Upon opening a business, you learn many valuable lessons; some the hard way, some through experience and some you are taught by others throughout your journey. My biggest take away to date is the importance of community and connection. Being from a small town, people generally have a love-hate relationship with the constant chain of connection: everyone-knows-everyone. Although this can be frustrating when you just want to run to the grocery store in your sweat pants without seeing anyone – it is very valuable as a business owner. You never know how someone you meet can later help you along the way.
It’s a pleasure to be highlighted by KYP and I must say that while I’ve been in Kingston for a short time, I am so proud to call this fun, creative, and historic town my home. I am through and through an Eastern Ontario boy. I was born and raised in Cornwall Ontario to two amazing parents and had a pretty standard upbringing. I had a pretty nerdy youth, as embodied by me enrolling in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. This made a huge impact on my development teaching me that service is at the core of leadership and that in order to make an impact you should focus on the individual. Following graduation from Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School I decided to move to Ottawa to pursue a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management at Carleton University. I then lived in Ottawa until 2018 when I moved to Kingston to pursue a Master of Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Queen’s University.
My career/Yoga journey
While I currently work as a yoga teacher here in Kingston, I’ve had a career path full of zigs and zags. From sales at Apple Inc, to being political staff at the Parliament of Canada, to co-founding RockGarden Medicinals Inc, my professional experience is diverse, dynamic, and inter-disciplinary. The basis of my professional development has always been predicated on two factors: the value I can provide to the organization and the value of the learning opportunity for me. By focusing on these two variables I strive for synergetic win-win opportunities between myself and the organization. My path to becoming a yoga teacher has been one of self-discovery. I found yoga by accident when a group of friends encouraged me to join a gym after a period of self-neglect. We were planning on lifting weights but ended up attending a yoga class. That class launched a beautiful yogic journey that has culminated in becoming a teacher at Samatva Yoga here in Kingston. My daily practice has taught me that we must always play with our boundaries yet be mindful not to push ourselves into a position of pain. Aim for balance.
Social Media Insights:
Authenticity is the foundation of social media success. As the communications coordinator for Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, I made a focus to push out video content. I found video was a great way of letting his kind and empathetic personality shine through while allowing him to directly speak to his community. In doing so, I found protecting time in his schedule to create content while planning the shoot, messaging, and tone ahead of time as integral steps in making content that performed well. While working for Mr. Longfield I grew his Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter following by 300%.
The best advice that I’ve ever gotten is that your mindset frames the outcome. I’ve found that in order to drive collaboration and build strong teams it is imperative to share a positive and empathetic outlook while encouraging everyone to do the same. Sometimes when I’m about to go into an important interview, meeting, or presentation I reserve a few minutes to quite my mind. I find a quiet spot, repeat a mantra of “I got this, I have the skills, I will succeed” in my mind, and follow my breath. This always souths self-doubt, boosts my confidence, and allows me to perform at my true potential.
I find the best part of being in my 20s is that it is a great time to explore new things and to follow my passions. It’s a great time to fail, learn from it, and move on to something new! Don’t be afraid to do something new.
The most common mistake I have while networking is forgetting names. I always try to anchor the person’s name to someone who I already know with the same name.
“May your reach exceed your grasp, or for what’s a heaven’s for?”