The Canadian Public Relations Society

Mara’s Message

In Events, public relations on December 8, 2010 at 3:26 pm

The CPRS Calgary Independent Consultants Group (a.k.a. The Indys) have a message to share from Mara Osis of Amati Business Group about what small business owners can learn by reflecting on the meaning of Christmas.

Mara will be facilitating one of the discussion tables at the up-coming, jointly sponsored PD morning geared to the independent consultants in our midst.  You can register for this January 28 event, held from 8 a.m to noon at The Ranchmen’s Club, on the events page on the CPRS Calgary website.

Mara’s Message

There are so many ways to celebrate the holiday season: spiritually; socially; by giving and receiving; or by taking time for retreat and reflection. We can get merry, get connected, get overwhelmed or simply get away from the routines of the rest of the year.

‘Tis the season when gifts are top-of-mind. But we can get so “wrapped up” in gifts for others that we miss an opportunity to think of gifts we can give ourselves.

A popular carol about the twelve days of Christmas speaks of a true love’s gifts on each of the days that fall between Christmas and the beginning of Epiphany, the day on which the three wise men found and “revealed” the birth of Jesus to the world.

Instead of dealing with a partridge in a pear tree, we can have our own epiphanies – moments of clarity – by reflecting on gifts that are available to us any time we choose.

Here are three:


The Christmas story is about many things, but most certainly it is about hope. As business owners, we have seen our share of dark times lately, but to abandon hope is to lose our energy and drive, dismiss the extent of our resources and talents, forget our capacity to dream big.

Hopelessness also conceals the wisdom and strength that has seen us through life trials before. Serial entrepreneurs are a great example of those who never lose hope: time after time, they lift themselves up, dust off the damage, and start again.

“To travel hopefully is better than to arrive.”
(R.L. Stevenson)


We can learn from both good experiences and bad, but adversity and setbacks can be better opportunities for learning that “sticks”. To gain the most from a bad experience, we need to avoid blame and shame, and make sure to apply the lessons…so we only have to learn them once. We can reflect on what we learn about ourselves, as well as how to deal with the circumstances.

We also have to “infect” those around us with a learning mindset. Demonstrate tolerance for calculated risk-taking, and dig deep to find the lessons when things go sideways.

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
(John Wooden)


Our culture celebrates self-reliance and independence. That may be why accepting the gift of help is a struggle for many business owners. Yet the most successful entrepreneurs are often those who are open to help. They build strong work teams, but they also use industry mentors, expert advisors, coaches and other professionals to help them BE better and DO better.

Getting help may involve hearing what we don’t want to hear, but it does create accountability, and brings us face to face with the avoidance and denial that can keep a business stuck – or even cripple it.

“Asking for help is a sign of strength.”

  1. I have just registered online for this and encountered a bit of a hurdle of which members should be aware when they go to register. You will be asked for your membership number and it is on your membership card that you got when you joined. It’s also on your dues receipt. The trick is, though, it needs to be four digits…so in my case, I had to put a zero in front of my 3-digit ID number.

    The other thing that you should know is there is free heated underground parking at the Ranchmen’s for this event. How sweet!

    The event is broken into components too so if you can’t come for the whole morning, you can come for the breakfast and keynote or you can just come to the networking lunch. But the whole bundle at only $100 for members is a real deal!

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