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COVID Routine: TOP 15 Tips in my Lionzest Survival Kit

When I was a kid, I hated the idea of ‘routine’ and even just the word itself. I was afraid if I fell into a routine, I would stop being the passionate person that I am, which is the equivalent of happiness to me. Today, with this life storm we are facing, I’m incredibly thankful that I have a routine.

Although it is altered in some ways I feel as though if I didn’t follow this routine, I would not be myself – the girl with the lion inside, the girl with the pink glasses. Today, I thank God for routine!

So here are a few tips for getting through this crazy time. I hope I can help you see through pink glasses too:

TOP 15 Tips in my Lionzest Survival Kit:

 

1. Pet Therapy

I wake up and the first thing I do is pet my cat, which has been proven to be good for my health. Research shows that a cat’s purr not only lowers stress but can also lower blood pressure!!

2. Quotation inspiration

I grab my phone to find a quote that gives me a small boost. I like to share these quotes on my social networks to spread positivity to others. Check out my Lionzest Instagram and Facebook and let me know if any inspire you!

3. Accomplishment #1

I make my bed. If I don’t accomplish much (or anything) during the day, at least I know I made my bed! It also makes my room look cleaner and when I turn in for the night it feels like a little retreat.

4. Finding my zen

Meditation with the app Let’s Meditate.  I love it because I can do it in bed and the app lets you pick a theme and a duration. Go for 5 minutes, 14 minutes, 42 minutes…You decide! Some of the themes you can choose from are: Beginner’s Guide, Attract Abundance, Ease Urgencies, and Confidence. There is a theme for everyone! I find this lowers my stress, anxiety and helps me focus.

5. Better than coffee

I take a shower. I like to mix it up by starting with a hot shower and ending with a cold shower.  It wakes me up and keeps me from thinking about my troubles since I’m busy wondering if I’ll survive the shower!  That’s not all it does – it also improves circulation, helps treat depression, stimulates weight loss and strengthens your immune system. What’s not to love?!

6. Power suit

I get dressed. I feel more confident and ready to take on the day.  This is important to me because if not I feel depressed and will probably give off those negative vibes to others.

7. The great outdoors

I take a long walk with my dog. I smile and greet a lot of people. I even say “hello” to the drivers alone in their buses!  I feel the breeze on my face, stop at the park and take in all the beauty of the water, the birds, rabbits… I am in another world!  My dog is a good guide – if ever I pass a park or walk too fast, she stops, sits and looks at me.  She is 100 pounds so I have no choice but to listen and slow down. These walks outside help my body release endorphins (the happy hormone!) and increase my intake of vitamin D.  On top of it all, this is often where I solve challenges and get my best business ideas!

8. Drugged with music

I listen to my music on full blast while I walk and sometimes in the kitchen while I make my morning shake. Ideally what I listen to is upbeat and full of happiness! Some of my favourite tunes are Happy, Sun is Shining (Axwell & Ingrosso), Say a Little Prayer, Faith (George Michael) and Love Generation.  What’s on your Spotify playlist?

9. Rendezvous with Frank

I have a daily “rendezvous” with François Legault, our Premier, just to know if this whole thing is over yet. He’s live every day at 1 p.m. to give an update on what’s going on. The TV goes OFF immediately after, around 1:30 p.m. If not, welcome to the abyss of fear and what could happen. Then I wouldn’t have the energy to do anything and I’d probably get that ‘it’s the end of the world’ feeling.  So, the TV goes on at 1pm and off at 1:30!

10. Comfort food

I eat!!! A little too much 😊 – except in the morning, when I take my protein shake with all my vitamins. I’ve tried many shakes and this one (Whole Earth & Sea, made in Canada) is my favourite of all. Lunch is often a salad. In the evening it’s really important that the three of us eat together as a family and have the chance to talk about all kinds of things. I make desserts – there have been a lot of banana breads coming out of my kitchen lately, along with reminders of my childhood (fudge, rice krispie squares, pouding chomeur)!!! I love and need to cook for my family.

11. Reaching out

I make daily calls to friends and family to make sure everything is okay with them. I think most people are in their own little bubbles and afraid to reach out. Maybe they’re scared to disturb people or to hear bad news and not know how to react. My sisters are used to my calls so for them it’s just a nice part of their daily routine. As for my friends, the first thing they always say is: “I am so glad you called”. I hear the gratitude in their voices and in return, it makes me feel good. By taking a small and simple action, I feel as though I have made a difference.

12. Giving back & having purpose

I work, which gives me purpose and helps me feel useful.  I’m currently working on my “Survival Show” video series and I’m having so much fun doing it.  When I’m not helping a client with videos and their image, I feel as though I’m making a difference by introducing amazing people and giving advice on how to survive this ‘thing’ we are all going through.

13. Relaxation time

In the evening: long live Netflix!!!  I’ve finished all the shows I was watching and now I need inspiration – do you have any suggestions for me? For you, here are some of the shows I was hooked on: Modern Love, Peaky Blinders, Morning Show, Last Kingdom, Self Made, The Crown, The Witcher, The Hunters (Al Pacino is amazing!), Unorthodox, David Letterman: My Guest Needs No Introduction, The Bodyguard, Grace & Frankie (hard to believe they’re 80!!), and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (probably inspired by Joan Rivers). Let me know if you give any of them a try!

14. Perfect sleep formula

To set myself up for a good sleep, I make a big cup of Sleepytime chamomile herbal tea (the box with the teddy bear on it!), and I also take a good quality Magnesium supplement. This is my magic recipe – I sleep like a baby afterwards and forget whatever is going on to dream of a better tomorrow!

15. The power of positivity

I try to stay positive all day long.  I think that my positive attitude, music, family and the other tips mentioned above have truly been lifesavers for me!

 

So, the next time you see me radiating bubbly happiness and you wonder if it is all in my DNA, now you know: it’s not, I get a little help every day!

 

Need more help?  I hear you.  I have been working on a series of video interviews to help you get through this.  They are short and will introduce you to amazing, talented experts who will share their stories and their tips.  Please come watch on Facebook & Youtube. Like, comment & share – you might even help brighten someone else’s day!

 

We’re going to be okay. Now that I’ve shared mine, I’d love to hear what your routine is to help you get through this!

 

Are you ready for the world to see your business with fresh eyes? Contact Lionzest to discuss how we can energize your business and make you shine.

 

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My Father’s “Why” – Integrity, business and fathers

Integrity: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

This is the story of a passionate man. Passionate about work, family and life. What drove this passion? His clear purpose to avenge his father and be a great dad.

This is the story of my father and the events that made him the man he was and me the person that I am.

Born in 1918, he would have been 100 years old this November.

My father was a protector. Probably because of what was once taken from his family. You see, he was very close with his own father, Henri, who tragically passed away when my father

was just 17.

Henri was an entrepreneur with integrity and passion. Peladeau Lumber was his business.

In the 1920’s, when hardly anyone was travelling abroad, Henri imported the latest technology – a machine to make his business run faster and better. He was very avant-garde, always staying one step ahead. Nothing could stop him. At a time when business was monopolized by the English, my French-Canadian grandfather stormed the gates of entrepreneurship in Quebec.

And he made his mark. He went to mass every night, had a golden tongue, lived with integrity and suffered one fatal flaw – that he believed everyone else was honorable, like him.

My grandmother tried to warn him with the wise words, “There are no friends in business.” Sadly, she was right.

My grandfather did business with two people he believed to be friends. People he believed lived with integrity, spoke the truth and were honorable. They were not. And he lost everything as a result.

Shortly after that devastating loss, he died of throat cancer.

My father suffered greatly from the loss of his father, a man he admired, respected and considered his “buddy”.

Henri was generous to a fault, happy to treat the neighborhood children to ice cream while his wife waited anxiously at home for the groceries he had been sent out to buy. In the eyes of my father, Henri was everything he wanted to be. A good person, a good father and a good businessman

When Henri died, many of his so-called “friends” disappeared. When my grandfather had been a rich and healthy man, the family was very popular. When he lost his company and was diagnosed with cancer, it was as if people thought his downfall was contagious. A whole community disappeared.

Sadly, cancer and poverty bring the best and the worst in people.

That experience became the foundation of my father’s character. He became very careful about who he associated with and never granted time to superficial people.

He once said to me, “The most beautiful inheritance is to receive nothing because it gives you the motivation to want to get back what you lost.”

The house in Outremont, the cottage on the waterfront in St-Eustache, the business, his name. My grandfather lost everything except for the love and admiration of his son.

My father started his revenge plan young and followed in his father’s entrepreneurial footsteps. He went to war and, during his stay in England, studied to be an accountant in order to understand figures and ensure nobody ever played him. Then he took a long distance course to learn everything about lumber (this was long before the internet!).

He started work at a leading lumber company, working his way up the ladder to become vice president. Working almost day and night, he ended up in the hospital after suffering a heart attack. When the doctors ordered him to rest, he decided it was the perfect time to open his own business. Against, of course, the advice of the doctor and my mother!

My father’s priority was to put his plan into action; to build his new company from scratch and reclaim his father’s honor. He made a name for himself in the lumber industry and his business thrived because it was built on solid values.

When he turned 86 years old, after living a good life and achieving his purpose, my father left to join his father. But his company continues after more than 60 years, thriving on the same values of commitment and, above all, integrity.

My father’s “why” was to build a company and a life that would have filled his father with pride, as much in family, as in business, as in life.

He wanted more than anything in the world to finish his father’s work of being a great dad and building a great business, both based on solid grounds.

100 years after his birth, the legacy lives on. His why, his purpose, is in Bois Peladeau and in my family’s household. His business partner is now 88 years old and still goes to work everyday because he enjoys what he built with my father so much and now continues to build the future with his son.

In my own business, I keep the legacy strong as well, surrounding myself with people like him and searching out only clients, partners, suppliers and friends with integrity and authenticity. My father was often described as the lion of the family, and I have even infused that into my business. Lions resonate with courage and integrity – the cornerstones of Lionzest. To live with integrity is my grandfather’s inheritance and it is the best inheritance!

Aside from always living with integrity, the greatest lesson my father and grandfather taught me is that a successful business starts with understanding your “why”. Your passion, your purpose is what drives you forward and empowers you to connect with your audience.

This is why, before each video (since the camera does not lie) I ask my clients to be fiercely authentic. That authenticity is what I find most attractive in business and in life, and it’s what resonates with your customers.

What is your “why”? Don’t worry if you’re not clear on it. That’s where I come in. Contact me today. Together, we’ll uncover your “why” and make you shine!

Thank you, Dad. Thank you, Grandfather. Happy Father’s Day, wherever you are!


 

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THE INVISIBLE FACTOR

 

As a PR veteran I am often asked for my top PR tips. This is the one that my experience has shown to be most impactful: The Invisible Factor.

Wait. Isn’t PR all about… visibility???

Let me tell you a story.

A while back, I was worried about my precious dog, Kayla. She had a lump. I took her to my local vet who is very close by. It’s a nice place, convenient to get to, very professional and everyone there seems to know what they are doing.

Any time I take my dog there, she jumps on me like a scared little kid, “Don’t leave me here pleeeease! I am soooo scared!”

But my dog has never had any major issues, and I have never had to leave her with the vet, so this place did the job just fine.

But now Kayla had this lump, and it had grown. I started out scared enough, but when we got to the vet I got even more scared as the vet started listing off all the alarming possibilities.

The vet wanted me to leave my dog with her immediately and agree to have her operated on with all the extras, of course.

My gut was telling me no.

If you’re not a dog person, at this point you probably think I’m a crazy woman. But if you know dogs, you know they are more intelligent than many people think. So it was, in part, my dog’s scared reaction to this vet that gave me pause. But also something else. I could not put my finger on it, but I knew I did not feel 100% confident in this vet who is literally just 3 minutes from my house. Maybe it was because the last time they called to check on Kayla’s wellbeing, they spent most of the call telling me about all the (expensive) vaccines she should come get, ASAP!

I listened to my gut.

I decided to take Kayla to a vet that is nearly an hour away from my house.

Many years ago, I went to school with this vet’s wife, Caroline, who is a vet herself.

As kids, going to her house was like going to a farm. You never knew if her mom or a duck would answer the door! When she told me she wanted to become a vet, I thought how well that suited her. In fact, she gave my dog her very first checkup! I never went back only because of the distance.

But now we had an emergency.

Caroline had once told me that her husband was more of a veterinary surgeon, so I made the 50 minute drive out to see him.

We had a quick chat where he told me that he had grown up in a house much like Caroline’s, except they also had ostriches! He had told me about his passion for animals and I could see Kayla feeling comfortable with him.

He had the invisible factor.

He had built his veterinary hospital and staffed it with wonderful people who all had the invisible factor too. I felt confident leaving my dog in their care.

I felt that she could be operated on and everything would be alright.

My husband thought I was crazy to drive so far when a perfectly good vet was just 3 minutes away. But when he came with me on surgery day, he got it. He felt it.

You see, this vet, nearly an hour away, loves what he does and so does everyone who works with him. He took the time to find solutions for me that the other vet never told me about. Kayla was confident with him and never tried to jump on me as I left her to be operated on.

Before and after the surgery, he called to answer all my questions and explain exactly what was happening.

My husband, my dog and I could all feel just how much he cared. And that’s it. That’s the invisible factor. Caring.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a vet, a restaurant, a retail store or even a bank. When you care, when you truly, deeply care about what you do, and you bring that passion to every interaction, people feel it. They can’t see it. You can’t put it on a billboard. But it can be felt, and people know, instinctively, when it is genuine.

Look for people who care and be someone who cares.

When looking for help or guidance, seek out people with that invisible factor. You won’t see it, but you’ll feel it.

When thinking about your own PR, aim for the invisible factor to shine through, not just in marketing or advertising, but in every interaction with clients and your audience. It’s this factor that makes video testimonials so powerful. The camera does not lie. When someone speaks from the heart, their words come to life!

Kayla

So my best PR advice to you is this: Care about your clients. Care about what you do. And don’t be shy about letting that care shine through. It may be invisible, but some of the most powerful things in life are.

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My Greatest Lesson in Marketing Visibility Came From My Dog

My dog is a great marketer.

Every morning as I get out of bed, right where I put my feet down, she is there saying, “Good morning! I’m here!” It never fails to make me smile.

And it gives me my first thought of the day. “Don’t forget to walk the dog!”

But from that moment, I have 1000 more thoughts saying things like, “Don’t forget that potential client you met last week… and the one last night!” “Don’t forget to meet with the new cameraman.” “Call Mart.” “Set up lunch with…” The thoughts are endless.

Before I’m even out of the shower I’m wishing I were at my computer, getting these thoughts down before I forget.

I rush to my room and there is my dog, exactly where she is not supposed to be. It’s pretty hard to miss her looking straight at me from up on my bed!

“Hi!” she seems to say. “I’m still here! Can you see me now?”

I smile. It’s hard not to see her. She is so big, she is almost at eye level.

Again I think, “Oh yes! I can’t forget to walk the dog!”

Certain she has been seen, she jumps off the bed and quickly heads downstairs to follow up on her strategy.

When I finish getting dressed, I start heading down the stairs as well. And guess who is at the bottom, staring straight at me?

“Hi! I’m still here! You won’t forget me, will you?”

Again, I can’t help but smile and think, “Oh yes, I cannot forget to walk the dog!”

It’s hard to believe I had forgotten in those few moments, but with the 1000 other thoughts all vying for attention in my head, I had!

I sit down for breakfast and to read the news on my iPad. She asks for the door and I let her out.

I eat, read, eat read, the thoughts continue (and multiply!)… and I forget.

I am almost ready to go, but I get this unshakeable feeling that I’m being watched. I hear Michael Jackson in my head singing, “I always feel like somebody’s watching me… and I get no privacy…”

She is staring at me from outside. Even the door will not stop her!

I let her in and she grabs her leash. I remember, right then, that my next move is to take the dog for a walk. And that is exactly what I do.

I love my dog. Caring for her is so important to me. Yet, she still has to work on all those reminders because otherwise, I will forget to walk her!

Why would I forget something so important?

Because we are solicited almost 24 hours a day through the phone, emails, ads, our too long “to do lists”… There is so much going on in our heads, at any given moment, that even the important things can get pushed out.

So when a client tells me, “I did one video and it did not work” or “I started a Facebook page and nobody liked it” or ” I sent an invitation, but nobody came”… I tell them about my dog.

My dog has the best visibility strategy. She is consistent. She is visible. She is PERSISTENT. She reminds me, again and again. She doesn’t bombard me, but she is always there, always getting herself in my line of sight, making me remember. And she always gets her walk.

If you do something once and it doesn’t “work”, keep going. Be consistent. Be very visible. Put your message out there, not just once, but many, many times. Every day. Every week. Be persistent!  Keep your audience engaged and intrigued with a series of videos, posted to multiple outlets. Share your knowledge. Open a Facebook page and an Instagram account and use it. Post often. Be present. Be visible. Make your audience your friend. Keep making them smile. You will get your walk!