Jean Blacklock

reflections on being an entrepreneur

Latest stories

#BS #teamevents

I’ve attended, mostly unwillingly, a vast array of team building exercises, events and rituals. So has Andrew and Marilyn and every other employee on the planet. The evening sleigh ride event when I was the bank, Andrew’s afternoon of horseback riding in the Rockies, and Marilyn’s recent team painting class come to mind as just a few examples. Do you know what I remember about that sleigh ride...

A Clean Kind of Sad

About a week ago we decided to not reopen the store in the concourse of First Canadian Place, Canada’s tallest building at the corner of King & Bay. Right until the last day we served customers there (Monday, March 16th), it was so busy: there are/were just so many people in the offices flanking the King & Bay intersection. But it was the right decision for all the reasons I mentioned in...

I Can See Clearly Now

Until this year, I’ve spent my life taking my eyes for granted. In my thirties I had laser surgery to go from Coke-bottle glasses to no glasses. I had both eyes done at the same time. After promising the receptionist that I was on my way home to rest, I returned to the office and watched with amazement as I saw further and further into the Prairie vista as the day went on. (That was in the...

Hello Landlord

Years ago when Andrew ran the private bank across Canada, he was interviewed by The Globe and Mail about wealth services. Andrew is well-trained in media interviews and that day, one key message was that the economy was buoyant and business was good. The day of the article, we looked at The Globe to see where in the business section it was buried, only to have our mouths drop open. Above the...

Carrying On

Pinterest is full of inspirational quotes like, Let Go of the Past And Embrace the Future Unbearably cheesy, I know. But also fairly good advice. Since coming back to work, I have felt really optimistic about things and I’m excited about some changes we are making, like a cool permanently contact-less pick up approach and enhanced delivery services. It would be hard to be happy about these things...

Unknown Territory

We opened online orders on June 1st with the first delivery and pick up orders on June 8th. Since then it has been interesting to begin the shift from transforming the business to actually running it. Our fiscal yearend is June 30th. Entering March, we were only 4 months from year end and everything was on track for a good year. But then of course, since March 16th, we had no revenue until June...

The Truman Show

The Truman Show was a 1998 movie starring Jim Carrey who plays Truman Burbank, an ordinary happy guy who grew up living an ordinary life until he discovers he has been on tv his whole life with everyone else populated by actors for a television show about him. In the last  week or so, I feel a little like Truman. In the pandemic’s early weeks and months, we all were at home making DIY cat toys...

Using my words

A patient parent with a toddler rolling around on the floor, screaming for ice cream, will sometimes say, “Use your words, sweetie”. I am usually pretty good with words and there is much I want to tell you – but I feel like that toddler right now. Last Wednesday, I had a Zoom call with the whole PGB team and shared the news that we would not be re-opening in Markham, in the...

Bread Baskets

One thing I miss right now is bread baskets. Yes, I do have one in my cupboard somewhere and I could pull it out, line it with a napkin, and stick bread in there. Put it on the table at dinner. I could even put in good bread, there are some good bread bakeries open here in Toronto. That’s not my point. What’s missing is the element of surprise and delight that a breadbasket holds, I see now. Like...

Could it be…life again?

The world is coming back to life. I can feel it. I’m sure you can too. As tulip bunches in pink, purple, and yellow fill the buckets outside the local convenience store, the headlines are about businesses cleared to open, with more to come. The streets here in Toronto are cautiously busier. It’s hopeful and wonderful. Feeling like this, it’s easy to forget about PGB’s maxed extended line of...

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