Tag Archives: Andrea Wahbe

My Favourite 2014 Blog Posts

Happy New Year! I’m excited to start a fresh year of blogging. But before moving ahead, I think it’s Typewriter spelling the words "Once upon a time"important to reflect on what stories worked well and drove a lot of traffic and/or engagement in 2014.

So, below are some of my most popular posts from the past year (across multiple publications) and my thoughts on why I think they were so successful.

1. Six steps for setting up a small business in Canada

I kicked off 2014 by writing this story for TELUS Talks Business. I think that this post continues to generate a lot of page views because the topic is evergreen – meaning that it is not time sensitive and people can refer to this post as a check list of things to do in order to get started with their small business.

2. Kirstine Stewart says Twitter offers a new beginning for television

Last May, I attend the Clickz Live Conference in Toronto and really enjoyed Kirstine Stewart’s (managing director at Twitter Canada) talk about how Twitter can help drive increased television viewership and engagement. I think that the reason that this story got so many shares on Techvibes is because the title was extremely compelling and it offered insights/thought leadership from a senior level person at one of the world’s largest social media technology companies.

3. Cheers to happy accidents

Although this post didn’t drive a lot of shares on my personal blog, it did drive a lot of conversation on Twitter. I think that the reason some of my Twitter followers chose to respond to this post was because I shared it in the evening (when people are often sitting around after dinner and looking for casual stories to read online). The topic was also very playful and interesting. It’s definitely one of my favourite posts of 2014.

Writing a highly engaging or traffic-driving blog post is an art form. And I am constantly trying to learn why some of my stories tank and others soar. Have a tip for how to drive more traffic and engagement via blog posts? Please share in the comments section below.


Inspiration: Why SmartBrideBoutique.com is a True Labour of Love

Andrea Lown (left) and Leah Andrew (right) from SmartBrideBoutique.com

I had the privilege of working with some remarkable women this summer who have shown me what it means to truly love your job. Andrea Lown and Leah Andrew from SmartBrideBoutique.com found their inspiration for starting their business while each planning the wedding of their dreams. They soon realized that it’s tough to find the ultimate wedding dress on a tight budget.

They knew that there had to be a better way to find a beautiful wedding gown for less and so they turned to the Internet to look for deals. However, what they found was that the shopping experience on sites like Kijiji and Craigslist is not conducive to easily browsing postings and searching for specific designers and sizes.

So, they decided to develop a way to make it easier for budget-savvy brides to shop online while also dreaming up a concept that was good for the environment. They ended up building an easy to use online platform that helps brides-to-be to save up to 50% on their wedding dress while helping recent brides to recoup some of the costs from their wedding by recycling their wedding dress, decor, accessories and more.

What I find so inspiring about watching Andrea and Leah work together is not only their great and often hilarious rapport with each other, but also their tireless efforts to make their company a success. What is also incredibly refreshing to see is that both the idea for their business and their willpower to succeed are born out of the same motivation – love. If it weren’t for love, they wouldn’t have had weddings and discovered a business opportunity. In addition, if they didn’t love what they do on a daily basis then they wouldn’t be so determined to grow their business.

Having worked with Andrea Lown in the past, I know that she is not one to settle for less than the best. After her honeymoon, she too was looking for a new job and realized that if the right one wasn’t out there, then she’d just have to go out and create it for herself.

These ladies have no idea how much they’ve inspired me. A Facebook “like” button on their site does not express how much I have enjoyed watching their online business grow and thrive. Facebook, please develop a “love” button!

Read more about Andrea and Leah’s business here: http://t.co/AUO841M

Watch Andrea and Leah talk about how to stretch your wedding budget:

Everyone Needs a “Career Yoda”

I have been very fortunate to have found a number of people in my career who I can turn to for advice and inspiration.  I like to call these people my “Career Yodas”.  I am not implying that these people are small, wrinkly and hundreds of years old – but they do possess a certain level of wisdom that I am able to learn from and therefore I look up to them.  This summer, I met my most important “Career Yoda” to date.

After I left a job that I felt was the wrong step in my career, I knew I needed someone to guide me back to the proper path.  A former boss of mine recommended that I speak with her friend who had started up her own career coaching company. I was skeptical at first because I thought that I already had a lot of people to turn to for advice.  However, I took a chance on her and have never looked back.  What I have learned is that career coaches are not supposed to make you fill out questionnaires about your skills and help you to find out what colour your parachute should be.  Instead, they are there to help you find out how to fit your career aspirations into your desired lifestyle and cheer you on to help you go after what makes the most sense to you in your life right now. They also challenge your way of thinking and are there as a sounding board when you are trying to make a tough decision.

I have coined my weekly career coaching sessions as “Wednesdays with Rachel”. I look forward to these meetings because I know that she is going to want a recap of all of the homework that she assigned to me in the previous week and is going to hold me accountable if I didn’t complete my assignments. Being the keener that I am, I get great satisfaction from telling her what I have accomplished and I can be completely honest about what I am thinking and going through.  She also helps me to set goals for myself outside of my career to make sure that I am fulfilling other life aspirations as well.  More importantly, she has taught me the power of patience in my career as I often like to race towards the next step without thinking through how it will impact my life as a whole.

Rachel has helped me to discover the “force” that was always strong in me but had just been buried for a while.  I have learned a lot about myself through the process and am richer for having gone through the experience. Therefore, if you have ever thought that you needed some guidance in your career, I highly encourage you to work with a career coach (or Yoda – patato/potato).  Believe me, you’ll never look back!

If you are interested in contacting Rachel, you can do so through her website: http://www.coach.weinstein.to/Home.html