Dangerous cupcake networking

People think networking takes courage
Most men like sports
networking is my sport
I play it on my field,
in my chosen armour

Like most things in life,
to acquire rarity takes risk

And it’s time to take a risk on you dear network

So once again, I’m shedding the work-week, the armour and proposing some real human connecting in a place of personal vulnerability. Sunday July 15 in Chinatown.

I’ve loved Dim Sum since I was a kid, it’s personal, it’s about sharing and it’s a networking no-no. So we’ll start our day here with brunch at 11:30am

In the 1990’s I was diagnosed with IGS ( Italian Grandmother Syndrome ) I love to feed people. This disease took the form of serving in, and then running one of Toronto’s Out of the Cold programs for some years. We fed hundreds, each winter. With fresh hand-made comfort food. Running this bare-bones volunteer lead charity taught me a thing or two about industrial kitchen supplies on a budget. So at 1pm we’ll visit on of the cheapest best Chinese kitchen supply stores in Toronto. Knives, cutting boards, serving dishes, teapots you name it. Frugalista’s take note.

Then we will finish our time together with a tour at 2pm with a UofT entrepreneur I met recently. She runs “Tasty Tours” in Kensington Market. It is sure to delight.

So to paraphrase a quote from the great poet Rumi: “Out beyond for and non-profit, beyond conferences and ‘networking’ there is a field of business connecting….I will meet you there”.

And yes, for the Pinterested few….

There will be cupcakes
( Passion Capital cupcakes! Just kidding )

So.. July 15.. you open to taking this risk with me?




Passion Capital by Paul Alofs

So many books by successful leaders are vanity projects. This book is a project of passion from a man who made an actual mark in massive tectonic industries like retail, music and the technology of the interwebs only to trade that business success for a mission of significance

And now he’s messing with my work / life.

He is leading the rethinking of fundraising – read this article renaming the “non-profit” sector as the “social-profit” sector. Sure he didn’t come up with the concept but he a leading voice on the value of charity – to transform that nebulous word philanthropy into common-sense instead of only dollars and cents.

He’s rebranding… me! I’ve struggled with explaining the reason for my existence. You see, I love to capture money. Oh man I love it. And I live to network and connect. But not for myself, I exist to empower the passionate, fight for the innocent, the helpless, the powerless. As a younger man, this was my mission statement. My adult statement has been about passion for years….but thanks to Mr. Alofs I have found a tribe – I’m a Passion Capitalist!

Why is this book worth your time and money?

Paul has spent years distilling the message, pruning the stories and each chapter has that new-school business book summary of takeaways. He is a CEO leader who has written a book for other time-pressed leaders. It’s a new way to think about business, your career, your cause…

This is not about good to great, it’s about great to BEST. Theories are ideas, stories are proof! And they have layers of wisdom. I love the many stories he tells in this book. Practical stories of winners, failures – why they won and lost even when one looked like the other; Thomas Edison, JK Rowling were bad bets to start.

This is a book dedicated to the strategic, faithful long view unlike the short-sell attitude that just recently broke the world. This book is a dog-whistle for innovators and entrepreneurs. Don’t hear it? No desire to be your best? You’re not one of us.

Much like Rockefeller made a creed, Paul has reflected on and thoroughly defined the exact components of passionate organizations, who live by the vital components of excellence:
– but it’s jibber-jabber if he’s another loudmouthed  ‘leadership’ guru right? Well I know many of the people he has assembled in his war on cancer, they do indeed “Believe It“. They and he walk the talk, heck the man rides in his own fundraiser. His people work hard and are performing at levels of collaboration and professional  excellence that is unparalleled right now. It’s Camelot over there. 

Does your organization posses a passionate culture? Paul and some powerhouse partners ( Knightsbridge, BNN Global Governance, Torys LLP and the National Post! ) have teamed up to celebrate Canada’s Passion Capitalists – I was excited to nominate the most passionate company in my consumer life, Zipcarand the winners are listed here….

Want to learn more and amp up your passion? Peruse these videos on the vision of Passion Capital. If they move you, hey, buy the book and join our tribe. In the words of the most interesting man in the world… “stay thirsty my friends”…



Dress and Eat like a Man … on a budget?

Yes. I despise shopping for clothes.

That may surprise you if you’ve seen me in person . During the last 12 years working for charities my nickname was “the suit”. I shared in a recent post how that was my employers dictated uniform, not my choice and how spending money on clothes offends me as someone who has worked for and with the poor.

Cliche time! It’s a means to an end. There, I said it.

But! Why does being frugal have to equal misery? And I won’t lie and tell you dressing well doesn’t give me great confidence on the job. So for years I tried to stick to sales but two years ago I found the promised land – the Burlington Coat Factory.

Now, I shop Canadian as much as I can. All my suits are from Tom’s Place, but there are no clothes for *ahem* husky dudes at the Bay or Winners and certainly none on sale. And so, for the past two years I’ve made a one day pilgrimage to BCF to make ONE annual purchase of all my shirts and ties.

Does it hurt that cuff links and pocket squares are $9 and $4? That a shirt, tie, pocket square and cuff link SET is $20? Certainly not!

The sizes, selection, the colours and yes name brands all at  less cost than I could ever find in my neck of the woods.

Fathers day is coming up, I was looking at the Toronto Star’s gift guide and saw a $110 pocket square from Harry Rosen. Hey, I dream of wearing HR like most guys dream of driving a Bugatti Veyron. For less than one suit, or a couple of HR pocket squares I got all this and more ( *Not all of this is for me, on this trip I happily did a little personal shopping for my business network on LinkedIn/Twitter )

Round it out with a $10 NY steak at the no-longer-in-Canada Ponderosa and you’ve got the man road trip that young professional men can actually afford.

* Stopping at the border to intentionally pay all taxes of course. 
** Every time I insist on paying taxes, the border guard laughs at me saying “you Canadians”

I don’t usually blog about clothes and food but this means a lot to me because there has to be a way we can live within our means, enjoy our lives and still find funds to give away. This is just my story of how I can work in an office and make that happen.

Hope it’s of value to you!



The Art of…Gratitude


When I first saw “The Art of
they had brought uber-guru Seth Godin to my city.

I was impressed and considered it a one-off opportunity

Imagine my surprise when they pump out a who bunch of awesome conferences with some of my favourite authors.

So when I saw that the team was bringing TWO of my top authors to town I set my sights on somehow getting there.

My deepest thanks to Karim Kanji of XConnect and Third Ocean – I won his Twitter contest and got to attend! I can’t say enough about the power of twitter, don’t ever tell me it’s a tween’s toy, this was a big business benefit to me.

Not only did I get to attend and listen to some great speakers but by an odd twist of fate I got to walk and talk with Marcus Buckingham on the way into the Convention Centre and he honoured me by calling me out in his keynote about the power of a personal story. A lifetime business-book-lover high for yours truly.


And most of all, I set up and got to interview my 2012 super-author Susan Cain for an upcoming article (stay tuned).

But where, you ask are my comments about the conference? Well, why read just my thoughts? Here are pictures and tweets from over 100 attendees via the wonderful storify – enjoy!

My deepest thanks to “The Art of” crew, you truly are THE premier speaker destination, and to Karim Kanji for choosing me to attend this powerful Leadership experience.

So! September 2012, look out Ottawa! The Art of Leadership is coming to town headlined by Patrick Lencioni! Another of my top five business book authors of all time. He will rock your world.

Don’t miss it.



June 12 2012 – Celebrating CharityVillage!

2 years ago CharityVillage.com hit 15 years on the interwebs

And we gathered to fete this milestone

Now, 2 years later, not satisfied to rest on their laurels they have re-launched Canada’s charity and social-profit supersite in a 2.0 format – Digital blood, sweat and tears went into this and a bunch of us want to say congrats and celebrate this accomplishment!

Yes, this is an official “Nazevent” ( thanks CA )

So that means, come to connect, network, catch-up!
It also means, NO event cost, NO registration, NO RSVP – Just bring yourself, invite a friend, be there.

Although this is an “unofficial” event, several CV celebrities will be present – so exciting as I’m a life-long fan of their work and efforts to help the sector do our best.

BUT WAIT! There’s more! 

We have two awesome events happening in town that day. If you haven’t registered for Canada Helps’ “My Charity Connects” conferencedo it now! They have sold out three years running and continue to host fantastic speakers to help you raise more using the new technology of giving in Canada. And if you’re going, we’re the unofficial apres-party after the solid networking at the PWC Canada reception ( shout out to CSR twitter-leader James T )

We’re nearby at the awesome Hotel Ocho at Spadina, North of Queen. #MCC12 for twitteratti 

Also, in town is the Imagine Canada AGM uptown. I chose the Hotel Ocho because it’s easy by TTC, has parking nearby and is between the two events. So swing down and join your peers for the ultimate summer networking event kickoff!

Spread the word – @charityvillage celebration ( hashtag #CV12 for the twitter-brigade ) June 12, 2012 at 6:30pm

As always, bring business/contact cards or I will tase you.

Also, if you’re one of these “should I come out” types the bottom line is this. I, Paul Nazareth bother you a lot. On LinkedIn, twitter and in person – I do so because my mission is to help you get what you want out of work and life. My mission is to serve you – here’s a chance for me to use this network I’ve amassed, this “army of the passionate” as I refer to you – to do just that! Hold me to my promise…

Life is good? Come out and raise a glass. Help another.
Not so good? Have a drink with peers who get you. Be helped!
Need a new job? I got the hook up.
Want to hire the best? They’re on the guest list.
Want to enter this awesome sector? BE THERE.

As always, surprises, prizes and I have a few more of those awesome LinkedIn workbooks around too..

See you….at the Ocho.