Time to Thrive Podcast: The journey to forgiveness and finding your voice to make a difference with game changer Orlando Bowen

Time to Thrive Podcast: The journey to forgiveness and finding your voice to make a difference with game changer Orlando Bowen

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Social entrepreneur, public speaker and former Tiger-Cat football player, Orlando Bowen shares his powerful story on his wrongful conviction, how he got started in public speaking and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. What is so striking about Orlando is his capacity for forgiveness and using his gifts for the greater good.

Orlando is a keynote speaker focused on equipping people to get off the sidelines and become difference-makers on their teams and in the lives of those around them. He is a highly sought after speaker and trainer who works with corporations, small businesses and non-profits. When it comes to building teams, creating momentum and employing winning strategies, Orlando is the real deal. He is also passionate about youth leadership. As a result of that passion, he founded One Voice One Team Youth Leadership Organization to inspire and to teach resilience, leadership and teamwork to youth.

Empowering people to overcome adversity, find their passion and to use their gifts to serve is the reason Orlando breathes. This gift has placed Orlando on hundreds of stages, boardrooms and in presentations across North and South America and has garnered him numerous awards.

From our interview you will learn about:

  • His wrongful incarceration story
  • How he was drafted to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats
  • How he started his not for profit organization
  • Why a greater purpose can lead us to overcome our fears
  • What a positive mindset can accomplish in life and business
  • Advice to get started in public speaking
  • Adapting to working online

I am Leigh Mitchell and I help you Brand your Brillance. Let’s chat and see if I can help you.



Time to Thrive Podcast: D.O.Gibson on his journey in business as a musician, author and a speaker in schools

Time to Thrive Podcast: D.O.Gibson on his journey in business as a musician, author and a speaker in schools


On this episode of the “Time to Thrive Podcast” Leigh and Ronan Mitchell spoke with rapper, speaker and socially driven entrepreneur Duane “D.O” Gibson.

D.O discusses his journey in business as a musician, author and a speaker in schools. We dive into the process of getting signed to a record label and getting music published to streaming services and CDs. D.O gave advice, insight and tips for fellow entrepreneurs and anyone looking to enter a field similar to his.  You can find D.O on Instagram and twitter @iamdogibsonand at websites www.iamdogibson.com   www.staydriven.com  www.onthisgrind.com


More on D.O Gibson:

D.O. Gibson has defied the odds as a rapper from Canada, becoming a certified international artist, a successful record label executive and a socially active community ambassador.  He set a Guinness World Record when he freestyled for nearly nine hours in 2003, sold tens of thousands of CDs, hit #1 on U.S. College Hip Hop Radio charts and travelled the world performing for sold out crowds; D.O.’s success is defined in his own terms.

In addition to extensive Canadian tour schedule, Gibson has lived up to the nickname “MrInternational” as he has toured the US, Europe and Asia.  In the summer of 2016 he headlined shows in France, the Netherlands and performed at Fresh Island Fest in Croatia alongside Wiz Khalifa, Chris Brown and DJ

In between recording, Gibson founded the Stay Driven program that launched in 2001.  Stay Driven is based on D.O.’s own life experiences where he addresses relevant topics such as anti-bullying, peer pressure, and literacy. Gibson has spoke and performed at over one thousand schools reaching hundreds of thousands of students.  In 2012, he released the book Stay Driven.

Somewhere between Tupac (in terms of social consciousness), Fresh Prince (in terms of appeal with youth) and Jay-Z (in terms of business sense), stands D.O., a man who is bounded only by the hours in a day.


Related read: Discover my public speaking hack

I am Leigh Mitchell and I help you Brand your Brillance. Let’s chat and see if I can help you.



Step by step guide to developing your UPS

Step by step guide to developing your UPS

The biggest mistake I see with marketing material is when it doesn’t speak to what is unique! In order to stand out in a crowded marketplace, you have little time to make your point. So don’t waste precious time and space with any needless copy. This exercise will help you define your value on paper!

What’s A Unique Positioning Statement?

  • Unique selling propositions of products and services
  • Target customer
  • Place in the competitive market
  • Promise to customers

A brand’s unique positioning statement is different from a tagline. A tagline is a brief (sometimes only a few words in length), but a brand positioning statement is typically one to three sentences. It isn’t a marketing catch phrase. It’s a statement that serves as the framework for a brand’s identity and goals.

Why Do You Need A Unique Positioning Statement?

A brand positioning statement is important because it directs your communication, digital marketing, advertising, strategic plans, and even brand development.

By outlining who you are, what you offer, who you serve, and why you’re different — you clearly tell both customers and your internal team what to expect from your brand.

This statement makes it easier for potential customers to identify if you are the right fit for them. They can see if you are a match for what they need. This introduction starts and strengthens customer relationships and leads to more brand loyalty.

A clear brand direction also sends messages to your internal team. It helps new employees decide if they align with the brand’s mission and goals. And, it helps existing team members stay on the right track and continue to deliver on your brand’s promises.

Step 1: Describe Your Target Audience

Before you can even start marketing your services, you need to know who you are targeting. In this step, you want to be as specific as possible. For example, if you are a Web developer with a CMS expertise, instead of targeting anyone who needs helping building or modifying a CMS, you may identify your target client as a small business owner who is looking for a developer well-versed in MODx to customize his/her site.

Step 2: Explain the Problem You Solve

From your perspective clients’ perspective, what is the individual need or challenge they face that your business can solve for them?

Step 3: List the Biggest Distinctive Benefits

In this step, list 3-5 of the biggest benefits a client gets from choosing to work with you that they could not get from someone else (i.e., what sets you apart from your competition). Again, thinking from the clients’ perspective, these benefits should explain why your services are important to them and why they would choose you over another provider.

Step 4: Define Your Promise

A big part of a successful USP is making a pledge to your clients. While this can be implied instead of spelled out in your USP, write down this promise you make to your clients in this step.

Step 5: Combine and Rework

Once you’ve completed steps 1-4, take all of the information you listed and combine it into one paragraph. There should be some recurring ideas and thoughts, so you’ll want to start merging statements and rewriting in a way that flows and makes sense.

Step 6: Cut it Down

In this step, take your paragraph from step 5 and condense it even more into just a sentence. You want your final USP to be as specific and simple as possible.

Content Sources: Hive Mind Studios and SitePoint





Afraid to speak in public? Try this secret tip.

Afraid to speak in public? Try this secret tip.

I used to be terrified of public speaking. So what was my career move? Starting a business where I have to be on the stage of course.

I believe the universe puts us into challenging situations on purpose. I think being pulled out of our comfort zones helps us to learn essential lessons in life, and most importantly, it teaches us valuable secrets about ourselves.

I would never have put myself in the public speaking spotlight, but in my case, I didn’t have a choice. If I wanted my business to succeed, I had to put myself out there. That meant pulling past my fearful reservations and finding a way to get comfortable with public speaking.

Dancing became my go-to method for getting beyond stage fright:

I discovered years ago that dancing gets you out of your head and the nonsensical internal chatter it’s feeding you. 

My internal voice was telling me I was not good enough and I would be judged by those watching me. Cue the anxiety! Bring on the panic attack! I consulted members of my community and inner circle. One person, in particular, Heather White, helped me tremendously. She is a fantastic speaker, coach and was the MC at our first Vancouver conference.

Remember there is always a solution when you seek it with curiosity and patience.

In my case dancing on stage created positive energy and the audience cheering helped me to succeed. I also started using the technique before an important call, I’ll put on my headphones and do some chair dancing. Whatever mind chatter comes up seems to die down when I dance or move my body. Running also helps me in a similar way.

I had to dance to get myself out on stage in the first few years of public speaking. It was a lifesaving technique for me because I found people would cheer me on, and the feelings that popped up in my head were no longer harmful. 

Of course, I am human. I still get nervous, but my performance memories remind me that I can do it. I actually look forward to speaking opportunities now.

Here are some more public speaking tips that might help:

  • Be yourself or embrace an alter ego – who is roaring inside you? Embody those qualities. For me, the spirit of Oprah Winfrey guides me to the question: What would Oprah do?  To read more about developing an alter ego pick up the book: The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life by Todd Herman
  • Exercise before you are under pressure to speak up. Working up a sweat will calm you down and allow you to think clearly.  This also applies to an interview situation, sales presentation or uncomfortable meeting you are preparing for. Essentially build in time to workout when you need to enhance your performance skills. Trust me it works.
  • Visualize success.  Think about past experiences when you have experienced a win. How did you feel? Write down your past accomplishments – even little ones are worth noting. Imagine yourself succeeding before you are about to perform. Be sure to focus your energy on a possible positive outcome, not what could go wrong.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. Chances are you will be much harder on yourself than anyone else would be. Laugh off any flops and learn from your mistakes. Perhaps you need to prepare more or join a program to gain more confidence. Never be fearful to invest in yourself.



Procrastinate Much? Your Mental Makeup is Responsible + Tips to Succeed

Procrastinate Much? Your Mental Makeup is Responsible + Tips to Succeed

Content Source

Does this sound like you?

  • You are used to waiting until the last minute to complete a task, explaining, “I work best under pressure.”
  • You take care of unnecessary and unimportant tasks to avoid taking care of bigger ones.
  • You wait to start a task, telling yourself later would be better – you need to research, prepare, and plan before beginning. However, you never actually reach the point where you are ready to begin.
  • You mentally – and sometimes actually – create scenarios where it is impossible to complete a task. For example, you want to find a better job, but think about how you have put so much into your current job, and, after all, maybe things will get better.
  • You are caught looking at your past. You dwell on past failures or keep analyzing what you have done in your past life and never get as far as completing a current task.

Procrastinators often make an undesirable task so complicated, it becomes almost impossible to complete.

Reluctance to Make a Decision

Seeking Perfection


Procrastinators often set themselves up for failure by setting up roadblocks that prevent success.


Suggestions we provide will work for everyone. We have included those deemed most successful by those who have managed to stop procrastinating. Additionally, some of our suggestions come from mental health experts who have worked with procrastinators whose problem was so debilitating they sought professional help.

  • Let Others Know You Plan to Complete a Task

Telling others about your plans to complete a task adds accountability. Family, friends, and others will ask how the completion of your task is going whenever they see you. The possibility of embarrassment when you must confess you have not yet begun your task can be a powerful motivator.

  • Decide on the Process You Will Use to Stop Procrastinating

Read our list of ways to stop procrastinating and choose whichever you believe will work for you.  If you are not successful, try a different one. Sometimes it works to combine more than one method.

  • Write Down the Reasons You Procrastinate

Review the section on the personality traits of procrastinators and decide which of those mentioned apply to you. Doing so will help when you map out a personal process for change. You cannot change your behavior unless you understand the reasons behind it. Here are some possible reasons for your procrastination. You may have one, a few, or, if you have been procrastinating for a long time, all of them:

  • Poor physical or mental health
  • Fear of failure
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Insufficient ability to complete a chosen task
  • Unrealistic expectations


Methods for Breaking the Procrastination Cycle

Again, not all of these methods work for every individual. You may that one even contributes to your procrastination, for example, making a list is as far as you ever get as you perceive the job as completed once it is listed.

  • Prioritize Tasks

Make sure you are concentrating on getting the right things done. Yes, there is always more to do, but do not think about that, instead, decide what you really need to do.  Make a list and then number the items in order of importance. Work through your list in numerical order.

  • Create a Timeline for Large Tasks

Large tasks often seem impossible to complete, especially for a procrastinator. Break your large task into shorter chunks and then set up a timeline for completion. Set specific dates for completing each chunk of the task.

  • Make a To Do List

Design your to-do list to meet your individual needs. Some people do well only listing items usually avoided, and excluding tasks done every day. Others list everything, as they get a feeling of accomplishment by crossing off items. You may like dividing tasks into groups using time, the similarity of tasks, or days of the week.

  • Eliminate Opportunities to Procrastinate

Get rid of distractions. Turn off the TV, do not answer the phone, and if you are tempted by Facebook or email updates, turn off the automatic notification options.  Some people set up a special place for working on tasks – a designated room, computer, or location – in which they only work on tasks needing completion.

  • Break the Task into Manageable Segments

Procrastination frequently occurs when a task seems just too overwhelming to begin. For example, writing a book seems daunting. However, breaking the task down into steps, such as creating an outline, writing the rough draft one chapter at a time, and revision (after the book is completed!), makes the task more manageable.

  • Create Rewards and Punishments

Reward yourself at milestones on a long task. Take a break and allow yourself to solve a puzzle or read a chapter of a book after an hour of uninterrupted work.  Use larger rewards at the end of completing a large task or at the end of a week of productive work, such as a night out with friends. Establish some consequences if you avoid a task. For example, if you do not exercise three times a week, you cannot shop for new clothing.

  • Delegate Some Tasks

Determine if there are parts of a task that you can delegate.  Family members are capable of completing many routine tasks, freeing you to complete a larger, more complicated task. See if someone else may be able to accomplish part of the task, i.e. having what you write proofread by someone else instead of doing it yourself.

  • Choose a Productive Environment or Workspace for Completing a Task

Examine your work area. Make sure you have the necessary tools to complete your task. Your work area should be well lit, with comfortable seating. However, make sure you are not so comfortable you find yourself relaxing instead of working.  It may also be necessary to change the arrangement of your workspace if it becomes less conducive to work after some time.

  • Begin the Task
  • Be around productive people and pattern your life after the things they do to achieve success, especially in those areas in which you tend to procrastinate.
  • Continually clarify your goals. You will never get there if you do not know where you want to go.
  • Do not compare yourself or your ability to others. You can always find someone more creative, faster, smarter, or better able to complete whatever task you set for yourself.
  • Take action. If you cannot tackle the big task, go for the small ones. Get something done each day – something you can feel good about accomplishing.
  • Quit making excuses. You may think you have valid reasons for delaying a task, but learn to be honest with yourself when you procrastinate.
  • If necessary, go to the doctor to remove any physical or psychological reason for your procrastination. Poor health can impede the best efforts.

Do not give up. With time and effort, you can overcome the habit of procrastination and lead a happier, healthier, more productive life.


Creating Showcase Pages on Linkedin

Creating Showcase Pages on Linkedin

This content is from Social Media Examiner

Are you looking for more ways to use LinkedIn for your business?

Have you considered showcase pages?

LinkedIn showcase pages enable you to promote certain products or services to specific customer segments.

In this article, you’ll discover how to use LinkedIn showcase pages for your business.

What Are Showcase Pages?

Showcase pages are an extension of your LinkedIn company page and allow you to highlight a particular product line or brand. Although you need to have a company page to create showcase pages, they’re somewhat of a standalone feature. Each showcase page has its own followers, status updates and functionality, sort of like a mini LinkedIn company page.

hp linkedin showcase page

A showcase page works similarly to a company page. It has its own followers, and you can post status updates to the page.

Any showcase pages you’ve created for your business are listed in the right column of your company page. For example, IBM has a number of showcase pages, including IBM Cloud, IBM Analytics, IBM Security, IBM with MSPs, IBM Social Business and IBM Watson.

ibm linkedin showcase page

All the showcase pages you’ve created are found in a list on the right side of your LinkedIn company page.

Here’s how to set up showcase pages for your business’s products and services.

#1: Choose a Page Name

First, you need to choose a page name. To take advantage of showcase pages for SEO, include your target SEO keywords as part of the page-naming process. For example, because I provide search engine optimization training, I claimed, created and optimized the showcase page with the same name: Search Engine Optimization Training.

The URL for the showcase page I claimed is http://www.linkedin.com/company/search-engine-optimization-training.

As you can see from the URL, showcase pages are not directly linked to your LinkedIn company page. The URL just says …/company/…, and only the name of the showcase page is included in the URL. This means no one else can claim a LinkedIn showcase page with that same name. It’s sort of like registering and claiming a really cool .com URL and making it yours.

#2: Create a Showcase Page

To create a showcase page, log into your LinkedIn company pagehover or click on the down-pointing arrow next to Edit and select Create a Showcase Page from the drop-down menu.

creating linkedin showcase page

To create a showcase page for a product or service, go to your company page, click the Edit button and then select Create a Showcase Page.

You can claim up to 10 showcase pages for your company. If you need additional pages, reach out to LinkedIn’s support team and request them.

#3: Optimize the Page for Search

Without a doubt, Google loves LinkedIn company pages, and frequently ranks them high in search results if they’re properly optimized. The same principle applies to showcase pages. The more followers you have and the more actively those followers engage with your showcase page, the better.

There are a number of ways you can optimize your showcase pages for search. You get more SEO juice by including target SEO keywords in the showcase page name (as described earlier) and in the description. You can use up to 200 characters to draft an engaging and compelling product or service description, so make good use of this real estate.

In the Website area of your page, make sure you include a link to the corresponding service or product page on your website.

optimize the description and website url for a linkedin showcase page

To optimize your showcase page for search, include target SEO keywords in the product description, add your website URL and upload a logo and header image.

Also add your logo and a header image to your showcase page. For the header image, you can upload an image in the PNG, JPEG or GIF format. The maximum file size for the image is 2MB, and it must be 974 x 330 pixels or larger.

Be sure to invite people to follow your showcase page and encourage them to engage with your posts. When you post status updates on the page, keep them focused and include your target SEO keywords.

Companies Using Showcase Pages

Here’s a look at how three well-known companies use showcase pages to promote their products and services.

Adobe Creative Cloud

The Adobe Creative Cloud showcase page has more than 15,700 followers and features an excellent and relevant header image. The Adobe company page encourages visitors to follow all of their LinkedIn showcase pages.

adobe creative cloud linkedin showcase page

The Adobe Creative Cloud showcase page includes the product logo and an eye-catching header image.

Intel IT Center

The Intel IT Center showcase page, which has more than 47,200 followers, takes advantage of the Featured Groups function to cross-promote their Intel IT Center LinkedIn group. They also have a status update pinned to the top of the page to maximize visibility and engagement for the post.

intel it center linkedin showcase page

The Intel IT Center showcase page cross-promotes their LinkedIn group as well as includes a status update pinned to the top of the page to make it more visible.

LinkedIn Social Selling

The LinkedIn Social Selling showcase page, which has more than 37,200 followers, also takes advantage of the Featured Groups function to cross-promote their corresponding group. Attracting attention these days can be challenging, so having two ways to reach your target audience on LinkedIn is a great strategy.

You’ll notice LinkedIn also pinned a status update to the top of this page. This feature is great for A/B testing to learn which posts and content your target audience responds to.

linkedin social selling linkedin showcase page

The LinkedIn Social Selling showcase page has an update pinned to the top of the page as well as cross-promotes the related group.