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Lessons learned from the incredible Kelly Rizzo, Eat Travel Rock

Lessons learned from the incredible Kelly Rizzo, Eat Travel Rock

Gotta admit, I’m a bit of a fan girl. When I got the yes, Kelly Rizzo would love to speak at your Durham Women’s Network event email, I may have jumped up for joy. In fact, the highlight of my entire spring was getting to interview the talented and business-savvy entrepreneur, who joined DWN for a live chat to talk food, travel, music and branding.

I originally came across Kelly’s phenomenal Eat Travel Rock YouTube channel years ago and instantly fell in love with her creative approach to exploring culture and mixing delicious cocktails. I resonated with her because I saw a lot of parallels at the time between her and myself—both of us have had some major changes—including a career pivot and marriage breakup—in our 30s (who knew that’s the age when everything happened).

It also clicked because of my love for promoting cool people, places and things. Kerri and I worked together more than a decade ago promoting Durham Region as a tourism hub of delicious local food, great live music and unique experiences. That was well before we started DWN and pre-dating an era of masks and social distancing.

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, I have experienced and seen the effects of fatigue from virtual meetings. I knew that we needed to pull in top notch talent for our live events—and we did. From hosting a DWN virtual vacation in Barbados, helping Author and Former MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes launch her new book, to chatting with Durham College VP of Alumni and Fundraising Linda Flynn about leadership; and reintroducing Radine Corr to the world with The Wyld School. We have brought some amazing experiences to the women of DWN in the past six months.

A lot of people have asked me who connected me with Kelly…the answer is me. I reached out. And, if you had told me that a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed it. The simple fact is, I wanted to do something and so I did it. I truly had no idea someone with 120k + Instagram followers would say yes. But it happened.

Not only did it happen, but Kelly dropped some amazing insights on our 30-minute chat.

Don’t be afraid of no’s

You will undoubtedly be on the receiving end of the word “no.” Accept that, and don’t let it stop you from going for more. Be confident in your ability to sell yourself and your ideas, whether you’re talking to the CEO or you’re pitching a client. “Get used to people saying no,” Kelly explained. “Be fearless when it comes to presenting yourself and your vision. The worst anyone can say is no.”

Communicating is Everything

How do you make a name for yourself and become the kind of professional that people want to work with over and over again? Level up your communication skills. Kelly notes that she is keen on returning calls asap, answers her own DMs and gives business partners the information they need before they ever need to ask. Under-promise and over-deliver and always tell people exactly what’s going on. Kelly explained that she learned this valuable skill from her career as a realtor. “The extra communication will set you apart from the rest,” she explains.

Take things at your own pace

Good things take time. Kelly took a decade to grow her brand to where it is today. In fact, for a number of years she  juggled her full-time career as a realtor while starting up and nurturing her successful Eat Travel Rock venture. She also provided advice about post-COVID travel “Do what you feel comfortable with,” she explained, whether that’s a day trip, road trip or involves getting on a plane again.

The conversation enlightened me about my own vulnerabilities and nervousness. As someone with an introverted nature who thrives behind the scenes, I can find it difficult to put myself out there—even if I want to. What surprised me the most was that Kelly was so down-to-earth, approachable and accessible. In fact, this whole experience taught me to keep moving towards my goals—because we can all do hard things.

Speaking of new challenges—what other social media influencers, speakers, authors do you recommend we interview in future?

Check out our discussion with Kelly and let us know what you think.

We Are All On This Journey Together

We Are All On This Journey Together

Hello beautiful One,

As we find ourselves in yet another lockdown here in Canada, many of us are struggling with all the feelings, fears, and trepidations about what is to come. We have all been through so much over the past year – with so many ups and downs as we try to understand what is happening and what we can do about it to stay safe; and keep those around us safe and healthy.

The past month has been an emotional roller coaster for all of us. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been struggling to hold it all together, and have been reliant on family, friends, and self-care to keep me strong mentally and physically.

I have come to realize how important it is to access all the “tools” available to me to manage these ever-changing times.

One of the tools available to us is getting back to nature. To the simple life.

This past week I had the opportunity to live in a yurt and a treehouse a few miles away from my home as a guest of my dear friends Paula and Geordie Lishman. It was pure magic. 

Kerri King
Bed in a yurt
Cleo Wade What the Road Said Book
Treehouse view

Although we aren’t sure where the road is leading at the moment, it’s so important to remember that we are all in this journey together.

Last night Jennifer and I had a great discussion with our friend and yoga teacher Carol Baxter. It felt so good to re-connect witas oh each other even though it was only virtually.

Carol is hosting a very special virtual full moon dance next Tuesday, April 27. Will you join us? As a member of XWN, you are invited to participate in exclusive events like this.

We would love to have you join us, and greatly appreciate your support for the work that Jennifer and I do for Durham Women’s Network by joining our membership.

Learn more about our FULL MOON celebration and join XWN today.

Thank you for sharing this remarkable journey with us.

Sending love and light.

Kerri 

Wonder Woman VS The Sabre Tooth Tiger

Wonder Woman VS The Sabre Tooth Tiger

Spring is here–and there is so much to celebrate….

I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling an overwhelming sense of joy that the weather is warming, the sun is shining, and we are all starting to come out of winter hibernation and months of lockdown seclusion.

I think there have been challenging moments for everyone this past year, and because of that this spring just feels extra special to me. A time for renewal, and leaving winter (and the past) behind as new bulbs start to peek out of the soil, and new life starts once again. Hallelujah!

I thought I would write a little post to capture some of the discussion with the XWN group this past Saturday morning. For those of you who are not aware, the Durham Women’s Network launched an exclusive membership for women (XWN) who are looking for a greater connection, learning/ mentorship opportunities, personal / business profile opportunities and access to inspirational speakers, authors, and exclusive events.

This Saturday marked the last segment of best-selling author and DWN member, Celina Caesar-Chavannes’ Maximizing U course. Special thanks to Celina for making time for us, inspiring us, and gifting all of us with your special edition journal for XWN members only.

Celina kicked off our session by delving into the topic of FEAR, which one of my earliest mentors informed me stands for FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. As a group. we deconstructed the notion of fear and Celina made reference to FEAR with a sabre tooth tiger metaphor. We talked about how fear can either push us to fight for what we want in life or it can can drive us to run the other way. (FIGHT OR FLIGHT). Then, Celina asked us to consider this question: “where do you put your energy?”

I shared that I have been doing some powerful self-inquiry work wherein I am taking a deep dive into a fear or darkness that I have likely been running away from (or burying) since I was a little girl. As painful as this process has been, the process of facing my fear has brought me a greater sense of clarity, understanding and freedom. It’s like I’ve just faced the sabre tooth tiger, and wrestled her to the ground instead of heading for this hills. This whole process has left me feeling rather like Wonder Woman!!!  

What sabre tooth tiger are you confronting in your life? Are you ready to look her in the eye?

Now in as much as it is important to do the self work, without the women in my life, I really don’t know where I would be. I am sure that I am not alone in feeling that the supportive conversations and learnings shared by the women in the first XWN cohort over the past couple of months has created a sense of connectivity, unity and strength that we all needed. Thank you to all of the wonderful women who I now feel such a genuine, close connection with. YOU ARE AWESOME!

There is something incredibly powerful about being in community with a tribe of women who’s sole purpose is to support one another – and to be able to give AND receive.

Moving forward, Celina has graciously agreed to join us for a monthly XWN group mentorship call. We plan to meet the third Saturday of the month at 11 a.m. for an hour with different topics of discussion.

FIND YOUR TRIBE WITH XWN

If you are considering joining XWN and have any questions, and would like to discuss how we can support you, please reach out to us for a chat.  My commitment to the XWN community is to offer every woman a one-hour mentorship consultation either early morning or on the week-ends. It’s my way of giving back.  I have had the honour of quietly supporting leagues of women personally and professionally providing care and support for decades now. And it brings me great joy!

If I can be of service to you, please email me or text me at 289-356-6077 and we can set a time to connect.

Learn more about the XWN membership.

Digging Deep: My Five Takeaways From Celina’s Saturday Session

Digging Deep: My Five Takeaways From Celina’s Saturday Session

Thought I would take a moment to acknowledge all of the XWN members who joined us yesterday for a very special chat with Celina as part of her MaximizingU course.

It was incredibly heart-warming to spend an hour with this amazing group of women who are sharing in a very special process that is inspiring all of us to DIG DEEP.

I think for many of us, making the commitment to review the course material, do the self-inquiry work, and show up for the zoom call took many of us out of our comfort zones – and I’m happy that we did.

I don’t know about you, but the pandemic has left me feeling very alone so much of the time, and it feels so great to have such a supportive group of women to brighten my days. Thank you and congratulations Linda M, Laura R, Denise, Linda F, and Jennifer G for showing up and sharing the way you did.

Huge thanks to Celina CC, who despite her incredibly hectic book launch and media schedule, showed up looking like the ROCK STAR that she is and led us through an engaging and enlightening session. I am truly grateful.

Here are some of the highlights of the session that resonated deeply with me: 

#1 – REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE

We discussed the IMPOSTER SYNDROME, and going it alone in life. This topic touched me deeply. It reminded me of a time when my dear friend Lori Speed had to sit me down and said – “Kerri, don’t you remember who you are?” 

Celina shared this powerful book that she highly recommends by Kristine Barnett–The Spark. The notion of grieving our losses, and not running from pain, fear and other challenges in life. The importance of trusting our intuition, and investing in ourselves. Looking forward to doing a deeper dive into this content when we get to chapter 9.

By the way, for those of you who would still like to join us, you can still jump in. Just let us know, and we will bring you up to speed! The session link is posted in our XWN private Facebook group.

#2 – WHO ARE YOUR PEOPLE?

It is so easy to lose ourselves – especially during these ever-changing times.

Sometimes it takes our closest people (the people who wear our t-shirts in life) to be there for us in this way.  Who are the people who wear your t-shirt? The mentors, supporters who you can go to in life to for support? Who are the people that you would like to add to this list? 

#3 – RESILIENCY

“Bits of our humanity are lost when we do not share our stories. When we act as if the fibres that connect every single one of us as human beings do not exist, and therefore try to hide the shame, guilt or pain that makes us who we are. That makes us more resilient.”

– Celina Caesar-Chavannes

This topic of resiliency and resilient leadership was also highlighted last week in our DWN chat with Linda Flynn last week. If you missed it, the chat is posted on our DWN CHATS podcast.

#4– STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES

When is the last time you really stopped to smell the roses in life?

Following the session, we sent Celina some roses to thank her for the session and for keeping her commitment to giving back to her own community by investing in women in her community even though she is being celebrated around the world.

It is so beautiful to see Celina shine as a best-selling author in only a few weeks of launching her new book, CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

Here’s to you Celina, I hope you are able to stop and smell the roses today and celebrate your MASSIVE book launch success!

On that note, what does stopping to smell the roses mean to you?

For me, it meant just sitting quietly this morning with my coffee and observing everything around me – and just breathing life in for a precious few moments.

Seems simple, but it these quite moments truly bring you back to who you are.

#5– TRUST YOUR INTUITION

Enough said.

 

 

 

 

 

Durham Women’s Network Zooms to Sunny Barbados!

Durham Women’s Network Zooms to Sunny Barbados!

Durham Women’s Network zoomed to sunny Barbados for a special virtual lunch-hour networking session with Durham Region women for the last networking event of the year! It was a much-needed escape to end off 2020 and bring some warmth to the 70 participants on the livestream.  

Check out our play-by-play of the event (we even have screengrabs!):

We landed on the beautiful island of Barbados and started our tour at the luxurious Sandals Royal Barbados Resort! With tropical drinks in hand, we met the lovely staff and had an exclusive walk through of the stunning resort.

Did you know? Barbados is the culinary capital of the Caribbean and is known for its local dining and award-winning mixologists! Cheers to Rodney, a mixologist at Sandals Resorts, for making us a smoked pineapple cocktail!

There’s no shortage of amazing activities to enjoy at Sandals Royal Barbados.

  • Want to relax at the beach?
  • Play water sports or dive?
  • Lounge in the infinity pool with drinks?
  • Hang in the bowling alley and piano bar?

Speaking of the piano bar, we were treated to the most divine version of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds. 

Don’t worry about a thing—cause every little thing is gonna be alright!

We had such a fun time at Sandals, but that was only the first half hour! The wonderful Marsha Alleyne from Destination Barbados took it over from there.

We visited with Maggie Bell Pottery for a unique experience—bowl making with Barbados clay!

Next, we got a history lesson with Sir Paul Altman at the Nidhe Israel Synagogue and Museum—one of the oldest Jewish synagogues in the Western hemisphere.

Who doesn’t love a classic daiquiri, piña colada, mojito or long island ice tea? If you didn’t know, Barbados is the birthplace of the world’s oldest distilled spirit: rum.

It was incredibly exciting to tour the Mount Gay Distillery. In fact, the site has been running for more than 300 years—a true rum-lover’s paradise!

We concluded our amazing trip walking the pier through a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bridgetown with the lovely Dawn. She shared the story of sugar, rum and slavery and more.

Thanks to all the amazing Durham Region women who joined us for this exclusive experience! We thank our generous sponsors who made the event possible, including LIVE Virtual Vacation Experiences, Pink Palm MarCom, Sandals Resorts and the Barbados Tourism Authority.

Check out the recording in our Durham Women’s Network Facebook Group.

Contributed by Elise Hawley, Editor for Durham Women’s Network

Join DWN in Barbados!

Join DWN in Barbados!

As December approaches, Durham Region women are hungry for an experience to end 2020 on a good note. With limited travel opportunities and faced with the prospect of winter months at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Durham Women’s Network (DWN) is bringing some cheer to a hard year, with the help of a local businesswoman.

On Thursday, November 26 at noon, the Durham Women’s Network is hosting a special virtual networking session livestreamed from Barbados. Admission is free. 

The event, coordinated by Tracy Turberfield of LIVE Virtual Vacation Experiences, will feature online networking with local Durham Region women plus a tour of the charismatic Caribbean island. 

“We’re going to talk to locals, check out the gorgeous beaches; stroll through Sandals Royal Barbados Resort; visit Mount Gay Rum Distillery, a UNESCO heritage site, and more,” explains Durham Women’s Network co-founder and event host Jennifer Gaskell. “We are collaborating with some big partners for this event—Sandals Resorts and the Barbados Tourism Authority—to bring a little warmth to everyone’s day. It’s a much-needed escape to end 2020.”

“The 90-minute event aims to connect women who may not have necessarily met otherwise,” says Gaskell. 

“We are providing a unique platform where women can have fun, mingle with each other, and follow up with other contacts once the event has concluded.”

Durham Women’s Network thanks the generous sponsors who are making the event possible, including LIVE Virtual Vacation Experiences, Pink Palm MarCom, Sandals Resorts and the Barbados Tourism Authority. 

Throughout the live broadcast we will also have some exciting giveaways for DWN members.

Are you in? We have a limited number of tickets–and you MUST register in advance to participate.

Get your FREE networking pass today.