Retirement  …… ????

Does anyone else find it difficult to retire?  I have retired three times and am still working.  I must admit I am closer to retirement this time and am actually learning to sleep until 6 a.m.!  Feels odd just to check emails and Facebook posts and not leap into action as soon as I arise.

I still run into people who say, “I’m retired, I love it, I don’t do anything.”  Personally, I would go stark raving mad if I did not have a list of things I needed to do, prioritized by urgency!  Many at this point are volunteer tasks, others honey-do, and yes, some paid work.  After all I am a ‘J’ and need to keep things organized!

The thought of not having my mind wrapped upon something to challenge me is uncomfortable!  I thrive on being useful to someone, which may ego, but for me a reality.  I take on ‘widow work’ for friends who no longer have a male around to do tasks.  This satisfies my need for hands-on work, but it is not usually mentally challenging.

Of course, there is Sudoku, but one can only persist at it for so long and it either is boring or hurts the mind.  One has to be careful!  It is great to develop a routine, (‘J’ kicking in again!) which helps to make sure you do not miss anything on the list.  Lately a variance from the list and mindless coffee on the patio because of the unusual June weather.

Life is short, whatever floats your boat.  If you need to work, whether financially or from a mentally stimulating point of view, do it!  It might be paid work, it might not.  If it makes you feel good and helps others, it is worthy work!  Lastly, ignore other opinions, do what is in your heart.

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Posted in Assessments, Coaching, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employment, Empowering people, FaceBook, Life coaching, Lifestyle, LinkedIn, MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Retirement, Service Clubs, Social Media, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Determination Wins the Game

Not quite.  Determination and a well executed game will win.  I just watched the Blues win the Stanley Cup against the Bruins.  Were they determined?  After 52 years, you bet they were!  But it wasn’t only determination that won the cup.  The seventh game was one of the best defensive games I have seen in many years.  The Bruins only managed one goal to the Blues four.  A well executed game!

Whether sports, business or love, while determination is key, you must have a well executed game plan.  You need to know who you are up against.  In sports you watch their games, employ videos to rerun their plays over and over.  You develop strategies to counter their plays.

In business you research the competition.  Who are they?  What can you do differently?  Who is my target market?  What is my potential geographic market?  Then you keep your business plan updated, dancing to the numbers and making the necessary adjustments to the living document.

In love, you find the common ground in your interests, accepting as they are, not what you would like them to be.  If you find you are drawn to them and don’t want to be away from them, you may have found the one.  You need to offer your authentic self in the execution of the courtship.

In all these cases determination definitely played a part in it. If you have no will for the win, you will not achieve the goal.  Without ‘seeing’ the prize, it is difficult to win the cup.  If you are in business, you need to see past the bumps in the road and be confident that there are answers to the problems.  In love, you need to know who you are, your values, and who you want to share your life with.

Be determined, but also play the game well!

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What is Life?

Is it work?  Is it play?  What constitutes the life we lead?

We start life with play, part of the great learning cycle of life, but unfortunately many of us forget to do this much past adolescence.  Yes, we play golf and perhaps take part in a team sport, but that is not play.  It’s not the same as the inventive games that we enjoyed growing up.  Things that developed the mind through humour, exploration, and stretching beyond our comfort zones.

We get entrenched in ‘education’, (the real education takes place in life), writing exams, and being pushed to decide on careers.  Once we decide on direction, we become mired in the mud of earning a living, paying rent, or if lucky enough, a mortgage.

Then relationships enter the picture, if they haven’t already.  This creates an outlet for fun and play, but also creates commitment, which either adds to, or takes away from fun and becomes work!

We sometimes forget how valuable it is to play.  No matter what you choose as play …. Do it!  It might be golf, a play, fishing, a day with children (where you learn to play again!), or simply a walk on the beach.

Whatever it is, just do it!  If it isn’t fun, find something else.  Revert to childhood and savour the lost moments.

Life is short …..………….

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Coaching, Elephant in the Room, Empowering people, Family, Life coaching, Lifestyle, Managing stress | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Culture and the Community

Every business, every community, every country; all have their own culture.  They reflect our values, ethics and demographics. We tend to associate culture with those who bring their traditions and values from another region or country, but we all have our own culture.

If you are in business, thinking of going into business, or coordinating volunteers, you need to be able to read the culture of the ‘community’ you are in.  Who are you selling to or working with in the community? You need to be able to connect with them.

This is especially important when selling a product or service.  Where will you find your target market, the ones who will be your prime customers or clients?  Small communities sometimes rely on local connections such as the radio, or community page on social media.  Seniors tend to rely on newspapers, the media they grew up with.  Some like Facebook, while others prefer Instagram.  Then there are those who rely on word of mouth and referrals.

Organizations have their own culture or ‘community’.  Two businesses may have the same staffing and qualifications but may operate quite differently even if producing the identical product.  Two communities may have the same population, same industries, but the feeling in each of them is quite different.  They have their own culture.

Job seekers need to be cognizant of the culture they like to work in and be sure to target those businesses that match their needs.  If an employer does not match your values or personal culture, it can seriously impact your well-being.

Our personal culture needs to feel comfortable in life and work.

As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.

Posted in Assessments, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Clients, Coaching, Customers, Diversity, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Employment, Empowering people, Entrepreneurs, Life coaching, Lifestyle, Relationships, Sales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Employers and job seekers are always concerned with competencies.  Employers want applicants to have the right competencies to fit the position being advertised.  Job seekers are trying to show they have the competencies to compete for the positions, cognizant that they need to be brief and not have more than a one or two-page resume.

Where many employers, especially in larger organizations, miss the boat is in tracking the other competencies of their employees.  The ones that did not appear on the targeted resume.  In larger organizations it is difficult for managers or owners to know all of their employees beyond what they do on their job on a daily basis.  Who are they?  Do they have a family?  What other skills do they have?  What do they aspire to be?

One way is to create an employee profile.  Some of the things that the profile might track are;

What is the employee’s history with the company?

  • What positions have they held?
  • What were their accomplishments?


  • What is their educational background?
  • Are they taking any training currently?

Professional Designations & Tickets

  • Do they have a degree?
  • Are they a Red Seal?


  • Do they belong to any professional associations?

Skills and Abilities

  • What skills and abilities do they have including ones not necessarily related to current work?


  • What languages are they fluent in writing and speaking?

Training and Development

  • What training have they received both on and off the job?  This can be formal and informal.

Career Experience

  • What other careers or work experience have they had?


  • Have they had experience as a volunteer?  If so, what was it and what skills were gained from it.

Hobbies and Interests

  • What do they do when not at work for relaxation or recreation and what skills are gained from it?

Career Interests

  • What are their goals?

One example of the value of such an exercise occurred when I worked in the forest industry.  We constantly had visitors from other countries touring our operations to gain knowledge and our employees visited other countries for the same purpose.  When this happened, we employed the services of a translation company at considerable expense.  When the employee profile was completed, we found that we had employees who not only could communicate in all the major languages, but they also had the knowledge of the industry.

For employers who are looking to grow their organizations, an employee profile can show you how you can do it from within, possibly keeping your experienced talent!

Know who your employees are, not just a position description and title.  The dividends can be huge, for the organization, and for the employees!

As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.

Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Coaching, Communication, Diversity, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Employment, Empowering people, Human resources, Leadership, Relationships, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Money’s Worth

Don’t get me wrong, I like staying at hotels that have all of the amenities.  What I don’t like is staying at high priced hotels that are not maintained to my picky standards.  I’m not talking about how you are greeted at reception or the fantastic location.  I am talking about the facility itself.

I do not want the doors to squeak.  I want them to close properly.  I expect them to be plumbed correctly and not have cold where it says hot and vice-versa.  When it says it has a kitchen, I would like it have pots with lids and a frying pan that has retained its non-stick coating.  I expect the coffee carafe to be compatible with the coffee maker.

I recently had the above experience and while we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, these little items bugged me and did interfere with my enjoyment to some degree.  Am I too picky?  Perhaps, but where does one draw the line?  Some would probably say that I’m the one to blame for choosing to let the nit-picking interfere with my enjoyment.  And, they may be right!

How many times do we let insignificant things interfere with our daily appreciation of the things around us?   We get wrapped up in things that are beyond our control.  We need to sometimes ask ourselves if anyone is going to get hurt or suffer as a result of what is happening and, if not, walk away and enjoy the moments in front of you and those you are with.

Choose you battles carefully and be aware if you are actually battling yourself!

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Posted in Believe and Succeed Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Business Planning, Coaching, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Empowering people, Life coaching, Lifestyle, Managing stress | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Relaxation & Recreation

While many of us derive our pleasure from the day-to-day production of (hopefully) tangible work, we all need to step back occasionally and get away.  Such is the case for me this past few days.  We traveled to Waters Edge Resort in Beautiful Ucluelet, British Columbia on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

After a scenic trip passing by Cameron Lake, Cathedral Grove, Port Alberni, Sproat Lake, Kennedy River, and Kennedy Lake we arrived at the destination.  It was a good day and felt nice to relax on the deck with the chatter of sea lions in the harbour keeping us company.

It is essential to our well-being to take time for ourselves and our families.  Our health will be better as will our relationship with those we love!  While Ucluelet and the west coast of Vancouver Island is our choice for this escape, everyone has their favourite spot in Beautiful British Columbia or further afield.

We perform better when time is taken away from our daily routine.  It is an opportunity to learn new things and re-tune the mind.  New experiences expand our thinking and expose us to differing viewpoints.

Seeing the enormity of the Kennedy Hill project first-hand, I no longer will comment, “Why is it taking so long?”  At the junction of the road to either Ucluelet or Tofino, you can feel the stress leave as you enter another time and space.

If you haven’t stepped away from the rat-race lately, make plans immediately to visit your favourite place to recharge.

Try it, your life will like you for it!

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Posted in Business Coaching, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Environment, Family, Life coaching, Managing stress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Personality and Career

Personality preferences do impact how we go about our daily business.  One of the most used personality assessments is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® or MBTI®.  Personality type does not limit what a person can do as any type can do any job.  It can only show where your comfort level may be and what activities you may enjoy more than others.  For this reason, it cannot be used as a recruitment tool.

With the Myers-Briggs® your assessment will show a four-letter type.  The certified person administering the assessment will debrief the results with you to determine the validity.  Your four-letter type will show you to be;

Extraversion (E)                or           Introversion (I)

Sensing (S)                         or           Intuitive (N)

Thinking (T)                       or           Feeling (F)

Judging (J)                          or           Perceiving (P)

In looking for a career, these are some general guidelines.

If you are an Extravert;

  • Look for work with a lot of interaction and people contact; Sales, marketing, personal services, public relations, hospitality, entertainment.

If you are an Introvert;

  • Look for work where ideas are important; Teaching, accounting, computers, engineering, scientific fields, medicine, research and development.

If you are Sensing;

  • Look for work where details and procedures are important; Administration, building and trades, law enforcement, navigation, nursing, public service.

If you are Intuitive;

  • Look for work where communication or theory are involved; Counselling, journalism, teaching, writing, religion, research or law, or where long-range planning, business or policy development are involved.

If you are Thinking;

  • Look for work where logic and problem-solving is important; Skilled trades and crafts, science and technology, computer science, engineering, management, law, police and criminal justice work.

If you are Feeling;

  • Look for work in fields where people and values are important; Teaching, health care, office and clerical work, personal and human services, communication, artistic fields, health services, counselling and the ministry.

If you are Judging;

  • Look for work in settings where plans and systems are involved; Management, finance, building and trades, order and deadlines are important and where they can assume responsibility.

If you are Perceiving;

  • Look for work where there is change, not routine; Artistic fields, counselling, entertainment, psychology, journalism, child care, research.

As I mentioned, these are generalities and show where comfort levels may be.  It does not define who you are as an individual but is one more tool for the tool-box when you are looking for a career fit.

While comfort is important, we must remember that growth only occurs when one is outside of their comfort zone!

As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.

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Starting Off on the Right Foot

I guess there is such a thing as falling into a business, after all, people do fall into jobs.  It does get a little more complicated when it is a business.  If one wants the business to succeed there are steps that need to be taken and work to be done.

First of all, one has to have knowledge of the product or service they are proposing.  It is difficult to market to your customers if they do not have the confidence that you know what you are doing!  You also must do your due diligence and research your target market and ensure there are enough potential customers or clients in your market area.

Once you have an idea of the number of potential clients, you need to determine how many competitors there are.  This will establish your market share.  Your research into your potential customers or clients should tell you why they buy the product, how often they buy the product, where they get it now, and why they might change and come to you.

Knowing the regulations pertaining to the proposed business is essential as you need to ensure that you can do your business legally whether you are home-based, have a store-front, or are manufacturing.  Regulations for some businesses might also be health and environment.

What are your start-up costs?  What are the costs to open the door?  You may have licensing, permits, renovation costs, supplies.  How much money will I need for the business?  The three things to consider are; what is needed to start the business, what is required each month to maintain the business, and what do I personally need each month from the business?  Do you need financing, if so where is the money coming from?  Most businesses do not break even for some months so you should not count on taking owner draws on the business for the first few months, sometimes longer.

Producing a monthly cash flow worksheet for the business will keep you on track and show where you need to concentrate your efforts.  It will show your projected sales and expenses for a year and I guarantee it will not turn out as projected.  It is a living document that will keep you on track and can be altered.  This is extremely important as you can be asset rich, but if you have no cash flow, you will not be in business for long.

Falling into business is not easy, or wise.  You need careful planning and research to be successful.  There is lots of help out there for you at your local Community Futures Office and good resources online.  Do it right and have fun!  Done right it can be very rewarding!

As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.

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Labour Shortage

We have no excuse, we were warned in 1996 by David Foot in his best selling book, “Boom, Bust & Echo that this was coming.  Twenty-three years later some employers are just waking up to the fact that there is a shortage of labour across a wide spectrum of jobs.

This is creating challenges for many as it affects production, transport, customer service.  I know of businesses that have had to curtail their hours as they did not have the staff.  There are help wanted signs in every other store window where we live, some are multiple positions.

We are seeing it in the professions as we see more and more postings for accountants, engineers, nurses, doctors, and many others.  Because of the demographics, this situation is not changing for a few years.

There is a labour pool with many skills and abilities that for the most part is overlooked.  In British Columbia, there are roughly 350,000 persons with a disability.  The unemployment rate for them is around 25%.

There are many myths out there about hiring a worker with a disability.  It is thought that they will have to take too much time off, will not be as productive, will be a safety risk, or will cost too much to accommodate in the workplace.  These are totally unfounded.  In fact, most require no accommodations at all and they are five times as likely to remain in the position.  Some think they can’t be disciplined or fired when in reality they fall under the same laws as everyone else.

These workers are out there.  Give them your consideration when hiring and look at the ability, not the disability.  By all means hire the best person for the job, but the outcome may surprise you.

As always, feel free to share this post giving credit to the author.





Posted in Business Coaching, Business Planning, Career development, Career professional, Coaching, Community Futures, Diversity, Elephant in the Room, Elephants, Employees, Employment, Human resources, Leadership, Older Worker, Team development, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment