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Marketing Matters: Getting more out of life

January 24, 2018  By Cathy Bartolic

I am envious of people who, at least from the outside, look like they have their life together and in order. They have a successful business but are not working 24/7/365 just to pay their bills. They take holidays at least once a year and maybe more often. They seem to be able to make a decision and go with it.

They have time for their kids – heck, they have kids. In short, they have apparently discovered a work life balance that touches all the important aspects of their life.

One of these people is a second-generation nursery owner. The business was originally started to grow shrubs that were wholesaled at the food terminal. Gradually, they transitioned over to “selling sticks.” They now grow pussy willows, dogwood, ilex and hydrangeas, along with other plants, that are sold as cut branches or cut flowers.


A lot of what they do now was put into place as a conscious decision to have free time with their kids during the summer. They have picked crops that do not need to be harvested in July. Although there is maintenance still to be done on the farm, there is also time to enjoy a summer month with your family. Most farmers would find it hard to relate to this. Don’t get me wrong, these folks are hard working and put in many hours each day, but they have also found a way to step back and refresh with their families.

I also admire many OFFMA members who, for personal or religious reasons, do not want to open their market doors on Sunday. Sometimes, when the growing and selling season is short, it is hard to not be open for sales, especially now that the internet is open 24-hours each and every day. There must be a lot of pressure from their customers and from society in general to be open to sell on a Sunday. But these farmers have made a decision and they are sticking by it. From all accounts, once their customers are informed, they generally respect these kinds of decisions.

Tom and Nick Karadza run Rock Star Real Estate. They often talk about how they left their highly successful office jobs to set up a real estate investment brokerage. They believe that financial freedom comes from owning several properties and collecting rent from all of them. They wanted to be their own bosses and have their own business. Their catchy tagline – Your life-Your terms” – has made them lots of money and continues to bring clients through the door.

After some research, I have found a few tips on how to get more out of life without burning out.

  1. Follow your passion – Get to know yourself and understand what gets you up in the morning and what activities take you to a zone where time flies and you are hardly conscious of your surroundings. Find a way to make that activity profitable. After all, when you do what you love, it hardly feels like work.
  2. Face your fears – Much easier said than done! Fear of failure can be paralyzing. Ask yourself: “What is the worst thing that can happen in this situation?” and “What are the chances of that actually happening?” More often than not, fears are unfounded or at least out of proportion.
  3. Form new habits – Making a change can be uncomfortable and even overwhelming. You may upset some people and you may have to put more effort into certain activities if things are changed up. But keep in mind that if you want a different outcome, you need to change your behaviour. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

This is the time of year to get off life’s roller coaster for a bit, breathe deeply and figure out where you want to go and how you are going to get there. In July, you’ll be happy you spent some time sorting this out in January.

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