in it seems to be still heavily entertainment weighted. I know that there’s a lot of us customers and international customers that are making a lot of money off tick tock Yeah, seems to be the creators are making a lot of money off of it. I haven’t heard of a lot of businesses locally in Saskatchewan that are making a ton of cash off it yet

Barb 19:24
Yeah, you know it’s interesting I was in a local business would have been a couple of months ago and they were actually streaming live to both tick tock and Instagram at the same time. So they had two mobile devices set up to record two employees who were doing a call it a presentation. And and it was it was edutainment, right so there was a little bit of education but there was a lot of entertainment involved in what they were doing and myself and let’s just say half a dozen customers were in the store at the time. And I remember thinking a how can they have any kind of decent audio getting picked up but be As a customer I was like, I don’t want to be in the back end your video like no yeah, I didn’t get up and yeah, exactly like

Joel 20:08
Who does it really well locally though for attracting people down because else Cafe on 13th Avenue. Okay. Yeah, I have no cuz it’s just it’s just oh, they have the best doors you have to go try it as soon as the weather’s nice again this spring. Yeah. But it’s just one camera facing the staff as they turn around and they make their goal whip or they make their the Reese’s peanut butter ice creams actually have Reese’s Peanut butter? Peanut butter in the middle of the aisle. Okay, it’s wrapped, wrapped in the butter dust like it’s ridiculous. But all it is, is it the lead generation purpose of TiC tock?

Barb 20:46
Yeah, that’s Yep, so they they do alive for like a couple of minutes

Joel 20:51
Go to the TIC tock, and then they hand it to the customers. So they’re showing the product to the Tiktok every single time plus they engage if someone’s on their newer customers of their so they’re talking to the viewers and encouraging them to come down while they’re engaging with someone. So they leave tick tock to talk to someone. And they’re showing the product. So it’s a great product placement, it’s a great way to engage with customers. Customers don’t have to be shown online. But yeah, it’s they do it really, really smart. And they usually get like 400 Viewers, which is an amazing amount of viewers on tick tock for a live for local Saskatchewan.

Barb 21:25
Exactly. So how many talks are they doing a day, then I just kind of do it.

Joel 21:29
They probably do it probably just in the evening in the summertime to get people who are walking in Cathedral to actually divert their walking path to ELS and they will have literally like 25 people nonstop from five o’clock until nine o’clock when they close down the sidewalk all day long.

Barb 21:47
So, you know, if we look at a business like ours, then so they’ve committed fully to a platform, they’re seeing more sales because of that platform. You know, how does how does a local business get to that place? Because there’s a lot of time and effort and planning and the right staff? If you lose that one staff person who was doing such a great job with tick tock, how do you maintain that? So how do you help a local business through that

Joel 22:23
You need to have an engaged employee, someone who’s got a personality, you need to have someone who’s going to want to be not just staring out the window waiting for someone to walk up. But somebody is going to want to be able to be personable someone who wants to be engaging someone who’s going to be technologically savvy somewhat. You also want to understand that the times when your customers are going to be engaging with the platform. If no one’s online at nine to 11 o’clock in the morning, then don’t be online from nine to 11 in the morning. Wait until seven tonight at night if that’s when your customers are typically going to be on their devices. Even if they’re out for a walk. They may get a notification that else cafes live on Tik Tok click Yep. And then it’s going to be popping up a little sign saying hey, follow us in Tik Tok. If you follow us, you might get a free ice cream cone or some sort of loss leader that you can gain followers. Just little things like that to be aware of, of how you can gain followers and how you can keep them engaged. Look for ways to do giveaways or or you know little things like Hey, make sure you tap that screen to increase the legs because that’s going to push us to your FYP or the for you page. Little things about it’s knowing your platform and the tips and tricks to get more followers or to gain more recognition. Yep. So it’s if you’re going to choose a platform, don’t just choose it and set it and forget it. Right, engage with it, understand it and utilize it.

Barb 23:51
Yes. So do you think a local business or small business? Should they hop on a whole bunch of platforms? Or which platform would they choose nowadays?

Joel 24:02
If all of their customers are on all of their platform, all the platforms and yes choose all platforms? That’s the easy answer. Yeah, no, I would not recommend that. They go on to all the platforms. Now. Let me caveat that with you should choose to capture every platform with your name as if you don’t somebody else will.

Barb 24:27
Exactly, yeah

Joel 24:29
Because it’s the wild west of the internet. And I’ve had many companies that haven’t captured every single like their Google presence, and their Facebook and their Instagram, their Tik Tok or wherever else their Twitter account, and then someone else has gone on and grabbed it. And suddenly they don’t have control of their social real estate. Yes, someone else can be out there yelling from the rooftops that they’re that actual business.

Barb 24:55
Exactly. Yes. I agree. 100% you scary for your brand. Yeah, grab Grab those handles, even if you don’t plan to use the platform in the near term, because you don’t know when your business changes you don’t know when the business sells. So you can’t predict the future. So one of the best ways to just redirect it back to your website or something simple. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Just provide a base platform. Absolutely. All right, Joel, it looks like we are running out of time here today. So what I’m hearing is that it is local business, who is the winner of this round. Because here’s our great awareness tool, social media, make more people aware of your business. And we’ve got Google as a excellent platform to help customers when they want to solve a problem when they need the plumber when they need the massage, when they’re looking for local businesses that they want to be able to support. Let’s wrap it up by having you share all of your contact details about socially acceptable marketing.

Joel 25:54
Sure, as you’ve mentioned, my name is Joel Sopp. I’ve been called the Social Media evangelist because I believe in social media so much. You’ve mentioned my company’s Socially Acceptable Marketing, you can reach me director by text at 1-306-531-2751 or the longest email in the world. joel.sopp@sociallyacceptable marketing.ca.

Barb 26:18
Awesome. That is fantastic. You will find all of the details on our website, or on our social channels when this episode goes live. Thank you very much for helping us kick off 2023 With today’s episode, and on that note, if you would like to be a guest on the show, you can email me at barb@abovethefold.live or reach out on our Facebook or Instagram page at Abovethefold.Ca. I’m your host Barb McGrath, Google girl and champion of local businesses. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.

Ep. 113 Annabel Townsend from the Penny University Bookstore

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

Episode #100 with Victor Roman from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation

Episode #99 with Faith Alyssa Peter from Stressed Out Mamas

Episode #98 with Leah Mazur from Carousel Creative

Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

Episode #95 with Karen Kobussen from CanBall Games

Episode #94 with Wilson Acton

Episode #93 with Carla Browne from Real Property Management Canada

Episode #92 with Donna Ziegler from South Sask Community Foundation

Episode #91 with Scott Love from Store to Door Canada

Episode #90 with Mark Heise from Rebellion Brewing

Episode #89 with Brendan McGuire from Affinity Credit Union

Episode #88 with Tyler Clark form Prairie Benefits Solutions

Episode #87 with Craig Reed from Virtus Group

Episode #86 with Daria Malin from Boost Strategic Coaching

Episode #85 with Bill Thorn form Regina Humane Society

Episode #84 with John Vuong from Local SEO Search

Episode #83 with Linda Boryski from Saskatoon PhysioYoga

Episode #82 with Tracey Poffenroth Prato from RAD Talk with Tracey

Episode #81 with Janet Kotylak, YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode #80 Your Ultimate Guide to Get Found with Local SEO

Episode #79 with Jennifer Fox from Auto Electric Service

Episode #78 with Janet Akre and Susan Robertson from River & Rail ArtVenture

Episode #77 with Karen Smith from Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan

Episode #76 with Julie Naismith from SubThreshold Training

Episode #75 with Josh Haugerud from Regina Folk Festival

Episode #74 with Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote from Black Fox Farm and Distillery

Episode #73 with Cory Furman from Furman IP

Episode #72 with Tracy Archer from Knight Archer Insurance

Episode #71 with Tim Nickel from Fifth Business Consulting

Episode #70 with Taylor Weisgerber from Spartan Mechanical

Episode #69 with Lisa McIntyre from The Optical Shoppe

Episode #68 with Santa Claus

Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

Episode #66 with Natasha Vandenhurk from Three Farmers Foods

Episode #65 with Dianne Beauchamp from PuroClean Regina

Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #56 with Sarah Tkachuk from KPMG & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

Episode #46 with Erika Gayle from Erika Gayle Photography

Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

Episode #44 with Erin Caleval from Erin & Associates Insurance

Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

Episode #43 Part #1 with Jess Tiefenbach from Stay n Play Parenting

Episode #42 with Nadene Joy from Nadene Joy

Episode #41 with Richard Arockiasamy and Sanjana Kumta from GreenMache

Episode #40 with Jodi Barrett, CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada

Episode #39 with Erin Kinder from Kinder Surprises Antiques

Episode #38 with Tanner Goetz from Munz Media

Episode #37 with Jessica McNaughton from memoryKPR

Episode #36 with Wendy Turner-Larsen from Turner Larsen Consulting

Episode #35 with Jill Poulton from Transformational Leadership

Episode #34 with Janci Templeman from Walker Wakefield

Episode #33 with Denise Anderson, Author, Divorce in a Small Town

Episode #32 with Anne Gibbons from Gibbons Travel Consulting

Episode #31 with Charlene SanJenko from PowHERhouse Media

Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 26 with Dr. Emily Bamforth from Royal Saskatchewan Museum & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 25 with Nigora Yulyakshieva from City of Regina & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 24 with Pam Klein from Phoenix Group & Miriam Johnson from Saskatchewan Roughriders

Episode 23 with Gr. 5 & 6 Students from Argyle School

Episode 22 with Tiffany Wolf from Helium Communications

Episode 21 with Jeff Kinash from Peregrine Farm

Episode 20 with Charlene Oancia from Springer & Oake

Episode 19 with Dan Benesh from BarterPay Regina

Episode 18 with Prabha Mitchell from WESK

Episode 17 with Terrie Dunand from REMAX Crown Real Estate

Episode 16 with Kim Zacaruk from Stone’s Throw Coffee Collective

Episode 15 with Luke Rossmo from Luke Rossmo Music and Gareth Bawden from Bawdenmedia.com

Episode 14 with Kristen Hill from Kristen’s Cultures

Episode 13 with Cyndie Knorr from Cynergy Coaching

Episode 12 with Paul Burch from EchoLotto Inc.

Episode 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

Episode 10 with Brandi Good from BLG Business Solutions

Episode 9 with Dr. Gina Grandy from Hill | Levene Schools of Business

Episode 8 with Candyce Fiessel from The Style Academy and Shear Escape Salon and Spa

Episode 7 with Michelle Strawford from Bella Chic Fashion & Decor and What Women Want

Episode 6 with Jordan McFarlen from  Conexus Business Incubator

Episode 5 with Cheryl Giambattista from Health Coach Cheryl

Episode 4 with Joanne Frederick from Prairie Centre for Mindfulness

Episode 3 with John Hopkins and Amanda Baker, Regina Chamber of Commerce

Episode 2 with Christina Carlson from Queen City Collective

Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Apple Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Google Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Breaker  Overcast.fm  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Pocket Casts  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Radio Public Spotify   Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Anchor

Book lover? Looking for your next page turner?

Today’s guest wrote her PhD thesis about ideas of quality in the coffee industry at the University of Sheffield, UK, and then emigrated to Saskatchewan with her young family. When she’s not making coffee, she writes, rides a tricycle and enjoys life on the flat Canadian Prairies.

Annabel Townsend’s first book, It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time, came out in 2018 with Pottersfield Press. The follow-up, ‘A Thousand Lives’ is coming soon.

In 2020, (during the pandemic) Annabel opened the Penny University Bookstore in Regina, Saskatchewan.