Grow Airdrie

I’m all that and a bag of chips…

Blog #5

I have been sweating thinking about writing this blog, I said I was going to write about things about myself that I’m proud of. I think I must write how uncomfortable I am writing this to offset the pompousness I think bragging about yourself I feel. You know how you judge others for things that you have an issue with in yourself? When someone brags, I poker face and try not to roll my eyes. I am not familiar with what amount of self praise is appropriate or healthy so I think I avoided it all together. Alright 5 things I’m proud of and things that have set me up to succeed in life.

  • I am stubborn and tenacious, I do not get knocked off task easily nor would I stay down if I was. My commitment to seeing Airdrie Block Parent established in our community is a good example that if I am committed, I am committed.  My husband with whom I’ve been with for over 24 years can attest to this sentiment as well.
  • I know who I am, what I stand for and my worth and don’t feel the need for anyone’s approval. I am so grateful for this and I thank my parents for instilling this in me. My dad gave me some great insight into the male psyche as a young tween and it enabled me to see boys are humans with insecurities and fears just like I had. I related to boys and eventually men with more compassion and my affinity for the sisterhood of women was influenced by all my aunties that were present and a part of my circle of influence growing up.
  • I feel a responsibility in the world to do my part. Apathy is the bane of my existence. I believe I am either a part of the solution or I am a part of the problem, so I choose my course of action accordingly. My grandma was an avid recycler and composter well before the green movement took, her example impressed upon me that you have to put your action behind your mouth on what you claim as important to you. That means I have to step into leadership as needed to see things through.
  • People know where they stand with me. I am an open book, I say what I think and don’t judge. I accept the vulnerability that comes with sometimes taking the unpopular stance and can openly admit my fears and limitations. Some people might call this not having a filter, but I’d like to point out that I have yet to swear in this blog not because I don’t swear but because by the time the curse leaves my brain and I am typing I am able to curb it. In person I am not as G rated, so be forewarned.
  • I am accountable. I am responsible for my life, the good, the bad and the ugly. I’ve become much more aware of my ego and the havoc it can wreak on my choices.  I am in tune to  the emotions I feel and I respect them as they are felt and I remain curious and brutally honest with myself on why that emotion showed up. Someone once said something to me that really helped me be more self compassionate when I failed to do something I said I would as this used to be in my mind a lack of integrity. I am human, so I will fail to keep my word at times, but I can 100% honor my word by acknowledging, accepting responsibility and making right when I fail to keep my word. I essentially redefined integrity and the level to which I hold myself which is forgiving in itself by new definition but always accountable.

No bonus as I am maxed out on this subject. It was a challenge and I feel the need to add a caveat, I’m human so nothing stated above is 100%, as perfection is not a part of my genetic makeup.

I feel I have adequately exposed myself in my first couple blogs, so now I will move on to others and discuss their why’s in their business.

BLOG #4 FEARS… YOU DON’T SCARE ME!

It’s Tuesday evening and I’m writing my blog with a glass of red wine and kids so freshly put to bed I can’t get a bag of chips yet because the crinkle of the bag will create a reason for them to come to the top of the stairs to ask what I’m eating. I started writing blog earlier but it was not flowing out of me by any means, so I left it and when I came back to it tonight, I deleted the page I wrote… I may regret that since I need to finish my blog tonight.  I don’t want to just write for the sake of writing and if I feel something needs to be said I am rarely at a loss for words, so I will exercise some self compassion and do my best but not beat myself up if I miss my mark.  This self compassion thing is relatively new to me, it seems like this elusive thing we chase our whole and say we have because we don’t throw ourselves in front of the guilt bus. Who needs the throw themselves in front of the guilt bus, that freaking thing was tethered to my ankle. I like to call myself a recovering people pleaser, I kept my mouth closed to keep the peace and fought a war inside and I decided no more. I speak my truth all the time and I do my best to deliver it with kindness and tact. Honesty without tact is just cruel and that is not how I like to operate. So that being said, this post is going to be a soul bearing dose of honesty because I believe once you talk about what you are afraid of it’s a little less scary. Plus, if I tell you and it’s brought up down the line like it’s my little dirty secret, jokes on you. Here is point form are all my top 5 fears about starting this business.

  • Let’s get the most obvious out of the way, FAILURE. I promised my family that once I have built this business, we will travel extensively. I am telling businesses that a local business directory will help their business and provide focused exposure to the market they serve. I believe connecting the community is possible, what if I’m wrong?
  • I don’t have a university degree, I went to U of M for two years and studied languages (I speak two fluently and two as a tourist with charades that could get by) I ended up working for the provincial government with Driver Licensing offices as a student(STEP student term employment program) and was kept on full time after my 2nd summer with them. I guess this is called feeling like an imposter without the credentials, most days I know this isn’t the case but catch me after a rough day and this is close to the surface.
  • What if I attract more negative attention than I bargained for by speaking my truth? During the election I got a small taste of what it’s like to be seen and become a target for mean spirited crap online. I’m relatively thick-skinned and I am somewhat sensitive to being seen as unintelligent. See fear #2, but really nobody likes to feel dumb.
  • I am afraid of impacting my family negatively with my success or failure. I don’t want to forget my priorities as I chase my dream and be absent and miss being there for my family over the next couple years nor do I want business to be a financially drain and cause stress to my family as I struggle to get business off the ground. Will I know when to hold’em and know when to fold’em?
  • What if I screw up along the way so royally and I impact others negatively? I have always tried to live by the motto of “do no harm” so this would be a devastating blow. You don’t know what you don’t know and although it’s not an excuse it’s a reality I have to accept as I’ve never ran a business before.

Bonus fear)        I had some interesting comical past jobs and evoke a bit of embarrassment, I tree-planted in NW Ontario to pay for university, I sold vacuums and Cutco knives for living expenses during university as well, I literally had to bang a gong if I sold a vacuum, so cheesy.  I left my unionized provincial government job to become an independent financial planner with Primerica Financial Services, I did this for 2 years and then left for Calgary when my then boyfriend now husband got a job offer from the Fire Department. In the first month in Calgary I took a job as assistant manager of a Roger’s Video, if that doesn’t age me I don’t know what will.  These aren’t all my jobs but they are the ones that I get squeamish admitting to.

To be honest this wasn’t very hard to write, I think we could all come up with our fears without too much soul searching.  Fear insidiously invades our thoughts every day and causes us to doubt and question our every move sometimes.  Next week’s blog is going to be challenging as I am committing to writing what I’m proud of and believe has set me up to be successful. I’m already uncomfortable thinking of it. I’m not one to toot my own horn but I feel like I need to write it out for my own psyche after spilling my guts on my fears.  New fear just popped up, who would want to do business with someone that has fears 1 thru 5? Hit post anyways.

Intentions

BLOG #3

My intentions.

Much like the times when boys had to visit the parents of a girl he wanted to court and state his intentions before even going on a date, I find myself in a position of declaring my intentions with Airdrie Exchange. I intend to use Airdrie Exchange as a tool to connect the community. I met with a local CPA during my business planning phase and the seed was planted of the needs of the business community and how local jobs postings and rentals would be helpful is all in one spot. It makes sense once the directory is built and the marketing has driven families to use the site for directory and event calendar to add these features as well.  One centralized site to find what you need if you live here makes sense. I’m a fan of point form since I can get long winded at times, so I’m going to break down.

My Intentions to Airdrie

  • Connect the community and see our city’s identity take shape
  • Businesses see ROI from improving exposure & experience delivery focus
  • See life become easier in Airdrie because the information needed is centralized.
  • Improve support for non-profits for fundraising event attendance and volunteer needs
  • Empower more to step into their leadership and create positive change in our community.

My Intentions to my family

  • Create opportunities to us to travel extensively together
  • Reap financial security from starting a business
  • Become philanthropists locally, nationally and globally.
  • Advocate for progress rather than apathy in all veins of status quo.
  • To be a space of compassion for all

The company Mission, Vision and values

Airdrie Exchange is connecting the community and cultivating a collaborative environment for exponential thriving.

To bring humanity to the forefront while honoring our responsibility to peacefully challenge status quo for positive change.

Responsibility, Integrity and Compassion

Next Blog will be introducing a local business that is in the directory.

Blog #2 Airdrie Exchange is more than a business, it’s a movement

Hi me again… How are you supposed to start blogs?

My name is Lindsey Coyle, I’m 41 and Airdrie Exchange is my purpose put into action.  I recently ran for council and came in 9th when only the top 6 get the gig.  Two weeks of picking myself off the ground and coming to term with what I thought was a lost opportunity to positively impact my community. I was so certain I was where I needed to be and developed some serious distrust in the universe for a period. I see so much potential in Airdrie and I wanted to play a part in creating the changes I think we need, to make Airdrie even better. During the election I was asked repeatedly, how will you engage the community, how would you support local businesses and finally how would you support arts and culture in Airdrie.  These were great questions I earnestly wanted to see progress in, I came up with a business I thought would be effective to all three questions.

Plot Twist

So this is where the story gets a little weird, my business was not for Airdrie Exchange but for Exchange of Presence.  This business was the idea of connecting families and loved ones with quality time dates through once a month events, classes and workshops put on by the local businesses, artists and non profits. I determined as much as Exchange of Presence was a great idea and is needed in our community, the numbers didn’t lie.  The cost to promote, advertise and exercise a well rounded marketing plan was prohibitive as a new business.  How to you make it to the coveted established and secure realm of business and thrive if you can’t effectively get the word out that you exist?  Due to this realization, Airdrie Exchange was born.   How many great people doing great things in Airdrie are struggling due to this issue?  I spoke to many business owners while I explored Exchange of Presence and I knew the answer wasn’t ideal.

Solution

The business community needs a local directory that the families use.  The community needs one centralized communication hub for an event calendar to be effective.  I run a non profit as well and the ability to communicate the need to the community cost effectively is priceless.  Essentially the businesses will build the much needed platform for everyone in Airdrie through their participation fees.  I am committed to using the participation fees from the directory to advertise, promote and market so the directory will be known and used by families. I am actively working to connect the community is more ways than one.

Introductions

Grow Airdrie BLOG #1 Who am I? 

This is where I’m supposed to spew pure brilliance as a blogger and inspire you to greatness…
  • Lower your expectation
  • I’m no guru with the answers
  • I believe with all the ideas in my head some of them are winners and much like a major league baseball player I expect to strike out, I expect some will fall short and some will surprise me and take on a life of their own.
This is a first for me, writing a blog that is. I’ve been self employed before and this starting a business doesn’t seem like it’s too much different other than EVERYTHING IS ON ME. No big deal, no pressure.  This blog is about introductions. Introductions to me, my business, my ideas and finally the most important part, you. I want to introduce you to all the wonderful businesses and non-profits in Airdrie and Area.
Who I am in Lindsey Coyle, I came out of my mommy fog from my two kids induced sleep deprivation period and started to get involved in the community and rediscover who I am and what I stand for. Well the first thing I did was perform on stage with Airdrie’s first Vagina Monologues in 2014. I am a feminist and believe in the grassroots power of bringing awareness to the epidemic level of violence against women and children, as an effort to address it and reduce it. Your’s truly was cast as “The Moaner” so I’ll just leave that with you.  After that I did some more family friendly community theatre projects and started volunteering extensively. In 2015 I started the Airdrie Block Parent Program mostly by accident as I just inquired if we had a program through the provincial body and next thing I knew a “How to start a Program in your Community” package arrived on my doorstep. I’m still plugging away at that. In September of 2017 my youngest went to grade one and I reached the pinnacle of the longest stretch of time between drop off and pick up since I was a SAHM. I decided to run for Airdrie City Council, I wanted to get to business to positively impact my community. Well for my first time running and only announcing on Candidate day I did pretty good, 9th out of 22… 23? It was a ridiculous number of candidates.  What did I learn from this experience… I was overly polite. I was so keen to keep a clean and positive campaign, I struggled with how to address issues in our city that would bring light to things not being done properly or efficiently in my opinion. I was in effect scared to step on toes. The two weeks after the election, after feeling like the universe sucker punched me, I thought I was exactly where I needed to be when I was campaigning, so I was optimistic. Despite the excessive amount of energy I pour into causes I believe or connect with, I am energized and fulfilled which was the case for campaigning and now starting Airdrie Exchange. Don’t get me wrong I get physically tired, I just lose myself and time when I am doing something I love, plus my creative energy is through the roof.  Don’t let creative energy fool you either, I am not an artist. I am an idea ninja, I have challenged status quo so much in my life that thinking outside the box in my normal. Plus, I am always optimistic as mentioned before, I don’t shut down ideas as quickly as most and that has been my superpower in life. So here I am starting a business, a local directory and event calendar, I never saw that coming. Next blog is about how Airdrie Exchange came about.