Episode 13

Original Gangster with Linda Lundström | LAYC13

From earliest childhood, Linda observed people and the environment around her with deep respect for beauty and sustainability. The little girl who grew up in a remote mining community in Canada went on to become an international model, designer and fashion icon, celebrated leader, and instigator for positive change.

The purchase of a Linda Lundström “LaParka” was a reward for achievement of goals that I and many Baby Boomer femmepreneurs prioritized as a milestone. Linda was more than a fashion brand for us, she was a role model as a businesswoman and passionate leader, champion for vulnerable populations and conservationist.

Linda is the essence of Lift As You Climb and at age 70, she continues to set standards to follow about embracing change, writing a new script, and starring in the next stage of your life!

In this episode, we explore how we learned and reinforced the values of gratitude and helping others. We share our thoughts on the joys of lifelong learning and being open to teachers from all generations, even our own children.

About our Guest:

An award-winning designer, entrepreneur and social activist with a prolific career, spanning decades in the fashion industry. Linda's iconic outerwear designs are featured in both Canadian museums and wardrobes across the world. Her deep industry connections, search for innovative materials and manufacturing know-how allow her to seamlessly fuse fashion with the latest technology. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including three honorary PhDs, recipient of the Order of Ontario and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.  She is recognized as a champion of First Nations awareness and ethical manufacturing practices and proud to use the label ‘Made in Canada’.

Founder, Partner and #OriginalGangster; 

https://thermakota.com/

https://www.instagram.com/thermakota/

https://www.facebook.com/thermakota

http://www.sewingcircle.org/

Linda’s favorite red lipstick color is Shannen from https://www.cheekbonebeauty.com

Special mention: One Red Lipstick Project by Spenser Chapple

About the Host:

Isabel Banerjee - Your Next Business

Strategist and Transformation Catalyst

 

Dynamic, a self-made entrepreneur who overcame obstacles with

an unrelenting positive nature, a farm girl work ethic and a

conscious choice to thrive rather than survive, Isabel Alexander

Banerjee cultivated an award-winning, $10 million+ global

chemical wholesale business and grew it from dining room table

to international boardrooms.

 

Isabel’s strengths include the ability to initiate & nurture strategic

relationships, a love of lifelong learning and talents for helping

others maximize their potential. An inspiring speaker within both

industry and community, she is a driving force behind those with

the courage to follow her example of thriving against the odds.

With 50+ years of business experience across diverse industries,

Isabel is respected as an advisor, a coach, a mentor and a role

model. She believes in sharing collective wisdom and empowering

others to economic independence.

 

Founder of the Lift As You Climb Movement (www.facebook.com/groups/liftasyouclimbmovement)

and

Chief Encore Officer, The Encore Catalyst (www.theencorecatalyst.com) – an accelerator for feminine wisdom, influence, and impact.

also

Author & Speaker ‘Who Am I Now? – Feminine Wisdom Unmasked Uncensored’ (www.IsabelBanerjee.com)

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/isabelalexanderbanerjee/

 

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If you have questions about this episode, please send me an email at Hello@TheEncoreCatalyst.com

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Transcript
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Welcome everyone!

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This is an exciting day, indeed, on the Lift As You Climb podcast, because

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I have this special pleasure, the great joy of spending some time with

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a friend of mine, an inspiration.

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Hmm.

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She just rocks it in all the areas.

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And her name is Linda Lundstrom.

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Linda Lundstrom is coming in from her studio in Ontario, Canada, and

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very much a global city girl, who now thrives, planted in the country.

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And I am just like giddy, giddy at the prospect of what we're

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going to talk about today.

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Linda.

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I couldn't think of anybody better to start off my podcast as a guest.

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That, I really relate to on so many levels in terms of your journey as an

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entrepreneur, the ups and the downs, the changes, the fact that you grew up, in a

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remote or rural area, I grew up on a farm.

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We are both, reaching for our seventh decade and we continue to

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reinvent and transform and change.

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And...

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There are no limits on us.

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And I, I so love that.

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Thank you for coming today because I know that your stories, your

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experience, your wisdom are going to do a lot to lift so many other women

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in ways that they have no idea yet.

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So,

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Hey, are you born on a farm?

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I was, I was raised on a farm in Western Quebec.

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Wow.

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Okay.

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So I wasn't raised on a farm.

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I was raised in the bush.

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I think you knew this.

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Up in Ontario, in a gold mining community, the hamlet where I was

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born, had about 30 people living in it.

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And then we moved to a bigger town of 250 people, where there was another gold mine.

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And my Dad was a miner, and we grew up, I grew up, in the bush.

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My Dad was in miner also.

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Really?

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He was the superintendent of the equipment, the maintenance,

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for an open pit iron ore mine.

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Oh my gosh.

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So yes, trucks like Euclids and men that were, hardworking and, um,

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hard...loud...living,, and the struggles, to deal with mother nature and the

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environment, and to coexist around that.

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And also to reap the bounty of the wilderness and nature all around

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us and, fishing, eating Pickerel all year round and, moose, meat,

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deer, meat, and ducks and geese.

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And I mean, we lived off the land for the most part, and it was always

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a big treat when my mom went to the store and bought a roast beef every

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couple of months or something like that, when we ran out of moose meat.

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Yeah, I credit my, having grown up on a farm, with a lot of my

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strengths and my values to this day.

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In fact, I, wouldn't, I don't think have, turned out very well as that

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single teen mom, if I didn't have all of those anchors of work ethic

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and resiliency that you have to.

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If you're living off the land.

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Well, I know because of when we were talking before, we

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started the interview...

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That you, tapped some Birch trees this year, and you've

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been drinking Birch water.

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I, grew up collecting maple sap and carrying the firewood for my Grandfather

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to make maple syrup every spring.

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Wow.

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I started late this year.

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Next year, I'm going to start with the Maple trees, cause they start

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running earlier than the Birch trees, but I'm not going to boil it down.

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I'm just going to drink the sap because it's crystal clear.

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It's delicious.

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It tastes like the best water you've ever had your whole life.

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I had so much fun doing it.

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So my first time and I must've collected about, I'm going to say 20 gallons.

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I had, three trees.

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I was tapping, and as fast as I could go and put the empty bottle there, the one

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I put there, that previously was full...

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Anyway, it was so much fun, and so satisfying and so delicious.

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And it's a great way apparently, to detoxify your body after the long winter.

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It's all about getting something for nothing from the bounty...

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shit.

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And in keeping with your theme of this podcast Lift As You Climb and

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reinventing yourself, is that...

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Being resourceful is also something that you learn growing up in a small town.

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Right?

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Can't just pick up the phone and call somebody and say, you know,

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I'd like you to deliver this...

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But there was no phone book, there was no Yellow Pages.

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There wasn't anything...

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You had to figure it out yourself.

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So fixing machinery, things like, jerry-rigging something to make it work

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when you didn't have the right part.

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All of those things...

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And also the principle of waste not want not.

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Were principles that I've applied to my career and my business, even to this day.

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Isn't it interesting how the roots of our life come full circle.

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Which is a good thing, because from those prior experiences, Our roots...

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We are able to bring it into today, Right?

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To work.

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I think about when you were talking about waste not want not.

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My Father had seven Sisters, I had an unlimited supply of hand-me-downs, I

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thought that was a terrible hardship as a child, That I had to wear

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somebody else's clothes all the time...

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Because the girls in town had new clothes from the Sears catalog.

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But today, how in vogue it is, to have vintage, and to go to

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a consignment designers shop.

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Right?

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So there we were, we were pioneers Linda we're pioneers!

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I just want to say something for those that are enjoying this podcast...

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and I, and I hope you are enjoying it as much as we are.

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You can also see us on YouTube a little later, if you want to just

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see how gosh darn beautiful Linda is, she's framed in her studio, where

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she actually creates and designs.

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And I'll have her tell you more about that later...

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but out through the window...

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I'm seeing these incredible...They're Cedars...Right?

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They're, Cedars, you know what Isabel?

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The Cedars were taking over the property.

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They were planted by the previous owners.

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So around the same time that I, taught myself how to make a teepee...

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Why was I making a teepee?

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Well, because I was asked by First Nations community, I was working with them...

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The Sewing Circle Project.

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They wanted to make a teepee with the fabric that I had sourced for them...

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and I thought...

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Well, I'm going to have to figure out how to make this teepee, so I

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made a teepee here in my studio, and I thinned out my Cedar grove...

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Those Cedar trees, grow absolutely straight.

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And, they're skinny at the bottom.

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I have 17 of those skinned Cedar poles they're Eastern White Cedar, in my

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driveway, so that I could put up a teepee.

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If I need to...

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if I get an order for another.

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Now, I only make teepees for Indigenous people, Because that's an

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appropriation of the Anishinaabe culture.

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But several Indigenous groups have asked me to show them how to make it.

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And so, there's a story behind those trees.

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And it's all part of the sustainability that we know is vital, not only

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for humans, but for the planet.

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And all of the bounty that we would get to enjoy.

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I want to say right up front...

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I'm going to invite you back, for another episode, where we just talk about the

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Sewing Circle, because I think it's an amazing project and I know it's been

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on a hiatus because of the pandemic.

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I'd love to share, what you created because...

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I'm so passionate about bringing people together in a community, where they

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lift each other up, and that's part of what you did with the sewing circle.

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So stay tuned, everyone subscribe to the podcast, so that you

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don't miss that conversation, with Linda and I in the future.

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Just to tell your audience what's coming out.

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The Sewing Circle Project is the realization of the vision that I had

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after growing up in the Northwestern part of Ontario, where 75% of

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the population was Indigenous.

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It instilled in me, a feeling of responsibility to make a difference in

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any way that I could to the injustices and, marginalization of indigenous people,

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especially in remote Northern communities.

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I created the Sewing Circle Project in order to create some economic

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activity and learning, and to be a contact person for these communities.

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And it's been very, very fulfilling.

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So I look forward to talking to you about that.

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I will include the information in the show notes so that people can get engaged now.

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And then, be ready when you're ready to open up again for that.

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So today, what I'd love to explore with you is that...

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part of my journey has been developing the Encore model for myself, to

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help me figure out "Who I Am Now"...

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You and I first met, when I thought I was very, very secure in my identity.

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I was the CEO of my business.

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You were the CEO of your business.

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We were, kind of thinking, we were the legends in our own minds.

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Right?

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Yeah.

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And then as the shirt said...

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We're crushing it!

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We were!

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We were crushing it and we still are!

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We're just crushing different rocks now.

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Right?

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And so this whole realization for me, that there are millions and

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millions of us baby boomer women.

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Who have this opportunity now, are on the precipice of great change, by choice.

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Not always in our lifetime, was it our choice, what we were doing,

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where we were doing, and sometimes not even who we were doing it with.

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Right?

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Society had a script for us...

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family, parents, teachers, even just circumstances when you had a job and

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you were making enough money to, pay the bills, you were less inclined

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in our generation to let that go, and take a leap on something else.

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Right?

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But now, we have a choice, We have a choice to go.

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Hmm.

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Who am I now?...

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With all of who I have been and the lifetime accumulation of tacit

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knowledge and skills and experience...

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Who do I want to become next?

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And you're like...

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Kudos...

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You've already had some iterations of that.

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And you're onto a rocking one right now.

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Which is a segue to...

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Linda...

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What do you do in that studio and how did that happen?

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Well, I have my own company for 35 years.

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And it started in a two bedroom apartment...

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And it grew to occupy 60,000 square feet, with 150 employees, and 400

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retail customers throughout North America and a state-of-the-art lean

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manufacturing facility in Toronto.

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Everything was made in Canada.

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I was...

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And that's around the time you and I met...

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I was rocking and rolling with that company.

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Yup.

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You were very well known on the scene.

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North America, Europe beyond.

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Yeah.

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And...

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When I look back on that time now, I realize that person

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that you met, back then...

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When I look back on her now, I didn't really like her that much.

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I had a reputation for being tough.

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I had a reputation for being driven.

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And I was...

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but deep down inside...

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I was driven.

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Yes, but I wasn't driven by some of the things I think

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people assumed I was driven by.

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I didn't like having to be tough, but I felt like I had to be tough in

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order to not be taken advantage of.

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Even though I was trying to be so tough, there were lots of times when

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I was taken advantage of, but think I really paid a price personally for that

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success and I don't regret any of it.

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I'm really glad that I experienced that.

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But what I realized is that it wasn't at the core of what made me feel satisfied.

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In 2008, I sold the company under duress.

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It was the beginning of the world financial crisis.

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We had a big setback in the business at that time.

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And I decided that I just didn't want to be that person anymore.

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I didn't want to have to fight anymore.

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I didn't want to have to be tough anymore.

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It was exhausting.

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So we sold the company and we ended up having to declare bankruptcy

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personally, in order to try and pay off everything that we did.

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So we, lost our home, our personal savings were mostly obliterated.

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And...

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we moved to our cottage and our cottage at that time is where I am right now.

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But it wasn't this house...

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it was a little...

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I don't know if you were ever there when it was still the cabin?

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I was absolutely.

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One of the best SOMETHING meal I've ever had was on a very

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rickety deck off that cottage.

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And I still remember that, that experience.

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Yeah.

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My husband said...

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said...

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We're going to move to the cottage!

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He said, we're going to freeze to death!

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I said...

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Why don't we try it and see, and there's a hotel down the road.

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We can always check in there if we get too cold.

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Well, four winters later, We got the approval to build this house.

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But we made it through four winters.

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In an uninsulated cabin with a woodstove.

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All of our belongings in storage...

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and my husband and I made it through.

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And we look back on that time as some of the happiest years of our marriage.

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Because...

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We had each other...

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We were in a beautiful place...

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We were in a rickety cabin, but Hey...

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Who cares?

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And we got the permit to build this house.

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In the meantime, I rented a construction trailer.

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You know...

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The kind of construction trailer they would have at those mine sites where your

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Dad worked...(Right) in the driveway.

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The reason I'm telling you this is because, that construction trailer,

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which was 10 feet wide by 32 feet long.

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Contained all the things I needed to start a business.

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And the whole thing costs me $5,000.

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So, I started up a business in a construction trailer, with a

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sewing machine that I've had since I started my company in 1974.

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I left my company with these scissors and that Judy right there...

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that's about all I took with me.

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So I had to order thread.

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I had to order fabric.

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I had to order, plywood (banging) I made this table that you see right

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here, built it in the trailer.

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And, had to basically start up again from zero.

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When we built this house.

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I said, I want to have my studio on the top floor of this house, so

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our living quarters are down below.

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And what you see here...

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is basically what was in the trailer.

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The same sewing machine.

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I've added another two sewing machines, But I'm operating out of

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this studio, where I'm looking out at a beautiful Lake in a Cedar forest.

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I tried a number of different things, but I thought, well, what am I going to do?

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And so.

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I tried teaching at George Brown College.

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And I loved teaching.

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I loved, interacting with the students, but I hated doing the marking.

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I hated the drive in, and I hated the bureaucracy of being a part-time

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Professor and all the technical aspects.

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So I did it for a couple of years, and then I decided...

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No, I want to do something else.

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In 2000, that's when I came up with the Sewing Circle Project,

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and I thought, you know what?

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I want to use this opportunity to share my knowledge with First

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Nations communities, up North.

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In 2016, my eldest daughter approached me with a job offer.

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That has led to, what is now happening in this studio space, which is a

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collection, an online company called Therma Kota, that we are making,

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selling directly to consumer outerwear.

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A principle of the company is waste not, want not.

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So right back to growing up in the bush...

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my Mom saved all the fat from all the bacon, and all the meat and everything...

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Saved all the fat and we made our own soap.

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My Dad made his own beer, my Mom made her own root beer and potato chips.

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We made everything from scratch...

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And so, waste not, want not, is a principle of this company.

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I design everything here.

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I make the patterns here, and then I have people that come in

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and help me with the production.

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Sometimes, I have to go, outside of the studio for production help,

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but it's still all made in Canada.

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So let me just put this in perspective for everybody.

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At the age of about 65, you started another business.

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(Yes) You started a business now with your two daughters.

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That business, I know from personal experience, has

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reached great success already.

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In a short period of time, four years, you've got an international presence.

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You're becoming known as the bespoke fashion designer of outerwear, and

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filling a niche in the marketplace.

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Which is so cool.

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And I see you smiling wider and brighter, then those days when

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you were like on the stage, right?

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(Yeah) You were recognized you received the Queens Jubilee Award.

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And...

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I was very blessed, I was recipient of a number of business

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awards, humanitarian awards.

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It was, wonderful, but you know, the imposter syndrome, is a big

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part of that too, because I always felt I had something to prove...

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You know?

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Yeah.

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I don't mean to take away from, either one of us.

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That was a time really?

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That was very great for both of us growing.

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Right?

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But maybe our...

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metrics?

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Are different today about what success is.

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Yes.

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And I wanted to point that out...

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When you said that Therma Kota is very successful and it's grown like crazy.

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I must remind everyone...

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That it is a small company.

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Linda Lundstrom Inc.

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was a much larger company...

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We were in multi-million dollar revenues, eight figures.

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We were selling all over North America, and we had 150 employees

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and three of our own flagship stores.

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And it was big.

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Today, the company is small, but we still have a global reach,

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because we're selling online.

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My Daughter Moshe said it perfectly in our last interview with you, and she said...

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Being small helps you think bigger.

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Right.

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Growing, at all costs, is not necessarily a good business strategy.

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It can be very profitable as a smaller company.

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There's a point at which the money that it takes to grow quickly, exponentially, is

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sometimes better just left in the company.

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( Right) Growing slowly is really more relaxing.

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It's more fun.

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It's less stressful because I know what growing rapidly feels like.

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I just want everybody to know that because we consider Therma Kota very successful.

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How do we measure that success?

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Well, are we profitable?

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Yes, we're profitable.

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Is it fun?

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Yeah.

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It's fun.

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I'm working with my daughters, which is fabulous.

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I'm able to do everything from here, I don't have to travel.

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And this is pre-COVID pandemic.

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We were working remotely with each other.

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The three of us...

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Moshe from Miami or New York, where she was living at the time, Sophie from

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Ireland, where she's married to a lovely Irishman, and me here, in Ontario, we

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managed to run the company together.

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So our standards for what success is...

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are totally different, than what they were, when I had my manufacturing company.

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That is so important to make clear, and reinforce, that starting a

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business doesn't mean that success is..

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. How many zeros are on the revenue line, or how many employees,

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or how big the bank loan is.

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It's about the personal rewards and satisfaction, then the freedom

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to create the products and work with the people you want to.

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We don't have a bank loan.

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I really love that because, when we had our difficulties back in 2008, it was

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the bank, that ended up out of business.

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I said, I didn't want to have a bank loan...

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We're completely self-financed.

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We've invested sweat equity, to get the company to profitability.

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It's taken three years, and that's okay, because we're having fun.

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Excellent.

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I think the other wonderful uniqueness in this opportunity talk with you is...

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That you've created this web of younger generations.

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I know, because you and your daughters, we're gracious to

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record an interview with me on the Global Serial Entrepreneurs Summit.

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I know a little bit of the background, but I'd love you to talk about it a

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bit more for our podcast audience.

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Well, my eldest daughter Moshe, when I was a younger Mother

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and my kids were little...

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Being part of the fashion business, I knew that there was a lot of smoke and mirrors.

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There was a lot of toxicity in the whole fashion world.

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There was an unrealistic expectation put on women to be tall and skinny.

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Models that were not tall and skinny, didn't get any work.

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I railed against that.

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I was a real renegade in the fashion business, because I

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accused all the fashion magazines of perpetuating a big lie.

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My slogan for my company was...

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For authentic women everywhere, real lives, real bodies, real beauty.

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And so, I celebrated women from size 2 to size 24, and we made

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a complete size range of...

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I think that's 12 sizes.

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A lot of skews, and became known for really championing all women of all

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sizes at the same price, by the way.

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So, I forbid fashion magazines from being in my company or in my home.

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By that time I had my second daughter and I forbid fashion magazines from

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coming into my home and I canceled all my subscriptions in the company.

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Well guess what, Moshe would save up her allowance, or somehow trick

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my husband into buying a fashion magazine at the corner store.

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And hide them under her bed, so she was reading fashion

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magazines from the time she could.

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While you were boycotting them because of...

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I was trying to protect her from what I called the big lie.

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Moshe went on to have a career in fashion, journalism.

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She was a fashion news editor for Flare Magazine, the youngest

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person ever to have that position.

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I think she got that position at the age of 22 or something.

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And she won out over dozens of applicants for that job.

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Then she went on to New York to work for Women's Wear Daily and Lord.

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She had a whole career as a Fashion Director Journalist and she was

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traveling to all the fashion weeks...

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All over the world.

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Milan Paris, London, New York...

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and in 2016...

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She came to me and she said, Mom...

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I've just come back from Milan and all the fashion weeks...

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There's something missing in the market, and I think we can provide it...

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and I think you're the designer that's going to do it.

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Okay.

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What is it?

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She said, beautiful, glamorous, gorgeous outerwear, that keeps you warm.

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There was lots of outerwear that keeps you warm, but it looked like

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you were on an Arctic expedition.

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And if you're out walking your dog, or if you're out on an

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Arctic expedition, you go crazy.

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You have lots to choose from out there in the market.

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The coats that are really gorgeous, they don't repel water,

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and they're not warm enough.

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So that's what we started out to do, was to fill that white

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space in the marketplace.

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It's not a huge market.

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But there was a market there.

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We felt that we could do it better than anybody.

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so we started with one style and it was reversible.

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So it was this fabric on one side and solid black on the other side.

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So that you could reverse it, and looked like you had a completely brand new coat

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We put a lot of thought into the design of that one, and that's how we started

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the company in 2016, that one style.

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And then we just expanded and by trial and error, if it sold, we

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made more, and if it didn't sell, we retire it, and try something else.

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And we just kept going until we found the right combination of styling that

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began to really resonate with Women all over and we've shipped to Europe

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and we've shipped to the States.

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So that's what's happened with Therma Kota, is that my Daughter,

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who was really soaring in her career, lifted me up, and said...

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Mom, I have a job for you.

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I love your Lift As You Climb Movement.

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I think it's brilliant.

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I just want everyone to understand, that sometimes it's the younger

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people who are lifting us up.

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Three years later, we now have a company that's doing six figures.

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I want to highlight what you've just said, Lift As You Climb,

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isn't a one-way staircase.

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It's a reciprocity and reciprocity happens where you choose it to be...

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and it can be a lateral relationship, it can be a multi-generational.

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Lift As You Climb encompasses diversity and inclusion in all

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aspects, because we can learn from anybody that we are open to.

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And we can...

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as we're building our own success ladders, creating ladders for other people.

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Yay!!!

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Love that you have that universal vision?...

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for who you work with, and who you learn from, who you give back to.

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Moshe hired me to be the designer, and then she got Sophie involved

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because Sophie is a brilliant graphic designer/visual communicator.

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She's also a wonderful model, gorgeous, tall, and photographs beautifully.

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Sophie is our webmaster, has got all the mechanics of how the ordering process

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takes place and the design of the website, and the visuals, and all that.

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So we each have our own lanes that we're in, that are complimenting each other...

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and the fact that there's three of us, not four of us, means that if we get to

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a point where we have to make a decision on something, the majority rules!

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Right?

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You don't have a stalemate, you're not deadlocked because

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you have an even number.

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Have there been other younger people that have been an influence in your

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philosophy for Lift As You Climb?

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Yeah.

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You know, you got me thinking about this.

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And I realized there were so many young people that have...

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it sounds weird, but they've taken me under their wing.

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Because I think if you can just admit that you don't know

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something, people love to help.

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I'm thinking of one young man who joined my company as a student

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intern, on a co-op program and he was a newcomer to the country.

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Had a very good education from his home country, but needed to

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requalify to go back to school.

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So he was at one of the community colleges for a work study or an internship.

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And, he was very curious, and he started poking his nose in

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to areas that interested him.

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And one of my most senior managers.

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Really took exception to his curiosity.

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He came to me one day and he said, is that person my boss?

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And I said, No, I'm your boss.

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And he said, Do you mind if I ask questions that make her seem upset?

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And I said, No...

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You go right ahead.

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Well, it turns out that Manager was actually stealing from me.

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He, with his curiosity and his enthusiasm for learning, helped uncover

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this treachery that was going on.

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And to this day...

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he is now gone on...

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I ended up hiring him, after he finished his school.

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I actually ended up hiring him to take her job.

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So interesting when you're open to the possibility of perspective from

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other people, really it lifts us and expands our own capabilities.

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So that was just one...

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I've got so many others.

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When you got me thinking about this, I realized that I had so many

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times when young people have...

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maybe it's just because I look so incompetent...

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but there've been many, many occasions even here in this studio where people

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have come by, and they've added something.

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The key here is to just get off your high horse.

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Yes.

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We've got all kinds of awards.

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Yes.

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We've got all kinds of business accomplishments, but this is a different

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world that we live in right now.

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And we don't know everything.

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Being humble enough to say, I don't know what the hell I'm doing, and to

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ask for help, and to allow younger people to help us is turning that whole

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mentoring thing on its head, because I feel they're mentoring me in many cases.

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I have experienced exactly what you're talking about.

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As somebody who's committed to mentoring as part of my pay it forward and

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backwards philosophy, each and every time in a mentoring relationship.

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Part of it happens naturally when you're teaching you go...

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Huh?

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Yeah.

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I needed a reminder on that didn't I and also...

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We can't possibly know everything.

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Doesn't matter how old and wise we may be, according to our Bios and our Birth

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Certificates, but the effect is that...

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everything's the same, but everything's changing at the same time.

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You and I talked a little bit, about a book?

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A young woman...

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oh yeah.

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This is another case of a younger person lifting me up.

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So there's this young woman, called Spencer Chapel, who began this project

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called The One Red Lipstick Project.

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She wrote this book in which she interviewed entrepreneurs.

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And one of the entrepreneurs was her Mother, who had a very

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interesting story to tell.

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And she interviewed...

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How many of us?...

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I'm in here!

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I would say there's probably about a dozen or so women that she interviewed.

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Her whole message was...

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We get up, we put on our red lipstick and we go out and we tackle

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whatever challenges lay ahead of us.

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This is a wonderful message for me because when I moved here to the cabin, and I

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thought I'd lost my identity because I didn't have that big company anymore...

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and who was I?

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I got up every morning and I put on my red lipstick and I don't

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know, it just does something.

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I couldn't agree more.

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That is one of my motivators.

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I say, get up, dress up and show up every day!

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Even when you don't know what exactly to do.

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Even when you are feeling less than...

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Superwoman...

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When imposter syndrome is.

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Yappin' in your ear...

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right?

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Still, if you dress up, show up, every day, eventually....

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Be open to the other people around us...

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with their ideas, their influence...

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And you just never know what's going to happen.

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And by the way...

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The choice of lipsticks very important..

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Because I'm going to be turning 70 on Saturday, I think I told you that.

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I used to be able to wear any kind of lipstick, but as I got older, it would

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go into those little lines right here.

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So I'd start off with the lipstick.

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And the next thing you know, it had antlers.

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There is a lipstick, that I want to recommend to everybody.

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It's by a company that's owned by an Indigenous Woman and

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it's called Cheekbone Beauty.

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So happy ladies.

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You've heard it here.

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We have got feminine wisdom

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Jen Harper started this company, because she wanted it to be a fundraising

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vehicle, to help indigenous youth.

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So a portion of her revenue goes to that purpose.

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She has the most wonderful red colors and they're not the kind that makes

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your lips feel really parched and dry.

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Well, Jen Harper's Cheekbone Beauty, doesn't do that.

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It feels soft on your lips, and it doesn't migrate up those lines.

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This has got to be a to be continued.

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In fact, we could just do a whole series.

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On what you and I have learned in the last what's it been like 15 years...

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a lot of stuff.

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Right?

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And to think of what we are going to do in the next 10, 20, 30, 40, or more years.

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The cover of the book you held up said, we all need a role model.

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And if we aren't getting up, dressing up, and showing up, as the

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role model for ourselves, and the generations below us, and around us.

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Then I don't think that we're doing our job.

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Our responsibility as the human doings of the planet.

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I look forward to you being available to talk again soon, but before we wrap up,

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I'd love to know if there's something, cause there's a lot...

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you even have your own Wikipedia page, which was very exciting for me.

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I discovered that this morning when I was...

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(I do?) You do!...

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Pretty cool too...

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I'll put that in the show notes as well.

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God, I hope it's accurate.

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I should probably check...

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From what I know about you.

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I believe it is...

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always good to know what is being said about you out there.

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Although, it doesn't really matter, because it's you just show up in your

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absolute essence, every day anyway,

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Is there something that listeners might be surprised to know about you, that

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they wouldn't necessarily find on Google?

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Oh my gosh...

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just one thing?

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Okay...

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I'm a long distance swimmer, I live on a Lake and Saturday's

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my birthday, April 24th...

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I'm going to be jumping in the lake for the first time this year...

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it's really cold.

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Each time I jump in I'm going to swim out a little bit further

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and a little bit further.

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And so by, I would say by the May 24th long weekend.

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I'll be swimming over a kilometer every day.

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I swim, I go for 45 minutes at a time.

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I was a lifeguard when I was growing up in the bush, we had, swimming

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lessons in the Summer and I became a lifeguard and swimming instructor.

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Swimming is the most healing, healthy thing, I do for myself.

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Now in the Winter, when I can't swim, I have to find other ways to keep fit.

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But in the Summer, that's just, that's my thing.

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The other thing is that I have two wonderful daughters and I think

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those two young women are my greatest accomplishments, because of the

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people that they've turned into.

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I've tried to protect my girls from the public, when they were growing up.

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I didn't talk about them at all.

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And now...

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I'm, just so terribly proud of them.

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Sophie who lives in Ireland has been.

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very generous in sharing with me what she's learned as she's

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growing into this fantastic Woman.

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And one of the things she keeps reminding me of is Mom...

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Remember to have fun.

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Remember to breathe.

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And you're only one swim away from a good mood.

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Oh, now there's a T-Shirt!

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Before I let you go...

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For those who have checked us out on YouTube to see what Linda's wearing

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is on my, must have next list...

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the apron from Therma Kota, that you designed.

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Well, what's underneath that apron today?

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Okay.

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So I get up, I put on my red lipstick and I put on my apron, no matter what.

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And I take this apron off when I go to bed at night.

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So I, make dinner in it.

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I work at it all day because I work at a table and your clothes

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get dirty and worn out here.

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And even though we're in a pandemic, you don't want your sweat suit, to

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get dirty when you're making dinner.

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So I put on my apron.

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And today I put it over, Oh my God, I'm not wearing a bra I haven't

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worn a bra since the pandemic started, but this is another part

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of, working with younger people.

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So when we were trying to figure out for Therma Kota, what my title was going

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to be, I thought, okay, I'm going to be maybe product development, whatever...

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and Moshe said to me, no Mom, you're the O.G...

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and I went, what's the O.G.???, and she said, um, well,

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it's the Original Gangster.

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That's my title, how fun.

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And also this apron, by the way, available for sale on our ThermaKota.com website.

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And it is a fundraising vehicle for the Native Center in Toronto,

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which provides meals and services to Indigenous people in the city of Toronto.

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And so a portion of the sale, 15% of the sale goes towards that organization.

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We are selling these for Mother's Day, Easter...

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We have a Man's version for Father's Day...

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Thanksgiving, Christmas presents.

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So please check it out.

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It's a wonderful apron and it protects your clothes.

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It's completely washable, and it's got a pocket.

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Oh, I didn't know the pocket.

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That's really smart.

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So the pocket is really great for people who want to go about their

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busy days and listen to this podcast and just put their phone in there.

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Right.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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Grateful, beyond measure for you in my life, and how you show up in the world.

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I am confident that by example, you have lifted everybody who has listened to this.

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There's no rules now.

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We make our own rules.

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No longer...

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Do we have to be...

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Unless we want to...

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the permed blue haired Grandmothers.

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Oh, God forbid...

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But if you want to...

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if that's your thing, but not because somebody said that's what you should be.

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I have a podcast episode about that.

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What's your expiry date?

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We get to choose.

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Who should tell us when we are done, washed up, obsolete?

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No one.

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Thank you so much for this, Isabel.

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And thank you for that reminder.

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You've inspired me.

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Thank you!

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Lift As You Climb
Lift As You Climb
Live Your Legacy; Empower Others to Create Theirs

About your host

Profile picture for Isabel Banerjee

Isabel Banerjee

Dynamic, self-made entrepreneur who overcame obstacles with an unrelenting positive nature, a farm girl work ethic and a conscious choice to thrive rather than survive, Isabel Alexander Banerjee cultivated an award winning, $10 million+ global chemical wholesale business and grew it from dining room table to international boardrooms.

Isabel’s strengths include the ability to initiate & nurture strategic relationships, a love of lifelong learning and talents for helping others maximize their potential. An inspiring speaker within both industry and community, she is a driving force behind those with the courage to follow her example of thriving against the odds.

With 50+ years of business experience across diverse industries, Isabel is respected as an advisor, a coach, a mentor and a role model. She believes in sharing collective wisdom and empowering others to economic independence.

Isabel Banerjee
Your Next Business Strategist and Transformation Catalyst