I feel something like an electric current running through me. Today I'm in Los Gatos, headquarters to Netfilix. Fifty miles away is Twitter's San Francisco office. Drive thirty miles from where I'm sitting and I'd be in Facebook's driveway in Palo Alto.
If you can relate to my excitement being so close to the Mecca of digital innovation, you should probably join me at the upcoming Art of Marketing Conference in Toronto on June 5th. Why? Several of the most influential online thought leaders will be taking the stage to shake up our preconceptions about growing our businesses using ideas and trends that are shaping the future of marketing.
As you probably know, I am addicted to Twitter — both personally and professionally. If you follow me on Twitter (@YummyMummyClub) you will know how many hours I spend connecting online. I owe it partly to Biz Stone — co-founder of Twitter — who Time magazine calls one of the most influential people on the planet. His talk on June 5th is called Things a Little Bird Told Me: Simple Lessons about Business, Life, Service & Creativity. He promises to share his entrepreneurial insights, as well as inside stories about twitter, blogging and social media. This is even better than seeing Elvis Costello live!
One of the most respected thought leaders in the digital space is Seth Godin. He'll also be on the Art of Marketing stage. His focus will be on innovation and change — which is what I try to wrap my head around on a daily basis running an online magazine. Authentic storytelling and how to implement creativity to enhance your business are a couple of the skills he'll be sharing. Seth consistently writes provocative, insightful posts that challenge the status quo. I can't wait to hear him in person!
I'm intrigued to hear David Usher speak. Do you remember him from his band Moist? I used to play their videos all the time on Much. Still a successful recording artist, David has evolved in a creativity expert. He is going to share techniques to help stimulate your creative process so necessary to be innovative — a key skill in today's competitive climate.
Last year the Art of Marketing was amazing. Eric Ryan, co-founder of Method (cool soaps) was riveting, sharing stories on how they grew their business from a grass roots soap company to a huge, recognizable brand that has managed to keep its edgy vibe. Mitch Joel, one of my digital heroes, shared such useful insights on marketing and using bloggers for reviews. And Randy Zuckerberg, sister to Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, now Publisher of DotComplicated, let us in on some of her family secrets. I learned a ton. Which is why I'm going back this year.
I've got my ticket. And I'd like to help you get yours. This is the link to use to get a discount on your Art of Marketing ticket. You should register today because these events sell out!
Let me know if you get a ticket. We can sit together!
The YMC Gang are coming to Clevelands House for some fun family and friends time July 10 - 13, 2014. You're welcome to join us!
My family and I have been coming to Cleve's for nine years already! If you do the math, my daughter was six months, my son three years old when we first booked a room at the Muskoka resort. Over the years, we've become friends with families who are also "lifers" - every summer we marvel at how much each others kids have grown and then spend the next seven days reconnecting.
The resort is casual upscale, geared to keeping families busy with kids camp, a busy nursery for babies and toddlers and a huge in-lake water park. My kids are obsessed with the waterskiing program.
And what keeps the grown-ups busy aside from the bar overlooking Lake Rosseau?
16 Tennis courts, 9-hole on-site golf course, priority access to the new Nick Faldo designed 18 hole championship golf course "The Rock, swimming pools, hot tubs, fitness facilities, boat rentals and cruises.
Last year the nice people at Clevelands House (hi Jesse) let me invite YMC bloggers and YMC members to spend three days at the resort at a discounted rate. We had such a great time, we're doing it again this year.
Highlights for me were lounging at the pool together, hanging at the bar doing shooters (what?), and watching all the families bond at meal times.
What's especially exciting is this year is that the pricing is even more affordable!
Rather than going all inclusive, you can book just your accomodation and choose what, where and when you want to eat. This will cut the cost of your stay substantially.
Three days of unscheduled family time and hanging out with moms who deserve a break just like you. Maybe you can join us. When you get there, I'll be on the muskoka chairs overlooking the lake. With a glass of wine.
Visit the Clevelands House website for more information. Hope to see you there!
Wanna win your YMC Clevelands House Weekend?
We're giving away a four day/three night summer vacation package that includes accommodations, $400 towards meals, and access to resort activities, facilities and entertainment. It’s a value of $1,600!
My daughter Jessie has severe allergies. I still remember the first time she had a reaction to fish—the small bite of bland, white Tilapia on her plate suddenly became life-threatening. I fought to stay calm even though I was sure my heart was going to pound right out of my chest.
When Josh was four, I lost him at an outdoor festival. He let go of my hand for a moment and disappeared into the crowd. This time I wasn’t so calm. To this day I can't remember how we found him, only how relieved I was when he was in my arms again.
Both times my children were safe but that didn’t stop my urge to protect them and the overwhelming fear I felt when I thought I couldn’t.
It’s my job as a parent to raise my children to be independent, responsible, caring adults. Last summer I sent Josh to a camp that teaches leadership skills to build self-esteem and confidence. But I sent him knowing he would be in a completely safe environment.
It’s natural to want to protect your children and keep them safe. For every mother in Canada who worries about sending her son to a playground by himself or wonders at what age she should let her daughter sleep over at a friend’s house, there is a mother on the other side of the world who is worried about how she will provide even the basic necessities for her child. Many times she can’t so her child is forced to work at a young age.
Mao was in grade 2 when she had to drop out of school to help her family earn money for food, water, and shelter. Eventually she sold her virginity to a man for US$200, immediately sending US$150 to her mother to help pay off some of the family debt.
I want you to imagine for a moment your young daughter being forced to have sex with an adult man to help purchase food for her siblings. It’s almost beyond comprehension, isn’t it?
A few months ago there was a storm that knocked out our electricity. We turned it into a fun night complete with flashlights and reading, cuddled in blankets knowing we were safe.
Now imagine you live in a country where there has been a flood, your house has been destroyed, and there is nowhere to go. You and your children are forced to walk hundreds of miles with no secure place to sleep or food to eat. Did you know that migrations during a humanitarian crisis are a time when children are especially vulnerable to threats like trafficking and slavery? Not only are these families mourning the loss of the few possessions they had, now they have to worry about their children being abducted and sold into slavery.
Child exploitation doesn't just happen during disaster or famine in many countries around the world. Working with World Vision recently I learned that eleven per cent of child labour is found solely in the manufacturing industry, as in those textile sweatshops making clothing exported to countries like Canada. I often wonder if a child has worked to produce the variety of imported products I buy off Canadian shelves.
It seems overwhelming but there’s something you can do to help—right now.
It’s natural to want to protect our children and keep them safe. This is something we all have in common no matter where we live.
Mother’s Day has just passed and what better way to honour mothers around the world than by taking 15 seconds to sign a petition to help keep someone else’s child safe.
Read how Erica is teaching her children about human rights
Check out Erica's post about how dirty a child's work can actually get
Visit World Vision’s End Child Slavery campaign at endchildslavery.ca.