LegalShield Testimonial: Can I use my membership for a medical question?

November 26, 1986 - October 10, 2010My wife was with my son after surgery while I was home with the other kids. My son had just had a lung removed and was in extreme pain. We suspected a possible blood clot in his legs after surgery. It was Saturday on a holiday weekend in May and there was only skeleton staff. They weren’t going to do anything until Tuesday because the doctor wasn’t in the hospital! 

My wife called me and asked if I thought LegalShield could do anything. It was Saturday on a long weekend! I called the emergency number and got a Toronto lawyer on the phone who said he didn’t have experience in that area but asked to give him some time to check with a friend in Alberta. About an hour later, the Alberta lawyer called my wife in the Toronto hospital and gave some advice that resulted in the hospital reacting more appropriately.

Can I use my membership for a medical question? Maybe. You can use it to find out if you have a legal right! So, yes you can use your LegalShield membership to ask what appears to be a medical question!

Thank you LegalShield!

How much justice can you afford?

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Cappuccino, So Hard To Find A Good One!

Cappuccino became my favourite drink almost 40 years ago when I went on a school trip to Italy. The problem is finding a good one in Canada. Until now!


beans for cappuccinoThis Italian specialty, cappuccino, is usually made with a double espresso and steamed milk. I like cocoa sprinkled on mine. No sweetener for me! I’m sweet enough already 😆 . In 40 years, I haven’t been able to find a really good cappuccino, until today. Creative Bean is a relatively new place I learned about last night at a local business networking meeting with a group called Vogue Barrie. I went to their store today and thought I had died and gone to heaven! 

Creative Bean

Not only does Tracy’s mother make a wicked cappuccino, they have a business services area right there in the cafe. You can have a consultation to have your website designed, or have materials printed while you enjoy your drink!

Cappuccino at Creative BeanI spent some time with Tracy and talked about how the business came to be. Her husband had always wanted a café and she wanted to be able to put her graphic design skills to use. At first, the combination seemed odd but she decided to try it anyway.

I can’t speak much to Tracy’s graphic design skills but she certainly has done a great job on the café side of the business. 

Tracy was telling me how she had no experience with coffee beforehand but she applied her learning skills to that and has created a masterpiece. As an example of her focus on developing the skills to prepare a great experience, she told me she spent two days over and over again making one specific latte. Apparently her family must have been high as kites testing them for her.

I had the best cappuccino I have had in years and a breakfast sandwich to go with it. I can’t wait to try out her business services!

I highly recommend Creative Bean for a delightful environment whether just to relax or hosting a business meeting.           

So, if you don’t live in the Barrie area, sorry for your luck! Creative Bean is part of why it’s worth the drive to Barrie.

My Own Meeting

If you have a referral to share in Barrie, use the comments below!

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for new people. I’m thankful for time to visit. I’m thankful for a great cappuccino! What are you thankful for today?

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Things Have Meaning: Be careful what you make fun of and don’t touch that thing!

Things hold memories. We tie meaning to objects and get hurt when those are made fun or defensive if someone tries to take them away.

Things Have Meaning

Some things bring joy, others heartache.

Most of us have at some time or another had things like paintings, records or maybe special sweaters that caused a flood of emotion. If someone shows you things that for whatever reason cause you to want to make a smart comment or try to take the thing away, STOP! It’s not your thing and you have no idea what that may mean to the person showing it to you.

For example, I went to my basement recently because my wife had been cleaning and moving things. I know there are certain things that I like regardless of what others think. I came across an old velvet painting my brother had given me a few years ago, slightly in jest. The reality is there are some great memories attached to that thing!

A Little History

Photo of paintingBack in the early 1970’s my father met a guy named Vance Linek who was selling these velvet paintings on street corners. He was making a good margin on them, approximately 50%. For some, that would be a markup of 100% if that means more to you. Bottom line, good money for something you could do weekends on the side. Vance introduced Dad to George Keller who was bringing these things in from Mexico. 

Many of the paintings were nice scenes or portraits, and then there were the tar ships! These things were so gaudy they were beautiful. Actually, this was one of my favourites next to the Elvis that I lost track of years ago. My brother found one of the tar ships years later. I would bet that we sold it originally.

Selling those paintings was a great ride until there was too much competition. There were a bunch of brothers who moved into town selling the same paintings. Those guys were nuts! They would drive through their brother’s display! Dad decided if we were going out of business, we were taking them with us. He went to George and bought all his damaged stock for $5 each and fixed most of them to sell for 10 bucks. In the end, those guys thought we were nuts!

Memories Attached to Things

Not So Happy Times

Photo of chairI don’t like to dwell on negatives but I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that sometimes things hold sad memories. For example, my son passed away and one of the things he left behind is his comfy chair. My wife sits in it all the time.

As much as the chair has sad memories of him sitting in it as he fought cancer, I believe it gives Denise some peace. No matter how beat up that chair gets, there is no way it will ever leave this house. I wouldn’t dream of getting rid of that chair. 

As much as there is great sadness attached to that thing, there is great peace in being able to sit with him in spirit. That chair symbolizes the fact that he is never gone. That’s why that chair is here to stay.

Happy Times

The reason there were so many great memories attached to that painting I found is that when I was young, we were a lower middle class family struggling to make the bills and put food on the table. Don’t get me wrong, we never lacked for anything important. We had a great life camping and so on but the thought of something like a new vehicle or luxury items was not much more than a dream. Then Dad found the paintings.

photo of vanIn the following years, we travelled most of Ontario, earning as we went selling those things.

Dad bought his first brand new vehicle. A 1977 GMC Vandura 25. No, the photo isn’t of Dad’s van, I couldn’t find one that was in electronic format so I borrowed one. The van was big enough to travel with Mom, Dad and four kids, even with a small load of paintings on board. Add to that a house trailer from Sicard in Hamilton. We put an above ground pool in the back yard which necessitated a good fence. All of those extras were paid for by paintings like the tar ships. We did a lot of work together as a family but it never seemed like it.

Don’t Touch That Thing!

My wife and I had a little social media fun with the velvet tar ships. As attached as I am to that painting, I recognize the oddity of it and enjoyed the “fight” with my wife over keeping this thing. We are pretty active on social media and our followers enjoy our banter. What I didn’t realize is my younger brother and his wife were NOT enjoying the slights people were making of my painting. For that I apologize.

In the end, I may give my brother the painting if he truly wants it. It will be with conflicted feelings. I love that painting for all the reasons above but don’t really have a good place to hang it where it would get the respect it deserves. Although, my wife is warming up to it hanging over my desk!

That thing holds a lot of great memories!

Next time someone shows you things that make no sense to hang onto, think twice before you open your mouth. The value of things isn’t always financial and may not be measurable. Be respectful and find a compromise everyone can live with.

By the way, would you believe there is a velvet painting museum?! Check out Velveteeria in Los Angeles, California.

Make it a great day!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for Mexican velvet paintings. I’m thankful I had great parents. I’m thankful for all of my family.





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Change happens. Will you embrace it or run?

I believe change is one of the scariest things in life. The problem is you can’t stop change. The question then becomes will you embrace it or run?

You Can’t Stop Change

Whether it’s career, environment or just about anything in your life, the only thing you have control over when it comes to change is how you choose to react. The changes are going to happen that are beyond your control. For example:

Life change, picture of new Dad with childrenSome changes you have control over but outcomes are not what you planned or expected:

Some of the above may or may not have happened to you. Regardless, I’m willing to bet there have been changes in your life that you could add to these lists.

Embrace Change or Run?!

We either choose to embrace change or try to run from it. Fight or flight is a natural human reaction to stressful situations. The decision is yours to make.

Running from change is to give over control to others. When you choose to embrace change, you are actually gaining power over your personal situation and more likely to be able to affect the outcome.

Photo of Barry Clermont receiving award.I can’t really give an example of running without making it up but I have had to face change a few times in my life that were painful. For example, when I worked for Dominion Stores in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, they started closing stores and I went through the Best for Less stores, before ending up being laid off and going to work for A&P, which then did the same. A&P to Superfresh before being laid off again. From A&P, I landed a management position with PETsMART.

Although PETsMART was fun, it wasn’t great for family life and didn’t pay that well. I left there and went to a company called Data Complex Computer Centre where I learned to design and sell computer network solutions to small and medium businesses. From there to Investors Group as a financial consultant and then a major life change, we lost our son to cancer, forced me to look for a non-commission job. In the end, I landed in a great place giving me peace of mind and working with great people.

Embracing each change made my life far less stressful once I took that step and took control. In the early stages of each change, particularly the last one, I was trying to run. The hole got deeper and deeper and life just got darker. Until I turned around, took control and took steps to move forward.

You may well have similar experience or will have. Did/will you choose to be The Carrot, The Egg or The Coffee Bean?

Make it a great day!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for BBQ, beef and farmers. What are you thankful for today?

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Sales isn’t for everyone but is it for you?

We often hear people with MLM opportunities say “anyone can do sales”. Bull roar! Sales isn’t for everyone but is it for you?

What is “Sales”?

Believe it or not, those MLM folks are partly right about sales. We all sell every day.

  • Wife convinces husband to watch a favourite show.
  • Child convinces a parent to change a rule.
  • Mechanic convinces you the car needs an oil change.
  • The clerk at McDonald’s asks “do you want fries with that”.

In every instance, someone is selling an idea, process, product or service to someone else. image of woman pulling manSales is the act of convincing someone to change their mind about something with the hope that they will see things your way. The popular phrase in sales is “stop selling and help them buy”. No matter how you cut it, it’s still sales. You helped move someone from one position to another and if you did it well, they think it’s their idea! The question really becomes do you WANT to do sales? In each of the examples in the list above, someone had a strong desire to convince someone they had the best idea and their prospect NEEDED to follow their lead. What are you passionate about? Do you have a strong enough belief to risk being told no? If the answer is no, the response is NEXT! Find what you are passionate about and do that.

Is Sales Ability Natural or Can You Learn?

Listen without judging.When you meet a “natural” sales person, the reality is that they learned from someone somewhere. Have you ever met that person who could sell anything to anyone? Take a look at their family and I will bet you someone close to them shows many of the same traits. This could digress into a discussion of nature versus nurture but I believe we grow up mimicking what we see. Now, if you didn’t grow up in an environment where “selling comes natural”, it just means you may have to make a decision to grow and change. There are a few ways to do this.

Why Multi-Level Marketing?

Taking a program at university can cost thousands of dollars and years of your life. Insurance and investment companies are great for training but again, there is a commitment of time and cost. In my case, my monthly cost was over $700/month on average. I left that business.

Opening your own business? The sky is the limit! If you bought a franchise it could be hundreds of thousands. You would have to sell a lot of coffee to pay that off!

By far, the most economical way to get sales training and probably better than you could get at any university, is to find a reputable Multi-level Marketing Opportunity. photo agreeingMy wife’s business is a great opportunity for personal growth. I watched a person one time who, when they started, was afraid of their own shadow. After a few months, they were presenting to the group of people who had been meeting every Friday to work on business planning together. Another that I really believe in is connected to this blog. And the training is free whether you join the business or not! Click here to check out coaching from Joel Therien.

The reality is you can learn sales if you want to. Start with Why!

Selling is one of the most lucrative careers for good reason. It’s not easy at first and takes time to learn. There are those who make sales, whether in a bricks and mortar business or MLM, look easy. I compare them to famous musicians. Most put in a lot of time and effort to become good at what they do.

Do you have what it takes? Do you want it bad enough to do the work? Sales isn’t for everyone but is it for you?

Make it a great day!

Barry P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for learning opportunities. I’m thankful for the MLM industry. I’m thankful you took the time to read this far! What are you thankful for today?

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Babe Watch, er Baywatch. Something For Everyone!

The new Baywatch movie is pure entertainment and has something for everyone. Well worth the money to go and see!

Baywatch, The Movie

Baywatch is full of gratuitous sex and violence, and that’s OK!

Caveat: this is my opinion only. I have no special background that makes me an authority on movies other than I like the big screen and like to be entertained. When I go to a movie, I like to laugh and walk away “lighter” than I went in.

If you are looking for a movie with great substance or makes a social statement, it’s not the movie for you.

movie projector

Baywatch 2017

Face it, we are all human and the majority respond to visual stimulation. This movie is full of beautiful women and hunky men. Top that off with a lot of action and your mind is kept busy the whole time. You won’t find your mind wandering and thinking about other things. OK, maybe a little fantasy but even that is addressed in the movie, they do some for you.

They address the auditory with music, gun shots, explosions etc. The script contains enough innuendo to keep your mind busy as well. Some of the references to past movies and shows is hilarious to “old” people like me. Thankfully, the cameo appearances by David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson didn’t overshadow the cast and successfully made the connection to the old TV show without being distracting.

They have done a great job of setting this movie up to kick off a renewal of the Baywatch franchise. I hope they make a new series using the actors from this movie! I believe it would capture an audience across multiple generations.

The Audience

I was on the way home from work and knew my wife would be very late coming home. I arrived in the city just after 7 and decided I might as well take in a movie and thought I was choosing one she wouldn’t particularly appreciate. In the end, I think I was mistaken about that.

At first, there were two couples about my age, I’m in my 50’s. As the theatre started to fill, I noticed the crowd was younger and younger. In the end, I would bet most of the crowd was under 30!

I don’t usually appreciate people making noise during movies but there was no way that laughter could be contained. I was guilty myself!

Go And See Baywatch!


When people ask me if they should bother to go see a movie, this is how I rate them, from worst to best:

  • Don’t waste your time or money.
  • Wait for the television release.
  • Wait and buy the DVD.
  • Well worth the time and money

If you are extremely critical of plot and performance, wait for the television release. If you are looking for a fun night out and don’t want to be lectured on social conscience, well worth the time and money!

Enjoy the show,!


What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for being able to just relax and have fun. I’m thankful for Paramount. I can’t believe I’m thankful for Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson! What are you thankful for today?


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Fair, Firm and Friendly. Are we forgetting the three F’s?

When I first went into management, my manager at the time gave me a piece of advice I never forgot. He said “always remember The Three F’s: Fair, Firm and Friendly. In that order.

Fair, Firm and Friendly

This approach really applies to all areas in life. Whether dealing with a partner, children or staff, being fair firm and friendly builds trust. Trust leads to more open minds. Open minds lead to agreement and acceptance.


Two people and scalesBeing fair doesn’t mean giving in to unreasonable demands or expectations.

This is where communication skills can be critical. If someone were to approach you saying that you were mean and unreasonable in a situation, it’s likely you would become defensive and the fight or flight response would kick in. I would bet that most in a position of authority will lean to “fight” mode. When we are in fight mode, it’s difficult to “hear” the other person. We become focused on winning rather than finding a fair place of compromise. By the same token, always conceding doesn’t mean the resolution is fair and/or balanced.

Being fair means being willing to listen to your “opponent”. There is the root of the problem. I don’t believe in problems, just challenges. Rather than treating the other person as an opponent, treat them as a partner you are collaborating with to resolve a challenge.

What if instead of hearing “you were mean and unreasonable”, you chose to hear “my feelings are hurt and I don’t understand why you said or did what you did”? The words are just the words but think about what message the other person is trying to convey. Yes, it take two to tango but someone has to lead. Are you a leader?


Firm womanBeing fair doesn’t mean being soft in your position. People need to know what your values are and where you stand. It can sometimes be difficult to separate yourself from the role you need to play. When we are in the role of manager, there are expectations that have to be met. As long as you have been fair in establishing expectations, it’s reasonable to be firm in a resolution process.

When expectations and appropriate penalties or resolutions are agreed upon up front, there is a need to follow through. Now, let’s make sure to apply fair to the circumstances. Sometimes, there can be mitigating circumstances but if there are none, it’s fair to be firm. It’s not fair to let people dump their garbage all over you.


Advisor shaking hands with clientThrough all of this, it’s important to be “friendly”. We are all people and have feelings. When you approach someone with a challenge and an honest intent to find an equitable solution, it promotes a feeling of safety and leads to more open dialogue. I’m not saying you should be best beer buddies, just approach discussion with honesty and integrity. Collaborate to seek a fair solution without being mean about it.

Being friendly is not the same as bowing down to someone in deference. It’s really about being respectful of others as individuals and valuing their thoughts and opinions whether you agree with them or not.

Always remember fair, firm and friendly. In that order!

Make it a great day!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for my mentors. I’m thankful for opportunities to grow. I’m thankful for each new day. What are you thankful for today?

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Trump Effect on Markets, Money and the Economy

How will Trump affect the financial markets, money markets and the economy? Regardless of what you think of the man, he is already showing a positive effect on all of the above!

I’ll admit to being a little lazy, this is from my Canadian perspective. For the most part, US markets and economy usually demonstrate similar patterns. I’m not going to treat the US separately for this purpose.

Trump The Markets

Sales team in profit mode.Trump was elected November 8, well, into November 9, 2016 by the time it was over. At close of day on November 8, 2016 the Toronto Stock Exchange closed at 14,656.84. A gain of 0.52%.

Just over a week after the election, the market closed last night at 14,733.22. During that 8 day period, the market shifted not much more than one percent up or down on the most volatile of days. As of May 4, 2015, the market was at $15, 396.70. This means the market was up 5% in six months.

There was a more drastic change August 28 to September 17 in 2008 when the market tumbled from 13,750.48 to 11,877.69, a change of 1,872.79 points. This was a drop of 13.6%. (These numbers were calculated using TSX historical market numbers.) >>>Click here to check the numbers

So, what is the net Trump effect? Not much. This isn’t to say there can’t be. As always, we need to be aware of world events and consider them when making investment decisions. The key is to consider  all factors but not in isolation and with a view to the long term.

Trump the Dollars

When Donald Trump won the election, it had a positive effect on the US dollar. Because our dollar is mostly measured against the value of the US dollar, it appears to be Canada’s loss. But, is it?

Trump the Economy

We won’t know the effect of Trump on the economy for some time yet. Typically, the markets are a leading indicator for the economy. Right now, there isn’t enough time passed for a fair measure but the short term numbers seem to be pointing to little change or maybe a positive outlook. We will just have to wait and see.

All The Noise About Trump

Social media has been going nuts with all things Trump for the last year or so. He’s going to deport everyone back to their country or build a fence across the US/Mexico border. As far as I can tell, there has been detainment and yes, it’s more difficult at the border but all in all, life goes on. Just a little louder.

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to tire of it and really don’t pay a lot of attention. I believe most of the noise is because he wants to keep everyone distracted so he can achieve his objectives. Are you going to let him?

Go ahead. Trump that!

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful to be Canadian. I’m thankful it looks like the Trump noise is dying down. I’m thankful for spring showers. What are you thankful for today?

My Own Meeting

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Millenials – Simon Sinek explains.

Millenials. It’s Not Their Fault!

What’s not the Millenials’ fault?

  • It’s not their fault they have unrealistic expectations, some low and some high.
  • It’s not their fault they think they are “special”.
  • It’s not their fault they expect to get or achieve just because they want it.

Who’s fault is it? Failed parenting and we perpetuate that with management who is focused on making Millenials happy. To a fault.

Simon Sinek does a great job of breaking this down. Watch the video below.

Simon Sinek-Millenials from WeAreLifePoint on Vimeo.

More on the Millenials

Simon explains how he gathered the information included in his comments in the video above. He didn’t just make this stuff up. He was forced to give an answer to a nagging question that was constantly asked when he met with people.

I’m really glad he followed up the video above with the one below.

I really enjoy listening to Simon Sinek. Go and follow him on YouTube and I highly recommend picking up Start With Why and Why Leaders Eat Last.

I hope you enjoyed Simon as much as I do!

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful I have raised my Millenials differently. I’m thankful you took the time to check this out. I’m thankful for any opportunity to grow. What are you thankful for today?

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Sales and Service: Land of Promises and Land of Broken Promises!

Sales people are forever making promises and service people always let them down. We need to remember how much we need each other or we will all go broke!

Sales: The Land of Promises

Have you ever worked in sales and had to work with the service department to keep customers satisfied with your post-sales support?

I have been in sales for a number of years. I learned, sometimes the hard way, just how much I needed the service department’s support in order to be successful. Here are just a few things that can make a world if difference:

And those are just a few.

When I was designing small to medium business technology solutions, I would often spend time with technicians in the service department bouncing ideas off them before making a pitch to a client. That feedback prevented me from embarrassing myself or them in the eyes of the client.

sales information exchangeThe salesperson is the public face of the company. They are expected to:

  • Identify need;
  • Clarify need by asking probing questions;
  • Handle objections;
  • Help client make a buying decision.

It’s when this process breaks down that the land of broken promises starts to develop. One unanswered or unasked question at a time.

Land of Broken Promises

In an ideal world, the service department is your before and after sales support that gives you good decision making information before the sale and then keeps the customer satisfied with your solution after the sale.

When we land in Broken Promises, it’s usually because of at least one of these things:

  • Bad technical information;
  • Poor Communication;
  • Unexpected problems during delivery;
  • Unrealistic expectations;
  • Dishonesty.

person cryingInformation and Communication

Bad technical information isn’t necessarily the fault of your technical/service support. You may not have asked the right questions or truly understood what the client needed. You need to ask enough questions that the client almost starts to become annoyed. Then you have to do the same to your technical/service support people!

It’s better to have a client tell you they are not willing to go through the pain to achieve their objective, or a technician to tell you your plan won’t work, than you have to go through the pain of resolving a conflict with the risk of having an unsatisfied client out there telling everyone their experience. It takes 10 client success stories to make up for the one that got away!

Unexpected problems are usually the result of not asking enough questions. There could be a mixture of generations of technology and the client forgot how old something was but it is an important part of their business. This caused a problem with your solution but guess what? You’re the professional. You are supposed to know everything. At least, that’s what the client believes. 


Clients may have unrealistic expectations. You did such a great job “selling” your solution, they expect it to solve all their problems without a hitch. This is a good place to pre-handle objections. For example, I had a client ask me if I could I could guarantee they would never have a problem with me or my company. My response was that this is a long term relationship and I can guarantee that we will face a challenge at some time. The difference is that I won’t hide from or run from a problem. Note earlier I used the word challenge? There is no such thing as a problem!

Set expectations up front. How will cost be handled? Build in a bumper and be clear it’s to allow for the unexpected. Oops! I guess that’s expected now. Be clear that you are willing to face up to disagreements as long as they are handled with respect, and so on.

Dishonesty is a real problem. Many times it’s the client that is guilty. They knew about a potential challenge but hoped it wouldn’t show up. Out of embarrassment, they may try to transfer the guilt to you. Don’t get caught up in the blame game. If you made a mistake, own it and ask forgiveness while proposing a solution that shouldn’t really cost your client. If it’s the client, don’t apologize but recognize this is one of those “challenges” you expected you might face. Offer a way for the client to save face with as little cost to them as possible.

The Land of Broken Promises is a horrible place. Try your best to stay out of there and help your team support people stay there with you. You are the leader. Lead!

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for great teachers. I’m thankful for great clients. I’m thankful for opportunities to learn. What are you thankful for today?

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