My 40th Birthday is today. Three small gifts for you.


Hello friend,

I am writing you this letter from the back seat of a bus headed from Calgary to Edmonton after two weeks on the road.

Today is, somehow, my 40th birthday.

The day was spent in a workshop helping folks to wrestle with what marketing might mean for their particular businesses. In the room there were people who were: working in government, raising beef and goats, making mittens from recycled sweaters, managing farmer’s markets, starting a biodynamic farm, making beef jerkey, developing an Alberta based egg processing plant, making herbal skin care products, doing therapeutic touch, making pepper jelly and mocassins & beaded things.

It was a room awash with a kind-hearted down-to-earthness and no small amount of unexpressed terror about how they were going to make it all work.

It’s a good way to spend a day. You try to bring something worthy of everyone’s time.

I found my way to Calgary from the warmer and milder climes of Vancouver where the photo above was taken just this past Sunday while visiting my niece who is now halfway through her second year. I have become the uncle in the photos I look back at from my own childhood. And one day I will, with any luck at all, become my beautiful and kind grandfather who died this August in the presence of his family. My niece has just come from the unseen world and he’s just returned to it. I’m somewhere in the middle now of it all now.

What that all means is that, for the past 40 years I have been on the receiving end of this outrageous gift of life. Every day of my life, things have died so that I might live and I am hearing the call more clearly that the rest of my life is about feeding that which has fed me for so long. The same thing which fed my grandfather and feeds my niece now is tied about me and I am tied to it. The whispering of the world is lifting my eyes to the crater of this modern world and asking me to plant and bring some beauty here so that it might yet become a place worth coming from. God knows it’s not now.

I suppose that, for the first half of our lives, many of us are ruled by a sort of childish selfishness ruled by ‘what’s in it for me?’ and ‘how much can I get?’ and, if we are lucky, we wake up from that. As Rumi put it,

“The way of love is not a subtle argument

The doorway is devastation

Birds make great sky circles of their freedom

How do they learn?

They fall, and falling

They’re given wings.”

And so it has been with me. A devastating past two years full of the unwanted blessings of hard things that shatter the too small pot of the sunflower of gratitude and asks us to climb the scrap heap of all our regretsreconsider the wasted years and weave something worthy with the red thread of losswe’ve been handed by life. Humility is when you realize you are human. Humiliation is when others realize that for you. This past two years is a basket made of both of those things.

This year has also been full of beauty.

I discovered that I have a historical doppleganger by the name of DH Lawrence (pictured here) who’s poetry I’m looking forward to digging into over this winter. I hope you find your own as well.

I released my book The Niching Nest into the world. Hosted Stephen Jenkinson in Edmonton. Help lead the third annual Nova Scotia Gaels’ Jamin Nova Scotia. I was able to be with my grandfather throughout his dying time.

And now I’m able to sit here and write you this letter and share three small gifts with you.

Gift #1: 50% Off

I’d like to offer you 50% off anything in my store. Just use the code BDAY50. It’s good til midnight on November 7th.

Gift #2: My Other Blog.

You may or may not know, but I have another blog I write called Healing from Whiteness which explores the wonderings around what it is to be a person of European descent in North America at this particular moment in history. I’ve been writing more for it recently and will be writing much more over the coming months.

Gift #3: 500 Memes.

One of the fringe benefits of my spending too much time on Facebook is that I find a lot of wonderful memes. Here are 500 of my favourite, most inspiring, heartwarming and evocative memes.

Thank you so much for being on my email list in a world full of email lists to be on. Thank you for reading this email in an inbox almost certainly full of worthy and important things to read. Thank you for supporting my work and for the work that you do in your homes and communities. May you be guided and supported in this coming year, may you and yours be held and protected, may all of the apple seeds of goodness you have planted in the lives of others be returned to you as ciders, pies and sauces having grown, been picked and mixed together with the gifts of others. May the mercies gather at your door and bring warmth to it. May all of those you come from and all of those to come after you be blessed by the good fortune of having known you for a while. May we continue to know each other for a while yet. May the roads of life and good fortune bring us together a few more times in person before our turn here is over.

Life. How did we get so lucky be inside it?



p.s. Thank you again to everyone who help contribute to my Farmers’ Market Marketing Series (note: turn your volume off or down as there’s a video that autoplays in one of the blogs – it’s a good video but the noise can be a bit jarring if you’re not ready for it).

p.p.s. Next year you’ll also see a shift in how I deal with affiliate relationships with my colleagues. There have already been hints on it from my last email about Ryan’s Double Your Money and Your Time Off program. I think you’ll like what I’ve come to.

p.p.p.s. What’s coming next for me:

Within the next two months, I should have The Niching Spiral Homestudy course available. It will be a 90 day program to help you figure out a workable niche. Thirty minutes a day, five days a week for three months.

Once that’s out, you’ll be likely seeing a new ebook or product from me each month honing in on some particular facet of the work I do (e.g. Hubs, Point of View, Island A and B, Parties as Marketing, PWYC thoughts). There are so many that are incredibly close to being done.

And, of course, the official Marketing for Hippies bookstore book is very close to being started.

I am hopeful that my work might be useful to you in navigating the rough roads of right livelihood. Dear god, we need you and others like you to make a go of it. We need people to show that there’s some other way forward than to continue to be a cog in the machine destroying us all.

But mostly, the coming months will see me taking space for myself to recover from the deep burnout of the past two years. I’m moving into a quiet winter. I wish the same for you too.

naked dragon interview – free 20 minute video

When I went to England I did a number of afternoon and evening workshops. For a limited time you can watch the entire thing – no charge, no need to give your email, no catch – just click here (it wasn’t working for some of you the other day but should be working now).

After my workshop in Chertsey (which the video above was taken from), I sat down with my host – the wonderful Julie of Naked Dragon events and we had a conversation about it. We ended up talking about . . .

  • Slow Marketing a bit
  • a new idea I’ve never shared before around niche theory called – Niche Projects.
  • why I do what I do
  • some ‘real talk’ about money, financial sustainability and quality of life
  • a bit of the inside scoop on my ‘pay what you can‘ model

You can watch it below.



Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program

fifteen minutes of free video from my workshop in England

Hey there,

I haven’t posted a blog in a while because I’ve been traveling and I won’t be able to post much for the next month so I thought I’d give you something extra special.

It’s the entire video from my evening, introductory, ‘Marketing for Hippies’ workshop that I led in Chertsey, England which hosted incredibly graciously by Julie Bryant of Naked Dragon events. This is a workshop that cost $40 at the door. And I’d like you to have it for less than that – only £15.

You can watch a 15 minute summary of it when you click on the video below and then click the play button here on the page it takes you to . . .

It was filmed beautifully by my new friend Anadi who runs (which is worth checking out as an incredible online resource of all things personal growth).

If you like the preview you can watch the whole thing for £15 – when you click here.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections. You can write them below.




tad in vancouver and victoria

I am sitting by the window at Finch’s Tea House and Cafe in Vancouver enjoying a cup of mint tea. I think it must be one of the most charming cafes in the world. It’s all original hardwoods, high ceilings and the menu written on chalk boards. Everything made fresh. I could spend all day in places like this.

But, as things go, I’m leaving to Victoria today to lead a workshop this weekend. And then a weekend workshop in Vancouver next weekend. I suspect I’ll be back to this cafe a few times before I leave.

If you know anyone in either Vancouver or Victoria who could use some help with their marketing – feel free to send them my way.



VICTORIA (Evening Workshop)

WHEN: February 17th, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
WHERE: 737 Humboldt St – the Aria Condo

COST: $30 in advance. $40 at the door.



VICTORIA (Weekend Intensive)

WHEN: February 17th – 19th, Friday (6:30 – 9:30pm), Saturday and Sunday, (10:00am – 6:30pm)
WHERE: Friday night (737 Humboldt St. – the Aria Condo) Sat and Sunday – Pacific Rim College
COST: Pay what you want at the end of the weekend.




VANCOUVER (Evening Workshop)

WHEN: February 24th (6:30 – 9:30pm)
WHERE: TIDES Canada, 400 – 163 West Hastings St
COST: $30 in advance. $40 at the door.



VANCOUVER (Weekend Intensive)

WHEN: February 24th – 26th, Friday (6:30 – 9:30pm), Saturday and Sunday, (10:00am – 6:30pm)
WHERE: TIDES Canada, 400 – 163 West Hastings St
COST: Pay what you want at the end of the weekend.



guerilla gift giving

Last weekend, I did something that felt wonderful.

I gathered some of my favourite people and we went out and gave gifts to strangers on Whyte Ave in Edmonton.

I thought you might want to try the same kind of thing so I thought I’d share what we did and what we learned.

Why did I do it? I saw a video that inspired me.

It’s about a man who, on his 30th birthday went and gave gifts to 30 people in Sydney, Australia.

You can watch it here (might make you cry):

Then, I created a facebook invitation that said this:


The Grand and Gallavanting Guerilla Gift Giving Gathering

We’re going to come together to wrap gifts and then go out onto Whyte Ave and spread some love. And maybe some free hugs.

I want to do the same thing and spread Christmas cheer to our fellow Edmontonians and then come back together at my place to share stories and drink some drinks.


Hells yes.


– anything you’ve got at home you’re not using anymore that could make an AMAZING gift for someone else (e.g. an old football or frisbee you’re not using right now, old CDs, books, that sweet shirt that someone else could love). Bring as many as you’d like – but be choosy. Only really great stuff. Something you’d be thrilled to receive.

– wrapping paper, boxes etc.

– a bit of a potluck – any food or drinks to tide us over while wrapping.


– could anyone film this and edit it into something youtubeable?

People gathered at 6pm and were welcomed in from the cold with a hot cup of spicy apple cider. They brought snacks and drinks and we got right to wrapping up gifts. Is there a better way to spend two hours than in the company of friends wrapping presents for strangers? I doubt it.

We headed out around 8pm to Whyte Ave, a main street in Edmonton and began handing out gifts to strangers.

In the end, we weren’t able to get it videod (alas) but! here are some photos (and then some lessons below):







Four Lessons Learned:

  • Supplies: Have extra scissors, tape and wrapping paper as the host.
  • Stick together as one group: I noticed that I felt more comfortable giving the gifts with more people and having more people added so much more fun and celebration to it. It made giving the gift a shared event – a bit more magical for the giver and the receiver. 
  • Designated photographer (or video): if you’re going to do it, why not record it so you can share it with people after and spread the love and maybe inspire other people to do the same.
  • Slow it down: my second reflection is how vital it is to have folks like Olivia Joy Love and Dolphin Kasper with their t-shirts and signs engaging people with hugs first. Some people were a little taken aback by being offered a gift out of the blue. “What charity are you with?” they would ask in suspicious tones. It’s probably important to establish a little trust and safety first by stopping to chat and engage with them. I think the ideal order of things is 1) have your ‘free hugs!’ people engage folks (think fun pink spoons) 2) this sparks a conversation where they say something like, ‘what’s going on? what is this about?’ 3) Offer them a gift. I noticed that when we slowed things down so it was less ‘drive by’ gift giving and more about really creating a moment and a connection it felt better. Foreplay makes gift giving more pleasant for everyone. Says my friend Olivia, “It’s all about engaging strangers in an enthusiastic way. Obviously when a ‘gang’ of lantern yielding, hugging and gift giving guerillas swoop in on someone, the experience can be overwhelming but explaining away the magic can often take away from the fun of it all as well. I loved watching people open their gifts in front of us. That was so much fun. For the most part the reactions were of genuine amazement and we made people feel so great with the unexpected nature of receiving….I really felt that people really received well overall- which is nice to see.”


I am in Thailand.

And this post has nothing to do about marketing.

It has to do with how much our love matters in the world.

And how much it is missed when it is gone.

Her name was Kylen. I met her through some community events in Edmonton. She had the most radiant spirit. I saw her so occasionally  at the Black Dog. But we’d always be excited to see each other and sit down for a drink together and talk about life. Try to catch up on the past 6 months. One of those.

I loved her.

I loved seeing her. I left every interactions feeling uplifted, enriched, loved and, somehow, more special. She had this sparkle in her eyes. So full of life. Such a capacity to have people know they were needed and wanted in the world. She grew upwards like a tree, the beautiful sap of this world being raised up from the Earth in her – and yet so grounded. I left our conversations a bit more comfortable in my own skin.

The other day, I heard word that she was missing.

Today, I found out that she committed suicide.

Like so many others (too many others) she reached her limits of how much suffering her heart could contain. Like my friend Tooker Gomberg. Who I still miss.

She was 20 years old.

I don’t know that I have anything to say here. Except that I miss her.

That suicide is not like any other kind of death.

That we can’t possibly over estimate the importance of kindness, empathy and compassion in this world. That we can’t possibly imagine the amount of pain that the people around us are in. I certainly had no idea with Kylen.

That judging and trying to fix others doesn’t help them. At all. Or us.

That every ounce of healing and wholeness we can bring to our own hearts matters. Because it makes us more available to be present for others.

That listening with our hearts matters (and that advice rarely does). That making someone a cup of tea and listening to their worries with kindness probably matters more than coaching them or telling them what we think they should do.

That no mother should ever have to lose her children.

That we, as a world, can do better than this.

That illness is not personal but collective. That a disease is carried by a whole community – even if it manifests through one person. We all have cancer – some people just carry it for us. It just shows up through them (for whatever reason). But it’s not just about them. That suicide says so much about our culture and our planet at this time. That suicide is a bitter flower that grows out of the shared root system of unresolved grief.

That grieving can, somehow, make us more whole. That Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ words are true:

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

That the answer to so many of the world’s problems is to love even more, to make our hearts bigger, even more generous.

That pain can, somehow, be transformed into beauty. And oh Kylen. May all this terrible pain we all feel give birth to so much beauty.

That we need each other so much. That we are a part of each others’ hearts.

That sometimes it takes a long time to heal from grief.

That time doesn’t heal wounds (or make them disappear). It deepens them. Like rivers deepen the valley. Until they blend with the landscape.

That, somedays, I have no kind words for the universe.

That, if you’re struggling, I hope, so much, that you have someone you can reach out to for healing.

That I dream of a world full of grandmothers who, when your heart finally breaks, will invite you under the covers in their bed and hold you as you fall apart.

That, sometimes, it’s not going to be okay.

That life will break you.

That sometimes, we lose the very best parts of us.

That there are some people we will always remember. No matter how briefly we knew them.

Rest In Peace Kylen.

I am heartbroken.

tad’s fall 2011 tour begins friday (plus a movie premiere! and a hotbox! and thailand!)

ethical living winnipegWell, it’s finally come.

Tour time!

So, over the next six weeks you won’t be hearing as much from me as you normally do.

Friday morning, at 8am, I leave to go to a five day retreat based on the work of Byron Katie (very excited! is that true? yes.)

Then it’s off to Winnipeg to lead a daylong workshop for holistic practitioners and to be a featured guest of their “Making an Ethical Living” workshop series (see the poster here).

Then I go to Nova Scotia for the premiere of  Gaelic movie I was in last summer before I skip down the road to Halifax for my workshop there.

The next stop is England and Scotland. Woot! I’ll be spending a lot of money at the Doctor Who Experience. Yes. I. Will.

Then it’s Toronto for the final workshops of my tour – including a brand new workshop I’m calling The Hot Box until I come up with a better name.

And then I go to Thailand for a meeting of a non-profit I’m a part of.

I hope I get to see some of you in person as I make my way about.



p.s. If you’d like to listen to a free interview with me click here.


If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.

winnipeg, taxis, pricing and the $2000 bowl of soup

Today I want to talk about word of mouth marketing, pricing, one of Canada’s coolest restaurants and a bowl of soup that cost a restaurant $2000 to serve (because they served it twice . . . don’t worry. I’ll explain).

I woke up today in a strangers apartment.

I told the story of how this happened in my blog post yesterday.

It’s a good life. I travel around the country trying to help good people and then good people are really helpful to me. Community feels good. Especially when it’s this odd community of strangers. All of us knowing we’re in it together and doing our best to reach out our hands to help other people who are up to good things.

Lesson #1: People go the extra mile to support good things. It strikes me how important this is for word of mouth and client loyalty. . . what a pleasure it is to spread the word about people and businesses that aren’t just in it for the bottom line but for the community.

Right now, it’s 3:59pm and I’m enjoying a Dragon Bowl at Winnipeg’s Mondragon Cafe. It’s a good example of this dynamic.

Mondragon is a political bookstore and vegan restaurant located in Winnipeg’s historic exchange district. The word Mondragon comes from the Euskadi (Basque) town of the same name meaning “Dragon Mountain” in English. Located in Northern Spain, Mondragon or Arrasate in the Basque language, is known for its extensive network of workers’ cooperatives, and has been the subject of numerous books and articles.

Inspired by this and many other examples of alternative economics and workplace democracy, our bookstore and coffeehouse is organized as a workers collective. We have no manager, and all worker members, regardless of starting skill or seniority, earn the same rate of pay. We call ours a “participatory” workplace, after the participatory economic model developed by co-authors Robin Hahnel and Michael Albert, and we feel that this structure is consistent with libertarian socialist principles.

It’s such a good business. They’re not trying to build an empire. They’re just trying to do something good. It’s noble. And it inspires people. And it makes people feel good about talking about it.

And feels good to support.

I’ll never forget my friend Jaime Coughlin taking me to Truro, Nova Scotia to lead a workshop for some local farmers. It was the only local/organic restaurant in town. And the owner told me that recently one of the people eating there had pulled her aside and said, “Say . . . I noticed you were short staffed and I was wondering if I could volunteer and help out a bit. You know, come and serve once a week for a few hours.” This is what happens when people not only love what you’re doing and how you’re doing it . . . but why you’re doing it.

When your business is really truly based in doing good things – people are waaaaay for lenient with mistakes you might make and far more likely to lend a hand to help make your business thrive.

Lesson #2: Experiment with your pricing.

Earlier, someone made my day by sending me these words:

“Last night, I read through the page about your upcoming live events, and it got me thinking about how I might make my group program even more affordable.  I had a follow-up call scheduled with a woman who really wanted to do my program but felt that she couldn’t afford it.  I asked if her if paying for it in 6 installments instead of 4 would help her, and she said that would make a huge difference.  So I set it up that way and she’s in!  That’s nearly $800 and a lovely client that I would have missed out on if I hadn’t considered more payment structures.  So I wanted to thank you and let you know.”

(Note: If you have someone you’re following who you admire. Send them some appreciation. You might be amazed at how seldom they get it and how much it might mean to them. An author you love? Let them know. People are more accessible that you think. Be specific. Share how it impacted you.)

The biggest shift in my business was when I started to do most of my workshops on a Pay What You Can basis. It’s being extremely profitable for me.

Could you do that? Could you let people pay over time? Could you take some trade? Get curious about this. Sometimes a simple change in the payment structure can result in a major increase in business.

Lesson #3: When you lose a client you lose all their future business.

This seems obvious.

Earlier today I called United Cab in Winnipeg to order a cab. They were having a hard time hearing me (frustrating for them I’m sure). But they got the address and when i gave them my phone number (my cell from Alberta) the lady I was speaking with (whose tone had been kind of rude and impatient to my ears) said, “you don’t have a local number??

No,” I said. “I’m staying at someone’s apartment. I don’t know the local number.”

I could hear her let out an exasperated breath. I was getting annoyed.

Should I call another cab company?” I said.

Fine.” Click. She hung up.

So I called Duffy’s cab. And entered their number into my phone. They get my business from now on.

But imagine if the woman had said, “Sir. I’m having a hard time hearing you but don’t you worry! We’ll figure this out and get you a cab. I’m sure you’re in a rush.” And she’d spent an extra minute or two. I would have felt so great. And told everyone that day about the nice cab lady.

But her hang up has likely cost that company a few hundred dollars. Had a friend who used to eat at a local vegan restaurant in Edmonton on Whyte Ave. He ordered a bowl of soup. The soup was terrible. He asked the server if he could exchange it for another soup. The server took it to the kitchen, only to have the same bowl of soup carried back to him by the manager. It was placed back firmly on the table in front of him with the words, “You’ll finish this bowl.”


He was pissed. He wrote them a letter telling them, “I have been a regular to your restaurant for the past few years. I come ___ times per week. I spend $____ on average per meal there. I bring friend with my _____% of the time. And, because of your rudeness, I will be boycotting your restaurant for the next six months. This decision has cost you $600.”

In the end he boycotted it for a year and a half. And shared his story with a lot of people. Including myself. And I noticed I wasn’t going as often. So, let’s easily assume that this one decision cost them $2000.

Hardly worth a bowl of soup is it?


If you’d like get cool posts like this in your inbox every few days CLICK HERE to subscribe to my blog and you’ll also get a free copy of my fancy new ebook “Marketing for Hippies” when it’s done.


winnipeg, wounds and three lessons from my tour

12:51pm: I’m sitting here in the Calgary airport on my way to Winnipeg where I’ll be leading a little workshop tonite for green and local businesses and a full weekend for holistic practitioners.

I’m sitting here because I missed my flight due to bad weather. Oh Alberta.

But WestJet reminded me of why I love them so much. I was feeling cranky about missing my flight and then I hear, “Theodore Hargrave? Theodore Hargrave?” I look up thinking maybe I’d left something on the plane. But it’s a cheerful WestJet lady coming to me with my next flight already booked and a $10 meal vouchure. Impressed. WestJet I love you for little touches like this.

Tour Lesson #1: Take good care of your clients. It feels good to not be forgotten – but remembered, valued and taken care of. It’s an awful feeling to feel like you slipped through the cracks.

12:31am – Twelve hours later here I am in Winnipeg. I’m staying in the apartment of a lady I’ve never met. She heard that I might not have enough people to justify the costs of the trip so she said, “You can stay at my place and I’ll stay with a friend this weekend if it helps your costs.”

It saved me $350 at the hostel. And I have a place to myself in Winnipeg. which. feels. amazing.

This trip has been such a funny thing.

Last Monday (10 days ago) there were three people registered in my weekend workshop and as of now there are 18 paid people (plus three guests).

And as near as I can figure it – here’s what turned it around . . .

I sent them this email:

hey there winnipeg friends,

okay. so here’s the important update . . .

at this moment I don’t have enough people to come out to lead my
weekend workshop – “Marketing 101 for Holistic Practitioners” (April

(and that’s alright – sometimes it’s just not the right timing).

but! the situation isn’t without hope.

I want to invite your support and give it one last, good old college
try this week for a few reasons:

– posters just went up last week
– myself and some others have worked really hard to pull this together
– I hear Winnipeg is a last minute town and I suspect there might be
some folks who are on the fence
– there’s still the ad in the Aquarian
– alex baisley was just in town and talking me up a bunch so that could help.

here are THREE ways you can help:

1) personally email your holistic practitioner friends (I’ve included
an email below you can send out)

2) spread the word via facebook:

3) sign up if you’re on the fence or just haven’t gotten around to

I’m going to make the decision about whether or not to do it by friday
afternoon at 4pm MST – so the sooner I hear from you the better.

again – if the timing just isn’t right at this moment – that’s
wonderful. I’ll come back in the fall. If it comes together magically
– that’s also wonderful. There’s no pressure at all to attend or
spread the word – but there is a timeline on the decision and your
help could make a huge difference.

Thanks to all for the immense warmth and support I’ve received thus
far. And I hope you’re enjoying spring as much as I am.

For more info or to register:


p.s. Below is an email you can send to your friends. Thanks so much :-) !


Hey there,

Just wanted to give you a heads up about a workshop happening in
Winnipeg the weekend of April 15th. It’s a weekend long marketing
workshop for holistic practitioners and life coaches. And it’s run
totally on a pay what you can basis. You attend the whole thing and
then pay whatever you want at the very end of it.

Thought it might be up your alley.

You can read more about it here:

And you might want to sign up asap because right now it’s on the fence
of whether there are enough people to make it work. He’s making his
decision Friday, April 8th at 5pm CST if there are enough people to
make it work.

Let me know if you decide to go!

And that seemed to make a big difference. Hooray for people really wanting me to come to Winnipeg.

Tour Lesson #2: Tell the truth. If you don’t have the numbers – just be honest and tell people and let go of it working out. People might just rally. And then hustle.

And then tonite, I led a little workshop at Hollow Reed here in Winnipeg. I was here leading a workshop last October and was completely charmed by the place and the people running it.

Tonite we had an intimate little group of seven people who were all just the cat’s pajamas.

A highlight of the evening for me was when we were talking about this whole question of niche.

Because it was a small group we could go around and have everyone share what niche they wanted to fiddle with. One woman – a spiritual counselor – shared that she felt kind of stuck.

participants of the winnipeg workshop

I love to work with the entire family to help them resolve things. Get everyone together. But, I feel like a bit of a fraud because I wasn’t able to do that with my family. I’ve done all I can but they’re not wanting to fix things.”

I could feel where she was coming from. How can you promise to take someone on a journey you were unable to complete yourself. If you’ve ever tried to position yourself in that way – it’s really stressful.

Well . . . maybe,” I offered. “Your best niche is to work with people who’ve been unable to heal the difficulties in their family and are now left with trying to heal themselves and deal with the realities of that. And maybe you might even end up working with the whole family down the road . . . but why not start with those people? That’s a path you’ve absolutely walked down yourself.”

Her eyes widened, “I could do that and feel so authentic about that . . .”

Tour Lesson #3: Your deepest wounds are your truest niche. I felt a bit like I was channeling my colleagues Alex Baisley or Jeffrey Van Dyk. Jeffrey often speaks about how your truest niche is often to be found in your deepest wounds (go watch the video!).

There’s a landscape each of us know intimately through our own life – and she knew this one. She’s the perfect guide for someone else’s journey because she’s already done it herself. When we’re in that sweet spot there’s no need to posture or feel scared of being found out. We’re standing firmly in the strength of our wounds. We’re authentic.

We’re offering our own experience and wisdom (gained from hard won experience) to the world.

What a beautiful thing.


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the journey

I’ve just woken up in Kelowna at the International Hostel (that’s me in my room to the right). It’s pretty great. And the other hostelers here have my gratitude for ending their Beer Pong competition at 11pm.

I’m here because I’m leading my Marketing 101 for Holistic Practitioners workshop and last night was the first part of it.

I asked one of the participants to hold my iphone so we could record something I’ve been wanting to record and share with you all for a couple of years.

It’s all about something I call ‘The Journey’ that you’re taking your clients on.

This piece is something I’ve learned from so many people: Jay Abraham, Bill Baren, Mark Silver and Robert Middleton. It’s become such a core part of my philosophy and perspective on marketing.

Here’s a photo of what I was drawing since it’s kind of hard to see in the video.


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What do you think?