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Wednesday, 19 January 2022

I recently learned how cold it had to be before I froze my toes off.

Last weekend's storm left my household without power for more than a day. I often wonder what people with children do when there is no tv or video games to entertain?

We entertained ourselves by watching the frozen smoke billow from our lips every time we opened our mouths. It was minus twenty one in the living room, and it seemed as if my feet would never be warm again. 

At one point, just before the last candle blew out, we attempted hudling on the couch; three big people together in one giant pod. That, thank God, only lasted a minute. I'm clostrophobic. 

Bottom line was we were freezing, and the only thing that we could really do is go to our respective bedrooms and huddle up with as much blanketing that could be found. I found a really ugly grey, wool fabric blanket amongst the throng of blankets on my bed and wrapped up. 

We endured that for just over a day. I know. That's not a very long time. But let me tell you, living without electricity in the country means that you also lose the water. Gross. That means you have to fill up the tub before weather starts so that you can flush the freaking toilet. 

The cold weather was an experience, but all in all, I'd say we made it through pretty good. Our experience proves one thing; it pays to be prepared.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

The Holidays Are Upon Us

I'm not the Grinch who stole Christmas, but I'm pretty close.

It's not that I have a problem with people celebrating their faith. No, I have no problem with that at all. However, I do have a problem with Christmas carols being played before the middle of December. It kind of freaks me out.

The seasons go so fast, it hardly seems right to complain about Christmas carols. Before you know it, we'll all be looking forward to the Easter Bunny jumping around our back doors and, much like one of my friends, stuffing our faces with mini eggs.

I understand the importance of staying ahead of the game when it comes to market share and consumer awareness about products, but does that mean we must constantly be bombarded with messages about the next approaching holiday?

The jury is out on that idea, but it is apparent that we will have to endure this Christmas thing at least until the 25th of December, after which point Boxing Day sales will ensue, intoxicating the general population in retail sales therapy.. something that I'm sure will work until they receive the bill for the holiday season on their respective credit cards.

So, is this a holiday do-good post? Not really. I would like to remind everyone who "have" to remember those who do not. I firmly believe that it's all about giving, in one way or another. You don't have to break the bank. A simple act of kindness will ensure that at least one person during your holiday season has experienced some sort of positive human interaction.

As you can probably tell, I'm not much of a Christmas person. But I am very spiritual, and I believe that acts of kindness have a place like no other during the holiday season. It stresses me to think there actually is a child who will go hungry this year, but as statistics would have it, that is bound to happen. Please donate to your local charity or food bank year round.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Entrepreneurs & Small Business

Everyone has had the dream of going into business for themselves at one point or another.

Being your own boss, making your own rules; these are the things that dreams are made of. Bug going into business can be risky. Fortunately, there are people willing to take the BIG risk of going into business.

Fifty percent of small businesses started in Canada fail within the first two years of existence. That number inflates to 60 percent in the first five years and a whopping 70 percent in the first ten.
Maybe the biggest mistake that people make when going into business for themselves is the label they put on themselves. The word entrepreneur is thrown around like a basketball.

But what is a real entrepreneur? A real entrepreneur is an individual who wants to take an industry by storm. Big dreaming and full of enthusiasm, entrepreneurs are the ones who seek venture capital from “funding angels” and venture capitalists.

Venture capitalists want to see there is an obvious, well planned road to profit with any project they fund. If you’re not familiar with venture capitalists and what they do, take a look at the program Dragon’s Den and you will get a pretty good, yet media-charged example, of what the venture capitalist does.  When you think entrepreneur, think Microsoft and Bill Gates.

An individual who would like to be self-employed is generally content with selling one service on a smaller scale, possibly hiring employees as business demands grow. Typically, there is less funding available to grow the small business from traditional lenders, and venture capitalists aren’t interested in smaller thinking. This means the self-employed are put into a positon where they must support themselves and their business at the same time. This process is called “bootstrapping”.   

Those individuals who choose to be self-employed are generally in it for the freedom that it presents. People with disabilities may choose this route to help them join a workforce that would otherwise be too rigid to accommodate their disability.

Perhaps the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur or a self-employed person is figuring out what the product or service they are selling is actually going to be. The status quo says “do what you love”, but how do you determine if your idea is good for a business venture and not just a really great hobby?

That’s where a business plan comes into play. A serious business idea deserves the attention of a serious business plan. Developing a business plan can be a daunting task, but once completed serve as an invaluable tool. Big businesses generally have fluid business plans that are constantly changing as consumer demand for goods and services evolves.

If you’re sincerely looking for a place to start with your ideas, spend some time thinking about the impact you would like to have with your product or service. Unfortunately not everyone can invent the next Pet Rock, but with a solid business plan and a bit of luck you may just be able to carve out enough market-share to support your business and yourself.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Klevr Digital Marketing Press Release

Halifax, NS. November 12, 2018. -- Klevr Digital Marketing is in business, seeking new and exciting opportunities in Halifax Regional Municipality! Klevr is centrally located in downtown Halifax, close enough to the buzz of downtown to get a real taste of city.

At Klevr, we like to develop ideas. Ideas that will help grow your business. From social media campaigns to collateral development like online brochures, newsletters, blog posts, audio blogs and marketing reels, we have the creative power to produce for you.

Our team can offer you guidance in your quest for acquisitions with your marketing dollar. Our methods are measurable, backed up with solid knowledge in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Klevr is available to customers almost any time during reasonable hours. If you find yourself bursting at the seems with an idea and you need a sounding board, Klevr is here email us immediately. But normally, the hours are 9-5.

We sincerely hope that you will consider us for your next creative project.


Darren Surette.
Klevr Digital Marketing
Klevr on Twitter

Friday, 9 November 2018

My Banking Days

Well, a positive experience? Some would say no.

On top of having a panic attack every single day that I was there, I persevered for almost exactly three weeks into the training before pulling the ripcord. I jumped out of the plane and into the air, once again, with no real safety net.

Some would be very happy and smug that my adventure has come to somewhat of a stalemate of an end. The fact of the matter is, I was doing OK. But just OK. If I had actually liked what I was trying to learn, I'm sure the outcome would have been different.

It seems that, the older you get, the less likely you are to put up with the bullshit that is often generated from work learning situations. It's either that or once you hit fifty you become incredibly dumb.

There was a  brief minute when I actually felt stupid in class. I wasn't being picked on, just picked out. Which was enough to freak me out and not be able to  answer the question asked. What a knob I am sometimes.

I will never purposely work in a call centre again, unless it is on the admin side of things with no headset. Even then, I find the atmosphere of call centres a negative buzz at best. Nobody wants to be there and the air smacks of employment dissatisfaction. At least in my mind.

Why am I  posting this? I talk to the Internet about my problems. It listens sometimes, judging from the stats I see. And ever now and then I'll get a comment. That's cool. Because I'm finding more and more that a  comment is worth more than many would lead you to believe. A comment indicates interest? Well, maybe.

I'm writing about my life. A 420 planet.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

A New Contract

I am about to embark on another new adventure.

I am kind of excited, as I have been fortunate enough to meet new friends on my past adventures into employment, some of which I am still in contact with to this day.

Ideally, this will be a contract that will allow me some precious off hours work time, so that I can develop my new project, Klevr Digital Marketing, into something of a known entity in the HRM.

Hopefully the work life balance will be OK and I will be able to endure the hoopla that usually comes with working for a larger organization.

But, if the interview process tells me anything, it's that where I'm going is growing fast and and has maintained a steady growth pattern over quite a long period of time. To me, this says get in while the getting is good and get established as someone who knows what they're doing really fast.

I can't think of anything going on in my life that could get in the way of my success. Family drama will be there regardless so I have to learn how to deal with that while getting use to a whole new work family.

To say the next couple of weeks is going to be interesting is putting it mildly. But I'm setting myself up for it to be a positive experience.

Friday, 11 May 2018

I Have Been Humbled

So, what I thought I was offering was a broad source of experience in exchange for some new experiences and maybe a good reference.

Now, I'm thinking to myself, what have I gotten myself into? This morning a lady came back to return a shirt. No big deal I thought. Just give her the size she wants and away she goes right? Not so. I had forgotten the fact that her purchase had to be swapped out in the computer for inventory purposes, and was reminded as such by one of my staff members. 

Once I realized what I had done, I immediately took chase of the customer down the hallway of the mall, apologizing and grabbing for the merchandise at the same time. I explained that the switch had to be recorded, and that she had to come back to the store. 

I was prepared to dig out the procedures manual and teach myself how to do an exchange, when from out of the dark came the employee, with fingers blazing on the keyboard. She was done in about ten seconds. She looked at me with almost a smirk and said, "that's how you do a return."

I'm very happy that my staff is that competent. Quite frankly, I was a bit nervous as to what a receipt would look like after I mangled it with my retail knowledge. But really, it was a relief to have the help. 

The moral of the story? I don't know if there is one really. Just a story I needed to tell and kind of an appreciative nod to the person who helped me out. Cool.