MLM, Direct or Affiliate Marketing, How Did You Join?

MLM, direct or affiliate marketing people often ask “are you looking to start your own business?”. A surefire way to scare people away! If you want to know what works, ask some of your MLM friends  “how did you join?” to better understand what works. I need to acknowledge Lindsay Tompkins here for triggering my thoughts on this blog. Lindsay is always working to lift up direct marketing people. Check her out at!

MLM, Direct or Affiliate Marketing

MLM inverse pyramidMulti-level Marketing (MLM) has a terrible perception and I’m afraid it’s for good reason. Direct and affiliate marketing are somewhat different but get lumped in with MLM. Many have a greater emphasis on recruitment than product or service sales. Personally, I think those companies have it wrong but, who am I to say! But, MLM is a great way to build a team to work together on your business without having overhead costs like payroll.

Direct selling is a little different in that the emphasis is definitely focused on product sales. Some allow for some team building but typically in a more limited way. Affiliate marketing is more passive in nature and pays you a small piece of the profits from product or service sales. Usually through using links tied to your posting.

Are You Looking For A Business?

person running awayHave you ever been approached by someone asking if you are looking for a business? If you are anything like me, you probably wanted to just get away as fast as you could!

People who are “looking” probably already have a business or are well on their way to establishing one. When it comes to MLM, we are actually looking for people who may not realize they could actually run one. Chances are they don’t have the financial resources or lack training and support.

This is where various forms of multi-level or direct marketing models excel. Many MLMs provide training that over time may actually exceed what you could achieve through formal education like college or university. Sshhhh! Don’t tell anyone I said that!

What Made You Join?

Lindsay Tompkins did a Facebook Live on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 entitled “No one wants to start a business! (It’s true!). Afraid I can’t link for you as it was in a closed group through her social media training site. The comment she made that triggered this blog was that instead of asking people if they are looking for a business, ask people that are already involved “What made you join?”.

She goes on to talk about how most people already consider themselves either too busy or not qualified to start a business so find out what made others join. I find that it may be they were worried about funding a child’s education, or some other major life event, and couldn’t see how that would happen and someone asked them enough questions to understand how to help them  understand there was a solution if they were willing to spend some time learning how and what to do.

So I ask, if you are currently involved in some kind of marketing business, what made you join?!

Make it a great day!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for Lindsay Tompkins, social media and GVO. What are you thankful for today?

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Video on Social Media – Do you really control it?

Video on social media is really easy these days but who really controls it? Think about the answer to this question before you decide who you are giving over control to. 

Video on Social Media

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Read my blog on Net Geners.

Social media channels make recording video really easy, especially live. Because you can land yourself in social media “jail”, you need to control your content.  If someone else locks you out and you don’t have any other copies, the pain is excruciating! Be sure you have control over your creations. 

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes like to re-purpose some of my video rather than recreating something I have already done. That means I need an archive I can control and get to later.

Consider your needs before giving your content away!

How Do You Use Video?

There are many purposes to video:

  1. Doing live conversations or presentations;
  2. Sending messages in email;
  3. Recording special training sessions;
  4. Doing webinars that you want to archive.

The four bullets above are examples of how I use video on social media. When deciding on the recording method to use, if I don’t care if I ever lose the video, I will create and/or upload to my Facebook or Youtube account. But, if I don’t want the risk of losing my creative work, I use the GVO Easy Video. Consider whether you are recording for archival purposes or social media and what your long term needs are. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one place and tool, where you actually control ownership and distribution of the video? 

Global Virtual Opportunities (GVO) Easy Video

GVO’s Easy Video is available through a couple of suites of tools that are economical and include other marketing tools that exceed the value of the video product itself. I use a combination of two packages because I create and host multiple sites and blogs. For most, the Pure Leverage suite is quite sufficient if you just need a single blog/site for you or your business. Therefore, the Global Virtual Opportunities Titanium Suite is the one I use for the multiple sites.

Below this text is a video I have created using GVO’s Easy Video. I have inserted the video using the MP4 link within the WordPress editor. Literally just click “Insert Media” and paste the link to the video and, voila, you see result below!

Domain Hosting and Video Storage


Click here to learn more about products including domain hosting.

By hosting my own website and using the GVO Easy Video, I can now share a link to this blog post.  This way, when one social media site sees the link, they don’t have a connection to a direct competitor that they will either remove or push the post so far down, hardly anyone sees it. I tested sharing a link to this video on my main social media site and so far, anyone seems to be able to view the video and it hasn’t been blocked.

Global Virtual Opportunities makes hosting, production and storage easy. Before deciding on a particular tool, consider the GVO or Pure Leverage suite of tools. You can’t have just one product but the suite is more economical than any of the tools elsewhere!

If you want to learn more about GVO and the various solutions, please make sure you contact me through the contact tab on my home page.

Make it a great day!


P.S. I always end my blogs with three things I am thankful for today. I’m thankful for pets, people and porridge! What are you thankful for today?

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Ontario Parks and Boon Docking, some of the best camping in Canada!

Ontario Parks are some of the most beautiful in the world. Whether you are looking for somewhere to camp or just a place to spend the day!

Ontario Parks

We purchased an RV camper this year and decided that if we were paying for it, we were going to use it! So far, we have chosen mostly Ontario Provincial Parks. First, we know mostly what to expect with regard to types of sites and facilities. Second, we discovered there are a lot of them, many within an hour or two of where we live.

Some of the parks so far this summer are:

Photo of Sign at Lake of Two Rivers

Lake of Two Rivers July 2018

Image of campsite.

Oastler Lake July 2018








Image of McRae Point Provincial Park beach.

Beach at McRae Point July 2018

Image of people on the dock with a dog.

Playing with the dog at Restoule July 2018







Boon Docking

We can’t wait to try this one! Ontario Parks are great when you need to know what you are getting into but we discovered something called boon docking. I had no idea there were places where you can stop overnight and in many cases, no charge. We hope to try that some time soon. 

We found a site just by Madawaska and another in Huntsville that we want to try. The challenge is that you have to be self sufficient. There is no electricity, water or washrooms in many cases. Luckily the RV Camper has everything we need!

Image of RV camper

RV Camper at OTF Campsite July 2018










Smell The Pine Trees!

One of the reasons we decided to purchase the RV Camper is that we are not independently wealthy but want to get out and see more of the world. Our world. Before we are too old to enjoy it.

Having international students that stayed with us really reinforced how big and beautiful Canada is.Take the time to enjoy the world around you. Our son has travelled many countries and came home after his last excursion talking about how he doesn’t understand why everyone wants to go to other countries. He has traveled to the west coast of Canada and from the north of Ontario to the south. This is the most beautiful country in the world.

Stop and smell the pine trees!

>>Click Here<< to look up free campsites in North America.

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for the small inheritance that paid for the truck to pull the trailer, my wife and my health to enjoy them both! What are you thankful for today?

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Scouting For RV Camping in Central Ontario

Soon we will be RV camping in a 20.5 foot travel trailer. Don’t ask me to convert that to meters! Just spent the day scouting for places to go.

My New RV

We are the proud new owners of a 2017 Crossroads Zinger Z1 211RD!

We found this gem at a place called Bella Vista RV Centre on Highway 11 just north of Barrie. Peter and Bruno were excellent and we can’t wait to get on the road. Now to find a vehicle to pull it with and where to go!

Vehicles To Tow A Travel Trailer

GMC YukonNow, there’s a challenge! When I was younger, I had a 1970 Buick Electra Convertible that would have been perfect. Alas, the don’t make cars like they used to. My 2013 Chev Impala is considered a full size car and can only tow 1,000 pounds. My small SUV, a Suzuki Grand Vitara, only pulls up to 1,500! What the heck!

I checked into some of the mid-size SUV’s like the Buick Enclave or the Chevy Traverse. They can tow up to 5,000 pounds but that’s really limiting and I’m advised I should have capacity for almost double the dry weight of the trailer to allow for full tanks etc.

I have always consider pickup trucks as vehicles for “rednecks”. Sorry for the generalization but I’m just not a pickup guy! Never say never. I hope to end up with a full size SUV like a Suburban, Yukon or Tahoe but I suspect there is a high likelihood I’ll end up in redneck territory. And trailer trash to boot!

Finding Overnight RV Camping in Central Ontario

Minden May 5, 2018I was surprised at how much RV Camping there actually is! There are numerous Ontario Provincial Parks in the area with RV friendly sites. I’m betting availability may be an issue during the prime camping season. So, we went scouting for private overnight RV Camping sites not more than a couple of hours away. Ironically, we spent about 10 hours doing it!

We left Barrie about 10am and headed north through Orillia and Ramara to Monk Road which took us across to Highway 35 at Norland. North through Minden and Dorset to Highway 60. Then west to Huntsville to Highway 400 South and down to 141 to go across to Parry Sound. By the time we reached Parry Sound, we were ready to head home.

We found a few places to consider:

There were others but I forget the half of them! Bottom line is there are many places you can tow a trailer without having to travel too far.

Many friends and family have advised that I stay close for a couple of trips to get used to a new vehicle and the weight behind it. Sounds like sage advice to me.

I’m looking forward to blogging about some of our adventures.

Happy trails everyone!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? Our parents exposed both of us to camping life in Ontario and we both love it. Our kids still want to come with us and our granddaughter is excited for our next road trip!

What are you thankful for today?

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Spring in Canada. Or is it?

Is it really spring in Canada? Canadians just love to complain about the weather but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!

Spring in Canada

Spring April 15, 2018I love having four seasons but some days….

It’s Sunday, April 15, 2018 in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. This weather has been virtually non-stop for two days. On Friday, the ground was bare and I was picking up extension cords and Christmas lights to put away. You will see that I brought out the table we use in nice weather when sitting out with a glass of wine (or maybe a cold beer on a hot day!). I’m really glad I didn’t go and bring down the lawn chairs.

The first day of spring was officially March 20, 2018. Many are usually starting to think about planning their gardens. Not in Barrie!!! We wouldn’t usually consider planting before June 1 because there is still risk of frost.

We currently have a student from Egypt with us. He was talking about spring and my wife told him not really, there was still at least one storm to come. As you can see, she was right!

Canadians Love to Complain!

Canadian FlagWe are known around the world as polite people. I sort of agree but I have to admit, we are chronic complainers!

We have four seasons, the problem is one seems to be nine months long and the other three seasons are not predictable. Summer is anywhere from 4-8 weeks regardless of what the calendar tells you! It’s funny, that nine months really is like a pregnancy. After all that time, it’s really exciting when the weather (water?) finally breaks. That baby finally arrives and before too long, it’s matured. Here comes winter again!

I’ll bet you there are a lot babies conceived in Canada during the winter months.

Summer in God’s Country!

Barrie yacht clubBarrie, Ontario is one of the greatest places in Canada to live. During the winter, there are at least four ski resorts within forty minutes. In summer, there is a beautiful lake front right here and many more just a short drive away. We just have to get through the spring to get there!

I’m not complaining but I’m Canadian eh!

Then fall and soon enough back to winter.

Four Seasons

Barry and Denise Clermont Fall 2017When we moved to Barrie, it was November and getting cold. The snow hit shortly after we moved here and we made a decision to embrace the weather, including winter. We learned how to ski so we could spend time with our kids on the hills rather than becoming mall rats. We love to camp and hike in the warmer weather and I have a great time with my camera in the fall when Ontario is a beautiful tapestry of colours.

Canada is a country of four seasons. Come visit!

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for this great country, my wife and my family. What are you thankful for today?

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Identity Theft: Is It Part Of Your Risk Management Plan?

Identity theft is no longer if but when. What do you do when it happens to you?

Identity Theft: What is it?

Identity theft is much more than someone using your credit card number, hacking your Paypal account or bank account. Identity Theft is a major area that should be considered when you are addressing your comprehensive risk management plan! Are you only about money? Of course not! Here are just some issues that could cause an identity crisis:

  • Social Insurance or Social Security Number (Or your wife or child’s!)
  • Health and health insurance records
  • Driver’s license

When someone steals your Social Security number, they can work in your name and not pay taxes. They might use your social insurance number when applying for a mortgage in your name. If they get hold of your health insurance numbers, they could potentially cause a change in your health records that could be fatal. I’m sure you never have traffic infractions but what if someone is caught racing using your driver’s license number?

Identity theft is high risk and more likely to happen than many other things we plan for. Is it part of your risk management plan?

Risk Management

We take pains to plan for and mitigate risk in our lives. We plan for the “what ifs”. Here are some examples:

  • Life insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Car Insurance
  • Auto Club memberships
  • Home maintenance plans
  • #LegalSavingsPlan
  • Identity Theft Restoration Plan

warning signsWe have life insurance to protect our family from sudden loss. We have health insurance to cover hospital bills and, in some cases, prescriptions. We have car insurance and auto club to protect us when we travel. We have maintenance plans to keep the heat and air conditioning operating in our homes. We have a #LegalSavingsPlan to cover keeping our wills and powers of attorney up to date and keep a lawyer in our back pocket for emergencies and every day life events.

Make sure that when you are looking at your risk management plan, you consider Identity Theft. Remember that not all plans are created equal. Sure, the banks may offer something to replace missing funds and some plans will offer websites and links to things you need to do but who is going to do all the restoration work? Can you afford to take weeks off work? Do you think the distraction of worry could affect your performance? Make sure any plan you purchase includes complete restoration to before theft status.

Legal Repercussions

When your identity is stolen, there will be legal issues along the way. You may have the police showing  up to arrest you or Canada Revenue Agency or Internal Revenue Service threatening to take your wages. Do you know who to call? I do, I call my law firm. As part of your risk management plan, you may want to consider a #LegalSavingsPlan to help ease some of the pain along the way. Sometimes it’s just nice to know that what seems to be a problem isn’t really a problem or have a lawyer give you answers that empower you and let you sleep better.

>>>Click here to learn about Identity Restoration<<<

What do you do?

What do you do when your identity is stolen? It’s no longer if but when! The solution is very simple. Use your Identity Theft restoration plan and your #LegalSavingsPlan to get back to pre-theft status!

Make it a great day!


My Own Meeting

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Logitech C920

The Logitech C920 is a great webcam. I was really surprised the difference it made on my Lenovo laptop with integrated video.

Logitech C920

I read about this webcam recently in a blog that talked about the importance of having a good webcam and not using integrated cameras. I thought it was a load of crap but thought the cost was worth the experiment. I really hate to admit I was wrong!!!

This webcam is a high definition camera with almost as high resolution as my Pentax camera! Up to 15 megapixel. My Pentax is 20. The negative is that the microphones are a little too good. When mounted on my laptop, it really picks up the hum of the cooling fan. One of the reasons I chose that camera is it has a screw mount which means it can be used with a tripod. I really wish I could find that blog I referred to earlier to link to! It’s bang on so far. Guess what I’m picking up next!

Blue Snowball

The microphone I want to try is the Snowball by Blue, the same manufacturer as the Yeti. I’m betting there may be another blog to come! From what I see in the specs and online, the Blue is able to pick up sounds from more than one direction and will require using an isolate space when I’m doing this stuff. Looks like I will have to commandeer a room! I’m betting there is another blog to come.

Pure Leverage Suite of Tools

All of this works really well with the Pure Leverage Suite of tools. This is what got me started with all of this. Now, I just can’t help myself! If you are trying to brand yourself and develop a good online presence, this suite saves huge amounts of time and money.

Complete the form below to learn more about Pure Leverage and other GVO products.


Make it a great day!


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Suicide Is So Selfish! Isn’t It?

Suicide Is So Selfish!

Suicidal personSuicide seems to be in the news so much these days and I have to admit there was a time when I considered suicide an extremely selfish act. The loved ones of the person who passed are usually devastated and they have no idea why that person did this to them.

I have lost someone close to me to suicide and was just talking with someone who lost a close friend that left a partner and children behind. My friend made the comment that suicide was selfish and it really made me think. Is suicide really a selfish act?

I can’t imagine ever feeling there was no other way than to take my own life and what it would do to those I left behind. But…

What If I Believed The World Was Better Without Me?

Blessed crossI’m personally very blessed to have a great family and a wonderful life. My challenges have been mostly small in the grand scheme of things. Yes, I lost a son to cancer and we almost lost our home in the process. My wife and I leaned on each other and those around us for support at the time and we got through.

What if I believed I had no friends? What if I believed my wife wasn’t there for me? What if I believed I was in such a dark place I was taking everyone else with me? What if I believed my insurance would make everything better for my family? Maybe the world would be better off without me!

Now, I can’t imagine being that dark a place but I CAN accept that others might. If they truly believed the world is better without them and they are helping the people they left behind by taking their own life, is suicide truly selfish?

Next time you find yourself feeling someone you lost to suicide was selfish, think about what they may have been thinking before you judge them. Remember what you believe and say may have an affect on that person’s loved ones they left behind. 

Overwhelmed – Part 2 – Over from Connexus Church on Vimeo.

Ask For Help!

LifesaverIf you ever find yourself in such a dark place you think the world is better without you, please reach out to someone. If you really believe you don’t have anyone, call your local crisis line. In Canada,  there is a website provided by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. I think the National Institute for Mental health is American.

Please, please, please ask for help!

Offer Help

Pay attention to the people around you and really hear them. It may be they just need someone to listen or maybe they need someone to help them see light at the end of a very dark tunnel. You could be the difference between life and death.

Let me just remind you that this is my space for thinking out loud. I’m not being judgemental, just expressing my thoughts. Please feel free to share yours in the comments box below.

Make it a great day! Whether for yourself or someone else. 


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for faith, family and friends. What are you thankful for today?

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Wedding In The Woods

My daughter celebrated her wedding in the woods December 2017. A young man from England stole her heart. I warned him that if he breaks it, there will be nowhere safe to hide!

Wedding In The Woods

Sometimes, I believe my daughter was born about 50 years late. Who but a hippie would decide they wanted a wedding in the woods?! In the winter!

Dad and daughter at wedding in the woodsMy little princess is certainly not faint of heart. Definitely a ‘chip off the old block’, her mother, that is! Ashley is 26 years old and has experienced more than many people do in a lifetime. Many of her travels have led to some outdoor living. She has developed a connection to the earth and all she has to offer.

The bride decided she wanted to be married where she is most comfortable. Of course, the groom, knowing what is good for him, agreed! Actually, he is a bit of a nomad himself. He came to Canada on an adventure and ended up married. They created a wonderful celebration to share with us all.

They rented a group of cabins at a place in northern Ontario called Voyageur Quest. Wood fired heat and solar lighting. No phones or access to social media! Can you imagine three days off the grid? 

The morning of the wedding, there was a record low of minus 35 degrees Celsius. Luckily, by the time of the wedding, it had warmed up to minus 20 degrees! 

On December 28, 2017, we celebrated a wedding in the woods. In the words of my daughter, the wedding was magical!

The Bride

father, son and babyAshley was born in Barrie, Ontario and grew up with three siblings. I believe that because we were a larger family and camping was the most affordable holiday, she basically grew up in the woods! Our city has a lot of woodlands where we spent time hiking and exploring. One of our favourite vacation spots is Algonquin Park and gave us somewhere different to go and still be connected to nature. 

When she left the house for education purposes, she chose to take an outdoor leadership program in Alberta. She trained to take people into the mountains climbing and to take people kayaking. At one point in time, she had decided to live in her van and go exploring. I told you she is a hippie! And then, she met the Englishman.

The Groom

Aidan SmithAidan was born in England and decided to go to Canada on a working adventure. He was just about to head back home when he met Ashley. He stayed another two years! Other than knowing he is an acrobatic pilot and spent the last couple of growing seasons flying crop dusters, I really don’t know much about Aidan while he was growing up. I look forward to learning more.

During Christmas vacation 2015, his Mom and Dad flew to visit the kids in Banff Alberta. In conversation with Pauline later, she told Denise that Aidan was smitten and this was very likely “The” girl. When Ashley had a rough spell just months after they met, Aidan stayed with Denise in British Columbia for five weeks while they tended to Ashley. I told people then that if Ashley didn’t marry him, I swear Denise would!

Aidan is a gentle, caring soul who seems to worship the ground she walks on. Just as he should, I might say! I have always said that one day there would be a man to take my place at her side. It was difficult but we were proud to give Ashley to Aidan to love and cherish just as we have.

I’m trusting my baby to Aidan Smith from England. I’m very proud to have such a fine son-in-law!

The Morning After

Would you believe the silly buggers went dog sledding the day after nuptials!!! Sledding didn’t actually happen until after lunch but this meant there wasn’t much sleeping in. Besides, we had to keep getting up during the night to feed the fires for heat.

Ashley and Aidan sledding

Ashley and Aidan Smith On Their First Adventure As A Married Couple

Now, I have to say, this is how you do a wedding in the woods!

Congratulations to Ashley Clermont and Aidan Smith, now Mr. & Mrs. Smith, as they continue on this next leg of the great adventure we call life!

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for our new extended family, Ontario’s winter wonderland and Air Transat. What are you thankful for today?

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Mortgage Rules in Canada Changing Again!

Mortgage, this word strikes fear in the hearts of Canadians! Do you understand how the upcoming changes will affect you?

Mortgage Renewal

House in hands.

Click image to learn more about mortgage risk.

In past, there wasn’t really much of an effect. It’s likely most institutions would consider you as a client without too much hassle. Not any more. Your mortgage provider may have a lock on you because you don’t meet the new criteria. They don’t want to lose your business and will likely renew your mortgage provided there are no changes.

If there are ANY changes like extending the term or doing some debt consolidation, you must meet the new lending criteria and pass the stress test. You can use online tools like TD’s Affordability Calculator to see if you qualify.

Oh, and by the way, you won’t necessarily get a “preferred client” rate on renewal if they know you won’t be able to move your mortgage!

New Mortgage

Click image to learn about making your mortgage tax deductible.

In 2017, the rules changed and people with less than 20% down payment had to pass the stress test. Starting January 1, 2018 we all have to qualify. You will have to be able to carry the mortgage if the rates go up 2% from your negotiated rate. You won’t pay that now but you must have the ability to.

It was already tough for people to get into the housing market with the changes in 2017. Now it will be tough for the rest of us to get a new mortgage, whether making changes to existing or maybe considering getting into buying rental units. 

I was at a Vogue Simcoe Exclusive Networking meeting last week where Anne Lesperance did a presentation that included a comparison. For example, let’s say a couple was selling their home and wanted to upgrade from $400K to $600K. Under 2017 rules, they would qualify for the $600K mortgage. The same couple would only qualify for $475K under the 2018 rules.

Banks are required to build in “what if” and this can affect how much house you can buy. Make sure you understand how much you can afford when the interest rates go up. 

Make it a great day!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for snow, gainful employment and teachers like Anne Lesperance. What are you thankful for today?

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