April 2022 Volume 4 Issue 8

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Volume 4 Issue 8 • April 2022

published by ZX Media Corporation

FEARLESS FOR THE FUTURE Experience Inventures Live

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For tickets and more information visit inventurescanada.com


“Fall in love with a problem and make sure you understand it so that you can see the path to bringing a solution to the market. People who fall in love with their solutions run the danger of not having a market willing to buy it. Build to what the market will buy. Test your ideas. A lot. And don’t be afraid of finding out that it doesn’t work as well as expected. It’s all about increasing your understanding while removing risk. And you’re going to have to hustle - that’s just part of the deal.” – Greg Hart, Thin Air Labs

Advice to Entrepreneurs and Startups

INNOVATION AND COMMUNITY COLLIDE Thank you to everyone who contributed VOLUME 4 ISSUE 8: A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF AN ENTREPRENEUR Scott Pickard Ty McKinney Blaise Hunter Jennifer Hadley Al Del Degan Gus Lu Faisal Karmali Chris Edwards Jill Drader Robert Manolson Sophia Fairweather Joanne Neweduk Kimberley Dawn Mallory Gemmel Shawn Webber Jamie Attfield Krista Malden Kenzie Webber Brittany Fraser

Jade Alberts, with guests: Richard Campbell Fabian Warner Derek Hill Nir Katchinskiy Nicole Sanchez Anka Chan Tim Lynn Denise Baril Bryan Slauko

Business Link

Images *

Frank El Baraqouni Angela Contardi David Bayda Shay Bachelet

Sarah Hawco Al Del Degan Jade Alberts Alnoor Damji Chris Edwards Blaise Hunter Krista Malden Amie Uitvlugt-Valenzuela Robert Manolson Dominic Vogel Jennifer Hadley Joanne Neweduk Ethan Nicolas

Businesses Village Wealth Hawco Peters Karmali Exchange Gusto Law Peerspective Consulting Alberta Innovates School of Rock Key-Angels Deloris Walker Careers Fabulous @50 Nomina Wellness The Doorway Made By Momma CISM Fierce Mom 8 Bit Cortex

Contributors//Art Zanika Malden

Contributors//Events Celtic Illusion Alberta Bike Show 2022


Quotes provided by Honourable Lois E. Mitchell Koleya Karringten Scott Pickard Greg Hart

Ty McKinney Jill Drader Jennifer Jones Unsplash Pixabay Pexel

Subscribe for your free issue of Community Now! at www.communitynowmagazine.com Copyright 2019 ZX Media Corporation, Calgary Alberta Canada Community Now! Magazine Copyright 2018, published by ZX Media Corporation. Volume 4 Issue 8 | April 2022 All rights reserved. This magazine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher and writer.

This grassroots magazine is a platform for, about and by the community. 4 // Community Now!


“I believe success in business is developed through relationships. When starting out in business, begin by building relationships with those that share your values. Failures come from not realizing and understanding others needs. You may not always be able to fulfill the needs of your customers, but you can help connect them with others who can. It's okay to walk away and be sincere about why. They will remember your honesty and may come back to you with other opportunities in the future.” - The Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD

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Photo by: https://www.jenniferjones.ca

The Idea

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Wearing multiple hats…daily 8 // Community Now!


Mastering the art of juggling Community \\ 9

Climbing mountains one step at a time 10 // Community Now!

What other people think life as an entrepreneur looks like

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Making it work from anywhere and everywhere. Community \\ 13

How Entrepreneurs prepare for the day

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Photo by: https://www.jenniferjones.ca

One day you are on top of the world 16 // Community Now!

The next you could be upside down Community \\ 17

Overwhelmed/ Frustrated

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Breathing Fire Flying High

Photo by: https://www.jenniferjones.ca

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In it for the journey

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This is the Life of an Entrepreneur

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“It's not about who you are, it's about who you BELIEVE you are” - Scott Pickard

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This issue of Telling It Like It Is features advice to entrepreneurs by special guests: • • • • • • •

Richard Campbell – Founder – 10Adventures Fabian Warner & Derek Hill – Founders – MenzLeague Nir Katchinskiy – Founder – PulseMedica Nicole Sanchez & Anka Chan – Founders – Ruth Tim Lynn – CoFounder – Startup TNT Denise Baril – Founder – The Grant Sherpa Bryan Slauko - Founder - Metiquity Ventures

“I work with entrepreneurs because they inspire me every day.” - Jade Alberts

Telling It Like It is www.PeerGuidance.ca Community \\ 23

“You need the passion for creating. It is the most fun you will have in your life. There are ups and downs but enjoy the ride.”

Richard Campbell – Founder – 10Adventures https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=VWdlAC5unmU&t=3s

“Talk about it. It is difficult to do, but you need to find someone to talk to. Take a leap of faith.” - Derek “You’re not alone. Someone has gone through what you are going through. Make yourself available for friends to reach out to. Don’t wait for a crisis to happen to take action.” - Fabian

Fabian Warner & Derek Hill – Founders – MenzLeague https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=rfBwZOwJzg8

“Be humble and flexible in your thinking. I am here to learn from everybody.”

Nir Katchinskiy – Founder – PulseMedica https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFXNoBT0Y2I 24 // Community Now!

“Do it because you don’t want to have any what if’s in your life.” - Nicole “You don’t want to let your idea die and wonder if it was a great one. Even though we were young and experienced, we can move on if it doesn’t work.” - Anka

Nicole Sanchez & Anka Chan – Founders – Ruth https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=5Iu1hiMBcUg

Alberta Entrepreneurs Getting Out of Your Own Way Discussion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P21ZcIppX2A&t=2s

“To get out of your shell and meet some folks, be vulnerable and reach out when you need help.” - Tim Lynn – CoFounder – Startup TNT “Assess your skillset in your business. Find out what you are good at and outsource the rest.” Denise Baril – Founder – The Grant Sherpa “Know why you are doing what you are doing. Why does your business exist? Spend the time it takes to develop this purpose.” Bryan Slauko - Founder Metiquity Ventures “Being an Entrepreneur is hard, but it is a journey you do not need to take alone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.” #yourenotalone - Jade Alberts Community \\ 25

The First $100,000 Is the Hardest Scott Pickard


ever in recent history has there been a better time to start or grow a business with more open access to customers. Starting a business is easy but to win paying customers is not. Every small business is different and whether you are growing a traditional brick and mortar business or an online enterprise, the approach is different, but the fundamentals are the same. Over the past twenty years I have worked with over 200 companies on various aspects of their business and have found that the 26 // Community Now!

ones that achieved early traction all had one common trait – they knew who their customer was and what they wanted. This common trait enables focus, resource allocation and a day-to-day cadence of the seemingly unlimited list of things to do. In this article I will share a few thoughts on several key factors that should help get to the first $100,000 in revenue. Keep close to your customers. Over 90% of start up businesses will fail and it is likely because they do not generate enough positive cash flow to continue operations. Bad

management aside, most of the businesses are doomed from the start because they have not understood their customer and what they want. Just because you have a ‘great’ idea, it does not mean others care. Understand your path to revenue. When you know your customer, you can understand where you provide value, and this is where the magic happens. When you give something of value (product/service/offering), you receive money. But money is not the only measure on the path to revenue, though it is an important one. Growing community and engagement. This is another path to revenue. This type of engagement may not be something that can be monetized right away but building trust is a key factor in long term success. Understanding online marketing, social media engagement and social selling and the difference between them in different market segments is critical to success. The attention span of people is between two and seven seconds and as they scroll unlimited posts on many platforms, the time to hook them and build trust is limited but essential. Monetization maximization. Do you have a clear line of sight to multiple revenue streams from multiple sources? Once you have customer engagement, look for other ways to provide value for additional revenue. This can be an upsell into other products or services, cross selling opportunities with offerings that are complimentary or through partnerships. This also includes long tail marketing automation and continued connections with customers. Thoughtfully leading your customers down a path to additional revenue is a vision that can only be designed when

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(continued from page 27...) you know the customer. Look to have 3 to 8 revenue streams or upsell opportunities for each product/service offering and you will build a solid revenue stream. Your people are your business. No matter what business we are in, we are all in the people business. People pull out their credit cards and buy from people (and companies that have people in them) they trust enough to give them money. This is no different online and the trust, or perceived trust, customers have is why they buy. Be relentless. There are no short cuts in getting to the first $100,000 in revenue. You need to put in the work. This will be one of the most frustrating parts of the journey. It can literally be a minute-by-minute emotional roll coaster between small wins and disappointments. A 28 // Community Now!

clear vision for the company gets you through this part. “Big career decisions don’t come with a map, but you need a compass. In an unpredictable world, you can’t make a long-term master plan. You can only gauge whether you’re on a meaningful path. The right next move is one that brings you closer to your core values” (reference from @AdamMGrant, an organizational psychologist). This speaks to the uncertainty that lies ahead in your journey. Unlike a job training program, you are about to embark on a journey that will challenge you like never before and test your limits of mental, physical and emotional toughness. If I look back to the businesses I have been engaged with and shared ‘lessons learned’, it would be these three things centered around (continued on next page)


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Made by Momma is a volunteer-run, donationdriven and impact-focused grassroots non-profit organization and registered Canadian charity serving the families of Calgary and Area. Made by Momma is proud to have been open and operating as an essential service for vulnerable families in the community since 2010. In 2021, Made by Momma volunteers contributed 12,800 hours and delivered 1880 care packages to families in crisis.

• Made by Momma Meals Program • Baby & Family Essentials • My New Bed Program • Christmas Programs • The Happy Birthday Project With the generous support of our donors: • NICU Family Meals • In-Home/ Phone Support for Mommas • a single mom who lost her job doesn’t have to

wonder where their next meal will come from. • a family with critically ill premature twins is nourished while they stay by their babies’ bedside in the NICU. \• a dad caring for toddlers and newborn after losing Mom during childbirth can take time to grieve.

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(continued from page 28...) knowing your customer. (1) learn to build a sales engine that is repeatable, scalable and adaptable; (2) learn to delegate tasks that are not critical to growth and (3) always be expanding your paths to additional revenue with multiple income streams. You may read a lot of online posts, watch videos, and get tempted to buy some experts version of how to start company and make a million dollars in three weeks. Many of the stories are true, believe it or not. But many are also garbage and have no hope of providing any value. About 1.8 billion people bought something online in 2021 so there is a path to generating revenue and creating a real business out with your product or service. A final note on the psyche of people. It is very dangerous and unproductive to compare yourself and your situation with anyone else, especially when you are just starting your business. Your journey and what you are dealing with are not the same as anyone else;

that is guaranteed. Just because it appears someone may be doing very well on the surface does not mean that everything is going well elsewhere in their business or personal life. Be aware of false positives and chart your own path. Work with your strengths and weaknesses but never compare. As you read this article, you may or may not agree with anything suggested above. That is perfectly fine. The goal is to inspire action and invoke thought. At all stages of the journey, you will need some assistance and an organization like Platform Calgary (www. platformcalgary.com) is a great place to connect with for early-stage advice and programming. Their advisors can meet with you and to understand what stage you are at and provide resources. Ask for help, there are tremendous resources in place to expedite your journey no matter where you are today. Go for it and don’t look back. Burn the bridge, sink the boat, go and make it happen. You will look back a year from now and celebrate the progress you have made.


Helping you find the perfect community. 518 9 Ave SE Calgary T2G 0S1 phone: 403.815.0429 email: dwalker1@remax.net

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No Entrepreneur Does It By Themselves. https://faisalkarmali.ca/ Business Owners Helping Business Owners. The Karmali Exchange is a business podcast that highlights the importance of supporting those within the business community. We learn from other entrepreneurs experiences and struggles while giving you business advice that will help you grow your business. Check out The Karmali Exchange on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and anywhere podcasts are available.

Neurodivergence in Entrepreneurship Ty McKinney, Founder of 8 Bit Cortex

H One might even say hidden superpowers that just need some help finding the right conditions to emerge. 32 // Community Now!

ave you ever found yourself bored and struggling to pay attention to what’s happening in front of you? Maybe a really boring class or while you're doing tedious and repetitive tasks? For people with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), that feeling is much more consistent throughout their life, even for things that neurotypical people find easy to pay attention to. These cognitive symptoms of ADHD can be highly impairing, having impacts on academic achievement, workplace productivity, and quality of life. It can be tough to have an ADHD brain and live in a world built for

people without ADHD. But what if people with ADHD could instead work and live in an environment that better accommodates their brain? Since students with ADHD are twice as likely to start their own company, perhaps #startuplife could hold a few answers. But before we can get those answers, we need to understand why it is that people with ADHD seem drawn to entrepreneurship? To answer that question, it's helpful to think about ADHD as a developmental disorder of the brain. Even before a baby is born, their brain is trying to predict what kind of world it will grow up in so that it can develop ready to take on that challenge. This happens through

a process called epigenetics, where features of the environment (e.g. scarcity, uncertainty, etc.) can change the expression of genetic risk factors, which in turn changes how a person thinks, feels, and behaves to increase the chances of survival. Unfortunately, children that experience adverse events early on in life are at an increased risk for ADHD, suggesting that an ADHD brain is advantageous in these situations. Indeed, recent research suggests that while people who grew up with uncertainty in their household struggle with focused attention, they are much more effective at rapidly switching their attention between tasks and are more willing to take bigger risks. While it's important to note that not every person with a genetic risk and early life experiences of adversity will develop ADHD, this gives us clues about what kind of environments that people with ADHD might thrive in. Starting up your own company is a very risky move, as most startups fail within 5 years. While this might be a deterrent for some, people with ADHD are more comfortable with those odds to begin an entrepreneurial journey. In the early days of a company, the

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Zanika Malden

(continued from page 33...) founders often have to wear many hats and have to rapidly shift priorities, which again are skills that people with ADHD have a disposition for. Of course, the challenges people with ADHD face with tasks requiring focused attention will still be present in an entrepreneurial career path. However, other teammates on the team can use their strengths to compensate for these relative weaknesses to support the roles people with ADHD are wired to thrive in. For too long, the narrative of mental health has been one of disadvantage and a victim mentality. When we consider the 34 // Community Now!

case of ADHD and entrepreneurship however, it becomes more apparent that many features of mental health conditions previously considered a liability are in fact assets when the environment is structured to work for neurodivergent people. One might even say hidden superpowers that just need some help finding the right conditions to emerge. 8 Bit Cortex is building an app to make the workplace more inclusive for people with mental health challenges. As part of that, we invite you to participate in an interactive experience to level up your mental wellness strategy.

Here’s how it works. 1. Scan the QR code below and make an account at 8bitcortex.app. This is an augmented reality article! 2. Complete the Extraversion, Neuroticism, and Conscientiousness Questionnaires-Some of these personality traits correlate with ADHD symptoms. 3. Start a Check-In and rate your Focus. Studies show that simply tracking your mental health problems leads to symptom reduction. 4. Contextualize your data. What aspects of your lifestyle impact your mental wellness? For example, perhaps your focus increases after you meditate? 5. Measure your attention with Cube Rush. This game was designed to be sensitive to ADHD symptoms. 6. Make a 7 day long streak for daily CheckIns. See you in a week after you collect your data! 7. Hi again! Did your attention fluctuate? On the Analytics page, the closer the Stability for Cube Rush is to -1, the lower the likelihood of ADHD challenges. 8. The optimal conditions for focus. On the Analytics page, what variable has the coupling value closest to 1 with Focus? Do more of this. Our algorithm suggests this helps improve your Focus

This week-long interactive article is designed to help you learn to extrapolate the story about ADHD and entrepreneurship to your own life. We hope that while learning about the likelihood of ADHD with our app, you discovered something about yourself. In the same way that being a trailblazer is a good match for the secret superpowers people with ADHD have, you have an ideal environment that optimises your mental wellness. 8 Bit Cortex is building tools for you to discover your own personalised mental wellness strategy. The more people that complete these 7 days of tracking on our app, the closer we get to creating predictive algorithms to help people respond proactively to threats to mental wellness. Thank you so much for helping us work towards that goal and we hope to see you around the community!.

SEND IN YOUR FEEDBACK FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A $50 GIFT CARD. Email your feedback to: ty@8bitcortex.

References ADHD and Achievement (sagepub.com) The negative impact of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder on occupational health in adults and adolescents | SpringerLink Meta-analysis of quality of life in children and adolescents with ADHD: By both parent proxy-report and child self-report using PedsQL™ - ScienceDirect Entrepreneurship and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a large-scale study involving the clinical condition of ADHD | SpringerLink Developmental psychopathology: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) | BMC Psychiatry | Full Text (biomedcentral.com) Examining the Relationship Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and ADHD Diagnosis and Severity - ScienceDirect S0954579420000887jra 1..19 (maartenfrankenhuis.nl) The Effect of Perceived Scarcity: Experiencing Scarcity Increases Risk Taking: The Journal of Psychology: Vol 155, No 1 (tandfonline.com)

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FLORAL FACTS? GOOD MENTAL HEALTH? Check this out. Recent research proves that flowers have a huge impact on our happiness. We also feel less worry and anxiety. It's a Fact: 88% of people agree that a gift of flowers changes our mood for the better.

April is Daisy and Sweet Pea Month. Whether they’re your “birth” flower or not, learn more about the history, meanings, and symbolism of the daisy and sweet pea! Then, venture over to the flower department of your local grocery store. Impact the happiness of a fellow co-worker. Give the gift of 1 single flower bursting with color, radiating sunshine and happy. I'll see YOU at the flower department of your local grocery store. Robert Manolson BA, CCDP Certified Career Development Professional Team Building Experiences Expert / Leading Facilitator of Play Workshops Mental Health Champion / Business Owner www.powerfulplay.ca




MAKES PRACTICING FUN Now! 36 // Community SCHOOL OF ROCK | Calgary


2.) Take a selfie. 3.) Post it on Social Media

So, here's my COME OUT TO PLAY Challenge for you.


1.) Deliver the flower. Know that you're contributing to a co-worker's good mental health.

4.) Tag Powerful Play Experiences a. www.facebook.com/powerfulplay b. www.linkedIn.com/in/robertmanolson c. www.instagram.com/powerfulplayexperiences 5.) Tag Community Now! Magazine a. CN! Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/community-now b. CN! Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ communitynowmagazine





SCHOOL OF ROCK | Calgary 2707-17th AVE SW, Calgary, AB


TEACHES STUDENTS SONGS THEY LOVE calgary.schoolofrock.com

How Business Link can Help Your Small Business Start and Thrive Who is Business Link? Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. In 2021, 97.9% of businesses in Canada were small businesses. These businesses employed 7.7 million Canadians, or 67.7 percent of the total private labour force. Small business owners are often incredible at what they do – they have a great idea that has potential to improve the lives of others. When these business fail, it is rarely because of a lack of passion or grit, but rather, they didn’t have the support and resources they needed when they needed them. That’s where Business Link comes in. Business Link is a non-profit that has been helping Alberta small businesses start and thrive for more than 26 years. Their vision is that every aspiring and established Alberta small busi-

ness owner has access to a hub of resources, knowledge, and connections. They aim to achieve this vision by providing one-on-one coaching and advice, market research, access to experts, training and education, as well as specialized support for Indigenous and immigrant entrepreneurs. If they don’t know the answer to your small business questions, they can connect you with someone who does. Why are their services and programs free? The majority of Business Link’s services are free, including access to one-on-one advice to help you find answers to your business questions. Actually free? Yes, actually free.

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(continued from page 37...) You may be asking how. Business Link is a government-funded organization, with core services being provided in partnership with Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), a federal agency within the Innovation, Science and Economic Development department and provincially by the ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation. Business Link’s mandate is to serve all established and aspiring small business owners in Alberta, with specialized service offerings for Indigenous and immigrant entrepreneurs. You can access most services and programs for free: •

One-on-One business advice

Presentations and Workshops on a number of topics fundamental to starting and running a successful business

The Digital Economy Program: free support for small businesses wanting to

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adopt digital marketing and ecommerce practices •

The Canada Digital Adoption Program: Grow Your Business Online stream, offering small businesses a micro-grant of up to $2,400 to help with costs of adopting e-commerce

Peerpreneur Sessions that facilitate connections between small business owners across Alberta

On-demand resources and tools: – Downloadable Small Business Guides – Educational Videos on Key Small Business Topics – Relevant Blogs and Articles – A free interactive Business Plan Builder

Market Research Guidance

Specialized services and programs for Indigenous and immigrant entrepreneurs

Business Link does have 2 paid services: market research support and business plan reviews. Our team of market research experts can help you validate your business idea by accessing some of the best databases in North America. Databases that could cost you thousands of dollars to access on your own. Their market research coordinators have thousands of hours of experience doing secondary market research for clients and know how to find the right information, or help you ask the right questions. The business plan review service will help you ensure that your business plan is as thorough as possible, whether you need it to access funding, want to launch a new product or service, or just want to work through all the details of your business idea. The service includes: •

A review of your business plan by a business strategist

A feedback document outlining strengths and suggestions for improvement for each section of your business plan

A meeting (up to one hour) with the business strategist who reviewed your business plan to discuss actionable feedback and any questions you have

If requested, you can submit your business plan for feedback again after making changes based on your conversation with the strategist (continued on next page) Community \\ 39

Business Link - Advice From the Experts FRANK EL BARAQOUNI, BUSINESS STRATEGIST FRANK HAS BEEN SUPPORTING ENTREPRENEURS FOR 7+ YEARS “Business Owners can always have always great business ideas. We should always validate our ideas first. Ensure to spend enough time conducting and doing your secondary and primary market research. Learn from your competitors and watch them closely. Evaluate and determine the top three competitors who are fighting for the same market share as you are based on two elements: Price and Quality.”

ANGELA CONTARDI, BUSINESS STRATEGIST ANGELA HAS BEEN AN ENTREPRENEUR FOR MORE THAN A DECADE “Entrepreneurship is not for the faint hearted. Developing a business model that proves to be profitable, sustainable, and scalable takes time, planning, resources, support, and perseverance. We all learn as we grow and asking for help and learning from others is one of the great parts of this journey.”

DAVID BAYDA, BUSINESS STRATEGIST DAVID HAS BEEN WORKING WITH ENTREPRENEURS FOR 13+ YEARS & AN ENTREPRENEUR HIMSELF “It’s important to take the time to think meaningfully and deeply about decisions that you will be making in your small business. The best strategies will ultimately be the ones where you took the time, care and energy before implementing them. Entrepreneurs have the ability to not only shape their own life, but also positively impact the world around them through their business.”

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Gus Lu, Barrister & Solicitor Suite 300, 239 10th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta T2G 0V9 Canada Cell: 403.604.1977 • https://gustolaw.ca

“When you’re starting a business, your accountant and lawyer should work together hand-inhand to figure out the ideal ownership and financing structure. When it comes to running the business, I would work with your lawyer to discuss how what kind of documents, policies, procedures and contracts you will use within the company (among your staff, employees or contractors) and with the outside world (your customer and vendor contracts, your terms and conditions, etc.). You don’t have to do everything at once, but it would be great to have a roadmap and wishlist of all of the things you’ll need. Target what needs to get done right away, and build up your governing documents as you go.” - Gus Lu, Gusto Law Gus Lu is the founder of Gusto Law. He has served as general counsel for U.S. and Canada-based private equity portfolio companies, and formerly practiced in the areas of securities and mergers & acquisitions law at a top-ranked national firm. A former television producer and film studies graduate from Yale University, Gus is recognized by his clients for applying creative solutions to technical legal problems. Gus had guided entrepreneurs and mid to large-cap companies in various stages of their life cycles, from initial formation and fundraising, navigating periods of growth and challenges, to negotiating divestitures and forming new business combinations. In his extensive in-house counsel roles, Gus has touched on all areas of corporate law. He has guided businesses in banking, tax, finance, corporate governance, regulatory compliance, intellectual property, privacy, and employment matters, among other topics. Gus is known for delivering excellent legal services efficiently and within budget, directing work internally and externally to provide clients with the most timely and cost-effective results. His years working extensively with Calgary-area lawyers specializing in niche practice areas, as well as with lawyers in other major markets including Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, and Houston, allow Gus to carefully, and judiciously, access a broad network of subject-matter experts, when, and if, his clients require specialist support. When engaged, Gus is able to carefully manage these experts’ time, using them as ad hoc resources rather than as work-horses.

Community Feature

Q & A with Gus Lu Why did you become a lawyer? I fell into law by pursuing my first career in the entertainment industry. I’m Calgary born and raised, and knew I had to go south to make anything happen. I studied film at Yale University and moved to LA after graduation. My first job was as a talent agent’s assistant at Creative Artists Agency, where my boss was helping to import the English show, Pop Idols, to the US (later called American Idol). Pitching the idea to Fox wasn’t the hard part. My boss just had to tell the network that more people voted in the first season finale of Pop Idols, than in the last UK parliamentary elections. The more dynamic part of making the show happen was integrating potential corporate sponsors into the fold. That was where the bulk of the energy went to – not whether Paula Abdul was a judge, or whether to take a chance on the then unknown Ryan Seacrest. The business deal among the sponsor consortium of Ford, Motorola, AT&T and Coca-Cola was the real, behind-the-scenes success story. It was a very big jump culturally-wise from the little movies I made in college. I’m naturally more of a creative, “left-brained” person, and I felt very ill-equipped to participate in that space. I went to law school, in part, to be able to speak the language of business to help turn ideas into reality. What is corporate law? (in non-legal terminology) Corporate law is the umbrella term that describes all of the different areas of law that involve business activities. There are many practice areas but the most familiar ones will include: corporate finance and securities (businesses raising money, whether by selling debt or ownership of that business); mergers & acquisitions (buying and selling businesses or business assets); employment; banking;

tax; real estate; commercial (drafting and negotiating contracts); regulatory (when an industry has to follow rules administered by a government body); and litigation and dispute resolution. Lawyers may also specialize in certain sectors and call themselves, for example, cannabis lawyers, oil & gas lawyers, cryptocurrency lawyers, Indigenous law lawyers, to name a few. However, to the extent that a lawyer is helping a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship or joint venture, rather than an individual person, they can all be considered to be “corporate lawyers”. Do all businesses need a lawyer? All businesses need to have readily available access to different types of lawyers who can provide effective and efficient advice, at the price-points that are appropriate for the level of complexity of the work, and for the commercial value at stake. Let’s break down what that means. “Readily available access” does not mean that every business needs to have a bunch of retainers with big law firms all over the city, or that they should hire a fulltime, in-house lawyer when they are starting out. However, if your business is in a specific industry, it might be useful to have a standing engagement letter with an experienced lawyer (continued on next page) Community \\ 43

(continued from page 43...) who knows that sector well. It’s more efficient to pick up the phone for a 10-minute strategic call with someone who knows the ins-andouts of your business, than to pay another lawyer to burn hours of billable time getting up to speed on your questions. It’s good to shop around and experiment working with different lawyers. Find the advisors who suit your communication preferences, personality styles and appreciates your level of business risk and cost-consciousness. In my work, if I’m not the right person for the job, I’m always happy to provide one or more referrals to someone who might be a more suitable fit.

What kinds of things do you focus on? The bread and butter of my legal practice is commercial contracts. I have reviewed, drafted and negotiated hundreds of contracts for the oil and gas, software and technology, commercial real estate, cannabis, e-commerce and construction sectors. My practice also focuses on corporate governance matters, which means that I combine what I know as a lawyer, with what I’ve seen serving as a strategic advisor to many different companies, in order to help companies figure out how they want to grow, organize their staff, or just finetune their trajectories. Why do people avoid lawyers? #1 – The billing black hole. Not knowing how much time will be spent by your lawyers, how many lawyers they are going to get involved on the file, and how far down the rabbit hole they will go in working on your file. Don’t forget - you are the client. You have a right to ask for a realistic estimate, to set limitations on how your lawyer staffs your file with juniors, students or their fellow colleagues, and to define how they prepare their deliverables. Would a phone call be cheaper than someone writing a 10-page memo? Most certainly. #2 – Lawyers who stand in the way of your business ideas. By training, lawyers are taught how to avoid risks, but that approach runs contrary to how some entrepreneurs naturally think. Some entrepreneurs want to explore and push the boundaries because that’s where they see opportunities are to be found. This may mean performing or enforcing an agreement in an aggressive way. It could mean operating your business in a “gray zone” where there are some uncertainties about the current treatment of the law, or the regulatory space. This happens all of the time, and not just in the obvious business sectors like cannabis or cryptocurrency, for

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example. Think about stories about labor laws and practices at major companies like Amazon and Tesla. Most businesses will at some point, be confronted by decisions where there is a push-pull between risk and reward. It doesn’t help for your lawyer to be a “yes person”, nor is it useful for a lawyer to only show you the insurmountable obstacles. Sometimes a lawyer will disagree with you, and that’s okay. An effective lawyer will appreciate that risk is unavoidable, and help a business manage risk and make a decision, by thinking through different scenarios, and the impacts they may have to your business. You have gone from working with a law firm in a general counsel role to starting your own legal firm, how has the transition been? Part of a lawyer’s job is to stay fresh and upto-date on the latest developments in the law, and sometimes that can be difficult serving the same industry or client for too long. I’m so excited to be helping different kinds of businesses at different stages in their stories – from one-person start-ups, to multi-national companies trying to hit that next level of global presence. I’m learning a lot from my clients, and it’s definitely invigorating for my

skill development. I love being an in-house lawyer because you become very integrated with the team and the business vision. It’s often hard for an outside lawyer to get that close to their client’s business because of the billable hour cost. That’s why companies want to have a full-time lawyer on staff. However, not all businesses have enough legal work to justify a dedicated personnel. They are one of the more expensive members of your team – you have to pay for their benefits, vacation, and severance costs can be very high if the relationship doesn’t work out. I wanted to bridge that gap, where I bill at a rate that encourages more deeper, integrated use of a lawyer. For having practiced law for 12 years, I’m billing closer to the rate of a junior associate from a big firm. I also help companies test out how much legal support they will need to help them decide whether they need to make a hiring decision. I find clients to be very surprised that when you engage a lawyer with the right experience, the lawyer can be very efficient at handling the company’s needs for a handful of hours a day, as opposed being there for a 9 to 5. Overall, it translates into real savings for my clients.

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Inspiring, Engaging and Educating

Meet Faisal Karmali

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aisal Karmali is inspiring, educating and learning on a daily basis through all of the work he is doing within the business and financial ecosystems through education, knowledge sharing and passion. “The reason I got involved in and started my businesses was to make a direct impact. The value I see is in providing help where I can.” – Faisal Karmali. Faisal Karmali, is an author, media personality, entrepreneur and business expert for 770 CHQR and CTV Morning Live in Calgary. On top of his business, the Popowich Karmali Advisory Group, Faisal is the host of the Karmali Exchange, a podcast and Youtube show where he has in-depth conversations with business owners to learn about their journey and their secrets to growing a successful business. “No entrepreneur makes it on their own.” Faisal Karmali Faisal has built this platform to build a community that supports fellow business owners and provides tangible advice. Faisal, doesn’t just educate about finances and business, he takes the time to learn about individuals, how they want to move forward, their goals, successes and failures. “Understanding the individual, is the first and most important step in helping them.” Faisal Karmaili Finances are one of the toughest things for people to talk about, but the Popowich Karmali Advisory team, is all about getting people to feel comfortable discussing money, their future and understanding their options, with no judgement.

When asked why he got involved in the financial industry Faisal stated “when I was 16, I was working for an advisor and one day he kept his door open just a crack and I could hear him helping someone clear up their debt, make a plan for the future, and I thought I could do this, I could help people, I could make an impact. That was the click, the light bulb and I haven’t looked back ever since!” “I believe the business owner, especially the small business owners are the backbone to our economy.” Faisal Karmali. Aside from helping individuals with their finances, and educating people about finances and the economy, Faisal is always out meeting business owners and showcasing what they do, highlighting the positive and negatives within our economy and is all about engaging with the community to help lift every one up. “When I discussion business, I can talk about the 5 P’s, but also relate real stories about businesses that are successful, and putting the five P’s into place.” 5 P’s to a Successful Business…. Knowing your People Knowing your Product Understanding your Process Understanding your Passion And knowing how to get Paid *Stay tuned for future issues to break down and understand how the 5 P’s work, and how they play an active role in businesses success. No Entrepreneur Does It By Themselves.

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Investing in the Economy’s Future. Meet Chris Edwards

C If I drill 20 wells, a few will come in big, a few will be nothing, and the rest will be in between. If I drill one high risk well, it’s roulette. Community Feature

hris Edwards is an investor in early-stage startups based here in Calgary. Originally in an engineer in the oil and gas industry, Chris began the pivot to a new career a few years ago while working internationally. Upon returning to Canada in 2020, Chris began working through a concept called “Ikagai” to understand where his past professional experiences intertwined with his passions in order get an idea of where he would be best be suited going forward. After experimenting with a few options, most notably in mechanical wristwatches and antique books, he found a home in the emerging western Canadian tech ecosystem as an investor, where he has been able to use his past expe-

riences as an engineer and manager to help startups in their entrepreneurial journey. At the same time, Chris has worked to become a member of the local community, volunteering for groups such as Startup TNT in their mission to unleash the potential of tech startups.

Q & A with Chris Edwards What is an angel investor? First of all, I find the term angel investor a little haughty. Just start-up or venture investor is usually fine for me, but I will stick with the standard terminology. So an angel investor is first of all an accredited investor. Investing in early-stage companies is extremely risky compared to other asset classes, and so is currently limited to those that will not face financial stress in the case of company being dissolved. There are cases where if you have a close personal relationship with the founder, then you may not need to be accredited. An angel investor is basically then a person who provides capital for start-ups in exchange for interest in the company. This interest can be equity, convertible debt, or a simple agreement for future equity. Angels have a place at the very beginning of company’s life cycle, where risk exceeds that of a venture capital fund due to the immaturity of the company or market. As the interest an angel receives in a company is often substantial, they are usually “chosen” by the founder based on what they can bring to the table, such as an expansive network or a missing skill set. We help get them off the ground so they can get things going. Why did you decided to become an angel investor? Personally, I became an angel investor for a few reasons. Number one was because I am interested long term in developing a career in venture investing, whether it be for a fund,

starting my own fund, or with a family office. My current path is towards starting my own fund, as there is currently a lack of early-stage funding in this region, as venture capital really only arrived in Calgary in a substantial form 5 or 6 years ago. Angel investing is a way to develop skills required as an investment professional, and in the space perhaps second only to building a founder. Number two is because I really enjoy helping. In my past career, I really enjoyed helping people develop and meet their goals through empathetic leadership. It was a path that I wanted to continue, and so advising startups and helping where needed checks that box. And if there are enough of us, we can make a real impact to diversifying our local economy and becoming a proper tech ecosystem. Angel investing also provides exposure to a different asset class that most of us have in our financial portfolios, so further diversifies achieving Freedom 55. How hard is it to pivot careers? It’s really hard. When I tell people they don’t even call me crazy, they just think I’m joking. But why not? We are often under the impression that you pick what you are going to when you are 18 or 19 and that’s what you do. So I did that for 20 years. When I was 40 I wanted to just start at the beginning and do something new. I wanted to go back to entry level like I was 20 and do it all over again. At the start I felt like a new grad again. However, this part of the world didn’t really seem to be ready for that. Almost no one believed me. I had a hard time convincing people that I should be looked at the same as a new grad and they could pay me like a new grad. I got

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How much of a risk do investors take when considering their portfolio? Risk is a relative term in angel-investing. The key is to spend some time really understanding risk but also understand uncertainty and what the differences are. The fact is that most startups fail. And so you have

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a lot of strange looks. It didn’t really deter me though, as I could understand their perspective. What would I have done back in the day if a 40 year old banker rolled into my office and said he’d like to be an engineer now? Good luck, I’m happy to help, but I’m not hiring you. So then it basically becomes a proof is in the pudding scenario. I had to put my money where my mouth was and believe I could do it. I have a long way to go, but I hard work and results will be get me there. 50 // Community Now!

to do everything you to derisk your investment. Sticking with what you know is one way. That could be an industry or certain type of business model. Investing in areas that fit your network is another. I do not have an agricultural background, but I will invest in agriculture because I know a lot of people are in agriculture that I can gather insights from. Of course due diligence is important. These are startups, so there will be glaring holes. However, understanding the holes, having confidence that they can be filled, and having confidence that the team is geared to fill those holes is imperative. Regardless it is still a risky asset class, though it comes with high reward. I liken to drilling an exploration oil well and use many of the same qualitative analysis. If I drill 20 wells, a few will come in big, a few will be nothing, and the rest will be in between. If I drill one high risk well, it’s roulette. Be smart, take it easy at the start, learn from others. Don’t bet your house on horse 7.

What are you looking for – to invest in? and why? I have a few areas I invest in. One is called Impact. This is a bit of a buzzword around these days, but it isn’t elsewhere. I invest in companies that are in the business of making a material benefit to some area of humanity associated with UN SDGs. Often I get the comment that all business provide impact, which they do, through job creation and enriching people’s lives. However, Impact companies have it core in their value proposition. These are still for-profit businesses that needs to meet financial hurdles. Other things I look for when investing is novel technologies that have a strong advantage. They need to be in markets that I see as having exponential growth potential for me to comfortable. And they need to have a team that I believe can execute the vision, and also that I get along with. All these boxes need to be checked.

Revenue generation isn’t a big deal for me as the magnitude of the potential. Others will only invest in companies already making revenue. Where that is a perk for me, the terms of the investment should be reflective of a pre-revenue company, and the reward will then offset the additional risk. I do spread it around in this area though to keep the risk managed. What advice can you give to anyone who is pivoting careers? You are in charge of your own life. Don’t listen to the unwritten rules of the world. If you want to embark on this journey, it will be full of up and downs, but please know you will get there. I have days where I’m feel like I’m on top of a mountain, and some I feel stuck in hole. But it all averages up week to week, month to month. Sorry for being metaphorical, but it’s all about focusing on the horizon. And keep asking questions and asking for help.

Mental health support for caregivers and youth. I offer a FREE drop-in group for caregivers as well as fee-based one on one and group coaching options for both youth and adults. Book a FREE 30 minute coaching session: https://calendly.com/christinapeerspectiveconsulting/ free-coaching-session Peerspectivesconsulting.ca Community \\ 51

Retreat: Meet Jill Drader

Jill Drader

The first week of July 2015 was one most impactful in my life, and three happened that changed my whole path, beliefs, and life journey - all in day window.

of the things career a four

Before these four days in July, I had been riding a wave of great things happening in my life and didn’t think anything could throw that ship off course. I had won awards like ‘Top 40 Under 40’ by Avenue Magazine and ‘Distinguished Alumni’ from the University of Calgary. Rachel Notley, our Premier of Alberta at the time, named me an ‘Honorable Albertan’ and I was given a plaque in the Edmonton Legislature with some really nice things written about me on it. I had two young sons and was married to someone who was passionate about hockey and building his career as a coach.

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I was doing what I loved. I was booked for speaking engagements across the country. I was building curriculum for youth to learn entrepreneurial skills alongside their skilled trade - a big value and hope of mine realized - to see more female entrepreneurs in the construction industry in Canada come to life through my project Women in Work Boots. And I was managing it all with help of childcare, family, and friends who supported what I was doing. And then three things happened over four days that changed everything. First, my award winning digital based business, Women in Work Boots, which advocated for entrepreneurial skills for women in the skilled trades by telling stories of successful women in the industry, was hacked by Viagra ads. Yup, Viagra ads. This suddenly meant the 200+ schools across Canada it was being used

as a resource for curriculum were firewalled. My ego panicked as this is what I was known for. I used the website in my speeches, and others were teaching it in classrooms. And just like that it was gone, all suddenly gone. Second, my friend was diagnosed with cancer and given four months to live after not knowing he was sick. One day he didn’t feel well and asked me to take him to the hospital. When we arrived the ER doctor pulled me aside and said my friend asked that I be named his ‘next of kin’ and ‘power of attorney’ to make all his end of life decisions. Then I was told he would not be leaving the hospital, ever. This was an elderly man whom I met in a 12-step program when I moved back to Canada from South Korea in 2007 where I had been teaching English. He was a Korean War Veteran who exited a ship at night from Japan at the port in Busan. I was a tourist at the war museum some 50 years later standing on the same port. His life took some dark twists and turns thereafter. When I met him, he was an older single man, never married, never had kids, and believed his siblings all passed before him but he didn’t know because he never stayed in touch. For 8 years he called me everyday to say hi, ask about my kids, and tell me what he was making for dinner. Third, the male nanny we had (yes, we had a manny before This Is Us made it cool) whom our boys adored, made a very poor choice. A couple, in fact. While we were vacationing in the Shuswap, I was changing from the pool when I turned on a hunch and noticed an SLR lens in the window pane, and I saw the shutter click as I turned around. My scream and disbelief had me stumble to cover myself as I ran to the window, only to see an unrecognizable shadow running away. Turns out the manny had developed an obsession with me and had been photographing and videoing me without

my consent for months. This individual was sent home on the very next flight to Europe and what I hoped would be an end to what I copped off as a humiliating experience for my family. Really what happened was this event opened a can of worms of undealt with traumas I had stored and packed away hoping to never rise, until they did with ferocity. Sometimes the world comes crashing down to have us look around and see if we are in alignment and on our path. Turns out July 2015 was here to tell me just that, I was not. I was misaligned with my business, I was misaligned with my coping with emotions, and I was misaligned with my priorities. The first few months were tough. I was navigating the end of life journey with a man in his 80s who’s life of 35 years in the same apartment on 8th&8th downtown was in my hands. I didn’t know if there would be some kind of sudden miracle and he would pop up ok, so I didn’t want to get rid of all his stuff right away. But that load was heavy to carry and I had to let it all go. I was without work and suddenly at home with my two sons, aged 3 & 4, in what felt like the first time ever. I didn’t trust them with anyone, and at the same time I knew I wasn’t the best full time caregiver for them. But I did what I had to do. Their dad was deep into his hockey season, I didn’t want to make any waves with what was really going on with me. I adopted narrative that I was a strong lone wolf, and didn’t need any help. So I hauled my boys back and forth to the hospital to visit our friend, paying $14/day in parking I didn’t have. I thought it’s what you’re supposed to do to help someone die, show up for them no matter the cost. My friend died in my arms

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(continued from page 53...) in the Sarcee hospice on November 10, 2015. Just like the doctor said, four months after his hospital admission. When it was all over, I drove home from the hospice passing Rocky View hospital where both my sons were born. I was deep in reflection on life and death, and barely able to hold myself together. I pulled over and finally cried a good cry. I was in so much pain. I felt so alone in my thoughts. I was grieving and experiencing anger, denial, sadness, and exhaustion. I was in fear. I was petrified that the images of me taken by someone else would turn up and ruin my life. I was scared I would never find work or be able to build a business again. I was plagued with mom guilt that I wasn’t around enough for my sons. The truth is, this turned out to be the spiritual 54Community // Community Now! Feature

two-hand shove that I didn't know I needed. I was trying to figure out how to show up in a mind and body I suddenly didn’t recognize. I was lacking authentic connections, and was desiring a community I hadn’t found at networking and industry events. I was craving retreat. A retreat to retreat from my life. I knew in theory what retreat was. I had packed up and taken myself to various weekends away to escape my so-called-life, or walked alone in the park retreating from the noise of being around kids all day. I retreated with girlfriends for a weekend getaway. However, these women weekends usually had some dramatic episode of someone having too much red wine and ugly crying about what’s really going on in their life, before waking up the next day and putting on a fresh face of makeup to yet again pretend it’s all ok. But it wasn’t, and I knew that too, because as soon as I got home everything was back to the same as before I left. I researched a few and couldn’t find anything that wasn’t around yoga, or a deep religious

tie. While I knew I didn’t want those, I needed something. My body, mind and soul were craving it. ‘I can create one’ I remember having this thought, and then mapping out what I would do in my journal. Everything came so easily when I put pen to paper. What seemed like a dream came to life through words, schedules, ideas, and exercises. A new creativity of connecting the dots of my own transformation, what I was seeking, what others told me they were seeking, came flowing through the words. A 3-day curriculum downloaded on releasing what’s not working, observing nature through transformation and change, and writing it out. And then I started researching more. I discovered the Japanese theory of ‘forest bathing’, which they define as ‘making contact with and taking in the atmosphere of the forest’. I found this practice was used in their hospitals and mental health counseling as a prescription as their findings were it calmed the central nervous system, lowered blood pressure, and helped people heal quicker. While I’m no doctor, this sounded like the prescription I needed. The more time I spent in the forest, the better I felt. In the spring of 2016 I lead my first retreat. I thought it would be a one-time event, where a group of women I knew would join me in a cozy mountain town for a weekend. It turned into a 3-year branch of my small business where I lead and facilitated 16 retreats for more than 200 people. The first retreat sold out, and people were messaging me asking to be on the list for the next one. I knew I was onto something. The best part was that every

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(continued from page 55...) retreat I ran filled me up, it didn’t deplete me. Participants told me that their favorite parts were the quietude of silent mornings, and getting back to nature. The business model was something I could scale and execute pretty much the same for each one, with small changes on the theme and meals. It was suddenly less preparation and planning that I had before when I was driving and flying all over for speaking engagements. I started to feel more and more comfortable in my own skin, with my boys, and in my life managing my business. The last couple years didn’t allow for group retreats, but I will be bringing them back in the fall of 2022.

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Healing grief, loss and uncertainty looks different for everyone. While no two people have the same experiences, there’s a comfort in knowing others have felt it, too. Whether it’s losing a business, losing a relationship, losing a person in your life to death, or a change you didn’t expect, it’s hard. I didn’t realize until I was at a breaking point as I was nearing burnout. My hope for anyone reading is that you can identify signs you may be needing to retreat or some new ways to take care of yourself, new ways to find what you love again and start doing more of that.

7 signs you may want to retreat 1.

You can’t remember the last time you took a break, or only think about work.


You feel addicted and/or attached to your phone or computer.


You feel like nothing you’re doing is changing the same problem looping in your mind.


You feel so busy and like you never stop to catch a breath.


You don’t know if you’re on the right path, and can’t figure out what’s next.


You’ve stopped doing some things you used to do, like exercise or meditation.


You feel like you see more cars in a day than trees.

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7 ways you can retreat 1.

Attend a formal retreat or workshop. There are retreats for everything, do your research and find something you want to learn or do.


Down time - you make a deal with yourself to detox from electronics and pick up a book.


Book a weekend away to a quiet bed and breakfast, and make your own retreat.


Go for a quiet walk in a forest on a path, or through an area with lots of trees. Be mindful to know your surroundings and be able to listen and feel what’s around you.


Change your environment, even if it’s only for a few hours. Drive somewhere just outside of town or the city and observe the landscape.


Breathe. Practice sitting and closing your eyes and just breathing. Breath in, breathe out.


Carve out some time, in an environment other than your usual home or office space, to journal or write. Start to write in whatever way is comfortable to you - free writing, prompted writing, poetry, plans and lists, … Write your feelings, emotions, or logical thoughts. There’s no right or wrong way to write.

*Talk to your doctor or mental health professional if you feel reading this is too much, or call a 24/7 Distress line

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Hope’s Corner

Kimberly Dawn

~ April 5 2022; ~

~ April 7 ~

~ April 16 2022; ~



#World SemiColon Day

HomeCARE OxygenSUPPORT PatientCARE Empowerment

~ What happened following this selfless act is nothing less than miraculous and became known across Canada as the “Logan Boulet Effect”. ~

Heart; Head; Orange; Order; Perseverance; Patient; Enough; Evolve;

#ItTakesAVilliage I am a proud caregiver in Alberta, Canada - Kimberley Dawn

https://greenshzrtday.ca/ about/

“I am a semi colon warrior; with courage on my right arm! “

HumboldtSRONG Opportunity Purpose EmpowerHim

- Kimberly Dawn

I am an organ* donor;

#StrongerTogether #RiseUpYYC #LiveInspired #ReachOut #ItTakesAVilliage #NeverGiveUp https://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2015/07/20/ semicolon-tattoos-surge-in-solidarity-for-those-with-mental-illness.html

~ Believes ~ Inspires ~ Empowers ~ if one; a path home .. HOPE always finds a way .. Nothing is Impossible¿ Anything is possible; #NeverGiveUp;

What’s HOPE; look like in today’s world; can change in tomorrow’s world!

Upside down on purpose

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The Superpower Project Making The Connection

Blaise Hunter | Human Rights Consultant | Heroine

“The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food.” Dean Ornish


umans require connection daily. Whether it be phone and Wi-Fi signals to making those tight flight connections or most importantly the heart connection, we all need to be plugged in. Our mere survival all rides on making life join together. I’ve had the incredible opportunity to travel once again after two long years with the pandemic. My daughter and I visited England in March and now I’m off to Istanbul, Turkey 60 // Community Now!

for a human rights summit. These travels all depend on various things linking up. So, what happens if I miss the connection? The Superpower Project is about highlighting various challenges or “kryptonites” facing people and helping us neutralize their effect on us. A deadly kyrptonite facing us these days is the fear of disconnection. No matter if it’s in business or in life, we depend on many elements uniting. If I don’t catch the next plane, I don’t get to my destination on time. I can’t effectively do my job if I’m not dialed into the network. If I’m not plugged into myself, I don’t know how to self-regulate and then effectively problem solve. The

disconnection within me creates a wall when connecting with others. It’s like we are constantly living on the edge of detachment. We lived in England prior to the shutdown and after two years of not seeing my friends, a thought crossed my mind—what if I lost the connection? Life’s greatest lessons, opportunities, and gifts are discovered when we master the art of the connection. Everything is reliant on something. When so many factors are out of our control, we tend to carry a suitcase of stress everywhere we go. I was also concerned I would test positive for COVID-19 and miss my trip to Turkey. I think about the close plane connections and there is a possibility I won’t get there in time. What if my phone dies and I can’t navigate around overseas? The fear of disconnection is present at every turn. What I’ve learned though is that even if the worst happens and there’s a disruption or a complete breakdown, there’s always another way to connect. It’s through connection to ourselves and others that we find the biggest rewards. I took my daughter back to Surrey, England to reconnect with the people we bonded with when we lived there in 2019 and what we experienced was nothing short of magical. The friends we made over a time frame of just six months survived a two-year leave. Would the kids still be friends? Would the people I came to call my family still find my quirkiness endearing? Those questions circulated my mind before we arrived. Not only did we make all the transportation connections, but we also re-established the emotional ones as well. They welcomed us with open arms and showed us a deeper level of love that I can’t even put into words. The effort I put in when we lived there stood the test of time and they met me in that familiar sacred space. They are my people, my home. It took effort on both our parts to stay in touch over the last two years. We had texts, calls, and facetimes. We

shared our feelings and celebrated our wins as well as comforted each other in our losses. The connection is always the key to sustaining our lives. We must commit to connect. I know it’s easier said than done for some people. I have always had a talent to make deep connections even in a small amount of time. I believe it’s because I give my entire heart and soul when I converse with someone. I’m authentic and vulnerable and that is the perfect cocktail for human spirit connection. When we can empathize and relate with others, we invite each other into shared reality. Then if we can be brave enough to communicate our thoughts and feelings, we transcend into a place which sets us apart as humans. We have an autopilot nature to seek deep associations with people. It’s a way of finding our equilibrium and reaching a better understanding of others. But the truth is, it’s not always easy to make those connections and it’s even harder to hang onto them. The bonds we create are key to building our identity, our destiny, our businesses, and creating fulfilling and happy relationships. So how do we push through the fear of losing that connection? 1.

Be genuine. Authenticity is the foundation for any budding connection.


Be open to the possibility of a new friendship. Often, we are scared to be emotionally available or afraid we don’t have the time to commit, so we close ourselves off to the chance of a new bond.


Smile. Smiling at another person is one of the easiest ways to connect with them, and it costs nothing.

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9. (continued from page 61...)


Be vulnerable. This doesn’t mean you share all your darkest secrets. Just be willing to share something deeper than surface level conversation. It’s the layered cake mentality. Give a little and allow the other person to provide the next layer. Then you build beautiful vulnerability levels as you go. This is where trust is born.


Put in the effort. It does take work but what you put into a relationship is what you get out of it.


Be curious and listen. We tend to talk about ourselves rather than lean into curiosity when we first meet someone new. Challenge yourself to listen more.


Actively show love and care. We might think about how much we enjoy someone’s company, but actions speak the loudest.


Be a Conscious Communicator. Voice your feelings and wants from the beginning. Verbalize how you feel about the other person. Articulate what creates a safe space for the bond to bloom.

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Be willing to fight for your friendship. There will always be issues and problems to work through but having the courage to reach conflict resolution is essential.

10. Be present and focused on the other person. Don’t try to connect to other networks while dialed into this friendship. Your emotional presence is a present to the relationship. My visit to England reminded me how imperative connection is. These alliances calmed my fears and inspired me. I can’t thank my friends enough for the gift they bestowed on me. This created a pathway for trust. We no longer need to fear the disconnection. Just like with our Wi-Fi signals, we don’t throw out our phones when the signal is poor. Instead, we give it time, space, and care to re-connect. Don’t throw away meaningful connections just because it’s hard. Don’t let go of bonds because it takes extra work. Don’t succumb to the fear of being vulnerable or exposed. Let us forge ahead with faith. Connections are what feed our experiences. Connections are the lifeblood of humanity. Tune into the power of connection and let it fuel your purpose. We cannot fully live without being abandoned in connection. For more information about the Heroine Movement visit www.blaisehunter.com

Life is too short. Jennifer Hadley


hat could be the one and only sentence I write for this article, and it would be absolutely valid. I could type out that phrase, abandon it on an otherwise empty page and leave you to dissect what it means to you. And though, for a magazine that shares its message through abundantly insightful and inspiring content, this one expression is a complete article in itself. Where am I going with this? Let’s discuss… The idea that life is too short comes down to our daily choices. We choose our careers, our partners, and our surroundings. We choose what we eat, what we drink, and what we wear. We choose whom we associate with, whom we follow on social media, and what we listen to, subscribe to and believe in. Everything in our lives is a choice – and we are 64 // Community Now!

the only ones to make those decisions for ourselves. What choices are you making that are serving you in your purpose? Think about it – every morning when we wake up, the first thoughts in our minds set the tone for the day. If you wake up feeling tired, hitting the snooze button, and your first thought is “I’m exhausted,” you are essentially writing the script for the rest of your day. You will likely feel sluggish, drink more coffee, maybe skip your workout, and the words you spoke over yourself will hover over you for as long as you let them. Alternatively, if we wake up with a brighter outlook, that is how our day will go. Even if you ARE exhausted, choosing to complain and fall into that funk is your prerogative. You can be tired and still be ready for the day. You can choose to get out of bed, drink a glass of water, turn on some music and be inspired. It all comes down to what you decide.

The chemical reactions in your brain will do the rest based on your decisions.

practical planning matters though - this isn’t a Disney movie!)

I decided that 2022 was going to be “my year.” This is the year that I travel more, connect more with the people that matter to me and focus on the things that make me happy. All while still making sure I get my bills paid on time, show up for work, and keep up with my mountain of responsibilities. If you’ve been following me for the last few years, you’d know that I often talk about having it all and

How do I accommodate my need to travel, parent the heck out of my kids and afford to live the life of my dreams while actually living it instead of just dreaming about it? I decide to live this way. That’s it. I choose to have this life. I’m sorry it’s not more complex than that, but there it is. Nike is 100% correct in saying, “Just Do It.” If you’ve seen my social media posts lately, you’ll have found

not apologizing for it. The question is… how? How do we have it all? How do we fit it in? How do we live the life of our dreams and still take care of everything else we tell ourselves we have to do?

me on a beach, near a pool, on a plane or at a resort. The hashtags are usually something like #bookthetrip #dothething #livethedream and my all-time favourite #livewhileyourealive. I chose this life. Not long ago, I was in the depths of depression, nearing bankruptcy and considering letting my ex-husband take custody of my kids because I was such a mess. But then, one day in 2018 – crying on the floor while the kids were at school, opening notice after notice about overdue bills and deciding which ones I was going to pay – I decided that I would never feel that way again. I chose to pull myself out of that situation and put myself on a new trajectory. It was a choice, just like anything else – stay on the floor and ignore the card companies, or get up, make a few phone calls before your phone gets cut off (that actually happened – imagine your life without your cell phone!), and fix your life.

Did you notice the subtlety there? The things we “tell ourselves we have to do.” Why do we choose to live that way? Our bosses tell us things need to get done, so we do them. Our kids need certain things, so we do them. But can we flip the script so that our jobs get done, our kids are cared for, all while living the life of our dreams? That’s precisely what I did. And as a self-employed single mom, trust me, if I can do it, you can too. The first step is figuring out what you value most. What are the non-negotiables in your life? The things you dream about and want more than anything but aren’t accomplishing because they’re stuck in the “oneday” ideals instead of your “day one” reality. For me – I found that travel is a need. Not a want. Some may think this is selfish or frivolous, but I decide to because my values and purpose are rooted in growth, experiential learning, and living while I’m alive. Some are not into travel, and that’s fine. You choose your thing and go with it. My other highest values are being a great mom and being financially stable (financially free is in the works,

I did everything I could to accommodate the decision that I would have a better life. I also entrusted my situation to the hands of people I knew could and would help me. If you learn anything from this – that’s the golden nugget – Trust the people around you that can and will help. No one can do it alone. I promise you that. I tried, and the result was living in

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today because I choose to grow my financial position, and he can and will help me.

overdraft, pretending that I was okay. I wasn’t okay. I was alone and struggling because I chose to be.

Once things started to turn around, I decided that I wanted to travel more. Covid didn’t help, but in a way, it bought me more time to figure out the rest of my work life – I wasn’t answering phones anymore. I made a decision that I was going to build up my business as a coach and marketing consultant. That took care of my financial house and my purpose. I stopped fighting with my ex-husband about

I got a job answering phones for minimum wage. It wasn’t glamorous, but it was something. A quick and easy step towards getting me off the floor and doing something meaningful as a move in the right direction. I found a financial advisor. I came to this poor guy with a million problems, a sea of debt and a feeling of hopelessness beyond measure. But I decided I would change my financial situation, so I did. He guided me through everything, and I listened to him; I trusted him because he’s an expert, and I was not. He helped me and continues to help me

stupid things and grew into a better mom because I chose to let go of my anger toward him and accept that he’s just that way and he’s not going to change. That came with a gift of peace. Once I had a more stable income, a solid schedule for my parenting time, and a better idea of who I really am and how I want to live – I booked the trip. I can work from anywhere in the world, so why not work from a cabana on the beach, finish my workday with a margarita and enjoy the sand and sun while doing it? I’ve decided that every month I will get out of town. Whether for a day, a night or two, or a week – the point is not to run away from life but to take life with me where I go. I can plan around my kids’ schedule; I can take them or not, depending on their activities. And I can wake up in a cozy hotel bed, answer my emails, zoom with my team and clients, and keep up this life of living. People think it’s luck. It’s not luck. It’s my life based on my values and my decisions. You can do the same – even if you have an office job. It just takes planning and a decision to do the thing. And the thing is based on you, your values and your daily choices. Let’s discuss your values, dreams, and choices so we can get you living while you’re alive! Written from the beach… Because that’s how I roll now.

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Pivoting is using what you’ve learned and the base you have, to move into another patch of growth - Sophia Fairweather For a young person to succeed in business they need: • Less age restrictions to resources • Smart dressing that is fitted to smaller people • Schools adding extra curricular into credit or recognition. • For a young person to advance your skills in real life from school, vis veras • Acknowledgment from parents that if there’s a way to free time or double dip, to allow it. Think about how it helps, or actually meets the goals they are getting at. • Have a LinkedIn account! • Others, reach out and let them know your willing to help with advice and other little things to help them grow!


Key-Angels.com is a unique financing platform that connects single parent and zero parent families access to buying their first home. By connecting them to people who have Qualifying room, so they can buy their first Home while renting the other units. #ittakesavillage. Why we wanted to do this is we want to bring families together and reduce anxiety\ stress and improve mental wellness. Our mission is to provide investment with a purpose. Which also helps single parent and zero parent families buy their first home, which would be an income home as they live in one unit and gain stability.

Purpose: To provide access, and solve the housing crisis Our Value is providing single parent and zero parent families the ability to grow and succeed in their lives. They will have a roof over their head, stability, and the opportunity to access their first home!! Which is great for YOU the investor, great for them, and great for the Community.


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It Wasn’t A Failure, Exactly Al Del Degan


have started several businesses throughout my life. I began with a company that I called “Acoustics Stereo Installations” back around 1989 when friends kept asking me to install their new car stereos. After 3 or 4 installations I ran out of customers, and the 3 or 4 that I did have never paid me anything. It wasn’t a failure, exactly. I was able to come up with a cool logo and it confirmed my entrepreneurial spirit. Also, I never put any real money into it other than a few tools that I would probably have bought anyways. I think the key piece of information is that I started several businesses, but there are very few that became real. For one reason or another, I lacked skills, like marketing and sales, that could have taken me a lot farther. My 68 // Community Now!

dad worked in concrete for many years and eventually started his own business when I was very young. I remember thinking that one day I was going to have my own business too. I just never knew what it would be, so I just kept trying. After a few years of trying out the more traditional employment road, I found myself in an interesting position. The company I was working for was going to crash and burn in a glorious ball of flames, and I didn’t want to be part of that fireball. It was time for me to take another shot at entrepreneurship, but this time I was going to make a serious go of it. I even had a business partner to take on the new journey with me. With some creativity, some luck, and some half-decent decisions on our part, we got the company off the ground. It was a custom software development business,

and In our glory days we had 17 people in the company, office space, one solid client that was keeping everyone employed and a few other small customers. In 2008 as the economy tanked, our biggest customer decided to take all of their software development in-house and within a couple months we were broke and under a pretty heavy debt. We were forced to wind down the company but it wasn’t a failure, exactly. I learned that there is a major financial burden with hiring employees and it is crucial that you have multiple revenue streams to help ride out the tough times. Having all your eggs in one basket leaves you vulnerable if that basket goes away. I also learned that I was not charging enough for our services and the market devalued us for it. I also learned it takes more than two people to build a successful company. For the next few years as I climbed out of debt, I went back to traditional employment opportunities. I even landed an amazing job with the City of Calgary, and I remember my dad telling me that I got it made because that was a government job that I could keep for the rest of my life. Finally, some job security and a decent income… until it wasn’t. Turns out even the government lays people off and there really is no such thing as job security. After chatting with a friend one day, our discussion turned to legacies and how it seems that only famous people and politicians have proper biographies written about them. My next business idea has arrived. I would create a company that specialized in helping people create their autobiographies. Over the next few years, I never came across a single person that didn’t think it was an amazing

We build great software. Whether it’s a website refresh, ecommerce pivot, or the next great app idea — New Idea Machine makes your ideas real, building quality custom software solutions for exceptional value. Learn more at newideamachine.com.

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business idea. I also didn’t come across that many people that felt it was a good enough idea to throw a significant amount of money at. Turns out the idea of having your life story documented is priceless, but actually paying someone to help you do it is too expensive. Also, when the pandemic hit the world, all of a sudden sitting face to face with elderly folks was pretty much impossible. And so another one bites the dust, but it wasn’t a failure, exactly. As part of our company startup, I interviewed my own father and documented his life story on video. Those moments are so much more valuable now since my father passed away. His stories can now live on forever for our future family generations so they will know what a great man he was. A couple more traditional jobs later finally showed me that I am not built for traditional jobs. Instead, I need to be doing various things and helping people however I can. I 70 // Community Now!

learned that building and fostering relationships and growing your network is incredibly important, and is crucial to your success. Along the way I did some work with a few of the local software developer bootcamps in Calgary, and I realized that there is a gap between someone pivoting their career into tech, and companies wanting to hire them without any practical experience. My current venture, New Idea Machine, is meant to fill that gap. We provide hands-on experience working on real industry software development projects. I have taken everything that I have learned about business over the past 30 years, and with that information and my network of friends and colleagues that I have met through Rainforest Alberta and other industry connections, we are already off to a great start. If you need software developed, or you need software developers, you know where to go. We can make your ideas real. Al Del Degan Founder & CTO New Idea Machine https://NewIdeaMachine.com

"Don't take rejection personally. On the road to building your business, you might encounter a thousand no's, but all it takes is that one yes, to make your business a success. If you believe in what you are building, then never give up no matter how many people reject the idea along the way."- Koleya Karringten

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Buying a Business Over Starting a Business Mallory Gemmel, Contract writer for Village Wellth


oday, entrepreneurial trends seem to favour new startups—those flashy businesses, built from the ground up, who innovate advanced products and provide unique services—ranging from information technology companies to lifestyle brands, local retail shops and more. While the prospect of starting a new and original business is enticing for many entrepreneurs, it’s all the riskier. In such a highly 72 // Community Now!

saturated and competitive enterprise market, creating an original business, with a strategy that points towards a successful and long-lasting enterprise, is a sure and lengthy gamble. But, you’re an entrepreneur who wants to own a business. You’re ready to pursue a professional path that allows you to utilise your managerial expertise, invest recent financial gain and grow personal capital and skills. What are your options for kick-starting your entrepreneurial drive? Can you own a business without launching it from the beginning?

The answer is yes, there is extraordinary value in using your drive to buy a pre-existing business. Why Buy a Pre-existing Small to Medium Business Over Starting a New One? To reiterate the advice from Harvard Business School professors Richard S. Ruback and Royce Yudkoff, “buying an existing, enduringly profitable business is less risky,” than investing in a start-up. It’s “not riskless, but much safer because the product or service is already established…” When entrepreneurs develop new businesses, they make considerable personal and financial sacrifices. Owners of start-up businesses commit extensive time, money and labour to their companies without any guarantee of when or how their business will generate profit and show growth. On the other hand, as bestselling author of Buy Then Build, Walker Diebel argues, “Many successful small businesses have been operating for decades. This means their model for success was developed a long time ago and many of these businesses could benefit from the fresh approach and skillset of the next generation of entrepreneurs.” For the next several years, the owners of these businesses, the baby boomers, will enter retirement. It’s estimated, “some 72% of business owners intend to exit their business within the next decade.” This economic transition means that a huge supply of reputable businesses for purchase is on the horizon, some even argue it’s here now. Taking over an established business allows you to decide what role you’ll play in your established company and how you’ll build and adapt your enterprise in the future.

Buy first to innovate your business later. Here are the 5 main reasons why you should buy a pre-existing business. 1.

The Proven Platform




Financing Options


Market Awareness


Reduced Risk

1. The Proven Platform— Why start from scratch when you don’t have to? Instead, inherit an established customer base, team, business plan and operation. When you purchase a business, you acquire its strategic plans and operational strategy. Further, you take on the business’ namesake, reputation and cash flow. Business buyers inherit both tangible assets and intangible assets through acquisition. Tangible assets include physical property such as brick and mortar real estate, inventory and equipment. Intangible assets include non-material property such as branding, social media, websites, licenses and more. Above all, buyers take on that company’s goodwill—otherwise known as the elements that make the business advance like a loyal customer base, skilled management and employee team, developed systems and more. 2. Wealth— Why spend money when you can make money? By selecting an acquisition target with a solid sales and profits history, you can collect a salary as an owner immediately after acquisition.

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(continued from page 73...) Owners of new start-up businesses tend to put a lot of money upfront to initiate their endeavours, many of whom don’t end up seeing a return on their investment until years after their businesses launch. According to a recent survey conducted by the BDC, 46% of small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) that “acquired one or more business over the last 10 years said their revenue growth was outpacing their industry average, compared to 38% of SMEs that did not acquire another business.”

and seller financing. Banks provide significant loans based on the cashflow, valued assets and reputation of a target business. Investors are more likely to provide buyers with capital. Funding acquisitions of already established businesses means more security and better return on their investments. A financing tactic unique to business acquisition is vendor debt—business sellers are often willing to lend

“The main benefit to acquisition entrepreneurship is that existing companies are already established with customers, brand awareness, employees and, most

buyers a portion of the purchase cost to secure a transaction. This financing can supply the funds needed to move forward with an acquisition.

importantly, revenue and profits.”

4. Market Awareness — Are you — Walker Deibel in Buy Then Build By purchasing wanting to expand a financially into a new industry healthy business, or geographic location? Business acquisition entrepreneurs acquire pre-existing cash flow. allows you to expand into areas where you This instant profit offsets debt-servicing. might lack contacts and knowledge. With a foundation and accumulating profit in According to the BDC, “entrepreneurs that place, as a new owner, you have the freedom acquire other businesses do so to grow.” to decide how to balance your operations, BDC’s 2019 survey, which questioned over work and life. 1000 Canadian business owners, found that 3. Financing Options — Do you want op41% of business buyers acquired to increase tions for gaining access to capital? The assets their market share; 24% looked to add a new of the company you buy can be used to help business line; 21% worked to relocate geosecure the financing needed for acquisition. graphically to expand their consumer reach. While business acquisition might seem expensive, it can be more financially attainable than you think. Buyers typically acquire businesses with a mixed financing approach through a combination of cash payment, loans from the bank

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5. Reduced Risk — Why assume major risk when it’s not necessary? According to the BDC, only half of Canadian start-ups still operate after 5 years of business. When the time comes for you to sell your acquired business, you’ll reap the reward of your initial investment at a multiple.

Small Business BC states that “buying an existing successful business is by far one of the fastest, most cost effective, and least risky ways to be in control of your financial future.” As Walker Diebel points out, “a start-up is considered one of the risky investments around...the infrastructure, proof of concept, product-market fit and revenue all need to be built from zero. That translates as any return to an investor is unlikely.” Pre-existing businesses have the data—financial statements, inventory lists, customer databases, operational strategies and so on—to prove their years of reputable success and management. With stable operational infrastructures, pre-existing businesses give entrepreneurs the foundation to focus on innovation and growth over daily operations. New owners use their time and effort to advance a business’ worth, setting things up for a prosperous return in the future. Pursue Acquisition and Become a Business Owner Village Wellth is a digital acquisition platform designed to support the buyer journey. The benefits of business buying are sweeping, but business acquisition doesn’t come without its challenges. Knowing the process of acquisition and understanding the effort involved in the transition of ownership is crucial for the success of acquisition entrepreneurs. Here at Village Wellth, our mission is to educate, prepare and equip buyers with the resources and knowledge they need to pursue a winning acquisition.

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We are a community instilling hope and connection in the lives of young people, exiting street life.

Change is Possible. www.thedoorway.ca - CRA 13140 1226 RR0001 W O R D S








Just stay in school and finish your grade 12. It's not as hard as going back in your 20's.

You need to worry about you, not what everyone else is doing.

Never believe what others tell you, you're perfect the way you are.

Friends come and go. In the end you’re looking yourself in the mirror. I wish I'd known this.

Pursue what you want to do in life.

Don't get fooled by the wrong crowd.


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F R I E N D S @ T H E D O O R W A Y . C A

Mental Health Tip Joanne Neweduk

SLEEP: Honour Your Sleep Owning a business, or being part of a start up, can be very stressful and a cause lost sleep. In fact, far too many of us, do not sleep well nor sleep enough. My clients often state they are exhausted but they cannot sleep. Studies show that as a society we sleep less than our grandparents and it is taking its toll. Chronic sleep deprivation can mess with your mood, weight, hormones and immune system. Each night your body is very busy repairing and resetting your system, especially your brain. Good quality sleep is a vital component for good mental health. Simply put… without regular, restful sleep, you and your work will suffer. It is wise to create a healthy sleep routine. Even though it may take some dedicated focus, it will be well worth the effort, especially if you own your own business. Healthy sleep ideas: •

Aim for 7-9 hours per night.

Set a bedtime and stick to it as best as possible. Your body thrives with routine.

Taking a sauna, shower or hot bath at night, then listen to a recorded book, podcast or music instead of having screen time will go a long way to prepare your body for rest.

Meditation, journalling and other relaxation activities will relax your body so it can sleep.

Do not eat meals or snacks after 9pm.

A darkened, cool room, without electronics around, is the best setting for sleep.

Some people find it beneficial to use a device designed to track their sleep to help them form better sleep habits.

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Building Stronger Communities.

Learn More! Get Involved!

Find Out How!

We are building stronger communities through Education and Training. Including Courses Such as: •

Assisting Individuals in Crisis Training

Group Crisis Intervention Training

The Secrets of Psychological Body Armor™ SIGN UP TODAY.

Critical Incident Stress Management (“CISM”) for Communities is a registered non-profit organization, in reactive and proactive environments in many areas of mental health.


Q & A with Board President Jamie Attfield What does CISM stand for? Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) for Communities. CISM for Communities supports individuals who seek to overcome their anxiety, depression or grief caused by traumatic events, personal suffering or grief. Seeking assistance to overcome their hurdles together can strengthen communities, community members and reduce social program costs, return team members back to work again, and support healthy family relationships. Why was CISM started? CISM for Communities was started to help those who are negatively affected by traumatic events recover in an efficient and effective way. CISM for Communities started in late 2014 and was ready to assist during the 2016 wildfires and was integral to assisting the RMWB get back on its feet during its recovery process. CISM for Communities has maintained an active role in supporting indigenous rural communities through facilitating sweat lodges and healing circles. In the years since its founding, CISM for Communities has supported hundreds of individuals who have chosen to reach out asking for assistance with a wide variety of solutions close at hand.

Why is it important to train people within the community how to deal with mental health, trauma and disasters? Our goal is to help those who seek our help, find it with our volunteers, community members or trained co-workers to help offset long term negative side effects associated with mental health. How can the community support CISM? We welcome any and all support through volunteering or financial aid through our website www. cism-forcommunities.org How can people participate and or bring your training programs to their communities? We invite everyone who wishes to participate in our training to register at www.cismforcommunities. org/training-education Do you also offer corporate packages? And how can a business get involved? We do host corporate events and can work with corporations to customize their package to fit their individual requests. We work with corporations to help ensure their team retains a healthy mental atmosphere before and after the events of an incident can ensure efficient recovery times while reducing long term negative side effects. Our team can help yours.

Keeping up with the Times:

A visit to the 2022 Alberta Bike Show

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Shawn Webber


he Global pandemic that has gripped our society over the last couple of years has brought with it a great change to people’s perceptions on health. With a better understanding of this a renewed focus on healthy habits, proper eating, and the importance of exercise for the physical and mental health of all people has also increased. In few industries has this societal shift toward positive physical activity habits been more noticeable than in the cycling industry. Anyone involved in selling or maintaining bicycles can tell you about product availability shortages, long-term back orders and vague shipping dates. The reason for these supply chain issues is the exponential popularity growth of cycling over the past couple years, aided by restrictions applied to indoor spaces. This contributed to manufacturers being unable to keep up with demand. The societal changes brought about have reintroduced large numbers of people to the joys of cycling for leisure and fitness. Further, innovations and advancement have made cycling more accessible to people of all ability levels. During my visit to the 2022 Alberta Bike Show held in Calgary on March 19-20, it was immediately apparent from the long entry

lines that bicycles and outdoor activities have captured the imagination of a large number of people from all age groups. For the casual cyclist (like myself) looking for a chance to get out and spend time with like minded bicycle enthusiasts, the Alberta bike show offered the opportunity for test rides of the available electric bicycles on an indoor course, a kid’s skills course and some high-flying entertainment courtesy of B-Line Indoor Bike Park located in Calgary. Further, I had an opportunity to meet with the some of the people who make the Calgary cycling community so unique and exciting. It was immediately apparent that two of the most popular topics for cycling in the Calgary region are: 1) Accessibility to cycling for all age groups and abilities through development of new technologies such as electric bicycles. 2) Innovation in the industry, the exhibitors at events like the Alberta Bike Show are constantly developing and presenting better bike products to help customers address their specific requirements. Coupled to this is innovation by designing in and building bicycles that can accommodate all members of society regardless of any physical limitations. Like any innovation the decision to put motors and batteries on bicycles has resulted in much Community \\ 81

debate within the cycling community. Matters such as where these bikes can be permitted, how much power they should be allowed to use, and how fast they should be capable of going are all common subjects that cycling associations and municipalities look to address. However, while the greater cycling community wrestles with those unique challenges, the growing popularity of this style of cycling is undeniable. Any bicycle vendor will tell you that the explosion in popularity of e-bikes has made keeping up with the demand for them challenging. The reasons for this explosion in popularity are wide ranging, but the ability for people of all age ranges and fitness levels to climb on a bicycle and be comfortable in the knowledge that their bicycle will be able to assist them with climbing large hills and covering long distances, should it be required, while offering the rider the ability to control how hard they are exercising is regularly cited as one of the most enjoyable aspects of e-bike ownership. Given the costs of vehicle ownership, who wouldn’t want the health benefits monetary savings that could be recognized by riding a bike to work with the added benefit of not requiring a shower when they arrive? 82 // Community Now!

Bowhead is a Calgary based cycle building company that’s doing something a little different. Founder Christian Bagg has created a bike specifically for those of us who have unique mobility challenges. Christian has designed and built a custom-made articulating suspension adaptive cycling platform that allows riders, who don’t have the use of their legs, to get all the joys of riding bicycles off the pavement paths and into our numerous parks and bicycle destinations. With the option of fully electric or build with hand cranks, the Bowhead Reach is a huge achievement in innovation and Bowhead is making all types of bicycling more accessible to all people in society. As Christian explained while discussion his bicycle and passion for bicycling “whether or not you have a motor or pedals on your bike doesn’t really matter, being outside and enjoying nature (no matter your physical limitations) is what’s important.” With other exhibitors offering riding opportunities such as cycling events and lift assisted mountain bike locations in Alberta and the British Columbia interior; bicycle touring companies, products to support cyclists ranging from power operated bicycle hitch racks, custom made apparel and eyewear. I was also able to chat with 2 Wheel Gear, a Canadian company that uses recycled materials to build storage bags for bicycles, allowing you to bring that computer, lunch bag, spare change of clothes or even a case of beer to wherever your bicycle takes you. Overall, there was a great atmosphere at the show, and it is an exciting time for the cycling industry. “We’re truly in a new age of cycling where it’s becoming a very mainstream activity” says Seamus McGrath the organizer of the 2022 Alberta Bike show “with over 40 exhibitors at the show there’s something to spark everyone’s interest.”

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CELTIC ILLUSION Coming to Canada for the very first time after an Australian sell-out in 2017, the much-anticipated family event of 2022, Celtic Illusion is the biggest dance and magical illusion sensation that has been taking audiences by storm. The show for ALL ages cleverly fuses awe-inspiring contemporary Irish Dance with mind-blowing magic and Grand Illusions, and is set to make its Canadian debut for a one-night show. With incredible new choreography, spellbinding magic, heart-racing music and a sensory experience like no other, audiences will be kept on the edge of their seats and left wanting more. Showcasing a stellar cast of champion and internationally-acclaimed dancers, including performers from both Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, Celtic Illusion offers some of the fastest taps in the world as the dancers’ thunderous rhythm fills the stage in perfect unison. The show is led by Australia’s very 84 // Community Now!

own Anthony Street, the first Australian to perform leading roles in Michael Flatley’s widely-acclaimed Lord of the Dance, including the very role that Michael Flatley originally performed himself. Since its premiere in 2011 the show has performed to sell-out audiences across Australia and New Zealand, with audiences blown away by the combination of scintillating dance and illusion. Celtic Illusion A review of the show, by Krista Malden.

Being a drummer, anything that resembles the sound of drums intrigues me. As I watched the amazing show Celtic Illusion at the Jubilee Auditorium, I was in heaven. The performers danced in perfect time with each other and the music. Not only was the rhythm and sound of their feet inspiring but the element of magic they added to their performance was brilliant!

This is a show, I hope travels back through Canada. One that is perfect for everyone and has a variety of different layers: dancers, magic, singing, musical performances and the light and smoke show highlighted the excitement and enhanced the magic. Even if you took every element of the show away except the dancers, you would still be blown away by the performance. The sound of their feet hitting the ground to create a rhythmic explosion was spectacular. This is a must see show! The show will tour across Canada from March 31st - April 29th, 2022. Website: https://celticillusion.com/ Images: here Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ CelticIllusion/?fref=ts Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ celticillusionofficial/ Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=B3koRKWTZQA Community \\ 85

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