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Mission: Promote purposeful passionate people to help them reach professional and personal potential while enjoying life to the fullest. DISCLAIMER: This is a PERSONAL blog. Views expressed are my own. Names listed have given permission.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Philanthroinsight with the Walrus and Sonnet LAbbe


This post is for those in the club.

Not VIP`s, the opposite, the servants of good. The people who live inside the moving parts of fundraising, philanthropy, charity, non-profit, social-profit – the people that are open to discussion beyond golf, moustaches, ice-buckets and chocolate almonds. Who are tired of hearing about the usual conversations on this topic. Donors, fundraisers, volunteers, boards, lawyers, accountants all the people who make it happen and see inside the sausage factory that is often expressed as neat, clean, feel-good, dimple-faced philanthropy.

As usual the folks at the Walrus Magazine and Foundation take their talks further, behind the curtain on a subject. This fall they chose philanthropy.

walrusspeakersWhat a unique line up of speakers that assembled the body parts of giving ( the heart), funding ( the legs), doing (the hands), investing (the head) and marketing (the mouth). Read more in this review of the evening – this is a reflection on one talk.

She’s a poet, a writer, a thinker but she’s also a spy into this profession and way of life. I met Sonnet L’Abbe now a decade ago working in a university advancement office as a writer. She has worked for causes in healthcare, community, in civic engagement using her command of head, heart and all that lies between as an asset to fundraising teams – this makes her an insider. It`s a dangerous magic but as a poet she gets to say things that none of us, not the donors, the fundraisers, the institutions can say.


And she did. Watch it by clicking here.

I personally made sure a few dozen in my network were in attendance and after the performance they all said ‘how does she know our hopes, fears, dreams, anger, even our words!?”. She reached into us, and showed us our own guts. It can be uncomfortable for some, I loved it. Every word.

So as 2014 comes to a close and we all reflect on what we do, what we’ve done, where we are going. What better medium to help in that reflection than poetry?

What happens when the heart and head heartthinkstart working together in the world of philanthropy?

Powerful things, I`ve seen it.

Thanks to the Walrus team, this is why I subscribe and give to you. Because you create conversations like this.

And to Sonnet, I have said it before, I’ll say it again, besides what Gord and his Tragic friends think, I think poets are a gift to humanity.

Certainly a gift in my life. sonnet

And I’m grateful just to know her.

If you haven’t already, click here to watch that insightful poetry on philanthropy – would love your thoughts in the comment section below!

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Why Interstellar is worth seeing

I’ve got some issues, some problems vexing me. And I’ve been stuck.

I also happen to be a GenX’er and we communicate through movies..


Tonight against the advice of the critics and some very smart people I went to watch the movie Interstellar.

It’s been called this generation’s 2001 A Space Odyssey and I can certainly see the parallel. Not because either movie was scientifically correct – no – because they helped us dream.

The critics and scientists like the people who hold us back in our lives are people of today. They do their dreaming while they are asleep.

But there are so many in my network, who dream while they are awake.

They are the artists of the possible. The people Seth Godin writes about when he busts the myth that we shouldn’t fly too close to the sun.

The people of the present are the ones who told us flight wasn’t possible, diseases couldn’t be cured, genomes couldn’t be mapped. Their DNA is coded with the words like “can’t, won’t, No”.

You the people of the future ( this is certainly not limited to the young by the way ) are coded with words like “maybe, what if, why not”.

So, my problems won’t be solved overnight, the hardest problems aren’t.

But let me call out some people who I hope to encourage forward, who I hope I can be of service to before I leave this world.

On this networking adventure I have met many travellers who dream while they are awake…I don’t pretend to be smart enough or courageous enough to be one of you – but I’ll damn well be the shoulders you stand on to reach the stars.

Despite critics, scientists and naysayer, I believe you will make it there.

Like Canadian Commander Chris Hadfield through science reached the stars, he touched our hearts with images and music. You are thinking collaboratively, you are the citizens of tomorrow. And you inspire the hell out of me. 

It was a midnight show, and it’s late. I’m off to sleep, to dream.

A quick note to say, thanks for all you do for me dear network.

Vexed, but hopeful.walkon


Monday, August 18, 2014

#MenStyleTO an evening of style at the Mancave

RSVP for Free Here

Style is fun.

It also can help with career development.

Men are finally starting to realize this.

Toronto just hosted Canada’s first Men’s Fashion Week. It was a roaring success. This coming fall will see the second huge Gentlemen’s Expo at the Metro Convention Centre ( a must attend for the modern gent).

But fancy beards and expensive whiskey aside – what about normal working guys who just want to step up their style a little bit?

For up and coming career climbers – budget is a critical issue and a $5,000 suit isn’t an option. Also, the office isn’t a place to push the style envelope.

mancaveEnter #MenStyleTo Tuesday August 26th ! I’m co-hosting with two awesome folks who have helped me immensely. The Man Cave Barbers Lounge is our location and they will speak about modern hair style and hair care.

The fine folks at Toms Place in Toronto have helped me so much over the years. Tom Mihalik Jr. will join us to share tips for this fall and on how to suit up smart for both style and work.

TwitterJuly2014I’ll be closing up the speaking with how style has helped me with my career. You may have heard about my pocket square endeavour – I’ll share why I believe in style as a career catalyst and how you can save money and still look as good as you want.

Space is limited, it’s FREE to attend so please RSVP here and share with others in your network!


Picture from @BlogTO

For those sharing using Twitter, our hashtag is #MenStyleTO and our speakers are @TomsPlaceTO @ManCaveTO and @UinvitedU

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Networking while walking

A big thanks to the many people who came out this summer to my two networking while walking ( also known as ‘netwalking’ ) events.

I’ve shared the benefits of this very popular networking style that I’ve adopted myself for the past year or so. Something I do about 3 days a week with individuals for my own personal business networking.

But bringing together a group is something kind of magical – and I think we can all agree the world could use a little more magic these days. A little more positive energy. A little more light in our lives.

And so I reach out, to my network, these days through platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn to strangers too, open invite so people come only when they feel they are ready. A networking philosophy of mine. Park of this magic is the fresh faces it adds to our collective networks. Although I’ll add that these aren’t really strangers. Today’s social networking strategy means most people will come out because they are aligned with your bTwitterusiness, sector or career philosophy and have decided it’s time to meet in person. I’m finding in fact in several cases my open netwalks are drawing out contacts who don’t have time to meet me one on one but are curious at the idea ( introverts find this structure approachable ). You’ll note there is always one or more Golden Crabs ( my personal networking MVP’s ) at these events. Getting out there is why these people are the best in my network.  

The two I held this summer we just the kind of events I was hoping for. Sure they were fun but I’m viciously clear on what we are doing there, ask anyone who attends we’re not wandering around lost in the woods. No, I have talking topics, workshop exercises, networking training and the goal is clear: revenue for-profit business or more funds raised for social-profit charity.

Business connections have been made, follow up meetings have happened, revenue has been generated, people have been hired from these events, I am deeply honoured to be a part of this. So those who have attended, thank you for investing the time with me and I’m proud you’ve invested time in yourselves.

Maybe you’ve heard I have a new job. Part of this role will be to cross this country serving the charity sector to help raise the bar on social profit. My new team is all about collaboration, innovation and progress – so keep your eyes out for a netwalk in your city soon!

Until then, thanks for reading (see below for some insight from netwalkers)



A mentor shared with me that when it comes to career planning, you can do anything but you can’t do everything. Having focus and a clear goal is key ~ Ann Rosenfield

I have always tried to follow my professional passions through work or volunteering in my sector. I never thought of doing something I love with my career skills like it was art. ~ Liz Rejman ( see Seth Godin )

Stories are what make a business case or case for support touch the head and heart at the same time. Artists tell these stories best and I think I need to spend more time around them to learn to tell better stories. ~ Talking about meeting Canadian poet and writer Sonnet L’Abbe

Today a Nobel Prize winning scientist shared with me that the secret to getting ideas into the world isn’t just good ideas but strong social networks – and that I have to network constantly to build them ..l blew my mind.

When I turn to people at work, people in my network their advice and feedback is clouded by the baggage of our history and relationship. Today a stranger gave me honest, clear and unbiased feedback and suggestions -  it’s what I needed most right now.

Were you at one of the netwalks? Could you add your thoughts and comments below? Thank you! P

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Three CNEs

I was born in Toronto, but when it comes to the CNE ( the Canadian National Exhibition for international cnereaders ) it doesn’t matter where you’re from.

The summer is a special time for everyone in Toronto, and the CNE is a bittersweet moment. You love it for all that it is, but it is the harbinger of summer’s doom. What better way to squeeze the last fun out of the season before it ends.

But while most people have just one visit to the CNE, for years I’ve had three and they’re three totally different CNE’s too! I hope you find some value and maybe ideas in one of them…

1) The Kids. Being of baby-raising age right now this is a wonderful full day of activities that is affordable and crazy fun. We don’t live close by so the secret is to drive to the underground parking in the superdogsDirect Energy Centre that is accessible for strollers. Start the day walking to the kids area where this is always lots to do – the petting zoo is a must. Lunch at the food building, a visit to the agricultural building with an early afternoon finish at the ever-awesome superdog show. They end up tuckered out, wheel them downstairs to the car and you’re off before the crowds show up. CNE_Night

2) The Friends. There is nothing like the midway at night. This thing is 135 years old so anyone who grew up in or around the city will have nostalgic feelings for the place – so much history! Show up on the Red Rocket in the late afternoon when most folks are leaving and CNE_Foodhead to the food building for something delicious and dangerous. I never miss out on a huge pickle and something deep fried that usually leaves me queasy for a couple hours. The sun goes down, the lights come upCNE_Pickle and the fun begins. Every night there’s something fun to do at the CNE. Walking and catching up with friends, winning at the horse races, losing at crown and anchor is always awesome. Some years there are fireworks, a date-night staple. Riding that loud and crowded rocket back into town is the best way to end the night.

3) The shopping (senior secret). Funny enough, this trip is best made with someone over 70. Before my grandmother passed well into her 80’s we would again drive into the Direct Energy Centre early in the morning, use that wheelchair accessible elevator and take a thoughtful stroll. To see stuff that the kids wouldn’t have patience for and my friends would usually make fun of (yes, I like flowers). I love to see the many different things for sale in the craft building, thCNE_Flowerse sights, sounds and smells of the world in the international shops and I love to barter and argue with the hard sellers in the shoppers market. Finish it off with a slow stroll through the garden show and it is always a day well spent CNE_Mefor a tiny cost. If you have seniors in your life, these areas are totally accessible.

I always find fun and unique things at the Ex. Heck, I’ve just scratched the surface! I have friends who are die-hard airshow fans, some are into the musiccheck out this page for all there is to do! This year I’m on vacation and will take my family to opening day, it’s going to be a treat. It’s one ofCNE_TinyToms Toronto’s true treasures and I hope you find your way down.

I leave you with the jingle that made the hearts of every kid born in the past 50 years will know well. See you at Tiny Tom’sTiny Tom’s….

( How about sharing a story of your Ex-capades below? )

Thanks for reading! Paul

Sharing some news with gratitude

change2014Nice to know peers care, the emails/tweets started Friday night….“Paul, changing jobs?!” as my work emails bounce and voicemail spills the beans. 250 people viewed my LinkedIn profile this weekend. Yikes, so I’m fessing up.

Ok, yes, it’s true. I’m making a change.

It certainly didn’t come easy, most people know the person I worked for was one of my career heroes. A mentor to many and in a role that few get to play in Canada with an amazing team of positive people of great talent and integrity.

But because of my life mission, after helping hundreds of peers do better, do more, step into their greatness ( giving people a little nudge now and then )…the fingers started to point back in my direction. Was I  standing tall, being all that my strengths make me, fulfilling the gifts many mentors had given me? I wasn’t. 

So, I have made a change. You’ll hear about it in a little time but first, at the urging of many helpful voices, I’m taking a break. Just a few days to recharge, rest and reset before the exciting challenge that lays ahead.

Of course I’m still hosting a BIG networking while walking event Sunday August 17th in High Park in Toronto. I would love to see you there, maybe get your advice and wisdom that day. To learn more click here.

giantsUntil then I want to use this neutral moment to express my gratitude. It took me a long time to come to this decision, many people walked with me as I struggled with it. Countless mentors like ML, the peers of Seth Godin’s Krypton College (lead by Promod Sharma), the fundraiser’s coach Janice, the courageous Kimberley MacKenzie and the many ladies of #TweetCottage . My many mentors both experienced and future leaders. And of course the authors of the many books that I use to inspire others and MOST of all my networking MVP’s, the Golden Crabs. keep-calm-and-walk-your-talk

When you hear the news, you’re going to say “this is a good fit” – indeed my entire career has been leading up to this role. I talk a lot of smack about servant leadership and being at the service of this sector. I will soon get a chance to walk that talk and put my life where my mouth has been when speaking at conferences, in blog posts, industry articles and tweets.

Until then, I’ll be hugging my kids, meeting with some of you, listening a lot. Being in silence ( can I even do that?! ).

If you’re reading this you’re probably one of the people that got me here. Before I celebrate getting anywhere I want to take a moment, in humility and great gratitude to say.


I’m known as the connector because of my network (that’s you). You make me everything I am and I am so grateful.

See you soon, Paul.

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 17 Netwalk and Potluck Picnic in High Park

BU011092I have promised many that this netwalk would happen, the BIG ONE. We have space for 100+, so please mark this event in your calendar and share!

August 17, we’re going to walk and talk – about you!

This isn’t a fundraiser, there is nothing to buy or sell, we won’t be walking fast so there will be NO health benefits (human pyramid above is for metaphor-purposes only).

It’s about networking, it’s about enjoying summer (goodness forbid we slow down a moment) it’s about helping you get to where you want to go.

Celebrating that life is good, and if it isn’t good, if you are facing challenges and feeling down – how do we make life better again, together.

Sorry, no hokey stuff. No singing or hand holding ( spouses and significant others welcome though so I guess, you can hold hands ) but business cards ( or contact cards if you are a student or in between work right now ) are mandatory!!

This will be the fifth netwalk I’m hosting and I’ve had great feedback from previous netwalkers…I’ve taken that consideration into account. So, a later start this year, 10am. We’ll walk for 2 hours, I’ll have some networking highparkactivities for us along the way.

A new fun feature this year, an optional potluck lunch! We’re going to be a High Park in Toronto that has both parking and a subway stop. I’ll have volunteers to keep our coolers and stuff safe during the walk and we’ll return to a fun and delicious networking lunch!

More details to come about exact meeting location and food logistics but for now, please mark your calendar and RSVP here. Share the event with anyone you like who could benefit from some networking, fresh contacts, fresh perspective, fresh food! TwitterJuly2014

See you Sunday August 17th for #NetwalkTO !



When: Sunday Aug 17, 2014 meet at 10am

Where: High Park Ave and Spring Rd. near the parking.

Who: Open to anyone looking to advance career, enrich life

Cost: No cost. Noon potluck picnic lunch is optional. RSVP Here


--------- UPDATE   --------  UPDATE   ---------

So our exact meeting spot is High Park Ave and Spring Rd (just south of High Park and Bloor St. W ) . left of the parking spots. I hope to have a sign of some sort up.

If you have RSVP’d I will email you with more details and my mobile phone number so you can be sure to find us.

As for the picnic/potluck portion, I’ll bring extra drinks. Keep it simple (don’t stress!), remember it has to last in your cooler or car for 2 hours while we walk. If you’re coming by subway I have someone volunteering to watch our stuff while we walk so feel free to bring a cooler (and chairs if you don’t like sitting on the grass, which I don’t ).

Most importantly, please be on time!!! Plan to be there for 9:45am please. We start walking at 10am sharp!!

Really looking forward to it, we’ve crossed the 40 person mark attending so it is going to be a really great mix of people!!

I’m starting to get “what should I bring for the picnic potluck?” emails….here are some ideas:

Store-bought is totally fine, this is not a hipster-judgement event. But go easy on the desserts.



Friday, July 11, 2014

#NetwalkTO Group Introduction 13 July 2014


distilleryairThis Sunday we’ve got a small private group going on a netwalk at the Toronto Distillery District

As promised here is a very quick group introduction for you so you can do your homework on each other before you show up.


As you may know, I created a networking MVP award that I give out every year. It’s a totally selfish exercise in me calling out the excellent people in my life who I feel are the most helpful to me and most proactive networkers I know. You’re going to meet THREE of them! Clare McDowall owner of Socially Good a digital marketing firm (and ballroom dancing enthusiast!). And two awesome fundraising leaders Ann Rosenfield and visiting from Regina Saskatchewan Christina Attard who are two of the most life giving positive people you’re ever going to meet.


These are three amazing leaders in my life with amazing businesses that are of value to my network and are part of re-writing what it means to be awesome in this economy. Kate Hodgson a professional storytelling coach who teaches business owners how to tell their stories, host of the 9 to 5 narrative in Toronto. Karen Shinn is one of the original Downsizing Diva’s, an innovative business that helps Canadians not just move but make life transitions as part of a move. David Kravinchuk is helping Canadian charities fundraise better coast to coast as head of the Fundraising Pharmacy.


I know 5,000 fundraisers. I’m so happy these 5 are joining us, I have so much to say about them but for now, here’s the link to their profiles. Kavita Dogra, Cynthia Foo, Cameron Becker, Idalette Martins, Roma Prudente.


Recently I’ve been thinking, ‘when does this guy sleep!’ which you know if I’m thinking that means someone is super active. Joallore Alon, better known as ClickFlickca online is active as a disruptor and marketer all over Toronto. He’s built a solid following and many business owners I know cite him as a leader and teacher. 


I should make a bigger deal about Brad Bass being a Nobel Peace Prize laureate but he excites me most because I met him at a Science Expo teaching scientists how to network! A science networking enthusiast!!!!  Christine Bowden is a Career Services leader at a Canadian College.


We have about five people who I don’t know at all or who are more private folks and you’ll meet them in person on Sunday. More fresh faces for the network of course.


Audrey Ooi is the amazing business owner of Tasty Tours, a fellow UofT alumni she is our host for the Distillery Farmers Market tour we’ll be going on! She’s also part of the Endeavour Volunteer Network a consulting group that helps the Canadian Nonprofit community!

So! As you can read, last year was a ton of fun. Come on time please, 9am sharp and you know where we’re meeting – bring business cards!!

Dress is casual, it’s going to be sunny and warm.

For those of you Tweeting, our hashtag is #NetwalkTO

See you soon!


Monday, July 7, 2014

The Lego Movie: Questions our Modern World Brick by Brick

legoYou remember Lego

It is often called “the toy of the 20th century”. But in the 21st century even the makers of Lego knew that even though they were more profitable than ever, the very core of their business was under attack.



So they made a movie.

Blah blah blockbuster hit – kids movies do that. But I’m in this place now (child rearing years). Where I have to watch movies 10,000 times with my kids until I despise even the thought of a movie ( Disney’s Frozen anyone?! ) and the Lego movie is different.

On the surface it’s a great kids movie, stacked to the ceiling with blockbuster voices like Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, Will Arnett, Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Billy Dee Williams, rising star Chris Pratt and many more.

But the story is a phenomenal comment on modern life, the motivation of work, the cause of a career, a question of creativity and the danger of business for the sake of business.

legobusinessTake the villain for example, his name is “President Business” and his henchmen are the “micro-managers”. Anti-capitalist? Not so fast. A good deal of the plot deals with creative masters of the universe who are brilliant but can’t work together and can’t set or achieve any goals.

Even the theme song “Everything is Awesome” which was nominated for several prestigious awards is an ironic reminder that we are often The-lego-movie-awesomebrainwashed to believe life has to always be “great”. The movie literally begins with all the characters going through life using “the instructions to fit in, have everybody like you and always be happy” which include how to prepare for the day ( I especially love the dig “drink ridiculously expensive coffee” ).

The movie ends up with a commentary on how we have let business get away with stifling creativity, and creativity get away with stifling inspiration – one gets the feeling the makers of Lego hope it helps the parents who purchase their product let lego heartchildren return to the free-play of 20 years ago instead of the ‘guided’ play that rules today’s childhood.

Thoughtful, brilliant, subversive, creative, insightful. Kids or not, I encourage you to watch it.

Sure some in the marketing world found it a brilliant anti-ad-movie, and even The Economist picked up on it’s unique value – but I hope it is for you a joyous questioning moment in why we work and how we work.

As the villain loves to say “it’s not personal, it’s just business”.

Would love your comments after you see it!

Here’s a preview below ( and click here for an interesting behind the scenes site ). Enjoy!



       Paul Nazareth


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Masterclass moment in business networking: Gratitude

I often describe networking as my oxygen.

It’s how I breathe, I do it daily and naturally as part of living.

It’s not in my DNA, it’s a decades-long learned skill.

workthepontAfter dozens of books, hundreds of sessions given and thousands of networking meetings later – it often returns back to one team and one book.

Work the Pond.

This book has been at the top of my list for a decade. It can be read by anyone, business people, students, anyone who is trying to learn how to connect with people to build relationships.

Years ago I reached out to the Shepa team, Judy and Gayle responded and we’ve kept in touch ever since. Sure I promote their book every chance I get and mention it in my many presentations and articles but that’s because it’s the best. I have no expectation of recognition or return from them.

Wonderfully, Gayle and Judy keep in touch and have even mentioned me kindly in their weekly networking tip ( which I highly recommend you subscribe to, click here ) – but their gratitude was raised to a new level recently.

It was a random afternoon at work, a phone call: ‘you have a package at the front desk’ which I wasn’t expecting. Upon opening I found this:

What’s up with Olives you say?

See, every once in a while I share with my network in conversation or social media things that fascinate me. Sometimes in frustration I can’t satisfy my curiosity about things like men’s style, pop culture and … the history of olives! For years I searched and have never seen a book or information about the history of this hyper-popular part of food culture.

Here’s where the networking learning comes in.

Listening, actively will give you insight into how to master gratitude. There are so many people we are grateful to but it is in the unexpected moments where we can surprise, delight and be of value that we make an impression that will last. Gratitude is a hidden business tool too often forgotten.pond2

This is a business lesson, this is a life lesson.

It’s why their book is a best seller the world over for more than ten years. 

One of SO many lessons this team teaches me. 

Am I saying thanks for saying thanks? Yes, but I’m also applauding the teachers for walking their talk.

You rock Shepa team!



Saturday, June 7, 2014

Cadillac #CTSDrive Klout Perk Review

People know me as a social business enthusiast.

So I’ve used the social influence platform Klout to keep track of the digital reach of myself and my network for a few years. Recently they have launched Klout perks, a way to engage users and of course create social influence about products those users love.

Speaking of love. Sleep

I have always loved the aesthetics of cars, not so much the power but the practical creature comforts and use of a vehicle. Cup holders make or break a car. And the Cadillac CTS is a car I’ve had my eye on for years.

Imagine my surprise and delight when one day Klout reaches out offering me the chance to drive the brand new 3rd generation CTS for a weekend. When I share with people the return on time invested in social media I focus on business and career benefits. I try not to share the fun and unique stuff to keep expectations realistic.

But I won’t lie, I was excited.

I have considered the CTS to be the pinnacle of North American business vehicles. You can keep your refined European lines, when this car arrived I knew aggression could fit into a Hugo Boss suit. It’s name is was CTS.

The car showed up at my office ( nice touch Klout team ) and it was a long Friday knowing that this beast was waiting in the bowels of the Bay St. garage waiting for me. I had set up a drive for a few friends in the car after work and to honour that grill that means pure testosterone to me – we hit a steakhouse for some rare meat and then, oggle the car.

HapticSeatI’m a family guy with a family car but I never miss the Auto Show in Toronto so I’ve kept up with what’s out there. And this car lives on the cutting edge of technology, power and drivability. Sure there’s horsepower to spare but it was the amazing features that blew me away. The Audi A3 that won ‘world car of the year’ supposedly for it’s tech and has a haptic steering wheel. Big deal, the CTS has a haptic drivers seat! The seat vibrates when there is a car in your blind spot, or when you’re backing out of a spot both which is helpful and could save your life. Same thing goes for lane change warnings, awesome.

HUD_CTS2The head’s up display projected into the windshield was connected to the GPS. Sure the Bose sound system was amazing but it was things like the seat cooling system, intelligent tech connection to your phone and automated everything that made the interior more like a cockpit than a car.

You’ve heard about the parking assist on many new cars, the CTS actually helps you hunt for a parking spot and then parks for you. I think we parked maybe 25 times, every single person screamed the first time. Even the luxury car owners were freaked out by the technical advance in this feature.

That weekend was both Mothers Day and my little boy’s birthday so I have to say a big thanks to Cadillac Canada and Klout for giving me a chance to spoil both of them. But it was me who was spoiled the most. Getting a chance to drive it for a few days showed me the difference in daily driving – my morning drive was transformed. Gone were all the bumpCadillacKlouts and bothers. I’ve been in BMW’s, Mercedes Benz’s and I love Audi’s but this is a stark reminder that the North American car is back.

         With a vengeance.

My favourite part of the weekend was taking a couple business peers and buddies who owned BMW’s, Audi’s and Mercedes out for a drive. There was some grumbling – ‘I was specifically told Cadillac’s don’t have this, don’t do this’ said one. My own family has owned only North American cars and even my own father admitted he wouldn’t have thought about a Cadillac until he saw how affordable something of this level would be. If you are in the market for a luxury vehicle, you owe it to yourself to just check it out. The tech, the drivability, the usability is incredible.

It even survived a trip to Costco.cts3

Thanks again Cadillac Canada and Klout, I know many of the #CTSdrive folks valued the drive too.

As a social business enthusiast I LOVED that you threw the hashtag on the back of the car! People asked me about it all over town especially where I work on Bay St.. It gave me the opportunity to actually talk about the difference between social media and digital business.

Besides the usual commercials and promotion, I leave you with this great review of the car which I totally agree with. What a weekend.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

PocketStyle : It’s not business, it’s just personal

So the time has come to share.PocketBanner

Let me clear up front, I’m sharing this with you because you’re part of my network and NOT because I want you to buy something. Frankly, it’s because you dear network that this all started in the first place.

It’s no secret, I love pocket squares.

But I’m often asked, WHY?!

Underlying it all, it comes down to three things:

  1. I’d like to bring back the idea of a civil gentleman
  2. In a suit since 19, I am tired of “the uniform” look
  3. As a networking enthusiast, this is about walking my talk. Being well groomed says you care about details

But there was three barriers to raising my style game:

  1. Working on a nonprofit/fundraising salary means I can’t shop at C-Suite retailers (who I respect and adore; Harry Rosen, Brooks Brothers are the Titans of men’s style and new players like GotStyle and events like the Gentlman’s Expo are rewriting Canadian style for men)  but the average price is $30 and some as high as $150!
  2. Canadians aren’t really into pocket squares, there isn’t a lot of affordable selection in Canada
  3. I didn’t have the confidence

In the past several years Tom and his son at Tom’s Place in Kensington Market have helped me dress better on a budget. They took the time to teach me so much about dressing well. Tom Jr. has even come out to speak at my networking events about dressing for success - I’m eternally grateful to both Toms!

I’ve also discovered some retailers who sell cheaper squares so I go on an annual road trip once a year to buy all my work clothes.

But – my own network was pushing me to do something entrepreneurial that focused on my personal passion and not my work in philanthropy.

pic4I’ve been mentoring and helping several young men in my network to raise their style game for career and confidence. But they too can’t afford the $30, $60 and $100+ price on what is ( let’s be honest here ) a napkin with no table.

So as Seth Godin, a personal business hero says. If you care about art that no one else is making, ship it. Not really for profit, but for the sake of making something you’re passionate about a reality.

Right at this time having another baby my wonderful wife took some time off (to have said baby ) MADE me a square for our anniversary. After some number crunching I realized we could pick out the designs make them at a cost that would be affordable and cover our costs. I know, many peers of mine have given me a lecture about not making big profit but I’ve been blessed withposter-image-3---5-x-7 one of the coolest jobs in Canada working with people I respect and admire. This is something that is 90% my wife’s and I’m just the conduit for.

We’ve been quietly selling them in Toronto thanks to the fine folks at LEN4ALL in the trendy Danforth East area. Stop in any time to browse and pick up other cool locally made stuff!

But it’s time for me to share. Especially with Father’s Day coming up!

So if you’re interested in knowing more:

For my personal network I’m discounting our usual 2 for $29, 3 for $39 and 5 for $59 price and will meet you in person to drop them off. Feel free to drop me a line. I’ll also be hosting a pop-up shop really soon too!

In the end what I really want to do is thank you dear network.

gpocketFor constantly pushing me, inspiring me, pulling me towards my dreams.

    With great gratitude,