1. Doi Mae Salong

    Doi Mae Salong

    I’ll always remember my first visit to the semi-far-flung, northern Thai town of Doi Mae Salong. I’d just moved to Thailand with my business partner in late 1999 to develop a specialized travel company. We were in the kingdom’s northernmost province Chiang Rai looking for trip ideas and met a...

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  2. Say “Hello”

    Say “Hello”

    For many years when I’ve passed homeless people and beggars I’ve often smiled, made eye contact and said “hello”. Sometimes I give money, but more often than not my contribution has been eye contact and sharing one simple word. The human experience at its base root is being recognized, feeling...

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  3. Listening to Music While Working

    Listening to Music While Working

    I love listening to ambient music while working, writing, thinking and reading. Having some relaxing, lyric-free music ticking along in the background helps get me into a productive zone, isolates me from distractions and eliminates time from my mind. I quickly slip into a meditative-like state and typically become highly...

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  4. Staying Focused and on Task

    Staying Focused and on Task

    Most people at some point, if not semi-regularly, struggle to stay focused and on task with their work. Not just work directly associated with their paid, day-to-day profession, but also tasks, pursuits and personal work outside of the nine-to-five. There’s no magic bullet to staying focused and productive, but there...

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  5. Ten Seventies

    Ten Seventies

    Music’s always been a life soundtrack for me. As long as I can remember music was always there: roller skating in my basement listening to Call Me by Blondie, a very young, poorly chosen obsession with the Village People, my first 45-single, I Love Rock N Roll by Joan Jett...

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  6. Five Great Bars

    Five Great Bars

    Most men have an affinity and kinship of sorts for their favorite watering hole. Movies, TV, and books have long depicted the male species visiting and even sneaking out to their favorite bar, being greeted by the barman and other patrons as they pass through the door. The classic was...

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  7. The Importance of Customer Service

    The Importance of Customer Service

    I used to own and operate an up-market travel business that specialized in highly customized tours in SE Asia and Nepal. Our business was all about building relationships, creating dream trips, developing trust, promising big things and over delivering. These were our primary goals and most of the time we...

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  8. Effective Public Speaking

    Effective Public Speaking

    It’s natural to be unenthusiastic and uncomfortable doing things we’re not strong at. We tend to get others to do such tasks for us, put them off or avoid them entirely. But would we really rather be dead than face tasks we dislike most? Countless studies have shown a majority...

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  9. Canada’s Uniquely Nice

    Canada’s Uniquely Nice

    Things are going pretty well when the main things you get kidded about are how polite your people are, how they love to bare a flag when traveling, say “sorry” with regularity, eat maple syrup and see beavers daily, and follow a sport where fighting is a key and loved...

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