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Speaker tells business to focus on the 90 percent

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

Darci Lang, a renowned motivational speaker, addresses the crowd taking part in Thursday's Invest in Your Business workshop, held at the Best Western Pembroke Inn and Conference Centre.

Darci Lang, a renowned motivational speaker, addresses the crowd taking part in Thursday's Invest in Your Business workshop, held at the Best Western Pembroke Inn and Conference Centre.

The Best Western Pembroke Inn and Conference Centre was buzzing with energy Thursday as it hosted a full house at the Invest in Your Business workshop.

The event was jointly presented by the Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce, Pembroke, Petawawa, Renfrew County, and the Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation, to help guide local businesses through the complex process of applying for grants and other government supports so they can grow and thrive.

Renowned motivational speaker Darci Lang delivered a stirring keynote address, in which she encouraged people to look at the positive rather than concentrate on the negative aspects of their businesses or careers.

Calling this “focus on the 90 per cent,” she said people do tend to look at all of the frustrations and bad things which can or have happened, and let that colour their day, and in the process lose sight on the good things about our jobs, companies, coworkers and staffs.

“We often talk about the negative so much, we overlook the positive,” Lang said. “Sometimes, the customer isn't always right, and yet we exhaust ourselves trying to please the 10 per cent of our clients who will never be happy.”

Lang said there is also a tendency to focus on the 10 per cent we cannot change as well, and the overall effect is to drag us down to the point we drag others down with us with our attitude. If we are cheerful about our work, the rest of the world doesn't get it.

“Enjoying what we do is seen as weird and abnormal, but it is not,” she said. It is our choice how we face the world, and she said she takes the path of focusing on the positive.

“We need to replace saying how busy we are with how blessed and fortunate we are,” Lang said. There is an assumption happy people have no problems, and she said that isn't true. They have problems, but they work on resolving them.

She said for everyone to remember they are billboards for what they do, so their attitude is a big seller, or a negative point.

“It repels people to hear us complain about the things which are a part of the job,” Lang said. To overcome this, is a matter of willpower.

“It is how you view it, it is how you embrace what you expect to

happen,” she said. Plus, if you are positive and caring, that will rub off on others around you.

Heather Salovaara, the city of Pembroke's economic development officer, said the event went awesome. Some 85 people were taking part in the afternoon session, and more had signed up to come out to the evening one with Lang alone.

“We're here to empower local businesses to be successful,” she said. Following Lang's address, three panels talked to those assembled to describe the ways and means of applying for government grants and such to help build up their businesses.

Salovaara said this all started with a request from the city's economic development committee for staff to hold a workshop on how businesses could apply for grants. At the same time, the Chamber of Commerce was looking to bring in Lang to speak to their members.

“So we all pooled our resources together,” she said, with the Chamber, Petawawa, Renfrew County and Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation all joining together to present the business event.

Addressing the gathering, Pembroke Mayor Michael LeMay said businesses and business leaders are the city's greatest asset.

“We need you to be successful,” he said, noting economic

development and encouraging business growth are top priorities for Pembroke.

County Warden Jennifer Murphy said as a businesswoman and Mayor of Bonnechere Valley, she can say that investing in your own business is the best investment one could do.

She said the landscape is always changing, so it is important to keep up to date on the latest opportunities. One way to do this is to seek out ways to collaborate with government, municipalities and other businesses.

“Partnerships are positive,” Murphy said. “We in the Ottawa Valley are good collaborators.”

Salovaara said once the event wraps up, she and the others who were involved in the planning will get together and evaluate it, to see what they should be doing next in business development, and if they can partner once again. 

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