The Networking Effect

There is no doubt that networking is a hugely advantageous tool to any and all business owners. Now there are many groups, clubs networks out there to choose from but which one is the right one for you? How do you go about deciding which one is the right fit for your business?

Networking definitely forces you out of your comfort zone but It can generate referrals and increased business as well as creating connections.  These sessions give you the opportunity to rub shoulders with highly influential people in the business world.  These are opportunities that you might not normally have. It is also a great way to get advice from like- minded entrepreneurs/business people and make new friends in the process.

It’s tough not to drown in the sea of options but you have to keep your head above water. Talk to friends, friends of friends, do your due diligence and research and find the right one(s) for you.  I know I am currently struggling with this exact dilemma right now and am trying to figure out a couple of more avenues to explore in order to expand my network.

I currently belong to the Toronto Board of Trade and this is a great organization. Business owners from all walks of life are members it’s a great place to meet people BUT you have to put in the time, do the work and that I think is part of the reason people have a tough time with this type of thing. These connections don’t get built overnight, you have to nurture them they take time and let’s face it you’re not going to connect on an organic level with everyone that you meet at networking events. Sometimes, you just need to walk away as there will be nothing mutually beneficial so move on, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Relationships are the catalyst for success. People tend to do business with people they like and trust. Be a resource for others and help them succeed.  Just because there might be nothing beneficial for YOU doesn’t mean you can’t help someone out in the process if you have the capability to do so. Remember, this networking thing ISN’T all about YOU! It’s a two way street.


Image courtesy of accelerateplaces.com

Workshops - Learning, Sharing, Shooting

When considering whether or not to attend a workshop, a lot of factors contribute to the ultimate decision of attending. They are a great way to expand your network as there will undoubtedly be other like-minded people to speak with, to share knowledge with and of course the obvious, to learn! Do I? or Don’t I? Of course the first one is cost followed by content followed by a series of questions: How will it benefit me? How long is the workshop? and who is giving the workshop?
When the Peter Hurley “Illuminating the Face” workshop was announced for Toronto, well that was a no brainer! I knew I had to attend as I had been waiting some time for this one to come to town. It took place back in March and this was an incredible opportunity to learn from the best in the industry. How could I possibly pass that up!? I figured I wasn’t going to get many chances to actually get to interact, to learn from him. I had to take advantage of being up close and personal with the one and only Peter Hurley. I found the cost to be incredibly reasonable. The location was right here in Toronto, so getting there was easy. The time commitment was only an 8 hour day. This was without a doubt something I had to do.
The workshop was put on by Henry’s Camera and they did an incredible job. I would like to say a huge thanks to them for putting this on. The workshop was also sponsored by Profoto and I have to say their gear is absolutely incredible, so easy to use and easy to work with. Their reps were so friendly and helpful.
It was an absolutely incredible day all around. It was a full, jam packed eight hour day where I got to learn from the master of headshots. I got to meet a ton of great people. Perhaps some of the nicest people I have ever met. Peter Hurley was such an incredible teacher. So easy to talk to, down to earth and just an all-around incredibly nice guy. It was such an invaluable experience I will never forget.

Dealing With Grief and Loss - Does Time Heal?

It was one year ago today, one of the greatest men I have ever had the privilege of knowing left this world. He was my father in law, a great friend, and an incredible human being. Taken from us far too soon at the young age of 65, his passing left a great big hole in the hearts of family and friends. He lost his battle with that horrible and dreaded disease, Cancer. With this in mind, today I want to celebrate Frank as a person, his life and all that he gave everyone he touched.

This past year has been a tough one for sure, trying to deal with the loss of my father in law, my wife dealing with the loss of her father, my daughters dealing with the loss of their grandfather and of course my mother in law trying to cope with the loss of her husband. We are all dealing with loss and I don’t think any of us, including me, have really properly dealt with the overwhelming grief which comes along with losing a loved one.

I can’t believe it has been a year since we last saw his face or heard his voice. Where does the time go? Not being able to just pick up the phone and call just to chat has been one of the hardest things to deal with. My wife says to me she wishes that he could return to us just once a year for a day. Wouldn’t that be great? Would just once a year be enough to suffice the loss of a loved one? Wouldn’t it leave you wanting more than just one day? Of course we all know that’s not possible but a nice thought nonetheless.

I know he wouldn’t want us to be sitting around grieving his passing. I can hear him in my head saying: you have to carry on and go forward with your life. So, the best thing to do in my opinion is to keep all those wonderful memories stored in the memory bank and replay them again and again in my head when I am feeling down or missing him. Speaking to someone about it helps as well although nothing will ever take away the pain of losing someone as close as a parent or family member. To all of you out there who have lost a loved one, parent, child, friend, or relative, stay strong and keep those memories close because NOBODY can ever take that from you! I do believe whole heartedly that time does heal and eventually will take the edge off the pain and make things bearable bit by bit.

Pops, I will keep replaying those memories of laughs with you and our late night conversations over a few beers after everyone else has gone to bed. You were one of a kind, that’s for sure. You will FOREVER and ALWAYS remain in my heart and mind. You are greatly loved and sorely missed.