Presents or Presence?

As the calendar year ends, we enter the holy season—the holidays—and magically begin to open ourselves to more giving and receiving.  When I stop to think about the gifts that mean the most to people, I think of connection, wisdom, acceptance, understanding, compassion and love.

The other day I was running my fingers through my daughter’s long hair while she laid beside me.  In that precious moment, I realized that having my children close to me is my greatest gift. … Hearing their voices come in the door, …watching my dog whine crazily for them when they walk in and having them present with me, is the greatest gift I could ask for.

You too are valuable.  Be the present that others need.

In your workplace – Can you be more tolerant, more disciplined, more patient or more engaged?

At home?  Can you be more emotionally available? More open minded? Can you listen deeper, and seek to understand?

Think about who you’re a gift to at this very moment in your life, and what is it that these people need and want from you.  The answers to these questions are precisely where your presence makes all the difference in your world.  This is where you are the hope, the miracle, the blessing and the love to those who need you the most.

So this season, don’t look for the gift; be the gift.

Don’t look for the light to shine on you; be the light.

Don’t look for the love; be the love.

Rather than looking for the blessing, be the blessing.

Don’t ask for hope; be the hope.

Don’t expect the miracle; be the miracle.

Give your pure presence to others.  There is no better gift.  Life is short, and relationships are everything!

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays,

inspirational speaker, self help author


Improve Workplace Relationships with Love

“Love in the workplace” is not a phrase you hear often, but in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’d like to talk about it.

We have relationships with everyone in our workplace.  Some may be closer than others; some may be kind and courteous; and others may be challenging, disconnected or downright nasty!  You can improve workplace relationships starting today.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my career as an expert on Workplace and Business Relations, it’s that there is a big difference between love and relationships.  Love is easy, but relationships are hard.

For Valentine’s Day, I’d like to invite you to celebrate the fact that you have relationships, and that these relationships have taken effort.  Congratulations!

Valentine’s Day is an outward expression, like giving flowers, cards or chocolate.  I’d like to challenge you to outwardly recognize your colleagues today.  You don’t have to acknowledge them with gifts—words will do.  You can improve workplace relationships with Love

Words like “I love the way you serve customers for us.”

Or “I’m happy you’re my boss because you seem to care about me as a person.”

“We need you.”

“Your skillset is valuable to us.”

 “I appreciate you because…”

I use the phrase “love in the workplace” to symbolize the important things we do to connect and build rapport, like sharing admiration, giving respect, and honouring, appreciating and complimenting the people around us!  These acts of recognition are free and only take a few seconds, but they build relationships because we are all emotional creatures of pride and vanity.  We all want to feel valuable and feed our worthiness.

If you’re up for another challenge, consider reconnecting a disconnected relationship in your workplace.  Look someone in the eye and pay him or her a genuine compliment.  Oh, and by the way, “Mary, you look hot in those pants” isn’t an appropriate “love in the workplace” compliment.  Speak true words when you find something to compliment about.  If you can’t think of something nice to say, either you’re not thinking hard enough, or you need my conflict resolution services!

Even if you have to resort to writing the compliment or recognition in a little note because you’re afraid of the face-to-face conversation, do that.  In my humble opinion, nothing beats a face-to-face or a phone call to convey sentiments.  The energy that you pass into the sacred invisible reservoir between two people will have a lasting affect.

Interacting and intertwining our energy with someone else to result in a positive interpersonal relationship doesn’t always go as planned.  But this is where we learn the most about ourselves.  Relationships shine a light on our most needed lessons.

Remember that love is easy, but relationships are hard.  The way to better relationships is through love, respect, honour, and authentic communication with people who matter.

Love is a verb.  Take some action that is going to move someone else, especially if there’s a need between you and a co-worker.  A conflict. A disconnect.  Take a step toward reconciliation today.  Call me if you need help.  A big part of what I do is help people fix broken relationships in the workplace.

Never underestimate the power of this invisible, energetic connection that you can put effort into.  Create more love in your workplace, and remember, your greatest leadership day is with Penny Tremblay.


Giving With No Strings Attached

‘Tis the season for giving, and there’s no better season to practice the gift of giving with no expectations.

I wrote the book on it, but I also need practice. I’ve recognized times when I am not giving unconditionally, and I have learned that we often have a motivation beyond just giving for the sake of giving. Giving with no strings attached is not as easy as one might think, but the reward is well worth the practice.

Take the following excerpt from Give and Be Rich:

Giving unconditionally is key. If we simply give without the expectation of receiving anything in return, we are giving properly. Many people however give with conditions attached. They have an underlying motivation for giving; one common motivation is recognition, another is control. This is our ego working, wanting to be right, wanting to be noticed, wanting to protect us from being vulnerable. I believe that the hearts that give – in any capacity and without expectations of return or favour – will be the most richly blessed. Furthermore, when we give in secrecy or anonymity, we receive in greater abundance. Give without the expectation of receiving anything in return. When you give with the intention of getting something back, you just don’t make the same impact.

Whether it be a gift to someone special (young or old), a workplace compliment, some time to invest in a relationship, helping someone, a charitable donation etc. try giving all that you’re offering this season with an openness that allows the recipient to receive it their way, and just feel rich knowing that your gift came from the heart with no strings attached. Sounds easy, but it’s actually quite a spiritual workout.

Strings attached to giving can have many symptoms, some of which include expectations of gaining something in return (which usually leads to disappointment), judgement of how someone is responding or reacting to your gift, frustration that you’re not getting equal to or more than you’re giving.

With no attachment, I am sending you a wonderful blessing this season of Rich Relationships with all those who really matter to you, and even those whom you’ve struggled to have a healthy connection with.

Wising you inner peace, joy and contentment,

leadership training


Rejection is a Great Gift

How can rejection be a great gift? I’m going to tell you but first, a quick example.

In May 2014, my book Give and Be Rich was published and made available for purchase through bookstores, my website, and speaking engagements. One additional avenue for distribution that I have keenly sought ever since is a greeting card and gifting service called SendOutCards. This is a vision I’ve had since long before the book was published; it’s something I’ve asked for hundreds of times in person and in prayer. I have endured the rejection of my requests, yet I’ve kept on asking.

I’ve recently received news that my patience and perseverance have been rewarded!  SendOutCards will make Give and Be Rich available as a gift to be shipped with a card to anywhere in the world—a dream come true for me! Thousands of customers and distributors use this service to send appreciation and build both relationships and business by reaching out in kindness—a philosophy that compliments Give and Be Rich perfectly. My distribution channels have just multiplied by the thousands.

So what does this mean to you?

How many times do you ask for something in business or in life without receiving a favorable response?

Maybe you’re asking for a prospect to take a look at your product or service.
Maybe you’re asking for a client to come on board and trust that you’re capable to help them get what they want.
Maybe you’re working in an office and asking colleagues to trust in you or your potential. Maybe you want a new job or promotion.
Maybe there’s someone or something in your personal life that you want to have or be a certain way. In any case, you may not get the favorable answer you’re looking for the first time you ask—or the second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth time, but you get my point here: never give up on your dreams! Rejection can be your greatest gift.

If what you’re chasing is worth it for you, and if you really want it that much, push through the rejection! Persist. Don’t give up. Don’t let your fear of being rejected stand in the way of staying true to all that you desire. This may be a challenge, so reach out for help when necessary.

Make what you want more prevalent in your mind than how you feel at the time of rejection or loss. Stay focused on your goal.

Here are the most important lessons I’ve learned from receiving a ‘yes’ after hearing ‘no’ so many times:

When I experience rejection, my emotions act first, telling me that “I’m not good enough, worthy, as talented as others, or capable of being and playing at the top of my field.” This is all just FEAR—False Experiences Appearing Real.

After allowing my emotions to subside, I can revisit and assess the situation more clearly from all angles—especially in areas where I can take responsibility for creating a new circumstance. I can use this as an opportunity to grow, learn, and refine my inner beliefs and the skills required to become better.

When I act based on a clearer understanding of the situation, I am able to dig deeper and find better and more creative solutions than I could the first time around, resulting in a win-win outcome for everyone involved.  What a gift!

Here’s a challenge for you to put past rejection to work in your personal development.

Step 1: Think about a time when you faced rejection that you haven’t yet resolved in a positive way. Reexamine the details of the rejection to form a clearer perspective of all factors of the situation.

Step 2: Figure out what you can do to grow, learn, and refine areas of your life or career so that the rejection ends up being a step up for you. Remind yourself of your desired end result—your goal or dream—by putting it in writing or placing a note on your vision board to see the result manifesting itself before your eyes. Believe that it’s possible.

Step 3: Take action again. Ask again. Attempt to do so from a more creative angle than the last time you tried. Bring your new and improved self to the table. Repeat as necessary.

May you create abundance for yourself over this holiday season and into the new year, may your dreams be more prevalent in your mind than how you feel at the time of rejection or loss and may rejection be turned into a great gift for you.

Happy and safe holidays to all,

leadership training


Another useful link about rejection:

Giving Just to Give

The first chapter of my book, Give and Be Rich, is titled “Giving Simply to Give”. Its premise seems simple: just give for the sake of giving. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

I remember trick-or-treating on Halloween many, many moons ago, and the time that a man tricked instead of treated. He would place a full-sized Eat-More chocolate bar deep into trick-or-treaters’ candy bags with one hand, and then, as they were leaving, tug on an invisible string with the other hand and pull the candy bar back out. Most kids didn’t notice, but I did, and smiled at him to let him know that I was onto his trick. More recently, a teacher of mine from California used the term ‘sticky giving’ to represent the concept of giving with expectations or conditions, which resonated with me and reminded me of this Halloween experience. Sticky giving, for sure.

Sticky giving, or giving with conditions—whatever you choose to call it—is the act of giving to someone with an expected result and not simply for the sake of giving. In workplace relationships, we may give someone some extra help to fulfill our own hidden agenda of being noticed or praised. We may also wonder why colleagues don’t give back to us in the same way we’d give to them. In both of these scenarios, we are giving with conditions.

Here’s an excerpt from Give and Be Rich:

Giving unconditionally is key. If we simply give without the expectation of receiving anything in return, we are giving properly. Many people, however, give with conditions attached. They have an underlying motivation for giving; one common motivation is recognition, another is control. This is our ego working, wanting to be right, wanting to be noticed, wanting to protect us from being vulnerable. I believe that the hearts that give – in any capacity and without any expectation of return or favor – will be the most richly blessed. Furthermore, when we give in secrecy or anonymity, we receive in greater abundance. Give without the expectation of receiving anything in return. When you give with the intention of getting something back, you just don’t make the same impact.

Having written the book on giving, and having lived through some tough life lessons since its publication, I’m visiting this concept again. Even I have a hard time giving without conditions, especially in situations when my emotions are running high or my own insecurities are flaring up, causing me to speculate why someone I’ve given to won’t acknowledge my generosity or fully receive my gift.

There are some deeper questions we can ask ourselves about our attachments to giving with conditions. If you’re disappointed in the response you get from giving to someone, or if you feel the need to shout from the rooftops about your generosity, give yourself some time to really contemplate the following.  Ask yourself:

Why do I need other’s acknowledgement?

Why do I need other’s recognition?

Why do I need to be right?

Why do I need to be noticed?

Why do I need to protect myself from vulnerability?

As for other’s behaviour, I have two comments. First, know what’s yours and what’s not yours in situations where others are involved. When you give to them, that act of giving belongs to you. How they choose to respond belongs to them. Focus on what’s yours, and let go of what belongs to others. Maintain your energy for your own gain, and put it to good use within, rather than trying to control and change others.

Second, people do the best with what they know. They have a certain set of tools, and use them with the skills they’ve developed—or not developed. If someone’s unwilling to receive what you give them, or not mannered enough to acknowledge it or respond appropriately, understand that this is just where they’re at. Their reaction doesn’t represent where you’re at or what you deserve.

You can thank yourself for giving gifts that others don’t thank you for. You may also decide to put your energies elsewhere the next time you’re feeling generous. For every action or no action, there is a consequence or a choice of something new.

The hearts that give without any expectation of return or favour will be the most richly blessed.  Simple, but not easy.

Best wishes for unconditional giving,




* The third chapter of Give and Be Rich is about giving to yourself. Giving and growing rich is an inside job. What if we could just love ourselves enough, and give ourselves away in service to others? What if we just loved ourselves unconditionally? Acknowledged ourselves, recognized ourselves and allowed ourselves to be vulnerable? We wouldn’t need it from any other source—except, perhaps, a divine source such as a Creator, God, Buddah, or whatever you choose to name it. In that sense, our backs are always covered.

A Pat on the Back Pays Huge Dividends

Recognition is the most powerful human motivator in the workplace.  It costs nothing, and pays back huge dividends.

Many people think that money and perks are the best motivator, but money often gets applied to bills, and perks quickly forgotten.  The power in verbal recognition is that is strikes an emotional cord within people, and they never forget how they felt.


 “A pat on the back is just a few vertebrae up from a kick in the pants but is miles ahead in results.” —Ella Wheeler Wilcox


People won’t always remember what you told them or taught them, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel—whether it’s good or bad. There’s humongous power in giving others affirmation. Praise, recognition, and acknowledgment help others feel self-value.


“If you want to knock the chip off someone’s shoulder, give them a pat on the back” – Church sign

Whose Role Is It Anyway?

In the workplace, people think praise should come from the top; in other words, praise is the role of management. I disagree. It’s everyone’s responsibility to contribute toward creating the corporate culture in which they want to work. For a positive culture, you’ve got to first be positive. Part of being positive is sharing gratitude for all that’s in your life or workplace. We often overlook what is and instead think and talk about what isn’t.

The next time you walk into your place of employment, count 100 things you are thankful for, and then verbalize some of your gratitude toward the people who created these things. “I am thankful for this security system that I must pass through because it keeps me safe. I am thankful for clean hallways and lights to guide me in.” Those are two. Can you think of ninety-eight more? Everyone on your team can praise one another as well—for example, “The hallways smell fresh and clean today, Joe.”

Catch People Doing Things Right!

Be the one who notices your fellow employees, friends, or family members doing things right, and speak to them about it. You’ll contribute to a very positive corporate or family culture—one in which you’ll want to work and thrive.


“Your team members are the co-creators of your dreams and aspirations.” —Napoleon Hill


Earn huge dividends this month by paying forward some sincere and well deserved recognition to those in your work family.

leadership training

Read more recognition tips here from the Recognition Professionals International website.

Business card sending made easy and affordable.  Try out this service

Penny’s March Blog Post: Letting People Know Who They Are has a Significant Ripple Effect

Love is a Verb (Team Development)

You’ve heard me talk or read my work about love in the workplace, and how relationships are key to success in business.  When we treat customers, colleagues and managers with love—respect, appreciation, quality service, etc.—relationships flourish, as do productivity, sales, co-operation and more .

Just how do you ‘love’ the people that you spend your days with—especially when you may not have chosen them to be on your team in the first place?  Is it just a feeling you either have or don’t?  Do you buy it, or earn it with service or quality work?

A way to ensure that love lands in your day, every day, is to consider ‘love’ a verb.

Love  is something you do.  It’s the small and big things: the random acts of kindness, surprises, extra support, smiles, conversations, pats on the back, compliments, patience, kind thoughts, compassion, and many other acts of doing something for someone else.

Love is the glue that bonds teams together, and clients to businesses. Love is also priceless—it does not have to cost a cent.  The currency of love is our heart energy.  We all have it, and can tap into it if we open up.

The most amazing thing about love is that the more you give out by doing for others, the more you have left for yourself.  Love is infinite. It has no limits. You never run out; love just keeps growing when you take action on it and give it away to other people.

As we near Valentine’s Day, I challenge you to shower your workplace with acts of love.  Here are some examples of bringing love into the workplace:

1.    Show a customer some special attention by telling them how important they are to your business or organization.

2.    Be open to a change in the workplace that you’ve been resisting, and tell the person who is spearheading the change that you will buy in and play full-out.

3.    Give your assistance to someone who needs help, and tell them that, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, you are offering some special support.

4.    Verbally praise, recognize, or acknowledge someone for a specific thing they do or have done that is valuable to you or the organization.

5.    Wish three people in your office a Happy Valentine’s Day, and tell them why they are so special to you.

6.    Go with the consensus of your team, even if you don’t agree with the direction.  Consensus means that everyone’s on board.  Tell the team that you’re doing it out of love or honour for the team’s goals.

7.    Hold positive thoughts about someone in the office who you know needs some T.L.C. (Tender, Loving Care) at this time.

8.    Forgive someone in your workplace who has done you wrong previously, or ask someone for forgiveness if you have been the wrong-doer, to free you both from the grudges of the past.

9.    Hold that difficult conversation that you’ve been putting off with someone, and approach it with deep listening to understand their side of the situation first.

10.    Have a group hug!

Love in the workplace is just as sweet as candy, has no calories or refined sugar, and leaves a great taste in the mouths of both the giver and the receiver long after its transference.  (Of course, chocolate is a welcomed offering as well, and can be made extra-sweet when presented with a verbal recognition or appreciation of someone.)

Please remember, every day of the year, that love is a verb.  It is something that you do, and it builds and maintains loyal relationships upon which strong business can be leveraged.

To love and be loved is like feeling the sun from both sides.  Best wishes for an amazing Valentine’s Day week!

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“When you love people, you have no time to judge them.” ~ Mother Theresa

Be Grateful and Be Rich

It’s been a wonderful Canadian Thanksgiving and I’m elated to look out over hundreds of miles of red, orange and yellow forests.  The trees inspire me as their leaves remind me of the cycle of life; their strong trunks remind me of the potential for growth when we’re grounded with deep roots; and the sheer number of them inspire me to notice the abundance that surrounds me when I really open my eyes to the fullness of nature.

We have a bounty to harvest, no matter where we live or what the season, but how much time do we spend feeling grateful versus focusing on what we don’t have?

Rather than being in the habit of feeling gratitude and joy, we walk around with our hand out wanting more.  We habitually want more money, more time for ourselves, more business, more profit… the list goes on.

Not only do we ask for more by wanting, but we look for things to be packaged in a certain way: more money packaged as a salary increase; more time packaged as a vacation; more business packaged as a lineup of customers; more influence in the workplace packaged as a promotion; or more love in our life packaged as one specific person.  But in being so specific as to what we want to get, we are actually being resistant to receiving — wanting with one hand open, but pushing away with the other.  This creates a block in the flow of energy.

We need to be habitual in noticing that which we are receiving and how it feels, and let the experience really move us and have meaning.  We must accept the inflow of what is, rather than just thinking that we need more.  We can focus on appreciating the beautiful tree colours of autumn, rather than dwell on the end of the warm summer weather.  Can you see the difference between wanting something to happen and noticing what is already happening?

Where is your focus?

Are you focused on what you are already receiving, or what you are lacking?

Can a person find joy, happiness and fulfillment in

  • noticing how much money they already have?
  • fully experiencing the time that exists between when they arise and when they sleep?
  • appreciating the customers that already entrust them?
  • feeling valued for their circle of influence?
  • becoming aware of the love that is waiting to be embraced in the relationships around them?

This is not about THINKING positive.  It’s about FEELING gratitude for the abundance that we are already blessed with.  Of course, we can balance that out by recognizing what needs to be worked on, and set goals to achieve and accomplish more, but we can’t allow ‘needing something’ to stand in the way of our feeling of happiness and fulfillment every day.  In feeling gratitude, you will be rich in all the ways that really matter.

Make feeling gratitude for the bounty you receive a daily habit.


P.S. Take my 30-day gratitude challenge and send gratitude to a different person every day.  It’s a great way to celebrate people and share gratitude around the world.

If you liked this topic, you’ll love my new book, Give and Be Rich – Tapping the Circle of Abundance, coming soon.  Pre-order now.

Members of my website can read more about this topic. Become a member or Login for this exclusive preview of Be Grateful and Be Rich, taken from my newest book. Check your confirmation email after registering for your special gift.

Grow Tall with Deep Roots in Giving

I’d like to share a story about intention and desire that grew tall with deep roots in giving.

“It’s been great to sit back and think about all of the wonderful experiences where I have given and received in life.” This was the first comment Laurie made in our interview about my concept of “Give and Become Rich”. She went on to tell me a story about something someone gave her that still has an impact on her life.

One day while working in a 911 call dispatch job, she casually said to her co-worker, Lenore, “I want an oak tree. I love oak trees, and I have many other types of trees around me, but no oak trees.”

The following Monday, Lenore came into the office smiling. “I was hiking with my husband on the weekend,” she told Laurie, “and I brought you back your oak tree.” She held out a closed fist and said, “Here’s your oak tree,” and she dropped an acorn into Laurie’s hand.

Laurie and her friend laughed together. “In a 911 dispatch center, you have to lighten the mood often, so we were accustomed to silliness and fun in the workplace,” Laurie says.

Laurie, however, took the little oak seed seriously. She brought it home, planted it in soil, and tended to it, fully expecting it to manifest into her much wanted big and bold tree.

Eventually the tree sprouted. When the tree was about four inches tall, Laurie planted her in the yard of a home where she was staying temporarily. When she moved into her next home within a year, she dug up the small tree and planted it again in what is now the tree’s permanent residence. Laurie named the tree Lenore, after her colleague, who saw potential in the seed and her desire.

“My workplace colleague passed away a few years later,” Laurie says, “but her legacy lives on in my front yard. Lenore listened to what I had to say in a random conversation about wanting an oak tree. She proved her thoughtfulness by taking action and gave of herself to connect me and my tree. Her giving had nothing to do with money, but everything to do with taking action on something special for someone else.”

Lenore now has a thirty-foot-tall legacy growing in her honor. Her memory will live on for the next hundred years or more.

“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” —Albert Einstein


The Law of Giving

In every acorn is the promise of a thousand forests, provided that it is planted in fertile ground. Seeds are not meant to be hoarded. They must be sown, and so it is with our gifts that we have to give to others. They too must be sown.

Our bodies, our minds, and the universe all operate through a constant dynamic exchange of energy, which is comprised of giving and receiving. To stop this circulation of energy would be like stopping the flow of blood in our bodies. We would stagnate, rot, and die. We must consistently give and receive to maintain the flow of wealth and affluence in our lives.

As Spring sets upon us, let’s take action on giving what we can to others, whether they are gifts of service or thoughts of good intention.  Also, let’s plant what we receive from others in fertile ground – it may be a compliment or a piece of constructive advice that we need to hear, internalize, and water with positive intention and desire to grow tall into our personal best.

Fresh blessings for a beautiful Spring,


p.s.  If you liked this story, you will love my new book, Give and Be Rich.  The second publisher I sent it to loved it as well, and I have a contract.  I guess the seed of intention to produce a book that will change millions of lives, and raise millions for charity has just sprouted.  I will be watering it with love and attention this spring, and you will be able to receive it by late summer 2012.  Your readership and following is a large part of why I have been selected as an author with great potential, and I am grateful for your continued support.  You can pre-order your copies, and explore more of our website, to learn more about creating a circle of abundance.