Strive for your dreams

We are not alive if we stop dreaming

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is whatsapp-co-founder-brian-acton-759.jpg

(WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton repeats call to delete Facebook, 2019, March 19)

In 2009, the young American “Brian Acton”, who used to work as a programmer in the “Yahoo” company, decided to go to work in the “Facebook” company, which was still a new startup company. Brian is a young man who always thinks out of the box and comes up with brilliant ideas. he had a good position in the “Yahoo” company, but with a look that knows how to read the future based on the data in front of him, he would have seen that the crazy ideas in his brain are more appropriate for “Facebook”, the company that he is confident that the future will be for it! He presented his ideas and explained them extensively. Did they accept him? .. No, On the contrary, their response to him was entirely absurd, and they said his ideas were too futuristic. He wrote a tweet on his Twitter account in which he said: “Facebook turned me down … looking forward to life’s next adventure.” ..(Acton, B., 2009, August 03). He met one of his friends, a programmer like him, and he offered him his crazy idea. They start to work on the idea of Brian for Months until it came to light and turned the world! .. “WhatsApp”! .. Brian and his colleague were the ones who made “WhatsApp”. In 2014, “Facebook” communicates with Brian to buy “WhatsApp” from him … They asked him; how much do you want? , Brian asked for 22 billion dollars and indicated that about 5 years ago you would have taken it from me for free if You employed me with you, so for now you should pay as much as I wanted. They gave him the money he wanted, do you think he would take the money and sit in his house? … No …

Because he was the one who worked on “WhatsApp”, so he knew that there were some privacy problems with it. he locked on himself for a couple of years, then he came up with a new surprise.  What is it? .. Signal application, which the whole world has been running on now and downloaded because it is safer than WhatsApp and because all the defects and problems of privacy have been avoided in it!

(Success Story of Brian Acton.” Dailysuccessroutine, 10 May 2016.)

(Singh, Manish, 13 Jan. 2021 “Signal’s Brian Acton Talks about Exploding Growth, Monetization and WhatsApp Data-Sharing Outrage.” TechCrunch, TechCrunch, )

(Olson, P. 2019, February 21. Exclusive: WhatsApp Cofounder Brian ACTON gives the Inside story on #deletefacebook and why he LEFT $850 million behind.)

(Bhatla, Prabhjeet. “How Eric Yuan ‘Zoom’ed His Way To Build a $50-Billion Business.” Entrepreneur, 7 Aug. 2020, http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/354419.)

As long as we are talking about the technology, let’s say that in 1997, Cisco appointed a Chinese engineer who was still a new immigrant to America named Eric Yuan. He was working with great effort and without any boredom or laziness .. for how long? .. 14 years, he had a dazzling idea about a program through which people would make online meetings between them. He came to the director of Cisco and brought up the program to him but unfortunately, the director categorically refused.  

Eric resigned and locked himself with some other engineers who believed in him and began working on his idea. what do you think they called it ?? They called it Zoom, so today it is almost the only program that most people relied on when the Corona happened, and its marketing value reached 48 billion dollars! …

Why??? because one person insisted on an idea that was in his brain, has self-confidence, and the presence of someone who believes in him.

Lots of people stop their attempts after several failure experiences, If you fail, get up, fight and strive for your dreams. “In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.” — Drew Barrymore

(Zoom company story: How ERIC Yuan Defeated skype. https://slidebean.com/blog/startups-zoom-company-story-eric-yuan)

(Helfand-Rogers, C. (2020, January 7). 9 Motivational Quotes From Famous Women Entrepreneurs.)

Why Is It Essential to Develop a Social Media Strategy?

Image by Yan Wong from Pixabay

Why Is It Essential to Develop a Social Media Strategy?

By Miriam Lopez-Arbour

If you are good at it, people are going to read it – Seth Godin, best selling author

I would like to start by making a distinction between content and strategy.  You can publish content on your website, social media, blog or any other social media channel. Content strategy is analyzing your content, while social media is choosing the social media vehicle you will use to promote your program/initiative and creating a calendar of events to publish it.  Consider the following steps to implement a social media strategy:

  1. Identify the audience
  2. What issue does it address
  3. Develop a strategy
  4. Tools

About the audience

With the explosion of the internet, it is now possible to reach out to audiences around the globe.  It is important to determine if your audience is local or international, will it be receptive and how your program or product support the client journey.  Next, you need to analyze age demographics for example if your clients are very young, you might want to consider Snap Chat and Tik Tok.  Equally important is to understand who your competitors are.

About the problem

Determine what is the problem and the solution you bring to the table. Say for example that you want to promote a Government program targeted to Canadian women-owned businesses interested in exporting.  You would need to understand the Canadian ecosystem at the Federal and Provincial level and dive deep into the needs of this segment of clients.  You would need to understand what are the barriers women-owned businesses face.  Is it lack of funding? Is it lack of mentorship? Is it bias? Who are the key players in the field, in Government and private organizations and what are they doing in support of women-owned businesses.  What is your value added?

To position yourself as a respected leader in whatever problem you are trying to solve, you are going to need to put the client at the center of your strategy, provide solutions, complement existing resources and understand your competition.

Developing a Strategy

Using women-owned businesses as an example, let us assume that you know your audience and you understand the needs of the community.  You discover that there are several programs out there in support of women-owned businesses.  However, there is a need for “portal” or a 1-800 # where Canadian women owned businesses can find out how the Government of Canada support women owned businesses.  What steps would you take to develop a social media strategy and what social media strategies would you incorporate?

Tools

  • Develop a website.  Information must be organized, structured and labelled in a way that will serve users’ needs and help them achieve their tasks.  Monitor touch points, how are you onboarding clients, how are they learning about you, raise curiosity
  • Develop rich content and make it user-friendly.  Content must be scalable to modern mobile devices, privacy concerns and inclusive of people with disabilities.  Include testimonials and make information available in both official languages
  • Build the social media plan to promote the launch of your website and prominently include the URL link, you can do this via E-mail marketing, think also of including traditional media such as television, radio and newspapers
  • Websites are static, social media tools give you the opportunity to engage with your audience
  • Ensure you have the Human Resources in support of the social media strategy
  • Choose the platform that your clients use more regularly
  • Be consistent regardless of the social media platform you use.  Think of Google and Facebook, the websites look identical no matter where you are in the world
  • Develop a calendar of events and use a scheduler such as Hootsuite, make sure the information you are promoting is updated across all platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat
  • Write a blog
  • Design an award recognition program or a loyalty program
  • Join organizations that promote diversity, inclusion and women entrepreneurship
  • Develop a marketing campaign on International Women’s Day on March 8th

Here is an example of a video promoting diversity and inclusion and the Business Women in International Trade at Global Affairs Canada

To conclude, essential to a successful social media strategy is to understand your audience.  Have a clear value proposition in plain language so that clients can easily understand what it is that you are offering.  Be consistent in your message and branding.  Lastly but most importantly, social media, if used appropriately and monitored, is an amazing tool in support of your marketing strategy.  Spend the time and effort to determine what is the best social media platform for your initiative, program or product. 

What is your favourite social media platform and why?


#social media #strategy #content #plan

Follow me on twitter: @miriamlopezarbo

Follow me on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/miriamelopzarbour-5723614b

End of Lockdown, Start of New Career

COVID has put a lot of people’s lives on pause. It stood in the way of people’s plans and ambitions, including mine. My name is Ben Kelly, and I graduated from Humber College for Film and Media Production in 2019. I graduated thinking I had the whole world ahead of me, and while getting a career in my field would be tough, it would eventually happen. I applied for job after job, eventually finding a short-term contract at the Toronto International Film Festival (my dream job spot), which lasted until January 2020. I received praise for my work and was offered another contract to start in June of that year. I, of course, accepted. Then COVID-19 happened.

Credit: Illustration by Eva Bee

Everything began shutting down including my retail job, which I had been working since 2016, and suddenly I was laid off. Getting to know me, I’m someone who likes to work and keep busy. On my days off I get antsy and bored from not having anything to do. I was one of the lucky ones in April 2020, as my retail job reopens for curbside and online orders. Suddenly I was working more than ever and making more money than I was before, and the impossible was true: I was benefitting from the COVID-19 situation. Before I’d be lucky to get 20 hours a week, and suddenly I was working 44 hours a week. During this time, I continued to apply for jobs, but the pickings were slim.

The start of summer began, and my TIFF job was cancelled due to movie theatres not being allowed open and there would be a lack of work for me to do. I was crushed, but I knew I was surviving and doing well compared to others out there. I continued to apply and apply with an occasional Zoom interview that would go nowhere. I was starting to feel in a rut. I was a year out of graduating and I was still in retail, a place I didn’t want to be. COVID-19 had put my life completely on pause and I was just trying to make it to the other side without going insane.

December 2020 begins, and Toronto is announced to be going on complete lockdown again after Christmas. At first, I was fine with it, I had been overworked for months working 5-6 days a week, and I was excited to be seeing my parents in Ottawa. I went back home as the lockdown began, and suddenly I was in the same funk I was before not being able to work. This time was different as I began to reflect on my life and what I wanted. I wanted to leave my retail job in 2021, despite COVID. I began to focus on applying to new jobs until someone would see me and the skills I have. I even decided to enroll in this social media program through Algonquin to boost my skills. The stars all aligned when I got hired for a new job as an Office Coordinator for a commercial production company once the lockdown was over. My life was finally moving forward, and I was going to work again, but in a field that I cared about.

I always view my life in chunks that are separated by major life incidents. These major life incidents push me to new world views and situations. In my mind, I see the end of the lockdown and the new career as the next major life incident. I’m less stressed about COVID with the rollout of vaccines, slowly but surely going, I’m travelling and working downtown (something I’ve always wanted to do), and I’m looking at apartments to live with my significant other. The direction life is going in is completely different from what it was a year ago.

Being enrolled in this social media program has forced me to strategize my life, in the same way, I would apply to social media. In the Introduction to Social Media course, I learned that your personal brand is what you sell to the world. What do people see you as, and what do they expect of you? I reflect on my life and I have always complete strategies to get what I want, but since finishing college, my strategizing has stopped. I wish I could blame COVID, but I’ve been drifting through life, waiting for something new to start. This new career path is my new start, but I refuse to just drift my way through it. I need to engage and learn, and take the skills that I learn in this course about social media strategy and apply them to every aspect of my life. No more drifting, anymore.

How has COVID-19 stopped you? Has it put your life on pause? Have you ever felt yourself in a rut, and what strategy did you do to escape it? Let me know in the comments down below.

Just In Time: Delving Into Social Media Strategy

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels

The timing of this course could not have be better! The small business that I work for is endeavouring to increase their presence on social media and to better understand how social media can work for their brand. I work for a boutique but in the past year, due to Covid-19, I have been working from home managing their social media presence. I have been posting regularly on Facebook and Instagram for a few years now with some positive response but not great reach. The Facebook page is 7-8 years old and is close to 1000 followers. There is also an Instagram account that is about 2-3 years old. The owner is looking to improve engagement on both Facebook and Instagram and drive more traffic to the online shop and website.

The tricky part will be creating a strategy for a company that has always looked at marketing options as a last minute effort. The idea of a ‘strategy’ has been pretty non-existent. Already, through the course readings I can see many holes with the sharing of business plans and ultimately social media marketing plans. It will be a challenge and one that I am already expressing concerns over. Social media planning is new to the company and quite new to myself as well.

The owner has hired a social media marketing consultant to guide us through this process. They are there to give tips and help with the planning process. At this point, we are working together planning monthly schedules and brainstorming lots of ideas for posts in advance.

I will be using my current work experience as an example in the discussions and assignments of this course. I look forward to combining the two to help understand how beneficial and necessary a social media strategy can be to a small business.

What are your thoughts on social media for small business?

From Dreams to Reality

Hi, welcome to my blog! My name is Audrey-Ann and I’m a 19 years old student. I am the kind of person that always had, even when I was a child, a lot of ambition in life. When I was around 8 years old, I wanted to become a popular singer. I wanted to sing in front of thousands of people, live in Los Angeles and just in general, live my best life! My biggest dream has changed over the time but a part of me wanted to accomplish big things no matter what.

When I was in my senior year of High School, I found this Influencer named Elisabeth Rioux. She is from Québec (like me) and she owns a swimsuit company named Hoaka Swimwear. She really inspired me to start my own brand even if I was considered young to create a business. I’ve always been interested in fashion as well. When I was younger, I had a fashion book where I drew dresses and cute outfits. I looked at it the other day and I’m glad that my fashion sense has changed! 

Hoaka Swimwear official website

So, during my senior year, I decided that I wanted to create my own clothing brand. It was now my new goal. After I graduated, I decided to go study in a business program. After one year and a half in this program, I felt like I wasn’t in my element. I wanted to create an online shop but we never learned a thing about online marketing or even online businesses. So, I left the program. I thought that It would be better if I learned everything I needed through blogs and YouTube videos.

Young lady typing on keyboard by Vlada Karpovich

I was all by myself through this whole process. All I had was me and the Internet. I started looking for a factory that would produce my designs but it ended up being harder than I thought. It took me months to choose the right one for my needs. I was also on YouTube for hours watching videos about other entrepreneurs starting their own businesses. It really helped me to know what I needed to do before I buy my inventory. I also spent hours analyzing big fashion brands: their history, what made them blew up, their values as a business… I had ups and downs like everyone else but the thing is, I didn’t know how to solve some issues I had. Some of them took me months before I really knew how to solve them.

Logo of Audrey-Ann’s business, Rêve Bodysuits

What I want to do through this blog is to help young boys or girls like me to start their own businesses. There is a lot of competition in this industry and I know how hard it is to start with only an idea and nothing else. I wish I could’ve had someone when I started to guide me through this whole process. That is why I want to share my experience with you. Things that seem simple but are actually important like finding the right clothing factory for your needs, how and where to register your business, how to save money to buy your inventory… It’s easy to give up when you’re young and doing everything by yourself because you don’t necessarily know where to start. Take your time and make sure you understand a minimum what you are doing before launching your brand. See you in my next post!

So you were an Athlete, so What?

So you were an Athlete, so What?

Calling all former competitive athletes!

Durham West Lightning vs. Team China

So you probably just spent essentially your entire childhood and teenage years rushing off to games, practices, personal training and team events. Sometimes 7 days per week during the season, and maybe got some *slightly* more free time in the off season (but lets be real, you were probably on a strict training schedule still to stay in shape). You probably also juggled school sports along with your competitive sport of choice. The time management skills of young athletes could be taught to most adults.

Unfortunately you have graduated and moved on in life, you are an adult now and need to find a career. But how are you to find a job post graduation when your sport schedule probably has never allowed for any part time jobs? You feel lost with the sudden amount of free time you have and worry that your skills aren’t relevant.

That was me. After playing competitive hockey growing up and into my young adult years, it was such a big part of my identity, I was so lost at first. Applying to office jobs, I had a great education but no experience, who would want to hire me?

For background I am a 27 year-old former athlete. I played hockey beginning at five years old – it definitely was my favourite! I was constantly travelling to tournaments out of province and out of country and had to juggle my school, family and friends with hockey as the priority. I also loved to play on school teams, joining the volleyball, basketball and soccer teams. On a normal high school day I would get up, go for a run, go to school, go to my after school practice for whichever school team was playing at that time, go home, eat dinner, take a nap and then go to hockey. Repeat. This teaches at a very young age time management, self-discipline and being able to work with other people (a.k.a be a good teammate!). I went on to play sports at the University of Toronto while maintaining a full course schedule.

So what happens once your sporting life is finished? That’s the purpose of this blog. You can use your sport experience to your benefit yourself at work!

Once I figured out that so many of the soft skills employers really value are taught through team sport, I began utilizing hockey experiences on my resume, cover letter and in interviews. Once I started to use my hockey background to my advantage – every job I’ve applied to I have gotten a call back for and every interview I have participated in I have been offered the job (not even to brag, before utilizing my athletic experience, I got approximately zero calls back).

I invite you to follow me as I share tips and recommendations on how to show employers the value of your sport background. Hit like and follow and come with me on my journey, I’ll be posting multiple times per week on specific uses for certain skills, including how to include your athletic experience on a resume!

Do you include your athletic past on your resume? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!

Scatterbrained Mom-Scatterbrained Life

I’m not even sure where to start. November 14th was my last blog…I had energy, I talked about tackling one goal at a time, I talked about learning one new thing every week, cleaning off my dining room table and teaching myself how to use TikTok…..its December 8th, and I haven’t done 1 of those things. In fact the pile on my table has gotten bigger, my to do list keeps growing, and I can’t even seem to find the focus to scratch one damn thing off my list. Why does it feel so hard to accomplish anything these days? I’ve always been somewhat of a scatterbrain, but I feel like I’m spiraling out of control and don’t know how to fix it. I’m not even sure what I’m thinking most of the time….there’s 8 zillion things running through my brain at any given moment, and I can’t seem to slow it down to focus on anything. I feel like my life is a landfill of both mental and physical clutter…..and I feel like I’m drowning.

As I try to get through this blog entry, my brain is spinning, I need to call the vet for my dogs prevention, make a list of what I still need to buy for Christmas, I should be doing all the reading for school that I’ve gotten behind in, I have to pick up my daughter in an hour and a half, stop by the vet and pick up my dogs prevention pill, get ready for work and stop at the library to pick up my daughters book, get home in time to get the little 2 off the bus….. I should really fold the laundry, make sure my husbands work clothes are out and ready for tomorrow (since he’s at 1 of his 2 jobs right now), bills need to be paid, oh crap, the Christmas tree….its still sitting outside, I need to cut the bottom off and bring it in the house, it’s been out there since Sunday, I worked all day yesterday got home after dark and made dinner, today got up at my usual 4:45am walked the dog, got everyone ready for school, took my daughter for tests on her knee she hurt a few weeks ago, dropped her off at school and have been working on this and trying to read since…..I have an assignment due on Monday (that I’ve had a good couple weeks to complete but have busied my myself with everything but school) I still need to get 2 secret Santa gifts, and find time and money to finish my Christmas shopping I feel like each item on my to do list has 8 others attached to it….I just can’t do it all, yet it all needs to get done. It’s all just so over whelming. I think you get the drift….there’s so much more, I could go on and on…..my brain doesn’t stop spinning. There just isn’t enough time in a day. How does everyone else do it? Seriously? You work. have money, you’re good parents, your houses are clean, and beautiful, you do your jobs well, your blogs are awesome, you have social lives……WTF am I doing wrong?

The Balkan Cuisine Guy

Photo by Mile

About the Balkan Cuisine Guy

Through some miraculous act, I was born into a Macedonian family, thrust into this planet a few decades ago. I love food. At age 4, I realized that I had a deep lust for traditional Macedonian dishes, such as stuffed peppers and grashe (white bean stew). A bit biased to say the least. This quickly morphed into a passion for all sorts of Balkan cuisines the older I got. Greek, Croatian, Serbian, Romanian, you name it, I ate it. But, I thought to myself, how much more amazing would it be to be able to prepare such feasts for friends and family? What an invaluable piece of skill to possess.

Inspiration wasn’t difficult to obtain after many years of eating my grandmother and mother’s delicious recipes. Before I knew it, I delved into the realm of the kitchen to try and capture culinary nirvana. My journey began with three dishes.

Zelnik

Photo by Panacomp

This traditional Macedonian dish involves stretching out thin layers of dough (more appropriately filo pastry) that are drizzled with a little bit of olive oil. Then, pieces of feta are crumbled onto it, or even thinly shredded potatoes. The dough is then rolled into one long stringy piece that is wrapped in a large, flat, circular pan. Once the pan is completely filled, it is placed in the oven for 1hr15 minutes, with the last 5 minutes set on broil to leave a golden colour on the top. It’s a meticulous process, but as the late Julia Child once stated, one must have a “need for patience in cooking” (Tomkins, 1974).

Moussaka

Photo by Rouxbe

Probably the most popular serving in every Greek household is moussaka. A combination of minced beef or lamb, it is cooked in a tomato based sauce and is as delicious as it gets. What makes this dish especially tasty is the creamy béchamel sauce and eggplant layers that would leave any food connoisseur itching for more. A great recipe that I enjoy cooking once a month when friends come over for dinner.

Sarmale

Photo by RGBStock

The Romanian dish name for cabbage rolls, which is real comfort food and is commonly served at weddings, but is also a household favourite. It is usually made with minced pork, along with rice, spices, onions and is rolled up in sour cabbage leaves. Once these steps are completed, all rolls are placed into a large baking pot with sauerkraut or tomato juices where they bake for a couple of hours. You won’t feel guilty eating sarmale late at night, because it’s a healthy mix of ingredients.

Although I’m still far away from being Julia Child or Lidia Bastianich (two inspirations besides my mother and grandmother), mastering one recipe at a time is certainly the tastiest way to learn about the rich culinary attributes each country in the Balkans has. Come and enjoy this journey with me!

The 72% that you do not want to miss

The 72% that you do not want to miss

Photo Credit Majed Dagher

Scuba diving is most likely the only thing that anyone should not miss to learn. You are wondering why? wherever you travel, whatever you see and explore on land you will still be 72% behind.

Approximately 72% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water: 97% salted water in the oceans and seas, and only 3% fresh water.

(Source National Geographic)

Imagine the things that you still need to explore even if you travel all over the land. in spite all the exploring missions, science and exhibition to reveal the mystery of the underwater world we still up till now have a long long way to go.

Tube anemones cover a rocky seabed in the Aeolian Islands, with the lights of an Oceana diver shining in the background. On this 2018 expedition, Oceana used a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) to collect samples and take photos and video footage.
Photo Credit: © OCEANA/Juan Cuetos

More than 80% of the ocean remains unexplored. And because it’s difficult to protect what we don’t know, only about 7% of the world’s oceans are designated as marine protected areas (MPAs).

BY EMILY PETSKO | JUNE 8, 2020

Read more Why does so much of the ocean remain unexplored and unprotected?

Scuba Diving Organizations

There are so many Organizations which publish standards for competence in recreational scuba diving skills and knowledge, and issue certification for divers assessed as competent against these standards by affiliated schools or instructors, but the most important of them all in my opinion is PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors).

PADI – The Way the World Learns to Dive – Mar 12, 2015 – The underwater world is earth’s final frontier. Drew Richardson, PADI President and CEO shares his passion for diving and talks about the important role of divers as underwater ambassadors and custodians of our ocean planet.

PADI is the world’s leading scuba diver training organization. With more than 6,600 PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, and 137,000 individual PADI Professionals who have issued more than 27 million certifications around the world, you’ll find PADI diver courses and scuba diving services nearly everywhere. (About PADI)

Fun, Relaxation, Skills&Knowledge and Exploration

Video Credit Majed Dagher

I started my professional diving journey back in 2000. Circumstances made me stop for a long time until I moved to Turkey in 2014 and since then the addiction started. One of my best friend over here is a PADI regional director and because of my extreme passion to this sport and the curiosity to learn and see more, up till today I have completed more than 150 dives and got my certificate as a PADI Divemaster and hopefully soon to be an instructor.

The Fun you have, the people you meet, the friends you make in this long journey is incomparable with anything else and it will change your life. The first thing you learn when you dive is that you will never dive alone, you always need a buddy beside you for safety measures, and that makes the experience sharable and more exciting.

Video Credit Majed Dagher

When you decide to go for a diving trip, a lot of fun and interesting levels of preparation accompany your trip. Between searching for locations and availability to preparing your equipment and calling friends, there is always one thing that dominate your mind at that moment and that is what the huge mysterious underworld giant is preparing something new for us. You will always be excited because deep inside you are certain that you are going to see and experience something new even if you already dove at the same site. This amazing feeling that drives you over the edge and boost your adrenaline every single time.

The Relaxation you experience underwater is something that every person should experience. All the stress you get from your daily life, dealing with different problems either at work or anywhere else, is suddenly wiped off the moment you hit the water and start to hear the echo of your breathing mixed with the noise of the ocean deep.

Photo Credit Majed Dagher

The Skills&Knowledge you get out of PADI courses is phenomenal. For example in order to be a rescue diver first you have to obtain the EFR (Emergency first response) certificate which is something recommended to have by any individual. In other words you will become a person capable of saving a life anytime anywhere. How cool is that?

PADI Rescue Diver Course-Dec 2, 2013-Produced by: OCEANS BELOW CO. LTD.

Read more about PADI Rescue Diver Course

The training makes you more confident not just while diving but in general. You will develop a better communication skills and a much more clearer sense of problems assessment in life. If you decide to carry on with your trainings to higher levels you will have the chance to enhance your knowledge in several areas like physics, humans respiratory system and management. As a divemaster you are not only a role model for other divers but you are responsible as well of managing and planning a whole diving trip for several groups of people.


Marcel van den Berg – PADI IDC Skills Circuit New Revised IDC Course • All Skill Neutral Buoyant Divemaster Skills – Dec 27, 2019

The Exploration speaks for itself honestly. If you really into exploring so this is the thing you should be doing. 72% from the face of the earth to discover everyday will take centuries, and you are most probably still discovering new things that amazes you every dive. This is the beauty and mystery of the underwater world. Secrets to reveal, things to see, science to discover, as a matter of fact I personally consider a whole new different planet.

EVNautilus – Gulper Eel Balloons Its Massive Jaws | Nautilus Live – Sep 20, 2018

10 Tips for Divers Action Kit
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How social media Pledge to follow Project AWARE’s 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet
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Who Am I? 2 years from 40 and Feeling Lost.

This is Me Photo Taken by Stephanie Reynolds

Hi! My name is Stephanie. I’m days away from celebrating my 38th birthday….that’s 2 years from 40….and I have no idea who I am. The following is my attempt at introducing myself.

I have 3 kids (all girls 13, 8, and 7). My common law spouse and I have been together since we were 18! That’s right, we’ll be celebrating 20 years together in April 2021. I have a 1 year old American Bull Dog cross named Solo, and an 11 year old, one eyed cat named Juno. I am the eldest of 4 children, from a split/mixed family (my Dad had 4 kids from 3 different relationships).

After going to school in 2004 to be a Personal Support worker, I spent the following 8 1/2 years working in the field, I was good at it, but hated the politics and only being able to do the bare minimum for the people I was caring for, so when I found out I was pregnant with baby #3 and had a 5 year old, and a 6 month old at home, I went back to work in efforts of requalifying for maternity leave again…2 weeks after returning to work, they cut my hours in half which meant I had no hopes of requalifying, and now we would be paying more in daycare than I was making…so we took it as a sign, and I resigned. I worked a few days a week at a restaurant that I had started working at as a second job while pregnant with baby #2. I’ve been at the restaurant ever since, working as a server, and 4 years ago when my youngest started school full time, I asked for more hours…this is when my boss offered me a part-time manager/Community Relations Coordinator position. Great I thought, part-time server, part-time manager and Community Relations Coordinator….but what does that mean? She told me to build our social media presence, and advertising, track coupons, build relationships with neighbouring businesses etc….but wait…. I don’t have experience doing anything like that, and with little to no training or guidance I’ve managed to fake my way through….soooo during COVID lockdown, though I worked through most of it, my hours were reduced, so I had time to think, and being tired of faking it, I decided that I should look into learning more about social media and signed up to take an online course both for general interest, and professional development. This course has forced me to do a lot of self-reflection…and though I was already aware of my flaws, and weaknesses, my self-reflection has made me realize that I suck! This is difficult to accept, and even harder to do anything about…..

I graduated high school in 2000, and since have been aimlessly going through the motions of life, trying to figure out who I am. I’ve spent my entire life being terrified of failure, a people pleaser, a worrier, and procrastinator.. I don’t have any hobbies, or passions, and nothing that I’m REALLY good at. How is that possible? To some of my class mates, and friends that read my first 4 blogs (that I had to write for my first course), you would’ve heard me talk about my spouse and I starting a small scale farm and/or market garden, my love of fresh local food…especially what we grew on our own this summer, I mentioned yoga, activities with my kids, and walking my dog….here’s the thing, I’m not good at any of it. I’m faking it. I’m in love with ideas and spend most of my time thinking about what I should be doing and not actually doing it.

I live in a tiny house, that we bought as a stepping stone, when we moved back to Ontario, from British Columbia when baby #1 was 7 months old. Life, and 2 more babies happened and here we are…still same house, with more stuff, and less money. My house is a mess, I have mountains of unfolded laundry more often than I don’t, cobwebs everywhere, and dirty floors. There are piles of stuff (bills, paper…endless paper brought home from school, hair elastics etc) everywhere I look. We have food in the fridge, a roof over our head, and in the grand scheme of things, very little debt BUT, we live pay cheque to pay cheque, and we both work full-time…or close to it anyway (I’m a few hours a week short of full-time, but I work 5 days a week). Most days I’m able to look at my life and be grateful, because I love my small messy house, and everyone and everything in it, I wouldn’t trade it in for anything…I just wish we could fix it up the way we want to, and maybe add a touch more space. Other days its challenging to look around at what everyone else has, and does, and wonder how the heck they do it and what I am doing wrong. Please don’t misunderstand, I’ve got so much in my life that I LOVE and am tremendously grateful for, gratefulness is not lacking here.

Our House Photo Taken by Stephanie Reynolds

So here it is folks, the conclusion of my self reflection, I’ve got to get my shit together….I have to stop thinking and start doing. I want to find something I’m good at, something I love (aside from my family), something just for me. I want to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I have to stop fearing failure. I have to stop worrying and caring so much about what others think, I have to find small achievable goals, and tackle them one at a time. I have to try new things, starting here! I’m going to attempt to use blogging as my therapy, my accountability, and my efforts to help anyone I can, who might be feeling as sucky at life as I do. Let’s get less sucky together, one hot topic and goal at a time. Parenting, Finances, Organization, Gardening, Exercise, Social Media Apps, let’s talk, let’s find something we love, let’s have some fun and figure it out together!

My Goals For the Week:

Goal 1 – Learn more about building my blog. How do I categorize topics etc. Do I need a website for that? I don’t know but I’m going to find out.

Goal 2 – Clean off my desk and kitchen table.

Goal 3 – Spend time on 1 social media app that I haven’t used before…TikTok here I come.

Any one else in a similar boat as me? If so let’s turn my journey into our journey! Let’s do this! What are your goals for the week?

Social Media:

Facebook: 2 years from 40 – who am I? Figuring it out one goal at a time. Join me on my journey!

Twitter: 2 years from 40 – finding myself 1 goal at a time – Let’s do this! https://bit.ly/38JLuav