Just Bike it! You’ll Like It! Bike to Work and School Week: May 29-June 4, 2017

Just Bike it! You’ll Like It! Bike to Work and School Week: May 29-June 4, 2017

Smither’s resident and president of Bike to Work BC Society, Taylor Bachrach has been cycling to work for six years. “There is nothing that beats how great you feel riding your bike to work and home,” he says. “It is amazing how the stresses of the day just melt away. And you take time to notice the friendly people around you.”

Bike to Work & School Week is May 29-June 4, 2017 throughout BC.

Bachrach urges people to get on their bikes and give it a try, even if they have never done it before: “We hope they discover how enjoyable biking to get to places can be.” Choosing to bike instead of drive just one day makes a difference in our health and air quality; and you don’t need any special equipment other than a bike and helmet. There is lots of support including ICBC safety tips, and fun celebration stations.”

Teachers, parents, students, employers, and employees are encouraged to register their classes, schools, and workplaces through www.biketowork.ca.

“It is easy and fun,” Bachrach says. “You can join or start a team, or participate as a solo rider. If you register at www.biketowork.ca, and report your trips, you will qualify for great prizes including a grand prize of an Exodus Travels dream cycling adventure for two along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast.* For longer distances, you can always bus and bike part way. Make sure you log the kilometers you biked, to qualify for prizes and see how many calories you burned, and  kilograms of greenhouse gases you saved.”

The winner of last’s year’s Exodus grand prize, Joel Carter and his family aim to operate one vehicle in their household. Biking to work allows them to achieve this.  “I also find it difficult to find time to exercise with a busy schedule. Biking to work serves two purposes: I get some exercise; and it is a great form of transportation to and from work.”

“Cycling brings out the child in many of us and a sense of wonder – as does travel,” says Robin Brooks, marketing & PR manager for Exodus Travels, “A bike lets you travel at your own pace, has minimal environmental impact and best of all presents you with a rewarding adrenaline adventure that once finished provides an unparalleled sense of achievement,” says Brooks.

Organizers say, “You don’t need fancy clothes or an expensive bike to participate in Bike to Work & School Week, but it is important to be visible and wear a helmet. Check www.biketowork.ca for ICBC’s safety tips and review the Bike Sense manual at www.bikesense.org to refresh your memory about the rules of the road and how to share the road safely with vehicles.”  More than 50 communities and regions participate in the event across BC. To join them, register at www.biketowork.ca.

Bike to Work BC is a not for profit society that provides resources and support to help local communities organize and hold bike to work and school events province-wide.

**all participating communities except Greater Victoria quality for the Exodus Travels grand prize

SOURCE Bike to Work BC Society

You’ve got 25,000 mornings. What will you do with each one?

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10 common phrases to avoid in speeches


There are a few phrases that always hit my ear badly when I hear speakers use them in response to an audience member’s question.

They’re all variations on the same theme; you can probably come up with several similar ones of your own. Each can make the person who utters them come across as annoyed, if not downright peevish.

The phrases are:

• “As I mentioned earlier”
• “As I already said in my email”
• “As I said before”
• “As I’ve already mentioned”
• “Like I previously stated”
• “As I wrote in the memo you received”
• “Like I said”
• “As I stated earlier”
• “Like we discussed”
• “As we covered at the beginning”

In my experience, most speakers who utter these types of lines don’t do so because they’re annoyed. I’d guess many of them aren’t even aware that they said these lines at all. Nonetheless, they can come across as an accusation to the audience—I already spoke about this! Why weren’t you listening to me?

Even though it can feel annoying to receive an audience question about material you already covered, keep in mind that: The person who asked the question might have entered the room late due to an unexpected doctor’s appointment; their mind may have drifted because the information you were sharing frightened them; their attention span waned simply because they’re human. Heck, it may even be a sign that you’re a sleep-inducing speaker!

The bottom line is that if you’re asked to restate something that you said earlier, just say it a second time.

Excerpted article written by Brad Phillips, PR Daily

Brad Phillips is author of The Media Training Bible: 101 Things You Absolutely, Positively Need to Know Before Your Next Interview. He is also the president of Phillips Media Relations, a media and presentation training firm, and blogs at Mr. Media Training, where a version of this story first appeared.

ILScorp has launched a new online course: “Secrets for Exceptional Speaking”  to meet this growing need among professionals in all industries. This online video course teaches an innovative approach to public speaking, presentations, and communication skills, using the trade-marked Hendrie Method.

7 Key Habits of Super Networkers

The ability to network successfully can be one of the greatest assets in business. It allows some people to find incredible opportunities, while others just watch from the sidelines.


Effective networking isn’t a result of luck — it requires hard work and persistence. What does it take to be a super networker? Here are seven of the most important habits to develop:

1. Ask insightful questions.
Before attending networking events, get the names of the people who are expected to attend and search social media sites like LinkedIn to figure out which topics they’re probably most interested in. For people who are already in your network, don’t assume you know everything they’re up to. Find out what they’re currently working on — or perhaps struggling with. This attention to detail can go a long way at your next one-on-one lunch or dinner meeting.

2. Add value.
One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action. If, for instance, you know someone in your network who can help a new connection with a problem, drop what you’re doing and introduce the two individuals.

3. Learn their ‘story.’
Ask successful entrepreneurs to tell you how they got where they are. Most people think of this as an exercise in rapport building, but hearing these stories can tell you a lot about a person’s approach to business. The more you understand your networking partner’s mentality, the better you can add and extract value from your relationship.

For example, some entrepreneurs pride themselves on working 16-hour days and doing whatever it takes, while others focus on being strategic and waiting for the right opportunities to open up. These are clues that can not only allow you to see what people value, but also what working with them might be like.

4. Share a memorable fact.
When someone asks, “What do you do?” don’t give a canned elevator speech about your company and career. Mention something personal that defines who you really are. Maybe you have a passion for playing an instrument or an obsession with collecting antiques. These are also “things you do,” so make it a point to share them. Such personal details can help lighten the mood and get people talking.

5. Keep a list.
What’s your routine after attending a networking event or meal? If your answer is, “I go home,” you’re probably going to miss out on opportunities. Write down important topics that came up at the event. This habit can help prevent opportunities from falling through the cracks and give you something to reference in conversation the next time you meet. You can also develop a reputation as someone who’s on top of things.

6. Make small promises and keep them.
No matter how small a promise you make — such as sending an email or returning a phone call — delivering on that promise reflects on your character. By following through on your word, you start building a reputation for trustworthiness, which is exactly how every great networker wants to be perceived.

7. Reward your ‘power’ contacts.
Keep a list of your top five to 10 networking partners and do something each week to add value to one person’s life or business. You might send them a book or set up a lunch to introduce them to one of your other contacts. This habit can help you be proactive about staying in touch with your most powerful contacts. Just as with fitness or investing, the most successful people are the ones who choose to be consistent in their actions.

Excerpted article written by Lewis Howes, Entrepreneur

How do I evaluate a job offer?

“Ask Brianna” is a Q&A column from NerdWallet for 20-somethings or anyone else starting out. I’m here to help you manage your money, find a job and pay off student loans – all the real-world stuff no one taught us how to do in college. Send your questions about postgrad life to askbrianna?nerdwallet.com.

Q: I got an offer for a full-time job. How do I decide if it’s right for me, or if the salary is fair?

A: The job hunt can feel like a decathlon: multiple contests, many competitors and one victor _ hopefully you. There are so many individual events, from the resume revamp to the post-interview thank you note, you may feel nothing but exhaustion by the time you get that congratulatory call or email.

But keep your energy up. Closely evaluating an offer can be the difference between taking a job you run to and realizing you made a huge mistake, forcing you to start the job-search process from the beginning.

Of course, you may not have the luxury of weighing multiple options. But even if you have a single offer, you can still think critically about how to make the best of the opportunity _ and whether you want to negotiate for perks you value especially highly, such as health insurance starting on day one.

After doing your happy dance, thank the hiring manager and request 24 hours to respond. Then use the following framework to assess the position from all angles.


The proposed salary will have a big effect on your day-to-day lifestyle and your future earning power, so make sure you know what you’re worth. Use resources such as PayScale or Salary.com to find the average amount your role commands where you live.

Rick Sass, a career coach at Lee Hecht Harrison near Seattle, recommends having two numbers ready, ideally before the official offer comes in: the salary you want to make (say, $55,000) and a lower amount you’re willing to accept (say, $50,000, which is about the mean wage, or average salary, for 25- to 34-year-olds across all education backgrounds, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). If you haven’t already shared these salary expectations or your pay history, don’t do it just yet.

“The first person who gives a number is generally the loser,” Sass says.


Turn your attention next to employee benefits, such as health insurance and matching retirement contributions. These add up: As of September 2016, 31.4 per cent of what employers paid for the average civilian worker’s total compensation was for non-salary benefits, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

Ask the hiring manager for a summary of your total package. It should include paid time off, out- of-pocket costs for health insurance and whether your company offers a retirement plan or matching contributions. Check whether there are tenure requirements to participate in any of these programs.

Consider your non-compensation priorities, too. You might want your gig to include a strong social mission, a more reasonable commute, a boss committed to mentoring you or experience working for a big-name company.

If the offer checks most of your boxes for salary, benefits and values, it’s time to negotiate.


The employer will expect you to negotiate, so don’t let nerves or a fear of seeming overbearing get in the way. If the proposed salary is lower than what you deserve, say thank you for the offer and then counter with what you believe is appropriate for your skills and experience.

If salary negotiations stall, ask instead for a non-salary benefit you value. That could be the option to work remotely one day a week or a signing bonus, Sass says.

When Camille Galles was looking for a new sales job in the digital media industry, she had four job offers. One was a startup that didn’t offer her as much in salary as the more established companies. But when she asked for a signing bonus and an additional performance-based bonus after her first 90 days on the job, the startup went for it.

Now Galles, 31, is the CEO of her own three-person digital advertising company. Weighing different job offers based not just on salary but on how much she could learn in each role helped her get where she is, she says.

“It’s really given me the fuel to stay two steps ahead of my peers.”


ILScorp Offices Are Closed for Remembrance Day

The ILScorp offices will be closed Friday, Nov. 11. Take the time this Remembrance Day to remember and honour those who have, and who continue to, make sacrifices for our country.


We’ll be back Monday morning, ready to take your calls, answer your questions and register you for online insurance programs. You can reach us from 8 a.m. – 5  p.m. Pacific Time. You can also register for our insurance training programs online, anytime, at ILScorp.com

And for subscribers to the ILSTV insurance industry newsletter, your daily dose of Canadian insurance news returns to your inbox on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

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