E 103: Trailblazer Natasha Koifman shares her story from PR Executive to Angel Investor

E 103: Trailblazer Natasha Koifman shares her story from PR Executive to Angel Investor

Founder and President of ​NKPR​, Natasha Koifman has built one of North America’s top PR and marketing companies. Natasha’s strengths as a marketer, communicator and relationship builder have earned her an award-winning reputation for successfully growing North American and global brands across many sectors.

Recognized as one of Canada's most powerful and innovative women, Natasha has been honored with awards from the Women's Executive Network (WXN) and BizBash, recently completed a TEDx Talk and had been profiled in top-tier publications that include FORBES, The Globe and Mail, and Marie Claire.

In this episode:

  • How she built one of North America’s top PR and marketing companies working with big brands and big CELEBRITIES
  • Difference between PR & Marketing
  • True Entrepreneur DNA 
  • How she’s inspired by EVERYTHING
  • How it was a natural fit and evolution to become an Angel Investor
  • Difference between VC & Investor
  • How she’s been able to combine all of her personal and professional interests
  • What the ‘F Word’ podcast is all about and so much more…

About NKPR: 

NKPR is a 30-person agency with office in Toronto and New York and we're always looking for talented people who share our passion for great work. As part of the NKPR team you will work alongside the brightest in the field. With the support of a strong team, NKPR is a great place to keep learning, stay ahead of the curve and advance your career.

They offer ongoing training, employee appreciation events, comprehensive dental and health coverage, endless snacks and DJ Fridays. Everyone is encouraged to support each other and to give back through the NKPR 26 Acts of Kindness program.

Connect with Natasha:

NKPR.net | Facebook | Twitter | NKPR on LinkedIn | Instagram

#FutureProof Course

Learn management consulting timeless secrets that will always keep you ahead of the curve.

Connect the Dots:

How to turn strangers into meaningful network relationships.

Cheat sheet:

Optimize the networking benefits with less effort? Less effort, More results and so much more.

E 102: Riverdale: Design Thinking Approach Wins Big Viewership & Respect

E 102: Riverdale: Design Thinking Approach Wins Big Viewership & Respect

I’ll be honest, I’ve always been a Brandon Walsh girl over Dylan McKay! I have to say, I just watched Netflix’s Riverdale episode, and how they honour Fred Andrew (who was played by Luke Perry). I have to say… WOW! They really nailed it!

How they handled Luke Perry’s death, was absolutely beautiful. The writers truly honoured Luke Perry and the audience that grew up with him. We got to truly mourn his death (here is a little photo tribute). My sister and I were bawling throughout the entire episode. These writers were definitely thinking with their hearts and that level of empathy was so evident. We actually felt like we attended his funeral and got to say goodbye to him. They invoked so many memories and really helped us along the journey. There were a few hidden surprises, that just took our breath away.  

This got me thinking about how this is a great example of design thinking. First of all, we all hear the words design thinking but it’s hard to envision and understand. Design Thinking is Human- Centered design, versus system centered. The Riverdale show writers, really understood their target market. Having all the Riverdale parents being teen idol stars from the 80’s, we know from Luke Perry, Molly Ringwald, Mark Consuelos, Skeet Ulrich, Robin Givens & Mädchen Amick

They really kept the audience in mind when writing this episode. They really understand & understood their target audience and the different audience personas. Which means that every piece of content speaks to the audience personas. Which is exactly why this Riverdale episode and the funeral of Fred Andrews (aka Luke Perry) was such a big deal. How they handled this so tastefully, will encourage even more loyalty.  

Design Thinking provides a hybrid approach to problem solving. It does not just look at data analytics and science, it also uses emotions and intuition. Design Thinking really provides a hands-on-approach to problem solving. Not just researching on a computer or google to problem solve. It wants you to get out their on the field to talk to people to ‘hear’ & ‘understand’. Less talk and more action. It’s an iterative process, where we seek to understand the user, challenge ‘same-old’ assumptions , and redefine problems to identify additional opportunities. Design Thinking is a total shift to the mindset.  

There are lots of times that we get caught up in meetings and not actually talking to people that would be impacted. We make decisions without doing early testing. Designing the solution in real-time with the actual end users (aka  people that will be using their solution), is where you will hit that sweet spot.

Here are some tips for you to start to embrace design thinking

  • Know thy audience, including audience Personas – get to truly understand your audience. What are they struggling with? What are worked well before? What doesn’t?
  • Learn from Failures – so try and test early. Get out there and listen and learn. Don’t just sit there and google to do research. Design Thinking goes beyond a computer, it goes back to the basics (pre internet time). Just get out there and talk to people!
  • Embrace Ambiguity – don’t be afraid of not knowing things. This is where many folks fall victim to ‘Imposter Syndrome’. Look at the gaps and unknowns as clues. Play detective and enjoy the mystery. It will allow you to be open to hearing and exploring new possibilities. One of my favourite quotes “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”Thomas A. Edison
  • Iterate & continuously improve – don’t develop something and go into a black box, until you finish developing everything. Touch base with your customers/target audiences frequently, grab their feedback to improve things throughout the process.

I hope this helps. I’ve also included a free little checklist to help you find questions to gather feedback. Just click here REFLECTIONS AFTER ACTION REVIEW. It takes 10 minutes to do a reflection to thinking.

 

Let me know what your thoughts are. 

Best Always,

Sapna

 

Links:

Innovation Training – Design Thinking Mindsets

What was Luke Perry Cause Death

Luke Perry Fiancee Wendy Madison Bauer Tribute

Luke Perry's life in photos memorable moments

Riverdale parents 80's TV shows

#FutureProof Course

Learn management consulting timeless secrets that will always keep you ahead of the curve.

Connect the Dots:

How to turn strangers into meaningful network relationships.

Cheat sheet:

Optimize the networking benefits with less effort? Less effort, More results and so much more.

E 101: The Truths about Overcommitting & Underdelivering & how to NOT do it!

E 101: The Truths about Overcommitting & Underdelivering & how to NOT do it!

This is the 1st of the new professional development ‘tune-up’ series! Short mini session, to elevate your game.Who has ever experienced working with a contractor/technician/repair person? As soon as we say this, we know.. UGH.. it’s going to be an awful and painful experience.

It’s beyond frustrating and we end up going through 32 flavours of emotion. From being patient, to irritated to angry. It’s amazing what happens, when these contractors overcommit and under-deliver.  

Think of the experience that we go through, we someone like a contractor/technician or anyone in our lives underdeliver. There is a reason why parents always say ‘please don’t promise things to my kids, that you’re unable to deliver’. There is a massive fallout and disappointment that occurs. It’s hard to repair and pick up the pieces for someone to break promises.

It’s interesting, we all know how it feels – which feels AWFUL! Yet, so many of us to this at work.

We have a habit of saying ‘yes’ at work.  We don’t want to disappoint someone, or don’t want to be seen as collaborative.  Then, we sit down and realize that we can’t make that timeline. We try to make it work but we just can’t do it. Some of us, may get all stressed out trying our best to make the timelines, some will just continue working on our own timelines (often, failing to communicate or notify the other vested party that we can’t make that timeline). Yet, we all KNOW how it feels to be let down.

Here is the impact of not managing expectations of not being able to make the timeline.  TRUST IS BROKEN. Yup, ultimately, we stop trusting the other person. They get seen as unreliable and the perception of ‘take their timelines and commitments’ with a grain of salt. 

It happens all the time. Now, there are ways to mitigate this risk. Here are some practical tactics.

SCOPE IT OUT:

Don’t commit to anything, until you take the time to scope things out.  Just say ‘let me get back to you on timelines, I want to scope things out’. What you’re saying is, let me do some due diligence to come up with a realistic plan that will generate a win-win. This shows a level of maturity. Then break down the task into smaller tasks & timelines. This needs to be looked at holistically, with all the other items that you have. Sometimes, saying YES to something, means that we need to say NO to something else. Or better yet, we can ask our supervisors/bosses/stakeholders to help us re-prioritize. 

MANAGE EXPECTATIONS:

If you don’t know the expected turnaround time – Sit down and talk.  Align on what is feasible and what isn’t feasible during that timeline. Find out, what do they need 1st. What is their minimum acceptable product/deliverable that they need. They may not need everything, just a few things. One of my favourite lines is, “when is the latest that I can get this back to you’? You'll be surprised, you might be thinking at the end of the week and they may be thinking the end of the month. Not everyone is reactive!

COMMUNICATE:

Look folks, people are not mind readers. This part always drives me insane… just like those that don’t signal to change lanes. It doesn’t take much to send a quick message to say ‘Got the request, just looking into it’. This shows that you’ve acknowledged their request and it’s not going into a black hole. Give them quick updates or even let them see drafts. Communicate with them THROUGHOUT the journey, not just at the beginning and at the end. 

OPTIONS:

If you can’t do something, be upfront. I am a girl that likes options. I always provide 2 or 3 options. I don’t want to be seen as the person that throws things over the fence and say ‘catch- it’s your problem’. I want people to know, that I may not be able to do something because of X,Y,Z reasons. However, here are a few options that might help you solve this issue. For example, Sally is doing something similar and you might be able to leverage this  or I can do it, in a few weeks (beginning of Dec) or there I could oversee one of their team members and they can do the work and I can coach them through it.  

People like options, they want to know that there is no dead end. Can you imagine, going to the doctors and being told that there is no options to get healthy! Don’t be that person! Provide options, so that people know there is hope. They will respect you for your honesty and the ability to think things through.

I’ve got a freebie for you.  After Action Review or Reflections review. I do this at the end of every milestone or deliverable.  I’ve created a free cheatsheet for you, that you can easily download and try. Just click here REFLECTIONS AFTER ACTION REVIEW. It takes 10 minutes to do a reflection to thinking.

Let me know what your thoughts are.

#FutureProof Course

Learn management consulting timeless secrets that will always keep you ahead of the curve.

Connect the Dots:

How to turn strangers into meaningful network relationships.

Cheat sheet:

Optimize the networking benefits with less effort? Less effort, More results and so much more.

E 100: 100 CanInnovate Podcast Episodes Thoughts and Musings

E 100: 100 CanInnovate Podcast Episodes Thoughts and Musings

Being that this is our 100th episode, I can’t believe that the time has gone so fast. I started the CanInnovate podcast two years ago but still moving strong and it is just mind boggling to me. I keep thinking about this episode that I am going to record for you, my whole experience and the journey for the past two years and I have to say that I am really glad that I started this podcast journey because it opened up a whole new world for me that I never thought that would actually happen.

My Elevate Tech Fest Experience

 

I got invited to speak on stage at Elevate conference which is a massive Tech Fest in Toronto. I was invited to moderate and lead the fireside chat with Ariel Garten, who is the founder of Muse – the brain sensing headband. It was kind of surreal to me because it happened so quickly and the next thing I knew is that I am sitting in the green room prepping to go on stage.

I cannot describe how I feel because it is so fascinating, exciting and nerve-wracking experience. I got all sweaty but Ariel and the rest of the team backstage told me that I was a natural at it and that helped me get the confidence I needed to be on stage and I felt that I am getting better at it.

What I find amazing during my time on stage is that, while listening to Ariel talk about being a serial entrepreneur at the age of 16 years old and she was coming up with a product line and she knew nothing about how to break a great product line but she just did it anyway. If you think about it, at 16 years old with a can-do attitude that nothing is going to hold her back, I became fascinated by her mindset. It is also fitting because the Muse headband is about meditation and clearing your mind and how to get a positive mindset.

My experience at Elevate Tech Fest was truly amazing and unforgettable. 

 

The 100 Episodes of CanInnovate Podcast

I keep going back to the five-seconds of courage when starting this podcast and not knowing how to do it because I just have my management consultant skills and overcoming the imposter syndrome and I just had a whirlwind of experience. I have met incredible executives that are so innovative and thinking about it, it is how I got on stage with Ariel because she was on the podcast three times, we were able to create masterclass together and being able to connect with her and that would not have happened if I didn’t start this podcast. I also think about my other speaking experience at other smaller events, conferences to having an Amazon best seller book, the online course: #Futureproof Yourself and so much more. 

I am really glad that I started this journey and it opened up a lot of doors for me as I keep saying yes to a lot of stuff but it kept me thinking what do I have to say no to.

 

Episode 100 Going Onwards

I overcame being a workaholic and it was a two decade old habit that I had and I really wanted to think about where I am putting my time and effort into and I actually had to start pairing some things down for the things that don't make sense any more or for the frequency that needs to be revamped.

I actually resigned from a couple of board directors and I also want to make sure to keep myself healthy. I was thinking about the podcast and you all know how much I love it but I was also thought about all the emails that I get.

I have been getting a lot of emails about the lack of professional development topics especially when I talked about how to prioritize, give and receive feedback, the vulnerability and the mindset podcast episodes. Ariel Garten’s episode 45 which is about the Innovation Mindset: how to untangle the knots in your head and killing that inner jerk is one of the episodes that provides tactical exercise has changed a lot of ways that you, the listeners have been thinking and in fact, I am still getting a lot of emails about it.

With me teaching at George Brown Consulting 101, the futureproof class, course and projects where I am coaching with other people to become more marketable, to increase their skill set and help them shift their mindset; I am thinking that it is time for us to start focusing on our own development and I will be bringing a lot of my management consulting best practices

The podcast will be shifting to focusing on:

  • How we would innovate ourselves
  • We will still have innovator guests who are changing the norm
  • We will also have topics that will be broken down into smaller topics whether it is email management, when to prioritize or to how to say no to something elegantly

I am so excited for this shift and I hope you will continue to support me and the podcast. Here’s to our 100 episodes, to 100 more and I can’t wait to hear your feedback.

 

Links:

Ariel Garten Episodes:

Imposter Syndrome: I'm an imposter, hear me roar!

Feedback: 3 reasons why giving and receiving feedback is important

Vulnerability: What is vulnerability and why should we be vulnerable

Amazon best seller book: Connect the Dots: How to turn strangers into meaningful network relationships

Futureproof Course – a digital course that will help you future proof yourself

LinkedIn episode: Discovering the power of LinkedIn with janice Porter

 

 

 

#FutureProof Course

Learn management consulting timeless secrets that will always keep you ahead of the curve.

Connect the Dots:

How to turn strangers into meaningful network relationships.

Cheat sheet:

Optimize the networking benefits with less effort? Less effort, More results and so much more.

E99: Discovering the power of LinkedIn with LinkedIn Expert, Janice Porter

E99: Discovering the power of LinkedIn with LinkedIn Expert, Janice Porter

Janice began her career as a teacher, was a corporate trainer for many years and has now been in business for herself for several years. She found her niche coaching and training business professionals to network at a mastery level and turn their connections into new business. Her passion is working with motivated people who are coachable and want to build their businesses through Relationship Marketing and Networking – offline & online.

Episode Overview:

 

LinkedIn training is a huge part of Janice’s business – she believes anyone in business or looking for a new position, needs to have a professional LinkedIn profile, and that it is a powerful online platform for attracting new clients or being found by recruiters. It is also a valuable tool for building and strengthening one’s reputation and authority in his or her field.

In this episode:

  • How she got into the LinkedIn world and what fascinates her about it
  • Why people underestimate LinkedIn's power
  • How to connect and build relationships that really matter
  • Your not networking to make friends but to build relationship that will take you somewhere
  • Janice shares how to set-up a proper LinkedIn profile using my LinkedIn as an example
  • Why asking recommendations are important
  • and so much more!

Janice knows how powerful it can be for one’s business to build relationships and show appreciation to prospects and clients alike. It really is all about the follow up! She is affiliated with a company called SendOutCards – and shows her clients how to use this system to show appreciation, stay top of mind with people, and increase their sales. If you are interested in hearing more about LinkedIn, effective relationship-building strategies, appreciation marketing, or receiving solid networking information, Janice welcomes your calls.

 

Resources Mentioned:

Janice Podcast – Relationships Rule Podcast

Sapna episode on Janice podcast: Connect the Dots: How to Turn Strangers Into Meaningful Network Relationship

 

Connect with Janice:

JanicePorter.com | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

 

 

#FutureProof Course

Learn management consulting timeless secrets that will always keep you ahead of the curve.

Connect the Dots:

How to turn strangers into meaningful network relationships.

Cheat sheet:

Optimize the networking benefits with less effort? Less effort, More results and so much more.

E98: The Growcer – providing hydroponic systems to Canadian regions to promote local produce with Corey Ellis

E98: The Growcer – providing hydroponic systems to Canadian regions to promote local produce with Corey Ellis

Corey Ellis is the Co-founder and CEO of Growcer, a company started with the goal of providing a tool to grow food in any climate, all year round. His unique perspective as a social entrepreneur has helped him understand how to enable community-level impact through profitable market-driven business models.

Episode Overview:

You know that moment that you just get inspired and think… WOW! I’m glad someone really thought about that. It will make the world a better place! That’s just what happened! I got to sit down and chat with Corey Ellis is the Co-founder and CEO of Growcer, a company started with the goal of providing a tool to grow food in any climate, all year round. 

We talk about so many topics: 

  • How a trip to the Arctic, inspired Growcer
  • How this innovative idea is helping farmers, entrepreneurs and small businesses
  • The balance of being socially good & profitable has created a WIN-WIN-WIN situation
    • empowers remote Canadian regions to grow fresh produce locally using modular hydroponic systems
    • Saving water
    • Helping feed the growing worldwide population
    • Eliminating Carbon Footprint
  • How Canada is a food insecure country
  • The Dragon’s Den experience

And so much more!

 

About the Growcer:

Growcer is an innovative approach to allow communities and businesses to grow food year-round. Our offering includes our core technology (modular hydroponic equipment, with automation and remote monitoring, making it user-friendly), along with business support and expert horticultural and technical know-how for the lifetime of their system. What's more, Growcer systems can grow fresher, better tasting products closer to consumers, without costing more than current prices in most markets. With this model, Growcer empowers people to adopt this new solution for 21st century farming, and makes it possible to grow more with less – moving us to a future where our food system can be more sustainable.

To date, Growcer technology has enabled millions of servings of vegetables to be grown in some of the world's harshest climates – including within the Arctic Circle. Growcers have been deployed in temperatures below -50C and above 40C.

 

Connect with Corey:

TheGrowcer.ca | Facebook | Twitter: @the_growcer and @corey_w_ellis ‏ | LinkedIn | Instagram

#FutureProof Course

Learn management consulting timeless secrets that will always keep you ahead of the curve.

Connect the Dots:

How to turn strangers into meaningful network relationships.

Cheat sheet:

Optimize the networking benefits with less effort? Less effort, More results and so much more.

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