It all began here, in a field, May 2010.
Hello and welcome to the things I think about. Since my entrepreneurial journey began I have been stepping toward this direction - both in a planned way and an intuitive way. To recap the journey (the how) here's a brief summary:
1996 - 2011: Life in a Suit
After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Communication from the University or Regina, my corporate career focused on corporate planning, governance and communications, beginning from a junior communications officer at a Federal Crown Corporation to an executive at a provincial Crown Corporation. During my corporate career I held the enviable position of helping executives and boards develop and lead visions, and write about them. My core strength was understanding the language of vision and articulating it so that others could see what the leaders saw. I loved the corporate planning role because it allowed me to function as an observer, allowing me to be creative, fact based and innovative. An entrepreneur at heart, I thrived in the world of the unknown, and the yet to be discovered. I created / founded Lynear Thinking, my personal vision for my someday "job" as a CEO.
2011 - Four Inch Heels in a Field of Dirt
May 10, my daughter organized a family photo shoot in a field. As my four inch heels sunk into the fresh spring soil, I looked up to the endless beautiful sky. I knew that moment that a change was happening. In June 2011, I took my first step into the entrepreneur's world, forming Lynear Thinking Strategy & Communications with a vision to offer over 20 years of boardroom experience to the rest of the world - focusing on entrepreneurs, non profits and cooperatives. My vision to to create a shared services community model that could create capacity for entrepreneurs. I am still working on that. In my consulting world, I could see a major difference between the corporate world and the independent worlds, specifically with regard to how they planned, and communicated, and the space between cause and effect. As a trained journalist and communications professional, a magazine was in my wheel house. I set out to develop a magazine model that would be tailored to meet entrepreneur's unique business communication needs.
2012 - SKY Magazine
Serendipity called and I answered. A consulting client discovered SKY Magazine listed in Kijiji. We were meant to be together. The name and branding aligned with my vision to help entrepreneurs realize their business goals. December 2012 I produced my first issue of SKY. From 2012 - 2016 I produced and distributed 32,000 copies / quarter to homes in Regina, Moose Jaw, and surrounding areas. That's over 500,000 homes in four years. I also created a website and Facebook page for SKY before social media became the driving force that it is now. I remember sitting in the front row of Saskatchewan Fashion Week literally learning how to use Hashtags on the fly. My offering was unique (and still is) given my expertise in business strategy and communications. My client experience included the development of a strategy based on their business needs, personally writing the content and having the business professionally photographed and put into design for approval prior to print. My clients received a stack of magazines to give to their customers as part of their fee. I then went on to actively promote them on Twitter, Facebook, my website and in the community as I was their human billboard, clothes and products which I also bought from the businesses. My goal was to transform SKY to a true magazine model, and in 2016 that goal was realized with the Summer 2016 Issue.
2014 - Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond
From my corporate view, I could see how significant it would be if employees could be engaged and excited about the future, and if the leaders could know the full value of what the employees could offer. I could also see the balance and necessity of the creative and the process minded - pink flamingos and brown ducks as I later came to describe them in my blog in 2010, which would become my first book, "How to be a Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond", published in 2014.
2016 - ZÖE
ZÖE, a shoe store, walked into my life, and I into it. I became the new owner of the ZÖE brand which was then 29 years old in the community. My vision was to recreate the brand to take into its 30th year and beyond. The word Zoe means Life. And that is exactly what ZÖE is about. Shoes + objects that carry our guests into the important days of their lives. We are not an event shoe store. We are a life shoe store, because we know that every day, every moment, every interaction matters. I know from my corporate life that the walk matters, and how one shows up in the world is the first communication between two people. ZÖE has a strong legacy in the community and beyond, which was important to protect and strengthen.
2017 - "ZÖE, the world. The world, ZÖE"
Underneath my feet, the earth shifted, and the online world erupted, changing the way people shop, and experience retail. In fact, retail of all sizes have been affected by this transformational shift.
I responded with launching ZÖE online integrating our beautifully designed brick and mortar store with the online world via the world wide web and our social media platform that is growing every day. The world of retail, social media and the web have essentially morphed to create a different kind of business than the one that I thought I was walking into to. The challenge now is to break through the noise, and become the message that people hear.
Which takes me back full circle to my strengths in business strategy, risk management, marketing and communications and publishing. And back to this: Bigger than a Business Card