Latest stories

Magnolia Bakery’s Icebox Pies

Since sheltering-in-place started, I’ve been trying to write a blog post every week because, you know, there is time and all. The problem is that time is not the only requirement for writng an interesting post. It is also helpful to be actually doing something other than making homemade cat toys with empty paper towel rolls. The cats DO love them. All you have to do is tape the rolls in a pyramid...

Slow learners like me

Years ago, my very busy sister cleared out her entire calendar, both personal and work, and threw away her entire To-Do list in under 30 minutes. I will never forget it. In the afternoon of the day her 7-year old son was diagnosed with a highly malignant brain tumor, Leslie called her employer, the charities she volunteered at, the community associations she participated in, and her curling...

Irritable bowel syndrome

I wish there was a sexier name for IBS. I didn’t even know I had it until a few years ago, when my doctor said matter of factly, “You have Irritable Bowel Syndrome”. All I knew was that for as long as I can remember, I’ve experienced abdominal pain that is highly correlated to stress. I was a studious kid who hated any form of physical activity and when I was 9, the school...

Feelings

My fancy daily schedule didn’t get used much last week. Turns out, Week 2 of social isolation was a week of feelings. I had a lot of them. I miss my business. I miss talking to Christina about the digital ad campaigns, seeing the beautiful photos. I miss my Monday morning management team meetings, hearing what’s going on, someone’s latest escapade on the weekend, Andrea’s laugh. I miss...

Week 1

By now all of you will have received the same joke email about 6 times. Subject line: Travel Plans. Body of email: the layout plan for a standard 2-bedroom home. I’ve also received the one about how it is fine to be at home but did you know that one bag of rice has 8956 grams and another only 8743?? Yes. Week 1 and we are slightly crazy already. At the best of times, I like a lot of structure so...

And that’s that

True confession. I’ve always wanted to be better at the letting-go stuff. Better at accepting that I am only one of billions of people, all spinning on planet Earth around the sun. I’ve never been very good at this. I have fussed over when our kids will tell us their Easter plans, which of Andrew’s business trips I should go on, and when we will get the Girl Guide cookies for The Original Girl...

The Real Us

I had a flashback in our management meeting this week. I was reminded of the first time I was asked to take a personality test. It was at the Bank. My boss was holding an all-day meeting and in advance of that, she had asked all the attendees to take this test. On the meeting agenda, there would be some time to talk about our individual results, and how we collectively all worked together. I had...

Unicorn Cakes

My friend , Peter Phoa, and a videographer, Chris Halpern, did a great job of videotaping my recent talk. Watching the 5 minute clip from Peter, I realized that in one story, I never really came out and said my point. My point was: no matter what work we do, or what role we have, we are all in customer service. Doctor, receptionist, lawyer, bank CEO, plumber, baker….we’re all serving someone, as...

The Master Plan

Last month in my remarks to the Rotman Commerce Women’s Initiative, I told 4 stories. The first story was about rolling with the punches. Why? Because punches are inevitable. After law school, my Master Plan was to be a big tax lawyer at a big firm. But I didn’t get an articling job at a big firm. Instead I got a job at a small firm that had me doing all sorts of things including setting bail...

How to Take a Risk

I spoke recently to a group of undergrad business students. There was a Q&A after my talk. Someone asked a question I have been asked many times before. “How did you decide to take the risk of opening your own business?” When I have been asked this in the past, my answer has been some version of brainstorming all the things that could go wrong and then mitigating them. To work hard at writing...

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