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How to Not Quit Your Business August 1, 2009

Posted by myrnapark in Uncategorized.
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Great article, Karen! The times they are a-changin’! I recently was on assignment with a client who was really digging down trying to get more customers. When we reviewed the company’s success with this over the past year, it was abyssmal! They had acquired virtually no new clients in spite of great effort. When we drilled down, however, and looked at their current client list, we found absolute gold.

This organization has now spent the past several months working closely with existing clients, getting them to buy more and getting them to buy more often! And every now and then, they even get a referral to get a new client.

So, if you are struggling to get new customers, maybe you should be really getting to know and understand the ones you already have. My client is on track to grow their business by 20% in a down economy. I am challenged to do the same. Are you?

Myrna Park
Communication and Leadership Consultant
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


The Active Practice of Imagination July 20, 2009

Posted by Back Road Scholar in LIfe Mastery.
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I think the true value of active practice of imagination lies in the way it unfolds.

At first, what I imagine seems to be unrealistic, impossible.

As I spend more and more time in contemplation of this idea, it becomes more real, more tangible, more believable until its manifestation is a reasonable, natural unfolding in my life…a new reality.

I have set out a six month vision for myself and much of it truly only exists in my imagination right now.  I intend to apply this insight to this vision and watch it unfold.

I made it! November 4, 2008

Posted by myrnapark in Uncategorized.
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Back from the Camino – The Legacy!

Anyone who has been away from their “real world” for a period of time will likely relate to what it has been like for me the past couple of weeks.  This is what I experienced when I came home.

Life is very complicated away from the Camino. On the trail, I basically had two sets of clothes, and I was saving one of those for my “city clothes” in Madrid.  So every night after showering and getting into my pajamas, I would wash my clothes and wear them the next day. Here I have two very full closets of clothes.

Every morning when I got up, I knew exactly what direction I was going and I had a pretty good idea of where I would be at the end of the day.  Here I can start on one project, get a call from a client with an unexpected challenge, try to think of what our plans are for the weekend, wonder if I put the clothes in the dryer, get on a conference call and it is only 10:00 am…it is a blur.

I pretty much knew that we would have bread, cheese, olives, grapes, blackberries, find some vegetables that we could eat raw and have some wine.  At home, we have a pantry full of food and we can have “traditional” Canadian food or we can have a stir fry, Indian food, make sushi, or wraps…so many choices, so many decisions.

So, how am I going to change my life as a result of this experience?  I have started to to become a minimalist. Clothes, extra furniture and accessories are making their way to the Sally Ann and it is my intention NOT to replace them.  Less is more. There is a lot of responsibility attached to maintaining “stuff” so over the next year, I am expecting my home and business life to become simpler by having less.  And I hope you will hold me accountable for this.  This will be the legacy of the Camino de Santiago for me.

Over this next month I encourage all of you to give some thought to what is complicating your life, what is cluttering your desk, what is getting in the way of you being your best. It probably is something pretty simple but hard to see in the midst of “real world” challenges.  What’s your legacy?


Into Santiago October 2, 2008

Posted by myrnapark in Uncategorized.

Hi, all, first internet in days and it is not working real well.  Made it to Santiago and in Finesterre right now, the furthest westerly point of Europe.  Starting with the Pyrenees and ending with Finesterre have been the highlight of my trip..will share more about the middle when I get back to Santiago.  I am happy, bruised but not too sore and will be SO happy to get rid of my “baby” also known as my albatross known as my bike.  Will be in Madrid Sat am to see some museums before heading home on WEdnesday.  Details to follow.  Thanks for following me.

Early Morning call September 30, 2008

Posted by Back Road Scholar in Uncategorized.
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The trail

They are almost finished and hope to finish tomorrow… Still Friends I understand…. then head to Madrid for a much needed rest.  It has been an adventure and will post details later.  Look forward to hearing more as some of the comments suggest some great stories are coming.


Phone call Sept 23 September 23, 2008

Posted by Back Road Scholar in Uncategorized.

Myrna just called from outside Logrono, Spain.  She said the refugio was full last night so they had to sleep in cots in the church.  It was less than comfortable.  She said of 30 people there she was the only one with a first aid kit so she became the medical officer.  A freighting thought as she once told our son his wound was only oozing not spiriting so it was okay. 

In any event apparently there were lots of blisters to attend to as well as scrapes and cuts.  Apparently the trail is very rugged and people walking often fall.  She said that they spend as much time pushing the bikes as riding them and planned to take some rest time to day before pushing on.

I wish you could hear the excitement in her voice… I am sure she will have lots of stories to share.

Saturday’s Comment September 23, 2008

Posted by Back Road Scholar in Uncategorized.
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It is Saturday morning after we climbed the Pyrenees yesterday, 6 hours up and two hours down.  We took our time and had lunch, visited along the trail, helped a very tired pilgrim.  The down was almost more difficult with mud, bog, roots and rocks. 

The views were spectacular when we could see them, light mist all day and heavy mist once we got to the top.ç

The refugios are working out well.  Hot showers, thankfully.  <perhaps you could paste this on the blog or get Richelle to as it deletes when i try to copy.

2:15 am Kelowna time… September 22, 2008

Posted by Back Road Scholar in Uncategorized.

I borrowed this from the internet as an example of a typical hamlet

The phone is on Myrna’s side of the bed so by the time I rose from my sleepy state it had quit ringing.  The second time it rang a few minutes later I caught it on the second ring but dropped it disconnecting it so I got up and came to the kitchen and a decent phone as I knew it must be Myrna and she would call again.  She did and told me it was from a pay phone and she had already used most of the Euro’s she had for the call.  Throughout the next few minutes she fed in the last of the ten Euro’s and quickly brought me up to date.  This is the conversation as I remember it.

Portia and her were just out side the town of Estella, Navarre, Spain and headed for Logrono.  I looked it up on the internet and see it is only a few km south of San Sebastian, a sea side resort and the place where I got my worst sunburn ever in 1970. All things considered I like the thought of lying on a beach more than cycling through the mountains but Myrna assured me we would love it.

According to my google map today’s destination is 47 km.  They have met some women from Vancouver, Island and one from Montreal.  Other than that most the people they have met were Spanish and unable to communicate with them.  The trail is quite high and made of broken shale over roots so even though they are on bikes the ladies from Vancouver Island passed them walking two or three times today.  One older German fellow gave them directions then rode off on his bike with four bundles strapped to it as well as a small stove.  Several hours later he met them again as he had taken the wrong road but later was able to catch them.  There are a lot of jocks on the road but it is still doable and fun.

At night they are staying in Refugio’s which are like a very clean hostel and the people very friendly.  The cost is about $10 per night and last night they were the only two in one that was about 5,000 sq. ft.  During the day they have been spending about $10 on food at the grocery stores and eating along side the trail where the scenery is spectacular.  They have had trouble with directions and unable to find a map so while sitting eating today Myrna was pleased to open a piece of paper lying on the ground and discovered a map written in English outlining their journey.

A small car road follows along side the trail in many places so they have been able to ride more easily on it.

As suspected they have been unable to find many places to access the internet and although they have tried to used their calling cards and phone they have been unable to get them to work.  Today they discovered the only way to call was using money and she reminded me as she put more coins in that she was running out.

You can tell from the excitement in her voice and the way she talked at 200 words a minute with gusts to 450 that she is loving it.  I thought I heard her say it would be fun to do with the teenagers and me but I don’t think we fit into their travel plans anymore.  Liam is loving it as he wants to take a year off after high school and pack back Europe and feels this is laying the ground work for his argument and the way Myrna sounds I don’t think he is going to have any trouble convincing her of its value.

In the evenings there are great dinners for only about $10 but they are usually too tired and late to partake and found them a little too high in fat and oil for her liking.  She said she really prefers just buying the fruit and vegetables and eating them.  As she has not been able to up load photos I looked at some of the sites on the internet and can see the beauty she was describing, century old stone buildings, small rural winding roads, forests and magnificent views across the valleys.  Like many European villages she said a lot of people live in apartment type housing so they don’t have to work in their yards all weekend but get out and enjoy the beauty of their countryside.  She thought we should be considering doing the same in the near future.

It is now 3 am and I have rattled on way too long, I hope this second hand account gives you some taste of their adventure. They plan to call again in two days… maybe there will be film with the next report.

We climbed the Pyrenees! September 20, 2008

Posted by myrnapark in Uncategorized.

Well, we did it, we climbed the Pyrenees yesterday.  6 hours up and two hours down!  I sent Layton and note and I think he will post it.

This is one of the best experiences of my life. At 18, I was too serious and worried about the future to even consider travelling and I am so grateful for this opportunity.  Kids, Adults, one and all, Travel!  See the differences in people and cultural, usually small and insignificant.  See the similarities, usually the meaningful part of life. 

We could hardly walk last night, so skipped dinner and drank a bottle of wine in 15 minutes so we could get back to shower while everyone else was at church!  So we are hoping for blessings from all of you.  I think that Portia and I laughed more than anyone on the Camino that day, almost falling over the edge.  The forests were like in the story books, we walked though herds of sheep and more herds of sheep, big horses, pigs and some cows.  The scenery is spectacular-the fields and valleys go on forever-the eagles were soaring just above our heads and we could see the slight adjustments they made to their wings as they stayed aloft on the wind currents.  Wow. 

So we leave now, that >Portia has had her coffee(I will tell you stories about THAT when she is not reading over my shoulder).  We hope to cycle between 50-80 km today. Portia wants more, but she still has no IBprophen!

Please don’t worry – Words from Layton September 19, 2008

Posted by myrnapark in Adventure, Camino.
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Words from Layton…….I keep getting called by friends asking if I have heard from her or if I am worried. I suspect that although she researched this trip fully and planned to keep you all informed about her adventure she never imaged that there would be no Starbucks with internet access on this trail. When I traveled Northern Spain there wasn’t even any phones, mind you since my trip the cell phone has been invented along with personal computers, the internet, cable tv, the VCR and most important of all… post it notes. But I am sure that Northern Spain is probably still a little behind and the only way she has of communicating with us is post it notes. 

In any event keep checking in because I am sure she is keeping a record and when she does find an internet site she will have a huge blog. In the mean time I am sure she is having the adventure of her life.