Son of Five Rivers Blog

For the advancement of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability & the Ecology of Everyday Life

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I’ve been blogging for several months now and I’m glad to have recieved the feedback I have.  I’ve enjoyed the experince and for that reason I’ve decided to take blogging to another level.  I’ll be self hosting my blog and that means you’ll see a lot more creativity in the design, functionality and layout of the new blog.

Check it out:


January 22, 2010 Posted by | 1, A Thought, Ads, Agriculture, Art, Blogging, Books, Brochure, Business, Business Cards, Business Development, Business Model, Carbon Credits, Clean Energy, Co-op, Community Economic Development (CED), Computer Networking, Construction, Creativity, Data Recovery, Definitions, Earth, Economics, Education, Electric Cars, Email, Entrepreneurship, Family, Finance, Geothermal, Government, Grants, Great Ideas, Green Roofs, Human Resources, Information Technology (I.T.), Inspiration, Investment, LEED, Life, Marketing, Micro Credit, Not for Profit, Open Source, Packaging, PDA's, Philanthropy, Photography, Politics, Power Piont, Products, Project Management, Quotes, Sales, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Services, Social Enterprise, Social Media, Solar, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development, Taxes, Venture Capital, Videos, War, Waste, Water, Website | Leave a comment

Stop throwing your junk in the Ocean

Its said that Sting Rays eat anything… well have a look at this….

December 22, 2009 Posted by | A Thought | | Leave a comment

Online Resources for Small Business


Government Resources

Entrepreneur Advocates, Blogs and Magazines

Entrepreneur Resources for Women

Entrepreneur Resources for Specific Groups

Entrepreneur Resources for Youth

September 5, 2009 Posted by | A Thought, Business, Business Development, Business Model, Economics, Education, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Grants, Human Resources, Marketing | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Secrets to Success (Fortune Hunters)

Fortune HuntersI’ve become a fan of Dianne Buckner who is the host of Venture, Dragons Den & Fortune Hunters which air on the CBC.   I was just scanning the website and came across this article that I wanted to share.

All season, we have featured successful entrepreneurs who saw a trend early on and cashed in on their ideas.  Before they became business moguls, these entrepreneurs made mistakes, had many fears and sometimes trusted the wrong gut instinct.  To close our second season, we’re tapping into the minds of all our My First Millionaires.  We got their insights on fear, gut instinct, luck and mistakes. Plus, we got their picks for the next big trend of the future.

Photo of John Sleeman, Nina Gupta, Bruce Croxon and Cora Tsouflidou


“I think my biggest mistake over the years has been listening to people who thought they knew better than I did how to grow my business. Go figure.” (Bruce Croxon – Co-founder, Lavalife)

“Well speaking from personal experience I would say the biggest mistakes I have made have been taking on too many opportunities and not having the time available to follow through on each one of them.” (Bill Pollock – Founder & Chairman, Drake International)

“That was the biggest mistake I made is trying to do everything myself and it’s taken me 30 years to realize I can trust other people to do a better job than I do.” (John Sleeman – Founder, Chairman & CEO, Sleeman Breweries)

“The biggest mistake I made? To underestimate the actual workload. To oversimplify: ‘Oh, it’s no big deal.’ Everything is a big deal.” (Nina Gupta – Founder & President, Greenlite)


“I never believed in luck. I think people have to create their own luck.” (Jackie Shan – Co-inventor, COLD-FX)

“Luck is where opportunity meets preparation, and luck certainly doesn’t build a business.” (Judson Macor – Founder, Chairman & CEO, AirSprint Inc.)

“Luck plays a big part. I’m a big believer in being in the right place, the right time. I’m a big believer in fate and luck.” (Nina Gupta – Founder & President, Greenlite)

“The harder you work, the luckier you get. It’s true!” (Rita Tsang – Founder, President & CEO, Tour East Holidays)

“I think you need to be lucky to be successful.” (Mac Voisin – Founder & Chairman, M&M Meat Shops)


“Oh, at the beginning, fear was a monster for me. Fear of incompetence, fear of lacking money, fear of everything. Fear of success!” (Cora Tsouflidou – Founder, Cora Breakfast and Lunch)

“Well I think all businessmen operate with a certain fear of failure.” (Bill Pollock – Founder & Chairman, Drake International)

“Well, I think fear’s pretty important because if you’re too cocky about something then you get arrogant and you make mistakes.” (John Sleeman – Founder, Chairman & CEO, Sleeman Breweries)

“I stared at the ceiling at nights on lots of occasions wondering where the next dollar, the next payroll was going to come from. Certainly there was a lot of fear of failure early on in the business and that fear has subsided a great deal and I’m thankful for that, but fear is also very motivational and keeps you going.” (Judson Macor – Founder, Chairman & CEO, AirSprint Inc.)

“You should not have fear. Nothing should make you that frightened. You shouldn’t do anything that could frighten you to make you have fear.” (Nina Gupta – Founder & President, Greenlite)

“You need a go ahead with the idea when you have no fear and you’re ready to stick with it right to the bitter end.” (Mac Voisin – Founder & Chairman, M&M Meat Shops)


“I think that as an entrepreneur it is our duty to nurture and follow our gut instinct all the time.” (Paul-Andre Savoie – Co-founder, Boomerang Tracking Inc.)

“Seventy per cent of my instinct is pretty right and thirty per cent of my initial instinct is not right.” (Jackie Shan – Co-inventor, COLD-FX)

“As a guiding principle, gut instinct is the only thing you can use to make good decisions on a regular basis.” (Garner Bornstein – Co-founder & CEO, Airborne Mobile)

“I remember when my gut instinct failed me miserably when a childhood friend brought me a restaurant idea in Thunder Bay. And I’m here to tell you that Thunder Bay does not need, in hind sight, another road house.” (Bruce Croxon – Co-founder, Lavalife)


“There’s a trend for people who want to stay healthier and live longer. They are more proactively looking after their health. That’s the trend I’m particularly interested in.” (Jackie Shan – Co-inventor, COLD-FX)

“The next trends are probably going to be in health care as baby boomers get older and we continue to be concerned about our health.” (John Sleeman – Founder, Chairman & CEO, Sleeman Breweries)

“I’m actually pushing my daughter to go into the spa business or look into personal wellness or spiritual growth, personal growth, health-wise, etc. That’s what I feel would be a very strong trend going forward.” (Nina Gupta – Founder & President, Greenlite)

“Help me make life easier for myself, more convenient for myself and you’re right on trend.” (Mac Voisin – Founder & Chairman, M&M Meat Shops)

September 5, 2009 Posted by | A Thought, Business, Business Development, Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Quotes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

List of Leadership Assesment Tools [Websites]

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®)

The MBTI® instrument is a powerful and versatile indicator of personality type. Widely used for individual, group and organizational development. You can depend on the MBTI® instrument when your clients need to make important business, career, or personal decisions. The MBTI® instrument is the most trusted and widely used assessment in the world for understanding individual personality differences. Last year alone, over two million people gained valuable insight about themselves and the people they interact with daily by taking the MBTI® instrument. The dozens of expert resources that have been designed to enhance its effectiveness offer a practical and powerful set of tools for lifelong growth and development. Visit the the Psychometrics website for more information:

4D-i® Assessment Tool

High performers in every walk of life think differently. They think better. They have mastered how to work smarter. To innovative leaders, the 4D-i® is the premier, next generation thinking skills solution in the market place today. The 4D-i® online assessment for learning is a passport to improve personal productivity. It is great for developing the essential thinking skills leaders and professionals need to succeed. It is a powerful launching pad for improving team and business performance.

Rated #1 in the world, the 4D-i® delivers an all-in-one profile and self coaching system that integrates four key dimensions of high performance – creativity, understanding, decision making and personal spirit. Clients use it as a fresh, powerful solution for self development, leadership and management development programs, performance coaching, team building, team selection and career management.

One Smart World website:

Belbin® Self-Perception Inventory (SPI)
Dr. Meredith Belbin’s work at Henley Management College identified nine clusters of behaviour, termed Team Roles. Each Team Role has its particular strengths and allowable weaknesses, and each has an important contribution to make to a team.

When you complete the Belbin® Self-Perception Inventory you will receive – among other reports – a ‘fingerprint’ of your Team Role preferences. Very few people display characteristics of just one Team Role. Most people have 3 or 4 preferred roles, which can be adopted or eschewed as the situation requires.

Belbin® Team Roles improve self-knowledge and understanding among individuals and teams. Team Roles depict a current behavioural pattern – a snapshot of your behaviour at one time. Preferences aren’t fixed, since many factors can influence behaviour, whether a new job, promotion or circumstances outside work. To recognise these changes, you should look to complete Belbin® Self-Perception Inventories throughout your career.  Belbin Team Roles website:

EQ Edge
The EQ Edge explores new developments that have taken place in emotional intelligence research in the past five years. The book touches on the five realms of emotional intelligence – feelings, relations with others, adaptability, stress management, and general mood – showing how developing emotional intelligence can help create harmony in family life and engender success in work life. The book also presents case studies that provide insights into emotional intelligence in the workplace, taking readers through the 15 elements of emotional intelligence – including self-regard, flexibility, empathy, and impulse control – and providing suggestions for improving the less developed areas.  The EQ Edge website:

Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI)
The HBDI® profile is an assessment tool containing 120-questions that provides users with an indepth understanding of their thinking preferences. It is the basis of all learning and training modules of Herrmann International because communication is the key, and the HBDI® teaches you how to communicate with others who think the same as you and who think differently than you.   HBDI International website:

Kolb Learning Style Inventory
The Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI) is a statistically reliable and valid, 12-item questionnaire and workbook, developed by David A. Kolb, Ph.D. Based on Experiential Learning Theory, it identifies preferred learning styles and explores their implications for: problem solving, teamwork, and conflict resolution; communication at work or at home; and considering a career that fits your preferences.

The LSI can be used purely for self-knowledge so individuals can understand and manage their learning preferences. And for facilitators/educators, so they can design learning events to appeal to all learning style preferences.   Hay Group website:

Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI)
The Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI) is the best-selling and most trusted leadership tool of its generation. Developed by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, the third edition of this celebrated instrument package approaches leadership as a measurable, learnable, and teachable set of behaviors. This 360-degree leadership assessment tool helps individuals and organizations measure their leadership competencies, while guiding them through the process of applying Kouzes and Posner’s acclaimed Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership Model to real-life organizational challenges.

Give your participants the skills to master The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership: • Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act and Encourage the Heart. Pfeiffer website:

Managerial Styles Questionnaire (MSQ)
Everyone has met – or even been managed by – the manager from hell. But what are the factors that set good managers apart? Can a manager’s style raise performance, productivity and profits significantly? Yes! Our research shows that by taking the right approach in a given situation, a manager can really improve employee morale and performance.

Managers can use the Managerial Style Questionnaire (MSQ) to:

  • assess which of the six management styles (Coercive, Authoritative, Affiliative, Coaching, Democratic, and Pacesetting) they use most frequently
  • get tips on when a particular style is more – or less – effective
  • gather feedback from their team members by using the feedback questionnaire
  • identify the differences between their own and others’ perceptions – and reflect on what they want to do about those differences
  • use alongside the Organizational Climate Exercise to provide the bigger picture of their managerial behavior and impact

Hay Group website.

Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI)

Because no two individuals have exactly the same expectations and desires, conflict is a natural part of our interactions with others. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict MODE Instrument is a self-scoring exercise that takes about fifteen minutes to complete. Interpretation and feedback materials help you learn about the most appropriate uses for each conflict-handling mode. It also gives suggestions for increasing your “comfort level” with your less used styles.

The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict MODE Instrument (TKI) has been the leader in conflict resolution assessment for more than 30 years. This instrument requires no special qualifications for administration, and it is used by Human Resources (HR) and Organizational Development (OD) consultants as a catalyst to open discussions and facilitate learning about how conflict handling styles affect personal and group dynamics.
This instrument is designed to measure a person’s behavior in conflict situations. “Conflict situations” are those in which the concerns of two people appear to be incompatible. In such situations, we can describe an individual’s behavior along two basic dimensions: (1) assertiveness, the extent to which the person attempts to satisfy his own concerns, and (2) cooperativeness, the extent to which the person attempts to satisfy the other person’s concerns. For more information, visit the Ralph Kilmann website:

July 1, 2009 Posted by | A Thought | | 3 Comments

1 Minute on the Basics of Negotiation

TON: The Other Negotiator

Bargaining:   Win – Lose   |   Zero Sum   |   Distributive

Negotiation:   Win – Win    |    non-Zero Sum   |  Integrative

BATNA:   Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement

Mutual Adjustment:   Give to Get

Concession:   Trade Off

Intra Group Conflict:  Conflict in a group

Inter Group Conflict:  Conflict among Groups






Trackable / Time


The Summary: Ne, Ni, Tr

Write down all the critical points and  information associated to your negotiation.   Once you’ve done that , simply place the appropriate  letters beside them (Ne, Ni, Tr).   This will help with the strategic analysis of your negotiation.   Having a game plan and doing your homework before going into a negotiation is one of the most important aspects, but many times the number one thing that is over looked.

Ne: Need to Have (Critical to Outcome)

Ni: Nice to Have (A Perk)

Tr: Trade Off  (Not Critical)

June 30, 2009 Posted by | A Thought | 1 Comment

Business Scars

Never look at your past experiences as failures.  

Risk and Failture come hand in hand…

it’s really learning to never make the same mistake twice… Failure happens along a journey…  Your going to learn, and you’ll regroup.   These scars are helping you earn that degree from the school of hardnox.

Learning the hardway will give you the character to avoid similar situations and avoid obstacles.

On the oppset end of Failure is simply Reconizing when something just isn’t working!   What I mean is.. if the patient is dead, at some point you should stop operating or trying to revive him or her.     Even though it may also seem like things are good in the shorter, keep looking longterm and it might make things to speach up and say we should shutdown or certain things should be sold off…

This is a risky career move and it takes some courage to say or do this… But your boss, manager, partner etc. will be better for it if this is the case.   It’s like turning yourself  into the failure dungeon at the right time, by being visionary. Divesting yourself from your business or project sometimes just makes financial sense, some may respect you for this or hate you for this.  Just remember ethics and values are sometimes more important then money though…   Whatever your decision in a situation like this, your business scars are those of a pioneers or a trendsetter.

Don’t avoid Failure, accept it gracefully when its in your face.  Sometimes failure will blind side us, this may unfortunately happen at least once in our life time where we truly didn’t see it coming.   We might have 100% of our energy, potential and heart in it…  but in reality this venture was to be stopped a long time ago… if not from the  start.    Walk away with the experience and knowing of what you need to do to be differently:   Needing better people,  fewer people, maybe more? More attention to financing & budgeting, or sales & marketing.   Not prepared enough for growth.  Wrong industry, not loving the work etc. etc.


Take some quality time think through and challenge yourself before you take your Risk.   Times are changing, remember your computer your on right now, was pretty much considered obsolete after the first couple of months.  So all our of Sales Assumptions & Time to Market Assumptions should be challenged and then re-challenged.  This is a day and age, where things are changing at an astounding rate of change.  (Check out the DID You Know? Video on this blog to get a feel for how quick this world is changing… that’s if you need a reality check!)

Failure - Thomas Alva Edison


June 30, 2009 Posted by | A Thought | Leave a comment

How Google Works (Chief Economist: Hal Varian)

Chief Economist, Hal Varian, explains the AdWords Ad Auction and how your max CPC bid and quality score determine how much you pay for a click on

June 23, 2009 Posted by | A Thought | 1 Comment

Water: The Future in Sustainability Reporting

With the Western world focused on the economy, climate change, and access to health care, growing freshwater scarcity gets short shrift in the headlines.  But concerns about this precious resource are poised to make it the next big metric in sustainability reporting.

According to the United Nations, freshwater resources of more than half the countries across the globe will undergo either stress or outright shortages by 2025. With only 1% of Earth’s water suitable for human use and consumption, by mid-century as much as three quarters of the earth’s population could face scarcities of freshwater.

Reserves of freshwater are rapidly depleting around the world, and this is expected to significantly impact densely populated areas the hardest.  Compounding this problem is that these are the very regions where many of the raw materials in the products we use every day originate.

While these products may not be filled with water themselves, there is a hidden cost to the goods we use.  In March, Professor John Anthony Allan from King’s College London was presented the 2008 Stockholm Water Prize for his work on this very topic.  Coined “virtual water” back in 1993 by Allan, this term refers to the amount of water needed in the production and trade of food and consumer products. A cup of coffee, for example, has about 37 gallons of virtual water, when you consider the amount of water used to grow, produce, package, and ship the beans. A hamburger ‘contains’ 634 gallons of virtual water.

As companies measurement and reduction of CO2 emissions becomes the norm, other metrics are emerging as critical indicators of sustainability.  There is a finite amount of freshwater on Earth, and excluding the isolated efforts to build desalinization plants, we aren’t making any more.

But are companies reporting their water usage in any meaningful way?

recent report by the Pacific Institute evaluates how global companies recognize, address, and report their water-related risks and practices.  In the study, 139 companies were analyzed in eleven of the most water-intensive industries (apparel, autos, beverages, biotech, chemicals, electronics, food, forest products, mining, refining, and utilities).  While the vast majority of companies in these industries now report water data as standard practice, inconsistencies remain:

  • Only half the reports have information on company water policies or a description of water-management objectives
  • Water measurement methods and definitions remain inconsistent
  • Just one in five reporting companies mentions water risks and challenges
  • Only 30% of the reports provide quantitative targets
  • Merely 1 in 10 reports mentions supply chain considerations in relation to water management, and not one reports data on their suppliers
  • Site-specific information, such as local- or facility-level water performance, is rarely considered or provided
  • Just 1 in 10 reports include water recycling amounts or rates.

Ultimately, companies in these and other industries will need to increase the scrutiny of their water usage, recycling, and supply chain management.  The rest of the world will be paying attention.  We simply don’t have a choice.

June 20, 2009 Posted by | A Thought | Leave a comment

A Better Place: Electric Car

June 19, 2009 Posted by | A Thought | Leave a comment