Back in 2007, I began providing consulting services to Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers for the development of a workplace child care program at their global headquarters location in Burnaby, British Columbia. Fast forward 7 years and it is with delight that I shared this picture on Facebook this week. The RBA Child Care Program is a great success and serves a significant number of employees and their children.
Since announcing the Conversations on Early Childhood Education & Child Care I have been receiving a number of questions about 45 Conversations Media & Education. Given that I have many conversations in Google+ Hangouts On Air; it seemed to make sense to quickly jump in one to share more about what I’m working on. In the hangout I discuss:
Talking with Maaike van Dijk-Bokkers
I first met Maaike van Dijk-Bokkers when I was the Co-Host of BusinessJazz with Roger Overall and Paul O’Mahony. She was an avid weekly listener and actively reached out through social media from The Netherlands. Over time, we developed a supportive connection and interest in one another’s work.
Last year I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet Maaike and her husband; Pieter face to face at World Domination Summit in Portland. As they were visiting both the United States and Canada for their vacation, we were fortunate to host them in our home for dinner toward the end of their trip. Maaike was pregnant at the time and so much of our discussion focused on the pending arrival of a new baby, parenting and work-life issues. It was a wonderful visit during which we laughed, learned and exchanged many thoughts and ideas.
Baby & Business = Need for Child Care
Fast forward a year later and lots of things have happened for Maaike. Most importantly, her beautiful son Ian was born and she is totally in love with being a new mum to him. In addition, she has started a new business called Inspire31. Through her business she organizes events in The Netherlands that bring in speakers from abroad to share stories, business ideas and more. It’s an exciting venture and one that requires care, attention and nurturing – much like being a new parent! So clearly Maaike’s days are filled with Ian and Inspire31. As her son grows, she is beginning to have him cared for outside of the home a few days per week. She is also starting to think about what she wants for him as he moves toward his preschool years.
I was really pleased that Maaike agreed to join me for a #45Conversations Hangout about child care, business & life. Our discussion was a great one and she shared a lot of information about what it’s like for new parents and families to live and work in The Netherlands.
My good friend @Omaniblog reminded me the other day that sometimes we just need to do things other than "work".
A few days after listening to his story about taking the morning off work, I was inspired to shift my day around too.
So instead of making my usual morning tea and heading to my desk, I jumped in the car with Adam and we headed to Granville Island in Vancouver. We sat in the farmer's market and chatted about all kinds of things. People, cars, bridges, history and sushi. It was relaxing, entertaining and joyful.
Shortly after our market adventure, Adam and I headed over for a walk close to the beach. It was a crazy windy day. We enjoyed walking in all of that wind. We even saw a sailboat that had become totally loose in the water due to the wind.
After all that walking and wind we needed to warm up. We managed to find some shelter at a local museum. Adam loved it and explored lots of new things.
These adventures took about four hours and we had an amazing time. Adam is still talking about it days later.
Here's the thing: work-life balance is a myth. Instead, I believe in living, laughing and earning – with generosity AND intention.
On this day, I practiced what I believe. I walked my talk.
I intend to do it more and more.
Make Time to Care About Kids & Families
My kids and family mean everything to me. @BobHCC and I are kept pretty busy raising raising three exceptional individuals who are actively learning the art of unconventional thinking. I'm also the proud step mom of two strong and capable adult step daughters. Plus my mom and dad are each 79 years old. We have a busy, crazy and hectic life – but we do our very best to keep our family connections strong. It takes effort, yet we are always working on it – because it matters.
I believe that other people's kids matter a lot too – I've dedicated much of my career to creating services that support children and families. One child at a time ~ one family at a time; there is much difference that can be made in the world.
Remember this ~ All kids and families matter ~ locally & globally.
Does Your Smartphone Build or Kill Your Connections?
This is a question I ponder every now and then. I’m a person who strongly believes in the magic of online connection building. I write about it often and share lots of personal stories about the many ways that I use technology to nurture relationship and grow personal and business opportunities. I thrive when given opportunities to be socially creative and connected.
Despite all the greatness of building these online connections, every now and then I worry that I’m somehow messing with my personal, face to face relationships in ways that I don’t yet quite understand. I wonder what it means for my kids and other people’s kids too. I worry that my family doesn’t connect enough. I consider if too many of us are confusing “being present” with “sharing” the moments that matter the most ~ with virtual strangers. To me the lines are grey and the water’s murky when it comes to all of this; so I find that I’m contemplating more and more about the impact of all this social connection.
This video which features Charlene deGuzman came out about a week ago. It’s called I Forgot My Phone and it has already had millions and millions of views. Clearly, it’s struck a chord with people. Smartphones are amazing; no doubt about it. However are we using them in ways that compromise our personal connections? Are they endangering our relationships?
Nick Bilton wrote a good post on the New York Times Blog about the video. One of the quotes that stood out to me was this one:
Ms. deGuzman’s video may have landed at one of those cultural moments when people start questioning if something has gone too far and start doing something about it.
I think Nick is right, more and more I’m hearing questions and conversations such as this. People are increasingly wondering where the line is. The dinner table has lost out to technology. Bedrooms are no longer personal spaces. A staggering number of people are within arms reach of their smartphone 24/7. Children compete with technology for undivided attention from their parents. Many spouses and partners are connecting more online than in real time. Kids are learning to make social connections before face to face friendships. All of this is concerning; yet increasingly the norm. This is indeed a worry.
Remember to “Look Up”
Yes, building connections matters. People matter – no matter how you are connected with them. Just remember that in this increasing age of social connection building, it’s essential that you also nurture your real world family and friends too. Face to face interaction is critical. Being present is important. It’s essential that you look up from your smartphone when your walking around in your community and talking to people. We all need to serve as role models for those who don’t yet understand this.
Make sure that you frequently put your smartphone down long enough to be truly present with the people that matter the most to you.
It's Okay to Colour Outside the Lines…Really!!
I tend to push limits, ask hard questions and find/create solutions that are outside of traditional systems and typical expectations. I'm a misfit for sure. Increasingly, I'm practicing a life of non conformity. This means that I colour inside the lines as little as possible – in my business and in my life. Truth be told – I strive to get way outside the lines as often as possible.
Conformity, systems and rules are highly over rated. Chase Jarvis gave an amazing talk on creativity at World Domination Summit in Portland in July. It reminded me about how much it matters to get way outside the lines – in work and in life.
Now of course, there are moments and reasons to respect rules, systems and lines; however the more you can get away from them – for the right reasons – the better your life will be. I promise.
Are you colouring within the lines too often?
What Creates Success In Work & Life?
Years ago I was focused on finding balance. Now, I think work-life balance is actually a bit of a myth. Work is part of life. I love my work; in fact – it's a hugely integral part of my life. I believe the key to success, in all aspects of life, is practising intention.
Every day, I'm on a journey toward living, laughing & earning with 100% intention and generosity. I do my very best when I work with people and organizations that value the importance of intention and generosity.