Annual Princess’s New Year’s Address – 2013

Thought I’d forgotten, hadn’t you? Delayed perhaps, but not forgotten.

It’s been an interesting year to say the least. Best thing I can say is that we didn’t lose anyone close in our family this year for the first time in years. We actually went from one Christmas to the next with the same number of people. My health took a turn for the worse last winter, but having resolved that, I’m still here. For that, I am truly thankful.

I’ve started in a role that I am extremely happy in, but I would just like to do more of it. But the move to Hamilton has certainly been a good one for me. It’s given me perspective and has introduced me to so many more people than I ever thought possible. I haven’t been doing much training over the last year in part because of the relocation, but I am optimistic that it will change in the coming year.

I’m going to keep the message short this year and simply say that I have many people and things to be thankful for this year and that the list is ever growing. To you all, I wish you health, wealth and happiness, wherever or in whomever you find it. Many thanks to each and everyone of you for making my life a better one by simply being a part of it.

Om Shanti.


Get Your Life On Presentation: Social Media 101

Here is the presentation I gave to a group at Get Your Life On – October 4. This talk was the first in their Speaker Series and generated a great discussion. If you have questions, ping me!

Importance of Networking

Name Badge with your Twitter handle is a great idea

Name Badge with your Twitter handle is a great idea

Now, when I say networking, I’m not just talking about the “new” social media way of networking. I’m also talking about the face to face meetings. Gone are the days that everyone knows who you are only because you show up to every event. If you’re not online, you don’t exist. What I profess is a balance between the two. Life is about balance, your business should be too.

Many of the relationships that I have started, especially since moving to Hamilton, Ontario in January have been in person. When we made the decision in mid-November to make the move, I immediately hopped onto social media to see what was available here. I have friends out here, but few are in the realm I deal with in business. Two days after my family made the decision, I attended my first meetup: Hamilton Business Networking and Entrepreneurs Group.  I used the social media and technology aspect to find out the information and meet people in person. I wasn’t sure if the business model I’d been using in Toronto would work here, so I needed to meet people and talk to those that had been here longer than I.

One big difference between Toronto and Hamilton: both are willing to help, but Toronto people just don’t have the time or capacity to help all the time. The life is busy, never-ending, buzzing and tiring. By the time you come home and have dealt with your own stuff, you haven’t got the energy to help anyone else. In Hamilton, I’ve found that the capacity to assist others is immense. It could be a few emails on your behalf or sitting down for a coffee to discuss business or even pleasure. In Toronto, you might get to meet for coffee for 20-30 minutes. In Hamilton, it could be for an hour. That doesn’t mean that it takes longer, but the meetings are more meaningful and you have a chance to understand each other’s business, not just the current objective. I love Toronto, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve really found a second home in Hamilton and a big part of that is because of this meetup group.

I did a presentation to this group a couple of months ago (Social Media 101) and from that I have my entire customer base. More than 80% of them are members of this group, the other 20% have come from referrals in the group. I’ve had numerous discussions about whether the art of meeting people is dead or whether social media is not genuine, et cetera, and my belief is that they compliment each other. The conversation can start in person and then carry on over social media or vice versa. One of my teachers once said to me, “It doesn’t matter which path you take to reach the top of the mountain, so long as you get there,”. So if your goal is to increase your network and meet new people, why not increase the chances of that by getting on social media? Think of all the people you could reach with 140 characters on Twitter within a few seconds! About the same amount of time as a text message, less than an email and you can even attach a photo easily at the event you might be attending to show all your friends. Maybe they are interested in that even or what your involvement might be? The possibilities are endless.

Lastly, I want to add that social media should be done by YOU. Just like meeting people in person, if you hire someone to act as you, it’s not genuine. Why should I deal with someone who lies to me about who they are? I’m not talking about a large company that has someone do their social media as their job, but those individuals who have “ghost tweeters” and the like. If you want to get clients, be genuine, be honest and don’t be a ghost. Take ownership of your relationship.

If you want to see what I’m up to or where I’m going to be, check my events page here. Even if I can’t make an event, but I think it will be of interest, you’ll find it there. Hope to see you soon!

Social Media Videos

Tomorrow night I am presenting to a networking group here in Hamilton. Since I won’t have a chance to show all the videos, I wanted to collect them here and share them with the rest of the world. The first one I found while doing my research for the presentation. Some of the screen captures I use in my presentation, but it just doesn’t do it justice to leave it as that. The other three were shown during a presentation at Social Media Week Toronto (SMWTO) on Privacy. Thanks to Mark Hayes at Hayes eLaw for those. Once I finish the presentation, I’ll upload that too.

The Social Media Revolution 2012

Can I be your friend?

Do you really have a private life online?

Offline Social Network

Write About Your Earliest Memory

Write about your earliest memory.

I was visiting Hamilton City Hall the other day when I was reminded of one of the last times I was there. It was one of my earliest memories.

Hamilton City Hall from

Hamilton City Hall from

I was about 4 years old and my brother was 2 when my mother brought us to City Hall to visit my father where he was working at the time. My mother had also worked there, so she knew a number of the people around. We were waiting for the elevator when my brother ran off in one direction and my mother went after him. The elevator arrived and of course, I got on… alone. I remember turning around and watching the doors closing with my mother running to the elevator now to catch me. I looked at one door and then the other, much like a fast tennis match. I ended up on the top floor which was the cafeteria and two women found me and asked if I was lost. I told them my father’s name but didn’t know where to find him. In a short time I was back with my family safe and sound.

Annual Princess’s New Year’s Address – 2012

As the Princess, it is my place to give you not the Christmas Address (such as the Queen of England does) but a New Year’s Message.

It has certainly not been the easiest year on record for me. I will not bore you with the details of the past, but instead, will share with you plans for the future. Many years ago, I told my cousins that I would never move to Hamilton. Well, let me say publicly, you were right. I completed my move and once the house is set up, I hope to have some people over for a proper open house, which has been lacking in the most recent years. I’m turning tragedy into opportunity by moving into the house my grandparents bought brand new 50 years ago. So, I’m calling it my new/old home. I’ve known it all my life. New year, new home, new city… new life.

This is a chance for me to reboot my life. I’m not so far away from my old life that I’m not going to have it any more, I just need a change of pace and expand my horizon a little bit.

If nothing else that life has taught me so far, it is to not take anything for granted. Don’t just wait around for something to happen, make it happen. No more procrastinating. This is the year I begin to live again.

I toast you all that are still part of my life and continue to support me on my journey, as I hope I have done in yours. May the new year be fruitful, auspicious and kind.

– Shanta

P.S. If you’re looking for my Bridget Jones post for the coming year, that will also come soon.

Suspects in Hamilton torture charged in separate case

Holy cow! I can’t believe this happens in today’s society that the vulnerable are preyed upon in this manner.  Makes me sick to my stomach! Give me five minutes in a room with these guys. Don’t bother locking the door because it will be over in less than one minute!

Pair accused of beating a second handicapped victim in December

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