For twenty-five years I was a fashion and advertising photographer dealing with hundreds of new faces a week for clients like AT&T, Revlon and Coca-Cola,

Then one day, about twenty years ago, my 13 year-old daughter Kate, came to me and said, “Daddy, they’ve opened an aromatherapy store in our local village, will you drive me there so I can see it please?”

While Kate was looking around the store I got talking to Sandy, the owner, and she told me she had given up her job in the city to do what she had always wanted. I told her I was getting out of photography to teach face-to-face people skills. I had met so many people in my travels, and in my role as a father, who had amazing potential but lacked people skills. They were like roses with rubber bands wrapped around them – and they’d never blossom until someone took off that rubber band. I made up my mind to be that person.

I took a risk and traded in my cameras for a laptop.

A few days later Sandy called me and said she was having a few people around to her house to talk about aromatherapy and would I be interested in going along to talk about what I was doing. I said yes. I went and spoke for about 20 minutes.

A week later a young woman called and said she had been at Sandy’s that night and she has a woman’s networking group that meets the first Tuesday of every month for lunch and would I like to come along and talk about what I was doing. I said sure. And I went and spoke.

Two weeks later a man called me and said his cousin was at the woman’s networking lunch. He asked if I would be interested in putting on a workshop for 200 real estate agents who were in his networking group. I said sure. I put together the workshop, and it was a big success.

Just under 2 months later I got a phone call. “We are the staging company for AT&T Canada. We heard about your work and would like to invite you to be the opening speaker at the AT&T National Sales Convention at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto, to address one thousand six hundred people. Are you interested?”

I said sure. I did it. And it kick-started my career to be what it is today.

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