Posts Tagged ‘linda m lopeke’

A Gift of Acceptance

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Jan 1The gift of acceptance is perhaps the greatest gift you can give. Certainly it’s very special.

It’s not the easiest gift to give because it means risking. And it means loving “what is”.

It means putting ourselves out there, venturing into the unknown. Going where we have not gone before and where we do not know what we will find or experience.

And ultimately it means whatever happens, it (and we) will be ok.

No requirements for us to change. No requirements for others to change. No requirements for circumstances to change. It’s just all ok. And so then are we.

No one knows what the future will bring. All we have is now. I accept that. I encourage all of you to do the same. Can we agree to make that our “through-years” resolution?

A Gift of Giving

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

red giftMRIs reveal that making a donation activates the brain’s reward center–giving you a boost of dopamine. When you help others, the primitve part of your brain lights up to experience pleasure.

So, if you’re looking for something to do with a few saved pennies, consider giving them away.

And, if you don’t have any pennies handy, consider joining us tomorrow for our last Final Friday Fundraising call of 2008 and donating $10, $25, or $40 to help us finance the dreams of entrepreneurs in the developing countries of the world through

No spare change? No worries, we’d still love to have you join us on the call.

A Gift of Opportunity

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

OpportunitiesJust read about the 10,000 Women global initiative launched by Goldman Sachs.

They’ve publicly committed to spending $100M over the next 5 years to support expanding the entrepreneurial talent and managerial pool in developing and emerging economies.

The program is being run in partnership with leading academic institutions like Columbia University and other key development organizations. The intent is to provide 10,000 women with a solid business and management education, a strategy seen as one of the most important means to reducing inequality and ensuring more shared economic growth.

The global initiative is expected to help open doors for thousands of women whose financial and practical circumstances prevent them from ever receiving a traditional business education. They will be provided with the opportunity to develop specific skills, such as drafting a business plan, accounting, public speaking, marketing, management and accessing capital. There will also be a select number of MBA and BA scholarships funded.

In reading all about the new program, I was reminded of what Alex and I are committed to doing through the SMARTSTART Business Success Program. Except that we’re not limiting the education to women and you don’t have to live in a developing country to qualify for the support. Oh, and it won’t cost $100M for us to implement it either.

Kind of makes me wonder why there haven’t been more takers. Particularly since the only people who will ever have income security are those who create their own work and run their own businesses. Maybe it’s as simple as we should be charging a whole lot more than we are for the gift of this first rate opportunity to learn, grow and prosper regardless of one’s circumstances.

Say It Isn’t So, Justin!

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008


I was disappointed to hear it had been reported by Forbes magazine that The Justin Timberlake Foundation had spent $146,000 on expenses in 2006 but only donated $32,500.

Obviously I am not an “insider” at Forbes (or anywhere else for that matter) but I do see them as a credible source of information.

This is a common problem for fund-raising organizations because the people who give intend for their donations to go to the cause or work they choose to support, not to foundation overheads and other dubious black holes of spending. When they find out this is not happening, they think twice about donating again.

Let us state again you can rest assured the generous micro-donations you make to SMARTSTART Giving are indeed being directed to As we have previously disclosed, only the small amount deducted by your credit company (something we do not control) is taken from the $10, $25 or $40 that you donate. Your money is then pooled with that received from other donors for the current month and is given to Kiva on the first Friday of the following month.

Certainly there are expenses involved in operating SMARTSTART Giving. Alex and I cover those expenses (which are not insignificant) personally as part of our ongoing monthly commitment thus ensuring the money you want to be used to support other entrepreneurs in the developing countries of the world is, in fact, doing just that.

To see the people whose lives you are changing by supporting our work, just click on Loans (in the navigation bar) and check out their faces and stories. Together we are doing some really great things. Thank you for helping us by supporting our vision for SMARTSTART Giving.

Meet Winner Leanne Abraham

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Leanne AbrahamJoin me in welcoming Leanne Abraham, another Canadian winner to the SMARTSTART Business Success Program. Leanne is located out in British Columbia but is soon to be living in Cairo, Egypt making her my longest distance student in the program.

Thankfully the internet allows us to connect with those in far away places and I assure you Leanne has some great ideas for how to make the best use of her upcoming year in the program (stay tuned for updates).

Have a quick listen to Leanne; you’ll see what I mean.

Meet Winner Tony Roebuck

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Tony RoebuckI was very intrigued about meeting this winner when I visited his web site at and when we had our first chat on the telephone I found myself feeling very peaceful indeed.

Winner Reverend Tony Roebuck is both a pastor and a coach who specializes in mindful counselling and hypnotherapy. His mission? To help others embrace wholeness through mind, body, spirit and energy healing. He’s looking forward to working on this in the SMARTSTART Business Success Program. We can all use some of that, don’t you agree?

Meet Winner Dr. Cynthia Barnett

Friday, December 12th, 2008

True to his word, Alex continued his giveaways into November and all the winners who will work with me in 2009 through the SMARTSTART Business Success Program have now been selected.

Dr. Cynthia BarnettDr. Cynthia Barnett‘s story is a particularly happy one. She was so hoping to win but her name did not come up in round number one or round number two. But she did not give up! I recognized her name when it was pulled in selection round number three and it was one of the happiest congratulatory calls I got to make throughout this process.

Dr. Cynthia is a real go-getter. She has just jumped in with both feet and is now working on building her awesome brand Dr. Cynthia’s Freestyle Retreats. You can check out her web site at or click on the play button to hear her winner’s interview.

4 Things You Can’t Recover

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Owl in TreeIn this special time of year when we turn our attention to friends and family, perhaps having had to sacrifice some of that along the way, I thought I’d share a reminder of the 4 things we can’t recover:

the stone… after the throw,
the word… after it’s said,
the occasion… after the loss,
the time… after it’s gone.

(A friend sent this message to me today and I liked it so much I decided to pass it on!)

Our 3 Final Winners Have Been Selected!

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Wow, last night’s draw was so exciting! Our special thanks to Leland Clipperton who drew the names of the final 3 winners in the Alex Mandossian Giveaway! (I’ll be calling them personally right after the Final Friday call which starts in 30 minutes!)

Congratulations to:

Glenn Weissel, Roy, Washington
Leanne Abraham, North Vancouver, British Columbia
Ken Lucyk, Spruce Grove, Alberta

Success Starts with Heart

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Being an entrepreneur can be tough. But there’s no life like it! Frankly, I can’t imagine living any other way and I’m sure Alex feels the same as I do. And I know many of you feel that way too.

Let me be clear, it’s not like we’ve never felt frustrated about where we were in our lives at some point. Or that we didn’t have doubts and fears. Everybody goes through that. The entrepreneurial life carries with it a lot of uncertainty in terms of outcome. Even so, the ability to choose your own path and to work toward something with a willingness to let the chips fall where they may is the ultimate freedom.

No matter where you are on your entrepreneurial journey, there’s always plenty to be thankful for. And if you find yourself at a place where you need to re-energize and re-motivate yourself, I have a recommendation for you. A fellow Canadian, Wayne Kelly (aka the Radio Guy), recorded a series of 52 motivational interviews not long ago. Alex is even one of the success inspirations in the collection!

Wayne’s work is one of his own giving projects (he’s using this series to raise $1M for Alzheimer’s Society of British Columbia). I thought I’d let you know about it because these 6-12 minute interviews (also available as downloadable mp3s) are very uplifting. How often can you give yourself a lift while helping others?

On Wayne’s web site you can listen to some sample interviews and, if you like what you hear, you can get the entire collection, delivered to you by email once a week. Many of the interviews are with people you may know or have heard of; some people you’ll be meeting for the first time. Either way, it’s a whole year of support ready whenever you need a lift!

See for yourself at