A moment to remember

About five days ago
…my 91 year old grandmother passed away

The usual wakes, family flying into town and funeral ensued.
No one can walk away without a bit of reflection.

I was lucky to have my grandmother for a long time.
She met my little guy, her great grandson. Lucky him.

Wouldn’t say she had a ‘good’ death
( like saying you had a ‘good’ colonoscapy, it is what it is. )
But she had a good life, one I only saw a snapshot of as a grandchild.
Things I’m looking forward to learning about:
– her middle was Quintera?!
– she was a savvy small business owner, when widowed young with 4 kids
– she had a lead foot and drove like Nascar?

This is us.
She used to insist I looked like local / national weather guy Anwar Knight. Anwar was nice enough to record a Christmas message with me a few years back.

Now, I work in estate and gift planning. LinkI’m also a religious guy.
I’m very comfortable around legacies and death and never sugar coat it.

I’m not sharing to depress you but it gives me joy and strength that every day to know that through our shared profession we celebrate life through legacy philanthropy, save families from pain through our estate planning peers and empower our network through education.


1. Call your damn Grandparents, tell them you love them.

2. Baby boomers!! Get a digital recorder, video or voice and get that life story together, the lessons learned, the fun stuff, the hard stuff, stuff your parents told you – it’s your legacy stupid

3. For pete’s sake – if you have kids, make a Will, if you’ve got aging parents encourage them to pre-plan their funeral/burial instructions. It’s not morbid, it will save you emotional distress and ensure their wishes are carried out

– — I always thought it weird that my Uncle is an international authority on Elvis

Guess not, as per my Grandmother’s wishes, this is what we sung at her funeral

See you soon Grannie.

Top 7 must read books on Networking

 Alert! I have a new 2012 update to this post here.

I know. This post is long overdue.
The networking enthusiast not sharing books on connecting.
So here we go! My top seven ( kind of )

My number one, the g o-to book is “Work the Pond” because:
– It’s all about the social science of connecting
– It ‘s the most approachable of all the books
– Canadian culture content (90% networking books are American)
I have personally bought over 50 copies over the years to give away.

2) Business cards to business relationships
– Another Canadian author, more business focused
– Goes back to the basics of business networking
– Every business person should own this book

3) Susan RoAne has written a dozen + books, 7 best sellers on the topic of networking. She tackles every subject from the mind to manner to application – I count her as the international champion of connection! Pick one that works for you!

4) Smart Networking – This book is not just great and very strategic (includes how to make a long and short term networking plan ) it’s a quick read.
– If you’re looking for a job pronto, buy this book
– If you work a lot and don’t have time, buy this book

5) I call them the dynamic duo. Keith Ferrazzi’s international best seller “Never Eat Alone” and his confession/apology and solid follow up “Whose got your back” – together they make the best business read on networking that I can actually say was as much enjoyment as it was work. Best read on how to network in social settings and how to create your own networking board!

6) As the flying lizards once said “Money, that’s what I want”. If money’s your bag – rainmaking is your task and this book was like a football playbook. So strategic, so methodical, it was referred to me by a lawyer and I consult it often. (speaking of football I wrote a whole post on a football fan queen of “connecting” , don’t miss it )
7) INTROVERTS. I know you have suffered under the tyranny of “Type A” jerks your whole career. This book will help you survive and maybe…thrive

Now, I’ve personally read over 50 books on networking and the science of connecting, this blog was born out of books like:

Convince them in 90 seconds
The Connectors
Turn small talk into big deals
Winning Body Language

And many more….

I’m not trying to make any money, I just want to help people connect and find their passionate success instead of another soul crushing 9 – 5 job.

Please forward, stumbleupon, retweet, whatever
– just share.
And as always, I’m at your service


Ps. If you want to keep networking ideas fresh without reading a lot of books subscribe to my favourite author’s FREE weekly tips!

Work the Pond - Positive Networking Tips

It’s not Social – it’s Business

These days, I get patted on the head a lot
Oh, so cute!
Paul likes to use social media like the kids do!
Do you post what you had for lunch on twitter paulie?

I don’t mind, I’ve always loved flying under the radar.
And there are some damn smart people on twitter,
I’d rather have them all to myself.

But I was reading this article in the Globe and Mail today – “Time to adapt to social media – or face the consequences”

Now, I don’t like threats but let me share a secret with you.Link
SOCIAL media is for weekend warriors and tweens.
I’m into BUSINESS media.
It’s about relationships, connecting, dialogue.

I participate to create prosperity and abundance
for me, for my network, for you if you’re ready.

LinkedIn is the Facebook of Business

Twitter is communicating at the speed of thought

Blogs allow you to explain yourself in detail

Here’s the thing. One day soon, everyone is going to have to get on board. You know that day is coming, so why wait and be the last to learn?

All I’m saying is, start lifting light weight!
Create a profile, don’t use it. Seriously!
In six months, start to try it out.
If you start today,
you’ll have LOTS of time to play with it.
Before it becomes your job.

Lastly, we’re in new territory what if you could get the one twitter handle that describes your entire sector! It’s like cyber-squatting in the early 2000’s!

Get out there, I’m right there with you – treading water and learning.

Soon, you’ll be conducting your own social media symphony!
If you want to read ONE book in 2011 about HOW to engage? Read this one.

As always, I’m here to help, Paul

Ps. Here’s something to get you thinking….click for link

Full disclosure – the fan is IN the building! Humber Fundraising

This is post is no secret or surprise.

I’ve been a fan of the Humber College Fundraising program for a while now…

But from today onward I’ll have to use a big fat ” * ”

You see, I’ve gone from raving fan,
to new member of the “Advisory Committee”
so when I speak of it I have to “disclose” this connection

BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE – I was a fan first.

Remember when you felt like this
about life and your career?

Since I started in fundraising ( as a “planned giving” guy ) over a decade ago I loved my job but there was one challenge I had yet to tackle…

The dreaded conference speaking session.
So I tried. And bombed.

Then I was asked to join a team speaking to Humber College students about my beloved CAGP and passion for planned giving – I found my voice.

I also found a program that was more intense, supported and networked than any other I had ever seen. One where the students and faculty shared my passion for this work.

Since then I have been lucky enough to be invited for five years to speak to the class, my covert goal to steal the best. I find the brightest, hungriest who are going to make a powerful contribution to the profession and I support them as much as I can.

No secret too that I think the coordinator Ken Wyman is a mensch. Here’s why…

And the people I’ve met, the alumni, the students, the network – frankly it has enriched my life as much as my career

I even teach now at the fantastic Georgian College fundraising program which is national, a different offering than the Humber full time program. Something that would never have happened with out my first opportunity to not just “speak” but “teach”

A special thanks to Rob Peacock who gave me the shot in the arm I needed then and now…a mentor to so many.

Humber wasn’t a player when I started fundraising. But when I was a young up and coming fundraising professional, with no name/fame – just passion, experience and a clear vision of how a young person could make a difference, Humber invested in me. I’ll never forget and will strive to repay that investment, forever.

Can’t wait to meet the class of 2012

Take a quick peek at this video, see just one reason this is such a special program