It’s Not Personal, It’s Just Business!


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It’s not personal, it’s just business.
Really? I’m not buying it for one second.  Never have and never will.

I started Moxie Trades in 2006.  In 2008, I appeared on Dragons’ Den.  In 2009, I totally lost who I was.  I won retailers, lost retailers.  Won business partners, lost business partners.  Hired staff, fired staff.  Lost money and lost money. Obviously, I struggled and survived Moxie Trades as I’m still ticking away in my Moxie footwear world.

At the time, Trump’s opening line on the Apprentice was “it’s not personal, it’s just business.” Huh?

As an entrepreneur, if it’s not personal, what is it?  I have cried, thrown temper tantrums and been emotionally depleted. Financially… my personal finances took big hits as we re-mortgaged our home AGAIN.  I hired staff that were cheap and incompetent as I could not afford to hire the best.  I feared taking someone away from a stable job to join my shaky start-up.  As a result of an unskilled team, the 250 hours of staffing I paid for every week was a waste.  I would get up at 4am, go into the office or work from home, then off to meetings, have dinner with my family and back to the office until 1 or 2am to finish up the work that my team was not able to complete.  I tried to coach and created system after system to catch mistakes but I failed miserably. I could never understand how I could get it done and they couldn’t.  To this day, I feel like I was robbed of money and time.

Personally, my life was on the brink of complete deterioration.  I don’t know how we hung on; it must be love.

I gained an education; it’s been expensive but I have experience that I am grateful for.

I have traveled the world; China, Germany, France, England, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Bali, Singapore, Thailand, Hawaii and many other states in the USA.  I know Canada from coast to coast and love every city in our awesome country.  I worked with a Federal Minister in 2014 and enjoyed another tour across Canada this fall with StartUp Canada.

Today, I am in Sosua, Dominican Republic.  I get up early before my babies and my husband.  I wake up, hearing the ocean waves hitting our beach that is steps away.  I make my morning coffee and work away on the veranda.  This week is about planning and writing.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 9.16.32 AMIt couldn’t be more personal than this.  My business has afforded me the opportunity to travel the world, fail big, live wholeheartedly, meet the best people on the planet and work from the beach.  It’s pretty personal.  I believe that if it’s not personal, then you won’t be able to stick through it.  The privileges of entrepreneurship are gifted to those who have made it personal and stayed in the game long enough.

For the next 12 weeks, I will be sharing my insights and my recommendations to get you into a place of personal success. My tricks and tips for starting up and staying up, happy and peacefully.

 Hope you join me.


It occurred to me the other day in a heated debate… I am not the customer. When I started the business with the Original Pink Work Boot, it took me five months to develop the concept that included a men’s work boot that was pink, a pink tool belt, safety glasses and hard hat. We had combo packs; pink, blue, green, red, tan and black. That’s a total of five months to source what would launch Moxie Trades. Within four months of my presentation to Home Depot, I had a website, 1-800, logo in for trademark registration and products distributed through Home Depot.

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Part 3: The Inner Tutu and The Boycott!

Part 3 – The Inner Tutu and The Boycott!

This blog is part three of my inner tutu wholehearted living story…. In retrospect, the boycott has become an honour. It has sparked a fire in me that has reminded me of who I am and that I will fight for that right to live wholeheartedly for all the things I stand for. More importantly for all the lessons I want to teach my children.

As Robin Sharma has shared in his teachings.. “critics don’t come out to play when you are doing average work, they come out when you are approaching mastery and doing great work”
So I know the older I get, the bolder I get, the louder I get, the more criticism I will face – but then that’s how I’ll know I’m achieving something magnificent.

Recently I watched this Brene Brown video on “Why the critics aren’t the ones who count” – Watch this!

The boycott started about questions about photo of women in construction. The conversation very quickly became about pink and some ridiculous woman who wears a tutu in pink work boots. It included women questioning this chick’s skill in the trades. It included women attacking a successful woman – a construction worker from Saskatchewan. Criticism on steroids.

My main concern became, wow with all the good that I aim for and the intent in my daily actions, isn’t there a better cause to fight? And if you read some of the emails, I’m blessed to receive, you might feel like a putz.

The truth is I wanted work boots that fit and were pink. Plain and simple. I thought that if I looked like myself, we could all get over the fact that I was a woman in the room with hammer, then we could get to work. And yes, I can build shit, did receive a scholarship from my women in skilled trades program but more importantly I built a magical Harry Potter dressing room for my daughter, a train table for my son and a family room in my basement that my best friends and family enjoy till 4:30am on party nights.

Despite the very few critics, there are way, way, WAY huge amounts of women and men who encourage me. Beyond my wildest dreams, women email me photos of themselves in our footwear, they tell me stories about how I gave them the courage to follow their dreams, whether it’s with a hammer, ipad or blender. This gift is invaluable and I’m full of gratitude that women have taken the time to share their stories with me. I am daily filled with tears of gratitude – quite honestly I wonder if I’ve already achieved the goals that are important and can’t imagine what else there is. (but then I find another dream and another idea)

I have re-mortgaged my home, sacrificed time away from my family, faced the dragons and lost my ego the day I put on that pink dress with pink work boots. Many women have worn their husbands work boots for an entire career. Women have told me what they need, want, love and hate. Isn’t that the wonderful thing about women, they are fearlessly opinionated and their desires are endless.

Thanks to Andrea Gordon from the Toronto Star for “getting it” and sharing it with the thousands of readers who frequent the business section. I’ve never been stronger in my mind, heart and soul since I owned my true wholehearted self. I am a woman, a wife, brilliant, strong and I can build S#!t! And for those that hate pink, I will share, I’m not a big fan of green – it’s really not in my colour wheel, I’m never green with envy and although it’s the colour of money – Canadian money comes in many colours so big freak’n deal – still not a fan of green.

One woman stated that she wears mens’ work boots to blend in. We’ve sold thousands of pink work boots, not one thousand or two thousand – we’re in the tens…. I was disheartened that the very women I’m working to keep safe and happy on the inside were criticizing me for doing so. I would never criticize how anyone earns a living. If “blending” in helps one cope – I support that too. It is tough out there and I don’t take it lightly but I also won’t whisper. I will scream, shout and kick in my pink work boots that I am here until you see me. And that is where the difference is made. Progress is not made with whispers, it is made with roars.

So I am honoured to have been boycotted for the colour pink, dancing in my tutu with my daughter and showing my children how to find their own moxie. Moxie is the ability to face fear with spirit and courage. Women are miraculous, I intend to celebrate it! We can make humans, swing a hammer, lead a team, run a board meeting or bake a cake. If you don’t think that’s something to celebrate, you are not living and you really need to find your own moxie… I dare you!

If you missed Part 1 and Part 2, click on the links.

Part 2 – Finding My Inner Tutu

Part 2 Finding My Inner Tutu
Now you’ve heard about how the life of me dancing in a tutu and pink work boots came to life… Here’s part two – wearing it in public. As part of my community involvement, I made friends with two lovely ladies who had an idea to run an event for women – inspirational, educational and motivational – that was all I needed to hear – sign me up. On the day of our event, our MC called in sick and I was asked to step up to the challenge – I was as pumped as a kid in Disney. I asked one of my dear friends (I only have dear friends, if they aren’t dear, why have them?) and asked her to break into my house to get “the” dress. I worked the day, dancing, emceeing, talking about business. I felt peace, I felt confident and I felt so happy – yes, pink work boots and a tutu. My outside now matches my inside. I finally found who I am! 37 birth years in (25 heart years) – not bad! That day was the day that I owned my statement, my being and my essence. I am a Woman, I am a Wife, I am Brilliant, I am Strong and I can Build S#!t! (No, t-shirt is not available yet) I am living wholeheartedly and fiercely loyal to my wholehearted self. Women wanted to touch my dress, asked me how it felt wearing my dress and where did I buy it and am I happy? Most of the comments are really positive and I think there are a few more tutus in the closet. I’ve learned that if people’s egos didn’t get the best of them, they too would toss on a tutu. However, the odd critic feels I may not be taken seriously.  Continue reading

Part 1- The Tutu

Part 1 Finding My Inner Tutu
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a shift. Deep thought and comments on the colour pink, whether or not I should wear a pink tutu on my profile page and even a pink work boot boycott.
The boycott has been lifted but I sure wish it wasn’t – I have a load of anti-boycott advertising ideas. I did defend myself obsessively.
I must admit; this is what I signed up for. I used to be scared. After my stint on Dragons’ Den (largest deal closed ever worldwide at the time) I used to run into my house, head down.
I wasn’t prepared for the comments, good or bad, I didn’t know how to respond or react.
I felt judged. I was judged.
That was pre-tutu. Continue reading