Welcome to Delish Dishes

So many times we are giving the mic to the wrong people. Why? I believe it’s because we are looking at their social influence, rather than their accomplishments. What I want to do is celebrate everyone and the journey they embarked on to get to where they are today. I like to consider myself a young female entrepreneur, as many other aspiring businesswomen out there do too. However, I AM STILL LEARNING! While I may seem like I have most of it together; there is still a TON I don’t know about business. I want to create a platform for young professionals (even if you don’t have your business yet) to work alongside with me to try and figure it all out!

Welcome to Delish Dishes; a conversational blog-like series where I highlight Entrepreneurs, Marketers, Creatives and Professionals. My goal is to redefine success for millennials by providing them with tips, tools, and connections from leading professionals in the industry. My mission is to create a community where everyone feels strong, ambitious and will thrive in their workplace!

For the launch of Delish Dishes, I wanted to focus on building a business! I interviewed 3 remarkable Canadian Females, whom are leaders in their industries. They are disrupting the business world in a positive way and have a lot of meaningful insights to offer! Keep reading below for their tips and advice!

Lisa Kimmel, ICD.D, Chair & CEO, Canada and Chair, Latin America and Global Women’s Equality Network (GWEN) at Edelman

Provide insight into your journey- how did you break into the industry? What position did you have?
I’ve worked my entire career at PR agencies, beginning as an Account Coordinator and working my way up to become the Chair and CEO of Edelman Canada and Chair of Latin America.

I didn’t originally intend to pursue a career in public relations. In fact, from a young age I had my sights set on becoming a lawyer, and even wrote my LSATs as an undergrad at U of T. But I saw how disenchanted my two lawyer uncles were with their careers, and I decided to explore other options. My mother had a background in event planning, so I decided to investigate that career path and completed the PR program at Humber College. After that, I was convinced that PR was my calling. I learned the industry ins and outs at two other agencies before arriving at Edelman in 2002 to lead the Consumer Marketing practice. I’ve been here ever since!

What was a career move you made that led to your biggest success?
My father, a born entrepreneur, instilled in me that in business, “if you don’t constantly evolve, you die.” I can’t point to one specific career move, but I’ve taken that advice to heart, and I think having that mindset has led to my ongoing success. I don’t fear change – I embrace it. I’d venture to guess that most successful leaders feel similarly.

Was there a point in your career in which you felt stuck? How did you get out of it?
Because I’ve made a point of constantly evolving, I don’t really think I’ve ever felt “stuck” per se. That evolution hasn’t come without a lot of planning though – I’m a huge proponent of mapping out both short and long-term career objectives. That way, when opportunities come up, I can make an informed decision about whether they’re right for me.

I encourage everyone to make a formal plan of their objectives and review it on a fairly regular basis. Knowing where you ultimately want to be tomorrow can help you avoid feeling stuck – and can help you feel more confident in taking risks today to get where you ultimately want to be.

What is one piece of advice you were given? How did it help you in business?
Building on the advice from my dad, I also subscribe to the notion that every single day, I need to seek out something that makes me uncomfortable. In fact, I believe in this approach so strongly that I’ve even told my kids (Sam, 15 and Chloe, 13) they should do the same – whether it’s volunteering for an assignment, learning a skill, or meeting someone new.

One example that I cite frequently is my fear of public speaking. A huge component of my role is to present recommendations to clients, as well as pitch new business. Eventually, I realized that the only way to be successful and advance my career was to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. So while public speaking still doesn’t feel natural to me at all, I purposely make every effort to do it. If I can’t put myself out there, it’s pretty hard to lead a team or be the “face” of a company.

For entrepreneurs, it’s incredibly vital to embrace the unknown in order to succeed Ask lots of questions, curb unproductive thinking and defeatist language, and solicit feedback from people who will give you constructive criticism and help you understand what you actually need to improve.

What is one piece of advice you have for young entrepreneurs?
Aside from the above, I’d say that in order to build the business you want, you need to set your own guardrails and make deliberate choices. As an entrepreneur, you’re personally responsible for setting the standards that will make your success possible. Check in with yourself every day on how you’re distributing your time to your career, to your family, to your community, and to yourself.

It’s also important to stay connected with your industry. Seek out opportunities to network with others, read relevant industry news, and keep your skills up-to-date. Desire and passion to succeed is great, but if you aren’t deliberate with your choices. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed trying to balance business growth with everything else you need to accomplish in a day.

Bonus Question: What is your morning routine?
When I’m not travelling, my morning routine is generally as follows:
6:30 a.m. Wake up Check emails, and read the following: Axios, Globe & Mail, Washington Post and Forbes daily emails. Then I’ll scan FB, IG, LinkedIn and Twitter
7:00 a.m. Shower
7:45 a.m. Prepare smoothies for my kids
8:00 a.m. Drop kids at school
8:30 am Head to office/meetings
Three times per week, I’ll hit the gym or do yoga.

Catriona Smart, Founder of Coco & Cowe, Co-Founder of Coco Con & Halo & Co.

Provide insight into your journey- how did you break into the industry? What position did you have? 

Everything about me is untraditional. My journey to becoming an entrepreneur and co-owner of a PR & Events Agency, a writer and an editor of a blog and a co-founder of a female empowerment conference is all over the place but what I can say is that I’ve always been really creative, loved working with my hands and enjoyed helping spread the word for things I loved. But I guess you can say my journey really began as a bartender in University. I started a clothing line with two of my best friends and we also threw theme parties on our nights off. From there I made most of the connections I have now and have gone from throwing parties at clubs to throwing large scale brand events around the world.

What was a career move you made that lead to your biggest success? 

Taking on a business partner with a corporate background with very different strengths than me really helped to grow my business. I was very much focused on doing good work locally but my business partner really helped me expand my horizons and we’ve been taking on bigger and bigger events and clients ever since.

Was there a point in your career in which you felt stuck? How did you get out of it? 

I had a clothing business and retail store with two of my best friends right after University and though we had the best of intentions we couldn’t scale quickly enough. Manufacturing in Canada was wildly expensive and selling enough to support the three of us was beyond a challenge. I felt stuck between wanting to stick it out and wanting to save our friendship. I chose our friendship and though it was difficult to unwind, putting relationships over ego is just my jam and I learned so many lessons that make me equipped to handle all of the things I have to deal with today. Plus I still have my best friends!

What is one piece of advice you were given? How did it help you in business? 

You will never make everyone happy and the longer you make decisions based on others the harder it will be for you. Trust your skills, intuition and yourself. 

Secondly, don’t be afraid to fail. Fail hard and fail often. The lessons you learn in failure are the building blocks to your success. 

What is one piece of advice you have for young entrepreneurs?

Don’t try to wait until everything is perfect for you to start. I promise you, it will never be the exact right time. Just start. You can write crazy business plans and plan for everything that you think will happen, but I promise you can’t predict much of anything in the first few years of business. Start. Learn. Make mistakes. Learn. Keep going! 

Angeline Putnickovich, Public Relations Director at Zeno Group

Provide insight into your journey- how did you break into the industry?

What position did you have? I always initially wanted to be a fiction author or journalist – writing of some sort. I applied for Ryerson’s journalism program and due to the competitive nature of the program, was rejected. They say everything happens for a reason though, and it couldn’t be more true. I ended up attending the Media Studies program at Guelph-Humber university, which lead me to learn more about PR and ultimately choose that as my career path. By my fourth year, I began my internship at my first agency, where I worked for three years following school. For me, PR meant the best of all of the worlds. I still get to write and be creative, but I also get to plan events, develop strategy based on insights, measure success and deliver tangible ROI for brands and businesses, manage a team, build budgets, develop social media campaigns – the list goes on! There is never a dull moment and I love it.

What was a career move you made that lead to your biggest success? 

There are two big moves that I feel have truly lead to my success. One was not being afraid to leave my first job/agency, where I was super comfortable and respected, to come on as a Manager at my new/current agency (Zeno Group). Taking the leap from Senior Consultant to Manager was a scary one – there’s definitely a lot more responsibility put on you as a Manager, and especially at a new company. It was scary. I had to make a lot of judgment calls and really work to prove myself, but during that first year I learned and grew so much and I knew that taking the risk to try something new paid off. The second was deciding to take a 9 week solo trip to Europe not even a year into my career at Zeno Group. I had to ask for the extended time off of work (which was scary in itself), but I knew it was so important to me in my personal life that I absolutely needed to do it. Those 9 weeks taught me so many life skills and created memories that will last a life time. So much of what I took away from that trip is applied in my day-to-day life now (at work and at home)! It inspired me in ways that I could never have imagined, which I was able to bring back to my career. I really believe in always pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and not being afraid to try something new – professionally, or personally. Because when you’re comfortable, you’re not growing!

Was there a point in your career in which you felt stuck? How did you get out of it? 

I’ve been in my current role at Zeno for over three years. As someone who is fairly ambitious, at one point I believe I needed change to evolve. Although I am completely challenged and inspired in my day-to-day, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough to evolve. Lucky for me, I have two amazing mentors (both women ), who understood what I was going through and were committed to giving me new opportunities and allow me to learn, grow and make mistakes when I take on new challenges. When I came out on the other side of this “hump”, one thing I realized was that there is a LOT of beauty in mastery. We live in a very fast society. We aren’t our parents generation who stays at jobs for 30+ years, but I think there is something to be said about learning how to self-motivate, push yourself, and foster your own professional development/learning before giving up. Just because you’re not always on to the next new thing doesn’t mean you’re always successful. There was a super cool quote that also inspired by during this time – check it out below 

What is one piece of advice you were given? How did it help you in business? 

Don’t take things too personally. This is one thing that has helped me remain calm and avoid upset in so many scenarios – and ultimately, I feel like become a better mentor to my team. So many times, whether it’s from a boss, colleague, client, or whoever, people so easily take things to heart in business (and it’s understandable, because we spend 40+ hours a week pouring our hearts into our work). But at the end of the day, business is business. Your client’s feedback to you isn’t personal. Your boss’s feedback to you isn’t personal. It’s all part of the journey.  

What is one piece of advice you have for young entrepreneurs? 

Be tenacious, gracious and humble. In everything you do. I remember in my internship, on my first day, I was counting chocolate bars in an office closet and had no idea why I was doing it. But I didn’t care what I did – the fact that I was there and had a job meant more to me than anyone could’ve imagined. For the next 3 months, I didn’t care what I had to do – run errands, put together packages, etc., I did it and I did it with pride. I kept showing how dedicated I was and that I was hungry for more. That lead to me landing the full-time job even though when I started there technically was no position open. Even now, as a Director, I go and roll my sleeves up and send out media kits when the team needs my support. I share these examples because I hope they demonstrate how I was tenacious – I never stopped doing things to show them that I cared and that I’d do what it took to succeed (tenacity), that I was just happy to be there and grateful for a job (gracious) and that nothing was below me (humble).

Bonus Question:

I wake up, throw on some gym clothes/freshen up, make and drink 20oz fresh celery juice, ½ litre of lemon water, a quick snack and I’m out the door. Grab a Starbuck’s on my way to the gym of F45, where I usually work out for an hour before heading to the office.


“Beware when the initial spark of inspiration starts to wear off and you feel tempted to move on to the next big thing a little too quickly. INNOVATORS tap into their greater potential when they learn to master the art of the follow-through. By finding joy in the “messy middle” of a venture—not just the excitement of the beginning or the satisfaction of reaching the finish line—you’ll become a true creative powerhouse.”

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