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Monday, October 29, 2012

My Journey with Bonnie

Last Friday, our friend Motivatorman came to visit us (special invitation from my wife). We had really good time (that of course included great food). As it was time for him to go home, I decided to walk him out to the Subway station. I didn't know how was the weather outside and I put on a light jacket. Result? I have been under the weather these last two days. My productivity has been close to nothing.

Even though I was not a hundred percent on Saturday, I went to do a 3 hour presentation about networking. The house was packed and we had people following us on video from Ottawa and Sudbury. It was great fun.

I can teach a thing or two about networking, but I have met people who are masters in the matter. One of them is my friend Bonnie Chan. She is a master networker (does this word exist, or I just made it up?)

I met Bonnie last year at a networking event (where else would you meet Bonnie?). Right away the connection was made. She knew me thanks to a mutual friend and she said that she had heard a lot of things about me. Right then she made me feel like a million bucks.

I met Bonnie again later on in December at an event that my friend Jim put together. We talked some more. I mentioned to her that I was looking for a place to move in, and she told me so much about where she lived that I was sold right on the spot. A few weeks later we were neighbours. She was among the very first people who met my wife when she came to Canada and they have been friends ever since.

Along the way, we decided to work on a project together, which was to start a coaching group in our area. I was going to be the facilitator and coach, and she would be the one putting the group together. She did that in a heart bit. She also took care of all the logistics. What a blast we had! When it came to put together my wife's surprise baby shower, Bonnie and Aaron her husband (who is now our accountant) took care of us by offering us the party room at their place.

If you are an entrepreneur here in Toronto and you have never heard of Bonnie, I can tell you that it is a matter of time. You will definitely meet her because she is everywhere.

Do you know what I have learned from Bonnie? How to make genuine connections with people. You meet Bonnie for the first time, you just feel it. She is a people person. No wonder she is succeeding in all her projects (and she has quite a number of them). Her new project is a networking bootcamp. You can check it out at

It is hard to succeed in life without the cooperation of other people. More importantly, it is key to have the right kind of people around us. I am so glad I met Bonnie.

If you have people who make you feel special when you are around them, cherish them. Make sure to let them know how special they are. Bonnie is special to so many, I just let her know how special she is to my family.

Moral of the story? Would you like to learn how to treat people right? Just contact Bonnie and you will move in our area.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Journey to A New Season

It's been over ten years now that I am in Canada, but I am always amazed by the season changes. A few weeks ago, I was doing some work cleaning the front of the house (leafs were everywhere). I was proud of my job until, a few minutes later I came back to the place I was cleaning to find out that there were more leaves on the ground than before. What a waste of time!

Everywhere I go, trees are changing colours. It is a beautiful scene, but I know that in a few weeks there will be no leaves at all. Trees will have to wait for months before they can have their leaves back. That is how it is.

I think that, as human beings, we are like trees. We go through seasons. During some seasons, we also lose our leaves. These are pruning seasons. In my opinion, the difference between trees and us is that trees don't complain about season changes the way we do. They wait patiently until next season. During winter, when we look at the trees, they seem to be lifeless. Are they really? There are stuff happening underground that we don't see. There is life in them.

It is the same thing with us. There are moments when nothing seems to be working, but behind the scenes, it is working even though we don't see it. It can be frustrating at times, but when we understand that it is only for a season, we can wait patiently for things to change. They always do.

Unlike a very successful 2011, the year 2012 has been a year in which, most of the times, I learned what not to do (if you know what I mean). More than once I found myself against the wall and hoping for a miracle. Sometimes miracles happened, some other times they were denied their visas lol. I also made tons of mistakes that I hope I won't do again. I know it could be worse, that is why I am still thankful.
I am “the glass is half full” kind of person, so I try my best to focus on the positives. The birth of our baby has been the highlight of the year.

The other highlight of the year came yesterday. My wife went downtown to visit her friend and I spent my evening with Skylar. I knew she would come back home late (that is what happens when she goes to see her friend) but not that late. I thought she might had been busy signing autographs as she was looking so hot when she left home lol

When she finally got home, she shared with me what happened. There was a long delay on the Subway. They were even asked to go out of the station to wait for the bus (which took forever to come). She was standing next to a guy who started complaining about all those delays. “Delays are not a bad thing” she started explaining to him. “When they happen, it is for a reason. We don't know why they happen, but they are a good thing. They are there to teach some lesson”.

Her travelling companion's mood started to change. He later shared with her about what he does. He owns a convenient store but business seems to be slow. “Keep going. Have faith. Everything will be ok. Don't give up. You will succeed if you don't quit”, she said to him.

When my wife told me the story, I was so amazed. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I was so proud of her it's not even funny. She looked at me and stated: “I think I am ready to be hired as a coach”.

I couldn't agree more.

We have been through a lot this year, but I can say that what she said to me last night is simply amazing. Was she always like that? Sometimes yes, but most of the times no. That is what a pruning season can do if we keep a good attitude. We learn to have faith and keep believing no matter what. My wife has just graduated, don't you think?

If you are experiencing delays in your life, if nothing seems to be working, just know that behind the scenes, it is working even though you don't see it. You are growing into a different person. Hopefully a better one.

Moral of the story?

Do you want to enjoy delays? Just hire my wife as your coach and your mood will change.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Journey with Skylar

Once again I have to find an excuse why I did not post my blog yesterday. What can I say? I am thinking of a few reasons why, but the one I am thinking about the most is that our daughter is four months old today (is that a good enough reason?)

I am writing from an Internet café, on my way home from a presentation that I just did at a job fair. I know that by the time I get home, there will be no time on the computer. Our daughter now dictates our schedule lol

Yesterday was one of those days. I had planned my day with a number of items on my to do list, especially people that I would call, then I got a emergency phone call. My wife had to go out to give a hand to a family that needed  help. I had to stay home with Skylar. This had happened in the past, so I was confident I can keep everything under control. Oh boy, little did I know what was coming next.

At first she was calm, nothing to be concerned about, I even promised some people that I would call them shortly. Then she started her things. Whenever she is hungry, or when she wants to sleep, she just cries. I guess that this is how all the babies are. So she started to cry. I thought maybe she was hungry ( Maybe she is like her dad when he is hungry lol).

I gave her some milk and she was fine, just for five minutes. Then she started to cry again. I tried to make her sleep but in vain. As we had started to give her same cereals a day prior, I thought I could prepare some. And this was my first experience doing it. I saw my wife feeding her the day before, I thought it would be a piece of cake. Man! The food was all over her face, all over my face, on her clothes and on mine as well. I was trying to feed her while she was crying. What an experience!

Somehow I managed to make her sleep, and ten minutes later, she got up and there she went again, crying some more. Boy! I wanted to call my wife, my mother in Africa, my mother in law, 911, you name it.

About an hour later, she was sleeping again. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep as well. By the time my wife came back almost at midnight, I seemed to have everything under control. My wife was proud of me, but I did not tell her what I had gone through to have the baby under control. I guess she had an idea of what happened when she saw baby food all over my face lol

I looked at my wife with admiration. I just simply realized how good she is with Skylar. It's only after going through with what seem to be an easy job for her that I understood how hard it was. I have been guilty of taking her job for granted without realizing how hard it can be to be a mom taking care of a young baby.

Sometimes we are quick to judge people without knowing what they are going through. It is only after having been through challenges that we can understand those who have been there before us. We also take for granted people in our lives, but it is only after they are gone that we can see their real value. It took some hours alone with my baby to understand how valuable my wife is in the education of our baby. I knew she was doing a great job, but now my respect for her just went throuh the roof.

Moral of the story?

Do you want me to take care of your baby? Just leave me alone with the baby and I will have baby food on my face.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Journey to A Great Thanksgiving Week End

It is always fun to enjoy a long week-end. For some people it is an opportunity to do things that they did not have time to do, or visit friends and family members that they had not seen for a while.

 That is what happened to us this last Saturday. A friend of mine had extended an invitation to us a few weeks ago to go to see him and his family and stay overnight. We did not know that he had done the same with some other families as well. It was a great surprise when we got there. After a while, other guests started to come, before we knew, the house was packed. It was so great

I don't know where the tradition came from, but I think that whoever thought about having a Thanksgiving day was right. In my opinion it should be a daily thing to be thankful. However, most of the times, it is easier said than done. Facing daily challenges can take away the focus on the blessings. I heard someone saying that energy flows where attention goes. Whatever we give energy to, grows. If we focus on the blessings, they will keep coming to us. The same thing can happen when we focus on the challenges.

One day, I attended a seminar and the presenter gave us a great exercise. He asked for someone to volunteer for the exercise. He asked him to name everything in the room that had the colour blue. He started by his blue shirt, five minutes later he was still pointing at blue stuff.

Then the seminar leader asked him this: “when you were naming all these blue objects, did you see anything that was brown?”. We were all surprised by his question. Of course not. We were looking for blue objects. While there were plenty of brown stuff, we did not pay attention to them because we were looking for something different. Then the seminar leader looked at all of us and said: “Now, let's say the blue colour represents the challenges, while brown is for blessings. Don't you see that if you focus on the one, you miss the other?” All this time, our friend was focusing on the blue (the challenges), while brown objects (the blessings) where all around us.

 I learned my lesson. Energy flows where attention goes. We all go through difficult times. It's part of life. However, there are also blessings all around us, but we do not seem to notice them. Let's all count our blessings. There are so many.

Moral of the story? Do you want to count your blessings? Just invite me and my family and we will stay overnight.

Always a pleasure


The Journeyman

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Journey to Niagara Falls

A few weeks ago I received a call from my friend Courtney asking me if I would be available on September 28 (which was this last Friday) to attend a conference at which he would be speaking. Courtney is such an inspirational speaker that I wouldn't miss this opportunity. So I said yes. My friend Jim (a.k.a Mister Connector) would be there as well.

It was a two day conference, but I was there just to listen to Courtney (who by the way just published his first book) speaking about his favorite topic which is Financial Fitness. He did a great job and I learned so much from him. He was the last speaker. After that, it was time for fun. The conference organizers knew a thing or two about having fun. A huge bus was waiting for us downstairs. Destination: Niagara Falls

 About twenty four of us got into the bus. They had told us that they would be playing a movie on our way and we were excited about it. Do you know why? It was Mr. Bean! For those of you who have watched Mr. Bean, you know what I am talking about. They ended up playing another movie, but frankly, we did not need any movie for entertainment. Our driver was such a funny dude. We laughed all the way from Toronto to Niagara Falls.

 I knew it was the right kind of people to be with when we got there. Our guide asked us this question: “Do you want to start with visiting the falls, or would you like to start with dinner?” I heard twenty four loud voices saying: “Dinner!!!!” I knew I was at the right place at the right time, with the right people. I won't say much about the food. It was out of this world. My wife often says that for me, any food is always good food, to which I always respond the same way. For me, quantity always comes first. The quality can wait lol. Fortunately. It was both quality and quantity.

 After dinner, we went outside to watch the fireworks. It was spectacular (almost as good as the food lol). We had so much fun man! Time went so fast. It was almost 11pm when we went back to the bus. As promised, they played Mr. Bean. I watched only the beginning and I fall asleep. Jim woke me up later when we were already in Toronto.

 That was my Friday. Two days prior to that, I went to play Basketball after an entire year without touching the ball. That's the thing. I have been so busy with different things that the word ”fun” was outside of my vocabulary. In less than a week, I had combined 3 of my favorite things: Travel, Basketball and Food (I should have started with this one).

 Let's work hard for our goals and dreams, but let's do not forget about fun. Do you know why? Because success is not about the destination. It's all about the journey. Why not enjoying it. What have you done for fun lately?

 Moral of the story? Do you want to have a week of fun? Just play some Basketball and you will eat great food in Niagara Falls.

Always a pleasure

Patrick The Journeyman