Posts Tagged With: Business

Want to Start an Online Business? Let me be your Consultant

From Donna Kakonge who has been developing websites since 1998.

I can help you to start an online business and also help with brick and mortar businesses as well. Please pay upfront below for an initial phone consultation via Skype and then pay an added fee for the work involved. I look forward to hearing from you soon. If you have general questions, you can contact me here:

Here are my qualifications:

Donna Kakonge’s Writing Service – Online Writing and Editing

You can email at with any questions.

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Gaining the Competitive Edge: Web Site Design Companies (Originally Published with

Fortunately, I have my own website at and although I know how to do one, I didn’t have the time. I’m not alone. Many small and large businesses with extremely capable people to do a site will outsource this work to save time and money. An article in the business section of Wednesday’s star actually mentions the growth in this area.

Continue reading

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Canadian Small Business Women

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NDX Growth & Income Fund announces initial public offering


TORONTO, Nov. 4, 2013 /CNW/ – Strathbridge Asset Management Inc. (the “Manager”) is pleased to announce that NDX Growth & Income Fund (the “Fund”) has filed a preliminary prospectus for a public offering of units. Continue reading

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Vuzix Corporation Announces Delisting From the TSX Venture Exchange

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Nov. 4, 2013 /CNW/ – Vuzix Corporation (OTCQB: VUZI) (“Vuzix”), a leading developer and supplier of smart glasses, advises that, further to its: (i) Amendment No. 5 to its Registration Statement (filed on Form S-1) filed with applicable securities regulators on July 29, 2013; (ii) pricing prospectus dated July 30, 2013 filed with applicable securities regulators on July 30, 2013; and (iii) press releases dated July 30, 2013 and July 31, 2013, Vuzix today received a delisting notice from TSX Venture Exchange advising that the shares of Vuzix common stock (symbol VZX) will be delisted from the TSX Venture Exchange as a result of the common stock being sold and issued at a greater than 20% discount to the then current market price. And while Vuzix is disappointed with the delisting and acknowledges the transaction was closed without the TSXV Venture Exchange’s approval despite its efforts to secure such approvals, it stands by its decision that concluding the offering was in the best interests of the shareholders of Vuzix based on its financial position at the time. The shares of Vuzix have been suspended from trading on the TSX Venture Exchange since July 31, 2013 (former symbol TSX-V:VZX). The shares will be delisted effective as of November 13, 2013. Vuzix shares remain listed on the OTCQB market place listed under the symbol “VUZI.” Continue reading

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Self-Publishing Discussion at The Canadian Small Business Women and How To Talk To Crazy People, How to Write Creative Non-fiction and Three Quarters at the Toronto Public Library and Books at Accents Bookstore

Buy a copy of Three Quarters  Here:

Available at the Toronto Public Library

Three Quarters by Donna Kakonge:

How to Write Creative Non-fiction by Donna Kakonge:


How To Talk To Crazy People by Donna Kakonge:

Available at Accents Bookstore at 601 Christie Street – Artscape Wychwood Barns:

How To Talk To Crazy People and What Happened to the Afro? both by Donna Kakonge

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Business Coach Identifies Market Gap, Launches Unique Home Renovation Service That Benefits Both Contractors and Homeowners

First-of-its-kind initiative, called Renovantage™, seeing steady growth since 2011 launch


Toronto, Ontario – April 29, 2013 – As a business coach, Greg Peterson has seen his share of business trends and patterns over the years. That’s why he knew he had a high-value fixer-upper when he identified a market gap in the home renovation business. Continue reading

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Money Matters

Image result for James Goi Jr.

James Goi Jr. is an author, speaker, and coach living in San Diego, California (U.S.). He has not had to work a job in years:

“I don’t know what you consider rich, as it’s a relative term, but I have not had to work a job in years, so, to me, I’m rich,” writes Goi Jr. in an email. “I am the author of How to Attract Money Using Mind Power. My book is a serious work on the subject in which I quote 160 other books. The book will soon be translated into the Hindi language and will be available on the Indian Subcontinent. Since 1978, I’ve read hundreds of books in an effort to understand the laws of life. I’ve lectured on metaphysics and spirituality, always with an emphasis on the money/prosperity angle. I also publish the free monthly “Mind Power & Money Ezine.”

“I wake up about 4:30 a.m. nearly every day. I start out in bed with visualization, affirmation, gratitude, and prayer. Then I sit up on the edge of my bed and study/breath in my vision board for a few minutes. I get up, do some exercises. Sit down, meditate for a few minutes. Then I get on the Internet and check emails and work my various social-network sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter, and I do other book-promoting-type tasks…

“I live in San Diego, so I keep a tan year round and layout in the yard for an hour any day the sun is out, which is most days regardless of the time of year. I’m on and off of the computer for the rest of the day. Exercise a few minutes every hour. Take a walk in the afternoon (mornings when it’s not so cold in the morning like it is this time of year). Read in the evening. A little T.V. sometimes. That’s a basic idea. I totally make my own schedule and only do what I want to do when I want to do it. I’m totally free in that all of my time is mine. And I can buy what I need and want when I need and want it. What can I say? Life is good. I owe it all to metaphysical laws and to an inherently friendly universe. Oh, yeah, I eat on and off during the day (unless I’m fasting). No set eating schedule. Mostly whole foods from nature; mostly raw/live fruits and vegetables. Oh #2: I go to bed about 8:30 p.m. And, of course, I do some mental work in bed.

“I have listed my website ( below. The
best way to get a quick idea of what I’m about, though, would be to go to my

page: In the right-hand column of the page is a list of links to various other websites I’m on. Speaking of which, I’m on Youtube: I’ve got 33 videos uploaded and from them you can get a good idea of what I teach–especially helpful might be my 20-part “How to Attract Money Using Mind Power” series in which I discuss
the 20 chapters of my book.”

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Jeff Gitterman’s Success Story – The Four Pillars of Success

Image result for Jeffrey Gitterman - Beyond Success

Jeffrey Gitterman is an award-winning financial advisor and the founder and CEO of Gitterman & Associates, LLC In these challenging economic times, Jeff recently started Beyond Success, a consulting firm, coaching and seminar training company that brings more contemporary spiritual, holistic and ethical values to the business world.

He has been a top requested and keynote speaker at numerous national conferences for the financial, insurance and spiritual capitalism markets, directly engaging with 10 to 15,000 business professionals annually. His first book, Beyond Success: Redefining the Meaning of Prosperity, was published in May by AMACOM, the publishing house of the American Management Association.

Over the past several years, Jeff has been featured and interviewed on several national and local print, TV, and radio programs, including Money, CNN, Fortune Small Business, New Jersey Business Journal, Financial Advisor, News 12 New Jersey, and The Dr. Pat Show. He also serves as chairman of the advisory board of the Autism Center of New Jersey Medical School, an organization that raises significant monies each year for autism research and support services.

Gitterman recently read an article about Max Planck, who won a Nobel Prize for his work with atoms. After years of study and research, Planck eventually said that he could only know one thing–that some invisible force holds together the energy to create this minute solar system, and he must assume, based on his research, that some higher intelligence is behind this force.

Gitterman was born with some understanding that the world was made of energy. He didn’t buy the story that kept showing up in front of him, whether it was his parent’s story, his schoolteacher’s stories, or the stories in the news. He just didn’t buy it. He saw the world as energy. And Gitterman actually saw that the only thing that was really important was the joint flow between human beings and how that energy was working and processing.

And what he saw in the eyes of everybody he looked at as a kid, until he got older and met some people with wisdom, were people who were looking to take energy from others. The reason for that, he thought, was that most people felt a big void within themselves. Gitterman loves the fact that the word “a-void” means to turn away from something. We all spend our lives avoiding the void. And in truth, the void is us. It’s us at our purest essence. It’s us in the silence; it’s us in the quiet. That was something he kind of lived in; he lived in the void. But then he would come out and see these people who were miserable, wanting and lacking. They weren’t producing anything in their lives; they couldn’t get enough money, they couldn’t get enough of anything no matter how much they stole, borrowed or tried. They couldn’t get enough into their lives.

He also recently learned that the root word for money in the Hebrew language is flow. That really blew him away, because it was something that he had thought about for much of his life.

“There is nothing you can do to create money because money is just a flow, and it’s the flow of energy that is the root of capitalism. Capitalism and money in and of themselves are just neutral. There is no inherent action to either of them.

There is nothing we can do to create energy either, as the only thing we can really do with the flow of energy is allowed or block it from coming into our lives. When I talk about energy, I often use the metaphor of a laser. While sunlight in its natural form is a source of warmth, it doesn’t have much power because it’s spread out in so many directions. But when it’s focused and concentrated through a magnifying glass, it suddenly becomes far more powerful. And when the power of light is condensed to a much greater degree, it becomes a laser that can cut through steel.”

So if everything is ultimately made of energy and this energy is just kind of flittering around, what focuses that energy? Attention focuses energy. But most of us don’t have control of our attention. Most of us know what we want, but few of us know what we want to give. And our attention has to be grounded in serving based on our unique creative expression in order for it to have power. That doesn’t mean you can’t have money, but Gitterman can show you plenty of people that are miserable and have more money than they know what to do with. So for us as a society, the measure of money as success is really our own fault.

“I’m going to bring this back,” Gitterman writes. “Some people have intentions that serve the world, and others don’t. Then there is everyone else. And what happens to our energy if we have no vision for ourselves? We get swallowed up by people around us whose intention is stronger than ours.

Marianne Williamson, although it is often credited to Nelson Mandela, has a quote in her book, A Return to Love, that talks about the fact that we all play too small. On an energetic level, when we play too small, we give our energy to others around us who want it. And believe me, people want it because they’re trying to accomplish things. It’s just happening at an energetic level where we’re not seeing it. So we follow along while someone else has a vision of the world that doesn’t suit ours, whether it’s people on Wall Street, in the government, or whatever. And if we’re just witnesses, we fall in blindly and give up our intention to the people that have a vision for the future that they want.”

Gitterman continues; at the surface level, we can’t see this going on, but on an energetic level it’s happening. And that’s why so many of us feel drained and filled with void. Because we literally have had the energy sucked away from us so someone else can realize their vision and goal.

“My financial services company is based around a model I’ve been teaching for several years called the Four Pillars of Success. These pillars are relatively simple, but if practiced with sincerity can have dramatic results:

“PILLAR ONE is that we have to have some practice rooted in silence. I don’t care what it is. I stand for all religions and spiritual practices: whatever it is that allows you to get in touch with your Source. Because in my mind and on an energetic level, it’s almost like we’re an electrical appliance, or a hybrid car; one of the old ones that you had to plug in. At some point in the day, we’ve got to plug in. I recommend at least 5 to 15 minutes every day. I don’t care if it’s sitting in the shower if that’s the only place you can find any quiet because that’s actually where I get mine. Fifteen minutes every morning in the shower with the water running, in the quiet, because I have an autistic child that starts talking at 6 a.m. when he wakes up and doesn’t stop until 10 p.m. when he goes to sleep, and that’s about the only 15 minutes of silence I can find. So we have to have a practice rooted in silence, and from a scientific measure, we’re just recharging our energy. Otherwise, we go out in the world and have nothing to share.

“PILLAR TWO is that we have to have an idea of what our unique creative expression is in the world: i.e. what each of us feels we have been placed on this earth to do. And it doesn’t have to be right. Because as Norman Schwarzkopf once said in a seminar I saw him give, was that the worst thing he saw in the army was that no one was making any decisions. The only way to know that anything is right is to make a decision, and if it’s wrong, correct it. I would say the same thing for individuals because most of us spend our entire life waiting for someone to tell us what our unique expression is, or kind of knowing what it is but waiting for someone to come and reinforce it. So pick something, literally, that you sense is your unique expression, and seek to build a life around it that offers something to the world.

“PILLAR THREE is that you have to have a forward vision, three to five years out, of what your unique creative expression looks like in the world. The way I teach people to do this is to have a two to a three-minute movie that you can play in your head all day long, especially as you go to bed at night. A two-minute movie of you and what a day in the life of you looks like: the house you live in, the car you drive, where and what you do at work. Are you singing to an audience? Are you the best plumber in the world? Are you the best insurance salesman, doctor, accountant or basketball player? What does that vision look like three to five years out in a perfect day in the life of you? And then give it up to the universe because in all likelihood that vision, while it may come true, will find reasons to change and grow as you make it bigger and better. We need to give our energy a direction to move in. It’s critical that we do that. Otherwise, we flounder. It’s like getting in our car without a navigation system and driving around with no idea where we’re going.

“PILLAR FOUR is that what we do has to be grounded in service. There is nothing to get. If I can leave you with any message, it’s that. There is nothing to get. There’s no money to get; no love to get; no sex to get; no happiness to get. There’s nothing to get that isn’t already in us. The world shows up and reflects what we are. If we have lacked in our life, it’s because we’re holding on to lack within ourselves. If we’re seeing things we don’t like, it’s because we’re seeing things within ourselves that we don’t like. There is nothing outside in the world that we could possibly get that could fulfill us except to fulfill our own dreams of who we are.

So what is a success?

“If I had to give a definition, I would say success is to be aligned with our unique creative expression in service to the world as much as possible. I’m going to say that one more time. To be successful is to be aligned with our unique creative expression as much as possible in service to the world.

“I used to have a radio show called Beyond Success: Redefining the Meaning of Prosperity, where I talked to many people who in my mind were successful, and those were mostly people who got to do what they loved to do all the time. That could be a ski bum who skis 300 days a year and manages to do that on a $20,000 a year job in a ski shop in the offseason. Or it could be someone like William McDonough and Michael Braungart, who wrote Cradle to Cradle, a phenomenal book about how to create products that have no waste. In the book, they talk about a guy who created a wrapper that disintegrates and leaves plant seeds in the soil when you throw it on the ground. It’s being marketed in India right now. They also talk about another guy who created the seats in the new double-decker Airbus airplane that are 100 percent edible. There’s no carcinogenic runoff at all and they could literally be digested without doing any harm. Not that you would want to eat the seats, but they were created because of the runoff that is currently in most of the plastics in cars and airplanes.

“There are two other things that I really like to think about. One is the computer and the other is the Internet. I have no real knowledge of how either of these work, but I think everything that’s showing up is a forerunner for what’s going to happen to human consciousness in the future.”

There is a book out at the moment called Consciousness by mathematician Norbert Wiener that talks about this very phenomenon. At one point you had a hard drive sitting on your desk and that was it. There was no communication with the outside world. That’s how individuals mostly still operate today, ego-based minds where at some level, there might be a universe out there that we’re all connected to, but there’s no real communication between individuals and that universe. Wiener goes on to say that the Internet is a forerunner for what consciousness is going to look like some time in the future, where we will all literally be connected through a neuro-net, and the Internet is showing us the way for how that is going to happen.

We’re obviously not there yet and I’m not saying we shouldn’t get out there and vote, or speak out against things that aren’t appropriate, but if we’re not aligned with our unique creative expression and bringing that to the world in service, then we’re not transforming the world. The world again is literally a reflection of us, and if we don’t know what we’re doing, and feel filled with void and lack, is it any wonder that the world shows up like that as a reflection?

“It is my hope that these ideas will leave you thinking about you, what you’re doing here and how you’re aligned with your energy. It’s my sincere belief that this is what will truly change the world.”

For quite a long time, Gitterman was very unsuccessful – he had debt, depression – the whole nine yards. But then one day, he came to the realization that he needed to change his attitude from “what can I get from others” to “what can I give to others” in every personal and business interaction he had. Very soon after he did this, he became very successful in a relatively short period of time.

Around the same time that he had the above realization, he also realized that money and wealth cannot remain static – and by this I mean it cannot be hoarded and kept for oneself – but instead, needs to be shared with others in a constant state of flow. In turn, the more he was able to help others acquire wealth without being concerned with what was in it for him, the wealthier he became.

Jeff’s book, Beyond Success; Redefining the Meaning of Prosperity, promotes four central or CORE concepts:

Connecting to Source

Everything in this world is a movement of energy. The more aligned we are with what we call the Source energy of the universe (others might call it God, Higher Intelligence, etc. , the more we can accomplish. In order to do this, we need to have some daily practice of silence/meditation. It doesn’t matter what technique you use – but take some time each day to quiet your mind and senses so that you can develop more control over your thoughts and interactions throughout the day. You will be able to think more clearly and function more effectively.

Owning your Unique Expression

There is something specific that each of us is here to do. Enacting our unique purpose in the world is a greater source of fulfillment than the possession of an object. Are you working in a job/industry that truly represents what you feel you are here to do in this world? If not, perhaps its time to start thinking about how you could move towards combining your true passions in life with your career.

Redirecting your Attention

Investing our attention towards the future gives us the energy to become who we hope to be. Have a clear sense of vision as to where you want to be in 3-5 years. Create a 2-3 minute “movie” in your head as to where you would like your life and your career to go. Much of the book is based on the idea that our thoughts are the foundation for the results in our lives, therefore we must learn to focus our thoughts in the direction we would like to see our lives and careers go. The only way to see if this is really true is to put it into practice with sincerity and for an extended period of time and see if it is actually so.

Expanding your Awareness

The key to true success is to find a way to give. Giving is not an afterthought to success but rather the foundation. Find a way to give to others rather than look for what you can get in all of your dealings and interactions. It may seem like a cliche and somewhat of a paradox, but it does seem to be true that the more you give the more you will receive. Again, the only way to see if this is really true for yourself is to put it into practice and see if it is actually so. Our sense is that you will be amazed as to how your life will change and your career will grow if you do.

Since success often comes with a great deal of responsibility, Gitterman leads a very full and busy life. In addition to being the founder and CEO of Gitterman & Associates and Beyond Success Consulting, Gitterman is married to his lovely wife Leslie and has four children: Justin, Joelle, Jake, and Gianna. On a day-to-day basis, he is running both companies and enjoying life with his family. Jeff’s son Jake is autistic, and he also serves as the chairman of the advisory board of the Autism Center of New Jersey Medical School, an organization that raises significant monies each year for autism and research support services.

The back of our business cards read, ” To be successful is to be aligned with our unique creative expression in service to the world.” To this Gitterman would add that silence and stillness are far too underrated in our society. Take some time every day to be silent and still in whatever way works for you. Identify what you believe your purpose in this world is, and find a way to offer that purpose to others in service. In turn, you will be so busy doing what you feel you are meant to do, that happiness and abundance will find their way to you on their own.

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It’s not NIMBYism – I just don’t trust you

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

New nationwide poll identifies credibility gap between individuals and companies

November 30, 2010 @ 04:15PM

TORONTO, Ontario – According to a recent national public opinion survey, nearly
half of all Canadians (48 percent) do not believe companies can be counted on to behave responsibly. This finding is discouraging news for organizations looking to tap into public sentiment when moving forward new projects that require public buy-in.

Fortunately, there is a silver lining: Canadians trust each other. Nearly two-thirds of Canadians agree with the statement “my fellow Canadians are people I can trust.” This stark difference between Canadians’ attitudes towards individuals versus companies shed important insight on how organizations can successfully engage their stakeholders.

In the face of growing regulatory requirements and increased interest in public consultation and participation, NATIONAL Public Relations, Canada’s largest public relations firm, and Harris/Decima commissioned a survey of 4,000 Canadians across the country to examine when, why and how Canadians want to be consulted on matters impacting them.1

In an environment where public sentiment is impacting projects large and small – from infrastructure to resource extraction and new energy sources – even the best efforts of many public and private organizations to engage communities to encounter challenges.

“In this increasingly complex environment, the spirit and the means in which an organization enters into the public consultation and participation process is vital to a successful outcome for all participants,” said John Crean, National Managing Partner, NATIONAL Public Relations. “Building trust is a bidirectional process. Just as members of the public need to trust that organizations will behave responsibly, organizations also need to trust that members of the public can provide valuable insight and input into the decision-making process.”

The survey reveals major implications for the design of public consultation programs with time-pressed Canadians preferring organizations use outreach methods to reach them, versus requiring Canadians to reach out to organizations for information. For example, while public information centres and formal public hearings are among the most accepted methods required by law to engage the public, just 18 percent of Canadians said they would attend a public hearing; 21 percent would visit a public information centre and only 12 percent would join a community advisory panel to discuss local issues.

Most Canadians prefer informal engagement versus participating in more formal public hearings and workshops on an issue. The method of engagement preferred by the majority of Canadians when engaging on an issue is talking with family and friends (65 percent), followed by visiting a website of an organization involved in the issue (45 percent) or participating in a public opinion survey on the issue (43 percent).

Community issues trump both provincial and national issues and are the critical driver in getting people involved. Sixty-one percent of Canadians say they prefer to engage in community issues – proving that the closer an issue is to home the more likely members of the public are to get involved.

So how should companies approach a public that is more inclined to engage on an issue impacting their community? And how can companies engage a public that is more likely to express and form their opinion amongst fellow community members?

When it comes time to engage, the survey paints a picture of two drastically different types of Canadians: a majority group (70 percent) of uninvolved Canadians who usually choose not to engage on any given issue; and, a minority group (30 percent) of involved Canadians who, while smaller in numbers, are those most likely to provide and set the public voice on issue.2

“There is a minority of the population who are tuned in and participatory and another larger group who care about issues that affect their communities and society as a whole, but tend not to invest themselves in the processes made available,” said Doug Anderson, Senior Vice President, Harris/Decima. “This smaller group of involved Canadians will be more inclined to actively participate in the formal aspects of the consultative process, but our data tells us that their influence extends beyond the public forum to their kitchen tables. Successfully delivering a message to these involved Canadians and having them engage informally with family and friends is among the best ways to reach a much broader cross-section of the public.”

This is extremely valuable information for organizations looking to gain public support via consultation, providing an opportunity to rethink their consultative process.

1. Methodology: The data were gathered through teleVox, Harris/Decima’s national telephone omnibus survey. The data were gathered between August 26 and September 19, 2010, for 4,042 completed interviews. During this four week period, we asked Canadians a series of different questions about engagement. This series of questions was used to determine involvement and makes up the 4,042 completes, while each weekly module was asked of just over 1,000 respondents. The margin of error of the weekly modules is +/- 3.1% 19 times out of 20.

2. Respondents were identified as “Involved” through a proprietary segmentation based on responses to a list of various sorts of activities. This list was asked to all respondents, and thus all 4,042 people interviewed were identified as either being involved or not.

About NATIONAL Public Relations
NATIONAL Public Relations ( is the largest public relations consultancy in Canada and was chosen among the top 10 public relations firms in the world for corporate and social responsibility.

Recognized experts in the area of public consultation and participation, NATIONAL consultants across the country hold certificates in Public Participation from the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2). The firm’s unique approach to public consultation through its “Dialogue powered by a handshake” methodology promotes the importance of organizations entering into public consultation and participation with a spirit of cooperation, mutual respect and a willingness to engage.

NATIONAL has offices in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, New York and London, as well as an interest in MT&L/NATIONAL in Halifax and Saint John. The Firm offers corporate communications, investor relations, public affairs, public consultation and participation, marketing communications, technology, healthcare communications, digital communications and employee engagement services to a broad range of leading corporate, government and institutional clients. Internationally, the Firm is affiliated with Burson-Marsteller.

About Harris/Decima
Harris/Decima is one of the largest marketing research organizations in Canada. Harris/Decima offers a full slate of custom and syndicated research services, including telephone and on-site interviewing, self-administered mail back and online surveys, as well as qualitative one-on-one executive interviewing and focus groups.

Harris/Decima conducts research on public and social policy, program evaluation, employee satisfaction, issue management, marketing, advertising and communications testing and evaluation for a wide range of clients in the public, private, and third sectors.

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Week 4 Space Management: Inspiration – Defining Your Office Style (Originally Published on

Clare Kumar - October 5, 2010

By Clare Kumar

Given the amount of time spent in our offices, once designed for function, it makes sense to create spaces we truly enjoy being in. Since offices hold large variety items, selecting a style can help unify the space and reduce visual chaos. In this article, we’ll consider furniture, soft furnishings, and lighting. In the next, we’ll explore colour, art, and accessories.

1. Furniture

Natural wood is an age-old favourite for office furniture. Available in a wide range of finishes, it adds warmth to any space from traditional to contemporary. Most factories finished surfaces are durable and ready to stand up to daily use.

Laminated surfaces are scratch resistant, easy to clean and come in a variety of colours.

Metal and glass combinations offer clean lines and provide a more industrial look. Carefully consider the placement of glass pieces as they reflect light which could be distracting. Glass is susceptible to showing fingerprints and streaks which could be aggravating and it also offers no place for electrical cords to hide. Cordless computer peripherals and cable management systems will help avoid a cluttered desk area especially if you select a transparent top.

A hot trend right now is the combination of light coloured wood and metal shelving, tables, and desks. When kitting out your office, try and purchase all the pieces you think you will need for space at one time to avoid being disappointed later if items are discontinued or colours change.

2. Soft Furnishings

In addition to softening the appearance of the office, soft furnishings such as carpet and draperies or blinds also dampen sound. In a noisy office environment, it will help people avoid distractions and maintain focus on their work. Consider durable, easy to clean natural fabrics.

If you will be rolling chairs or filing carts, keep carpet pile low so wheels roll freely. Make sure rug edges won’t get caught in the wheels.

3. Lighting

In every office space, you will want to consider natural, ambient and task lighting.

Fluorescent lights provide light with no shadows, however, can cause fatigue because they don’t display the full spectrum provided by sunlight. Light from the full spectrum helps set our circadian rhythm. Without this, we feel like we’ve spent the whole day in the dark. Change old bulbs as soon as they flicker to avoid additional fatigue.

Incandescent lamps or ceiling fixtures provide warmer ambient light. Halogen up-lights also do a good job.

For task lights, consider a full-spectrum light on an adjustable neck so you can focus it where you’re working. Place the lamp on the same side as your non-dominant hand to avoid casting shadows on your writing.

Coming up next in the series: Space Management: Inspiration – Personalizing your space

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.

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Light Vehicle Sales – May 2010 (updated to include Volvo )‏

Dennis DesRosiers – July 20, 2010

Dennis DesRosiers – July 20, 2010 – 1

Dennis DesRosiers – July 20, 2010 – 2

By Dennis DesRosiers

Comparables … a nasty little word that many OEMs don’t like to include in their monthly press releases. By this I mean everyone likes to be selective in terms of which months they compare their sales to with the obvious intention of making themselves look good.

The proper way to look at sales is to take a longer-term view and not to focus too heavily on the month over year-ago month sales since at either end of this equation there can be some funny things that make sales performance look either very good or very bad. That is why we now also publish a SAAR with our monthly sales release ( see attached chart ) which takes 10 years of monthly sales data and estimates what the current month REALLY is telling the market given long-term trends. For May the SAAR was 1.45 million units … atrociously low by any measure and much worse than the 0.6 percent increase that the raw numbers indicated. It is now coming up on a year where sale have been tracking on a SAAR basis in the 1.5 million range … this should tell the industry something if any want to listen. Look at the six months trailing average line in the chart .. pretty flat.

And it is interesting to look at specific OEMs against a fairer comparison. In this case, I did a simpler analysis. Instead of comparing their sales to 2009 I compared them to 2008 which was a more normal May in the long run. Perhaps a little high compared to earlier in the decade but a lot fairer comparison than May 2009 when sales were in the toilet especially for some individual brands like Chrysler and GM who were in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings. For instance, Chrysler reported a sales increase in May 2010 of 53.5 percent over May 2009 but when compared to May 2008 Chrysler’s sales were actually down by 23.3 percent for the month. YTD Chrysler’s sales are up 27.9 percent from 2009 but still down by 18.3 percent from 2008. I think you get my point. I put together a small table of the top six OEMs which is attached and I encourage you to take a close look as there are some surprises. Like Toyota being down Jan-May by 22.9 percent from 2008 and Honda being down by 30.4 percent for the same period. Honda indeed is the worse performing and Toyota is the third worse performing OEMs on this chart when a fairer comparison is used. We had gotten so used to these companies walking on water that we lose track of the fact that they can also stumble from time to time. And look at Ford and Hyundai … both up nicely not only on the month and YTD from a year ago but also from two years ago. Now that is impressive.

I can’t explain May sales being so weak. We have been saying all along that sales have been lean for some nine or ten months but nobody would have predicted that May would be this bad especially on a SAAR basis. It may be the fleet that is behind this but we don’t see fleet sales for a number of weeks. And there is no doubt that Canadians significantly overbought vehicles for most of the last decade so maybe it is “needs” based buyers that are NOT in the market. Anybody who bought a new vehicle in the last 5 to 8 years quite frankly doesn’t NEED to buy another for quite some time. The average vehicle bought in the last 5-8 years will not be scrapped for at least 15 and possibly 25 years and will last 350,000 to 400,000 kilometres. So the fundamental need for a new vehicle is weak and is unlikely to strengthen for quite some time.

Also congrats to those OEMs who showed serious sales improvements this past month .. the list is long. Mercedes Benz up 22.2 percent, Subaru up 25.6 percent, Volkswagen up 9.0 percent, Audi up another 13.4 percent, Ford up 19.4 percent, Chrysler ( see earlier comment ), Kia up 13.9 percent, Land Rover although small they were up 29.9 percent and the same with Porsche up 19.9 percent. These companies are all feasting on GM who were down 17.6 percent, Toyota down 16.6 percent and Honda down 28.2 percent.

Till next month.


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Goldman Sachs

Billy Courtice Writes about Goldman Sachs – Photo Courtesy of

Billy Courtice - May 4, 2010



Despite facing a government civil fraud charge, Goldman Sachs Corp. has received a bit of good news. The bank reported that its first-quarter earnings have nearly doubled to $3.3 billion.

The bank earned $5.59 a share on $12.78 billion in revenue, due to a surge in bond, commodities and trading currency, which raised profits for yet another quarter. The bank’s profits have well exceeded what was predicted by Thomson Reuters.

The bank is being charged Friday in a fraud lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange and Commission. SEC is suing the bank for its executives’ allegedly misleading investors, who bought into failing financial products.

CEO, Lloyd Blankfein did not mention any specifics regarding the lawsuit, but he did release a statement thanking the bank’s supporters.

“In light of recent events involving the firm, we appreciate the support of our clients and shareholders, and the dedication and commitment of our people,” Blankfein said in his statement.

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CRTC Decisions

CRTC releases financial results of conventional television stations

OTTAWA-GATINEAU, March 18, 2010 — The Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today released statistical and
financial summaries for Canada’s conventional television stations. The
the report provides information on the sector’s profitability, revenues and
expenditures for the period of September 1, 2008, to August 31, 2009.


Private broadcasters saw their total revenues shrink by 7.9%, going from
$2.14 billion in 2008 to $1.97 billion in 2009. Although operating
expenses were cut by 2.4%, these broadcasters lost $116.4 million before
interest and taxes over the 2009 broadcast year, which resulted in a
the negative profit margin of 5.9%.

In 2008, private broadcasters reported profits before interest and taxes
(PBIT) of $8 million and a PBIT margin of 0.4%.

Revenues and expenses

Private conventional television stations experienced a decline of more
than $190 million in local and national advertising sales. From 2008 to
2009, local advertising revenues decreased by 10.1% from $387.2 million to
$348 million, and national advertising revenues by 10.3% from $1.47
billion to $1.32 billion.

The acquisition and production of programs represented 75.2% of all
expenses, which came down from $2.1 billion in 2008 to $2 billion in 2009.
Private broadcasters invested 3.3% less on Canadian programming last year,
or $599.4 million compared to $619 million. In 2009, broadcasters paid
$176.2 million to independent producers to acquire programming, which
amounted to an increase of $30.2 million in one year.

Meanwhile, spending on foreign programming reached its highest level yet
at 59% of all programming expenses, or $846.3 million. This total
represented a 9.2% increase over the $775.2 million that was spent in

Canadian programming

Spending on Canadian programming included $75.4 million for drama, $80.9
million for general interest programming, $312.1 million for news
programs, $65.9 million on other information programs, $38.3 million for
musical and variety shows, $3.8 million for sports programs, and $11.1
million for game shows.


In 2009, conventional television stations employed 6,747 people and paid a
total of $527.6 million in salaries, whereas the previous year this sector
employed 7,406 people and paid $576.9 million in salaries.

CRTC reports

Each year, the Commission compiles financial data on the broadcasting
industry to produce this report. For the first time, this year’s report
includes combined data for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s
English- and French-language television services, which is presented by

The CRTC today also published a similar report on broadcasting
distribution companies.
Statistical and financial summaries for radio,
specialty, pay, and pay-per-view television services, and video-on-demand
services will follow in the coming months. These annual reports allow
interested parties to stay informed about the state of the Canadian
broadcasting industry.

Conventional Television – Statistical and Financial Summaries 2005–2009

The CRTC is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises
broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

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Coming Up on Donna Magazine

Coming Up on Donna Magazine, there will be reviews from books by Dennis Desrosiers, Mikaya Heart and others. Look out for them soon.

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The Cost of Education

The Cost of Education - December 2, 2009

As a teacher, I really admire anyone who goes to school. School is so important. It teaches you not only the basics of reading, writing, math and a concentrated area of study – it also teaches you a lot about yourself. It is a shame though that the cost of education often makes it difficult for some people to take the route of enlightenment.

I recently heard about a woman who is an engineer and an architect and is currently on employment insurance. She is in her eighth month. She wants to switch careers to become a youth worker, however, is finding it hard to come up with the money to go back to school. It is good though that she has the desire to do so, despite the fact she is not the age of the average student.

I know someone else who desperately needs to go back to school to upgrade because she does not even know how to use a computer. She keeps saying she will and it is the Spanish expression, “manana, manana.” It is always tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow does not ever seem to come. I know that if she was aware of programs out there where she could upgrade her skills for free – she would do them.

In this economy, it is so important to be investing in yourself. If you already have the education, you are one of the lucky ones and I hope you are using it to your advantage. Investing in yourself will secure your future and give you more opportunities to choose from. I know my journalism and media studies degrees have been a tremendous benefit to me.

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