My Lunch with the Networking King of Halifax

Did you know that in a survey conducted about working professionals by Pepperdine University, the people who made the most money considered themselves great networkers?

Matt Whitman is the king, and he gave a group of us at the Halifax Club an eye-opening presentation on advanced networking.

He says we need to take networking to the next level, to really grow our business and help each other out.

We started by introducing ourselves and giving a short “elevator” speech that you should always have ready when you are meeting someone for the first time.

We also did skills assessments that listed the basic skills he thought were important for networking, and also allowed us to see where we needed to improve.

One of Matt’s philosophies is to help as many people as you can, without thinking about what you can get back from them. People who are only in it for themselves are easy to see, and will not get the responses that they want. The more people you help the better off everyone will be, and you will probably get something back in return.

I met a diverse group of great people, who were ready and willing to give me advice and guidance. I also got a chance to talk about becoming a newly christened PR consultant in a friendly and encouraging environment. And I know they are looking for clients for me, just as hard as I am looking for clients for them!

One person I met told me to go to the Halifax Home Show to try to stir up some business. That was some of the best advice I have ever gotten! I went to the event, and I ended up with a couple contracts, many interested companies, two job offers, an offer to be interviewed about PR on a radio station, and I got enough business cards to kill a tree!

Matt also gave me a book called Twelve Pillars. It was written by Jim Rohn, the mentor to Anthony Robbins, and Chris Widener. It chronicles the conversations of a downtrodden man who meets a very wise gardener when his car breaks down on an dirt road.

It characterizes 12 fundamental truths that all truly successful people emulate. It was a great read, and I recommend it to anyone. It will motivate you to do things you never thought possible!

Two years ago, I never thought I would be starting my own business as a PR consultant. My path shows that if you work hard, be nice to everyone you meet, and find the right mentors a lot of good things will happen to you.

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We should have Earth Hour more often!

I would just like to say thanks to all the people in Halifax, and the rest of the world, who observed Earth Hour!

Hopefully more people will take a little more time and effort to use our natural resources and energy wisely.

I was amazed at how clear the night sky was! (My reason we should have Earth Hour more often) I love looking at the stars and finding constellations. It must have been a great night for anyone who had a telescope!

I’m down for doing another Earth Hour, at the same thing next month… What do you guys think?

Fox News: Exposed

Have you heard the news about the Fox News Network apologizing to Canadians for one of their show’s “extra ignorant” segments?

I saw this video before the hoopla about apologies and it really made me angry. Angry enough to post it on my Facebook feed and write an email to the show saying I hope their show is cancelled, and that the complexities of a World War at the stage of weaponry we have today (e.g. nuclear bombs) eludes them.

Be warned this video is really ignorant stuff, and it could make you really angry. You may even join a Facebook group about it!

This is a great “comeback” to the segment. It is a series of pictures and words depicting the history of the Canadian/U.S. military relationship shown over the audio of the show’s segment.

I am very surprised it garnered this much publicity, but you can’t make fun of over 150 Canadian heroes and expect to get away with it.

Side note: Fox News only exists because there is a market for their nonsense. I was watching Bill Maher and one of his guests, Keith Olbermann, said that after talking to the owner, Rupert Murdoch, he found out money is his only motivation for producing the channel. If he could make money running a totally liberal channel, he would do it.

Food for thought.

We need to talk about Racism

Racism is hard to talk about. It is scary, hurtful, and brings out so much pain. But the only way to stop racism is to acknowledge it and take action against it.

I went to an event on Saturday called “Talk About Race: Conversations Leading to Action.” It was a gathering of people, of all colours, who came to discuss racism and ways to stop it. The event encompassed speeches, presentations, performances and round-table discussions.

At one point in the day, we were told to create our own discussion groups on a topic. I started a group called “No Child left Behind.” It is the name of a Bush policy about every child being important, no matter what colour they are or what neighbourhood they live in. Unfortunately that is not the case in the U.S. or in any country.

I am of the opinion that if we can start the lives of our children properly, by making sure they are healthy and smart, they will grow up knowing that (OBVIOUSLY) the colour of your skin doesn’t matter. Knowledge is a powerful weapon against ignorance.

The economic cost of systemic racism was also brought up: from overloaded jail systems, to poverty, to extra healthcare costs because of a stressful lifestyle and lack of nutrition, and more. Racism is hurting us in more ways than we can imagine.

Canadians can’t afford to marginalize groups of people and not allow them to reap the full benefits of being a citizen of this beautiful country. We are all in this together, and we need all hands on deck to create a better world.

When I first thought about moving to Halifax, I knew history says Africans were some of the first settlers of Nova Scotia. I searched Halifax and black history and encountered the story of Africville, a black community in Halifax that was uprooted from their homes and sent away in order to make way for infrastructure improvements. A horrible event that happened within the last 50 years!

I saw the effects of this displacement first hand, in the eyes and actions of some of the people at the event. It broke my heart that they had to go through something like this, in what is supposed to be a fair and just country.

All in all, I met so many people with totally different life stories, and heard perspectives that I had never thought of. This was truly one of the greatest days of my life. I felt open and free with this group of people. There was no judgment, everyone was honest, and there was so much  love and support.

Also, the people I met were great, and very brave. I learned so much from every person I met and also made a lot of contacts, which will be great in the future.

Not a single person who went to this event left with out a sense of hope for the future. All of the attendees will have a better understanding of race issues in Nova Scotia and will be taking action.

I would also like to thank the organizers and The Hub Halifax for hosting this magnificent event.

This post only scratched the suface of what was uncovered during the six hour event. If you attended and have more to say, or just have an opinion, please comment below.

Ken Dryden at The Hub Halifax

I met Ken before his presentation and I asked him what it was like to win the Stanley Cup, and he asked me if I had won a championship.

I told him about my West Conference Championship win in Rugby and my Midget Football victory. He said it was the same feeling.

He said usually players say “it hasn’t sunk in yet” when asked how they feel, right after winning. But they eventually realize it doesn’t change much about their lives.

This was the man I met at a Fusion event, hosted by The Hub Halifax, on Wednesday.

The MP from Toronto is the Liberal Party’s National Outreach Advisor, Poverty and Working Families. He lead an interesting discussion on how important early childhood development is.

Ken said one thing he hated was people not being given a chance to succeed. Especially through poverty.

He talked about how poverty can keep people behind in their development. He explained how being even a little behind, especially in what is supposed to be a fair race, is pretty debilitating when you think about it.

A powerful metaphor he used was trying to start a 100m race 10 metres behind your competitors. The 100m is the fastest race around, and in many ways life is as well. Seeing the backs of all your competitors in front of you and never quite being able to catchup, no matter how hard you tried… Not a nice way to race, or go through life.

In the discussion period, I told him I believed it was the government’s main responsibility to keep everyone healthy and smart, and I aimed to support that cause some day. He told me good luck!

If you look at my About Me section you can see that I am very passionate about having a healthy lifestyle, because everyone knows “A healthy body equals a healthy mind.”

Ken Dryden really inspired me to keep moving forward on my campaign for healthy living, and also to take a more political role in my country.

I also met Stephen McNeil, the Leader of the Nova Scotia Liberal party, and I will be posting a picture of the three of us soon. (Right place at the right time, I guess!)

One more thing he talked about was how many young people are disinterested in politics. But he explained that young people may be disinterested in politics but they must be interested in the world, and politics is supposed to be the way that we change it.

Let’s all make change happen.

Netbooks are Here!

It is amazing how the netbook has gone from a minor irrelevance, only good for third-world country school systems, to the subject of beautiful concepts like this.

It is all because of a simple concept that everyone should have thought of… Cell phones are getting bigger, laptops are getting smaller.

No where has Moore’s law been more powerful then in small electronics!

I guess this is why I haven’t had a cell phone my whole life… I’m waiting for that one super phone/netbook to catch my eye!

And Apple said they were waiting for the netbook market to evolve. I would say it is ready. I can’t wait to see the new ITablet they will be putting out. (You heard the name here first, guys! lol)

Maybe that is the one I will get.

The Twitterization of Facebook

I guess Facebook’s motto is “If you can’t beat them or buy them… Copy them!”

I hope the reason why they changed the home page format wasn’t just to steal Twitter fans. It won’t work. People use Twitter for different reasons.

These are some reasons why I will still use Twitter.

Easy to Access Opinion Leaders:
Twitter is less personal than Facebook. If I tried to add some of the famous Twitter users to Facebook, it wouldn’t work as well. I don’t need to know too much about these guys. I’m interested in what information and advice they have to keep me up to date.

No Lame Applications:
I don’t need to use Texas Hold-Em, Mob Wars, or any other time wasting application.

Less Trivial Info:
I also don’t need to see your relationship status. Even though it may be really important that everyone knows you are in a complicated relationship. More trivial things are explained here.

Better Personal Website Promotion:
The simplicity of Twitter also allows people to see my blog’s link, without going through the Info section of my Profile page. Very important, since I want to make it as easy as possible for people to get to my blog. (RSS Readers work great to, guys! lol)

News… Twitter Style! :
I am a news junkie so I love having the news Twittered to me! I even have a Twitter acount with just News feeds. Started with CBC and waterfalled from there.

Facebook and Twitter have different strengths and weaknesses. As a budding social media user, I’m just trying to find the best ways to use each of them to accomplish my goals.