Episode 38: Karen Swyszcz – How Being An Entrepreneur Is Like Rock Climbing

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Gold Nuggets

  • If you have a set vision or plan in your head, you tend not to pay as much attention to external factors.

    Karen didn’t have a plan when starting her blog or her podcast, and her philosophy was “start it, try it, and then decide”. This meant she could be more adaptive to the environment.
  • “If 2020 has taught us anything, I think it has absolutely convinced even perhaps some of the non-believers that the ability to pivot is absolutely key to success.”
  • “With respect to your entrepreneurial toolkit, I believe that written communication is really important.”
  • People portray themselves as successful but never really show the behind-the-scenes.

    There’s the image of the iceberg: at the tip of the iceberg is the success we see on social media, and under the water is where we find the long hours, sleepless nights, stress, and setbacks.
  • “If you’re not resilient or you don’t think positive, then entrepreneurship is going to be tougher than it already is for you.”
  • “Do not wait; the time will never be just right. Start where you stand, work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” – George Herbert

Meet Karen Swyszcz

Our guest is Karen Swyszcz, Co-Founder of Kaibigan Connection, Founder and blogger at Makin the Bacon, host of The Bacon Bits ‘n’ Bytes Podcast, and author of the best-selling Women’s Health book, Fitness to Freedom.

She works part-time as a continuing and professional studies instructor, teaching blogging and social media strategy courses at Sheridan College. She is also the co-author of Lighting The North, a book on diversity and feminism in Canada, which is also a 2020 Non-Fiction Finalist for the Canadian Book Club Awards.

Karen holds a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo.

Smart Man, Smarter Woman References

We talk about a lot in each episode; however, we don’t want you to miss a thing! Here are some key items were mentioned if you want to take a closer look.

Website Recommendations:
Makin The Bacon: https://makinthebacon.com
Kaibigan Connection: https://kaibiganconnection.ca

Book Recommendation:
A Year with Peter Drucker: 52 Weeks of Coaching for Leadership Effectiveness, by Joseph Maciariello
Lighting The North: An Anthology Of Feminism And Cultural Diversity From Across The Nation

Stay Connected:
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/makinthebacon1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Makinthebacon1
LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/karenswyszcz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakintheBacon1
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/makinthebacon1

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Steve Loates (00:00):

Hi everyone, and welcome to the podcast, Smart Man, Smarter Woman, a podcast for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs, and thank you very much for joining us today. I am Steve Loates.

Juliet Aurora (00:15):

And I am Juliet Aurora

Steve Loates (00:16):

And we are your co-hosts. And before I introduce today’s guest, let’s hear a few words from my wonderful co-host. That’s smarter woman herself, Juliet. What’s new today, Juliet?

Juliet Aurora (00:30):

So many things, so many things are new. We could probably spend 40 minutes talking about what’s new, so I’m not going to do that. Actually, I’m looking forward to the episode today because I always love talking with fellow Canadians, no disrespect to any of our international guests, and I always love talking to women who hold similar empowered women values as I do, and our guests today does, and I think that it’s going to be a great conversation. So I don’t even want to take up any more of the time let’s dive in.

Steve Loates (01:03):

Perfect, perfect. Well that’s great. So that sounds like to me that this might be a pretty light episode for me, that I may be able to just step to the side and you too will just be having the conversation for the… And I love those episodes, quite honestly, and probably our listeners do too, but that’s a whole other story.

Juliet Aurora (01:22):

That’s a whole other story.

Steve Loates (01:24):

Yes, it is. Anyway, so as always, we’ve put together a great show for you today and we’re joined by, as Juliet said, a fellow Canadian and also a fellow podcaster, so without further ado, let’s bring Karen into the show, Karen Swyszcz. Welcome, and thank you very much for joining us today, Karen.

Karen Swyszcz (01:47):

Thank you so much, Steve and Juliet for having me on the show. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Steve Loates (01:51):

Awesome. And I did love it when I was… And I don’t remember if I read this on your website or your LinkedIn profile, but I did love your explanation of your career path. I thought that was very original, that it was a combination of zigzags and squiggles, and I’ve never heard anyone describe their career path with squiggles, so I’m very interested to hear about that. She’s a blogger, a college educator, a fitness instructor, a podcast host, and a bestselling author. So certainly you got a few things going on to keep you out of trouble and I’m sure to keep you busy. So perhaps to begin, Karen, if you could tell us a little bit who you are, what you do, who you’re helping, and a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey that got you to where you are today.

Karen Swyszcz (02:46):

Yeah, it’s really interesting because, honestly, if you had talked to me 10 years ago, I never would have thought in a million years that I’d be pursuing this type of path. I grew up with the idea… My parents were like, “Go to school, get good grades, get into a good university, have a job, work there 25, 30 years, you’ll be set for life.” And I thought, “Okay, that’s what I’ll do because that’s what my parents did.” So just to add a little bit more info, neither of my parents are entrepreneurs. I don’t come from an immediate family of entrepreneurs. But the interesting thing is that I have entrepreneurs in my extended family on both sides. So perhaps I got it from them.

Karen Swyszcz (03:29):

Going back to my journey. So as Steve had mentioned, reading in my bio that my career path resembles squiggles, zigzags, I also to tell people it’s kind of like a rock climbing wall. So when you’re rock climbing, you don’t necessarily have to reach for the one above you in order to get further along. Sometimes you have to go down, sometimes you have to go back. So after university, just trying to figure out what I wanted to do in so many different jobs, careers. I even applied to grad school twice thinking maybe if I went back to school, it would give me better insight. It didn’t. I think the interesting, or the turning point was when I landed a job with the federal government. It was very monotonous, not a lot of variety in the role, so I actually started a blog as a passion project. It was also a way to think maybe I could make a little bit of money from it, and what I really found is that it helped rekindle my love for writing.

Karen Swyszcz (04:31):

So as a kid, I was pretty creative. I enjoyed writing stories and poems. But that was never really encouraged when I was growing up. It was more, “Look for a more stable type of career like doctor or lawyer, engineer, accountant.” So it was interesting, getting into blogging I find I really enjoyed writing, just sharing my experiences and not only that, I ended up developing a lot more skills like how to use WordPress, setting up a blog, using social media, developing partnerships. And then it got to the point in my government job where I thought like, “Oh, can I see myself working there for 25, 30 years?” And it got to a point where I actually used my blog as leverage. So I started applying to jobs at startups to get a job that was different from what I was doing that was hopefully similar to what it was blogging.

Karen Swyszcz (05:27):

So ended up getting a job at a startup, worked there for about a year and a half and then got let go, and you know when sometimes when you’re let go, you’re at that turning point, “Okay, do I look for another job? Do I start off doing something on my own?” And for some reason I had this little nagging feeling. It was already growing in me, and I think it had to do with being in a startup environment. And I thought, “Okay, maybe I’ll just go and do it on my own.”

Karen Swyszcz (05:52):

So I did consulting for about three years and during that time landed a job at Sheridan College teaching, of all things, blogging, which is interesting because there is no blogging degree or blogging school, but a lot of people realize the value of building an online presence. And yeah, from there I just ended up having the confidence to pursue other opportunities like, “Hey, why don’t I start a podcast? Hey, I’m going to co-found a social venture. There’s an opportunity to become a best selling author.” I’ve never written a book, but it was on my goal to write a book eventually. So why not? So yeah, just here I am taking risks, building things, and just putting myself out there.

Juliet Aurora (06:38):

I love that. And I can so relate to that, the directive, the influence from your family and your upbringing of lawyer, doctor, engineer. So my sister, I grew up in a similar environment. My sister was the lawyer, so that was eliminated for me, so I had… Doctor, engineer, accountant, were basically the ones that were left. So I can completely relate to that story. Love it.

Steve Loates (07:05):

There’s a bit of similarity there too with the writing.

Juliet Aurora (07:09):

Yeah, absolutely.

Steve Loates (07:11):

No, that’s great. And your podcast, why did you start the podcast? I mean, it’s a lot of work.

Karen Swyszcz (07:20):

Yes. That’s a really good question, and I think these days, as you know, I feel ever since the side of the pandemic, podcasting has exploded. A lot of people are starting podcasts now, because it’s a great way we can still connect with each other. So for me, I actually didn’t really have too much of a plan, which was similar as to starting the blog. I didn’t have this vision. I’m like, “Oh, I’m going to do this in five years with my blog.” I just was like, “Okay, I’m going to start this, try it, see what happens and go from there.” And with podcasting, as we had mentioned prior to recording this episode, it was a labor of love, a lot of work. And looking back on it, I think one of the reasons why I wanted to start it was because I really enjoyed learning about other people.

Karen Swyszcz (08:09):

So on my blog, I have this interview series, I think it was called, or it was originally called How Are You Making The Bacon, where I’d interview guests about their career paths, if they had their own business. And I feel I’ve always been a naturally curious person asking questions like, “How’d you do this? Or how’d you find about this? Who did you talk to?” And with the podcast, I thought it was a great way to extend that series or have it in a different format because people know me via my writing, but I know a lot of people don’t really know me through my voice, and they kind of get a sense of who I am. It’s funny because people have listened to my podcast and they’re kind of surprised. They’re like, “You have an energy, or you sound you’re introverted,” but I actually am very introverted. And I think one of the things people don’t realize with introverts is I think we’re really good in small groups, one-to-one conversations, but when you put us in a huge group, like a party, that’s where we get all anxious.

Karen Swyszcz (09:12):

But the funny thing is, though, when you think about it, even though I’m conversing with the two of you, obviously when this comes out, a lot of people will be listening to it, but I’m not speaking in front of a large group. So yeah, just to sum everything up, I just wanted to have more conversations, especially with entrepreneurs, people in the startup world. Just learn more about how they got to that path, because no two paths are the same, and sometimes you hear those entrepreneurs, like, “Yeah, I had that lemonade stand when I was five and I was selling things to kids at school.” I was not one of those kids. I laugh about it because do you remember with the fundraisers, we had to sell chocolate almonds. I think that was one of the… I made my parents, my poor parents do it. So I would tell them, give them the form and be like, “Mom, dad, can you take this to work and ask your coworkers?” So I guess it was kind of outsourcing already. So yeah, it’s just really interesting.

Juliet Aurora (10:12):

I’ll even take that one step further because I’m also an introvert, is that I wouldn’t even ask my parents to take it to work. I would convince my parents to buy all my requisite chocolates that I needed to sell for my team. So yeah, absolutely.

Steve Loates (10:30):

I do love that concept of outsourcing. That’s a great analogy. I’ve never heard it quite put like that before.

Juliet Aurora (10:39):

So you mentioned that you didn’t have a plan and you said that both about your blog and your podcast, that you didn’t have a plan, you didn’t have the formal business plan that everybody tells you you need to have before you start a business, and that your philosophy was start it, try it, and then decide. So based on that as your experience, and based on the conversations that you’ve had with other entrepreneurs, have you found that you’ve gone down a different path, or it follows a different series of steps than someone who might’ve had a plan and ended up somewhere else?

Karen Swyszcz (11:22):

Yeah. I mean, I would say so. So just using the example of the social venture. So that was really an idea of asking another entrepreneur like, “Hey, where are Filipino entrepreneurs?” There’s a large Filipino population in the greater Toronto area, and we thought, “Okay, let’s have an event and see what happens.” And it was interesting because at the time we had never planned on taking it further. It was just like, “Hey, let’s just try this one thing.” And lo and behold, it ended up gaining traction. Every time… That one event, that initial event, people were like, “That was a really great event. Thank you so much for putting this on. When’s your next event?” And then I thought to myself, “We didn’t plan on having another event. It’s just a one time thing.”

Karen Swyszcz (12:10):

But then seeing our hearing from other people, learning that it really provided them a lot of value, we thought, “Okay, maybe we might be on to something.” And it was funny because every time we did an event, they said, “I’m looking for the next event.” And then more people began to reach out to us, wanting to collaborate with us. And it was just really interesting because sometimes when you don’t even have a plan, you just have an idea, let’s see where this goes. Sometimes that can work out in your favor and people end up also thinking that it’s a great idea as well.

Juliet Aurora (12:47):

And I think also it probably leaves you open to changing direction. If you have the set vision or plan in your head and you spent all this time or money developing a business plan of what your business needs to look in two years, you tend not to pay as much attention to external factors because you think, “This is what I need to do. I’ve got it laid out. I don’t need to change direction or anything.” So it probably makes you a lot more adaptive to what’s happening in the environment as well. Do you agree? Do you disagree?

Karen Swyszcz (13:24):

Yeah, I definitely agree. And what’s really funny, because actually growing up, I was that person like, “Okay, it’s got to be perfect. We have step one, step two, step three. I’m going to follow it, and then everything’s going to be successful.” So of course after university realized real life is absolutely nothing like that. And I think ever since I started my blog, especially too ever since I joined the startup, I’ve realized how important it is to be adaptable. And especially now, during these unprecedented times, during COVID, being adaptable will get you very far in life.

Juliet Aurora (13:57):

True. True. And like you said, especially now, because all of us are floating in the unknown. We have no idea what next week, next month, next year is going to look like. I think, and I was having this conversation with someone else yesterday, that back in March, we all figured by June, July life would go back to normal and it would be exactly the same way as it was previously. And now predictions are September 2021, maybe early 2022 before things get back to normal, but it can’t possibly be different for 18 months and your normal will look like it did before on the other side. So if you are stuck to, “Here’s my plan, I have no idea what to do, because I have a plan, and if it doesn’t work,” then you are going to have a more difficult time what the next 18 months are going to look for you.

Steve Loates (14:57):

Absolutely. I mean, if 2020 has taught us anything, I think it has absolutely convinced, even perhaps some of the non-believers, that the ability to pivot is absolutely key to success. That you cannot walk around with blinders on because it’s not going to work. Karen, in your young life, you you’ve tried writing, teaching, blogging, podcasting. Of those, which one do you… I guess it’s like picking who’s your favorite child. It’s really hard to do. Do you have a favorite out of all of those?

Karen Swyszcz (15:43):

Yeah, you know what, it is like picking your favorite child. To be honest, I wouldn’t say I have a favorite, or maybe it depends on the day. Some days I’ll podcasting better than writing, but I feel I’ve always been a multi-passionate person. Even as a kid I really enjoyed a lot of things. I always had a lot of different interests. And I remember in university, when you had the option of choosing electives, I was like, “I need more space to take electives because I want to learn this.” Even though I started off in engineering, but I switched over to science, even though I was taking science, which is a more technical, scientific discipline, I took courses in French and Spanish because I loved learning about languages. I took sociology and psychology. So yeah, it really is hard to pick one thing, and you know what, I don’t think that will ever change, to be honest. I feel the more things I take on and the more people I talk to, I feel more interests are being uncovered.

Steve Loates (16:50):

No, absolutely.

Juliet Aurora (16:52):

So blogging obviously is what started you on this entrepreneurial journey. Can you speak to our audience of entrepreneurs, that was the big buzzword that every business needed a blog, you needed to be able to write a blog and have a blog for your business to succeed. Can you speak to that? This is something that you do as your full-time career, one of your full-time careers, I guess. What about those businesses who blogging isn’t their business, what would be the advantages or disadvantages of them trying to start a blog?

Karen Swyszcz (17:30):

So just for clarification, I wouldn’t say it was blogging full-time but more doing consulting, so advising people to blog. So I was doing that between 2017 to 2020. So just to make sure I understand the question correctly, you’re asking what are the advantages and disadvantages entrepreneurs starting a blog?

Juliet Aurora (17:50):

If you’re running a business where you’re selling a product, is there an advantage for them to blogging as well?

Karen Swyszcz (17:57):

Yes, and I think one of the popular misconceptions is that people automatically assume, and I think this also goes with social media, if you publish a social media posts, if you publish a blog like, “Okay, people are going to buy my product.” But the thing is, how I like to think of it is that when you’re blogging, you’re starting a conversation. It’s more like you’re nurturing that relationship with the potential customer or client, telling them like, “Hey, I have this product,” and really addressing their pain points. They’re saying like, “This is how it’s going to help you, or here’s how my services can help you.” So I really do feel it is to your advantage.

Karen Swyszcz (18:38):

But I do understand that for a lot of entrepreneurs, number one, they might be really busy and that blogging might not be their strong suit, so you can always look into having other people guest post or looking to hiring staff writers. However, I do want to also add that with respect to, let’s say your entrepreneurial toolkit, I believe that written communication is really important, because again, when you think about it, now that a lot of people are spending a lot of time online, they’re researching things, I think you get the impression when somebody is very articulate they have very strong verbal communication skills, but written communication skills I think are really important. So through blogging, you can help further develop those written communication skills as well.

Karen Swyszcz (19:23):

And it’s not something where you have to feel you like, “Oh my gosh, I need to blog every day, or I need to blog three times a week.” I think even doing it every other week. And there’s also that thing of repurposing content. I mean, say for example this podcast, taking key talking points from it and turning it into a blog post can definitely help.

Juliet Aurora (19:45):

Excellent. Thank you.

Steve Loates (19:47):

That’s good advice. So you’ve probably had an opportunity to speak with, have conversation with a number of entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial type people over the last little while. Are there one or two things that have stuck in your mind that you consistently hear from entrepreneurs about what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur?

Karen Swyszcz (20:18):

I would say mindset, because I think a lot of the times, and we have social media to thank, that we see people portray themselves as successful, but not really showing behind the scenes. So sometimes they’re like, “Okay, I’m going to start a business and I’m going to make lots of money from it and I’m going to be really successful after a year or two,” only without realizing how much work, how many years it takes. And I just think back to… And I’ve had conversations with other entrepreneurs about the image of the iceberg, and I’m sure also, I think the image has been shown on social media as well, the tip of the iceberg, you see the success.

Karen Swyszcz (20:59):

However, underneath the water, there’s all the the long hours, the many nights of sleepless nights, the stress, things not going well, having to pivot. So it’s really important to have that mindset to keep going because there’ll be times when you you’ll want to quit. And I think it’s okay to quit, meaning take a break for a day or two, for a few days, but then to revisit the situation because if you’re not resilient or if you don’t think positive, then entrepreneurship is going to be even tougher than it already is for you.

Juliet Aurora (21:37):

Very true.

Steve Loates (21:38):

Absolutely. I like the analogy of the iceberg. My favorite, and I think we maybe even mentioned it on the show before, is the one of the duck on the water, that as you see the duck moving across the water, what you see is this calm, serene bird, just looking around as if everything is just, again, completely under control. And yet below the water, the feet are just going madly, and that, again, reminds me very much of a lot of entrepreneurs. That what you see and what is actually going on below the surface are two completely different things.

Juliet Aurora (22:20):

And I think we’ve always seen that and known that about entrepreneurs. I think social media has really amplified entrepreneurs feeling like they’re not keeping up, because social media gives you the highlight reel out of somebody’s life and out of somebody’s business. They don’t tell you all the times that they’re staying awake at night wondering about whether or not they can make payroll tomorrow. They’re not talking about… I was talking to a gentleman who, with the pandemic, their business has taken off significantly and he’s out there at 3:00 in the morning making deliveries now because that’s the only time that they can do it.

Juliet Aurora (23:02):

And those aren’t the types of things that you ever see a business owner post on their social media. They’re going to post all the good things. So I think it really does amplify, for other startups especially, that they think, “Well, I must be doing something wrong, because no one else is working this hard and no one else is this stressed.” So I think it’s important for us, in our forum, to recognize that and to remind everybody that everyone struggles at one time or another. If you’re trying to grow something, then you are going to experience some challenges.

Steve Loates (23:40):

For sure. And, and the, the struggles can also be very different. I mean again, the one thing we’ve learned certainly this year is some businesses have absolutely taken off because of the pandemic. I mean, e-commerce has just exploded, which has caused all kinds of challenges for those e-commerce business owners, trying to keep up with the orders, trying to manage cashflow, et cetera, et cetera. And then you also have on the other side of the coin businesses where their business literally disappeared overnight. So same circumstances, same pandemic, but both businesses dealing with incredible challenges for very different reasons. And again, I think that’s what happens when you’re an entrepreneur. The good, the bad, you don’t always know what’s coming your way, and I certainly don’t think there was any entrepreneur out there who saw this coming. There are things you can plan for, but I don’t think you could plan for this one.

Karen Swyszcz (24:57):

No, not at all. And it was interesting because with our social venture, and I distinctly remember, I think it was about either November or December of last year, we were busy planning for 2020. We were so excited because at that time everyone was like, “It’s not only a new year, it’s a new decade. It’s 2020. So you think 2020 vision.” And we’re like, “Okay, we planned out the first six months for our events.” And of course, COVID hit, but fortunately we were able to pivot to events online.

Steve Loates (25:30):

Absolutely, absolutely.

Juliet Aurora (25:31):

And I think it comes back to, again, that you were willing to adapt and change something because you had to. But there are lots of businesses, and even if we’re not talking about the pandemic, that have started on a course, and even though it isn’t the right course for them, they’re committed to it, and I have my plan and aren’t looking to see whether or not they’re on the right course.

Karen Swyszcz (25:56):

Yeah, and just adding to that, because what brings to mind is really well-known big companies such as remember Blockbuster and then Netflix happen and then Kodak, and then of course digital photography, digital cameras came into play, but failed to adapt to that.

Steve Loates (26:13):

No, you can see the landscape is scattered with companies that. Those were two great examples as well. That brings us to the part of the show that we call the Smart Man, Smarter Woman version of James Lipton’s Q&A, and that is where we have six questions that we ask every one of our guests, we ask the same questions, and if you’re ready, Karen, I would to get started.

Karen Swyszcz (26:45):


Steve Loates (26:46):

Okay, what one word best defines an entrepreneur, and you may have already answered that.

Karen Swyszcz (26:53):

There’s so many words. I’m trying to think which one word do I want to say? I would say curiosity.

Steve Loates (27:01):

Okay. What profession, other than your own, would you to attempt?

Karen Swyszcz (27:09):

So part of my, I guess, let’s say 10, 15 year plan is to become a venture capitalist because I would to invest in other startups and help them grow.

Steve Loates (27:20):

Awesome. What profession would you never to attempt?

Karen Swyszcz (27:28):

I guess being introverted, I would say being an actor, so kudos to those people who do that full-time. Honestly, I feel I’m more a behind the scenes, behind the camera person.

Steve Loates (27:41):

Awesome.. Well, we need those behind the scenes people as well. What sound or noise do you love?

Karen Swyszcz (27:50):

Oh, sound or noise. Do I have a little bit of time to think about it? I’ve never heard that question asked. That’s a really interesting question, what sound or noise? You know what I would say, and this probably would also… This is going to cater to other senses too, the smell, just the sound of things being fried. I’m not sure if that’s the answer that you’re looking for.

Steve Loates (28:22):

No, that’s multiple sensory for sure. And with these questions there is no right or wrong answer. That’s why we ask them. What book would you recommend for every entrepreneur?

Karen Swyszcz (28:38):

Oh, there’s so many books. I love reading books on entrepreneurship and personal development. One book I would say is A Year with Peter Drucker: 52 Weeks of Coaching for Leadership Effectiveness. And what I really liked about this book was that each… The book was divided, so each week being a lesson that focused on certain themes of leadership. And not only that, at the end of each chapter, there was a suggested further reading and reflective questions to ask yourself. And I think, especially when it comes to books with business and personal development, that there should be more books that. I like having action items to do at the end of each chapter, like questions you can ask yourself to really help reinforce the concept.

Steve Loates (29:22):

Okay, great answer. Last question. When your own entrepreneurial journey is completed, what do you hope your legacy is?

Karen Swyszcz (29:34):

The funny thing is I feel like it’ll never end. Even, let’s say for example, if I say I’m so-called retired, I feel I’ll pursue something else. With respect to my legacy, I think I’d like to be remembered or for people to know me for making an impact, for just helping other people realize their true potential and that you can do pretty much anything. For example, I was working for the government as a food inspector and now I’m a blogger, podcaster, social entrepreneurs. I really want to help people realize their potential.

Steve Loates (30:15):

Okay, awesome. And for those listeners that would to contact you, what is the easiest way for them to connect with you, Karen?

Karen Swyszcz (30:27):

I would say you could message me or follow me on social media. So I tell people it’s… So I’m mainly active on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and my handle on Instagram and Twitter is Makinthebacon1, it’s Makinthebacon with a number one at the end, because I tell everybody, Makinthebacon was already taken. The handle Makingthebacon, I couldn’t have it. I tried to reach out to the person if I could even buy their handle, and of course no response. So yeah, just reach out to me on social media. And then on LinkedIn it’s my full name. So Karen, K-A-R-E-N. I’ll also spell out my last name, because it’s very hard. Even sometimes I forget how to spell it. S-W-Y-S-Z-C-Z.

Steve Loates (31:17):

Okay. There’s a lot of consonants there. So before we close out this episode, do you have any final thoughts, Karen, you might to share with our-

Juliet Aurora (31:29):

Hold on, before you close it out, you have not mentioned that Karen has a book coming out, so at least… I know that we’re at the end of it, but at least, Karen, please share for our audience the name of your book. By the time this episode is released, it will be already out, but if you could let everybody know the name of your book and why they should read it.

Karen Swyszcz (31:48):

Yeah, for sure. Thank you so much Juliet for the opportunity. So it’s called Lighting The North, and it actually launched last month, so it is available at Chapter’s Indigo. For those in the US Barnes & Noble, and then amazon.ca. So it is a collection of stories of women across Canada, of a diverse group of women of many different cultures, and we share stories of what it was like growing up in Canada and what it means to be a woman in Canada.

Juliet Aurora (32:16):

Excellent. Thank you. Go ahead, Steve. Now you can close it up.

Steve Loates (32:21):

Thank you. You’re you’re going to stop directing the show now. You did an awesome job there, by the way. Maybe we have a new role there for you.

Juliet Aurora (32:30):

I’m a behind the scenes kind of person.

Steve Loates (32:31):

You’re a behind the scenes kind of girl. Anyway, as I was mentioning, do you have final thoughts, Karen, you might like to share with our audience of entrepreneurs?

Karen Swyszcz (32:47):

I would say to not wait for opportunities to come to you, because the thing is, if you wait, it may never happen or the opportunity may never come your way. So really take action, and if anything, any action, even though you’re not sure, it’s not how you plan, any action taken is better than no action taken at all.

Steve Loates (33:15):

Awesome. And what about you, Juliet? Do you have any final thoughts before we close out the episode?

Juliet Aurora (33:22):

No, I think I’ve already interrupted and directed enough.

Steve Loates (33:25):

It wouldn’t be an interruption. [crosstalk 00:33:30]. If you’re good, that’s fine. And I do have to say, what a wonderful segue, Karen. This brings us to the part of the show where I have a quote that I like to share. You didn’t know what the quote was going to be when you said your last few words there, your final thoughts. And as you were speaking, I thought, “She’s reading my quote.” So here is my quote. Do not wait. Does that sound familiar, Karen? Do not wait. The time will never be just right. Start where you stand, work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along. By George Herbert. I thought that was funny when you said [crosstalk 00:34:29], that was great.

Steve Loates (34:29):

So anyway, thank you very much, Karen. Really appreciate you joining us. Thank you very much to my awesome co-host Juliet. But most importantly, thank you to you, our audience, for giving us a listen. We sincerely hope you found some value here. And if you did, please subscribe. We would love it if you did. We’re in all the normal places, iTunes, Spotify, or you can go to our website, smartmansmarterwoman.com. And thank you again. Until next time, take good care of yourself and those that you love. Bye for now.

Song by Adam Vitovsky / CC BY 3.0

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Episode 38