September 2017

Sep 23 2017
“I can’t thank Camille from the Ottawa showroom enough for helping me find this beautiful David Meister gown for a formal wedding I attended at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. The dress was absolutely perfect for the event and I felt wonderful in it. Thanks again!” – Nicole Our Customer Of The Week Nicole stunned in this red-hot, Garnet Halter Sequin Gown by David Meister, that she wore to a black-tie wedding […] more...

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Sep 23 2017
Event: EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Prairies Gala Date and Time: Tuesday, October 19th, 2017 5:30 PM EDT Location: Telus Convention Centre, North Building, Calgary What To Wear RfR Model... more...

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Sep 22 2017
Event: EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Pacific Gala Date and Time: Friday, September 29th, 2017 5:30 PM EDT Location: Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building What To Wear RfR Model weari... more...

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Sep 22 2017
Event: EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Pacific Gala Date and Time: Friday, September 29th, 2017 5:30 PM EDT Location: Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building What To Wear RfR Model weari... more...

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Sep 22 2017
Here are some of the stories that caught our eye this week: House flippers outpace foreign buyers in Toronto According to Canadian housing website Better Dwelling, house flippers are now responsible for more sales than foreign ... Read More more...

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Sep 22 2017
Until he got the call, Isaac didn’t think much about identity theft. The married Toronto father of two keeps on top of his family’s finances and expenses, doesn’t carry credit card debt, and uses strong passwords ... Read More more...

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Sep 21 2017
Fifteen years ago I started Company of Women.  It was supposed to be a sideline to my consulting practice, something I did that was really for me, rather than a whole separate business.   

You see I found working at home isolating and I suspected that other women likely felt the same way and to be honest I just wanted to meet some like-minded women and perhaps make a few friends!  It wasn’t that altruistic at all.

Little did I know that 165 women would show up to my first event, that two years down the road, I would close the doors on my consulting practice, Community Connections, or that 15 years later, I would still be running Company of Women.  Perhaps it is as well, as if I’d known I was in for the long haul, it wouldn’t have been as much fun.

Now it hasn’t always been fun and I’ve learned and grown a lot since 2003 when we started out.  Here ‘s what I have learned.

People

1.              Surround yourself with people who believe in you.  We all need cheerleaders on our side who are there when we succeed and when we fail.

2.              Let go of the naysayers, the negative nellies or those who just want to “use” you.  They drain your energy and take you away from what you want to achieve.

3.              You won’t please everyone.  As women, we tend to be pleasers, but it is impossible to keep everyone happy. There will always be someone who complains. Don’t take it personally.

4.              Not everyone is going to like you.  This was a tough one to learn but it is a reality.   Develop a thick skin and keep believing in yourself.

5.              Take the high road. Don’t get drawn into battle when someone bad mouths you. You and your “people” know what is true.  Look at the source and let it go.

Business

6.              Be clear on who you are trying to reach.  When you can visualize your target audience, who they are, what they do and what they want, it becomes much easier to recruit and attract them to your business.

7.              Do your homework.   (Disclaimer - this was before social media)- but we once we spent thousands advertising in a publication that wasn’t read by our target audience.  

8.              Be nimble and fluid.  Don’t get locked into how you want your business to unfold and what you have to offer, as you could miss out on some great opportunities.

9.              Nothing is carved in stone.  If something isn’t working for you, change it.
Early on I learned that having membership run for a calendar year was disastrous cash flow wise. So we switched it up year two.

10.          Stay current.  Pay attention to the trends.   

11.          Change things up. Just because something worked in the past, doesn’t mean that it always will.  Be prepared to change your mind.

12.          Listen.  Ask your customers/clients what they want or need and deliver. It’s not about what you think they need.  After all, you could be wrong.

13.          Do the math.  Be sure you know how much it costs you to deliver a program, product or service.  Be ready to change the price if it is not working out for you financially.

14.          Delegate.  Build a team of people who can help you realize your dream. You don’t have to be the expert or do everything in your business.

15.          Revisit your vision.  On a regular basis, at least annually, check in on your vision for your business.  Are you on track? Are your end goals the same or do you need to change them?  Involve your team to make sure you are all on the same page.

Last but not least - You

16.          Learn to celebrate.  Too often we focus on what went wrong.  Instead,  spend time congratulating yourself on what you have achieved.

17.          Mistakes are lessons you needed to learn.  We can all too easily beat ourselves up on our mistakes.  Instead, ask yourself what you would do differently next time? And then move on.

18.          Trust your gut.  If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Pay attention.

19.          Be authentic.  When you connect with people, be who you are. Don’t try to be who you are not, play a role or be sales driven.  Be sincere.

20.          Take a break.  Don’t let your business become all-consuming. There is a life outside of work.  Take time to enjoy it.

When I started writing this blog, I was initially aiming for 15 pointers – one for each year, and I wasn’t sure I could come up with fifteen.  Guess I could.   And more.


  
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Sep 21 2017
Isn’t it too soon? Didn’t we just spend the entire summer complaining that we weren’t ready for back-to-school commercials? Can’t we just wait until the holiday season is behind us? Why do we have to talk ... Read More more...

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Sep 20 2017

Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser. Deborah Kimmett Stars In This Part Stand-Up, Part Eulogy, All-Out Funny One-Woman Tour De Force… (TORONTO -PICTON Heralded Comedian and storyteller Deborah Kimmett (The Debaters, DNTO, The Second City) brings her poignant, uplifting, and hilarious one-person show The Year Of The Suddenly to The Second City’s John Candy Read the full article...

The post Comedian Deborah Kimmett in The Suddenly: A Woman Tour De Farce! appeared first on One Funny Lady.

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Sep 20 2017
A lot of people under estimate how difficult it can be to start dating after divorce, when you have children. You’re likely going to be dating somebody who has kids, as well, which means you’ll have to work around more … Continue reading more...

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Sep 20 2017
Ever wonder which hand you should sign with? This video will give you the answer! more...

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Sep 20 2017
There are many different types of credit cards for the average Canadian consumer to choose from. From low-interest credit cards and travel rewards to cash-back credit cards, there truly is a best credit card for everyone ... Read More more...

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Sep 19 2017
Event: Candlelight Ball Gala Date: Saturday, November 4th, 2017 Location: Burlington Convention Centre What To Wear RfR Model wearing Galaxy Sleeveless High-Low Gown It is one ... more...

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Sep 19 2017
Event: One Enchanted Evening: The Great Gatsby Gala Date and Time: October 21st, 2017 6:00 PM Location:NAV Centre, Cornwall What To Wear Enjoy a night of 1920’s glamour ... more...

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Sep 19 2017
Event: Spark Soirée Date and Time: Saturday, October 21st, 2017 6:00 PM Location: Infinity Centre What To Wear RfR Model Wearing Black with Pink Floral Mesh Overlay Sleeveless V-Neck Cockta... more...

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Sep 19 2017
Event: Westboro FUSE Fashion Date and Time: Saturday, September 23nd, 2017 7:00 PM Location: QWest, 88 Richmond Rd, Ottawa, K1Z 6V9 What To Wear RfR Model Wearing David Meister Splash Floral... more...

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Sep 19 2017
Event: Westboro FUSE Fashion Date and Time: Saturday, September 23nd, 2017 7:00 PM Location: QWest, 88 Richmond Rd, Ottawa, K1Z 6V9 What To Wear RfR Model Wearing David Meister Splash Floral... more...

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Sep 19 2017
Has this ever happened to you? I know it’s happened to me a bunch of… more...

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Sep 19 2017
Everyone needs to be challenged once in a while, especially when it comes to their personal finances. If you find yourself running out of money at the end of the month or notice you’re spending too ... Read More more...

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Sep 19 2017

via GIPHY Homework assignments, extracurricular activities, meal prep, and bedtime routines – the four key ingredients for stressful school nights as parents. Navigating through the hustle-and-bustle of back-to-school routines can be a hair-pulling experience for parents as they try to juggle too many family responsibilities, and moving through the motions without a plan is a […]

The post 5 life hacks to help you survive stressful school nights appeared first on Toronto Mom Now.

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Sep 18 2017
Switzerland offers a unique hotel and thermal park for visitors interested in wellness travel. more...

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Sep 18 2017
Getting a mortgage may seem like a difficult process. But with a mortgage broker, it’s much easier. If you’re looking for a Toronto mortgage broker, Robert De Benedictis is someone you can contact. He’s worked at ... Read More more...

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Sep 17 2017
We were recently featured in The Kit‘s article on how to live it up at tiff like the celebs do. Click here to read the full article. more...

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Sep 16 2017
“RfR has made dress shopping fun again! Their stylists take all the stress out of finding a great dress. In one hour, I can get everything I need for an event, plus styling tips. It’s fantastic!” Our Customer Of The Week Adrienne looked amazing at a wedding she attended this summer in our 50’s-inspired feminine frock by Kay Unger. We love how she played up her look with brightly coloured accessories paired […] more...

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Sep 16 2017
Switzerland's Kasperksian Caviar, pure, sustainable and ethical caviar more...

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Sep 16 2017
Switzerland's Kasperksian Caviar, pure, sustainable and ethical caviar more...

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Sep 15 2017
Here are some of the stories that caught our eye this week: OREA outrage over OSFI changes The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) voiced their objections this week over changes to mortgage qualification rules currently under ... Read More more...

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Sep 15 2017
It’s annoying if you forget to take out the recycling or pick up bread during your supermarket run, but you can always make an extra grocery trip or write a to-do list for next week. There ... Read More more...

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Sep 14 2017
So, this came up in my Facebook memories yesterday. My second blog post ever. Feeling all sentimental this week since it was our 8th blogiversary on Monday, so I thought I'd do a little #ThrowbackThursday in honor of anniversary week. Wow, how times have changed (like the weight gain since this post), and yet still remain the same! Enjoy blog post #2 - exactly eight years later. more...

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Sep 14 2017
Using rewards credit cards can be a great way to maximize your spending habits and earn money on purchases you’re already making. But depending on the credit card you choose, the amount of time it takes ... Read More more...

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Sep 14 2017

Starting preschool is a big step, and it can be a little scary for everyone, kids and parents alike. You may find yourself wondering whether your child is really ready, how they’ll get along with their teachers and classmates, how they’ll handle it when you leave them, and how easily they’ll adjust to the routines […]

The post Helping your child adjust to preschool appeared first on Toronto Mom Now.

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Sep 13 2017

When you first start your business it is such a leap of faith, and you have such wild and wonderful dreams of how it will be.


The reality however often proves to be very different.  Sometimes the business takes off with great zest, only to wind or slow down at a later date. And for others it is more a timid start, picking up as you learn and grow.


The challenge with any business is you just never know.  Popular one minute, struggling the next.  Any one of us could find ourselves in this predicament. 


I started to think about this because several women I know have had to go back to working for someone else because their businesses were just not bringing in enough money to make it work for the family.


That’s so tough, and what a difficult decision to have to make.  Yet, it is what it is. When you have to keep a roof over your head, food on the table then you have to do what you don’t want to do.  You could say that you have to put on your big girl pants and get on with it.


That doesn’t mean it is easy.  It doesn’t mean that you may feel like a failure. And it doesn’t mean that you don’t second-guess yourself as to whether you are making the right decision.


You probably are.   For now. 


But here are some thoughts that may make it more bearable:


1.              You are brave. You took a risk and learned from it.

2.              Make the most of your time back in the workplace.

3.              You can be intrapreneurial in the workplace too.  Don’t lose your entrepreneurial skills, just use them differently.

4.              Learn new skills when you are there, ones that you could use if you return to your business.

5.              Make new contacts, you may meet some people who can help you down the road.

6.              Enjoy the steady paycheque. (Many of us envy you that)

7.              Sometimes taking a break and stepping back from your business, gives you fresh insights, so next time you know what you need to do.



And keep in touch.  We want to hear how you are doing.

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Sep 13 2017
Post Views = 42 Originally published on Self Development Secrets | Rebecca Temsen  | Do check out their site because “being your own hero” is critical! One of the most important ingredients of a well-lived, enjoyable life is self-confidence. Confident people get what they want the way they want it, people enjoy being around them, and they’re […] more...

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Sep 13 2017
Saving $100,000 may seem like an impossible task, but it can be done as long as you put some effort into it. Make no mistake, there’s no easy way to save that much cash. But depending ... Read More more...

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Sep 12 2017
When you mention RRSPs, most people think of them as the place to stash their retirement savings. In most cases, you’ll have to pay tax on any RRSP withdrawal. Two exceptions to this rule are ones ... Read More more...

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Sep 11 2017

I learned how to knit when I was five years old – the summer before I started kindergarten. Amazing to think that I could knit before I could print. My Mother taught me. Although I think she thought I was too young to learn, I was so insistent, she gave in, and we went and […]

The post Knit One, Purl Two, Link Three, Chain Four. appeared first on Lisa Ridout Exclusive Jewellery.

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Sep 11 2017

Do you have a bunch of funny stories but don’t know how to get them going? Are you finding it hard to find the time to sit down and write? Do you want some 2 days to get your funny bone working again?  Join me for the Making the Dog Laugh Writing Intensive. Sept 23, 24th . 12-5pm Read the full article...

The post Grab a Seat at Deborah Kimmett’s 2 Day Writing Masterclass. appeared first on One Funny Lady.

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Sep 11 2017
Today we celebrate the 8th anniversary of a blog that was born out of feeling stuck, on the fence, alone, confused, and wanting to create a space for women to get inspired, get off the fence, grow, succeed and thrive. You have made that happen. I am grateful for this community who has stood by me in my darkest hours, my greatest triumphs, and given me a safe place to be authentic myself. You have also helped each other, and inspired each other into action. Never underestimate the power of a few simple words on a page. This year I am celebrating our Blogiversary by flying to Toronto to attend an evening of women's empowerment for WIFT (Women In Film and Television), and you can follow that journey on my social media channels. more...

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Sep 11 2017
When your current mortgage term reaches its maturity date, you’ll need to renew the outstanding balance for another term. This is a process you’ll likely do a number of times until you pay off your mortgage ... Read More more...

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Sep 08 2017
Here are some stories that caught our eye this week: Bank of Canada increased overnight rate target to 1% This week’s biggest financial news story came on Wednesday when the Bank of Canada announced a 0.25 ... Read More more...

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Sep 08 2017
Workforce analysts predict that by 2018, more than half of American small businesses will be run by women. Just let that soak in for a moment... Every March, Women’s History Month celebrates the storied accomplishments of women in American history. Successful women have played a vital role in shaping the course of life in America and around the world, and that role is only growing with time. And the numbers speak for themselves. more...

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Sep 08 2017
Your credit score affects your life in more ways than you might realize, yet a BMO survey found that majority of Canadians have never checked their credit score. Worse yet, many don’t know what’s considered a good score, ... Read More more...

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Sep 07 2017
We all know that the real magic happens only when we show up fully in… more...

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Sep 07 2017
The latest numbers from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) show the market continues to experience double-digit declines from its activity one year ago. Monthly sales fell 34.8% across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in August. ... Read More more...

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Sep 07 2017

Persistence. Resourceful. Guts. 


That’s what Ginella Massa believes got her to where she is today  -  the first hijab-wearing woman to be an anchor with a major Canadian TV station.

As I listened to her talk at a recent Women of Influence event, it struck me that these are three key ingredients vital to success for women entrepreneurs too.



She credits much of her persistence to her mother.  When Ginella went to school in Toronto, there were only two girls wearing the hijab – Ginella and her sister.  Her mother lobbied for their religious celebrations be respected at the school, and Ginella learned that first, you have to ask.  And if that doesn’t work, ask again.

Following her studies at York University and then Seneca College, she started to pursue her career in broadcasting.  She wanted her voice to be heard as a woman, a woman of colour and as a hijab-wearing woman.  But she also knew that she’d have to work harder, aware that wearing the hijab could be the death knell for her career.

Much of her early career was spent behind the scenes as a news writer and producer.  But Ginella’s dream was to be on television reporting the news herself.  In a leap of faith in 2014, she quit her full-time job so she could focus her energies on making that dream a reality.

Three times she applied for a position in Kitchener-Waterloo.  The first time when she got turned down, she decided to get more training and volunteered at Rogers.  The second time she was informed that they’d filled the position internally.

The third time, she got the chance.  “I’ve learned to be my own cheerleader. Unlike others in this industry, I didn’t have the networks.  I couldn’t draw on my parents’ connections. I had to create my own network.” she shared.

Ginella demonstrated her resourcefulness when she shared the story of an interview that took place in a restaurant.  She arrived early and the waitress recognized her and was quick to tell her how wonderful she was, and so on.  

After a moment’s pause, Ginella went back to the waitress and asked if she’d do a repeat performance, in front of the two men who were interviewing her. And she did.   When asked if this happened to her often, Ginella was quick to smile and say “yes.”

But in some ways, that wasn’t stretching the truth in that when she first arrived on the Toronto scene as an anchor at CityNews Toronto, her story caught media attention.  Her story appeared in The New York Times, Vogue, FLARE, Aljezeera and the Washington Post.

However, not all the attention was positive and she also received her share of hate emails and tweets.   Racism, she observed, is often the elephant in the room. “We fear what we don’t know.”   And she could tell when people were giving lip service.  It would the tone of their voice or the back-handed compliments. 

All of which left her feeling at times that she wasn’t good enough. “Your own self-doubt  can become your biggest barrier to success.”  We are our own worst enemy and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.” she cautions the women in the audience.

Ginella was quick to say at the beginning of her talk that she preferred to talk about representation, rather than diversity, which she feels can get laden with tokenism.

She feels her role is to report the news, which at times can be challenging and upsetting to her personally,  but she remains professional feeling that she’s not there to talk about or defend her religion.   She just happens to be a hijab-wearing woman reporting on the news.

Being the first, the trailblazer takes guts.  You’ve got no role models to follow, you are paving the way.  And there are times in our own businesses, that we are carving out our own path, breaking down barriers too.

Ginella’s story was inspiring.  Her lovely smile drew you in and the standing ovation at the end of her talk was well-earned.




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