Which kind of Champion are you?

My week in pictures… from L-R: Photos from ‘Women Living B.I.G.’ ~ Day of Empowerment (one of our amazing sponsors, Sparkplug Coffee, created a personalized blend called ‘Dream Big. Play Big. Live Big.’ and we all got sample packs!!!), road trip to Ottawa with Marissa McTasney in her moxie Trades jeep, StartUp Canada Day on The Hill, snapping a pic of Sean Wise in the infamous pink work boots, yoga class at Fotographia Boutique studio.

cham·pi·on/ˈCHampēən
noun

  • a person who has defeated or surpassed all rivals in a competition, especially in sports.
  • a person who fights or argues for a cause or on behalf of someone else.

Every time I hear the word champion, I can’t help but have Queen singing around in my head! (as an aside, our last night in England at the lovely Buxted Park Hotel last week, we had ‘Freddie Mercury’ in the house… never seen so much energy from a live impersonator entertainer type person in my LIFE… he was amazing! And Hilarious :-)  )

Perhaps you, like me, first think of ‘winner’ when it comes to the word champion. However, this past week I have been exposed to a LOT of the second meaning ~ and in my mind, it’s a whole lot more powerful.

Coming off an event-filled weekend (Women Living B.I.G. ~ Day of Empowerment was a huge success! I hope you enjoyed the pics above), I was excited to take it somewhat easy this past week. And then I got a surprise invitation by Marissa McTasney, founder of Moxie Trades ~ if you don’t know who this incredible woman is, go check her out. Seriously. Like, NOW. Well, actually, finish reading this happy friday first and THEN go check her out! ~ to join her at StartUp Canada’s ‘Day on the Hill’. Yeah, in Ottawa.

At first I thought – can I hack it?!? And then I thought, how can I NOT?

I’ve confessed before I’m a bit of a YES girl ~ sometimes to my detriment. However there are ‘yes’s – and then there are ‘YES’S! This invite was the latter. An opportunity I simply could not pass up.

All I can say is OMG! (first time EVER using that in a Happy Friday. Only appropriate response!) It was an opportunity on steroids… I will forever be grateful for the experience, and forever grateful I said yes.

First of all, StartUp Canada is an incredible organization whose mission is to support entrepreneurship across Canada by bridging the gap between the entrepreneurs themselves and the government. Pretty cool. What’s cooler, it was founded only two years ago, by an incredible mover-and-shaker of a woman, Victoria Lennox. At only 30, she’s shaken hands with the Queen (first Canadian and one of the youngest to win the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion) and will likely be Prime Minister of Canada one day.

Over 1,000 entrepreneurs, sponsors and government employees across Canada met for the second annual event at the gorgeous Fairmont Chateau Laurier. Amazing keynote speakers (like Frank O’Dea, co-founder of Second Cup), roundtable discussions, and inspirational panels. During lunch, Sean Wise, The Naked Entrepreneur, was interviewing a women’s panel including Marissa and the Honorable Minister Dr. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and the Status of Women.

Here is where our theme of champion comes in.

Towards the end of this inspirational panel, Minister Leitch issued a challenge. She asked each of us in the room to find someone to be a champion to. Someone to believe in, stand by, fight for, mentor, empower…

Those folks who champion individual persons or individual causes are the folks that really make a difference and really can change the world.

Who, or what, are YOU going to champion?

I am happy to say not only have I found the person I am going champion (because although my intitial thought was, ‘I’m not successful enough to champion anyone!’ we ALL have something to offer), I’m also super pumped about my new champion. I’m super pumped for the work ahead of me. I’m super pumped about the Ideas that are a-brewing. BIG time. I have a new-found confidence in how I want to move forward. I’m ready for action ~ and 2015 is going to be an exciting one. And yes, a lot of it comes down to knowing I have someone rooting for me.

We all need champions. And we can all be a champion for others. And when you champion someone else, or a cause greater than yourself, everybody wins. (Click to tweet it out!)

And then, “We Are the Champions” (cue Queen here!) indeed.

Have a FAB week, << Test First Name >> !

carol schulte's happy friday signature

Do you have someone you are championing? Do YOU have a champion? What are your thoughts on this idea? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below :-).