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Last night I logged onto a site I’ve only use once in the past, many years ago…Chatroulette. Why? I miss being able to walk up to and talk to random strangers, and thought that it might be fun to give it a try.

Well, fun indeed it was! Despite choosing the ‘Random’ channel which bills itself as “Nudity = ban” and “A fun place to discuss almost any topic. Keep it clean”(vs Unmoderated which says Use at your own risk), of course, I had to skip past many, many video feeds zoomed in on boxer shorts with a strategically placed hand nearby at the ready (don’t let your kids use this!) …

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented time of uncertainty and challenge. But simply put, employers should not be able to force their employees to come in-person to work right now. Restaurants or other businesses requiring in-person work to make the products or services are one thing. But if it’s a knowledge work business that doesn’t directly serve customers in person, why are employers currently allowed to force employees into work? …

These days, there are so many challenges in the world that it is so important that we are each using our highest talent towards tackling them. You might be stuck in a job doing work that doesn’t matter because of money, status, and/or family pressure. But simply put, if you are working in marketing cigarettes or Pepsi, I’m sorry but depending on your religious views, I might say that you are committing a sin. These types of products have been scientifically proven to do nothing good to the Earth or the people that consume them. Now, of course, I understand that there is a conundrum — people need jobs, and they may not have a huge amount of choice in what they do. …

We’re in a bit of a new world right now. We may not be able to do as much in-person interaction as we normally do, but there are still plenty of opportunities to connect and engage — virtually! Let’s explore what those are and how to maximize them.

The Best Virtual Experiences

What are your top virtual experiences? So far my top ones have been: virtual dance party, virtual ecstatic dance and virtual meditation. Oh and a concert/poetry event was pretty epic too. Or ‘riding a roller coaster’ with Canada’s Wonderland. I’ve enjoyed being in the group video call on my computer, and a simultaneous one-on-one video call on my phone with a friend or family member I am ‘attending’ with. I’ve also heard about aquariums having live streams, virtual dance classes for all different types of dance, and more. …

Today someone called me and asked about how to write and publish a book. This is a good question, especially at this time. We are all thinking about our contributions to the world right now— or at least I am. I have a number of projects that I have been working on that I want to publish and get out there soon, rather than leaving them languishing in a folder on my computer.

I have experience with self-publishing, and now I am starting to gain experience with working with an agent, and getting published. Here is what I learned.

Why Write A Book?

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Remote Work

I’m sure I’m not the only one where all of a sudden, I’m leading a remote team for the first time ever.

Last night I started reading the book Remote by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the founders of Basecamp. It had a lot of great insights for how to work remotely. Thought I’d share them.

Here are some of the key concepts I learned from it:

Forward motion: have a weekly discussion thread with the subject “what have you been working on?”
Everyone chimes in with a few lines about what they’ve done over the past week and what’s intended for the next week. It’s not a precise rigorous estimation process and it doesn’t attempt to deal with coordination. It simply aims to make everyone feel like they’re in the same galley and not their own little rowboat. It also serves as a friendly reminder that we’re all in it to make progress. …

Not sure of the original author but a big thank you to them.

Things you could do in the time of coronavirus:
1. Call your next door neighbor and say, If you need anything, I’m here, just call.
2. Put your feet on the earth and breathe one really deep breath.
3. Tip outrageously if you’re out and about. Say this is for the tips I know you’re missing right now.
4. Ask to speak to the owner of any local shop and say, How is it going? And then listen.
5. Call your hairdresser if you’re not coming in like usual. Ask how they are doing. Send your tip or the cost of your haircut via Venmo.
6. Smile at babies. They must be wondering about all the worried faces.
7. Call your local BLM chapter. Ask where you can bring supplies or cash for mutual aid efforts.
8. Research mutual aid. Get familiar with the term. Imagine living it.
9. Go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep.
10. Bathe your body like it’s a temple. Put on lotion like it’s a temple.
11. Call an old person.
12. Check on a friend with cancer. Listen as long as they’ll talk.
13. Remember this new careful about germs reality is a familiar daily nightmare for so many people.
14. Reach out to friends of Asian descent. Stigma and racism and lashing out is up for our friends from these communities. Say, I appreciate you and I’m here if you need anything.
15. Stay home. Meditate. Breathe deep deep deep. Exhale.
16. Organize the cabinets. Realize there’s more here than you realized.
17. Pick three people to check in with everyday. Say, How are you feeling? Then say how you’re feeling too.
18. Call your representative. Talk as long as you want. Tell whoever answers the phone that you think healthcare should be for everyone.
19. Read up on what it really means to be middle class. Consider a world where sharing made more sense than trying to be successful on your own.
20. Share. Whatever you have, if you have more than one of anything, tell yourself, I have this so I can share. Then give something away everyday.
21. Write a letter. We won’t always be here. Write to whoever you think of when you read that. Tell them how you feel in longhand then send it.
22. Follow disability justice activists. Start with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. Learn about ableism.
23. Clean your house.
24. Say metta when you wash your hands. Look in the mirror and say it again for the whole world. “May we be well, happy and peaceful. May no harm come to us, may no problem come to us, may we always meet with success. May we also have patience, courage, understanding and determination to meet and overcome the inevitable difficulties, problems and failures in life.”
25. Send the money directly to any local service provider whose services you might skip due to a quarantine. Say, I know you’re taking a hit with this thing. Thank you for all that you do.
26. Notice the leaders who see their role as making sure the people have the resources they need to flourish. Notice who is protecting and deflecting responsibility. Throw your weight behind anyone willing to take on difficulty for the well-being of the collective. First responders, hospital workers, public health officials, we heart you.
27. Say you’re sorry. For anytime you were annoyed with someone with a chronic illness. For anytime you thought they were making up. Say I didn’t understand before, and I’m so so sorry it’s been like this for you for so long without my understanding or support.
28. Make room for joy. Life is going to slow down for a minute. There will be time for things you never have time for and a stillness that might feel new. Ask yourself what isn’t as necessary as you might have thought.
29. Go outside. Tell the earth hi. Ask if the earth has any requests of you. Introduce yourself if you’ve never done this before.
30. Burn your worries in a pyrex pan. Write them on little strips of paper. Write them and say I know I’m not the only one. I know so many feel this too.
31. Start the thing you always wanted to start. Do it like the world is on fire. Do it like your pants are on fire. Do it like it will never happen or you’ll never get another chance. Do it because you want to that bad. Do it for the babies looking at all the worried faces. Do it for the trees. Do it for the you who already knows what’s really important. …

Just fell down a rabbit hole of links and articles about climate change. If we continue as is and make no changes, scientists are saying we could see human extinction in our lifetimes. Many bugs are already gone, birds are starting to die, and much of our coral reefs are gone.

We need to make immediate change, and wake up governments to do so.

I spoke to my colleagues today about some reasons I am trying to remain optimistic:

1. Reagan was called the next Hitler, but he turned out OK

2. The power of the US president is limited, e.g. Obama tried to make certain immigration policies that got shut down by the White House

3. It’s possible that Trump was putting on a ruse to gain the vote, and will now present a more normal and less harsh personality. This is a strategy that has been followed in the past.

4. He does not have the power to make some of the changes he has been proposing. …

Today I return to blogging, because today more than ever it hit me how much of a difference one voice (or one vote) can make. So let’s each share ours.

American friends and Canadian friends currently located in America: Toronto is an awesome city. And Canada is an awesome country. Just saying.

The Economist named Toronto the best place to live in the world.

Paul Graham of YCombinator said “the applications we get from University of Waterloo (near Toronto) students are better than those we get from students of any other university.”

Toronto is: safe, fun, a flight hub, beautiful, central, on the water, and more. It has great public transit, healthcare, schools, libraries, people, nature, nightlife, police, career opportunities, startup culture, talent, affordable housing and more. Canada also has a startup visa program. I have lived in many cities and I love this one the most. …


Jennifer Turliuk

Entrepreneur (CEO @MakerKids). Keynote Speaker. Career Coach. Marketer. Author (published @Forbes, soon @DundurnPress). @SingularityU alum. Musical theatre fan.

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